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Submission + - The Lone Gunmen are not dead (

He Who Has No Name writes: It may have been one of Slashdot's most memorable front-page gaffes, but apparently there's no harm and no foul — because the Lone Gunmen are set to ride again in the X-Files return. reports, "The Lone Gunmen, the X-Files' trio of conspiracy theorists, are set to appear in Fox’s six-episode event. The three characters were played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood. Haglund, who played the gunman “Ringo,” confirmed his and his compatriots’ return on Twitter today." We'll see how see how series creator Chris Carter handles their apparently greatly-exaggerated demise, and whether the explanation used in the print comics comes into play.

Submission + - New rice variety could feed the planet without warming it (

sciencehabit writes: A new type of genetically modified (GM) rice might significantly lessen the impact of agriculture on the climate. The plant, equipped with DNA from barley, emits as little as 1% of the methane—a powerful greenhouse gas—of a conventional variety, while also producing more rice. Experts say the approach has great potential for boosting food sustainability, but requires more research to check whether the new rice performs well in paddies and fields.

Submission + - Skype Translate has a filthy mouth

An anonymous reader writes: Skype Translate was supposed to be Microsoft's attempt at the "Star Trek" universal translator, offering real-time voice and text translation. It launched with one of the most challenging of languages, Chinese. And apparently, thanks to the Great Firewall, it has its problems. An American expat using it in China said 'It's nice to talk to you' was translated as 'It's f*cking nice to f*ck you,' and other synthesized profanity.

Submission + - Belgian government phishing test goes off-track

alphadogg writes: An IT security drill went off the tracks in Belgium, prompting a regional government office to apologize to European high-speed train operator Thalys for involving it without warning. Belgium’s Flemish regional government sent a mock phishing email to about 20,000 of its employees to see how they would react. Hilarity and awkwardness ensued, with some employees contacting Thalys directly to complain, and others contacting the cops...

Submission + - Giving Doctors Grades Has Backfired writes: Beginning in the early 1990s a quality-improvement program began in New York State and has since spread to many other states where report cards were issued to improve cardiac surgery by tracking surgical outcomes, sharing the results with hospitals and the public, and when necessary, placing surgeons or surgical programs on probation. But Sandeep Jauhar writes in the NYT that the report cards have backfired. "They often penalized surgeons, like the senior surgeon at my hospital, who were aggressive about treating very sick patients and thus incurred higher mortality rates," says Jauhar. "When the statistics were publicized, some talented surgeons with higher-than-expected mortality statistics lost their operating privileges, while others, whose risk aversion had earned them lower-than-predicted rates, used the report cards to promote their services in advertisements."

Surveys of cardiac surgeons in The New England Journal of Medicine have confirmed that reports like the Consumer Guide to Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery have limited credibility among cardiovascular specialists, little influence on referral recommendations and may introduce a barrier to care for severely ill patients. According to Jauhar, there is little evidence that the public — as opposed to state agencies and hospitals — pays much attention to surgical report cards anyway. A recent survey found that only 6 percent of patients used such information in making medical decisions. "Surgical report cards are a classic example of how a well-meaning program in medicine can have unintended consequences," concludes Jauhar. "It would appear that doctors, not patients, are the ones focused on doctors’ grades — and their focus is distorted and blurry at best."

Submission + - Chef Engineer Resigns Over Death Threats (

kodiaktau writes: Seth Vargo, a release engineer for Chef, has resigned due to, "numerous abusive emails and two death threats”.

From the article:

According to Noah Kantrowitz, a former Chef colleague and a recent critic of how the company has been managing its open source community, Vargo’s work on the Chef-centric workflow management tool Berkshelf caused some commotion among certain Chef tool users who advocated using a different workflow method; these people supposedly felt that Berkshelf had somehow affected their daily work habits and routines and their frustrations drove them to react harshly. Vargo apparently “ended up at the center of this storm of disagreements.”

Is this another example of how anonymous behavior on the interwebs has gone too far?

Submission + - 'Unparticles' May Hold The Key To Superconductivity, Say Physicists

KentuckyFC writes: One curious property of massless particles like photons is that their energy or momentum can take any value across many orders of magnitude, a property that physicists call scale invariance. By contrast, massive particles like electrons always have the same mass regardless of their energy or momentum. So massive particles are not scale invariant. The concept of unparticles is the idea that some “stuff” may have mass, energy and momentum and yet also be scale invariant. This stuff must be profoundly different from ordinary particles, hence the name: unparticles. Nobody has ever seen an unparticle but now physicists are suggesting that unparticles may hold the key to understanding unconventional superconductivity. Their thinking is that at very low temperatures, ordinary particles can sometimes behave like unparticles. In other words, their properties become independent of the scale at which they're observed. So if an unparticle moves without resistance on a tiny scale, then it must also move without resistance at every scale, hence the phenomenon of superconductivity. That could provide some important insights into unconventional superconductivity which has puzzled physicists since it was discovered in the 1980s.

Submission + - Red Hat CEO: Open Source Goes Mainstream In 2014

ashshy writes: Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst likes to post "state of the union" addresses at the end of every year. Last December, he said that open source innovation is going mainstream in 2014. In an interview with The Motley Fool, Whitehurst matches up his expectations against mid-year progress. Spoiler alert: It's mostly good news.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: China Cracks Down on Messaging Apps - Wall Street Journal (

Wall Street Journal

China Cracks Down on Messaging Apps
Wall Street Journal
China issued new restrictions on public accounts on messaging apps such as WeChat and Laiwang. Reuters. China issued new restrictions on messaging apps Thursday in a move it said was to "help build a clean cyberspace" and safeguard national...
China intensifies crackdown on social media with curbs on instant messagingThe Guardian
China tightens control over instant messaging servicesBusiness Standard
China aims to rein in mobile messaging apps with new regulationsPCWorld Business
all 132 news articles

Submission + - Epic Precursor to Turla APT Campaign Uncovered (

msm1267 writes: The Turla APT campaign has baffled researchers for months as to how its victims are compromised. Peaking during the first two months of the year, Turla has targeted municipal governments, embassies, militaries and other high-value targets worldwide, with particular concentrations in the Middle East and Europe.

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab, however, today announced they have discovered a precursor to Turla called Epic that uses a cocktail of zero-days and off-the-shelf exploits against previously unknown and patched vulnerabilities to compromise victims. Epic is the first of a multistage attack that hits victims via spear-phishing campaigns, social engineering scams, or watering hole attacks against websites of interest to the victims.

Epic shares code snippets with Turla and similar encryption used to confound researchers, suggesting a link between the two campaigns; either the attackers are cooperating or are the same group, Kaspersky researchers said.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google Says Website Encryption – Or Lack Thereof – Will Now Influenc (


Google Says Website Encryption – Or Lack Thereof – Will Now Influence Search ...
Google will begin using website encryption, or HTTPS, as a ranking signal – a move which should prompt website developers who have dragged their heels on increased security measures, or who debated whether their website was “important” enough to...
Google to reward websites that protect users' data with better search rankingBangor Daily News
Google lowers search ranking of websites that don't use encryptionComputerworld
Google Starts Giving A Ranking Boost To Secure HTTPS/SSL SitesSearch Engine Land

all 61 news articles

Submission + - SnapPi Camera (

kodiaktau writes: Digital Trends reports on a new Raspberry Pi camera kit that is based on open-source prototype created by Gregory Holloway, a DIY tutorial can be found here.. He is planning to release the kit as a Kickstarter campaign. Four kits will be offered, each with a Pi Model A, camera, body, battery and charger and one of four combinations of lenses and possible LCD viewers. No mention of where lenses are being made, or how to source them.

Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Submission + - Hardkernel Releases Raspberry Pi Compatible ODROID-W (

kodiaktau writes: Hardkernel released a new Raspberry Pi compatible board based on the Samsung Exynos SoC. The board is smaller than a typical Pi, keeping basic HDMI, USB and CSI interfaces. It also has 26 pin expansion board with more GPIO available, however it lacks an Ethernet jack. Initial prices as estimated around $30.

Interesting to note that the author calls out that the Pi Foundation is likely to run into similar name retention problems as Arduino has had as competitors call their boards "Pi Compatible".

Video overview on YouTube can be found here.

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