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You can use Twitter activity to track unemployment

Engadget - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 02:16
Governments aren't usually quick to react to changes in demographics. They frequently have to take surveys that are not only slow, but don't always paint a complete picture of what's going on. Researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid have...

Another Hint For Kryptos

Slashdot - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 00:44
rastos1 writes Four years ago Jim Sanborn, the sculptor who created the wavy metal pane called Kryptos that sits in front of the CIA in Langley revealed a clue for breaking the last remaining part of the encrypted message on Kryptos. The clue was: BERLIN. But the puzzle resisted all all decryption efforts and is still unsolved. To honor the 25th anniversary of the Wall's demise and the artist's 69th birthday this year, Sanborn has decided to reveal a new clue to help solve his iconic and enigmatic artwork. It's only the second hint he's released since the sculpture was unveiled in 1990 and may finally help unlock the fourth and final section of the encrypted sculpture, which frustrated sleuths have been struggling to crack for more than two decades. The next word in the sequence is: "clock."

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Engadget Daily: Google's EU antitrust battle, Amazon's Fire HD 6, and more!

Engadget - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 00:36
Google's been wrestling with the European Union over antitrust issues for a long while now. Today, though, Parliament says it's come up with a possible solution: severing search from the rest of Google. Read on for the rest of our news highlights...

Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 23:46
An anonymous reader writes Mozilla has released its annual financial report for 2013, and the numbers hint as to why the organization signed a five-year deal with Yahoo, announced by the duo on November 19. Revenue increased just 1 percent, and the organization's reliance on Google stayed flat at 90 percent. The total revenue for the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiaries in 2011 was $163 million, and it increased 90.2 percent to $311 million for 2012. Yet that growth all but disappeared last year, as the total revenue moved up less than 1 percent (0.995 percent to be more precise) to $311 million in 2013. 85 percent of Mozilla's revenue came from Google in 2011, and that figure increased to 90 percent in 2012. While the 90 percent number remained for 2013, it's still a massive proportion and shows Mozilla last year could not figure out a way to differentiate where its money comes from.

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Tina Fey's new show 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' moves from NBC to Netflix

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 23:38
Last year, NBC announced it would be home to a new show written and produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock, SNL) and starring Ellie Kemper (The Office), but now that show's going straight to Netflix. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will premiere across all of...

Molecular Clusters That Can Retain Charge Could Revolutionize Computer Memory

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 23:11
jfruh writes:Computing devices have been gobbling up more and more memory, but storage tech has been hitting its limits, creating a bottleneck. Now researchers in Spain and Scotland have reported a breakthrough in working with metal-oxide clusters that can retain their charge. These molecules could serve as the basis for RAM and flash memory that will be leagues smaller than existing components (abstract).

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Sound Off! Do ridesharing privacy issues make you nervous?

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 22:50
Uber is not having a good week. Between surreptitiously tracking journalists' trips inside 'God View' and an executive implying the company should dig up dirt on reporters critical of the service, the company has been on a pretty bumpy road. However,...

The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 22:29
An anonymous reader points out a report at the Financial Times (paywalled) which says the European Parliament is preparing to call for the break-up of Google. According to the draft seen by the FT, a potential solution to ongoing anti-trust concerns with Google is "unbundling search engines from other services." The article notes, "The European parliament has no formal power to split up companies, but has increasing influence on the commission, which initiates all EU legislation. The commission has been investigating concerns over Google’s dominance of online search for five years, with critics arguing that the company’s rankings favour its own services, hitting its rivals’ profits. Unbundling cannot be excluded, said Andreas Schwab, a German MEP who is one of the motion’s backers."

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Google Maps offers more info about destinations and alternate routes

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 22:17
Earlier this month, Google Maps for Android received the requisite Material Design update and tacked on in-app restaurant reservations for good measure (in the US). A new version is rolling out, and with it comes some handy features to lend a hand...

Top NSA Official Raised Alarm About Metadata Program In 2009

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 21:48
An anonymous reader sends this report from the Associated Press: "Dissenters within the National Security Agency, led by a senior agency executive, warned in 2009 that the program to secretly collect American phone records wasn't providing enough intelligence to justify the backlash it would cause if revealed, current and former intelligence officials say. The NSA took the concerns seriously, and many senior officials shared them. But after an internal debate that has not been previously reported, NSA leaders, White House officials and key lawmakers opted to continue the collection and storage of American calling records, a domestic surveillance program without parallel in the agency's recent history.

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Uh-oh, Moto: AT&T stores are returning early Nexus 6 units over a bug

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 21:38
If you're an AT&T customer eager to get your hands on the over-sized Nexus 6, get ready to wait a bit. AT&T stores are apparently returning the first crop of Nexus 6 units to Motorola over a software bug, Droid Life reports. And it'll likely be a...

FCC Chairman says fear of lawsuits is holding up Net Neutrality

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 21:07
The Federal Communications Commission might seem slow, even resistant to calls for Net Neutrality, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says the organizations slow reaction is very deliberate. "The big dogs are going to sue regardless of what comes out," the...

Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 21:06
theodp writes: "The high-tech industry," reports the Washington Post's Nancy Scola, "will have at least two things to be happy about in President Obama's speech outlining executive actions he'll take on immigration. The president plans to grant the tech industry some, but not nearly all, of what it has been after in the immigration debate. The first is aimed at increasing the opportunity for foreign students and recent graduates from U.S. schools to work in high-tech jobs in the United States. And the second is aimed at making it easier for foreign-born entrepreneurs to set up shop in the United States. According to the White House, Obama will direct the Department of Homeland Security to help students in the so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — by proposing, per a White House fact sheet released Thursday night, to "expand and extend" the controversial Optional Practical Training program that now allows foreign-born STEM students and recent graduates remain in the United States for up to 29 months. The exact details of that expansion will be worked out by the Department of Homeland Security as it goes through a rulemaking process."

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EU wants to separate search from the rest of Google

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 20:44
Google's been caught up in an antitrust tango with the European Union for years, and since the EU hasn't been thrilled with the search giant's attempted concessions, there might be an extreme new option on the table. According to a report from the...

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge launch delayed until December 12th in the UK

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 20:26
We've a bit of bad news for anyone who wanted to pick up Samsung's unusual Galaxy Note Edge next week. We knew something was up when the original pre-order date of November 14th rolled around and the curved curiosity was a no-show. A Samsung...

CERN Releases LHC Data

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 20:20
An anonymous reader writes: Ever wished you had access to CERN's LHC data to help with your backyard high-energy physics research? Today you're in luck. CERN has launched its Open Data Portal, which makes experimental data produced by the Large Hadron Collider open to the public. "The first high-level and analyzable collision data openly released come from the CMS experiment and were originally collected in 2010 during the first LHC run. This data set is now publicly available on the CERN Open Data Portal. Open source software to read and analyze the data is also available, together with the corresponding documentation. The CMS collaboration is committed to releasing its data three years after collection, after they have been thoroughly studied by the collaboration." You can read more about CERN's commitment to "Open Science" here.

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Microsoft is adding Google Drive-style chat to Office Online apps

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 20:09
If you enjoy the handy chat feature inside shared docs on Google Drive, it appears Microsoft is adding the feature to its web-based productivity suite as well. According WinSuperSite, Office Online is getting those sidebar convos in the coming weeks,...

Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Slashdot - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 19:38
merbs writes: Harvard has long been home to one of the fiercest advocates for climate engineering. This week, Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences published a research announcement headlined "Adjusting Earth's Thermostat, With Caution." That might read as oxymoronic — intentionally altering the planet's climate has rarely been considered a cautious enterprise — but it fairly accurately reflects the thrust of several new studies published by the Royal Society, all focused on exploring the controversial field of geoengineering.

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Country Music Association finds streaming is better for sales than radio

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 19:34
While the debate over compensation from streaming services rages on, the Country Music Association says those music libraries boost sales better than radio plays. In a recent study, the CMA found that listeners over the age of 18 were prone to...

What to get when you've got a drone enthusiast in your life

Engadget - Fri, 21/11/2014 - 19:00
It's that time of year again! You know, the one when you have to hand over your hard-earned cash or dole out the credit card digits to get the loved ones in your life a little something celebratory. Lucky you, we've got a slew of great...