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Submission + - Germany Considers Paradigm Shift On Renewables (dw.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Germany, which has been seen as a trend-setter in the move to renewable power sources, may be turning a corner by adopting policies that slow the growth of solar and wind power in order to stabilize electricity prices and allow transmission infrastructure to catch up to the changing generation landscape.

The federal cabinet has adopted measures that would switch market policies away from the administrated pricing set up to a competitive bidding system

The new policy, mandating utilities purchase electricity with 20-year contracts that go to the lowest bids, has yet to be debated in Germany's parliament. Part of the rationalization at the cabinet level, however, is to benefit customers, while allowing utilities to build up infrastructure. German Economic and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel also said that grid operators last year had to pay “ billions of euros for wind power capacity that went unused.”

Submission + - Coal made its best case against climate change, and lost (theguardian.com)

mspohr writes: The Guardian has an interesting article about a trial in Minnesota where the coal industry trotted out its best shot at climate denial and was defeated. The article includes some interesting graphics on climate change denial (5 characteristics of climate change denial http://www.theguardian.com/env...)
-Fake experts, for example inviting William Happer, who has never published a peer-reviewed climate study, to testify that carbon pollution is lovely;
-Logical fallacies, for example claiming that past natural climate changes imply that the current change is natural;
-Impossible expectations, requiring that climate models must be perfect;
-Cherry picking, ignoring the vast body of data and research contradicting their every argument; and
-Conspiracy theories, suggesting that scientists are fudging the contradictory data.
In the end, the judge was unimpressed.
Also, in related news, World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return
Future in which global concentration of CO2 is permanently above 400 parts per million looms
http://www.theguardian.com/env...

Submission + - Intl. Day Against DRM: 16 organizations, 10+ global events

Atticus Rex writes: Today is the tenth anniversary International Day Against DRM, and we're celebrating a decade of resistance against Digital Restrictions Management. DRM is the software that comes bolted to your digital media and devices and tries to police your behavior. The major media companies are its masters, and they justify it as a necessary evil to prevent filesharing, calling it Digital Rights Management. But it does more than that, and worse than that. Giving its unaccountable owners power over our cars, medical devices, phones, computers, and more, it opens a deep crack in our digital rights and freedoms. That crack will only get wider and more dangerous as our societies continue to interweave with technology.

Join us on dayagainstdrm.org to take action and join the conversation.

Submission + - Paul McCartney Fights to Regain Publishing Rights to Beatles Catalog 2

HughPickens.com writes: The Toronto Star reports that after losing the publishing rights to the Beatles’ catalogue decades ago, Paul McCartney is poised to fire another fusillade in his battle to reclaim his music, taking advantage of a law that allows singers to reclaim publishing rights after 56 years by filing a “notice of termination” with the U.S. Copyright Office. The songs on the table include many Beatles masterworks, including “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” — and, for the record, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” a song that John Lennon openly and vocally detested. The Beatles lost their publishing rights in the 1960s when ATV, a publishing company they created with the other Beatles, their manager and outside investors, was sold without their knowledge. McCartney failed to buy ATV in a $20-million deal with Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono and Michael Jackson bought it in for $47.5 million in 1985. McCartney wasn’t happy. “Someone rang me up one day and said, ‘Michael’s bought your songs,’ ” McCartney later said. “I said, ‘What??!!’ I think it’s dodgy to do things like that . . . To be someone’s friend and then to buy the rug they’re standing on.”

McCartney’s notice of termination is an attempt to get the rug back. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 gave songwriters the ability to recapture the publishers’ share of their songs, and in the case of titles written before 1978, writers can recapture songs after two consecutive 28-year terms, or 56 years. As the world found out in 2012 when Mad Men paid $250,000 to use “Tomorrow Never Knows” at the end of one episode, Beatles songs are not “exploited” cheaply. “Whatever people think, this is not about money. It never is," says Matthew Weiner. "They are concerned about their legacy and their artistic impact.”

Submission + - San Bernardino's district attorney claims "cyber pathogen" on shooter's iPhone. (theguardian.com) 1

Mr.Intel writes: Michael Ramos claims a ‘lying dormant cyber pathogen’ on mass killer Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone still poses a threat.

The questionable claim comes from Ramos’s amicus brief in the case, filed with the US District Court on Thursday afternoon. In it, Ramos supports the FBI’s argument that Apple should be compelled to build a one-use version of its operating system to load on to the seized phone – used by the mass-murderer, but still technically property of his employer, San Bernardino county – in order to weaken the security and allow the Government to brute-force the shooter’s passcode.

Ramos gives a lot of evidence to back up his argument, but one claim in particular has been raising eyebrows. Ramos said: “The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network. The seized iPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County’s infrastructure and poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County”.

Submission + - It's Time to Kill the $100 Bill

HughPickens.com writes: The NYT has an interesting editorial on why getting rid of big bills will make it harder for criminals to do business and make it easier for law enforcement to detect illicit activity. That’s why officials in Europe and elsewhere are proposing to end the printing of high-denomination bills. According to a recent paper from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, a stack of 500-euro notes worth $1 million weighs just five pounds and can be carried in a small bag, whereas a pile of $20 bills worth $1 million would weigh 110 pounds and would be much more difficult to move around. Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary and former adviser to President Obama, has argued that the United States should get rid of the $100 bill. "The fact that in certain circles the 500 euro note is known as the “Bin Laden” confirms the arguments against it," says Sanders. "Technology is obviating whatever need there may ever have been for high denomination notes in legal commerce."

Critics who oppose such changes say the big bills make it easier for people to keep their savings in cash, especially in countries with negative interest rates. Some people also prefer not to conduct transactions electronically because they fear security breaches. According to Sanders the idea of removing existing notes is a step too far but a moratorium on printing new high denomination notes would make the world a better place. "The United States stopped distributing $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills in 1969," concludes the NYT editorial. "There are now so many ways to pay for things, and eliminating big bills should create few problems."

Submission + - The Death of Slashdot. Long Live Slashdot? 27

wjcofkc writes: I have been an almost daily active member of this community since September 1997. Most of those days I visit many times. I've seen Slashdot's ups and downs, it's triumphs and epic missteps. If you are not posting AC, I recognize you by your handle and can often recall your previous posts. I can tell when you signed up over the last eighteen years by your ID (disclaimer: I once had a three digit id but didn't post for a long time). This place has a personality, even a personhood made up of it's members and there is nothing else quite like it. Alas, nothing last forever, especially on the internet, and Slashdot already stands out as having existing for an unusually long time. When Dice purchased Slashdot I was very leery about it's future. As it turns out, while Dice added elements we did not want, they did not outright take away anything that makes this place what it is, such as the editorial staff. When a company purchases a company or part of a company they do so in order that they might use those assets to generate revenue. For whatever reason, Dice could not work this out in a meaningful enough way and so now we have new overlords. This means the new management does think they can squeeze a worthy chunk of change out of SlashdotMedia. But at what cost to us? It seems likely that the Slashdot component of SlashdotMedia has never generated any stable and meaningful revenue stream, at least not from a strictly capitalist standpoint. Correct me if I am wrong. The new management has made such very poor decisions and moves to try and make it so, that for the first time I really truly believe we are seeing the end of Slashdot. On day one of the acquisition, the entire editorial staff except for Timothy was let go. Now, whether he quit or was fired, he is gone too. Now today, we have seen a paid post converted into a regular story. A paid post by itself doesn't generate much without clicks, and no one here is clicking on paid posts, so the solution seems to be to make paid posts look like real stories to generate clicks. This is disastrous. I can see paid posts under the veil of real stories coming to dominate this site. When all else fails, this place will be shut down without warning. One day, likely soon, you will wake up, head to Slashdot, and it won't be here. If there is anything under the domain, it will still not be Slashdot. So is it possible to survive this as a community and build something new that serves as the old? I don't have an answer, only that question. If nothing can be done to preserve and continue what we have here, we may as well say our goodbyes while we still can.

Submission + - The pill that could stop millions getting dementia (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Clumps of amyloid beta clog and poison the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Scientists have found drugs that stops the harmful clumps from forming. Mice bred to have Alzheimer's never developed it when given the drug. Researchers are optimistic in future 'neurostatins' could be given to all

Submission + - Photo bomb: CVS, Costco admit customer data stolen from printing firm (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The pharmacy giant CVS and discount wholesaler Costco acknowledged that a security incident at a third party firm that provides photoprinting services resulted in the exposure of customer data including credit card information, account credentials and e-mail addresses.

Customers of the two stores were advised to change their passwords and to beware of scams in the wake of the incident, which stems from the hack of the Canadian firm PNI Digital Media in July. Questions remain about the extent of the breach and its impact on other, large retailers that used PNI including Sam’s Club and Rite-Aid.

In a message on its web site dated Sept. 11, CVS admitted that a reported breach at PNI Digital Media “potentially resulted in the unauthorized acquisition of data entered by certain customers on CVSPhoto.com.” (http://www.cvsphoto.com/) Data exposed included customers’ first and last name, phone number, email address and user name and password. In an email dated September 7, Costco separately acknowledged to its customers that some users of its online photo store may have had credit card information stolen directly from the site during their shopping session if they used the site between June 19 and July 15th, 2015.

