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Unprecedented Spike In TOR<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.Onion Nodes
Posted by News Fetcher on February 20 '16 at 01:12 AM
By whipslash from Slashdot's tor-files department:
Martin S. writes: The Tor project is reporting an unprecedented rise in unique .Onion nodes, rising from around 40k to 60k in just a few days, says security researcher Professor Woodward. I wonder is this could possible be related to Shari Steel plan to push Tor mainstream, as reported on /. a few days ago.

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Linux 4.3 Reached End of Life; Users Need To Move To Linux 4.4
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:33 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's last-stop-folks department:
prisoninmate writes: As some of you may know, Linux 4.3 was not an LTS (Long Term Support) release, so the last maintenance build is now Linux kernel 4.3.6, as announced earlier by Greg Kroah-Hartman, a renowned kernel developer and maintainer. While he's telling users of the Linux 4.3 series to update to the 4.3.6 point release, he also urges them, especially OS vendors, to move to the most advanced stable series, in this case, Linux kernel 4.4 LTS, which just received its second point release the other day. However, it appears that Linux kernel 4.3.6 is quite an update, as it changes a total of 197 files, with 2310 insertions and 963 deletions, bringing some much-needed improvements.

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Study: Mice Gain Weight In Cold Temperatures Due To Gut Changes
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 07:52 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's gut-changes-reflect-weight-gain-too department:
Beeftopia writes with the results of a study described in The Economist: Mice were separated into two groups, one temperature maintained at 6C, the other at 22C. Researchers expected the cold mice to lose weight as they burned stored fat to stay warm. And for the first few days they did. But after five to ten days, in spite of their rations not increasing, the cold mice begain to put on weight. When scientists examined the gut microbiome of the previously identical mice, they found they were radically different. Additionally, the intestine had grown villi 50% larger than those of the warm temperature mice. Finally, after transplanting the gut microflora into a new batch of aseptic mice kept at warm temperatures, those mice showed the increased insulin sensitivity, cold tolerance, and villi length of the cold mice.

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NASA's Search For Astronauts Yields a Deluge of Applicants
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 06:33 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's yes-that's-the-plural department:
NASA, notes Ars Technica, has just produced a bumper crop of applicants for the coveted job of astronaut. 18,300 would-be astronauts applied to be part of the 2017 hiring class. It would be good to keep a backup job in mind, though:

NASA's astronaut applications have surged even as its flight opportunities have fallen by about 90 percent. Back in the early 2000s during the peak of the space shuttle program, NASA had more than 150 active astronauts. That's because the shuttle, with six to seven launches a year, afforded 40 to 50 annual flights into space. The number of active astronauts is now about one-third of that peak due to the shuttle's retirement in 2011.

With no Shuttle, and only one real destination (the International Space Station), those 18,300 astronauts will be whittled down to 8-14 candidates.

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Apple: Terrorist's Apple ID Password Changed In Government Custody
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 05:12 PM
By whipslash from Slashdot's password-fail department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Apple ID password linked to the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists was changed less than 24 hours after the government took possession of the device, senior Apple executives said Friday. If that hadn't happened, Apple said, a backup of the information the government was seeking may have been accessible.
Had that password not been changed, the executives said, the government would not need to demand the company create a 'backdoor' to access the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who died in a shootout with law enforcement after a terror attack in California that killed 14 people. The Department of Justice filed a motion to compel the company to do that earlier Friday.

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Variable Instruction Computing: What Is Old Is New Again
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 05:12 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's ever-thus-shall-it-be department:
szczys writes: Higher performance, lower power. One of the challenges with hitting both of those benchmarks is the need to adhere to established instruction sets like x86. One interesting development is the use of Variable Instruction Sets at the silicon level. The basic concept of translating established instructions to something more efficient for the specific architecture isn't new; this is what yielded the first low-power x86 processors at the beginning of the century. But those relied on the translation at the software level. A company called Soft Machine is paving the way for variable instructions in hardware. Think of it as an emulator for ARM, x86, and other architectures that is running on silicon for fast execution while sipping very little power.

