IBM has forbidden its employees from using cloud-based services such as Siri, Dropbox and iCloud, according to reports. These products (along with many others) are presenting a challenge to IT administrators who want to keep their organizations secure, as well as to consumer-software developers who suddenly need to build features with both consumers and businesses in mind.
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Hugh Pickens writes "AP reports that a fire that swept through a nuclear-powered submarine in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has caused such extensive damage to its forward compartments that the 22-year-old Los Angeles-class attack submarine might have to be scrapped. 'These submarines were designed decades ago. So they're no longer state of the art,' says analyst Loren Thompson. 'If this vessel returns to service, I will be amazed.' The fire broke out while the Miami was on a 20-month stay at the shipyard for an overhaul, and it took firefighters from more than a dozen agencies twelve hours to put out the fire, described as intense, smoky, and a 'hot scary mess.' 'It takes a lot of guts to go into a burning building. But the idea of going into a submarine full of hot toxic smoke — that's real courage,' said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree after meeting with the shipyard commander. Firefighters isolated the flames so they would not spread to nuclear propulsion spaces at the rear of the submarine. There was nuclear fuel on board the sub, but the reactor has been shut down for two months and was unaffected. Rear Admiral Rick Breckenridge says an investigation has been launched into what caused the fire, but he expects that investigation to take a long time to complete and wouldn't say if human error has been ruled out as a cause of the fire, or if the focus is on mechanical issues."
Today at 9:56AM EDT (13:56 GMT) the robotic arm on the International Space Station successfully captured SpaceX's Dragon capsule. It's the first time a commercial craft has connected with the ISS, and the first time a spacecraft made in the U.S. has gone to the station since the retirement of the shuttle. The approach was delayed temporarily as engineers worked out bad sensor readings due to light reflected off the ISS's Kibo laboratory. "To work around the problem, SpaceX narrowed the field of view for the laser sensor so that it wouldn't pick up light from the offending reflector. Dragon then returned to the 30-meter checkpoint and moved in for the final approach." If all goes well today, the capsule will most likely be opened tomorrow. Video of the operation is being broadcast live on NASA TV.
ananyo writes "The battle for the world's largest radio telescope has ended in a draw. As an earlier Slashdot story suggested, South Africa and Australia are to split the Square Kilometre Array, a €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) project made up of 3,000 15-meter-wide dishes and an even larger number of simple antennas. The decision was announced at a meeting outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, following a vote by SKA's international board."
Marian the Librarian writes "UCSF is among the first public institutions to adopt an open access policy, and is the largest scientific institution to have such a policy. The policy, voted unanimously by the faculty, will allow UCSF authors to put electronic versions of their published scientific articles on an open access repository making their research findings freely available to the public. Dr. Richard A. Schneider, who led the initiative, said, 'Our primary motivation is to make our research available to anyone who is interested in it, whether they are members of the general public or scientists without costly subscriptions to journals. The decision is a huge step forward in eliminating barriers to scientific research.'"
nk497 writes "Google has released details on the copyright takedown notices it's received over the past year, and the most requests by far have been from Microsoft. Over the past year, Google has received DMCA takedown notices for 2,544,209 URLs over Microsoft-related piracy, with NBC and the RIAA ranking second and third. Many of the reports do not come directly from companies such as Microsoft, but via firms set up only to chase copyright issues. The most popular targets appear to be file-sharing sites. 'These days it's not unusual for us to receive more than 250,000 requests each week, which is more than what copyright owners asked us to remove in all of 2009,' said Fred von Lohmann, Google senior copyright counsel, adding it takes on average 11 hours for Google to take action."
angry tapir writes "Two U.S. lawmakers have called on the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into Google's snooping on Wi-Fi networks in 2010 after recent questions about the company's level of cooperation with federal inquiries. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, and John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, called on the DOJ to fully investigate Google's actions for potential violations of federal wiretapping laws. In light of a recently released U.S. Federal Communications Commission report on Wi-Fi snooping by Google Street View cars, the DOJ should take a new look at the company's actions, wrote the lawmakers in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder."
redletterdave writes "Six days after the company's IPO and two months after it acquired photo-sharing app company Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook debuted a photo app of its own on Thursday, called Facebook Camera. The app is now available as a free download in the App Store, and it's currently only available for iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Facebook Camera is set up very similarly to Instagram and includes most of the same features (including photo filters), but Dirk Stoop, Facebook's product manager for photos, said Facebook was working on this application long before the Instagram acquisition on April 9."
Anonymous Squonk writes "The measurement of the sun currently in use was actually calculated over 120 years ago, and is off by hundreds of kilometers. Thousands of ordinary Japanese citizens worked together to improve this estimate. By measuring the borders of the 'ring of fire' effect of the recent eclipse, and using the known size and distance from the Earth of the sun, the radius of the Sun was measured as 696,010 kilometers, with a margin of error of only 20 kilometers."
pcritter writes "In a rare coup for accountants' association CPA Australia, CEO Alex Malley interviews Neil Armstrong, whose dad worked as an Auditor, bringing him back four decades to the pinnacle of the space race. Neil reveals, 'I thought we had a 90 per cent chance of getting back safely to Earth on that flight but only a 50-50 chance of making a landing on that first attempt.' The four-part video series is now posted on CPA Australia's website."
therealobsideus writes "Dish recently announced Auto Hop, giving its customers with the Hopper DVR the ability to 'hop' past commercial break on recordings. In response, Fox has filed suit against Dish in U.S. District Court, seeking to block the technology." The L.A. Times has coverage, too. Fox claims that giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on recorded television shows demonstrates the "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem."
1sockchuck writes "Cloud provider Rackspace is looking to the emerging open source hardware ecosystem to transform its data centers. The cloud provider spends $200 million a year on servers and storage, and sees the Open Compute Project as the key to reducing its costs on hardware design and operations. Rackspace is keen on the potential of the new Open Rack program, and its buying power is motivating HP and Dell to develop for the new standard — partly because Rackspace has also been talking with original design manufacturers like Quantra and Wistron. It's an early look at how open source hardware could have a virtuous impact on the server economy. 'I think the OEMs were not very interested (in Open Compute) initially,' said Rackspace COO Mark Roenigk. 'But in the last six months they have become really focused.'"
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from CNET: "CNET has learned that the FBI has formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center, which is tasked with developing new electronic surveillance technologies, including intercepting Internet, wireless, and VoIP communications. 'The big question for me is why there isn't more transparency about what's going on?' asks Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco. 'We should know more about the program and what the FBI is doing. Which carriers they're working with — which carriers they're having problems with. They're doing the best they can to avoid being transparent.'"
Qedward writes "Last month it was reported on slashdot that a third of workers at a British telecoms company were 'more productive' working from home during a telecommuting experiment to prepare for the London 2012 Olympics. A more recent study reveals almost two-thirds of mobile employees say they are working 50+ and 60+ hour weeks, with most also working weekends. It also has security implications, with most mobile workers saying they will do anything to get an internet connection, including hijacking unsecure networks. The problem of needing a connection has also led to an increase in workers waking up through the night due to stress."