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Submission + - NY Times: Trump Promises a Revelation on Hacking (

SpzToid writes: America's reality television show president, who doesn't use email while being a prolific contributor to Twitter, seemingly on his way to a black tie New Year's Eve ball at his Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, announced to the press he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the hacking, and that the information would be revealed “on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

He added: “And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

When asked what he knew that others did not, Mr. Trump demurred, saying only, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Submission + - Bitcoin 'miners' face fight for survival as new supply halves (

SpzToid writes: On Saturday, the reward for miners will be slashed in half. Written into bitcoin's code when it was invented in 2008 was a rule dictating that the prize would be halved every four years, in a step designed to keep a lid on bitcoin inflation.

From around 1700 GMT on Saturday, instead of 25 bitcoins up for grabs globally every 10 minutes, worth around $16,000 at the current rate BTC=BTSP, there will be just 12.5.

That means only the mining companies with the leanest operations will survive the ensuing profit hit.

"The most important thing is to be the most efficient miner," said Streng, the 26-year-old co-founder of German firm Genesis Mining, which has "mining farms" in Canada, the United States and eastern Europe, as well as in Iceland. "When the others drop out, that means that they leave the market and give you a bigger share of the pie."

Submission + - Win or lose, discrimination suit is having an effect on Silicon Valley (

SpzToid writes: "Even before there's a verdict in this case, and regardless of what the verdict is, people in Silicon Valley are now talking," said Kelly Dermody, managing partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, who chairs the San Francisco law firm's employment practice group.

"People are second-guessing and questioning whether there are exclusionary practices [and] everyday subtle acts of exclusion that collectively limit women's ability to succeed or even to compete for the best opportunities. And that's an incredibly positive impact."

Women in tech have long complained about an uneven playing field — lower pay for equal work, being passed over for promotions and a hostile "brogrammer" culture — and have waited for a catalyst to finally overhaul the status quo.

This trial — pitting a disgruntled, multimillionaire former junior partner against a powerful Menlo Park, Calif., venture capital firm — was far from the open-and-shut case that many women had hoped for.

More gender discrimination suits against big tech firms are expected to follow; some already have, including lawsuits against Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.

Submission + - Germany Succeeded with Massive Power Drops/Surges with its Solar Grid Today (

SpzToid writes: Electrical grids in Europe succeeded in managing the unprecedented disruption to solar power from Friday's 2-1/2-hour eclipse that brought sudden, massive drops in supply.

Germany, Europe's leading economy and boasting the world's biggest solar-powered installations, was at the heart of the event.

"Good preparations paid off, we were able to handle all swings in production," said Ulrike Hoerchens, spokeswoman for one of the four high-voltage grid firms, TenneT, which operates in the region with the highest share of photovoltaic units.

Solar power output has expanded sharply to 38.2 gigawatts (GW) since the region's last notable eclipse in 2003, so the country — which borders nine nations — needed to prove its power market and network handling centres could function under extraordinary conditions.

German solar output right before the eclipse totalled 21.7 GW, then dropped to a low point of 6.2 GW, followed by an addition of 15 GW again within the following hour, TenneT said.

The speed of feed-in was treble the normal maximum, which could have caused disruptions.

Submission + - Google Nearline Delivers Some Serious Competition To Amazon Glacier ( 1

SpzToid writes: Google is offering a new kind of data storage service – and revealing its cloud computing strategy against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

The company said on Wednesday that it would offer a service, called Nearline, for non-essential data. Like an AWS product called Glacier, this storage costs just a penny a month per gigabyte. Microsoft’s cheapest listed online storage is about 2.4 cents a gigabyte

While Glacier storage has a retrieval time of several hours, though, Google said Nearline data will be available in about three seconds.

Submission + - Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials for "improper influence"

SpzToid writes: Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the Oracle Corporation has filed a rather timely suit against five of former governor John Kitzhaber's staff for their "improper influence" in the decision to shutter the Cover Oregon healthcare website, while blaming Oracle to defuse the political consequences. Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April.

"The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn’t match the former-Governor's re-election strategy to 'go after' Oracle,” Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement.

Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain.

Submission + - Republican Bill Aims to Thwart The FCC's leaning towards Title II

SpzToid writes: U.S. congressional Republicans on Friday proposed legislation that would set "net neutrality" rules for broadband providers, aiming to head off tougher regulations backed by the Obama administration.

Republican lawmakers hope to counter the Federal Communications Commission's vote on Feb. 26 for rules that are expected to follow the legal path endorsed by President Barack Obama, which Internet service providers (ISPs) and Republicans say would unnecessarily burden the industry with regulation.

Net neutrality activists, now with Obama's backing, have advocated for regulation of ISPs under a section of communications law known as Title II, which would treat them more like public utilities.

The White House on Thursday said legislation was not necessary to settle so-called "net neutrality" rules because the Federal Communications Commission had the authority to write them.

Submission + - Facebook hiring spree hints at ambitions (

SpzToid writes: The Internet social networking company aims to add nearly 1,200 new employees, the outgrowth of aggressive investments that executives have said will define the coming year.

Besides Oculus Rift, Facebook’s ambitious effort to build its own satellites and drones capable of delivering Internet service to remote regions of the world is another important area for hiring: the program has Facebook searching for specialists in areas such as avionics, radio frequency communications and thermal engineering.

Facebook gets more out of each employee, according to calculations using company revenue figures. Facebook’s revenue works out to roughly $384,000 per employee in the third quarter of 2014, versus $300,000 for Google and $183,000 for Microsoft.

That efficiency has helped Facebook enjoy rich profit margins. And the company's relatively small headcount provides an important talking point in the battle to attract the most talented computer programmers.

Submission + - Nearly 2,000 Chicago flights canceled after worker sets fire at radar center (

SpzToid writes: Nearly 2,000 flights in Chicago have been canceled so far today as federal aviation officials slowly resume operations at O'Hare and Midway airports following a fire that was deliberately set at an FAA radar center, apparently by a disgruntled worker.

The center handles high-altitude traffic across parts of the Midwest. Controllers there direct planes through the airspace and either hand off the air traffic to other facilities handling high-altitude traffic or direct the planes to terminal radar facilities, including one in Elgin, which in turn direct planes to and from airport towers.

Submission + - Apple disappoints fans in China: No iPhone 6 for awhile (

SpzToid writes: Apple disappointed millions of Chinese fans this week when it said that its latest iPhone would not go on sale in mainland China on Sept. 19, the date it is to hit stores in the U.S. and nine other territories.

Some observers say Chinese authorities want to make sure the homegrown TD LTE standard can dominate the country’s 4G networks before allowing a foreign-developed 4G standard in.

Last week, a document that purported to be a leaked internal directive from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees the country’s telecommunication industry, surfaced on Chinese social media websites. It said that all smartphones sold in China would be required to lock out the FDD LTE functionality.

That seems to raise the question of whether Apple would be willing to comply with such restrictions on its crown jewel. Chief Executive Tim Cook said during Tuesday’s keynote that the device would support more than 200 carriers globally, including China Mobile.

“It’s possible that Apple is willing to wait until the iPhone can be released in China without any restrictions on its FDD LTE network support,” said Xu Hao, who monitors China’s smartphone market for Beijing based consulting firm Analysys International.

Cook has called China “one of the most important markets” and when Apple announced its latest quarterly earnings in July, revenues from greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, were up by 28% from a year earlier, largely outperforming the company’s overall year-over-year growth rate of 6%.

Submission + - Debug Chrome, Safari apps from Firefox with new add-on (

SpzToid writes: A few months ago Mozilla released its WebIDE project to make the browser a complete environment not just for consuming Web apps but for developing and deploying them as well. At the time, though, WebIDE had a gap: Web applications generally have to run in a range of browsers, and WebIDE only worked with Firefox and Firefox OS.

With a new add-on released today, WebIDE is going cross platform. The catchily named "Firefox Developer Tool Adaptor" lets Firefox connect to Chrome (both on the desktop and on Android) and Safari (on iOS) remotely, enabling developers to use the Firefox development environment to debug apps running on those other browsers.

Specifically, Web devs will be able to use Firefox's JavaScript debugger, DOM inspector, and CSS editor with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Each browser has its own remote debugging protocol, and the add-on translates from those "foreign" protocols back to Firefox's own built-in remote debugging protocol.

Mozilla hopes that this will make developers' lives much easier, letting them stick with one set of tools while still testing and debugging across different platforms. This recognizes an important aspect of Web development. As much as Web apps are meant to be cross-platform and browser-independent, testing in different browsers and addressing the little annoyances and problems that occur in them remains a core part of the Web development experience.

The company says that future development of the add-on will be guided by developer feedback, with possible future features including wider browser support (Internet Explorer is currently not supported, for example), or richer capabilities such as JavaScript and WebGL performance profiling.

Submission + - Apple Product announcement only available to fanbois and grrls. ( 3

SpzToid writes:

Live streaming video requires Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 6.2 or later.

From the preaching-to-the-moneyed-choir-department.

Submission + - Oregon Sues Oracle for an "Abysmal" Healthcare Website 1

SpzToid writes: The state of Oregon sued Oracle America Inc. and six of its top executives Friday, accusing the software giant of fraud for failing to deliver a working website for the Affordable Care Act program.

The 126-page lawsuit claims Oracle has commmitted fraud, lies, and "a pattern of activity that has cost the State and Cover Oregon hundreds of millions of dollars".

"Not only were Oracle's claims lies, Oracle's work was abysmal", the lawsuit said. Oregon paid Oracle about $240.3 million for a system that never worked, the suit said.

“Today’s lawsuit clearly explains how egregiously Oracle has disserved Oregonians and our state agencies”, said Oregon Atty. Gen. Ellen Rosenblum in a written statement. “Over the course of our investigation, it became abundantly clear that Oracle repeatedly lied and defrauded the state. Through this legal action, we intend to make our state whole and make sure taxpayers aren’t left holding the bag.”

Oregon’s suit, alleges that Oracle, the largest tech contractor working on the website, made falsely convinced officials to buy “hundreds of millions of dollars of Oracle products and services that failed to perform as promised.” It is seeking $200 million in damages.

Oracle issued a statement saying the suit "is a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project. The complaint is a fictional account of the Oregon Healthcare Project."

Submission + - Michael Devine has a new lawyer to argue HR antitrust against, APPL, GOOG, ADOB

SpzToid writes: Following up earlier coverage here on Slashdotin the potential antitrust lawsuit between a large class of Information Technology employees, and a few of the largest, most proftibale technology companies in the world.

You may recall Michael Devine, one of the priginal plaintiffs in the case, objected to what amounted to a secret settlement behind his back, as being far too low for the class represented in the case. Mr. Devine has been successful so far in his petition to the judge to hear his motion, and now has gained the representation of Daniel Girard. Asked if he will participate in any negotiations, Girard said "we would certainly expect to be included."

Girard is no stranger to many of the attorneys in the case: he was once a partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, one of the elite plaintiff firms which reached the $324.5 million deal. Girard has a 19-lawyer firm, Girard Gibbs, and has worked alongside Lieff Cabraser in other class action cases.

Girard, who was referred the case by another lawyer, said it's "a genuine concern" to litigate against former colleagues. But at the hearing in June, he made clear that his objection to the settlement was not the often-raised concern that plaintiffs' lawyers are settling low to make a fast buck on attorneys fees.

Girard told Koh he did not believe attorneys for the tech workers had colluded with the companies or "sold out the case." Rather, Girard said the plaintiffs had simply overstated the risks of going forward given the strength of their evidence.

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