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Norway's Largest Newspaper Accuses Mark Zuckerberg of Abusing Power After Facebook Deletes 'Napalm Girl' Post
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '16 at 06:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's powerful-editor department:
An anonymous shares a report on The Guardian:Norway's largest newspaper has published a front-page open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, lambasting the company's decision to censor a historic photograph of the Vietnam war and calling on Zuckerberg to recognize and live up to his role as "the world's most powerful editor." Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Aftenposten, accused Zuckerberg of thoughtlessly "abusing your power" over the social media site that has become a lynchpin of the distribution of news and information around the world, writing, "I am upset, disappointed -- well, in fact even afraid -- of what you are about to do to a mainstay of our democratic society. I am worried that the world's most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way," he said. The controversy stems from Facebook's decision to delete a post by Norwegian writer Tom Egeland that featured The Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children -- including the naked 9-year-old Kim Phuc -- running away from a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. Egeland's post discussed "seven photographs that changed the history of warfare" -- a group to which the "napalm girl" image certainly belongs.

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Hillary's Health Concerns Serious, Say Most Doctors Polled By AAPS
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '16 at 05:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's turn-your-head-and-cough department:
schwit1 PR Newswire: Concerns about Hillary Clinton's health are "serious -- could be disqualifying for the position of President of the U.S.," say nearly 71% of 250 physicians responding to an informal internet survey by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). About 20% said concerns were "likely overblown, but should be addressed as by full release of medical records." Only 2.7% responded that they were "just a political attack; I have confidence in the letter from her physician and see no cause for concern." While more than 81% were aware of her history of a concussion, only 59% were aware of the cerebral sinus thrombosis, and 52% of the history of deep venous thrombosis. More than 78% said the health concerns had received "not enough emphasis" in the media, and only 2.7% that there had been "too much emphasis." Nearly two-thirds said that a physician who had a concern about a candidate's fitness to serve for health reasons should "make the concerns known to the public." Only 11% said a physician should "keep silent unless he had personally examined the patient," and 10% that the candidate's health was "off limits for public discussion." A poll of 833 randomly selected registered voters by Gravis Marketing showed that nearly half (49%) were not aware of the "well documented major health issues that Hillary Clinton has." Nearly three-fourths (74%) were unaware of Bill Clinton's statement that Hillary suffered a "terrible" concussion requiring "six months of very serious work to get over." The majority (57%) thought that candidates should release their medical records.

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Israeli DDoS Provider 'vDOS' Earned $600,000 In Two Years
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '16 at 04:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's great-power-comes-great-responsibility department:
pdclarry writes: Brian Krebs writes that he has obtained the hacked database of an Israeli company that is responsible for most of the large-scale DDoS attacks over the past (at least) 4 years. The vDOS database, obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com at the end of July 2016, points to two young men in Israel as the principle owners and masterminds of the attack service, with support services coming from several young hackers in the United States. Records before 2012 were not in the dump, but Krebs believes that the service has actually been operating for decades. The report starts by saying, "vDos -- a so-called 'booter' service has earned in excess of $600,000 over the past two years helping customers coordinate more than 150,000 so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to knock websites offline -- has been massively hacked, spilling secrets about tens of thousands of paying customers and their targets." In regard to how long the service has been operating, Krebs believes the service has been operating for decades "because the data leaked in the hack of vDOS suggests that the proprietors erased all digital records of attacks that customers launched between Sept. 2012 (when the service first came online) and the end of March 2016."

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Amazon Launches Updated Fire HD 8 Tablet Now With Alexa Voice Services
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '16 at 01:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fire-sale department:
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: For the first time, Amazon's Alexa voice service is headed to a tablet. It's one of the standout features of Amazon's new Fire HD 8, a budget slate built to offer users all-day battery life, faster performance, and double the onboard storage of previous versions Fire HD tablets -- all for a low $90 price tag. The Fire HD 8 tablet's 8-inch HD (1280x800) IPS display is driven by a quad-core 1.3GHz processor and 1.5GB of RAM, and a capacious 4,750 mAh battery that is claimed to deliver up to 12 hours of mixed-use battery life. In addition, Alexa voice services works on the Fire HD 8 just as it does on other supported products, only here the voice assistant is conjured up by long pressing the home button. You can then task Alexa with reading the news, giving weather reports, playing songs, and so forth. The new Fire HD 8 32GB model is available to pre-order now for $90 with special offers (ads) or $105 without.

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North Korea Conducts Fifth Nuclear Test -- The Largest One Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 11:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's man-made-earthquake department:
TMB writes: As reported by CNN, North Korea has conducted its 5th nuclear test, the largest yet at 10 kilotons.

