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Submission + - Reserchers Say Fukushima Child Cancer Rates 20-50x Higher than Expected (

JackSpratts writes: From the article: A new study says children living near the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a rate 20 to 50 times that of children elsewhere, a difference the authors contend undermines the government's position that more cases have been discovered in the area only because of stringent monitoring.

Most of the 370,000 children in Fukushima prefecture (state) have been given ultrasound checkups since the March 2011 meltdowns at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The most recent statistics, released in August, show that thyroid cancer is suspected or confirmed in 137 of those children, a number that rose by 25 from a year earlier. Elsewhere, the disease occurs in only about one or two of every million children per year by some estimates.

Submission + - Bitcoin Transactions Were Under Attack for a Week, Prankster Reveals Himself

An anonymous reader writes: A Russian man that calls himself "Alister Maclin" has been disrupting the Bitcoin network for over a week, creating duplicate transactions, and annoying users. According to Bitcoin experts, the attack was not dangerous and is the equivalent of "spam" on the Bitcoin blockchain servers, known in the industry as a "malleability attack," creating duplicate transactions, but not affecting Bitcoin funds. Maclin also gave an interview to Vice.

Submission + - How Analog Tide Predictors Changed Human History (

szczys writes: You'd think Tide prediction would be quite easy, it comes in, it goes out. But of course it's driven by gravity between the moon and earth and there's a lot more to it. Today, computer models make this easy, but before computers we used incredible analog machines to predict the tides. The best of these machines were the deciding factor in setting a date for the Allies landing in Europe leading to the end of the second world war.

Submission + - Elephants don't get cancer. Here's why (

sciencehabit writes: The surprisingly low cancer rates in elephants and other hefty, long-lived animals such as whales—known as Peto’s paradox after one of the scientists who first described it—have nettled scientists since the mid-1970s. So far, researchers have made little progress in solving the mystery or determining how other long-lived species beat cancer. Now, a new study shows that the animals harbor dozens of extra copies of one of the most powerful cancer-preventing genes, p53. These bonus genes might enable elephants to weed out potentially cancerous cells before they can grow into tumors. The researchers say they are now trying to determine whether they can make human cells more elephantlike, for example by inserting additional copies of the p53 gene or by identifying compounds that duplicate the effects of the extra copies.

Submission + - Facebook to Position Internet Beaming Satellite Over Africa Next Year (

Zothecula writes: Facebook is set to take its worldwide internet project to new heights, all the way to geostationary orbit, to be specific. The social media giant has announced a new partnership with French firm Eutelsat, with plans to launch a satellite into space next year in hope of bringing millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa online.

Submission + - What's Killing Mars? (

schwit1 writes: The question of whether there is life on Mars is woven into a much larger thatch of mysteries. Among them: What happened to the ancient ocean that once covered a quarter of the planet's surface? And, relatedly, what made Mars's magnetosphere fade away? Why did a planet that may have looked something like Earth turn into a dry red husk?

I blame Halliburton.

Submission + - Rookie Dongle Warns Parents When Their Kids Are Driving Too Fast (

An anonymous reader writes: Dongle Apps, a Belgian tech company, has introduced a new system which alerts a car owner if the vehicle’s driver is breaking the speed limit. Initially designed for parents and guardians to keep an eye on their young ones behind the wheel, the 'Rookie Dongle', connects to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD II) port, internal GPS and mobile technologies to push real-time data to the cloud and send notifications to car owners via email or text when the driver is speeding, suddenly accelerates, brakes hard or has high RPM levels.

Submission + - Where can I find "nuts and bolts" info on cookies & tracking mechanisms?

tanstaaf1 writes: Whose computer is it, anyway? I was thinking about the whole tracking and privacy train-wreck and I'm wondering why specific information on how it is done, and how it can be micromanaged or undone by a decent programmer (at least), isn't vastly more accessible? By searching, I can only find information on how to erase cookies using the browser. Browser level (black box) solutions aren’t anywhere near good enough; if it were, the exploits would be few and far between instead everywhere everyday.

In Amazon, I haven't found a likely good book on the topic. There are books on protocols but I'm really only interested in how I can detect and track and block, and erase, and re-write and spoof all the tracking attempts on a case by case basis. Maybe a book on how to write my own tracker — or my own tracking blocker from scratch?

In theory it wouldn't seem to be that hard to uttlerly micromanage your own computer. Here's how I think it could be done:

(1) Have an explicit on/off switch, ideally OS based and trivial to control with a mouse-twitch, which turns internet access on and off as certainly as a mechanical light switch controls lights. Along with this, maybe the whole screen can change color, red-light green-light, to keep the user always aware of incoming or outgoing traffic. I should instant be able to get detailed information on any unexpected write or read request. Think unix “ps” or better. (Actually, a file system which allowed the owner to attached detailed memos and other information would be a nice touch...once litter builds up it quickly gets easy to hide real malware everywhere; that is a common technique used by embezzlers everywhere — create chaos and then hide your exploits within it).
(2) When the browser is started, make it start in a fresh virtual space / sand-box. Then copy into that space any "cookies" or other information I explicitly care to put into that space. I would, for example, put in site specific cookies to allow sites i whitelist to identify me. A good database of all the files in my virtual space, how they got there and what they are used for, would be really nice to see.
(3) As you browse you can block or not block ads and trackers; the add-ons already exist.
(4) When you decide to exit the browsing session, at least, the computer should save important cookies from sites you frequent for later restoration.
(5) The entire virtual space is then shredded and deleted.

This could all be done at a finer grain, I'm sure, but I wanted to lay out an overall strategy — and ask:
(1) What am I missing?
(2) Has this already been done and automated, say, under Linux? (I wouldn't expect Microsoft, Apple, or Google to facilitate this sort of security under their OS systems; foxes guarding the hen house and all that. However, even under Windows and OSX I can install virtualbox...)
(3) Why is it so hard to find the specifics of, step-by-step, how (not why or if) we are being conned and raped and what, specifically, can be done to stop it? Why are we screwing around with all these endless add-ons instead of striking at the root of the problem? Or have I not really identified the root?

I would appreciate any specific feedback on my scheme or, even better, a link or three. This really makes me curious. Once upon a time I utterly ruled my own computer — almost as securely as the inside of my own house. Now it's like every sleeze-bag in the world has unfettered ability to walk in, case the house, or access to my genitals. And all the prevention information is under lock and key in google’s vault or otherwise censored. I don't know how the world came to this sick juncture — and NO, I don’t think “necessary complexity" explains it very well).

“We have become the tool of our tools.” -Thoreau

Submission + - Europe's Big, Big, Big Lie About Data Privacy (

Lauren Weinstein writes: By now you may have heard about a European court's new decision against the so-called data "Safe Harbour" (over here we'd spell it "Safe Harbor") framework, involving where various Internet data for various users is physically stored.

You can easily search for the details that explain what this could effect, what it potentially means technically and legally, and generally why this dangerous decision is a matter of so much concern in so many quarters.

But here today I'm going to concentrate on what most of those articles you'll find won't be talking about — what's actually, really, pushing the EU and various other countries around the world to demand that user data be kept in their own countries.

And you can bet your bottom dollar, euro, or ruble, it's not for the reasons they claim.

Submission + - Software Defined Smart Battery Arrays Extend Laptop Life (

An anonymous reader writes: A Microsoft research paper, titled ‘Software Defined Batteries’, outlines a radical charging alternative which uses a smart battery system to keep consumer-grade gadgets going for much longer than the current norm, by monitoring user habits. Making use of existing technologies, the engineers place multiple battery control under the duties of the operating system to create a software-defined approach optimised for different scenarios, such as word processing, email or video streaming.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Most Awesome Hardware Hack?

An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter once asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along those lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them? Have you ever done something stupid and damaged your electronics?

Submission + - CodeWeavers To Release CrossOver For Android To Run Windows Programs (

An anonymous reader writes: The better part of three years after originally talking of running Wine on Android to bring Windows x86 programs to Android phones/tablets, it's going to become a reality. CodeWeavers is planning to release CrossOver For Android before the end of the year. This will allow native Windows binaries to run on Android, but will be limited to Android-x86 due to struggles in emulating x86 Windows code on ARM. The tech preview will be free and once published the open-source patches will be published for Wine.

Submission + - On-Chip Liquid Cooling Permits Smaller Devices With No Heatsinks Or Fans (

An anonymous reader writes: DARPA-funded research into on-chip liquid cooling has resulted in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) liquid-cooled device that can operate at 24 degrees Celsius, versus 60 degrees Celsius for an equivalent air-cooled device. The cooling fluid resides only nanometers from the heat it must address, and operates so efficiently as to offer potential to stack CPUs and GPUs using copper columns, as well as dispensing with heat-sinks and fan systems. With those components removed, the system can facilitate far more compact designs than are currently feasible.

Submission + - The shut-down of Twitter's JSON API a brave bid for monetization (

An anonymous reader writes: This month Twitter is closing down the JSON endpoint API which thousands of third-party software and plugin developers have depended upon for years. The alternative Rest API offers data which is aggregated or limited in other ways, whilst the full-featured share data offered by Gnip (purchased last year by Twitter) can cost developers thousands per month to access — in one case up to £20,000 a month. The general objective seems to be to either drive users back to the core Twitter interface where they can be monetised via the social network's advertising, or to regain lost advertising by converting open source data — currently utilized a lot in scientific research — into premium information, offering the possibility for well-funded organisations to gain reputations as Twitter barometers without ever needing to expose the expensive, accurate share figures.

Submission + - Can IoT help bridge the Digital Divide? (

dkatana writes: That is the question addressed by Sath Rao of Frost & Sullivan during the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona.

According to Rao projects such as Google's Loom can help address connectivity in remote locations.

But he also warned about the new Digital Divide in the developed world, where issues such as aging population will make necessary to upgrade existing infrastructure to accommodate the next wave of IoT services.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin