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+ - Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak for Our Bones

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Nicholas St. Fluer reports at The Atlantic that according to researchers, our convenient, sedentary way of life is making our bones weak foretelling a future with increasing fractures, breaks, and osteoporosis. For thousands of years, hunter-gatherers trekked on strenuous ventures for food with dense skeletons supporting their movements and a new study pinpoints the origin of weaker bones at the beginning of the Holocene epoch roughly 12,000 years ago, when humans began adopting agriculture. “Modern human skeletons have shifted quite recently towards lighter—more fragile, if you like—bodies. It started when we adopted agriculture. Our diets changed. Our levels of activity changed,” says Habiba Chirchir, A second study attributes joint bone weakness to different levels of physical activity in ancient human societies, also related to hunting versus farming.

The team scanned circular cross-sections of seven bones in the upper and lower limb joints in chimpanzees, Bornean orangutans and baboons. They also scanned the same bones in modern and early modern humans as well as Neanderthals, Paranthropus robustus, Australopithecus africanus and other Australopithecines. They then measured the amount of white bone in the scans against the total area to find the trabecular bone density. Crunching the numbers confirmed their visual suspicions. Modern humans had 50 to 75 percent less dense trabecular bone than chimpanzees, and some hominins had bones that were twice as dense compared to those in modern humans. Both studies have implications for modern human health and the importance of physical activity to bone strength. “The lightly-built skeleton of modern humans has a direct and important impact on bone strength and stiffness,” says Tim Ryan. That's because lightness can translate to weakness—more broken bones and a higher incidence of osteoporosis and age-related bone loss. The researchers warn that with the deskbound lives that many people lead today, our bones may have become even more brittle than ever before. “We are not challenging our bones with enough loading," says Colin Shaw, "predisposing us to have weaker bones so that, as we age, situations arise where bones are breaking when, previously, they would not have.""

+ - Subsurface 4.3 Released->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "The Subsurface development team proudly announces release 4.3 of the open source divelog and dive planning program, available for all major desktop operating systems. This is the software originally founded by Linus Torvalds, and the development seems to be continuing in great pace. Subsurface now supports flexible filtering of the dive list based on criteria like tags, people or gear. Dive characteristics can now also be copied and pasted to other dives. The dive profile now offers an easy to understand tissue saturation graph that shows tissue saturation at any point during the dive. As another new feature in the dive profile, one can turn on an improved visualization of the gas combinations used during a dive. The dive computer and file format support have also gotten large improvements."
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+ - Yes, Virginia, There are NORAD/Microsoft and Google Santa Trackers

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Marketing Land's Danny Sullivan has a pretty epic post on How Google Became A Santa Tracker Tradition To Rival NORAD, and wonders if future generations will think of Santa tracking as synonymous with Google, just as past ones have thought of for NORAD. Until it split with Google in 2012 (for unknown reasons) and hooked up with Microsoft, Sullivan explains, NORAD had really been the only place to go for a serious, dependable Santa tracking service. "There’s a big part of me that wishes Google had gotten out of Santa tracking when it split from NORAD," says Sullivan of the divorce. "The NORAD Santa tracker brings back memories from my childhood; it brings back memories of me being a father with young kids checking in on Santa’s progress. In contrast, Google feels to me like an upstart interloper messing with my nostalgic memories. But maybe Google’s a welcome alternative to others. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional complaint about a NORAD “Santa Cam” video showing Santa being accompanied by fighter jets. Some might prefer a Santa tracker that’s not connected to a military organization. Of course, some might not feel one connected to a giant company is necessarily preferable. Part of me is also sad that when I go to NORAD’s own site, I get a big Internet Explorer icon in the top right corner, which effectively opens up an ad for Microsoft. I guess I feel it’s too blatant. Of course, complaining about the commercialization of something Christmas-related, I suppose, is kind of useless." Sullivan adds, "Overall, I’m thankful to the many people who are involved with both operations [NORAD Tracks Santa and Google Santa Tracker], who work hard to make children smile on Christmas Eve.""

+ - Ur/Web, A Simple and Powerful Language For Secure Web Applications->

Submitted by giulioprisco
giulioprisco (2448064) writes "A new programming language, called Ur/Web, lets developers write Web applications as self-contained programs. According to the developers, the main benefits of Ur/Web over competing tools are:
1) Ur/Web makes programmers more productive by providing abstraction and modularity features not found in any other language.
2) Ur/Web provides guaranteed security; certain kinds of security vulnerability are impossible. For example, modulo any compiler bugs, any Ur/Web application that the compiler accepts is free of code injection vulnerabilities.
3) Ur/Web provides much better run-time performance than any competing system. Server-side components are native code and don’t use garbage collection.
Ur and Ur/Web were considered as beta software by the developers until recently, but the new December 2014 release is considered as a candidate production version."

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+ - How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Cory Doctorow has an article in Wired explaining why crafting laws to restrict software are going to hurt us in the long run Why? Because we're on an irreversible trajectory to integrating technology with our cars and houses, bodies and brains. If we don't control the software, then at some point, we won't control parts of our homes and our selves. Doctorow writes, "Any law or regulation that undermines computers' utility or security also ripples through all the systems that have been colonized by the general-purpose computer. And therein lies the potential for untold trouble and mischief. ... Code always has flaws, and those flaws are easy for bad guys to find. But if your computer has deliberately been designed with a blind spot, the bad guys will use it to evade detection by you and your antivirus software. That's why a 3-D printer with anti-gun-printing code isn't a 3-D printer that won't print guns—the bad guys will quickly find a way around that. It's a 3-D printer that is vulnerable to hacking by malware creeps who can use your printer's “security” against you: from bricking your printer to screwing up your prints to introducing subtle structural flaws to simply hijacking the operating system and using it to stage attacks on your whole network.""
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+ - Many DDR3 modules vulnerable to bit rot by a simple program->

Submitted by Pelam
Pelam (41604) writes "Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Intel report that a large percentage of tested regular DDR3 modules flip bits in adjacent rows when a voltage in a certain control line is forced to fluctuate. The program that triggers this is dead simple, just 2 memory reads with special relative offset and some cache control instructions in a tight loop. The researchers don't delve deeply into applications of this, but hint at possible security exploits. For example a rather theoretical attack on JVM sandbox using random bit flips has been demonstrated before."
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+ - Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Incidents like the Michael Brown case have recently put police body-worn cameras into the public consciousness, but they're not a new idea to criminology experts. In fact, researchers at Cambridge began a study in 2012 using law enforcement in Rialto, California as a test bed. Their results are now in: "The experiment showed that evidence capture is just one output of body-worn video, and the technology is perhaps most effective at actually preventing escalation during police-public interactions: whether that's abusive behavior towards police or unnecessary use-of-force by police." The simple knowledge that both parties are being watched puts a damper on violence. "During the 12-month Rialto experiment, use-of-force by officers wearing cameras fell by 59% and reports against officers dropped by 87% against the previous year's figures." This was enough for the city of Rialto to decide it wants to move forward with body-worm cameras; hopefully the study will encourage other police departments as well."
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+ - Human Eyes' Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "It should be safe to conclude that humans can see frame rates greater than 24 fps. The next question is why do movies at 48 fps look "videoy", and why do movies at 24 fps look "dreamy" and "cinematic". Why are games more realistic at 60 fps than 30 fps? Simon Cooke from Microsoft (Xbox) Advanced Technology Group has an interesting theory to explain this all. Your eyes oscillate a tiny amount, ranging from 70 to 103 Hz (on average 83.68 Hz). So here's the hypothesis. The ocular microtremors wiggle the retina, allowing it to sample at approximately 2x the resolution of the sensors. Showing someone pictures that vary at less than half the rate of the oscillation, means we're no longer receiving a signal that changes fast enough to allow the supersampling operation to happen. So we’re throwing away a lot of perceived-motion data, and a lot of detail as well. Some of the detail can be restored with temporal antialiasing and simulating real noise, but ideally Cooke suggests going with a high enough frame rate (over 43 fps) and if possible, a high resolution."

+ - be very afraid: X-ray view of old Sol-> 1

Submitted by swell
swell (195815) writes "For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing images of our sun. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has taken its first picture of the sun, producing the most sensitive solar portrait ever taken in high-energy X-rays.

This first solar image from NuSTAR demonstrates that the telescope can in fact gather data about sun. And it gives insight into questions about the remarkably high temperatures that are found above sunspots — cool, dark patches on the sun. Future images will provide even better data as the sun winds down in its solar cycle."

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+ - TripAdvisor Fined in Italy For Fake Reviews->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Good or bad, TripAdvisor usually thrives on reviews — but when antitrust officials in Italy gave their damning opinion of the travel website, it wasn't quite so happy.

Slapped with a 500,000 euro fine ($611,000) for unfair trade activity and "misleading consumers," TripAdvisor has hit back, accusing the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) of being out of touch.

"We think the ruling is unreasonable, strongly disagree with its findings and will file an appeal," it said in a statement.
"We firmly believe that TripAdvisor is a force for good — both for consumers and the hospitality industry."

The regulator complained that people reading TripAdvisor Italy were unable to distinguish between genuine and fake reviews posted on the site. It said both were presented by TripAdvisor as "authentic and genuine in nature."

Demanding payment of the fine within 30 days, the ICA also accused the travel company of failing to provide proper checks to weed out bogus postings.

It said TripAdvisor Italy had fallen foul of three articles of the Italian consumer code, "making it likely to mislead a wide audience of consumers.""

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+ - Serious Economic Crisis Looms Russia

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Russia is facing a "full-blown economic crisis", a former finance minister Alexei Kudrin has warned, as the country is forced to take emergency financial measures. The economy has been battered by a wave of sanctions (set by other countries as a result of tensions over Ukraine), geopolitical uncertainty, and falling oil prices. Analysts have warned that the Russian economy will not improve in the long run until the aforementioned conditions have also improved. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said that a plan to loan Trust bank an amount of up to 30bn roubles ($54m) had been approved. Trust bank has run a series of advertisements featuring actor Bruce Willis in Russia, along with the ironic quote: "When I need money, I just take it". Anna Stupnytska, an economist at Fidelity Solutions, said that "the risk of a sovereign default is low, it's the corporate sector where the main vulnerabilities lie, and banking in particular". "Due to sanctions, companies cannot refinance their debt as access to international markets has been essentially cut off", she added."

+ - The Death of Voice Mail 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Duane D. Stanford writes at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper.""

+ - Paquete Semanal (Weekly Packet)->

Submitted by FarnsworthG
FarnsworthG (1356979) writes "Every morning, Teresita Rodriguez ferries external hard drives back and forth across Havana, using her feet to carry out the role that cables and wi-fi perform in other countries with less-restricted access to the world wide web.
Her job is both high-tech and extraordinarily simple. At one end, she sits and waits for a couple hours in the front room of the home of an information peddler, while he copies the latest terabyte-sized package of global films, TV dramas, comedies, magazines, applications and anti-virus software to her hard drive via a USB cable. She then takes those digital files to the home of her employer so he can download it and sell it on to his customers, many of whom will in turn charge their friends and neighbours for a copy."

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+ - Hotel group asks FCC for permission to block some outside Wi-Fi->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The FCC will soon decide whether to lay down rules regarding hotels’ ability to block personal Wi-Fi hotspots inside their buildings, a practice that recently earned Marriott International a $600,000 fine. Back in August, Marriott, business partner Ryman Hospitality Properties and trade group the American Hotel and Lodging Association asked the FCC to clarify when hotels can block outside Wi-Fi hotspots in order to protect their internal Wi-Fi services."
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+ - 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports, "Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards ... seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for "obligations owed to the American people" and "misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies." It's an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to "a derivative action on behalf of the American Public," and is primarily based upon Snowden's agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality. ... Edwards appears to be making the argument that Snowden's security clearance creates a fiduciary duty of loyalty — one that was allegedly breached by Snowden's participation in the production of Citizenfour without allowing prepublication clearance review. As for the producers and distributors, they are said to be "aiding and abetting the theft and misuse of stolen government documents." The lawsuit seeks a constructive trust to redress the alleged unjust enrichment by the film. A 1980 case that involved a former CIA officer's book went up to the Supreme Court and might have opened the path to such a remedy ... ""
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