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Edward Snowden To Keynote This Weekend's Free State Project Liberty Forum
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 03:51 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's underground-bunker department:
cold fjord writes: Nick Gillespie at Reason is heading to The Free State Project's annual Liberty Forum being held this weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire. One of the highlights and a big draw this year is the keynote address by Edward Snowden via the Internet. Nick Gillespie will be interviewing Edward Snowden. Snowden is also scheduled to answer questions from participants submitted ahead of time. There are already reported to be 2,000 Free State Project members in the state, and reports from Brian Doherty indicate they are already effecting change: "Over 1,900 Free Staters already are there and we've reported here at Reason on some of what they're already accomplished, from getting 15 of their brethren in the state House, challenging anti-ridehail laws, fighting in court for outre religious liberty, winning legal battles over taping cops, being mocked by Colbert for heroically paying off people's parking meters, hosting cool anything goes festivals for libertarians, nullifying pot juries, and inducing occasional pants-wetting absurd paranoia in local statists."

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DoJ Says Apple's Posture on iPhone Unlocking Is Just Marketing
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 03:51 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's whereas-your-adherence-to-the-constitution department:
New submitter kruug writes: The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion seeking to compel Apple Inc to comply with a judge's order for the company to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, portraying the tech giant's refusal as a 'marketing strategy.' The filing escalated a showdown between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley over security and privacy that ignited earlier this week. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the tech giant's help to access the shooter's phone, which is encrypted. The company so far has pushed back, and on Thursday won three extra days to respond to the order. Reader Lauren Weinstein writes of this tack: "The level of DOJ disingenuousness in play is simply staggering."

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Even On eBay, Women Get Paid Less For Their Labor
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 02:32 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's what-year-is-this-again department:
sciencehabit writes: Women in the United States are paid only 79 cents on the dollar compared with men doing the same job. But at least gender melts away in the digital economy of the Internet, right? Nope. A study of more than 1 million auctions on the online commerce site eBay finds that women receive consistently less money than men for selling the very same products. T: The oft-cited "cents on the dollar" claims, though, ought perhaps be taken with a grain of salt; it depends who's counting, and what.

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The Heat Is On: Climate Change Causes Birds To Hatch Early
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 02:32 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg department:
grrlscientist writes: A recently published study reveals that climate change can cause birds' eggs to hatch early. In addition to creating warmer temperatures that trigger early embryonic development in birds, climate change also increases the frequency and duration of heat waves. Thus, warming temperatures are leading to asynchronous hatching of individual eggs within a clutch and increased chick mortality, particularly for birds breeding in the tropics and semi-tropics, and in tropical deserts.

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Opera Founder Opens Up About New Vivaldi Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 01:14 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's is-opera-making-a-comeback department:
alphadogg writes: Since the days of Mosaic in the early 1990s, Jon von Tetzchner has been working on web browsers. He is one of the creators of Opera, the alternative browser that's been a power-user favorite since 1995. His new project, Vivaldi, is heading for its first stable release. Network World sat down with von Tetzchner on Thursday to talk about Vivaldi and Opera at the Innovation House, a related venture of his.

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Judge Slams Anthem, Rules That Breach Constitutes Harm To Customers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 01:14 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's another-security-breach department:
chicksdaddy writes: You would think that the "damages" caused by massive online thefts, like those leveled against Target, Home Depot and Anthem Healthcare are self evident. But companies are arguing hard that they can't be sued for damages resulting from data breaches, because the "victims" can't show that they were harmed by the theft. That was the case back in June, when lawyers for Home Depot filed a motion to have a case linked to the compromise at that company dropped. The case was brought by customers whose data was stolen in the attack, but Home Depot's attorneys argued that those customers couldn't prove that they were harmed by the theft of their credit card information. Now a judge in San Francisco has dealt a blow to would-be defendants in a case against Anthem. In an opinion released on Sunday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that the loss of personal information in the breach of Anthem constitutes harm under New York's General Business Law. The ruling rejected arguments from Anthem and its lawyers that no direct harm resulted from the breach, which was first disclosed in February 2015. In her decision in the Anthem case, Koh reasoned that the theft of personal identification information is harm to consumers in itself, regardless of whether any subsequent misuse of it can be proven. Allegations of a "concrete and imminent threat of future harm" are enough to establish an injury and standing in the early stages of a breach suit, she said.

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U.S. Army Testing 3D-Printed Mission-Specific Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 11:45 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's drones department:
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. army will conduct field experiments early in 2016 to test the feasibility of designing and 3D-printing military drones in direct response to specific operational challenges. The Army is working in conjunction with Georgia Tech's Aerospace System Design Labs in the next round of Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) to develop the responsive drone pipeline. Dr. Mark Valco, director of the Vehicle Technology Directorate says "Innovation is the key. We're demonstrating a capability, but we need to evolve design tools, higher-grade materials and the ability to print faster. Our researchers are continually looking for opportunities to enable these new capabilities."

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Neuroscientists Detail How Humans Are Able To Hurt Others When Given Orders
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 11:45 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's it-wasnt-me department:
Ever wonder how seemingly normal people were able to become Nazis and commit such atrocities? A team of neuroscientists studied just that, following the Milgram experiment conducted in the 1960s. Published in the journal Current Biology, this new study explains that "some basic feeling of responsibility really is reduced when we are coerced into doing something." The results indicate that humans are able to hurt each other when given orders.

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Virgin Galactic To Unveil New Version of SpaceShipTwo
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's space-travel department:
New submitter Asep Saepuloh writes: Today, Virgin Galactic will unveil SpaceShipTwo, a vehicle the company hopes will one day take tourists to the edge of space. Just over a year since a test pilot was killed in a crash, Sir Richard Branson's reveal of the newest craft is set to happen in California late Friday at California's Mojave Air and Space Port, where it was assembled. The team behind the latest suborbital spaceplane includes leaders from NASA's mission control and astronaut corps, the militaries from three nations and from high-profile personnel from the aviation and transport industries. Virgin Galactic said: "We've charged them with developing a plan to safely test and operate a reusable spacecraft." The company claims that they have "done their homework" and hope that this time their journey into space can be a success.

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Wearable Third Arm Gives Drummers Extra Robotic Rhythm
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's if-you-need-an-extra-arm department:
Zothecula writes: Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.

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Rio Has Given Up On Clean Water For Olympics
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's who-needs-clean-water department:
iONiUM writes: When bidding to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Jaineiro promised the International Olympics Committee that it would eliminate 80 percent of the sewage found in the city's notoriously filthy water, and would fully regenerate the lagoon in which rowing and kayaking events will be held. Now a few months from the start of the games, Rio has given up on keeping those promises. According to an article from Deadspin, "The U.S. will send 48 rowers to Rio, and they will be as forewarned and forearmed as the federation can make them, starting with squeeze bottles of hand sanitizer that will be distributed on the flight to Brazil. Hannafin says the athletes have been asked to get hepatitis A vaccinations and polio boosters and take the oral typhoid vaccine. Their oar handles will be bleached and their boats washed inside and out after each training session or competition. Gear will be laundered at a high enough temperature to kill microbes."

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China Set To Ban All Foreign Media From Publishing Online
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's who-would-have-thought department:
schwit1 writes: A new directive issued by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has said that companies which have foreign ownership (at least, in part) will be stopped from publishing words, pictures, maps, games, animation and sound of an 'informational and thoughtful nature' unless they have approval from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

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N. Carolina Senator Drafting Bill To Criminalize Apple's Refusal To Aid Decryption
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's authority-trumps-consent department:
Ars Technica reports that North Carolina senator Richard Burr says he plans to introduce legislation "to criminalize a company's refusal to aid decryption efforts as part of a governmental investigation." In a USA Today op-ed, Burr, griping that "[t]he newest Apple operating systems allow device access only to users," even Apple itself can't get in," drags out the usual bugaboos: "Murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers and the others are already using this technology to cover their tracks."
Updated Friday 12:40pm EST: The Wall Street Journal reports Senate Panel Chief Decides Against Plan to Criminalize Firms That Don't Decipher Encrypted Messages

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3-in-1 Android Malware Acts As Ransomware, Banking Trojan and Info Thief
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-how-much-would-you-pay? department:
An anonymous reader writes: Why stop at asking ransom for encrypted files when you can also steal personal info, passwords, online banking credentials and credit card details, and sell it or use it to get even more money? Palo Alto researchers have recently analyzed Xbot, a Trojan that is capable of doing all the aforementioned things, and have found it mimicking 22 different Android apps.

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