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Science

+ - 184 Drug Testing in Mice May Be A Waste of Time, Researchers Warn 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A group of researchers including Dr. H. Shaw Warren of Mass. General Hospital and Stanford genomics researcher Ronald W. Davis have published a paper challenging the effectiveness of the "mouse model" as a basis for medical research, based on a decade-long study involving 39 doctors and scientists across the country. In clincal studies of sepsis (a severe inflammatatory disorder caused by the immune system's abnormal response to a pathogen), trauma, and burns, the researchers found that certain drugs triggered completely different genetic responses in mice compared with humans. The Warren-Davis paper was rejected by both Science and Nature before its acceptance by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, perhaps suggesting the degree to which the "mouse model" has become entrenched within the medical research community. Ninety five percent of the laboratory animals used in research are mice or rats. Mice in particular are ideal subjects for research: they are cheap to obtain and house, easy to handle, and share at least 80 percent of their genes with humans (by some reckoning, closer to 99 percent). Over the past twenty five years, powerful methods of genetically engineering mice by "knocking out" individual genes have become widely adopted, so that use of mice for drug testing prior to human clinical trials has become standard procedure."
Piracy

+ - 147 Indie Game Dev Delights Pirate Bay-> 1

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Over the weekend a torrent of the game Anodyne was uploaded to The Pirate Bay and to the delight of observers was greeted with a positive attitude from its creators. 'It’s neat that Anodyne’s here and I’m glad that means more people can play it, though of course we’d love it if you bought the game,' the author Sean Hogan commented. Adding to the fun, Hogan posted up some codes so people could download the game for free from Desura. In an interesting turn, the torrent has later disappeared. The Pirate Bay is well-known for not removing torrents to any content — maybe the uploader started to feel bad about his act later?"
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DRM

+ - 214 W3C declare DRM in scope for HTML, big business supports Web DRM - Schism looms-> 1

Submitted by FredAndrews
FredAndrews (2736433) writes "The W3C has ruled DRM in-scope for their HTML standard. A lot of big businesses have supported advancing the Encrypted Media Extension (EME), including Google, Microsoft, and Netfix. The BBC calls for a solution with legal sanstions. The EME could well be used to implement a DRM HTML engine. A DRM enabled web would break a long tradition of the web browser being the User's Agent, and would restrict user choice and control over their security and privacy. There are other applications that can serve the purpose of viewing DRM video content, and I appeal to people to not taint the web standards with DRM but to please use other applications when necessary."
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+ - 232 Judge hints at jail time for porn troll Prenda Law->

Submitted by rudy_wayne
rudy_wayne (414635) writes "A federal judge in Los Angeles has suggested serious penalties for Brett Gibbs, an attorney at porn copyright trolling firm Prenda Law. Facing allegations of fraud and identity theft, Gibbs will be required to explain himself at a March 11 hearing. And if Judge Otis Wright isn't satisfied with his answers, he may face fines and even jail time.

The identity theft allegations emerged late last year, when a Minnesota man named Alan Cooper told a Minnesota court he suspected Prenda Law named him as the CEO of two litigious offshore holding companies without his permission. Worried about exposing himself to potential liability for the firms' misconduct, Cooper asked the court to investigate the situation. Cooper's letter was spotted by Morgan Pietz, an attorney who represents "John Doe" defendants in California. He notified Judge Wright of the allegations."

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+ - 179 Emergency Alert System hacked, warns dead rising from graves->

Submitted by
Rawlsian
Rawlsian writes "Great Falls, Montana, television station KRTC issued a denial of an Emergency Alert System report that 'dead bodies are rising from their graves.' The denial surmises that 'someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System...This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency.'"
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Sun Microsystems

+ - 157 Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting off a Sun Fire V1280 Server

Submitted by
vikingpower
vikingpower writes "Today, I decided to acquire a refurbished Sun Fire V1280 server, with 8 CPUs. The machine will soon or may already belong to a certain history of computing. This project is not about high-performance computing, much more about lovingly dusting off and maintaining a piece of hardware considered quirky by 2013 standards. And . Now the question creeps to mind: what software would Slashdotters run on such a beast, once it is upgrade to 12 procs and, say, 24 Gb of RAM ?"
NASA

+ - 173 Landsat 8 Satellite Successfully Launches into Orbit->

Submitted by adosch
adosch (1397357) writes "The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture."
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Mars

