Bearhouse writes: BBC reports that Verizon will buy part of Yahoo and is expected to merge it with AOL, which it bought last year. Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has made little progress in returning the company to profit since she took the job in 2012. Yahoo reported a $440m loss in the second quarter, but said the board had made "great progress on strategic alternatives". http://www.bbc.com/news/busine...
Bearhouse writes: The BBC reports that Julius Kivimaki was found guilty of 50,700 "instances of aggravated computer break-ins". Court documents state that his attacks affected Harvard University and MIT among others, and involved hijacking emails, blocking traffic to websites and the theft of credit card details. The District Court Judge, Wilhelm Norrmann noted that Kivimaki had only been 15 and 16 when he carried out the crimes in 2012 and 2013. Contrast this to the treatment meted out to Aaron Swartz, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/..., and the Pirate Bay team. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Bearhouse writes: Researchers have identified the most-edited pages in Wikipedia — the subject of so-called 'Wikiwars'. It's interesting to see how these differ by country; in the USA, GWB tops the list. For the Czech republic, it's homosexuality. Regarding Germany, 9/11 conspiracy theories are in third place, after Croatia and Scientology. Just as weird and interesting as Wikipedia itself.
Bearhouse writes: My Dad amazes me with (a) his longevity & energy, and (b) his continued ability to mess around with electronics stuff. Since he already has things ranging from valve amps made from war-surplus, via an original IBM PC kit to an Android tablet, I was going to buy him a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Turns out he's already got one. I saw nothing that really got me excited in the attached link, so your ideas would be appreciated, thanks.
Bearhouse writes: From the BBC: Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out. The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers. The move riled social media users, with some likening it to a "suicide note". The new policies follow Facebook's record $1bn (£616m; 758 euro) acquisition of Instagram in April. Facebook's vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson earlier this month had said: "Eventually we'll figure out a way to monetise Instagram."
I'm not sure the many young users of Instagram will be too happy when their pictures start showing up in ads.
Bearhouse writes: Won't be a surprise for regular readers, but there's a good summary from Gartner here of how IT VPs should be wary of, amongst other things, SAP's rather opaque pricing and Oracle's poor interoperability. Also, how IBM is more interested in taking over your company's IT strategy than it is in delivering solutions.
Bearhouse writes: The Guardian reports: '..a 12-year-old satellite belonging to the US company Iridium and a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite that was put into orbit in 1993...which weighed 560kg and 950kg respectively, apparently smashed into each other at a speed of 420 miles per minute (25,000mph).' 'Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Les Kodlick of the US strategic command, said: "We believe it's the first time that two satellites have collided in orbit." The command's joint space operations centre was tracking 500 to 600 new bits of debris, some as small as 10cm (3.9 inches) across, in addition to the 18,000 or so other man-made objects it has catalogued, he said.' Read more here:
Bearhouse writes: The BBC has an update on the story that provoked a lot of comment here a while back. It's rather more thorough than the usual BBC article, so interesting.
"Now experts say the event challenges conventional theories about meteorites. The object which came down in the Puno region of Peru was a relatively fragile stony meteorite. During the fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere, these are thought to fragment into smaller pieces which then scatter over a wide area. Yet pieces of the estimated 1m-wide meteorite are thought to have stayed together during entry, hitting the ground as one.
There was a lot of discussion here about reporting toxic side-effects of the strike. FTA: "Reports about arsenic, bubbling [of water in the crater] and sickness were probably overblown. People were frightened, but some were also afraid they were under attack from a nearby country."
A bull's horn was, however, confirmed as ripped off...
For more, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7292863.stm
Bearhouse writes: The BBC reports that "A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7288426.stm.
"The machine is made from 17 molecules of the chemical duroquinone. Each one is known as a "logic device". They each resemble a ring with four protruding spokes that can be independently rotated to represent four different states.
The molecular device — just two billionths of a metre across — was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously.
Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers."
Bearhouse writes: The BBC reports that "The European Commission has fined US computer giant Microsoft for defying sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft must now pay 899 million euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m) after it failed to comply with a 2004 ruling that it took part in monopolistic practices. The ruling said that Microsoft was guilty of not providing vital information to rival software makers. EU regulators said the firm was the first to break an EU antitrust ruling."
What — if anything — do you think this will further ruling will change? What 'vital information' would you want?
Bearhouse writes: Picidae, http://picidae.net/, is the latest in the cat-and-mouse game of censors and hole finders / makers.
The inventors have tested it for three weeks in China, and so far claim to have gotten round the 'great firewall'.
If you invoke a pici-server a form field appears to fill in a web address. The pici-server then creates an image of that website and sends this back. Works as advertised, (until it gets/.ed, I guess). You can added your own pici-server to help out.
It's been nominated for a Transmediale prize: http://www.transmediale.de/site/award/nominated-works/
From the nomination:
Christoph Wachter / Mathias Jud (de/ch): picidae
(Community Network, Installation, 2007)
"picidae" creates a server community which breaks national firewalls by redelivering complete, readable and hyperlinked images of blocked web sites.
How long before it gets blocked, and how?