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+ - 175 WSJ: Prepare to hang up the phone - forever-> 1

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon Communications are lobbying states, one by one, to hang up the plain, old telephone system, what the industry now calls POTS--the copper-wired landline phone system whose reliability and reach made the U.S. a communications powerhouse for more than 100 years. Is landline obsolete, and should be immune from grandparents era social protection?"
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+ - 142 West Nile virus may have met its match: tobacco->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Some people think of tobacco as a drug, whereas others think of it as a therapy — or both. But for the most part, it's hard to find people who think of the tobacco plant in terms of its medical applications. Qiang Chen, an infectious disease researcher at Arizona State University, is one such person. His team of scientists conducted an experiment, published today in PLOS ONE, that demonstrates how a drug produced in tobacco plants can be used to prevent death in mice infected with a lethal dose of West Nile virus. The study represents an important first step in the development of a treatment for the mosquito-borne disease that has killed 400 people in the US within the last two years.""
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+ - 131 China Prosecuted Internet Policeman in Paid Deletion Cases

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "In China, censorship is not just about politics but is also a vibrant business. Police in Beijing have detained at least ten people, including employees at web giant Baidu and a web censor working at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, over allegations that they deleted defamatory online posts about companies and government enterprises in return for money, the Beijing News reports. The case was first surfaced when Baidu noticed and reported several of its workers illegal activities. From 2010 to 2012, Gu, an ex-Baidu employee, is believed to have deleted over 2,000 posts on Baidu, 500 on news site Sohu and 20 posts on qianlong.com, with over 2 million yuan ($322,000) reportedly changing hands. While Gu can delete negative Internet posts for topics ranging from environmental issues to product quality problems on behalf of companies, he could not delete posts relating to his government clients. So he paid and asked Liu, a Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau web censor, to issue official orders to the web sites to remove the posts (in Chinese, here's the google translation). Liu was found to have accepted 770,000 yuan ($124,000) from Gu for deleting posts. He also received 150,000 yuan ($24,000) from other sources."

+ - 119 500GB To 1TB On An mSATA Stick - Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Shortly after 2.5-inch versions of Samsung's SSD 840 EVO drives hit the market, the company prepared an array of mSATA drives featuring the same controller and NAND flash. The Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA series of drives are essentially identical to their 2.5" counterparts, save for the mSATA drives' much smaller form factor. Like their 2.5" counterparts, Samsung's mSATA 840 EVO series of drives feature an updated, triple-core Samsung MEX controller, which operates at 400MHz. The 840 EVO's MEX controller has also been updated to support the SATA 3.1 spec, which incorporates a few new features, like support for queued TRIM commands. Along with the MEX controller, all of the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA series drives feature LPDDR2-1066 DRAM cache memory. The 120GB drive sports 256MB of cache, the 250GB and 500GB drive have 512MB of cache, and the 750GB and 1TB drives have 1GB of cache. Performance-wise, SSD 840 EVO series of mSATA solid state drives performs extremely well, whether using synthetic benchmarks, trace-based tests like PCMark, or highly-compressible or incompressible data."
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+ - 149 Software upgrade at 655 million kilometers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Rosetta probe was launched in 2004 with a mission that required incredible planning and precision: land on a comet. After a decade in space, the woke from hibernation in January. Now, Rosetta has spotted its target. 'Rosetta is currently around 5 million kilometres from the comet, and at this distance it is still too far away to resolve – its light is seen in less than a pixel and required a series of 60–300 second exposures taken with the wide-angle and narrow-angle camera. The data then travelled 37 minutes through space to reach Earth, with the download taking about an hour per image.' Now it's time to upgrade the probe's software. Since it's currently 655,000,000 kilometers from Earth, the operation needs to be flawless. 'When MIDAS is first powered up, it boots into "kernel mode" – the kernel manages a very robust set of basic operations for communicating with the spacecraft and the ground and for managing the more complex main program. From kernel mode we can upload patches to the main software, verify the current contents, or even load an entirely new version.' The Rosetta blog is coninually being updated with progress on the mission, and the Planetary Society has more information as well. The probe will arrived at the comet in August, and will attempt landing in November."
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+ - 200 The 3D Economy - What happens when everyone prints their own shoes?-> 2

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "From Reason: "Last May, Cody Wilson produced an ingeniously brief but nuanced manifesto about individual liberty in the age of the ever-encroaching techno-state-a single shot fired by a plastic pistol fabricated on a leased 3D printer. While Wilson dubbed his gun The Liberator, his interests and concerns are broader than merely protecting the Second Amendment. ... Wilson is ultimately aiming for the "transcendence of the state." And yet because of the nature of his invention, many observers reacted to his message as reductively as can be: "OMG, guns!" ... But if armies of Davids really want to transcend the state, there are even stronger weapons at their disposal: toothbrush holders, wall vases, bottle openers, shower caddies, and tape dispensers. ... Imagine what will happen when millions of people start using the tools that produced The Liberator to make, copy, swap, barter, buy, and sell all the quotidian stuff with which they furnish their lives. Rest in peace, Bed, Bath & Beyond. Thanks for all the stuff, Foxconn, but we get our gadgets from Pirate Bay and MEGA now. Once the retail and manufacturing carnage starts to scale, the government carnage will soon follow. How can it not, when only old people pay sales tax, fewer citizens obtain their incomes from traditional easy-to-tax jobs, and large corporate taxpayers start folding like daily newspapers? Without big business, big government can't function.""
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+ - 168 Security Evaluation of the Tesla Model S-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Nitesh Dhanjani has written a paper outlining the security mechanisms surrounding the Tesla Model S as well as it's shortcomings in his paper titled "Cursory Evaluation of the Tesla Model S: We Can't Protect Our Cars Like We Protect Our Workstations".

According to a report by Reuters [ http://www.reuters.com/article... ], Dhanjani said that Users are required to set up an account secured by a six-character password when they order the car. This password is used to unlock a mobile phone app and to gain access to the user's online Tesla account.

The freely available mobile app can locate and unlock the car remotely, as well as control and monitor other functions. The password is vulnerable to several kinds of attacks similar to those used to gain access to a computer or online account.

An attacker might guess the password via a Tesla website, which Dhanjani says does not restrict the number of incorrect login attempts.

Attackers could try to gain access to the password from the user's computer via password-stealing viruses, or gain access to other accounts that might use the same password.

"It's a big issue where a $100,000 car should be relying on a six-character static password," he said.

Dhanjani said there is also evidence that Tesla support staff can unlock cars remotely, leaving car owners vulnerable to attackers impersonating them, and raising questions about the apparent power of such employees to locate and unlock any car with or without the owner's knowledge or permission.

In his paper, Dhanjani also describes the issue of Tesla's REST APIs being used by 3rd parties without Tesla's permission causing Tesla owners' credentials to be sent to the 3rd parties who could misuse this to locate and unlock cars."

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+ - 105 GCHQ and NSA Targeted Private German Companies->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation? The headquarters of Stellar, a company based in the town of Hürth near Cologne, are visible from a distance. Seventy-five white antennas dominate the landscape. The biggest are 16 meters (52 feet) tall and kept in place by steel anchors. It is an impressive sight and serves as a popular backdrop for scenes in TV shows, including the German action series "Cobra 11."

Also see this post

NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders (https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/29/der-spiegel-nsa-ghcq-hacked-german-companies-put-merkel-list-122-targeted-leaders/)"

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+ - 147 Apple, Google Go On Trial for Doing HR Evil on May 27th

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "PandoDaily's Mark Ames reports that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has denied the final attempt by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the class action lawsuit over hiring collusion practices tossed. The wage fixing trial is slated to begin on May 27. "It's clearly in the defendants' interests to have this case shut down [Pixar, Intuit and LucasFilm have already settled] before more damaging revelations come out," writes Ames. The wage fixing cartel, which allegedly involved dozens of companies and affected one million employees, also reportedly stifled innovation. "One the most interesting misconceptions I've heard about the 'Techtopus' conspiracy," writes Ames of Google's agreement to cancel plans for an engineering center in Paris after Jobs expressed disapproval, "is that, while these secret deals to fix recruiting were bad (and illegal), they were also needed to protect innovation by keeping teams together while avoiding spiraling costs." Ames adds, "In a field as critical and competitive as smartphones, Google's R&D strategy was being dictated, not by the company's board, or by its shareholders, but by a desire not to anger the CEO of a rival company." Jobs, who Ames notes e-mailed only an evil 'smiley' to Apple’s head of HR in response to an e-mail from Google CEO Eric Schmidt informing Jobs that a Google recruiter had been fired to please him, was apparently viewed as one not to be trifled with. Asked by lawyers last year to describe Jobs' view on hiring in Silicon Valley, Google co-founder Sergey Brin responded, "I think Mr. Jobs' view was that people shouldn't piss him off. And I think that things that pissed him off were — would be hiring, you know — whatever.""

+ - 129 Crows Complete Basic Aesop's Fable Task->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "New Caledonian crows — already known to be smart — may also understand how to displace water to receive a reward, with the causal understanding level of a 5-7 year-old child, according to results published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Sarah Jelbert from University of Auckland and colleagues. As demonstrated in the included video, Scientists used the Aesop's fable riddle — in which subjects drop stones into water to raise the water level and obtain an out-of reach-reward — to assess New Caledonian crows' causal understanding of water displacement. Crows completed 4 of 6 water displacement tasks, including preferentially dropping stones into a water-filled tube instead of a sand-filled tube, dropping sinking objects rather than floating objects, using solid objects rather than hollow objects, and dropping objects into a tube with a high water level rather than a low one. However, they failed two more challenging tasks, one that required understanding of the width of the tube, and one that required understanding of counterintuitive cues for a U-shaped displacement task. The authors note that these tasks did not test insightful problem solving, but were directed at the birds' understanding of volume displacement."
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+ - 102 Charter Challenges Comcast/Time Warner Merger->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Regional ISP Charter Communications is fighting back against the potential merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast. Charter had been bidding for TWC before Comcast got involved, and now they're urging shareholders to reject the deal. 'From the regulatory perspective, it is difficult to imagine a transaction that could concentrate the industry more than the proposed Comcast merger,' they said in an SEC filing. James Stewart with the NY Times explains what Comcast would look like if the merger continues — when you add the TWC deal to the NBCUniversal pickup a few years ago, Comcast is starting to become a global tech company. He also explains why the deal isn't setting off antitrust alarm bells: 'Time Warner Cable operates in 29 states, but thanks to the old system of regional and municipal cable monopolies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable don't compete anywhere. Justice Department merger guidelines define geographical markets, which is why regulators weighing airline mergers examine competition on individual routes, not national market share. ... Under conventional antitrust standards, it’s pretty much an open-and-shut case.'"
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+ - 98 Yahoo May Build Its Own YouTube->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Re/code reports that Yahoo will soon be stepping into the realm of internet video. They're seeking to take advantage of complaints from users who make videos for YouTube that they don't make enough money for their efforts. Yahoo has told content producers it can get them a bigger slice of the pie. 'For now, at least, Yahoo isn’t talking about replicating YouTube’s open platform, which lets users upload 100 hours of content every minute to the site. Instead, it is interested in cherry-picking particularly popular, more professional YouTube fare. Yahoo has also told some video owners that it can use its well-trafficked home page and other high-profile real estate to promote their clips on a non-exclusive basis. After a year, one source inside Yahoo said, it might open the platform up further.'"
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+ - 100 5.1 earthquake hits California->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A 5.1 earthquake hit Southern California at 9:09PM local time on Friday. It was preceded by a 3.6 earthquake, then followed by 3.4 and 3.6 quakes, as well as 100+ aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey has a map showing the epicenter. There have been no reported deaths, though roughly 50 people have been displaced from their homes. 'The shake caused a rock slide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department. Fullerton police received reports of water main breaks and windows shattering, but primarily had residents calling about burglar alarms being set off by the quake.'"
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+ - 212 Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides for Decades

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Seattle Times reports that since the 1950s, geological reports on the hill that buckled last weekend killing at least 17 residents in Snohomish County in Washington State have included pessimistic analyses and the occasional dire prediction. But no language seems more prescient than what appears in a 1999 report filed warning of “the potential for a large catastrophic failure.” Daniel Miller, a geomorphologist, documented the hill’s landslide conditions in a report written in 1997 for the Washington Department of Ecology and the Tulalip Tribes. Miller knows the hill’s history, having collected reports and memos from the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s and has a half-dozen manila folders stuffed with maps, slides, models and drawings, all telling the story of an unstable hillside that has defied efforts to shore it up. That’s why he could not believe what he saw in 2006, when he returned to the hill within weeks of a landslide that crashed into and plugged the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, creating a new channel that threatened homes on a street called Steelhead Drive. Instead of seeing homes being vacated, he saw carpenters building new ones. “Frankly, I was shocked that the county permitted any building across from the river,” says Miller. “We’ve known that it’s been failing. It’s not unknown that this hazard exists.”

The hill that collapsed is referred to by geologists with different names, including Hazel Landslide and Steelhead Haven Landslide, a reference to the hillside’s constant movement. After the hill gave away in 1949, in '51, in '67, in '88, in 2006, residents referred to it simply as “Slide Hill.” “People knew that this was a landslide-prone area,” says John Pennington. Geomorphologist Tracy Drury said there were discussions over the years about whether to buy out the property owners in the area, but those talks never developed into serious proposals. "“I think we did the best that we could under the constraints that nobody wanted to sell their property and move.""

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