By Soulskill from Slashdot's an-unpaid-undergrad-intern-lab-tech-has-decided-you-are-a-criminal department
sends a story of how a high tech forensic procedure almost led investigators to the wrong person
. In 1996, a young woman named Angie Dodge was assaulted and murdered in Idaho Falls, Idaho. There was a conviction in the case, but later reports claimed the wrong man was in prison
, and police thought there were more than one attacker anyway. This eventually led to the re-opening of the investigation. Using DNA evidence that had been preserved from the crime scene, police used a controversial technique called familial searching
to try to find a lead. This method is used when there is no direct DNA match within the available databases. Instead, it tries to identify family members of the suspect. Police found a partial match, which eventually led them to Michael Usry, a New Orleans filmmaker. They convinced a judge to provide a search warrant to extract Usry's DNA and test it against the sample. It wasn't until a month after the extraction that they told him he'd been cleared.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here's-what-happened department
writes There was a lot of news at Apple's Spring Forward keynote today. Here's a list of some of the most eye-catching announcements.
HBO Now standalone streaming service coming to Apple TV and iOS apps in early April for $14.99 a month.
Lowered price of Apple TV to $69.
Apple Pay accepted at up to 100,000 Coca-Cola machines by the end of the year.
ResearchKit Announced: Is open source and allows medical researchers to create apps, and use the iPhone as a diagnostic tool.
New MacBook: Lightest ever at 2 pounds, 13.1mm at its thickest point. 2304x1440 display, consumes 30% less energy. Fanless, powered with Intel's Core M processor. 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0. and 9 hours of web browsing battery life. Supports many protocols through one connector USB-C. Ships April 10, starting at $1,299.
iOS 8.2 is available today
Apple Watch: Accurate within 50ms of UTC. Read and delete email, built-in speaker and mic so you can receive calls. It tracks your movement and exercise. Use Apple Pay, play your music, use Siri and get any notification you get on iPhone today. 18 hour battery life in a typical day. Sport model starting at $349, stainless steel price: $549-$1049 for 38mm, 42mm is $599-$1099, and gold edition starting at $10k. Pre-orders begin April 10th, available April 24th.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
writes Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, author Bruce Schneier could have justifiably written an angry diatribe full of vitriol against President Obama and the NSA for their wholesale spying on innocent Americans and violations of myriad laws. Instead, he was written a thoroughly convincing and brilliant book about big data, mass surveillance and the ensuing privacy dangers facing everyone. A comment like what's the big deal? often indicates a naiveté about a serious significant underlying issue. The idea that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear is a dangerously narrow concept on the value of privacy. For many people the notion that the NSA was performing spying on Americans was perceived as not being a big deal, since if a person is innocent, then what do they have to worry about. In the book, Schneier debunks that myth and many others, and defends the importance of privacy.
Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review. Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
author Bruce Schneier
publisher W. W. Norton and Company
reviewer Ben Rothke
summary Important defense of privacy and expose on the dangers of NSA domestic mass surveillanceRead Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-getting-hot-in-here department
sends word that hot dry winters may be the norm in the future for California. "Climate change is one of the most prominent public health issues currently on the CDC's radar. The organization's Climate and Health Program attempts to help state and city health departments to prepare for the health impacts of climate change, which can come in the form of things like temperature extremes, air pollution, allergens, and changes in disease patterns; they can also be felt indirectly through issues like food security. Since 2012, California has been in the midst of a record-setting drought, with extremely warm and dry conditions characterizing the last three years in that state. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that warming caused by humans is responsible for the conditions that have led to this California drought. This study, published by scientists affiliated with the Department of Environmental Earth System Science and the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, used historical statewide data for observed temperature, precipitation, and drought in California. The investigators used the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), collected by the National Climatic Data Center, as measures of the severity of wet/dry anomalies. They also used global climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to compare historical predictions for anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic historical climates."Read Replies (0)