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+ - Nerve Cells Made From Blood Cells

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: From the beats-turning-water-into-wine dept

The CBC is reporting that Canadian scientists are turning blood stem cells into nerve cells

The new technique involves extracting stem cells from blood — ones that normally have the potential to become red blood cells or various kinds of white blood cells involved in fighting off pathogens. The blood stem cells are converted over about a month into neural stem cells.

These neural stem cells are then manipulated in the lab to give rise to several types of nerve cells, including those that make up the peripheral nervous system throughout the arms, legs and the rest of the body.

His lab hopes to further develop the blood-generated neural stem cells into motor and other kinds of neurons that could conceivably one day be transplanted into patients to restore healthy brain cells as a treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Lou Gehrig's disease, as well as retinal nerve cells to treat people who are losing their sight due to age-related macular degeneration,

+ - FBI director says Americans have not traded liberty for security since 9/11-> 2

Submitted by Patrick O'Neill
Patrick O'Neill writes: “There has not been a tradeoff between liberty and security in our response to terrorism in this country and in our efforts to offer security to the people of the United States," said James Comey, now the director of the FBI. Comey was the number two man in the Department of Justice during the Bush years when NSA and law enforcement surveillance of Americans grew to unprecedented heights. Now he's pushing to stop encryption by default on Apple and Android devices.
Link to Original Source

+ - Think of the Children->

Submitted by AO
AO writes: I just saw a report on the local news asking why we don't microchip our children like we do with our pets. The main though process is that it could allow finding the children should they go 'missing'. The 'expert' in RFID says the main reason stopping this is the "ick factor most people cannot get over." Thoughts?
Link to Original Source

+ - Crowdsourcing a Presidential Campaign->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Political campaigns are notoriously opaque. They're also typically pretty top-down affairs despite staffers' insistence that "It's all about the grassroots."

So it was a bit surprising to see Vincent Harris, the young entrepreneur heading digital for GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, asking supporters on Twitter for ideas.

The request for ideas isn't about needing help, necessarily, said Mr. Harris in an email exchange with Ad Age. "Rand is running a crowd-sourced digital effort and as part of that we're looking to the web for ideas. We've seen in the past that groupthink can occur often in politics, and it's something Senator Paul wants to avoid. He has the most active and creative supporters of any Presidential campaign on both sides of the aisle and wants to get them involved," he wrote. He said supporters have suggested ad platforms, YouTube editing tips and other ideas.

Link to Original Source

+ - Police CAN obtain cell-phone location records without warrant->

Submitted by mi
mi writes: Investigators do not need a search warrant to obtain cellphone tower location records in criminal prosecutions. In its 9-2 decision, the 11th Circuit ruled, there is no expectation of one's location remaining private, when using a cellular phone. The decision validated an earlier conviction of a robber, where 67 days worth of the location data linking the accused to locations of armed robberies.

One of the judges wrote: "We find no reason to conclude that cellphone users lack facts about the functions of cell towers or about telephone providers' recording cell tower usage".

In the particular case police used a court order, which has lower requirements, than a search warrant, to obtain the records used for conviction.

Link to Original Source

+ - 2/3 of Insurers Say Wearables Will Be Widespread in 2 Years

Submitted by cameronag
cameronag writes: According to 200+ insurance execs polled for Accenture's TechnologyVision report, two-thirds said they expected wearable tech to "significantly" impact their industry. 63 percent expected wide adoption within two years. For insurers, wearables could help monitor individuals and adjust policy rates. Customers have previously expressed interest in such arrangements though, provided they receive a policy discount.

+ - Student torches computer lab after he is unable to hack into grading system->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber writes: A 15 year-old Douglas County, Georgia high school student has been charged with five felonies, including burglary and arson, after sheriff's deputies caught him while responding to a 1 AM fire at Alexander High School.

The boy admitted to investigators that he set fire to a computer after trying, unsuccessfully, to hack into the school computer system to change his grade on a failed test.

