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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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+ - FDA finds herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart don't contain what they claim

Submitted by MikeChino
MikeChino (1640221) writes "The New York State Attorney General's Office is demanding that GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target remove store brand herbal supplements from their shelves after the pills were found to be packed with a strange array of fraudulent—and in some cases hazardous—ingredients. Popular supplements such as ginseng, valerian root, and St. John's wort sold under store brand names at the four major retailers were found to contain powdered rice, asparagus, and even houseplants, while being completely void of any of the ingredients on the label."

+ - Telomere-Lengthening Procedure Turns Clock Back Years in Human Cells-> 2

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new procedure to increase the length of human telomeres. This increases the number of times cells are able to divide, essentially making the cells many years younger. This not only has useful applications for laboratory work, but may point the way to treating various age-related disorders – or even muscular dystrophy."
Link to Original Source

+ - The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics is a free PDF download->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you wanted to pinpoint the beginning of the PC era, you could do worse than to declare that it began when the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine came out. It cover-featured the MITS Altair 8800, the first successful PC, and inspired Paul Allen and Bill Gates to found "Micro-Soft." I wrote about the issue, which is now available for free in PDF form (along with every other issue of Popular Electronics)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Plan C: The Cold War plan which would have brought the US under martial law->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under marshal law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to "subversive" organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack.

There was no Plan A or B."

Link to Original Source

+ - Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites for Spaceship Two

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "Virgin Galactic, following an aggressive schedule to build a replacement for the Spaceship Two which crashed in October, is doing so without partner Scaled Composites, according to the Los Angeles Times. Kevin Mickey, the president of Scaled Composites, confirmed this week that his company would no longer be involved in testing. He said Scaled would still work as a consultant to Virgin Galactic."

+ - How IT executives think about surviving the first few months on the job

Submitted by Lemeowski
Lemeowski (3017099) writes "It's not uncommon for IT leaders to inherit a hot mess when they take over a new role in an IT department. Politics, governance gates, and chaos can contribute to a sense of futility when an IT department is in the midst of a transition, writes Pearson CTO Sven Gerjets. When this happens, there are a few approaches that newcomers can take to pull their IT departments out of an IT tornado. Gerjets outlines some of the best moves new IT leaders can take when their IT organization is facing a lot of crises: "Discipline and clarity are where it all begins, two ingredients you’ll notice are entirely missing from tornadoes.""

+ - Psychiatrists say non-conformity is a mental illness->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Modern psychiatry has become a hotbed of corruption, particularly the kind that seeks to demonize and declare mentally ill anyone who deviates from what is regarded as the norm. This is abundantly evident in the latest installment of the industry's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, which dubs people who do not conform to what those in charge declare to be normal as mentally insane."
Link to Original Source

+ - Interior of burnt Herculaneum scroll read for first time 1

Submitted by Solandri
Solandri (704621) writes "When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it destroyed a library of classical works in Herculaneum. The papyrus scrolls weren't incinerated, but were instead carbonized by the hot gases. The resulting black carbon cylinders have mostly withstood attempts to read their contents since their discovery. Earlier attempts to unfurl the scrolls yielded some readable material, but were judged too destructive. Researchers decided to wait for newer technology to be invented that could read the scrolls without unrolling them.

Now, a team led by Dr Vito Mocella from the National Research Council's Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM) in Naples, Italy has managed to read individual letters inside one of the scrolls. Using a form of x-ray phase contrast tomography, they were able to ascertain the height difference (about 0.1mm) between the ink of the letters and the papyrus fibers which they sat upon. Due to the fibrous nature of the papyrus and the carbon-based ink, regular spectral and chemical analysis had thus far been unable to distinguish the ink from the paper. Further complicating the work, the scrolls are not in neat cylinders, but squashed and ruffled as the hot gases vaporized water in the papyrus and distorted the paper.

Full paper in Nature Communications (paywalled)."

+ - Parents Investigated for Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The WaPo reports that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv in Montgomery County Maryland say they are being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. “We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” says Danielle. The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of “helicopter” parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world. “The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” says Danielle. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

On December.20, Alexander agreed to let the children walk from Woodside Park to their home, a mile south, in an area the family says the children know well. Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them. Alexander said he had a tense time with police when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world. The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services which showed up a couple of hours later. Although Child Protective Services could not address this specific case they did point to Maryland law, which defines child neglect as failure to provide proper care and supervision of a child. “I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” says Alexander. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”"

+ - Tesla vs. Car Dealers: The lobbyist went down to Georgia->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) newspaper's Jim Galloway has an update on the behind-the-scenes battles over who can sell you a new car:

"Traditional car dealers are in the midst of a legal fight to push Tesla, the fledgling California electric car company, out of Georgia. Never mind that metro Atlanta is one of the hottest markets for electric vehicles in the nation. Signs point to a parallel battle in the General Assembly. Last week, the National Automobile Dealers Association began trolling for sympathetic lawmakers. While Georgia dealers say they have “no plans” to revisit an anti-Tesla bill that failed last year, Tesla is preparing a defense. It has already hired one of the top lobbying firms in Atlanta."

