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Submission + - A Third Of Cash Is Held By 5 US Tech Companies (siliconbeat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Moody's Investors Service released an analysis Friday that shows Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco Systems, and Oracle are sitting on $504 billion, which is roughly 30% of the $1.7 trillion in cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015. Almost all of their earnings ($1.2 trillion) are stashed overseas in an effort to avoid paying taxes on moving profits back to the U.S. under the country's complex tax code. Apple has more than 90 percent of its money located outside of the U.S., according to its most recent filings. Moody's said in its report that "we expect that overseas cash balances will continue to grow unless tax laws are changed to encourage companies to repatriate money." Some of the other tech and Silicon Valley companies in the top 50 include Intel, Gilead Sciences, Facebook, Amazon, Qualcomm, eBay, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo.

Submission + - Canada's Copyright Lobby Revolving Door Raises Fairness Concerns (michaelgeist.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: The revolving door between government and lobby groups has long been a source of concern in the United States, where lead government IP officials have regularly jumped to lobby groups representing music, movies, and software interests and vice versa. The revolving door has apparently migrated to Canada, with the former Director of Regulatory Affairs for Music Canada (Canada's RIAA) joining the government to play a key role in copyright policy, only to be replaced by the former Director of Parliamentary Affairs within the Prime Minister's Office, who was the lead on the surprise copyright term extension for sound recordings passed in 2015. With a copyright review scheduled for 2017, there is considerable concern among many stakeholders about the direct move of a senior official from one of the most powerful copyright lobby groups in the country to the very government department responsible for leading the policy review.

Submission + - RoboCop Is Real (metro.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: While machines from the likes of RoboCop and Chappie might just be the reserve of films for now, this new type of robot is already fighting crime. This particular example can be found guarding a shopping center in California but there are other machines in operation all over the state. Equipped with self-navigation, infra-red cameras and microphones that can detect breaking glass the robots, designed by Knightscope, are intended to support security services. Stacy Dean Stephens, who came up with the idea, told The Guardian the problem that needed solving was one of intelligence. "And the only way to gain accurate intelligence is through eyes and ears," he said. "So, we started looking at different ways to deploy eyes and ears into situations like that."

Submission + - Wristband Gives You an Electric Shock When You Overspend (softpedia.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Intelligent Environments, the company that brought us emoji passwords, has launched another original product, a banking platform integrated with IoT devices working on the classic "If This, Then That" principle. Called Interact IoT, the platform will allow developers to create smart products that interact with your bank account.

Intelligent Environments launched the platform yesterday with two integrations, one for the Pavlok wristband and one for Google's Nest thermostat. Bank account owners can set a threshold for their account, which if they go under they'll receive an electric shock from their Pavlok wristband or Interact IoT will turn down their Nest thermostat to save money. More integrations are under work. Which ones would you like to see?

Submission + - X-37B Celebrates One Year in Space (spaceflightnow.com)

Thelasko writes: The stubby-winged craft was boosted into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on May 20, 2015, departing Cape Canaveral for a 20-minute ride into a 200-mile-high orbit inclined 38 degrees

This X-37B carries at least two payloads, revealed by the military before the ship took off — an experimental electric propulsion thruster to be tested in orbit and a pallet to expose sample materials to the space environment.

Submission + - Judge Orders "Intentionally Deceptive" DOJ Lawyers To Take Remedial Ethics Class (zerohedge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In writing the ruling, Hanen quoted from the scene in "Miracle on 34th Street" when the boy is called to testify to Santa's existence and saying that everyone knows not to tell a lie to the court. Hanen went on to say that that the Justice Department lawyers have an even stricter duty: Tell the truth, don't mislead the court, and don't allow it to be mislead by others.

"The Government's lawyers failed on all three fronts. The actions of the DHS should have been brought as early as December 19, 2014. The failure of counsel to do that constituted more than mere inadvertent omissions — it was intentionally deceptive." Judge Hanen wrote in his ruling.

Hanen ordered that the classes must be "taught by at least one recognized ethics expert who is unaffiliated with the Justice Department."

I wonder if the judge could order the lawyers to jail for contempt of court?

Submission + - Oculus breaks promise, uses DRM to kill app that let you switch VR systems

AmiMoJo writes: As recently as 5 months ago, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was promising his customers that they could play the software they bought from the Oculus store on "whatever they want," guaranteeing that the company wouldn't shut down apps that let customers move their purchased software to non-Oculus hardware. But now, Oculus has changed its DRM to exclude Revive, a "proof-of-concept compatibility layer between the Oculus SDK [software development kit] and OpenVR," that let players buy software in the Oculus store and run it on competing hardware. The company billed the update as an anti-piracy measure, but Revive's developer, who call themselves "Libre VR," points out that the DRM only prevents piracy using non-Oculus hardware, and allows for unlimited piracy by Oculus owners.

Submission + - Germany's Energiewende: The problems remain (thebulletin.org)

Dan Drollette writes: Wanna know why certain American fossil fuel tycoons (who shall remain nameless) are so hostile to fighting climate change? Just look at what happened to the big utility companies and the large, energy-intensive heavy industries of Germany after its "Energiewende" kicked in—they are "on the brink of dissolution" from that country's embrace of renewable energy, says the author of this piece, who used to work for German utilities as their renewables go-to person.

Submission + - Argentina And Monsanto Fight Over Patents

An anonymous reader writes: Monsanto has embargoed Argentina from receiving new soybean technologies marketed by the company after the Argentine government insisted it had the sole right to demand the inspection of exports leaving the country. Monsanto has been pressuring export and shipping companies to enforce their patent royalty collection, while the Argentine government insist it holds the sole right to approve and order inspections. This patent battle is looking like it might tip to Argentina's favor given the disappointing nature of Monsanto's upcoming RoundUp Ready XTend(TM)(R) Glyphosate+Dicamba crop system.

Submission + - Argentina And Monsanto Fight Over Patents 1

An anonymous reader writes: Monsanto has embargoed Argentina from receiving new soybean technologies marketed by the company after the Argentine government insisted it had the sole right to demand the inspection of exports leaving the country. Monsanto has been pressuring export and shipping companies to enforce their patent royalty collection, while the Argentine government insist it holds the sole right to approve and order inspections. This patent battle is looking like it might tip to Argentina's favor given the disappointing nature of Monsanto's upcoming RoundUp Ready XTend(TM)(R) Glyphosate+Dicamba crop system.

Submission + - Debian Fork Devuan Beta Released (unixmen.com)

pirat9 writes: A beta release of the Devuan Linux distro has made it into the world after two years in development. Devuan is a very Debian-ish distro. In fact, it basically is Debian, with one notable absence. Devuan doesn’t use systemd. In fact, that’s its main claim to fame. Devuan was created to offer an alternative to Debian fans who were alienated by the controversial switch to systemd.

Submission + - New Surveillance System May Let Cops Use All of the Cameras (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The system, which is just a proof of concept, alarms privacy advocates who worry that prudent surveillance could easily lead to government overreach, or worse, unauthorized use. It relies upon two tools developed independently at Purdue. The Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit superimposes the rate and location of crimes and the location of police surveillance cameras. CAM2 reveals the location and orientation of public network cameras, like the one outside your apartment. You could do the same thing with a search engine like Shodan, but CAM2 makes the job far easier, which is the scary part. Aggregating all these individual feeds makes it potentially much more invasive.

Submission + - Google Patents Self-Driving Car That Glues People To The Hood In A Crash (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google just got a patent for a special kind of coating on self-driving cars that could help prevent pedestrian injuries. The company wants to coat autonomous vehicles with a sticky substance so that if they hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off. "[The pedestrian] is not thrown from the vehicle, thereby preventing a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object," says the patent, granted on Tuesday. Google explains that an "adhesive layer" would be placed on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of a car. A thin coating would protect it until an impact occurred.

Submission + - TeslaCrypt Ransomware Maker Shuts Down, Releases Master Key (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The TeslaCrypt ransomware makers have officially closed down shop and apologized for all the damage they have caused in the past. TeslaCrypt upset a lot of gamers as it would locate and encrypt video games on your Windows PC. With the recent decision to shut down, anti-ransomware researchers have been able to create a fool-proof decryption app called TeslaDecoder. Now, many of the hard drives rendered useless by the malware are available to use, and almost every file can be accessed using the unlock system. "TeslaCrypt's website was on the Tor network and now consists of a master key and an apology," writes TechCrunch.

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