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Submission + - Every Month This Year Has Been the Hottest in Recorded History (vice.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article:

On Wednesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet, since modern record-keeping began in 1880. NASA has reached the same conclusion. July smashed all previous records.

“We should be absolutely concerned,” Sanchez-Lugo said. “We need to look at ways to adapt and mitigate. If we don’t, temperatures will continue to increase.”

Next year is expected to be slightly less intense, with the fierce El Niño we’ve been experiencing now abating. But the truth is that record-breaking temperatures, month after month, year after year, are starting to look less like an exception, more like the norm.

Submission + - Windows 10 Anniversary Update Is Infested With Bugs (cio.com)

itwbennett writes: As previously reported on Slashdot, in Tuesday's updates, Microsoft disabled RC4 in its Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, after deeming the cipher 'no longer cryptographically secure.' The company also fixed 'a serious security flaw in the Windows PDF Library.' But these aren't the only bugs being reported in the Windows 20 Anniversary Update. CIO.com's Bill Snyder reports that 'there are widespread reports of significant bugs in the update, and they're causing systems to freeze, browsers to misbehave, and peripherals — including Xbox One controllers — to malfunction. Two major antivirus companies also warn that incompatibilities with Windows 10 could open up users to security risks.'

Submission + - If Apple's Irish tax loophole is a fraud, the whole tech industry is guilty (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: Apple’s profits in Ireland are “a fraud,” according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. And it's thanks to the U.S. tax system.

To single out Apple for working the tax system, though, is wrong, writes Steven Max Patterson in a blog post. Many tech companies follow the same practices, and they've been doing so for years.

Tech companies also use research expenses to reduce taxes in the U.S. Again, it's all legal.

This isn’t a Panama Papers exposé of illegal activity. It’s all legal—supported by legislation, tax code and court case precedent. Every CEO would defend the use of this tax scheme, not just Apple CEO Tim Cook.


Submission + - Mitsubishi Motors pulls a Volkswagen; Shares Drop (reuters.com)

Zane C. writes: The president of Japan's sixth largest auto corporation has admitted to manipulating test data on fuel economy for 625,000 total eK Wagon and eK Space models, as well as the Dayz and Dayz Roox models produced for Nissan Motors. The offending models have been taken off the market until the problem is fixed, and foreign markets are being investigated for similar violations. Upon the announcement of the manipulations, Mitsubishi's stock dropped 15% and it lost 1.2 billion dollars in market value.

Submission + - The real price of Windows 10 is your privacy (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Windows 10 is a free upgrade, right? Well, surely you know by now that there's no such thing as a free lunch. We're only 48 hours on from the launch of Windows 10 and already the complaining and criticism is underway. One thing that has been brought under the spotlight is privacy under the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.

Some people have been surprised to learn that Microsoft is utilizing the internet connections of Windows 10 users to deliver Windows Updates to others. But this is far from being the end of it. Cortana also gives cause for concern, and then there is the issue of Microsoft Edge, and ads in apps. Is this a price you're willing to pay?

Windows 10 is more closely tied to a Microsoft account than any previous version of the OS. This allows Microsoft to assign an ID number to users that can then be used to track them across different devices, services, and apps. This in turn can be used to deliver closely targeted ads to people. Microsoft has been pushing the mobile first, cloud first philosophy for some time now, and it becomes clear with Windows 10 that the love of the cloud is as much to do with the ability it gives Microsoft to gather useful data as it is about convenience for users.

Submission + - Will Autonomous Cars Be the Insurance Industry's Napster Moment? (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Most of us are looking forward to the advent of autonomous vehicles. Not only will they free up a lot of time to previously spent staring straight ahead at the bumper of the car in front of you, they'll also presumably make commuting a lot safer. While that's great news for the 30,000+ people who die in traffic accidents every year in the U.S., it may not be great news for insurance companies. Granted, they'll have to pay out a lot less money with the lower number of claims, but premiums will necessarily drop as well and the overall amount of money within the car insurance system will dwindle. Analysts are warning these companies that their business is going to shrink. It will be interesting to see if they adapt to the change, or cling desperately to an outdated business model like the entertainment industry did. "One opportunity for the industry could be selling more coverage to carmakers and other companies developing the automated features for cars. ... When the technology fails, manufacturers could get stuck with big liabilities that they will want to cover by buying more insurance. There’s also a potential for cars to get hacked as they become more networked."

Submission + - Flash on Slashdot

An anonymous reader writes: Why the hell in this day and age is Slashdot pushing flash video? Are you still run by awesome geeks, or have brain-dead zombie suits taken over the operation?

Submission + - Amazon Germany pays 0.1% tax rate in 2014, funnels sales through low-tax haven (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: E-retail giant Amazon.com’s German branch paid just 11.9 million euros (approx. $16 million) in tax last year, equivalent to a 0.1% tax rate considering the company reported $11.9 billion in gross sales in Germany in 2014. German corporate income tax stood at 29.58% last year which would mean Amazon Germany would have been expected to pay $3.5 billion in tax in 2014. Amazon.de is the group’s largest and most successful market outside of the U.S., according to its annual sales records. However following investigation it has been revealed that almost all of the company’s German sales and profits were reported from businesses in Luxembourg, a low-tax haven. Amazon said last week that it had implemented a number of changes across Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy from May 1st, in order to ensure that future sales would be managed in the countries themselves.

Submission + - Why the nuclear industry targets renewables instead of gas (midwestenergynews.com) 3

mdsolar writes: Cheap natural gas has upended the nation’s energy landscape and made aging nuclear power plants increasingly uncompetitive.

Yet the nuclear industry, which generates almost a fifth of the nation’s energy, has declared war not on gas but on wind and solar, which represent about 4 and 0.2 percent of our energy mix, respectively.

Nuclear generators have successfully fought against renewable and energy efficiency standards on the state level, and lobbied against tax incentives for wind and solar on the federal level. They’re in the process of securing changes in regional capacity markets that would benefit nuclear and harm solar and wind.

And as states develop their Clean Power Plans to fulfill the federal mandate to reduce carbon emissions, nuclear is often pitted against renewables.

In deregulated states like Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, nuclear generators have found it increasingly difficult to sell their power at a profit on open markets, because of competition primarily from gas but also from wind.

Meanwhile, energy efficiency and distributed solar generation have reduced demand for electricity and are part of a fundamental shift which could significantly shrink the role of large, centralized power plants.

Submission + - Interest Rates Have Gone Negative in Europe

HughPickens.com writes: Matthew Yglesias writes at Vox that something really weird that economists thought was impossible is happening now in Europe where interest rates have gone negative on a range of debt — mostly government bonds from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany but also corporate bonds from Nestlé and, briefly, Shell. As in you give the owner of a Nestlé bond 100 euros, and four years later Nestlé gives you back less than that. "In the most literal sense, negative interest rates are a simple case of supply and demand. A bond is a kind of tradable loan," says Yglesias. "If there isn't much demand for buying the bonds, the interest rate has to go up to make customers more willing to buy. If there's a lot of demand, the interest rate will fall."

But why would you want to buy a negative interest rate loan? The question itself seems absurd – the very idea that anyone should have to pay someone to keep their money safe rather than demand an interest payment for the use of their money is counter-intuitive. But according to Yglesias, very rich people and big companies need to do something with their money and most European banks only guarantee 100,000 euros.Plowing the money into negative-yielding government bonds can appeal to banks when the alternative is to pay even more to store cash on deposit. J.P. Morgan calculates there is currently 220 billion euros of bank reserves subject to negative interest rates, which looks set to grow exponentially because of the European Central Bank’s forthcoming colossal bond-buying program. "It may be the case that if governments push the negative interest rates thing too far the entire economy would become a cash based system," says Merryn Somerset Webb. "But that might take a while to get to."

Submission + - Linking drought and climate change: difficult to do (fivethirtyeight.com)

Geoffrey.landis writes: An article about the current California drought on 538 points out that even though global climate warming may exacerbate droughts, it's nearly impossible to attribute any particular drought to climate warming: The complex, dynamic nature of our atmosphere and oceans makes it extremely difficult to link any particular weather event to climate change. That’s because of the intermingling of natural variations with human-caused ones. http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea... They also cite a Nature editorial pointing out the same thing about extreme weather: http://www.nature.com/news/ext...
Science

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Explaining to my girlfriend that humans didn't ride dinosaurs (dinosaurc14ages.com) 4

p00kiethebear writes: "Dear Slashdot. Remember when you learned that Santa Clause wasn't real? I have a wonderful and beautiful girlfriend. She treats me so right in every way. We've been together for almost a year now and everything seemed to be going perfectly until this morning. Over breakfast we were discussing dinosaurs and she told me a story about how her grandfather, fifty years ago, dated footprints of a dinosaurs and a man that were right next to each other to be within the same epoch of history. I laughed when she said this and then realized that she wasn't joking. She seriously believes this. She believes dinosaurs and humans walked at the same time together. Her grandfather told her this when she was little so regular logic and wiki isn't going to be able to contest her childhood dreams that she has been raised to believe. The odd thing is that she's not religious, it's just what her archeologist grandfather taught her. More important than just backing up evidence to the contrary, how do I explain this to her without crushing her childhood dreams? Is it even worth discussing it further with her? Have you ever had a loved one or family member that believed something that made you uncomfortable?"
HP

Submission + - Backdoor Found in HP LaserJet Pro Series Printers (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: US-CERT has warned users about a backdoor present in HP LaserJet printers that would allow remote attackers to gain unauthorized access to data. A total of 10 models of HP’s LaserJet Pro series of printers are affected by this vulnerability. The printers can be accessed through a telnet session without requiring a password thereby giving remote attackers access to unencrypted data. According to the advisory, users who own the affected printers should update the printer’s firmware to patch the vulnerability.
IBM

IBM Stops Disclosing US Headcount Data 377

theodp writes "ComputerWorld reports that IBM has stopped providing breakouts on US employees, closing a door to data that provided insights into the bellwether company's employment shift. In its latest Annual Report, Big Blue only provides its global headcount, and an IBM spokesman confirmed that disclosure of US headcount is a thing of the past. The Rochester Institute of Technology's Ron Hira called the US workforce data critical for policymakers trying to understand the dynamics of offshoring. 'By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America — through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policy makers,' Hira said. Ironically, CEO Sam Palmisano's Letter to Shareholders, which accompanied the Annual Report, touts how IBM's Analytics and 'Smarter Planet' efforts are empowering US government decision-makers. Nondisclosure domestically and abroad seems to be the new rule of thumb for Big Tech, sparking calls for government intervention." IBM laid off about 10,000 US workers last year, and 2,900 so far this year, according to the Alliance@IBM, a labor union.

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