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Comment It's about Profiles, not +; and what a ban does (Score 5, Informative) 417

Statements from Google which are on record and verifiable, versus anecdotal evidence of what happened to some undefined person. I somehow think I'm going to choose to believe Google on this one.

The current side effects of a Google Profile suspension, with confirmations by Google staff in various G+ posts, are:

  • The Profile is removed from public view.
  • Existing Google+, Google Buzz, and Google Reader shared items/posts are removed from view (whether they were originally public or limited).
  • Access to Google+ is blocked (more correctly, limited to only viewing public posts).
  • Access to Google Buzz is blocked.
  • Access to Google Reader (not just its sharing features) is blocked.

...It's hard for me to find the confirmation right now, but there is _some_ effect against Picasa. I cannot remember the exact detail. I think (but cannot yet confirm) that it removes public albums from public view.

Any other side effects reported until now have been labeled bugs and were not experienced by everyone consistently. Of particular note, a Profile suspension currently does NOT (modulo reappearing bugs?):

  • block access to Gmail, Google Voice, or any other top-level service;
  • block or unsubscribe from Google Groups;
  • force the use of Google 2-factor authentication (which would entail providing an identifiable phone number);
  • prevent the use of Google Checkout (or by extension, prevent the purchase of Android apps);
  • prevent the use of Android features unrelated to the three major services mentioned (+, Buzz, Reader).

So that's the state of the world today. Whether it stays that way is up to debate, and I posited that question in my post that clarified the name policies as being an artifact of Profiles (including a reference proving that users can be banned without even having access to Google+ to begin with).

Operating Systems

Submission + - VMS Operating System Turns 30

An anonymous reader writes: Digital Equipment's venerable VMS operating system has just turned 30 years old, and it's living on well past what VAX minicomputer users of the late-1970s would have expected. Today it lives on as HP's OpenVMS, and one version or other of the OS is in surprisingly widespread usage. The InfoWeek story reports that the Deutsche Borse stock exchange in Frankfurt runs on VMS, and the Australian Stock Exchange runs on it. And Open VMS controls the system Amazon uses to manage shipments of 112,000 packages of books and DVDs each day.

ICANN Punts on WHOIS Privacy Proposal 90

An anonymous reader writes "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has essentially put off consideration of a proposal that would have dissolved a requirement that domain name registrars collect and display personal information about people who register Web site names. Privacy activists said the WHOIS database has become a data-mining dream for marketers and spammers, to say nothing of stalkers and harassers. Companies representing some of the world's biggest brand names appear to have prevailed, arguing that any change to the current system would interfere with law enforcement investigations and trademark disputes. In the end, ICANN voted 7-17 to table the issue in favor of further studies on the privacy impact of the WHOIS database."
Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - Linux's future not as dour as IDC predicts, critic (

An anonymous reader writes: IDC marked another decline in Linux server market share in a recent report, but those familiar with the OS said the report may have overlooked important areas of Linux growth.

Feed Engadget: MIT developing carbon-free, stackable rental cars (

Filed under: Transportation

Sure, we know you love actually owning a car, but let's be honest -- in large cities with condensed layouts, your H3 doesn't make a lot of sense. A group of researchers at MIT have been hard at work developing a solution that's kind on the planet and your scrawny legs. A team called Smart Cities have designed a small, two-seat, electric vehicle -- which they call the City Car -- that can be "stacked" in convenient locations (say, just outside a subway stop), and then taken on short trips around urban areas. The cars -- which are based around an omnidirectional "robot wheel" that encases an electric motor, suspension, and steering -- can be "folded" and attached to a group of other cars for charging. The lineups of rentable vehicles would be accessible from various points around a city, with six or eight cars occupying just a single "regular" car space. Of course, you'll have to forgo your 24-inch rims... but that's life.

[Via Technology Review]

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Submission + - Write REST services using Java

An anonymous reader writes: This tutorial discusses the concepts of REST and the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) and shows how they apply to services. It also shows how to use Java technology to implement REST/APP-based services. If you are not familiar with ATOM, you can take a look at this Getting to know the Atom Publishing Protocol article, that explores the significants of the new ATOM standard for content publishing and management.

Submission + - In Memoriam: Jun-ichiro "Itojun" Itoh Hagi (

An anonymous reader writes: Jun-ichiro "Itojun" Itoh Hagino, best known as one of the main people to bring IPv6 to the real world, passed away suddenly on October 29, 2007. He will be missed by thousands.

Submission + - Network defense against malicious nodes

An anonymous reader writes: New Scientist article on a new strategy for network self-defense, conceptually related to a bee sting:

The approach works by giving all the devices on a network — or "nodes" — the ability to destroy themselves, taking any nearby malevolent device with them. "Bee stingers are a relatively strong defence mechanism for protecting a hive, but whenever the bee stings, it dies," says Tyler Moore, a security engineer at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Self-sacrifice provides a check against malicious nodes attacking legitimate ones. "Our suicide mechanism is similar in that it enables simple devices to protect a network by removing malicious devices — but at the cost of its own participation," Moore adds.

The technique they have developed, called "suicide revocation," lets a single node decide quickly whether another node's behaviour is malevolent and shut it down. But there's a drastic cost: the single node must deactivate itself too. It simply broadcasts an encrypted message declaring itself and the malevolent node dead.

... "Nodes must remove themselves in addition to cheating ones to make punishment expensive," says Moore. "Otherwise, bad nodes could remove many good nodes by falsely accusing them of misbehaviour."

Submission + - Free-Range Mobile Phones (

An anonymous reader writes: David DeJean looks into the problem of buying a mobile phone that isn't tied to a two-year we-want-your-firstborn-if-you-break-it contract. You can do it — and there are vendors out there willing to help — but you may have to pay through the nose.

Submission + - Prolific hacker, Jun-ichiro "itojun" Hagin

raddan writes: Jun-ichiro "itojun" Itoh Hagino passed away on October 29, 2007 at the age of 37. Details are light, but there's a brief thread going over at undeadly. itojun was probably best known for his work on the KAME IPv6 stack which will benefit us for years to come. itojun, you will be missed!

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