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Google: Stop Making Apps! (A Love Letter)

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 10:19pm
An anonymous reader writes: Seasoned Silicon Valley software executive and investor Domenic Merenda has written a love letter to Google, and it's filled with "tough" love. The main thesis is that Google, as a company, should stop making apps, and instead focus on using its enormous data assets to make meaningful connections between people and facilitate organic engagement within a rich ecosystem. Interestingly, the article cites Wikipedia's information that Google maintains over 70 apps on the Android platform alone.

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Digital Transformation Office CEO's record reveals project wobbles

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 10:14pm
Little sign of turnaround at the Ministry of Justice on Peter Shetler's watch

Australia's Department of Communications on Thursday announced the appointment of Paul Shetler as Chief Executive Officer for the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), communications minister Malcolm Turnbull's effort to digitise government services. But an examination of his recent work suggests that one of the major projects he oversaw went backwards on his watch.…

UK Government Illegally Spied On Amnesty International

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 9:34pm
Mark Wilson writes with this excerpt from a story at Beta News: A court has revealed that the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, illegally spied on human rights organization Amnesty International. It is an allegation that the agency had previously denied, but an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal backtracked on a judgement made in June which said no such spying had taken place. The email was sent to Amnesty International yesterday, and while it conceded that the organization was indeed the subject of surveillance, no explanation has been offered. It is now clear that, for some reason, communications by Amnesty International were illegally intercepted, stored, and examined. What is not clear is when the spying happened, what data was collected and, more importantly, why it happened.

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Google Hangouts and SMS Integration: A Mess, For Now

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:50pm
Android Headlines reports that a bug in the Google Hangouts app is causing confusion for users who would like to send and receive SMS messages. According to the article, [S]ome users are reporting an issue that is preventing the merging of SMS messages with Hangouts. The exact nature of what is causing this error is still unknown, as Google has not divulged any concrete information. They did state though that they are working on a fix and will have it ready for release as soon as they figure out what is going on. On this front, I wish there were a good roadmap for all the overlapping and sometimes circular-seeming options for Google's various flavors of VoiP and messaging. Between Google Voice, Google Plus, Messenger (not Facebook's Messenger), Gmail, and now Google Fi, it's hard to tell quite where the there begins. After setting up a new phone through Google Fi, I find that the very pleasant full-screen text-message window I used to like with Google Voice is now one I can't figure out how to reach, and the screen directs me to use Hangouts instead.

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The Less-Powerful Intel Compute Stick With Ubuntu Will Soon Ship

Phoronix - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:49pm
Canonical confirmed today that the Intel Compute Stick preloaded with Ubuntu will go on sale next week at $110...

A looksee into storage upstart Hedvig's garage

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:28pm
Quick dip under a distributed storage platform's covers

+Comment  Hedvig decloaked from stealth recently, saying it’s producing converged block, file and object storage for enterprises with Facebook/Amazon-level scale, costs and efficiencies.…

Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:09pm
Says websites should switch to HTML5-based playback as netizens snub plugins

Microsoft is encouraging companies that use its Silverlight media format on their web pages to dump the tech in favor of newer, HTML5-based media playback systems.…

Microsoft Research Open Sources WorldWide Telescope

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:04pm
kfogel writes: Microsoft Research has open sourced WorldWide Telescope, releasing it under the MIT license and donating the code to the .NET Foundation. The code is up on GitHub at github.com/WorldWideTelescope, and there are demos and more details at WorldWideTelescope.org. Go forth and explore!

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Uncle Sam poised to OK AT&T DirecTV gobble

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 8:01pm
FCC, DoJ both said to be nearing approval on mega-merger

AT&T's $48.5bn acquisition of DirecTV looks to be heading toward approval by the US government.…

Hold my vodka, comrade – I got this: Russians blast supplies to the ISS

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 7:27pm
Step aside, Musk, and see how Ivan does it (fingers crossed)

Updated  Astronauts on the International Space Station will cross their fingers and toes that Friday's resupply mission doesn't suffer a similar fate to the last three attempts.…