+ - 234 71 Percent of U.S. See Humans On Mars By 2033-> 2

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "In a recent poll funded by the non-profit Explore Mars, 71% of respondents agreed that the US will send a human to Mars within the next two decades. Unfortunately, on average, the sample of 1,101 people surveyed thought the US government allocated 2.4% of the federal budget to NASA — in reality it's only 0.5%. With this in mind, 75% of the respondents agreed/strongly agreed that NASA's budget should be increased to explore Mars through manned and robotic means."
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Government

+ - 194 More on missile defense: will the Ground-based Midcourse Defense ever work?->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Kingston Reif analyzes GMD (Ground-based Midcourse Defense) and shakes his head over the House Armed Services Committee (last year) authorizing the Pentagon to spend $360 million more than it asked for to expand the flawed system. "The Committee also provided an additional $100 million to begin deploying existing ground-based or SM-3 interceptors — not the interceptors recommended by the National Research Council — on the East Coast of the United States by the end of 2015 to defend against potential future long-range ballistic missiles launched from Iran.""
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Java

+ - 189 Yahoo! Pushing Java Version Released in 2008->

Submitted by futhermocker
futhermocker (2667575) writes "From TFA:

"At a time when Apple, Mozilla and other tech giants are taking steps to prevent users from browsing the Web with outdated versions ofJava,Yahoo!is pushing many of its users in the other direction: The free tool that it offers users to help build Web sites installs a dangerously insecYahoo! has offered SiteBuilder to its millions of users for years, but unfortunately the tool introduces a myriad of security vulnerabilities on host PCs.SiteBuilder requires Java, but the version of Java that Yahoo! bundles with it isJava 6 Update 7. It’s not clear if this is just a gross oversight or if their tool really doesn’t work with more recent versions of Java. The company has yet to respond to requests for comment."

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Games

+ - 160 Mojang Releases Minecraft:Pi Edition for the Raspberry Pi

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Mojang has officially released Minecraft:Pi Edition for the credit card sized Raspberry Pi. Back in November last year Minecraft was ported onto the Raspberry Pi and it was revealed at the time that Mojang would release a free version of the game soon. The game is completely free and is now available for download. Even though the game will carry only a limited set of features, the cost of building and hosting a Minecraft lan-party has definitely dropped ten folds."
Security

+ - 249 Everything you know about password-stealing is wrong-> 1

Submitted by isoloisti
isoloisti (1610133) writes "An article by some Microsofties in the latest issue of Computing Now magazine claims we have got passwords all wrong.

When money is stolen consumers are reimbursed for stolen funds and it is money mules, not banks or retail customers, who end up with the loss. Stealing passwords is easy, but getting money out is very hard. Passwords are not the bottleneck in cyber-crime and replacing them with something stronger won’t reduce losses. The article concludes that banks have no interest in shifting liability to consumers, and that the switch to financially-motivated cyber-crime is good news, not bad.

Article is online at computer.org site (hard-to-read multipage format)
http://www.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/content?g=53319&type=article&urlTitle=is-everything-we-know-about-password-stealing-wrong-
or pdf at author’s site.
http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/161829/EverythingWeKnow.pdf"

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Government

+ - 147 Feds offer $20M for critical open source energy network cybersecurity tools-> 1

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy today said it would spend $20 million on the development of advanced cybersecurity tools to help protect the nation's vulnerable energy supply. The DOE technologies developed under this program should be interoperable, scalable, cost-effective advanced tools that do not impede critical energy delivery functions, that are innovative and can easily be commercialized or made available through open source for no cost."
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Crime

+ - 202 Spy Drones Used to Hunt Down Christopher Dorner

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Express reports that as a task force of 125 officers continue their search for Christopher Dorner in the rugged terrain around Big Bear, it was revealed that Dorner has become the first human target for remotely-controlled airborne drones on US soil. “The thermal imaging cameras the drones use may be our only hope of finding him," says a senior police source. "On the ground, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.” The use of drones was confirmed by Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio, who revealed agents have been prepared for Dorner to make a dash for the Mexican border since his rampage began. “This agency has been at the forefront of domestic use of drones by law enforcement.” Dorner, who was fired from the LAPD in 2008 for lying about a fellow officer he accused of misconduct, has vowed to wreak revenge by “killing officers and their families”. According to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon: "To be honest, he could be anywhere right now. Torching his own vehicle could have been a diversion to throw us off track. Anything is possible with this man.”"
Privacy

+ - 145 Flickr privacy bug changes some private photos to public->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Flickr has discovered a software bug that made some users' private photos public for as long as 20 days. As a precaution, Flickr set all public photos to private. The result is "bad" links across the web that cause the "currently unavailable" error message.

