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+ - Scientists Restore Hearing in Deaf Mice By Triggering Genes to Produce NT3 ->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have succeeded in restoring hearing in noise-deafened mice by activating a protein to repair crucial connections in the inner ear, which could one day be used to treat patients with hearing loss.

Neurotrophin-3 (NT3) is a protein that supports the survival of neurons in the central nervous system and also encourages the growth of new neurons and synapses in the body.

Until now, cells that produce NT3 have traditionally been seen by scientists to be "supporting actors" in the ear-brain nerve connection, forming a physical base for the hair cells that interact directly with nerves to carry sound signals to the brain from the ear.

The scientists' research has shown that not only is NT3 crucial to the body's ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells and nerve cells, but it is also possible to stimulate the production of NT3 by triggering genes in inner ear cells."

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+ - 80s ads are responsible for the lack of women coders-> 3

Submitted by gollum123
gollum123 (810489) writes "From NPR, Back in the day, computer science was as legitimate a career path for women as in medicine, law or science. But in 1984, the number of females majoring in computing-related subjects began to fall, and is now as low as 20 percent compared to those other three.It's a surprising trend that NPR's Planet Money has uncovered, and the show's latest episode seeks to answer a simple question: Why? According to the show's experts, computers were advertised as a "boy's toy," and combined with early '80s geek culture staples like the novel Hackers, as well as movies like WarGames and Weird Science, the knock-on effect was to exclude women."
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+ - Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects

Submitted by osage
osage (3886749) writes "Several colleagues and I have worked on an open source project for over 20 years under a corporate aegis. Though nothing like Apache, we have a sizable user community and the software is considered one of the de facto standards for what it does. The problem is that we have never been able to attract new, younger programmers, and members of the original set have been forced to find jobs elsewhere or are close to retirement. The corporation has no interest in supporting the software. Thus, in the near future, the project will lose its web site host and be devoid of its developers and maintainers. Our initial attempts to find someone to adopt the software haven't worked. We are looking for suggestions as to what course to pursue. We can't be the only open source project in this position."

+ - Google Beefs Up 2-Step Verification With Physical USB Security Key In Chrom 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it is beefing up its two-step verification feature with Security Key, a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website. The feature is available in Chrome: Instead of typing in a code, you can simply insert Security Key into your computer’s USB port and tap it when prompted by Google’s browser. “When you sign into your Google Account using Chrome and Security Key, you can be sure that the cryptographic signature cannot be phished,” Google promises. While Security Key works with Google Accounts at no charge, you’ll need to go out and buy a compatible USB device directly from a Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) participating vendor."

+ - Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Andy Borowitz writes at The New Yorker that there is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. According to Borowitz, writing tongue in cheek, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science," says Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. Dorrinson adds that he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”"

+ - High-Tech Walkers Could Help Japan's Elderly Stay Independent->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "You may have heard that Japan will deal with its aging population by relying more on robots. Osaka startup RT Works is showing what that might mean in practice: not humanoid robotic caregivers, but tech-enhanced versions of traditional tools like walkers. RT Works's walker automatically adjusts to help its user deal with hilly terrain, and can call for help if it moves outside an predefined range."
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Comment: Re:Agile is the answer to everything (Score 2) 132

by ripvlan (#48168491) Attached to: Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

Scaled Agile Framework or Unified Process?! Some people might call it Scrum-fall.

Working in a big org on a big product I can see why somebody would suggest mixing both. The problem is - taking the "good" things from both rather than the bad things.

For example, If you want telemetry data sent back to a repository (to track feature usage) - you might want the architecture of that figured out "up front" rather than retrofit. I say "you might." In Agile it might be an important spike to get closed up front. You have to think beyond code design and think about the whole business - when you have 200+ people working on code there are some things to take care of earlier rather than have them happen organically. Agile says that the architecture can morph and be refactored - true. But I've seen projects go into extra innings because the architecture needed to be refactored for a must-have feature. Why? Because the feature is structural across the tiers and the organic architecture didn't have this in mind.

