Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen 32

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-wildfire dept.
Lasrick writes After four decades of confining Ebola outbreaks to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that "we were wrong" about the scope of the current situation. At the present transmission rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling the epidemic, but that's far easier said than done: "And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities." A transmission rate below 1 is necessary to keep the outbreak under control (instead of the current rate of 1.5 to 2), and the authors detail what's in the works to help achieve early detection, which is crucial to reducing the current transmission rate.
Security

Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System? 46

Posted by samzenpus
from the eyes-have-it dept.
kwelch007 writes I run a network for a company that does manufacturing primarily in a clean-room. We have many systems in place that track countless aspects of every step. However, we do not have systems in place to identify the specific user performing the step. I could do this easily, but asking users to input their AD login every time they perform a task is a time-waster (we have "shared" workstations throughout.) My question is, what technologies are people actually using successfully for rapid authentication? I've thought about fingerprint scanners, but they don't work because in the CR we have to wear gloves. So, I'm thinking either face-recognition or retinal scans...but am open to other ideas if they are commercially viable.
Technology

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County 44

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”
Bitcoin

Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the pulling-back-the-curtain dept.
Taco Cowboy points out a new study that shows it is possible to figure out the IP address of someone who pays for transactions anonymously online using bitcoins. "The Bitcoin system is not managed by a central authority, but relies on a peer-to-peer network on the Internet. Anyone can join the network as a user or provide computing capacity to process the transactions. In the network, the user's identity is hidden behind a cryptographic pseudonym, which can be changed as often as is wanted. Transactions are signed with this pseudonym and broadcast to the public network to verify their authenticity and attribute the Bitcoins to the new owner. In their new study, researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security of the University of Luxembourg have shown that Bitcoin does not protect user's IP address and that it can be linked to the user's transactions in real-time. To find this out, a hacker would need only a few computers and about €1500 per month for server and traffic costs. Moreover, the popular anonymization network "Tor" can do little to guarantee Bitcoin user's anonymity, since it can be blocked easily."
Blackberry

BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-buy-our-phone dept.
mpicpp points out that BlackBerry is hoping to get iPhone owners to switch to Passport smartphones by promising up to $550 to trade in their phones. "The promotion, which starts Monday, promises as much as $550 to iPhone owners who trade in their handsets in favor of BlackBerry's Passport. The actual trade-in value depends on the iPhone, with the iPhone 4S worth up to $90 and the iPhone 6 worth up to $400. (The iPhone 6 Plus is not eligible.) BlackBerry then sweetens the deal by kicking in an additional $150 as a topper for each iPhone. The deal will run through February 13, but it's good only in North America. Customers must buy the $599 to $699 unlocked Passport phone through either BlackBerry's website or Amazon. The trade-in amount comes in the form of a Visa prepaid card."
Power

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-solar-cop dept.
wbr1 writes Apparently the pit pattern on a blu-ray disk is great at helping trap photons, rather than reflecting them. Applying this pattern to the glass in a solar panel can boost efficiency by 22%. Researchers at Northwestern tested this system with Jackie Chan discs. From the article: "To increase the efficiency of a solar panel by 22%, the researchers at Northwestern bought a copy of Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray; removed the top plastic layer, exposing the recording medium beneath; cast a mold of the quasi-random pattern; and then used the mold to create a photovoltaic cell with the same pattern....The end result is a solar panel that has a quantum efficiency of around 40% — up about 22% from the non-patterned solar panel."

Comment: Middle East [Re:Um, what?] (Score 1) 363

by Tablizer (#48469905) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

I bet he's going to make the Middle East stable...

The best way to deal with the M.E. is to bud out. Our tinkering has made it worse far more often than better. I wish the Office of the President was split into a domestic prez and a foreign policy prez.

I'd vote Ron Paul for foreign policy prez in the heartbeat. I just don't like his domestic plans.

The Almighty Buck

Was Microsoft Forced To Pay $136M In Back Taxes In China? 41

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
itwbennett writes China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that an unnamed international company was forced to pay 840 million yuan ($136 million) in back taxes, as part of a Chinese government crackdown on tax evasion. The Xinhua article simply referred to it as the "M company," describing it as a top 500 global firm headquartered in the U.S. that in 1995 set up a wholly owned foreign subsidiary in Beijing. The details match Microsoft's own background, and no other company obviously fits the bill. Xinhua added, that despite the company's strengths, its subsidiary in China had not been not making a profit, and posted a loss of over $2 billion during a six-year period.

Comment: Re:Whats the alternative then? (Score 1) 229

by Tablizer (#48469015) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

If you master its "different" framework, perhaps you are right. But the problem is that the learning curve is too high. A master swordsman can probably beat a generic cop with a gun in a urban environment. However, it takes a heck of a lot of training to reach that point. Cops with guns are cheaper and easier to find and train.

Comment: Re:If it's losing steam it's because (Score 1) 229

by Tablizer (#48468893) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

Ruby will probably fail to go mainstream for the same reason Lisp has. It's wonderfully flexible in that it's almost a meta language that allows you to shape your "language" into just about any construct you want.

The downside is that everybody thinks different, and shaping a language to fit your head de-fits it for other heads. Standards are often preferred because they provide consistency between individuals and teams even when they don't perfectly fit a specific situation in terms of parsimony and compactness of expression.

The lesson of the market is that inter- and and intra-team communication trumps parsimony economically, in most cases.

"Out of register space (ugh)" -- vi

Working...