By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's eternal-recurrence department
First time accepted submitter Landy DeField writes "Tried accessing your Gmail today? You may be faced with 'Temporary Error (500)' error message. Tried to get more detailed information by clicking on the 'Show Detailed Technical Info' link which loads a single line... 'Numeric Code: 5.' Clicked on the App status dashboard link. All were green except for the Admin Control Panel / API. Took a glance 2 minutes ago and now, Google mail and Google Drive are orange and Admin Control Panel / API is red. Look forward to the actual ...'Detailed Technical Info' on what is going on."
The apps dashboard confirms
that there is a partial outage of many Google Apps. The Next Web ran a quick article about this, and in the process discovered there was an outage on the same date
last year.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's unexpected-turn-of-events department
An anonymous reader sent in word that the Obama administration is threatening to veto CISPA in its current form because "The Administration, however, remains concerned that the bill does not
require private entities to take reasonable steps to remove irrelevant personal information (PDF) when
sending cybersecurity data to the government or other private sector entities. Citizens have a
right to know that corporations will be held accountable — and not granted immunity — for failing
to safeguard personal information adequately. The Administration is committed to working with
all stakeholders to find a workable solution to this challenge."
Ars has a few more details
, the EFF urges U.S. citizens to oppose the bill
, and one of the sponsors tweeted that those opposed to the bill are basement dwelling fourteen year olds
. Note that the Administration still wants there to be some kind of comprehensive data sharing law in the name of cybersecurity, so this may very well rear its head again in the coming months.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's canada-isn't-real-anyway department
quarterbuck writes "Many politicians, especially in Europe, have used the idea that economic growth is impeded by debt levels above 90% of GDP to justify austerity measures. The academic justification came from a paper and a book by Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. Now researchers at U Mass at Amherst have refuted the study — they find that not only was the data tainted by bad statistics, it also had an Excel error . Apparently when averaging a few GDP numbers in an excel sheet, they did not drag down the cell ranges down properly, excluding Belgium. The supporting website for the book 'This time it is different' has lots of financial information if a reader might want to replicate some of the results."
The Excel error is making the rounds as the
cause of the problems with the study, but it's actually a minor component. The study also ignores some post-WWII data for countries that had a high debt load and high growth, and there's some fishy weighting going on: "The U.K. has 19 years (1946-1964) above 90 percent debt-to-GDP with an average 2.4 percent growth rate. New Zealand has one year in their sample above 90 percent debt-to-GDP with a growth rate of -7.6. These two numbers, 2.4 and -7.6 percent, are given equal weight in the final calculation, as they average the countries equally. Even though there are 19 times as many data points for the U.K."Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's please-don't-make-this-a-thing department
MojoKid writes "When it comes to creative advertising potential, it's hard to beat a game like SimCity. In most titles, the idea of in-game advertising makes little sense. Sarah Kerrigan doesn't shop at Victoria's Secret, Booker DeWitt is an unlikely fan of Coca-Cola, and the post-apocalyptic setting of Metro 2033 isn't exactly prime McDonald's turf. But SimCity? SimCity is a game where it makes perfect sense to integrate real-world brands. A city filled with familiar logos and advertising is a city that more closely resembles the real world. That's undoubtedly why EA decided to partner with Crest Toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. And not for in-game advertising, either. The Nissan Leaf DLC that the company launched a few weeks back at least made sense in some context; EV charging stations are going to be an increasingly common site in cities in the future. But the five new SimCity Attractions that the company added in the Crest partnership boggle the mind."
The Escapist points out that this partnership also extends to The Sims Social
, one of EA's Facebook games... which is getting shut down
in a few months.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's tomorrow-will-probably-be-a-better-day-for-him department
An anonymous reader writes "Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, a.k.a. 'anakata,' co-founder of The Pirate Bay, has been indicted by a Swedish court on charges of computer hacking and fraud. The prosecuting attorney said, 'A large amount of data from companies and agencies was taken during the hack, including a large amount of personal data, such as personal identity numbers of people with protected identities.' According to Ars, 'The first count of hacking involves allegedly unlawfully using another person's username and password to search Infotorg, a well-known massive privately held commercial database of "private individuals, companies, properties and vehicles." The second count, as previously reported, involves an alleged hack dating back to 2010 of Logica, a Swedish IT firm that contracts with the Swedish tax authority. In March 2012, Logica was hit by an online attack that resulted in around 9,000 Swedes (Google Translate) having their personal identity numbers and names released to the public. ... The third count of hacking, allegedly taking place between July and August 2012, accuses Svartholm Warg of unauthorized access of major Nordic region bank Nordea's computers. The fraud charges accuse Svartholm Warg of allegedly transferring and attempting to transfer money from Nordea to other unauthorized bank accounts.'"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's defining-news-coverage department
Nerval's Lobster writes "These days, when something in the world goes very wrong, it seems as if everybody learns about it first on Twitter and Facebook. In the minutes after homemade bombs turned the finish line of the Boston Marathon into a crime scene, terms such as #BostonMarathon shot to the top of Twitter's Trends list; across the country, office workers first learned of the attack when someone posted a message on a Facebook page. Social networks have become this generation's radio, the default conduit for the freshest information. As first responders treated the wounded and the minutes ticked past, news organizations began vacuuming up Twitter and Facebook posts from around Boston and posting it on their Websites, along with 'regular' text updates. A Vine video-snippet of a bomb going off near the finish line, knocking a runner off his feet, ended up embedded into dozens of blog postings. When a disaster strikes, and many of those same news Websites post 'live updates' that incorporate tons of social-networking posts, they face accusations of exploiting the tragedy in the name of pageviews and revenue. That's not surprising—long before 'yellow journalism' became a term, people have charged news organizations with playing up humanity's worst for their own gain. In the immediate aftermath of the Boston bombings, online pundits lashed out against Mashable, The Verge, Wired, and other publications that had posted live updates, accusing them of stepping outside their usual coverage areas for cynical gain. In the following piece, a number of tech editors-in-chief, including The Verge's Joshua Topolsky and Mashable's Lance Ulanoff, talk about their approaches to covering the tragedy."Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's machines-are-getting-smarter-and-stronger-every-day department
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has robot competitions all over the United States. FIRST was founded by inventor Dean Kamen. According to Wikipedia
he has said that the FIRST competition is the invention he is most proud of, and he predicts that the 1 million students who have taken part in the contests so far will be responsible for some significant technological advances in years to come. In any case, Robert Rozeboom (samzenpus) was at the Michigan FIRST championship
with camcorder in hand, and brought back some great shots of robots at work -- or maybe play. They fired off volleys of Frisbee-like discs, ran into each other, and climbed metal pyramids, either independently or under the control of their human masters. There was a pretty good crowd in the stands, too, to cheer on the robots. Or more likely, to cheer on the robots' human masters, since we're not yet at the point where robot masters invite their robot friends to competitions where they show off their humans.Read Replies (0)