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+ - Is Big Pharma Testing Your Meds on Homeless People?->

Submitted by minkaz
minkaz (3697381) writes "This chilling article about pharmacuetical companies and their practice of recruiting homeless people for the purpose of clinical drug trials is at the front lines of bioethics. Some argue that this practice is perfectly ethical while most others see this as an exploitation of the our most vulnerable population."
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+ - Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pa-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from "licensing" the song). However, as we've been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song's copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise. You can read all the background, but there are a large number of problems with the copyright, including that the sisters who "wrote" the song, appear to have written neither the music, nor the lyrics. At best, they may have written a similar song called "Good Morning to All" in 1893, with the same basic melody, but there's evidence to suggest the melody itself predated the sisters. But, more importantly, the owner of the copyright (already questionable) failed to properly renew it in 1962, which would further establish that it's in the public domain"
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+ - New software drowns out NSA surveillance->

Submitted by clique4.us
clique4.us (3768297) writes "DAYTON, OHIO July 26, 2014 — A computer security researcher at Wright State University has released a new tool for communicating invisibly over the Internet. The new software, named Clique, works by organizing users into large groups where everyone is always communicating, whether or not any particular pair of users actually knows one another or has anything of significance to say. This arrangement prevents eavesdroppers from being able to determine if an intercepted message has actual meaning, or is simply one more among millions of encrypted decoys.

“Millions are frustrated concerning the assimilation of their electronic communication by intelligence agencies, yet this problem is actually within human capability of solving,” writes Marc Abel, a Ph.D. student affiliated with the project. “There is always a tradeoff between convenience and security that every user has to make. Even online freedom isn’t free. But Clique offers unprecedented freedom to drop out of the dragnet completely, even when communicating across international boundaries, provided one is ready to invest the talent and patience needed to cope with a new system.”

It’s not only Clique’s users who will need to cope with change. Clique’s communications are immune to conventional interception methods while en route, so intelligence agencies will have to revert to older, costlier means of monitoring in order to target communicants, reducing the number of citizens an agency can track. Lawmakers will also face new hurdles. “Because Clique is completely decentralized, it cannot be taken down by changes to existing law, letters from copyright trolls, or other authoritarian regimes,” Abel says. “Now established, the global Clique network will remain in operation until the plug to the very last node gets pulled out of the wall.”

Technical details about the Clique network protocol, as well as the software itself, is available online at http://clique4.us/ at no cost."

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+ - Bird flocks resemble liquid helium->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. Some of the more interesting findings: Tracking data showed that the message for a flock to turn started from a handful of birds and swept through the flock at a constant speed between 20 and 40 meters per second. That means that for a group of 400 birds, it takes just a little more than a half-second for the whole flock to turn."
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+ - The five greatest space hacks of all time

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Space missions are amazingly well-prepared affairs, every action and procedure is followed, right down to the most minute detail. But sometimes mishaps and emergencies occur. Some can be dealt with by sophisticated sensors and equipment. Some can be dealt with on Earth from Mission Control. But sometimes the only option is for an astronaut to get their hands dirty, using whatever comes to hand and a bit of DIY know-how. It’s amazing what has been grabbed, bent and improvised to save red faces – or, indeed, the lives of astronauts."

+ - What would you do with half a rack of server space?

Submitted by Christian Gainsbrugh
Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes "I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out.

Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs.

I'm curious what slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

Christian Gainsbrugh
Lead Developer
LearningCart
www.LearningCart.com"

+ - Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic, boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection. What he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed."
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+ - Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: The Good, The Ugly and The Games->

Submitted by muterobert
muterobert (2927951) writes "Paul James goes hands on with one of the first next-gen Oculus Rifts in the wild:

"After much hacking (and some kind developer linkage) I stepped into a DK2 enabled version of Technolust and lost myself utterly! The stunning attention to detail, neon on black really lets the OLED panel shine here. In fact, this experience was the closest I think I’ve ever some to presence in virtual reality thus far. Leaning in to check the myriad retro objects, gawking at the lighting and just generally being blown away by the experience. This game was fabulous on the DK1, it’s utterly compelling now.""

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+ - Congressman Mistakes U.S. Officials For Indian Ones->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "Rep. Curt Clawson, a freshman Republican congressman from Florida, mistook two senior U.S. officials for representatives of the Indian government during a House hearing on Friday.

“I am familiar with your country, I love your country,” Clawson said to Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, addressing fellow U.S. citizens who hold high-ranking positions in the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively.

After a lingering silence, Clawson smiles slowly. Kumar appears to grin, while Biswal echoes Clawson’s sentiment, informing him it should probably be directed to the Indian government. It’s unclear whether Clawson realized his error."

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+ - Recycle Bin Turns Bottles Into Food For Stray Animals

Submitted by Nemo the Magnificent
Nemo the Magnificent (2786867) writes "A Turkish company has installed kiosks around Istanbul that accept recycled bottles and in return dispense kibble for the city's stray dogs. From TFA: 'In many cities around the world stray dogs are part of city life. One such city is Istanbul, where 150 thousand stray dogs and cats share the streets with 14 million human inhabitants. A clever device by the Turkish company Pugedon aims to increase recycling while providing food and water to stray dogs and waking up our kindness and humanity. The topic of stray dogs is often polarized. Turkey, in particular, has a history of controversial "solutions" to the problem.'"

+ - Veep Joe Biden Briefs U.S. Governors on H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Back in 2012, Computerworld blasted Vice President Joe Biden for his ignorance of the H-1B temporary work visa program. But Joe's got his H-1B story and he's sticking to it, characterizing the visa program earlier this month in a speech to the National Governors Association as "apprenticeships" of sorts that companies provide to foreign workers to expand the Information Technology industry only after proving there are no qualified Americans to fill the jobs. Biden said he also learned from his talks with tech's top CEOs that 200,000 of the jobs that companies provide each year to highly-skilled H-1B visa holders could in fact be done by Americans with no more than a two-year community college degree."

+ - When Google Sells Your Data, It Might Be Illegally Killing Your Phone's Battery

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Personal information about you and your browsing, email, and app-using habits is regularly sent between apps on your Android phone, a potentially illegal practice that could be killing your battery life. A federal judge ruled that the claim, raised in a class action lawsuit against the company, "requires a heavily and inherently fact-bound inquiry."
That means that there's a good chance we're about to get a look into the ins and outs of Google's advertising backbone: what information is shared with who, and when."

+ - Deaf advocacy groups to Verizon: Don't kill net neutrality on our behalf->

Submitted by Dega704
Dega704 (1454673) writes "No company has lobbied more fiercely against network neutrality than Verizon, which filed the lawsuit that overturned the FCC's rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking and discriminating against Web content. But the absence of net neutrality rules isn't just good for Verizon—it's also good for the blind, deaf, and disabled, Verizon claims.

That's what Verizon lobbyists said in talks with congressional staffers, according to a Mother Jones report last month. "Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea," the report said. With "fast lanes," Web services—including those designed for the blind, deaf, and disabled—could be prioritized in exchange for payment.

Now, advocacy groups for deaf people have filed comments with the FCC saying they don't agree with Verizon's position."

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+ - Had there been no Higgs boson, this observation would have been the bomb->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Ever wonder what particle physicists would have done had the Higgs boson not existed? Even before they fired up the atom smasher that 2 years ago blasted out the Higgs—the $5.5 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European particle physics lab, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland—researchers said that if they didn't find that coveted quarry, it wouldn't be a total disaster. If there were no Higgs, they said, then a particular ordinary particle interaction should instead go haywire and hint at whatever nature was doing to get by without the Higgs. Now, physicists at the LHC have spotted the rare interaction in that "no-lose" theorem, which is known as WW scattering."
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+ - Netflix Stealthy Reduces Service, Keeps Prices the Same

Submitted by Nom du Keyboard
Nom du Keyboard (633989) writes "After seeing a drop in my DVD service from Netflix I got a customer service representative tonight to confirm that Netflix has ceased processing DVD returns on Saturdays nationwide. And that they did this without either notifying their customers, nor reducing prices to compensate for the reduced service. Given that the DVD selection still far outstrips their streaming selection, this may be news to others like myself who don't find streaming an adequate replacement for plastic discs. My experience up until recently, unlike Netflix's promise of a 1-3 day turnaround at their end which gives them lots of wiggle room to degrade service even further, had been of mailing in a DVD on day one, having them receive it and mail out my next selection on day two, and receiving it on day three. Now with them only working 5 days and many US Post Office holidays, they're still getting the same money for significantly less. Is Netflix still the good guy here?"

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