Science

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

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

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

jones_supa 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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Hardware

Submission + - Home server or VPS? ->

toygeek writes: Which is cheaper: Running a server from home, or renting a VPS (Virtual Private Server)? We're trying to pinch pennies where we can, and my son Derrick suggested upgrading an extra PC we have and running his Minecraft server at home. Would it save enough money to be worth it? I wanted to share with the results of my analysis with my Slashdot brethren.
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Apple

Submission + - Dick Tracy's Watch: The Tech Meme That Won't Die->

harrymcc writes: "Rumor has it that Apple is working on a smartwatch. The New York Times' Nick Bilton, who broke the news, and many other tech journalists, have brought up Dick Tracy's famous two- way wrist communicator in their coverage of it. That's not surprising--Tracy's watch always comes up in discussions of wearable communications gadgetry. And it has since 1947, shortly after the comic-strip cop first got his wrist radio. Over at TIME, I took a look at this seemingly indestrictible cultural touchstone."
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DRM

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

FredAndrews 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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Submission + - Judge hints at jail time for porn troll Prenda Law->

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

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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Submission + - CNN Anchor wonders if asteroid is result of global warming.-> 1 1

JDAustin writes: Proving that idiot anchors are not just on Fox News, a CNN anchor posed the question: "Talk about something else that’s falling from the sky and that is an asteroid. What’s coming our way? Is this an effect of, perhaps, global warming or is this just some meteoric occasion?”
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Canada

Submission + - Canadian Government scrapping Internet Predators Act->

dakohli writes: The Conservative Goverment of Canada is scrapping the controversial bill C-30 They will instead make "modest" changes to the existing Warrantless Wiretap bill. This bill was widely panned by Privacy Critics and members of the opposition. Another victory for online privacy!
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Sun Microsystems

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

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 ?"
Privacy

Submission + - Where is the safest place to host a website? 2 2

aztracker1 writes: Given the number of intrusions in terms of U.S. (and its' allies) based hosting providers turning over data without a warrant, and rulings that consider "cloud" data to not be private, I have to ask. Where is the safest place to host a web server these days?

I've been thinking of putting some data services up, and have no problem with responding to limited court orders, or even paying income taxes on any profits made. I do have a problem with client data potentially being seized without due process.
NASA

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

adosch 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

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

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

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

Lasrick 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

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

futhermocker 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

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

hypnosec 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

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

isoloisti 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

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

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

Submission + - Spy Drones Used to Hunt Down Christopher Dorner

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.”"
Space

Submission + - You Can Name Pluto's Moons of the Underworld->

astroengine writes: "The SETI Institute has launched a new website called "Pluto Rocks!" intended to gather a public vote on the names of Pluto's smallest, and most recently discovered, moons P4 and P5. Discovered in 2011 and 2012 by Hubble, the two dinky satellites have concerned scientists managing the NASA New Horizons probe that will flyby the Plutonian system in 2015 — the presence of small rocky bodies in Pluto orbit might mean there is a significant collision risk to the high velocity spacecraft. This sinister back story will surely influence the naming outcome of the two new moons, where all the suggestions on Pluto Rocks! are related to Greek and Roman mythological characters from the underworld (but you can also make your own suggestions). If you want to get involved, there's also a special SETI Institute G+ Hangout planned for 11 a.m. PT Monday where two of the P4/P5 discovery scientists will hold a Q&A session."
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Privacy

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

colinneagle 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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Botnet

Submission + - New Version of Kelihos Botnet Appears->

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers are tracking a new version of the Kelihos botnet, one that comes complete with better resistance to sinkholing techniques and a feature that enables it to remain dormant on infected machines for long periods to help avoid detection. The botnet also is using an advanced fast-flux capability to hide the domains it uses for command-and-control and malware distribution.

This is the third time the Kelihos botnet has reared its head. The first two instances, security researchers were able to sinkhole the domains that Kelihos was using, effectively crippling the attackers' ability to communicate with infected machines. The first Kelihos botnet takedown in 2011 was a joint effort between Kaspersky Lab and Microsoft and the teams were able to reverse-engineer the communications protocol that the bots use. Kelihos, also known as Hlux, is a peer-to-peer botnet, meaning that there is no central server or servers that spit out new commands for the bots.

