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Comment Irrelevant, inflammatory. (Score 5, Insightful) 221

Why does the area of academic research matter? Including it in the headline implies there's some causation when there is very likely none at all. Should be more like "academic research/educator sexual misconduct etc etc". Giving his profession, gender, nationality, all possibly (if remotely) relevant; if he was an electrician would we care if he was freelance or worked for a national company? If he was a doctor would it matter if he was a neurosurgeon or an obstetrician?. If there is some causation, maybe explain a little? If not, irrelevant at best, inflammatory at worst.

Submission + - Even with Telemetry Disabled, Windows 10 Talks to Dozens of Microsoft Servers (voat.co) 1

Motherfucking Shit writes: Curious about the various telemetry and personal information being collected by Windows 10, one user installed Windows 10 Enterprise and disabled all of the telemetry and reporting options. Then he configured his router to log all the connections that happened anyway. Even after opting out wherever possible, his firewall captured Windows making around 4,000 connection attempts to 93 different IP addresses during an 8 hour period, with most of those IPs controlled by Microsoft. Even the enterprise version of Windows 10 is checking in with Redmond when you tell it not to — and it's doing so frequently.

Submission + - Eradicating the First Disease Since Smallpox (economist.com)

AdamnSelene writes: It looks like something out of a Gothic movie: a metre-long monster that emerges slowly through blistered human skin, its victim writhing in agony. No one is spared. It can creep out from between the toes of a child or from the belly of a pregnant woman.

In the mid-1980s Dracunculus medinensis, the Guinea worm, as this horror is called, afflicted 3.5m people a year in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. But last year that number was down to just 22, all of them in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan. Dracunculiasis is thus poised to become the second human disease to be eradicated, after smallpox.

This blessed state of affairs is thanks to a 30-year campaign led by the Carter Centre, a charity set up by former US president Jimmy Carter.

Submission + - Google starts blocking sites with fake download buttons (blogspot.co.uk) 1

Kobun writes: Google is now rolling out automatic blocking of websites that use fake download buttons or deceptive ads to trick users into downloading Malware. The original blog post from Google can be found here, with additional commentary at Ars and Gizmodo. CNET and Sourceforge are mentioned by name in the Ars article, although this doesn't take into account SourceForge's recent sale and the subsequent reversal of their malware-distribution policy.

Submission + - Whatsapp Will Become Free, Companies Can Pay to Reach Users (nytimes.com)

speedplane writes: The popular messaging service, Whatsapp, will soon become free (they previously charged $0.99 per year after the first). The troubling news is that to compensate for the lost revenue, companies will now be able to pay to contact users directly:

[Whatsapp founder] Mr. Koum said that his team was still experimenting with how such services could work, and that many companies were already using the messaging service, particularly in developing countries, to connect with mobile-savvy customers.

If this smells like advertising, Whatsapp vehemently disagrees:

people might wonder how we plan to keep WhatsApp running without subscription fees and if today's announcement means we're introducing third-party ads. The answer is no.


Submission + - Are Phone Numbers Doomed to Die?

HughPickens.com writes: Valentina Zarya writes at Fortune Magazine that the top 2016 prediction for David Marcus,Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, is the disappearance of the phone number and its replacement by applications like Facebook's Messenger. " You can make video and voice calls while at the same time not needing to know someone’s phone number," writes Marcus. "You don’t need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger anymore, and it’s also a cross platform experience – so you can pick up where you left off whether you’re on a desktop computer, a tablet, or your phone." Jonah Berger, Wharton professor and author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” agrees. “For most of us, I think it’s really hard to actually remember what someone’s phone number actually is. We use our phones so often or we click on a button that has it. But if there was a test where you had to say, do you remember your best friends number or could you type in your best friend’s number I think most of us would fail.”

But not everyone agrees that Murcus' predictions are objective and disinterested. "It's all very well the company wanting to be the de facto Internet — especially in places like India. But drier minds and eyes might wonder whether the wish to eradicate phone numbers has something to do with not everyone having yet given Facebook their phone numbers," says Chris Matyszczyk. "It may well be that phone numbers will disappear. Some, though, might wonder how making their disappearance a company theme squares with what Marcus claims is the ultimate goal: 'It's all about delight.' This one's easy. It's all about delighting Facebook."

Submission + - German Carpenter Invents New Implant That Can Turn Sperm Off With A Switch (thescienceworld.com)

Diggester writes: A carpenter from Germany spent as many as twenty years on creating a male contraceptive which constitutes a switch which would lie within one’s testicles. The purpose of the switch would be to switch on and off the flow of one’s sperm via one’s urethra. Clemens Bimek is the inventor of the device who registered a patent prior to designing the prototype. He is now ready to send this in for a clinical trial of the sperm switch.

Submission + - Cuba's nationwide sneakernet -- a model for other developing nations?

lpress writes: Cuba has little Internet infrastructure, but they have a well-organized sneaker net called El Paquete Semanal (the weekly packet). El Paquete distributes a terabyte of digital entertainment nationwide every week using portable drives. The system is reliable and the organization is said to be Cuba's largest private employer, but it is technically illegal and the content is pirated. A legitimatized Paquete would save scarce Internet resources for other applications. El Paquete is also a possible model for other developing nations.

Submission + - Study Finds That Attractive Female Students Earn Higher Grades

An anonymous reader writes: HughPickens.com writes

Scott Jaschik writes at Inside Higher Education that although most faculty members would deny that physical appearance is a legitimate criterion in grading, a study finds that among similarly qualified female students, those who are physically attractive earn better grades than less attractive female students. For male students, there is no significant relationship between attractiveness and grades. The results hold true whether the faculty member is a man or a woman. The researchers obtained student identification photographs for students at at Metropolitan State University of Denver and had the attractiveness rated, on a scale of 1-10, of all the students. Then they examined 168,092 course grades awarded to the students, using factors such as ACT scores to control for student academic ability. For female students, an increase of one standard deviation in attractiveness was associated with a 0.024 increase in grade (on a 4.0 scale).

The results mirror a similar study that found that those who are attractive in high school are more likely to go on to earn a four-year college degree. Hernandez-Julian says that he found the results of the Metro State study “troubling” and says that there are two possible explanations: “Is it that professors invest more time and energy into the better-looking students, helping them learn more and earn the higher grades? Or do professors simply reward the appearance with higher grades given identical performance? The likely answer, given our growing understanding of the prevalence of implicit biases, is that professors make small adjustments on both of these margins."

Submission + - Why is Microsoft monitoring how long you use Windows 10? (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system.

This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals' usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.

Submission + - Hackers get Linux running on a PlayStation 4 (engadget.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two years after the PlayStation 4 was released, and two weeks after it was jailbroken, a group of hackers has now successfully installed Linux on it. "...it appears that the fail0verflow team utilized a WebKit bug similar to the one recently documented by GitHub user CTurt and then took things up a notch. CTurt's workaround focuses on the PlayStation 4's Webkit browser, which is tricked into freeing processes from the core of the console's operating system by an improvised webpage. The PS4 is powered by Sony's Orbis OS, which is based on a Unix-like software called FreeBSD. With a route into the console's system, fail0verflow then identified weaknesses in the PlayStation 4's GPU. It specifically called out engineers from semiconductor company Marvell, accusing them of "smoking some real good stuff" when they designed the PlayStation 4's southbridge chip."

Submission + - The fan HD remakes yet to be banned (redbull.com)

An anonymous reader writes: While companies like Valve have given their seal of approval to HD fan remakes and re-imaginings of their classic games, many more are all too eager to wield the ban hammer and shut down these homebrew projects with legal threats. Not all, though, as one writer points out in a new article taking a look at the most promising unofficial remakes underway right now. Some companies see these projects as an opportunity — the creator of Shen Mue HD was recently hired by Yu Suzuki to work on Shen Mue 3 — while others choose to ignore them entirely.

Surprisingly, one of these appears to be Konami, which despite a controversial 2015, has shown no interest in shutting down Outer Heaven, a remake of the very first Metal Gear game. As the author points out however, given "the fact that Konami shut down a similar project not long ago – one which had the involvement of original Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter – [it] doesn't bode too well for Outer Heaven's long-term prospects...but we're crossing our fingers that it makes it to the finish line."

Submission + - Microscopic "Water Bears" Led Researchers To Discover New Type of Glass (thescienceworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Water bears are tiny eight-legged sea creatures that can withstand a huge range of temperatures, from just above absolute zero to well over water’s boiling point. And they really are very tiny, measuring just 0.5 mm (0.020 in) in adulthood. Because of their incredibly small stature and curiously strong nature, water bears are of great interest to researchers hoping to uncover the secrets to their survival.

The glass discovery came about after researchers dried out the tiny animals and then revived them years later by rehydrating them. The little creatures protect themselves in their dehydrated state by producing a coating of glass. “When you remove the water, they very quickly coat themselves in large amounts of glassy molecules,” says Juan de Pablo, professor in molecular engineering at the University of Chicago. “That’s how they stay in this state of suspended animation.”

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