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+ - New Zealand ISP's anti-geoblocking service makes waves-> 1

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "New Zealanders and Australians are often blocked from using cheap streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu and instead at the mercy of local content monopolies for popular shows such as Game of Thrones. However a New Zealand ISP Slingshot has caused a stir by making a previously opt-in service called 'Global Mode' a default for its customers. The new service means that people in NZ don't need to bother with VPNs or setting up proxies if they want to sign up to Netflix — they can just visit the site. The service has also caused a stir in Australia where the high price for digital goods, such as movies from the iTunes store, is a constant source of irritation for consumers"
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+ - Facebookâ(TM)s Unethical Experiment->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Facebookâ(TM)s methodology raises serious ethical questions. The team may have bent research standards too far, possibly overstepping criteria enshrined in federal law and human rights declarations. âoeIf you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, thatâ(TM)s experimentation,â says James Grimmelmann, a professor of technology and the law at the University of Maryland. âoeThis is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.â"
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+ - Selfie of Stroke Symptoms Finally Gets Woman Correct Diagnosis

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes " Canada's CBC TV reports that a woman suffering from a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) was diagnosed by the attending emergency room physician as suffering from stress, given tips on how to manage it and sent home. As she left the hospital she again began suffering the same symptoms in her car. Thinking quick she pulled out her smart phone and started taking a video selfie of herself to show the doctors the classic symptoms of a stroke. She was originally stricken at home and remembering the symptoms of a stroke from a public service announcement, went to the hospital when the symptoms subsided. After the second episode, her quick thinking and video convinced the doctors they were wrong and she was right, and they sent her for the proper diagnostic testing and treatment they should have given in first place. The article has a link to the video she took, but here it is in case, and I know it is unlikely on Slashdot, you don't want to read it."

Comment: Re:Send it back.... (Score 1) 221

If you think that's steep you'll be floored if you look at cellphone packages here. Many of the cellphone companies here charge $50/GB (yes, fifty) for overage... they list it as "$5 per 100 megabytes." I know I'm comparing apples and oranges, but this is the sort of crap we seem to get stuck with here.

+ - Sexually Transmitted Virus Sterilizes Insects While Encouraging Mating->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "National Geographic reports, "Why would a sterile male cricket mate with an infertile female? On the surface, this behaviour makes no sense: sex takes energy and effort, and there’s nothing in it for either of these partners. Neither one can foster the next generation. Shelley Adamo from Dalhousie University has the answer. Her team have shown that one particular insect virus can sterilise crickets, but also change their behaviour so they continue to mate with each other. By doing so, they pass the virus on to uninfected hosts. This virus is the latest example of parasitic mind control ... Scientists have now documented hundreds of such manipulators." — TED2014 Video"
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+ - Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Patent Troll 1

Submitted by tor528
tor528 (896250) writes "Patent troll Personal Audio has sued top podcasters including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks, claiming that they own the patent for delivery of episodic content over the Internet. Adam Carolla is fighting back and has started a Fund Anything campaign to cover legal fees. From the Fund Anything campaign page: "If Adam Carolla loses this battle, then every other Podcast will be quickly shut down. Why? Because Patent Trolls like Personal Audio would use a victory over Carolla as leverage to extort money from every other Podcast.. As you probably know, Podcasts are inherently small, owner-operated businesses that do not have the financial resources to fight off this type of an assault. Therefore, Podcasts as we know them today would cease to exist."

James Logan of Personal Audio answered Slashdotters' questions in June 2013.
Links to the patent in question can be found on Personal Audio's website.
The EFF filed a challenge against Personal Audio's podcasting patent in October 2013."

+ - Why the world needs Cosmos

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Yes, yes, he's not Carl Sagan, and if the first episode of Neil de Grasse Tyson's Cosmos was at all indicative of what's to come, it seems there be a slanted version of history presented. But there's a compelling case to be made that the world needs Cosmos now, and not just for social, political or scientific reasons, but for very personal ones that are relevant to us all."

+ - Exploding Oil Tank Cars: Why Trains Go Boom

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marcus Stern and Sebastian Jones report on Bloomberg that as federal regulators continue investigating why tank cars on three trains carrying North Dakota crude oil have exploded in the past eight months, energy experts say part of the problem might be that some producers are deliberately leaving too much propane in their product, making the oil riskier to transport by rail. Sweet light crude from the Bakken Shale formation has long been known to be especially rich in volatile natural gas liquids like propane and while there's no way to completely eliminate natural gas liquids from crude, well operators are supposed to use separators at the wellhead to strip out gases before shipping the oil. The worry is that some producers are adjusting the pressure settings to leave in substantial amounts of natural gas liquids and purposefully selling their crude "fluffed up" with propane to maximize their profits. "There is a strong suspicion that a number of producers are cheating. They generally want to simply fill up the barrel and sell it—and there are some who are not overly worried about quality," says Alan J. Troner. "I suspect that some are cheating and this is a suspicion that at least some refiners share." As an oil train shakes, rattles and rolls toward the refinery, the propane begins to separate from the liquid and turning into gas. If one of those cars ruptures, the propane gas inside will likely make contact with outside air. If the gas is ignited—perhaps by a spark thrown off when the car rips open or maybe a spark thrown up from steel wheels scraping over steel tracks—the car can explode. Then the burning car can act like a blowtorch on the tanker next to it and at that point, railcars can explode in domino fashion. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued a safety alert that recent derailments and resulting fires indicate that the type of crude oil being transported from the Bakken region may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil. "It's typical of this type of oil. So it's not surprising. There's no mystery to it especially if it were in a tanker not meant to carry that type of fluid," says Ramanan Krishnamoorti referring to the much-criticized DOT-111, a black, torpedo-shaped railcar designed in the 1960s that has become the workhorse of the crude-rail industry. Washington doesn’t appear to be in a rush to address the problem. On January 23, investigators at the US National Transportation Safety Board made broad recommendations that would have big consequences: They said crude oil should meet the same restrictions as toxic chemicals, which must be routed on tracks away from population centers. “The large-scale shipment of crude oil by rail simply didn’t exist 10 years ago, and our safety regulations need to catch up,” says NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “While this energy boom is good for business, the people and the environment along rail corridors must be protected from harm.”"

+ - Slashdot's new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Lab / Information Technology
Slashdot’s new interface could kill what keeps Slashdot relevant
Flashy revamp seeks to draw new faces to the community—at the cost of the old.

by Lee Hutchinson — Feb 12 2014, 6:55pm E

        Web Culture

131

In the modern responsive Web Three Point Oh Internet, Slashdot stands like a thing frozen in time—it's a coelacanth stuck incongruously in an aquarium full of more colorful fish. The technology news aggregator site has been around since 1997, making it positively ancient as websites are reckoned. More importantly, Slashdot's long focus on open source technology news and topics has caused it to accrete a user base that tends to be extremely technical, extremely skilled, and extremely opinionated.

That user base is itself the main reason why Slashdot continues to thrive, even as its throwback interface makes it look to untrained eyes like a dated relic. Though the site is frequently a source of deep and rich commentary on topics, the barrier for new users to engage in the site's discussions is relatively high—certainly higher than, say, reddit (or even Ars). This doesn't cause much concern to the average Slashdot user, but tech job listing site Dice.com (which bought Slashdot in September 2012, along with Sourceforge and a number of other digital properties) appears to have decided it's time to drag Slashdot's interface into the 21st century in order to make things comfortable for everyone—old and new users alike."

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+ - Heroin Overdoses Like Philip Seymour Hoffman's Can Be Prevented

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Ethan Nadelmann and Tony Newman write at CNN that Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic overdose death serves as a reminder that that 105 people die in the United States from an overdose every day involving heroin or pharmaceutical opioids surpassing car accidents as our country's leading cause of accidental death for people 25 to 64. "The hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the drug war did nothing to prevent a dramatic increase in overdose fatalities; indeed, those very policies likely increased the number of people who die from an overdose." Here are steps that can help: 1. Make treatment available to those who want and need it: "It is outrageous that we taxpayers spend, on average, $30,000 a year to incarcerate someone with a drug problem, but we skimp on treatment programs that are less expensive and more effective in reducing illegal drug use and other crime." 2. Offer methadone and bupunorphine to those with opioid addiction allowing people to live normal lives without the highs and lows of illegal heroin and other opioids. 3. Provide honest drug education because the reality is many will experiment with using substances no matter what. 4. Pass "911 Good Samaritan" laws that encourage people to call for help without fear of arrest. 5. Make naloxone, the antidote to an overdose, more available. "There's no really good reason, moreover, why this antidote should only be available by prescription. If we really want to save lives, pharmacists should be allowed to sell it to whoever needs it." 5. Provide supervised injection facilities where people can inject their drugs in a clean, safe place with medical professionals on hand. "These facilities eliminate overdose fatalities, reduce dangerous drug consumption practices as well as HIV and hepatitis C, minimize the public nuisance of people using drugs in public places and more than pay for themselves by rhducing the need for criminal justice and emergency medical services." 7. Provide Heroin-assisted treatment where pharmacological heroin is administered under strict controls in a clinical setting to those who have failed to succeed with other treatment options. Virtually every published evaluation of HAT has shown extremely positive outcomes: major reductions in illicit drug use, crime, disease and overdose; and improvements in health, well-being, social reintegration and treatment retention. "Some of these ideas may make us uncomfortable, but we need to embrace them as soon as possible," conclude Nadelmann and Newman. "No one can know for sure whether Philip Seymour Hoffman would still be alive if these seven steps had been implemented, but we can be certain that far fewer Americans would die accidentally from an overdose if they were.""

+ - GPUs Dropping Dead in 2011 MacBook Pro Models 3

Submitted by blackwizard
blackwizard (62282) writes "MacRumors is reporting on pervasive GPU failures in 2011 MacBook Pro machines, leading both to intermittent video issues, corruption, crashing/freezing, and eventually even failure to boot. Luckily for Apple, the machines are now out of out-of-warranty machines (unless you bought AppleCare). The issues have been reported both on Apple's own forums and other blogs. Apple has so far failed to take action on the problem. Will they take ownership of the issue, or continue to ask customers to pay for an entire new logic board when just the GPU fails? Is it fair for customers to pay exorbitant repair prices when manufacturers decide not to build modular hardware?"

+ - 'Jumping Genes' Linked to Schizophrenia->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Roaming bits of DNA that can relocate and proliferate throughout the genome, called "jumping genes," may contribute to schizophrenia, a new study suggests. These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events, such as infection during pregnancy, which increase the risk of the disease. The study could help explain how genes and environment work together to produce the complex disorder and may even point to ways of lowering the risk of the disease, researchers say."
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