mdsolar writes "Climate change is amplifying risks from drought, floods, storms and rising seas, threatening all countries, but small island states, poor nations and arid regions in particular, UN experts warned on Tuesday. In its first-ever report on the question, the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said man-made global-warming gases are already affecting some types of extreme weather. And, despite gaps in knowledge, weather events once deemed a freak are likely to become more frequent or more vicious, inflicting a potentially high toll in deaths, economic damage and misery, it said."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
An anonymous reader writes "Telia, a Swedish telecommunications company, is now looking into possible solutions to block free VoIP services like Skype and Vibr, claiming the losses are beginning to take its toll on the total earnings. Critics are saying the companies have wrongly implemented outdated pricing models, and the act could threaten net transparency and Independence. A new report from regulators of the European phone market shows that more and more telecommunications companies will block their subscribers from using free services. The European Commission is investigating whether it is possible to prohibit the blocking of legal services online."
hackingbear writes "After China unblocked certain sensitive keywords in search engine baidu.com last week, YouTube is now partially, quietly unblocked. Users inside China can, without bypassing the Great Firewall, visit the site, search for sensitive keywords, and see uncensored results and comments. The videos themselves, including those not related to politics, remain blocked, however. Given that the Chinese government likes to make major changes in gradual, experimental steps, it is unclear what this round of Internet loosening will lead to eventually. At the meantime, many netizens in the country express their welcome of the moves as a good start through microblogging."
wiredmikey writes "As the Federal Government aims to make use of the massive volume of digital data being generated on a daily basis, the Obama Administration today announced a 'Big Data Research and Development Initiative' backed by more than $200 million in commitments to start. Through the new Big Data initiative and associated monetary investments, the Obama Administration promises to greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. Interestingly, as part of a number of government announcements on big data today, The National Institutes of Health announced that the world's largest set of data on human genetic variation – produced by the international 1000 Genomes Project (At 200 terabytes so far) is now freely available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it would invest approximately $250 million annually across the Military Departments in a series of programs. 'We also want to challenge industry, research universities, and non-profits to join with the Administration to make the most of the opportunities created by Big Data,' Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy at OSTP noted in a blog post. 'Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the President calls an 'all hands on deck' effort.'"
snydeq writes "Mozilla's 'endless parade' of Firefox updates adds no visible benefit to users but breaks common functions, as numerous add-ons, including the popular open source TinyMCE editor, continually suffer compatibility issues, thanks to Firefox's newly adopted auto-update cycle, writes InfoWorld's Galen Gruman. 'Firefox is a Web browser, and by its very nature the Web is a heterogeneous, uncontrolled collection of resources. Expecting every website that uses TinyMCE to update it whenever an incremental rev comes out is silly and unrealistic, and certainly not just because Mozilla decided compatibility in its parade of new Firefox releases was everyone else's problem. The Web must handle such variablility — especially the browsers used to access it.'"
First time accepted submitter wynterwynd writes "In a move that seems to be in line with Gawker Media founder Nick Denton's opinion of his sites' commenters, some Gawker Media sites are now instructing their commenters that they will have to link their Gawker commenter ID with their Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts in order to log in. Is this really a good idea, considering the security issues Gawker has had in the past? Per the article, for 'security purposes' Gawker is 'putting our account security layer in the hands of some of the best in the business — major sites with more security expertise and resources than anyone else on the web.' To my mind, it's hard to see this as anything but a grab to milk Gawker commenters' social networking accounts for targeted ad revenue — which really shouldn't be a surpirse considering Denton's contempt for most of the Gawker community. Is this a step too far for an online community? Is it a cash grab or a genuine effort to encourage secure and responsible posting?"
An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament's INTA Committee yesterday soundly rejected a proposal to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice for review. ACTA critics viewed the proposal as a delay tactic designed with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two it would take for a court review. The 21-5 vote against the motion means that the INTA committee will conclude its ACTA review later this spring with a full European Parliament vote expected in June or July. The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they are ready to bury it."
judgecorp writes "After many delays, the Raspberry Pi computer has arrived in Britain, but has been stopped by the need for a CE approval sticker to say it meets European regulations. The Raspberry Pi Foundation expects the sticker to be a formality, and says it failed to apply because it thought the Pi did not qualify as a 'finished end product.'"
redletterdave writes "After the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a battle with Apple after alleging the Cupertino-based company was misleading customers about its third-generation iPad, authorities in other countries are now assessing the compatibility of the new iPad with local 4G LTE networks to see if their customers should deserve refunds too. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating complaints of Apple's misleading '4G' claim, while Sweden and Denmark are also reportedly considering investigations, after agencies within both countries received 'several complaints' from customers about 4G connectivity. Even though these countries carry broad LTE coverage, the new iPad isn't supported on any of those networks."
First time accepted submitter OopsIDied writes with the story that high-school senior Austin Carroll of Garrett, Indiana was recently expelled after tweeting profanity from his own home, writing "Supposedly the school has a system which tracks students' social networks after they have logged in at school. Although the tweet was done at home at 2 AM, the school decided that such behavior was unacceptable and that the most fitting punishment was expulsion. He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school because the school claimed the tweet was associated with the school's IP address." As usual, TechDirt has some biting commentary about the expulsion. But Hey, at least they didn't throw him in jail.
An anonymous reader writes "While trust in science remained stable among people who self-identified as moderates and liberals in the United States between 1974 and 2010, trust in science fell among self-identified conservatives by more than 25 percent during the same period, according to a study by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 'Over the last several decades, there's been an effort among those who define themselves as conservatives to clearly identify what it means to be a conservative,' said the study's lead author. 'For whatever reason, this appears to involve opposing science and universities and what is perceived as the "liberal culture." So, self-identified conservatives seem to lump these groups together and rally around the notion that what makes "us" conservatives is that we don't agree with "them."'"
head_dunce writes "Now that Red Hat has officially posted more than a billion dollars in revenue, ($1.13 billion to be exact), the company's PR department sent this funny list of quotes predicting doom. For instance, 'We think of Linux as a competitor in the student and hobbyist market but I really don't think in the commercial market we'll see it in any significant way.' Bill Gates, 2001."
Nidi62 writes "The Government Accountability Office, through a fictitious company, recently requisitioned parts from China in order to determine if the Chinese government was living up to its promises of battling counterfeit parts. The report from the GAO found that '334 of 396 vendors who offered to sell parts to the fictitious company were from China' and that 'all 16 parts eventually purchased by the fake company came from 13 China-based vendors and all were determined by an independent testing laboratory to be counterfeit.' The parts requested were supposedly for use in F-15s, MV-22 Ospreys, and nuclear submarines, and were requested as new parts. The report (PDF) also says that in the past three years, over one million counterfeit parts came from Chinese companies. This stands in sharp contrast to the Chinese government's promise to clamp down on the production of counterfeit parts in China."
New submitter mike2400 writes "According to the Virginian Pilot, the U.S. is closer to having offshore wind turbines. Gamesa, a Spanish manufacturer, has partnered with Newport News Energy, a subsidiary of Newport News Ship Building and Huntington Ingles Industries, to build the first offshore wind turbine in the U.S. It will be located in the Chesapeake Bay off the shore of Cape Charles, VA, which is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The prototype 5 MW unit (the article said 5 kW — that's a typo) should be up and running by next year."