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Submission + - Snowden testifies that NSA targeted religious conservatives (rt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden testified before the Parilimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The NSA gathered “explicit sexual material regarding religious conservatives whose political views it disfavored and considered radical for the purpose of exposing it to damage their reputations and discredit them within their communities,” Snowden told PACE.

Submission + - Uncontacted Tribes Die Instantly After We Meet Them (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: It’s a story we all know—Christopher Columbus discovers America, his European buddies follow him, they meet the indigenous people living there, they indigenous people die from smallpox and guns and other unknown diseases, and the Europeans get gold, land, and so on.

It’s still happening today in Brazil, where 238 indigenous tribes have been contacted in the last several decades, and where between 23 and 70 uncontacted tribes are still living. A just-published report that takes a look at what happens after the modern world comes into contact with indigenous peoples isn’t pretty: Of those contacted, three quarters went extinct. Those that survived saw mortality rates up over 80 percent. This is grim stuff.

Submission + - NSA has been watching your private parts (seriously) (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The U.K. and U.S. government's ability to tap into webcams — and directly into your living rooms and offices — shows the biggest and most blatant lack of respect for people's privacy by Western governments in living memory.

Submission + - Intel's new desktop SSD is an overclocked server drive

crookedvulture writes: Most of Intel's recent desktop SSDs have followed a familiar formula. Combine off-the-shelf controller with next-gen NAND and firmware tweaks. Rinse. Repeat. The new 730 Series is different, though. It's based on Intel's latest datacenter SSD, which combines a proprietary controller with high-endurance NAND. In the 730 Series, these chips are clocked much higher than their usual speeds. The drive is fully validated to run at the boosted frequencies, and it's rated to endure at least 70GB of writes per day over five years. As one might expect, though, this hot-clocked server SSD is rather pricey for a desktop model. It's slated to sell for around $1/GB, which is close to double the cost of more affordable options. And the 730 Series isn't always faster than its cheaper competition. Although the drive boasts exceptional throughput with random I/O, its sequential transfer rates are nothing special.

Submission + - Nintendo online multiplayer services to shut down for the Wii and DS (gizmorati.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The closures are to happen worldwide on May 20th, leaving many games unable to be played online. If you are worrying about your various online purchases like the Virtual Console then there is no need as Nintendo confirmed they will be safe, here is a list of services that are not affected by this shutdown:

Submission + - Net Neutrality struck down by Court (gigaom.com) 1

Bobfrankly1 writes: An appeals court stuck down the FCC's net neutrality rules basing their decision on the FCC's choice of classification of broadband carriers stating: "Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order."

Submission + - Ammo going unleaded. Regulations, bans force switch to 'green' ammo (foxnews.com) 3

schwit1 writes: The last bullet-producing lead smelter in the US closes its doors on Dec. 31. This will mark a major victory for those who say lead-based ammunition pollutes the environment, but others warn 'green' bullets will cost more, drive up copper prices and do little to help conservation.

The bid to ban lead bullets, seen by some as harmful to the environment, started slowly more than a decade ago. But with two dozen states, including California, banning bullets made of the soft, heavy metal, the lead bullet's epitaph was already being written when the federal government finished it off.

First, the military announced plans to phase out lead bullets by 2018. Then the EPA, citing emissions, ordered the shutdown of the Doe Run company's lead smelter in Herculaneum, Mo., by year's end.

Maybe it's also time to discontinue the penny due to the cost of copper and its lack of usefulness.

Submission + - Your LinkedIn Password Is On Display in a Museum in Germany (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Earlier this year, it was London. Most recently, it was a university in Germany. Wherever it is, Bartholl is opening up his eight white, plainly printed binders full of the 4.7 million user passwords that were pilfered from the social network and made public by a hacker last year. He brings the books to his exhibits, called 'Forgot Your Password', where you're free to see if he's got your data—and whether anyone else who wanders through is entirely capable of logging onto your account and making Connections with unsavory people. In fact, Bartholl insists:

"These eight volumes contain 4.7 million LinkedIn clear text user passwords printed in alphabetical order," the description of his project reads. "Visitors are invited to look up their own password."

Submission + - Steam OS will be available for download on December 13 (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: Valve Software, the makers of Halflife and Left4Dead, have announced that Steam OS will be available for public download on December 13. That’s the day when the company will start shipping the Steam Machines and Steam Controllers to the 300 selected beta participants. The company said, "SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.) We’ll post info soon about that. Oh, and stay tuned for the in-home streaming beta to begin soon, too!"

