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+ - 'Prisonized' neighborhoods make ex-cons more likely to return to the slammer->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: The gates at American prisons can seem like revolving doors. People come in, do their time, and—within 3 years—half are back behind bars, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics. Now, a scientist says he has nailed down one potential risk factor. An intriguing natural experiment that followed ex-cons displaced by Hurricane Katrina suggests that when former prisoners wind up moving to the same neighborhood, they are more likely to return to a life of crime.
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+ - Chrome for Android Is Now Almost Entirely Open Source

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: After lots of work by Chrome for Android team and a huge change, Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source, a Google engineer announced in Reddit. Over 100,000 lines of code, including the Chrome’s entire user interface layer, has been made public, allowing anyone with the inclination to do so to look at, modify, and build the browser from source. Licensing restrictions prevent certain media codecs, plugins and Google service features form being included, hence the "almost". This is on par with the open source Chromium browser that is available on the desktop.

+ - The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police ->

Submitted by Cuillere
Cuillere writes: In the fall of 2014, a hacker demanded the Seattle Police Department release all of their body and dash cam video footage, prompting chaos among the institution. Although a legal request per Washington state's disclosure laws, Seattle's PD wasn't prepared to handle the repercussions of divulging such sensitive material— so they hired the hacker instead.
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+ - Neural implants let paralyzed man take a drink->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp writes: Erik Sorto was shot in the back 13 years ago and paralyzed from the neck down. Yet recently the father of two lifted a bottle of beer to his lips and gave himself a drink, even though he can’t move his arms or legs.

Mr. Sorto, 34, picked up his drink with a robotic arm controlled by his thoughts. Two silicon chips in his brain read his intentions and channeled them via wires to the prosthetic arm on a nearby table. The team that developed the experimental implant, led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology, reported their work Thursday in the journal Science.

“That was amazing,” Mr. Sorto said. “I was waiting for that for 13 years, to drink a beer by myself.”

Mr. Sorto’s neural implant is the latest in a series of prosthetic devices that promise one day to restore smooth, almost natural movement to those who have lost the use of their limbs through disease or injury, by tapping directly into the signals generated by the brain.

For years, laboratories at Brown University, Duke University and Caltech, among others, have experimented with brain-controlled prosthetics. Those devices include wireless implants able to relay rudimentary mental commands, mind-controlled robotic leg braces, and sensors that add a sense of touch to robotic hands. In 2012, University of Pittsburgh researchers demonstrated a brain implant that allowed a paralyzed woman to feed herself a chocolate bar using a robot arm.

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+ - Video Games: Gateway to a Programming Career?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: Want more people to program? Encourage them to play more video games, at least according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In an online Q&A, Zuckerberg suggested that a lifetime spent playing video games could prep kids and young adults for careers as programmers. “I actually think giving people the opportunity to play around with different stuff is one of the best things you can do,” he told the audience. “I definitely would not have gotten into programming if I hadn’t played games as a kid.” A handful of games, most notably Minecraft (above), already have a reputation for encouraging kids to not only think analytically, but also modify the gaming environment—the first steps toward actually wrestling with code.
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+ - New Class of "Non-Joulian Magnets" Have Potential to Revolutionize Electronics-> 1

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula writes: Magnets are at the heart of much of our technology, and their properties are exploited in a myriad ways across a vast range of devices, from simple relays to enormously complex particle accelerators. A new class of magnets discovered by scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD) may lead to other types of magnets that expand in different ways, with multiple, cellular magnetic fields, and possibly give rise to a host of new devices. The team also believes that these new magnets could replace expensive, rare-earth magnets with ones made of abundant metal alloys.
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+ - India closer to developing its own space shuttle->

Submitted by gubol123
gubol123 writes: India is on the cusp of developing its own reusable space launch vehicle, popularly known as a space shuttle. Isro's 1.5 tonne vehicle resembling an aircraft is provisionally slated to make its maiden flight towards the end of July or August from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

Officially known as the reusable launch vehicle (RLV-TD), it is undergoing final preparations at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. Its primary role will be to reduce the cost of access to space. The cost of placing 1kg of object in space is about $5,000, which scientists are hoping will come down to about $500 with the RLV.

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+ - Microsoft threatened job cuts to influence UK government IT policy-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: By threatening to implement job cuts in affected parts of the country, Microsoft tried to influence UK government IT policy. The company stands accused of trying to blackmail members of parliament when it disagreed with planned IT reforms.

The claims come from Prime Minister David Cameron's former strategy chief, Steve Hilton. He says Microsoft telephoned politicians in areas that the company has research and development departments with the threat of "we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through". And it seems that Microsoft is not alone in this sort of activity.

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+ - ESA Satellite shows sudden ice loss in Southern Antarctic Peninsula->

Submitted by ddelmonte
ddelmonte writes: A recent acceleration in ice loss in a previously stable region of Antarctica has been detected by ESA’s ice mission — CryoSat.

The latest findings by a team of scientists from the UK’s University of Bristol show that with no sign of warning, multiple glaciers along the Southern Antarctic Peninsula have started to shed ice into the ocean. Scientists noticed that the glaciers started "lowering" around 2009, and the rate of lowering is presently approximately 60cu km per year. Prior to 2009, the 750 km-long Southern Antarctic Peninsula showed no signs of change.

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+ - Hacked Adult FriendFinder database reveals extramarital affairs of millions->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Casual adult dating website FriendFinder has been hacked with details of millions of users leaked online, according to a report from British broadcaster Channel 4 News. The website, which lists over 63 million global users, is one of the largest dating and casual hook-up platforms online – Tinder trails the service with an estimated 50 million users worldwide. An investigation has now found that an approximate 3.9 million members’ accounts had been hacked more than two months ago, and leaked online. The data continues to diffuse in spreadsheets across internet forums. The breached data includes information on the users’ sexual preferences, email addresses, sexual orientation, dates of birth, addresses, usernames, and whether the member is seeking extramarital relationships – all of which paints an extremely clear picture of the victim and is potentially highly sensitive and embarrassing.
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+ - Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today announced plans to roll out Suggested Tiles, which push recommendations to users’ new tab page based on sites they have visited, to the Firefox Beta channel next week. The company promised beta testers will see tiles promoting Firefox for Android, Firefox Marketplace, and other Mozilla causes, but didn’t offer a full list of tiles for when the feature lands in Firefox’s stable channel “later in the summer.” Suggested Tiles can promote Mozilla content (such as campaigns on policy issues), publisher content, or advertising.

+ - Asteroid risk greatly overestimated by almost everyone

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to risk assessment, there’s one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards. It’s why so many of us are so eager to play the lottery, and simultaneously why we’re catastrophically afraid of ebola and plane crashes, when we’re far more likely to die from something mundane, like getting hit by a truck. One of the examples where science and this type of fear-based fallacy intersect is the science of asteroid strikes. With all we know about asteroids today, here's the actual risk to humanity, and it's much lower than anyone cares to admit.

+ - Ocumetics Bionic Lens could give you vision 3x better than 20/20->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Imagine being able to see three times better than 20/20 vision without wearing glasses or contacts — even at age 100 or more — with the help of bionic lenses implanted in your eyes.

Dr. Garth Webb, an optometrist in British Columbia who invented the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, says patients would have perfect vision and that driving glasses, progressive lenses and contact lenses would become a dim memory as the eye-care industry is transformed.

Webb says people who have the specialized lenses surgically inserted would never get cataracts because their natural lenses, which decay over time, would have been replaced.

Perfect eyesight would result "no matter how crummy your eyes are," Webb says, adding the Bionic Lens would be an option for someone who depends on corrective lenses and is over about age 25, when the eye structures are fully developed.

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+ - Despite Windows 10, Third-Party Start Menus Will Live On->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Microsoft is bringing back the Start Menu in Windows 10, and after the Windows 8 saga, when a lot of adopters looked for third-party alternatives to make the desktop look more familiar, some developers might now be worried that nobody would ever use their apps again. In Windows 10, the new Start Menu will indeed be developed based on users' feedback, but there's no doubt that not everyone can be pleased with this new approach. Rich customization options aren't offered, so you won't be able to change too many things about the default configuration. The second reason is the Windows 7 feel that all users coming from this particular OS version expect to find: an appearance with more depth, and no Live Tiles. Based on your experience with the Technical Preview, are you happy with what Microsoft is providing as the Start Menu, or still see value in third-party replacements?
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+ - Australia criminalise teaching encryption?->

Submitted by petherfile
petherfile writes: According to Daniel Mathews new laws that have been passed but not yet come into effect could criminalize teaching encryption. He details how a ridiculously broad law could effectively make anything regarding encryption of over 512 bits criminal if your client is not Australian. It could apparently even conceivably include division as a controlled thing of military interest.
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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759