Gene Therapy May Protect Against Flu 72

sciencehabit writes "In 2009, a global collaboration of scientists, public health agencies, and companies raced to make a vaccine against a pandemic influenza virus, but most of it wasn't ready until the pandemic had peaked. Now, researchers have come up with an alternative, faster strategy for when a pandemic influenza virus surfaces: Just squirt genes for the protective antibodies into people's noses. The method—which borrows ideas from both gene therapy and vaccination, but is neither—protects mice against a wide range of flu viruses in a new study."

Taking Action For Free JavaScript 318

Atticus Rex writes "Today the FSF kicked off a campaign to put pressure on webmasters to make their sites work without requiring nonfree JavaScript. The first target is, a site the US government uses to take public comments on proposed regulations. Right now, the site requires nonfree JavaScript, requiring citizens to sacrifice their freedom as users to take part in their democracy."

Stanford's Flying Fish Glider 12

Zothecula writes "Researchers at Stanford University have developed a small 'aircraft' that resembles a flying fish which can jump and glide over a greater distance than an equivalent jumping robot. Using a carbon fiber spring to take off, the jumpglider has a pivoting wing that stays out of the way during ascent, but which locks into place to glide farther on the way down."
Security User Accounts Compromised 60

An anonymous reader writes "The team released a bulletin this evening notifying users of a breach in their infrastructure. From the bulletin: 'The Security Team and Infrastructure Team has discovered unauthorized access to account information on and This access was accomplished via third-party software installed on the server infrastructure, and was not the result of a vulnerability within Drupal itself. This notice applies specifically to user account data stored on and, and not to sites running Drupal generally. Information exposed includes usernames, email addresses, and country information, as well as hashed passwords... All passwords are both hashed and salted, although some older passwords on some subsites were not salted.' Users are encouraged to update their passwords and the passwords of any accounts that could be linked via the compromised information."

Why Everyone Gets It Wrong About BYOD 377

snydeq writes "Brian Katz offers a simple take on the buzz around BYOD in business organizations these days: 'BYOD is only an issue because people refuse to realize that it's just about ownership — nothing more and nothing less.' A 'hidden issue' hiding in plain view, BYOD's ownership issue boils down to money and control. 'BYOD is pretty clear: It's bringing your own device. It isn't the company's device or your best friend's device. It's your device, and you own it. Because you own the device, you have certain rights to what is on the device and what you can do with the device. This is the crux of every issue that comes with BYOD programs.'"

Judge Orders Child Porn Suspect To Decrypt His Hard Drives 802

An anonymous reader writes "After having first decided against forcing a suspect to decrypt a number of hard drives that were believed to be his and to contain child pornography, a U.S. judge has changed his mind and has now ordered the suspect to provide law enforcement agents heading the investigation with a decrypted version of the contents of his encrypted data storage system, or the passwords needed to decrypt forensic copies of those storage devices. Jeffrey Feldman, a software developer at Rockwell Automation, has still not been charged with any crime, and the prosecution initially couldn't prove conclusively that the encrypted hard drives contained child pornography or were actually Feldman's, which led U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan to decide that forcing him to decrypt them would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But new evidence has made the judge reverse his first decision (PDF): the FBI has continued to try to crack the encryption on the discs, and has recently managed to decrypt and access one of the suspect's hard drives... The storage device was found to contain 'an intricate electronic folder structure comprised of approximately 6,712 folders and subfolders,' approximately 707,307 files (among them numerous files which constitute child pornography), detailed personal financial records and documents belonging to the suspect, as well as dozens of his personal photographs."

Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook's Home App Needs Some Work 34

Nerval's Lobster writes "Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told an audience at AllThingsDigital's D11 conference that the social network's 'Home' app for Android has a viable future despite needing some work. 'I think it will be a long road,' she told the audience. 'We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people—Home is the first iteration of that.' But Home could require a good deal of tweaking, at least if user feedback is any sort of indication. After installing the Home app, the Android user's screen displays a modified version of the Facebook news feed, with an emphasis on images; other features include 'Chat Heads,' a messaging interface that sprinkles the screen with little icons of friends' heads. While that's a great way to get Facebook front-and-center on someone's phone, the software's one-star reviews on the Google Play storefront greatly outnumber the four- and five-star reviews."

Planetary Resources To Build Crowdfunded Public Space Telescope 60

kkleiner writes "Planetary Resources, the company that set its sights on mining asteroids, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1M to crowdsource the world's first publicly accessible space telescope. In an interview, co-founder and co-chairman Peter Diamandis stated that the ARKYD 100 telescope is a means of 'extending the optic nerve of humanity.' The company hopes that the campaign, which is supported by Richard Branson, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Seth Green, will make an orbiting telescope available to the public to help schools and museums in their educational efforts to inspire great enthusiasm in space."

Video Willow Garage Makes Open Source Robots for Researchers (Video) 22

We're not talking cheap here; Willow Garage PR2 robots list for $280,000 with the academic discount, $400,000 without. Still, spokesman Ryan points out that it can take a PhD candidate two or more years to build a robot chassis and create new software equivalent to Willow Garage's open source robotware. The thought, too, is that if a university buys the robot a lot of students can share it. Sounds good, doesn't it? But much though we might want a robot, it's probably a good thing Slashdot doesn't have one because we'd probably spend all day fighting over who got to use it next.

Nasdaq Fined $10M Over Facebook IPO Failures 91

twoheadedboy writes "Nasdaq has been fined $10 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over 'poor systems and decision-making' during the Facebook initial public offering. When Facebook went public on 18 May 2012, it was hoping for a major success, but technical glitches and poor decision making at Nasdaq caused real problems. The SEC said 'a design limitation' in the system to match IPO buy and sell orders was at the root of the disruption, thought to have cost investors $500 million. Orders failed to register properly, leaving banks like Citigroup and UBS in the lurch and making additional, unnecessary bids. They may still win money back from Nasdaq if legal challenges go their way."

Book Review: The Human Division 115

stoolpigeon writes "How would humanity fare in a universe filled with other sentient races and the technology for all of them to interact? If human history is any indication there would be conflict. That conflict would be between many groups that saw themselves as people and the rest as monsters. What that universe and those interactions would look like is a key theme in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series. The latest offering, The Human Division continues to dig deeply into a wide range of questions about what makes someone a person and how people treat one another at their best and worst." Keep reading for the rest of stoolpigeon's review.

Google Rolling Out Gmail Redesign 303

Today Google announced a redesign of the Gmail inbox. Citing a high volume of email which makes it hard for users to focus on what's important (or what they want to focus on at any given moment), the new inbox will automatically group incoming emails into categories, which will appear as tabs at the top of the inbox. 'You can easily customize the new inbox — select the tabs you want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.' Speaking to The Verge, Gmail product manager Alex Gawley said, 'It became obvious to us over time that this notion that the inbox was more of your master than your servant was becoming more widespread. It wasn't just the people receiving hundreds of emails a day — more regular users were starting to feel stressed out by their inbox.' The announcement notes that if you aren't interested in the new view, you can switch off all the tabs to go back to the classic inbox view.
Open Source

Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' Is Out 185

An anonymous reader writes "The Linux Mint blog today announced the full release of Linux Mint 15 'Olivia.' Here are the release notes and a list of new features. As before, it's available with either MATE or Cinnamon as a desktop environment. The included version of MATE has been upgrade to 1.6, which saw many old and deprecated packages replaced with newer technologies. Cinnamon has gone to 1.8, which improved the file manager, added support for 'desklets' (essentially desktop widgets), and completed the transition away from Gnome Control Center to Cinnamon's own settings panel. Other new features of Linux Mint 15 include improved login screen applications (one of which is an HTML greeter that supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and WebGL), a tool developed from the ground up to manage software sources in Mint, and a vastly improved driver manager. The project's website sums it up simply: 'Linux Mint 15 is the most ambitious release since the start of the project.'"

Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood 190

westtxfun writes "'Russian scientists claimed Wednesday they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal.' As scientists unearthed the recent find, very dark blood flowed out from beneath the mammoth, and the muscle tissue was red. This is the best-preserved specimen found so far and they are hopeful they can recover DNA and clone a mammoth. Semyon Grigoriev, one of the researchers, said, 'The approximate age of this animal is about 10,000 years old. It has been preserved thanks to the special conditions, due to the fact that it did not defrost and then freeze again. We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died. Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw, and tongue tissue, was preserved very well. The upper torso and two legs, which were in the soil, were gnawed by prehistoric and modern predators and almost did not survive.'"

Google's View On the Whac-a-Mole of Blocking Pirate Sites 182

jones_supa writes "During a debate in London last night, the game of whac-a-mole related to blocking pirate sites was discussed by artists, labels, the BPI, and Google. Most interestingly, Google's Theo Bertram brought to the table the idea of going after the sites as a business, which in practice would mean strangling their (often voluminous) advertising budget. A test performed by musician David Lowery confirmed that a search for Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' conjured up a list of unlicensed sites, some of which have an advertising relationship with Google. Geoff Taylor of the BPI said that Google has the both the information and technological ability to directly stomp infringing sites, but at the same time noted that somewhat oddly iTunes has not arranged itself a prominent position in the results to promote legally-purchased music, which can't be completely Google's fault."

Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson and the Blood Kiss Crew Answer Your Questions 44

Last week you had the chance to ask Neil Gaiman, Amber Benson and the crew of Blood Kiss about the upcoming Kickstarter movie, vampires, and their past projects. The film has reached the initial funding goal with the new target being $200K, making it an entirely fan funded film. Below you'll find their answers to your questions.

PayPal Reviewing Qualifying Age For Vulnerability Rewards 95

itwbennett writes "In follow-up to 17-year old Robert Kugler's claim that PayPal denied him a bug bounty because he was under 18, the company now says that it is 'investigating whether it can lower the qualifying age for vulnerability rewards for those who responsibly report security problems.' The company also said that the vulnerability had already been reported by another researcher — although they didn't mention that in the email to Kugler telling him he wouldn't be receiving payment."

How Did You Learn How To Program? 623

theodp writes "'Every programmer likely remembers how they learned to code,' writes GeekWire's Taylor Soper. 'For guys like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the magic began on the Teletype Model 33 (pic). For others, it may have been a few days at a coding workshop like the one I attended for journalists.' If you're in the mood to share how and in what ways your own developer days began, Soper adds, 'cyborg anthropologist' Amber Case is collecting stories to help people understand what it takes to learn how to code. Any fond computer camp stories, kids?"

Ruby On Rails Exploit Used To Build IRC Botnet 91

Trailrunner7 writes "Developers who have not updated their Ruby on Rails installations with a five-month-old security patch would do well to secure the Web development framework now. Exploit code has surfaced for CVE-2013-0156 that is being used to build a botnet of compromised servers. Exploit code has been publicly available since the vulnerability was disclosed in January on Github and Metasploit, yet the vulnerability had not been exploited on a large scale until now, said security researcher Jeff Jarmoc." One reason your web server firewall might want to block IRC connections to arbitrary hosts.

Interpreting Global Flight Maps 93

kodiaktau writes "Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights. While the imagery of the visualization is intriguing, the interpretations are particularly interesting and show how individual background and experience impact they way they view the data."
Data Storage

Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node 147

An anonymous reader writes "SanDisk sampling its 1Y-based NAND flash memory products and has revealed they are manufactured at same minimum geometry as the 1X generation: 19 nm. The author speculates that this is one of the first instances of a Moore's Law 'fail' since the self-fulfilling prophecy was made in 1965 — but that it won't be the last."
The Media

Apple Leaves Journalists Jonesing 277

Hodejo1 writes "Apple traditionally has big product announcements in the early spring, so around February both the mainstream press and the tech blogs began to circulate their favorite rumors (the iWatch, iTV). They also announced the date of the next Apple event, which this year was in March — except it didn't happen. 'Reliable sources' then confirmed it would be in April, then May and then — nothing. In withdrawal and with a notoriously secretive Apple offering no relief the tech journalists started to get cranky. The end result is a rash of petulant stories that insist Apple is desperate for new products, in trouble (with $150 billion dollars in the bank, I should be in such trouble) and in decline. The only ones desperate seem to be editors addicted to traffic-generating Apple announcements. Good news is on the horizon, though, as the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference starts June 10th." This was in evidence last night, as Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke to the press at the All Things D conference. Cook's statements were mostly the sort of vague, grandiose talk that gets fed to investors on an earnings call, but it's generating article after article because, hey, it's Tim Cook.

$30,000 For a Developer Referral? 189

itwbennett writes "Are good developers really that hard to find? Cambridge, MA-based inbound marketing company HubSpot seems to think so. The company has upped its developer referral bonus from $10,000 to $30,000 — and you don't have to be an employee to get in on the deal. Beats a free puppy. What has your experience been with referral bonuses?"
Hardware Hacking

Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video 171

When the Canon 50D DSLR camera was released back in 2008, it could take nice pictures, but it had no support for video recording. Now, through an enterprising hack by members of the Magic Lantern forums, the 50D can capture RAW video. From the article: "The tech inside the 50D looks like it borrows a lot more from its higher-end siblings, like the 5D Mark II, and it’s possible we may actually get better RAW video quality out of the 50D than we do out of any of the non-CF Canon cameras. ... The camera doesn’t have playback or audio recording as it was never designed to shoot video, but this isn’t too different from the RAW recording on the other Canon DSLRs at the moment."

Texas Poised To Pass Unprecedented Email Privacy Bill 262

An anonymous reader writes "A bill has reached the desk of Texas Governor Rick Perry that would give stronger privacy protections to email accounts than exist in any other state. If Perry signs it (or simply declines to veto it before June 16th), the legislation would force law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before reading somebody's email, even if the email has been sitting on the server for a long time. 'As we've noted many times before, there are no such provisions in federal law once the e-mail has been opened or if it has been sitting in an inbox, unopened, for 180 days. In March 2013, the Department of Justice acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that this distinction no longer makes sense and the DOJ would support revisions to ECPA.' This bill passed the state legislature unanimously. The article points out that the legislation won't protect from federal investigations, but it will set a precedent that the U.S. Congress will surely notice. An attorney with the EFF said, 'It's significant as proof that privacy reform is not only needed, but also politically-feasible with broad bipartisan support. And hopefully that will impact federal ECPA reform efforts by getting people on both of sides of the political aisle to work together to make meaningful electronic privacy reform a reality. The more states that pass similar legislation, the more pressure it will put on Congress to keep up with the changing legal landscape.'"

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