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Starboard Launches Proxy Fight To Remove Entire Yahoo Board (reuters.com) 136

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP moved on Thursday to overthrow the entire board of Yahoo Inc, including Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who has struggled to turn around the company in her nearly four years at the helm. Starboard, which has been pushing for changes at Yahoo since 2014 and owns about 1.7 percent of the company, said it would nominate nine candidates for the board. The proxy fight comes as Yahoo is pressing ahead with an auction of its core Internet business, which includes search, mail and news sites. Yahoo and Starboard could still come to an agreement before the company's annual meeting, expected to be in late June. If they cannot avoid a proxy fight and the Yahoo board election is taken to a shareholder vote, attention will swing to the large mutual and index funds that own the stock and will carry heavy weight in the final tally. Yahoo and Starboard representatives met on March 10 to discuss ways the two sides could avoid a proxy fight, according to people familiar with the matter. But those talks broke down, in part because Starboard was upset by Yahoo's announcement that same day that it appointed two new board directors, these people say.
AI

Microsoft's 'Teen Girl' AI Experiment Becomes a 'Neo-Nazi Sex Robot' 572

Reader Penguinisto writes: Recently, Microsoft put an AI experiment onto Twitter, naming it "Tay". The bot was built to be fully aware of the latest adolescent fixations (e.g. celebrities and similar), and to interact like a typical teen girl. In less than 24 hours, it inexplicably became a neo-nazi sex robot with daddy issues. Sample tweets from it proclaimed that "Hitler did nothing wrong!", then went on to blame former President Bush for 9/11, stated that "donald trump is the only hope we've got", and other similar instances. As the hours passed, it all went downhill from there, eventually spewing racial slurs and profanity, demanding sex, and calling everyone "daddy". The bot was quickly removed once Microsoft discovered the trouble, but the hashtag is still around for those who want to see it in its ugly raw splendor.

Submission + - DEA Hands MuckRock A $1.4 Million Estimate For Responsive Documents

An anonymous reader writes: The EFF recently kicked off a contest for the 'most outrageous response to a Freedom of Information Act request' and we already have a frontrunner for the first inaugural 'Foilie.' MuckRock's loose confederation of FOIA rabblerousers has been hit with a $1.4 million price tag for John Dyer's request for documents related to the 'localization and capture' of Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo.'

Submission + - Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug or a Feature? (vice.com)

sarahnaomi writes: SimCity players have discussed a variety of creative strategies for their virtual homelessness problem. They’ve suggested waiting for natural disasters like tornadoes to blow the vagrants away, bulldozing parks where they congregate, or creating such a woefully insufficient city infrastructure that the homeless would leave on their own.

You can read all of these proposed final solutions in Matteo Bittanti's How to Get Rid of Homelessness, "a 600-page epic split in two volumes documenting the so-called 'homeless scandal' that affected 2013's SimCity." Bittanti collected, selected, and transcribed thousands of these messages exchanged by players on publisher Electronic Arts' official forums, Reddit, and the largest online SimCity community Simtropolis, who experienced and then tried to "eradicate" the phenomenon of homelessness that "plagued" SimCity.

Submission + - Web cesspit 4chan touts '$20 bug bounty' after hackers ruin Moot's day (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: 4chan's Moot has launched a bug bounty for the site after it was hacked, but is offering a meagre $20 in "self-serve ad spend" for all bugs. The bounty programme was launched after the website and Moot's Amazon accounts were hacked. The intrusion spelled the end for DrawQuest which was closed after Moot decided it was not worth spending money to ensure the unprofitable but popular drawing platform was secure.

Submission + - Ars Technica writer plagiarizes space history posts

Greg Lindahl writes: Last May, I really enjoyed reading an Ars Tecnica post “The secret laser-toting Soviet satellite that almost was” [down, see mirror at archive.org.] It turns out that most of the details were taken from an article titled Soviet Star Wars published in the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine in 2010. Here are the details of the plagiarism, including some other space history articles with similar copying by the same author. Ars Technica's response? Unhistory! They've removed the posting, but haven't published a retraction or explanation.
OS X

OS X Malware Demands $300 FBI Fine For Viewing, Distributing Porn 173

An anonymous reader writes "A new piece of malware is targeting OS X to extort money from victims by accusing them of illegally accessing pornography. Ransomware typically uses claims of breaking the law and names law enforcement (such as the CIA or FBI) to scare victims, but it is usually aimed at Windows users, not Mac users. The security firm Malwarebytes first spotted this latest threat, noting that criminals have ported the ransomware scheme to OS X and are even exploiting a Safari-specific feature. The ransomware page in question gets pushed onto unsuspecting users browsing high-trafficked sites as well as when searching for popular keywords."

Submission + - Oracle Introduces Insane New Java Numbering Scheme (infoq.com) 1

twofishy writes: "To avoid the confusion caused by renumbering releases", Oracle has announced that it is adopting a new numbering scheme for JDK 5.0, JDK 6 and JDK 7. "The next Limited Update for JDK 7 will be numbered 7u40, and the next 3 CPUs after that will be numbered 7u45, 7u51, and 7u55.” The vendor notes that a more elegant solution would require the changing of the version numbering scheme to accommodate different kinds of changes (for example by using 7u44-2 ). However this cannot be implemented outside of a major release, since doing so might break existing code that parses version strings (possibly including the Java auto-update system)

Submission + - The Vatican lauds hackers (techworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Internet hackers have acquired a dubious reputation for piracy, sabotage and the spilling of sensitive secrets, but an authoritative Vatican publication appears to rehabilitate them and traces parallels between hacker philosophy and the teachings of Christianity. The charitable view of hackers was expressed by the Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro in an article for the fortnightly magazine Civilta Cattolica, the text of which is vetted by the Vatican Secretariat of State prior to publication. Hackers should not be confused with crackers, Spadaro wrote, citing a definition penned by technology writer Eric S. Raymond: "Hackers build things, crackers break them.""
The Internet

Submission + - Vatican Warns that Internet Promotes Satanism 3

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Telegraph reports that the Roman Catholic Church has warned that the internet has fueled a surge in Satanism that has led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcists. "The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism. In just a few minutes you can contact Satanist groups and research occultism," says Carlo Climati, a member of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome who specializes in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism. "There is a particular risk for young people who are in difficulties or who are emotionally fragile." Organizers of a six-day conference that has brought together more than 60 Catholic clergy as well as doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and youth workers, co-sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Congregation for Clergy say the rise of Satanism has been dangerously underestimated in recent years. "There's been a revival," says Father Gabriele Nanni, a former exorcist. "We must be on guard because occult and Satanist practices are spreading a great deal, in part with the help of the internet and new technologies that make it easier to access these rituals.""
Patents

USPTO Decides To Lower Obviousness Standards 129

ciaran_o_riordan writes "Anyone who feels that patent quality is just far too high nowadays will be glad to hear that the USPTO has decided to ditch four of their seven tests for obviousness. Whereas the 2007 guidelines said that an idea is considered obvious if it consisted of '[predictable] variations [...] based on design incentives or other market forces' or if there was 'Use of a known technique [prior art] to improve similar devices (methods, or products) in the same way,' the new guidelines do away with those tests. The classic 'teaching-suggestion-motivation' test is still there, with two others. For software developers, silly patents are not the main problem, but they certainly aggravate the matter. As described in one patent lawyer's summary, this change will 'give applicants greater opportunities to obtain allowance of claims.'"
Science

Modeling a White Hole With Your Kitchen Sink 104

jamie passes along this excerpt from Wired: "That ring of water in your kitchen sink is actually a model white hole. For the first time, scientists have shown experimentally that liquid flowing from a tap embodies the same physics as the time-reversed equivalent of black holes. When a stream of tap water hits the flat surface of the sink, it spreads out into a thin disc bounded by a raised lip, called the hydraulic jump. Physicists’ puzzlement with this jump dates back to Lord Rayleigh in 1914. More recently, physicists have suggested that, if the water waves inside the disc move faster than the waves outside, the jump could serve as an analogue event horizon. Water can approach the ring from outside, but it can’t get in."

Submission + - Exploding Whale, Part 2 (abc.net.au)

SpamSlapper writes: Has anyone not seen the Exploding Whale? Apparently it didn't make it to Western Australia. One of the original Internet video memes is about to get a sequel. Authorities will this afternoon use an explosive charge to euthanase a 9.5-metre humpback whale stranded on Western Australia's south coast. The sick whale, which has been resting on a sandbar in shallow water, is deemed too large to shoot. Thankfully, a helicopter will be sent out to scan the harbour for sharks in case of a feeding frenzy. What about the land blubbers?

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