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Government

+ - State Department CIO: What's Changed Since WikiLeaks->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "Eighteen months after its diplomatic cables were exposed in the WikiLeaks breach, the State Department continues to lock down its confidential information, while increasing its use of using social media.

The agency is deploying new security technology, including auditing and monitoring tools that detect anomalous activity on the State Department's classified networks and systems. State has also begun tagging information with metadata to enable role-based access to those who need it, and is planning to implement public key infrastructure on its classified systems by the summer of 2014.

This is all taking place despite the recent announcement that the IT budget will be cut by nearly 5%"

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Advertising

+ - Misleading Ads: ACCC Wins Appeal Against Google->

Submitted by theweatherelectric
theweatherelectric (2007596) writes "As previously noted on Slashdot, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been involved in a long-running legal battle with Google. Vijith Vazhayil of Delimiter writes, 'The Full Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Google breached the law by displaying misleading or deceptive advertisements on its search results pages. The decision follows an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following an earlier decision in favour of Google. The ACCC had first filed the case in July 2007 in the Federal Court alleging that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing eleven advertisements on Google’s search results page. The headline of each of the advertisements in question comprised a business name, product name or web address of a competitor’s business not sponsored, affiliated or associated with the particular advertiser.'"
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United States

+ - US Students Need New Way of Learning Science->

Submitted by
fishmike
fishmike writes "American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.

After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a radical overhaul in K-12 schools that moves away from memorizing scientific facts and focuses on helping students understand eight fundamental science concepts. The "plus one" is the importance of inquiry, the practice of asking why things happen around us — and a fundamental part of science."

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The Internet

+ - MPAA chief Dodd hints at talks to revive SOPA->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the MPAA, hasn't given up on his dream of censoring the Internet(http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/03/01/2235222/riaa-ceo-hopes-sopa-protests-were-a-one-time-thing). In an interview with Hollywood Reporter(http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mpaa-christopher-dodd-sopa-bully-harvey-weinstein-ratings-308359), he said that Hollywood and the technology industry "need to come to an understanding" about new copyright legislation.

Dodd said(http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/04/slow-learner-mpaa-chief-hints-at-talks-to-revive-sopa.ars) that there were "conversations going on now," about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was "not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive." Asked whether the White House's decision(http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/obama-administration-joins-the-ranks-of-sopa-skeptics.ars) to oppose SOPA had created tensions with Hollywood, Dodd insisted that he was "not going to revisit the events of last winter," but said he hoped the president would use his "good relationships" with both Hollywood and the technology industry to broker a deal."

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+ - Texas Hospital Refuses to Hire Overweight Applicants 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Citizens Medical Center in Victoria established the policy that requires potential employees to have a body mass index of less than 35 a little more than a year ago, according to the Texas Tribune. A BMI of less than 35 translates into 210 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-5 and 245 pounds for someone who is 5-foot10."
Hardware

+ - Seismic Wallpaper Saves Buildings From Earthquakes->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Bayer have developed a seismic wallpaper that can hold up building walls during earthquakes. The system, called EQ-Top, is a glass fiber fabric that can help keep mason walls stable. After two years of research and testing, the patented product, which could help keep office buildings and apartments safer during an earthquake, will soon be available for purchase."
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Businesses

+ - Pirate Bay Promotion Attracts 5000+ Artists->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "While the movie and music industries would have you think that torrents are a threat to their business, thousands of independent artists heartily disagree. That's why more than 5,000 musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers and artists have signed up to be promoted by The Pirate Bay, the world's largest torrent site. Earlier this year, following the seizures of many popular file-sharing domains like MegaUpload, The Pirate Bay introduced a new promotion platform for artists called "The Promo Bay," which let independent artists reach tens of millions of people by offering favorable advertising spots on the The Pirate Bay's homepage. The response to The Pirate Bay's promotion platform has been overwhelming: the company announced on Thursday that it has already received more than 5,000 applications, and has managed to be a quality platform for driving significant interest to independent artists."
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+ - Stolen Samsung AMOLED technology sold to rival, 11 suspects arrested->

