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Submission + - Woz tells Bloomberg that "Jobs" is not entertaining, accurate or fair. ( 2

N!NJA writes: In this interesting 15-minute interview to Bloomberg, Woz speaks of his disappointment at the movie, which, covers Steve Jobs first stay at Apple. According to Woz, the movie got a lot of things wrong and was unfair to other people who worked with Jobs at that time. When asked what was the biggest mistake of the movie, Woz answered: "Kutcher has too much of this fan thing — like a cult leader — and could not see that he [Jobs] had a lot of flaws in knowing how to run things and execute to make products that were worthwhile". He also said that the movie over-glorifies Jobs and "it makes it look like he [Jobs] was forced out of the company for no good reason." Woz also said he loved "Pirates Of The Silicon Valley".

Submission + - Obamacare and the End of the 40 Hour Work Week

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: NBC News reports that employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, say that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” says Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises. “I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.” The leaders of three major US unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, say that ObamaCare is poised to “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class," adding that "the unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios." The White House maintains that such concerns are purely chimerical as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney argued that there is no data to indicate businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the 30-hour mark. That hasn't stopped Sen. Susan Collins of Maine from introducing a bill, "Forty Hours is Full Time Act," that seeks to modify the federal definition of a full-time employee. "Of course, fixing this one flaw won't solve the countless problems caused by Obamacare. But it would help ensure that millions of American workers do not have their hours, and their paychecks, reduced."

Submission + - How Has Windows Search Improved Since Win2k? Hint: It Hasn't! (

N!NJA writes: Win2k has a special place in my heart. Sadly, due to planned obsolescence it's no longer possible to use this fantastic operating system with the latest software available (without manual modifications). [...]

If I try to access the network from a Windows 2000 workstation or server it is instant. Try the same on a XP or Win7 system and you'll have to wait patiently. It is almost impossible to understand, especially when you consider that I can type into my browser, get a DNS lookup and be brought to this site within less than a second. But to access a machine in our own company, which is at most 500 meters away, going through a switch or two and a gateway can take several orders of magnitude longer! [...]

Enter Windows 7 and search has yet again been "improved." Honestly, the search as you type functionality is an obvious usability enhancement, as is the lack of dogs, balloon tooltips and other such nonsense! So what's wrong then? Well, it doesn't work as you would expect. For example, if you have two programs installed, one called UltraVNC and the other TightVNC and you search for it on the start-menu by typing "vnc" into the search box, nothing will be found. This behavior is inconsistent with Windows XP where this search would work. What you need to do is precede the search string with an asterisk, so *vnc does the trick. That's not so bad you might say, but why make the change, and why isn't it consistent? Why can I find vnc if I search for "tight" or "ultra" without an asterisk at the end of the string?


Submission + - HP CEO to frustrated employees: "A sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill." (

N!NJA writes: This is a recent article on Fortune that sheds new light on the troubles inside HP. The battles between members of the board of directors as well as the atmosphere between lower management and engineers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A few months after she took over as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) last September, Meg Whitman held one in a series of get-to-know-you meetings with employees. To say the audience, a group of software engineers and managers, was sullen would be an understatement. As Whitman spoke, many of them glared at her. Others weren't making eye contact with their new boss. Their heads were down, and they were tapping furiously on handheld devices.

"Your comments are being live-blogged," one employee told her defiantly. Whitman challenged the man. "You all have taken leaking to a new art form," she said. "It's a sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill." The tapping suddenly stopped, and as the room fell silent, the mobile devices were lowered.

The employees' open contempt for the head of the company and Whitman's acknowledgment of their misery were signs of just how dire things had gotten inside the technology titan after a humiliating series of epic stumbles last year. [...]

The saga of HP's 11 months under Léo Apotheker begins in November 2010. To understand it, you need to appreciate what he found and how HP got to that point. The company seemed strong at that moment, its swagger restored during the five years Mark Hurd had been in charge. Earnings per share had quadrupled. The stock price had doubled. HP was No. 1 in PC shipments, No. 1 in printers, No. 1 in servers.

But just under the surface was a very different reality: HP was traumatized, its employees disengaged. Internal "voice of the company" surveys revealed that morale had cratered. One top executive told Apotheker she felt "maimed" by Hurd's hard-charging style. A company hailed for its vaunted "HP way" — which emphasized employee autonomy — had stifled creativity to the point where workers now had a rueful phrase to describe the way they tuned out and pretended to be clueless when executives asked them to do something: "flipping the bozo bit."


Submission + - Amazon's Kindle Fire has 54% of Android tablet market. Samsung 15%. ( 1

N!NJA writes: While Apple continues to overwhelmingly dominate the tablet space with its one-size-fits-all iPad (albeit with both a new and ‘old', cheaper version concurrently on sale), the multiplicity of Android tablets on the market from numerous manufacturers hasn't yet helped Google to capture a significant chunk of market share.

In an interesting twist, though, it's emerged that Google's Android market share isn't entirely its own, as figures from market analysts comScore (via PR Newswire) reveal that, as of February 2012, Amazon's Kindle Fire had grabbed an impressive 54.4% of Android tablet market share. Why is this significant? Well, the Kindle Fire doesn't use Android in the strictest sense. At its heart, the OS is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but Amazon ripped out just about everything that it could.

Comment Re:This is out of control (Score 0) 995

The amount of media coverage. International press. 24/7 news cycle. The constant lies. "Zimmerman is white". Showing images of Trayvon Martin when he was only 12 and not 17 (and 6'3"). Editing the 911 call from Zimmerman to make him seem racist.

This is all beside the point. He shot an innocent with candies and has not been arrested for it, Mostly because of a complacent police dept. There's an old saying that goes:

After "I-am-sorry" was born, nobody ever got beaten up again.

Apologies won't bring the dead back to life. Zimmerman must be tried for it and, if found guilty, he should be jailed for a lonnnnnng time.

This event is exposing the worst of this country.

Agreed. It's exposing racism and impunity.

Submission + - Pirates drop Xvid in favor of x264. Controversy ensues. (

N!NJA writes: A collection of the top pirate groups on Bittorrent have got together and decided to swap from the Xvid video compression scheme to the x264 codec, with the objective of offering higher quality files. [...] However, the move has proved controversial, due to the inability for some standalone DVD players to cope with the MP4 format. Interestingly, a subgroup of pirates has emerged who are taking the new MP4 releases, transcoding them back to Xvid and AVI, and re-uploading them to satisfy this demand.

TorrentFreak quotes several users complaining about the change, including one who wrote: "Please can you revert back to AVI as most DVD players cannot recognize MP4 format and this means I need to do conversion to AVI all the time for my grandmother and it's quite painful."

Submission + - Russians may find new life in Subglacial Lake Vostok (

N!NJA writes: Those who had the privilege of watching the fascinating documentary The Lost World of Lake Vostok on BBC's Horizon, know that this lake has been buried under 4km (14,000 ft) of ice for millions of years and might be inhabited by never-before-seen species of microbes, fish, plants and animals. More about the lake on Wikipedia: Now, the Russian scientists that have drilled towards the lake since the 90's are close to reaching its waters.

After 20 years of drilling, a team of Russian researchers is close to breaching the prehistoric Lake Vostok, which has been trapped deep beneath Antarctica for the last 14 million years. Vostok is the largest in a sub-glacial web of more than 200 lakes that are hidden 4 km beneath the ice. Some of the lakes formed when the continent was much warmer and still connected to Australia. The lakes are rich in oxygen (making them oligotrophic), with levels of the element some 50 times higher than what would be found in your typical freshwater lake. The high gas concentration is thought to be because of the enormous weight and pressure of the continental ice cap.

If life exists in Vostok, it will have to be an extremophile — a life form that has adapted to survive in extreme environments. The organism would have to withstand high pressure, constant cold, low nutrient input, high oxygen concentration and an absence of sunlight. The conditions in Lake Vostok are thought to be similar to the conditions on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus. In June, NASA probe Cassini found the best evidence yet for a massive saltwater reservoir beneath the icy surface of Enceladus. This all means that finding life in the inhospitable depths of Vostok would strengthen the case for life in the outer solar system.

Comment BBC's Horizon (Score 1) 1

Fascinating story. I first heard of Lake Vostok some years ago when watching an episode of Horizon and I remember how curious I became about the possibility of new and strange forms of life in those waters. Bless the BBC for keeping such an enlightening programme on air for this long.

Submission + - Android malware: Symantec's credibility sinks furt (

N!NJA writes: Not one week after the security group known as Symantec announced that they’d discovered the largest malware attack in the history of Android planted firmly in the guts of the official market, they’ve announced that there is no such infection. In fact, the malware the group said it’d found, Android.Counterclank, is actually just an overly-aggressive adware code. This is in accordance with a report put out by rival security group Lookout whom has essentially “told them so” late last month – always double check! [...] As Symantec notes, this software is only capable of doing a few disagreeable things to your Android device instead of a whole lot, the latter being the one that gets a code into the “malware” category. Instead, we’re only talking about the following:

“In general, it’s changing the home page of the [smartphone's] browser, adding additional shortcuts to the desktop, adding and even removing bookmarks. It took a while for some consensus then about what was adware or spyware, and what wasn’t, but eventually that consensus was reached.”
– Kevin Haley of Symantec

Submission + - First ever audit of the Federal Reserve reveals $1 (

An anonymous reader writes: The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. (HR 459). The final audit. reveals an astonishing $16 trillion in secret loans made to American and foreign banks during the recent economic crisis. The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, many of which also were recipients of extremely low-interest and then-secret loans. This is no longer an issue of right versus left. The federal reserve is clearly a corrupt entity with no oversight, and no accountability.

Submission + - Obama Stumped by Mystery of the Laid-Off Engineer

theodp writes: 'As a basic matter there is a huge demand for engineers around the country right now,' President Obama informed the wife of a laid-off Texas semiconductor engineer after she confronted the President on H-1B use during a Google+ hangout. 'I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there because the word we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1bs should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field.' So, who's going to tell the President that offshore outsourcing companies dominate the top 10 list of H-1B users? Or that the NY Times says that old techies can't get hired? Or that there's no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy? Perhaps the President might be more in touch had he invited someone more familiar with hi-tech hiring reality to sit with Mrs. Obama at the State of the Union together with Steve Jobs' widow and the young co-founder of look-Ma-no-revenue Instagram. The Washington Post reports that the White House has followed-up by forwarding the out-of-work engineer's resume to contacts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. So, if you're hiring, and don't believe engineering life has to end at 40, why not take a gander at EE Darin Wedel's LinkedIn profile and TI patent?

Submission + - ITC throws out B&N antitrust claims against MS (

N!NJA writes: Barnes & Noble's primary line of defense against Microsoft's allegations of patent infringement by the bookseller's Android-based devices has collapsed in its entirety. An Administrative Law Judge at the ITC today granted a Microsoft motion to dismiss, even ahead of the evidentiary trial that will start next Monday (February 6), Barnes & Noble's "patent misuse" defense against Microsoft. [...]

Prior to the ALJ, the ITC staff — or more precisely, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII), which participates in many investigations as a third party representing the public interest — already supported Microsoft's motion all the way. The OUII basically concluded that even if all of what Barnes & Noble said about Microsoft's use of patents against Android was accurate, it would fall far short of the legal requirements for a patent misuse defense.

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