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Games

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

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

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

Zothecula 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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Security

Submission + - Researcher Proves Repurposed Flame, Duqu Attacks Possible->

ancientribe writes: The burning question dogging security experts since the discovery of Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu was whether those sophisticated cyberespionage weapons could be retooled and turned on other targets. A researcher has now tested that theory and found that they are recyclable--with some limitations--and that the Flame authors may have purposely limited the scope of their malware to avoid its being abused by other attackers. Boldizsar Bencsath, a member of the CrySys Lab that was instrumental in studying Duqu, shared his findings at the invitation-only Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit last week.
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Media

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

mask.of.sanity 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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AMD

Submission + - AMD Next-Gen Graphics May Slip To End of 2013, Not Necessarily A Bad Thing->

MojoKid writes: "AMD has yet to make an official statement on this topic, but several unofficial remarks and leaks point in the same direction. Contrary to rumor, there won't be a new GCN 2.0 GPU out this spring to head up the Radeon HD 8000 family. This breaks with a pattern AMD has followed for nearly six years. AMD recently refreshed its mobile product lines with HD 8000M hardware, replacing some old 40nm parts with new 28nm GPUs based on GCN (Graphics Core Next). In desktop, it's a different story. AMD is already shipping "Radeon HD 8000" cards to OEMs, but these cards are based on HD 7000 cores with new model numbers. RAM, TDP, core counts, and architectural features are all identical to the HD 7000 lineup. GPU rebadges are nothing new, but this is the first time in at least six years that AMD has rebadged the top end of a product line. Obviously any delay in a cutthroat market against Nvidia is a non-optimal situation, but consider the problem from AMD's point of view. We know AMD built the GPU inside Wii U. It's also widely rumored to have designed the CPU and GPU for the Xbox Durango and possibly both of those components for the PS4 as well. It's possible, if not likely, that the company has opted to focus on the technologies most vital to its survival over the next 12 months."
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Chrome

Submission + - RHEL 6 No More Supported by Google Chrome->

sfcrazy writes: Google, one of the leading open source and Linux companies, has declared Red Hat's RHEL 6 as obsolete. Google shows a notification which says, "Google Chrome us no longer updating because your operating system is obsolete." The discovery was made by Red Hat evangelist Jan Wilderboer.
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Facebook

Submission + - Facebook sued over 'like' button->

arisvega writes: Facebook is facing legal action over its use of the "like" button and other features of the social network.

It is being sued by a patent-holding company acting on behalf of a dead Dutch programmer called Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer.

Rembrandt Social Media said Facebook's success was based, in part, on using two of Mr Van Der Meer's patents without permission.

"We believe Rembrandt's patents represent an important foundation of social media as we know it, and we expect a judge and jury to reach the same conclusion based on the evidence," said lawyer Tom Melsheimer from legal firm Fish and Richardson, which represents the patent holder.

Facebook said it had no comment to make on the lawsuit or its claims.

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Privacy

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

Qedward 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

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

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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Hardware

Submission + - Raspberry Pi Gets A $25 Camera ->

mikejuk writes: Raspberry Pi seems to be developing into a complete system for DIY. Now we have a video camera to add to the list of goodies — and it's only $25. The slightly bad news is that it is only 5 mega pixels, but this is reasonable for such a low-cost module and for the computing powers of the Pi — it's still more than 1080p Hi-Def video for example. It is directly interfaced to the GPU via a special connector on the board, i.e. not the GPIO, with a bandwidth good enough for video. The module is expected to be available in about a month — there is some work to do on the drivers.
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Submission + - Australian Trading Company Fastest To Market Stolen Goods

An anonymous reader writes: The Register reports that Zeptonics, who slashdotters remember from this story, has been caught selling hardware designs stolen from an Australian competitor, according to an Australian Federal Court ruling. Bad news for Zeptonics clients worldwide: if you've bought hardware from them, you'll have to hand the merchandise back to its rightful owner.
Education

Submission + - Professors Reject Classroom Technology->

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

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

danielkennedy74 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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