Submission + - 95% of plastic polluting the world's oceans comes from just 10 rivers (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Scientists analysed data on plastic from 79 sampling sites along 57 rivers. Their results showed that 10 rivers account for the majority of plastic. Targeting these rivers could halve the amount of plastic waste, experts predict.
  • Yangtze East China Sea Asia
  • Indus Arabian Sea Asia
  • Yellow River Yellow Sea Asia
  • Hai He Yellow Sea Asia
  • Nile Mediterranean Africa
  • Ganges Bay of Bengal Asia
  • Pearl River South China Sea Asia
  • Amur Sea of Okhotsk Asia
  • Niger Gulf of Guinea Africa
  • Mekong South China Sea Asia

Submission + - China's Former Internet Tsar Detained in Corruption Probe (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: China’s former internet tsar Lu Wei, who once sat in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s seat during a visit to the California company, has been detained amid a Communist Party internal graft probe, its top anti-corruption agency said. As head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, Lu was a crucial official in the implementation of President Xi Jinping’s cybersecurity policy, but was abruptly removal from the helm of the internet regulator in June 2016. Along with six other people, either his colleagues or family members, Lu Wei has been taken away for investigation a few days ago,” a well-placed source in Beijing told the South China Morning Post.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Are So Many Security Vulnerabilities Possible? 1

dryriver writes: It seems like not a day goes by on Slashdot and elsewhere on the intertubes that you don't read a story headline reading "Company_Name Product_Name Has Critical Vulnerability That Allows Hackers To Description_Of_Bad_Things_Vulnerability_Allows_To_Happen". A lot of it is big brand products as well. How, in the 21st Century, is this possible, and with such frequency? Is software running on electronic hardware invariably open to hacking if someone just tries long and hard enough? Or are the product manufacturers simply careless or cutting corners in their product designs? If you create something that communicates with other things electronically, is there no way at all to ensure that the device is practically unhackable?

Submission + - FCC Will Also Order States To Scrap Plans For Their Own Net Neutrality Laws (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In addition to ditching its own net neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission also plans to tell state and local governments that they cannot impose local laws regulating broadband service. This detail was revealed by senior FCC officials in a phone briefing with reporters today, and it is a victory for broadband providers that asked for widespread preemption of state laws. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposed order finds that state and local laws must be preempted if they conflict with the US government's policy of deregulating broadband Internet service, FCC officials said. The FCC will vote on the order at its December 14 meeting. It isn't clear yet exactly how extensive the preemption will be. Preemption would clearly prevent states from imposing net neutrality laws similar to the ones being repealed by the FCC, but it could also prevent state laws related to the privacy of Internet users or other consumer protections. Pai's staff said that states and other localities do not have jurisdiction over broadband because it is an interstate service and that it would subvert federal policy for states and localities to impose their own rules.

Submission + - Bird Flu Is Spreading in Asia, Experts (Quietly) Warn (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: While trying to avoid alarmism, global health agencies are steadily ratcheting up concern about bird flu in Asia. Bird viruses that can infect humans — particularly those of the H7N9 strain — continue to spread to new cities there.

Since October 2016, China has seen a “fifth wave” of H7N9 infections. Nearly 1,600 people have tested positive, almost 40 percent of whom have died.

Most had been exposed to live poultry, but a small number of clusters suggest that the virus could be passing from person to person.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention summarized some disturbing developments. The H7N9 virus had become lethal to birds, which made it potentially more dangerous to people but also easier to spot.

And the virus had split into two lineages — called Yangtze and Pearl, after the river deltas in which each was spreading — complicating efforts to make vaccines.

Submission + - How the Sugar Industry Tried To Hide Health Effects of Its Product 50 Years Ago (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: About 50 years ago, the sugar industry stopped funding research that began to show something they wanted to hide: that eating lots of sugar is linked to heart disease. A new study exposes the sugar industry’s decades-old effort to stifle that critical research. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recently analyzed historical documents regarding a rat study called Project 259 that was launched in 1968. The study was funded by a sugar industry trade group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, or ISRF, and conducted by W. F. R. Pover at the University of Birmingham. When the preliminary findings from that study began to show that eating lots of sugar might be associated with heart disease, and even bladder cancer, the ISRF pulled the plug on the research. Without additional funding, the study was terminated and the results were never published, according to a study published today in PLOS Biology. The study in question investigated the relationship between sugars and certain blood fats called triglycerides, which increase the risk of heart disease. The preliminary results from the research, called Project 259, suggested that rats on a high-sugar diet, instead of a starch diet, had higher levels of triglycerides. The rats that ate lots of sugar also had higher levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase in their urine, which at the time was thought to be potentially linked to bladder cancer, says study co-author Cristin Kearns, an assistant professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry.

Submission + - Sacramento Regional Transit Systems Hit By Hacker (cbslocal.com)

Zorro writes: SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Regional Transit is the one being taken for a ride on this night, by a computer hacker.

That hacker forced RT to halt its operating systems that take credit card payments, and assigns buses and trains to their routes.

The local transit agency alerted federal agents following an attack on their computers that riders may not have noticed Monday.

“We actually had the hackers get into our system, and systematically start erasing programs and data,” Deputy General Manager Mark Lonergan.

Inside RT’s headquarters, computer systems were taken down after the hacker deleted 30 million files.

The hacker also demanded a ransom in bitcoin, and a left a message on the RT website reading “I’m sorry to modify the home page, I’m good hacker, I just want to help you fix these vulnerability.”

Bitcoin has risen sharply in the last year from around $1,000 in December to more than $8,000 on Monday.

Submission + - Fidelity automatically signs up its customers for voice recognition

maiden_taiwan writes: Fidelity Investments is touting its new security feature, MyVoice, that allows a customer to access his/her financial accounts by telephone without a password:

"When you call Fidelity, you'll no longer have to enter PINs or passwords because Fidelity MyVoice helps you interact with us securely and more conveniently. Through natural conversation, MyVoice will detect and verify your voiceprint in the first few moments of the call. [...] Fidelity MyVoice performs even if you have a cold, allergies, or a sore throat."

Based on my own experience, Fidelity now enables MyVoice automatically for its customers who call in for other reasons. Apparently, their conversation with Fidelity customer service provides enough data for MyVoice to recognize them. (Customers are informed afterward that MyVoice has been enabled, and they can opt out, although they aren't told that opting out is possible.) In an era where Apple's face recognition is easily defeated by family members, is voice recognition any more secure? Is a "voiceprint" even possible?

Submission + - Hitler Quote Controversy in the BSD Community

Seven Spirals writes: Recently, the FreeBSD folks have removed Fortune with a fairly predictable far right 4chan condemnation. Then last weekend saw a lively debate on NetBSD's current-users mailing list about the inclusion of Hitler quotes in the Fortune database with dozens of posts falling on the left and right. The quotes themselves are fairly tame material probably intended as cautionary. However, the controversy and the reaction of BSD users has been real and very diverse. So far, the result has been to pull Fortune out of FreeBSD and to relocate the quotes into the "offensive" database in NetBSD's case.

Submission + - Flat Earther Plans to Launch Homemade Manned Rocket (apnews.com)

walterbyrd writes: Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who’s spent the last few years building a steam-powered rocket out of salvage parts in his garage. His project has cost him $20,000, which includes Rust-Oleum paint to fancy it up and a motor home he bought on Craigslist that he converted into a ramp.

His first test of the rocket will also be the launch date — Saturday , when he straps into his homemade contraption and attempts to hurtle over the ghost town of Amboy, California. He will travel about a mile at a speed of roughly 500 mph.

“I don’t believe in science,” said Hughes, whose main sponsor for the rocket is Research Flat Earth. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”

Submission + - Sharp's robot vacuum cleaners are vulnerable to remote take-over

AmiMoJo writes: Sharp's COCOROBO (heart-bot) vacuum cleaners can not just clean your house. They have cameras that can be viewed from a smart phone, and automatically take pictures of things they find under your sofa. They have microphones and voice recognition, and are able to ask how your day was when you get home from work. You can even activate their speakers and talk to your pets from the office. Unfortunately, so can anyone else if you don't install critical firmware updates.

Submission + - Google flagged its own Chromebook ad as spam on YouTube

AmiMoJo writes: It’s no secret that YouTube’s algorithm for automatically flagging videos can be troublesome — recent issues have seen content creators getting their videos demonetized for seemingly no reason — but Google’s latest faux pas might hit the company a little closer to home. Google posted an ad for its new Chromebook Pixel that is getting flagged as spam. It’s particularly telling about whatever is happening with YouTube’s algorithm that even official Google content is getting removed "for violating YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams."

Submission + - $31 million in tokens stolen from dollar-pegged cryptocurrency Tether (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: ll eyes may be on the meteoric rise of Bitcoin at the moment, but it's far from being the only cryptocurrency on the block. Startup Tether issued a critical announcement after it was discovered that "malicious action by an external attacker" had led to the theft of nearly $31 million worth of tokens.

Tether is a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency formerly known as Realcoin, and it says that $30,950,010 was stolen from a treasury wallet. The company says it is doing what it can to ensure exchanges do not process these tokens, including temporarily suspending its backend wallet service.

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