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Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 08:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's only-tell-me-what-i-secretly-want-to-know department:
An anonymous reader writes "Genome sequencing is getting faster and cheaper every year. This article points out that in the not-too-distant future, a DNA test will be a common diagnostic tool for doctors. It's a good thing for figuring out what's wrong with you — but there will unintended consequences. The test will also return information about conditions and diseases you're likely to get, which will spur more frequent testing — which can be extremely uncomfortable and/or expensive — as well as more frequent worrying. Should people be able to opt-out of this knowledge? Even if they do, should the information go into the patient's medical record? It likely will, and then the next doctor may be in the difficult position of not knowing what she can discuss with the patient. A new decision from the American College of Medical Genetics has recommended giving patients the option of not having the information gathered at all. It can get more complicated, too: '[G]eneticists and bioethicists are already discussing scenarios where patients may approach such decisions more like a menu, saying they want to know about increased risk of heart disease but not cancer, for example.'"

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8.2 Earthquake Off the Coast of Chile, Tsunami Triggered
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 05:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's be-safe department:
An 8.2-magnitude earthquake has struck roughly 60km off the cost of Chile. Its depth was approximately 20.1km. A tsunami has been generated, and evacuations have been ordered along the coast near the strike. Tsunami warnings were also issued for Peru and Ecuador. According to the Associated Press,
"Coastal residents of northern Chile evacuated calmly as waves measuring almost 2 meters (6 1/2 feet) struck ahead of a tsunami that was expected to come ashore later. ... Chile's emergency service reported some roads blocked by landslides caused by the quake, but said no injuries had been reported so far."

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Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 04:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-can-trust-us department:
mrspoonsi sends this news from the Washington Post:
"A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques. The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document. ... At the secret prison, Baluchi endured a regime that included being dunked in a tub filled with ice water. CIA interrogators forcibly kept his head under the water while he struggled to breathe and beat him repeatedly, hitting him with a truncheon-like object and smashing his head against a wall, officials said. As with Abu Zubaida and even Nashiri, officials said, CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating."

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How Airports Became Ground Zero In the Battle For Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 03:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nor-the-battle-to-the-strong department:
curtwoodward writes: "Even in libertarian-infused Silicon Valley, playing nice with the government can be a smart move. That's the attitude at RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental service that plans to expand at airports by getting permission first. On the other side is FlightCar, a competitor that would rather fight the power in court. The next couple of years should tell us which approach is smarter. Similar battles are becoming almost routine as startups born of the digital economy confront the real world’s established power systems, particularly in the emerging 'sharing economy,' where online tools help networks of consumers rent things to each other. And as these young companies try to manage rapid growth and fend off threats to their survival, the decision about whether to fight regulators or accommodate them can become another way to gain a competitive edge."

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NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we're-all-shocked department:
Charliemopps writes: "According to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, 'There have been queries, using U.S. person identifiers, of communications lawfully acquired to obtain foreign intelligence targeting non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. These queries were performed pursuant to minimization procedures approved by the Fisa court and consistent with the statute and the fourth amendment.' Basically, if you communicated with someone that is 'reasonably believed' to be a terrorist, you've lost constitutional protection against searches without a warrant, according to the NSA."

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New Apache Allura Project For Project Development Hosting
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 01:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-and-shiny department:
New submitter brondsem writes:
"Today the Apache Software Foundation announced the Allura project for hosting software development projects. Think GitHub or SourceForge on your own servers — Allura has git, svn, hg, wiki, tickets, forums, news, etc. It's written in python and has a modular and extensible platform so you can write your own tools and extensions. It's already used by SourceForge, DARPA, German Aerospace Center, and Open Source Projects Europe. Allura is open source; available under the Apache License v2.0. When you don't want all your project resources in the cloud on somebody else's walled garden, you can run Allura on your own servers and have full control and full data access."
(SourceForge shares a corporate overlord with Slashdot).

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Chester Wisniewski of Sophos Talks About Secure Credit Card Transactions (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 01:16 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's the-most-secure-credit-card-is-one-you-keep-in-a-safe-and-never-use department:
Chester Wisniewski's nakedsecurity describes Wisniewski's specialty thus: "He provides advice and insight into the latest threats for security and IT professionals with the goal of providing clear guidance on complex topics." So he's obviously someone who might know a little about preventing future Target-style security debacles. We've also interviewed tech journalist Wayne Rash about this topic, and will probably interview another security expert or two. Many Slashdot users may find all this credit card security talk boring, but for those who handle security matters for a living, especially for retailers, it's vital information. So here's Tim Lord talking with Chet, who is a recognized security expert for Sophos, one of the big dogs in the IT security field, when Chet was in Texas for the latest iteration of Security B-Sides in Austin. (Alternate video link.)

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How a 'Seismic Cloak' Could Slow Down an Earthquake
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shake-rattle-and-roll department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The United States is currently gripped in a bout of earthquake mania, following a series of significant tremors in the West. And any time Yellowstone, LA, or San Francisco shakes, people start to wonder if it's a sign of The Big One to come. Yet even after decades of research, earthquake prediction remains notoriously hard, and not every building in quake-prone areas has an earthquake-resistant design. What if, instead of quaking in our boots, we could stop quakes in their tracks? Theoretically, it's not a crazy idea. Earthquakes propagate in waves, and if noise-canceling headphones have taught us anything, it's that waves can be absorbed, reflected, or canceled out. Today, a paper published in Physical Review Letters suggests how that might be done. It's the result of French research into the use of metamaterials—broadly, materials with properties not found in nature—to modify seismic waves, like a seismic cloaking device."

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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's unwelcoming-is-unwelcome department:
PortWineBoy writes: "The Beeb is reporting that OkCupid is prompting Mozilla Firefox users to switch browsers over Brendan Eich's opposition to Prop 8 in California in 2008. Users are met with a message stating that OKCupid would prefer no one access their site with Mozilla software. Eich is the new CEO of Mozilla."

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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bright-ideas-all-around department:
redletterdave writes: "The current leader in smart lights is Philips Hue Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs. But the competition just heated up last week, with both LG and Samsung unveiling new smart bulbs. Not that Philips is sitting idly by—the boss of intelligent bulbs also unveiled two new products: the Hue Lux LED bulb, a cheaper, stripped-down version of its pricey original, and the Philips Hue Tap, an add-on that lets you trigger lights by touch. But which company will win the battle to illuminate the connected home?"

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Subversion Project Migrates To Git
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's seasonal-variety department:
New submitter gitficionado (3600283) writes "The Apache Subversion project has begun migrating its source code from the ASF Subversion repo to git. Last week, the Subversion PMC (project management committee) voted to to migrate, and the migration has already begun. Although there was strong opposition to the move from the older and more conservative SVN devs, and reportedly a lot of grumbling and ranting when the vote was tallied, a member of the PMC (who asked to remain anonymous) told the author that 'this [migration] will finally let us get rid of the current broken design to a decentralized source control model [and we'll get] merge and rename done right after all this time.'"

Source for the new git backend.

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Threatened Pandemics and Laboratory Escapes: Self-fulfilling Prophecies
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's here-sniff-this-tube department:
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Martin Furmanski, a medical doctor and medical historian, writes of the laboratory escapes of high-consequence pathogens that have occurred in recent decades (including several instances of smallpox!). The article explores 'gain of function" experiments-- experiments in which researchers manipulate dangerous pathogens to increase communicability among humans, and whether the benefit we see from those experiments outweighs the incredible risk. 'Many other laboratory escapes of high-consequence pathogens have occurred, resulting in transmission beyond laboratory personnel. Ironically, these laboratories were working with pathogens to prevent the very outbreaks they ultimately caused. For that reason, the tragic consequences have been called "self-fulfilling prophecies.''"

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Apple Patent Could Herald Interchangeable iPhone Camera Lenses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's plug-and-shoot department:
concertina226 (2447056) writes with this excerpt from IBTimes: "Apple has been granted a patent for interchangeable camera lenses — which could be used on the up-coming iPhone 6. The application was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in remarkably quick time, according to Patently Apple. Patent No. 8,687,299 has been granted to Apple today for 'Bayonet attachment mechanisms,' i.e. a bayonet mount that is able to securely attach lenses to an iOS device, such as an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. A bayonet mount is a fastening mechanism which is typically seen on cameras, used to attach lenses to the camera body. At the moment, there is no adjustable camera lens system in existence for smartphones, although there are lots of third party macro lens products that consumers can buy to clip onto their smartphone."

