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Submission + - 19,000 French Websites Hit By DDoS, Defaced In Wake Of Terror Attack

An anonymous reader writes: Since the three day terror attack that started in France on January 7 with the attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, 19,000 websites of French-based companies have been targeted by cyber attackers. This unprecedented avalanche of cyber attacks targeted both government sites and that of big and small businesses. Most were low-level DDoS attacks, and some were web defacements. Several websites in a number of towns in the outskirts of Paris have been hacked and covered with an image of an ISIS flag. The front pages of the official municipality websites have been covered with the Jihadist militant group's black flag. In a report, Radware researchers noted that Islamic hacker group AnonGhost has also launched a "digital jihad" against France.

Submission + - Google Crapifies Search

Presto Vivace writes: Google Further Crapifies Search, Exploiting Both Users and Advertisers

So Google is indeed being optimized..for its own advertising. The message to all but the very biggest vendors is that you must pay to show up. No more getting in the back door by being picked up by an price listing service that gets on Google’s first page, or by matching the search terms well.

But as a user, it looks like Google is cooking its own goose. These crappy results makes me much more inclined to go to Amazon and look at Amazon merchants, and compare price at 3 or 4 Apple vendors I know are reliable with returns in case I get a bum machine. The fact that I’m not getting remotely usable results from Google searches and that means I’ll skip them.

How long will it take for advertisers to realize that they are effectively being scammed by Google, that they are often paying for bad clickthroughs because Google is putting them on search results where they don’t belong but the retailer has written successful clickbait ads so they get bad visits? My impression is that Google Adsense reporting is opaque enough that they might not recognized Google’s culpability (indeed, I can see Google optimizing its algos to keep the bad clickthroughs at the highest level that an advertiser would tolerate).

Submission + - Multimedia multitasking shrinking human brains (sussex.ac.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: It seems that switching between laptop, smart phone and tablet may be shrinking our brains and leaving us prone to higher levels of anxiety and stress reports news research from the University of Sussex in the UK. The researchers point out that the link is currently a correlation rather than a proof of causation, but they do suggest that people who used a higher number of media devices concurrently also had smaller grey matter density — in other words they have smaller brains.

Submission + - Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection, and what he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed.

Submission + - Sacked Google Worker Awarded $150,000 for Unfair Dismissal

theodp writes: When it comes to evaluating employee performance, perhaps Google isn't really that different from Microsoft after all. While Microsoft used stack ranking to kill employee morale, Google turned to bell curves that were "fine-tuned" by management to do their dirty HR work, according to Irish court documents. "Google, like other enlightened corporations," explains Valleywag, "makes its workers routinely rank each other and forces the scores to match a bell curve. The employees who are placed at the wrong end of the bell curve risk termination. That's stressful enough-now imagine your CEO personally meddling." The Irish Times reports former Google manager Rachel Berthold, who just won her suit against the company for unfair dismissal in 2011 and will receive around $150,000 in a court-mandated settlement, told her counsel that she was present when the ranking of a staff member was reduced electronically by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. "It came from him," she said. "I saw it with my own eyes." She said Mr Schmidt could not have known anything about the employee. So, ask not for whom the fudged bell curve tolls, Googlers, it tolls for thee!

Submission + - Australia Makes Asian Language Learning a Priority (agimag.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Australian government came a step closer to formalising its plans to make Asian language study compulsory for schools this week. It has released a draft curriculum for public consultation which reveals plans to include Indonesian, Korean and french language in the curriculum.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard publicly stated in September 2012 that in response to the “staggering growth” in the region, the government would be instigating 25 key measures to strengthen and exploit links with Asia. The plan includes the requirement that one third of civil servants and company directors have a “deep knowledge,” thousands of scholarships for Asian students, and the opportunity for every schoolchild to learn one of four “priority” languages- Chinese, Hindi, Japanese or Indonesian

Google

Submission + - Google Keep: Another Google product i won't use (and why) (techpost.ug)

oquidave writes: "Google has had a terribly bad history of closing down its product in the process of stepping on its users toes — the latest being Google Reader. However, now with the launch of Google Keep — Google's Note taking App that's poised to rival Evernote and others, should users trust Google again having closed down Google Notebook despite users' petition to save it?"
IOS

Submission + - Real Racing 3 was built with Apple's *next* iPhone in mind (redbull.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Real Racing 3's international release is just days away, and in the run up, Firemonkey's development director sat down to explain just what it takesto make such a graphically intensive game for mobile. Each car takes a month to make and render, but the team are still planning to add more in DLC, as well as more real world tracks to race on. He also takes the time to discuss futureproofing and how they build the game to support Apple's next, unreleased iPhone and iPad. "It'll also be ready for new hardware that we anticipate being released in the future," he says.

Submission + - Microsoft and Symantec team up to take down Bamital botnet (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Software makers Microsoft Corp and Symantec Corp said they disrupted a global cyber crime operation by shutting down servers that controlled hundreds of thousands of PCs without the knowledge of their users.

The move made it temporarily impossible for infected PCs around the world to search the web, though the companies offered free tools to clean machines through messages that were automatically pushed out to infected computers.

Technicians working on behalf of both companies raided data centers in Weehawken, New Jersey, and Manassas, Virginia, on Wednesday, accompanied by U.S. federal marshals, under an order issued by the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

They seized control of one server at the New Jersey facility and persuaded the operators of the Virginia data center to take down a server at their parent company in the Netherlands, according to Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel with Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit.

Submission + - Copyright law claims first victim in NZ (nzherald.co.nz)

An anonymous reader writes: The first music pirate stung under new file-sharing laws has been fined $616 but "didn't realise" the actions were illegal.

The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) — which represents music studios — took an unnamed offender to the Copyright Tribunal last year for sharing songs on the internet — a track by Barbadian pop-star Rihanna on two occasions and the other by Nashville band Hot Chelle Rae.

In a decision released today, the tribunal found in RIANZ's favour and ordered the offender (who was a Telecom customer) to pay a penalty $616.57.

Bug

Submission + - The DOS Bug That Almost Killed The Spirit Mars Rover (itworld.com) 3

jfruh writes: "On January 21, 2004, the Spirit Mars rover, which had been cheerfully collecting data and sending it back to Earth for the two weeks since it had landed, suddenly ground to a halt. Mission controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were getting pings indicating that the rover was alive, but that was it. Over the next eleven days, the JPL team coaxed the rover back to life, eventually discovering that the heart of the problem lay in a DOS memory management bug interacting with insufficiently tested third-party code."
China

Submission + - Petition to Deny Builders of China's Great Fire Wall from U.S. Citizenship (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: American citizenship is something to be cherished and even sold throughout the world. What about those would-be citizens who build and design anti-American ideal practices? Privacy and net neutrality may not be codified law but they are part of the American psyche, part of the basic citizen's perspective.
Now, a petition is out to stop the builders of the Great Fire wall of China, that sophisticated piece of code and hardware that prevents their citizens from understanding those ideals we still fight for. Should we let them become citizens? Do we even have a say? This petition asks the U.S. to deny them that which they denied others of finding knowledge about.

China

Submission + - Unemployed Chinese Graduates Say No Thanks to Factory Jobs (nytimes.com) 1

hackingbear writes: While people and politicians are pitching for more educations and reviving manufacturing in this country, jobs go begging in factories while many college educated young workers, which now number 11 times more than in 1989, are unemployed or underemployed in China. A national survey of urban residents, released this winter by a Chinese university, showed that among people in their early 20s, those with a college degree were four times as likely to be unemployed as those with only an elementary school education. Yet, it is not about the pay. Many factories are desperate for workers, despite offering double-digit annual pay increases and improved benefits, while an office job would initially pay as little as a third of factory wages. The glut of college graduates is eroding wages even for those with more marketable majors, like computer science. Vocational schools and training programs are unpopular because they suffer from a low statue of for people from unsuccessful, poor, or peasant backgrounds.“The more educated people are, the less they want to work in a factory,” said an unemployed graduate. If we do succeed bringing back factory jobs, are their enough people want them?

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