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Submission + - How Otto Defied Nevada and Scored a $680 Million Payout from Uber (

mirandakatz writes: Otto, the self-driving truck startup, came out of stealth in May—and just a few months later, it was acquired by Uber for a huge sum of money. But it turns out that the fledgling company might not have abided by the laws surrounding self-driving technology in Nevada. At Backchannel, Mark Harris digs into emails obtained under public records legislation, and offers up the surprising story of how the engineer who helped craft Nevada’s self-driving car regulations also ended up blowing past them.

Submission + - Ron Glass, Firefly's Shepherd Book, has died

tiqui writes: The actor was 71 and the family has not released more details of his death, but the Firefly/Serenity fans can follow this link to the Hollywood Reporter for more information.

Submission + - Too weird, even for fish-loving Japan

AppleHoshi writes: The Japan Times is reporting that a skating rink at Space World, an amusement park in the southern city of Kitakyushu, has been closed following complaints about a new "attraction". In an effort bring in more customers, the park had decided that freezing 5,000 dead fish into the ice would be a lure that couldn't fail, but even in seafood-loving Japan it turned out that this was one step too far over the weirdness line. With both kids and adults complaining that the glassy eyes staring up out of the ice were just too creepy and that direction markers and messages (eg:- "hello") outlined in piscine corpses were in poor taste, the park has closed the rink until the fish (and hopefully the smell) can be removed.

Submission + - Microsoft enables Linux desktop users to send SMS txt messages with latest Skype (

BrianFagioli writes: Microsoft has delivered an incredible feature to Linux-based desktop operating systems by way of the latest Alpha version of its Skype client. What is this exciting feature of which I speak? Well, the newly-released Skype for Linux 1.13 allows users to send SMS test messages from the operating system!

True, web-based solutions such as Google Voice have long allowed the sending of text messages, but needing to use a web browser can be a chore. There is convenience and elegance in using the Skype for Linux client.

Submission + - SPAM: Do Your Family Members Have a Right to Your Genetic Code?

schwit1 writes: When a woman gets her genome sequenced, questions about privacy arise for her identical twin sister.

Patients must give their informed consent before undergoing whole-genome sequencing or any other genetic test. But there are no laws that restrict what patients can do with their own genetic information, or that require patients’ family members to be involved in the consent process. This raises questions about who owns an individual’s genetic code, since family members share many genetic traits and may harbor the same genetic abnormalities associated with certain diseases.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: 48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory

schwit1 writes: Last week, in a troubling development for privacy advocates everywhere, we reported that the UK has passed the "snooper charter" effectively ending all online privacy. Now, the mainstream media has caught on and appears to be displeased. As AP writes today, "after months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities — from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors — powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country."

For those who missed our original reports, here is the new law in a nutshell: it requires telecom companies to keep records of all users' web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom. They are right.

Which government agencies have access to the internet history of any British citizen? Here is the answer courtesy of blogger Chris Yuo, who has compiled the list:

Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The impending dual-sim mobile phone problem

crath writes: In many countries, 2G mobile networks are due to be turned off in the very near future. This means that anyone with a dual SIM phone will effectively have the second SIM slot rendered unusable; since almost every dual SIM mobile phone manufactured to date only supports 2G for its secondary SIM card. This is a hardware limitation (I've seen some suggestions on the Internet that this is to extend battery life). I've just become aware of this issue as a result of starting a project that has me regularly commuting between Australia and Singapore; with a need for affordable data in both countries--hence, a dual SIM phone.

I'm quite surprised that this upcoming event hasn't garnered more attention in the press, because the thousands upon thousands of users who have dual active SIM phones will have them reduced to old fashioned one SIM active at a time functionality. This includes some very expensive Sony & Samsung devices currently for sale. I expect there will be an outcry from a lot of very unhappy users when 2G is switched off.

In researching this issue, I came upon the following:

What action are /. dual SIM users taking to prepare for the turning off of 2G? What phones can you recommend from 1st hand use (not just because you've read a review or spec. sheet)?

Submission + - How Iran Is Building Its Censorship-Friendly Domestic Internet (

mirandakatz writes: In 2011, Iran announced its intent to strength its control over information through a "halal Internet"—a network cleansed of immorality and disconnected from the global Internet. Last month, Hassan Rouhani's administration announced that the first phase of the project was complete. So what exactly is a "halal," national internet, and where does censorship come into play? At Backchannel, Collin Anderson offers up a deep dive into the complex politics of the Iranian internet.

Submission + - Twitter Shares Jump More Than 20% On Report Of Takeover Talks

Dave Knott writes: Twitter Inc has initiated talks with several technology companies to explore selling itself, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the social media company grapples with its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013. CNBC reported earlier on Friday, citing anonymous sources, that Twitter is in talks with companies that include Alphabet's Google and, and may receive a formal bid soon. Twitter shares rose the most since its stock market debut in 2013, up 21 per cent to $22.59, giving the company a market capitalization of close to $16 billion.

Submission + - Research finds normal matter distribution determines galaxy rotation (

Burz writes: "Galaxy rotation curves have traditionally been explained via an ad hoc hypothesis: that galaxies are surrounded by dark matter," said David Merritt, professor of physics and astronomy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the research. "The relation discovered by McGaugh et al. is a serious, and possibly fatal, challenge to this hypothesis, since it shows that rotation curves are precisely determined by the distribution of the normal matter alone. Nothing in the standard cosmological model predicts this, and it is almost impossible to imagine how that model could be modified to explain it, without discarding the dark matter hypothesis completely."

The researchers plotted the radial acceleration observed in rotation curves published by a host of astronomers over the last 30 years against the acceleration predicted from the observed distribution of ordinary matter now in the Spitzer Photometry & Accurate Rotation Curves database McGaugh's team created. The two measurements showed a single, extremely tight correlation, even when dark matter is supposed to dominate the gravity.

Submission + - SPAM: Causes of Tinnitus

An anonymous reader writes: Tinnitus and the Causes of Tinnitus Let’s start by defining what tinnitus actually is. Tinnitus is actually defined as the perception of sound when there is no external source present. While most people think of tinnitus as ringing in the ears, the noise can also be a hiss.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Anti-Virus and Firewall software.. UGH (Score 1) 81

Governments and joe public only understand two things or options. So if there is a choice you can only give then two, ie, yes or no, Windows of Mac, Internet Exploder or Firefox, give it or I take it anyway.

In the mean time they will simply supply monitoring software that probably only works on Windows, because it will support all operating systems [Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7]. It will be up to you to decide on were you get the software for AntiVirus/Malware/Firewall from, after all, the Government isn't in the antiviral and malware business, yet.

Or, they will mandate it that the ISP has to ask the customer at point of signup if they have AntiVirus and a Firewall installed, and leave it up to the customer to say yes or no :o)

As I don't run Windows or Mac, only AIX and something else, I would of cause reply in the affirmative.


Submission + - Software companies sues popular Australian forum ( 3

Pugzly writes: In a recent announcement on the Whirlpool front page, it appears that accounting software maker 2clix is sueing the founder of the forums as the founder "allowed statements 'relating to the Plaintiff and its software product that are both false and malicious' to be published on the Whirlpool forums."
Hopefully sanity will prevail, but it is the legal system...

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