Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - 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.""

+ - Did North Korea Really Attack Sony? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many security experts remain skeptical of North Korea's incolvment in the recent Sony hacks. Schneier writes: "Clues in the hackers' attack code seem to point in all directions at once. The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea, as well as similarities in the networks used to launch the attacks. Korean language in the code also suggests a Korean origin, though not necessarily a North Korean one, since North Koreans use a unique dialect. However you read it, this sort of evidence is circumstantial at best. It's easy to fake, and it's even easier to interpret it incorrectly. In general, it's a situation that rapidly devolves into storytelling, where analysts pick bits and pieces of the "evidence" to suit the narrative they already have worked out in their heads.""

+ - 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."
Link to Original Source

+ - 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.""

+ - World's First 10 Gbps Consumer Fiber Broadband Service

Submitted by xzeroed
xzeroed (3962537) writes "Tech Times reports that the world's first 10 Gbps consumer fiber broadband service has rolled out in Minneapolis. Current fiber customers of US Internet can now upgrade from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps for the low cost of $399/month! This article states that they're also working on rolling out 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps service sometime in the future!"

+ - 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.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Half-male, half-female bird has a rough life->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have taken a closer look at a rare half-female, half-male northern cardinal spotted a few years ago in Rock Island, Illinois. It turns out being a split-sex “gynandromorph” isn't all fun and games. The cardinal didn’t appear to have a mate, and observers never heard it sing. On the other hand, it wasn’t “subjected to any unusual agonistic behaviors from other cardinals,” according to the paper."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ars: Final Hobbit Movie is 'Soulless End' to 'Flawed' Trilogy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The final chapter to Peter Jackson's series of films based on The Hobbit debuted last week, and the reviews haven't been kind. Ars Technica just posted theirs, and it highlights all the problems with Battle of the Five Armies, a two hour and twenty-four minute film based on only 72 pages of the book. Quoting: "The battles in Battle of the Five Armies are deadly boring, bereft of suspense, excessively padded, and predictable to the point of being contemptuous of the audience. Suspense is attempted mostly by a series of last-minute saves and switches. ... There are other problems. Everyone in this movie takes themselves way too seriously, which makes them even harder to sympathize with. Peter Jackson leans way too hard on voice modulation to make characters seem menacing or powerful. The movie's tone is still way out of step with the book's tone. ... There's one big thing that doomed these movies from the outset—the fiscally smart but artistically bankrupt decision to make a single, shortish children's novel into three feature-length prequel films." Other review titles: "Peter Jackson Must Be Stopped," "The Phantom Menace of Middle Earth," and "Lots of fighting, not much hobbit.""
Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."
Link to Original Source

+ - Three-hundred-million-year-old fossil fish still has traces of eye tissue->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Researchers have unearthed a fossil fish so well preserved, it still has traces of eye tissues. What’s more, these fossil tissues reveal that the 300-million-year-old fish called Acanthodes bridgei, like its living relatives, possessed two types of photoreceptors called rods and cones—cells that make vision possible. This is the first time that mineralized rods and cones have been found conserved in a vertebrate fossil. The discovery of cones, which help the eye see colors, is suggestive of the presence of color vision in fish for at least 300 million years."
Link to Original Source

+ - BT, Sky, and Virgin "hijacking" browsers to push porn blocks->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "BT, Sky, and Virgin Media are hijacking people's web connections to force customers to make a decision about family-friendly web filters. The move comes as the December deadline imposed by prime minister David Cameron looms, with ISPs struggling to get customers to say yes or no to the controversial adult content blocks.

The messages, which vary by ISP, appear during browser sessions when a user tries to access any website. BT, Sky,TalkTalk and Virgin Media are required to ask all their customers if they want web filters turned on or off, with the government saying it wants to create a "family friendly" Internet free from pornography, gambling, extreme violence and other content inappropriate for children. But the measures being taken by ISPs have been described as "completely unnecessary" and "heavy handed" by Internet rights groups.

The hijacking works by intercepting requests for unencrypted websites and rerouting a user to a different page. ISPs are using the technique to communicate with all undecided customers. Attempting to visit WIRED.co.uk, for example, could result in a user being redirected to a page asking them about web filtering. ISPs cannot intercept requests for encrypted websites in the same way."

Link to Original Source

+ - JP Morgan Breach Tied To Two-Factor Authentication Slip->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The attackers who stole information about 83 million JPMorgan Chase customers earlier this year gained a foothold on the company’s network because a server reportedly lacked two-factor authentication, despite the company’s practice of using two-factor authentication on most of its systems. The story, reported in the New York Times, echoes the warnings of security experts over the years that the breach of a single server or employee computer can put an entire network at risk."
Link to Original Source

MS-DOS must die!

Working...