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+ - A Government Agent Was Also Tipping Off Silk Road 2, Sources Say->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi writes: Last week, the public learned how two US law enforcement agents allegedly made hundreds of thousands of dollars off the digital black market Silk Road, while simultaneously working to take down the site.

One of the officers, Carl Mark Force IV, is also being charged with acting as a paid double agent by providing information obtained in his position as a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent to the Silk Road’s owner.

It now seems that Silk Road 2, the site that was set up just weeks after the original, may have also had a similar arrangement—either with Force, or another law enforcement informant who was leaking information to the black market’s operators.

Motherboard interviewed two Silk Road 2 staff members who independently claimed the existence of such an informant. This informant was paid $500 a week—the same salary Force is under investigation for receiving from the original Silk Road under one of his many alleged monikers—in exchange for information about the government investigation, according to the staffers. The arrangement began in November 2013, just after the original Silk Road was shut down, they said.

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+ - Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

Submitted by AthanasiusKircher
AthanasiusKircher writes: In recent years, emphasis on standardized testing and basic skills has forced many schools to cut back on things like arts and extracurricular activities. A study out this week from Northwestern University hints that schools may be hurting "at-risk" kids even more by cutting such programs. Just two years of music lessons were shown to have significant effects on brain activity and language processing which the researchers argue could help close achievement gaps between at-risk students and more affluent students. Aside from better brain response to language observed in the lab, practical effects of the interventions were readily apparent: 'Leaders at Harmony Project approached the researchers after the non-profit observed that their students were performing much better than other public school students in the area. Since 2008, over 90 percent of high school seniors who participated in Harmony Project’s free music lessons went on to college, even though the high school dropout rates in the surrounding Los Angeles areas can reach up to 50 percent.' Note that this is only one of several ongoing studies showing significant cognitive benefits for music training among at-risk students; an article last year from The Atlantic gives a more detailed summary of related research.

+ - UCLA, CIsco & more launch consortium to replace TCP/IP->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg writes: Big name academic and vendor organizations have unveiled a consortium this week that's pushing Named Data Networking (NDN), an emerging Internet architecture designed to better accommodate data and application access in an increasingly mobile world. The Named Data Networking Consortium http://named-data.net/ members, which include universities such as UCLA and China's Tsinghua University as well as vendors such as Cisco and VeriSign, are meeting this week at a two-day workshop at UCLA to discuss NDN's promise for scientific research. Big data, eHealth and climate research are among the application areas on the table. The NDN effort has been backed in large part by the National Science Foundation, which has put more than $13.5 million into it since 2010.
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