AmiMoJo tips this news from the BBC: "Radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank into the ground at Japan's Fukushima plant, operator TEPCO says. Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), which measures nuclear events. This is the first time that Japan has declared such an event since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea." There was a significant leak back in April as well.
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jfruh writes "As we discussed this weekend, David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, was detained while transporting encrypted data on the Snowden affair from Berlin; all his electronics were seized. Over at the Guardian offices, British police destroyed more of the newspaper's hard drives. Privacy blogger Dan Tynan sees where this one is going: reporters like Greenwald are going to stop even bothering to be circumspect with their revelations. Sorting through the contents of such infocaches to redact sensitive information just gives the government time to track you down. Eventually, the information will just be dumped online, warts and all, as soon as someone who wants the information public gets ahold of it."
An anonymous reader writes "The Brisbane Times notes that 'Julian Assange's Wikileaks Party has come under fire for directing its preferences to the Shooters and Fishers Party and the white nationalist Australia First Party ahead of both major parties and the Greens in the NSW Senate race. Australia First's policies include reducing and limiting immigration and "abolishing multiculturalism." The chairman of Australia First, Jim Saleam, is a former neo-Nazi who was convicted in the late 1980s of organizing a shotgun attack on the home of an Australian representative of the African National Congress. WikiLeaks candidates in NSW include human rights activist Kellie Tranter.' The Wikileaks Party blamed the outcome on administrative problems. This is drawing further criticism."
oritonic1 writes "Germany is rapidly developing a tradition of shattering its own renewable energy goals and leaving the rest of the world in the dust. This past July was no exception, as the nation produced 5.1 TWh of solar power (PDF), beating not only its own solar production record, but also eclipsing the record 5TWh of wind power produced by German turbines in January. Renewables are doing so well, in fact, that one of Germany's biggest utilities is threatening to migrate to Turkey."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Get 'em young: That could be LinkedIn's new motto, after the professional-networking Website opened itself up to universities and students. LinkedIn's University Pages offer schools a place to post updates about campus news and activities; they can also link to famous alumni, who will doubtlessly love when a couple thousand students try to connect with them all at once. Some 200 universities are setting up LinkedIn Pages, including NYU, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and more. Why this aggressive expansion into a younger demographic? Today's students are tomorrow's cubicle bees and entrepreneurs; by locking them into the network early, LinkedIn can (at least in theory) maintain a user base for many years to come. (It's safe to presume that at least a fraction of these young users will eventually engage LinkedIn's paid services, which makes this initiative a long-term revenue play.) Building a substantial base among students could also help LinkedIn head off future competition, such as Facebook moving more aggressively into the careers space. Or it could just open a whole lot of concerns over privacy and security, similar to what Facebook already faces with its teen audience."
An anonymous reader writes "Google today released Chrome version 29 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The new version features improved Omnibox suggestions, profile resetting, as well as new apps and extensions APIs. The biggest change is undoubtedly around how Omnibox suggestions work on the desktop. When the feature arrived in the beta channel, Google said that the improvements were 'based on the recency of websites visited, so you’ll get more contextually relevant suggestions at the right time. ... Chrome 29 for Android meanwhile has received WebRTC support, which enables real-time communication (such as videoconferencing) in the browser without installing any plugins."
Cryonics Institute (CI) Director Andy Zawacki, who takes Slashdot's Robert Rozeboom into the facility where they keep the tanks with frozen people in them. Yesterday, Rob talked with David Ettinger, who is both the group's lawyer and the son of CI founder Robert Ettinger. For those of you who are obsessed with the process of vitrification, here's a link to a story about The Cryonics Institute's 69th Patient and how she was taken care of, starting at the moment of her deanimation (AKA death). The story has anatomical drawings, charts, and color pictures of Andy carrying out the actual procedure. But Cryonics, while endorsed as a concept by numerous scientists, may not be as good a way to insure immortality as transplanting your brain into a fresh (probably robotic) body, as Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov hopes to do by 2035. There are also many groups that claim to offer spiritual (as opposed to corporeal) immortality. Which method of living forever works best? That remains to be seen, assuming any of them work at all. Perhaps we'll find out after the Singularity.
New submitter niftymitch sends this quote from an article at SFGate: "San Francisco's fire chief has explicitly banned firefighters from using helmet-mounted video cameras after images from a battalion chief's Asiana Airlines crash recording became public and led to questions about first responders' actions leading up to a fire rig running over a survivor. ... Filming the scene may have violated both firefighters' and victims' privacy, Hayes-White said, trumping whatever benefit came from knowing what the footage shows. 'There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video,' Hayes-White said. Critics, including some within the department, questioned the chief's order and its timing — coming as Johnson's footage raised the possibility of Fire Department liability in the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan. .. [Battalion Chief Kevin Smith, president of the employee group that includes Johnson, said,] 'The department seems more concerned with exposure and liability than training and improving efficiency. Helmet cams are the wave of the future - they can be used to improve communication at incidents between firefighters and commanders.'"
Today Sony announced the official release dates of the PlayStation 4 console: November 15 in North America and November 29 in Europe. From the article: "The system will be available for $399/€399/£349 in 32 countries by the end of the year, the company said. The date comes just days before the Black Friday post-Thanksgiving sales, but given the strong pre-order interest for the system already, the PS4 might be hard to find on store shelves in the days after it drops. Sony revealed that one million PS4 systems have already been pre-ordered worldwide. The company notably did not mention a release date or price point for the system's launch in its native Japan."
LeadSongDog writes "The Ottawa Citizen reports on an enterprising private contractor who has been hired by a city government in Canada to drive geese off its island beaches using a small, remote-controlled drone. 'It’s proving amazingly effective, said Orléans Coun. Bob Monette. The place used to be haunted by as many as 140 geese, which can eat several pounds of grass in a day and poop out nearly as much in waste. “Now we’re down to anywhere from 15 to 20 on a daily basis,” Monette said. The weapon the city’s deployed is a “hexcopter,” a remote-controlled chopper with rotors that can hover, soar, circle and — most importantly — scoot along just above the ground, scaring the bejesus out of dozing geese. It’s operated by contractor Steve Wambolt, a former IT worker who launched his own business after one too many layoffs. “When he takes it out, they put their backs up straight and they’re watching,” Monette said. “When he starts it and it goes up off the ground, they sort of walk into a formation, and as soon as it starts moving, they all take off and they don’t come back until the next day.”'"
Lasrick writes "The Plutonium Mountain report has just been released by the Belfer Center at Harvard. It describes the remarkable effort the U.S. made to get the Russians to recognize the nuclear proliferation risk they left behind at the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test when the Soviet Union collapsed. In this interview with Siegfried Hecker, he describes how he and other scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory recognized the risk to world security as the Semipalatinsk site became overrun with metal scavengers. Quoting: 'The copper cable thieves were not nomads on camelback, but instead they employed industrial excavation machinery and left kilometers of deep trenches digging out everything they could sell. We were concerned that some of that copper cabling could lead to plutonium residues.'"
cartechboy writes "Even crashing into a wall is good news nowadays for Tesla Motors. Independent testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the company a 5-star safety rating, not just overall, but in every subcategory. While its five-star score across the board has been attained by other vehicles (around one percent of all cars tested are capable of such a score) its ratings in individual categories are higher than any other vehicle, including larger SUVs and minivans. What's really interesting is that part of the safety rating may be because the car is electric."
Lemeowski writes "Cygnus Solutions co-founder Michael Tiemann takes an in-depth look at whether music can truly ever be open source. Leaning on his personal experiences of trying to convince the market that a company that provided commercial support for free software could be successful, Tiemann argues that similar to how 'the future of software was actually waiting for the fuller participation of users ... so, too, is the future of the art of music.' In his essay, Tiemann makes a case for open source music, from licensing for quality recordings to sheet music with notes from the original composer in an easy-to-reuse format, and he offers ways to get involved in making music open source." Apropos open source music, reader rDouglass adds a link to the Open Goldberg Variations project, last mentioned on Slashdot in 2012.
jfruh writes "One of the biggest challenges Microsoft has faced with its Windows Phone platform is that it's far behind in the apps race against iOS and Android. One way to close the gap is to lower the barrier to entry for new app devs, and Microsoft has done so with Windows Phone App Studio, a hosted service that lets you build applications without actually writing any code. The description of how App Studio works may leave you wondering how useful or exciting the apps created will be, but a surge of developer interest during the current beta program has surprised even Microsoft with its scope."
New submitter lipanitech writes with an except from an interesting look at the upcoming reality of same-day delivery for many customers within reach of the Amazon delivery supply chain: "The vision goes well beyond just groceries. Groceries are a Trojan Horse. The dirty secret of Amazon is that it really doesn't distinguish between a head of lettuce and a big screen TV. If Amazon can pull off same-day grocery delivery in NYC, it ostensibly means consumers can order anything online and receive it the same day. By logical extension, that means Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is on the cusp of rendering every retailer on earth obsolete." While I'm happy to order dry goods like electronics online, I've always been skeptical of other people picking out my groceries. On the other hand, I must admit that (at least in its Seattle delivery area) Amazon Fresh does an impressive job of delivering decent produce.
ananyo writes "Researchers may have found a way to potentially predict suicidal behaviour by analyzing someone's blood. Using blood samples taken by the coroner from nine men who had committed suicide, they found six molecular signs, or biomarkers, that they say can identify people at risk of committing suicide. To check whether these biomarkers could predict hospitalizations related to suicide or suicide attempts, the researchers analysed gene-expression data from 42 men with bipolar disorder and 46 men with schizophrenia. When the biomarkers were combined with clinical measures of mood and mental state, the accuracy with which researchers could predict hospitalizations was more than 80% (abstract)."
New submitter herbalt writes "The code of the free FPS game Urban Terror (a standalone game based on a Quake 3 mod), has been stolen. The development team, Frozen Sand, at first stated their Git Repository had been hacked, but later issued an announcement stating the perpetrator of the leak was a member of the development team. Frozen Sand also states they have found chat logs indicating there had been 'a plot to get B1naryTh1ef to steal the code so they could sell Urban Terror under a different name on Steam.'"
cold fjord writes "The People's Republic of China continues its long march toward liberalization with two steps forward (And one+ step back?). The BBC reports, 'A senior Chinese official has said the country will phase out the practice of taking organs from executed prisoners from November. Huang Jiefu said China would now rely on using organs from voluntary donors under a new national donation system. Prisoners used to account for two-thirds of transplant organs, based on previous estimates from state media. For years, China denied that it used organs from executed prisoners, but admitted it a few years ago... Human rights groups estimate that China executes thousands of prisoners a year, but correspondents say that the official figures remain a state secret.'"
WillgasM writes "Changing your IP address or using proxy servers to access public websites you've been forbidden to visit is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, according to a judge's broad ruling (PDF) during a case on Friday involving Craigslist and 3taps. Opponents argue that this creates a slippery slope that many unsuspecting web users may find themselves upon. With your typical connection being assigned an address dynamically, is an IP ban really a 'technological barrier' to be circumvented? How long until we see the first prosecution for unauthorized viewing of a noindex page?" Probably a long time; the judge in the case rejected the slippery slope argument: 'There, and sprinkled throughout its earlier, ostensibly text-based, arguments, 3taps posits outlandish scenarios where, for example, someone is criminally prosecuted for visiting a hypothetical website www.dontvisitme.com after a "friend" — apparently not a very good one — says the site has beautiful pictures but the homepage says that no one is allowed to click on the links to view the pictures. Needless to say, the Court’s decision [regarding 3taps' actions]... does not speak to whether the CFAA would apply to other sets of facts where an unsuspecting individual somehow stumbles on to an unauthorized site.' Willful evasion of blocks for commercial gain, on the other hand ...
An anonymous reader was the first to write with news that Groklaw is shutting down: "There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the U.S. out or to the U.S. in, but really anywhere. You don't expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That's it exactly. That's how I feel. So. There we are. The foundation of Groklaw is over. I can't do Groklaw without your input. I was never exaggerating about that when we won awards. It really was a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate." Why it's a big deal.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Can it be true? The US government claims it really wants to hear from us on the subject of how copyright law needs to be modified to accommodate the developing technology of the digital age? I don't know, but the US Patent & Trademark Office (which btw has nothing to do with administering copyright) says 'we really want to hear from you' and the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force wrote a 122-page paper (PDF) on the subject, so they must really mean it, right? But I couldn't find the address to which to send my comments, so maybe that was an oversight on their part."
lightbox32 writes "Porn-trolling operation Prenda Law sued thousands for illegally downloading porn files over BitTorrent. Now, a new document from Comcast appears to confirm suspicions that it was actually Prenda mastermind John Steele who uploaded those files. The allegations about uploading porn to The Pirate Bay to create a 'honeypot' to lure downloaders first became public in June, when an expert report filed by Delvan Neville was filed in a Florida case. The allegations gained steam when The Pirate Bay dug through its own backup tapes to find more evidence linking John Steele to an account called sharkmp4." The problem for Prenda being that initiating the torrent would give anyone who grabbed it an implied license.
An anonymous reader writes with revelations that the UK government has been pressuring the Guardian over its publication of the Snowden leaks for a while, and that it ultimately ended with GHCQ officials smashing drives of data to pieces. From the article: "The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: 'You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.' ... one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian's long history occurred — with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian's basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. 'We can call off the black helicopters,' joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro." The paper had repeatedly pointed out how pointless destroying the data was: copies exist, and all reporting on the Snowden leaks is already being edited and published from locations other than the UK.