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Submission + - AZ Says Nuclear Power Is a Renewable, Opponents Go Berserk (

siddesu writes: The Senate Committee on Water and Energy narrowly passed SB 1134, a bill that classifies "nuclear energy from sources fueled by uranium fuel rods that include 80 percent or more of recycled nuclear fuel and natural thorium reactor resources under development" to be a renewable-energy source.

The opponents claim that a renewable resource doesn't get depleted with use: the sun keeps shining if we harvest solar power, the wind keeps blowing if we erect turbines, the earth keeps producing heat if we harness geothermal power.

Submission + - Scientists Float Soap Bubbles as a More Effective Drug Delivery Method (

Zothecula writes: As if soap bubbles don't spread enough happiness on their own, scientists have discovered a way of coating them in biomolecules with a view to treating viruses, cancer and other diseases. The technology has been developed at the University of Maryland, where researchers devised a method of tricking the body into mistaking the bubbles for harmful cells, triggering an immune response and opening up new possibilities in the delivery of drugs and vaccines.

Submission + - This Is the Most Anti-Science Congress in Recent History 1

merbs writes: Over the last four years, Congress developed a reputation for institutionalizing an “anti-science” attitude. During the 112th and 113th Congresses, the label was typically applied to its Republicans, who controlled the House of Representatives, and typically because of their propensity to dismiss climate change science. Typically, but not only—misinformed musings about women’s reproductive processes, support for creationist education, attempts to remove the peer review process at the National Science Foundation, and efforts to roll back funding for research programs also ignited the ire of the science-loving public.

Now, Republicans have taken over the Senate, and historians, scientists, and policy experts worry it's going to get even worse.

Submission + - Amazing reduction in privacy (

AtWorkInChicago writes: An Atlanta-based company, AirSage, collects real-time data (15 billion data points every day) from cell phone tower interactions — whenever a person sends a text, makes a phone call or when a phone is searching for the next cell phone tower.... ...Because AirSage knows the home (or where the device seems to call home and sleeps on a daily basis) and its Census Block Group, it can infer demographic information (such as average household income) about the devices’ owners.
I'm surprised carriers are allowed to send this data to a commercial aggregator and more surprised that the company is allowed to sell details of my daily activity to any who will pay — am I being naive?

Submission + - Activists Discover Evidence of St. Petersburg's River of Poop (

Okian Warrior writes: Two weeks ago, a group of St. Petersburg ecologists conducted a test in Novoye Devyatkino, a suburb about 12 miles outside the city, of the local sewer system. In a study they titled “Feces Travel,” the activists dropped ten miniaturized, waterproofed GPS-tracking units down the toilet of a single apartment home and began mapping the devices’ signals.

On their website, the ecologists claim the trackers spilled out directly into the open-air waterways outside the building, without encountering even the most rudimentary sewage filtration. From Novoye Devyatkino, five of the devices reached the open waters of Neva Bay, where the units’ batteries appear to have died.

Submission + - How the world's agricultural boom has changed CO2 cycles

An anonymous reader writes: Every year levels of carbon dioxide drop in the summer as plants "inhale," and climb again as they exhale after the growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the last 50 years has seen the size of this swing has increase by as 50%, for reasons that aren't fully understood. A team of researchers may have the answer. They have shown that agricultural production, corn in particular, may generate up to 25% of the increase in this seasonal carbon cycle. "This study shows the power of modeling and data mining in addressing potential sources contributing to seasonal changes in carbon dioxide" program director for the National Science Foundation's Macro Systems Biology Program, who supported the research, Liz Blood says. "It points to the role of basic research in finding answers to complex problems."

Submission + - Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How to Behave During Stop-and-Frisk 1 writes: Kate Briquelet reports in the NY Post that Principal Mark Federman of East Side Community HS has invited the New York Civil Liberties Union to give a two-day training session to 450 students on interacting with police. “We’re not going to candy-coat things — we have a problem in our city that’s affecting young men of color and all of our students,” says Federman. “It’s not about the police being bad. This isn’t anti-police as much as it’s pro-young people ... It’s about what to do when kids are put in a position where they feel powerless and uncomfortable.” The hourlong workshops — held in small classroom sessions during advisory periods — focused on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program and how to exercise Fourth Amendment rights when being stopped and questioned in a car or at home.

