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News

Rare Ideopathic Encephaly Tied to Higher IQ, Not Lower 58

Timothy writes Cranial deformation is commonly linked to brain dysfunction; it is one of the most common serious conditions affecting fetal growth. Multiple factors are involved, but in nearly every case on record the result is debilitating; stillbirth or neonatal death are common. A mutation, though, has been observed among members of a New Jersey family which represents a rare case of heritable encephaly tied not to dysfunction, but to higher-than-average intelligence, and with no evident negative health consequences.

Donald R. DeCicco (not his real name) and his wife Prymaat of Paramus, both French-born naturalized U.S. citizens, were born with unremarkable physical characteristics, apart from a specific constellation of physical abnormalities affecting maxillofacial and brain development. In both of their cases, brain development appears to be ordinary, but with all brain lobes occupying a volume that is both larger and narrower than typical. All medical tests (and the couple's success as educated, productive members of society) make it clear that their condition has not prevented ordinary life, and may even have enhanced it; a series of MRI and PET scans conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers indicated that their above-average cerebella are at least as active and neuron-rich as are more run-of-the-mill subjects' brains, and tests of memory, cognition, and reasoning place both DeCicco and Clorhone in the top percentile of American rest subjects. A daughter, Connie, shares both their unusual skeletal growth pattern, and is similarly highly intelligent; perhaps this form of heritable encephaly should be thought of as akin to Marfan syndrome, for its pairing of both high intelligence and a characteristic bone-growth pattern. At least one researcher quoted in the linked article believes that less extreme forms of the same anomaly can be observed in some historical and contemporary figures, citing as examples both Vladimir Putin and actor Richard Belzer as bearing some tendency toward the same characteristic shape.

First described by a family physician and described in the Journal of the Society of the Federal Health Professionals,the condition has been labeled Sandler's Syndrome.
News

Parents Sue School After Pod Daughter Is Banned From Prom 33

With the prom season only a few months away kids and parents alike are starting to make plans for the big day. However, one girl's alien replacement might not get a chance to experience that special day if a school district has its way. Even though Darcy Swope's pod duplicate is virtually identical to her, the Santa Mira school district has decided she is not welcome to prom. School officials acknowledge the duplicate attended school and did Darcy's homework for an unknown period of time but say she isn't really a student and therefore doesn't belong at the dance. Darcy's parents disagree with the decision and have filed suit against the school, Her dad says, "We miss Darcy every day, but the thing that consumed her and is now pretending to be my daughter is almost the same and deserves to be treated the same." "She may not have that sparkle in her eye or the vocabulary as our flesh and blood daughter, but she has never missed curfew and has a thirst to learn. It would be a shame if Darcy II didn't get a chance to experience this important part of being human, even if she isn't one," adds her mother.
News

V'Ger Source Code Released 53

One of the biggest hurdles to interstellar domination has always been the prohibitive cost of proprietary software for ships or super-weapons. That is all about to change thanks to a surprise move by a mysterious alien race of living machines who have released V'ger's source code. While you'll still need a way to generate a "twelfth-power energy field," this opens the door to many would-be conquerors and ultimate weapon enthusiasts. The release has been praised in terms of increased security and reduced costs by most, but some worry that cheaper, more secure super weapons aren't what the universe needs at this time. Federation spokesperson Lieutenant Ilia disagrees saying: "This is in the carbon units best interest. Many worlds have been infested, You will listen to me."

Comment article summary is wrong (Score 5, Informative) 51

The article summary is completely wrong -- it mentions "while you're in coverage", to mean that you can leave the device connected to the network.

But from TFA: "Plane passengers will be allowed to use electronic devices weighing less than a kilogram in offline mode from gate to gate without needing to turn them off. The devices will need to remain in flight mode and cannot be used for calls, text or data, however."

So, all this really does is confirm the findings that the FAA had -- small devices are reasonable to use in airplane mode in all phases of flight.

The Military

UN Debates Rules Surrounding Killer Robots 215

First time accepted submitter khb writes "It seems that the UN has started a debate on whether to place limits or bans on robots that can kill without manual supervision. It seems that bombs are viewed as 'kinder' than robots which might be programmed to achieve specific ends (e.g. destroy that bridge, kill anyone carrying a gun, etc.)."

Submission + - Linode hacked, CCs and passwords leaked 6

An anonymous reader writes: On Friday Linode announced a precautionary password reset due to an attack despite claiming that they were not compromised. The attacker has claimed otherwise, claiming to have obtained card numbers and password hashes. Password hashes, source code fragments and directory listings have been released as proof. Linode has yet to comment on or deny these claims.
Privacy

SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes 1145

tsamsoniw writes "Hoping to strike a blow against sexism in the tech industry , developer and tech evangelist Adria Richards took to Twitter to complain about two male developers swapping purportedly offensive jokes at PyCon. The decision has set into motion a chain of events that illustrate the impact a tweet or two can make in this age of social networking: One the developers and Richards have since lost their jobs, and even the chair of PyCon has been harassed for his minor role in the incident."
Communications

'This Is Your Second and Final Notice' Robocallers Revealed 235

nbauman writes "A New York Times consumer columnist tracked down the people who run a 'This is your second and final notice" robocall operation. The calls came from Account Management Assistance, which promises to negotiate lower credit card rates with banks. One woman paid them $1,000, and all they did was give her a limited-time zero-percent credit card that she could have gotten herself. AMA has a post office box in Orlando, Florida. The Better Business Bureau has a page for Your Financial Ladder, which does business as Account Management Assistance, and as Economic Progress. According to a Florida incorporation filing, Economic Progress is operated by Brenda Helfenstine, with her husband Tony. The Arkansas attorney general has sued Your Financial Ladder for violating the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigated Your Financial Ladder, but the investigator went to 1760 Sundance Drive, St. Cloud, which turned out to be a residence, and gave up. The Times notes that you can type their phone number (855-462-3833) into http://800notes.com/ and get lots of reports on them."
Google

Zero Day Hole In Samsung Smart TVs Could Have TV Watching You 249

chicksdaddy writes with news of a remote exploit in Samsung Smart TVs, and a warning for those who got one with a built-in camera. From the article: "The company that made headlines in October for publicizing zero day holes in SCADA products now says it has uncovered a remotely exploitable security hole in Samsung Smart TVs. If left unpatched, the vulnerability could allow hackers to make off with owners' social media credentials and even to spy on those watching the TV using built-in video cameras and microphones. In an e-mail exchange with Security Ledger, the Malta-based firm said that the previously unknown ('zero day') hole affects Samsung Smart TVs running the latest version of the company's Linux-based firmware. It could give an attacker the ability to access any file available on the remote device, as well as external devices (such as USB drives) connected to the TV. And, in a Orwellian twist, the hole could be used to access cameras and microphones attached to the Smart TVs, giving remote attacker the ability to spy on those viewing a compromised set."
Announcements

Want to Change the Slashdot Logo? For 1 Day in October, You Can 128

The Slashdot logo has been around for a long time now; the truth is, we're rather fond of it, and have only rarely introduced substantial changes. But for the month of October, as a way of celebrating the site's 15 years of delivering News for Nerds, we invite you to help us temporarily change it. If you have an idea of what the Slashdot logo should look like for one day in October, this is your chance to see it on the page. Starting September 15th, we'll be accepting entries, and sending limited edition anniversary T-shirts to the artists we pick to show off on the page throughout the month. (And a Nexus 7 tablet to the artist who ranks best in show.) Click through for information on what we're looking for, how to enter, and the long list of rules that the legal department has provided for your reading pleasure; we look forward to seeing and sharing your ideas.
Windows

Windows 8 Is 'a Work of Art.' But It's No Linux 371

colinneagle writes "Earlier this week I installed the final version of Windows 8. And it is awesome. That's not a joke. Windows 8 is absolutely, unequivocally stellar. And yet, at the end of the day, I am right back to using Linux. Why is that? What is it about Linux that makes me so excited to use it — even while enjoying another operating system that I view as, in all seriousness, a work of art? Why do I not simply install Windows 8 on every machine I own and be happy with it? For me, it's the ability to slowly chip away and remove items from your user interface until you are left with only want you want, and nothing more. The option of looking at an item on the screen, right clicking on it, and declaring to said item 'Listen up, mister Thing-On-My-Screen. I don't want you anymore. Be gone!' Panels, bars, docks, launchers, widgets, gadgets – whatever is on your screen, there is probably a way to send it to whatever form of the afterlife is reserved for unwanted Desktop Crud. And, I'll tell you this right now – as great as it is, you don't find a whole lot of 'Right click, Remove Panel' in Windows 8."
Medicine

US Doctors Back Circumcision 1264

ananyo writes "On 27 August, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes for the first time that, overall, boys will be healthier if circumcised. The report says that although the choice is ultimately up to parents, medical insurance should pay for the procedure. The recommendation, coming from such an influential body, could boost U.S. circumcision rates, which, at 55%, are already higher than much of the developed world. The researchers estimate that each circumcision that is not performed costs the U.S. health-care system $313."
The Media

Photo Reveals UK Plan: "Assange To Be Arrested Under All Circumstances" 847

politkal writes with the lead from a CNN story: "A policeman in London appears to have accidentally revealed an arrest plan for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in what UK media have branded an embarrassing slip-up by London's Metropolitan Police. Clearly legible in a zoomed-in view of the clipboard, on a sheet of paper headed 'Restricted,' are the words: 'EQ Embassy brief — Summary of current position re. Assange. Action required — Assange to be arrested under all circumstances.' It goes on to suggest possible ways in which he could exit the building, such as in a diplomatic bag or vehicle."
The Internet

How To Watch Internet TV Across International Borders 206

colinneagle writes "Living in the U.S., one of my greatest regrets is that I can't watch BBC video with iPlayer. If I were living in the U.K., I'd feel the same away about not being able to watch shows on Hulu. But, with a Web proxy or a virtual private network (VPN) and an IP address in a country where the content is available, you can watch these shows. Technically, it's easy to set your browser up to use a Web proxy or VPN software. With a Web proxy and Windows XP, for example, you just go to Internet Options, click the Connections tab, and then click LAN Settings. Next, under Proxy server you click to select the 'Use a proxy server for your LAN' check box. Finally, you enter the IP address of the proxy server and in the Port box, type the IP number that is used by the proxy server for client connections—that's usually 8080. It's usually pretty simple to do that in any browser and operating system. There are also programs, such as Proxy Switchy, for Chrome that makes it easy to switch from one proxy to another in a single session. When you use a proxy, though, all your traffic is still open to network administrators. If you want to visit another country and watch their TV in privacy, you'll need a VPN."
Security

Iranian State Goes Offline To Avoid Cyber-Attacks 165

DavidGilbert99 writes "The Iranian minister for telecommunication has said that the government will be taking key ministries and state agencies offline in the next month to protect sensitive information from cyber-attacks. However this move is just the initial step in an 18 month plan to take the country off the world wide web, and replace it with a state-controlled intranet. From the article: 'The US began offensive cyber-attacks against Iran during the presidency of George W. Bush when the Olympics Games project was founded. Out of this was [born] the Stuxnet cyber-weapon, which was designed to specifically target the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility in Iran.'"

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