The Georgia Automobile Dealers Association wields considerable influence in the state Capitol; the AJC determined that the Georgia Auto Dealers Association (GADA) had made over $600,000 in recent campaign contributions to state lawmakers. Despite those contributions, a bill to boot Tesla from Georgia mysteriously died during last year's legislative session. While no legislator would claim credit for killing the bill, Galloway noted that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who presides over the Senate, drives a Nissan Leaf.

Utility company Georgia Power has invested significantly in charging stations for electric vehicles. The word at Tesla headquarters in California is that Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers drives a Tesla. Georgia Power Spokesman Jacob Hawkins wouldn’t confirm that, but said "if you come to our parking deck, you’ll see a variety of EVs. All models."

Article: http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientific team sounds the alarm on sugar as a source of disease->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Is sugar making us sick? A team of scientists at the University of California in San Francisco believes so, and they're doing something about it. They launched an initiative to bring information on food and drink and added sugar to the public by reviewing more than 8,000 scientific papers that show a strong link between the consumption of added sugar and chronic diseases.

The common belief until now was that sugar just makes us fat, but it's become clear through research that it's making us sick. For example, there's the rise in fatty-liver disease, the emergence of Type 2 diabetes as an epidemic in children and the dramatic increase in metabolic"

Link to Original Source

+ - Investigation IDs Crew of 6 Behind Hack of Sony, Including Former Employee->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "Alternative theories of who is responsible for the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment have come fast and furious (http://it.slashdot.org/story/14/12/24/1757224/did-north-korea-really-attack-sony)in recent weeks- especially since the FBI pointed a finger at the government of North Korea last week. (http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/12/18/0249222/us-links-north-korea-to-sony-hacking) But Norse Security is taking the debate up a notch: saying that they have conclusive evidence pointing to group of disgruntled former employees as the source of the attack and data theft.

The Security Ledger quotes Norse Vice President Kurt Stammberger saying that Norse has identified a group of six individuals — in the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Thailand — that it believes carried out the attack, including at least one 10 year employee of SPE who worked in a technical capacity before being laid off in May.(https://securityledger.com/2014/12/new-clues-in-sony-hack-point-to-insiders-away-from-dprk/)

Rather than starting from the premise that the Sony hack was a state sponsored attack, Norse researchers worked their investigation like any other criminal matter: starting by looking for individuals with the "means and motive" to do the attack. HR files leaked in the hack provided the motive part: a massive restructuring in Spring, 2014, in which many longtime SPE employees were laid off.

After researching the online footprint of a list of all the individuals who were fired and had the means to be able to access sensitive data on Sony's network, Norse said it identified a handful who expressed anger in social media posts following their firing. They included one former employee — a 10 year SPE veteran who he described as having a “very technical background.” Researchers from the company followed that individual online, noting participation in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) forums where they observed communications with other individuals affiliated with underground hacking and hacktivist groups in Europe and Asia.

According to Stammberger, the Norse investigation was eventually able to connect an individual directly involved in conversations with the Sony employee with a server on which the earliest known version of the malware used in the attack was compiled, in July, 2014.

While Stammberger admits that some clues in the investigation seemed to point to attackers in one of the Koreas, he says those paths all turned into dead ends, and that Norse investigators found no convincing evidence of North Korean involvement in the incident.

According to Stammberger, the company is briefing the FBI on its investigation on Monday. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in that room!"

Link to Original Source

+ - School Defied Google and US Government, Let Boys Program White House Xmas Trees

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "This holiday season, Google and the National Parks partnered to let girls program the White House Christmas tree lights. While the initiative earned kudos in Fast Company's 9 Giant Leaps For Women In Science and Technology In 2014, it also prompted an act of civil disobedience of sorts from St. Augustine of Canterbury School, which decided Google and the U.S. government wouldn't determine which of their kids would be allowed to participate in the coding event. "We decided to open it up to all our students, both boys and girls so that they could be a part of such an historic event, and have it be the kickoff to our Hour of Code week," explained Debra Knox, a technology teacher at St. Augustine."

+ - Chaos Computer Club Claims It Can Reproduce Fingerprints From People's Photos 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Chaos Computer Club, Europe’s largest association of hackers, claims it can reproduce your fingerprints from a couple of photos that show your fingers. At the 31st annual Chaos Computer Club convention in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Krissler, also known by his alias "Starbug," explained how he copied the thumbprint of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Because these fingerprints can be used for biometric authentication, Starbug believes that after his talk, "politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public.""

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