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Submission + - American Psychological Association hit with new torture allegations (

sciencehabit writes: Did the American Psychological Association (APA) collude with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to enable the torture of detainees in the War on Terror? The answer won't be known until June, when an independent investigation is due to conclude. But at least one thing was made clear today in a report from an independent group of psychologists based on e-mail exchanges between APA and CIA officials from 2003 to 2006: The world's largest professional organization for psychologists has maintained a surprisingly cozy relationship with the defense and intelligence community.

Submission + - FAA: 2 million lines of code process new air traffic system (

coondoggie writes: he Federal Aviation Administration this week said it had completed the momentous replacement of 40-year old main computer systems that control air traffic in the US. Known as En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), the system is expected to increase air traffic flow, improve automated navigation and strengthen aircraft conflict detection services, with the end result being increased safety and less flight congestion.

Submission + - An engineering analysis of the Falcon 9 first stage landing failure

schwit1 writes: Link here.

SpaceX founder and chief technology officer Elon Musk tweeted that "excess lateral velocity caused it [the booster] to tip over post landing." In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag." In this statement, Musk was referring to "stiction" — or static friction — in the valve controlling the throttling of the engine. The friction appears to have momentarily slowed the response of the engine, causing the control system to command more of an extreme reaction from the propulsion system than was required. As a result, the control system entered a form of hysteresis, a condition in which the control response lags behind changes in the effect causing it.

Despite the failure of the latest attempt, SpaceX will be encouraged by the landing accuracy of the Falcon 9 and the bigger-picture success of its guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system in bringing the booster back to the drone ship. The GNC also worked as designed during the prior landing attempt in January, which ended in the destruction of the vehicle following a hard touchdown on the edge of the platform.

Submission + - Scientists close to solving the mystery of where dogs came from (

sciencehabit writes: For years researchers have argued over where and when dogs arose. Some say Europe, some say Asia. Some say 15,000 years ago. some say more than 30,000 years ago. Now an unprecedented collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists from around the world is attempting to solve the mystery once and for all. They're analyzing thousands of bones, employing new technologies, and trying to put aside years of bad blood and bruised egos. If the effort succeeds, the former competitors will uncover the history of man's oldest friend—and solve one of the greatest mysteries of domestication.

Submission + - Schneier on 'really bad' IoT security: 'It's going to come crashing down' (

alphadogg writes: Security expert Bruce Schneier has looked at and written about difficulties the Internet of Things presents — such as the fact that the “things” are by and large insecure and enable unwanted surveillance– and concludes that it’s a problem that’s going to get worse before it gets better. After a recent briefing with him at Resilient Systems headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., where he is CTO, he answered a few questions about the IoT and what corporate security executives ought to be doing about it right now.

Submission + - Prosecutors suspect man hacked lottery computers to score winning ticket (

SternisheFan writes: Prosecutors say they have evidence indicating the former head of computer security for a state lottery association tampered with lottery computers prior to him buying a ticket that won a $14.3 million jackpot, according to a media report.

Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers. The room was enclosed in glass, could only be entered by two people at a time, and was monitored by a video camera. To prevent outside attacks, the computers aren't connected to the Internet. Prosecutors said Tipton entered the so-called draw room on November 20, 2010, ostensibly to change the time on the computers. The cameras on that date recorded only one second per minute rather than running continuously like normal.

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions," prosecutors wrote. "The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection."

Submission + - FBI would rather prosecutors drop cases than disclose stingray details (

An anonymous reader writes: Not only is the FBI actively attempting to stop the public from knowing about stingrays, it has also forced local law enforcement agencies to stay quiet even in court and during public hearings, too.

An FBI agreement, published for the first time in unredacted form on Tuesday, clearly demonstrates the full extent of the agency’s attempt to quash public disclosure of information about stingrays. The most egregious example of this is language showing that the FBI would rather have a criminal case be dropped to protect secrecy surrounding the stingray.

Submission + - C++Now 2015 Student/Volunteer Program Accepting Applications

jones_supa writes: Are you a student and passionate C++ programmer? The C++Now 2015 Student/Volunteer program is now accepting applications. The program was started in 2013 in an effort to encourage student involvement in the C++Now conference and the C++ community. Each year, the conference helps a small group of young whipper snappers to attend the event. In exchange, the students help the C++Now staff in running the conference. Volunteers assist with various on-site tasks, such as recording sessions, escorting keynote speakers and setting up the conference picnic. They are able to attend most sessions. Volunteers receive a waiver of their registration fees and stipends for travel-related expenses may be provided. Applications will be accepted from February 5th to March 5th, 2015. Application decisions will be sent out on March 18th, 2015.

Submission + - With Not Impossible's technology, ALS patient speaks for first time in 15 years (

TechCurmudgeon writes: From TechRepublic: Don and Lorraine Moir were married in 1989. Over the next six years, they had three children together and spent their days happily living in London, Ontario. Then, Don was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function.

By May 1999, Don was on a ventilator. He hasn't spoken a word since. Not Impossible Labs gave him his voice back using a special keyboard and open source technology.

Submission + - Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question (

An anonymous reader writes: The physicist Freeman Dyson and the computer scientist William Press, both highly accomplished in their fields, had found a new solution to a famous, decades-old game theory scenario called the prisoner’s dilemma, in which players must decide whether to cheat or cooperate with a partner. The prisoner’s dilemma has long been used to help explain how cooperation might endure in nature. After all, natural selection is ruled by the survival of the fittest, so one might expect that selfish strategies benefiting the individual would be most likely to persist. But careful study of the prisoner’s dilemma revealed that organisms could act entirely in their own self-interest and still create a cooperative community.

Press and Dyson’s new solution to the problem, however, threw that rosy perspective into question. It suggested the best strategies were selfish ones that led to extortion, not cooperation.

Plotkin found the duo’s math remarkable in its elegance. But the outcome troubled him. Nature includes numerous examples of cooperative behavior. For example, vampire bats donate some of their blood meal to community members that fail to find prey. Some species of birds and social insects routinely help raise another’s brood. Even bacteria can cooperate, sticking to each other so that some may survive poison. If extortion reigns, what drives these and other acts of selflessness?

Submission + - Splitting HARES, Military Grade Crypto in Malware (

Dharkfiber writes: Andy Greenberg @ Wired Magazine writes, "Software reverse engineering, the art of pulling programs apart to figure out how they work, is what makes it possible for sophisticated hackers to scour code for exploitable bugs. It’s also what allows those same hackers’ dangerous malware to be deconstructed and neutered. Now a new encryption trick could make both those tasks much, much harder." New crypto tricks being added to Malware, SSL, Disk, and now HARES packaging.

Submission + - The powerful cheat for themselves, the powerless cheat for others.: ArsTechnica ( 1

SternisheFan writes: (From by Cathleen O'Grady — Feb 7 2015

The powerful cheat for themselves, the powerless cheat for others The upper class isn't less ethical, just more likely to lie for selfish reasons.

Research has previously shown that upper-class individuals are more likely to behave unethically than lower-class people. But, says David Dubois, lead researcher of a new paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it’s not that simple: both groups behave unethically in different contexts.

Dubois’ research group found that people with higher socioeconomic status (SES) were more likely to behave unethically when the behavior benefitted themselves, while lower-SES people were more likely to be unethical to benefit other individuals. "Many people think of unethical behaviour in terms of selfish behavior—violating moral standards to give yourself an advantage," explains Jared Piazza, who was not involved with the research. "But the researchers here draw a distinction between violating a moral standard like 'it’s wrong to steal' to benefit others, and violating a moral standard to benefit yourself."

This distinction is important, says Dubois. Previous research has only tested unethical behavior that is selfish—it turns out that when unselfish unethical behavior is tested too, lower-SES individuals are just as likely to be unethical......

......There's also a question about what actually counts as wrong in people's minds, Piazza notes. Past research has shown that powerless people think that working for the welfare of others is the highest moral value, while powerful people care more about rules and order. "It may be that powerless individuals are less inclined to view actions that help others as actual transgressions even though a moral rule has been violated," he suggests.

Beyond clarifying these points, there are questions to follow up in the future, Dubois adds. For one, this paper didn’t look at the effect of power or SES on the amount of unethical behavior. That is, the researchers looked at how people would behave in a single test, but not at whether a certain group was more likely to be unethical more of the time. There’s also the possibility that different cultures with different moral codes and ideas about power and responsibility might respond differently.

It could have useful application in persuasion, he adds: communicating with different audiences about ethical behavior could emphasize different consequences, either for the self or for others, to discourage the behavior.

Submission + - Climate Scientist Wins Defamation Suit Against National Post (

Layzej writes: A leading Canadian climate scientist has been awarded $50,000 in a defamation suit against The National Post newspaper. Andrew Weaver sued the Post over four articles published between December 2009 and February 2010. The articles contain “grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet,” and they “poison” the debate over climate change, Weaver asserted in a statement at the time the suit was filed.

The judge agreed, concluding “the defendants have been careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts. As evident from the testimony of the defendants, they were more interested in espousing a particular view than assessing the accuracy of the facts.”

This is the first of several law suits launched by climate scientists against journalists who have published alleged libels and falsehoods. Climate scientist Ben Santer suggests the following explanation for these types of defamations: "if you can’t attack the underlying science, you go after the scientist.”

Submission + - Woman suffers significant weight gain after fecal transplant (

Beeftopia writes: In a case reported in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a woman suffering from a drug-resistant intestinal infection gained 36 pounds after receiving a fecal transplant from her overweight daughter. Previous mouse studies have shown thin mice gain weight after ingesting fecal bacteria from obese mice. The woman previously was not overweight. After the procedure, despite a medically supervised liquid protein diet and exercise regimen, the woman remained obese. Her doctor said, "She came back about a year later and complained of tremendous weight gain... She felt like a switch flipped in her body, to this day she continues to have problems... as a result I'm very careful with all our donors don't use obese people."

Feed Google News Sci Tech: NASA probe snaps amazing image of Ceres - Christian Science Monitor (

Christian Science Monitor

NASA probe snaps amazing image of Ceres
Christian Science Monitor
NASA's Dawn space probe has taken the sharpest-yet image of Ceres, a dwarf planet in our solar system's asteroid belt. By Mike Wall, February 6, 2015. close. NASA's Dawn spacecraft took this image of the dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at...
NASA Probe Gives Close-Up Look At Dwarf Planet Ceres, But What Are Those ... Huffington Post
NASA's Dawn Captures Unseen Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres in Asteroid BeltScience Times
Ceres to Venus: What to watch for in the skyWTOP
Times Gazette-Guardian Liberty Voice-The Inquisitr
all 85 news articles

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?