Submission + - University trawls through e-mail in attempt to discredit harassment claims (

An anonymous reader writes: Buried deep into an EEOC complaint about the botched investigation of a University of Rochester sexual harassment claim, University officials apparently searched through faculty e-mail in an attempt to find and discredit complainants.

It is extremely unusual for a university to secretly scan the email accounts of academics seeking “dirt” to use against them in an internal dispute.

The three professors notified about the clandestine email trawl met with the Provost and became convinced that the Complainants, had acted inappropriately. They came to this conclusion despite not having seen any of the allegedly damning emails.

After the accused was disinvited from an event, UR administrators suspected the complainants had bad-mouthed the accused and once more decided to search emails to prove their suspicions even though they found nothing more than an agreement to speak on the phone.

Submission + - Jerry Pournelle has passed away (

andrewa writes: It's not really hit the news sites yet, but Jerry Pournelle has just passed away. My experience with Jerry was through his "Chaos Manor" column in Byte magazine, and his brilliant science fiction work.
Rest in peace original blogger!

Submission + - Firefox 57 Will Hide Search Bar and Use a Uni-Bar Approach, Like Chrome (

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla will drop an iconic section of its UI — the search bar — and will use one singular input bar atop the browser, similar to the approach of most Chromium browsers. This change will go live in Firefox 57, scheduled for release on November 14, and will be part of Photon — the codename used to describe Firefox's new user interface (UI) — also scheduled for a public release in v57.

Mozilla engineers aren't removing the search bar altogether, but Firefox will hide this UI element by default. Users can still re-enable it by going to "Preferences Search Search Bar" and choosing the second option. The current Firefox search bar is redundant since most of its features can be performed by the URL address bar.

Submission + - FDA Slams EpiPen Maker For Doing Nothing While Hundreds Failed, People Died (

An anonymous reader writes: The manufacturer of EpiPen devices failed to address known malfunctions in its epinephrine auto-injectors even as hundreds of customer complaints rolled in and failures were linked to deaths, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The damning allegations came to light today when the FDA posted a warning letter it sent September 5 to the manufacturer, Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. The company (which is owned by Pfizer) produces EpiPens for Mylan, which owns the devices and is notorious for dramatically raising prices by more than 400 percent in recent years. The auto-injectors are designed to be used during life-threatening allergic reactions to provide a quick shot of epinephrine. If they fail to fire, people experiencing a reaction can die or suffer serious illnesses. According to the FDA, that’s exactly what happened for hundreds of customers. In the letter, the agency wrote: "In fact, your own data show that you received hundreds of complaints that your EpiPen products failed to operate during life-threatening emergencies, including some situations in which patients subsequently died."

The agency goes on to lambast Meridian Medical for failing to investigate problems with the devices, recall bad batches, and follow-up on problems found. For instance, a customer made a complaint in April 2016 that an EpiPen failed. When Meridian disassembled the device, it found a deformed component that led to the problem—the exact same defect it had found in February when another unit failed.

Submission + - UN Aviation Agency To Call For Global Drone Registry (

An anonymous reader writes: The United Nations’ aviation agency is backing the creation of a single global drone registry, as part of broader efforts to come up with common rules for flying and tracking unmanned aircraft. While the International Civil Aviation Organization cannot impose regulations on countries, ICAO has proposed formation of the registry during a Montreal symposium this month to make data accessible in real time, said Stephen Creamer, director of ICAO’s air navigation bureau. The single registry would eschew multiple databases in favor of a one-stop-shop that would allow law enforcement to remotely identify and track unmanned aircraft, along with their operator and owner. It’s not yet clear who would operate such a database, although ICAO could possibly fill that role. The proposal, however, could face push back from users, after hobbyists successfully challenged the creation of a U.S. drone registry by the Federal Aviation Administration in court earlier this year.

Submission + - India aims to put 1 million e-vehicles on road by Mid 2019 (

gubol123 writes: Six leading car makers are eyeing the government’s plan to buy 10,000 electric vehicles while policy makers are considering generous fiscal incentives to make their capital and running cost cheaper than petrol cars within five years.

Broadly, the aim is to put on roads 1 million electric three-wheelers and 10,000 electric city buses by mid-2019 and make India the world leader in at least some segments of the market as the country strives to shift entirely to battery-powered transportation by 2030

Read more at:

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What's a practical response to the Equifax breach? 9

AdamStarks writes: What steps can the average joe take to protect their identity? Accepting Equifax's help forfeits your right to sue; it's the same with applying for protection at TransUnion (not sure about Experian). Extra services at those companies also cost money, but that's putting even more of your data in their hands, and it's not clear whether the protection/help they provide is worth it (leaving aside not wanting to reward bad behavior).

Submission + - Best Buy Quarantines Kaspersky ( 1

swschrad writes: Call it a stampede, call it a business decision, but Best Buy has pulled Kaspersky Internet Security from shelves and online. Some in US government security suspect Russian ties make it a suspicious product. Since all major security companies have links with each other and with government security agencies, sharing threat evidence to find counters, Kaspersky's defense seems valid. but if you want it, be prepared to buy it off their own website. Best Buy will give purchasers 45 days to take another product free if they want.

Submission + - Hobbyist gives iPhone 7 the headphone jack we've always wanted (

intellitech writes: From the article: "For those of you who miss the iPhone headphone jack, you're definitely not alone. But Strange Parts creator Scotty Allen missed it so much that he decided to add one to his iPhone 7. He just posted a video of the project's entire saga, with all of its many ups and downs, and in the end he holds what he set out to create — a current generation iPhone with a fully functional headphone jack. It turns out, real courage is adding the headphone jack back to the iPhone."

Submission + - Kodi no longer free? If trolls get their way, you might have to pay! (

BrianFagioli writes: Kodi is apparently fighting on another front too — it is battling what it calls "trademark trolls." Yes, apparently some people are looking to exploit the open source software's name for profit. This could potentially lead to people having to pay a fee when selling or buying Kodi devices.

"At least one trademark troll has so far not agreed to voluntarily release their grasp on their registration of our trademark and is actively blackmailing hardware vendors in an entire country, trying to become as rich as possible off of our backs and the backs of Kodi volunteers everywhere. His name is Geoff Gavora. He had written several letters to the Foundation over the years, expressing how important XBMC and Kodi were to him and his sales. And then, one day, for whatever reason, he decided to register the Kodi trademark in his home country of Canada. We had hoped, given the positive nature of his past emails, that perhaps he was doing this for the benefit of the Foundation. We learned, unfortunately, that this was not the case," says Nathan Betzen, Kodi Project Manager.

Submission + - Machine learning to predict sexuality from photos (

randomlygeneratename writes: Researchers built classifiers trained on photos from dating websites to predict the sexual orientation of users. The best classifier used logistic regression over features extracted from a VGG-Face conv-net. The latter was done to prevent overfitting to background, non-facial information. Classical facial feature extraction also worked with a slight drop in accuracy. From multiple photos, they achieved an accuracy of .91 for men and .83 for women (and .81/.71 for a single photo). Humans were only able to get .61 and .54, respectively. One caveat is the paper mentions it only used Caucasian faces.

The paper went on to discuss how this capability can be an invasion of privacy, and conjectured that other types of personal information might be detectable from photos. The source paper can be found here:

Submission + - AI can detect sexual orientation based on person's photo (

ugen writes: Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now accurately identify a person's sexual orientation by analyzing photos of their face, according to new research.

The Stanford University study, which is set to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and was first reported in The Economist, found that machines had a far superior "gaydar" when compared to humans.

The machine intelligence tested in the research could correctly infer between gay and straight men 81 percent of the time, and 74 percent of the time for women.

When the AI reviewed five images of a person's face, rather than one, the results were even more convincing – 91 percent of the time with men and 83 percent of the time with women.

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