dartttt writes "There was a very interesting session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit by Google developer Thomas Bushnell. He talked about how Ubuntu, its derivatives and Goobuntu (Google's customized Ubuntu based distro) are used by Google developers. He starts by saying 'Precise Rocks,' and that many Google employees use Ubuntu — including managers, software engineers, translators, people who wrote the original Unix, and people who have no clue about Unix. Many developers working on Chrome and Android use Ubuntu. Ubuntu systems at Google are upgraded every LTS release. The entire process of upgrading can take as much as four months, and it is also quite expensive, as one reboot or a small change can cost them as much as a million dollars across the company." Bushnell also mentions that Google Drive will soon be available for Linux. Other news out of UDS: there was discussion of a GNOME flavor of 12.10, Electronic Arts reaffirmed that they "won't delay their Windows work for Linux," and Unity 2D is likely to disappear in 12.10.
Qbertino writes "I'm in my early 40s, and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular, full-time employee, I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost by getting a degree. I'm your regular 1980s computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. I have quite a bit of programming and project experience, but no degree. I find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling (with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there). Since I'm in Germany, degrees count for a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice addition to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for Computer Science or Business Informatics. I'd like to move into Project Management or Technical Account Management, which causes my dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and technical stuff, and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills. Business Informatics would teach me some bean-counting skills; I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .NET all day. It would give me some BA cred, but I'd lose karma with the T-shirt wearing crew and the decision-makers in that camp. I'm leaning toward Business Informatics because I suspect that's where the money is, but I'm not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?"
dynamo52 sends this quote from Ars about a breach involving a Bitcoin exchange: "More than $87,000 worth of the virtual currency known as Bitcoin was stolen after online bandits penetrated servers belonging to Bitcoinica, prompting its operators to temporarily shutter the trading platform to contain the damage. Friday's theft came after hackers accessed Bitcoinica's production servers and depleted its online wallet of 18,547 BTC, as individual Bitcoin units are called, company officials said in a blog post published on Friday. It said the heist affected only a small fraction of Bitcoinica's overall bitcoin deposits and that all withdrawal requests will be honored once the platform reopens." Reader linhares points out a forum post discussing how the attacker(s) hinted at a 'mass leak' in the near future. This attack comes shortly after a leak of a different sort — an FBI document (PDF) about Bitcoin found it way onto the internet. It seems they're worried about the virtual currency's potential use in criminal activities.
CWmike writes "CNET's Declan McCullagh reported last week on the FBI's argument that the massive shift of communications from the telephone system to the Internet 'has made it far more difficult for the agency to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities.' The law has already been expanded once, in 2004, to include broadband networks, but still excludes Web companies. The FBI says its surveillance efforts are in danger of 'going dark' if it is not allowed to monitor the way people communicate now. Not surprisingly, a range of opponents, from privacy advocates to legal experts, disagree — strongly. On key tech hitch with the plan, per ACLU attorney Mark Rumold and others: There is a difference between wiretapping phones and demanding a backdoor to Internet services. 'A backdoor doesn't just make it accessible to the FBI — it makes it vulnerable to others,' Rumold says."
wiredmikey writes with a followup to Thursday's news that Adobe was recommending paid software upgrades in lieu of fixing security holes in some of its applications. After receiving criticism for the security bulletin, Adobe changed its mind and announced that it's developing patches to fix the vulnerabilities. "Developing a patch, especially for three different applications, can be costly and time consuming. Developing these patches consumes development resources, then must run through a QA process, and the patch needs to be communicated and distributed to users. And for a company like Adobe with a massive customer base using its Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash Professional, the bandwidth cost alone can be substantial. For a popular product that was just over two years old, providing a fix to address a serious security flaw its what customers deserve. And while Adobe may have originally tried to sneak by without addressing the issue and pushing users to upgrade to its new product, the company made the right move in the end."
skipkent writes with news that Britain is planning to use high-tech, non-lethal sonic weapons to provide security at the Olympics this summer. The Ministry of Defense says they intend to use the devices primarily as giant loudspeakers. But if they find themselves in need of a way to disperse crowds, the weapons can project sound up to 150 decibels, causing physical pain within a few hundred meters. "It has been successfully used aboard ships to repel Somali pirates." The maximum range for alarms and warnings is 3km. "Police and military planners say they are preparing for a range of security threats at the Olympics including protesters trying to disrupt events and attacks using hijacked airliners."
An anonymous reader tips an article at CNN about the development of technology that automates the process of writing news articles. It started with simple sports reporting, but now at least one company is setting its sights on more complicated articles. Quoting: "Narrative Science then began branching out into finance and other topics that are driven heavily by data. Soon, Hammond says, large companies came looking for help sorting huge amounts of data themselves. 'I think the place where this technology is absolutely essential is the area that's loosely referred to as big data,' Hammond said. 'So almost every company in the world has decided at one point that in order to do a really good job, they need to meter and monitor everything.' ... Meanwhile, Hammond says Narrative Science is looking to eventually expand into long form news stories. That's an idea that's unsettling to some journalism experts."
Hugh Pickens writes "Dr James Hansen, director of the NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who first made warnings about climate change in the 1980s, writes in the NY Times that he was troubled to read a recent interview with President Obama in Rolling Stone in which he said that Canada would exploit the oil in its vast tar sands reserves 'regardless of what we do.' According to Hansen 'Canada's tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now.' Hansen says that instead of placing a rising fee on carbon emissions to make fossil fuels pay their true costs, leveling the energy playing field, the world's governments are forcing the public to subsidize fossil fuels with hundreds of billions of dollars per year."
fishmike writes "Online music storage firm MP3tunes, Inc filed for bankruptcy in a U.S. court, following its prolonged run-in with music publishing giant EMI Group over copyright issues, court filings showed. MP3tunes is a so-called cloud music service that lets users store music in online 'lockers.' Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc and Google Inc have similar cloud services."
An anonymous reader writes "I work in a network environment that requires multiple people to have access to numerous Wireless Access Keys, iTunes/iCloud accounts/passwords, hardware appliance logins, etc. I'm attempting to replace the ever popular 'protected' excel spreadsheet that exists in almost every network with all usernames and passwords just waiting to be discovered. Are there any open source, multi-user, secure and preferably Linux-based password management tools that the Slashdot community would recommend?"
parallel_prankster writes "Bloomberg reports that Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co- founder of Facebook, has renounced his U.S. citizenship before an initial public offering that values the social network at as much as $96 billion, a move that may reduce his tax bill. From the article: 'Facebook plans to raise as much as $11.8 billion through the IPO, the biggest in history for an Internet company. Saverin's stake is about 4 percent, according to the website Who Owns Facebook. At the high end of the IPO valuation, that would be worth about $3.84 billion. Saverin, 30, joins a growing number of people giving up U.S. citizenship, a move that can trim their tax liabilities in that country. Saverin won't escape all U.S. taxes. Americans who give up their citizenship owe what is effectively an exit tax on the capital gains from their stock holdings, even if they don't sell the shares, said Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, director of the international tax program at the University of Michigan's law school. For tax purposes, the IRS treats the stock as if it has been sold.'"
dartttt writes "Florian Echtler has developed an open-source driver for the Microsoft Surface 2.0 touch screen. According to him, the open source implementation works surprisingly well on Ubuntu 11.10. The process requires you to boot Linux on your Surface 2.0 in the first place. However, it can be done by just booting Ubuntu from a USB hard disk without modify anything on the original Win7 installation."
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is demanding answers to questions about the U.S. Department of Justice practice of gathering data from wireless providers in order to monitor individuals' movements using mobile phone location data. In a letter (PDF) to Attorney General Eric Holder, Franken said, 'I was further concerned to learn that in many cases, these agencies appear to be obtaining precise records of individuals' past and current movements from carriers without first obtaining a warrant for this information. I think that these actions may violate the spirit if not the letter of the Jones decision.'"
New submitter Blug_fred writes "The first ever Culture Freedom Day is happening right now over a two-day period in Lisbon, Portugal. Organized by Flausina with the participation of Creative Commons Portugal, and being celebrated one week earlier that the official date, this event brings an impressive program of concerts, documentary projections, debates and more. For others there is still time to find an event in your area (so far, eleven listed worldwide) or organize one yourself. If you're in Lisbon you definitely don't want to miss out, and if not, you can always hope someone will bring Free Culture celebrations to your doorstep."
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "A DC appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency doesn't need to either confirm or deny its secret relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and follow-up lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The NSA cited a FOIA exemption that covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA's national security mission, and responded to EPIC with a 'no comment.' Beyond merely rejecting the FOIA request, the court has agreed with the NSA that it has the right to simply not respond to the request, as even a rejection of the request might reveal details of a suspected relationship with Google that it has sought to keep secret. Google was reported to have partnered with the NSA to bolster its defenses against hackers after its breach by Chinese cyberspies in early 2010. But to the dismay of privacy advocates who fear the NSA's surveillance measures coupled with Google's trove of data, the company has never explained the details of that partnership."