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Submission + - Newspaper chain CEO is 'pleased' to announce IT plan, then fires tech staff (

dcblogs writes: The McClatchy Company, which operates a major chain of newspapers in the U.S., is moving IT work overseas. The number of affected jobs, based on employee estimates, range from 120 to 150. The chain owns about 30 newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, where McClatchy is based; The Fresno Bee, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., The State in Columbia, S.C. and the Miami Herald. In a letter sent to the chain’s IT employees in late March, McClatchy CEO Patrick Talamantes detailed all the improvements a contract with the outsourcing firm, India-based Wipro, will bring, but buries, well down in the letter what should have been in its lead paragraph: There will be cutbacks of U.S. staff. The letter received by McClatchy’s IT employees from Talamantes begins by telling them it is “pleased to unveil our new IT Transformational Program, a program designed to provide improved service to all technology users, accelerated development and delivery of technology solutions and products, variable demand-based technology resources and access to modern and cutting-edge skills and platforms.” Seven paragraphs down in the letter, he lowers the boom: "As we embark on the implementation phase, there will be a realignment of resources requiring a reduction in McClatchy technology staff." IT employees thought they were part of the solution to McClatchy's tech direction, not the problem. Said one IT employee: "This has taken us all by surprise. I'm not saying that we felt untouchable as they have been doing layoffs for the past 10 years, but being part of IT we felt that we had a big part in what happens" in the company. Employees are now training their replacements.

Submission + - Security Expert Jailed for Reporting Vulnerabilities in Lee County, FL Elections (

rootmon writes: Information Security Professional David Levin was arrested 3 months after reporting un-patched SQL injection vulnerabilities in the Lee County, Florida Elections Office run by Sharon Harrington, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections. Harrington's office has been in the news before for voting systems problems (for example in during the 2012 election, 35 districts in Lee County had to remain open 3 hours past the closing of polls due to long lines and equipment issues , wasting $800,000 to $1.6 million of taxpayer money incompatible iPads for which her office is facing an audit. Rather than fix the issues with their systems, they chose to charge the whistle blower with three third-degree felonies. The News Press also has several related interviews.

Comment You can't teach some of these skills! (Score 1) 553

Common sense is not so common these days. People are sheep.

Teachers can't teach skills they don't have. Very few teachers or professors have what it takes to be successful business people or problem solvers. There are some, and those are the ones who stick out among a mediocre flock of public servants who can barely keep the kids in their seats and keep them from talking during class.

Schools should be teaching children how to educate themselves but the system was designed around the turn of the previous century to turn out compliant factory workers and is not up to the modern challenges.

Comment What outage? (Score 1) 105

I have been working since 8 AM Eastern Time as a telecommuter and my CenturyLink DSL has been up without so much as an SSH session disconnecting all day. I live in SW Florida and my colleagues tell me they're having problems but perhaps the outage is not as widespread as publicized or it's affecting DNS and I use OpenDNS instead of my ISP's DNS for filtering sites I don't want my kids to browse such as adult content.

In my experience, Cable modems were far less stable than DSL. I had Comcast for a while and it was much worse. So please don't listen to the cable modem trolls. Overall DSL is a more reliable technology and I've been using Spring/Embarq/CenturyLink for 12 years now with very few hiccups which they did address quickly, except for a move where I used DirectWay/Hughes and then Comcast for a while. DirectWay/Hughes was good if you have no other options but satellite just has too much latency for some apps like voip or skype, and Comcast was terrible especially during peak hours.


Submission + - Is Facebook (or G+ or MySpace) Popularity the Next American Idol? (

rootmon writes: "Could the "Like" or "+" button replace the toll free numbers that everyone calls in to vote for on American Idol and other talent shows? Since it requires a person to be logged in, there isn't the same level of anonymity — you can ensure each identify can only vote one — so it's harder to "stuff the ballot box". It might also lead to further discussion in social circles via comments and shares. Do you /.'s out there think this is more or less democratic and fair or judging talent? Is thsi the end ::gasp:: for Simon? Will this lead more to fads and trends (a la memes) or will this lead to indie bands that the people really enjoy becoming more popular than the toy boy manufactured bands and repackaged beats that the RIAA has tried to force feed each new generation? Please share your thoughts my friends. Disclaimer: I included a link to my friend Sonny who is participating in such an experiment? I'll send a Free Cowboy Neal fanboy t-short to the guy who most accurately guesses (in the comments below) the final number of votes Sonny gets from all social media in the next 4 days, or if you're a local member of the /. meetup I'll buy ya a beer next meetup."

Submission + - How Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook status updated shut down a website (

colinneagle writes: At 10:31 p.m. on Sunday evening, Mark Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status. He was grilling a steak, and noticed that the iOS app he was using to monitor the meat's temperature had integrated Facebook to inform users' Friends what they were cooking. Having become excited by the discovery that the site he founded had organically popped up in a product he was using, he wanted to inform his 15.5 million subscribers about it.

The app, called iGrill, is run by a small Connecticut-based company called iDevices, the CEO of which told the Hartford Courant that Facebook integration was supposed to be a "quiet release." By 10:33 p.m. that night, a commenter replied to Zuckerberg's status, reporting that the website was down due to overwhelming traffic. He was telling the truth.

"We were caught totally off guard by Mark Zuckerberg’s post and the immediate influx of traffic," Chris Allen, the CEO of iDevices, said, according to the Courant. "We had quietly released this update for our users earlier this month and were waiting for it to gain traction, but this obviously gives us a huge head start."

According to the report, iDevices incorporated additional servers and bandwidth to stay online. Also, although he said he would welcome the opportunity if Zuckerberg was interested, Allen denied rumors that Zuckerberg was investing in the company and had simply used Facebook for his own profit.


Submission + - Astronomers catch a star in the act of devouring a planet (

jamstar7 writes: Astronomers have witnessed the first evidence of a planet's destruction by its aging star as it expands into a red giant.

"A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the Sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some five-billion years from now," said Alex Wolszczan, from Penn State, University, who led a team which found evidence of a missing planet having been devoured by its parent star. Wolszczan also is the discoverer of the first planet ever found outside our solar system.

The planet-eating culprit, a red-giant star named BD+48 740 is older than the Sun and now has a radius about eleven times bigger than our Sun.

The evidence the astronomers found was a massive planet in a surprising highly elliptical orbit around the star — indicating a missing planet — plus the star's wacky chemical composition.

5 billion years or so is a long way off, so it's likely none of us has to worry about it, but still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but gives you food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red gianthood. And of course, some more cash into astronomers' and physicists' hands now can give us a closer ballpark number of when this event is going to happen. It's all in the math...

The Internet

Submission + - 19 Million Americans still go without broadband ( 1

SternisheFan writes: "By Roger Yu, USA TODAY Updated: 08/21/2012 10:54am Access to fast Internet is spreading in the U.S., but about 19 million Americans can't get it, according to a new government report out Tuesday. The report by the Federal Communications Commission shows improvement from the agency's data last year that showed 26 million were without access to such Internet service. The FCC says its latest report was based on data it had as of June 2011. The decline partially reflects Internet service providers' expansion beyond suburbs, but the FCC also attributes it to data collection that improved from its previous efforts. The lack of access continues to hamper rural Americans in particular. About 14.5 million rural Americans —or 23.7% of 61 million people living in rural areas —had no fast Internet service offered for their homes. In contrast, only 1.8% Americans living in non-rural areas —4.5 million out of 254.9 million —had no broadband access. The FCC categorizes an Internet service as "broadband" if it transmits at a speed of at least 4 megabits per second."

Submission + - After Hacker Exposes Hotel Lock Insecurity, Lock Firm Asks Hotels To Pay For Fix (

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: In an update to an earlier story on Slashdot, hotel lock company Onity is now offering a hardware fix for the millions of hotel keycard locks that hacker Cody Brocious demonstrated at Black Hat were vulnerable to being opened by a sub-$50 Arduino device. Unfortunately, Onity wants the hotels who already bought the company's insecure product to pay for the fix.

Onity is actually offering two different mitigations: The first is a plug that blocks the port that Brocious used to gain access to the locks' data, as well as more-obscure Torx screws to prevent intruders from opening the lock's case and removing the plug. That band-aid style fix is free. A second, more rigorous fix requires changing the locks' circuit boards manually. In that case, Onity is offering "special pricing programs" for the new circuit boards customers need to secure their doors, and requiring them to also pay the shipping and labor costs.

Submission + - Single handed keyboard options for coding?

dubbreak writes: I was recently injured in a car accident which will limit the use of hand for 6 weeks or so. I'll be taking a little time off but deadlines march on and I'll need to be (semi) productive after my initial recuperation. What is you experience with single handed keyboards or other input option that require one hand at most?

The current project is mainly C#, so I've need to be able to type brackets, semicolons and parentheses quick and painlessly.

Submission + - Email Hacks Are the Key to Targeted Attacks (

Trailrunner7 writes: For attackers looking to take control of a victim's online presence, there is no better place to start than the target's email account. If you own the email, you own the person. That's never been more true than today, with so many social networks, services and shopping sites attached to users' email addresses. New research done by Lucas Lundgren of IOActive shows just how simple it can be to get control of a target's email account, and from there, everything else.

For many people, their personal email account is where they store their lives. Bank statements, bills, personal correspondence, work files, anything you can get in electronic form can often be found in a given target's email inbox. And a large number of email systems protect users' inboxes with nothing more complicated than a simple password. Gmail is one notable exception, with its two-factor authentication option that enables users to employ a mobile app to generate one-time codes that they use in addition to their passwords. But, that's an option and not mandatory, and for many users just looks like an annoyance on the way to getting their email.

Knowing all of this, and knowing a lot more about security than most people do, Lundgren decided to run a little research project to see how easily he could get into some volunteers' email accounts. Targeting friends and family members who had agreed to the experiment, Lundgren found that with just the data he gathered online from Facebook and other sites, he had little trouble getting into the inboxes. The best mechanism, in most cases, was the password-reset function on various sites and email services.


Submission + - Federal judges given more leeway to discourage social media use by jurors (

coondoggie writes: "Federal judges are getting new instructions on how to discourage juror use of social media via mobile or other computing devices during a trial. The Federal Judicial Conference Committee today issued a new model set of jury instructions federal judges can now issue use to deter jurors from using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube to research or communicate about cases on which they serve. The new guidelines provide detailed explanations of the consequences of social media use during a trial, along with recommendations for repeated reminders of the ban on social media usage., the committee said in a release."

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