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Submission + - Google Fiber To Cut Staff In Half Following Disappointing Numbers (dslreports.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sources claim that Google Fiber has been disappointed with the company's overall number of total subscribers since launching five years ago. A paywalled report over at The Information cites a variety of anonymous current and former Google employees, who say the estimated 200,000 or so broadband subscribers the company had managed to sign up by the end of 2014 was a fary cry from the company's original projection of somewhere closer to 5 million. Google Fiber has never revealed its total number of subscribers. A report last October pegged the company's total broadband subscribers at somewhere around 120,000, though it's unclear how many of those users had signed up for Google Fiber's symmetrical 5 Mbps tier, which was originally free after users paid a $300 installation fee. Disappointed by sluggish subscriber tallies, The Information report states that last month Alphabet CEO Larry Page ordered Google Fiber boss Craig Barratt to cut the total Google Fiber staff in half to roughly 500 people. That's a claim that's sure to only fuel continued speculation that the company is starting to get cold feet about its attempts to bring broadband competition to a broken duopoly market.

Submission + - Marine Vs Hilary Clinton Mishandling Classified Information (guns.com)

godatum writes: This Marine only sent one email and now is pending separation from the Marines. How many emails did Hilary send?
From Article: "Maj. Jason Brezler, a Marine Corps Reservist, who has served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and has some 16 years in uniform came under fire for mishandling classified information in 2012."

Marine seeks appeal of classified data case citing breaks given to Hillary

Submission + - Netflix hoping for free network access from ISPs (fortune.com)

sabri writes: Netflix soared on Wall Street today after their earnings announcement. They also stated that they hope to get more free network access arrangements (aka "free peering"):

Netflix hopes the Charter peering pledge could serve not only its own interests, but establish an industry-wide practice for internet TV. Hastings said he hopes free peering will spare the emerging industry from the sort of battles that continue to plague the cable TV industry industry, in which stations go dark whenever distributor and content owner haggle over a “retransmission” price.

Some may argue Net neutrality, while others would accuse Netflix of freeloading. What's your take?

Submission + - First electric hoverbike takes to the skies (whatisflike.com)

MikeChino writes: A team from Hungary has developed an all-electric flying bike that just took off on its first test flight. The tricopter vehicle—dubbed Flike—has so far stayed aloft in controlled tests for over a minute, and with lithium-polymer batteries to power the cycle’s six rotors it has the capacity to sustain a 30-40 minute flight.

Submission + - The Courage of Bystanders Who Press 'Record'

HughPickens.com writes: Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic that in the past year, after the killings of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, many police departments and police reformists have agreed on the necessity of police-worn body cameras. But the most powerful cameras aren’t those on officer’s bodies but those wielded by bystanders. We don’t yet know who shot videos of officer officer, Michael T. Slager, shooting Walter Scott eight times as he runs away but "unknown cameramen and women lived out high democratic ideals: They watched a cop kill someone, shoot recklessly at someone running away, and they kept the camera trained on the cop," writes Robinson. "They were there, on an ordinary, hazy Saturday morning, and they chose to be courageous. They bore witness, at unknown risk to themselves."

“We have been talking about police brutality for years. And now, because of videos, we are seeing just how systemic and widespread it is,” tweeted Deray McKesson, an activist in Ferguson, after the videos emerged Tuesday night. “The videos over the past seven months have empowered us to ask deeper questions, to push more forcefully in confronting the system.” The process of ascertaining the truth of the world has to start somewhere. A video is one more assertion made about what is real concludes Robinson. "Today, through some unknown hero’s stubborn internal choice to witness instead of flee, to press record and to watch something terrible unfold, we have one more such assertion of reality."

Submission + - Union: Tech shuttle drivers should earn as much as the tech workers themselves.

An anonymous reader writes: As more and more bus drivers vote to unionize, some want to take it a few steps further. David Huerta, president of one of the unions, describes his wishes as follows, in the San Jose Mercury News:


Now is the opportunity for shuttle bus drivers, for food service workers, for janitors, for security officers to re-ask the question: Should I be equally as valued as the high tech workers in the high tech industry?

He did not state a specific opinion as to require a Bachelor's degree in Urban Transport, or equivalent experience, for future bus drivers.

Submission + - Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On U.S. Spying 2

blottsie writes: The most-valuable, second-richest telecommunications company in the world is bankrolling a technology news site called SugarString.com. The publication, which is now hiring its first full-time editors and reporters, is meant to rival major tech websites like Wired and the Verge while bringing in a potentially giant mainstream audience to beat those competitors at their own game.

There’s just one catch: In exchange for the major corporate backing, tech reporters at SugarString are expressly forbidden from writing about American spying or net neutrality around the world, two of the biggest issues in tech and politics today.

Submission + - How the NSA is destroying open source

petrus4 writes: I've had a while to think about this, but my recent experiences over the last several hours with FreeBSD's disastrous new package management system, pkgng, has finally convinced me that I'm not just being paranoid.

At this point, I believe that a systematic campaign is being waged against FOSS UNIX by the trans-Atlantic intelligence community; and I have seen sufficient instances of it at this point, that I've been able to identify the strategy that is being used. The fact that FreeBSD has had some radical, systemic changes only a few years after the systemd debacle with Linux, is just a little too coincidental to my mind.

The plan goes like this:-

Phase 1. Get a corporate stool pigeon to write an extremely disruptive piece of software for the system that you are attempting to destroy. Said software needs to have a sufficient number of superficially cool/flashy features that it will seduce less intelligent/discerning users; but the main thing which said software needs to do, is radically disrupt and compromise the operating system's level of transparency, discoverability, and openness. In Linux's case this was systemd, and in FreeBSD's it has been pkgng. Both of these pieces of software share a few different characteristics.

a} They are opaque, undiscoverable, and almost completely impervious to user control. It's hard for the average user to figure out what said software is doing. With the earlier form of FreeBSD's package management, I could see the URL where the package was being downloaded from, and it was also entirely possible to change said URL in plain text. Now, pkgng uses bit torrent, and I can't see where the torrent file has originated from, or which process is being called as a bit torrent client. I can't choose which bit torrent program I want to use, either. What configuration there is, is also written in YAML, rather than plain text; which is another strike against it for me.

b} They incorporate a sufficient amount of automation, and apparent advancement, that it is possible to make a superficially plausible argument that anyone who objects to said software is simply a Luddite, who is supposedly opposed to technological progress in general. Of course, this is a disingenuous claim, because it is entirely possible to write advanced, well-automated software that is not opaque, and does not compromise the ability of a user to control it. The ability to make this argument, however, is of vital importance for Phase 2, which I will get to in a moment.

c} They are extremely tightly integrated and coupled into the rest of the system. Systemd is like an octopus, and pkgng isn't much better. I was horrified when I discovered that pkg has actually been added to the base system. Ports always used to be completely detachable from base; the choice of whether to install it at all was given to you at the end of sysinstall.

With these programs, you only get to make the choice once as to whether or not you use them, and if you decide to do so, then after that, you are owned. They can no longer be removed; you are stuck with them whether you like them or not. Fortunately, FreeBSD is still sufficiently modular that I was able to delete /usr/local and /var/db/pkg. I have since tried to install NetBSD's pkgsrc and have been unable to get it to function, so I have had to resort to manual compilation of source at the moment. For most things, I am prepared to tolerate that; although I haven't tried to install X yet. I am anticipating that that will be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.

Phase 2. Once you have your disruptive program written, you now have to make sure that acceptance of it is universal, and anyone who resists must be bludgeoned into compliance. This is effectively achieved by hiring lots of sock puppets and trolls, and sending them into distribution development/core team mailing lists.

If you think I'm just being paranoid about my description of this step, I would invite you to go and read Debian's mailing list archives, during the period when they were debating whether or not to add systemd. Anyone who attempted to resist or offer counter-arguments to the inclusion of systemd was shouted down and abused into silence; and I can still remember how savage a response I got in /r/FreeBSD when I expressed doubts about pkgng several months ago, as well.

In addition to this, I've also been reading about how broken GTK theming has become for GNOME/GTK 3.

I've never liked GNOME. I don't think it is well designed, and I also don't think the GNOME developers have ever done an adequate job of really listening to their users; but since the release of GNOME 3, that has become a lot worse. Breakage has been reported in bug trackers, only to receive snide responses from developers about how said features are being retired, because said developers feel that they would "dilute the GNOME brand," as if GNOME were some sort of corporate product. I can't think where I would have got that idea from.

I was honestly in something close to a state of shock in response to pkgng earlier, though. I've been using Linux (and to a slightly lesser extent, FreeBSD) for 20 years now; and I have never seen anything like pkgng and systemd, and both have originated within the last five years. UNIX is one of the few things that I have ever been truly passionate about, and to read the degree of open contempt that has been expressed towards it by Lennart Poettering, has been genuinely heartbreaking.

We need to start recognising what is being done to us; and quickly, before it gets worse. Given how undiscriminating Linux's userbase is, I wasn't really surprised that Poettering's software has become as popular as it has, but for something like pkgng to be accepted into FreeBSD is both inexplicable and downright terrifying. I can't believe that nobody in the core team knew better.

I am asking everyone who reads this, and who cares about the operating system that has given us a stable, open, discoverable, and empowering computing environment over the last 45 years, to join me in taking the following actions.

a} Boycott all use of systemd, pkgng, GNOME, KDE, and any other software which has known corporate influence or sponsorship, or which is also written with blatant disregard for UNIX development philosophy.

b} If a} is not possible while using Linux, to then join me in migrating to either Open or NetBSD, where we can use software that will not contribute to the strangulation of our operating systems, which the NSA and GCHQ are attempting to bring about through corporate proxies.

Above all, remember that you have a choice. You can keep choosing to use the supposedly new, shiny, but ultimately opaque, disempowering, and enslaving corporate sponsored desktop environments, or you can choose to defend and retain your autonomy and freedom. This is a choice which must be made with the utmost urgency, before they take our remaining autonomy away from us.

I am asking for nothing less than a full scale revolt against, and migration away from, Red Hat in particular; and I need your help. Ultimately this will be as much for your own benefit, as for mine.

Submission + - City of San Jose wants to snoop private CCTV camera's 1

sabri writes: The City of San Jose, self-proclaimed capitol of Silicon Valley, wants to snoop into the security camera's of private citizens, in an effort to combat the rising crime figures of the city. The councilman proposing the ordinance says " The new database "is something that costs very little but could have a big impact in making San Jose safer."". Full article available on the website of the San Jose Mercury News website.

Comment Re:H1B (Score 1) 133

Did they exhaust the H1B limit already?

The limit for H1B's for FY2013 was reached on June 11, 2012 already. The filing of H1B's for FY2014 will (probably) open up on April 1st, 2013. I'm sure a number of corporations have a few petitions ready to be filed.

Comment Come on, this is 2012 (Score -1, Flamebait) 290

I would expect that in 2012, NASA engineers would be capable of producing bolts that fit. Haven't they learned anything from Hubble?

Last weekend I watched NASA's "When we left the Earth" again on Netflix. They are capable of great, great achievements. Yet, they keep shooting their own foot with these tiny little things..

Comment Re:Unfortunately, UK has become Uncle Sam's lapdog (Score 1) 1065

I'm British and I'm accidently sickened by this news, and I actually think our country deserves international condemnation over this but your rant is just stupid and wrong. "Before exiting Heathrow Airport, you will be recorded on more CCTV camera's than while driving from San Francisco to New York." That doesn't even make any sense, the distance between a plane and the exit to Heathrow isn't large enough for this to be true, unless you believe for some reason they have multiple CCTV cameras covering exactly the same spots taking the exact same redundant images for absolutely no reason at all. Hint: they don't. The UK has a CCTV problem, but your example is 100% bullshit, if you'd really actually been to Heathrow you'd know this.

I have been to Heathrow many times. And yes, I was exaggerating a but, but I'm glad to see that you at least agree with the message I was trying to bring: the U.K. has too much CCTV going on. It is impossible not to be on CCTV if you live in the U.K.

"The UK prohibits MP's of other European countries access because of their political views." Sure, the UK has refused entry to Geert Wilders, the Dutch far right extremist politicians which is presumably who you're referring to, but that's because the UK was dealing with a resurgent BNP at the time and we frankly didn't want to strengthen the far right platform. You realise however that countries like the US ban even simple holiday makers for jokes they've made on Twitter which the US authorities finds offensive? many European countries also ban extremists and so forth too.

There is a difference between the holiday makers making "terrorist jokes" and an MP who has been invited to speak about his political views. And you've just proved my point: the politics in the U.K. are so rotten that they want to avoid strengthening a far right platform. You know what? Even the far right (which whom I definitely do not agree), have a right to form a political voice. I order for people to respect your/a democracy, you need to allow political views that you do not necessarily agree with. I don't agree with Geert Wilders at all. But I will defend his right to freedom of speech whenever I can. The U.K. has a right to deny GW entry to their country, but that gives me the right to place them on my list of countries-who-oppose-democracy, and on my list of rotten-countries. And again, nothing against the individual Briton like you, but the system as a whole.

We do need to make sure we don't allow the downwards trajectory towards less tolerance to continue though and absolutely we should still work to reverse it.

By limiting free speech?

"The health system exceeds Mao's finest expectations when it comes to communist equality for all, especially the lack of quality." This is just stupid and wrong. The NHS works, it's one of the best systems in the world and used as a model for many other countries who want a progressive health system. If you think the NHS is somehow a communist issue, then presumably you think that the US having public police and fire services makes the US police and fire services communist too. In most civilised nations, healthcare is treated as an essential basic service just like policing, fire, and the military are. Sucks for you if you don't come from such a civilised society where people can focus on being productive, rather than having to worry as to whether they'll be made bankrupt for no other reason than they got ill.

Just check this link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=NHS+mistake and you'll see why I say this. There is one public system, and it is the NHS. Here in the U.S., I can choose which doctor I'd like to visit, if necessary. I agree with you that the insurance system is broken, but the quality of care is generally excellent.

"The police have a license to kill (remember the poor Brazilian guy in London?)." Well yeah, the police kinda do have a license to kill. Have you ever heard of an armed police unit anywhere in the world that is told "Well, here are your guns, but don't actually shoot anyone". A few examples of malpractice like Menezes do not equal an endemic issue with police murdering people. The British police record on this sort of thing is orders of magnitude better than in most of the world partly due to the fact a small handful of units have firearms so the scope for it happening accidently, or intentionally, is low. Compare this to say, America, where the police shoot multiple people every day across the whole country. Again, this isn't exactly one of the more pressing areas the UK needs to improve in. It's again one of those things that needs consistent monitoring and work to improve on, but is still one of the best in the world. Again, this is why the British police force do a lot of training of other countries across the globe.

The big difference with the U.S. is that when a police officer makes similar misjudgement, he will face a court and a jury, and the legal system will do its job. The officer could still be cleared of all wrongdoing, but in the case of Menezes, no such justice was done. There was an internal inquiry, the police was cleared and that's it. None of his killers have ever seen a judge or a jury, let alone done any jailtime.

"They sold out their own traditions in order to get the Corrupt Olympics of 2012." What traditions did we sell out to get it? what was corrupt about it?

How about changing laws to meet the demands of the IOC? And the IOC is as corrupt as corruption can go. I guess that's a well-known fact.

"The UK is one of the most rotten countries in the world" Well let's be honest, no it's really not is it? It has problems, it doesn't live up to the same standards it proclaims everyone else should, and it's dissapointing for those living here. But relative to the rest of the world, it's still one of the least corrupt. That doesn't mean it's not a problem though, and it doesn't mean we should ignore it.

Ok, if I'm really honest I would probably choose Nigeria or Somalia to fit that description. I take those words back and apologize.

"I would avoid it as the plague. No way in hell will I ever spend a single holiday penny there." Glad to hear it. We're not really that keen on America's ill-informed right wing nutjobs over here.

Well, I'm actually not a right-wing American nut-job. I'm from The Netherlands, but live in the U.S. since a couple of years. And I'm not right-wing at all. Not left wing either, probably somewhere in the middle. But I can't vote anyway so that doesn't really matter.

"It's just their government that they have to deal with. Poor them." Well, at least you got one thing right. Honestly, if you really knew much about Britain you'd know that the pressing problems are things like this, political corruption stemming from an unhealthy lack of separation between corporations and politics fuelled by an abysmal electoral system that allows politicians to only have to cater to minorities and ignore the majority. Unfortunately what you would probably still fail to realise is that this is the same fundamental issue at the source of America's problems too. Perhaps the reason you mistakenly believe the UK is somehow in a worse situation because we actually do complain about these issues and because when things like the Menezes incident happens, it does make headline news because it is such an uncommon occurance, whilst in the US, officers shooting unarmed latinos just isn't newsworthy anymore?

The big difference I see between the U.S. and the U.K. (once again, I see myself as pretty neutral as I'm not American and I'm pretty new here), is that the U.S. has a constitution which is pretty well-respected (yes, some may disagree). Freedom of speech is non-existent in the U.K. (tweet something bad about an athlete and get arrested), but heavily protected here, for example.

The ordinary people, however, are pretty similar, despite their interesting differences. In general I've found both the British as the Americans to be fairly open-minded, friendly and welcoming. And everybody hates their own politicians.

Sorry for the long post.

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