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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Do you have a plan B for when ${evilcorp} goes dark?

relliker writes: From the department of pessimism and realism:

Let's say one of the biggies you rely on today (???gle || ?ahoo || ?ing etc.) suddenly goes titsup/implodes and all of their services you are accustomed to use daily such as storage, search, calendars, social networks, online services, photos, music, videos etc. go dark forever with no prior notice? What will you do? Do you have a (service and/or data) backup plan? What is it? How easily could you rebuild your online world again somewhere else?

Submission + - Does Mark Zuckerberg Need to Dump Peter Thiel from Facebook's Board? 2

theodp writes: Over at Slate, Dan Gillmor says Mark Zuckerberg needs to dump Peter Thiel from the Facebook Board of Directors. "Thiel's secret laundering of the Gawker lawsuit disqualifies him as someone who should be on a board of directors of any organization that claims to value freedom of expression," writes Gillmor. "Facebook's other directors, employees, and users should ask how much they want to be associated with a company that keeps someone like Thiel in a position of such power and influence...Facebook claims to believe in freedom of expression, and in journalism, and at some level that's true. But every minute it allows Thiel to remain on its board of directors, it will be broadcasting how limited those values truly are." Gillmor, it seems, is hardly alone in his line of thinking. By the way, Thiel was present when Zuckerberg met with conservative leaders on May 18th at Facebook HQ to assure them that the social media giant would never mess with the press. "Mark looks a man in the eye the entire time," remarked satisfied radio host Glenn Beck after that meeting. "I watched Sheryl [Sandberg] and Peter Thiel and the whole team. Not one time did I get a sense that they were saying these things to get this off their back. I think they’re sincere." Exactly one week later, Thiel revealed his secret war with Gawker in a NY Times interview.

Submission + - NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"

marxmarv writes: If you search the web for communications security information, or read online tech publications like Linux Journal or BoingBoing, you might be a terrorist. The German publication Das Erste disclosed a crumb of alleged XKeyScore configuration, with the vague suggestion of more source code to come, showing that Tor directory servers and their users, and as usual the interested and their neighbor's dogs due to overcapture, were flagged for closer monitoring. Linux Journal, whose domain is part of a listed selector, has a few choice words on their coveted award. Would it be irresponsible not to speculate further?

Submission + - Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times in 2013

realized writes: In nine cases in 2013, state police were unable to break the encryption used by criminal suspects they were investigating, according to an annual report on law enforcement eavesdropping released by the U.S. court system on Wednesday. That’s more than twice as many cases as in 2012, when police said that they’d been stymied by crypto in four cases—and that was the first year they’d ever reported encryption preventing them from successfully surveilling a criminal suspect. Before then, the number stood at zero.

Submission + - Fundraiser for Neo900 open smartphone (neo900.org) 1

JoSch1337 writes: Golden Delicious Computers (creators of OpenPhoenux / GTA04 openmoko replacement board) is announcing a fundraiser to produce first prototypes and kickstart mass production of the Neo900 open smartphone. Based on the electronics of the GTA04 open smartphone platform, the Neo900 will reuse the Nokia N900 case but contain a motherboard with a faster CPU, more RAM, an LTE modem and other additions when compared to the original Nokia N900 smartphone. In the Openmoko spirit the device will be fully hackable, supporting QtMoko, SHR, Debian, Replicant and any other operating system ported to it like Maemo, Ubuntu or Firefox OS. Visit http://neo900.org/specs for more detailed specifications or http://neo900.org/faq for a general FAQ.
Here is a video presenting the idea: http://youtu.be/EJHMXQ3nSt0
If your donation is above 100 eur, then that amount will be deducted from your purchase of the final version of the Neo900. The final motherboard is expected to be in the range of 500-700 eur depending on the amount of orders and availability of components.

Submission + - Revolutionary new phone idea (gizmodo.com.au) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Phoneblocks is based on a simple concept: we waste too much crap, especially when it comes to gadgets. Often, we throw out whole devices just because one component is broken. That, and it’s just so inexpensive to upgrade to the latest and greatest these days. As a result, we’re throwing away devices and gadgets at a record rate, all of which with poisonous materials that seep into the environment, with the potential to screw it up almost permanently.

That’s where Phoneblocks comes in. Rather than replace your whole phone because the screen got smashed while you were drunk or the camera suddenly doesn’t work anymore, it advocates that you just buy a replacement module and keep the rest of the phone that isn’t broken.

As of right now, their website is overloaded. http://phoneblocks.com/ but you can read more here

Submission + - Verizon's Plan To Turn The Web Into Pay-Per-View

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Bill Snyder writes of Verizon's diabolical plan to to charge websites for carrying their packets — a strategy that, if it wins out, will be the end of the Internet as we know it. 'Think of all the things that tick you off about cable TV. Along with brainless programming and crummy customer service, the very worst aspect of it is forced bundling. ... Now, imagine that the Internet worked that way. You'd hate it, of course. But that's the direction that Verizon, with the support of many wired and wireless carriers, would like to push the Web. That's not hypothetical. The country's No. 1 carrier is fighting in court to end the Federal Communications Commission's policy of Net neutrality, a move that would open the gates to a whole new — and wholly bad — economic model on the Web.'

Submission + - Tesla Motors May Be Having An iPhone Moment (businessweek.com)

pacopico writes: Telsa Motors has started churning out 500 of its all electric Model S sedans per week. Bloomberg Businessweek just did a cover story about the company, suggesting that Tesla is becoming more than just a fad of rich folks in California. According to the story, 75 percent of Tesla's sales now come from outside of California, and the company appears poised to raise its sales forecasts for the year. There's a lot of talk about Tesla's history and why it survived when Fisker and Better Place failed too.

Submission + - Google hosts fundraiser for climate change-denying US senator (guardian.co.uk)

Maria_Celeste writes: Google, which prides itself on building a "better web that is better for the environment", is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged. The lunch, at the company's Washington office, will benefit the Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has made a career of dismissing climate change as a "hoax" on the Senate floor. Proceeds of the 11 July lunch, priced at $250 to $2,500, will also go to the national Republican Senatorial Committee.

Submission + - Danish scientists on brink of HIV cure (telegraph.co.uk)

quixote9 writes: HIV is hard to cure because it hides inside the patient's DNA. The Danish research follows a strategy to unpack the DNA, expose the viral bits, and then use immune stimulation to get rid of it.

The technique uses drugs called HDAC Inhibitors, which are more commonly used in treating cancer, to drive out the HIV from a patient’s DNA. ... The scientists are currently conducting human trials on their treatment, in the hope of proving that it is effective. It has already been found to work in laboratory tests. ... In vitro studies — those that use human cells in a laboratory — of the new technique proved so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million Danish kroner (£1.5 million) to pursue their findings in clinical trials with human subjects. ... “The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”

But the really interesting bit is this:

The Danish team’s research is among the most advanced and fast moving in the world, as that they have streamlined the process of putting the latest basic science discoveries into clinical testing.

Cutting edge molecular biology and bureaucratic breakthroughs. How cool is that?

Piracy

Submission + - Chinese man pleads guilty to $100m piracy scam (theregister.co.uk)

iComp writes: "A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement on an epic scale after helping to crack and sell pirated high-end software worth in excess of $US100m over a three year period.

Xiang Li of Chengdu in China’s south-western Sichuan province, disputed the value of the software he sold but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright violations and wire fraud, according to Reuters.

The indictment (PDF from Wired) claims that Li and co-defendant Chun Yan Li sold cheap pirated copies of business software through web sites such as “crack99.com” and “cad100.net”.

Between 2008 and 2011 they would scour darknets for software and disable access controls by cracking license files, before selling the results to over 300 purchasers in the US and over 60 other countries."

Canada

Submission + - Proposed Canadian anti-spam rules restrict secret ISP monitoring (www.cbc.ca)

Fnordulicious writes: Although Canada's anti-spam legislation is already in place, the rules to implement it have been under development for more than a year. This weekend the proposed rules from the Department of Industry were published in the Canada Gazette. Kady O'Malley reports on the CBC Inside Politics Blog that Canadian ISPs will not be allowed to secretly monitor activity except in the case that the activity is illegal and represents an "imminent risk to the security of its network". In addition, consent would be required for monitoring of legal activities "that are merely unauthorized or suspicious".
Space

Submission + - China said to be planning ASAT(anti-satellite) test (eetimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: from eetimes: WASHINGTON – China may be preparing another anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test, according to public interest group, but the type of test and target remain unclear. The Union of Concerned Scientists said Friday (Jan. 4) that hints of Chinese ASAT test have been circulating for months. Two previous Chinese ASAT test in 2007 and 2010 both occurred on Jan. 11. While the science group said it has been unable to confirm reports originating from inside the Chinese government, a senior analyst said the group has been told by a senior U.S. military official that “the Obama administration was very concerned about an imminent Chinese ASAT test.” In a blog post, Gregory Kulacki also wrote: “Given these high-level administration concerns, and past Chinese practice, there seems to be a strong possibility China will conduct an ASAT test within the next few weeks. What kind of test and what the target might be is unclear.” (remember who to blame when a satellite goes offline due to space debris — ZU)
Patents

Submission + - You can now file with the USTPO to shoot down and invalidate obvious patents (wired.com)

Cutting_Crew writes: "Yes this is from Wired again, but as they state here today marks the first day that any 3rd party can file an injunction against patents that are frivolous, too obvious and even offer proof of prior art.

Stack Exchange has a patents forum now to help start the process as they have been working with google and also collaborating with the patent office since 2007 on testing patents.

So here is my question. Which frivolous, too obvious, downright ridiculous patent are you going to submit?"

Microsoft

Submission + - Kenya warned on ditching copyrighted software by Microsoft (standardmedia.co.ke) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, the Kenyan government issued a warning that in would migrate over to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The move is expected to halve the IT cost for this third world country. Microsoft however chimed in with FUD comments about opensource. Here are some choicy bits:
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“We agree with the open standards but not the free and open source software strategy,” said Paul Roy Owino, technology advisor, Microsoft East and Southern Africa.

“The Government stands to lose to hackers, freedom to third party modification coming with Free and Open Source Software it plans to adopt increases chances of Internet attacks,” he said “I do not think the Government has competent expertise to handle the challenges that comes with the free and Open Source Software,” he said.
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