Country by country, Europe falls in and out of love with a

An edition of El Pais that pre-dates Google News.

Spain passed a new Intellectual Property Law yesterday, which includes a provision to levy fees on search engines that show snippets of other webpages. It’s at least the third instance of a European government seeking to impose a fee on search techniques to support their traditional publishing industry. Such efforts are often labeled a “Google tax.”

“We are disappointed with the new law because we believe that services like Google News help publishers bring traffic to their sites,” Google told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.  “As far as the future is concerned, we will continue working with the Spanish publishers to help increase their revenues while we evaluate our options within the framework of the new legislation.”

The Spanish law allows for sanctions of up to $758,000 for those who violate the law. The penalty applies to anyone who “links to pirated content,” according to THR, and in the Spanish view, that apparently includes Google News snippets.

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Virginia judge: Police can demand a suspect unlock a phone with a fingerprint

A Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled on Thursday that a person does not need to provide a passcode to unlock their phone for the police. The court also ruled that demanding a suspect to provide a fingerprint to unlock a phone would be constitutional.

The ruling calls into question the privacy of some iPhone 5S, 6, and 6 Plus users who have models equipped with TouchID, the fingerprint sensor that allows the user—and ideally only the user—to unlock the phone. It is possible for users to turn TouchID unlocking off and simply use a passcode, and Apple has provided certain extra protections to prevent TouchID privacy issues—requiring the entry of a passcode if the phone hasn’t been used in 48 hours, for example. But if a suspect simply uses TouchID to open their phone, police could have a window to take advantage of that when apprehending them.

The case in question this week involved a man named David Baust, who was charged in February with trying to strangle his girlfriend. The Virginian Pilot reports that Baust’s phone might contain video of the conflict but that his phone was locked with a passcode. Baust’s attorney argued that passcodes are protected by the Fifth Amendment.

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“The Devil had possessed his netbook”—a

Few things are scarier than 4Chan. But our readers told a few stories that spooked us.

Earlier this week, we asked readers to share their most frightening tales of technology terror and support horror. And via both comments and Twitter (using the hashtag #ITTalesofTerror), in poured stories that raised goosebumps from those of us who have worked in IT at one point or another.

After reading through them, we’ve picked out some reader favorites and a few of our own. Some of us at Ars were inspired to recount further tales of horror from our own IT careers—including one of mine that I’ve saved for last; it should cause a shudder of recognition from our more veteran readers and a bit of schadenfreude from those too young to remember five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy disks.

The chamber of horrors

Danger: Intel inside.

Many readers had short tales of terror about mishaps in the closed spaces where we hide our network infrastructure. Eli Jacobowitz (@creepdr on Twitter) shared a short, shocking scenario by tweet: “Raccoons in the network closet (not kidding).” David Mohundro shared another story of a somewhat more smelly infrastructure invasion that brings new meaning to “data scrubbing”: “I saw our IT guys lugging shop vacs through the lower parking deck one day. There was a sewage backup into the server room.”

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One confirmed dead as Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo destroyed in test flight [Updated]

Debris from SpaceShipTwo in the Mojave desert.

Multiple sources are reporting the early termination of this morning’s test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, which suffered “an in-flight anomaly” at 4:09pm UTC. The flight marked the first in-flight use of a new type of fuel to power the ship’s engine. According to the AP, witnesses report that shortly after igniting its rocket engine, SpaceShipTwo “exploded.”

Reports from Twitter indicate that one of SpaceShipTwo’s crew of two was killed in the accident. This information was first picked up by at least one Twitter user listening to SpaceShipTwo’s air-to-ground radio over a local radio scanner audio feed.

At approximately 1:40pm CDT, Virgin Galactic posted a series of updates to its Twitter feed, confirming the loss of the spacecraft but not giving any indication as to the health of the pilots:

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New Outlook for Mac shines, but licensing confusion gets in the way

Mac users tired of their a neglected four-year-old version of Outlook can heave a sigh of relief this morning, as Microsoft has released a new version of Outlook. Dubbed simply “Outlook for Mac,” the upgraded release includes several standout features from the PC version of Outlook that Mac users have been forced to go without—and, unfortunately, it also brings with it a few features that Mac users probably wish would stay on the PC.

There’s a caveat, though: the new version of Outlook for Mac can only be used if you have certain Office 365 subscriptions. This holds with Microsoft’s new policy of “prioritiz[ing] mobile first and cloud first scenarios,” and it means that at least for now, users who don’t pay for monthly Office 365 subscriptions and prefer to buy “perpetual” licensed versions (in other words, users who prefer to buy Office the traditional way) will have to wait at least until the first half of 2015 to get their hands on the new version of Outlook. At least for now, it’s subscription-only. More confusing, not all subscriptions are eligible (more on that in a minute). Additionally, MSDN subscribers do not appear to be able to download the application through the MSDN software library (I have an MSDN subscription, and the new Mac Office is definitely not in my download library).

If you are a O365 subscriber and have the right licensing, you should be able to download the new version of Outlook immediately. Probably the most significant feature added in the new version is true push support for receiving Exchange e-mail. Office 2011 users have had to go without the instant e-mail delivery that Windows Office users have always enjoyed. Finally, the updated Outlook lets you receive e-mail immediately rather than making you wait anywhere between ten and sixty seconds for e-mail to show up in your inbox.

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Everything We Know About the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash

Everything We Know About the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash

What’s Going On? During a test flight over the Mojave Desert today, Virgin Galactic’s spaceship suffered a “serious anomaly” and crashed. Two pilots were on board the plane, as is typical during test flights, and media reports claim that one parachute was seen on the ground. The California Highway Patrol is reporting one fatality, according […]

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Congress, Tech Have Their Eyes on Rethinking the Textbook

Congress, Tech Have Their Eyes on Rethinking the Textbook — And Educators Should Too

As commencement ceremonies conclude at colleges and universities, many thousands of recent graduates are entering or re-entering the workforce and finding a competitive and still-recovering market for most professions. One thing I thought about as I watched students graduate this year is the stress on students to find gainful employment with their rising debt load […]

The post Congress, Tech Have Their Eyes on Rethinking the Textbook — And Educators Should Too appeared first on WIRED.