“It's very sad and tragic. He could have very easily come to one of his counselors and asked for help,” said Lt. Glenn Daniel with the Douglas County Sheriff's Department. “From what we can tell, (the student) was mad and frustrated because he could not hack into the system.” Lt. Daniel said the charges could land the young man in prison for several years.

The computer lab was cleaned up and re-opened in time for the start of that day's classes.

Link to Original Source

+ - OpenBSD 5.7 Released

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Just as per the schedule, OpenBSD 5.7 was released today, May 1, 2015. The theme of the 5.7 release is "Source Fish". There are some big changes in OpenBSD 5.7. The nginx httpd server removed from base in favor of an internally developed httpd server in 5.7. BIND (named) from base in 5.7 in favor of nsd(8) (authoritative DNS) and unbound(8) (recursive resolver). Packages will exist for BIND and nginx. This version include a new control utility, rcctl(8), for managing daemons/services, USB 3 support and more. See a detailed log of changes between the 5.6 and 5.7 releases for more information. If you already have an OpenBSD 5.6 system, and do not want to reinstall, upgrade instructions and advice can be found in the Upgrade Guide. You can order the 5.7 CD set from the new OpenBSD Store and support the project.

+ - NSA Reform Bill Backed by Both Parties Set to Pass House of Representatives

Submitted by writes: The NYT reports that after more than a decade of wrenching national debate over the intrusiveness of government intelligence agencies, a bipartisan wave of support has gathered to sharply limit the federal government’s sweeps of phone and Internet records. A bill that would overhaul the Patriot Act and curtail the metadata surveillance exposed by Edward J. Snowden overwhelmingly passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of a 25-2 vote and is heading to almost certain passage in the House of Representatives while an identical bill in the Senate — introduced with the support of five Republicans — is gaining support over the objection of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is facing the prospect of his first policy defeat since ascending this year to majority leader. "The bill ends bulk collection, it ends secret law,” says Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the original author of the Patriot Act who has now helped author the Freedom Act. “It increases the transparency of our intelligence community and it does all this without compromising national security.”

The Patriot Act is up for its first reauthorization since the revelations about bulk data collection. The impending June 1 deadline for reauthorization, coupled with an increase of support among members of both parties, pressure from technology companies and a push from the White House have combined to make changes to the provisions more likely. The Snowden disclosures, along with data breaches at Sony Pictures, Target and the insurance giant Anthem, have unsettled voters and empowered those in Congress arguing for greater civil liberties protection — who a few years ago “could have met in a couple of phone booths,” says Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. The Freedom Act very nearly passed both chambers of Congress last year, but it failed to garner the 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate. It fell short by two votes.

However some say the bill doesn't go far enough. The bill leaves intact surveillance programs conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency and levies high penalties against those offering “material support” to terrorists. It also renews the expiring parts of the Patriot Act through 2019. "This bill would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision – the material-support provision – would represent a significant step backwards,” says American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer. “The disclosures of the last two years make clear that we need wholesale reform.”

+ - Cease and Desist Notice - Neuoogle-> 8

Submitted by Andy Spamer
Andy Spamer writes: I'm a small indi developer whose sole app is a search tool that uses push notifications to alerts users to new contents based on their search needs. My app is called Neuoogle and is available for iOS and Android. I've had around 2000 downloads, give the app away for free, have no ad income (I hate free apps that are full of ads). I fund all of the work on the project myself. Basically I'm small fry, but carry on with my project because I believe in the idea of my app, and also enjoy doing it.

A few months ago I applied to trademark the name Neuoogle. IPAustralia (I'm based in Oz) felt the mark was sufficiently different to Google and would not cause confusion. Shortly after my application I received a letter from a solicitor representing Google demanding I ; Withdraw my app, cancel my hosted domain (, and withdraw my trademark application. I was also ordered to cease to use the name Neuoogle immediately.

I thought long and hard about my next action as this letter arrived at a bad time for me. My wife had just undergone major surgery that resulted in her being in hospital for 50 days. During this thinking period I was pestered by the Solicitor (they knew of my wife's medical condition) and threatened with significant financial repercussions should I not comply. I was also the subject of some very harsh personal attacks by the solicitor in their objection to my mark application. They accused me of being dishonest and devious and essentially being a crook. Eventually I decided I would withdraw the trademark application as I could not risk the court costs associated with trying to take on Google. I would just operate without a trademark was my thinking; after all many companies do.

In the last few days, I've gotten a follow up letter from the Solicitor. This one basically said as I had given up my mark application, I would now have to cease to operate under the brand of Neuoogle. I am still weighting up my approach to this, but again expect to be threatened and bullied into basically complying with their demands.

As I've mentioned I'm a small indi; I make no money from my app, I have no VC money. What money I'd put towards bulding the app is now gone. Medical bills over the last few months have left nothing with which to get the app redeveloped under a new name, no money for graphic design, no money for a new domain, and no money to re-advertise under whatever new name I could come up with. Financially I couldn't comply even if I wanted to.

What has really annoyed me (beyond simply being forced out of business by an evil corporate bent on world domination) is the hypocrisy of Google's objection. A simple bit of web research shows that Google have used 'deceptively similar' as both an offensive channel in attacking trademark applications that it believes overlap it's own marks, but also as a defensive approach suggesting 'deceptively similar' is different enough to warrant it's own applications that overlap existing brands should be granted.

What was once the darling of the tech industry with it's funky startup culture is becoming the evil mega corporation of James Bond and Austin Powers movies. It rides rough shod over mobile user with it's pervasive and 'unprivate' privacy policies and stamps out any dissent with ruthless deep pockets legal attacks. C'mon Google am I really that much of a threat?

Link to Original Source

+ - Hubble finds something astronomers can't explain

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the explosion of a star that does not fit into any theory for stellar evolution.

The exploding star, which was seen in the constellation Eridanus, faded over two weeks — much too rapidly to qualify as a supernova. The outburst was also about ten times fainter than most supernovae, explosions that destroy some or all of a star. But it was about 100 times brighter than an ordinary nova, which is a type of surface explosion that leaves a star intact. "The combination of properties is puzzling," says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "I thought about a number of possibilities, but each of them fails" to account for all characteristics of the outburst, he adds.

We can put this discovery on the bottom of a very long list of similar discoveries by Hubble, which this week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch.

+ - Facebook Hello tells you who's calling before you pick up-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: It's easily forgotten with the number of apps available, but mobile phones are primarily designed for making calls on the move — whodda thunk it? When you receive a call you'll usually see the number of the caller, but this may not be helpful in identifying them before you decide whether to pick up. Facebook's answer to this problem is Hello.

This new app comes from the Facebook Messenger team and aims to tell you more about the person getting in touch with you even if you don’t have their number saved in your address book. Currently available for Android, the dialer app also allows for the blocking of calls from individuals.

Link to Original Source

+ - Hacking Team's Malware Is a Symptom of a Larger Problem

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn writes: The RSA conference is underway in San Francisco this week and a myriad of vendors are extolling the virtues of encryption-based corporate security products. Yet a series of recently published documents detail how the DEA and U.S. Army used Hacking Team’s Remote Control System (RCS) technology to subvert encryption and make off with sensitive data.

There are high-profile experts who believe that this sort of clandestine subversion is “perfectly reasonable” just so long as spying campaigns are carefully targeted. Yet Hacking Team’s RCS product is designed for mass deployment against hundreds of thousands of people. Hardly what could be called “targeted.” This raises important questions about the role of the private sector in mass surveillance. Some researchers would argue that mass surveillance is fundamentally driven by corporate interests. As Ed Snowden put it, “these programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation.” Cui Bono?

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan