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+ - Facebook and Instagram are down->

Submitted by sixthousand
sixthousand writes: As of 1:30AM EST Facebook and Instagram are widely reported being down. It is yet unclear whether this is a localized or global outage. A statement was released at 1:51AM EST on the Instagram Twitter account which reads: "We're aware of an outage affecting Instagram and are working on a fix. Thank you for your patience." Could this be the result of excessive usage caused by homebound users across the northeast due to winter storm Juno?
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+ - Childhood neglect erodes the brain->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: In perhaps the most famous study of childhood neglect, researchers have closely tracked the progress, or lack of it, in children who lived as infants in Romania’s bleak orphanages and are now teenagers. A new analysis now shows that these children, who display a variety of behavioral and cognitive problems, have less white matter in their brains than do a group of comparable children in local families. The affected brain regions include nerve bundles that support attention, general cognition, and emotion processing. The work suggests that sensory deprivation early in life can have dramatic anatomical impacts on the brain and may help explain the previously documented long-term negative affects on behavior. But there’s some potential good news: A small group of children who were taken out of orphanages and moved into foster homes at age 2 appeared to bounce back, at least in brain structure.
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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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+ - SciAm Fansubbers Score Hungarian Viral Hit->

Submitted by soDean
soDean writes: Editors at Scientific American noticed they were getting a TON of hits on the video, "What Happens to Your Body after You Die?”. To their surprise, the majority of the views were originating in Hungary.

Most Hungarians don’t speak English (fun fact: Latin was the nation’s official language into the mid-19th century. So, dice quod ad tuum Latin magister.) How were they enjoying our video? In their native language, via our crowd-sourced translation community on Amara! Köszönöm (thank you) to our Hungarian translators on Amara (especially to Sándor Nagy), and to all 1,064 of our translators on Amara who have translated 81 videos into 71 languages.

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

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett 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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+ - Ask Slashdot, Semantics: Is it "in the cloud" or "on the cloud"? 1

Submitted by Un Bsd
Un Bsd writes: Language is technical. In common vernacular, we burn onto eprom. We ftp into, and, upload onto, servers. We put milk in glasses, and, put glasses on tables. So, thinking of data as a substance or thing we are interested in, and, the storage medium as a container or platform for holding the data, if the data was equivalent to the milk, what is cloud storage equivalent to? A glass or a table?
Why do people say they are putting data in the cloud? Is this a corruption of language or has there been some paradigm shift? I can't imagine that 'in' and 'on' the cloud would be used ambiguously without any technical differentiation.
Is it better to say that you are storing data in the cloud, or, to say that you are storing data on the cloud. Which form is more consistent with the way we use 'in' and 'on' respect to electronic data and devices?

+ - Illinois Is Not Actually Requiring Students To Hand Over Their Facebook Password->

Submitted by oritoes
oritoes writes: A story is circulating around the internet that a new Illinois anti-cyberbullying law has a provision requiring students to hand over their Facebook and other social media accounts to school officials on demand.

The ACLU and the state legislator who wrote the bill both say this is wrong.

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Comment: Re:My choice of anti-virus software (Score 1) 467

by Todd Palin (#48890551) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

I put Avast on my Windows PC and it seems to work fine. Avast prompted me to put it on my android phone as well, which I did. Since I am using Republic Wireless which is kind of persnickety about roaming data, I was not thrilled to see Avast use one Mb of roaming data the first time I left the house. I can't spare the data if it is going to do this regularly. I deleted the app.

I'm pretty good at managing my roaming data, but I can't have Avast using roaming data any damn time it wants to. This is especially odd since I was solidly within a Sprint area, which should not have been roaming at all.

Comment: Re:Only printing the bodies, of course. (Score 2) 128

The body is way more than a skin around everything else. The body IS the structure of the car. They don't have frames anymore. The body provides the stiffness for everything. Drive train components anchor to it. The body provides crash protection as the structure crumples to absorb energy.

I'm not saying it is impossible, but the body is a way more complicated structure than most folks think. A car body isn't just a style statement. Many of the shapes we see over and over in cars are there for rigidity and crash protection, not just for looks. Switching from steel to printed plastic panels means a shitload of engineering issues to solve. Steel is a pretty well understood material. Printed plastic panels are a totally new ballgame.

Comment: Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 101

by Todd Palin (#48872687) Attached to: Google Plans Major Play In Wireless Partnering With Sprint and T-Mobile

Republic and Black Wireless to name a couple more. I switched from Verizon to Republic three months ago because I got tired of Verizon's bloatware phones and their high prices. Today I pay $25 per month and get service that is plenty good enough for me. My phone has a minimum of bloatware and works better than any Verizon phone I ever had.

Anything that offers alternatives to AT&T and Verizon with decent coverage is a good thing. Go get em Google.

+ - Home Security Corliss Group Experts: How to Make Your Home Wi-Fi Safer->

Submitted by karoliinakamo
karoliinakamo writes: Seven Tips on How to Make Your Home Wi-Fi Safer:

Step 1. Changing the admin password

One of the most serious mistakes often made is using the default, out-of-box, admin password (consider the frequently used “admin:admin” and “1234”). If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend resetting the password to something more sophisticated.

Step 2. Disabling remote management

Usually producers enable only LAN-based router controls by default, but this is not always the case. Make sure that you check whether your router's control interface is available over the Web.

Step 3. Disabling Broadcast SSID

As a rule, a wireless router transmits your Wi-Fi network ID (the so-called SSID) to everyone. This may be changed at will by unchecking the corresponding box in the settings. Then your network will not be so easily hacked.

Step 4. Using reliable encryption

Cybercriminals might use your home network for illicit activities and the police could end up on your doorstep! So we suggest enabling WPA2 encryption (WEP is not very reliable) and setting a stronger password for your Wi-Fi hotspot.

Step 5. UPnP et al.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), DLNA support (Digital Living Network Alliance) and the like, are better off disabled if not in use; you run a lower risk of being affected by vulnerabilities in software using these features.

Step 6. Updating built-in software

We suggest using the most up-to-date firmware from vendors' official websites: they frequently patch vulnerabilities and mistakes, which can open the point of entry to hackers willing to compromise your network.

Step 7. Not just the router

Absolutely 'ultimate' protection does not exist, as the years have proved. A sensible approach to router settings, using strong passwords and encryption and timely updates are the keys.

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+ - Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe for Disruption

Submitted by writes: The insurance industry is a fat target with $481 billion in premiums in 2013 and agents’ commissions of about $50 billion. Now Conor Dougherty writes in the NYT that the boring but lucrative trade has been attracting big names, among them Google which has formed a partnership with Comparenow, an American auto insurance comparison site that will give Google access to insurers in Comparenow’s network. “A lot of people are waking up to the fact that it’s a massive industry, it’s old-fashioned, they still use human agents and the commissions are pretty big,” says Jennifer Fitzgerald. “It’s ripe for — I hate to use the word — disruption.” It may seem like an odd match for Google, whose projects include driverless cars, delivery drones and a pill to detect cancer, but the key to insurance is having lots of data about people’s backgrounds and habits, which is perhaps the company’s greatest strength. “They have a ton of data on where people drive, how people drive,” says Jon McNeill. “It’s the holy grail of being able to price auto insurance correctly.”

Robert P. Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, says rumors of the insurance agent’s death have been greatly exaggerated. “Even if they go through Google or another portal, they still end up at an insurance agency or company at some point,” says Hartwig. “I think the agency model has a lot more consistency than many people give it credit for.” But people in the industry and Silicon Valley say it is only a matter of time before online agencies attack the armies of intermediaries that are the backbone of the trade and Google could present formidable competition for other insurance sellers. As many as two-thirds of insurance customers say they would consider purchasing insurance products from organizations other than insurers, including 23 percent who would consider buying from online service providers such as Google and Amazon. Google Compare auto insurance site has already been operating in Britain for two years as a search engine for auto insurance prices. “There are 40,000 agencies in the US," says Ellen Carney, "and you could absolutely imagine them shrinking by a quarter."

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson