ExE122 writes: Japan's PM announces that the Fukushima nuclear power plant damaged in an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year has finally been stabilized. Although this is good news, according to experts, 'it will take years — perhaps decades — to fully clean up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.' Health and safety is still a concern in an area where over 80,000 people were evacuated after food and soil was found to contain radioactive contamination.
ExE122 writes: Colorado has approved new measures taking a tough stance on the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking. The new law is "requiring companies to disclose the concentrations of chemicals in addition to the chemicals themselves". Fracking is a controversial method of natural gas extraction that raises concerns about health and safety issues to surrounding communities. This measure is said to be tougher than similar measures passed in Texas earlier this year.
ExE122 writes: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings makes several comments about mistakes that were made over the past year. Hastings claimed, "We moved too fast with it", and explains that he still thinks Internet video will dominate in the coming years. From the article: 'Hastings also faced tough questions about last month's double-bomb disclosure: Netflix now expects to lose money for all of 2012, and it is looking to raise cash in a secondary offering of its stock.'
ExE122 writes: "British PM Gordon Brown gives a posthumous apology to mathematician, chemist, logician, cryptanalyst and the father of computer science, Alan Turing. For slashdotters, Turing is probably best known for the Turing Machine, a device which has laid the groundwork for modern computer algorithms. To the rest of the world, he is commonly known as a World War II hero, deciphering several German crypts including that used by the Enigma machine. Though his contributions to science and the war efforts put him among the most influential men of the 20th century, Turing was criminally prosecuted in Britain in 1952 because of his lifestyle. Alan Turing was a homosexual, which at that time was a criminal illness and was punished by chemical castration. He committed suicide in 1954 at the age of 41. On Sept 10, 2009, Britain's Prime Minister gave a public apology for the "appalling" post-war treatment of Alan Turing, and acknowledged his contributions to the war effort."
ExE122 writes: President Bush's departure from the whitehouse will mark a new milestone in archiving as an unprecedented amount of electronic data from the Bush Library will be ingested into the new Electronic Record Archiving (ERA) system for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). They are expecting "a whopping 140TB of data from the current Bush administration, more than 50 times what it received from the Clinton years". The success of this project is being watched closely as it will eventually support congress as well as several federal agencies in the storage, indexing, preservation, and disposition of electronic data under the Federal Records Act. -=ERA's FAQ=-
ExE122 writes: New York Times and Washington Post have reported that Verizon plans to share it's customers' information with "affiliates, agents and parent companies" (The Washington Post article can be found here). From the NYT article, "Verizon plans to share what is known in the industry as consumer proprietary network information, or C.P.N.I, which includes how many calls a customer makes, the geographical destination of the calls and what services the customer has purchased". Customers were recently sent a letter explaining that they had 30 days to "opt out" of C.P.N.I. To opt out, customers can call 800-333-9956 and enter their telephone number when prompted.
ExE122 writes: Bloomberg reports the Oracle has put in a $6.7 billion bid for BEA Systems. The news has caused BEA's stocks jumped 33% before the market opened on friday. From the article "'We have made a serious proposal including a substantial premium for BEA,' Oracle President Charles Phillips said in a statement today. 'We look forward to completing a friendly transaction as soon as possible.'"
ExE122 writes: A friend of mine works for a committe in Baltimore, MD which organizes corporations and civil leadership to make improvements throughout the region. One recent issue had to deal with Baltimore's recent addition of a free Wi-Fi network in Baltimore's inner harbor region. My friend has to put together a presentation outlining benefits, drawbacks, and risks of implementing free city-wide internet access. He asked for my opinion, but I admittedly have limited knowledge in all that's involved in wireless networks. Here's a quick rundown of what we came up with:
Crossing the "digital divide" (welcome to the 21st century)
Increasing business/local communication.
Once the technology is in place, it could be upgraded to include private secure networks for government protection services such as police, fire, and rescue.
Accountability for illegal activities (can't tell who the hell is sharing kiddie pr0n)
It's difficult to get the local ISPs to go along with the idea
Will it run Linux? (jk)
As far as getting the ISPs to go along with it, it has been suggested that the government may work with the local ISPs (the Big ones in Baltimore are Verizon and Comcast). The government could provide tax incentives and pay for equipment on government property (hotspots on lampposts, satelites on buildings, etc) that the ISPs could use and still maintain control over the Last Mile. In exchange, they would offer their service either for free, or at a significantly lower cost (I'd still pay $10/mo to have internet everywhere I go). I raised the concern that to make up for any additional loss in revenue may lead ISPs to do away net neutrality.
Security is also a big issue. The general public isn't aware of how network traffic can be monitored and knows very little about encryption. I would think the number of online identity theft cases in the area would sky-rocket.
I was wondering what insight the/. community could provide about these issues and if they see any more plusses/minuses/concerns that should be mentioned.
ExE122 writes: Steve Jobs, facing criticism for a drastic $200 slash in iPhone prices, has agreed to give early customers a $100 rebate. According to the article, "the move came just hours after Jobs was dismissing complaints and implying that the customers wouldn't get a penny." Jobs has apparently been making the same dismissive comments to angry customers and the press alike before the compromising decision to offer a rebate was made.
ExE122 writes: The Department of Homeland Security has "scrapped an ambitious anti-terrorism data-mining tool." The tool, called ADVISE, was being tested with live data rather than test data without having proper security in place. This program had already been under criticism by privacy advocates and members of Congress. However, according to the article, a DHS spokesman assures that the program will be restarted once the security and cost are re-evaluated.
ExE122 writes: Scientists have discovered an unusually fat planet approximately eight times the size of Jupiter. The planet, HAT-P-2b, is the largest planet discovered to date. This new discovery contains "so much gravity a 150-pound person would weigh in at more than a ton".
ExE122 writes: CNN and CareerBuilder have posted a listing of the top 10 dirtiest jobs in science. "Whether they are sifting through reeking mud banks to find cures for contamination, or sorting stool samples to get to the bottom of our bathroom dilemmas, these are some of the science jobs that sacrifice their time, energy and comfort for the greater global good." Sounds like a job opportunity for Mike Rowe!
ExE122 writes: A judge has ruled to dismiss a crucial part of AMD's antitrust lawsuit against rival competitor Intel. Advanced Micro based its lawsuit on the claim that Intel has been stifling competition and coercing customers against buying AMD products, mainly in foreign-commerce. However, "U.S. District Judge Joseph Farnan of Delaware granted Intel's request to dismiss the portions of AMD's 2005 suit alleging foreign effects of its claim that Intel maintains a monopoly in the market for microprocessor chips", and stated that "U.S. law does not cover many of AMD's claims". A spokesperson for AMD says, "We have just received the ruling, and we are studying it. Meanwhile, this case goes on and the global antitrust regulatory scrutiny of Intel's abusive conduct steams ahead". The decision comes hours after Intel claimed to have a new lead over AMD with its new quad-core server chip.