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Submission + - Oregon fines man for writing a complaint email stating "I am an engineer..." (vice.com)

pogopop77 writes: In September 2014, Mats Järlström, an electronics engineer living in Beaverton, Oregon, sent an email to the state's engineering board. The email claimed that yellow traffic lights don't last long enough, which "puts the public at risk." "I would like to present these facts for your review and comments," he wrote. This email resulted not with a meeting, but with a threat from The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying stating "ORS 672.020(1) prohibits the practice of engineering in Oregon without registration — at a minimum, your use of the title 'electronics engineer' and the statement 'I'm an engineer' create violations." In January of this year, Järlström was officially fined $500 by the state for the crime of "practicing engineering without being registered."

Submission + - Murdered woman's Fitbit nails cheating husband

BarbaraHudson writes: A murdered woman's Fitbit data shows she was still alive an hour after her husband claims she was murdered and he was tied up, contradicting her husband's description of events.

Richard Dabate, 40, was charged this month with felony murder, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements following his wife Connie's December 2015 death at their home in Ellington, Tolland County.

Dabate called 911 reporting that his wife was the victim of a home invasion, alleging that she was shot dead by a "tall, obese man" with a deep voice like actor Vin Diesel's, sporting "camouflage and a mask," according to an arrest warrant.

Dabate alleged her death took place more than an hour before her Fitbit-tracked movements revealed.

Submission + - Why Did Google Really Block A Guerrilla Fighter In The Ad War? (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Google's decision to ban the Chrome plug-in AdNauseum due to a violation of its "single purpose policy"—shortly after the app began supporting the EFF's new Do Not Track standard—was only the latest salvo in an ongoing war over online advertising. The ad industry knows that ads are a nuisance, and it's now taking pre-emptive measures to make them more palatable—or, in Google's case, to block the unpalatable ones. But Google's positions also point to a crucial disagreement at the heart of the ad war: What makes ads such a nuisance to begin with?

Ads aren't just ugly, annoying, and bandwidth-sucking: They pose a risk to privacy, as the networks of software behind ads—cookies, trackers, and malware—watch not only where you go on the web but, through your phone and your purchases, what you do in real life. But privacy is largely missing from Google's discussion of problematic ads, says Howe. By avoiding mentioning AdNauseum's actual intent, Google's explanation for banning it echoes the advertising industry's discussion of web ads, which focuses on aesthetics rather than privacy.

Submission + - Gene silencing may treat two fatal neurological disorders

An anonymous reader writes: In studies of mice, scientists discovered a drug, designed to silence a gene called ataxin 2, may be effective at treating ALS and SCA2.NIH/NINDS
In two studies of mice, researchers showed that a drug, engineered to combat the gene that causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), might also be used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Both studies were published in the journal Nature with funding from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Our results provide hope that we may one day be able to treat these devastating disorders,” said Stefan M. Pulst, M.D., Dr. Med., University of Utah, professor and chair of neurology and a senior author of one the studies. In 1996, Dr. Pulst and other researchers discovered that mutations in the ataxin 2 gene cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 2, a fatal inherited disorder that primarily damages a part of the brain called the cerebellum, causing patients to have problems with balance, coordination, walking and eye movements.
Read the full story here:
http://healthwithfitness.org/g...

Submission + - Windows 95 and 98 still power Pentagon's critical systems

SmartAboutThings writes: The Pentagon is set to complete its Windows 10 transition by the end of this year, but nearly 75% of its control system devices still run Windows XP or other older versions, including Windows 95 and 98. A Pentagon official now wants the bug bounty program of the top U.S. defense agency expanded to scan for vulnerabilities in its critical infrastructure.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Cheaper cellphone and internet? 3

An anonymous reader writes: I pay $50 a month to AT&T for cellular service, and $60 a month to Comcast for Internet access. I don't have or want a smartphone, and use maybe 10% of my call minutes every month, and have a bare-bones plan. I use the Internet lightly, and would be happy with DSL speeds instead of 8Mb/S if it were cheaper, but can't completely get rid of Internet access entirely. How can I make these cheaper?

Submission + - School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy

Presto Vivace writes: Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy

Student laptops and educational services are often available for a steeply reduced price, and are sometimes even free. However, they come with real costs and unresolved ethical questions.4 Throughout EFF’s investigation over the past two years, we have found that educational technology services often collect far more information on kids than is necessary and store this information indefinitely. This privacy-implicating information goes beyond personally identifying information (PII) like name and date of birth, and can include browsing history, search terms, location data, contact lists, and behavioral information. Some programs upload this student data to the cloud automatically and by default. All of this often happens 'families.

Don't we have laws prohibiting the electronic stalking of children?

Submission + - The Myth of A Superhuman AI (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: One of the most common questions about the future of artificial intelligence goes something like this: "I’ve heard that in the future computerized AIs will become so much smarter than us that they will take all our jobs and resources, and humans will go extinct. Is this true?" But the assumption that AI will render humans obsolete is serious hyperbole. As Kevin Kelly writes at Backchannel, "buried in this scenario of a takeover of superhuman artificial intelligence are five assumptions which, when examined closely, are not based on any evidence...If the expectation of a superhuman AI takeover is built on five key assumptions that have no basis in evidence, then this idea is more akin to a religious belief—a myth." Don't miss the full, impeccably argued debunking of this pervasive myth.

Submission + - NASA Launching Super Pressure Balloon - Wanaka, New Zealand (nzherald.co.nz)

rupert.applin writes: The NZ Herald is reporting the launch of another super pressure balloon from Wanaka Airport in New Zealand.

"A stadium-sized balloon launch conducted by Nasa is going ahead in Wanaka after seven failed attempts.

Nasa will be conducting a super-pressure balloon test flight from Wanaka on a planned 100-day journey.

After launch the balloon will ascend to an altitude of 33.5 kilometres where the stratospheric winds will propel it at speeds of at least 100 knots through the heating and cooling of the day-night cycle on a weeks-long journey around the Southern Hemisphere, said Debbie Fairbrother, Nasa's Balloon Programme Office chief."

Submission + - Leaked NSA hacking tools will be weaponized for years to come (cyberscoop.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: Over 200,000 machines have been infected with NSA tools leaked by the ShadowBrokers. Security researchers, seeing as many as 25,000 new infections per day, say the “reliable and easy to use” tools will be workable in the wild for the next decade. There's precedent to back this up: The most exploited vulnerability in both 2015 and 2016 was the software flaw, first discovered in 2010, that allowed the famous Stuxnet virus to spread.

Submission + - Quick Tutorial: Deleting Your Data Using Google's "My Activity" (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Since posting "The Google Page That Google Haters Don’t Want You to Know About" last week, I’ve received a bunch of messages from readers asking for help using Google’s “My Activity” page to control, inspect, and/or delete their data on Google. The My Activity portal is quite comprehensive and can be used in many different ways, but to get you started I’ll briefly outline how to use My Activity to delete activity data.

Submission + - A caterpillar may lead to a "plastic pollution" solution. (bbc.com)

FatdogHaiku writes: Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.

They think microbes in the caterpillar — as well as the insect itself — might play a role in breaking down plastic. If the chemical process can be identified, it could lead to a solution to managing plastic waste in the environment.

Submission + - How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All (theatlantic.com)

Thelasko writes: Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.

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