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Computer Error Grounds Flights In the UK
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's tripping-over-the-power-cord department:
Rambo Tribble writes: Reuters reports that flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, and many other airports have been shut down "due to a computer failure." The information comes from European air traffic control body Eurocontrol. No official word as yet as to the nature of the failure. "One source told the BBC the problem was caused by a computer glitch that co-ordinates the flights coming into London and puts the flights in sequence as they come into land or take off. He described it as a 'flight planning tool problem.'" Incoming flights are still being accommodated.

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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's science-doesn't-care-about-your-opinions department:
An anonymous reader writes: Michigan has a problem. Over the past decade, the number of unvaccinated kindergartners has spiked. "Nearly half of the state's population lives in counties with kindergarten vaccination rates below the level needed for "herd immunity," the public health concept that when at least 93 percent of people are vaccinated, their immunity protects the vulnerable and prevents the most contagious diseases from spreading." Surprise, surprise, the state is now in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. How do these kids get into public schools without being vaccinated? Well, Michigan is among the 19 U.S. states that allow "philosophical" objections to the vaccine requirements for schoolchildren. (And one of the 46 states allowing religious exemption.) A new editorial is now calling for an end to the "philosophical" exemption.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no-bsods-on-wheels department:
Freshly Exhumed writes: Ford's in-car infotainment system known as Sync will soon evolve to add a capacitive touch screen, better integration with smartphone apps and, eventually, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in version 3, thanks to a switch of operating systems. After years of teaming with Microsoft, the automobile giant has switched to BlackBerry's QNX, a real time operating system renowned for stability.

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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mcnulty-never-would-have-done-that department:
MobyDisk writes: A lawsuit was filed yesterday over a case in which a woman was arrested for recording the police from her car while stopped in traffic. Ars Technica writes, "Police erased the 135-second recording from the woman's phone, but it was recovered from her cloud account according to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City lawsuit, which seeks $7 million."

Baltimore police lost a similar case against Anthony Graber in 2010 and another against Christopher Sharp in 2014. The is happening so often in Baltimore that in 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to the police reminding them that they cannot stop recordings, and most certainly cannot delete them.

Local awareness of this issue is high since the the Mayor and the City Council support requiring police body cameras. The city council just passed a bill requiring them, but the mayor is delaying implementation until a task force determines how best to go about it. The country is also focused on police behavior in light of the recent cases in Ferguson and New York, the latter of which involved a citizen recording.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-you-can't-stand-the-bears-get-out-of-the-kitchen department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled) that Google is closing its engineering office in Russia. This follows ever-increasing crackdowns from the Russian government over internet freedoms, and intrusive data-handling requirements on internet companies. "[A] new law that takes effect next year requires information on Russian citizens to be stored in data centers in Russia. The law will also penalize Web firms for infringing on personal data rules in the country. Another law passed earlier this year requires bloggers with 3,000 or more daily readers to register with the government and provide their home address. The ruling prevents these bloggers from using foul language and forbids them from spreading false information."

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LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's more-k department:
MojoKid writes One of the most in-your-face buzzwords of the past year has been "4K," and there's little doubt that the forthcoming CES show in early January will bring it back in full force. As it stands today, 4K really isn't that rare, or expensive. You can even get 4K PC monitors for an attractive price. There does remain one issue, however; a lack of 4K content. We're beginning to see things improve, but it's still slow going. Given that, you might imagine that display vendors would hold off on trying to push that resolution envelope further – but you just can't stop hardware vendors from pushing the envelope. Earlier this year, both Apple and Dell unveiled "5K" displays that nearly doubled the number of pixels of 4K displays. 4K already brutalizes top-end graphics cards and lacks widely available video content, and yet here we are looking at the prospect of 5K. Many jaws dropped when 4K was first announced, and likewise with 5K. Now? Well, yes, 8K is on its way. We have LG to thank for that. At CES, the company will be showing-off a 55-inch display that boasts a staggering 33 million pixels — derived from a resolution of 7680x4320. It might not be immediately clear, but that's far more pixels than 4K, which suggests this whole "K" system of measuring resolutions is a little odd. On paper, you might imagine that 8K has twice the pixels of 4K, but instead, it's 4x.

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Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 02:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's are-you-sure-you-want-to-do-that? department:
First time accepted submitter blueshift_1 writes Remember that photo that you posted to Facebook sophmore year of college when you thought there was nothing more important than partying and letting everyone you knew how hard you partied? Well facebook is now trying to buzzkill every one of those moments. With their upcoming feature, they'll be using photo analysis algorithms to detect how intoxicated you were in the photo and suggest that you not post it. Which in the end, is probably for the best.

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"Lax" Crossdomain Policy Puts Yahoo Mail At Risk
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '14 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
msm1267 writes A researcher disclosed a problem with a loose cross-domain policy for Flash requests on Yahoo Mail that put email message content, contact information and much more at risk. The researcher said the weakness is relatively simple to exploit and puts users at high risk for data loss, identity theft, and more. Yahoo has patched one issue related to a specific .swf file hosted on Yahoo's content delivery network that contained a vulnerability that could give an attacker complete control over Yahoo Mail accounts cross origin. While the patch fixed this specific issue, the larger overall configuration issue remains, meaning that other vulnerable .swf files hosted outside the Yahoo CDN and on another Yahoo subdomain could be manipulated the same way.

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New Compilation of Banned Chinese Search-Terms Reveals Curiosities
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 10:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bad-words department:
An anonymous reader writes Canada's Citizen Lab has compiled data from various research projects around the world in an attempt to create a manageable Github repository of government-banned Chinese keywords in internet search terms and which may appear in Chinese websites. Until now the study of such terms has proved problematic due to disparate research methods and publishing formats. A publicly available online spreadsheet which CCL have provided to demonstrate the project gives an interesting insight into the reactive and eccentric nature of the Great Blacklist of China, as far as outside research can deduce. Aside from the inevitable column listings of dissidents and references to government officials and the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989, search terms as basic as "system" and "human body" appear to be blocked.

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Study Explains Why Women Miscarry More Males During Tough Times
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 09:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's selection-process department:
sciencehabit writes In times of trouble, multiple studies have shown, more girls are born than boys. No one knows why, but men need not worry about being overrun by women. An analysis of old church records in Finland has revealed that the boys that are born in stressful times survive better than those born during less challenging periods. The work helps explain why women may have evolved a tendency to abort certain males and could lead to a better understanding of miscarriages.

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Lenovo Recalls LS-15 Power Cords
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-it-back department:
jones_supa writes US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that Lenovo is recalling a batch of laptop AC power cords due to fire hazard. The power cords have been bundled with IdeaPad brand B-, G-, S-, U-, V- and Z-series laptop computers and Lenovo brand B-, G- and V-series laptop computers. The recalled power cords are black in color and have the "LS-15" molded mark on the base of the IEC 60320 connector. The company seems to have been bitten by the exact same problem that HP faced this summer. Lenovo has set up an info page for affected customers.

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Sony Reportedly Is Using Cyber-Attacks To Keep Leaked Files From Spreading
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fight-fire-with-fire department:
HughPickens.com writes Lily Hay Newman reports at Slate that Sony is counterhacking to keep its leaked files from spreading across torrent sites. According to Recode, Sony is using hundreds of computers in Asia to execute a denial of service attack on sites where its pilfered data is available, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Sony used a similar approach in the early 2000s working with an anti-piracy firm called MediaDefender, when illegal file sharing exploded. The firm populated file-sharing networks with decoy files labeled with the names of such popular movies as "Spider-Man," to entice users to spend hours downloading an empty file. "Using counterattacks to contain leaks and deal with malicious hackers has been gaining legitimacy," writes Newman. "Some cybersecurity experts even feel that the Second Amendment can be interpreted as applying to 'cyber arms'."

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Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-out-my-statue department:
Rei writes Julian Assange, from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, has recently taken to Twitter to try to raise nearly $200,000 for a life-size bronze statue of himself. The statue would have him standing front and center between Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning (with Manning pictured as male); the art piece would be then shipped around the world on tour.

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Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's obvious-answer-is-obvious department:
First time accepted submitter Amanda Parker writes In July the US warned of a terrorism risk which led countries, such as France and the UK, to step up their security screening for flights to the US. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed the TSA to implement enhanced security measures. In his statement on 6 July, Johnson warned that passengers could also be asked to "power up some devices, including cell phones" and stated that "powerless devices will not be permitted on board the aircraft". In light of the US Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) recent tightening of airport security to include stricter screening of electronic devices, is the TSA right to be cautious or have its actions caused unnecessary hassle for passengers?

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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-the-fat-pill department:
Zothecula writes with news that a fat burning pill may be on the horizon. "Researchers at Harvard University say they have identified two chemical compounds that could replace "bad" fat cells in the human body with healthy fat-burning cells, in what may be the first step toward the development of an effective medical treatment – which could even take the form of a pill – to help control weight gain. Not all fat is created equal. While white fat cells store energy as lipids and contribute to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, the less common brown fat cells pack energy in iron-rich mitochondria, have been shown to lower triglyceride levels and insulin resistance in mice, and appear to be correlated with lower body weight in humans. Brown fat makes up about five percent of the body mass of healthy newborns, helping them keep warm, and is still present in lower quantities in our neck and shoulders as adults, where it helps burn the white fat cells."

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Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's even-for-a-eula-that's-bad department:
An anonymous reader writes Trusteer Rapport, a software package whose installation is promoted by several major banks as an anti-fraud tool, has recently been acquired by IBM and has an updated EULA. Among other things, the new EULA includes this gem: "In addition, You authorize personnel of IBM, as Your Sponsoring Enterprise's data processor, to use the Program remotely to collect any files or other information from your computer that IBM security experts suspect may be related to malware or other malicious activity, or that may be associated with general Program malfunction." Welcome to the future...

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How Your In-Store Shopping Affects the Ads You See On Facebook
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-country-one-nation-one-singular-sensation department:
itwbennett writes Facebook has made several acquisitions over the years to help advertisers target their ads and extend their reach. Custom Audiences is one such targeting tool, allowing retailers to match shoppers in their stores with their accounts on Facebook. It's often done through an email address, phone number or name. Facebook won't give hard numbers, but there seems to be a lot of matching going on. For decades, marketers have been trying to understand more about what's happening at the point of sale, 'so their systems are really robust at capturing a strikingly large amount of transactions,' says Brian Boland, Facebook's VP of advertising technology.

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Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's stinkin'-badges-apparently-suffice department:
Prune writes Congress has quietly passed an Intelligence Authorization Bill that includes warrantless forfeiture of private communications to local law enforcement. Representative Justin Amash unsuccessfully attempted a late bid to oppose the bill, which passed 325-100. According to Amash, the bill "grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American."

According to the article, a provision in the bill allows “the acquisition, retention, and dissemination” of Americans’ communications without a court order or subpoena. That type of collection is currently allowed under an executive order that dates back to former President Reagan, but the new stamp of approval from Congress was troubling, Amash said. Limits on the government’s ability to retain information in the provision did not satisfy the Michigan Republican."

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U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's very-very-dirty department:
MTorrice writes The 2008 recession hammered the U.S. auto industry, driving down sales of 2009 models to levels 35% lower than those before the economic slump. A new study has found that because sales of new vehicles slowed, the average age of the U.S. fleet climbed more than expected, increasing the rate of air pollutants released by the fleet.

In 2013, the researchers studied the emissions of more than 68,000 vehicles on the roads in three cities—Los Angeles, Denver, and Tulsa. They calculated the amount of pollution released per kilogram of fuel burned for the 2013 fleet and compared the rates to those that would have occurred if the 2013 fleet had the same age distribution as the prerecession fleet. For the three cities, carbon monoxide emissions were greater by 17 to 29%, hydrocarbons by 9 to 14%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 27 to 30%, and ammonia by 7 to 16%.


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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability
Posted by News Fetcher on December 11 '14 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-only-this-worked-for-ink-jet-cartridges department:
An anonymous reader writes A security researcher has released a humorous vulnerability description for the Keurig 2.0 coffee maker, which includes DRM designed to only brew Keurig brand coffe pods (K-Cups): "Keurig 2.0 Coffee Maker contains a vulnerability in which the authenticity of coffee pods, known as K-Cups, uses weak verification methods, which are subject to a spoofing attack through re-use of a previously verified K-Cup." The vulnerability description even includes mitigating controls, such as keeping the Keurig in a locked cabinet when not in use.

Also at Hackaday.

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