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Biotech

Controversial Trial of Genetically Modified Wheat Ends In Disappointment 187 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-wheat-for-you dept.
sciencehabit writes: A controversial GM wheat trial has failed after more than £2 million of public money was spent protecting it from GM opponents. Researchers had hoped that the wheat modified to produce a warning pheromone would keep aphids away and attract their natural enemies, reducing the need for insecticides. Despite showing promise in the laboratory, the field trial failed to show any effect. “If you make a transgenic plant that produces that alarm continuously, it’s not going to work,” ecologist Marcel Dicke of Wageningen University in the Netherlands says. “You have a plant crying wolf all the time, and the bugs won’t listen to it any longer.”
Businesses

Put Your Enterprise Financial Data In the Cloud? Sure, Why Not 89 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-it-safe dept.
jfruh writes: For many, the idea of storing sensitive financial and other data in the cloud seems insane, especially considering the regulatory aspects that mandate how that data is protected. But more and more organizations are doing so as cloud providers start presenting offerings that fulfill regulatory needs — and people realize that information is more likely to be accidentally emailed out to the wrong address than hacked.
The Military

The US Navy's Warfare Systems Command Just Paid Millions To Stay On Windows XP 189 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another? dept.
itwbennett writes: The Navy relies on a number of legacy applications and programs that are reliant on legacy Windows products,' said Steven Davis, a spokesman for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego. And that reliance on obsolete technology is costing taxpayers a pretty penny. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which runs the Navy's communications and information networks, signed a $9.1 million contract earlier this month for continued access to security patches for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003.
Windows

The Unintended Consequences of Free Windows 10 For Everyone 277 277

Posted by timothy
from the dogs-and-cats-living-together dept.
Ammalgam writes: Microsoft seems to be really driven to pushing over a billion people to the new Windows 10 platform as soon as humanly possible. In the latest push to make this happen, the company has basically decided that (somewhat off the record), pirates can come in the side door and it really doesn't matter what the state of their Windows license is, they can get Windows 10 for free. To get deep into the weeds on how this is happening, you have to read Ed Bott's excellent article on ZDNET – "With a nod and a wink, Microsoft gives away Windows 10 to anyone who asks." However, on Windows10update.com, Onuora Amobi asks whether the cost benefit analysis has been done and if this deluge of new members will have a detrimental effect on the Windows Insider Program.
Windows

Windows 10 Will Be Free To Users Who Test It 280 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the free-as-in-beer dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has been making a big push to change its business model for Windows — likely due to the low/no cost updates you can get for competing operating systems. The company surprised everyone when it said legit copies of Windows 7 and 8 would be supplied with free upgrades, but now they're extending that even further: anyone who tests the Windows 10 Technical Preview will get a free upgrade to the full version of Windows 10 when it comes out. In a blog post, Microsoft's Gabe Aul said, "As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the [Microsoft account] you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated. Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh."
Microsoft

Oculus Announces Partnership With Microsoft 105 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-together dept.
An anonymous reader writes: At its pre-E3 press conference today, Oculus announced a partnership with Microsoft. The company plans to launch a new Rift headset early next year that will be packaged with a wireless Xbox One controller. Oculus will ship the controllers with the recently announced Xbox wireless adapter. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said. "We believe we'll be able to create state of the art virtual reality experiences with the Oculus Rift on top of Windows."
Security

Kaspersky Lab Reveals Cyberattack On Its Corporate Network 73 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Kaspersky Lab has revealed that it was recently subject to a major cyberattack. The company launched an investigation, which led to the discovery of a new malware platform from Duqu. Kaspersky has revealed that the attack exploited zero-day vulnerabilities and the malware has spread in the network through MSI (Microsoft Software Installer) files. "The attack is extremely sophisticated, and this is a new generation of what is most likely state-sponsored malware," Kaspersky said during the press conference. "It's a kind of a mix of Alien, Terminator and Predator, in terms of Hollywood."
Government

German Parliament May Need To Replace All Hardware and Software To Stop Malware 189 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the wiping-it-clean dept.
jfruh writes: Trojan spyware has been running on computers in the German parliament for over four weeks, sending data to an unknown destination; and despite best efforts, nobody's been able to remove it. The German government is seriously considering replacing all hardware and software to get rid of it. From the ITWorld article: "After the attack, part of the parliament’s traffic was routed over the federal government’s more secure data network by the Federal Office For Information Security, Der Spiegel reported. Some Germans suspect that the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR is behind the attack. On Thursday, the parliament will discuss how to address the situation."
Earth

Why Our Brains Can't Process the Gravest Threats To Humanity 637 637

Posted by samzenpus
from the forest-through-the-trees dept.
merbs writes: Our brains are unfathomably complex, powerful organs that grant us motor skills, logic, and abstract thought. Brains have bequeathed unto we humans just about every cognitive advantage, it seems, except for one little omission: the ability to adequately process the need for the whole species' long-term survival. They're miracle workers for the short-term survival of individuals, but the scientific evidence suggests that the human brain flails when it comes to navigating wide-lens, slowly-unfurling crises like climate change.
Medicine

Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Criticizes Role of Women In Labs 412 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the mouth-operating-faster-than-brain dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Tim Hunt is an English biochemist most notable for winning the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine. Today he's become notable for something else entirely — at the World Conference of Science Journalists, Hunt suggested science labs should be segregated by gender. He said, "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls three things happen when they are in the lab You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." As you might expect, this set off a firestorm of criticism. Many asked Hunt to treat women in labs with the same respect he is afforded, and others held it up as an explicit example of the sexism that pervades the scientific community. Hunt later issued an apology, saying, "I'm very sorry that what I thought were light hearted ironic remarks were taken so seriously, and I'm very sorry if people took offence. I certainly did not mean to demean women, but rather be honest about my own shortcomings."
Education

San Francisco Public Schools To Require Computer Science For Preschoolers 179 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the while-jack-&&-jill:-hill++ dept.
theodp writes: Never underestimate the ability of tech and its leaders to create a crisis. The S.F. Chronicle's Jill Tucker reports that the San Francisco School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to ensure every student in the district gets a computer science education, with coursework offered in every grade from preschool through high school, a first for a public school district. Tech companies, including Salesforce.com, as well as foundations and community groups, are expected to pitch in funding and other technical support to create the new coursework, equip schools and train staff to teach it. From Resolution No. 155-26A2 (PDF), In Support of Expanding Computer Science and Digital Learning to All Students at All Schools from Pre-K to 12th Grade: 1. "All students are capable of making sense of computer science in ways that are creative, interactive, and relevant." 2. "All students, from pre-K to 12, deserve access to rigorous and culturally meaningful computer science education and should be held to high expectations for interacting with the curriculum." 3. "Students' access to and achievement in computer science must not be predictable on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, language, religion, sexual orientation, cultural affiliation, or special needs." MissionLocal has a two-page SFUSD flyer on the project, which aims to illustrate the "importance of computer science" with the same Code.org jobs infographic that Microsoft used to help achieve its stated goal of creating a national K-12 CS crisis, and demonstrate "disparities in accessing CS education" for SFUSD's 57,000 students with a small-sample-size-be-damned bar chart of the racial demographics of the school district's 209 AP Computer Science participants (181 Asian, 0 African American, 6 Latino, 1 Native American, 14 White, 7 Other).
Privacy

Edward Snowden: the World Says No To Surveillance 176 176

Posted by Soulskill
from the except-for-the-parts-that-say-yes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Two years after his whistle-blowing, Edward Snowden finds that his action had profound effects on political decision making and on citizen's understanding of privacy issues. He writes in the NY Times, "In a single month, the N.S.A.’s invasive call-tracking program was declared unlawful by the courts and disowned by Congress. After a White House-appointed oversight board investigation found that this program had not stopped a single terrorist attack, even the president who once defended its propriety and criticized its disclosure has now ordered it terminated. This is the power of an informed public. ... We are witnessing the emergence of a post-terror generation, one that rejects a worldview defined by a singular tragedy. For the first time since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we see the outline of a politics that turns away from reaction and fear in favor of resilience and reason."
Transportation

US Airport Screeners Missed 95% of Weapons, Explosives In Undercover Tests 357 357

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
An anonymous reader writes: An internal investigation by the TSA found that 95% of agents testing airport checkpoints were able to bring weapons through. In one case, an alarm sounded, but during the pat down, the screener failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to the undercover agent's back. ABC reports: "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests. 'Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,' the DHS said in a written statement to ABC News."
United States

Patriot Act Spy Powers To Expire As Rand Paul Blocks USA Freedom Act Vote 500 500

Posted by timothy
from the on-paper-at-least dept.
Saturday, we mentioned that three major spying powers that the U.S. government has exercised under the Patriot Act might be nixed, as the sections of the Act granting authority to use them expires. The Daily Dot reports that Senator (and presidential contender) Rand Paul today used Senate rules to block a bill which would have extended those powers, which means that as of midnight Sunday on the U.S. east coast, sections 206, 207 and 215 of the Patriot Act will have expired. Says the Daily Dot's article, linked by reader blottsie: The reform bill, which the House passed before leaving town for a week-long recess, would end the government's bulk collection of Americans' phone records under the Patriot Act's controversial Section 215 but leaves the other two provisions intact. ... Sunday's procedural meltdown was the second narrow defeat for the USA Freedom Act. In a late-night session on Friday, May 22, the bill fell three votes short of an initial procedural step after [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell lobbied hard against it. The Senate's failure to meet its deadline was a blow to President Obama, who on Friday had warned lawmakers that the country would be vulnerable if the USA Freedom Act did not pass.

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