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+ - SourceForge (owned by Slashdot Media) installs ads with GIMP-> 5

Submitted by careysb
careysb writes: SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.
Link to Original Source

+ - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

+ - The Medical Bill Mystery

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Elisabeth Rosenthal writes in the NYT that she has spent the past six months trying to figure out a medical bill for $225 that includes "Test codes: 105, 127, 164, to name a few. CPT codes: 87481, 87491, 87798 and others" and she really doesn't want to pay it until she understands what it’s for. "At first, I left messages on the lab’s billing office voice mail asking for an explanation. A few months ago, when someone finally called back, she said she could not tell me what the codes were for because that would violate patient privacy. After I pointed out that I was the patient in question, she said, politely: “I’m sorry, this is what I’m told, and I don’t want to lose my job.”" Bills variously use CPT, HCPCS or ICD-9 codes. Some have abbreviations and scientific terms that you need a medical dictionary or a graduate degree to comprehend. Some have no information at all. Heather Pearce of Seattle told me how she’d recently received a $45,000 hospital bill with the explanation “miscellaneous.”

So what's the problem? “Medical bills and explanation of benefits are undecipherable and incomprehensible even for experts to understand, and the law is very forgiving about that,” says Mark Hall. “We’ve not seen a lot of pressure to standardize medical billing, but there’s certainly a need.” Hospitals and medical clinics say that detailed bills are simply too complicated for patients and that they provide the information required by insurers but with rising copays and deductibles, patients are shouldering an increasing burden. One recent study found that up to 90 percent of hospital bills contain errors and an audit by Equifax found that hospital bills that totaled more than $10,000 contained an average error of $1,300. “There are no industry standards with regards to what information a patient should receive regarding their bill,” says Cyndee Weston, executive director of the American Medical Billing Association. “The software industry has pretty much decided what information patients should receive, and to my knowledge, they have not had any stakeholder input. That would certainly be a worthwhile project for our industry.”

+ - Music Industry 'Shuts Down' Top Torrent Trackers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A regional court in Hamburg has ordered a hosting company to shut down three iconic BitTorrent trackers that together coordinated dozens of millions of transfers per day. The order is the result of a complaint from German music group BVMI, but is a bit late since the trackers have been offline for a while.

OpenBitTorrent, PublicBT and Istole.it have long been the three largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet, coordinating the downloads of 30 million people at any given point in time.

This means that these non-commercial services, powered by the open source Opentracker software, handled a staggering three billion connections per day – each.

We say handled, because the trackers have been offline since mid-January. The trio mysteriously disappeared and as a result of a court ruling in Germany they’re not coming back either. At least not at their German hosting provider.

Link to Original Source

+ - Russia 1,700 ~~~ America 0->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Russia has evacuated 1,700 of its citizens from Yemen while the total number of United States citizens the government of the United States of America has evacuated from Yemen stands at a perfect ZERO

In fact, Russia has evacuated American citizens from Yemens while the State Department of the United States of America has yet to do anything
Please watch the vids at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

and at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
and read the news at
http://rt.com/news/253001-yeme...
and at
http://rt.com/news/252173-yeme...

Link to Original Source

+ - Debian 8 Jessie released->

Submitted by linuxscreenshot
linuxscreenshot writes: After almost 24 months of constant development the Debian project is proud to present its new stable version 8 (code name Jessie), which will be supported for the next 5 years thanks to the combined work of the Debian Security team and of the Debian Long Term Support team. Jessie ships with a new default init system, systemd. The systemd suite provides many exciting features such as faster boot times, cgroups for services, and the possibility of isolating part of the services. The sysvinit init system is still available in Jessie. Screenshots and a screencast is available.
Link to Original Source

+ - ICANN and the MPAA

Submitted by rs79
rs79 writes: There has been widespread dissatisfaction that ICANN has been co opted by Intellectual Property types and this revelation from the Wikileaks Sony Email archive sheds some light on the matter: "The MPAA will be actively participating and working with the ICANN steering committee and the US government to make the LA meeting a meaningful event".

https://wikileaks.org/sony/ema...

There are 36 other references to ICANN in the Sony emails which makes for a fascinating glimpse on how a media giant sees and treats the organization.

+ - 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 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 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 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 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?"

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer

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