"Combine these exciting finds with the introduction of XKS Skilz points, and you can see why McDonald's teamed up with Monopoly years ago: people buy more and even super size their orders just to get game pieces. With the brainchild of Skilz, where analysts can earn points and unlock achievements for performing tasks in XKS, people are willing to try new things within the tool. Analysts think to themselves, "Using the Pivot Data feature will earn 30 points... I'm going to try it and see what happens." Discovery! Points! We have been lured by our geeky desire to unlock achievements and earn points, and bragging rights are everything."
Xenographic writes: Anyone who needs to bypass the Wikipedia blackout to get information can use the bookmarklet found here to bypass the blocks. But just remember, if laws like SOPA or PIPA pass, the government will be setting up walls just like that everywhere that won't just vanish after 24 hours, so please let your representatives know that these laws are unacceptable.
Xenographic writes: There's so much panic over Japan's nuclear power plant malfunctions that a lot of misinformation has started showing up in the media from people who don't know anything about BWR safety systems or even what a Sievert is. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has been issuing detailed reports concerning the status of each of the reactors and the operations they're performing on each. Fukushima Daiichi has all six units shut down and everyone within 10km has been asked to evacuate. That's the same plant where the explosion took place, which experts believe to have been caused by built-up hydrogen. Also, before the explosion near unit 1, one worker, who was working on that same unit was accidentally exposed to 106.3mSv of radiation and hospitalized. Fukushima Daini currently has all four units shut down and everyone within 3km of it has been evacuated, while those within 10km are on standby. Kashiwazaki Kariwa is still up, with four of its seven units active and the other three undergoing regular inspections. Several other non-nuclear plants and power substations have been shut down as well. This leaves about 600k people in the area without power.
Xenographic writes: Over on NPR, there's a story about someone whose personal iPhone got remotely wiped by their employer. It was actually a mistake, but it was something of a surprise because they didn't believe they had given their employer any kind of access to do that. This may already be very familiar to Microsoft Exchange admins, but the problem was her iPhone's integration with MS Exchange automatically gives the server admin access to do remote wipes. All you have to do is configure the phone to receive email from an MS Exchange server and the server admin can wipe your phone at will. The phone isn't bricked, even though absolutely all of its data was wiped, because the data could be restored from backup, assuming that someone remembered to make one. But this also works on other devices like Blackberries, iPads and other smartphones that integrate with MS Exchange, so if you read your work email on your personal phone or tablet, you might want to make sure that you keep backups, just in case.
Xenographic writes: PJ has put up her analysis of the Novell acquisition and she refuses to mince words, saying that 'selling any patents to Microsoft is like selling your baby to a pedophile'. Less hyperbolically, she has found that some language in Novell's 8k, 'indicates to me that the consortium sees some relationship between the value of the patent sale and the merger with Attachmate.' Fortunately, 'Novell has released Linux under [the GPL] for some time, and so it provides Linux the only patent protection that Novell couldn't sell.'
Editors: Please fix that headline. There wasn't enough space.
Xenographic writes: "SCO's recently-filed 10-Q statement, in which they are legally obligated to be more realistic about their future prospects, has some interesting phrases in it. Perhaps the juiciest bit is, 'If an alternative reorganization could not be agreed upon, it is possible that our bankruptcy case could be converted to a liquidation under Chapter 7 and we would have to liquidate our assets, in which case it is likely that holders of claims would receive substantially less favorable treatment than they would receive if we were to emerge as a viable, reorganized entity; and stockholders would likely receive nothing from the liquidation.' That said, buried deep in their recent legal filings is that the lawyers are billing for time spent 'regarding stalking horse request for 5% break up fee and other issues pertaining to motion to sell', so they may actually have had someone who wants to buy SCO. Then again, other legal filings tend to indicate that they're still working on other crazy plans, like trying to sell the 'litigation upside' as a product, so who knows? Perhaps they'll throw in a free bridge or some lottery tickets to make it more valuable."
Xenographic writes: "As expected, SCO is appealing the Novell judgment because they believe that the judge was too 'hasty' in ruling against them. The SCO v. Novell case will be four years old next January 20th. While it is not likely to succeed, it will drag the case a while longer. Appeals usually take less time than the original case because there's no discovery phase and the appeals court only has to examine the work of the trial court. If time and money allow, we should probably expect them to appeal to the Supreme Court, as well as the subsequent denial of their petition for a writ of certiorari, which would bring a permanent end to the SCO v. Novell litigation. In an unrelated note, SCO is hiring. I love how one of the job requirements is 'reasoning ability', which requires that, 'The candidate must be able to think clearly and concisely.' Who knows how much trouble might have been avoided if they were more stringent in that requirement for previous hires."
Xenographic writes: "SCO has finally lost to Novell, now that Judge Kimball has entered final judgment against SCO. Of course, this is SCO we're talking about. There's still the litigation in bankruptcy court, which allowed this case to resume so that they could figure out just how much SCO owes, which is $3,506,526, if I calculated the interest properly, $625,486.90 of which will go into a constructive trust. And then there's the possibility that SCO could seek to have the judgment overturned in the appeals courts, or even the Supreme Court when that fails. Of course, they need money to do that and they don't really have much of that any more. Remember how Enderle, O'Gara and company told us that SCO was sure to win? I wonder how many people have emailed them to say, 'I told you so.'"
Xenographic writes: "IBM has dropped their controversial outsourcing patent, both withdrawing the application and placing it into the public domain. Apparently, it was filed eight months before they implemented more stringent reviews of their patent applications so as to avoid filing for obvious patents, especially business method patents. The notice also says that they would like to thank the community (presumably Slashdot) for bringing it to their attention."