An anonymous reader writes "CNet reports on an agreement between AT&T and the FCC which will require the telecom company to pay $700,000 to the federal government to resolve overcharging complaints. AT&T will also refund charges to customers who were switched from pay-as-you-go data plans to monthly plans after AT&T said they could keep the old plans. 'AT&T has also agreed to an extensive compliance plan (PDF), which includes: consumer notification, training of customer care representatives, and periodic compliance reports to the FCC. AT&T must also conduct additional searches of its records to identify improperly switched consumers and ensure appropriate refunds.'"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Fox News, NBC, and CNN have called the U.S. election for incumbent Barack Obama. Of the so-called 'battleground states,' Obama carried Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, which, along with all of the solidly Democrat-leaning states, was enough to push him beyond the 270 required for victory. You can check this chart to see the full list of states that have currently been called, and by which news networks. The NY Times has an excellent interactive map showing all election results updated in real time, as does CNN. It's currently projected that the Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
NotSanguine writes "Technology companies are up in arms about the FTC's pending rules change which would require explicit parental permission to allow websites to gather a wide range of data on children 13 and under. From the NYT Article: '"If adopted, the effect of these new rules would be to slow the deployment of applications that provide tremendous benefits to children, and to slow the economic growth and job creation generated by the app economy," Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple, wrote in comments to the agency (PDF).' But would that be a bad thing? As reported in the Times last week, Matt Richtel writes, 'There is a widespread belief among teachers that students' constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.' So, will the new FTC rules end up helping children (by enhancing their privacy and, if industry pundits are right, reducing the amount of content available online for children — thus enhancing their attention spans), or will the negative effects on corporations have as deleterious an effect on the economy as to measurably reduce the quality of education?"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Companies are rushing to lock customer data into their specific walled gardens, Rackspace CTO John Engates argued in an interview after a Cloud Expo keynote in Silicon Valley. That makes it more important than ever to ensure that the cloud undergirding all the various functions of daily life remains open. 'These companies have grown up in the era of enterprise software and they're addicted to enterprise software margins, magnitudes more profitable than what we make as a hosting company,' he said. 'Now you have software companies embracing cloud computing and taking the same enterprise-software playbook they've had for years and trying to run it in the cloud.' Ultimately, he added, cloud computing needs to adopt the Linux model. 'Linux opened it up and gave you vendor choice, with numerous vendors bringing their own strengths to the table.'"
Today is Election Day in the U.S., and polls are open even in Hawaii now. The current Slashdot poll gives a snapshot of how many readers have voted or plan to vote; more rigorous and wide-based polls are easy to find. If you're taking part in today's election, what have you found? Did you or will you vote electronically, or on paper? How long did you wait to vote? Did you vote weeks ago by mail? How much time did you put into making your choices? It would be helpful if in comments you start the subject of your post with your 2-letter state abbreviation, like this: "TX - About to go get in line to push some buttons."
Riskable writes "Version 1.1 of Gate One (HTML5 terminal emulator/SSH client) was just released (download). New features include security enhancements, major performance improvements, mobile browser support, improved terminal emulation, automatic syntax highlighting of syslog messages, PDFs can now be captured/displayed just like images, Python 3 support, Internet Explorer (10) support, and quite a lot more (full release notes). There's also a new demo where you can try out vim in your browser, play terminal games (nethack, vitetris, adventure, zangband, battlestar, greed, robotfindskitten, and hangman), surf the web in lynx, and a useful suite of IPv6-enabled network tools (ping, traceroute, nmap, dig, and a domain name checker)." Gate One is dual licensed (AGPLv3/Commercial Licensing); for individuals, it's pay-as-you-please.
colinneagle writes "Andrew Mayhall is 19 years old and is running a server company, called Evtron, whose product has reportedly set the world record for data density (4.6 petabytes per server rack) and has begun attracting attention from investors. One of those interested parties is reportedly Facebook, with whom the young CEO claims to have had casual discussions about a potential acquisition/hire agreement (Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the talks). He says the opportunity to speak with Facebook was simply one he couldn't pass up, and seems more impassioned by entrepreneurship. He speaks often of building his company into an EMC or NetApp, and could very well compete with them soon. But if an offer from Facebook ever comes, should he accept, or try to build something on his own?"
An anonymous reader writes "Proud voters are already posting their ballots on Instagram but ProPublica's Lois Beckett reports that you may want to check your state laws first since showing your marked ballot to other people is actually illegal in many states."
darthcamaro writes "There was a time when the Linux Foundation wouldn't take money from Microsoft. That time is not today — Microsoft is listed as a Gold Sponsor of the LinuxCon Europe event, paying $20,000 for the privilege and also getting a guaranteed speaking slot as a result."
Mark.JUK writes "Scientists working under an EU funded (3 Million Euros) project out of Bangor University in Wales (United Kingdom) have developed a commercially-exploitable way of boosting broadband speeds over end-user fibre optic lines by using Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OOFDM) technology, which splits a laser down to multiple different optical frequencies (each of which can be used to carry data), and low-cost off-the-shelf components. The scientists claim that their solution has the ability to 'increase broadband transmission by up to two thousand times the current speed and capacity' (most UK Fibre-to-the-Home or similar services currently offer less than 100 Megabits per second) and it can do this alongside a 'significant reduction in electrical power consumption.'"
sweetpea86 writes "... but retails for $130 more. Teardowns of the Apple iPad Mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD have revealed that the two devices cost almost the same amount to manufacture, despite the retail prices being significantly different. Andrew Rassweiler, senior principal analyst of teardown services for IHS iSuppli, explains that Apple is sticking to the premium brand strategy it has always used for its media tablet and smartphone products, whereas Amazon is banking on content."
First time accepted submitter yincrash writes "Today I've been looking up information on local elections and have found it virtually impossible to determine information on judicial elections, both with regards to information on the candidate, and what makes a good judge. Is there a good way to find information on these candidates? chooseyourjudges.org seems to agree that this is basically an impossible task. What do slashdotters do in an information vacuum? Just abstain from voting? Write-in something in protest?"
dstates writes "Want a good job in IT? Detroit of all places may be the place to be. GM is bringing IT development back in house to speed innovation. Among other initiatives, a self driving Cadillac is planned by mid decade. Ford is also actively developing driver assist technology and is betting big on voice recognition. Ann Arbor has thousands of smart cars wirelessly connected on the road. Think about all those aging baby boomers with houses in the burbs and no desire to move as their vision and reflexes decline. The smart car is a huge market. Seriously, Detroit and SE Michigan have good jobs, great universities, cheap housing and easy access to great sports and outdoors activities."
mikejuk writes with an excerpt from I Programmer on a neat swarm of robots that use flying drones to build a map of their environment: "How can a swarm of robots get a global picture of its environment? Easy it simply sends up a drone. We are used to thinking of drones as being used for surveillance by humans operating on the ground, but what is good for humans is good for robots too. The drone can view the overall terrain and run simulations of what configurations of robots could best traverse the slopes. Once it has worked out how to assemble the robots into a single machine the drone has to communicate the plan to the swarm using a protocol based on the colored lights they all have. The ground robots adopt a random color and the drone selects the one it wants to communicate with by displaying the same color. They then repeat the process until only one robot has been selected i.e the drone follows the color changes of the selected robot. Of course if you don't like the idea of human drones flying over your head you may not be happy about robots getting in on the act as well..." Original paper
kkleiner writes "Short on arable land? One solution would be to plan up. Singapore, a small country that imports most of its food, has now begun selling vegetables from its first vertical farm. And even while they're more expensive the vegetables are already selling faster than they can be grown. If the farms prove sustainable – both technologically and economically – they could provide a much desired supplement to Singapore's locally grown food and serve as a model for farming in other land-challenged areas."