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Submission + - The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates (propublica.org) 1

schwit1 writes: Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer.

The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless. But to Lee Cantrell, who helps run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs: Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent?

Tests on the decades-old drugs including antihistamines, pain relievers and stimulants. All the drugs tested were in their original sealed containers.

The findings surprised both researchers: A dozen of the 14 compounds were still as potent as they were when they were manufactured, some at almost 100 percent of their labeled concentrations.

Experts say the United States might be squandering a quarter of the money spent on health care. That’s an estimated $765 billion a year.

Submission + - Humans could out run T-Rex new research shows (gizmodo.com)

bongey writes: T-Rex would have a hard time even catching a average human running much less Usain Bolt or Jeeps without shattering their legs into pieces. New research based on simulations that include the load on the bones show that T-Rex would have a hard time running faster than 12 mph without bones breaking. The new research correlates to speeds calculated from adolecence sized T-Rex dinosaur footprints in 2016 http://www.sciencemag.org/news... ,that showed walking speeds to be only 2-5mph, and estimated running speeds 11-18 mph.

Submission + - "Bad Taste" vulnerability in GNOME: VBscript injection 1

KiloByte writes: A new vulnerability, named "Bad Taste, allows arbitrary code execution via the GNOME thumbnailer if you make any GNOME component that displays file icons see a crafted .msi file in a directory you're browsing.

The vulnerability can be triggered only if you have Wine installed, but it comes as no fault of the latter: GNOME misparses file names into a well-formed VBscript invocation.

Comment Insanely higher false positives than advertised (Score 1, Interesting) 180

The "birthday paradox" causes facial recognition to report matches far far more often that you expect. Assume you have 1000 crooks pictures. Instead of 1 change in100 of an error and 1 comparison when you scan a person, it's 1 chance of an error in 100 on _1000_ comparisons. That makes one out of every 10 people you scan show up as a crook, whether they are or not.

The german federal security service and my emplyer tried this a long time ago, but no matter how good the recognition got, there were thousands of crooks and hundereds of thousands of people to try to match. They reputedly gave up when they identified someone's grandma as a member of the Bader-Meinhof gang (;-))

Submission + - New algorithm for cutting edge hardware eliminates sensor saturation (scitechdaily.com)

Baron_Yam writes: From the article: "Researchers from MIT and the Technical University of Munich have developed a new technique could lead to cameras that can handle light of any intensity, audio that doesn’t skip or pop."

With a new type of sensor that does not use voltage as an output signal and a bit of clever math, it turns out you can vastly increase the useful sensitivity range of electronic detection devices.

Submission + - Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away By Missing Paperwork (nytimes.com)

cdreimer writes: According to The New York Times: "Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing. The troubled loans, which total at least $5 billion, are at the center of a protracted legal dispute between the student borrowers and a group of creditors who have aggressively pursued them in court after they fell behind on payments. Judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students, essentially wiping out their debt, because documents proving who owns the loans are missing. A review of court records by The New York Times shows that many other collection cases are deeply flawed, with incomplete ownership records and mass-produced documentation. Some of the problems playing out now in the $108 billion private student loan market are reminiscent of those that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in subprime mortgage loans were ruled uncollectable by courts because of missing or fake documentation. And like those troubled mortgages, private student loans — which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans — are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, like those attending for-profit schools."

Submission + - UK age checks on porn sites:the UK government doesn't understand the web (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: If there's anything that the UK government has demonstrated in recent years it is that it not only wants to try to take control of the web, but it also fails to understand the web. These two facts make for a terrible combination — something highlighted by the snooper's charter and the government's desire to break encryption on demand.

The latest idea — ushered in under the guise of protecting children in a bid to win points — is the introduction of age restriction on porn sites. The Digital Economy Act will require porn sites to use credit card verification to check that users are aged 18 or over. There are numerous holes here, illustrating that the government simply doesn’t know what it's talking about.

Submission + - Please Prove You're Not a Robot (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: When science fiction writers first imagined robot invasions, the idea was that bots would become smart and powerful enough to take over the world by force, whether on their own or as directed by some evildoer. In reality, something only slightly less scary is happening. Robots are getting better, every day, at impersonating humans. When directed by opportunists, malefactors and sometimes even nation-states, they pose a particular threat to democratic societies, which are premised on being open to the people.

The problem is a public as well as private one, and impersonation robots should be considered what the law calls “hostis humani generis”: enemies of mankind, like pirates and other outlaws. That would allow for a better offensive strategy: bringing the power of the state to bear on the people deploying the robot armies to attack commerce or democracy.

The ideal anti-robot campaign would employ a mixed technological and legal approach. Improved robot detection might help us find the robot masters or potentially help national security unleash counterattacks, which can be necessary when attacks come from overseas. There may be room for deputizing private parties to hunt down bad robots. A simple legal remedy would be a “ Blade Runner” law that makes it illegal to deploy any program that hides its real identity to pose as a human. Automated processes should be required to state, “I am a robot.” When dealing with a fake human, it would be nice to know.

