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Submission + - Feds target instructors of polygraph-beating methods (

schwit1 writes: Federal agents have launched a criminal investigation of instructors who claim they can teach job applicants how to pass lie detector tests as part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on security violators and leakers.

The criminal inquiry, which hasn’t been acknowledged publicly, is aimed at discouraging criminals and spies from infiltrating the U.S. government by using the polygraph-beating techniques, which are said to include controlled breathing, muscle tensing, tongue biting and mental arithmetic.

So far, authorities have targeted at least two instructors, one of whom has pleaded guilty to federal charges, several people familiar with the investigation told McClatchy. Investigators confiscated business records from the two men, which included the names of as many as 5,000 people who’d sought polygraph-beating advice. U.S. agencies have determined that at least 20 of them applied for government and federal contracting jobs, and at least half of that group was hired, including by the National Security Agency.

By attempting to prosecute the instructors, federal officials are adopting a controversial legal stance that sharing such information should be treated as a crime and isn’t protected under the First Amendment in some circumstances.


Submission + - Chips Capable of Mining Bitcoins 50 Times Faster Unveiled ( 2

hypnosec writes: A digital media student and head of BitSynCom LLC, Yifu Guo has invented a Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) capable of mining Bitcoins 50 times faster than currently available computer systems and offers an impressive price-to-performance ratio and consumes a lot less power as compared to GPU-based system available today. According to tests carried out by the Bitcoin Foundation, the Avalon V1 churned out “89 gigahashes of raw crypto-juice every second" which is equivalent to that 250 Radion HD 5850 graphic cards each consuming 200 watts of power. The Avalon V1 managed to pull this off by consuming only 600 watts of power. Given the capability of the Avalon V1, it will provide its users anywhere between $200 to $300 worth of Bicoins every day.

Submission + - Valve sued in Germany over game ownership (

An anonymous reader writes: The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) has sued computer game distributor Valve because it prohibits Steam-gamers from reselling their games.

Steam users own the games they purchase and should be able to resell them when they want to, just like owners of traditional card or board games can, said Carola Elbrecht, project manager for consumer rights in the digital world at the VZVB, on Thursday. But while those traditional game owners can resell their games whenever they like, Steam users often cannot, she said.


Submission + - How Do You Spot a Genius? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Ingrid Wickelgren writes in Scientific American that people have long-equated genius with intelligence, but it is more aptly characterized by creative productivity which depends on a combination of genetics, opportunity and effort. "Nobody can be called out for outstanding contributions to a field without a lot of hard work, but progress is faster if you are born with the right skills. Personality also plays a role. If you are very open to new experiences and if you have psychopathic traits (yes, as in those shared by serial killers) such as being aggressive and emotionally tough, you are more likely to be considered a genius." True creativity and genius depends on an unfiltered view of the world, one that is unconstrained by preconceptions and more open to novelty writes Wickelgren. "In particular, a less conceptual and more literal way of thinking, one more typical of people with autism, can open the mind up to seeing details that most people miss." Our schools devote few resources on nurturing nascent genius concludes Wickelgren, because they are focused on helping those students most likely to be left behind. "We need to train teachers to spot giftedness, which may take a variety of forms and often needs to be accompanied by creativity, drive and passion. Offering a greater variety of enrichment activities to children will cause many more hidden talents to surface. And accelerated classes and psychological coaching are essential for nurturing talent as early and vigorously as possible.""

Submission + - What You Eat Affects Your Genes (

purkinje writes: Tiny bits of genetic material, called microRNAs, can make their way from the food you eat into your blood stream, and change how your genes are expressed, according to a new study. A team of Chinese scientists found tiny bits of white rice microRNA floating around in people's blood after a meal. When they looked at what was happening on a cellular level, they found that the microRNAs were changing gene expression, decreasing levels of a receptor that filters out LDL (bad) cholesterol. When the scientists gave mice both rice and a chemical to block the microRNAs, their levels of that receptor returned to normal---showing that the microRNAs weren't just swimming through the blood stream, but acting on genes in the animals' cells.

NASA Sets Dates For Space Shuttle Finale 56

coondoggie writes "After some debate, NASA today said it has set the final two launch dates for its venerable space shuttles: Nov. 1 for space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission, and Feb. 26, 2011, for the liftoff of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission. NASA said the dates needed to be adjusted because critical payload hardware for STS-133 will not be ready in time to support the planned Sept. 16 launch."

PA School Spied On Students Via School-Issued Laptop Webcams 941

jargon82 writes "A Pennsylvania high school is using laptops they issued to students to spy on them in homes and outside of school. According to a class action filling the webcams and microphones in these laptops could be remotely activated by school officials, and have been used in this role. One student was accused of 'improper behavior in his home' and the school provided a photo taken via his laptop as proof."

Submission + - New Graphical Representation of the Periodic Table (

KentuckyFC writes: The great power of Mendeleev's periodic table was that it allowed him to predict the properties of undiscovered elements. But can this arrangement be improved? Two new representations of the periodic table attempt to do just that. The first uses a new graphical representation that shows the relative sizes of atoms as well as their groups and periods. The other uses the same kind of group theoretical approach that particle physicists developed to classify particles by their symmetries (abstract). That helped particle physicists predict the existence of new particles but may have limited utility for chemists who seem to have discovered (or predicted) all the elements they need already.

Submission + - Judge OKs sale of second hand software (

An anonymous reader writes: autodesk tried to shut down a guy who was selling used autocad software on ebay. vernor, the seller, argued that he wasn't breaking any laws since he wasn't making illegal copies of the software. autodesk argued that it doesn't "sell" software, only licenses it, so no one has the right to resell it. the judge sided with vernor, saying that no matter what autodesk calls it, it's selling the software. vernor had said that if the judge ruled the other way, people might not be able to sell used books or CDs. the case could go to appeal.

Submission + - Root any Android device with one click (

cyanogen writes: Root your android phone in less than 30 seconds. (Previous methods could take more than an hour). Most phones can be done with one click, some phones require downloading an additional recovery.img to the SD card, typing the path to it + one click. This exploit will be patched VERY quickly — so it is important to act fast. This exploit is already patched in most custom ROMs, but an OTA update has not been released.
The Internet

Movable Clouds Migrate To Chase Tax Breaks 151

1sockchuck writes "State legislators have been offering huge tax incentives to attract data center projects from cloud-builders. But what happens if the political climate changes and the tax break disappears? If you're Microsoft, you can just take your cloud and move it someplace else. The infrastructure for the Windows Azure platform is being migrated out of a facility in central Washington after the state ruled that data centers no longer qualify for a tax exemption on equipment. Mike Manos, a key player in site selection for many major data centers, predicts that future cloud platforms will move often to chase lower taxes or cheaper power."

Contributing To a Project With a Reclusive Maintainer? 162

zerointeger writes "I am still fairly new to programming in C, but I was asked to extend an open source authentication module by my employer. The project is complete, testing has been done and it works as designed. The extension/patch I have created is fairly robust, as it includes configuration options, help files, and several additional files. The problem is that I have been unable to make contact with the current maintainer about having this feature added. I think the only reason I'd like to see this included is to prevent any patching of later revisions. A few others I have spoken with agree that the patch would benefit administrators attempting to push Linux onto the desktop, as we have done at the University that employs me. Has anyone else submitted patches/extensions to what seems to be a black hole?"

Canadians Find Traffic Shaping "Reasonable" 291

gehrehmee writes "A recent Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll on ISPs' use of traffic shaping suggests that 60% of survey respondents find the practice reasonable as long as customers are treated fairly, while 22% believe Internet management is unreasonable regardless. The major Canadian Internet and phone service provider Rogers, meanwhile, compared 'person-to-person file-sharing to a car that parks in one lane of a busy highway at all times of the day or night, clogging the roadways for everyone unless someone takes action.' Is there a lack of education about the long-term effects of traffic shaping on free communication? Or are net neutrality advocates just out of touch?" The poll found that only 20% of respondents had ever heard of traffic shaping. The article is unclear on whether the "60%" who found the practice "reasonable" are 60% of all respondents — most of whom don't know what they are talking about — or 60% of the minority who know. If the former, then the exact phrasing of the question is the overwhelming determinant of the response. At the CTRC hearings, which wrapped up today, Bell Canada executives revealed that the company "slows certain types of downloads [P2P] to as little as 1.5 to 3 per cent of their advertised speed during 9-1/2 hours of the day."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA Moves to Keep Revenue Info Secret ( 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In the Boston, Massachusetts, case, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Court had ordered the RIAA to produce certain revenue information, which would be relevant to a determination of the 'fair use' defense. The RIAA has now moved for a protective order to keep the information 'confidential'. In the opinion of the undersigned, the fact that the motion is made jointly by four competitors shows that any claim the information is valuable or 'proprietary' would be unfounded, and the sole purpose for making the motion is to keep the information out of the hands of lawyers for other defendants, thus increasing the defense costs in other cases."

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.