Before the test was reported, Slashdot reader hcs_$reboot reported: A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has been detected in North Korea, amid reports the country had been preparing for its fifth nuclear test. South Korea's Yonhap news agency said it had been an "artificial quake." The U.S. Geological Survey said the tremor had been detected in the north-east of North Korea, close to a known nuclear test site. The earthquake occurred close to the surface, the USGS said. The shallow depth and precise timing of the quake suggests it was man-made. North Korea says it has tested a nuclear warhead and that the test showed the warhead "has been standardized to be able to be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets."

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Today Marks The 50th Anniversary of 'Star Trek'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 08:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's happy-birthday department:
Dave Knott writes: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first television broadcast of Star Trek. The first episode of the science fiction series was aired on September 8, 1966. From its humble beginnings, Star Trek has gone on to become one of the best-loved and most successful television concepts of all time, an enduring pop culture touchstone that changed science fiction forever and spawned multiple series and movies that continue to this day. What does Star Trek mean to you? Are you a trekkie/trekker? What are your best memories of the series, and how has it affected your life?

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Airbnb Unveils Changes To Address Racial Discrimination
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's anti-discrimination department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Acknowledging that his company has "been slow on this issue," Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky is rolling out changes aimed at addressing discrimination complaints against the home rental service. Among the changes: de-emphasizing the role of user photos in arranging stays. Here are some of the other changes Airbnb announced Thursday: Providing assistance to people who feel they've experienced discrimination; Anti-bias training for all staff; Setting public diversity goals for staff; Partnering with historically black colleges and universities to strengthen their recruitment pipeline. The move comes after longstanding complaints from African-American Airbnb customers who said their booking requests were turned down at a high rate. Black Airbnb users vented their frustration with the phenomenon of being rejected for a booking date -- only to see the same place get listed once again -- spawning the hashtag #AirbnbWhileBlack on Twitter. And those frustrations were borne out in a study that sent 6,400 requests to AirBnb hosts in five large U.S. cities; the requests were identical except for the customer's name. As the Hidden Brain podcast reported, "requests with African-American sounding names were roughly 16 percent less likely to be accepted than their white-sounding counterparts."

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NASA Launches OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft To Intercept Asteroid
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 04:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's tag-you're-it department:
NASA has successfully launched the OSIRIS-REx space probe on Thursday, which aims to take a sample of asteroid Bennu and return to Earth. CNN reports: "The probe is scheduled to arrive at Bennu in August 2018. For months it will hang out -- take pictures, make scans of the asteroid's surface and create a map. Then in July 2020, OSIRIS-REx wil unfurl its 11-foot-long (3.35-meter) robot arm called TAGSAM and make contact with Bennu's surface for about five seconds. During those seconds, the arm will use a blast of nitrogen gas to kick up rocks and dust and then try to snag a sample of the dust and store it. NASA hopes to get at least 2 ounces (60 grams) and maybe as much as 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of asteroid dust and small rocks. OSIRIS-REx heads home in March 2021 and arrives back at Earth on September 24, 2023, but it won't land. In a bit of Hollywood-style drama, it will fly over Utah and drop off the capsule holding the asteroid sample. A parachute will guide the capsule to the ground at the Utah Test and Training Range in Tooele County." OSIRIS-REx is an acronym for the objectives of the mission: Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer. It spells the name of the Egyptian god Osiris. The report adds that while the mission is a first for NASA, it is not a first for mankind. "Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft brought back a small sample of asteroid Itokawa dust in 2010."

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Alphabet Partners With Chipotle To Deliver Burritos Using Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 04:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's for-here-or-to-go department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Google parent company Alphabet is teaming up with fast casual chain Chipotle to test drone delivery for Virginia Tech students, according to a report from Bloomberg. The pilot program marks a turning point for Alphabet's Project Wing division, giving the team ample room to experiment with airborne burrito deliveries in one of the first commercial programs of its kind to be green-lit by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority. The drones, which will be hybrid aircraft that can both fly and hover in place, will make deliveries coordinated by a Chipotle food truck on campus. Project Wing drones will be guided predominantly by software, but human pilots will be on hand to assume control if necessary. The aircraft are also prohibited from flying directly over human beings. So active participants will be shielded appropriately, according to Alphabet. Project Wing chose to partner with Chipotle because it presented unique challenges: could a drone adequately deliver food using a winch system, and can the food remain hot throughout flight with special packaging? The program will be accessible to select Virginia Tech employees and students.