Some law-enforcement experts say the NYCLU is going beyond civics lessons and doling out criminal-defense advice. “It’s unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs,” says Eugene O’Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. NYCLU representatives told kids to be polite and to keep their hands out of their pockets. But they also told students they don’t have to show ID or consent to searches, that it’s best to remain silent, and how to file a complaint against an officer. Candis Tolliver, NYCLU’s associate director for advocacy, says was the first time she trained an entire high school. “This is not about teaching kids how to get away with a crime or being disrespectful. This is about making sure both sides are walking away from the situation safe and in control.”

Submission + - France investigating mysterious drone activity on 7 nuclear power plant sites (

thygate writes: In France, an investigation has been launched into the appearance of "drones" on 7 different nuclear power plant sites across the country in the last month. Some of the plants involved are Creys-Malville en Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the southwest, Cattenom en Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north, and Nogent-sur-Seine, close to Paris. On each occasion "drones" were seen on the domain somewhere from late in the evening to early in the morning, while it is forbidden to fly over these sites on altitudes less than 1 km in a 5 km radius. According to a spokesman of the state electric company that runs the facilities (EDF), there was no danger to the security and production of the plants. However these incidents will likely bring nuclear safety concerns back into the spotlight. France is number one country in the world when it comes to dependency on nuclear power, with a total of 58 centrals spread over 19 sites across the country.

Greenpeace's head of its anti-nuclear power campaign has already denied involvement. Their spokesman added that these events are very troubling, and also mentions they have learned about more "drone" activity above the French Center for nuclear research (CEA) close to Paris.

Submission + - Passwords: too much and not enough (

An anonymous reader writes: Sophos security has a blog post up saying "attempts to get users to choose passwords that will resist offline guessing, e.g., by composition policies, advice and strength meters, must largely be judged failures." They say a password must withstand 1,000,000 guesses to survive an online attack but 100,000,000,000,000 to have any hope against an offline one. "Not only is the difference between those two numbers mind-bogglingly large, there is no middle ground." "Passwords falling between the two thresholds offer no improvement in real-world security, they're just harder to remember." System administrators "should stop worrying about getting users to create strong passwords and should focus instead on properly securing password databases and detecting leaks when they happen."

Submission + - Middle-School Dropout Codes Clever Chat Program That Foils NSA Spying (

wabrandsma writes: from Wired:

The National Security Agency has some of the brightest minds working on its sophisticated surveillance programs, including its metadata collection efforts. But a new chat program designed by a middle-school dropout in his spare time may turn out to be one of the best solutions to thwart those efforts.

John Brooks, who is just 22 and a self-taught coder who dropped out of school at 13, was always concerned about privacy and civil liberties. Four years ago he began work on a program for encrypted instant messaging that uses Tor hidden services for the protected transmission of communications. The program, which he dubbed Ricochet, began as a hobby. But by the time he finished, he had a full-fledged desktop client that was easy to use, offered anonymity and encryption, and even resolved the issue of metadata—the “to” and “from” headers and IP addresses spy agencies use to identify and track communications—long before the public was aware that the NSA was routinely collecting metadata in bulk for its spy programs. The only problem Brooks had with the program was that few people were interested in using it. Although he’d made Ricochet’s code open source, Brooks never had it formally audited for security and did nothing to promote it, so few people even knew about it.

Then the Snowden leaks happened and metadata made headlines. Brooks realized he already had a solution that resolved a problem everyone else was suddenly scrambling to fix. Though ordinary encrypted email and instant messaging protect the contents of communications, metadata allows authorities to map relationships between communicants and subpoena service providers for subscriber information that can help unmask whistleblowers, journalists’s sources and others.

Submission + - Facebook blamed for driving up cellphone bills, but it's not alone (

colinneagle writes: Consumer site reported today that it has seen “many complaints” from users who believe a recent increase in data-related charges on their cellphone bills are the result of Facebook's auto-play feature. The default setting for the auto-play feature launches and continues to play videos silently until the user either scrolls past it or clicks on it; if the user does the latter, the video then goes full-screen and activates audio. The silent auto-play occurs regardless of whether users are connected to Wi-Fi, LTE, or 3G.

However, it’s likely that Facebook isn't entirely to blame for this kind of trend, but rather, with the debut of its auto-play feature, threw gas on an already growing fire of video-sharing services. Auto-play for video is a default setting on Instagram’s app, although the company refers to it as “preload." Instagram only introduced video last summer, after the Vine app, a Twitter-backed app that auto-plays and loops six-second videos, started to see significant growth.

