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Submission + - FSF responds to Microsoft's privacy and encryption announcement (fsf.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft announced yesterday their plans to encrypt customer data to prevent government snooping. Free Software Foundation executive directory John Sullivan asks the logic of trusting nonfree software and adds "Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft's privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure."

Submission + - Arizona Republicans Propose Bill That Would Not Allow Atheists Graduate (patheos.com)

An anonymous reader writes: the republicans in AZ are trying to force kids to swear an oath to get a diploma.

A quote from the proposed bill Arizona House Bill 2467
"Beginning in the 20132014 school year, In addition to fulfilling the course of study and assessment requirements prescribed in this chapter, before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:

I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God. "

Submission + - Modular robots that self-assemble, coordinate and take flight (robohub.org)

Sabine Hauert writes: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” — a catch phrase that aptly expresses the Distributed Flight Array: a modular robot consisting of hexagonal-shaped single-rotor units that can take on just about any shape or form. Although each unit is capable of generating enough thrust to lift itself off the ground, on its own it is incapable of flight much like a helicopter cannot fly without its tail rotor. However, when joined together, these units evolve into a sophisticated multi-rotor system capable of coordinated flight and much more.
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 as 'Puzzling, Confusing' (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has called Windows 8 'puzzling' and 'confusing initially,' but assured users that they would eventually learn to like the new OS. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. In a post to his personal blog on Tuesday — strangely titled in the third person as, 'Paul's take on Windows 8,' Allen said he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview — the public sneak peak Microsoft shipped May 31 — on both a traditional desktop as well as on a Samsung 700T tablet, designed for Windows 7. 'I did encounter some puzzling aspects of Windows 8,' Allen wrote, and said the dual, and dueling user interfaces (UIs), were confusing. 'The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application — such as Internet Explorer — can be opened and run simultaneously,' Allen said."
Facebook

Submission + - Why are we so rude online? (wsj.com)

kodiaktau writes: An article reported by the WSJ discusses why online media users are more rude online than they are in person. The story discusses some of the possible reasons being lowered inhibitions because there is formal social interaction. Other theories include feeling like reporting on a phone or other device is simply communicating with a "toy" which dehumanizes the conversation. Submitter's note: A dehumanized conversation has never happened on Slashdot in the last 15 years.
DRM

Submission + - Ubisoft Blames Piracy for Non-Release of PC Game (torrentfreak.com) 2

Azmodan writes: Ubisoft is known for laying the blame for many problems on the unauthorized downloading of its games. Stanislas Mettra, creative director of the upcoming game ‘I Am Alive,’ confirms this once again by saying that the decision not to release a PC version is a direct result of widespread game piracy. However, those who look beyond the propaganda will see that there appears to be more to the story than that.
Google

Submission + - Google, H.264 and WebM - the mud clears (sort of)

rudy_wayne writes: When it was announced that H.264 was being dropped from Google's Chrome browser I thought it was really weird since Google converted all of YouTube's videos to H.264 just 3 years ago. Now, Charles Arthur, writing for The Guardian says the decision to drop H.264 was made entirely by the Chrome team and did not come from Google's top management. A related article at ZDNet sums it up as "Google is not giving up H.264 on YouTube, H.264 will continue to be supported in Android, and it has nothing to do with YouTube storage issues, H.264 license pricing or Google's desire to be totally open source — it's about Chrome wanting to be disruptive.

Submission + - Apple pulls VLC media player from AppStore (videolan.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has removed VLC media player from the AppStore, putting an end to the controversy on the license (in)compatibilities. Indeed, the iTunes page for VLC media player stopped working: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vlc-media-player/id390885556?mt=8
VLC developers Rémi Denis-Courmont notes that he is "not going to pity the owners of iDevices, and not even the MobileVLC developers who doubtless wasted a lot of their time. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone."

Submission + - E-voting machine votes 100% wrong (newbernsj.com)

steveha writes: The New Bern, NC Sun Journal newspaper reports that some local voters have seen the e-voting machine record the exact opposite of the voter's request. There is a button to vote a straight Republican ticket, and when pushed, it voted a straight Democrat ticket. A local voter observed this behavior four times in a row; the fifth time, the button worked correctly. If ATMs were this unreliable, no bank would use them. Why is this level of failure acceptable in voting machines?
The Courts

Submission + - WikiLeaks founder 'free to leave Sweden'

An anonymous reader writes: AFP reports that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is free to leave Sweden, after prosecutors said there was no arrest warrant against him for an alleged case of rape. Assange said the charges against him were part of "a clear set-up," and that he had "two reliable intelligence sources that state that Swedish intelligence was approached last month by the United States and told that Sweden must not be a safe haven for WikiLeaks." The news comes just one day before the Swedish national election.
Linux

Submission + - Adobe releases new 64-bit Flash plugin for Linux (adobe.com) 1

TheDarkener writes: Adobe seems to have made an about face regarding their support for native 64-bit Linux support for Flash today, and released a new preview Flash plugin named "Square". This includes a native 64-bit version for Linux, which I have verified works on my Debian Lenny LTSP server by simply copying libflashplayer.so to /usr/lib/iceweasel/plugins — with sound (which I was never able to figure out with running the 32-bit version with nspluginwrapper and pulseaudio).
Censorship

Submission + - UK gov't pressured Facebook to remove page (wikinews.org)

Thinboy00 writes: "The UK government pressured Facebook to remove a page; Facebook said no. The page contained what Prime Minister David Cameron described as "a whole host of anti-police statements", and as we all know, the UK government can't stand any opposition to the police. The page was a tribute to British killer Raoul Moat. Facebook responded "Facebook is a place where people can express their views and discuss things in an open way as they can and do in many other places, and as such we sometimes find people discussing topics others may find distasteful, however that is not a reason in itself to stop a debate from happening.""

Submission + - Bluetooth 4.0 Core Specification Adopted

Goyuix writes: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced the formal adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0, with the hallmark feature, low energy technology. Bluetooth low energy technology opens entirely new markets for devices requiring low cost and low power wireless connectivity. Features include Ultra-low peak, average and idle mode power consumption, ability to run for years on standard coin-cell batteries and enhanced range. The last update to the spec, 3.0, happened less than a year ago in December 2009 which primarily added a high-speed mode among other enhacements.

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