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Researcher Gets 20 Days In Prison For Hacking State Websites As Political Stunt
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 03:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's don't-do-the-crime-if-you-can't-do-the-time department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: David Levin, 31, of Estero, Florida will spend 20 days in prison after hacking two websites belonging to the Florida state elections department. Levin, a security researcher, tested the security of two Florida state election websites without permission, and then recorded a video and posted on YouTube. The problem is that the man appearing in the video next to Levin was a candidate for the role of state election supervisor, running for the same position against the incumbent Supervisor of Elections, Sharon Harrington. Harrington reported the video to authorities, who didn't appreciate the media stunt pulled by the two, and charged the security researcher with three counts of hacking-related charges. The researcher turned himself in in May and pleaded guilty to all charges. This week, he received a 20-day prison sentence and two years of probation. In court he admitted to the whole incident being a political stunt.

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Wells Fargo Fires 5,300 Employees For Creating Millions of Phony Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 03:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-goes-around-comes-around department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNNMoney: Everyone hates paying bank fees. But imagine paying fees on a ghost account you didn't even sign up for. That's exactly what happened to Wells Fargo customers nationwide. On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts -- without their customers knowing it -- since 2011. The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money. Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that it had fired 5,300 employees related to the shady behavior over the last few years. Employees went so far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said. The scope of the scandal is shocking. An analysis conducted by a consulting firm hired by Wells Fargo concluded that bank employees opened up over 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB. Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers. The report says that "employees moved funds from customers' existing accounts into newly-created accounts without theier knowledge or consent," which resulted in "customers being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees," since their original accounts didn't contain the money. What's more is that "Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their knowledge or consent," causing customers who had unauthorized credit cards opened in their names to be "hit by annual fees, interest charges and other fees."

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White House Names Retired Air Force General As First Cyber Security Chief
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's security-defenses department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The White House on Thursday named a retired U.S. Air Force general as the government's first federal cyber security chief, a position announced eight months ago that is intended to improve defenses against hackers. Gregory Touhill's job will be to protect government networks and critical infrastructure from cyber threats as federal chief information security officer, according to a statement. President Barack Obama announced the new position in February alongside a budget proposal to Congress asking for $19 billion for cyber security across the U.S. government. Touhill is currently a deputy assistant secretary for cyber security and communications at the Department of Homeland Security. He will begin his new role later this month, a source familiar with the matter said. Grant Schneider, who is the director of cyber security policy at the White House's National Security Council, will be acting deputy to Touhill, according to the announcement.

< article continued at Slashdot's security-defenses department >

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Linking Without Permission Violates Copyright, Rules EU Court
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's look-but-don't-link department:
BarbaraHudson writes: Reuters is reporting that Playboy has won a lawsuit against a Netherlands news site for linking to photos without permission: "'It is undisputed that GS Media (which owns GreenStijl) provided the hyperlinks to the files containing the photos for profit and that Sanoma had not authorized the publication of those photos on the internet,' the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) said in a statement. 'When hyperlinks are posted for profit, it may be expected that the person who posted such a link should carry out the checks necessary to ensure that the work concerned is not illegally published.' The European Commission, the EU executive, is set next week to propose tougher rules on publishing copyrighted content, including a new exclusive right for news publishers to ask search engines like Google to pay to show snippets of their articles."

< article continued at Slashdot's look-but-don't-link department >

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Dell To Cut At Least 2,000 Jobs After EMC Acquisition
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's job-cuts department:
As Dell processes the acquisition of EMC Corp, its largest buyout ever, it plans to cut about 2,000 to 3,000 jobs, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The layoffs are expected to happen later this year, and regions such as the United States will be impacted the most by it. From the report:The reductions are planned for later this year and will be mostly in the U.S. and in areas such as supply chain and general and administrative positions, as well as some marketing jobs, said the people. Dell is looking for cost savings of about $1.7 billion in the first 18 months after the transaction but is largely focused on using the deal to boost sales by several times that amount, the people added. The new company has 140,000 employees. "As is common with deals of this size, there will be some overlaps we will need to manage and where some employee reduction will occur. We will do everything possible to minimize the impact on jobs," Dave Farmer, spokesman for Dell, wrote in an e-mail. "We expect revenue gains will outweigh any cost savings, and revenue growth drives employment growth."

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Sri Lanka, Once Severely Affected By Malaria, Now Absolutely Free Of It
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-achievements department:
The World Health Organization has declared Sri Lanka free of malaria, calling it a "remarkable public health achievement" for the Indian Ocean island, which was once the most affected nations in the world. The Hindu reports:Sri Lanka has become malaria-free. On September 5, the World Health Organisation officially recognised this huge public health achievement. The WHO certifies a country so when the chain of local transmission is interrupted for at least three consecutive years; the last reported case was in October 2012. With no local transmission reported, Sri Lanka's priority since October 2012 has been to prevent its return from outside, particularly from malaria-endemic countries such as India. There were 95, 49 and 36 cases reported in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, all contracted outside Sri Lanka. In a commendable initiative, Sri Lanka adopted a two-pronged strategy of targeting both vector and parasite, undertaking active detection of cases and residual parasite carriers by screening populations irrespective of whether malaria symptoms were present.

