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Submission + - Our Brains Could Be Datamined

Jason Koebler writes: Brainwave-tracking is becoming increasingly common in the consumer market, with the gaming industry at the forefront of the trend. “Neurogames” use brain-computer interfaces and electroencephalographic (EEG) gadgets like the Emotiv headset to read brain signals and map them to in-game actions, basically giving the player virtual psychic superpowers.
EEG data “high-dimensional,” meaning a single signal can reveal a lot of information about you: if you have a mental illness, are prone to addiction, your emotions, mood, and taste. If that data from gaming was collected and mined, it could theoretically be matched with other datasets culled from online data mining to create a complete profile of an individual that goes far beyond what they divulge through social media posts and emails alone. That's led some to develop privacy systems that protect your thoughts from hackers.

Submission + - No, Oreos Aren't as Addictive as Cocaine (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Students at Connecticut College opted for the second option, and the consequences that ensued were much more annoying than making some arts and crafts with a darn mouse. Fox News reported that a "College study finds Oreo cookies are as addictive as drugs," Forbes explained "Why Your Brain Treats Oreos Like a Drug," and a ton of other sites ran with the story as well.

Here's how the experiment, which has not been peer reviewed and has not been presented yet, went down. Mice were placed in a maze, with one end holding an Oreo and the other end holding a rice cake. The mice, without fail, decided to eat the Oreo over the rice cake, proving once and for all that mice like cookies better than tasteless discs with a styrofoamy texture.

Submission + - Oreos as addictive as cocaine to rats (

turning in circles writes: Medical researchers have found that rats prefer Oreos to rice cakes about as much as they prefer cocaine or morphine. The levels of pleasure-recognizing proteins in the rats' brains actually increased more for Oreos than cocaine. More studies like this, and maybe studies with McDonald's french fries, might further open the debate about the extent to which obesity is a medical condition vs a personal preference.

Submission + - Plant temperature perception imaged using open source microscopy software

GAATTC writes: How plants sense temperature is not well understood. An automated microscopy system controlled by Micro-Manager open source microscope automation software has been used to capture the dynamics of plant high temperature gene expression responses. A surprising finding is that waves of gene expression sweep down the roots as they grow after exposure to high temperatures.

Submission + - Will the US Lose Control of the Internet? ( 2

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Upon revelation of the extent of US foreign intelligence surveillance, through efforts by Edward Snowden and LavaBit founder Ladar Levison, an increasing number of nation's have expressed official dismay and concern over the US dominance in managing the infrastructure for request and transit of information on the Internet. In the past, ICANN challenges have been secondary to efforts in the UN ITU — until now. Yesterday at a summit in Uruguay, every major Internet governing body pledged to free themselves of the influence of the US government. "The directors of ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society and all five of the regional Internet address registries have vowed to break their associations with the US government. The group called for "accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing". Any doubt about the reason or timing of this statement is dispelled with the inclusion: "the group 'expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance'."

The US argument for maintaining governance has been the need to maintain "a free and open Internet" versus interests of authoritarian societies. Has recent understanding of the wholesale surveillance of telecommunications by the NSA completely ruined the US reputation as the just custodian of that mission?


Submission + - Waledac Had Cache of 500k Stolen Accounts (

Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers have discovered that the gang behind the once-and-future botnet Waledac has gathered nearly 500,000 stolen passwords for email accounts, along with close to 125,000 sets of pilfered credentials for FTP accounts.

The discovery isn't so surprising in its details, but rather in its scope. There are a slew of Trojans and info-stealing pieces of malware around these days that are designed specifically to seek out and steal this kind of data. Email passwords, which often are simple and reused on other accounts by victims, can give attackers access to far more than just a victim's mundane message exchanges with friends. Email accounts can lead to online banking credentials, credit card accounts and other high-value data.

Researchers at The Last Line of Defense, a security firm comprising professors and grad students from universities around the world, analyzed the data that the Waledac crew had gathered and found that the email credentials were being used in spam campaigns designed to evade real-time blacklists and other filters.


Submission + - Hackers Capitalizing on New Vulnerabilities Faster (

wiredmikey writes: A report released today showed that in January, hackers were quicker to respond to and exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities. According to the report, there was a 61 percent exploitation rate of new vulnerabilities discovered in January — in a typical month, exploit activity falls between 30 percent and 40 percent — making this a significant spike.

Half of there new vulnerabilities rated as "critical" were targeted, opening doorways for an attacker to execute any command(s) on a target machine...


Submission + - NASA Finds 20 New Comets, 33,000-Plus Asteroids (

iamrmani writes: NASA said its Near-Earth Object WISE (NEOWISE) mission has discovered 20 comets and more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, in addition to 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs).

German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs Screenshot-sm 291

BBird writes "Deutsche Welle reports: 'Up until this year, preschools could teach and produce any kind of song they wanted. But now they have to pay for a license if they want children to sing certain songs. A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.'"

Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits 278

It turns out the soy-based wire covering on cars built after 2002 is irresistible to rodents. Nobody knows this better than those unlucky enough to park at DIA's Pikes Peak lot. The rabbits surrounding the area have been using the lot as an all-you-can-eat wiring buffet. Looks like it's time to break out The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

Submission + - Microsoft IE browser share dips below 50% (

alphadogg writes: Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which has dominated the Web browser market since blowing by Netscape in the late 1990s, last month fell below the 50% market share level for the first time in years.

IE’s share of the worldwide market fell to 49.87% in September, down from 51.3% in August and 58.4% a year ago. It is followed by Firefox, which increased its share slightly from 30.09% to 31.5% and Google Chrome, which grabbed 11.54% share, more than triple its September 2009 share, according to market watcher StatCounter.

"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars," said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, in a statement. "Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%."
Back in 2002, IE had more than a 90% share in the wake of operating system/Web browser bundling that got the Department of Justice’s attention in the form of an antitrust lawsuit.

Submission + - Copyright fee on digital media (

tdashton writes: In Austria as of the first of Oktober you have to pay up to 36 Euros extra for hard drives which you purchase — to compensate the media creators and artists for piracy which may occur or digital copies that you may make in the future on this media. These fees have already been in effect for CD / DVD media, USB sticks, MP3 players and any other digital media...Guilty until proven innocent?? Original text in German.

Submission + - China Becoming Intellectual Property Powerhouse (

eldavojohn writes: A lot of Westerners view China as little more than the world's factory manufacturing anything with little regard to patents, copyrights and trademarks. But it seems as far as patents go, China is moving on up. According to the WIPO, the company that applied for the most patents in 2008 was not an American or Japanese company but China's Huawei Technologies. And China has made astonishing ground recently moving up to third place with 203,257 patent applications behind Japan (500,000) and the United States (390,000). It remains to be seen if these patents applications will come to fruition for China but it is evident that they are focusing on a new image as a leader in research and development. The Korean article concentrates on 2008 but you can find 2009 statistics at the WIPO's report on China along with some statistics breaking down applications by industry.

Submission + - Cryptome Hacked; All Files Deleted (

eldavojohn writes: Over the weekend, the whistle blowing site Cryptome was hacked and vandalized this weekend resulting in all 54,000 files being deleted and two days worth of submissions lost. Cryptome reported that it's EarthLink e-mail account was compromised in ways unknown and once the attacker was inside there, they were able to request a new password from the administration console for Cryptome at their hosting provider, Network Solutions (NSI). Once the attacker had that password, they deleted the ~7 GB of data that Cryptome hosted in around 54,000 files. Cryptome was able to eventually restore the site as they keep backups ready for cases like this and stated that they 'do not trust our ISP, email provider and officials to tell the truth or protect us.'

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling