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+ - Study Shows American Policy Exclusively Reflects Desires of the Rich->

Submitted by CamelTrader
CamelTrader (311519) writes "A forthcoming paper by Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin Page analyzes policy over the past 20+ years and conclude that policy makers respond exclusively to the needs of people in the 90th wealth percentile. A summary at the Washington Post by Larry Bartels:"
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+ - Do backups on Linux no longer matter?-> 5

Submitted by cogcritter
cogcritter (3614357) writes "In June of 2009, the dump/restore utilities version 0.4b42 for Linux's ext3 filesystem were released. This was the last version where incremental dumps could actually be used. A bug introduced in 0.4b43, one year later, causes restore to fail when processing an incremental backup unless, basically, no directory deletions occurred since the level 0 part of the backup set was taken.

The bug is certainly present in Debian Wheezy, and comments in Debian's defect tracking system suggest that the bug has permeated out into other distros as well.

How can Linux's backup/restore tools for its popular ext2/ext3 filesystem be broken for 3+ years, and nobody seems to care? Does nobody take backups? Or do they not use incremental backups? How many people are going to find themselves scrambling when they next NEED to restore a filesystem, and find themselves in possession of long-broken tools?

Just in case this article is where some hapless sysadmin ends up, the workaround is to go to, go to the files section, pull down the 0.4b42 version and build it for yourself. For me, I think going forward I'm going to switch to filesystem mirroring using rsync."

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+ - google won't stop caching tor darkweb content inc. child porn, identity theft -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google now insists it will not de-index or stop caching darkweb TOR p2p websites and content, even though this tor site advertises child porn, identity theft and 'murder for hire' schemes. I found my social security number, DOB and credit card number on this criminal site, but google will not stop caching it. They state only that I must somehow ask these black hat hackers, identity thieves and hitmen to just stop publishing my personal information. also is full of child porn links, also being cached by google. The darkweb is washing up like sewage and finding its way on the real internet, because google is allowing it. Here is a google product forum page that has all the links, evidence, etc:"

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+ - How Many People Does It Take to Colonize Another Star System?

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The nearest star systems—such as our nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light-years from home—are so far that reaching them would require a generational starship. Entire generations of people would be born, live, and die before the ship reached its destination. This brings up the question of how many people you need to send on a hypothetical interstellar mission to sustain sufficient genetic diversity. Now Sarah Fecht writes that anthropologist Cameron Smith has calculated how many people would be required to maintain genetic diversity and secure the success of the endeavor. William Gardner-O'Kearney helped Smith build the MATLAB simulations to calculate how many different scenarios would play out during interstellar travel and ran some simulations specially to show why the success of an interstellar mission depends crucially on the starting population size. Gardner-O'Kearny calculated each population's possible trajectory over 300 years, or 30 generations. Because there are a lot of random variables to consider, he calculated the trajectory of each population 10 times, then averaged the results.

A population of 150 people, proposed by John Moore in 2002, is not nearly high enough to maintain genetic variation. Over many generations, inbreeding leads to the loss of more than 80 percent of the original diversity found within the hypothetical gene. A population of 500 people would not be sufficient either, Smith says. "Five hundred people picked at random today from the human population would not probably represent all of human genetic diversity . . . If you're going to seed a planet for its entire future, you want to have as much genetic diversity as possible, because that diversity is your insurance policy for adaptation to new conditions." A starting population of 40,000 people maintains 100 percent of its variation, while the 10,000-person scenario stays relatively stable too. So, Smith concludes that a number between 10,000 and 40,000 is a pretty safe bet when it comes to preserving genetic variation. Luckily, tens of thousands of pioneers wouldn't have to be housed all in one starship. Spreading people out among multiple ships also spreads out the risk. Modular ships could dock together for trade and social gatherings, but travel separately so that disaster for one wouldn't spell disaster for all. "With 10,000," Smith says, "you can set off with good amount of human genetic diversity, survive even a bad disease sweep, and arrive in numbers, perhaps, and diversity sufficient to make a good go at Humanity 2.0.""

+ - Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A little-known U.S. space plane quietly broke its own space endurance record this week as its current unmanned mission surpassed 469 days in space. What it was doing up there for so long is a secret closely held by the Air Force, but Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an authority on satellites and launches, thinks it's serving a similar role as the space shuttle by carrying a science or intelligence payload. 'I believe it's testing some kind of experimental sensor for the National Reconnaissance Office; for example, a hyperspectral imager, or some new kind of signals intelligence package,' said McDowell. 'The sensor was more successful than expected, so the payload customer asked the X-37 folks to keep the spacecraft in orbit longer.'"
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+ - Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion for Rigging Card Swipe Fees

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Reuters reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc has sued Visa Inc for $5 billion, accusing the credit and debit card network of excessively high card swipe fees and is seeking damages from price fixing and other antitrust violations that it claims took place between January 1, 2004 and November 27, 2012. In its lawsuit, Wal-Mart contends that Visa, in concert with banks, sought to prevent retailers from protecting themselves against those swipe fees, eventually hurting sales. "The anticompetitive conduct of Visa and the banks forced Wal-Mart to raise retail prices paid by its customers and/or reduce retail services provided to its customers as a means of offsetting some of the artificially inflated interchange fees," says Wal-Mart in court documents. "As a result, Wal-Mart's retail sales were below what they would have been otherwise." Interchange fees, the industry term for card-swipe fees, have been a major point of contention between retailers and banks. The fees are set by Visa and other card networks and collected by card-issuing banks like J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Retailers have argued that the fees had been set too high due to a lack of competition with the two payment industry giants.

Wal-Mart also took a shot against Visa over payment card security. Data breaches last year at Target Corp., Neiman Marcus and others have drawn attention to the country's slow adoption of card technology that uses computer chips and PIN numbers and is seen as less susceptible to fraud than the current system of magnetic stripes. "Wal-Mart was further harmed by anti-innovation conduct on the part of Visa and the banks," says the lawsuit, "such as perpetuating the use of fraud-prone magnetic stripe system in the U.S. and the continued use of signature authentication despite knowledge that PIN authentication is more secure, a fact Visa has acknowledged repeatedly.""

+ - Homemade Sci-fi Movie Space Trucker Bruce = Lots of Cardboard Goodness ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It took Juneau, Alaska filmmaker Anton Doiron 6 years and around $10,000 to complete his sci-fi movie Space Trucker Bruce. All the sets for the film were built in rooms of his house using cardboard including a 35ft long hallway in his back yard. The movie took 6 years to make because all the filmmaking tasks were done by Anton. He built the sets, operated the camera, acted, edited, and completed the 105 computer animated space shots and 450 composite shots. Space Trucker Bruce is available on Vimeo and on the Space Trucker Bruce website."
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+ - Jimmy Wales rants at holistic healers petitioning Wikipedia ->

Submitted by Barence
Barence (1228440) writes "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has issued a sharp response to petitioners calling for his site to "allow for true scientific discourse" on holistic healing. The petition, currently running on the site, claims that much of the information on Wikipedia relating to holistic approaches to healing is "biased, misleading, out of date, or just plain wrong". It has attracted almost 8,000 supporters at the time of publication.

Wales's response to the petition, posted on the same page, is far from conciliatory: "No, you have to be kidding me," he writes. "Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of 'true scientific discourse'. It isn't.""

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+ - Gonorrhea Microbe Uses 'Grappling Hooks' to Pass From Person to Person->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Gonorrhea passes from person to person thanks to some clever hitchhiking. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease, shoots cables—called pili—onto proteins in the semen to tow themselves through coital liquid. The pili are normally wrapped in bundles, but when exposed to seminal fluid, they unwind into individual strands. This exposes more grappling hooks for transport, boosting the bacteria’s ability to invade by as much as 24-fold. Drugs that unhook gonorrhea’s pili may yield new antibacterials that stymie the transmission of this STD, which infects 100 million people per year."
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+ - Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested for Leaking Windows 8

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets. The former software architecture engineer is accused of leaking early Windows 8 builds to a French tech blogger with whom he was communicating inside a forum. The ex-Microsoft employee also stands accused of leaking some Windows 7 program files and also an internal system meant to protect against software piracy. Kibkalo is said to have leaked the Windows 8 code in the middle of 2012 because he was angry over a poor performance review."

+ - First Automatic Identification Of Flying Insects Allows Hi-Tech Bug Zapping

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Entomologists have never been able to identify flying insects automatically. But not through lack of trying. The obvious approach is to listen out for the frequency of the wing beat. But acoustic microphones aren't up to the job because sound intensity drops with the square of the distance, so flying insects quickly drop out of range. Now a group of researchers has solved this problem using a laser beam pointing at a photosensitive array. Any insect flying through the beam, casts a shadow of its beating wings that can easily be recorded at distances of several metres. Using this new device, the team has created a dataset of millions of wing beat recordings, more than all previous recordings put together. And they've used the dataset to train a Bayesian classifier algorithm to identify flying insects automatically for the first time. That opens the prospect of a new generation of bug zappers that kill only certain insects or just females rather than males. That could have a big impact on human health since mosquitoes and other flying insects kill millions of people each year. It could also help in agriculture where insects threaten billions of dollars worth of crops."

+ - Newsweek Bitcoin Story unravels 80 years of high editorial and ethical standards

Submitted by sumoinsanity
sumoinsanity (792816) writes "A succinct and comprehensive rebuttal has been distributed from this particular Mr Nakamoto.

How embarrassing.

Newsweek copped a lot of criticism regarding their original expose on the purported uncovering of a BitCoin founder following their two month investigation. They defended with, "Ms. Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Ms. Goodman and her article."

It is perhaps best not to link to their original stories and provide them with clicks."

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.