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Submission + - Competition on Identifying Sexual Predators in Chats (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from the University of Lugano, Switzerland, and other universities from the US and Europe organize a competition to automatically identify sexual predators in chat logs: [...] given chat logs involving two (or more) people [...], determine who is the one trying to convince the other to provide some sexual favour. Their data set covers hundreds of chat logs with dozens of true positives (i.e., chats where one is trying to hit on another).

Submission + - Russia funds research in 'zombifying' weapons ( 2

Unsichtbarer_Mensch writes: Mind-bending ‘psychotronic’ guns that can effectively turn people into zombies have been given the go-ahead by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The futuristic weapons – which will attack the central nervous system of their victims – are being developed by the country’s scientists.


Submission + - Does higher health care spending lead to better patient outcomes? (

ericjones12398 writes: If you haven’t seen the words “health care” in news headlines lately, you must be living under a rock. Health care reform, health care spending, Medicare spending, Obamacare; the list goes on and on. What I find most controversial among the latest research and news is an obviously flawed payment scale that undervalues primary care and overvalues specialty care. There is evidence suggesting that publicly funded health care spending (i.e., Medicare) has not based on primary health care needs. Rather, Medicare spending relies on a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) which promotes higher spending without evidence of better patient outcomes.

Submission + - Teacher fired after refusing to hand over Facebook login (

hessian writes: "A Michigan teacher's aide is fighting a legal battle with the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District for removing her from her position after refusing to give the district access to her Facebook page.

Kimberly Hester was a teacher's aide at Frank Squires Elementary School in Cassopolis, Mich. last April when she jokingly posted a photo of a coworker to her personal Facebook page. The picture shows a pair of shoes and pants around the ankles, WSBT-TV reports."


Submission + - Up To 1.5 Million Visa, MasterCard Credit Card Numbers Stolen

An anonymous reader writes: Global Payments, the U.S.-based credit card processor company that experienced a security breach affecting plastic issued from Visa and MasterCard, today confirmed that the breached portion of its processing system was confined to North America. The company also finally revealed how many credit card numbers were stolen: less than 1,500,000.

Submission + - Hackers can easily steal credit card info from used Xbox consoles (

zacharye writes: Using nothing more than a few common tools, hackers can reportedly recover credit card numbers and other personal information from used Xbox 360 consoles even after they have been restored to factory settings. Researchers at Drexel University say they have successfully recovered sensitive personal data from a used Xbox console, and they claim Microsoft is doing a disservice to users by not taking precautions to secure their data. ”Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information,” researcher Ashley Podhradsky said...

Submission + - Met Office to begin forecasting space and exoplanet weather (

MrSeb writes: "The Met Office, the UK’s weather forecasting service, will begin to provide space weather forecasts for Earth, and weather forecasts for exoplanets. Presumably this is to ensure that when we set out on an interstellar journey to a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, we want to make sure that it isn’t raining when we land. Just kidding (well, kind of). The “space weather” forecasts are basically an upwards extension to the thermosphere, a region of atmosphere about 90-600 kilometers (55-370 miles) above Earth. The International Space Station, with a low earth orbit of around 350km, resides in the thermosphere. As you might’ve read recently, the Sun is currently producing a huge solar flare that threatens to disrupt computers and communications satellites — by extending its weather model to the thermosphere, the Met Office hopes to predict and mitigate the damage from similar occurrences in the future. The forecasting of exoplanet weather is another thing entirely. 'Most of the hundreds of extra-solar planets discovered to date are gas giants orbiting very close to their host star. These planets are strongly irradiated by the parent star, with one side experiencing permanent day and the other in permanent night,' says David Acreman, one of the astrophysicists working on the project. 'The day side of the planet is much hotter than the night side and this temperature difference causes high speed winds to flow. These winds can be as fast as a few kilometers per second.' As for why we’re attempting to forecast exoplanet weather, it’s all about science. These planets might have kilometer-per-second winds, but they’re still governed by the same physical laws on Earth. By analyzing the winds and temperature shifts, we can derive a better model of what the planets are actually like beneath the atmosphere. When it comes to studying Earth-like exoplanets that we might eventually visit, studying their weather might tell us if the planet is habitable, or indeed if there’s already signs of alien life."

Submission + - Chinese Regime on Brink of Military Coup ( 2

jjp9999 writes: Instability among the Chinese leadership is become more and more pronounced, as highlighted by the recent arrest of Wang Lijun, the former chief of the Public Security Bureau in Chongqing, Sichuan. Wang was once the right-hand man of Bo Xilai, who is in line to take control of the Chinese regime after Hu Jintao. Investigations into Wang are likely to spill over onto Bo, but there is more to this than meets the eye. On Nov. 10, when Hu Jintai was in Hawaii at the APEC meeting, Bo held a large-scale military maneuver in Chongqing. As The Epoch Times states, ‘Bo showed Hu his capability to mobilize the military.’ Now, this came after a series of incidents that demonstrated Bo’s lack of support among the CCP leadership, including a June 2011 fiasco when he led 500 members of a ‘red song troupe’ to perform in Beijing and not one of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau showed up. With the military exercise, according to The Epoch Times, ‘Bo sent out the message that he has enough ability and determination for a military coup,’ and the reverberations were seen soon after. The CCP’s state-run media Xingua reported on Jan. 15 that two top-ranking military officials declared that the military should ‘follow Chairman Hu’s command.’ Wang Linjun’s removal took place just after the military deployment.

Submission + - Michael Dell: Mobile Gadgets No Threat To PCs (

jfruhlinger writes: "In a pitch that might qualify as "no duh" news, Michael Dell, CEO of a company that makes lots of money from PCs and has tried and largely failed to break into the smartphone and tablet market, told an audience in India that smartphones and tablets don't threaten PC sales. It's a particularly important question in India, where many users buy smartphones rather than PCs because they're cheaper; Dell believes that such users will eventually switch to PCs for a fuller Internet experience."

Submission + - Google wants to track calls related to online ads (

bizwriter writes: Google has a new patent application, filed in June 2010 and made public Jan. 5, that suggests the company wants to track whether consumers place phone calls as a result of seeing marketing online.
The financial drivers of such a development are clear: advertisers want to know if their marketing is effective and generates sales leads. They will pay more for greater ability to follow results. It goes back to what retailer John Wanamaker once said: "I know that half of my advertising doesn't work. The problem is, I don't know which half."

The concept moves far beyond online behavioral tracking and again raises questions about how Google handles consumer privacy. It also highlights how companies can use information from different sources to more closely follow what consumers do. In other words, tracking between online and real-world activities is apparently in full gear and moving ahead.


Submission + - Guerrilla tactics against Boots and the homeopathi (

tinla writes: Boots Pharmacy is the largest health and drug stores in the UK, with approx 2600 stores. Many consumers believe that any product sold by this trusted brand will be effective and proven, this is NOT the case; Boots have started to sell various high-profit homeopathic remedies.

I have started a campaign whereby I supplement the Boots on-shelf marketing materials with my own factual materials in the Boots style.

Submission + - Iran added an Invalid IP to the wold DNS servers ( 2

jadi19 writes: A dnslookup on the shows that the IP of the is ! This is an invalid IP address and can not be routed on the Internet. In Iran, it means that the government is checking all our traffic and we are living inside an intranet but on the internet... Wow, it means that all the international DNS servers are now returning an Invalid IP address if you ask them about .

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.