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Submission + - This Is CS50: 10% of Harvard's Popular Intro-to-CS Class Accused of Cheating

theodp writes: The Harvard Crimson reports that more than 60 of the 636 students enrolled in last fall's CS50: 'Introduction to Computer Science I' course appeared before the College’s Honor Council in a wave of academic dishonesty cases that has stretched the Council to its limits over the past few months. Former students and course staff, though, said course policy was unclear about what constituted cheating, creating the potential for unintentional violations. Consistently one of the most popular courses at Harvard, CS50 is known for an unconventional atmosphere, complete with flashy promotional videos and corporate-sponsored events.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Do You Explain "Don't Improve My Software Syndrome" or DIMSS? 7

dryriver writes: I am someone who likes to post improvement suggestions for different software tools I use on the internet. If I see a function in a software that doesn't work well for me or could work better for everyone else, I immediately post suggestions as to how that function could be improved and made to work better for everybody. A striking phenomenon I have come across in posting such suggestions is the sheer number of "why would you want that at all" or "nobody needs that" or "the software is fine as it is" type responses from software users. What is particularly puzzling is that its not the developers of the software rejecting the suggestions — its users of the software that often react sourly to improvement suggestions that could, if implemented well, benefit a lot of people using the software in question. I have observed this happening online for years even for really good software feature/function improvement ideas that actually wound up being implemented. My question is — what causes this behavior of software users on the internet? Why would a software user see a suggestion that would very likely benefit many other users of the software and object loudly to that suggestion, or even pretend that "the suggestion is a bad one"?

Submission + - Wolves may be 're-domesticating' into dogs (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: It happened thousands of years ago, and it may be happening again: Wolves in various parts of the world may have started on the path to becoming dogs. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that the animals are increasingly dining on livestock and human garbage instead of their wild prey, inching closer and closer to the human world in some places. But given today’s industrialized societies, this closeness might also bring humans and wolves into more conflict, with disastrous consequences for both.

Comment click: (Score 1) 159

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Fuck you M$!

Submission + - Why You May Not Like Ted Cruz's Face, According To Science (qz.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ted Cruz pitches himself as an overcomer, an underdog, an outsider who beats the odds. While the Republic candidate has won four states in this nomination race so far, a neurologist says he still faces a big obstacle with voters: his own face.

In an interview with Quartz, George Washington University's Richard E. Cytowic said the unusual movements of Cruz's face may make him seem less sincere to the human brain than other candidates. "The normal way a face moves is what's called the Duchenne smile, named after the 19th century French neurologist. So the mouth goes up, the eyes narrow and the eyes crinkle at the outside, forming crows feet," said Cytowic, a professor of neurology. "Cruz doesn't give a Duchenne smile. His mouth goes in a tight line across or else it curves down in an anti-Duchenne smile. So he doesn't come across as sincere at all."

Submission + - North Korea leader tells military to be ready to use nuclear weapons at any time (reuters.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at any time and to turn its military posture to "pre-emptive attack" mode in the face of growing threats from its enemies, state media said on Friday.

Oh, joy oh joy . . . I knew that 2016 was missing something . . . the threat of nuclear war!

The comments, carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, marked a further escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula after the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday imposed harsh new sanctions against the isolated state for its nuclear program.

South Korea's defense ministry said on Thursday North Korea launched several projectiles off its coast into the sea up to 150 kilometers (90 miles) away, an apparent response to the U.N. sanctions.

Kim said North Korea should "bolster up (its) nuclear force both in quality and quantity" and stressed "the need to get the nuclear warheads deployed for national defense always on standby so as to be fired any moment," KCNA quoted him as saying.

North Korea has previously threatened pre-emptive attacks on its enemies including South Korea, Japan and the United States. Military experts doubt it has yet developed the capability to fire a long-range missile with a miniaturized warhead to deliver a nuclear weapon as far as the United States.

Well . . . I guess the best way to go, is to wait and see if North Korea can toss a nuke into California.

Submission + - Chief CETA Negotiator Says CETA "Virtually Complete" (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: Steve Verheul, chief negotiator of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is saying that the agreement is "virtually complete". He also says that translated versions are to be completed by May and that the agreement is likely to be implemented in 2017. CETA contains provisions that would compel countries to implement Internet censorship through site blocking, anti-circumvention laws as seen in the US, and compel border security to seize digital storage devices (i.e. cell phones) at the border for the purpose of looking for copyright infringement.

Submission + - EPA reveals Gold King mine spill much worse than initially stated (foxnews.com)

schwit1 writes: On Thursday, the House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and its handling of the Gold King Mine disaster last August. The report detailed how the EPA and the Department of the Interior were inaccurate and misleading in their conflicting accounts of the wastewater spill, which the EPA said last week released 880,000 pounds of toxic metals.

"When government actions result in harm, it's our duty to know who was responsible and why decisions failed. They haven't been forthcoming in this regard," Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a released statement. "This report peels back one more layer in what many increasingly view as a pattern of deception on the part of EPA and DOI. The EPA is saying one thing and their own experts say another"

No wonder the trust in government is so low.

