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How Google Handles 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's conveniently-forgets-about-them department:
An anonymous reader writes: In response to an inquiry from European data protection regulators, Google has detailed how they evaluate and act on requests to de-index search results. Google's procedures for responding to "right-to-be-forgotten" requests are explained in a lengthy document that was made publicly available. "Google of course claims its own economic interest does not come into play when making these rtbf judgements — beyond an 'abstract consideration' of a search engine needing to help people find the most relevant information for their query. ... Google also goes into lengthy detail to justify its decision to inform publishers when it has removed links to content on their sites — a decision which has resulted in media outlets writing new articles about delisted content, thereby resulting in the rtbf ruling causing the opposite effect to that intended (i.e. fresh publicity, not fair obscurity)."

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How Many Members of Congress Does It Take To Pass a $400MM CS Bill?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's trick-question-congress-can't-pass-anything department:
theodp writes: Over at Code.org, they're celebrating because more than 100 members of Congress are now co-sponsoring the Computer Science Education Act (HR 2536), making the bill designed to"strengthen elementary and secondary computer science education" the most broadly cosponsored education bill in the House. By adding fewer than 50 words to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, HR 2536 would elevate Computer Science to a "core academic subject" (current core academic subjects are English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography), a status that opens the doors not only to a number of funding opportunities, but also to a number of government regulations. So, now that we know it takes 112 U.S. Representatives to make a CS education bill, the next question is, "How many taxpayer dollars will it take to pay for the consequences?" While Code.org says "the bill is cost-neutral and doesn't introduce new programs or mandates," the organization in April pegged the cost of putting CS in every school at $300-$400 million. In Congressional testimony last January, Code.org proposed that "comprehensive immigration reform efforts that tie H-1B visa fees to a new STEM education fund" could be used "to support the teaching and learning of more computer science in K-12 schools," echoing Microsoft's National Talent Strategy.

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The XBMC Project Will Now Be Called Kodi
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lessons-in-picking-a-name department:
An anonymous reader writes: Citing the problems caused by the lack of legal control over the current name and its long outdated origins as the reasons for the change, The Xbox Media Center team announced that they will switch the project's name to Kodi when version 14 is released later this year. If you're wondering how they picked the name Kodi, here's what they said: "We considered a TON of names. We had a number of requirements for the new name, such as being reasonably pronounceable in various languages and not be a mouthful to say, not be used as a trademark for someone else's media-related product, be easy to remember, etc. The group came up with a list of names and had our lawyer go over them. We then got back a smaller list that had been checked for various legal issues, and then we voted on the final name."

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Perlan II Project Aims To Fly a Glider To the Edge of Space
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bring-a-jacket,-it'll-be-chilly department:
Zothecula writes: In an ambitious attempt to break every wing-borne sustained flight height record for a manned aircraft, the Perlan ll project intends to construct and fly a glider higher than any sailplane has gone before. Riding on the colossal stratospheric air waves generated over mountains, the team plans to fly their craft to more than 90,000 ft (27,000 m), which will shatter their own existing glider altitude record of 50,671 ft (15,400 m) set by Perlan l in 2008.

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The World's Most Hackable Cars
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cylons-were-created-by-man department:
ancientribe writes: If you're wondering whether the most tech-loaded vehicles are also the most vulnerable to hackers, there is now research that shows it. Charlie Miller, a security engineer with Twitter, and Chris Valasek, director of security intelligence at IOActive, studied modern auto models and concluded that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the 2014 Infiniti Q50, and the 2015 Escalade are the most likely to get hacked. The key is whether their networked features that can communicate outside the vehicle are on the same network as the car's automated physical functions. They also name the least-hackable cars, and will share the details of their new findings next week at Black Hat USA in Las Vegas.

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Ask Slashdot: IT Personnel As Ostriches?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's head-in-the-sand department:
MonOptIt writes: I'm a new IT professional, having recently switched from a different sci/tech field. My first gig is with a mid-size (50ish) nonprofit which includes a wide variety of departments and functions. I'm the sole on-site IT support, which means that I'm working with every employee/department regularly both at HQ and off-site locations. My questions for the seasoned pros are: Do you find yourself deliberately ignoring office politics, overheard conversations, open documents or emails, etc as you go about your work? If not, how do you preserve the impartiality/neutrality which seems (to my novice mind) necessary to be effective in this position? In either case: how do you deal with the possibility of accidentally learning something you're not supposed to know? E.g. troubleshooting a user's email program when they've left sensitive/eyes-only emails open on their workstation. Are there protections or policies that are standard, or is this a legal and professional gray-area?

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Fixing a 7,000-Ton Drill
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-probably-just-your-alternator department:
An anonymous reader writes: At the end of last year, we discussed Bertha, the world's largest tunnel boring machine. During an effort to drill a viaduct beneath downtown Seattle, the machine — clocking in at 7,000 tons, 57.5 feet in diameter, and 326 feet long — got hamstrung by an 8-inch-diameter steel pipe. The complexity and scope of the repair plan rivals that of the project itself. "The rescue operation (workers call it "the intervention") began in late spring with construction on the shaft to reach Bertha. Workers have been sinking pilings in a ring to prevent the shaft from collapsing, using 24,000 cubic yards of concrete — enough for a medium-size office building. Once that ring is complete, digging on the shaft will start. When the shaft is ready, Bertha, which is damaged but still operational, will be turned back on so she can chew through the concrete pilings to reach the center of the shaft. There, the machine will rest on a cradle where workers can detach the front end and hoist it out." That detachable front end? It weighs about 2,000 tons by itself. The repair bill is estimated at about $125 million.

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PlayStation Now, Sony's 'Netflix For Games' -- Pros and Cons
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's stream-all-the-things department:
An anonymous reader writes: When Sony acquired nascent cloud gaming service Gaikai, it was obvious they were interested in bringing streamed gaming to the PlayStation. The service is in the process of coming online, in a beta test that started this week. The idea is simple, and one that game companies are excited about — but it's also complex and expensive, creating a new problem for each one it solves. The biggest difficulty you'd expect — latency — actually seems to hold up pretty well. It'll even hold its own when fighting for bandwidth with Netflix and other video streams.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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The Great Taxi Upheaval
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's point-A-to-point-B department:
An anonymous reader writes: Uber, Lyft, and a variety of competitors are becoming ubiquitous. Their presence is jarring not because of how different they are from conventional taxis, but simply because they're different at all. Taxis really haven't changed much over the years. Watch a movie from the '90s and you can't help but chuckle at the giant, clunky mobile phones they use. But you can go all the way back to movies from '30s and scenes with taxis won't be unfamiliar. New York Magazine has a series of articles about the taxi revolution currently underway. "So far, Uber appears to be pinching traditional car services—Carmel, Dial 7, and the like—hardest. (They have apps, too, but Uber's is the one you've heard of.) The big question is about the prices for medallions, because so much of the yellow-cab business depends on their future value. ... [I]t's hard to see how those prices won't slip. Medallions, after all, are part of a top-down system formed to fight the abuses and dangers of the old crooked New York: rattletrap cars, overclocked meters, bribed inspectors. Its heavy regulation in turn empowered the taxi lobby and (somewhat) the drivers union. That system may be a pain to deal with, but in its defense, it provided predictability and security. The loosey-goosey libertarian alternative, conceived in the clean Northern California air, calls upon the market to provide checks and balances. A poorly served passenger can, instead of turning to a city agency for recourse, switch allegiances or sue."

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Cell Phone Unlocking Is Legal -- For Now
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 07:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-successfully-kicked-down-road department:
On Friday President Obama signed into a law a bill allowing mobile devices to be legally unlocked, so that consumers can switch between carriers. The legislation was kicked off by a successful petition on Whitehouse.gov after the Librarian of Congress decided that cell phones no longer needed an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's anti-hacking provision. The legislation (PDF) passed both houses of Congress and is now law. Unfortunately, the new bill doesn't guarantee permanent legality. It simply reinstates the exemption, and leaves the DMCA alone. For the next year, cell phone unlocking will certainly be legal, but after that, the Librarian of Congress once again has the ability to void the exemption once every three years.

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If You're Always Working, You're Never Working Well
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's brain-gets-mushy department:
An anonymous reader writes: Hard work is almost an axiom in the U.S. — office culture continually rewards people who are at their desks early and stay late, regardless of actual performance. Over the past decade, it's encroached even further into workers' private lives with the advent of smartphones. An article at the Harvard Business Review takes issue with the idea that more work is always better: "When we accept this new and permanent ambient workload — checking business news in bed or responding to coworkers' emails during breakfast — we may believe that we are dedicated, tireless workers. But, actually, we're mostly just getting the small, easy things done. Being busy does not equate to being effective. ... And let's not forget about ambient play, which often distracts us from accomplishing our most important tasks. Facebook and Twitter report that their sites are most active during office hours. After all, the employee who's required to respond to her boss on Sunday morning will think nothing of responding to friends on Wednesday afternoon. And research shows (PDF) that these digital derailments are costly: it's not only the minutes lost responding to a tweet but also the time and energy required to 'reenter' the original task." How do we shift business culture to reward effective work more than the appearance of work?

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Critics To FTC: Why Do You Hate In-App Purchasing Freedom?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-does-seem-a-bit-overreachy department:
jfruh writes The FTC has moved aggressively recently against companies that make it too easy for people — especially kids — to rack up huge charges on purchases within apps. But at a dicussion panel sponsored by free-market think tank TechFreedom, critics pushed back. Joshua Wright, an FTC commissioner who dissented in a recent settlement with Apple, says a 15-minute open purchase window produced "obvious and intuitive consumer benefits" and that the FTC "simply substituted its own judgment for a private firm's decision as to how to design a product to satisfy as many users as possible."

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Driverless Buses Ruled Out For London, For Now
Posted by News Fetcher on August 02 '14 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's controlled-by-ai-is-the-next-step department:
An anonymous reader writes The office of the Mayor of London went into a bit of a panic this week after their own paper suggested that driverless buses could appear on the streets of the UK's capital at some point in the next four decades. The Mayor's office went so far as to suggest that they were really talking about driverless underground trains. Even more bizarre was the reaction of the city's taxi drivers' association — whose spokesperson claimed that the failure to deliver 'simple' software tasks such as speech recognition meant there was no chance of driverless buses appearing on London's streets.

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Recipe For Building a Cheap Raspberry Pi Honeypot Network
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-forgot-the-sledgehammer department:
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "Honeypots are the perfect bait for corporate IT shops to detect hackers targeting and already within their networks and now a guide has been published to build a dirt cheap battalion of the devices from Raspberry Pis. "By running honeypots on our internal network, we are able to detect anomalous events. We gain awareness and insight into our network when network hosts interact with a Raspberry Pi honeypot sensor," the author explained."

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DNA Project 'to Make UK World Genetic Research Leader'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 08:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's looking-for-the-true-descendants-of-arthur department:
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes A project aiming to revolutionise medicine by unlocking the secrets of DNA is under way in centres across England. Prime Minister David Cameron has said it "will see the UK lead the world in genetic research within years". The first genetic codes of people with cancer or rare diseases, out of a target of 100,000, have been sequenced. Experts believe it will lead to targeted therapies and could make chemotherapy "a thing of the past". Just one human genome contains more than three billion base pairs — the building blocks of DNA. Prof Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "I can see a future where genetics is going to come into every bit of medicine from cardiology to oncology to infectious diseases." "Twenty years from now there's going to be a plethora of those, we will have a series of mutations which academics and industry will have developed therapies for, which will be targeted at you and specific for that cancer." He said chemotherapy, which attacks all dividing cells in the body, would be replaced with such therapies. "We will look back in 20 years' time and think of blockbuster chemotherapy [as] a thing of the past and we'll think 'Gosh, what an era that was'." David Cameron has announced a series of investments across government, industry and charities totalling £300m ($500m).

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Law Repressing Social Media, Bloggers Now In Effect In Russia
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 05:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-takes-a-village-but-not-yours department:
An anonymous reader writes On Friday, Russia implemented a new law that significantly limits its citizens' online free speech. Under this new law, social media sites must "retain user data for at least six months...within the country's boundaries so it can be available for government inspection." Also, "bloggers with at least 3,000 daily readers must register with Roskomnadzor, the regulator that also oversees Russia's main media outlets." This, of course, means that popular bloggers will no longer be able to remain anonymous.

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Georgia Tech Researchers Jailbreak iOS 7.1.2
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's have-you-tried-bribing-the-guards? department:
mikejuk writes The constant war to jailbreak and patch iOS has taken another step in favor of the jailbreakers. Georgia Tech researchers have found a way to jailbreak the current version of iOS. What the Georgia Tech team has discovered is a way to break in by a multi-step attack. After analysing the patches put in place to stop previous attacks, the team worked out a sequence that would jailbreak any modern iPhone. The team stresses the importance of patching all of the threats, and not just closing one vulnerability and assuming that it renders others unusable as an attack method. It is claimed that the hack works with any iOS 7.1.2 using device including the iPhone 5s.
It is worth noting that the The Device Freedom Prize for an open source jailbreak of iOS7 is still unclaimed and stands at just over $30,000. The details are to be revealed at the forthcoming Black Hat USA (August 6 & 7 Las Vegas) in a session titled Exploiting Unpatched iOS Vulnerabilities for Fun and Profit:


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Google+ Photos To Be Separated From Google+
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 03:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's they-always-kill-the-ones-you-love department:
An anonymous reader writes "Speculation on the eventual shuttering of Google+ has once more risen with news that Google+ Photos will soon be developed and run separately from the social media site. This news follows observations that Google+ "was barely mentioned at Google I/O 2014, while there were 15 sessions dedicated to the service in 2013" and that the company has ended its controversial real name policy. Google Hangouts was also separated from Google+ at the end of July." I've actually heard several people praising Google+ lately; scaling it back to "just a social stream" probably fits into some kind of corollary to Murphy's Law.

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Comparison: Linux Text Editors
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's put-your-swords-down department:
jrepin writes: Mayank Sharma of Linux Voices tests and compares five text editors for Linux, none of which are named Emacs or Vim. The contenders are Gedit, Kate, Sublime Text, UltraEdit, and jEdit. Why use a fancy text editor? Sharma says, "They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text. Some simple text editors even exceed their design goals thanks to plugins that infuse them with capabilities to rival text-centric apps from other genres. They can take on the duties of a source code editor and even an Integrated Development Environment."

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Microsoft Files Legal Action Against Samsung Over Android Patent Dispute
Posted by News Fetcher on August 01 '14 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ready-for-a-rematch department:
DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft has filed a contract dispute lawsuit against Samsung over what Microsoft claims is a breach of contract by Samsung involving Android patent royalties. Back in 2011, Samsung voluntarily entered into a legally binding contract with Microsoft in a cross-licensing IP agreement involving Android patents. Samsung has grown over the past few years and now believes that Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia nulls the agreement. Microsoft has gone to court and is asking to settle the disagreement with Samsung in order to continue the original agreement.

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