In the first half of 2014, Instagram saw a 25% increase in usage, while Vine usage grew by 27%, according to a study released by GlobalWebIndex in May. The mobile app that saw the most growth in usage over that period was Snapchat, which also allows users to send and view videos over 3G and 4G wireless connections; Snapchat usage grew 67% in that period, according to the study.

So while Facebook’s auto-play feature is likely to have a hand in an epidemic of cellphone data overages, it’s just one culprit among many new mobile apps that are embracing video, all of which happen to be popular among teenagers, who aren't likely to know or care about how auto-play video features might affect their parents’ wallets.

Submission + - SPAM: Why It is important to do college Project ?

An anonymous reader writes: Computer engineers enjoy tremendous freedom in choosing the types of projects they want to work on. A computer engineer may decide to work on a project that he finds fascinating, or one that he has a personal connection to. For example, a computer engineer who suffered a loss in his family due to illness might invest his energy on developing medical devices to treat that illness.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - How making Dreamcast games became profitable again (

An anonymous reader writes: Sega pulled the plug on the Dreamcast more than a decade ago, but a homebrew development community doesn't just live on: it's thriving. After the success of old-school RPG Pier Solar, Water Melon Corp is now helping to print, press and publish a new Dreamcast adventure game currently on Kickstarter, Elysian Shadows, and to the creator's surprise, it's proving the most popular platform by a long way. "You know, when we decided to target the Dreamcast with Elysian Shadows, we did it purely because we loved the console, not for sales," says lead developer Falco Girgis. "But as it turns out, there actually is a sustainable market for Dreamcast games, which shocked all of us. Our best selling tiers on our Kickstarter campaign are by far the Dreamcast versions of the game." While indie Dreamcast development never really went away, it's only recently that we've begun to see labels and businesses emerge from it — now all we need is for Yu Suzuki to get involved.

Submission + - SPAM: XBRL Service Gives Business An Easy Touch

An anonymous reader writes: XBRL, abbreviated as Extensible Business Reporting Language is a series of XML tags that can be customized. This is a simple method to report the budgetary status of an organization adhering to the SEC guidelines. But, as the terms and conditions are rather tough to understand without a good expertise, the business concerns fail to compile filings properly and within the time-framed. Also, with the numerous tasks held up, they would not have sufficient time to set the XBRL filing in a sound manner.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Thousands of Workers Strike to Reinstate Fired Grocery CEO

AthanasiusKircher writes: Have you heard of Market Basket, a regional grocery chain which brings in $4 billion per year? If you're not from New England, you may not know about this quirky century-old family business, which didn't even have a website until two days ago. But that's only the beginning of its strange saga. In a story that labor experts are calling 'unique' and 'unprecedented', shelves in grocery stores across New England have been left empty while thousands of Market Basket workers have rallied for days to reinstate former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, who was fired last month (along with a number of his management allies) as part of a long-standing family squabble. At a protest this morning, 6,000 protesters gathered at the Tewkbury, Massachusetts location where the supermarket chain is based, similar to rallies that have been staged at various locations over the past week. Unlike most labor protests, the workers have no demands for better working conditions or better pay--they simply want their old boss back. Reaction from consumers has been swift and decisive as well: a petition was submitted to the board this morning with over 100,000 signatures from customers calling for the reinstatement of the CEO, and over 100 local lawmakers have expressed support for the workers' cause, including the governor of New Hampshire and candidates for U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in the region.

In an age where workers are often pitted against management, what could explain this incredible support for a CEO and member of the 0.1%? Columnist Adrian Walker from the Boston Globe described his interview last year with 'Artie T.': 'We toured the Chelsea store together... the connection between the magnate and his employees was frankly shocking. Demoulas knew almost everyone’s name. He knew the name of the guy cutting meat whose wife had just completed chemotherapy and asked about her with obvious concern. Customers came up to him and hugged him, cheered him on. The interactions were too numerous and spontaneous to be staged.' Workers at Market Basket are loyal to their employer and often stay for 20, 30, or more than 40 years. Even lowly store clerks receive significant quarterly bonuses, and experienced loyal workers are rewarded and promoted. Despite running a $4 billion per year business, 'Artie T.' over the years has shown up at countless family events for employees, even visiting sick family members of employees when they are in the hospital. But his generosity hurt the bottom line, according to other board members, who have sought for years to increase profits by raising prices and reducing employee benefits to be in line with norms at other grocery chains. (Market Basket has commonly led grocery store lists for value in regional price surveys.) As one possible resolution to the crisis, the former CEO yesterday offered to buy the entire grocery chain from other board members; this morning, the board stated they were considering the offer.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang