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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Introduces the Doomsday Dashboard
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's for-your-viewing-pleasure department:
Lasrick writes You probably know the hand on the Doomsday Clock now rests at 3 minutes to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has launched a pretty cool little interactive Dashboard that lets you see data that the Bulletin's Science and Security Board considers when making the decision on the Clock's time each year. There are interactive graphs that show global nuclear arsenals, nuclear material security breaches, and how much weapons-grade plutonium and uranium is stored (and where). The climate change section features graphs of global sea level rise over time, Arctic sea ice minimums. atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and differences in global temperature. There's also a section for research on biosecurity and emerging technologies.

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Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's throw-some-money-at-it department:
An anonymous reader sends word that President Obama is expected to announce more that $240 in pledges to boost STEM educations at the White House Science Fair today. "President Barack Obama is highlighting private-sector efforts to encourage more students from underrepresented groups to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math. At the White House Science Fair on Monday, Obama will announce more than $240 million in pledges to boost the study of those fields, known as STEM. This year's fair is focused on diversity. Obama will say the new commitments have brought total financial and material support for these programs to $1 billion. The pledges the president is announcing include a $150 million philanthropic effort to encourage promising early-career scientists to stay on track and a $90 million campaign to expand STEM opportunities to underrepresented youth, such as minorities and girls."

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Leaked Snowden Docs Show Canada's "False Flag" Operations
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it-wasn't-us department:
An anonymous reader writes Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Intercept show the extent to which Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) cooperates with the NSA — and perhaps most interestingly details CSEC's "false flag" operations, whereby cyberattacks are designed and carried out with the intention of attribution to an other individual, group or nation state. The revelations come in the midst of Canadian controversy regarding the anti-terrorism C-51 bill.

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Cisco SPA300/500 IP Phones Vulnerable To Remote Eavesdropping
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
Bismillah writes Cisco has confirmed that its SPA300 and SPA500 are vulnerable to remote eavesdropping and dialing, and is working on a patch. Meanwhile, the advice is not to have the phones on internet-facing connections. From the article: "Cisco has confirmed the issue reported by Watts, which is a result of wrong authentication settings in the default configuration of firmware version 7.5.5. An attacker can send a specially crafted Extended Markup Language (XML) request to devices which will allow them to both make phone calls remotely, and listen in on audio streams. Successful exploits could be used to conduct further attacks, Cisco warned. Despite the confirmed vulnerability, Cisco said the flaw was unlikely to be used and gave it a low 'harassment' severity rating."

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Android's Smart Lock Won't Ask You For a Password Until You Set Your Phone Down
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's staying-on department:
jfruh writes Nothing confronts you with how addicted you are to your phone than constantly taking it out of your pocket and entering and re-entering your passcode over and over again to unlock. But without fanfare, Google is releasing an Android update that might solve the problem: a "smart lock" that can figure out if your phone has been set down since the last time you unlocked it. As long as it stays on your person, you won't need to re-enter your password.

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Costa Rica Goes 75 Days Powering Itself Using Only Renewable Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cleaning-things-up department:
An anonymous reader writes with news about an impressive renewable energy accomplishment in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has achieved a clean energy milestone by using 100 per cent renewable energy for a record 75 days in a row. The feat was achieved thanks to heavy rainfall, which powered four hydroelectric plants in the first three months of the year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute said. No fossil fuels have been burnt to generate electricity since December 2014, in the state which is renowned for its clean energy policies."

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Child Psychotherapist: Easy and Constant Access To the Internet Is Harming Kids
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '15 at 01:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's there's-something-wrong-with-my-brain department:
First time accepted submitter sharkbiter sends note that one of the UK's foremost psychotherapists has concerns that smartphones may be harmful to the mental health of children. "Julie Lynn Evans has been a child psychotherapist for 25 years, working in hospitals, schools and with families, and she says she has never been so busy. 'In the 1990s, I would have had one or two attempted suicides a year – mainly teenaged girls taking overdoses, the things that don't get reported. Now, I could have as many as four a month.'.... Issues such as cyber-bullying are, of course, nothing new, and schools now all strive to develop robust policies to tackle them, but Lynn Evans’ target is both more precise and more general. She is pointing a finger of accusation at the smartphones - “pocket rockets” as she calls them – which are now routinely in the hands of over 80 per cent of secondary school age children. Their arrival has been, she notes, a key change since 2010. 'It’s a simplistic view, but I think it is the ubiquity of broadband and smartphones that has changed the pace and the power and the drama of mental illness in young people.'”

