Beeftopia writes: From the article: "For a real-life example of an actual worker shortage, Salzman points to the case of petroleum engineers, where the supply of workers has failed to keep up with the growth in oil exploration. The result, says Salzman, was just what economists would have predicted: Employers started offering more money, more people started becoming petroleum engineers, and the shortage was solved. In contrast, Salzman concluded in a paper released last year by the liberal Economic Policy Institute, real IT wages are about the same as they were in 1999. Further, he and his co-authors found, only half of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) college graduates each year get hired into STEM jobs. “We don’t dispute the fact at all that Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) would like to have more, cheaper workers,” says Salzman’s co-author Daniel Kuehn, now a research associate at the Urban Institute. “But that doesn’t constitute a shortage.”
Beeftopia writes: A researcher proposes the concept of a "multicompiler" to generate a unique, slightly different set of binary instructions in each compiled output file in order to disable instruction-level attacks. From the article: "Dr Franz has already built a prototype that can diversify programs such as Firefox and Apache Linux. Test attacks designed to take over computers running the resulting machine code always failed. The worst thing that happened was that the attack crashed the target machine, requiring a reboot. The rest of the time it simply had no perceptible effect. Dr Franz puts the chance of a hacker successfully penetrating one of his randomised application programs at about one in a billion."
Beeftopia writes: A 2012 breach at credit reporting company Experian may be much larger than first reported. The article states, "In what could be one of the biggest data breaches in history, the federal government and authorities in several states are investigating the criminal sale of Social Security numbers, bank account data and other personal information for up to 200 million U.S. citizens."
The investigations stem from the 2012 case of Hieu Minh Ngo, who sold names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, places of work, duration of work, dates of employment, state driver's license numbers, mother's maiden names, bank account numbers, bank routing numbers, email account names and addresses and other account passwords, court records show.
Beeftopia writes: A new procedure will be tested on traumatically injured patients by doctors at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. The patient's blood will be replaced with cold saline solution, dropping body temperature to 10 C. Brain activity and respiration will cease, indicating the patient is clinically dead. Surgeons will repair the damage then slowly refill them with warm blood at which point vital signs will reappear.
"Every day at work I declare people dead. They have no signs of life, no heartbeat, no brain activity. I sign a piece of paper knowing in my heart that they are not actually dead. I could, right then and there, suspend them. But I have to put them in a body bag. It's frustrating to know there's a solution," says surgeon Peter Rhee. "[After our animal experiments] the definition of 'dead' changed," he said.
Beeftopia writes: The New York Genome Center and IBM will investigate whether Watson can be used to parse cancer genome data and then recommend treatments. The trial involves 20 to 25 glioblastoma patients with poor prognoses. The article states, "It should theoretically be possible to analyze [genomic] data and use it to customize a treatment that targets the specific mutations present in tumor cells. But right now, doing so requires a squad of highly trained geneticists, genomics experts, and clinicians. It's a situation that can't scale to handle the [number of] patients with glioblastoma, much less other cancers. Instead, that gusher of information is going to be pointed at Watson... Watson will figure out which mutations are distinct to the tumor, what protein networks they effect, and which drugs target proteins that are part of those networks. The net result will be a picture of the biochemical landscape inside the tumor cells, along with some suggestions on how clinicians might consider intervening to change the landscape.
Beeftopia writes: Researchers discovered that inserting gut bacteria from obese people into mice without gut bacteria led to the mice becoming obese. Gut bacteria from slim people inserted into the same mice did not lead to mouse obesity. The researchers concluded that gut bacteria from the slim people were more efficient at extracting nutrients from food than those of the obese.
Beeftopia writes: Nissan has set 2020 as the anticipated delivery date of its first autonomous car. It becomes the first major automaker to set a delivery date. Nissan states that "it is working with major universities including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo on the technology. Work also is underway on a special-purpose test track in Japan that Nissan says features "real townscapes."
Beeftopia writes: Conventional wisdom has suggested selfishness is most beneficial evolutionary strategy for humans, while cooperation is suboptimal. This dovetailed with a political undercurrent dating back more than a century, starting with social Darwinism and more commonly seen today as a Randian philosophy. A new paper in the journal Nature Communications casts doubt on this school of thought. The paper shows that while selfishness is optimal in the short term, it fails in the long term. Cooperation is seen as the most effective long term human evolutionary strategy.
Beeftopia writes: Patent trolls have long been a thorn in the side of the tech industry. No serious effort has taken place in Washington DC to rein them in. Until now. It seems that a patent troll has decided to lock horns with the 5th largest all time contributor to federal politicians, the National Association of Realtors. It is this unfortunate choice of target that has encouraged federal politicians to act. From the article:
Several lawmakers have introduced legislation to curb patent abuses, and President Obama has also moved on the administrative front, but comprehensive legislation is really what’s required to curb the practice. And that’s what NAR is calling for in the letter with its partners.
Beeftopia writes: From The Economist magazine: A puzzling disconnect between carbon emissions and surface air temperatures has become apparent. Over the past 15 years, surface air temperatures have been flat while greenhouse gas emissions have continued soaring. While temperatures fluctuate over short periods, this lack of warming is a surprise. The mismatch between greenhouse gas emissions and non-rising temperatures is among the biggest current puzzles in climate science. If temperatures remain flat, they will fall outside of the predicted temperature models in a few years.
Beeftopia writes: The relationship between regulator and regulated is once again called into question as industry pressure leads to a scientist's removal from an EPA regulatory panel.
From the article:
"In 2007, when Deborah Rice was appointed chair of an Environmental Protection Agency panel assessing the safety levels of flame retardants, she arrived as a respected Maine toxicologist with no ties to industry.
Yet the EPA removed Rice from the panel after an intense push by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry lobbying group that accused her of bias. Her supposed conflict of interest? She had publicly raised questions about the safety of a flame retardant under EPA review."
Beeftopia writes: From the article: "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned users to disable or uninstall Java software on their computers, amid continuing fears and an escalation in warnings from security experts that hundreds of millions of business and consumer users are vulnerable to a serious flaw."
Hackers have discovered a weakness in Java 7 security, but "due to the number and severity of this and prior Java vulnerabilities, it is recommended that Java be disabled temporarily in web browsers as described in the "Solution" section of the US-CERT Alert.
Beeftopia writes: "NEW YORK (Reuters) — A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer — a high proportion of them from university labs — are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future.
During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 "landmark" publications — papers in top journals, from reputable labs — for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development. Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated. He described his findings in a commentary piece published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
[...] But they and others fear the phenomenon is the product of a skewed system of incentives that has academics cutting corners to further their careers."