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+ - Chimpanzees Develop A Grass-in-ear Fashion Trend

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Just in time for this year's primate-starring film event, the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, comes news from Zambia that also chimpanzees seem to form fashion trends. The behaviour appears to be "non-adaptive", i.e., motivated by frivolous rather than functional reasons. Dutch primate specialist Edwin van Leeuwen describes it as "quite unique". He first spotted the trend-setting chimp in 2010 when Julie, an elderly female, repeatedly popped long pieces of grass in her ear and left it there for several hours. The quirky idea was adopted by seven other chimps in her troop, who still continue to do it after her death. This may be the first fashion trend documented in the animal world, according to the study published recently in science journal Animal Cognition."

+ - Citing "Terrorism," Illinois spent $250k on Stingray to fight regular crime

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "New documents released on MuckRock show the Illinois State Police crying "Terrorist" in order to get funding and approval for a $250,000 Stingray cell snooping system, even though, as Mike Masnick at Techdirt notes, the technology is being used to fight regular crime. The ToS on the device actually prevent officers from seeking a warrant to use it, because doing so would disclose the device's use to the courts. MuckRock currently has a crowdfunding campaign to fund similar requests across the country."

+ - NIgerian born UK TV repairman sentenced 16 months prison for 91% reuse-> 1

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste", including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% working and repaired product. The study, covered in Slashdot last February, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the UK tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But 5 separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the UK judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. http://retroworks.blogspot.com... But what do Nerds at Slashdot think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?"

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+ - Yale University Scientists successfully grow full head of hair on bald man

Submitted by realized
realized (2472730) writes "The patient had previously been diagnosed with both alopecia universalis, a disease that results in loss of all body hair, and plaque psoriasis, a condition characterized by scaly red areas of skin. The only hair on his body was within the psoriasis plaques on his head. He was referred to Yale Dermatology for treatment of the psoriasis. The alopecia universalis had never been treated.

After two months on tofacitinib at 10 mg daily, the patient’s psoriasis showed some improvement, and the man had grown scalp and facial hair — the first hair he’d grown there in seven years. After three more months of therapy at 15 mg daily, the patient had completely regrown scalp hair and also had clearly visible eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair, as well as armpit and other hair, the doctors said."

+ - Google confirms indie musicians must join streaming service or be removed

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "In a statement to the Financial Times and reported by the BBC, Google has confirmed that it will remove the music videos of independent artists unless they sign up to its upcoming subscription music service. Many independent musicians and labels have refused to do so, claiming that the contracts offer significantly worse deals than the likes of Spotify and Pandora, and that Google is unwilling to negotiate on the rates it offers artists. A Google spokesperson indicated that the company could start removing videos within days."

+ - The Government Can No Longer Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant 1

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The government cannot use cell phone location data as evidence in a criminal proceeding without first obtaining a warrant, an appeals court ruled today, in one of the most important privacy decisions in recent memory.
"In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy," the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled. "The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation.""

+ - Zuckerberg PAC Declares Hunting Season on Republican Voters

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""We are excited to announce that FWD.us and Hackers/Founders are joining forces to host the 'DEBUG DC' Growthathon on June 21st & June 22nd," reads the blog over at FWD.us [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's PAC]. "This is a unique opportunity to push the envelope in online advocacy for immigration reform." The blog entry explains, "The machine of government is wedged, and is in desperate need of debugging. How do we DEBUG DC? Step One: Target critical legislative districts. Step Two: Data mine these districts to find registered voters who are registered Republicans who we think are likely to support immigration reform. Step Three: Growth hack ways to motivate these people to effectively engage their legislators to tell them they want them to call for a vote on immigration reform. Step Four: Measure results. Step Five: Iterate." The Eventbrite invitation for the event includes a call for Data Scientists who are "pissed off about immigration and want to fix it," are "well versed in statistics and data analysis," and can "infer voter sentiment from sparse data." "To keep things interesting," the invite explains, "we've lined up a few really cool prizes," i.e., one hour meetings with VC Vinod Khosla, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, and Dan'l Lewin, Microsoft's Corporate VP of Technology and Civic Engagement (Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith are all FWD.us supporters). So, with speculation that Mark Zuckerberg was the kiss of death for [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor, who went down to defeat in spectacular fashion in Tuesday's primary, could the planned data mining of Republican voters backfire and put off politicians?"

+ - Investigation into the recent failed Proton launch has completed->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The May 16 crash of the Proton space rocket was due to a failed bearing in the steering engine’s turbo pump, the chief of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Oleg Ostapenko, told ITAR-TASS. “The final version agrees with the preliminary findings made at the first stage of the inter-departmental probe. Telemetry and analytical information indicate that apparently a bearing in the turbo pump failed."
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+ - Introducing the newest tactic for governments to raise cash-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Each of the 50 states has its own regulations pertaining to the seizure of dormant bank accounts. Georgia’s Disposition of Unclaimed Properties Act sets the threshold as low as one year. In other words, if you have a checking account in Georgia that you haven’t touched in twelve months, the state government is going to grab it.

So much for setting aside money for a rainy day and having the discipline to never touch it. If you’ve locked away money for your children’s savings or unforeseen emergencies, your government might be sharpening its knives ready to dig in.

First, it calls into question the fundamental principle of private property. How can something be yours if the state can legislate its authority to seize it? And even if the account holder has long since passed, shouldn’t the funds, by default, be awarded to the survivors nominated in accordance with the instructions in his/her last will and testament? It is a rather ignoble act indeed to set aside the wishes of the dead so that the state can have yet another resource to plunder. More concerning, though, is that if the state can simply legislate its authority to seize dormant bank accounts, then they can just as easily lower the bar.

It’s just another example of how the entire system is rigged against the individual and all the more reason to divorce oneself from it. Physical gold, anyone?"

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+ - America 'Has Become A War Zone'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Eight different law enforcement agencies in Indiana have purchased massive Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPS) that were formerly used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mark Alesia reports for the Indy Star.

Pulaski County, home to 13,124 people, is one of the counties that have purchased an 55,000 pound, six-wheeled patrol vehicles, from military surplus. When asked to justify the purchase of a former military vehicle, Pulaski County Sheriff Michael Gayer told the Indy Star:

"The United States of America has become a war zone."

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+ - Sacked Google Worker Awarded $150,000 for Unfair Dismissal

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "When it comes to evaluating employee performance, perhaps Google isn't really that different from Microsoft after all. While Microsoft used stack ranking to kill employee morale, Google turned to bell curves that were "fine-tuned" by management to do their dirty HR work, according to Irish court documents. "Google, like other enlightened corporations," explains Valleywag, "makes its workers routinely rank each other and forces the scores to match a bell curve. The employees who are placed at the wrong end of the bell curve risk termination. That's stressful enough-now imagine your CEO personally meddling." The Irish Times reports former Google manager Rachel Berthold, who just won her suit against the company for unfair dismissal in 2011 and will receive around $150,000 in a court-mandated settlement, told her counsel that she was present when the ranking of a staff member was reduced electronically by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. "It came from him," she said. "I saw it with my own eyes." She said Mr Schmidt could not have known anything about the employee. So, ask not for whom the fudged bell curve tolls, Googlers, it tolls for thee!"

+ - U.S. Marshals Seize police stingray records to Keep Them From the ACLU.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them.

“This is consistent with what we’ve seen around the country with federal agencies trying to meddle with public requests for stingray information,” Wessler said, noting that federal authorities have in other cases invoked the Homeland Security Act to prevent the release of such records. “The feds are working very hard to block any release of this information to the public.”

“We’ve seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about stingrays secret, but we’ve never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view,” the ACLU wrote in a blog post today."

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+ - New National Database will house all your personal and financial information ->

Submitted by Bodhammer
Bodhammer (559311) writes "The Washington Examiner is reporting that the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are building a massive database to hold all of Americans mortgage and financial information.

"But under the April register notice, the database expansion means it will include a host of data points, including a mortgage owner’s name, address, Social Security number, all credit card and other loan information and account balances.
The database will also encompass a mortgage holder’s entire credit history, including delinquent payments, late payments, minimum payments, high account balances and credit scores, according to the notice.
The two agencies will also assemble “household demographic data,” including racial and ethnic data, gender, marital status, religion, education, employment history, military status, household composition, the number of wage earners and a family’s total wealth and assets."


What could go wrong? They have done so well with Heathcare.gov..."

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The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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