Agile trainers would say that in Scrum you do more planning than waterfall. Waterfall you control the plan, in Agile you're always making a new one up. It is finding the time to breathe in Agile - you can't just have 200 people start coding next week. Esp if there are "big" architectural questions that haven't even made it to the drawing board - somehow you need to turn "hey - that's a good idea would should do it" into something that people can understand.

Best advice - define what "always shippable code" means to you. And do it. Every feature needs to track usage? Or be scalable? or be secure? or....? This is your Definition of Done for a story and your "control."

Of course not every good idea gets done. There's always next time.

Comment: Conspiracy of the NSA (Score 1) 180

by ripvlan (#48168131) Attached to: The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

Looks like the NSA has published an app to the appStore.

Who would have thought that such an innocuous "secret" app would be non-secret. The fools! The government will find you, and track you - there is no way around it. It's a conspiracy, man!.

And what better way than to appeal to one's vanity and build an app to let you complain. Social Engineering at its best.

+ - Drupal Vulnerability Being Actively Exploited in the Wild

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On October 15, 2014 a vulnerability and patch were disclosed in Drupal version 7. A short time later the patch was reverse engineered and PoC exploit code for the vulnerability was posted online. Since then attackers have been scanning in the Internet and compromising websites that use Drupal. A blog post by Volexity details these attacks and methods by which they can be detected."

+ - Four more botched Microsoft patches->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Four more botched Microsoft patches: KB 3000061, KB 2984972, KB 2949927, and KB 2995388

Microsoft's Black Tuesday problems continue to pile up. There are reports of four more botched patches. It's still too early to tell exactly what's causing the problems, but if you're having headaches, you aren't alone."

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Comment: Re:Oh great (Score 1) 546

by ripvlan (#48143089) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

You are assuming the Dictionary is from Webster. It isn't in this case - it is a rainbow table containing all possible combinations of 7,8,9+ characters. Kind of the million monkey Shakespeare scenario - sooner or later they'll get to that combination. I remember a password cracker that used to put 2 & 3 word combinations from the Unix dictionary together to build up its guessing-dictionary.

Now - 7 words vs 7 letters, the dictionary is smaller for 7 letters and can be broken in "seconds." 7 Words (about 56 letters) - I don't think rainbow tables are that large yet.

A co-worker used to monitor the size of rainbow tables and always make sure his password was 1 character longer. That may have also been his versioning mechanism. "1" "11" "111" "1111" .... easy to remember and "harder" to guess. I knew another guy who used the password "za" - his reasoning: yeah lots of people might try "a" but who tries "z" ? and people might try all 1 character passwords and then move onto longer ones like length "8"... figuring they'd skip length "2" because only dumb people have length 1 - everyone else has at least 6 or 8. He was probably good at the Battle Ship game.

I use 2-factor with Google and have yet to receive a text message indicating that somebody has guessed my relatively short password. Living on the edge :-)


+ - Smart battery tells you when it's about to explode->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Material scientists have found a clever way to alert users of damaged batteries before any hazard occurs. A typical lithium-ion cell consists of a lithium oxide cathode and a graphite anode, separated by a thin, porous polymer sheet that allows ions to travel between the electrodes. When the cell is overcharged, microscopic chains of lithium, called “dendrites,” sprout from the anode and pierce through the polymer separator until they touch the cathode. An electrical current passing through the dendrites to the cathode can short-circuit the cell, which causes overheating and, in some cases, fire. Attempts to stop dendrite formation have met with limited success, so the researchers tried something different. They built a “smart” separator by sandwiching a 50-nanometer thin copper layer between two polymer sheets and connecting the copper layer to a third electrode for voltage measurement. When the dendrites reach the separator, the voltage between the anode and the copper layer drops to zero, alerting users that they should change the damaged battery while it is still operating safely—disaster averted."
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+ - EFF rolls out to fight online surveillance->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched, a new website that aims to fight online surveillance. The new website has been designed to educate people about how mass surveillance takes place, what it involves and how to tackle it. The site showcases figures from EFF’s list of counter-surveillance success stories, a set of guides showing how individuals and organizations have fought surveillance in their own ways. The website, available in 16 different languages, also highlights images and quotes from activists, business leaders, lawyers and technologists like Vladan Sobjer, Ron Deibert and Anne Roth."
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