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Submission + - More Than Half of Americans Think Apple Should Comply with FBI, Finds Pew Survey (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple may not have the public's support in its legal fight with the FBI, according to a recently published Pew report. In a survey that reached 1,000 respondents by phone over the weekend, Pew researchers found 51 percent of respondents believed Apple should comply with FBI demands to weaken security measures on an iPhone used in the San Bernardino attacks, in order to further the ongoing investigation. Only 38 percent of respondents agreed with the company's position.

Limiting the sample to respondents who own a smartphone only improved the numbers somewhat, changing them to a 50-41 split in the FBI's favor. Among those who own an iPhone, the numbers are even closer, but still in the FBI's favor 47 to 43 percent.

Submission + - What's wrong with the Manhattan Project National Park? (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: Dawn Stover describes the radioactive dirt behind the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, from its inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act (the park legislation wouldn't pass otherwise) and lack of funding for national parks in general to the lack of funding for cleanup at Superfund nuclear sites like Hanford. And then there is how the Parks Service is presenting exhibits: at least some of them are described in the past tense, as if nuclear weapons were a thing of the past. Here's the description of the MInuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota: 'Nuclear war loomed as an apocalyptic shadow that could possibly have brought human history to an end.' Can the National Park Service be ignorant of the fact that missiles remain on station, nuclear weapons are still being stockpiled, and saber rattling did not end with the fall of the Berlin Wall?' Sobering read on commemorating our nuclear history.

Submission + - 23AndMe Ordered To Stop Selling DNA tests. (go.com)

Virtucon writes: The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Google-backed genetic test maker 23andMe to halt sales of its personalized DNA test kits, saying the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science. It seems that 23andMe has been slow in responding to the FDA with regards to the testing and methods used in the Personal Genome Service (PGS) as the main reason for the order. The issues were outlined in the order the FDA sent on 11/22.

Submission + - GOCE satellite is falling to Earth but Scientists don't know where. (foxnews.com)

Virtucon writes: The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer or GOCE Satellite is expected to fall to Earth this weekend. It weighs over a ton and unfortunately the Scientists don't exactly know where it will land. You can track it here. It should re-enter sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Makr Hopkins, chair of the National Society's Executive Committee said: "The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. Consequently, it could land almost anywhere,"

The GOCE mission was to create an accurate gravity map of the Earth.

Submission + - Germany Finances Major Push Into Home Battery Storage for Solar (greentechmedia.com)

mdsolar writes: "The German government has responded to the next big challenge in its energy transition – storing the output from the solar boom it has created – by doing exactly what it has successfully done to date: greasing the wheels of finance to bring down the cost of new technology.

Over the past five years, Germany has been largely responsible for priming an 80 per cent fall in the price of solar modules. Now it is looking at bringing down the cost of the next piece in the puzzle of its energy transition – battery storage....

Storage means that the energy output can be held in reserve. The idea is to even out the peaks and troughs which is making it difficult for other generators to stay in business. This is seen as critical as the level of renewable penetration rises to around 40 per cent – a level expected in Germany within the next 10 years."

Submission + - Microsoft Merges Windows Phone And Windows Store Developer Accounts

rjmarvin writes: There is now a unified registration procedure http://sdt.bz/65333 for Windows Store and Windows Phone developers. Developers of each can use the same account, while managing apps with separate Dev Center dashboards, to submit apps to each store. Windows App Store General Manager Todd Brix announced the merger in a blog post http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/11/06/unifying-developer-registration-windows-and-windows-phone.aspx yesterday, revealing that new developers need only pay a one-time fee of $19 for registration to both app stores, or $99 for a company account.

Submission + - NASA spending bill presents Ted Cruz with a conundrum (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, chairman of the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee, unveiled his version of the 2013 NASA Authorization bill on July 17, 2013. It has a funding level of just over $18 billion, which matches what the Senate appropriators are advancing, and confirms the Obama administration’s desire to snag an asteroid and visit it with astronauts in the next decade. The draft bill also presents the ranking member of the subcommittee, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas with something of a conundrum.

On the one hand Cruz, as a tea party conservative, believes in small government and frugal spending. The senate version of the NASA bill is roughly $1.5 billion more than the House version, crafted by Cruz’s fellow Republicans. Based on Cruz’s spending hawk stance, he should oppose the subcommittee bill.

On the other hand, Cruz is a senator from Texas, a state where space has always been important due to the presence of NASA’s Johnson Spaceflight Center and increasingly because of the operations of commercial space firms such as SpaceX and Blue Origins in the Lone Star State. Cruz has also expressed support for NASA and commercial space. Based on that, Cruz should be inclined to support the senate funding level for NASA.

Submission + - Huawei Spies for China, Former CIA Chief Says (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Former CIA head Michael Hayden said it "goes without saying" that Chinese telecoms giant Huawei spies for China. Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, he claimed China was engaged in unrestricted espionage against the West and believes Western intelligence networks have hard evidence that Huawei had spied on behalf of the Chinese state.

"And, at a minimum, Huawei would have shared with the Chinese state intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with. I think that goes without saying." When asked whether Huawei represented an unambiguous national security threat to the US and Australia, Hayden replied: "Yes, I believe it does".

Huawei denies it has any direct links to the Chinese state, but the US Congress last year called for its exclusion from US government contracts and it was also barred from bidding for contracts to build Australia's national broadband network.

Submission + - All Your Base Are Belong To Us: Why Microsoft's One Million Servers Might Matter (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: According to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft is now one of just a handful of companies with a seven-digit server deployment. Speaking at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference, Ballmer claimed that Microsoft had entered rare territory and used the number as an example of how few companies really understood how to run a cloud business. Server deployments are one way to compare the largest providers and much ink has been spilled speculating on who has the largest number of deployments. Google has been previously estimated at around 900,000, but Microsoft claims Google is "a bit bigger than us." Facebook has copped to "hundreds of thousands" of servers, Akamai fields 127,000, and Rackspace has just under 100,000 servers. Ballmer is spinning the million servers as a sign of how mature and sophisticated Microsoft's cloud offerings are, but a raw number of servers seems like a terrible way to measure the strength of a company's sophistication. A million servers could mean anything from tiny power-efficient blade servers to giant big-iron deployments. It might mean just 250,000 physical servers with four virtualized servers each, or a full million physical servers with five million virtualized environments. It is, unquestionably, a heck of a lot of servers, but what does it mean? In and of itself, not much. It would be interesting to know how many of those servers are new. Microsoft aggressively talked up its new servers as part of the original Xbone launch, but, post-reversal, hasn't said anything about whether or not the Xbox Live servers it planned to deploy are still needed. The question is: how many of these servers are gathering dust somewhere or alternately, running data-gathering for the NSA?

Submission + - ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA's Patriot Act Phone Surveillance (aclu.org)

stevegee58 writes: File under "Good Luck With That" but still it's good to know someone's rattling the cage of our increasingly intrusive government.

From the ACLU's press release:
"In the wake of the past week's revelations about the NSA's unprecedented mass surveillance of phone calls, today the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that the program violates Americans' constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy."

Security

Submission + - MIT crypto experts win 2012 Turing Award ("Nobel Prize in Computing") (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: A pair of MIT professors and security researchers whose work paved the way for modern cryptography have been named winners of the 2012 A.M. Turing Award, also known as the “Nobel Prize in Computing.” Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Silvio Micali, the MIT Ford Professor of Engineering, are recipients of the award, which will be formerly presented by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) http://amturing.acm.org/byyear.cfm on June 15 in San Francisco. According to the ACM: “By formalizing the concept that cryptographic security had to be computational rather than absolute, they created mathematical structures that turned cryptography from an art into a science." Goldwasser and Micali will split a $250K prize.
Crime

Submission + - MIT: Keep Your Swartz Questions to Yourselves 2

theodp writes: The good news is that MIT plans to release a report in a few weeks on its involvement in the events leading up to Aaron Swartz's suicide. The bad news is that the university won't be accepting any questions or comments on the matter from anyone outside of MIT. 'There have been dozens of questions about these events in the press and on the Net over the past week,' acknowledged MIT's Hal Abelson. 'But the most important questions are the ones that will come from the MIT community, because we are the ones who will be held to account.' Having charged Abelson with the review, which Abelson said he expects will show 'that every person acted in accordance with MIT policy', MIT President Rafael Reif was apparently off to Switzerland, where he's slated to appear on a Davos panel with Bill Gates, who coincidentally once snuck into buildings on the Univ. of Washington campus to grab some free computer time. Reif and his fellow 'RevolutiOnline.edu — Online Education Changing the World' panelists will be discussing strategies 'to give millions of people access to high level education and the chance to a better life.' Hey, didn't Aaron Swartz have some ideas on that?
Encryption

Submission + - 65% of Sensitive Data Controlled by IT Dept (nwlinux.com)

nwlinux writes: "In a recent Venafi survey of 500 IT professionals, respondents acknowledged that the Information Technology (I.T.) Department has the easiest access to the company’s sensitive data, 30% believe the CEO has easiest access, while management falls in at 8 percent, the HR department at 7 percent and legal at 5 percent. The survey also revealed that 23% of company's do not invest in encryption technologies for fear of losing control over their data."
Android

Submission + - HTC bloat is bad news for consumers and developers (brainachegames.com)

Andy Smith writes: "Smartphone manufacturer HTC has largely ignored a memory fault with its flagship Desire handset that causes the phone to slow to a crawl and app installs to fail. The closest they've come to admitting the problem was a statement saying that the phone could never support Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) so it was a surprise when the company announced yesterday that a Gingerbread update was on the way. The Desire is one of the main gaming handsets so as an Android developer I find this quite alarming: "HTC's decision to bring Android 2.3 to the Desire is a superficial gesture, intended to appease customer concerns that the once-flagship handset has been abandon after little more than a year. We anticipate that Desire owners will find their devices further encumbered by the Gingerbread upgrade, while the persistent low-memory issue remains unaddressed." (Disclosure: I am the developer of Seq, the game referred to in the linked article.)"

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