The conclusion that customers lost data in the breach is the first indication that the incident involved the theft of personal financial information. It follows a forensic investigation of the incident, which was first reported in July. The incident resulted in the suspension of activity on CVSPhoto.com, Costcophotocenter.com and other sites for more than a month as an investigation ensued.

Official response to the breach have varied in the weeks since it became public. In an e-mail dated September 7, Costco said that its online photo site, Costcophotocenter.com, was back online. That, despite the fact that “some Costco members who typed credit card numbers onto the site during the compromise window had credit card information (including security code and expiration date) taken.” The customer’s name, phone number, billing address, email address, password and ship-to information may have also been exposed but “stored credit card numbers or photos” were not believed to be compromised, Costco said. Despite brining some photo store features back online, Costco said that full access to customer photos will not be available immediately, with photos from 2013 or earlier inaccessible “for another few weeks” – a suggestion that the relaunch of PNI’s service is not yet complete.

Responses have varied. Riteaid.com's photo web site remains down and the site does not reflect the most recent findings of the forensic investigation. (https://shop.riteaid.com/info/photo-info). Sam’s Club has restored their online photo store and described a fairly low level compromise to its customers in which no data or photos were compromised in the incident at PNI. Sam’s Club even suggested that updating the password they used at PNI was “optional,” suggesting the impact of the breach was felt unevenly across PNI’s customer base.

Submission + - Unearthed E.T. Atari Game Cartridges Score $108K At Auctions (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: Hundreds of Atari 2600 cartridges of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial that were excavated last year from a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico collectively raked in nearly $108,000 through eBay auctions. Some $65,000 of that will go to the city of Alamogordo, while the Tularosa Basin Historical Society will receive over $16,000. Over $26,600 went to shipping fees and other expenses. A team of excavators led by operational consultant Joe Lewandowski unearthed the E.T. cartridges in front of a film crew. The high profile (among gaming historians) dig was the basis a documentary called Atari: Game Over, which is available for free through the Microsoft Store.

Submission + - Australians forced to pay as latest encryption virus is 'unbreakable' (abc.net.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Australians are paying thousands of dollars to overseas hackers to rid their computers of an unbreakable virus ..

The deputy chairwoman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Delia Rickard, said over the past two months there had been a spike in the number of people falling victim to the scam.

The commission has received 2,500 complaints this year and estimates about $400,000 has been paid to the hackers.

Submission + - Why Pilots May Not See Your Drone (roboticstrends.com) 3

stowie writes: Hundreds or even thousands of feet away from a cloud, a commercial pilot will not be looking outside. And the pilot will definitely not be looking outside while in the clouds, and will likely remain staring at the control panel once out of clouds. In certain conditions, commercial pilots fly solely by instrument. They are actually prohibited from looking out the window to see anything and they must fly the airplane exclusively using those gauges. They must take off and fly almost the entire flight without looking out the window. In some cases, the pilots can’t look outside until they are only 200 feet above the ground, meaning it could be too late when the pilot sees a drone.

Submission + - Hackers Trick Email Systems Into Wiring Them Large Sums (wsj.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Cybercriminals are exploiting publicly available information and weaknesses in corporate email systems to trick small businesses into transferring large sums of money into fraudulent bank accounts, in schemes known as "corporate account takeover" or "business email fraud."

Companies across the globe lost more than $1 billion from October 2013 through June 2015 as a result of such schemes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The estimates include complaints from businesses in 64 countries, though most come from U.S. firms. Both "organized crime groups from overseas and domestic-based actors" are typical perpetrators, said Patrick Fallon, a section chief in the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division.

Submission + - Digg cofounder Jay Adelson on Reddit's meltdown (fastcompany.com) 1

harrymcc writes: As Reddit has experienced a revolt of its community in recent weeks, many pundits have referenced Digg--the once-mighty social news site which predated Reddit and suffered its own member rebellion. But Digg's cofounder and former CEO, Jay Adelson, told Fast Company's Jared Newman that the two situations aren't as similar as they may appear.

Submission + - China's Unsettling Stock Market Collapse (theatlantic.com)

schwit1 writes: The Shanghai index is firmly in bear market territory, down 28.6% since the June peak, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite has fallen 33.2%.

There were also signs on Friday that the stock market turmoil is beginning to reverberate beyond China. The Australian dollar, often traded as a proxy for China growth, is down 1.2% to a six-year low of US$0.7539. The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese daily newspaper, on Friday quoted multiple futures traders as saying they had received phone calls from the China Financial Futures Exchange instructing them not to short the market.

China's financial titans are attempting to set up a "market stabilization fund." This doesn't sound good.

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