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+ - Federal government demands NYC strip Times Square of billboards

schwit1 writes: Federal officials have ordered New York to remove the billboards that make Times Square famous or else the state will lose $90 million in federal highway funds.

The edict comes from a 2012 law that makes Times Square an arterial route to the national highway system. And that puts it under the 1965 Highway Beautification Act, which limits signs to 1,200 square feet. It took the feds until now to realize that Times Square was included.

+ - ISIS militant 'Jihadi John' believed to be a computer programmer from London-> 1 1

walterbyrd writes: The Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John," who has appeared in several videos depicting the beheadings of Western hostages, is a British man from West London.

His name is Mohammed Emwazi, according to Washington Post and Guardian reports. He was known to British security services, which chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons.

Emwazi graduated from college with a degree in computer programming, according to friends who spoke to the Washington Post. He was a quiet man in his mid-20s who was raised in a middle-class part of London, the paper reports.

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+ - UK Cyber Cops Arrest Five In Clamp Down on PC Hijacking->

Carly Page writes: The National Crime Agency has arrested five UK residents as part of a European clamp down on PC hijacking. It has has arrested two 33-year-old men and a 30-year-old woman from Leeds, along with a 20 year-old man from Chatham in Kent and a 40-year-old from Darlington in Yorkshire.
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+ - The Most Gender Equal Countries in the World->

Wakaboom writes: The World Economic Forum have just released their Global Gender Gap 2014 Report ranking 142 countries on how they have managed to reduce the gender gap by ensuring woman are not held back in society. The main areas of focus that the countries are judged on are – economic participation and opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment. The global top ten countries can be seen below with Iceland coming top followed by 4 fellow Nordic countries dominating the top 5 positions. It is also worth noting that Rwanda and Belgium have made it in the top ten for the first time.
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+ - Malware campaign targeting Industrial Control Systems since 2011, says ICS-CERT->

An anonymous reader writes: "NCCIC/ICS-CERT has identified a sophisticated malware campaign that has compromised numerous industrial control systems (ICSs) environments using a variant of the BlackEnergy malware. Analysis indicates that this campaign has been ongoing since at least 2011. Multiple companies working with ICS-CERT have identified the malware on Internet-connected human-machine interfaces (HMIs). ICS-CERT has determined that users of HMI products from various vendors have been targeted in this campaign, including GE Cimplicity, Advantech/Broadwin WebAccess, and Siemens WinCC."
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Comment: New Games (Score 1) 145 145

That is precisely why I refuse to buy games that require Steam or other online DRM services to play. The last game I purchased was Oblivion; love it, but you don't have to have a service to play it. Unreal Tournament is pretty good also but anyone with a fast connection can host that game without requiring a special service to play.

+ - Shroud of Turin May Have Been Created By Earthquake->

An anonymous reader writes: The Telegraph reports, "The Turin Shroud may not be a medieval forgery after all, after scientists discovered it could date from the time of Christ. ... a new study claims that an earthquake in Jerusalem in 33AD may have not only created the image but may also have skewed the dating results. The Italian team believes the powerful magnitude 8.2 earthquake would have been strong enough to release neutron particles from crushed rock. This flood of neutrons may have imprinted an X-ray-like image onto the linen burial cloth, say the researchers. In addition, the radiation emissions would have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes in the Shroud, which would make it appear younger. ... Carpinteri's team have hypothesized that high-frequency pressure waves generated in the Earth's crust during earthquakes are the source of such neutron emissions. The scientists base the idea on research into piezonuclear fission reactions which occur when brittle rock is crushed under enormous pressure."
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+ - Scientists Confirm World's Oldest Creature...But Kill it Determining Its Age-> 3 3

schwit1 writes: In 2006, climate change experts from Bangor University in north Wales found a very special clam while dredging the seabeds of Iceland. At that time scientists counted the rings on the inside shell to determine that the clam was the ripe old age of 405. Unfortunately, by opening the clam which scientists refer to as "Ming," they killed it instantly.

Cut to 2013, researchers have determined that the original calculations of Ming's age were wrong, and that the now deceased clam was actually 102 years older than originally thought. Ming was 507 years old at the time of its demise.

“But we are absolutely certain that we’ve got the right age now."

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+ - Let's Wage CyberWar Against Syria

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Jason Healey writes at Defense One that if the Obama administration conducts military strikes against Syria, as now seems likely, it should use military cyber weapons at the earliest possible moment to show "that cyber operations are not evil witchcraft but can be humanitarian." Cyber capabilities could first disrupt Syrian air defenses directly or confuse military command and control, allowing air strikes to proceed unchallenged. A cyber strike might also disable dual-use Syrian critical infrastructure (such as electrical power) that aids the regime's military but with no long-term destruction as would be caused by traditional bombs. Last, it is possible the U.S. military has cyber capabilities to directly disrupt the operations of Syria's chemical troops. Healy writes that one cyberweapon that should not be used is covert cyber operations against Bashar Assad's finances. "Both of his immediate predecessors declined such attacks and the world economy and financial sector are already in a perilous state." Before the American-led strikes against Libya in 2011, the Obama administration debated whether to conduct a cyberoffensive to disrupt the Qaddafi government’s air-defense system, but balked, fearing that it might set a precedent for other nations, in particular Russia or China, to carry out such offensives of their own. This time should be different in Healey's view. "By sparing the lives of Syrian troops and nearby civilians, an opening cyber operation against Syria could demonstrate exactly how such capabilities can be compliant with international humanitarian law," writes Healey. "America should take this chance to demystify these weapons to show the world they, and the U.S. military in general, can be used on the battlefield in line with humanitarian principles."

+ - 21 Year Old Bank of America Merrill Lynch Intern Dies "From Overwork"->

dryriver writes: Calls have been made for an overhaul of the long-hours culture among young staff working for banks in the City of London after the death of a "dedicated" German student who had won a sought-after placement at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Moritz Erhardt, 21, had won a place as a summer intern at the London city offices of the US bank and was nearing the end of his placement when he was found dead in the shower at his temporary accommodation in east London by ambulance services on 15 August. Merrill Lynch did not comment on the length of Erhardt's working hours, and also declined to comment on whether interns – who are understood to be paid £45,000 pro rata – are routinely made to work longer than 12-hour days. A fellow intern at the bank described the aspiring student as a "superstar", adding: "He worked very hard and was very focused. We typically work 15 hours a day or more and you would not find a harder worker than him." He told the Evening Standard: "He seemed a lovely guy and was very popular with everyone. He was tipped for greatness."
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+ - Obamacare and the End of the 40 Hour Work Week

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: NBC News reports that employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, say that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “To tell somebody that you’ve got to decrease their hours because of a law passed in Washington is very frustrating to me,” says Loren Goodridge, who owns 21 Subway franchises. “I know the impact I’m having on some of my employees.” The leaders of three major US unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, say that ObamaCare is poised to “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class," adding that "the unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios." The White House maintains that such concerns are purely chimerical as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney argued that there is no data to indicate businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the 30-hour mark. That hasn't stopped Sen. Susan Collins of Maine from introducing a bill, "Forty Hours is Full Time Act," that seeks to modify the federal definition of a full-time employee. "Of course, fixing this one flaw won't solve the countless problems caused by Obamacare. But it would help ensure that millions of American workers do not have their hours, and their paychecks, reduced."

+ - Carbyne: A Form of Carbon Even Stronger Than Graphene 1 1

Dialecticus writes: Sebastian Anthony at ExtremeTech has written an article about research into the physical properties of carbyne, an elusive form of carbon. A new mathematical analysis by Mingjie Liu and others at Rice University suggests that carbyne may achieve double the strength of graphene, stealing its crown and becoming the strongest material known to man.

+ - Incredible Footage Shows a Perseid Meteor Exploding->

Nancy_A writes: Photographer and digital artist Michael K. Chung said he couldn’t believe what he saw when he was processing images he took for a timelapse of the Perseid meteor shower this week. It appears he captured a meteor explosion and the resulting expansion of a shock wave or debris ring.

After this article was posted, Universe Today received more 'explody' footage from the Perseid meteor shower, which has been added to the article.

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"Poor man... he was like an employee to me." -- The police commisioner on "Sledge Hammer" laments the death of his bodyguard