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Submission + - Advent Programming Contest (blogspot.co.at)

Csiko writes: If you like online programming contests like IEEEXtreme and ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) you might find the Advent Programming Contest enjoyable. It goes at a slower pace, one problem a day until December 24.

Submission + - Apple in 2013: Entry-level iPhone, Apple HDTV and a MacBook Air with iOS (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Predicting the future when it comes to Apple (AAPL) has been fairly easy lately thanks to the company’s component suppliers in the Far East, which have been leaking like sieves for years. Even still, analysts love playing the guessing game when it comes to Apple’s product roadmap. Berenberg Capital Markets analyst Adnaan Ahmad recently offered his predictions for Apple’s coming year, and there are definitely a few reaches to say the least. His predictions? An entry-level iPhone, an Apple HDTV and... a MacBook Air running iOS...

Submission + - Twitter SMS-Spoofing Bug Allows Attackers to Send Tweets From Users' Accounts (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: There is a bug in the way that Twitter handles a feature that enables users to post messages via SMS and the researcher who discovered the bug says that it allows anyone who knows a user's mobile number to not only tweet from the user's account but also modify information in the user's profile.

The vulnerability is a reault of the way that the Twitter service handles incoming commands from users's mobile devices. Twitter users have the option of turning on an option that allows them to post messages, follow and unfollow users and take other actions simply by sending SMS commands from their mobile phones. In order to do this, a user must register his mobile number with Twitter in his profile, so the service knows what account the commands are associated with. The problem, however, is that anyone who knows a user's mobile number can post messages, change profile settings and take other actions on the user's behalf.


Submission + - Adobe demands 7000 years a day from humankind (theregister.co.uk)

oyenamit writes: When was the last time you actually read and understood the EULA before installing a software? Never? You are not in a club of one. Unless you are a legal eagle, it would be almost impossible to fully understand what you are agreeing to.

Consider this: The Adobe Flash installer has a EULA that is 3500 words long. Adobe claims that the software is downloaded eight million times a day. If each person takes 10 minutes to read (and understand!) the entire text, they would consume over 1,522 years in just one day. If we put that into man-hours: an 8hr day, 240 working days in a year, that becomes 6944 years in a day. Turn that into a 50-year working life and that's 138 lifetimes a day!

This article at The Register deconstructs the text that we all blindly agree to by clicking the "I have read and understood the..." checkbox.

The Military

Submission + - Iran bags another US drone (bbc.co.uk)

AmiMoJo writes: "The Iranian military says it has captured an unmanned US drone aircraft in its airspace over Gulf waters. The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle — one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans. The US said it was looking into the reports."

Submission + - The Science of Roadkill

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Sarah Harris writes that roadkill may not be glamorous, but wildlife ecologist Danielle Garneau says dead critters carry lots of valuable information providing an opportunity to learn about wildlife and pinpoint migratory patterns, invasive species, and predatory patterns. "We're looking at a fine scale at patterns of animal movement — maybe we can pick up migratory patterns, maybe we can see a phenology change," says Garneau. "And also, in the long term, if many of these animals are threatened or they're in a decline, the hope would be that we could share this information with people who could make changes." Garneau turns students out into the world to find dead animals, document them and collect the data using a smartphone app RoadkillGarneau and she has already received data from across New York, as well as Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida and Colorado. Participants take photos of the road kill, and the app uploads them through EpiCollect, which pinpoints the find on the map. Participants can then update the data to include any descriptors of the animal such as its species; sex; how long the dead animal had been there; if and when it was removed; the weather conditions; and any predators around it. "People talk a lot about technology cutting us off from nature," says Garneau. "But I found that with the road kill project, it’s the opposite. You really engage with the world around you — even if it is a smelly skunk decaying on the side of the road.""

Submission + - Apple "invents" wireless charging. Get ready for another patent war! (theregister.co.uk)

GabriellaKat writes: Via The Register
Apple is trying to patent wireless charging, claiming its magnetic resonance tech is new and that it can do it better than anyone else. This would be cool if its assertions were true.

Apple's application, numbered 20120303980, makes much of its ability to charge a device over the air at a distance of up to a metre, rather than requiring close proximity. The Alliance For Wireless Power, which also touts long-range juicing, will no doubt be comparing Apple's designs to its own blueprints.

