+ - 143 Ars Technica writer plagiarizes space history posts

Submitted by Greg Lindahl
Greg Lindahl writes: Last May, I really enjoyed reading an Ars Tecnica post “The secret laser-toting Soviet satellite that almost was” [down, see mirror at archive.org.] It turns out that most of the details were taken from an article titled Soviet Star Wars published in the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine in 2010. Here are the details of the plagiarism, including some other space history articles with similar copying by the same author. Ars Technica's response? Unhistory! They've removed the posting, but haven't published a retraction or explanation.

+ - 652 GIMP Abandons SourceForge. Distributes via FTP Instead->

Submitted by Dangerous_Minds
Dangerous_Minds writes: GIMP, a free and open source altenernative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was "the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge." The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead. Is Sourceforge becoming the next CNET?
Link to Original Source

+ - 155 Edward Snowden leaks could help paedophiles escape police, says government-> 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Paedophiles may escape detection because highly-classified material about Britain’s surveillance capabilities have been published by the Guardian newspaper, the now desperate government has claimed.

A senior Whitehall official said data stolen by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US National Security Agency, could be exploited by child abusers and other cyber criminals.

It could also put lives at risk by disclosing secrets to terrorists, insurgents and hostile foreign governments, he said.

Link to Original Source

+ - 149 What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey writes: Tucked inside Apple's first-ever transparency report, published yesterday, was a not-so-subtle dig at the tech giant's competitors. "Our business does not depend on collecting personal data," Apple wrote. "We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers." It's no secret that for social web companies like Google or Facebook, collecting, storing, and analyzing data about every aspect of your life translates into cold, hard cash—the more sensitive and personal, the better. But in the emerging post-NSA new world order, the unwritten privacy-for-cool services agreement that drives the internet ecosystem is making netizens increasingly uneasy.
Link to Original Source

+ - 214 Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over to Computer if it Meant Lower Insurance Rates-> 1

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Most drivers would consider buying an autonomous vehicle if it meant their insurance rates would be reduced by 80%, a new survey of 2,000 licensed drivers found. Oddly enough, the survey by the online consumer insurance site Carinsurance.com also showed that 75% of respondents think they could drive a car better than a computer. Another 64% said computers were not capable of the same quality of decision-making as human drivers. And 75% would not trust a driverless car to take their children to school. The survey also asked what commuters would be doing if a computer handled the driving: More than one-in-four would text/talk with friends; 21% would read; 10% would sleep; 8% would watch movies; 7% would play games; and 7% would work. The rest of those survyed said they'd just watch the scenery blow by.
Link to Original Source

+ - 211 Chelyabinsk-sized asteroid impacts may be more common than we thought

Submitted by The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer writes: Using data from the Feb. 15, 2013 asteroid impact over Russia, scientists have determined that we may be hit by objects in this size range (10 — 50 meters across) more often than we previously thought, something like once every 20 years. They also found the Chelyabinsk asteroid was likely a single rock about 19 meters (60 feet) across, had a mass of 12,000 tons, and was criss-crossed with internal fractures which aided in its breakup as it rammed through the Earth's atmosphere.

+ - 157 Good News Drug Users: The Silk Road Is Back->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey writes: Later today, Silk Road is rising from the dead. After the FBI seized the deep web's favourite illegal drug market and arrested its alleged founder Ross Ulbricht last month (for, among other things, ordering a hit through his own website), the online-marketplace-cum-libertarian-movement has found a new home and will be opening for business at 16:20 GMT this afternoon. In the wake of the original Silk Road's closure, everything became a little turbulent for its users. First, they had to get used to not getting high-quality, peer-reviewed drugs delivered direct to their sofas. (Though presumably they didn't stop getting high, instead forced back to the "mystery mix" street dealers and surly ex-Balkan war criminals who have spent years filling cities with drugs at night.) Some users were pissed off that they'd lost all the Bitcoin wealth they'd amassed, or that paid-for orders would go undelivered, while small-time dealers freaked out about how they suddenly lacked the funds to pay off debts owed to drug sellers higher up the food chain.
Link to Original Source

+ - 147 Google's Secret Antitrust Fine-Avoiding Proposals Leaked->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Google's latest proposals aimed at avoiding an antitrust fine from European authorities have been leaked amid growing anger over the secrecy surrounding the case. The documents, which have been verified by sources in possession of the originals, revealed the full remedies put forward by Google, the questionnaire that rivals have been asked to fill in giving their response to the remedies and a comparison document showing the changes in Google's remedies since the last proposals. Unlike the first round of so-called 'market testing,' Google's revised proposals have not been made public and were only sent to 125 interested parties who were warned that they were not to be made public.
Link to Original Source

+ - 139 Gate One Will Support X11: Fast Enough To Run VLC In Your Browser->

Submitted by Riskable
Riskable writes: Ever seen a remote desktop tool that's fast/efficient enough to play back video? Gate One will soon have that capability via the forthcoming X11 support (as demonstrated in the video). I am posting this to Slashdot looking for suggestions and feedback as to how I should move forward with it before I solidify the architecture, API, and even the business end of it (making money). I'll be watching the thread and replying to comments (as I have time). Also, if you're interested you can sign up to be notified when it's available.
Link to Original Source

