German Green's ice bucket challenge lights up dope debate

Oezdemir of environmental Greens makes point during speech at party meeting in BerlinA German Greens party leader has taken the "ice bucket" charity challenge to a new high, standing next to a marijuana plant while dousing himself with water in a tacit call for the legalization of cannabis. Cem Oezdemir is one of many public figures and ordinary citizens around the world to take the challenge - pouring a bucket of ice water over one's head to raise funds to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). "Yes, it is a cannabis plant," Oezedmir told the Essen-based Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) after speculation about the plant gripped social media.

In democracy and disaster, emerging world embraces 'open data'

IT consultant Ainun speaks about his work on the Indonesian elections in SingaporeBy Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE (Reuters) - 'Open data' - the trove of data-sets made publicly available by governments, organizations and businesses - isn't normally linked to high-wire politics, but just may have saved last month's Indonesian presidential elections from chaos. The embrace of open data has had few tangible benefits, but created a buzz and fostered a culture that prodded Indonesia's election commission to tweak the way it handles vote results.

Grand Theft Auto maker says Lindsay Lohan sued to get attention

File photo of Actress Lindsay Lohan departing from court after a plea deal at the Airport Branch of the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse in Los AngelesBy Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The maker of the popular Grand Theft Auto video games said Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit accusing it of basing a character on her without permission is frivolous and an effort by the actress to attract attention. In papers made public on Tuesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc called Lohan's claim "so legally meritless that it lacks any good-faith basis and can only have been filed for publicity purposes." Take-Two wants to dismiss the July 1 lawsuit and have Lohan pay its legal fees. A lawyer for Lohan did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment. The 28-year-old "Mean Girls" star accused Take-Two and its Rockstar Games unit of basing the Lacey Jonas character in "Grand Theft Auto V" on her.

Kleiner to invest in messaging startup Snapchat at near-$10 billion valuation: report

A portrait of the Snapchat logo in VenturaVenture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer has agreed to invest in fast-growing messaging startup Snapchat at a valuation close to $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. At least one other strategic investor has committed to joining the latest round of funding, the Journal cited two of the people as saying. If the deal goes through, Snapchat would join a select club of tech startups with valuations of $10 billion or more, including car-ride service Uber and rooms-to-let startup AirBnB. Snapchat is similar to a new crop of popular mobile messaging apps that compete with established Internet services such as Twitter Inc's and Facebook.

Time Warner Cable to pay $1.1 million to settle outage reporting violation

A man enters the Time Warner Cable headquarters in New YorkTime Warner Cable Inc will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation that last year found the cable and Internet provider did not properly report multiple network outages, the regulators said this week. "TWC (Time Warner Cable) failed to file a substantial number of reports with respect to a series of reportable wireline and Voice over Internet Protocol network outages," the FCC said in a report revealing the settlement released on Monday. "TWC admits that its failure to timely file the required network outage reports violated the Commission's rules." The FCC requires providers of fixed Internet connection or voice-over-Internet-Protocol calling to promptly report some network outages that last 30 minutes or longer, for instance those that potentially affect emergency response 911 facilities or those that impact enough consumers to collectively result in at least 900,000 minutes of disrupted Internet or phone use.

Banks to meet with Treasury Department on cyber threats: sources
By David Henry and Lauren Tara LaCapra NEW YORK (Reuters) - A group of Wall Street banks plan to meet the U.S. Treasury Department and other government officials next month to talk about how to cooperate to fend off cyber attacks, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Bankers and government officials say they want to figure out ways law enforcement can alert financial firms about cyber attacks without violating the privacy of businesses that are victimized. A multitude of federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency, help monitor and fight the hackers that have increasingly targeted financial institutions in recent years.

Nissan says Japanese website altered, posed virus risk

Pedestrian and cars are reflected in a Nissan Motor logo at the company's dealership in TokyoA page on Nissan Motor Co's Japanese website had been altered for nearly two months before being remedied and users that accessed it may have downloaded files infected with viruses, the Japanese automaker said on Tuesday. Users opening the page for calculating vehicles trade-in value were automatically sent to a non-Nissan website from which they may have downloaded virus files had they clicked on anything, spokesman Chris Keeffe said. Nissan has not confirmed if any personal information was leaked and an internet security firm is investigating, the company said in a statement.

Chinese antitrust regulator targets Microsoft's web browser, media player

A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in TaipeiBy Gerry Shih and Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's internet browser and media player are being targeted in a Chinese antitrust probe, raising the prospect of China revisiting the software bundling issue at the heart of past antitrust complaints against the firm in the West. Microsoft has not been fully transparent with information about its Windows and Office sales, but has expressed willingness to cooperate with ongoing investigations, Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), told reporters at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. As Windows became the world's dominant operating system in the 1990s and 2000s, the issue of how Microsoft bundled its web browser and media player became the focus of respective antitrust cases brought by U.S. Microsoft settled in 2001 with the U.S.

Microsoft sales of media player, web browser 'problematic': Chinese regulator
BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's sales of its media player and internet browser software in China have been "problematic," a Chinese antitrust regulator said on Tuesday, in response to questions about an ongoing anti-monopoly probe into the technology giant. Zhang Mao, the head of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, made the remarks at a media briefing in Beijing. He did not give details. (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing and Paul Carsten; Editing by Ryan Woo)

Library without books debuts at Florida’s newest college

Handout photo shows the exterior of Florida Polytechnic University's Innovation, Science and Technology building pictured in LakelandBy Letitia Stein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - The library opening with the first day of classes on Monday at Florida's newest college features a sunlit arched roof and cozy reading chairs - but not a single book. A fully digital library is among the futuristic features of Florida Polytechnic University's striking dome-shaped building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. "It's a boldly relevant decision to go forward without books," said Kathryn Miller, the university's director of libraries. Rising along a drab stretch of highway between Tampa and Orlando, Florida Polytechnic envisions building a technology corridor in the image of Silicon Valley.

Sony says PlayStation network back online, user information safe after attack

A man plays a video game on Sony Corp's Play Station 4 console at its showroom in TokyoBy Malathi Nayak and Sophie Knight SAN FRANCISCO/TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp's PlayStation Network was back online on Monday following a cyber attack that took it down over the weekend, which coincided with a bomb scare on a commercial flight carrying a top Sony executive in the United States. Sony said on its PlayStation blog that its PlayStation network had been taken down by a denial of service-style attack, which overwhelmed the system with traffic, but did not intrude onto the network or access any of its 53 million users' information. A Twitter user with the handle @LizardSquad claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday, and said the attack was meant to pressure Sony to spend more of its profits on the network.

CME Group resumes electronic trading after glitch delays open

Gill, the chief executive of CME Group Inc., speaks during Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P. global exchange and brokerage conference in New York(Reuters) - CME Group delayed the start of trade on its electronic platform by four hours on Monday due to technical problems, the latest glitch to hit the world's largest futures market operator. The start of trade in all contracts on the Globex Markets platform, apart from Bursa Malaysia derivatives, was halted because of an unspecified technical glitch, the top U.S. The delay marks another headache for CME, which shut electronic trade for leading agricultural contracts on April 8 in the worst-ever trading outage for those markets. CME Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy has said that outage was triggered when sophisticated technology tripped over a trading halt in a single market.

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