suraj.sun writes "An iPhone-owner whose daughter downloaded $200 worth of 'Zombie Toxin' and 'Gems' through in-app purchases on his iPhone has been allowed to pursue a class action suit against Apple for compensation of up to $5m. Garen Meguerian of Pennsylvania launched the class-action case against Apple in April 2011 after he discovered that his nine-year-old daughter had been draining his credit card account through in-app purchases on 'free' games including Zombie Cafe and Treasure Story. This month, Judge Edward J Davila in San Jose District Federal Court has allowed the case to go to trial, rejecting Apple's claim that the case should be dismissed. Meguerian claimed that Apple was unfairly targeting children by allowing games geared at kids to push them to make purchases. He describes games that are free to play but require purchases of virtual goods to progress as 'bait apps' and says they should not be aimed at children."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
gManZboy writes in with a troubling story about tax dollars being used for overseas call center training. "Despite President Obama's recent call for companies to 'insource' jobs sent overseas, it turns out that the federal government itself is spending millions of dollars to train foreign students for employment in some booming career fields--including working in offshore call centers that serve U.S. businesses. The program is called JEEP, which stands for Job Enabling English Proficiency. It's available to college students in the Philippines through USAID. That's the same agency that until a couple of years ago was spending millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money to train offshore IT workers in Sri Lanka. Congressman Tim Bishop (D-New York), told about the program on Tuesday, called it 'surprising and distressing.' Bishop recently introduced a bill that would make companies that outsource call centers ineligible for government contracts."
benrothke writes "While Julius Caesar likely never said 'Et tu, Brute?' the saying associated with his final minutes has come to symbolize the ultimate insider betrayal. In The CERT Guide to Insider Threats: How to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Information Technology Crimes, authors Dawn Cappelli, Andrew Moore and Randall Trzeciak of the CERT Insider Threat Center provide incontrovertible data and an abundance of empirical evidence, which creates an important resource on the topic of insider threats. There are thousands of companies that have uttered modern day versions of Et tu, Brute due to insidious insider attacks and the book documents many of them." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.
An anonymous reader writes "Austrian police have arrested a 15-year-old student suspected of hacking into 259 companies across the span of three months. Authorities allege the suspect scanned the Internet for vulnerabilities and bugs in websites and databases that he could then exploit. As soon as he was questioned, the young boy confessed to the attacks, according to Austria's Federal Criminal Police Office (BMI)."
An anonymous reader writes "Getting access to enough water to drink in a desert environment is a pretty tough proposition, but Eole Water may have solved the problem. It has created a wind turbine that can extract up to 1,000 liters of water per day from the air. All it requires is a 15mph wind to generate the 30kW's of power required for the process to happen. The end result is a tank full of purified water ready to drink at the base of each turbine."
miller60 writes "Apple says Greenpeace has wildly overestimated the amount of power it uses in its data center in North Carolina, and used that bad math to give the company a low grade on sustainability. Apple says it uses 20 megawatts of power at its iDataCenter, a fraction of Greenpeace's estimate of 100 megawatts in a new report on energy use by cloud computing providers. Apple says that its huge solar array and biogas-powered fuel cell will supply 60 percent of the facility's power, not the 10 percent claimed by Greenpeace."
judgecorp writes "An all-party inquiry by British MPs has proposed the Internet should be censored to prevent children seeing 'adult' content. Users would have to opt in to see adult content. The proposal is similar to that already used by mobile operators." From the article: "The move, first suggested in 2010, has been firmed up , after a cross-party Parliamentary inquiry examined the state of online child protection. The current proposal is a 'network-level "Opt-In" system,' going beyond the 'active choice' model launched by ISPs ... last October. ... They also want the Government to 'consider a new regulatory structure for online content, with one regulator given a lead role in the oversight and monitoring of Internet content distribution and the promotion of Internet safety initiatives.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Wikimedia Foundation is now treating their infrastructure like one of their projects, in that volunteers can edit it. Thanks to Wikimedia Labs, the volunteers can make changes to the infrastructure via puppet and git. After code review, changes can be deployed to production. After years of having no new root or shell-level volunteers, it's now possible for anyone to contribute to how Wikimedia projects are run from an infrastructure perspective."
