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Cloud

Submission + - Bill banning employer Facebook snooping introduced in Congress (arstechnica.com) 1

suraj.sun writes: The Social Networking Online Protection Act, introduced by Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), would prohibit current or potential employers from demanding a username or password to a social networking account. "We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private," Engel said in a statement. "No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education. This is a matter of personal privacy and makes sense in our digital world.”

The bill would apply the same prohibitions to colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. Facebook has already threatened legal action against organizations who require employees to reveal their Facebook passwords as policy. While Maryland was the first state to pass legislation, several states have taken up legislation to block the practice as well, following reports of the spread of the practice by the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times.

Math

Submission + - The Maths-formula that lead to the financial crash (bbc.co.uk) 1

jools33 writes: "This is a fascinating story from the bbc of how a mathematical formula revolutionised the world of finance — which ultimately could have been responsible for its downfall. The Black-Scholes mathematical model, introduced in the 70s, opened up the world of options / futures / derivatives trading in a way that nothing before or since has accomplished, its phenominal success and widespread adoption lead to the discoverer winning a nobel prize in economics and yet it could ultimately have been responsible for the financial crisis of the past few years. Its interesting to ponder how algorithms and formulas that we work on today could fundamentally influence humanity's future."
Government

Submission + - NZ Politician accused of hiding Kimdotcom's donations (nzherald.co.nz)

vik writes: "Kim Dotcom well remembers splitting an NZ$50,000 payment into two to help MP John Banks hide the money under the limit for anonymous donations. John Banks claims amnesia, and this is not the first bout of donation-induced memory loss he has suffered from. If convicted, he will lose his seat in NZ's Parliament. But NZ has recently been very flexible in changing its laws to suit big business, so the outcome is far from certain. Meanwhile, negotiations are beginning to free up the legitimate data trapped on Megaupload's site by the authorities."

Submission + - NZ Politicians accused of hiding Kimdotcom's donations (nzherald.co.nz)

vik writes: "Kimdotcom well remembers splitting an NZ$50,000 payment into two to help MP John Banks hide the money under the limit for anonymous donations. John Banks claims amnesia, and this is not the first bout of donation-induced memory loss he has suffered from. If convicted, he will lose his seat in NZ's Parliament. But NZ has recently been very flexible in changing its laws to suit big business, so the outcome is far from certain."
Science

Submission + - Graphene Helps A Robot Creep Like An Inchworm (acs.org) 1

LilaG writes: To develop new materials for robotics, scientists have developed graphene-based actuators that convert electricity into motion. In robots, actuators act like muscles, driving the movement of mechanical arms and fins. Most actuator materials, such as ceramics and conductive polymers, respond slowly, require a lot of power, or provide very little force. To make speedy, strong actuators, Chinese researchers coated graphene paper with the polymer polydiacetylene. Graphene provides a highly conductive, flexible backing for the fragile polymer crystals, which deform in response to electrical current. The actuators can bend 200 times per second and generate more force than most current materials. Using a sheet of the material, the scientists built a simple inchworm robot that arches and relaxes to crawl forward.
Digital

Submission + - J.K. Rowling bypasses Amazon, iTunes, etc. to offer an in-house solution (pottermore.com)

DJRumpy writes: J.K. Rowling may have just turned the digital book business on it's ear. They are offering the Harry Potter series via their website exclusively while foregoing the typical distribution channels like Amazon's Kindle, and iTunes. The formats are supported by every e-reader capable device out there according to their website. Is this the start of a new trend?

Submission + - Australian government takes Apple to court (news.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has run afoul of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), by advertising its new iPad as having 4G connectivity. The ACCC is seeking "injunctions, pecuniary penalties, corrective advertising and refunds to consumers affected''. In a statement the ACCC said the tablet under the "4G'' banner was "misleading'' as it suggested the tablet computer could, "with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case''.
Google

Submission + - YouTube Says Universal Had No 'Right' to Take Down (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Contrary to a previous story, Google played no part in the Megaupload takedown. From Wired: "YouTube said Friday that Universal Music abused the video-sharing site’s piracy filters when it employed them to take down a controversial video of celebrities and pop superstars singing and praising the notorious file-sharing service Megaupload."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Wireless HDMI On a Stick Using WHDI Technology (the-generalist.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It will soon be possible to transmit full 1080p video wirelessly to your television using a transmitter that's not much bigger than a thumbdrive. WHDI supports 1080p video with no noticeable latency making it great for games.
Iphone

Submission + - Find my iPhone used to locate plane crash in Chile (9to5mac.com)

spagiola writes: Late last week, a military transport aircraft with 17 people on -board went missing near Robinson Crusoe, Chile. The relatives of one of the crash victims logged into Find My iPhone and were able to isolate the coordinates of the last known whereabouts of the plane before it crashed.
Space

Submission + - New Zealand to Launch First Private Space Rocket (spacefellowship.com)

RobGoldsmith writes: Private New Zealand aerospace company Rocket Lab completed its final ground-based test today and is now ready to launch New Zealand into the space race with its Atea-1 launch vehicle. The first high altitude launch of Atea-1 is scheduled for the end of November this year. Once Atea-1 has successfully concluded the development phase it will be the first privately built rocket launched from the Southern Hemisphere to enter space. Read this article to see a new CGI movie and get more information on the launch!

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