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Mozilla CEO resignation raises free-speech issues PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:42

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The resignation of Mozilla's CEO amid outrage that he supported an anti-gay marriage campaign is prompting concerns about how Silicon Valley's strongly liberal culture might quash the very openness that is at the region's foundation.

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich stepped down Thursday as CEO, just days after his appointment. He left the nonprofit maker of the Firefox browser after furious attacks, largely on Twitter, over his $1,000 contribution to support of a now-overturned 2008 gay-marriage ban in California.

"There was no interest in creating an Internet lynch mob," OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagun, whose dating service site was among those engaged in online protest, said Friday. "I am opposed to that with every bone in my body."

But Eich's abrupt departure has stirred the debate over the fairness of forcing out a highly qualified technology executive over his personal views and a single campaign contribution six years ago. And it raises questions about how far corporate leaders are allowed to go in expressing their political views.

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Unclear Washington landslide lawsuits could win PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:25

SEATTLE (AP) — The warnings could hardly have been clearer. One technical report told of the "potential for a large catastrophic failure" of the 600-foot hillside above a rural neighborhood near Oso, on the Stillaguamish River. Another noted plainly that it "poses a significant risk to human lives and private property."

The danger was so apparent that Snohomish County officials mulled buying out the properties of the residents who lived there.

Instead, the county continued to allow the construction of homes nearby. Seven went up even after a significant slide approached the neighborhood in 2006.

Whatever the wisdom of its decision, the county might never be held liable in court for not doing more to protect residents, an outcome that would leave victims of last month's devastating landslide one fewer avenue for recovering financially for their damages.

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Five-year-old finds flaw in Xbox Live security PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:27

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 5-year-old San Diego boy has outwitted the sharpest minds at Microsoft — he's found a backdoor to the Xbox.

Kristoffer Von Hassel managed to log in to his father's Xbox Live account. When the password log-in screen appeared, Kristoffer simply hit the space button a few times and hit enter.

Robert Davies tells KGTV-TV (http://bit.ly/1hmrTan ) that just after Christmas he noticed his son playing games he supposedly couldn't access.

Davies, who works in computer security, says he reported the issue to Microsoft, which fixed the bug and recently listed Kristoffer on its website as a "security researcher."

A Microsoft statement says "we take security seriously" and thanks customers for highlighting issues.

It's not the Kristoffer's first triumph. At a year old, he bypassed a cellphone toddler lock by holding down the "home" button.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Samsung adding anti-theft solutions to smartphones PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press   
Saturday, 05 April 2014 06:19

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Samsung Electronics will add two safeguards to its latest smartphone in an effort to deter rampant theft of the mobile devices nationwide, the company said Friday.

The world's largest mobile-phone maker said users will be able to activate for free its "Find My Mobile" and "Reactivation Lock" anti-theft features to protect the soon-to-be-released Galaxy 5 S.

The features that will lock the phone if there's an unauthorized attempt to reset it will be on models sold by wireless carriers Verizon and U.S. Cellular. The phones go on sale next week.

"Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions," the company said in a statement.

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