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Costa Rica Has Gone 76 Straight Days Using 100% Renewable Electricity
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 11:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-renewable-energy department:
Last year, Costa Rica powered itself using only renewable energy for 75 days. It has topped that feat this year. Vox reports: Costa Rica is pulling off a feat most countries just daydream about: For two straight months, the Central American country hasn't burned any fossil fuels to generate electricity. That's right: 100 percent renewable power. This isn't a blip, either. For 300 total days last year and 150 days so far this year, Costa Rica's electricity has come entirely from renewable sources, mostly hydropower and geothermal. Heavy rains have helped four big hydroelectric dams run above their usual capacity, letting the country turn off its diesel generators. Now, there's a huge, huge caveat here: Costa Rica hasn't eschewed all fossil fuels entirely. The country still has more than 1 million cars running on old-fashioned gasoline, which is why imported oil still supplies over half its total energy needs. The country also has cement plants that burn coal.

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FCC Chief To Unveil Revised Plan To Eliminate Cable Boxes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 11:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's fixing-your-boxes department:
The top U.S. communications regulator plans to unveil a revised plan to allow about 100 million pay TV subscribers to replace expensive set-top boxes with less-costly apps that provide access to television and video programs, Fortune reports. From the report: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed in January opening the $20 billion cable and satellite TV set-top box market to new competitors and allow consumers to access multiple content providers from a single app or device. The plan, aimed at breaking the cable industry's long grip on the lucrative pay TV market and lowering prices for consumers, drew fierce opposition from TV and content providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Twenty-First Century Fox. The FCC has said Americans spend $20 billion a year to lease pay-TV boxes, or an average of $231 annually. Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185 percent since 1994, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones has dropped 90 percent, the FCC has estimated. Update: 09/08 19:18 GMT by M :Tom Wheeler has just published the proposed laws at LATimes.

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A Small Asteroid Buzzed Earth Wednesday, But Everything's Cool
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 10:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's little-buzz department:
An anonymous reader writes: If the Earth were a person, it might have felt a sudden wind rustling its hair when a small asteroid whizzed past the planet on Wednesday. The asteroid, saddled with the name 2016 RB1, is a new discovery. Astronomers just noticed it on September 5 thanks to the keen eye of a telescope from the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Arizona. What makes 2016 RB1 so sneaky is its small size. It's only about 25 to 50 feet (7 to 16 meters) in diameter. It passed within just 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) of Earth, which NASA helpfully translates into 1/10th the distance from Earth to the moon. In terms of the massive size of the galaxy, that qualifies as a relatively close shave. An animated GIF of the flyby shows a tiny white dot moving against a grainy space background. The asteroid's trajectory kept it well out of the way of any satellites, and the planet was never in any danger.

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IBM Launches New Linux, Power8, OpenPower Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 10:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-data-workloads department:
An anonymous reader writes:IBM on Thursday rolled out its latest Power8 processor, which is designed to move data faster, and new servers with OpenPower features. For IBM, the OpenPower Foundation community is critical for its Power8 processor. A bevy of companies are in OpenPower, a group that aims to be a counterweight to x86-based servers. With the new systems, IBM is hoping to target more artificial intelligence, analytics, and deep learning workloads. The systems will be lumped into the Power Systems LC family of Linux servers. Big Blue's Power S822LC for High Performance Computing server is the headliner of the group, with the Power8 processor with Nvidia's Tesla P100 Pascal GPUs. The system also has Nvidia's NVLink processor that allows for high-speed bidirectional interconnects. IBM said the combination of IBM and Nvidia technology allows data to flow five times faster than an x86-based system.

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It's Official: You're Lost In a Directionless Universe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 08:53 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's confirmed department:
Reader sciencehabit writes: Ever peer into the night sky and wonder whether space is really the same in all directions or if the cosmos might be whirling about like a vast top? Now, one team of cosmologists has used the oldest radiation there is, the afterglow of the big bang, or the cosmic microwave background (CMB), to show that the universe is 'isotropic,' or the same no matter which way you look: There is no spin axis or any other special direction in space. In fact, they estimate that there is only a one-in-121,000 chance of a preferred direction -- the best evidence yet for an isotropic universe. That finding should provide some comfort for cosmologists, whose standard model of the evolution of the universe rests on an assumption of such uniformity.

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