Ironically, Flickr less than a week ago released some tips for safer photo and privacy sharing settings, as part of Microsoft's Safer Internet Day. At the same time, the company was quietly restoring users' private photos that had been made public.

However, posts to Flickr user forums show that many continue to struggle get their public photos restored or even find out if anyone had seen their private photos."

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Games

+ - 139 Inside the Project Holodeck VR Game World, First Impressions->

Submitted by
Hesh
Hesh writes "The space-pirates themed Project Holodeck game (http://www.ProjectHolodeck.com) out of USC is a VR game that is initially targeted for the Oculus Rift and will marry VR with a world so interactive and immersive that it feels like you can almost reach out and touch it. Ben Lang over at RoadToVR recently got a chance to sit down with the team and try it out and came out extremely impressed with how immersive the experience was: '...at one point I needed to set the Razer Hydra controllers down to adjust my helmet and I nearly tried to set them down on a virtual table next to me. There was no table in real life — had I not quickly realized what I was about to do, I would have dropped the controllers straight onto the floor below.'"
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Medicine

+ - 181 Scientists Use Gene Therapy to Cure Dogs of Type 1 Diabetes->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have claimed a first by successfully using a single session of gene therapy to cure dogs of type 1 diabetes. The work has shown that it is possible to cure the disease in large animals with a minimally-invasive procedure – potentially leading the way to further developments in studies for human treatment of the disease."
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Media

+ - 188 Ballot-stuffing bot skews online polls, news reports->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "An Australian software dev has built a bot to automatically cast tens of thousands of votes through online polls run by the country's biggest news outlets.

It skewed subsequent media reports on the results which continued for months despite the engineer's efforts to warn reporters of the hoax.

He coupled his simple bash script with Tor that was made to change exit relays every 10 minutes, defeating measures to prevent repeat voting from one IP address."

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Privacy

+ - 203 EU Data Protection proposal taken word for word from US lobbyists->

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward (2499046) writes "Computerworld UK open enterprise blogger Glyn Moody looks at the proposed EU directive on Data Protection — and how some of the proposed amendments seem to be cut and pasted directly from the American Chamber of Commerce — that well-known European organisation...

You might ask, Glyn writes, who are these MEPs representing — some 500 million EU citizens that pay their salary or a bunch of extremely rich US companies intent on taking away our privacy?"

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Privacy

+ - 161 Can you erase yourself from the internet?->

Submitted by
Barence
Barence writes "Do you remember what you posted on that music forum in 2004? Or which services you tried for webmail before Gmail? We often forget online services, but they don't forget us. PC Pro has investigated whether it's possible to retrospectively wipe yourself from the internet. It discusses how difficult it is to get your data removed from Facebook, Google and other popular web services, as well as reputation management services that promise to bury unwanted internet content on your behalf."
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Education

+ - 192 Professors Reject Classroom Technology->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "The January edition of Science, Technology & Human Values published an article titled, Technological Change and Professional Control in the Professoriate that details interviews with 42 faculty members at three research-intensive universities. The research concludes that faculty have little interest in the latest IT "solutions". "I went to [a course management software workshop] and came away with the idea that the greatest thing you could do with that is put your syllabus on the Web and that's an awful lot of technology to hand the students a piece of paper at the start of the semester and say keep track of it," said one. "What are the gains for students by bringing IT into the class? There isn't any. You could teach all of chemistry with a whiteboard. I really don't think you need IT or anything beyond a pencil and a paper," said another."
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Security

+ - 151 Two Jokers Social Engineer their way into the Superbowl->

Submitted by danielkennedy74
danielkennedy74 (1543159) writes "Sneaking in near press/employee access points without going thru them, zigzagging through corridors, and once carrying a box so someone opens a door for them, two jokers from Savannah State University social engineer their way into Super Bowl XLVII for the most part simply by looking like they belong."
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