Cameron Asserts UK Gov't Will Leave No "Safe Space" For Private Communications

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 7:20pm
An anonymous reader writes with the story from Ars Technica that UK prime minister David Cameron "has re-iterated that the UK government does not intend to 'leave a safe space — a new means of communication — for terrorists to communicate with each other.'" That statement came Monday, as a response to Conservative MP David Bellingham, "who asked [Cameron, on the floor of the House of Commons] whether he agreed that the 'time has come for companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to accept and understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?' To which Cameron replied: 'we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on.'" This sounds like the UK government is declaring a blustery war on encryption, and it might not need too much war: some companies can be persuaded (or would be eager) to cooperate with the government in handing over all kinds of information. However, the bluster part may leave even the fiercest surveillance mostly show: as Ars writer Glyn Moody asks, what about circumstances "where companies can't hand over keys, or where there is no company involved, as with GnuPG, the open source implementation of the OpenPGP encryption system?" Or Tor?

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Kodi 15.0 Release Candidate 1 Arrives

Phoronix - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 6:49pm
The first release candidate for Kodi 15 has arrived...

Intel 80386 queen Renée James quits as chipmaker's president

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 6:44pm
Will assume role of CEO of another company in January

Intel president Renée James is leaving the silicon giant to become chief exec of another firm as part of a set of leadership changes announced by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Thursday.…

Angler Exploit Kit Evasion Techniques Keep Cryptowall Thriving

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 6:30pm
msm1267 writes: Since the Angler Exploit Kit began pushing the latest version of Cryptowall ransomware, the kit has gone to great lengths to evade detection from IDS and other security technologies. The latest tactic is an almost-daily change to URL patterns used by the kit in HTTP GET requests for the Angler landing page, requests for a Flash exploit, and requests for the Cryptowall 3.0 payload. Traffic patterns as of yesterday are almost unrecognizable compared to those of as recent as three weeks ago.

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NexGen releases goodies for next-gen software package

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 5:59pm
VM-level QoS should reduce vMotion disturbances

Reinvigorated hybrid array startup NexGen is pushing out quality-of-service (QoS) goodies for vCentre and VMware VMs, saying it will cut the need for vMotioning VMs from one server to another when performance slows.…

'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 5:45pm
Marcelo Claure in public Twitter meltdown

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has had enough of T-Mobile US chief John Legere, and he's told the world about it.…

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Passwords Transmitted As Cleartext?

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 5:42pm
An anonymous reader writes: My brother recently requested a transcript from his university and was given the option to receive the transcript electronically. When he had problems accessing the document, he called me in to help. What I found was that the transcript company had sent an e-mail with a URL (not a link) to where the document was located. What surprised me was that a second e-mail was also sent containing the password (in cleartext) to access the document. Not too long ago I had a similar experience when applying for a job online (ironically for an entry-level IT position). I was required to setup an account with a password and an associated e-mail address. While filling out the application, I paused the process to get some information I didn't have on hand and received an e-mail from the company that said I could continue the process by logging on with my account name and password, both shown in cleartext in the message. In my brother's case, it was an auto-generated password but still problematic. In my case, it showed that the company was storing my account information in cleartext to be able to e-mail it back to me. Needless to say, I e-mailed the head of their IT department explaining why this was unacceptable. My questions are: How frequently have people run into companies sending sensitive information (like passwords) in cleartext via e-mail? and What would you do if this type of situation happened to you?

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Nutanix vs VMware blog war descends into 'he said, she said' farce

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 5:29pm
There’s a way to end this, guys – just release your test results

Round two in the VMware-versus-Nutanix blog war has opened up with a full-frontal assault by a Nutanix exec, who claims Nutanix wants to be open about its performance advantages over VSAN, but is prevented from going public by VMware’s end user license agreements, or EULAs.…

Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours

El Reg - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 5:03pm
Cupertino hopes you forget to unsubscribe before the payments start?

Quick look  Apple Music is finally here. The bit-of-everything music service was debuted last month at WWDC as the headliner in CEO Tim Cook's keynote address.…

Solar Impulse 2 Breaks Three Records En Route To Hawaii

Slashdot - Thu, 02/07/2015 - 4:53pm
Zothecula writes: Solar Impulse 2 has started smashing records even before the longest leg of its round-the-world flight is complete. At around three quarters of the way to its next touch down in Hawaii, the single-pilot aircraft has broken the world records for longest distance and duration for solar aviation, with the record for longest ever solo flight of any kind thrown in for good measure.

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