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+ - Potential epidemic of autism, said MIT scholar->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist at MIT has declared that we are facing an epidemic of autism that may result in one half of all children being affected by autism in ten years

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, who made these remarks during a panel presentation in Groton, MA last week, specifically cites the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, as the culprit for the escalating incidence of autism and other neurological disorders

Roundup, which was introduced in the 1970’s, contains the chemical Glyphosate , which is the focal point for Seneff’s concerns

Roundup was originally restricted to use on weeds, as glyphosate kills plants. However, Roundup is now in regular use with crops. With the coming of GMO’s, plants such as soy and corn were bioengineered to tolerate glyphosate, and its use dramatically increased. From 2001 to 2007, glyphosate use doubled, reaching 180 to 185 million pounds in the U.S. alone in 2007

Even if you don’t consume corn- on- the -cob or toasted soybeans, you are still hardly exempted from the potential affects of consuming glyphosate. Wheat is now sprayed with Roundup right before it is harvested, making any consumption of non- organic wheat bread a sure source for the chemical. In addition, any products containing corn syrup, such as soft drinks, are also carrying a payload of glyphosate

According to studies cited by Seneff, glyphosate engages “gut bacteria” in a process known as the Shikimate pathway. This enables the chemical to interfere with the biochemistry of bacteria in our GI tract, resulting in the depletion of essential amino acids

Monsanto has maintained that glyphosate is safe for human consumption, as humans do not have the Shikimate pathway. Bacteria, however, does—including the flora that constitutes “gut bacteria"

It is this ability to affect gut bacteria that Seneff claims is the link which allows the chemical to get on board and wreak further damage. The connection between intestinal flora and neurological functioning is an ongoing topic of research. According to a number of studies, glyphosate depletes the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, which can then contribute to obesity, depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer and Parkinson

Whatever may driving the autistic/Alzheimer’s diesel train, one thing is for certain: the spectre of half of our children coming into the world with significant brain damage constitutes a massive and undeniable wound to humanity. The rate of autism has skyrocketed from roughly one in every two thousand in the 1970’s to the current rate of one in every sixty eight. Alzheimer’s has become almost universal in the elderly"

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+ - DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program set up in 2008 to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects. The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request."
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+ - CIA source of NY Times reporter James Risen convicted on circumstial evidence-> 2

Submitted by webanish
webanish (1045264) writes "The New York Times reports:

Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, was convicted of espionage Monday on charges that he told a reporter for The New York Times about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The case revolved around a C.I.A. operation in which a former Russian scientist provided Iran with intentionally flawed nuclear component schematics. Mr. Risen revealed the operation in his 2006 book, “State of War,” describing it as a mismanaged, potentially reckless mission that may have inadvertently aided the Iranian nuclear program.

While this comes as no surprise given the Obama administration's record on going after whistleblowers releasing secrets in public interest, the ramifications of these building cases could be twofold.

  • Legitimate issues which should be discussed in public are withheld out of fear
  • Leakers might not always act so benevolently to go to reputed press institutions

To an outsider, it seems there is widespread support for Snowden and responsible whistleblowing laws. Why is there no momentum for this in the government?"
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+ - EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a detailed, global strategy for ridding ourselves of mass surveillance. They stress that this must be an international effort — while citizens of many countries can vote against politicians who support surveillance, there are also many countries where the citizens have to resort to other methods. The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption. They say we need to build new secure communications tools, pressure existing tech companies to make their products secure against everyone, and get ordinary internet-goers to recognize that encryption is a fundamental part of communication in the surveillance age. They also advocate fighting for transparency and against overreach on a national level. "[T]he more people worldwide understand the threat and the more they understand how to protect themselves—and just as importantly, what they should expect in the way of support from companies and governments—the more we can agitate for the changes we need online to fend off the dragnet collection of data." The EFF references a document created to apply the principles of human rights to communications surveillance, which they say are "our way of making sure that the global norm for human rights in the context of communication surveillance isn't the warped viewpoint of NSA and its four closest allies, but that of 50 years of human rights standards showing mass surveillance to be unnecessary and disproportionate.""
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+ - As real Flash patches go out, fake ones hit thousands of Facebook users->

Submitted by River Tam
River Tam (3926677) writes "On the heels of two real Flash Player security updates being distributed by Adobe Systems this week, hackers are spreading a fake update for the media player via a scam on Facebook that has exposed at least 5,000 users to the threat.

Fake Flash Player update through a three-day Facebook scam beginning Friday. The hackers are targeting the social network’s users by tagging would-be victims in photos that purport to be racy videos."

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+ - Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Higher Broadband Definition

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge.

Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects."

+ - Understanding the mechanisms behind highly focused online ads->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "So you go to a website, or fb, or anywhere, and an online ad appears on your screen

Annoying or not, many of those ads have been purposely selected — almost tailor-made — for our consumption

And behind all these, lighting fast auctions of the slots for tailor-made ads are going on, all the time, and "Behavioral Targeting" is the name of the game

While traditional cookies can be blocked or erased, forms of cookie-less tracking are taking place all the time. “Fingerprinting” records specifics of a user’s device, and it’s next to impossible for most people to avoid sending information to advertisers, publishers and the bewildering array of specialist firms that serve them

Such information can be exploited in real-time computerized auctions for the right to show online ads to individuals. The algorithm-driven auction process takes place on electronic marketplaces in the hundredths of a second after an internet user clicks a link to visit a website. The winner’s ad appears by the time the site has fully loaded. Millions of individual auctions can take place every second

Advertisers see something like their holy grail: the right ad served to the right person at the right time – for the right price. The real-time bidding process allows ad campaigns to be fine-tuned through instant feedback. In a technique called Retargeting, desirable consumers can be followed around the internet, for example by placing ads on other sites they are known to frequent

Yes, the ads are already there waiting for you, at the sites that you haven't go, yet!

As internet-connected TVs take hold, the kind of highly focused ads now booming on the web will be possible there too. Tracking people better via mobile devices, and the rise of the “internet of things” as fridges and other appliances get IP addresses, will bring even more data into people’s digital exhaust for the industry to draw on."

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+ - Stress level on the rise for IT workers->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "49% of IT workers say they’re closer to burning out now compared with five years ago

Triggers for IT workplace stress include a lack of exercise, feeling understaffed and job insecurity

The survey also revealed freelance workers tend to be more relaxed, with more than half ( 55% ) believing freelancers’ autonomy to change location and set their own hours reduces stress"

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+ - Intel to form a stylus alliance->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Last year Apple filed for ten smart pen related patents and earlier this month a rumor surfaced from a prominent analyst claiming that Apple was aiming to introduce a smart pen accessory for Apple's 12" + iPad Pro later this year. On Wednesday Microsoft introduced a new digital whiteboard display system for the enterprise called the Surface Hub that accepts input with a Surface pen working in sync with their OneNote software. Their digital pen was emphasized in their Surface Hub patent that we reported on yesterday. Today there's news that Intel is forming a new Stylus alliance that will be formally announced in February. The first standards-compliant stylus is set to roll out in Q3. It's sure beginning to look as if 2015 will be the year that the stylus of old undergoes its biggest overhaul to date

The current situation regarding the stylus input for touchscreen devices is that every IC designer has its own stylus specifications. Users often find themselves unable to use styluses across different products as well as brands

Intel intends to change that

The chip-making giant is pushing for a standardised Stylus device, that works with all types of displays, be it a notebook ,a smartphone or a tablet

To get a deeper insight into what a standardised stylus would me, Take a Note 4’s stylus for example. You can take notes, dial numbers, highlight text, create your own doodles and still do numerous things that cannot be explained in the length of an article. However, with a standardised stylus, you could do all that, on a device with different config., display, processor or memory

Several chip designers have been invited to take part in the alliance and provide their inputs. Some of them are Atmel, Synaptics and Elan Microelectronics (EMC). Intel has also invited Asustek computer as well as Waltop, the stylus makers that Intel has invested in

It is obvious that this move is directed towards the tablet markets at first. A stylus as an accessory to a 12-inch device makes a lot of sense. The phablet market will benefit too. Nexus 6, iPhone 6 Plus and many of the big screen phones come without a stylus. Actually, only the Note series by Samsung comes with an in-built stylus. The big displays are much easier and fun to use with a stylus

Intel plans to announce the members of the alliance and a draft of the standard in February at the earliest and the official platform will start operating in April or May, with the alliance's first product is expected to launch in the third quarter"

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+ - Google gave FBI emails and digital data belonging to three wikileaks staffers->

Submitted by Ariastis
Ariastis (797888) writes "Google took almost three years to disclose to the open information group WikiLeaks that it had handed over emails and other digital data belonging to three of its staffers to the FBI under a secret search warrant issued by a federal judge. WikiLeaks were told last month of warrants which were served in March 2012. The subjects of the warrants were the investigations editor of WikiLeaks, the British citizen Sarah Harrison; the spokesperson for the organisation, Kristinn Hrafnsson; and Joseph Farrell, one of its senior editors. When it notified the WikiLeaks employees last month, Google said it had been unable to say anything about the warrants earlier as a gag order had been imposed."
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+ - Kim Dotcom launches end-to-end encrypted voice chat 'Skype killer'->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Kim Dotcom’s encrypted file sharing service has added free end-to-end encrypted voice and video chat through the browser.

MegaChat, which promises to keep video chats secure and private, has been developed by the Mega “Conspiracy Team” and is being described as a “Skype killer” by Dotcom.

“We are releasing #MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today. Text chat & video conferencing will follow soon,” said Dotcom.

MegaChat does not require software beyond a web browser to operate, unlike many other similar services, although plugins for Google’s Chrome and Firefox are available for “faster loading and added resilience against attacks”.

‘No US-based online service provider can be trusted’
The system allows users to share encrypted files having previously shared a personal decryption key with them."

Link to Original Source

+ - Odroid-C1 Project->

Submitted by DougDot
DougDot (966387) writes "Back in July, 2013 I put together a couple of fun Raspberry Pi projects: an NFS and Minidlna server, and an XBMC home entertainment system component.

Last month I purchased a couple of Odroid-C1 units which looked interesting because for the same $35 as the Pi you got a slightly smaller SBC with approximately 6X the power.

Pi CPU: ARM 700MHz, C1; Quad-core ARM 1.5GHz
Pi GPU: 24 GFLOPS, C1: 54 GFLOPS
Pi 2 USB 2.0 ports, C1 4 USB 2.0 ports
Pi Ethernet: 100MB/s, C1 Ethernet: Gigabit

Both the Pi and the C1 draw approximately 3 — 4 watts when idling."

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