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Submission + - "Spaceport America Could Become a Ghost Town"

RocketAcademy writes: "A group of New Mexico legislators is warning that the $200-million Spaceport America "could become a ghost town, with tumbleweeds crossing the runways” if trial lawyers succeed in blocking critical liability legislation. The warning came in a letter to the Albuquerque Journal [subscription or free trial required].

Virgin Galactic has signed a lease to become the spaceport's anchor tenant but may pull out if New Mexico is unable to provide liability protection for manufacturers and part suppliers, similar to legislation already passed by Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Virginia. The proposed legislation is also similar to liability protection which New Mexico offers to the ski industry.

An eclectic group of business and civic interests has formed the Save Our Spaceport Coalition to support passage of the liability reform legislation, which is being fought by the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association."

Submission + - FileRock, a secure Dropbox clone, goes Open Source (

filerock writes: FileRock, an Italian startup company providing synchronization & backup service à la Dropbox, has released the source code for its client. The FileRock service has its focus on security: all files are encrypted client-side, encryption keys are never revealed to the service itself, and integrity of the data stored in the cloud is checked whenever a file is retrieved. Many have complained of Dropbox security and were looking for an open source alternative: now there is one, and the code is available on GitHub.

Submission + - 5 More Google Fiberhoods coming to KC (

skade88 writes: If you live in KC, Google is doing their part to make sure you get your daily fiber. They are launching their gigabit home internet service in five new areas in KC.

'“In 2013, we’re going to hit the ground running, finishing installations in Dub’s Dread, and then quickly moving on to five more fiberhoods,” the company wrote, using its invented term for zones where Google Fiber will be deployed.

“Based on pre-registration results, the next fiberhoods on the list are Piper Schools, Delaware Ridge, Painted Hills, Open Door, and Arrowhead. And we have some more good news for folks in some of these areas—we’ve extended a few fiberhood boundaries slightly, so that more people can get Google Fiber. You can see the new boundaries below and on our website, where you can check to see if your home is now eligible.”'


Submission + - UK Internet Porn Blocking Rejected (

Gordonjcp writes: The BBC are reporting that the proposed automatic blocking of porn websites by UK ISPs has been rejected by the government. Only 35% of the parents who responded to a survey on filtering wanted an automatic block. The report, drawn from over 3500 responses, found that 80% of all those who responded were in favour of no filtering of any kind.

Submission + - Bankrupt municipality seeks revenue from speeding cameras on interstate (

Bill_the_Engineer writes: According to the Mobile Press Register a new speeding enforcement program was adopted by the Prichard City Council today that could generate at least $200,000 a year for the cash-strapped city.

The council, with a unanimous vote, endorsed a program that will add four additional patrol officers to monitor traffic speeds primarily along Interstate 165 and 65 within the Prichard city limits.

The program, administered by South Carolina-based iTraffic Safety, is set to start in January and will be monitored for three months before the city determines whether to increase regulations by adding speed cameras along the interstates. "I think we should try the officers first," Ephriam said. "There could be issues on whether the cameras can accurately depict speeders right now. There are things we have to address with potential liability with the cameras."


Submission + - Senator McCaskill Tells FAA Chief To Fix Electronic Device Rules Or Else (

redletterdave writes: "U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is standing up for the passengers out there continually told by airlines and the FAA to turn off their smartphones, e-books, tablets and other electronic devices if they want to fly the friendly skies, particularly during takeoff and landing. Sen. McCaskill — a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, with jurisdiction over the country's communications and aviation policy — just penned and published a strongly-worded letter to the FAA, urging the agency to reexamine its rules that disallow the use of electronic devices at certain times during flight, even though many of those same devices are in use during those times anyway. Sen. McCaskill implored that the FAA work "as expeditiously as possible to implement common sense changes in today's restrictive regulations on in-flight use of PEDs that better reflect new technologies," but notes that if the FAA does not move on to addressing this hypocritical rule in a timely manner, the senior US senator from Missouri is "prepared to pursue legislative solutions.""

Submission + - Apple iPhone Infringes On Sony, Nokia Patents (

snydeq writes: A federal jury in Delaware has found Apple's iPhone infringes on three patents held by MobileMedia, a patent-holding company formed by Sony, Nokia and MPEG LA, InfoWorld reports. The jury found that the iPhone directly infringed U.S. patent 6,070,068, which was issued to Sony and covers a method for controlling the connecting state of a call, U.S. patent 6,253,075, which covers call rejection, and U.S. patent 6,427,078, which covers a data processing device. MobileMedia has garnered the unflattering descriptor "patent troll" from some observers. The company, which was formed in 2010, holds some 300 patents in all.

Submission + - Slashdot and Hacker News raise $43,200 for the FreeBSD Foundation in three days! (

An anonymous reader writes: The FreeBSD Foundation has posted blog article article talking about the remarkable surge in donations they've received in the last three days following a recent Slashdot article reporting on weak fundraising this year. Deb Goodkin reports that the FreeBSD Foundation, as with many non-profits, receives more than 50% of its annual funds at the end of the US tax year, but that the Foundation has never seen this rate of donations before, and will hit a new record for unique donors this year. She comments that it was Slashdot readers that made the difference! She does, however, appeal for further donations noting that they have a long way to go on their full goal.

Submission + - ITU will decide if 911 or 112 becomes official emergency number (

maijc writes: The International Telecommunication Union will determine the standard emergency phone numbers for new generations of mobile phones and other devices. AP reports that member states have agreed that either 911 or 112 should be designated as emergency phone numbers. 911 is currently used in North America, while 112 is standard across the EU and in many other countries worldwide.

Submission + - Android multi-user support prepping for better enterprise integration (

fedaykin42 writes: Android 4.2 introduces the concept of multiple users on tablets...Each user gets his or her own settings, space, applications, etc. This is a new concept for Android and in reality the tablet/smartphone environment. So what is the big deal with respect to the enterprise? Control. The multi-user capability is a stepping stone to enterprise features of control and enforcement not just at a device level but also at the user level.

Submission + - Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements for Certain Games on Steam (

Deathspawner writes: "Perhaps hinting at the fact that the official Steam for Linux launch isn’t too far off, Valve has begun updating some game pages to include Linux system requirements. That in itself isn't too interesting. What is, is the fact that some games don't list only Ubuntu as the main supported distro, with some listing Linux Mint and Fedora as well. A common theme is that Valve recommends you always use a "fully updated" OS, regardless of which distro you use. And based on the system requirements laid out so far, it's safe to say that Serious Sam 3: BFE will undoubtedly be the most system-intensive game released at launch."

Submission + - Auto-threading compiler could restore Moore's Law gains (

Nemo the Magnificent writes: Develop in the Cloud has news about what might be a breakthrough out of Microsoft Research. A team there wrote a paper (PDF), now accepted for publication at OOPSLA, that describes how to teach a compiler to auto-thread a program that was written single-threaded in a conventional language like C#. This is the holy grail to take advantage of multiple cores — to get Moore's Law improvements back on track, after they essentially ran aground in the last decade. (Functional programming, the other great white hope, just isn't happening.) About 2004 was when Intel et al. ran into a wall and started packing multiple cores into chips instead of cranking the clock speed. The Microsoft team modified a C# compiler to use the new technique, and claim a "large project at Microsoft" have written "several million lines of code" testing out the resulting "safe parallelism."

Submission + - Teaching evolution key to free school funding deal (

another random user writes: Any attempt to present as fact the view that God made the world could lead to new free schools losing their funding under UK government changes.

The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a "comprehensive and coherent scientific theory".

The move follows scientists' concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said it was "delighted". Sir Paul told BBC News the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been "not tight enough".

He said that although the previous rules had confined creationism to religious education lessons, "the Royal Society identified a potential issue that schools could have avoided teaching evolution by natural selection in science lessons or dealt with it in a such a perfunctory way, that the main experience for students was the creationist myth".


Submission + - Austrian police raid privacy network over child porn (

another random user writes: Austrian police have seized servers that were part of a global anonymous browsing system, after images showing child sex abuse were found passing through them.

Police raided the home of William Weber, who ran the servers, and charged him with distributing illegal images.

Mr Weber denied the charges and said he had no knowledge of what people did via the servers, which supported Tor.

Mr Weber operated part of the Tor network known as an "exit node". These act as a link between the wider net and the cloud of computers forming the core of the Tor network.

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