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Submission + - How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

HughPickens.com writes: Pamela Engel writes that Americans need only look to Nigeria to calm their fears about an Ebola outbreak in the US. Nigeria is much closer to the West Africa outbreak than the US is, yet even after Ebola entered the country in the most terrifying way possible — via a visibly sick passenger on a commercial flight — officials successfully shut down the disease and prevented widespread transmission. If there are still no new cases on October 20, the World Health Organization will officially declare the country "Ebola-free." Here's how Nigeria did it.

The first person to bring Ebola to Nigeria was Patrick Sawyer, who left a hospital in Liberia against the wishes of the medical staff and flew to Nigeria. Once Sawyer arrived, it became obvious that he was ill when he passed out in the Lagos airport, and he was taken to a hospital in the densely packed city of 20 million. Once the country's first Ebola case was confirmed, Port Health Services in Nigeria started a process called contact tracing to limit the spread of the disease and created an emergency operations center to coordinate and oversee the national response. Health officials used a variety of resources, including phone records and flight manifests, to track down nearly 900 people who might have been exposed to the virus via Sawyer or the people he infected. As soon as people developed symptoms suggestive of Ebola, they were isolated in Ebola treatment facilities. Without waiting to see whether a "suspected" case tested positive, Nigeria's contact tracing team tracked down everyone who had had contact with that patient since the onset of symptoms making a staggering 18,500 face-to-face visits. The US has many of these same procedures in place for containing Ebola, making the risk of an outbreak here very low. Contact tracing is exactly what is happening in Dallas right now; if any one of Thomas Eric Duncan's contacts shows symptoms, that person will be immediately isolated and tested. “That experience shows us that even in the case in Nigeria, when we found out later in the timeline that this patient had Ebola, that Nigeria was able to identify contacts, institute strict infection control procedures and basically bring their outbreak to a close,” says Dr. Tom Inglesby. “They did a good job in and of themselves. They worked closely with the U.S. CDC. If we can succeed in Nigeria I do believe we will stop it here.”

Submission + - In 2001 the tech industry employed 6.5 million, today it's at 6.3 million (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: In 2001, the tech industry employed 6.5 million people. That year remains the tech industry's employment peak. Tech industry employment reached 6.3 million in the first half of this year, a gain of 118,800 jobs, up 1.9% compared to the first half of 2013. That's below the 3.7% growth rate overall for private-sector employers, according to new data from TechAmerica Foundation.

Submission + - Anonabox Accused Of Lying About Its Product Being Open-Source On Kickstarter

blottsie writes: The 'anonabox' has raised more than $550,000 on Kickstarter in only three days. But some believe the company's claims that the router-like device, which is said to automatically route users' Internet traffic through Tor, is entirely open-source are false.

Anonabox developer August Germar tells the Daily Dot, however, that the device was commissioned specifically to run their code.

Submission + - Cornell Researchers Print 3D Speaker (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: Researchers at Cornell University have fabricated a working loudspeaker using a 3D printer. The speaker's plastic body, conductive coil and magnet were all printed using a 'Fab@Home' printer that was developed by two Cornell students and the speaker was almost ready for use as soon as printing was finished, the university said. Their work represents one of the first times a complete electronics device has been printed from scratch to a working product.

Submission + - Automatic Translation Without Dictionaries (technologyreview.com)

physicsphairy writes: Tomas Mikolov and others at Google have developed a simple means of translating between languages using a large corpus of sample texts. Rather than being defined by humans, words are characterized based on their relation to other words, e.g., in any language, a word like 'cat' will have a particular relationship to words like 'small', 'furry,' 'pet', etc. The set of relationships of words in a language can be described as a vector space, and words from one language can be translated into words in another language by identifying the mapping between their two vector spaces. The technique works even for very dissimilar languages, and is presently being used to refine and identify mistakes in existing translation dictionaries.

Submission + - EU Committee Votes to Make All Smartphone Vendors Utilize a Standard Charger

Deathspawner writes: The EU has been known to make a lot of odd decisions when it comes to tech, but one committee's latest vote is one that most people will likely agree with: Standardized smartphone chargers. If passed, this decision would cut down on never having the right charger handy, but as far as the EU is concerned, this is all about a reduction of waste. The initial vote went down on Thursday, and given its market saturation, it seems likely that micro USB would be the target standard. Now, it's a matter of waiting on the EU Parliament to make its vote.

Submission + - Twelve cases of unauthorised surveillance documented... (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A National Security Agency employee was able to secretly intercept the phone calls of nine foreign women for six years without ever being detected by his managers, the agency's internal watchdog has revealed.

The unauthorised abuse of the NSA's surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls.


Submission + - Fusion power breakthrough near at Sandia labs? (sciencedaily.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An achievement that would have extraordinary energy and defense implications might be near at Sandia National Laboratories. The lab is testing a concept called MagLIF (Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion), which uses magnetic fields and laser pre-heating in the quest for energetic fusion. A paper recently published by Sandia researchers state that the Z-pinch driven MagLIF fusion could reach "high-gain" fusion conditions, where the fusion energy released greatly exceeds (by more than 1,000 times) the energy supplied to the fuel.

Submission + - Is the Zombie Apocalypse Upon Us?

theodp writes: Those who scoffed at the idea of CDC zombie apocalypse preparedness might reconsider their stance after reading this weekend's holy sh*t story out of Miami, where city police fatally shot a naked man found eating another man's face. The attacker not only failed to back away at the officer's request, but also continued to eat the victim after being initially shot. A witness said the attacker was pulling flesh from the victim's face and tossing it to the side. Police theorize the attacker might have been suffering from 'cocaine psychosis,' a drug-induced craze that bakes the body internally and often leads the affected to strip naked to try and cool off.

Submission + - China Has Backdoor On US Military Chip (cam.ac.uk) 11

jjp9999 writes: Based on claims that silicon chips could be infected, security researcher Sergei Skorobogatov claims he and his team developed chip scanning software to put this to the test. They got their hands on a US military chip "that is highly secure with sophisticated encryption standards," that also happens to be manufactured in China. What they found was the chip has a backdoor on it that can disable the chip or reopen it at will. "This particular chip is prevalent in many systems from weapons, nuclear power plants to public transport. In other words, this backdoor access could be turned into an advanced Stuxnet weapon to attack potentially millions of systems. The scale and range of possible attacks has huge implications for National Security and public infrastructure," Skorobogatov writes on his blog.

Submission + - Space Quest Spiritual Successor Project, SpaceVenture (kickstarter.com) 62

Mr. Jaggers writes: "Remember the old-school Sierra On-Line Space Quest series? With the original IP tied up in a giant Activision-Gordian-Knot, Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe ("The Two Guys from Andromeda"), the creators of SQ, have set up their own indie studio to invent a whole new hilarious universe, new characters, and puzzles; all the while respecting the style of art and comedy for which they are remembered. SpaceVenture is set to lambaste sci-fi franchises (as was done in SQ), and the team claims that none are safe, including Doctor Who, Stargate, Avatar, and others. They've lined up an all-star voice-acting cast, including Rob Paulsen (Animaniac Yakko, Pinky, TMNT's Raphael), Ellen McLain (GLaDOS), and radio legend Gary Owens. It's being promoted with a blog, podcasts, videos, live chats, and fan efforts including SQ marathons, comics, and fan videos. Best of all, as funding milestones are reached the team builds and releases prototypes; living, playable concept art demonstrating the character of the final game! The Kickstarter project targets PC/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android for release and includes awesome rewards that can land you in the game itself. It's definitely worth a look for fans of adventure games and sci-fi parody!"
Open Source

Submission + - An Interview With Linus Torvalds (techcrunch.com)

dgharmon writes: In recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system kernel for computers leading to the widely used Linux operating system. The free availability of Linux on the Web swiftly caused a chain-reaction leading to further development and fine-tuning worth the equivalent of 73,000 man-years.

Today millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders like Tivo run on Linux. Linus Torvalds’ achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web, making it accessible for millions, if not billions.

United States

Submission + - In Nothing We Trust 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton write in the National Journal that seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses “a great deal” of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion. “We have lost our gods,” says Laura Hansen. "We’ve lost it—that basic sense of trust and confidence—in everything.” Humans are coded to create communities, and communities beget institutions. What if, in the future, they don’t? People could disconnect, refocus inward, and turn away from their social contract. Already, many are losing trust. If society can’t promise benefits for joining it, its members may no longer feel bound to follow its rules. But history reminds us that America’s leaders can draw the nation together to solve problems. At a moment of gaping income inequality, when the country was turbulently transitioning from a farm economy to a factory one, President Theodore Roosevelt reminded Americans, “To us, as a people, it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life.” At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt chastised the business and political leaders who had led the country into ruin. “These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men," said FDR. “Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.""

Submission + - Apple's mind-bogglingly greedy and evil license ag (zdnet.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: SInce when does the output of an authoring program become the exclusive property of the software vendor. Well, since Apple introduced the iBooks Author program. Read the fine print!
United States

Submission + - Steve Jobs Told Obama Made-in-the-USA Days Over 9

theodp writes: At his Last Supper with Steve Jobs, reports the NY Times, President Obama had a question for Jobs: What would it take to make iPhones in the United States? 'Those jobs aren't coming back,' Jobs replied. The president's question touched upon a central conviction at Apple: It isn't just that workers are cheaper abroad; Apple execs believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that Made in the U.S.A.' is no longer a viable option for most Apple products. 'The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,' a former Apple exec gushed, describing how 8,000 workers were once roused from company dormitories at midnight to address a last-minute Apple design change, given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. 'There's no American plant that can match that.' What's vexed Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its hi-tech peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays. 'We don't have an obligation to solve America's problems,' a current Apple exec is quoted as saying. 'Our only obligation is making the best product possible.'

"People should have access to the data which you have about them. There should be a process for them to challenge any inaccuracies." -- Arthur Miller