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Slashdot Asks: Should NPR Stop Promoting Its Own Podcasts and NPR One App On Air? (boingboing.net) 143

A new "ethics" policy from NPR details new rules to stop promoting NPR One and its podcasts on the air, to ultimately please local station managers who pay the largest share of NPR's bills.

Chris Turpin, V.P. for news programming and operations, writes: As podcasts grow in number and popularity we are talking about them more often in our news programs. We are also fielding more and more questions from news staff and Member stations about our policies for referring to podcasts on air. To that end, we want to establish some common standards, especially for language in back announces. Our hope is to establish basic principles that are easy to understand and allow plenty of flexibility for creativity. These guidelines apply to all podcasts, whether produced by NPR or by other entities. No Call to Action: We won't tell people to actively download a podcast or where to find them. No mentions of npr.org, iTunes, Stitcher, NPR One, etc.
Basically, NPR won't promote "the lauded, loved app that is basically the future of NPR" to listeners who would be most interested in it. How do you feel about NPR's new policy?

Submission + - MegaUpload Programmer Arrested In US (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When MegaUpload was shut down a few years back, seven of the company's employees were indicted by the U.S. We heard a lot about Kim Dotcom's court proceedings, but not much about the others. Now, we have word that programmer Andrud Nomm has been arrested in Virginia. He had been waiting in the Netherlands for an extradition hearing, and this came as a surprise to everyone involved. MegaUpload attorney Ira Rothken thinks it's likely Nomm has made a deal with the Feds.

Submission + - Which Freelance Developer Sites Are Worth Your Time? (dice.com)

Nerval's Lobster writes: Many websites allow you to look for freelance programming jobs or Web development work. (Hongkiat.com, for example, offers links to several dozen.) The problem for developers in the European Union and the United States is that competition from rivals in developing countries is crushing fees for everybody, as the latter can often undercut on price. (This isn’t a situation unique to software development; look at how globalization has compelled manufacturing jobs to move offshore, for example.) With all that in mind, developer David Bolton surveyed some freelance developer marketplaces, especially the ones that catered to Western developers, who typically need to operate at price-points higher than that of their counterparts in many developing nations. His conclusion? 'It’s my impression that the bottom has already been reached, in terms of contractor pricing; to compete these days, it’s not just a question of price, but also quality and speed.' Do you agree?

The IPCC's Shifting Position On Nuclear Energy 309

Lasrick writes Suzanne Waldman writes about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its stand on nuclear power over the course of its five well-known climate change assessment reports. The IPCC was formed in 1988 as an expert panel to guide the drafting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty's objective is to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a safe level. Waldman writes: 'Over time, the organization has subtly adjusted its position on the role of nuclear power as a contributor to de-carbonization goals," and she provides a timeline of those adjustments.

Submission + - Netflix launches in Cuba

An anonymous reader writes: Only 5% of the population has internet access and it may cost a third of the average monthly wage, but Netflix has come to Cuba. “We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”

Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July 156

Several readers sent word that we're now less than six months away from the end of support for Windows Server 2003. Though the operating system's usage peaked in 2009, it still runs on millions of machines, and many IT departments are just now starting to look at replacements. Although Microsoft publishes support deadlines long in advance -- and has been beating the drum to dump Server 2003 for months -- it's not unusual for customers to hang on too long. Last year, as Windows XP neared its final days of support, there were still huge numbers of systems running the aged OS. Companies lined up to pay Microsoft for extended support contracts and PC sales stabilized in part because enterprises bought new replacement machines. Problems replacing Windows Server 2003 may appear similar at first glance, but they're not: Servers are critical to a business because of the applications that run on them, which may have to be rewritten or replaced.

[In many cases, legacy applications are the sole reason for the continued use of Server 2003.] Those applications may themselves be unsupported at this point, the company that built them may be out of business or the in-house development team may have been disbanded. Any of those scenarios would make it difficult or even impossible to update the applications' code to run on a newer version of Windows Server. Complicating any move is the fact that many of those applications are 32-bit -- and have been kept on Windows Server 2003 for that reason -- and while Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a compatibility mode to run such applications, it's not foolproof.

Paris Terror Spurs Plan For Military Zones Around Nuclear Plants 148

mdsolar sends this report from Bloomberg: Lawmakers in France want to create military zones around its 58 atomic reactors to boost security after this month's Paris terror attacks and almost two dozen mystery drone flights over nuclear plants that have baffled authorities.

"There's a legal void that needs to be plugged," said Claude de Ganay, the opposition member of the National Assembly spearheading legislation to be considered by parliament on Feb. 5. The proposals would classify atomic energy sites as "highly sensitive military zones" under the control of the Ministry of Defense, according to an outline provided by de Ganay.

Submission + - European Union Effectively Bans Anonymous Online Purchases

An anonymous reader writes: When the European Union changed it's VAT rules on the first to require tax be gathered in Country of Customer rather than Country of Business, they may have effectively banned the anonymous sale of online goods and services by requiring that evidence of the buyer's location, such as physical and IP addresses, for up to 10 years.

Submission + - Authors alarmed as Oxford Junior Dictionary drops nature words 1

Freshly Exhumed writes: Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion, and Michael Morpurgo are among 28 authors criticizing Oxford University Press's decision to scrap a number of words associated with nature from its junior dictionary. In an open letter (PDF) released on Monday, the acclaimed writers said they are 'profoundly alarmed' and urged the publisher to reinstate words cut since 2007 in the next edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Amongst words to be dropped are acorn, blackberries, and minnows.