+ - 186 The Silent Killer, Hepatitis C, Meets Its Match

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: An estimated three to four million Americans are infected with "the silent killer," Hepatitis C, but most people who are infected do not know it because it can take decades for the virus to damage the liver sufficiently to cause symptoms. Now Andrew Pollack writes in the NYT that medicine may be on the brink of turning the tide against hepatitis C, a plague that kills more Americans annually than AIDS and is the leading cause of liver transplants. If the effort succeeds, it will be an unusual conquest of a viral epidemic without using a vaccine. “There is no doubt we are on the verge of wiping out hepatitis C,” says Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman. Over the next three years new drugs are expected to come to market that will cure most patients with the virus, in some cases with a once-a-day pill taken for as little as eight weeks, and with only minimal side effects. The new drugs are specifically designed to inhibit the enzymes the hepatitis C virus uses to replicate, the same approach used to control HIV. But the big difference is that HIV forms a latent reservoir in the body, so HIV drugs must be taken for life to prevent the virus from springing back. Hepatitis C does not form such a reservoir, so it can be eliminated permanently. Many doctors are now “warehousing” their hepatitis C patients — urging them to forgo treatment until the new drugs are approved. But the new drugs are expected to cost from $60,000 to more than $100,000 for a course of treatment and some critics worry that the bill will be run up when huge numbers of people who would have done fine without them turn to the drugs. “The vast majority of patients who are infected with this virus never have any trouble,” says Dr. Ronald Koretz. "Since the vast majority of patients become infected after age 20, most patients infected with hepatitis C will have to die of something else before their livers fail."

+ - 141 TrueCrypt to go Through a Crowdfunded, Public Security Audit 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: After all the revelations about NSA’s spying efforts, and especially after the disclosure of details about its Bullrun program aimed at subverting encryption standards and efforts around the world, the question has been raised of whether any encryption software can be trusted. Security experts have repeatedly said that it you want to trust this type of software, your best bet is to choose software that is open source. But, in order to be entirely sure, a security audit of the code by independent experts sounds like a definitive answer to that issue.

And that it exactly what Matthew Green, cryptographer and research professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Kenneth White, co-founder of hosted healthcare services provider BAO Systems, have set out to do. The software that will be audited is the famous file and disk encryption software package TrueCrypt. Green and White have started fundraising at FundFill and IndieGoGo, and have so far raised over $50,000 in total.

+ - 153 Auto-Detecting Fake Social Media Accounts->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: Facebook estimates 5 percent of its accounts are bots, frauds, or otherwise fake; Twitter puts the estimate for its accounts at 7 percent. Now services are arising that claim to automatically assess an account to tell whether or not it represents a real human. One such service, called BeehiveID, is already helping assess online dating accounts to check for fakes, and surely other companies will jump into this market soon enough.
Link to Original Source

+ - 172 SafeFlame Torch Turns Water Into Fire->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula writes: The pressurized acetylene and propane gas used in brazing and related tasks is highly flammable, and thus very dangerous. You know what isn't flammable, though? Water. Bearing that in mind, the European Union-funded SafeFlame consortium has developed a torch system that generates a flame using nothing but H2O and electricity.
Link to Original Source

+ - 148 Global biological experiment generates exciting new results

Submitted by hoboroadie
hoboroadie writes: Scientific American Magazine says antibiotic-resistance genes have moved from the incubators of our hospitals & factory farms and are spreading through diverse species in the wild. Resistance genes have been detected in crows, gulls, houseflies, moths, foxes, frogs, sharks and whales, as well as in sand and coastal water samples from California and Washington. This stuff is getting more and more like a Hollywood script everyday, n'est ce pas?

+ - 143 Republican proposal puts 'national interest' requirement on US science agency->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo writes: Key members of the US House of Representatives are seeking to require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to justify every grant it awards as being in the “national interest”. The proposal, included in a draft bill from the Republican-led House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and obtained by Nature, would force the NSF to document how its basic science grants benefit the country.
The requirement is similar to one in a discussion draft circulated in April by committee chairman Lamar Smith (Republican, Texas). At the time, scientists raised concerns that ‘national interest’ was defined far too narrowly. The current draft bill provides a more expansive definition that includes six goals: economic competitiveness, health and welfare, scientific literacy, partnerships between academia and industry, promotion of scientific progress, and national defence.
But many believe that predicting the broader impacts of basic research is tantamount to gazing into a crystal ball. All scientists know it’s nonsense,” says John Bruer, president of James S. McDonnell Foundation and former co-chair of an NSF task force that examined requiring scientists to state the 'broader impacts' of their work in grant applications.

Link to Original Source

+ - 141 Mozilla Backtracks on Third-Party Cookie Blocking

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Remember when Mozilla announced that it would soon block third-party cookies by default? Not so fast. According to a new behind-the-scenes report in the San Francisco Chronicle, "it's not clear when it will happen — or if it will at all." Mozilla's leadership is apparently no longer committed to the feature, and the related Cookie Clearinghouse collaboration is delayed well into 2014. Who's to blame? According to Dan Auerbach, Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "The ad industry has a ton of people, basically lobbyists, who spent a lot of time trying to convince Mozilla this was bad for the economy... I think they were somewhat successful." Not a good showing for the purportedly pro-user organization.