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Submission + - Netcraft confirms: Microsoft closes in on Apache Web server lead (

angry tapir writes: After almost two decades of trailing the market leader, Microsoft's Web server software is coming close to rivaling the dominance of the Apache Web server, according to the latest Netcraft survey of Internet infrastructure. May saw an additional 9 million sites using Microsoft Web server software, increasing the company's share of the Web by 0.37 percent. In the same period, Apache's market share fell by 0.18 percent, despite gaining an additional 4.3 million sites. Microsoft is now just 4.1 percentage points behind Apache, which, as the most popular Web server software on the Internet, now powers about 37.6 percent of all sites.

Submission + - Obama's promise to "Protect Whisleblowers" disappears from the web

An anonymous reader writes: The Obama administration's campaign site has been removed, a possible reason Sunlight Foundation comments may be that a statement from the Administration that outlined the protection of Whistleblowers, "Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government." when the exact opposite has occurred and Obama is threatening trade sanctions against countries who give Edward Snowden asylum.

Submission + - Cancer cluster possibly found among TSA workers (

OverTheGeicoE writes: TSA employees at Logan International Airport believe they have identified a cancer cluster in their ranks, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They have requested dosimetry to counter "TSA's improperly non-monitored radiation threat". So far, at least, they have not received it.

The documents also reveal a document from Johns Hopkins that in effect questions whether it is even safe to stand near an operating scanner, let alone inside one. Also, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says that the Dept. of Homeland Security "mischaracterized" their work by telling USA Today that NIST affirmed the safety of the scanners when in fact NIST does not do product safety testing and never tested a scanner for safety.

Submission + - New FBI system IDs people by voice, iris, more (

cultiv8 writes: "Under the system, state and local police officers also will eventually use hand-held devices to scan suspects' fingerprints and send the images electronically to the FBI center. "It's a quick scan to let police officers know if they should let the person go, or take him into custody," Morris said. In later stages, NGI system also will be expanded to include the analysis of palm prints, handwriting, faces, human irises and voices."

Submission + - USPTO Gives Sergey Brin Patent for Google Doodles

theodp writes: After a 10-year struggle, the USPTO was convinced to issue Google a patent Tuesday for Systems and Methods for Enticing Users to Access a Web Site, aka Google Doodles. Among other things, Google explains that the invention of co-founder Sergey Brin covers modifying a company logo with 'a turkey for Thanksgiving' and 'a leprechaun's pot of gold for Saint Patrick's Day.' To help drive home its point, Google included an illustration showing the USPTO that hearts could be displayed on the Google home page for Valentine's Day, which would be deja-vu-all-over-again for the 394 lovers who used the UIUC PLATO system on Feb. 14th, 1975. Coincidentally, a request was made last spring for a PLATO-themed Google Doodle to tell the world about the huge set of innovations introduced decades before Larry and Sergey founded Google, but the search giant begged off.
United States

Submission + - Wikileaks Claims US Ambassador to Mexico

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Miami Herald reports that US Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual has resigned following weeks of withering criticism by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who said he'd lost trust in the envoy and demanded his removal marking the first high-level US diplomat to quit as a result of the release of sensitive US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Calderon repeatedly voiced frustration and anger at US diplomatic cables from Pascual and diplomats serving under him that questioned whether Calderon's anti-crime strategy would succeed and criticized the effectiveness of Mexican security agencies. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced "great regret" in announcing Pascual's resignation, saying he'd been an effective "architect and advocate for the U.S.-Mexico relationship" and said Pascual had sustained morale of US agents and diplomats in Mexico as they have increasingly fallen into the line of fire. It is highly unusual for a foreign leader to be so outspoken in demanding the removal of a US diplomat as Calderon has been in recent weeks — and equally rare that such demands would be met."
Open Source

Submission + - Google engineer releases opensource Bitcoin client (

angry tapir writes: "A Google engineer has released an open source Java client for the Bitcoin peer-to-peer currency system, simply called BitcoinJ. Bitcoin is an Internet currency that uses a P2P architecture for processing transactions avoiding the need for a central bank or payment system. also has an interview with Gavin Andresen, the technical lead of the Bitcoin virtual currency system."

Comment The US needs car-carrying trains (Score 1) 1139

Americans are in love with their cars and hate not having them at their destination when they travel. Rental cars are an expensive workaround solution, given that cars cannot be carried in planes. However, cars could be carried in trains, even in high speed trains. The Eurochannel shuttles show that this is not only possible but relatively cheap and efficient. Marriage of high speed train and cars is the way of the future for America. Gone would be the increasingly more paranoid hassles of air travel and the inconvenience of not having your car with you. The rental car industry would suffer but the tourism industry would bloom, as people would be able to do more when they travel than they can now. I am surprised that so few people in the US see what a win-win situation this is for the US.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 1) 103

Yes and no. The UK is ahead in video surveillance (although it's not as exaggerated as many people on /. seem to believe); the US has been giving a surprising amount of power to the DHS; but only in one of the three countries you mentioned do people have to register their address with the local police. "Police state" is less a spectrum and more a set of attributes, and comparing different subsets objectively isn't easy.

Let me guess... This third country is the USA: I must register my address within 10 days of moving or face deportation. My fault, since I am just a lowly permanent resident and not a citizen. Fortunately, my son is a US citizen, and he did not have to register his address with the federal government, just with the state government. He has to carry his state-issued school ID at all times while in the school premises and show it to any school official who requests it for any reason. And in our state school attendance is mandatory. Americans sometimes forget that police in the USA comes under many different names: department of motor vehicles, board of education, citizen and immigration service, bureau of investigation, fire marshall, social services and ... police.

Comment Re:online lectures, not books (Score 1) 468

Let me rephrase it. I mean, get rid of schools as they are now. And in particular, get rid of so many incompetent teachers. The school buildings could be repurposed as educational libraries with classrooms for group study and for watching online lectures. A few teachers and proctors could be around to answer questions and to give and grade tests. Many teachers should consider a career change, and everyone will benefit. It would be financially sound and more efficient. The only reason this is not done is the teachers unions.

Comment online lectures, not books (Score 2, Interesting) 468

Online books are not a very good idea. Books are still better for reading and studying, and the technology for ebooks is still not good enough to mimic all features of real books. Video, on the other hand, is already good enough to have online lectures. I know, because my university does it, and I took some classes where I only went to the classroom to take the tests. I watched all lectures at my own pace in the comfort of my room, and I feel it made no difference whatsoever. Actually, I am sometimes bored in a classroom lecture and wished I could just press the pause button on the teacher, go for a coffe and come back without missing anything. So, I find online lectures just as effective as live lectures but much more convenient, and the interactive aspect can also be taken care of by using email and online forums. So, I think the Governor should re-examine the issue and maybe get rid of schools but keep the books. I am not kidding.

Comment High speed trains carrying cars (Score 1) 1385

What the US really needs is to have a network of high speed trains that carry cars between cities. That system would be a real alternative to air travel. You could take your car with you and let the train do the boring and long driving for you in much less time. I wonder why people are not considering this system. A people-only system is not suitable for the US suburban metropolis.

Comment Software agnostic is the key to success (Score 0, Offtopic) 85

A piece of hardware like this is badly needed, but the key is that any such device should be totally independent of the software installed. People then could choose to install anything they want on it. My ideal tablet would behave exactly like a notebook computer without the need to have custom software or modify existing desktop environments. One way to achieve that would be to have a touchscreen plus 3 additional hardware buttons that interact with the OS at the lowest level possible (maybe even below driver level). The 3 buttons should work like this:
  • A button to show a virtual keyboard so that the OS receives key-press events
  • A button to send drag events so that the OS receives button-pressed-while-mouse-moving events when pressed
  • A button to cycle between left, middle and right clicks as the event sent to the OS when the user touches the screen

Any OS would think it was running in a regular notebook with a regular keyboard and a regular mouse, so the hardware would not be handicapped by the lack of available custom software. I see no reason why a tablet like this does not exist today, as there are lots of things one could do with it even if CPU power was low. The Nokia N8xx tablets were close to this goal, but their dependence on custom software (applications had to be hildonized) made them much less useful than they could have been otherwise.

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