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).
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.
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. Link to Original Source
mdsolar writes: "Seventy-five percent of Nuclear Regulatory Commission employees who participated in an internal survey said they received poor performance reviews after registering formal objections to agency decisions, a report made public Wednesday says.
For employees that object to policy, technical or administrative statements contained in agency documents working their way up the NRC management chain for approval, the agency has a formal "non-concurrence" process meant to ensure that the concerns of those staffers are heard.
According to the survey, which was conducted last year by the NRC Office of Enforcement, many of those surveyed about their own experience submitting formal objections through the program believed there had been negative consequences to doing so.
In addition to the three quarters of survey participants who reported poor performance reviews after raising objections, 63 percent felt they were excluded from work activities and 25 percent thought they were passed over for promotions.
Meanwhile, 25 percent said they were verbally abused by their supervisors or colleagues after submitting a formal objection, and only 32 percent said their views were fully considered before a decision was made." Link to Original Source
jfruh writes: Blue River Technology built a robot named LettuceBot that uses computer vision to kill unwanted lettuce plants in a field. Rather than build their creation from scratch, they built off of the Robot Operating System, an open source OS that, in the words of one engineer, 'allowed only a few engineers to write an entire system and receive our first check for service in only a few months.' With ROS robots starting to appear everywhere, including the International Space Station, it looks like open source may be making huge strides in this area. Link to Original Source