Submission + - Wouldn't un-bundling be beneficial for cable companies and consumers (businessweek.com) 1

nomad63 writes: I am ging to go out on a limb here, although the limb is not so thin. Everyone including their mothers, want unbundled cable TV service from their service providers. I was wondering who benefits from the bundling services. I mean other than the cable service providers. The only answer that I can think of, is the networks that no one wants to watch but subscribe to anyway, because, well, they come in the bundle. I took and inventory of my TV watching while sorting out a service dispute with my current landlord in the past two months. Other than the broadcast channels, which I can easily live without I realized, I want very few channels disposable to me, Likes of TBS, TNT, ESPN, SyFy Channel, A&E, AMC and few others that I can count with my two hands' fingers. I am willing to pay their subscription fees if offered individually and don't go anywhere beyond those channels as far as my subscription goes. The small guys, I mean the likes of baby channel or style channel gets screwed because of the people like me. Well, welcome to America, the land of the free enterprise. If anyone needs these services, they pay what you will ask them for your services. They are free to accept your offer or you wither and die. Free market economy at its best in my opinion. if this unbundling gets implemented, I am sure a lot of so called cable cutters will return as paying customers rather than leeching the shows from not-so-legal channels. Why are the cable companies are being so stagnant about not even test driving this schema in some markets ? Don'r say greed because, greed can get them so far. In the advent of the internet, they know their days are numbered. There must be some other reason, but can't put my finger on it.

Submission + - HTTP 2.0 May Be SSL-Only (w3.org)

An anonymous reader writes: In an email to the HTTP working group, Mark Nottingham laid out the three top proposals about how HTTP 2.0 will handle encryption. The frontrunner right now is this: 'HTTP/2 to only be used with https:// URIs on the "open" Internet. http:// URIs would continue to use HTTP/1.' This isn't set in stone yet, but Nottingham said they will 'discuss formalising this with suitable requirements to encourage interoperability.' There appears to be support from browser vendors; he says they have been 'among those most strongly advocating more use of encryption.' The big goal here is to increase the use of encryption on the open web. One big point in favor of this plan is that if it doesn't work well (i.e., if adoption is poor), then they can add support for opportunistic encryption later. Going from opportunistic to mandatory encryption would be a much harder task. Nottingham adds, 'To be clear — we will still define how to use HTTP/2.0 with http:// URIs, because in some use cases, an implementer may make an informed choice to use the protocol without encryption. However, for the common case — browsing the open Web — you'll need to use https:// URIs and if you want to use the newest version of HTTP.'

Submission + - Even the Author of the Patriot Act Is Trying to Stop the NSA (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will introduce an anti-NSA bill tomorrow in the House, and if it makes its winding way to becoming law, it will be a big step towards curtailing the NSA's bulk metadata collection. Wisconsin Rep. Sensenbrenner, along with 60 co-sponsors, aims to amend one section of the Patriot Act, Section 215, in a bill known as the United and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act—also known by its less-clunky acronym version, the USA Freedom Act.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Looking At Office For Linux In 2014 according to Phoronix 2

Foldo writes: Michael Larabel, a journalist at Phoronix, reported: "From a source in Brussels, Belgium during the Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) this past weekend, I was informed that Microsoft is having a "meaningful look" at a full Linux port of Office thanks to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop. Right now some versions of Microsoft Office will work under Linux via the use of Wine or CodeWeavers' CrossOver to varying extents, but this port being evaluated internally at Microsoft is a fully native implementation. Evidently there's already some port to unknown completion that has been done internally at the company. " This rumor sounds plausible since Microsoft is very likely to release Office for Android, along with iPhone and iPad the platform gaining popularity thanks to recent commercial gaming initiatives (e.g. Steam for Linux). But with Linux users already using LibreOffice and other office suites, would Microsoft really have a chance to make money with?
Censorship

Submission + - China censor software team verging on collapse (bbc.co.uk)

katarn writes: Apparently domestic and international pressure, security vulnerabilities, and a 2.2Bn lawsuit over alleged stolen code have taken their toll on China's Green Dam software censorship program. Green Dam is a separate program from the "Great Firewall of China", which remains firmly in place. According to Green Dam program partners, funding for the project has not been renewed. The project development team has been shut down and the installation and aftercare team is facing closure. Unsurprisingly there has been no official comment from official Chinese authorities.

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