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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?

Submission + - HTC being trolled by porn peddlers (techcrunch.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "The porn peddlers at Vivid Entertainment have filed a cease and desist notice against the company for use of the “Vivid” name. According to TMZ, Vivid’s legal counsel filed the notice because they are afraid consumers will think the LTE-capable smartphone is somehow connected to Vivid’s adult video empire."
A porn-based smart phone? Siri would certainly be a lot more interesting...


Submission + - 100,000 iPhones overwhelm activation server

dstates writes: What happens when Apple ships 100,000 iPhone 4S in a day? Answer, 100,000 users all try to activate their new phones. AT&T's activation servers are struggling under the load. Apparently Verizon and Sprint are doing a better job keeping up with the load.. See CNET and MediaPost.

Submission + - Apple's Siri has criminal tendencies (edibleapple.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: This is my Next has an amusing list — soon to be an anthology I’m sure — of all the quirky things Siri says. It turns out that Siri is like that best friend you’re a little bit embarrassed to bring around your other groups of friends. Sure, it can help tell you what the meaning of life is, but it’s also capable of helping you hide a body, buy some weed, and even helping you findi an escort on those lonely Friday nights when it’s just you and Siri hanging out.

Submission + - Did ICE 'Pirate' Its Anti-Piracy PSA? (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: You may have seen that the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security has been seizing domain names. When it eventually takes over those domain names permanently, it replaces the seizure notice with a YouTube video. Some people noticed that the YouTube video was just a recut video that New York City was using. Since the whole point of the video is that people who work on films have to get paid, Techdirt wondered how much ICE paid for the video. After asking both NYC and ICE and receiving no responses, Techdirt filed some Freedom of Information Act requests. While they turned up that the videos were actually owned by NBC Universal (though neither government entity publicly admits that it's running NBC Universal propaganda films as its own), ICE appears to have no evidence that it properly licensed the videos or that it paid anyone involved in the making of the videos. Since the original video, featuring comedian Tom Papa, claims that "there's no such thing as a free movie" to define "piracy," is it possible that the federal government "pirated" this anti-piracy video?

Submission + - Linux update that looks like a redacted CIA doc (fedoraproject.org)

StealthHunter writes: When did updates start looking like recently unclassified and fully redacted documents? This recent update to the Fedora distribution leaves quite a bit to the imagination to the reader. Security folks may advise "apply security patches in a timely manner" while others may go a step further and say "read about what the patch does and consider the impact to the system before applying it." What is somebody supposed to do with this patch? Fav part: (See also _______)

Submission + - Boost Your WiFi Signal Using Only a Beer Can (discovery.com) 2

AmyVernon writes: This hack is supposed to boost signal strength by at least 2 to 4 bars.
What you need: scissors, a utility knife, some adhesive putty and an empty beer can. The brand doesn't matter for the router, but I suppose it would be cooler looking if it were Asahi or Stella Artois than if it were Budweiser.


Submission + - Two chatbots interact - hilarious and weird (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: When Cornell's Creative Machines Lab got two chatbots to settle down for a short interaction the result was surreal, to say the least. Watch the video and see if you can stand the agression these two show to each other. Is this the future of AI? Is one of them the future winner of the Loebner prize or a future TV show host?

Submission + - The tech sector's best beards (expertreviews.co.uk)

therenegade writes: "What do some of the greatest tech minds of our generation have in common; intelligence? charisma? Not according to Expert Reviews — it's all in the beards. They list the top ten, ranking some of the most important men in the history of computing not by the huge contributions they made to the world, but by the magnificence of their face fur,"

Submission + - Oops: China Accidentally Broadcasts Evidence of Cy (theblaze.com)

ObeyMe writes: "The Electrical Engineering University of China‘s People’s Liberation Army—direct evidence that the PLA is involved in coding cyber-attack software directed against a Chinese dissident group.

But it gets better. A translation of the screenshot says “Choose Attack Target,” and then the operator selects an IP address, There’s also a big “Attack” button on screen. You may be wondering: Where is that IP address is located? We have an answer: How about the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB)."


Submission + - Xbox Live user says Microsoft owes him $500B (winbeta.org)

BogenDorpher writes: "A gamer by the name of David Stebbins filed a motion in federal court in an attempt to get Microsoft to pay him $500 billion dollars after he tried to amend his Xbox Live contact with Microsoft and was ignored when he asked for legal arbitration.

According to Stebbins, the Xbox Live TOS is a standard contract that binds both the subscriber and the company equally. Therefore, Stebbin believes that he was technically equally capable to change the terms of service as Microsoft. So that's exact what he did. He made some changes and sent the amendments with a notice to Microsoft saying "if Microsoft did not terminate his Xbox Live membership, such changes would take effect in 10 days.""

Submission + - Let's settle patent dispute in Quake match (tumblr.com)

markass530 writes: "Two weeks ago, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson and his studio Mojang received a 15-page letter from Bethesda's lawyers stating that the name of his upcoming game "Scrolls" infringes upon Bethesda's own "The Elder Scrolls" trademark, and could possibly stir up some confusion when the fifth Elder Scrolls installment launches in November.

"Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie?" Persson writes. "Well, let’s do that instead! I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3 [Arena]. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.""

Submission + - Hackers, Zombies and Lulz - Defcon 19 in Photos (eecue.com)

eecue writes: "This year marked my 11th Defcon (the world's largest hacker convention, covered here previously). For the last few years I covered Defcon for Wired: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007. This year I didn't shoot for Wired, for a number of reasons, which gave me the opportunity to post many more Defcon photos than I normally do (and at a higher resolution to boot!). Enjoy!"

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