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Science

+ - 124 Bacteria and global warming

Submitted by fustakrakich
fustakrakich (1673220) writes "Like we do, most bacteria respire, that is they convert carbon containing compounds, into carbon dioxide and water, and as an outcome of this process generate cellular energy. Unfortunately, for us there are far more bacteria on the planet that there are people and as a consequence bacteria produce rather a lot of carbon dioxide. In fact the microbes that break down plant matter in soil release 55 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, which represents around eight times the amount that humans are putting into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. As the temperature of our planet increases, we will inevitably alter the activity of planet’s microbes and through this fundamentally their impact on the Earth’s climate"

+ - 211 New Technology Produces Cheaper Tantalum and Titanium->

Submitted by Billy the Mountain
Billy the Mountain (225541) writes "A small UK company is bringing new technology online that could reduce the prices of tantalum and titanium ten-fold. According to this piece in The Economist: A tantalising prospect, the key is a technique similar to smelting aluminum with a new twist: The metallic oxides are not melted as with aluminum but blended in powder form with a molten salt that serves as a medium and electrolyte. This technology is known as the FFC Cambridge Process. Other metals include Neodymium, Tungsten and Vanadium"
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HP

+ - 125 HP Sells WebOS to LG Electronics, Inc.->

Submitted by kdryer39
kdryer39 (1210976) writes "LG has snatched up full rights to HP's webOS (which was last used in now-defunct Palm and TouchPad devices) and will integrate it into their line of "smart" TV's. WebOS was viewed as having a strong software foundation, but HP could not create a viable application ecosystem to keep up with Apple, Google, and Amazon. This poison arrow led to the dismal launch and failure of the TouchPad in 2010 and the resulting opening up of webOS last year.

While set-top implementations are a natural progression, I can only imagine where LG could take the failed OS with a little work and a face lift. Perhaps it can move us one step closer to the "Internet of Things," and have all LG-branded devices in the home sync with each other (and as a result, secretly plot the creation of SKYNET)."

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The Military

+ - 131 The military's medal for cyber-combat is a disservice to actual combat vets-> 2

Submitted by
Curseyoukhan
Curseyoukhan writes "The Distinguished Warfare Medal will be awarded to members of the military engaged in computer security and flying drones. It is the first new "combat-related" award since the Bronze Star was created in 1944.

A friend of mine was a Bronze Star recipient. He received the medal for leading troops in combat in Vietnam. He knew by heart the names of the dozen or so men who died under his command during that engagement. He eventually died from poisoning due to prolonged exposure to Agent Orange during his service.

The Pentagon says, "Another example [of a potential recipient] is that of a soldier at Fort Meade, Md., who detects and thwarts a cyberattack on a DOD computer system."

Other than carpal-tunnel syndrome what risk does our theoretical soldier face?

This stretches the term "combat-related" out of any recognizable shape."

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Android

+ - 108 Firefox 20 Beta for Android Gets Per-Tab Private Browsing

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 19 was released released less than a week ago, but already Mozilla has made a new Firefox for Android beta available. This new release adds per-tab private browsing, customizable home screen shortcuts, and support for 25 million more phones. Per-tab private browsing is of course the biggest new feature. It allows you to switch between private and standard tabs within the same browsing session, meaning you don’t have to relaunch the Firefox app every time."
China

+ - 156 Data espionage sleuths aim to put Chinese companies in court->

Submitted by
holy_calamity
holy_calamity writes "Accusations that China is stealing corporate secrets have become commonplace, now a startup called CrowdStrike says it can gather firm enough evidence for victims to take legal action against those being fed information copied from their networks. Led by veterans of the FBI and McAfee, the company uses techniques such as planting fake data and embedding "beacons" into documents that send back traces of where they end up. Most infiltration of U.S. firms is by the Chinese military, which passes along what it finds to state-owned and allied industries, cofounder Dmitri Alperovitch told Technology Review. "You can’t do a lot against the PLA, but you can do a lot against that company," he says. Alperovitch says the some clients are already considering launching legal action or asking for government sanctions based on evidence provided by Crowdstrike."
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Moon

+ - 212 Vulcan to Join Our Solar System (Maybe)-> 1

Submitted by jollyrgr3
jollyrgr3 (1025506) writes "If William Shatner gets his wish one of Pluto's two new moons will be named Vulcan. News.com.au reports that James T. Kirk (aka) William Shatner picked the names Vulcan and Cerberus. The names still have to be approved by the International Astronomical Union as they have the final say. Full link here:
http://www.news.com.au/world/capt-kirk-aka-william-shatner-names-plutos-two-new-moons/story-fndir2ev-1226585541984"

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The Internet

+ - 117 Internet providers officially start spying to stop P2P file-sharing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will throttle connection speeds for customers suspected to be pirating copyright-protected materials. Previously, Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision Systems and other ISPs had signed onto the program, which was supposed to start in July 2012, but major protests against other restrictive Web policies left them to wait until the dust settled."
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Cellphones

+ - 115 Is Firefox OS 'Too Late' to Shake Up Mobile?->

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Analysts are skeptical that Mozilla's push into mobile with Firefox OS would be a game-changer, as Mozilla suggests it will be. 'The chances of Mozilla Firefox OS making good in mobile phones are about as good as WebOS making a comeback in smartphones,' said analyst Jack Gold, referring to the mobile operating system abandoned two years ago by Hewlett-Packard, sold on Monday to Korea's LG Electronics for use in smart TVs. 'They're just plain too late,' Gold added. 'If they had done this two, three years ago...maybe.' On Sunday, Mozilla — best known for its Firefox browser — previewed the first commercial build of Firefox OS and announced commitments from four handset makers and backing from 18 mobile carriers. Mozilla makes it clear it views Firefox OS as a kind of mobile 'Reset' button: On its Firefox OS website, Mozilla touts 'Greater participation in the value chain' and 'Ownership and control over relationships with customers' as two of the four benefits to carriers and other partners. At Mobile World Congress on Monday, carrier officials complained that mobile OS vendors — meaning Google and Apple — made fortunes on their backs, and that Firefox OS may inject enough competition to shake up the current business models. 'We need a more balanced relationship with the OS owners,' Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said at the conference. 'With more competition, the relationship will be more balanced, and eventually, the winners will be the ones who have the best products, the lowest prices, and the highest willingness to invest, with us, in the channels.'"
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Chrome

+ - 175 Google Chrome Getting Audio Indicators To Show You Noisy Tabs

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google is working on identifying Chrome tabs that are currently playing audio (or recording it). The feature is expected to show an audio animation if a tab is broadcasting or recording sound. François Beaufort first spotted the new feature, a part of which is already available in the latest Chromium build. For those who don't know, Chromium is the open source web browser project that shares much of the same code and features as Google Chrome, and new features are often added there first."
Security

+ - 97 U.K. and India Sign Cybersecurity Pact->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron last week signed a cybersecurity deal with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reassure Brits about protection of data held by outsourcers or cloud companies in India. Data sovereignty remains a big obstacle to British cloud usage, especially in the public sector, which has to follow compliance rules that require that organizations know precisely where, geographically, their data is physically located at any given time. For example, Saunders' own company reported late last year that 47% of the 250 IT decision-makers from a range of small and midsize businesses, enterprises and public sector organizations it had polled identified data sovereignty as a key security concern."
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Science

+ - 204 DARPA wants to build high-tech helicopters on steroids->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Engineering an aircraft that can go fast, carry usable amounts of equipment and people and hover has always been one of aviation's greatest challenges. Sure there are plenty of fast helicopters but they are usually limited in the amount of weight they can carry. And there have been a few successful vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jets — the AV-8 Harrier is the industry standard — and while it is fast, it can carry one person, the pilot. The future-looking folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would like to change all that with a project they call the VTOL X-Plane program."
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Technology

+ - 134 Ask Slashdot: How would you feel about recording your entire life?

Submitted by skade88
skade88 (1750548) writes "As I get older, I find the little details of my life slip away from my memory after years and decades pass. I find myself wishing I had a way to record at least sound and video of my entire life. It would be nice to be able to go back and see what I was like when I was younger without the fog of memory clouding my view of the past. It would be cool to share with my boy friend and future kids how I was when I was younger by just showing them video from my life. Do y'all know of any good way to do this? I would settle for recording what I see from a first person point of view. There is also concerns that range beyond the technical. If I were to record my entire life, that would mean also recording other people, when they are interacting with me on a daily basis. What sort of privacy laws pertain to this? Even without laws, would others act differently around me because they were being recorded with my life record? How would it make you feel if your friend or family member did this?"
Networking

+ - 140 West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy -> 1

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "West Virginia wasted millions in federal grant money when it purchased 1,164 Cisco routers for $24 million in 2010, a state audit concluded. A report issued this month by the West Virginia Legislative Auditor found the state used a "legally unauthorized purchasing process" when awarding the router contract, paid for with federal stimulus funds, to Cisco. The auditor also found Cisco "showed a wanton indifference to the interests of the public" in recommending the investment in its model 3945 branch routers, the majority of which were "oversized" for the requirements of the state agencies using them, the report stated.
 "

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IOS

+ - 288 iOS 6.1.3 Beta 2 Patches Atleast One Vulnerablity Used by Evasi0n Jailbreak->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Apple recently seeded iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 to developers and it seems the beta version patches at least one of the vulnerabilities used by evasi0n thereby rendering the jailbreak tool useless — the time zone settings vulnerability. Released on February 21, the iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 brings with it enhancements to Japan Maps as well as fixes the much hyped Lock Screen bug. It was speculated that Apple would also patch exploits that would break evasi0n as it has been over three weeks since the jailbreak tool has been launched and Apple has had enough time to study it. David Wang aka @planetbeing, has confirmed that iOS 6.1.3 beta 2 does patch one of the vulnerabilities that they exploited in their evasi0n tool."
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Cellphones

+ - 177 Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Even as we all love to debate the scholarly merits of Wikipedia, there's no denying that it's an immensely powerful research and learning tool. That goes doubly so in poor nations, where access to education materials can be limited to nonexistent.

To that end, Wikimedia started the Wikipedia Zero project, which aims to partner with mobile service providers to bring Wikipedia to poor regions free of charge. It's a killer strategy, because while computer and internet access is still fleeting for much of the world, cell phones are far more ubiquitous. Wikimedia claims that four mobile partnerships signed since 2012 brings free Wiki service to 330 million cell subscribers in 35 countries, a huge boon for folks whose phones have web capability but who can't afford data charges."

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+ - 99 DOJ Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over Arrest-> 2

Submitted by TrueSatan
TrueSatan (1709878) writes "According to Huffington Post. "Some congressional staffers left the briefing with the impression that prosecutors believed they needed to convict Swartz of a felony that would put him in jail for a short sentence in order to justify bringing the charges in the first place, according to two aides with knowledge of the briefing."
It was also conceeded that the prosecution was fuelled by Swartz Open Access Manifesto http://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt in which he stated, "We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.""

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Security

+ - 104 Dirty IT Security Consultant Tricks->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "The IT security world is full of charlatans, and all of us have been 'advised' by at least one of them. From big-ticket items that solve tiny problems you don't have, to surprises about the feature set after you've already signed the dotted line, here are 14 underhanded techniques that security consultants use to drain IT security budgets and avoid accountability."
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Mars

+ - 159 Comet C/2013 A1 to Hit Mars in 2014?->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "According to preliminary orbital prediction models, comet C/2013 A1 will buzz Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. C/2013 A1 was discovered by ace comet-hunter Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, on Jan. 3. When the discovery was made, astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona looked back over their observations to find “prerecovery” images of the comet dating back to Dec. 8, 2012. These observations placed the orbital trajectory of comet C/2013 A1 through Mars orbit on Oct. 19, 2014. Due to uncertainties in the observations — the comet has only been observed for 74 days (so far), so it’s difficult for astronomers to forecast the comet’s precise location in 20 months time — comet C/2013 A1 may fly past at a very safe distance of 0.008 AU (650,000 miles). But to the other extreme, its orbital pass could put Mars directly in its path."
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+ - 183 Real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales overestimated->

Submitted by AchilleTalon
AchilleTalon (540925) writes "Research by Harvard professor David Keith suggests that the global capacity for energy generation from wind power has been overestimated, and that geophysical / climate effects of turbines will reduce the benefits of large-scale power installations.

"People have often thought there's no upper bound for wind power—that it's one of the most scalable power sources," says Harvard applied physicist David Keith. After all, gusts and breezes don't seem likely to "run out" on a global scale in the way oil wells might run dry.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-02-real-world-capacity-farms-large-scales.html#jCp"

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Security

+ - 182 Airport Manager Won't Let TSA Replace Body Scanner With Magnetometer->

Submitted by OverTheGeicoE
OverTheGeicoE (1743174) writes "TSA recently announced that it would remove all of Rapiscan's X-ray body scanners from airports by June. As part of this effort, it is trying to move a millimeter-wave body scanner from the Helena, Montana airport to replace an X-ray unit at a busier airport. Strangely enough, they have encountered resistance from the Helena's Airport Manager, Ron Mercer. Last Thursday, workers came to remove the machine, but were prevented from doing so by airport officials. Why? Perhaps Mercer agrees with Cindi Martin, airport director at Montana's Glacier Park International Airport airport, who called the scheduled removal of her airport's scanner 'a great disservice to the flying public' in part because it 'removed the need for the enhanced pat-down.'"
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Television