The Internet

Submission + - Anonymous hacks Austrian's radio and TV fee agency (austrianindependent.com)

Csiko writes: The Austrian organization GIS is encashing the obligatory fee for using a TV set and receiving the national braodcast ORF in Austria. Data privacy activists have for long criticized the way how GIS is collecting and sloppily protecting data about private households.
The Anonymous net activists now hacked the GIS site and retrieved data sets from more than 214,000 customers. 96,000 of the data featured clients’ bank account information.
Anonymous did publish only a few addresses from people working in goverment but threatened to disclose the data unless GIS was forced to admit to what extend data was stolen. GIS promised to improve their handling of data.


Submission + - Wal-Mart Jumps in the Stream (latimes.com)

Endoflow2010 writes: Today Wal-Mart has added streaming video to their website. What better a time than now to compete with Netflix? Now that Netflix have raised their prices.

On Wal-Mart's website, the movies will be available the same day the DVDs go on sale in stores. Rental prices range from 99 cents to 599 cents. Digital purchases are priced from $4.99 to $24.99.

Walmart.com general manager Steve Nave said the retailer is following its customers as they increasingly embrace digital movie rentals and purchases.

"We know customers are starting to shift their behavior, in terms of how they consume their media," Nave said, adding, "As as customers make that change, we don't want to lose that customer as they shift to digital."

Wal-Mart, long the nation's leading seller of DVDs, signaled its intent to double down on digital movie distribution in February 2010, when it spent a reported $100 million to acquire Vudu, a Silicon Valley start-up that was gradually being added to home entertainment devices.


Submission + - The Rise of Git (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld takes a look at the rise of Git, the use of which has increased sixfold in the past three years. Buoyed in large part by interest among the Ruby community and younger developers, Git has been gaining share for open source development largely because of its distributed architecture, analysts note. And the version control system stands to gain further traction on Subversion in the years ahead, as Eclipse is making Git its preferred version control system, a move inspired by developers and members."

Submission + - Student faces 15 years for 'Anonymous' hacktivism (rawstory.com)

derGoldstein writes: TheRawStory reports: "A journalism student at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas who used the online alias "No" and "MMMM" faces 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if she is convicted of hacking charges related to the group "Anonymous."... the FBI arrested 20-year-old Mercedes Renee Haefer last week for allegedly participating in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against PayPal’s website." Anonymous responds through @AnonymousIRC: "[they] should know this will not make us stop. Quite the opposite. Expect a shitstorm in case of conviction."

Submission + - IBM's 1st Patent Granted 100 yrs ago - PunchCards (datamation.com)

darthcamaro writes: IBM got its first patent 100 years ago in 1911 for a punch card tabulation machine — i.e an early computing machine. According to IBM the same basic ideas of figuring out how store stuff are relevant today 100 years later.

"The very first patent was the foundation of early automated computing, where the punch card tabulation system is the heart of efficient data processing," Meyerson said. "Although it doesn't seem like mind numbing technology today, the fact of the matter is this was a game changer a hundred years ago."


Submission + - MS caught cashing in on Winehouse death (news.com.au)

kaptink writes: Microsoft became a target of online ire over the weekend after the companies Twitter account posted an update inviting people to remember Winehouse by buying digital versions of her Back to Black album at social.zune.net.

MS has since apologised after being blasted for seeming to blatantly cash in on the death of Amy Winehouse.


Submission + - NASA Tentatively Approves Combining SpaceX Flights (spacenews.com)

thomst writes: Space News reports that NASA has given tentative approval for SpaceX to combine the two remaining flights designed to prove the Hawthorne, Calif., company can deliver cargo to the international space station, according to William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for space operations, although formal approval for the mission is still pending. If NASA does approve the plan, SpaceX's Dragon capsule would be the first civilian spacecraft actually to dock with the International Space Station. According to NASA spokesman Joshua Buck, the current plan calls for SpaceX to launch a Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 30, which would then rendezvous and dock with the space station on Dec. 7 — a day that would live in spaceflight history.

Submission + - Boot to Gecko – Mozilla's Web-Based OS (digitizor.com)

kai_hiwatari writes: "Mozilla has launched a new project called “Boot to Gecko”. The aim of this project is to develop a complete operating system for the open web. Unlike Google’s version of a web-based OS – the Chrome OS – Mozilla’s version is not aimed at netbooks. With Boot to Gecko, Mozilla is aiming for smartphones – and Android forms a part of their plan."

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"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982