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Microsoft

Submission + - Office Space II: Bill Lumbergh Takes Microsoft

theodp writes: 'Mmm, yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to pay $6,120 to come in to work on Sunday.' In a move that would do Bill Lumbergh (YouTube homage) proud, Microsoft has been pulling in about $25 million a year through its unusual practice of charging its vendors for occupying office space on its campus while working on Microsoft projects, according to the real estate firm that manages the program. And that's before a planned July 1st rate increase that Microsoft informed vendors of earlier this week, which will boost the 'chargeback' rate for its 'shadow workforce' from $450 per month ($5,400 per year) for every workstation to $510 per month (or $6,120 per year). So, is there a discount if you're moved downstairs into Storage B?
Open Source

Submission + - PostgreSQL Repositories Locked Down as Security Vulnerability Gets Fixed (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: PostgreSQL database has a ‘sufficiently bad’ security vulnerability because of which its developers have announced that they have locked down access to database’s repositories while they are fixing the issue. Developers have also revealed that the lock down is only temporary and during this phase committers will have access to the repositories. The reason for the lockdown is to ensure that malicious users don’t work out an exploit by monitoring the changes to the source code while it is being implemented to fix the flaw. The lockdown is definitely an exceptional one and the core committee has announced that they "apologize in advance for any disruption" adding that "It seems necessary in this instance, however".
Science

Submission + - Why humans spontaneously combust (newscientist.com)

cmarkn writes: PEOPLE explode. One minute they may be relaxing in a chair, the next they erupt into a fireball. Jets of blue fire shoot from their bodies like flames from a blowtorch, and within half an hour they are reduced to a pile of ash. Typically, the legs remain unscathed, sticking out grotesquely from the smoking cinders. Nearby objects (a pile of newspapers on the armrest, for example) are untouched. Greasy fat lies on the floor. For centuries, this gruesome way of death has been debated, with many people discounting it as a myth. But spontaneous human combustion is real and we think we can show how it happens.
Math

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What to do with a Math Degree? 6

badmojo17 writes: After achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a public school math teacher, my wife has found the profession to be much more frustrating than she ever expected. She could deal with having a group of disrespectful criminals as students if she had competent administrators supporting her, but the sad truth is that her administration causes more problems on a daily basis than her students do. Our question is this: what other professions are open to a bright young woman with a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in education? Without further education, what types of positions or companies might be interested in her as an employee?
Facebook

Submission + - Is Facebook IPO a scam? (securityresearch.in)

akm1489 writes: "When we last looked at the big datacenters that these top .com companies run, Facebook had 800,000 computers, Google had 600,000 and Microsoft just 350,000. Facebook is just a one trick pony – that just does one thing beautifully – that is Social Networking. Google does that and also so many other things such as search, email, maps and so on. Microsoft even provides virtual labs where huge communities of developers get trained to use its technologies for free. And yet all these companies need fewer computers than Facebook – which means the costs for Facebook are much higher. Facebook attributes it to the higher level of engagement of its users – but does that higher level of engagement proportionally add to its revenue? Judge by yourself weather facebook IPO is scam or not."

Submission + - Student Charged for Selling Textbooks (yahoo.com)

AstroPhilosopher writes: The US Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a Thai student who was fined $600,000 for re-selling textbooks. Trying to make ends meet, the student had family members in Thailand mail him textbooks that were made abroad, purchased abroad, and then resold in the US. A practice many retailers partake in everyday in the 'parallel market'.
Businesses