Submitted by zacharye
zacharye (2330148) writes "Nearly a dozen suspects have been arrested and charged with crimes related to the theft and sale of AMOLED display technology under development at Samsung. Yonhap News Agency on Thursday reported that 11 suspects either currently or formerly employed by Samsung Mobile Display have been arrested. One 46-year-old researcher at Samsung is believed to have accepted a payment of nearly $170,000 from an unnamed “local rival firm” in exchange for trade secrets pertaining to proprietary Samsung technology used in the company’s AMOLED panels..."
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Space

+ - Video: Huge Dust Devil Prowling Mars->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a stunning example of a swirling funnel of dust spinning up to an altitude of 20 kilometers. On Earth, tornadoes often reach such heights, but dust devils seldom reach up more than a few hundred meters. That's because dust devils only draw their energy from the solar heating of the surface; tornadoes also tap the heat energy from the condensation of water vapor in a tornadic storm. Mars is too dry for that, but the thinness of its air allows dust devils to soar, even on their restricted energy diet."
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+ - Thawing Permafrost 50 Million Years Ago Led to Global Warming Events 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a new study reported in Nature, climate scientist Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues elsewhere propose a simple new mechanism to explain the source of carbon that fed a series of extreme warming events about 55 million years ago, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), and a sequence of similar, smaller warming events afterward."

+ - Majority of landmark cancer studies cannot be replicated-> 3

Submitted by Beeftopia
Beeftopia (1846720) 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.""

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Security

+ - Sky News Hacked Email Of Canoe Fraudster John Darwin->

Submitted by
twoheadedboy
twoheadedboy writes "Sky News has defended itself over hacking the email accounts of John Darwin, the man who faked his own death whilst canoeing, and his wife who benefited from the £500,000 insurance money whilst the man hid in their marital home. It emerged today that Sky News had allowed a journalist to obtain access to email accounts, in order to uncover communications between the Darwins. Head of Sky News, John Ryley, said the broadcaster stood by its actions as “editorially justified.”"
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America Online

+ - Before the Internet: The golden age of online services->

Submitted by
Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes "Think nostalgia isn't what it ought to be? Well, you're in luck. Steven Vaughan-Nichols has written a walloping overview of the pre-Internet online services he used to review for Computer Shopper (which, as it happens, is where he and I first met... perhaps you knew me at 72241,1417 in the early 90s?). Because, you young whippersnappers, before there was the World Wide Web, back when 2,400bps modems were "high-speed," millions of people used online services like AOL, CompuServe, and GEnie to work with each other, gossip, and share Star War jokes. (To my dismay, though, he leaves out Plato Homelink. sniff!) If you have a strange fondness for the sound of a modem connecting and (like me) are still proud of being able to whistle at 300bps, you'll nod along with his trip into the time machine."
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The Internet

+ - Belfast Plots 1Gbps Ultrafast Broadband Network->

Submitted by
twoheadedboy
twoheadedboy writes "Belfast is going to get ultrafast broadband, as plans for a 1Gbps network get going. Belfast’s City Council has been guaranteed £6m of the UK government's £100m Urban Broadband Fund, but could receive up to £13.7m if the Government approves its plans. The city plans to get the network up and running in three years, which will make it one of the best-connected cities in the world."
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Privacy

+ - Chris Soghoian: Free Market is Failing Consumers on Privacy->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Chris Soghoian, an independent security and privacy researcher, thinks that we're again in a period of extreme, technology-fueled dislocation. The rapid growth of online social networking Web sites and the proliferation of Internet connected, location-aware mobile devices have empowered for-profit firms like Google, Microsoft and Facebook to collect reams of private information and then hand it to advertisers — often just different divisions within the same company. Consumers, Soghoian argues, are stuck with a cornucopia of free applications, but ones that readily collect and then "spew" their personal information, or provide meager privacy features that are spotty and difficult to use.

In 2010, he filed a complaint with the FTC demanding that the commission force Google to amend its privacy policy to reflect shortcomings in the data protection features that Google offers. He similarly exposed weaknesses in the security of cloud storage firm DropBox, and inaccuracies in its promises to customers about how it protected their data.

Even if privacy isn't a top concern for many users of Facebook and Twitter (and recent studies suggest it isn't), the free market is failing to provide secure options for those who are concerned about it, Soghoian argues.

"There is no way to buy a version of Chrome that doesn't violate your privacy," Soghoian said.

In a frank and open interview, Soghoian tells Threatpost that Google and many other major vendors have no concern for users' privacy and are in fact in the business of selling their data."

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