Submission + - Earliest evidence for dog breeding found on remote Siberian island (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have found the oldest evidence for dog breeding on a remote island in the East Siberian Sea. Nine thousand years ago, the hunter-gatherers of Zhokhov Island lived in animal-skin tents, hunted large numbers of polar bears with nothing more than a spear, and appear to have been the first people on earth who bred dogs for a specific purpose--in this case to pull sleds, so that they could track reindeer across hundreds of miles of frozen plains. The work could rewrite the thinking about some of the earliest days of dog domestication, and it suggests that scientists interested in the beginnings of the human-canine relationship should be paying more attention to early Arctic peoples.

Submission + - Opera abandons iOS (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: As an iPhone and iPad user, I thought maybe it was time to use Opera on mobile. After all, why not use the same app across all my devices? Unfortunately, after searching for Opera in the Apple App Store, I noticed something odd — none of the company's iOS browsers (Opera Mini and Opera Coast) had been updated in 2017. Since we are almost halfway through the year, I decided to ask Opera what was up. Shockingly, the company told me that it no longer has a team working on iOS.

As you can see below, an Opera employee by the name of "Rosi" sent me a tweet this morning, making the revelation. While the desktop version of the browser is still in development, the company has chosen to abandon its efforts on iOS. To show just how bad it is, the Opera Mini browser hasn't been updated in almost a year. Opera Coast was updated in December of 2016, however — almost six months ago.

Submission + - Classroom Tech Fail: 'Clickers' Can Impede Conceptual Learning (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: It's common these days for large-lecture classes to make students purchase "clickers" — small wireless remotes that let them answer multiple-choice quizzes during class. But in some situations, the devices can do more harm than good to learning, hindering big-picture understanding, says a new study. The professor at the heart of the study has since changed the way he teaches based on the finding. “Students, like all of us, are looking for the quick way to get the answer,” he says. “If you’re presenting stuff as ‘Just plug numbers into equations,’ then that’s what they’ll do.”

Submission + - Not just NSA, FBI too illegally handled Americans' data (circa.com)

mi writes: In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

Submission + - Facebook's Instant Articles Platform To Support Google AMP, Apple News (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: One of the problems publishers face today in making their content more readable on mobile devices is that there are multiple, competing formats available for this purpose. Facebook has Instant Articles, Google is spearheading the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, and the Apple News Format optimizes content for iOS devices. Facebook is today taking a crack at a solution to this problem by rolling out support for both AMP and soon Apple News as a part of its open source Instant Articles software development kit. The updated SDK will now include an extension that lets publishers build content that’s publishable in all three formats, beginning with support for Google’s AMP in addition to Facebook’s own Instant Articles. In the weeks ahead it will also include support for publishing to Apple News, though the company didn’t provide an exact launch date for when that feature would be added.

Submission + - Chinese Company Offers Free Training For US Coal Miners To Become Wind Farmers (qz.com)

An anonymous reader writes: If you want to truly understand what’s happening in the energy industry, the best thing to do is to travel deep into the heart of American coal country, to Carbon County, Wyoming (yes, that’s a real place). The state produces most coal in the US, and Carbon County has long been known (and was named) for its extensive coal deposits. But the state’s mines have been shuttering over the past few years, causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs in 2016 alone. Now, these coal miners are finding hope, offered from an unlikely place: a Chinese wind-turbine maker wants to retrain these American workers to become wind-farm technicians. It’s the perfect metaphor for the massive shift happening in the global energy markets. The news comes from an energy conference in Wyoming, where the American arm of Goldwind, a Chinese wind-turbine manufacturer, announced the free training program. More than a century ago, Carbon County was home to the first coal mine in Wyoming. Soon, it will be the site of a new wind farm with hundreds of Goldwind-supplied turbines.

Submission + - Malvertising Campaign Finds a Way Around Ad Blockers (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: What many have feared has become reality today, after Malwarebytes researchers have discovered an online malvertising campaign that can bypass ad blockers. Named RoughTed, this campaign has been going strong for over a year, and has been delivering malicious ads on sites such as Adf.ly, ExtraTorrent, Openloud, and many others in the Alexa top 500.

In an interview, Jerome Segura, the researcher who discovered this campaign says RoughTed uses very aggressive advertising to detect a user's PC details. Segura also says that RoughTed is not the first malvertising campaign to deploy ad-blocker bypassing scripts, but it's the first at such a large scale. Users of ad-blockers have also started noticing RoughTed's ability to bypass their extensions.[Adblock Plus,uBlock originor AdGuard]

Furthermore, RoughTed seems to be very diverse, sending users to all sort of nasty sites, such as exploit kits, Windows PUP download sites, Mac adware sites, iOS pay-per-install schemes, online surveys, tech support scams, rogue Chrome extensions, and others. Basically, this malvertising campaign takes advantage of most of its traffic, not just users that use old IE versions.

Submission + - Fighting Government Crippled Encryption by Turning It Off Entirely! (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Of course, firms could indeed choose to withdraw from such markets, perhaps in conjunction with geoblocking of domestic users in those countries to meet government prohibitions against strong encryption. Pretty awful prospects.

There is another possibility though — that I’ll admit up front would be highly controversial. Rather than crippling those designated encryption systems in those countries under government orders, firms could choose to disable those encryption systems entirely!

I know that this sounds counterintuitive, but please hang with me for a few minutes!

Submission + - Instagram ranked worst for young people's mental health (cbsnews.com)

schwit1 writes: Researchers from the Royal Society for Public Health in conjunction with the Young Health Movement published the report entitled #StatusOfMind, which looks at the positive and negative effects of social media on young people's health and well-being.

Snapchat ranked the second worst for mental health of the sites reviewed in the report, followed by Facebook. On the plus side, YouTube topped the list as the most positive, with Twitter coming in after it.

The researchers surveyed almost 1,500 teens and young people aged 14 to 24 from across the U.K. to score how each of the social media platforms they use impacts 14 specific factors related to their health and well-being.

These included emotional support, depression, body image, loneliness, sleep, self-expression, self-identity, community building, and bullying, among others.

Submission + - A wormable code-execution bug has lurked in Samba for 7 years. Patch now! (arstechnica.com)

williamyf writes: As reported in ArsTechnica, a wormable bug has remiended undetected for seven years in SaMBa verions 3.5.0 onwards. From the article:

Dan Tentler, founder of security firm Phobus Group, told Ars that more than 477,000 Samba-enabled computers exposed port 445, although it wasn't clear how many of them were running a vulnerable version of the utility. Tentler cited figures returned by the Shodan computer search engine. Researchers with security firm Rapid7, meanwhile, said they detected 110,000 devices exposed on the internet that appeared to run vulnerable versions of Samba. 92,500 of them appeared to run unsupported versions of Samba for which no patch was available.

Fortunately, there is a mitigation. Again, from the article:

Those who are unable to patch immediately can work around the vulnerability by adding the line

nt pipe support = no

to their Samba configuration file and restart the network's SMB daemon. The change will prevent clients from fully accessing some network computers and may disable some expected functions for connected Windows machines.

The patch came in fast, but the "Many eyes" took seven years for to "make the bug shallow".

Submission + - 8 In 10 People Now See Climate Change As a 'Catastrophic Risk,' Says Survey (trust.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Nearly nine in 10 people say they are ready to make changes to their standard of living if it would prevent future climate catastrophe, a survey on global threats found Wednesday. The survey of more than 8,000 people in eight countries – the United States, China, India, Britain, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany – found that 84 percent of people now consider climate change a "global catastrophic risk." That puts worry about climate change only slightly behind fears about large-scale environmental damage and the threat of politically motivated violence escalating into war, according to the Global Challenges Foundation, which commissioned the Global Catastrophic Risks 2017 report. The survey, released in advance of this week's G7 summit of advanced economies in Italy, also found that 85 percent of people think the United Nations needs reforms to be better equipped to address global threats. About 70 percent of those surveyed said they think it may be time to create a new global organization – with power to enforce its decisions – specifically designed to deal with a wide range of global risks. Nearly 60 percent said they would be prepared to have their country give up some level of sovereignty to make that happen.

Submission + - How Facebook flouts Holocaust denial laws except where it fears being sued (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook’s policies on Holocaust denial will come under fresh scrutiny following the leak of documents that show moderators are being told not to remove this content in most of the countries where it is illegal.

The files explain that moderators should take down Holocaust denial material in only four of the 14 countries where it is outlawed.

A picture of a concentration camp with the caption “Never again Believe the Lies” was permissible if posted anywhere other than the four countries in which Facebook fears legal action, one document explains. Facebook contested the figures but declined to elaborate.

Submission + - Is Google's New "Store Sales Measurement" System a Privacy Risk? (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Within hours of Google announcing their new “Store Sales Measurement” system, my inbox began filling with concerned queries. I held off responding on this until I could get additional information directly from Google. With that now in hand I feel comfortable in addressing this issue.

Submission + - UK Furious About US Intelligence Leaks

Oxygen99 writes: Further evidence of the dysfunctional nature of the Trump administration came to light today as the UK government expressed dismay at American leaks of intelligence related to the Manchester terrorist attack investigation. Sensitive information regarding identities and photos have both been leaked to the American press infuriating the British police. If you can't trust your supposed friends, who can you trust?

Submission + - Windows Switch To Git Almost Complete: 8,500 Commits and 1,760 Builds Each Day (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Back in February, Microsoft made the surprising announcement that the Windows development team was going to move to using the open source Git version control system for Windows development. A little over three months after that first revelation, and about 90 percent of the Windows engineering team has made the switch. The Windows repository now has about 4,400 active branches, with 8,500 code pushes made per day and 6,600 code reviews each day. An astonishing 1,760 different Windows builds are made every single day—more than even the most excitable Windows Insider can handle.

Submission + - Researchers Found Perfect Contraceptives From Traditional Chinese Medicine (inverse.com) 3

hackingbear writes: Researchers at U.C. Berkeley found a birth control that was hormone-free, 100 percent natural, resulted in no side effects, didn’t harm either eggs nor sperm, could be used in the long-term or short-term, and — perhaps the best part of all — could be used either before or after conception, from ancient Chinese folk medicine. In order to actually penetrate the egg, sperm need to whip their tails faster to pick up momentum. But there are two plant compounds that can prevent sperm from doing this, no matter how valiantly they may try — lupeol, found in mango and dandelion root, and pristimerin, from a plant called the “thunder god vine,” the leaves of which had been used as birth control in traditional Chinese medicine. The sperm and egg are never actually harmed; they’re just never able to meet, thus eliminate ethical concerns of pro-lifers. “Because these two plant compounds block fertilization at very, very low concentrations — about 10 times lower than levels of levonorgestrel in Plan B — they could be a new generation of emergency contraceptive we nicknamed ‘molecular condoms,’” team leader Polina Lishko.

Submission + - Vermont DMV Caught Using Illegal Facial Recognition Program (vocativ.com)

schwit1 writes: The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been caught using facial recognition software — despite a state law preventing it.

Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont describe such a program, which uses software to compare the DMV’s database of names and driver’s license photos with information with state and federal law enforcement. Vermont state law, however, specifically states that “The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not implement any procedures or processes that involve the use of biometric identifiers.”

The program, the ACLU says, invites state and federal agencies to submit photographs of persons of interest to the Vermont DMV, which it compares against its database of some 2.6 million Vermonters and shares potential matches. Since 2012, the agency has run at least 126 such searches on behalf of local police, the State Department, FBI, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Submission + - Manchester attack could lead to Internet crackdown (independent.co.uk)

boundary writes: The UK government looks to be about to put the most egregious parts of the Investigative Powers Act into force 'soon after the election' (which is in a couple of weeks) in the wake of the recent bombing in Manchester. 'Technical Capability Orders' require tech companies to break their own security. I wonder who'll comply?

Submission + - Intel Drops Thunderbolt 3 Royalty, Adds CPU Integration (windowscentral.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Over the last few days, Thunderbolt 3 has been a hot topic amongst Windows users especially with its notable absence with the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop. Part of the problem is adoption, integration, cost, and consumer confusion according to Microsoft. Intel is aware of the current roadblocks to Thunderbolt 3 implementation, which adds 40Gbps data transfers along with charging and display support for USB Type-C. Today, the company announced numerous changes to its roadmap to speed up its adoption, including: Dropping royalty fees for the Thunderbolt protocol specification starting next year; Integrating Thunderbolt 3 into future Intel CPUs. The good news here is that Intel is dropping many of the roadblocks with today's announcement. By subtracting the licensing costs for Thunderbolt 3 and integrating into the CPU, Intel can finally push mass adoption. Getting back to Microsoft, Intel noted that the two companies are already working closely together with the latest Creators Update bringing more OS support for the protocol. Roanne Sones, general manager, Strategy, and Ecosystem for Windows and Devices at Microsoft added that such cooperation would continue with even more OS-level integration coming down the road.

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