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Submission + - Animal Behaviour Specialists Map Out The Social Networks of Cows

KentuckyFC writes: In a classic The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson, a group of cows stand on two legs chatting by the side of a road when a lookout shouts “car”. The cows immediately drop to a four-legged stance as the car passes by and return to their usual position and continue chatting when it has gone. Now a team of animal behaviour specialists have discovered that the social lives of cattle are more complex than biologists had ever imagined (although not quite into Larson territory). These guys attached RFID tags to 70 Holstein-Fresian calves kept in three pens. They then monitored the position of each cow for a week to see which other animals they tended to have contact with. This allowed them to construct the social network for the cows with unprecedented detail. It turns out these social networks have many of the properties of human social networks. Cows have preferred partners who they tend to spend more time with and 60 per cent of their contacts occur during feeding which amounts to only 6 per cent of their time. The work has important applications. It should help biologists more accurately model how disease spreads through herds of cattle and therefore better understand how to tackle epidemics. Udderly fascinating (cough).

Submission + - Malaysian passenger plane reportedly shot down over Ukraine (

An anonymous reader writes: Russian newswire service Interfax is reporting that a Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down with a Buk ground-to-air missile over Ukraine near the Russian border. The Associated Press cites an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister as the source.

First reports are that it was mistaken for a Ukrainian AN-26.

Submission + - Defeating UEFI's SecureBoot (

An anonymous reader writes: UEFI is ment to replace the BIOS firmware interface. But is it secure enough? Or, at least, more resilient than BIOS? Corey Kallenberg, Security Researcher for the MITRE Corporation explains how he and his team have been able to circumvent that protection on roughly half of the computers that have it enabled, in order to install a malicious bootkit, and what this means for the future of UEFI.