Cazekiel writes "In January 2011, an Air Canada Boeing 767 carrying 95 passengers and eight crew members was on route to Zurich from Toronto when its First Officer, fatigued and disoriented from a long nap he'd taken, panicked in seeing what he believed to be a U.S. cargo plane on a collision course with his aircraft. The panicking F.O. pushed forward on the control column to make a rapid descent. Only, it wasn't an aircraft he'd been looking at, but Venus. According to the article: 'The airliner dropped about 400 feet before the captain pulled back on the control column. Fourteen passengers and two crew were hurt, and seven needed hospital treatment. None were wearing seat belts, even though the seat-belt sign was on.' The only danger in this situation had been the F.O. napping for 75 minutes instead of the maximum 40, as the disorientation and confusion stemming from deeper sleep was the culprit in this mix-up. However, the Air Canada Pilots Association, 'has long pressured authorities to take the stresses of night flying into account when setting the maximum hours a pilot can work,' taking into account that North Atlantic night-flights are hardest on an already-fatigued pilot."
A longstanding task for the GIMP has been porting the core graphics code from the ancient implementation (dating back to version 1.2) to GEGL. Progress has been hampered by the amount of code relying on details of the implementation of image data: tiles are directly accessed instead of linear buffers, and changing that detail would break the entire core and all plugins. A few weeks ago, two GIMP hackers got together to do some general hacking, and inadvertedly ported the core graphics code to GEGL. They work around the mismatch between GEGL buffers and GIMP tiles by implementing a storage backend for GEGL using the legacy GIMP tiles; to their surprise things Just Worked (tm), and their code branch will become the 2.9 development series once 2.8 is released. With this, 2.10 will finally feature higher bit depth images, additional color spaces (CMYK for one), and hardware accelerated image operations. There's still work to be done: to take advantage of the new features, plugins need to be ported to access GEGL buffers instead of GIMP tiles, but the conversion work is straightforward and current plugins will continue working as well as they do now in the meantime.
redletterdave writes "The outbreak of a new livestock disease in western Europe last year, particularly harmful to offspring, could move further into areas surrounding the worst affected countries in the next cycle of new births, scientists say. The Schmallenberg virus — named after the German town where it was first detected in November — infected sheep and cows on at least 2,600 farms in eight EU countries last year, most likely between August and October. Thought to have been spread for hundreds of miles across Europe by biting midges and warm late summer winds, the virus has since been confirmed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain and Britain. 'It is certainly a warning for the whole world in the sense that, unfortunately, new threats may emerge,' said Alberto Laddomada, a former virologist who heads the animal health unit at the European Commission. 'This virus has spread very, very quickly in the European Union amongst an animal population of many millions.'"
ananyo writes "Many of the problems that led to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill have not been addressed, say the members of a commission set up by U.S. President Barack Obama to study the disaster. The group released a report today (PDF) on progress towards its 2011 recommendations for preventing future disasters and improving spill response. The U.S. Congress fares worst in the new report, earning a 'D' rating for its failure to enact any meaningful legislation in response to the disaster. The Restore Act would allocate 80% of any fines that BP pays for the spill under the Clean Water Act to restoring the environment and economies of the states in the Gulf of Mexico, but the act has stalled in the House of Representatives. The Obama administration did better, with a B, thanks in part to new drilling regulations, while the oil industry's efforts to improve safety saw it awarded a C+."
theodp writes "How much would you pay for an amazing light bulb? On Sunday — Earth Day — Philips' $60 LED light bulb goes on sale at Home Depot and other outlets. The bulb, which lasts 20 years, won a $10 million DOE contest that stipulated the winning bulb should cost consumers $22 in its first year on the market. Ed Crawford, the head of Philips' U.S. lighting division, said it was always part of the plan to have utility rebates bring the price down to the $22 range."
An anonymous reader writes "The water at a high school in Afghanistan was contaminated today, poisoning roughly 150 girls in attendance. Afghan officials say this was a deliberate attack: 'We are 100 percent sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls' education or irresponsible armed individuals.' From the article: 'Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after treatment in hospital, the officials said. They said they knew the water had been poisoned because a larger tank used to fill the affected water jugs was not contaminated. ... None of the officials blamed any particular group for the attack, fearing retribution from anyone named.'"
fishmike writes "NOAA has made sea floor maps and other data on the world's coasts, continental shelves and deep ocean available for easy viewing online. Anyone with Internet access can now explore undersea features and obtain detailed depictions of the sea floor and coasts, including deep canyons, ripples, landslides and likely fish habitat. The new online data viewer compiles sea floor data from the near shore to the deep blue, including the latest high-resolution bathymetric (sea bottom) data collected by NOAA's Office of Coast Survey primarily to support nautical charting."