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Submission + - 4chan troll triggers political movement? (

Submission + - France launches second salvo against facebook (

Eunuchswear writes: After Mondays decision by the French CNIL (National Center for Computers and Freedom) that Facebook must stop tracking non-users the DGCCRF (General Direction for Competition, Consumption and Repression of Fraud), has ruled that Facebooks terms of use are abusive and must be changed within 60 days. The Facebook page of the DGCCRF is at

Submission + - And this, boys and girls, is why online vigilantism is a terrible idea (

Mark Wilson writes: I've written recently about the dangers of online vigilantes infringing on the free speech of others. Anonymous is one of the biggest offenders in this department, but there are numerous hacking groups that — under the banner of fighting one evil or another — take the law of the web into their own hands without a thought for the consequences.

Online vigilantes stir up populist support by throwing around the keywords associated with the enemy of the moment — terrorists, ISIS, racists, fascists, communists, socialists, pedophiles. All very emotive issues, but vigilantism can all too easily get out of hand. This has just been demonstrated perfectly by YouTube star Keemstar who took it upon himself to expose a 62-year-old pedophile online through his DramaAlert podcast. The only problem is that he and his team got the wrong man.

Submission + - Universities and companies using them not subject to H1B visa caps ( 1

KindMind writes: A Breitbart article documents that universities (and companies working with them) are not subject to the H1B visa caps. From the article: "... universities and many allied name-brand companies have quietly imported an extra workforce of at least 100,000 lower-wage foreign professionals in place of higher-wage American graduates, above the supposed annual cap of 85,000 new H-1Bs. Less than one-sixth of these extra 100,000 outsourced hires are the so-called high-tech computer experts that dominate media coverage of the contentious H-1B private-sector outsourcing debate."

Submission + - Torrent Sites Earned $70M After Dropping Malware On Visitors (

jones_supa writes: One in three torrent sites is spreading malware, claims a recent joint report from Digital Citizens Alliance and RiskIQ, which compiled data from over 800 sites. Most of the time, the sites expose visitors to drive-by attacks that silently download malicious files on computers without any user interaction. These types of attacks are usually carried out through malvertising campaigns. It turns out that this is actually a good business for the operators of the pirate sites: depending on traffic, they can make between $200 and $5,000 per day. In total it is estimated that this type of covert agreements between malware distributors and pirate site operators has pocketed the latter an $70 million per year.

Submission + - No Child Left Behind Replacement: More CS Opportunities for All But White Boys?

theodp writes: Microsoft is celebrating the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, which President Obama signed into law Thursday. "This legislation," explains Microsoft VP/lobbyist Fred Humphries, "will increase access to STEM and computer science learning nationwide and will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy. And its passage comes at a unique time during Computer Science Education Week, which is intended to highlight the importance of computer science education" (during CsEdWeek 2014, Humphries looked on as President Obama 'learned to code'). But, what Microsoft doesn't mention is that the No Child Left Behind Act replacement may leave at least some groups of children behind when it comes to the new CS/STEM opportunities. From page 176 of the 391-page Every Student Succeeds Act (pdf): "Each local educational agency, or consortium of such agencies, that receives an allocation under section 4105(a) shall use a portion of such funds to develop and implement programs and activities that support access to a well-rounded education and that...may include programs and activities, such as...programming and activities to improve instruction and student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science, (referred to in this section as ‘STEM subjects’) such as-(i) increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in such subject fields, such as female students, minority students, English learners, children with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students, to high quality courses." And if that wordsmithery means you'll be seeing fewer White boys in CS, well that would seem to advance some of the goals outlined Thursday in Google's CS Education in Media Strategy!

