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Submission + - Portable Router That Conceals Internet Traffic Revealed at Def Con

An anonymous reader writes: Ryan Lackey of CloudFlare and Marc Rogers of Lookout revealed a new OPSEC device at Def Con called PORTAL (Personal Onion Router to Assure Liberty). It "provides always-on Tor routing, as well as 'pluggable' transport for Tor that can hide the service's traffic signature from some deep packet inspection systems." In essence, PORTAL is a travel router that the user simply plugs into their existing device for more than basic Tor protection (counterpoint to PogoPlug Safeplug and Onion Pi). On the down side, you have to download PORTAL from Github and flash it "onto a TP-Link compatible packet router." The guys behind the device acknowledge that not many people may want to (or even know how to) do that, so they're asking everyone to standby because a solution is pending.

Submission + - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

brindafella writes: Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases.

Submission + - Origin of mummies pushed back 1500 years (

sciencehabit writes: New evidence pushes back the origin of mummification in ancient Egypt by 1500 years. The scientists examined funeral wrappings excavated from pit graves in the earliest recorded cemeteries, dating to between 4500 and 3350 B.C.E., in the Badari region in Upper Egypt. Using biochemical analysis, the team identified complex embalming agents on the linen wrappings, pictured above, made from ingredients such as pine resin, gum, aromatic plant extract, and natural petroleum. The researchers say recipes using the same ingredients in similar proportions would eventually produce the more well-known mummies at the height of the Pharaonic period, some 3000 years later.

Submission + - Warrantless Surveillance Challenged by Defendant (

mendax writes: The New York Times is reporting that a "Colorado resident charged with terrorism-related offenses challenged the constitutionality on Wednesday of a 2008 law allowing the National Security Agency to conduct a sweeping program of surveillance without warrants on American soil. The challenge — the first of its kind — could lead to a Supreme Court test of the program.

"At the same time, a Federal District Court judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials related to the national security surveillance of his client. No defense lawyer has apparently ever been allowed to see such materials since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted in 1978.

"Together, the two actions are significant developments in efforts to obtain more judicial review of the legality of surveillance conducted on domestic soil for national security purposes amid continuing fallout from leaks about N.S.A. wiretapping by Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor."

Submission + - Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK 'A Success' (

cold fjord writes: The BBC reports, "Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal. The trial ... tried to train the children's immune system to tolerate peanut. Every day they were given a peanut protein powder — starting off on a dose equivalent to a one 70th of a peanut. Once a fortnight the dose was increased while the children were in hospital and then they continued taking the higher dose at home. The majority of patients learned to tolerate the peanut. ... Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: "It really transformed their lives dramatically, this really comes across during the trial. ... Dr Pamela Ewan added ... further studies would be needed and that people should not try this on their own as this "should only be done by medical professionals in specialist settings"." The story also notes, "The findings, published in the Lancet, suggest 84% of allergic children could eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day after six months."

Submission + - Splenda/Sucralose is not a biologically inert

An anonymous reader writes: Recent research shows that Sucralose is not biologically inert as initially thought. Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds. Abstract here, There is also a popular article which may be "reaching" a bit, The article suggests enjoying food that isn't over sweetened...

Submission + - Don't overlook command line processing

An anonymous reader writes: Command-line processing is historically one of the most ignored areas in software development. Just about any relatively complicated software has dozens of available command-line options. The GNU tool gperf is a "perfect" hash function that, for a given set of user-provided strings, generates C/C++ code for a hash table, a hash function, and a lookup function. This article provides a reference for a good discussion on how to use gperf for effective command-line processing, and on command-line processing techniques in general.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Spreading the word of God in Second Life (

UnanimousCoward writes: "This article notes that Jesuits are contemplating spreading the word of God in the virtual world as they have done in the physical world. My first thought was, "yeah, right," especially on the heels of the gambling ban. My second thought was that before they were successful in the physical world, I would have also said, "yeah, right," so who knows?"

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.