ananyo writes "Astronomers think they have seen the flare of a dying star being eviscerated by a black hole. The signal, spotted by three different satellites, could shed light on the relationship between the smaller black holes seen in our own galaxy and the supermassive ones in distant reaches of the Universe. The stellar victim was first seen in 2011 by Swift, a NASA satellite designed to spot bursts of high-energy photons known as gamma-rays. For more than a month, Swift watched a signal from a distant galaxy, which eventually faded from view. Subsequent analysis showed that the gamma-rays probably came from a star being ripped to pieces by a previously unknown black hole (abstract)."
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sl4shd0rk writes "At present, several non-profit U.S. bodies oversee the Internet's specifications as well as DNS. The Unitied Nations, however, has expressed an interest in transferring control of the Internet from the United States. The UN's Dr. Toure says any change to the governance of the internet must be supported by all countries. The U.S. has refused, arguing that 'existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society' will continue to oversee the 'health and growth of the interenet and all its benefits.' According to earlier reports, the push is backed not only by Russia, but China, Brazil and India as well."
jfruh writes "Dan Tynan is a tech writer and blogger who discovered, while trying to post links to his writing on his Google+ profile, that his account had been suspended. This despite the fact that he used his real name and didn't violate the terms of service in any other way. Upon appeal his account was reinstated, just as mysteriously as it was shut down, but along the way he discovered a rash of people with suspended Google+ accounts who can't figure out what they did to anger the Google gods."
coondoggie writes "NASA today continued its development of commercial space systems by splitting a little over $1.1 billion with Boeing, Space Exploration Technologies (Space X) and Sierra Nevada to develop and build advanced spaceships. 'Today's awards give a huge advantage to the three companies that got them, because competitors will need to fund their own development in its entirety. On the other hand, by partnering with the competitors, NASA has managed to seed the development of five different manned space vehicles for under $1B so far, a leap forward for the evolving space passenger market. They've paid for it on a reward-for-progress basis, handing out pre-agreed amounts of money for each specified milestone. SpaceX was well ahead of the other two competitors because of the unmanned Dragon, which has already berthed with the International Space Station. The company has borne the brunt of the development costs itself, putting in about $300 million of its own money in addition to about $75 million from NASA.'"
schwit1 writes with news from London that Olympic venues are being patrolled by so-called "Wi-Fi police," who seek out and shut down unauthorized access points and hotspots. BT is the "official communications services provider" for the Games, so access points other than the ones they set up or approve have been disallowed. A picture tweeted from the Olympics shows a gentleman carrying a portable direction antenna that can localize sources of transmission and interference. "One possible aim of shutting down such WiFi access points is to cut down on interference with essential wireless communications being used by those refereeing, reporting on and working at the sporting events. ... The news of the WiFi crackdown has angered many of those following the Games online, who were already upset at Olympic authorities' attempts to limit the use of social networking tools at the Games at certain times. The London Olympics had been billed as the first 'social media Games,' but organizers have been accused of bungling the effort to seamlessly integrate popular technologies like Twitter and Facebook into the event."
schliz writes "iTnews in Australia has published an interview with CERN's deputy head of IT, David Foster, who explains what last month's discovery of a 'particle consistent with the Higgs Boson' means for the organization's IT department, why it needs a second 'Tier Zero' data center, and how it is using grid computing and the cloud. Quoting: 'If you were to digitize all the information from a collision in a detector, it’s about a petabyte a second or a million gigabytes per second. There is a lot of filtering of the data that occurs within the 25 nanoseconds between each bunch crossing (of protons). Each experiment operates their own trigger farm – each consisting of several thousand machines – that conduct real-time electronics within the LHC. These trigger farms decide, for example, was this set of collisions interesting? Do I keep this data or not? The non-interesting event data is discarded, the interesting events go through a second filter or trigger farm of a few thousand more computers, also on-site at the experiment. [These computers] have a bit more time to do some initial reconstruction – looking at the data to decide if it’s interesting. Out of all of this comes a data stream of some few hundred megabytes to 1Gb per second that actually gets recorded in the CERN data center, the facility we call "Tier Zero."'"
hawkinspeter writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI!' This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG, a German retail giant. Microsoft said, 'We have used Metro style as a code name during the product development cycle across many of our product lines. As we get closer to launch and transition from industry dialogue to a broad consumer dialogue we will use our commercial names.' I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."
nk497 writes "UK broadband funding is being delayed... by missing paperwork. The government is doling out £530m to boost UK broadband, but needs European Commission approval first. The department responsible for broadband says it's sent the necessary documents, but the EC says it hasn't received them. It's the latest delay to the funding, following competition concerns over BT's dominance in the market."
colinneagle writes "When someone calls into support, we first verify his or her account information. On the phone, this can take seconds. On a chat feature it can take a minute or two because people type slower than they speak. I also find that when people type in a chat they try to make the process go quicker by abbreviating the conversation. This means they might not give me all the information they would have if we were talking on the phone. The more descriptive a customer is about a problem, the easier and faster it will be to solve their issue. But the nature of a chat feature means people will abbreviate their stories to be more efficient, without realizing this just makes it more difficult to solve the problem. I end up asking more questions, which takes longer for the full story to come out. Explaining how to fix a problem can be difficult on the phone, but on a chat feature where I can't see your screen and likely have less information to work with, it can make it impossible to tackle a complex issue. It would be much more efficient for both me and the customer to talk on the phone so I can walk the customer through the steps I am taking."
First time accepted submitter zonky writes "Tokelau has become the first country in the world to go 100% solar power generation, moving away from their entirely diesel power supply, which formerly supplied the energy needs of the 1400 residents of their small south pacific Island Nation. From the article: 'All three atolls in the South Pacific dependency, a New Zealand territory, will have their own solar power system by the end of October, despite a slight delay switching on the first system.'"
twoheadedboy writes "Yahoo is being sued by one of its users, who has claimed the US Internet company was guilty of negligence when 450,000 passwords of the members of the Yahoo Voices blogging community were posted online. Jeff Allan from New Hampshire has turned to a federal court in San Jose, California, after his eBay account, which used the same password as his Voices account, was compromised. The breach at Yahoo followed similar hits on LinkedIn and Nvidia, which together saw millions of passwords leaked."
snydeq writes "While Apple and Samsung fight over patents and prototypes, other copyright trolls are waging an X-rated battle on innocent users, as lawyers representing some adult movie companies are sending letters accusing users of illegally downloading their movies and saying that, for a price, they can make the charges go away. 'Cases like this, usually involving pornographic content, are very common,' Mitch Stoltz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. At least 250,000 individuals have been named in group lawsuits over the last few years. There's a very common belief that if someone pirates your Wi-Fi connection or uses your computer without your permission, you are responsible for illegal downloads of copyrighted material. That's not true, says Stoltz; the law is quite clear. However, the lawyers who bring those cases use that misperception to convince innocent people that they had better pay up. Since $3,500 is just a fraction of the money it would take to fight a case in court, most people simply settle."
An anonymous reader writes "BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's (RIM) four-year standoff with the Indian government over providing encryption keys for its secure corporate emails and popular messenger services is finally set to end. RIM recently demonstrated a solution that can intercept messages and emails exchanged between BlackBerry handsets, and make these encrypted communications available in a readable format to Indian security agencies. An amicable solution over the monitoring issue is important for the Canadian smartphone maker since India is one of the few bright spots for the company that has been battling falling sales in its primary markets of the US and Europe. In India, RIM has tripled its customer base close to 5 million over the last two years,"
This week the sequel to last year's indie hit Orcs Must Die! was released, and I take a look at it, to see what's new, what's still the same, and if it's worth playing. The orcs are back, and again, they must die! Orcs Must Die! 2 provides an ample amount of ways to off the orcs, both old and new, and several new features. Click the link to read more to see my thoughts on this game.