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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - We the people petition to revoke Scientology's Tax exempt status->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "There has been a lot of interest in the activities of the Church of Scientology recently, especially since the release of Alex Gibney's documentary "Going Clear". A petition against tax-exempt status for Scientology, has been started on the United States white house petition website. If it receives more than 100,000 signatures, it will qualify for an official white house response. Even slashdot has had its own run-ins with Scientology in the past. Has the time come for Scientology go "clear"?"
Link to Original Source

+ - A Singapore Math Problem Goes Viral: When Is Cheryl's Birthday?

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "A couple of months ago, it was a color-changing dress that blew out the neural circuits of the Internet. Now Kenneth Chang reports in the NYT that a problem from a math olympiad test for math-savvy high school-age students in Singapore is making the rounds on the internet that has perplexed puzzle problem solvers as they grapple with the simple question: "So when is Cheryl's birthday?"

Albert and Bernard just met Cheryl. “When’s your birthday?” Albert asked Cheryl.
Cheryl thought a second and said, “I’m not going to tell you, but I’ll give you some clues.” She wrote down a list of 10 dates:
May 15 — May 16 — May 19
June 17 — June 18
July 14 — July 16
August 14 — August 15 — August 17
“My birthday is one of these,” she said.
Then Cheryl whispered in Albert’s ear the month — and only the month — of her birthday. To Bernard, she whispered the day, and only the day.
“Can you figure it out now?” she asked Albert.
Albert: I don’t know when your birthday is, but I know Bernard doesn’t know, either.
Bernard: I didn’t know originally, but now I do.
Albert: Well, now I know, too!
When is Cheryl’s birthday?

Logical puzzles like this are common in Singapore. The Singapore math curriculum, which has a strong focus on logic-based problem solving, has been so successful that it's been adopted around the world. According to Terrance F. Ross, US students have made strides in math proficiency in recent years, but they still lag behind many of their peers internationally, falling at the middle of the pack in global rankings. In the same PISA report the U.S. placed 35th out of 64 countries in math. "And even though the "Cheryl's Birthday" question may be atypical of the average Singaporean classroom, perhaps it's still worth asking: Are you smarter than a (Singaporean) 10th-grader?""

+ - Slashdot Japan becoming srad.jp

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "OSDN, operators of Slashdot Japan, have announced that the site's name will change to srad.jp. Slashdot Japan first launched on the 28th of May, 2001, nearly 14 years ago, as a Japanese language counterpart to the main English Slashdot site (which doesn't even support Japanese in comments). The response to he news from Slashdot Japan users was somewhat mixed, but he site promises to otherwise continue in the same manner as before. It is unknown if the classic green glow will remain."

+ - Under US pressure, Paypal cuts off MEGA

Submitted by Lenbok
Lenbok (22992) writes "It seems that the end-to-end encryption offered by cloud storage provider Mega is a thorn in the side of US based influences, as MEGA posted on their blog that Paypal has been pressured to shut Mega off (a move reminiscent of the financial blocade of Wikileaks a few years back). Kim Dotcom hinted on twitter that bitcoins are in MEGAs future. (More reporting on techdirt, torrentfreak and insidebitcoins)"

+ - Blu-Ray Players Hackable via Malicious Discs

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Blu-Ray disc interactive features use Java and Stephen Tomkinson just posted a blog discussing research showing how using a specially created Blu-Ray discs it is possible to hack a couple of players. He hacked one Linux based network connected player to get root due to issues introduced by the vendor. Similarly he did the same thing against Windows Blu-Ray player software. He then combined both along with detection techniques into one disc.."

+ - Online black market 'Darkleaks' lets you trade secrets for bitcoin->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An anonymous online black market site, Darkleaks, has been discovered which facilitates whistleblowing and helps blackmailers make money from selling confidential and valuable data in exchange for Bitcoin. The decentralized black marketplace is built on blockchain technology and is available to download as a free software package, with its source code published openly on code-sharing site Github. According to a blog post introducing the site, “there is no identity, no central operator and no interaction between leaker and buyers.” This anonymity is assured through blockchain which encrypts the files released when the payment is taken by the ‘leaker’, says developer Zozan Cudi. The developers say that Darkleaks will help “stop corruption and challenge power”, but there seems to be no limit to the files sellers and buyers can trade in, freely and anonymously – “government secrets”, “celebrity sex pictures” and “military intelligence”, among other critical and highly sensitive information."
Link to Original Source

