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The Military

Submission + - Why Iron Dome Might Only Work For Israel ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Many this week have declared Israel's American financed Iron Dome rocket defense system a success. Some have even gone so far to declare it a vindication of Ronald Reagen's 1980's Star Wars missile defense system. Pundits have even gone so far to assume the system could be sold to other nations. However, the Iron Dome may not be the game changer many are making it out to be.

Taking out unsophisticated rockets is quite different than advanced missiles: "...the technical and strategic challenges of shooting down ballistic missiles differ considerably from those of shooting down unguided rockets. BMD shares with rocket defense some common technological ground; both require fast reaction time and impressive sensor capabilities, and the Iron Dome project has benefited from technical work on missile defense. However, ballistic missiles in flight behave differently from unguided, sub-atmospheric rockets."


Submission + - UK to use "Risk-Profiling Software" to Screen all Airline Passengers and Cargo (

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: 'The UK branch of an American company — SAS Software — has developed a hi-tech software programme it believes can help detect and prevent potentially dangerous passengers and cargo entering the UK using the technique known as "risk profiling". So, what exactly is risk profiling and can it really reduce the risk of international terrorism? Risk profiling is a controversial topic. It means identifying a person or group of people who are more likely to act in a certain way than the rest of the population, based on an analysis of their background and past behaviour — which of course requires the collection of certain data on people's background and behaviour to begin with. When it comes to airline security, some believe this makes perfect sense. Others, though, say this smacks of prejudice and would inevitably lead to unacceptable racial or religious profiling — singling out someone because, say, they happen to be Muslim, or born in Yemen. The company making the Risk-Profiling Software in question, of course, strongly denies that the software would single people out using factors like race, religion or country of origin. It says that the programme works by feeding in data about passengers or cargo, including the Advanced Passenger Information (API) that airlines heading to Britain are obliged to send to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) at "wheels up" — the exact moment the aircraft lifts off from the airport of departure. Additional information could include a combination of factors, like whether the passenger paid for their ticket in cash, or if they have ever been on a watch list or have recently spent time in a country with a known security problem. The data is then analysed to produce a schematic read-out for immigration officials that shows the risk profile for every single passenger on an incoming flight, seat by seat, high risk to low risk.'

Submission + - Mysterious substance found in human brain

Velcroman1 writes: "A mysterious molecule that turns people into modern-day Rip Van Winkles has been discovered in the brain, and it may be responsible for a rare disorder that has some sufferers sleeping more than 70 hours a week. The strange molecule, called a "somnogen," is believed to be at the root of the sleeping disorder, which in some cases also makes it difficult for people to wake up from their marathon sleep sessions. The somongen is made up of amino acids, just like a protein, and may keep sufferers bedridden for years, said David Rye, professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and director of research for Emory Healthcare’s Sleep Center Clinic. “They feel as if they’re walking around in a fog – physically, but not mentally awake,” Rye said."

Submission + - Google attacks UN net conference (

another random user writes: Google has warned that a forthcoming UN-organised conference threatens the "free and open internet". Government representatives are set to agree a new information and communications treaty in December.

It has been claimed some countries will try to wrest oversight of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from US bodies to an international organisation.

However, the UN has said there would be consensus before any change was agreed.


Submission + - Thousands of Natural Gas Leaks Found in Boston

poofmeisterp writes: Due to old cast iron underground pipelines, natural gas leaks run amok in Boson, MA.

"While our study was not intended to assess explosion risks, we came across six locations in Boston where gas concentrations exceeded the threshold above which explosions can occur," Nathan Phillips, associate professor at BU, said in a statement.

With "a device to measure methane" in a vehicle equipped with GPS, Duke and Boston University researchers created a nice little map showing the methane levels in parts per million at different points in the city.

"Repairing these leaks will improve air quality, increase consumer health and safety, and save money," study researcher Robert B. Jackson, of Duke, said in a statement. "We just have to put the right financial incentives into place."

It looks like money is an issue (imagine that)...

Submission + - Should hosting companies have change freezes?

AngryDad writes: Today I received a baffling email from my hosting provider that said "We have a company-wide patching freeze and we will not be releasing patches to our customers who utilize the patching portal for the months of November and December". This means that myself and all other customers of theirs who run Windows servers will have to live with several critical holes for at least two months. Is this common practice with mid-tier hosting providers? If so, may I ask Eastern-EU folks to please refrain from hacking my servers during the holiday season?

Submission + - Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies (

concealment writes: "Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying.

"The companies now hold the State liable for all damages caused by the levies," the hardware vendors said in a joint news release on Wednesday. Trade association FIAR Consumer Electronics, which has as members companies such as Samsung, Sharp, Sony and LG, is also a party to the litigation. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the District Court of The Hague."


Submission + - Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook posts (

concealment writes: "As India's financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were "due to fear, not due to respect." A friend of hers hit the "like" button.

For that, both women were arrested.

Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday."


Submission + - Judge Demands Email And Facebook Passwords From Women In Sexual Harassment Case

An anonymous reader writes: Back in September, a US judge ruled that a school district violated the First Amendment (freedom of speech) and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) rights of a 12-year-old student by forcing her to hand over her Facebook password to school officials who in turn used it to search for messages they deemed inappropriate. This month, another US judge has ordered that women suing their employer for sexual harassment must hand over cell phones, passwords to their email accounts, blogs, as well as to Facebook and other social networks.

Submission + - Brazil And Peru Dispute .Amazon Domain (

judgecorp writes: " could lose the ",amazon" domain, as Brazil and Peru have disputed the retailer's application to ICANN, backed by other South American governments, who want to protect use of that domain for “purposes of public interest related to the protection,promotion and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome”."

Submission + - The latest craze? High-voltage fences promise to zap would-be copper thieves ( 1

coondoggie writes: "It may be a gimmick or maybe the ultimate answer, but a California city this week Ok'd a draft ordinance that would let businesses install 7,000 volt electric fences to protect sites from rampant copper thieves. As reported by the Sacramento CBS station, the reaction form one business owner to the ordinance says it all: "It'll be a little fun to watch one of these guys get electrocuted holding my fence trying to rob me.""

Submission + - Climate change evident across Europe, says report (

Dupple writes: Following on from a world bank report of 4 degree C warmer world, comes this story from the BBC

The effects of climate change are already evident in Europe and the situation is set to get worse, the European Environment Agency has warned.

"Every indicator we have in terms of giving us an early warning of climate change and increasing vulnerability is giving us a very strong signal," observed EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade.


Submission + - NASA Working on Getting Rid of the "New Satellite" Smell (

Zothecula writes: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is working to eliminate new car smell. No, they aren't a bunch of killjoys. That distinctive odor is caused by outgassing of chemicals used in car manufacturing. Some scientists believe these gases to be harmful, but whether they are or not, satellites suffer from the same problem. The gases released by satellites themselves can damage them, so NASA is working on new ways to control or eliminate these emissions.

Submission + - AT&T enables FaceTime over cellular for all, including unlimited data users (

zacharye writes: When AT&T announced earlier this year that it would support FaceTime video calling on Apple’s iPhone over cellular data connections only for those customers who switched to new shared data plans, people were not happy. The backlash came fast and furious, and some advocacy groups questioned whether or not the new policy was legal. AT&T eventually buckled under the pressure and said users with any tiered data plan and an LTE-enabled device would be able to use FaceTime over cellular. The move was seen as a big step in the right direction, but AT&T confirmed that the many iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans still would not be able to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections. As it turns out, however, AT&T may have quietly reversed that decision as well...