Submission + - Oracle finally release Java MSI file. 1

nosfucious writes: Oracle Corporation, one of the largest software companies and leading supplier of database and enterprise software quietly started shipping a MSI version of their Java Runtime (https://www.java.com/en/download/help/msi_install.xml). Java is the worlds leading software security vulnerability and keeping up with the frequent patches of nearly a job in itself. Added to this is the very corporate (read: Window on a large scale) unfriendly EXE packaging of the Java RTE. Sysadmins around the world should be rejoicing. However, nothing from Oracle is free. MSI versions of Java are only available to those with Java SE Advanced (and other similar products). Given that urgency and frequency of Java updates, what can be done to force Oracle release MSI versions publicly (and thereby reduce impact of their own bugs and improve Sysadmin sanity).

Submission + - What do your donations to keep Wikipedia "online and ad-free" really pay for? (wikipediocracy.com)

Andreas Kolbe writes: As the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) prepares for its main annual fundraiser, many Wikipedia readers are presented with a banner inviting them to donate an amount equivalent to the "price of buying a programmer a coffee". It's to keep Wikipedia "online and ad-free", the site says. However, this masks the fact that the WMF’s revenue, assets and expenses have risen by about 1,000% in recent years. While the WMF got by on annual donations totaling $5 million in 2007, it now wants over $50 million a year, despite reporting net assets of $45 million last summer and having taken another $50+ million in donations since then. Most of this money is not spent on keeping Wikipedia "online and ad-free", but on a ballooning bureaucracy that sees a select group of Wikipedians transitioning from unpaid volunteer to paid tech staff positions, creating a two-tier society and causing outgoing Executive Director Sue Gardner to raise concerns over the potential for "log-rolling and self-dealing" last year. Meanwhile, the WMF’s software engineering work has been judged inept by the unpaid volunteer community. The VisualEditor (VE), a WYSIWIG editor touted as "epically important" by Jimmy Wales, was so buggy and caused so many errors (such as inserting chess pawn characters in Wikipedia articles) that volunteer administrators rebelled, going over the Foundation's heads to disable VE as the new default editor. Last month's new Media Viewer feature was equally controversial. The WMF had to create a new access right, "Superprotect", to prevent angry volunteer administrators from disabling it, bringing community relations between the WMF and the volunteer community to a new low. An open letter protesting the WMF’s actions acquired an unprecedented number of signatures. Flow, a planned Facebook-style revamping of Wikipedia discussion pages that has been in development for some time, is already mired in controversy, with volunteers complaining that the WMF is turning a deaf ear to their concerns. Donors should be aware that most of their money is not used to keep Wikipedia online and ad-free. It's not used to improve Wikipedia’s reliability either. Instead, it funds the further aggressive expansion of an organization that's at loggerheads with its volunteer community and criticized for having a "miserable cost/benefit ratio".

Submission + - SPAM: Protect your Invention Idea in a Digital World

patentservice writes: Among the more amusing bombs lobbed in what is known as the “patent wars” is Samsung’s claim that the iPad was invented by Stanley Kubrick. In 2011, Samsung filed a court declaration saying that the basic design of the iPad was visible in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, since the human characters are shot operating flat-screen computers look similar to an iPad.
While this particular allegation is a bit farcical, the reality behind the patent wars is not. When technology started to become big money in the 1980s, the number of patent lawsuits spiked dramatically. Even in the period between 2010 and 2013, the number of patent lawsuits tripled.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Aussie cops arrest two Anons (itnews.com.au)

Bismillah writes: Australian Federal Police say they have arrested and charged one of the people behind the 2012 attack on MelbourneIT that saw 40GB of data taken by exploiting a backup server running a vulnerable version of Adobe ColdFusion.

The AFP says they also arrested an eighteen year old Penrith, New South Wales, resident for hacking.

Submission + - Google Maps Now Integrates Uber: Are On-Demand Robotaxis Coming? (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: In a major update to its mobile app, Google Maps will now integrate Uber's on-demand car service. That means when you're looking up the route from point A to B in certain cities, the app will show you the best way to drive, bike, walk, or Uber there. Choose option four, and a single tap launches your Uber app and hails you a black car. That's an entire fourth mode of transport there folks, which speaks to what the Silicon Valley darlings may have in mind for the future—aside from being a smart and obvious PR move. Google Ventures is a major investor in Uber, so it's in the both companies' best interest to promote the app. It'll be interesting to see if the maps integration is a sweetheart deal for Uber, or if Google incorporates its competitor apps too: Lyft, Sidecar, and Hailo. The venture firm poured $258 million into the startup last summer, propelling the company to its $3.5 billion valuation. That's Google's largest deal ever, sparking a swirl of speculation about Google's future intentions with the transportation startup.

Programming Language Diversity On the Rise 177

jfruh writes: "As GitHub becomes an increasingly common repository of project code, the metadata for projects saved there can tell us a lot about the state of the industry. In particular, a look at the programming languages used over the past half-decade shows an increasingly fragmented landscape, in which the overall share of most major languages is on a slight decline, while less-used languages are seeing modest growth in usage."

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