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Gaming On Linux With Newest AMD Catalyst Driver Remains Slow
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's molasses-in-the-winter department:
An anonymous reader writes The AMD Catalyst binary graphics driver has made a lot of improvements over the years, but it seems that NVIDIA is still leading in the Linux game with their shared cross-platform driver. Tests done by Phoronix of the Catalyst 15.3 Linux Beta found on Ubuntu 15.04 shows that NVIDIA continues leading over AMD Catalyst with several different GPUs on BioShock Infinite, a game finally released for Linux last week. With BioShock Infinite on Linux, years old mid-range GeForce GPUs were clobbering the high-end Radeon R9 290 and other recent AMD GPUs tested. The poor showing wasn't limited to BS:I though as the Metro Redux games were re-tested too on the new drivers and found the NVIDIA graphics still ran significantly faster and certainly a different story than under Windows.

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Finland's Education System Supersedes "Subjects" With "Topics"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's learning-time department:
jones_supa writes Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programs ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional "teaching by subject" in favor of "teaching by topic". The motivation to do this is to prepare people better for working life. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take "cafeteria services" lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages, writing skills and communication skills. More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union — which would merge elements of economics, history, languages and geography. There will also be a more collaborative teaching approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills.

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Online "Swatting" Becomes a Hazard For Gamers Who Play Live On the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hands-up-controllers-down department:
HughPickens.com writes Nick Wingfield reports at the NYT that practical jokers who call in bogus reports of violence provoking huge police responses have set their sights on a new set of victims: video gamers who play live on the Internet, often in front of huge online audiences. Last month, several hundred people were watching Joshua Peters as he played RuneScape from his parents' home as video showed Peters suddenly leaving his computer when police officers appeared at the house and ordered him and his family at gunpoint to lie face down on the ground after some had called 911 claiming Peters had just shot his roommate. "With the live-streaming platforms, it amplifies the entire situation," says James Clayton Eubanks who says he has been swatted about a half-dozen times while he streamed his Call of Duty sessions. "Not only do they get to do this and cause this misery, they get to watch it unfold in front of thousands of people."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Lenovo CEO Reportedly Posts Image of Next Gen Moto 360 Smartwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-look department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When the Android Wear platform was unveiled last year, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Motorola Moto 360. With its stainless steel body and round display, the smartwatch looked futuristic while retaining styling that was somewhat familiar to traditional time pieces. However, it's been a year since the original Moto 360 was unveiled and there have been a number of round-faced Android Wear devices that have either hit the market or will in the coming months. Motorola, of course, is still pushing ahead with a second generation Moto 360 and it appears their new parent company — Lenovo — may have just leaked the design of the upcoming smartwatch. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing posted an image to Weibo, which shows a number of smartwatches in various states of assembly. The image is interesting, because it provides us with two interesting bits of information. First, the new Moto 360 appears to adopt a traditional, exposed-lug design, which should make it easier for users to swap out the band that comes with the Moto 360 for a wider variety of third-party bands. Also, what you can glean from the photo is that, it appears that the "flat tire" display found on the original Moto 360 will carry over to its successor. The Moto 360 currently houses its ambient light sensor and display driver in the crescent-shaped cutout at the bottom of the display."

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Universal Reportedly Wants Spotify To Scale Back Its Free Streaming
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-money-no-music department:
An anonymous reader writes with news that Universal CEO Lucian Grainge is not a big fan of free streaming music. "Spotify might have bent over backwards to lift restrictions on its free streaming service a couple of years ago, but at least one music label appears eager to turn back the clock. Financial Times sources understand that Universal is using licensing negotiations to squeeze Spotify and demand more limits for those who don't pay up, such as restricting the amount of time they can play tunes in a given month. The publisher isn't confirming anything, but CEO Lucian Grainge has lately been chastising the free, ad-based streaming model — it's no secret that he would like more paying customers. According to one insider, Universal believes that Spotify is directly hurting sales at stores like iTunes."

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Magic Leap's AR Demo Video
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's worth-a-thousand-words department:
First time accepted submitter iMadeGhostzilla writes TechCrunch reports: "Magic Leap is showing what it might look like to use its hardware for augmented reality gaming in the future, with a new demo of what the team is apparently 'playing in the office' right now. The brief video shows examples of interacting with YouTube and Gmail apps, along with browsing a menu system for OS-level interaction. The person in the video from whose perspective it's apparently shot then selects a shooter game, tests out a weapon after choosing from a variety of options, does some tower-defense style stuff by placing a current and fights some visually impressive but fairly generic baddies. [...] The video was posted with an apology for Magic Leap's absence at TED." Commenters on reddit and elsewhere believe the video is fake. Magic Leap recently came into the spotlight with its recent $540M backing by Google and others.

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UK Government Admits Intelligence Services Allowed To Break Into Any System
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 12:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whenever-we-feel-like-it department:
An anonymous reader writes Recently, Techdirt noted that the FBI may soon have permission to break into computers anywhere on the planet. It will come as no surprise to learn that the U.S.'s partner in crime, the UK, granted similar powers to its own intelligence services some time back. What's more unexpected is that it has now publicly said as much, as Privacy International explains: "The British Government has admitted its intelligence services have the broad power to hack into personal phones, computers, and communications networks, and claims they are legally justified to hack anyone, anywhere in the world, even if the target is not a threat to national security nor suspected of any crime." That important admission was made in what the UK government calls its "Open Response" to court cases started last year against GCHQ.

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A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's can't-we-all-just-get-along? department:
An anonymous reader writes with the story of a Github user's joke repository that is causing some controversy. "There's no question that the tech world is an overwhelmingly male place. There's legit concern that tech is run-amok with 'brogrammers' that make women programmers feel unwelcome. On the other hand, people just want to laugh. It's at that intersection that programmer Randy Hunt, aka 'letsgetrandy' posted a 'project' earlier this week to software hosting site GitHub called 'DICSS.' The project, which is actual free and open source software, is surrounded by geeky jokes about the male anatomy. And it's gone nuts, so to speak, becoming the most trending project on Github, and the subject of a lot of chatter on Twitter. And, Hunt tells us, the folks at Github are scratching their heads wondering what they should do about it. Some people love DICSS ... and some people are, understandably, offended. The offended people point out that this is exactly the sort of thing that makes tech unwelcoming to women, and not just because of the original project, but because of some of the comments (posted as "commits") that might take the joke too far."

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WHO Report Links Weed Killer Ingredient To Cancer Risk
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what's-to-blame department:
An anonymous reader sends word that a common weed killer may cause cancer according to the World Health Organization. "The world's most widely used weed killer can 'probably' cause cancer, the World Health Organization said on Friday. The WHO's cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, was 'classified as probably carcinogenic to humans.' It also said there was 'limited evidence' that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma." Unsurprisingly, Monsanto, Roundup's manufacturer disagrees saying there is no evidence to support the findings and calls on WHO to hold a meeting to explain their conclusions.

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Islamic State Doxes US Soldiers, Airmen, Calls On Supporters To Kill Them
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's directions-to-a-murder department:
An anonymous reader writes in with this story about the latest weapon used by ISIS: doxing. "Middle East terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) has called on its followers take the fight to 100 members of the United States military residing in the US. A group calling itself the 'Islamic State Hacking Division' has posted names, addresses, and photographs of soldiers, sailors, and airmen online, asking its 'brothers residing in America' to murder them, according to Reuters. Although the posting purports to come from the 'Hacking Division,' US Department of Defense officials say that none of their systems appear to have been breached by the group. Instead, the personal data was almost certainly culled from publicly available sources, a DoD official told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity."

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FTC's Internal Memo On Google Teaches Companies a Terrible Lesson
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I've-learned-nothing department:
schwit1 writes FTC staffers spent enormous time pouring through Google's business practices and documents as well as interviewing executives and rivals. They came to the conclusion that Google was acting in anti-competitive ways, such as restricting advertisers from working with rival search engines. But commissioners balked at the prospect of a lengthy and protracted legal fight. For a big company, that process may have been enlightening. Agency staffers might find evidence of anti-competitive behavior. But that doesn't mean the firm will face the music in the end. Previous attempts to go after big companies — such as the Justice Department's long-running antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s — loomed large in regulators' minds at the time of the Google probe, according to a former official who worked at the agency then. "Even if we were in the right and could win," said the former official, "it could take a lot of resources away from other enforcement."

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Rosetta Spacecraft Makes Nitrogen Discovery On Comet
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what's-that-smell department:
An anonymous reader sends word that the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft has detected traces of molecular nitrogen on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. "A peculiar mix of molecular nitrogen on the comet target of Europe's Rosetta spacecraft may offer clues to the conditions that gave birth to the entire solar system. Molecular nitrogen was one of the key ingredients of the young solar system. Its detection in Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which Rosetta is currently orbiting, suggests that the comet formed under low-temperature conditions (a requirement to keeping nitrogen as ice), according to officials with the European Space Agency."

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DuckDuckGo Donates $100,000 Among Four FOSS Projects
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '15 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-a-little-cash department:
jones_supa writes As the search engine company's annual habit, DuckDuckGo has chosen to advance four open source projects by donating them. The primary focus this year was to support FOSS projects that bring privacy tools to anyone who needs them. $25,000 goes to The Freedom of the Press Foundation to support SecureDrop, which is an whistleblower submission used to securely accept documents from anonymous sources. Electronic Frontier Foundation was given $25,000 to support PrivacyBadger, which is a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking your surfing habits. Another $25,000 arrives at GPGTools to support GPG Suite, which is a software package for OS X that encrypts files or messages. Finally $25,000 was donated to Riseup to support Tails, which is a live operating system that aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity.

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