Submission + - What to do when someone else is using your email address? 7

periklisv writes: So, I was one of the early lucky people that registered a gmail address using my lastname@gmail.com. This has proven pretty convenient over the years, as it's simple and short, which makes it easy to communicate over the phone, write down on applications etc. However, over the past 6 months, some dude in Australia (I live in the EU) who happens to have the same last name as myself, is using it to sign up to all sorts of services. I daily receive emails from adult dating sites, loan services, government agencies, online retailers etc, all of them either asking me to verify my account, or, even worse, having signed me up to their service (especially dating sites), which makes me really uncomfortable, my being a married man with children.

I tried to locate the person on facebook, twitter etc and contacted a few that seemed to match, but I never got a response. So the question is, how do you cope with such a case, especially nowadays that sites seem to ignore the email verification for signups?

Submission + - If DHS database gets hacked it's hard to get a new face (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: We’re willing to do a lot to make the airplane boarding process smoother, but privacy experts say we might want to think twice before agreeing to let a camera at the gate scan our faces.

Facial-recognition systems may indeed speed up the boarding process, as the airlines rolling them out promise. But the real reason they are cropping up in U.S. airports is that the government wants to keep better track of who is leaving the country, by scanning travelers’ faces and verifying those scans against photos it already has on file. The idea is that this will catch fake passports and make sure people aren’t overstaying their visas.

The practice is raising concerns among some legal experts, who say that the program may violate individual privacy protections and that Congress has not fully authorized it.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has partnered with airlines including JetBlue and Delta to introduce such recognition systems at New York’s JFK International Airport, Washington’s Dulles International, and airports in Atlanta, Boston, and Houston, among others. It plans to add more this summer. The effort is in response to a years-old mandate from Congress that DHS implement a biometric system for recording the entry and exit of non–U.S. citizens at all air, sea, and land ports of entry. Earlier this year, President Trump fast-tracked that mandate via executive order.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why do so many of you think carrying cash is 'dangerous'? 5

An anonymous reader writes: Recently I Asked Slashdot what you thought about paying for things online using plastic, and the security of using plastic in general; thank you all for your many and varied responses, they're all much appreciated and gave me things to consider.

However I got quite a few responses that puzzled me: People claiming that paying for things with cash, and carrying any amount of cash around at all, was somehow dangerous, that I'd be 'robbed', and that I shoudn't carry cash at all, only plastic. I'm Gen-Y; I've walked around my entire life, in all sorts of places, and have never been approached or robbed by anyone, so I'm more than a little puzzled by that.

So now I ask you, Slashdotters: Why do you think carrying cash is so dangerous? Where do you live/spend your time that you worry so much about being robbed? Have you been robbed before, and that's why you feel this way? I'm not going to stop carrying cash in my wallet but I'd like to understand why it is so many of you feel this way — so please be thorough in your explanations.

Submission + - Chrome-browser hijack Windows DOS exploit (jsish.org) 3

Bent Spoke writes: Windows should be wary of a new Chrome browser Denial of Service threat that is making the rounds.

It starts when you click on a certain link and Windows freezes.
The mouse doesn’t respond and even Ctrl-Alt-Delete doesn’t seem to work, or takes a really long time (eg. 10-20 minutes).
The tab or browser close buttons don’t seem to work. However, by disconnecting the network cable and (eventually) opening task manager you can kill the browser.
This is not as big a problem on Linux, as the system does not freeze so the tab is easily closed.

The payload that eventually appears in the browser window is:

      Windows Defender Alert : Zeus Virus Detected In Your Computer !!
      Please Do Not Shut Down or Reset Your Computer.

      The following data will be compromised if you continue:

            1. Passwords
            2. Browser History
            3. Credit Card Information
            4.Local Hard Disk Files.

      This virus is well known for complete identity and credit card theft.
      Further action through this computer or any computer on the network will reveal private information and involve serious risks.

      Call Microsoft Technical Department: (Toll Free) 866 XXX-XXXX

This message, which is rather convincing as Windows is effectively hung, presumably connects you with a social-engineering service (sic).

The link that triggers the issue is of the following form (actual url changed for security reasons).

1234567891012345678.bid

This uses Javascript to successively redirect to:

1234567891012345678.bid/0
1234567891012345678.bid/01
1234567891012345678.bid/012

ie. it defeats redirect loop detection as each url is different.

One nasty side effect of this is that your browser history is filled with junk urls, making it practically impossible to access previously visited sites.
There are too many links to delete individually without hanging the browser (15K+), however this can be mitigated with "Clear Browser/History/Last Hour" if used right away.

Another issue to be aware of is that upon restart, you do not want to let the browser reopen previous tabs.

Submission + - AI Creates Fake Obama (ieee.org) 1

schwit1 writes: Computer scientists at the University of Washington previously revealed they could generate digital doppelgängers of anyone by analyzing images of them collected from the Internet, from celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger to public figures such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Such work suggested it could one day be relatively easy to create such models of anybody, when there are untold numbers of digital photos of everyone on the Internet.

Are we going to have to create Heinlein’s “fair witness” as machine records become easier to fake?

Submission + - LIU XIAOBO Dies in Chinese Hospital: A deserving Nobel Peace Prize winner (voanews.com)

schwit1 writes: Chinese human rights prisoner Liu Xiaobo died Thursday at age 61 following a high-profile battle with liver cancer that made his death as controversial as his life.

Liu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent his last eight years as a prisoner of conscience, passed away at a hospital in Shenyang, China, where he had been moved from his prison cell in the final stage of his illness.

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