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Submission + - Tax plan would levy a tax on graduate student tuition waivers 1

Camel Pilot writes: The new Tax Plan will tax Tuition Waivers as income. Graduate Students working as a TA or RA on meager stipends would have to declare Tuition Waivers as income on the order of $70K income. This will force many Graduate Students of modest means to quit their career paths and walk away from their research. As Prof Claus Wilke points out "This would be a disaster for US STEM Ph.D. education"

Submission + - Researches claim JTAG access to Intel Management Engine obtained. (twitter.com)

bongey writes: A pair of security researchers, in Russia are claiming to have compromised the Intel Management Engine just using one of the computer's USB ports. The researchers gained access to a fully functional JTAG connection to Intel CSME via USB DCI. The claim is different from previous USB DCI JTAG examples from earlier this year https://www.digitaltrends.com/... . Full JTAG access to the ME would allow making permanent hidden changes to the machine.

Submission + - America's 'Retail Apocalypse' Is Really Just Beginning (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The so-called retail apocalypse has become so ingrained in the U.S. that it now has the distinction of its own Wikipedia entry. The industry’s response to that kind of doomsday description has included blaming the media for hyping the troubles of a few well-known chains as proof of a systemic meltdown. There is some truth to that. In the U.S., retailers announced more than 3,000 store openings in the first three quarters of this year. But chains also said 6,800 would close. And this comes when there’s sky-high consumer confidence, unemployment is historically low and the U.S. economy keeps growing. Those are normally all ingredients for a retail boom, yet more chains are filing for bankruptcy and rated distressed than during the financial crisis. That’s caused an increase in the number of delinquent loan payments by malls and shopping centers. The reason isn’t as simple as Amazon.com Inc. taking market share or twenty-somethings spending more on experiences than things. The root cause is that many of these long-standing chains are overloaded with debt—often from leveraged buyouts led by private equity firms. There are billions in borrowings on the balance sheets of troubled retailers, and sustaining that load is only going to become harder—even for healthy chains. The debt coming due, along with America’s over-stored suburbs and the continued gains of online shopping, has all the makings of a disaster. The spillover will likely flow far and wide across the U.S. economy. There will be displaced low-income workers, shrinking local tax bases and investor losses on stocks, bonds and real estate. If today is considered a retail apocalypse, then what’s coming next could truly be scary.

Submission + - Raja Koduri joins Intel as head of new Core and Visual Computing Group

nateman1352 writes: In a shocking announcement, Intel has confirmed that former Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri will join the company as a chief architect and senior vice president of its newly-formed Core and Visual Computing Group. In that role, Intel says Koduri will bolster Intel's leadership in integrated graphics processors and—incredibly—complement those products with "high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments."

Submission + - Scientists Save Child's Life By Growing Him New Skin (scientificamerican.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The German doctors realized they had to do something drastic or their seven-year-old patient would die. The boy had escaped war-ravaged Syria with his parents, and a rare genetic disease had left him with raw, blistering sores over 80 percent of his body. His doctors in a children’s burn unit tried everything they could to treat his illness, called junctional epidermolysis bullosa—even grafting some skin from his father to see if it would heal the child’s wounds. But his body rejected this. Finally, they e-mailed Michele De Luca, a researcher in Italy, to ask for help.

The doctors took a small sample of skin from one of the few places on the boy’s body where it was not flaming red or flaking off, and sent it to De Luca. His team at the center used a virus to insert into the skin cells a correct copy of a gene called LAMB3; the boy’s own defective copy had caused his epidermolysis bullosa. De Luca and his colleagues grew the skin cells over scaffolds in their lab to form large sheets, the way doctors often do for burn patients. In two surgeries in October and November 2015, the Italian and German teams covered the boy’s limbs, sides and back with these sheets of fresh skin. After being too sick even to get out of bed before his surgeries, “he was standing up already by Christmas,” De Luca says. In January 2016 the boy, whose name is not being released to protect his privacy, received a few more skin patches—and in February he was released from the University Hospitals of the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

Submission + - DOJ Tells Time Warner It Must Sell CNN or DirecTV To Approve Its AT&T Merger (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Justice Department has called on AT&T and Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, the group of cable channels that includes CNN, as a potential requirement for approving the companies’ pending $85.4 billion deal, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. The other potential way the merger could win approval would be for AT&T to sell its DirecTV division, two of these people added. As originally envisioned, combining AT&T and Time Warner would yield a giant company offering wireless and broadband internet service, DirecTV, the Warner Brothers movie studio and cable channels like HBO and CNN. If the Justice Department formally makes either demand a requisite for approval, AT&T and Time Warner would almost certainly take the matter to court to challenge the government’s legal basis for blocking their deal.

Submission + - Half of Colorado Counties Have Rejected a Law Restricting City-Run Internet

bumblebaetuna writes: In Tuesday's Coordinated Election, two Colorado counties voted on ballot measures to
exempt themselves from a state law prohibiting city-run internet services. Both Eagle County and Boulder County voters approved the measures, bringing the total number of Colorado counties that have rejected the state law to 31—nearly half of the state's 64 counties. Senate Bill 152—which was lobbied for by Big Telecom—became law in Colorado in 2005, and prohibits municipalities in the state from providing city-run broadband services.

Submission + - Chrome Will Crack Down On Unwanted Redirects in 2018

An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome is going to war against low-quality ads and autoplaying content with sound next year. Now the team is adding a new target to its list: unwanted redirects. Google today shared that 1 out of every 5 feedback reports from Chrome users on desktop mention encountering some type of unwanted content. As such, the company has announced a series of protections designed to fight deceptive behaviors intentionally designed to mislead web users.

Submission + - Your visual skills are not correlated to your IQ (vanderbilt.edu)

Science_afficionado writes: Psychologists at Vanderbilt University have conducted the first study of individual variation in visual ability. They have discovered that there is a broad range of differences in people’s capability for recognizing and remembering novel objects and this ability is NOT associated with individuals’ general intelligence, or IQ.

Submission + - $300 Million in Ethereum Cryptocurrency "Lost" Due to Bug (theguardian.com)

ytene writes: As reported by the UK's Guardian newspaper, a very significant amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency was lost thanks to the actions of support operator, "devops199". As the article explains, "Effectively, a user accidentally stole hundreds of wallets simultaneously, and then set them on fire in a panic while trying to give them back."

Although this story will catch headlines due to the cryptocurrency nature of the context and the significant sum of money involved, perhaps this is also interesting because the story suggests that the failure was caused by a "DevOp" — a user role that combines the functions of Developer and Production Support into a single person. Whilst it's true to say that anyone in technology can make mistakes, does this story also hint at the idea that the combined role of "DevOps" is inherently more risky, given that it invites people to combine the experimental mindset of a developer with the greater authority granted to Production Support staff?

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