+ - 187 LG acquires webOS source code and patents from HP, for smart TVs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "LG is set to breathe new life into the webOS platform after the company announced today that it has acquired the software and its intellectual property from HP. The news, which was first noted by CNET, comes after HP abandoned webOS device and software development in August 2011, then open-sourced the platform so that developers might be able to salvage something from the software that was widely acclaimed, despite the lack of smartphone and tablet sales which it powered. LG now claims complete ownership of the webOS source code, its documentation and webOS websites. It has obtained HP licenses, as well as the patents that Palm transferred to its owner when it was acquired in 2010.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57570990-94/webos-lives-lg-to-resurrect-it-for-smart-tvs/"

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Intel

+ - 178 Intel Announces Clover Trail+ Atom Platform For Smartphones and Tablets->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Today, Intel announced the follow-on to their Medfield Atom platform for smartphones, code-named Clover Trail+. Clover Trail is powering a few Windows 8 Pro tablets currently. However, Clover Trail+, Intel’s new performance and feature-optimized version of Clover Trail for smartphones and tablets, has a long row to hoe versus incumbents like Qualcomm, Samsung and NVIDIA, at least in the highly competitive handset arena. What’s interesting this time around is that Clover Trail+ seems to really have the chops (at least on paper) to keep pace with the performance of current, best-of-class ARM-based architectures that have been so dominant in smartphones. Clover Trail+ is another 32nm design and Intel has beefed up almost every major functional block on the platform. From its now dual-core, 4-thread capable Atom CPU, to its new PowerVR SGX 544MP2 graphics engine, 2GB of LPDDR2 1066 DRAM, up to 256GB of NAND storage, a higher resolution 16MP camera and Intel’s XMM 6360 HSPA+ 42Mbps modem, with LTE support from their XMM 7160 radio moving forward; Intel’s Clover Trail+ smartphone reference design brings a lot more to the table than Medfield ever did."
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Businesses

+ - 115 Silicon Valley's Pollution Problem Bites Google->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Google has shut down two buildings close to its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., ordering all staff to evacuate until further notice as the air in those buildings has become too toxic and dangerous to work in. The cause of the dangerous fumes is a toxic solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, which is highly toxic to the human central nervous system and highly associated with cancers in the liver and kidneys, as well as Parkinson’s disease. Millions of gallons of TCE continue to impact the soil and water beneath Google's property — a result frequent chemical dumping in the 1960s and 1970s — but while the EPA says Google employees need not worry as TCE "takes decades of exposure to cause problems,' a recent study found a spike in TCE-related cancers in the affected area."
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Science

+ - 302 Why the Arabic World Turned Away From Science->

Submitted by
Geoffrey.landis
Geoffrey.landis writes "The historical period that we call the dark ages, from perhaps 600 to 1200 AD, was the golden age of Islamic science, when great advances in science and technology were taking place in the middle east. But somehow, as the west experienced its renaissance, the blossoming of the age of science, and the founding of the modern technological world, the Arabic world instead turned away from science. Muslim countries have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one, and of roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, only two scientists from Muslim countries have won Nobel Prizes in science. Why? In an article "Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science" in The New Atlantis, Hillel Ofek examines both the reasons why Islamic science flourished, and why it failed. Are we turning the same way, with a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and dogma shouting down the culture of inquiry and free thinking needed for scientific advances? Perhaps we should be looking at the decline of Islamic science as a cautionary tale."
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Science

+ - 107 We Aren't the World: changing how scientists think about human behavior, culture->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "This is just fascinating: Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics, and explain why social science studies of Westerners — and Americans in particular — don't really tell us about the human condition: "Given the data, they concluded that social scientists could not possibly have picked a worse population from which to draw broad generalizations. Researchers had been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.""
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Links

+ - 117 WebCitation calls for cash on FundRazr->

Submitted by Phillip2
Phillip2 (203612) writes "WebCite is an effective tool against link-rot on the web. It's used by Wikipedia to secure the evidence they base their articles on. And many academic journals reference the web through it. Despite this value, it's been obviously in need to modernisation for years; to the extent that it is now asking for funds on FundRazr. Following on from a fundraising efforts by archive.org over Christmas, it raises this question of whether we take digital preservation seriously."
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Medicine

+ - 149 Scientists Create Mice That Can't Feel Cold->

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "Scientists created a group of mice that were incapable of feeling cold by killing off the neurons in the body whose specific job it is to transmit cold sensation from the skin to the brain. Rather than an attempt to create an X-men-like mutation, the study sheds light on how the nervous system transmits sensory information from the body to the brain and may help to develop more sophisticated pain medicines. The study was published in the February 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience — led by David McKemy, associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Southern California Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences."
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Japan

+ - 105 Nuclear power hazardous to nuclear family->

Submitted by
mdsolar
mdsolar writes "Atomic Divorce is the new name for the crushing of the nuclear family in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. ""People are living with constant low-level anxiety. They don't have the emotional strength to mend their relationships when cracks appear," [...] Couples are being torn apart over such issues as whether to stay in the area or leave, what to believe about the dangers of radiation, whether it is safe to get pregnant and the best methods to protect children. "When people disagree over such sensitive matters, there's often no middle way,"" According to Noriko Kubota, a professor of clinical psychology at Iwaki Meisei University."
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+ - 172 How million-dollar frauds turned photo conservation into a mature science->

Submitted by
carmendrahl
carmendrahl writes "Photos used to be second-class citizens in the art world, not considered as prestigious as paintings or sculpture. But that changed in the 1990s. As daguerrotypes and the like started selling for millions of dollars, fakes also slipped in. Unfortunately, the art world didn't have good ways of authenticating originals.
Cultural heritage researchers had to play catch-up, and quickly. Two fraud cases, one involving avant garde photographer Man Ray, turned photo conservation from a niche field into a mature science. And today eBay plays an important role in helping ferret out the frauds."

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Android

+ - 162 Mobile Carriers Use Firefox OS To Fight Google, Apple->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "The first Firefox OS phones are arriving, and the fledgling mobile platform is getting a surprising amount of backing from mobile carriers. One reason: those carriers believe it provides a weapon against Apple and Google, which the mobile industry sees as raking in profits for apps and phones that rightfully belong to the companies that deal with government regulations and build out mobile infrastructure."
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Microsoft

+ - 183 Microsoft admits to being hacked too->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Once upon a time, Microsoft claimed that falling prey to social engineering tactics and then being hacked was a "rookie mistake." But now is the time for companies to jump on the bandwagon, to admit they were targeted by cyberattacks and successfully infiltrated. The stage is so crowded with 'giants' at this point, that there are fewer 'bad press' repercussions than if only one major company had admitted to being breached. Microsoft now admitted, hey we were hacked too.

"As reported by Facebook and Apple, Microsoft can confirm that we also recently experienced a similar security intrusion," wrote Matt Thomlinson, General Manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Security. Unlike the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal there was no mention of Chinese hackers. Is there a moral to these sad tales? Perhaps only that anyone can become a victim.

However, back in 2011, John Howie, Microsoft's senior director in the Online Services Security & Compliance (OSSC) team, basically claimed that unlike RSA or Sony, Microsoft sites are unhackable and can't be DDoSed. In regards to the breach at RSA, Howie told Computing News, "RSA got hacked because someone got socially engineered and opened a dodgy email attachment. A rookie mistake." Furthermore "Sony was coded badly and failed to patch its servers. These are rookie mistakes." Howie added, "At Microsoft we have robust mechanisms to ensure we don't have unpatched servers. We have training for staff so they know how to be secure and be wise to social engineering.""

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AI

+ - 96 Is Artificial General Intelligence the greatest threat to humanity?->

Submitted by PatrickRIot
PatrickRIot (2778703) writes "In a wide ranging interview Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford goes through all the cosmic, grisly and robotic ways our species might eventually check out.

A really big chunk is given over to a possible super intelligence or global brain that makes artificial intelligence comparable to reverse engineering God. The old testament kind too.

'To understand why an AI might be dangerous, you have to avoid anthropomorphising it. When you ask yourself what it might do in a particular situation, you can’t answer by proxy. You can't picture a super-smart version of yourself floating above the situation. Human cognition is only one species of intelligence, one with built-in impulses like empathy that colour the way we see the world, and limit what we are willing to do to accomplish our goals. But these biochemical impulses aren’t essential components of intelligence. They’re incidental software applications, installed by aeons of evolution and culture. Bostrom told me that it’s best to think of an AI as a primordial force of nature, like a star system or a hurricane — something strong, but indifferent.'"

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Earth

+ - 183 Long-lost continent found under the Indian Ocean->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "The drowned remnants of an ancient microcontinent may lie scattered beneath the waters between Madagascar and India, a new study suggests. Evidence for the long-lost land comes from Mauritius, a volcanic island about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar. The oldest volcanic rocks on the island date to about 8.9 million years ago. Yet grain-by-grain analyses of beach sand collected at two sites on the Mauritian coast revealed around 20 zircons — tiny crystals of zirconium silicate that are exceedingly resistant to erosion or chemical change — that were far older. One of these zircons was at least 1.97 billion years old.
The researchers that made the discovery think that geologically recent volcanic eruptions brought shards of the buried continent to the Earth’s surface, where the zircons eroded from their parent rocks to pepper the island’s sands. Analyses of Earth’s gravitational field reveal several broad areas where sea-floor crust at the bottom of the Indian ocean is much thicker than normal — at least 25 to 30 kilometres thick, rather than the normal 5 to 10 kilometres. Those crustal anomalies may be the remains of a landmass that researchers have now dubbed Mauritia, which they suggest split from Madagascar when tectonic rifting and sea-floor spreading sent the Indian subcontinent surging northeast millions of years ago."

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Microsoft

+ - 136 Linus Torvalds To Secure Boot Supporters: This Is Not A Dick-Sucking Contest-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Quite a lot of people raised their eyebrows the way ex-Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett made Microsoft the 'universal' control of any desktops PCs running with UEFI secure boot. Though the intentions of Garrett were clear — to enable GNU/Linux to be able to run Linux on Windows 8 certified PCs with secure boot; it was clearly putting Microsoft in a very powerful position. Linus, while a supporter of secure boot, exploded at Garrett and Howells when they proposed its inclusing in the kernel. Linus responded: Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest. If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f*cking pull request."
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The Military

+ - 156 Human Rights Watch: Petition Against Robots on the Battle Field-> 1

Submitted by
KublaCant
KublaCant writes ""At this very moment, researchers around the world – including in the United States – are working to develop fully autonomous war machines: killer robots. This is not science fiction. It is a real and powerful threat to humanity". These are the first words of a Human Rights Watch Petition to Presdient Obama to keep robots from the battlefield. The argument is that robots possess neither common sense, "real" reason, any sense of mercy nor — most important — the option to not obey illegal commands. What with the fast-spreading use of drones et al. , we are allegedly a long way off from Asimov's famous Three Laws of Robotics being implanted in autonomous fighting machines, or into any ( semi- ) autonomous robot. A "Stop the Killer Robots" campaign will also be launched in April at the British House of Commons and includes many of the groups that successfully campaigned to have international action taken against cluster bombs and landmines. They hope to get a similar global treaty against autonomous weapons. The Guardian has more about this, including quotes from well-known robotics researcher Noel Sharkey from Sheffield University."
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Earth

+ - 208 Russian meteor blast heard around the world->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "When the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded high over Russia on February 15, it was a blast heard around the world. This isn't just a figure of speech. Though too low-frequency for human hearing, sound waves from the 500-kiloton detonation of the 17-meter (56-ft) rock were picked up in Antarctica – some 15,000 km (9,320 miles) away – by 17 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) infrasound stations dedicated to detecting nuclear explosions above or below ground."
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Medicine

+ - 178 Physician Suicides After Discovered Secretly Videotaping Patients for Years

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Doctors have been sanctioned for snapping photos of patients during surgery, for posting or writing anything with identifying information about patients or even for looking at their medical records out of curiosity. Now the Washington Post reports that for more than two decades, women came to see Johns Hopkins gynecologist Nikita Levy and trusted him with not only the most private parts of their bodies but also with their innermost secrets. This week patients were reeling from the news that their doctor had committed suicide after being accused of surreptitiously videotaping and photographing many of his patients. Police said they have removed nearly 10 image-filled computer hard drives from Levy’s home in Towson, Md. “Never in a thousand years would I have imagined such a thing,” says Deborah Doerfer, a certified nurse midwife who worked with Levy off and on for nearly 20 years. “He was incredibly compassionate. He was always there to take care of his patients. They expected him to be on call 24/7, and he was.” Police would not speculate how many images the hard drives may contain, nor when Levy allegedly began recording them. Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says police found multiple cameras in at least one examination room, although he would not describe how they were hidden. “Everybody understands what’s at stake here," says Lois Shepherd, an expert on biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia. "Just like when we’re in surgery and under anesthesia, we trust that our body will be exposed as necessary for a procedure, but not more than necessary. And certainly not for people’s titillation, or even for their curiosity.” Johns Hopkins Medicine has set up a hotline that patients can call to arrange for counseling."

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