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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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+ - On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA familial searching->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Investigators last year turned to a controversial technique known as familial searching, which seeks to identify the last name of potential suspects through a DNA analysis focusing on the Y chromosome. A promising “partial match” emerged between the semen sample and the genetic profile of Usry’s father, Michael Usry Sr. — a finding that excluded the father but strongly suggested one of his relatives had a hand in the young woman’s murder. The results instantly breathed new life into a high-profile investigation in which Idaho Falls authorities have weathered intense criticism. But the story of how the police came to suspect the younger Usry and then eventually clear him of murder raises troubling questions about civil liberties amid the explosive — and increasingly commercial — growth of DNA testing. The elder Usry, who lives outside Jackson, Mississippi, said his DNA entered the equation through a project, sponsored years ago by the Mormon church, in which members gave DNA samples to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, a nonprofit whose forensic assets have been acquired by Ancestry.com, the world’s largest for-profit genealogy company."
Link to Original Source

+ - 7 Timeless Lessons Of Programming 'Graybeards'

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The software industry venerates the young — sometimes to its own detriment. There are just some things you can experiences come only after many lost weeks of frustration borne of weird and inexplicable bugs. InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers up several hard-earned lessons of seasoned programmers that are often overlooked when chasing after the latest, trendiest architectures, frameworks, and stacks. 'In the spirit of sharing or to simply wag a wise finger at the young folks once again, here are several lessons that can't be learned by jumping on the latest hype train for a few weeks. They are known only to geezers who need two hexadecimal digits to write their age.' What are yours?"

+ - Scientists Create Artificial Sunlight Real Enough To Trick the Brain 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Navanshu Agarwal writes that Italian scientists have developed an artificial LED sunlight system that looks just like real daylight streaming through a skylight. The LED skylight uses a thin coating of nanoparticles to recreate the effect that makes the sky blue, known as Rayleigh Scattering that doesn’t just light up a room but produces the texture and feel of sunlight. Paolo Di Trapani, one of the scientists who worked on the device believes that the skylight will allow developers of the future to not just build up, but also far down below the ground- without any of the dinginess that currently keeps us above ground.

CoeLux hopes to treat seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Each year, some 10 million Americans, mostly women, find themselves sinking into a heavy malaise during the wintertime. CoeLux hopes its LED bulbs, which create the illusion of infinitely tall, bright blue skies, will help trick the brains of people with SAD, ridding them of their blues."

+ - Harvard climate skeptic scientist has made a fortune from corporate interests->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. 'He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.' The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon's funding."
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+ - ask slashdot: How can we improve the judicial system with technology? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Technology has improved so many things in our lives. I have found myself wondering if it is not time for us to consider improvements to our judicial system. One of the cornerstones of any democracy is its judicial system. Fortunatelly, most of us never have to deal with it. On the other hand, the fact that we so seldom interact with it also means that most of us are not constantly thinking about it. It is possible our judicial system would be much better if most of us had to spend more time thinking about it.

I myself had not put much thought into it until I watched a documentary about Aaron Swartz. It is frightening to think that someone could have been left in a position like that. I also hear about so many cases were people end up pleaing guilty because they do not have enough money to fight a case in court. Is this really the best we can do? The Marshal Project is also an interesting source of information regarding the shortfalls of our current system.

What does the slashot crowd think about it? How can we improve our judicial system? Is there any interesting way that techonology could be used to improve the system?"

+ - Google: FBI's Plan to Expand Hacking Power a 'Monumental' Constitutional Threat->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Any change in accessing computer data should go through Congress, the search giant said.

The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.

The push to change an arcane federal rule "raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal, and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide," wrote Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security.

The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, generally permits judges to grant search warrants only within the bounds of their judicial district. Last year, the Justice Department petitioned a judicial advisory committee to amend the rule to allow judges to approve warrants outside their jurisdictions or in cases where authorities are unsure where a computer is located.

Google, in its comments, blasted the desired rule change as overly vague, saying the proposal could authorize remote searches on the data of millions of Americans simultaneously—particularly those who share a network or router—and cautioned it rested on shaky legal footing."

