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Google

Submission + - Why Eric Schmidt left as CEO of Google? China (newyorker.com)

Edsj writes: It seems Eric Schmidt didn't like the decision to deliver uncensored searches in China. It is reported the decision to withdraw censored searches in China was made by co-founder Larry Page sided with his founding partner, Sergey Brin and probably an internal battle for power begun. Schmidt also wasn't happy with the “don’t be evil” policy, something the Google founders were prepared to protect anytime. Schmidt lost some energy and focus after losing the China internal battle and decided to leave the position of CEO. It is also reported that the chairman position is a temporary one until he finds another business to take care.

Submission + - Parasite contributing to World Cup success? (slate.com)

__aaelyr464 writes: A parasite commonly found in cats, Toxoplasma gondii has an unnerving relation to World Cup victories by country. Toxo can be found in almost every type of mammal, from rats to humans. The overall goal of the parasite is to end up in a feline stomach, where it can reproduce most effectively. In other mammals (humans for example), the parasite ends up in the brain. It is estimated that approximately 1/3 of the human population has a latent Toxo infection, with each country having varying infection rates. Countries with greater occurrences of this parasitic infection in its population tend to win more World Cups than those without. The article goes on to explain various rationale for such a correlation, ranging from increased testosterone to increased dissent of authority--all symptoms of a Toxo infection.

Now we just need to find a parasite that causes an inability to referee properly, and we'll have this whole World Cup business all sorted out

Open Source

Submission + - The unusual, obscure and useful Linux distros (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Most people will be familiar with some of the big names when it comes to Linux — distributions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian and Mandriva. Most of the well-known Linux distros are designed to be used as general purpose desktop operating systems or installed on servers. But beyond these distros are hundreds of others either designed to appeal to very specific audiences or to fulfil the somewhat niche needs of some users. We rounded up some of the most interesting Linux distributions out there that you might not have heard of."

Submission + - Flash Player 10.1 EULA Allows Push Advertising (adobe.com)

An anonymous reader writes: So I get this update notice to install Flash Player 10.1. In the past, I've always just clicked okay to install. For some reason, today I decided to read the EULA. I was surprised and dismayed to find the following changes from earlier Flash Player EULAs. The EULA appears to cover Flash as well as Reader and other Adobe products.

In the EULA, software is defined thus:

“Software” means (a) all of the contents of the files (delivered electronically or on physical media), or
disk(s) or other media with which this agreement is provided, which may include (i) Adobe or third
party computer information or software, including Adobe Reader® (“Adobe Reader”), Adobe® AIR®
(“Adobe AIR”), Adobe Flash® Player, Shockwave® Player and Authorware® Player (collectively,
Adobe AIR and the Flash, Shockwave and Authorware players are the “Adobe Runtimes”); (ii) related
explanatory written materials or files (“Documentation”); and (iii) fonts; and (b) upgrades, modified
versions, updates, additions, and copies of the foregoing, provided to you by Adobe at any time
(collectively, “Updates”).

I've used Flash Payer and Reader on my servers just so I don't have to switch to my workstation while doing admin work on my server. Not any more:

"3.2 Server Use. This agreement does not permit you to install or Use the Software on a computer file server."

The most troublesome was Adobe apparently intends to allow advertising to be pushed to me via PDFs. The advertising isn't static images or such in the file. It can reach out to load advertising from a remote site that is then rendered "in or near the opened PDF file." By accepting the terms, I'm also agreeing to allow these unknown third parties to run JavaScript on my computer to play their advertising. Here's the text:

"7.1 Use of PDF Files. When you Use the Software to open a PDF file that has been enabled to display
ads, your Computer may connect to a website operated by Adobe, an advertiser, or other third party.
Your Internet Protocol address (“IP Address”) is sent when this happens. The party hosting the site may
use technology to send (or “serve”) advertising or other electronic content that appears in or near the
opened PDF file. The website operator may also use JavaScript, web beacons (also known as action tags
or single-pixel gifs), and other technologies to increase and measure the effectiveness of advertisements
and to personalize advertising content. Your communication with Adobe websites is governed by the
Adobe Online Privacy Policy found at http://www.adobe.com/go/privacy (“Adobe Online Privacy
Policy”). Adobe may not have access to or control over features that a third party may use, and the
information practices of third party websites are not covered by the Adobe Online Privacy Policy."

So for the first time ever, I decided not to upgrade to the new release of Flash. I'll do the same for any Adobe product covered under the same EULA. At least until I more fully understand the ramifications of Adobe hijacking my computer for its own purposes.

Privacy

Submission + - O2 Network Threatened By Mass Protest (eweekeurope.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The stability of O2's mobile network could be tested to the limit if a mass protest by O2 users, furious at the scrapping of unlimited data deals, takes place

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