CowboyRobot writes "The story begins when GunnAllen, a financial company, outsourced all of its IT to The Revere Group. Before long, it was discovered that 'A senior network engineer had disabled the company's WatchGuard firewalls and routed all of the broker-dealer's IP traffic--including trades and VoIP calls--through his home cable modem.' In addition to the obvious security concerns of sending information such as bank routing information and driver's license numbers, the act violated SEC rules because the routed information was not being logged. Regardless of whether the cause was negligence, incompetence, or sabotage, the matter was swept under the rug for a time until unpaid SQL Server licenses meant threatening calls from Microsoft as well. The rest of the story is one of greed, mismanagement, and neglect, and ends with the SEC's first-ever fine for failure to protect customer data."
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SchrodingerZ writes "PETA, the same group that last November protested Mario for 'wearing fur,' has condemned the Pokémon media franchise and video game series. In light of the recent release of Pokemon Black and White Versions 2, the activist group is protesting that the Pokemon game series 'paints a rosy picture of what amounts to thinly veiled animal abuse.' As many of us know Pokemon is about young children who capture wild animals for the sole purpose of having them battle in non-fatal sparing matches. 'Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods,' says a statement from the group. Ironically within Pokemon B/W 2 there an organization known as Team Plasma , which deals with taking Pokemon and retuning them to the wild. PETA is so up in arms that they have even created an anti-pokemon parody game in which you play as an escaped Pokemon battling your trainer. I recommend trying it, just for the laughs."
redletterdave writes with an excerpt from IB Times that should be met with a bit of skepticism: "A new study released by international law firm DLA Piper Monday morning shows that among technology companies and their executives, Republican nominee Mitt Romney is the preferred presidential candidate for improving and advancing the technology industry. The study surveyed thousands of entrepreneurs, consultants, venture capitalists, CEOs, CFOs, and other C-level officers at technology companies, asking them their opinions about the 2012 presidential election and the issues facing their particular industry. The majority of respondents said Mitt Romney would be better with the technology industry, with 64 percent favoring the former governor from Massachusetts, and only 41 percent favoring the incumbent president. This is a complete turnaround from 2008 when the numbers were heavily in favor of Obama, with 60 percent of respondents saying then-Sen. Obama would be better for the sector than the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain." There's a whole lot of number stretching going on: the results more or less indicate only a slight preference for Romney; a healthy chunk of responses were that his policies would be "neutral" and Obama's would at worst be slightly bad. Would you like six politicians, or half a dozen? One thing is universal: everyone hates SOX.
New submitter Jalfro writes "Following premature rumors of its demise, the Diaspora core team announce the release of 0.0.1.0. 'It's been a couple of exciting months for us as we've shifted over to a model of community governance. After switching over to SemVer for our versioning system, and plugging away at fixing code through our new unstable branch, we're excited to make our first release beyond the Alpha/Beta labels.'"
concealment writes "Luckily, the Fire's low price and popularity relative to other Android tablets has made it a common target for Android's bustling open-source community, which has automated most of the sometimes-messy process of rooting and flashing your tablet. The Kindle Fire Utility boils the whole rooting process down to a couple of steps, and from there it's pretty easy to find pretty-stable Jelly Bean ROMs. A CyanogenMod-based version is actively maintained, but I prefer the older Hashcode ROM, which is very similar to the interface on the Nexus 7."
MojoKid writes "Sprint has announced a new vanity phone number alias service called **Me. In a nutshell, **Me lets you create a custom name that people can use to call you if they don't have your actual number programmed into their phone. For example, if your name is Jerry, you can use **Jerry as your handle. Or perhaps if your nickname is "Mad Dog", you can opt for **MadDog. Monikers must be at least 5 characters in length but no more than 9, not counting the two stars. The service costs $2.99 per month, but there are no additional usage charges beyond your normal Sprint plan. Currently, **Me will only accept calls from Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and other Sprint customers, and doesn't accept text messages yet."
First time accepted submitter ryanferrell writes "Not even Harvard can afford to subscribe to every academic journal. For scientists at small institutions, lack of access to journals specific to one's narrow field can be painful. Individual articles can cost $30 to $50 each, which is paid out of personal or grant funds. The Boston Globe profiles a start-up that is piloting an 'iTunes' model with Nature Publishing Group and the University of Utah. In the pilot program, researchers pay nothing to download articles and their library foots a smaller bill for a la carte access from the publisher."
hypnosec writes "Apple, Adobe, Google, HP, Microsoft and many others have joined forces and launched a new resource – the Web Platform in a bid to create a 'definitive resource' for all open Web technologies. The companies have come together to provide developers with a single source of all the latest information about HTML5, CSS3, WebGL, SVG and other Web standards. The platform will also offer tips and best practices on web development as well as web technologies. 'We are an open community of developers building resources for a better web, regardless of brand, browser or platform,' notes the WebPlatform site."
First time accepted submitter drichan writes "Those of us who watched the live feed of last night's Falcon 9 launch could be forgiven for assuming that everything went according to plan. All the reports that came through over the audio were heavy on the word "nominal," and the craft successfully entered an orbit that has it on schedule to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday. But over night, SpaceX released a slow-motion video of what they're calling an 'anomaly.'"
First time accepted submitter poofmeisterp writes "Felix Baumgarner's planned record jump from 120,000 feet has been delayed due to 'bad wind.' Humor aside, it's good that careful thought is going into this potentially record-setting public act. From the article: 'The Austrian - who described himself as "like a tiger in a cage waiting to get out" - was due to leap from his Red Bull Stratos space capsule today at a planned altitude of 36,576m (120,000ft) over the New Mexico desert. However, the weather has forced a 24-hour launch delay. In July, Baumgartner jumped from an altitude of 29,455m (96,640ft), hitting 586.92km/h (364.69mph) during the free fall part of his drop.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Poor sales have driven Motorola Mobility to whack the Webtop, its attempt to make Android into an all-in-one operating system for both smartphones and traditional PCs. Motorola confirmed the death to CNET before issuing a widely circulated statement. Webtop allowed users to plug their Motorola device into a special laptop dock, which could then display Web pages and files on a full screen. Supported devices included the Motorola Atrix 2, which launched with Android 2.3 ('Gingerbread') and a dual-core 1GHz processor. For those few who bought a Webtop and now need something to do with it, Liliputing posted an article earlier this year about using the device to transform Raspberry Pi into a laptop (with the aid of some key accessories). Raspberry Pi's homebrew computer features a 700MHz processor capable of overclocking to 1GHz and 256MB of RAM, as well as an SD card for longer storage—specs that lag those of the latest smartphones, but Raspberry Pi has the virtue of being quite a bit cheaper at $35."
parallel_prankster writes "NYTimes has an interesting article about how patents are really stifling innovation in the tech industry. Today, almost every major technology company is involved in ongoing patent battles. Of course, the most significant player is Apple, industry executives say, because of its influence and the size of its claims: in August in California, the company won a $1 billion patent infringement judgment against Samsung. Former Apple employees say senior executives made a deliberate decision over the last decade, after Apple was a victim of patent attacks, to use patents as leverage against competitors to the iPhone, the company's biggest source of profits. At a technology conference this year, Apple's chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said patent battles had not slowed innovation at the company, but acknowledged that some aspects of the battles had 'kind of gotten crazy.' It is a complaint heard throughout the industry. The increasing push to assert ownership of broad technologies has led to a destructive arms race, engineers say. Some point to so-called patent trolls, companies that exist solely to sue over patent violations. Others say big technology companies have also exploited the system's weaknesses. 'There are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program,' said James Bessen, a legal expert at Harvard. And so patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology. When such applications are approved, Mr. Bessen said, 'the borders are fuzzy, so it's really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas.'"
Discussions about ethics and technology are perennial Slashdot staples. But if you want to frequent a site that is about ethics and technology and almost nothing else, with a strong science fiction bent to it, you might want to check out the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET.org) website. Here to introduce us to IEET and tell us what it's about, we have IEET Managing Director Hank Pellissier in a remote video interview we made through Skype.
An anonymous reader writes "Samsung has released the source code for the Samsung GALAXY Note II. This clears the way for custom ROM's for the smartphone. From the article: 'It's now been posted for the international GT-N7100 model, giving developers a peek at the 5.5-incher's inner workings and allowing them to get to work on new mods.'"
MrSeb writes "Tighten the strap on your tinfoil hat: Recently declassified documents show that the US Air Force was working on, and perhaps had already built, a supersonic flying saucer in 1956. The aircraft, which had the code name Project 1794, was developed by the USAF and Avro Canada in the 1950s. One declassified memo, which seems to be the conclusion of initial research and prototyping, says that Project 1794 is a flying saucer capable of 'between Mach 3 and Mach 4,' (2,300-3,000 mph) a service ceiling of over 100,000 feet (30,500m), and a range of around 1,000 nautical miles (1,150mi, 1850km). According to declassified cutaway diagrams, the supersonic flying saucer would propel itself by rotating an outer disk at very high speed, taking advantage of the Coand effect. Maneuvering would be accomplished by using small shutters on the edge of the disc (similar to ailerons on a winged aircraft). Power would be provided by jet turbines. According to the cutaway diagrams, the entire thing would even be capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The fact that there are no disc-shaped aircraft in the skies today, though, suggests that the USAF's flying saucer efforts probably never got past the prototype stage."