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+ - Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program->

Submitted by CryoKeen
CryoKeen (2534276) writes "The U.S. National Security
Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep
within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate,
Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the
means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's
computers, according to cyber researchers and former
operatives.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a
cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab,
the Moscow-based security software maker that has
exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries
infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the
most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan,
Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The
targets included government and military institutions,
telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies,
nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists,
Kaspersky said."

Link to Original Source

+ - Our oceans are being fed 8.8m tons of plastic annually, alarming study finds->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "According to a new study that tracked marine debris from its source, 8.8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world oceans annually. Plastic waste is a global problem and until now there wasn't a comprehensive study that highlighted how much plastic waste was making it to the oceans. Latest study by researchers over at University of Georgia claim that if all the plastic waste being dumped to oceans is accounted for, it will be equivalent of five grocery bags full of plastic debris dotting each foot of coastline around the world."
Link to Original Source

+ - The American app economy is now 'bigger than Hollywood'

Submitted by Lemeowski
Lemeowski (3017099) writes "Technology business analyst Horace Deidu found an interesting nugget while closely examining an Apple press release from earlier this year: "The iOS App Store distributed $10 billion to developers in 2014, which, Deidu points out, is just about as much as Hollywood earned off U.S. box office revenues the same year." That means the American app industry is poised to eclipse the American film industry. Additionally, Apple says its App Store has created 627,000 jobs, which Deidu contrasts with the 374,000 jobs Hollywood creates"

+ - Local Hackerspace loses solar balloon, creating another UFO in New Mexico

Submitted by bugnuts
bugnuts (94678) writes "Local Albuquerque, NM Hackerspace, Quelab, created and unintentionally launched a solar-powered tetroon over the city, prompting several calls to the FAA, Kirtland AFB, and news organizations, describing it as a "floating tortilla chip." The tetroon allows sunlight to pass through the top layer, heating the inner black layers, creating a hot-air balloon as the interior gas expands.

Besides the well-known "Roswell" incident, New Mexico often has many UFO sightings due to the prevalence of technology and military groups, good weather, and clear skies."

+ - Astronomers Caught Some of Space's Most Mysterious Radio Bursts in Real Time->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "For the first time ever, astronomers have captured an enormous radio wave burst in real time, bringing us one step closer to understanding their origins.

These fleeting eruptions, called blitzars or FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts), are truly bizarre cosmic phenomena. In the span of a millisecond, they emit as much radiation as the Sun does over a million years. But unlike other super-luminous events that span multiple wavelengths—gamma ray bursts or supernovae, for example—blitzars emit all that energy in a tiny band of the radio light spectrum.

Adding to the mystery is the rarity of blitzar sightings. Since these bursts were first discovered in 2007 with Australia’s Parkes Telescope, ten have been identified, the latest of which was the first to be imaged in real time."

Link to Original Source

+ - What Africa really needs to fight Ebola->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Laura Kahn, a physician on the research staff of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, writes that the high tech solutions being promoted to help fight Ebola in Africa will make no difference. What Africa really needs is anti-corruption efforts, now. 'A case in point is Liberia, which has received billions of dollars in international aid for over a decade, with little to show for it. The country ranks near the bottom of the United Nation’s Human Development Index and near the bottom of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer. And while international aid groups and non-governmental organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Medical Corps provide important humanitarian assistance and medical care, they also inadvertently absolve African political leaders from developing medical and public health infrastructures.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Releases More Windows Bugs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Just days after Google angered Microsoft by releasing information about a Windows security flaw, they've now released two more. "The more serious of the two allows an attacker to impersonate an authorized user, and then decrypt or encrypt data on a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 device. Google reported that bug to Microsoft on Oct. 17, 2014, and made some background information and a proof-of-concept exploit public on Thursday. Project Zero is composed of several Google security engineers who investigate not only the company's own software, but that of other vendors as well. After reporting a flaw, Project Zero starts a 90-day clock, then automatically publicly posts details and sample attack code if the bug has not been patched." Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited."
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