Submission + - Why Medical Bills Are a Mystery

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Regardless of what decision the Supreme Court reaches on the legality of the Affordable Care Act, Robert Kaplan and Michael Porter write in the NY Times that solutions to our health care problems are failing because of a fundamental and largely unrecognized problem: We don’t know what it costs to deliver health care to individual patients, much less how those costs compare to the outcomes achieved. Providers themselves do not measure their costs correctly. They assign costs to patients based on what they charge, not on the actual costs of the resources, like personnel and equipment, used to care for the patient. The result is that attempts to cut costs fail, and total health care costs just keep rising. In a pilot program to address the problem, doctors asked their staffs to help them map out each step in a patient’s treatment, from the moment they’re checked in at the door of the hospital to their final follow-up visit. Mapping the process allowed the doctors to identify inefficiencies, like the amount of time nurses spent filling out paperwork instead of tending to patients. After mapping the process, one surgeon repairing cleft palates at Children’s Hospital Boston discovered that 40 percent of the total cost of an 18-month-care process was due to the time a child spent in the intensive care unit before and after surgery and that by using a far less intensively staffed and equipped observation room, the hospital could achieve equivalent quality and safety at much lower costs. Kaplan and Porter say there are hundreds of opportunities like this one in every hospital to use time, equipment and facilities more intelligently using Time-Driven Activity-Based Accounting (PDF) but these opportunities have been obscured by existing costing systems that have little connection to the processes actually performed. "Understanding costs could be the single most powerful lever to transform the value of health care. This would give payers and providers the data they need to improve patient care, and to stop arbitrary cuts and counterproductive cost shifting.""
Education

Submission + - Teachers Think White Females Lag in Math (utexas.edu) 2

ancarett writes: Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that American high school math teachers tend to rate white female students’ math abilities lower than those of their white male peers, even when their grades and test scores are comparable. Their research drew from the Education Longitudional Study (2002) with data on about 15,000 students and their teachers. According to the researchers "teachers hold the belief that math is just easier for white males than it is for white females." Their findings appear in the April 2012 issue of Gender & Society.
Security

Submission + - Anti-Abortion Hacker Jailed For Stealing 10,000 Records

An anonymous reader writes: 27-year-old James Jeffery has been sentenced to two years and eight months in jail for hacking into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Britain’s largest abortion provider. Last month, Jeffery admitted he defaced the website and stole around 10,000 database records containing the personal details (names, user names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers). His motivation was a disagreement with his sister’s choice to abort her pregnancy.
Cellphones

Submission + - Digital Differences in Americans (pewinternet.org)

antdude writes: "Pew Internet article, with its details, showing "Digital Differences" — "When the Pew Internet Project first began writing about the role of the internet in American life in 2000, there were stark differences between those who were using the internet and those who were not. Today, differences in internet access still exist among different demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. Among the main findings about the state of digital access..."

Seen on Blue's News and TechCrunch."

Science

Submission + - Engineered Stem Cells Seek out and Kill HIV in Living Mice (sciencedaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-principle that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, a team of UCLA researchers have now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism.

Submission + - Anonymous: Which Side Are You On in the Hacker Class War (phrack.org)

An anonymous reader writes: With dramatically growing hacker and leaker activity paralleling the revolutionary upheavals around the world, we are increasingly hearing the rhetoric of "cyberwar" thrown around by governments attempting to maintain legitimacy and exercise more police-state powers.

We're experiencing the opening stages of the next Hacker Class War, and with many factions at play each operating with their own agenda and strategies, with more and more hackers breaking into shit for the rev or selling out to the military intelligence industrial complex, the question is asked "which side are you on"?

Submission + - Where do I start research on hosting providers? 1

Osama Binlog writes: We need another hosting provider — and the choices are bewildering. How do you guys do research on a new provider?

We would want root access, a LAMP stack and CentOS 64. We are currently paying $200 per month.

What are our options for hosting the web site? Cloud computing? Grid computing?

Does anyone where or how to start looking?
Technology

Submission + - Researchers develop 'swarm intelligence' in the form of driverless transport veh (patexia.com)

techgeek0279 writes: "At the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund, Germany, researchers are working to harness swarm intelligence as a means of improving the flow of materials and goods in the warehouse environment. In a research hall 1000 square meters in size, the scientists have replicated a small-scale distribution warehouse with storage shelves for 600 small-part carriers and eight picking stations."

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