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+ - 174 Scientists Say Oreo Cookies As Addictive as Cocaine 1

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "VOA News reports that lab rats formed an equally strong association between the pleasurable effects of eating Oreos and a specific environment as they did between cocaine or morphine and a specific environment. They also found that eating cookies activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than exposure to drugs of abuse. “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” says Professor Joseph Schroeder. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.” To test the cookie’s addictiveness, researchers placed rats in a maze. On one side of the maze, they would give hungry rats Oreos, and on the other side, rice cakes. They would then give the rats the option of spending time on either side of the maze. Those results were compared to rats who were placed in a maze that offered an injection of cocaine or morphine versus an injection of saline solution. The research showed the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the Oreo side of the maze as the rats conditioned with cocaine or morphine. While it may not be scientifically relevant, Jamie Honohan says it was surprising to watch the rats eat the famous cookie. “They would break it open and eat the middle first.""

+ - 327 Security Researchers Want to Fully Audit Truecrypt

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "TrueCrypt has been one of the trusty tools in a security-minded user’s toolkit for nearly a decade — but there's one problem: no one knows who created the software and no one has ever conducted a full security audit on it. Now Cyrus Farivar reports in Ars Technica that a fundraiser reached more than $16,000 in a public call to perform a full security audit on TrueCrypt. "Lots of people use it to store very sensitive information," writes Matthew Green, a well-known cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University. "That includes corporate secrets and private personal information. Bruce Schneier is even using it to store information on his personal air-gapped super-laptop, after he reviews leaked NSA documents. We should be sweating bullets about the security of a piece of software like this." According to Green, Truecrypt "does some damned funny things that should make any (correctly) paranoid person think twice." The Ubuntu Privacy Group says the behavior of the Windows version [of Truecrypt 7.0] is problematic. "As it can't be ruled out that the published Windows executable of Truecrypt 6.0a is compiled from a different source code than the code published in "TrueCrypt_7.0a_Source.zip" we however can't preclude that the binary Windows package uses the header bytes after the key for a back door." Green is one of people leading the charge to setup the audit, and he helped create the website istruecryptauditedyet.com. “We're now in a place where we have nearly, but not quite enough to get a serious audit done.""

+ - 307 Ed Felten: Why Email Services Should be Court-Order Resistant->

Submitted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) writes "Commentators on the Lavabit case, including the judge himself, have criticized Lavabit for designing its system in a way that resisted court-ordered access to user data. They ask: If court orders are legitimate, why should we allow engineers to design services that protect users against court-ordered access?

The answer is simple but subtle: There are good reasons to protect against insider attacks, and a court order is an insider attack."

Link to Original Source

+ - 206 Is Choice a Problem for Android->

Submitted by mjone13
mjone13 (2947429) writes "Dave Feldmen in a blog posts says that the problem Android faces is giving consumers too much choice. He cites several studies which state that consumers generally are unhappier when they have too much choice. He then goes on to talk about Android fragmentation, app developer problems and bug issues. Finally he says the people who general prefer the choice Android provides are tinkers similar to gear heads who love tinkering with their car.

Is choice really a problem for Android?"

Link to Original Source

+ - 297 Yasser Arafat's clothing confirmed to be contaminated with Polonium. ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientific analysis has now confirmed that former Fatah leader and PLO/PNA head Yasser Arafat's clothing was contaminated with Polonium. The radioactivity was measured in megabecquerels, suggesting a gigabecquerel dose prior to death. No autopsy was performed on Arafat's body prior to burial at the request of his widow, and this seems to be the next logical step in the investigation into what is perhaps now confirmed to be an assassination.

Polonium, an extremely rare radioactive element, was implicated in the poisoning death of former FSB agent and Russian dissident/exile Alexander Litvinenko(wikipedia.org) who was killed in the UK after alleged cooperation with MI6 intelligence."

Link to Original Source

+ - 195 Will the US Lose Control of the Internet?-> 2

Submitted by Jeremiah Cornelius
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes "Upon revelation of the extent of US foreign intelligence surveillance, through efforts by Edward Snowden and LavaBit founder Ladar Levison, an increasing number of nation's have expressed official dismay and concern over the US dominance in managing the infrastructure for request and transit of information on the Internet. In the past, ICANN challenges have been secondary to efforts in the UN ITU — until now. Yesterday at a summit in Uruguay, every major Internet governing body pledged to free themselves of the influence of the US government. "The directors of ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society and all five of the regional Internet address registries have vowed to break their associations with the US government. The group called for "accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing". Any doubt about the reason or timing of this statement is dispelled with the inclusion: "the group 'expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance'."

The US argument for maintaining governance has been the need to maintain "a free and open Internet" versus interests of authoritarian societies. Has recent understanding of the wholesale surveillance of telecommunications by the NSA completely ruined the US reputation as the just custodian of that mission?"

Link to Original Source

+ - 149 Glenn Greenwald leaves Guardian, to start his own site->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Glenn Greenwald, the thorn in the proverbial back of NSA and its colonial cousin GCHQ is leaving the Guardian to start his own news organization. Greenwald said,"My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved. The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline. Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly;""
Link to Original Source

+ - 173 Tiny Pacemaker Can Be Delivered to Your Heart's Interior Via a Catheter -> 1

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "About four million people around the world have pacemakers implanted in their bodies, and those devices all got there the same way: surgeons sliced open their patients' shoulders and inserted the pulse-generating devices in the flesh near the heart, then attached tiny wires to the heart muscle. This invasive surgery carries risks of infection, of course, and those delicate wires are often the failure point when pacemakers stop working.

A device that just received approval in the EU seems to solve those problems. This tiny pacemaker is the first that doesn't require wires to bring the electrical signal to the heart muscle, because it's implanted inside the heart itself, and is hooked onto the inner wall of one of the heart's chambers. This is possible because the cylindrical device can be inserted and attached using a steerable catheter that's snaked up through the femoral artery. This blog post has an animation of the insertion process."

Link to Original Source

+ - 241 Under The Hood With Battlefield 4->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "EA took the wraps off Battlefield 4 this past week, offering players a chance to experience a taste of what the game offers via an early beta. AMD has also been talking up Battlefield 4 in combination with their new Radeon R series line with a vengeance, highlighting the features of its new Mantle API and close partnership with DICE, Battlefield 4's developer. Sometimes, enough modest changes evolve into an entirely new product, and when you factor in the tessellation improvements, terrain deformation, Mantle API support, enhanced audio cues, and better particle effects, that's what BF4 is shaping up to be. And it appears likely the game is going to be a premiere title across all of the current and future consoles plus PCs. Battlefield 4 is going to be closely watched for a number of reasons; Mantle performance, comparisons between the Xbox 360 / PS3 and Xbox One / PS4 versions, and, of course, on its own merits."
Link to Original Source

+ - 283 Finland's Algorithm-Driven Public Bus->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Where's the Uber-like interactivity, the bus that comes to you after a tap on the iPhone?

In Finland, actually. The Kutsuplus is Helsinki's groundbreaking mass transit hybrid program that lets riders choose their own routes, pay for fares on their phones, and summon their own buses. It's a pretty interesting concept. With a ten minute lead time, you summon a Kutsuplus bus to a stop using the official app, just as you'd call a livery cab on Uber. Each minibus in the fleet seats at least nine people, and there's room for baby carriages and bikes.

You can call your own private Kutsuplus, but if you share the ride, you share the costs—it's about half the price of a cab fare, and a dollar or two more expensive than old school bus transit. You can then pick your own stop, also using the app."

Link to Original Source

+ - 203 Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "If a new report in The Washington Post is accurate, the National Security Agency (NSA) has siphoned up millions of online address books and contact lists. The Post drew its information from top-secret documents provided by government whistleblower Edward Snowden, who spent the summer feeding information about the NSA to a variety of news outlets. Those documents hint at the massive size of the NSA’s operation; on a single day in 2012, for example, the agency collected 444,743 email address books from Yahoo and 22,697 from Gmail, along with tens of thousands of contact lists from other popular Web services. Snowden's documents (as outlined in The Guardian, Spiegel Online and other venues) have detailed a massive NSA program that's siphoning all sorts of personal information from a variety of sources — and yet the public seems to have greeted each new revelation with weakening outrage. Whereas the initial news reports about NSA splying in June kicked off a firestorm of controversy and discussion (aggravated by the drama of Snowden seeking asylum in pretty much any country that would have him), the unveiling of the NSA’s Great Contact-List Caper has ranked below the news stories such as the government shutdown, negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and invites for Apple’s upcoming iPad event on aggregators such as Google News; it also didn't make much of a blip on Twitter and other online forums. There’s the very real possibility that Americans, despite the assurances of government officials, are being monitored in a way that potentially violates their privacy. Surely that’s an issue that concerns a great many individuals; and yet, as time goes by, it seems as if people are choosing to focus on other things. Are we suffering from "surveillance fatigue"?"
Link to Original Source

+ - 217 The Curious MInd of Ada Lovelace

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Going beyond the usual soundbites about Ada Lovelace, Amy Jollymore explores the life of the worlds first programmer: "When I heard that Ada Lovelace Day was coming, I questioned myself, "What do I actually know about Ada Lovelace?" The sum total of my knowledge: Ada was the first woman programmer and the Department of Defense honored her contributions to computation in 1979 by naming its common programming language Ada.
A few Ada biographies later, I know Augusta Ada Lovelace to be an incredibly complex woman with a painful life story, one in which math, shame, and illness were continuously resurfacing themes. Despite all, Ada tirelessly pursued her passion for mathematics, making her contributions to computing undeniable and her genius all the more clear. Her accomplishments continue to serve as an inspiration to women throughout the world.""

+ - 200 Ask Slashdot: As Programmer/Geek, Should I Learn business? 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "During my career i was always focused on learning new technologies and trending programming languages, while i made a good fortune out of it, what's next step? should i learn business, network making and marketing? should i start to run my own business?"

+ - 183 First 'Habitable Zone' Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "For the first time, astronomers have discovered a sun-like star playing host to a “habitable zone” exoplanet located inside the Milky Way’s galactic bulge — some 25,000 light-years distant — using a quirk of Einstein’s general relativity. But don’t go having dreams of exotic getaways to the glistening lights of the center of our galaxy, this exoplanet is a huge gas giant world, about five times the mass of Jupiter. However, there is something (potentially) very exciting about this new discovery. Like Jupiter, this newly discovered giant exoplanet may possess small satellites; exomoons that could have life-giving potential. “Indeed, although the data do not explicitly show any signature of a companion to the Jupiter planet, this possibility is not ruled out,” the researchers write [arXiv]. “The planet is apparently at the edge between the snow line and the habitable zone, but considering a potential greenhouse warming effect, the surface temperature of a possible companion (exomoon) can be suitable for habitability.”"
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+ - 215 35,000 vbulletin sites have already been hacked via exploit released last week

Submitted by realized
realized (2472730) writes "Last week slashdot covered the Dangerous VBulletin Exploit In the Wild. Apparently hackers have been busy since then because according to security firm Imperva, more than 35,000 sites were recently hacked via this vulnerability. The sad part about this is that it could have all been avoided if the administrator of the websites just removed the “/install” and/or “/core/install” folders – something that you would think the installer should do on its own."

+ - 292 Oracle attacks Open Source; says community developed code is inferior->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Oracle has a love hate relationship with Open Source technologies. Oracle claims that TCO (total cost of ownership) goes up with the use of Open Source technologies, basically to build a case of selling its own over prices products to the government. Oracle also attacks the community based development model calling it more insecure than company developed products. You can read the non-sensical paper here."
Link to Original Source

+ - 323 ITER fusion reactor on track to generating power by generating power by 2028-> 1

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "ITER, the multibillion-euro international nuclear-fusion experiment, is on track to generate power by 2028. But some of the science that was supposed to happen along the way is going to be dropped to keep the vision alive.
The plans form the main thrust of recommendations by a 21-strong expert panel of international plasma scientists and ITER staff, convened to reassess the project’s research plan in the light of the construction delays. The plans were discussed this week at a meeting of ITER’s Science and Technology Advisory Committee. The meeting is the start of a year-long review by ITER to try to keep the experiment on track to generate 500 MW of power from an input of 50 MW by 2028, and so hit its target of attaining the so-called Q10, where power output is ten times input or more.
ITER initially aims to produce a Q10 for a few seconds, and then for pulses of 300–500 seconds, and work up over the following decade to output ratios of 30 times more power out than in, with pulses lasting almost an hour. Eventually the aim is to develop steady-state plasmas, which will yield information relevant to industrial-scale fusion-power generation. It is experiments relating to the understanding of longer-pulse and steady-state ITER plasmas that are most likely to be delayed beyond 2028."

Link to Original Source

+ - 373 NSA is Collecting Lots of Spam. 1

Submitted by wiredog
wiredog (43288) writes "Lots of it. Overwhelming amounts, perhaps. From The Washington Post

when one Iranian e-mail address of interest got taken over by spammers. The Iranian account began sending out bogus messages to its entire address book. ... the spam that wasn't deleted by those recipients kept getting scooped up every time the NSA's gaze passed over them. And as some people had marked the Iranian account as a safe account, additional spam messages continued to stream in, and the NSA likely picked those up, too....Every day from Sept. 11, 2011 to Sept. 24, 2011, the NSA collected somewhere between 2 GB and 117 GB of data concerning this Iranian address.

"

+ - 382 Irish government close Apple's tax loophole->

Submitted by DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Ireland and particularly its tax system came under some extreme scrutiny earlier this year when it was revealed that Apple funnelled billions of dollars of revenue though three subsidiaries based on the island. Thanks to a loophole none of these subsidiaries were tax-resident in Ireland, meaning they didn't even have to pay Ireland's relatively low 12.5% corporation tax rate. Worryingly for Apple, Ireland's finance minister has just shut this loophole."
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+ - 363 Lavabit Briefly Allowing Users To Recover Their Data->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Former users of the Lavabit encrypted email service that was shut down in August have 72 hours (starting yesterday at 7 p.m. U.S. Central Time) to change their passwords and start recovering their data. 'Following the 72 hour period, Thursday, October 17th, the website will then allow users to access email archives and their personal account data so that it may be preserved by the user,' said Lavabit's founder and owner Ladar Levison."
Link to Original Source

+ - 228 British Police Foil Kenyan Mall Massacre Copycat Plot->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post reports, "British law enforcement agencies averted a plot to orchestrate a large-scale terror attack similar to the assault on Kenya’s Westgate mall, an official said Monday. Police were questioning four men in their 20s on suspicion of terrorism after they were detained Sunday in pre-planned, intelligence-led raids. A British security official said the men were planning a shooting spree akin to the Westgate attack in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people died. ... in a series of statements, the force said the men were all British nationals between the ages of 25 and 29, with roots in Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria and Azerbaijan. ... the London police firearms unit took part in the arrests. British police rarely carry weapons and their involvement suggested concern that men might have been armed." — The Sydney Morning Herald has video. Prime Minister Cameron recently expressed concern regarding such a possibility."
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+ - 218 World Space Walk Simultaneously Puts Three Mars-Capable Spacesuits to the Test->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "On October 8, three teams in various parts of the world participated in an unprecedented simultaneous test of three experimental spacesuits. Coordinated from a mission control center in Innsbruck, Austria run by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), World Space Walk 2013 aims at setting standards for developing suits for the future exploration of the planet Mars."
Link to Original Source

+ - 193 Measuring science with a broken ruler->

Submitted by Shipud
Shipud (685171) writes "How do we assess the value of of a a scientific study? How can we tell "just OK" scientist from "great scientist"? Measuring this intangible is important to funding agencies, university search and promotion committees, and fellow scientist. One way is to look at the journals they publish in. Journals are ranked by a measure called the "impact factor", which is he average number of citations to that journal's articles over a history of two years. Although deferred to almost universally, it is a poor measure by which to assess scientists and their science. The fact that such a poor measure is almost universally used raises the question of how well funding and hiring decisions in science are being made."
Link to Original Source

+ - 338 ESA 'Amaze' Project Aims To Take 3D Printing 'Into Metal Age'->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: The European Space Agency has unveiled plans to 'take 3D printing into the metal age' by building parts for jets, spacecraft and fusion projects. The Amaze project brings together 28 institutions to develop new metal components which are lighter, stronger and cheaper than conventional parts. Additive manufacturing (or '3D printing') has already revolutionised the design of plastic products. Printing metal parts for rockets and planes would cut waste and save money. The layered method of assembly also allows intricate designs — geometries which are impossible to achieve with conventional metal casting. Parts for cars and satellites can be optimised to be lighter and — simultaneously — incredibly robust. Tungsten alloy components that can withstand temperatures of 3,000C were unveiled at Amaze's launch on Tuesday at London Science Museum. At such extreme temperatures they can survive inside nuclear fusion reactors and on the nozzles of rockets. 'We want to build the best quality metal products ever made. Objects you can't possibly manufacture any other way,' said David Jarvis, ESA's head of new materials and energy research."
Link to Original Source

+ - 223 Silicon Valley stays quiet as Washington implodes->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "In a better time, circa 1998, Cypress Semiconductor founder and CEO T.J. Rodgers gave a provocative speech, titled: "Why Silicon Valley Should Not Normalize Relations with Washington D.C." This speech is still important to understanding the conflict that tech leaders have with Congress, and their relative silence during the shutdown. "The metric that differentiates Silicon Valley from Washington does not fall along conventional political lines: Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus liberal, right versus left," Rogers said. "It falls between freedom and control. It is a metric that separates individual freedom to speak from tap-ready telephones; local reinvestment of profit from taxes that go to Washington; encryption to protect privacy from government eavesdropping; success in the marketplace from government subsidies; and a free, untaxed Internet from a regulated, overtaxed Internet.""
Link to Original Source

+ - 265 Fossilised mosquito has blood-filled abdomen->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Jurassic Park’s iconic image of a fossilized blood-filled mosquito was thought to be fiction — until now. For the first time, researchers have identified a fossil of a female mosquitowith traces of blood in its engorged abdomen. The fossilized mosquito contains molecules that provide strong evidence of blood-feeding among ancient insects back to 46 million years ago (paper abstract). The insect was found not in amber, as depicted in Jurassic Park, but in shale sediments from Montana. After 46 million years, however, any DNA would be long degraded."
Link to Original Source

+ - 239 How to Develop Unmaintainable Software

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Greg Jorgensen specializes in debugging, fixing, maintaining, and extending legacy software systems. His typical client has a web site or internal application that works, more or less, but the original developer isn’t available. Greg lists some things you can do in your own software projects to keep him in business. In summary, the list goes as follows. Customize your development environment a lot, don’t make it easy for the next programmer to start working on the code. Create an elaborate build and deployment environment and remember to leave out the documentation. Don’t bother with a testing/staging server but instead have secret logins and backdoor URLs to test new features, and mix test data with real data in your database. Don’t bother with a well-understood framework, write everything from scratch instead. Add dependencies to specific versions of libraries and resources, but don't protect or document those dependencies. For the icing of the cake, use the coolest mix of cutting-edge programming languages."

+ - 168 Obamacare's Healthcare.gov hidden terms says user has absolutely no privacy->

Submitted by realized
realized (2472730) writes "The ObamaCare website, Healthcare.gov has a hidden terms of service that is not shown to people when the sign up. The hidden terms, only viewable if you “view source” on the site says that the user has “no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system”. Sadly, the $634 million dollar website still does not work for most people so its hard to confirm – though when its fixed in 2 months, we should finally be able to see it."
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+ - 170 German Scientists Achieve Record 100Gbps via Wireless Data Link

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "A joint team of German scientists working at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have successfully achieved a new world record for wireless data transfers. The team were able to transmit information at speeds of 100 Gigabits per second by using a radio network operating at the frequency of 237.5GHz and over a distance of 20 metres (note: a prior experiment hit 40Gbps over 1km between two skyscrapers).

The radio signals were generated by a photon mixer device that uses two optical laser signals of different frequencies, which were then superimposed on a photodiode to create an electrical signal (237.5 GHz) that could be radiated via an antenna. But the team aren’t happy with breaking one record and their future attempts will seek to break the 1 Terabit per second (Tbps) barrier."

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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