Submission + - Turkish schools to stop teaching evolution, official says (

An anonymous reader writes: Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition.

Alpaslan Durmu, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for students.

“We believe that these subjects are beyond their [students] comprehension,” said Durmu in a video published on the education ministry’s website.

Durmu said a chapter on evolution was being removed from ninth grade biology course books, and the subject postponed to the undergraduate period. Another change to the curriculum may reduce the amount of time that students spend studying the legacy of secularism.

Critics of the government believe public life is being increasingly stripped of the secular traditions instilled by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Submission + - Former Slashdot Contributor Jon Katz Believes He Can Talk To Animals (

destinyland writes: I got a surprise when I visited my local bookstore. Jon Katz turns 70 this August, and he's published a new book called Talking to Animals: How You Can Understand Animals and They Can Understand You. Katz was a former newspaper reporter (and a contributing editor to Rolling Stone) who wrote for HotWired, the first online presence for Wired magazine in the mid-1990s, before becoming a controversial contributor to Slashdot during the site's early days. Katz left Manhattan in the 1990s to live on a farm "surrounded by dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, goats, and chickens," according to the book description, an experience he writes about on his blog. His new book promises that Katz now "marshals his experience to offer us a deeper insight into animals and the tools needed for effectively communicating with them."

Submission + - Sci-Hub Ordered To Pay $15 Million In Piracy Damages (

An anonymous reader writes: Two years ago, academic publisher Elsevier filed a complaint (PDF) against Sci-Hub and several related “pirate” sites. It accused the websites of making academic papers widely available to the public, without permission. While Sci-Hub is nothing like the average pirate site, it is just as illegal according to Elsevier’s legal team, who obtained a preliminary injunction from a New York District Court last fall. The injunction ordered Sci-Hub’s founder Alexandra Elbakyan to quit offering access to any Elsevier content. However, this didn’t happen. Instead of taking Sci-Hub down, the lawsuit achieved the opposite. Sci-Hub grew bigger and bigger up to a point where its users were downloading hundreds of thousands of papers per day. Although Elbakyan sent a letter to the court earlier, she opted not engage in the US lawsuit any further. The same is true for her fellow defendants, associated with Libgen. As a result, Elsevier asked the court for a default judgment and a permanent injunction which were issued this week. Following a hearing on Wednesday, the Court awarded Elsevier $15,000,000 in damages, the maximum statutory amount for the 100 copyrighted works that were listed in the complaint. In addition, the injunction, through which Sci-Hub and LibGen lost several domain names, was made permanent.

Submission + - Google's Gmail Will No Longer Scan Messages to Personalize Ads (

Lauren Weinstein writes: Google has announced that beginning later this year, they will no longer scan or otherwise use messages in their free Gmail system for ad personalization purposes (this is already the case for their paid Gmail (G Suite) product.

This is a good decision to help undercut the Google haters’ false propaganda, but let’s be clear — this Gmail message scanning was always utterly harmless.

Submission + - Creating Glaciers in the Desert (

randomErr writes: Ladakh is a trans-Himalayan mountain desert in the extreme north of India. It is a cold desert with winter temperatures touching -30 C, and an average annual rain/snow fall of only 100 mm or less than 4 inches. SECMOL Alternative Institute the Pheyang Monastery near the institute started making an ice stupa from artificial glaciers. The stupa's store waste winter water in the form of ice mountains that melt and feed the farms when water is most needed by the farmers.

Submission + - Twitch to stream free six-day marathon of classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 (

BrianFagioli writes: Today, Twitch announces its latest marathon offering — Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you aren't familiar with the cult-classic show, it features a man and two puppet-robots that talk over old B-level films. In other words, you are sort of watching a movie along with them, but the comedic commentary is the real focal point — not the actual film.

"The MST3K marathon will feature 38 of the classic episodes that originally aired on Comedy Central and Sci-Fi Channel from 1989 to 1997. Created by Joel Hodgson, the series follows a hapless host, trapped by mad scientists on a satellite in space, who is forced to watch some of the most outrageously unfortunate B movies ever created. To keep sane, he has built two robot sidekicks, and together they do a running commentary on the films, affectionately mocking their flaws with inspired wisecracks and acting as a demented movie theater peanut gallery," says Twitch.

Submission + - Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years (

buddha379 writes: You’ve never heard of Yuji Ijiri. But back in 1989 he created something incredible.

It’s more revolutionary than the Internet, the cotton gin, the steam engine, the PC and the smart phone combined.

When people look back hundreds of years from now, only the printing press and the Internet will have it beat for sheer mind-boggling impact on society. Both the net and the printing press enabled the democratization of information and single-handedly uplifted the collective knowledge of people all over the world.

So what am I talking about? What did Ijiri create that’s so amazing?

Triple-entry accounting.

Uh, what?

Yeah. I’m serious.

Submission + - Vault 7: CIA Has Malware for Hacking Air-Gapped Networks via USB Thumb Drives (

An anonymous reader writes: WikiLeaks dumped today the manuals of several hacking utilities part of Brutal Kangaroo, a CIA malware toolkit for hacking into air-gapped (offline) networks using tainted USB thumb drives. The CIA uses these tools as part of a very complex attack process, that allows CIA operatives to infect offline, air-gapped networks.

The first stage of these attacks start with the infection of a "primary host," an Internet-connected computer at a targeted company. Malware on this primary host automatically infects all USB thumb drives inserted into the machine. If this thumb drive is connected to computers on an air-gapped network, a second malware is planted on these devices.

This malware is so advanced, that it can even create a network of hacked air-gapped PCs that talk to each other and exchange commands. To infect the air-gapped computers, the CIA malware uses LNK (shortcut) files placed on the USB thumb drive. Once the user opens and views the content of the thumb drive in Windows Explorer, his air-gapped PC is infected without any other interaction.

Submission + - Gene-Edited Algae Offers Potential For More Biofuel (

LCooke writes: Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil drew on gene editing techniques to modify a strain of algae so it produces more oil — and its growth isn't stunted. That oil can be turned into biofuel that supposedly isn't so different from today's diesel. The researchers may be years away from commercialization but claim it's a significant milestone.

Submission + - The trouble with geoengineers "hacking the planet" (

Dan Drollette writes: Despite all the hype, geoengineering would not be simple or easy, or a one-time solution, or buy us any time. Instead, "hacking the planet" would be a difficult undertaking that humanity would have to commit to essentially forever—and still not fix the underlying problem. Assuming it even works.

Submission + - IT Services Company Wipro forces 600 employees to work in bedbug infested office ( 2

McGruber writes: Information Technology Services Corporation Wipro's ( 600-employee call center in Chamblee, Georgia is in infected with bed bugs according to Atlanta television station 11 Alive (

The facilities manager admits there is a bed bug problem and it’s been an issue since late May.

Employees told the tv station that the bugs are all over the three floors — and they’re biting. But employees are being told they still must go to work. Kwanita Holmes sent 11Alive photos of what she said is a bed bug bite on her arm — “We’re at work 8 hours a day and we’re getting munched on all day,” she said.

Wipro said it’s paying for in-home bed bug consultations and treatments for employees.

Submission + - FCC Website Vulnerability Exploited (

RendonWI writes: A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company’s name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers.

Submission + - The people GoFundMe leaves behind (

citadrianne writes: President Donald Trump’s proposed budget seeks to slash $54 billion from social services including programs like Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. As these resources dry up, crowdfunding websites will further entrench themselves as extra-governmental welfare providers in order to fill the gap. For a lucky few, these sites are a lifeline. For most people, they are worthless. ...

Crowdfunding’s fatal flaw is that not every campaign ends up getting the money it needs. A recent study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that more than 90 percent of GoFundMe campaigns never meet their goal. For every crowdfunding success story, there are hundreds of failures.

“As many happy stories as there are in charitable crowdfunding, there are a lot of really worthy causes when you browse these platforms that nobody has given a cent to,” Rob Gleasure, professor at the business school of the National University of Ireland, Cork told The Outline. “People haven’t come across them.”

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