+ - Science's Biggest Fail - Everything About Diet and Fitness

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Scott Adams of Dilbert fame writes on his blog that science's biggest fail of all time is 'everything about diet and fitness':

I used to think fatty food made you fat. Now it seems the opposite is true. Eating lots of peanuts, avocados, and cheese, for example, probably decreases your appetite and keeps you thin. I used to think vitamins had been thoroughly studied for their health trade-offs. They haven’t. The reason you take one multivitamin pill a day is marketing, not science. I used to think the U.S. food pyramid was good science. In the past it was not, and I assume it is not now. I used to think drinking one glass of alcohol a day is good for health, but now I think that idea is probably just a correlation found in studies.

According to Adams, the direct problem of science is that it has been collectively steering an entire generation toward obesity, diabetes, and coronary problems. But the indirect problem might be worse: It is hard to trust science because it has a credibility issue that it earned. "I think science has earned its lack of credibility with the public. If you kick me in the balls for 20-years, how do you expect me to close my eyes and trust you?""

+ - Computer chess created in 487 bytes, breaks 32-year-old record->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The record for smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform was held by 1K ZX Chess, which saw a release back in 1983 for the Sinclair ZX81. It uses just 672 bytes of memory, and includes most chess rules as well as a computer component to play against.

The record held by 1K ZX Chess for the past 32 years has just been beaten this week by the demoscene group Red Sector Inc. They have implemented a fully-playable version of chess called BootChess in just 487 bytes."

Link to Original Source

+ - What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Drafts are drafts for a reason. Not only do they tend to contain unpolished writing and unfinished thoughts, they're often filled with little notes we leave ourselves to fill in later. Slate reports on a paper recently published in the journal Ethology that contained an unfortunate self-note that made it into the final, published article, despite layers upon layers of editing, peer review, and proofreading. In the middle of a sentence about shoaling preferences, the note asks, "should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?" When notified of the mistake, the publisher quickly took it down and said they would "investigate" how the line wasn't caught. One of the authors said it wasn't intentional and apologized for the impolite error."
Link to Original Source

+ - After Silk Road 2.0, rival Dark Net markets explode to biggest size ever->

Submitted by apexcp
apexcp (931320) writes "A week ago, Silk Road 2.0 was theatrically shut down by a global cadre of law enforcement. This week, the dark net is realigning.

In the wake of the latest police action against online bazaars, the anonymous black market known as Evolution is now the biggest Dark Net market of all time. Today, Evolution features 20,221 products for sale, a 28.8 percent increase from just one month ago and an enormous 300 percent increase over the past six months.

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Joey Hess resigns from Debian->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It's become abundantly clear that this is no longer the project I originally joined in 1996. We've made some good things, and I wish everyone well, but I'm out.

Note that this also constitutes an orphaning as upstream of debhelper, alien, dpkg-repack, and debmirror.

I will be making final orphaning uploads of other packages that are not team maintained, over the next couple of days, as bandwidth allows.

If I have one regret from my 18 years in Debian, it's that when the Debian constitution was originally proposed, despite seeing it as dubious, I neglected to speak out against it. It's clear to me now that it's a toxic document, that has slowly but surely led Debian
in very unhealthy directions."

Link to Original Source

+ - British Spies are free to target Lawyers and Journalists->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "British spies have been granted the authority to secretly eavesdrop on legally privileged attorney-client communications, according to newly released documents. On Thursday, a series of previously classified policies confirmed for the first time that the U.K.’s top surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters (pictured above) has advised its employees: “You may in principle target the communications of lawyers.” The country’s other major security and intelligence agencies—MI5 and MI6—have adopted similar policies, the documents show. The guidelines also appear to permit surveillance of journalists and others deemed to work in “sensitive professions.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - Pope Francis Declares Evolution And Big Bang Theory Are Right 4

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Independent reports that Pope Francis, speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has declared that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real. “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” said Francis. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment." Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”. “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” Experts say the Pope's comments put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI who spoke out against taking Darwin too far."

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