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Updated: 14 min 18 sec ago

AT&T Call Centers Sold Mobile Customer Information To Criminals

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 9:27pm
itwbennett writes Employees at three call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines sold hundreds of thousands of AT&T customer records, including names and Social Security numbers, to criminals who attempted to use the customer information to unlock stolen mobile phones, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said. AT&T has agreed to pay a $25 million civil penalty, which is the largest related to a data breach and customer privacy in the FCC's history.

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Organic Molecules Found Circling Nearby Star

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 8:44pm
sciencehabit writes Astronomers have detected chemical precursors of building blocks of life in the large disk of dust and gas whirling around a young nearby star. These complex organic molecules, two forms of cyanide and one chemically related compound, likely formed after the protoplanetary disk collapsed, the researchers say. The same chemicals are found in roughly similar proportions in comets circling our sun, which may have brought them to Earth billions of years ago. "We know that the solar system isn't unique in its number of planets or abundance of water," says Karin Öberg, an astrochemist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Now we know that we're not unique in organic chemistry. From a life in the universe point of view, this is great news."

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Patent Case Could Shift Power Balance In Tech Industry

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 8:02pm
An anonymous reader writes A lawsuit between Apple and Google could drastically change the power balance between patent holders and device makers. "The dispute centers on so-called standard-essential patents, which cover technology that is included in industry-wide technology standards. Since others have to use the technology if they want their own products to meet an industry standard, the companies that submit their patents for approval by standards bodies are required to license them out on 'reasonable and non-discriminatory',(paywalled) or RAND, terms." If Apple wins, the understanding of what fees are RAND may decrease by at least an order of magnitude.

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Greenwald Criticizes Universities' Funding-Driven Collaboration With NSA

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 7:20pm
An anonymous reader writes Speaking at "Secrecy Week" at the University of Utah, one of the two journalists who helped disseminate Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of National Security Agency surveillance has criticized universities which open up their campuses to government agencies in exchange for funding. Ex-Guardian journalist and lawyer Glenn Greenwald, one of Snowden's first contacts after his flight from the NSA, commented: "Even if you think that you're the kind of person who does not have things to hide, just living in a world where you think you're being watched and recorded it changes your behavior from being a free individual. I would submit, and I don't think that it's in dispute, that we are far closer to the tyrannical model than we are the free model."

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Verdict Reached In Boston Bombing Trial

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 6:38pm
An anonymous reader writes "A Boston jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who admitted that he planted a bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that left three dead and wounded 264 others. After deliberating for 11½ hours the jury has found Dzhokhar guilty on all 30 charges brought against him."

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LG Will Lend You a Free Phone If You Talk About It On Social Media

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 6:37pm
jfruh writes LG will let people in a host of countries use its G4 free for 30 days — with the hope that this will result in positive buzz on social media sites. From the article: "By offering 4,000 people a G4 for 30 days, the company hopes to create some buzz around its new device as flagship devices from its rivals Samsung Electronics and HTC go on sale. The Consumer Experience Campaign kicks off in South Korea on Wednesday, and will then expand to Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, U.S., China, India, Brazil, Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong, LG said."

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Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 5:54pm
An anonymous reader sends word that Hawaii Gov. David Ige has asked for a week-long hold in the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. "After more than a week of demonstrations and dozens of arrests, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday that the company building one of the world's largest telescopes atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea has agreed to his request to halt construction for a week. 'They have responded to my request and on behalf of the president of the University and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have agreed to a time out on the project, and there will be no construction activities this week,' Ige said at a news conference. Thirty Meter Telescope is constructing the telescope on land that is held sacred to some Native Hawaiians. Scientists say the location is ideal for the telescope, which could allow them to see into the earliest years of the universe. Ige said he hopes the temporary pause in construction will allow the interested parties to have more discussions about the project. Native Hawaiian groups have been protesting the construction of the telescope since its inception last year."

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