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Do Companies Void Your Right to Sue After You 'Like' Them on Facebook?

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about half an hour ago


mpicpp (3454017) writes "Can companies limit your right to sue if you "like" them on Facebook or download a coupon from their website? A number of companies are including fine print in their terms of service that apply to some of the most "trivial" of consumer activities, potentially preventing a person from having their day in court.

General Mills changed its legal terms on its website, which now requires "all disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service to be resolved through binding arbitration," excluding the option of a court trial or class action lawsuit.

Coffee company Starbucks has similar language in its gift card terms and conditions related to "binding arbitration."

Companies that have had "forced arbitration" provisions in their legal language include DirecTV, Verizon Wireless, Chase, AT&T and Wells Fargo.

Scott Nelson, an attorney with the nonprofit group Public Citizen, calls these types of provisions, "ubiquitous," and Public Citizen lists more on its website.

There are “numerous” other companies not included in the list that impose arbitration clauses and class action bans on consumers and employees in their contract terms, said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel at Public Citizen.

However, General Mills' new terms are "the broadest attempt" to attach terms of service to a website extending to all subsequent consumer transactions with a company, Nelson said. "Once someone does it, though, others are sure to follow," he said."

Link to Original Source

Mercedes Slams Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

cartechboy (2660665) writes | 1 hour ago


cartechboy (2660665) writes "They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. Maybe it should go you shouldn't trash talk the company you partner with. U.S. head of Mercedes-Benz, Steve Cannon was just quoted as saying future service of Tesla's vehicles could be "limited," and that while it's great, the market could be more attracted to other luxury automakers once their products hit the market. Cannon also suggests that the current infrastructure isn't up to maintaining and fueling electric vehicles, in particularly Tesla's stores and go-to servicing can't handle high demands. Naturally he said Mercedes has the "whole network" to put customers minds' at ease. Sounds like fighting words to me. Hey Mercedes, where's your Model S competitor?"

New Facebook Phone App Lets You Stalk Your Friends

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | 1 hour ago


Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Iain Thomson reports that Facebook is adding a new application called "Nearby Friends" that alerts smartphone users when their friends are nearby. "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up," says Facebook in a statement. "For example, when you're headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward." The feature, which is opt-in, allows users to select which friends get a warning that you are in the area, and prepare a subset of people who might like to know when you're near, if they have the Nearby Friends activated as well. According to Josh Constine what makes "Nearby Friends" different than competitors and could give it an advantage is that it’s centered around broadcasting proximity, not location. " If someone’s close, you’ll know, and can ping them about their precise location and meeting up. Broadcasting location is creepy so we’re less likely to share it, and can cause awkward drop-ins where someone tries to come see you when you didn’t want them to.""

The Female Animal That Has a Penis

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes | 2 hours ago


Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Neotrogla, a cave insect that lives in Brazil, has completely reversed genitalia—the first time that’s ever been seen in an animal. It works about how you might expect, if you were asked to wonder about such things. The female has a penis that enters the male, literally grabs the sperm out of it, and returns it to her body. Neotrogla sex lasts, on average, between 40 and 70 hours. The female penis, called a gynosome, is “erectile, basally membranous, and apically sclerotized [hardened]. Its sclerotized part consists of a proximal rod-like extension and penis-like distal prominence. The latter encloses a duct leading to the sperm storage organ,” reports Kazunori Yoshizawa, a researcher at Hokkaido University in Japan. He published his findings in Current Biology ."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft Windows XP update began hosing PCs on April 15th

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Starting on April 15th, an update pushed out by Redmond triggered problems logging into PCs running Security Essentials on Windows XP. The problem arises when users try to login and receive a memory cannot be read error related to MsMpEng.exe. The PC will usually freeze at this point. While the PC can be started in Safe Mode, Microsoft does not allow Security Essentials to be uninstalled in safe mode. My solution with several PCs has been to boot into safe mode and disable Security Essentials using the msconfig utility. Security Essentials can then be disabled by unchecking a checkbox on both the Services and Startup tabs of this utility.

Microsoft promised antivirus support with Security Essentials on XP until 2015. Is this a conspiracy to break PCs or an honest mistake? Discussion at XP Forums (http://www.xpforums.com/bug-microsoft-security-essentials-lames-windows-xp-t931878.html) and Fudzilla (http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/34518-microsoft-security-essentials-bug-kills-xp-boxes) confirms this is NOT an isolated problem."

Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

astroengine (1577233) writes | 3 hours ago


astroengine (1577233) writes "About 500 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus lives a star, which, though smaller and redder than the sun, has a planet that may look awfully familiar. With a diameter just 10 percent bigger than Earth’s, the newly found world is the first of its size found basking in the benign temperature region around a parent star where water, if it exists, could pool in liquid form. Scientists on the hunt for Earth's twin are focused on worlds that could support liquid surface water, which may be necessary to brew the chemistry of life. "Kepler-186f is significant because it is the first exoplanet that is the same temperature and the same size (well, ALMOST!) as the Earth,” David Charbonneau, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote in an email to Discovery News. "Previously, the exoplanet most like Earth was Kepler-62f, but Kepler-186f is significantly smaller. Now we can point to a star and say, ‘There lies an Earth-like planet.’”"
Link to Original Source

Some customers aren't sold on US transition to IP networks

alphadogg (971356) writes | 3 hours ago


alphadogg (971356) writes "Many U.S. residents who have written the FCC https://fccgov.uservoice.com/f... to voice concerns about the move from copper-based telephone networks to Internet Protocol http://www.networkworld.com/ne... are concerned about the potential effects on health from mobile-headset radiation and what happens when the electricity goes out. More than 50 people have commented so far, with many appearing to be part of a coordinated effort to oppose the IP transition, although it's unclear what group is coordinating the comments."
Link to Original Source

MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Amtrak (2430376) writes | 3 hours ago


Amtrak (2430376) writes "MIT has created designs for a nuclear plant that would avoid the downfall of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The new design calls for the nuclear plant to be placed on a floating platform modeled after the platforms used for offshore oil drilling.

A floating platform several miles offshore, moored in about 100 meters of water, would be unaffected by the motions of a tsunami; earthquakes would have no direct effect at all. Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions — overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island — would be virtually impossible at sea."

Link to Original Source

For Red Hat, it's RHEL and then?

coondoggie (973519) writes | 4 hours ago


coondoggie (973519) writes "Red Hat is hosting its annual summit this week — this year in San Francisco — where the company is seemingly basking in the glory of making more than a billion dollars off a free open source project. But as successful as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has been for Red Hat — the company announced a new beta version of RHEL 7 this week — there’s a question of how long the RHEL gravy train will keep growing, and what’s next for the company after that."
Link to Original Source

Oracle Deflects Blame for Troubled Oregon Health Care Site

itwbennett (1594911) writes | 4 hours ago


itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."
Link to Original Source

Heartbleed CRL Activity Spike Found

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "It looks like, as I had suspected, the CRL activity numbers we have been seeing did not reflect the real volume caused by the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug.

This evening I noticed a massive spike in the amount of revocations being reported by this CRL: http://crl.globalsign.com/gs/g...

The spike is so large that we initially thought it was a mistake, but we have since confirmed that it's real! We're talking about over 50,000 unique revocations from a single CRL!

This is by an order of magnitude the largest spike in revocation activity seen in years, according to our current data.

We have set up a new page for everyone to monitor the activity as well as see how we are obtaining this data. The page can be found at https://isc.sans.edu/crls.html."

Link to Original Source

Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Ubuntu Linux version 14.04 LTS (code named "Trusty Tahr") has been released and available for download. This updated version includes the Linux kernel v3.13.0-24.46, Python 3.4, Xen 4.4, Libreoffice 4.2.3, MySQL 5.6/MariaDB 5.5, Apache 2.4, PHP 5.5, improvements to AppArmor allow more fine-grained control over application, and more. The latest release of Ubuntu Server is heavily focused on supporting cloud and scale-out computing platforms such as OpenStack, Docker, and more. As part of the wider Ubuntu 14.04 release efforts the Ubuntu Touch team is proud to make the latest and greatest touch experience available to our enthusiast users and developers. You can install Ubuntu on Nexus 4 Phone (mako), Nexus 7 (2013) Tablet (flo), and Nexus 10 Tablet (manta) by following these instructions. On a hardware front, ARM multiplatform support has been added, enabling you to build a single ARM kernel image that can boot across multiple hardware platforms. Additionally, the ARM64 and Power architectures are now fully supported. See detailed release note for more information here and a quick upgrade to a newer version of Ubuntu is possible over the network."

Passist - a password manager app that does not actually store passwords?

Jonathan Custance (3620117) writes | 5 hours ago


Jonathan Custance (3620117) writes "Passist (iTunes; Web Info) is a revolutionary app for helping you keep track of passwords for web sites you use. It is unique, in that it algorithmically generates strong passwords for the sites you use and does not use a password vault, meaning it is harder to hack than traditional solutions. All of the passwords are protected by a single passphrase of a user's choosing. We don't even store the passphrase or a full hash of it, making it harder still for someone to compromise your password list via brute force attack.

Green Custard have been working on the app concept for a number of months and Heartbleed gave reason to complete the app and get it out. An Android version is coming soon."

NASA proposes "water world theory" for origin of life

William Robinson (875390) writes | 5 hours ago


William Robinson (875390) writes "A new study from researchers at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has proposed the "water world" theory as the answer to our evolution, which describes how electrical energy naturally produced at the sea floor might have given rise to life. While the scientists had already proposed this hypothesis called "submarine alkaline hydrothermal emergence of life" the new report assembles decades of field, laboratory and theoretical research into a grand, unified picture."

Americans Wary of Some Futuristic Technology

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | 5 hours ago


Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Doug Gross reports at CNN that Americans are generally excited about the new technology they expect to see in their lifetimes but when confronted with some advances that already appear possible — from skies filled with drones to meat made in a lab — they get nervous. Overall, respondents to a survey by the Pew Research Center were upbeat about how technology will shape the near future. In the report, 59% of Americans think tech developments will make life in the next half-century better, while only 30% said they will make life worse. More than eight out of 10 respondents (81%) said they think that in the next 50 years, people who need transplants will be able to get them with organs grown in labs. More than half (51%) think computers will be able to create art as skillfully as humans do. But Americans are a little less optimistic about some science-fiction staples. Only 39% think it's likely scientists will have figured out how to teleport things (or, presumably, people), 33% say we'll have long-term space colonies by 2064 and a mere 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather.

But some of the advances that may be closest to becoming reality are the ones survey respondents were most worried about (PDF). Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if U.S. airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children. Only 37% of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time. People were split almost evenly (48%-50%) on whether they would ride in a driverless car. But only 26% said they'd get a brain implant to improve their memory or intelligence, and a mere 20% said they'd try eating meat made in a lab. Some 9% said they'd like to be able to time travel. A similar number said they'd like something that would keep them healthy or extend their lives, 6% said they wanted a flying car (or bike), 3% said they'd take a teleportation device and a mere 1% said they want their own jetpack.

Asked to describe in their own words the futuristic inventions they themselves would like to own, the public offered three common themes: 1) travel improvements like flying cars and bikes, or even personal space crafts; 2) time travel; and 3) health improvements that extend human longevity or cure major diseases. "In the long run, Americans are optimistic about the impact that scientific developments will have on their lives and the lives of their children — but they definitely expect to encounter some bumps along the way," says Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at Pew and the author of the report. "They are especially concerned about developments that have the potential to upend long-standing social norms around things like personal privacy, surveillance, and the nature of social relationships.""

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