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Submission + - Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Revealed in MPAA Emails

vivaoporto writes: Techdirt reports a plan to run anti-Google smear campaign via Today Show and WSJ discovered in MPAA Emails.

Despite the resistance of the Hollywood studios to comply with the subpoenas obtained by Google concerning their relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (whose investigation of the company appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves) one of the few emails that Google have been able to get access to so far was revealed this Thursday in a filling. It's an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google.

The lawyers from Hood's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the "plan" states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or "civil investigatory demand") on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood.

As Google points out, this makes it pretty clear that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works.

Submission + - Cambridge Professor alleges climate scientists were murdered. (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: A Cambridge professor is alleging that the deaths of 3 scientists who were researching arctic ice loss may have been assassinated. All three died within a short space of time from causes that looked like accidents but, in the case of two of them could equally have been murder (falling down stairs, traffic accident). The third scientist died from being struck by lightning, which is a unlikely way to die, but would be hard to fake. The professor himself also experienced a traffic incident that could have been a deliberate attempt to kill him.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How do you store a half-petabyte of data? And back it up?

An anonymous reader writes: My workplace has recently had two internal groups step forward with a request for almost a half-petabyte of disk to store data. The first is a research project that will computationally analyze a quarter petabyte of data in 100-200MB blobs. The second is looking to archive an ever increasing amount of mixed media. Buying a SAN large enough for these tasks is easy, but how do you present it back to the clients? And how do you back it up?

Both projects have expressed a preference in a single human-navigable directory tree. The solution should involve clustered servers providing the connectivity between storage and client so that there is no system downtime. Many SAN solutions have a maximum volume limit of only 16TB, which means some sort of volume concatenation or spanning would be required, but is that recommended?

Is anyone out there managing gigantic storage needs like this? How did you do it? What worked, what failed, and what would you do differently?

Thanks!

Submission + - IRS Deleted Hundreds of Back-up Tapes Containing Thousands of Lerner Emails

RoccamOccam writes: According to new information from the House Oversight Committee, the IRS deleted hundreds of backup tapes containing thousands of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the conservative-targeting scandal. The tapes were destroyed nine months after a congressional subpoena was issued to the agency demanding they be preserved and turned over.

Submission + - The Milky Way has a skeleton, and its first "bone" may be huge

StartsWithABang writes: Spiral galaxies contain high density dust at the centers of their spiral arms, forming the skeleton of galactic structure. While these arm-tracing infrared dark clouds had been seen in many galaxies external to our own, none had ever been discovered in the Milky Way. Until, that is, one of these “skeletal” features was discovered using the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2010. Recently, that “bone” was discovered to be even longer than suspected, and may be the central feature of the Scutum-Centaurus arm, the closest major spiral arm to the Sun.

Submission + - Nichelle Nichols, Uhura from Star Trek, Hospitalized with Stroke (variety.com)

fightinfilipino writes:

“Last night while at her home in L.A., Nichelle Nichols suffered from a mild stroke,” McGinnis wrote. “She is currently undergoing testing to determine how severe the stroke was. Please keep her in your thoughts.” Nichols, 82, appeared in the original “Star Trek” TV series, which ran from 1966-1969, as well as the “Star Trek” movies. She also played the role of Nana Dawson in the ABC show “Heroes,” and voiced characters in the TV series “Futurama,” “Gargoyles” and “Spider-Man.”


Submission + - Wanted: Test case manager plugin (testlog.com)

Bomarc writes: I’ve been working with software testing ... for a few years now. And there seems to be a serious lack of QA — Test Case Management (TCM) tools. The company that I’m working for needs a good test case manager. Currently JIRA is the tool of choice for other aspects of project management. I’m not asking to jump ship from JIRA, but the Atlassian TCM “Zephyr” has several problems, some of the key ones include: It does not have (any) matrix capabilities, no test case suite capabilities, if you change one test case (including assignments) the system changes all of the runs from that test case, the integration between the defect tracker and the TCM is archaic (at best), the number of actions to pass/fail a step (or test case) are annoying (way to many). Whoever designed it doesn’t use it. If you watch the “Introduction” for Zephyr – it is amusing to see how the person performing he demo skips over and fumbles when dealing with the flaws I’ve mentioned above.

I have use the product “TestLog” which is a well thought out product; has test matrix capabilities (and other good features) however it does not have any integration with JIRA. (Hint hint: Atlassian, this is what you need!).

In asking the /. community: Is there any company that makes a “plug-in” for JIRA with a similar features to TestLog – test case management that is well thought out, not just an afterthought?

Submission + - Largest eruption in the known Universe is ~100 times the size of Milky Way

StartsWithABang writes: At the center of almost every galaxy is a supermassive black hole (SMBH); at the center of almost every cluster is a supermassive galaxy with some of the largest SMBHs in the Universe. And every once in a while, a galactocentric black hole will become active, emitting tremendous amounts of radiation out into the Universe as it devours matter. This radiation can cut across the spectrum, from the X-ray down to the radio. At the heart of MS 0735.6+7421, there’s a >10^10 solar mass black hole that appears to have been active for hundreds of millions of years, something unheard of!

Submission + - H-1B visa employees are crowding out other workers says new study (workpermit.com)

walterbyrd writes: According to a new study published by researchers from the University of California, Notre Dame University and the US Department of Treasury, H-1B employees are crowding out other workers and new H-1B hires did not lead to an increase in patent applications.

The study, titled 'The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries,' says that companies gaining additional H-1B visas 'has an insignificant effect on patenting' and 'H-1B employees crowd out the employment of other workers quite substantially.'

Submission + - Baton Bob receives $20,000 settlement for Coerced Facebook Post (clatl.com)

McGruber writes: After arresting him during a June 2013 street performance, Atlanta Police Officers forced costumed street performer "Baton Bob" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_Bob) to make a pro-police statement on his Facebook page before they would allow him to be released on bond. (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/07/01/1538226/baton-bob-strikes-back-against-police-that-coerced-facebook-post-from-him)

Social media coverage of the incident triggered a six-month internal police investigation into the arrest. Atlanta Police Officer H.J. Davis was given a one-day suspension, then resigned from the Atlanta Police department a few weeks later. Atlanta Police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin received a five-day suspension for "violating responsibilities of a supervisor".

Baton Bob also filed a federal lawsuit against the city, arguing that officers made a wrongful arrest that violated, well, nearly every constitutional right you can name. Those included Jamerson's "right to free speech, his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, his right to remain silent while in custody, his right to be free from compelled speech, his right to counsel, and his right to privacy."

The City of Atlanta's legal department reviewed the case and determined that a $20,000 settlement would "be in the best interest of the city" rather than fighting the claims in court.

Submission + - Kepler Observes Neptune Dance with Its Moons

Liquid Tip writes: NASA's K2 mission has the capability to stare continuously at a single field of stars for months at time. The video shows K2 observations spanning 70 days from November, 2014 through January, 2015 reduced to 34 seconds. During this time some some members of our Solar System are seen passing through the K2 field-of-field, including some asteroids and the giant outer planet Neptune which appears at day 15. A keen eyed observe will also notice an object close orbit around Neptune. It is the large moon Triton which orbits every 5.8 days. The fainter moon Nereid can be seen tracing Neptune’s motion

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Mercury's Magnetic Field Was Once As Strong As Earth's - Study - Design & Tr (google.com)


Design & Trend

Mercury's Magnetic Field Was Once As Strong As Earth's - Study
Design & Trend
(Photo : Getty Images/NASA) Mercury's magnetic field may once have been as strong as Earth's. Data from NASA's Messenger spacecraft, which orbited Mercury for four years before crashing into its surface a week ago, suggests that Mercury's liquid metal...
Data from MESSENGER reveals secrets of Mercury's Magnetic FieldNY City News
NASA Messenger last WORDS, Mercury's magnetic field is 4 billion years oldThe Hoops News
Mercury's Mysterious Magnetic Past Goes Back 4B YearsSci-Tech Today
The Market Business-Space.com-University of British Columbia
all 108 news articles

Submission + - The Medical Bill Mystery

HughPickens.com writes: Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in the NYT that she has spent the past six months trying to figure out a medical bill for $225 that includes "Test codes: 105, 127, 164, to name a few. CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798 and others" and she really doesn't want to pay it until she understands what it’s for. "At first, I left messages on the lab’s billing office voice mail asking for an explanation. A few months ago, when someone finally called back, she said she could not tell me what the codes were for because that would violate patient privacy. After I pointed out that I was the patient in question, she said, politely: “I’m sorry, this is what I’m told, and I don’t want to lose my job.”" Bills variously use CPT, HCPCS or ICD-9 codes. Some have abbreviations and scientific terms that you need a medical dictionary or a graduate degree to comprehend. Some have no information at all. Heather Pearce of Seattle told me how she’d recently received a $45,000 hospital bill with the explanation “miscellaneous.”

So what's the problem? “Medical bills and explanation of benefits are undecipherable and incomprehensible even for experts to understand, and the law is very forgiving about that,” says Mark Hall. “We’ve not seen a lot of pressure to standardize medical billing, but there’s certainly a need.” Hospitals and medical clinics say that detailed bills are simply too complicated for patients and that they provide the information required by insurers but with rising copays and deductibles, patients are shouldering an increasing burden. One recent study found that up to 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors and an audit by Equifax found that hospital bills that totaled more than $10,000 contained an average error of $1,300. “There are no industry standards with regards to what information a patient should receive regarding their bill,” says Cyndee Weston, executive director of the American Medical Billing Association. “The software industry has pretty much decided what information patients should receive, and to my knowledge, they have not had any stakeholder input. That would certainly be a worthwhile project for our industry.”

Submission + - Recent Paper Shows Fracking Chemicals in Drinking Water, Industry Attacks It (nytimes.com)

eldavojohn writes: A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences turned up 2-Butoxyethanol from samples collected from three households in Pennsylvania. The paper's level headed conclusion is that more conservative well construction techniques should be used to avoid this in the future and that flowback should be better controlled. Rob Jackson, another scientist who reviewed the paper, stressed that the findings were an exception to normal operations. Despite that, the results angered the PR gods of the Marcellus Shale Gas industry and awoke beltway insider mouthpieces to attack the research — after all, what are they paying them for?

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