Submission + - Google Declares "Smart White Males With Glasses" Public Enemy No. 1

theodp writes: Let's play Jeopardy! A. Al Capone. John Dillinger. Pretty Boy Floyd. Baby Face Nelson. Smart white males with glasses. Q. Who is Public Enemy No. 1? In partnership with Gallup, Google has released a second report on its take of the state of U.S. K-12 CS education. Entitled Images of Computer Science: Perceptions Among Students, Parents and Educators in the U.S., a key finding of the report is that bespectacled White and Asian male Computer Scientists are apparently the new menace to society. "Students and parents perceive that there are few portrayals of women, Hispanic or Black computer scientists on TV or in movies," the report explains in it Key Findings. "These groups are much more likely to see White or Asian men engaged in computer science. They also often see computer scientists portrayed wearing glasses." In an accompanying post at the Google for Education blog, Google Head of R&D for K-12 Education Sepi Hejazi Moghadam gets more specific, declaring smart White males with glasses Public Enemy No. 1: "The results show that there’s high value and interest in CS among all demographics, and even more so for lower-income parents. But unfortunately perceptions of who CS is for and who is portrayed in CS are narrow-White, male, smart with glasses. Even though they value it, students often don't see themselves in it." By the way, for a company that's chock-full-o-Data-Scientists, the Google report's spin on AP CS testing results includes a nugget ("among the 49 states with at least one student taking the computer science exam, 12 had no Black students participating in 2014") that is likely to alarm but mislead readers who are not informed that overall AP CS participation is dismal regardless of race/ethnicity for these states.

Submission + - Even the CEO's job is susceptible to automation, McKinsey report says (

colinneagle writes: Global management consultants McKinsey and Company said in a recent report that many of the tasks that a CEO performs could be taken over by machines.

Those redundant tasks include "analyzing reports and data to inform operational decisions; preparing staff assignments; and reviewing status reports," the report says.

This potential for automation in the executive suite is in contrast to "lower-wage occupations such as home health aides, landscapers, and maintenance workers," the report says. Those jobs aren't as suitable for automation, according to the report. The technology has not advanced enough.

Submission + - Judge orders State Dept, FBI to expand probe on Clinton email server (

An anonymous reader writes: In a hearing over Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said that former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't comply with government policies. He ordered the State Department to reach out to the FBI to see if any relevant emails exist on Hillary Clinton's email server. Judge Sullivan was surprised that the State Department and FBI were not already communicating on the issue following the FBI's seizure of Clinton's email server and three thumb drives of emails. More than 300 emails are being examined for containing classified information, and dozens of the emails were "born classified" based on content. Some of those emails were forwarded outside the government. There are also clues emerging about how some of the classified information made its way onto Clinton's server. The email controversy is beginning to show up on the campaign trail, an unwelcome development for Secretary Clinton. Reporter Bob Woodward, who helped bring down President Nixon, said the scandal reminds him of the Nixon tapes. It is interesting to note that the post-Watergate reforms have helped move the investigation forward.

Submission + - Donald Trump emerges as fierce H-1B critic (

dcblogs writes: Donald Trump's plan for the H-1B visa is to make it harder and more expensive for tech companies to replace U.S. workers with foreign help. Trump's immigration plan, released Sunday, includes the ideas of the Senate's strongest H-1B critics, including Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), who immediately endorsed it. "This is exactly the plan America needs," he said. Trump is proposing an increase in the prevailing wage to make it more expensive to use H-1B workers. Many visa holders are paid the lowest prevailing wage level set for entry-level positions. Second, Trump wants a requirement that companies hire U.S. workers first. Critics says without this requirement, visa workers can be used to replace U.S. workers. He also used to policy paper to call Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), "Mark Zuckerberg's personal senator," because of Rubio's support of the I-Squared bill. That bill seeks to raise the base H-1B cap from 65,000 to 195,000.

Submission + - HRC agrees to give private e-mail server to FBI after Top Secret emails found (

schwit1 writes: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s attorney has agreed to provide the FBI with the private server that housed her e-mail during her four years as secretary of state, Clinton’s presidential campaign said Tuesday.

Her attorney also has agreed to give agents a thumb drive containing copies of thousands of e-mails that Clinton had previously turned over to the State Department.

House and Senate members from both parties were informed about the presence of “top secret” information on the Clinton e-mail system in a letter from the inspector general for the intelligence community, I. Charles McCullough III. The letter was first reported Tuesday by the McClatchy news service.

Much of the classified information in the e-mail conversations originated with the CIA, according to two government officials familiar with the records. Some of the information was deemed to be classified by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s classification guidelines. The information included references to information related to satellite images and electronic communications, according to the officials.

Submission + - Apple says diversity is important, but one contractor is 98% Asian (

dcblogs writes: Apple says workforce diversity "inspires creativity and innovation," but one of Apple's major contractors, Infosys, is far from diverse. In 2013, Infosys, an India-based IT services firm, had 509 workers assigned to Apple sites in Cupertino, Calif. Of that number, 499 are listed as Asian, or 98%, with the remaining 10 identified as either white or black, according to government records that were released as part of discrimination court case. Apple isn't the only firm with a disproportionate Infosys workforce. Of the 427 Infosys workers at insurance giant Aetna's Hartford, Conn., offices, 418 were identified in a court filing as Asian. This lopsided representation of Asian workers by IT services firms is not limited to Infosys. It is also a consequence of the H-1B visa program, which supplies most of the labor for the offshore IT services industry. Nearly 86% of the H-1B visas issued by the U.S. for workers in computer occupations are for people from India, according to a Computerworld analysis of government data from a Freedom of Information Act request.

Submission + - Ad Blocking 'To Cost' Publishers $21.8bn In 2015 As Use Increases 41 Percent 1

Mickeycaskill writes: A report from Adobe and anti-ad blocking startup PageFair says the growing popularity of ad blocking software is set to cost online publishers $21.8 billion 2015 and could reach $41.4 billion by 2016.

The study suggests the number of ad block users worldwide has increased by 41 percent in the past 12 months to 198 million monthly active users.

“It is tragic that ad block users are inadvertently inflicting multi-billion dollar losses on the very websites they most enjoy,” said PageFair boss Sean Blanchfield. “With ad blocking going mobile, there’s an eminent threat that the business model that has supported the open web for two decades is going to collapse.”

Submission + - Stephen Wolfram: It Can Feel Almost Morally Wrong to Delete a Bot 1

theodp writes: Those unaware that Gigaom's back may have missed Byron Reese's pretty epic interview with Stephen Wolfram on AI and the future. What his company is trying to do with Wolfram|Alpha, Wolfram explains, is nothing less than "to encapsulate what has been achieved through the knowledge about algorithms and computation, and about data, that’s been accumulated in the civilization, and put it in a form where one can immediately build from it." And on the topic of stored knowledge/data, Wolfram also offered some interesting thoughts on the ethics of putting a bot down: "My bot has built up huge amounts of state, let’s say. Should you be allowed to just delete my bot? I think that’s complicated. To me, if I say, "I’ve got a thing. It’s had a quadrillion operations, computer operations that have contributed to the state it’s in now." I feel kind of, in a sense, almost morally wrong deleting that thing. And to me, that’s the beginning of feeling, gosh, okay, even though it was just a quadrillion operations from a computer, something feels wrong about just saying, "Okay, press the delete button. It’s gone.""

Submission + - Frank Herbert's Dune, 50 Years On (

An anonymous reader writes: This October will be the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert's massively popular and influential sci-fi novel Dune. The Guardian has written a piece examining its effects on the world at least, and how the book remains relevant even now. Quoting: "Books read differently as the world reforms itself around them, and the Dune of 2015 has geopolitical echoes that it didn’t in 1965, before the oil crisis and 9/11. ... As Paul’s destiny becomes clear to him, he begins to have visions 'of fanatic legions following the green and black banner of the Atreides, pillaging and burning across the universe in the name of their prophet Muad’Dib.' If Paul accepts this future, he will be responsible for 'the jihad’s bloody swords,' unleashing a nomad war machine that will up-end the corrupt and oppressive rule of the emperor Shaddam IV (good) but will kill untold billions (not so good) in the process. In 2015, the story of a white prophet leading a blue-eyed brown-skinned horde of jihadis against a ruler called Shaddam produces a weird funhouse mirror effect, as if someone has jumbled up recent history and stuck the pieces back together in a different order."

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