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Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's old-hobbies-are-best-hobbies department:
Dishwasha (125561) writes "Just a few days ago I incidentally discovered a little known secret called free-to-air. Amazingly enough even in the depths of Slashdot, there appear to have been no postings or discussions about it. Just like over-the-air programming, there is free programming available via various satellite systems that only requires a one-time cost of getting a dish and receiver. Both Amazon and Ebay appear to have a plethora of hardware out there. I personally settled on the Geosatpro MicroHD system with a 90cm 26lbs light-weight dish (queue lots of comments about my describing 26 lbs as being light-weight) and I should be receiving that in just a few days. I'm curious, who else is using satellite FTA? What are your setups? Has anyone hacked on any of the DVR/PVR devices available? Besides greater access to international programming, what are your channel experiences?"

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State Colleges May Offer Best ROI On Comp Sci Degrees
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-mileage-may-vary department:
jfruh (300774) writes "PayScale has recently released a survey of various U.S. colleges and majors, and determined, perhaps unsurprisingly, that computer science graduates of elite colleges make the most money in post-graduate life. However, blogger Phil Johnson approached the problem in a different way, taking into account the amount students and their families need to pay in tuition, [and found] that the best return on investment in comp sci degrees often comes from top-tier public universities, which cost significantly less for in-state students but still offer great rewards in terms of salaries for grads."

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Nature Publisher Requires Authors To Waive "Moral Rights" To Works
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-aesthetic-and-gustatory-rights-are-next department:
cranky_chemist (1592441) writes "Megan O'Neil has published a story on the Chronicle of Higher Education's website noting some unusual language in the license agreement between authors and Nature Publishing Group. 'Faculty authors who contract to write for the publisher of Nature, Scientific American, and many other journals should know that they could be signing away more than just the economic rights to their work, according to the director of the Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University. Kevin Smith, the Duke official, said he stumbled across a clause in the Nature Publishing Group's license agreement last week that states that authors waive or agree not to assert "any and all moral rights they may now or in the future hold" related to their work. In the context of scholarly publishing, "moral rights" include the right of the author always to have his or her name associated with the work and the right to have the integrity of the work protected such that it is not changed in a way that could result in reputational harm.'

Nature Publishing Group claims the waivers are required to ensure the journal's ability to publish formal retractions and/or corrections. However, the story further notes that Nature Publishing Group is requiring authors at institutions with open-access policies to sign waivers that exempt their work from such policies."


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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 05:32 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop department:
harrymcc (1641347) writes "Google officially — and mischievously — unveiled Gmail on April Fools' Day 2004. That makes this its tenth birthday, which I celebrated by talking to a bunch of the people who created the service for TIME.com. It's an amazing story: The service was in the works for almost three years before the announcement, and faced so much opposition from within Google that it wasn't clear it would ever reach consumers."

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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's because-using-your-mirrors-is-hard department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Department of Transportation issued a new rule (PDF) on Monday requiring car manufacturers to include rearview cameras in all cars manufactured after May 1, 2018. The rule applies to all cars weighing less than 10,000 pounds, including buses and trucks, but does not include motorcycles and trailers. '[The cameras] must give drivers a field of vision measuring at least 10 by 20 feet directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements including dashboard image size, lighting conditions and display time.' An estimated 13 to 15 deaths and 1,125 injuries may be prevented with the implementation of this new requirement."

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Creating "Homo Minutus" — a Benchtop Human To Test Drugs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '14 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's man-is-obsolete department:
Science_afficionado (932920) writes "Vanderbilt University scientists reported significant progress toward creating 'homo minutus' — a benchtop human — at the Society of Toxicology meeting on Mar. 26 in Phoenix. The advance is the successful development and analysis of a human liver construct//organ-on-a-chip that responds to exposure to a toxic chemical much like a real liver. The achievement is the first result from a five-year, $19 million multi-institutional effort led by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to develop four interconnected human organ constructs — liver, heart, lung and kidney — that are based on a highly miniaturized platform nicknamed ATHENA (Advanced Tissue-engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer). The project is supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Similar programs to create smaller-scale organs-on-chips are underway at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health."

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Western Digital 'MyCloud' Is Down 5 Days and Counting
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '14 at 11:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's personal-cloud-is-really-working-out department:
Nemo the Magnificent (2786867) writes "A friend of mine bought a Western Digital 'MyCloud' NAS server (non-RAID) a couple of weeks ago. WD implements the cloud service through its wd2go.com site. He reports that that site is down and has been since last Wednesday. No word on when it'll be back up. The only official announcements are daily repeats of this canned posting: 'Our My Cloud and My Book Live users are experiencing intermittent issues with WD servers that enable remote access when using these products. These issues include poor transfer speeds and/or inability to connect remotely. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and we are working very hard to resolve these issues and resume normal service as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience and will provide updates as they are available.'"

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