Zothecula writes "More shark attacks occur in Western Australia than almost anyplace else on Earth. In order to help protect swimmers and surfers, the state government relies largely on helicopter-based spotters, plus members of the public who report their own sightings. Now, however, the Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system, in which the toothy fishes announce their own presence via Twitter. Known as the Shark Monitoring Network, the system utilizes acoustic tags that are attached to the fins of individual sharks, along with buoyed monitoring devices that pick up the signals transmitted by those tags. When a tagged shark swims within range of one of the monitors, its species, size and location is automatically recorded."
Nerval's Lobster writes "A bunch of anonymous developers are working on 'Coinye West,' a crypto-currency named after rapper Kanye West. Coinye West isn't an official production of Kanye West, and the developers are staying anonymous because they probably fear the inevitable copyright lawsuits. (Of course, if the currency hits the online market and proves a success, it's always possible the real Kanye West would drop any suit in exchange for a massive amount of Coinye West coins—every hip-hop artist on the planet might claim to drive a Maybach, but how many can claim a currency?) 'DROPPING JANUARY 11, 2014. 11 PM EST,' read a note on Coinyewest.com. 'No premine, no screwed up fake "fair" launches, shyster devs, muted channels, and f**ked up wallets,' it helpfully added. 'We will be releasing password protected, encrypted archives containing binaries and source for the wallet and daemon BEFORE LAUNCH, with the passwords to be released at the specified time.' Just to emphasize the supposed fairness of this particular crypto-currency, the note repeated: 'We will work with multiple pools to orchestrate a PROPER and FAIR release.' A chat room is available at irc.freenode.net. Technical details for the crypto-currency include: Algorithm: Scrypt; max Coins: 133,333,333,333; block time: 90 seconds; difficulty Re-Target Time: 12 hours; block Rewards: 666,666 COYE; every 100k blocks, the payout halves. In the future, will every major celebrity will have a crypto-currency named after him or her? And how long until Jay-Z decides to launch something similar?"
sciencehabit writes "Roaming bits of DNA that can relocate and proliferate throughout the genome, called 'jumping genes,' may contribute to schizophrenia, a new study suggests (abstract). These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events, such as infection during pregnancy, which increase the risk of the disease. The study could help explain how genes and environment work together to produce the complex disorder and may even point to ways of lowering the risk of the disease, researchers say."
An anonymous reader writes "A hacker has found a backdoor in the Linksys WAG200G router, that gives access to the admin panel without authentication. Further research shows that these devices are made by Sercomm, meaning that Cisco, Watchguard, Belkin and various others maybe affected as well. From the article: 'The backdoor requires that the attacker be on the local network, so this isn’t something that could be used to remotely attack DSL users. However, it could be used to commandeer a wireless access point and allow an attacker to get unfettered access to local network resources.'"
Daniel_Stuckey writes "But for whatever its worth, all that spinning is far from arbitrary. What dog owners witness is a small and furry version of the aurora borealis and a link between species and environment that's as holistic and beautiful as a dog pooping can be. A team of Czech and German researchers found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth's magnetic field when they poop. Proving at least that they're really devoted to their work, the researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs "prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions." They fittingly published their results [abstract] in the journal Frontiers in Zoology ."
New submitter cusco writes "Creation Museum Founder and AiG President/CEO Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye at the Creation Museum on Tuesday, February 4, at 7 PM. According to the Washington Post, 'Ham had been hoping to attract the star of TV's 'Bill Nye The Science Guy' to the northern Kentucky museum after Nye said in an online video last year that teaching creationism was bad for children. The video was viewed nearly 6 million times on YouTube.'"
jfruh writes "ABC shows are available for free to anybody with antenna on the day and time they're first broadcast. But if you want them at any other time, it's getting harder to see them unless you pay someone. The network had previously made free ad-supported streamed versions of its shows available on its website the day after they aired, but now they're shifting that back to a week. Next-day streaming is still available if you have a cable or Hulu Plus subscription, showing the extent to which "broadcast" networks are dependent on subscriber fees."
New submitter Kimomaru writes "Ars Technica asks, 'How does a non-technical manager add value to a team of self-motivated software developers?' IT Managers have come some way in the past decade (for some). Often derided as being, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, a complete waste of budgetary resources, managers in technology today can add significant value by shielding developers and systems engineers from political nonsense and red tape. From the article: 'Don't underestimate the amount of interaction your manager does with other departments. They handle budgets, training plans, HR paperwork. They protect the developers from getting sucked into meetings with other departments and provide a unified front for your group.'" Has that been your experience?
Wayne Rash has covered IT as a reporter and editor for over 35 years. NPR, Fox Business News, and NBC all call on him as a technology expert. A few weeks ago he had an article on eWeek titled How Target's Credit Card Security Breach Could Have Been Avoided. In this video, Wayne tells how you (or your business) can avoid being targeted by miscreants out to steal credit card data. It turns out that the security measures he advocates for businesses are common in other parts of the world but haven't hit the United States quite yet. But don't despair. There are things you can do right now, as an individual, to limit your potential losses from card number thefts. Still, the long-term fixes to the security vulnerability that bit Target need to be made by merchants and card issuers, some of whom are already transitioning to cards and card readers that use EMV chips, and some of whom aren't quite there yet -- but might speed up their efforts after seeing what happened to Target.
Lucas123 writes "Ford plans to demonstrate its first solar-powered hybrid vehicle at CES next week. The Ford CMAX Solar Energi Concept car will have 1.5 square meters of solar photovoltaic cells on its roof to generate power to charge its battery. By themselves, the PV solar panels generate only 300W of power — not enough to charge the vehicle's battery in one day. Ford, however, said the car will be coupled with a carport that has solar concentrating lens atop it. The magnifying lens, called a Fresnel lens, will concentrate about 10 times the solar energy so the vehicle can be recharged in a single day — the same speed with which a standard hybrid charges using a plug." (Of course, some charge faster than others.)
When I first tried on an early Google Glass headset, I had to take off my glasses -- that made the Glass display usable, but made the rest of the room a blurry mess. When I asked the engineers and designers about this, I got mostly shrugs in return. But now, writes reader rjmarvin, "Google Glass users sporting the eyewear will soon be able to do so with a prescription for $99. Eyeglass manufacturer Rochester Optical will offer prescription options in differents colors and styles, even allowing Glass users to trick out their eyewear with transitions or tinted lenses. They're currently conducting a survey to gauge consumer interest and preference." I look forward to the day that online glasses sources like Zenni Optical have have even cheaper options for wearable computing integration, but Rochester's projected starting price is lower than I would have guessed.
An anonymous reader writes "According to Forbes online, up to 1 billion PCs are at risk of leaking information that could be used as a blueprint for attackers to compromise a network from Microsoft Windows Error Reporting (WER) crash reports that are sent in the clear. Researchers at Websense Labs released a detailed overview of the data contained in the crash reports, shortly after Der Spiegel released documents alleging that nation-state hackers may have used this information to execute highly targeted attacks with a low risk of detection, by crafting attacks specifically for vulnerable applications that are running on the network. Also interesting to think that Microsoft knows exactly what model of phones that you have plugged into your PC..."
SonicSpike writes "U.S. Representative Steve Stockman, a vocal opponent of Federal Reserve policy, told reporters that he wants to promote Bitcoin, whose most fervent evangelists tout as an alternative to fiat currency. To do so, he is now accepting Bitcoin for his Senate campaign against incumbent John Cornyn of Texas. The announcement was made last night at the launch event for the NYC Bitcoin Center, located just up the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Center founder Nick Spanos a real estate developer and Bitcoin enthusiast says the Center itself is still in something of a planning stage, existing more as a statement about Bitcoin itself, though he plans on hosting a hackathon later this month."
An anonymous reader writes "GNU MacChanger's developer has found by chance that The Coca-Cola company got a range of MAC addresses allocated at the OUI, the IEEE Registration Authority in charge of managing the MAC addresses spectrum. What would Coca-Cola want around 16 million MAC addresses reserved? What are they planning to use them for? Could this part of a strategy around the Internet-of-things concept?"
An anonymous reader writes "Hi, I need to get remote access to my home Mac and Windows PC. At home, it's basically for watching TV, whereas at the office, I need it to work on files I am not allowed to take out when leaving. I know there's a lot of choice out there, but I need something free and reliable. What do you all recommend?"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Snapchat isn't having the best 2014: less than a week after a cyber-security collective revealed an exploit that could allow hackers to swipe users' personal data from the messaging service, a couple hackers reportedly went right ahead and stole 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers, posting them as a downloadable database. It's easy to see why Snapchat's become so popular: the idea of messages that vaporize within a few seconds of opening holds a lot of appeal to not only the excessively paranoid, but also anyone who simply wants to keep their online footprint to a minimum. But as several security experts are pointing out, the idea of 'disappearing messages' was never a foolproof one. 'If you took a photo of your phone while the risky image was on screen, or took a screenshot, or dumped your phone's graphics RAM, or used basic forensic data recovery techniques to retrieve the "deleted" files after viewing them, or fetched the image through a session-logging web proxy,' Phil Ducklin wrote in a Jan. 1 posting on the Naked Security Website, 'then you'd quickly have realised that Snapchat's promises of "disappearing images" were fanciful.' For those who no longer trust Snapchat, but want that same vaporizing-message functionality, some alternatives exist, including Silent Circle (which offers a messaging app, for a subscription fee, that forces messages to self-destruct after a set period of time) and Wickr (features military-grade encryption — AES256, ECDH521, RSA4096, TLS — and the app-builders claim they don't have the keys to decrypt; messages vaporize after a set time)."
The BBC reports (with video) that all aboard the ice-trapped MV Akademik Shokalskiy have been rescued by helicopter, after more than one icebreaker attempt to reach the vessel directly proved too challenging. Also at the New York Times, which reports "The twin-rotored helicopter, based on a Chinese icebreaker, the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, flew several sorties across miles of packed ice to pluck scientists, tourists and journalists from a makeshift landing zone next to the marooned MV Akademik Shokalskiy research vessel."
hypnosec writes "Eric S. Raymond, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, has recommended that Emacs should move to another version control system like GitHub, as bzr is dying. In an email, Raymond highlighted the key reasons why he believes that Emacs should move. Raymond said that bzr is moribund; its dev list has flatlined; and most of Canonical's in-house projects have already abandoned bzr and moved to GitHub. ESR believes that bzr's codebase is sufficiently mature to be used as a production tool, but he does mention that continuing to use the revision control system will have 'social and signaling effects damaging to Emacs's prospects.'" Update: 01/06 20:50 GMT by U L : ESR did not suggest Github the proprietary hosting platform for git, but rather git the version control system. Which is actually already available on Savannah (the bazaar repository is automatically synced with the git repository).
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Editorial Board of the New York Times has weighed in on the criminal charges facing Edward Snowden and writes that 'Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight..' 'He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.' The president said in August that Snowden should come home to face charges in court and suggested that if Snowden had wanted to avoid criminal charges he could have simply told his superiors about the abuses, acting, in other words, as a whistle-blower. In fact, notes the editorial board, the executive order regarding whistleblowers did not apply to contractors, only to intelligence employees, rendering its protections useless to Snowden. More important, Snowden told The Washington Post that he did report his misgivings to two superiors at the agency, showing them the volume of data collected by the NSA, and that they took no action. 'Snowden was clearly justified in believing that the only way to blow the whistle on this kind of intelligence-gathering was to expose it to the public and let the resulting furor do the work his superiors would not. ... When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,' concludes the editorial. 'President Obama should tell his aides to begin finding a way to end Mr. Snowden's vilification and give him an incentive to return home.'"
schwit1 writes "Illinois passed a new state law that set back the efforts of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), making the use of drones to interfere with hunters and fishermen prohibited. The law was created in response to PETA's plan to employ drones called "air angels" to monitor outdoors enthusiasts engaged in hunting and fishing nationwide."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's Skype team is working extra hard right now, circumventing an attack that occurred earlier today by hackers claiming to be the Syrian Electronics Army (SEA). This group apparently defaced Skype's Facebook page, Twitter page, as well as the Skype blog. The message? 'Don't use Microsoft emails (hotmail,outlook), They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.'"
An anonymous reader writes "A box of 22 photographic negatives from Robert Falcon Scott has been discovered after lying nearly a century in the famous explorer's hut. From the article: 'The photos were taken during Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, another failed exploration whose members were forced to live in Scott's hut after their ship blew out to sea. The cellulose nitrate negatives were found clumped together in a small box in the darkroom of Herbert Ponting, Scott's expedition photographer, the trust said. The trust took the negatives to New Zealand, where they were separated to reveal 22 images.'"
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Postal Service is conducting a pilot test of mobile point of sale technology in 50 facilities, using a modified iPod device and printers. During the holiday season, the 50 facilities testing mPOS processed more than 102,000 transactions using the technology."