Submission + - Advance in super/ultra capacitor tech: high voltage and high capacity (ieee.org)

fyngyrz writes: Ultracaps offer significantly faster charge and discharge rates as well as considerably longer life than batteries. Where they have uniformly fallen short is in the amount of energy they can store as compared to a battery, and WRT the engineering backflips required to get higher voltages (which is the key to higher energy storage because the energy stored in a cap scales with the square of the cap's voltage, whereas doubling the cap's actual capacitance only doubles the energy, or in other words, the energy increase is linear.) This new development addresses these shortcomings all at once: considerably higher voltage, smaller size, higher capacitance, and to top it off, utilizes less corrosive internals. The best news of all: This new technology looks to be easy, even trivial, to manufacture, and uses inexpensive materials — and that is something neither batteries or previous types of ultracaps have been able to claim. After the debacle of EEStor's claims and failure to meet them for so long, and the somewhat related very slow advance of other ultracap technology, it's difficult not to be cynical. But if you read TFA (yes, I know, but perhaps you'll do it anyway) you may decide some optimism might actually be called for.

Submission + - Raytheon Wins U.S. Civilian Cyber Contract Worth $1 billion (reuters.com)

Tokolosh writes: Raytheon is a company well-known in military-industrial and political circles, but not so much for software, networking and cybersecurity.

That has not stopped the DHS awarding it a $1 billion, five year contract to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security.

Raytheon said DHS selected it to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency's Network Security Deployment (NSD) division, and its National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The contract runs for five years, but some orders could be extended for up to an additional 24 months, it said.

Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said the company had invested over $3.5 billion in recent years to expand its cybersecurity capabilities. He said cybersecurity incidents had increased an average of 66 percent a year worldwide between 2009 and 2014.

As you might expect, Raytheon spends heavily on political contributions and lobbying. (https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000175)

$3.5 billion investment for a $1 billion contract?

Submission + - Retro Computers Run in your Browser (hackaday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: If you ever wanted to program an Altair, an Apple I, or a COSMAC ELF you may think you either have to buy one (expensive now) or load and configure simulation software. However, there's a slew of browser-based emulators for everything from a PDP-11 to Windows 1.0 out there. Some use Java, but many use Javascript and many perform better on a modern PC then they did in their original. If you want to learn some history or just want to finally play with the computers you saw in the magazines 35 years ago, these are great fun and slightly addictive.

Submission + - 47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth (rimmell.com) 2

Okian Warrior writes: While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago.

[Dr. Venn]: "I realised the signal was in the VHF Band and slap bang in the middle of 41-68 MHz. It was obviously old terrestrial television broadcasts, but they seemed to be originating from deep space." After boosting and digital enhancement the resulting video signals are remarkably clear.

"They are signals that left the Earth about 50 years ago and have bounced off an object or more likely a field of objects some 25 light years away".

Submission + - TSA Watch: A New Civil Rights Group to Take on the TSA (tsawatch.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Announcing "TSA Watch" to Slashdot:

Every day close to 1.7 million travelers pass through TSA Checkpoints on their way through airports is the United States.

Have your body, possessions or dignity been abused, molested, violated or damaged by the TSA? Do you want to do more than complain about it?

Theft: Each day over $1 million dollars in claims are filed with the TSA for lost or stolen items, but the TSA pays lest than 0.2% of those claims.

Dignity: Body Scanners flag about 3% of travelers, or 1 in 33 passengers for a pat down. Most pat downs occur in public.

Molestation: The pat downs now include physical contact with almost the entire body, including the breasts and genitals. If anyone else did this, it would be a sexual assault. If anyone else touched children this way, they would be subject to prosecution for predatory child sexual molestation.

Why do we tolerate this?

TSA Watch is a new nonprofit organization serving the traveling public by working to ensure that personal liberty is not sacrificed in the pursuit of national security. For the first time, the public will enjoy a centralized place to share their own complaints about the TSA, get help with filing official complaints against the TSA, and work together to seek redress of grievances and a halt to TSA’s worst patterns of violating human rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Further, TSA Watch will develop and provide tools and technologies to document abuses by agents of the TSA.

TSA Watch needs help developing the website tools and smart phone apps to help citizens document TSA abuses.

It has been suggested to invite the SlashDot community to help this project take off.

So far, the founding director has led a very small team, with the help of a handful of donations to get this off the ground, but there is a lot of work to do. TSA Watch is now incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so donations of time and resources are tax deductible.

Would you like to support a good project with your skills or resources? TSA Watch needs help with website tech, tools, app development, video production, media outreach, and more.

You can check out their fundraising campaign at www.GoFundMe.com/TSAWatch.

Here are TSA Watch’s first two promo videos.

1. 40 Seconds – What Has the TSA Stolen From You? https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

2. 5 minutes– Introducing TSA Watch: https://youtu.be/i_ra_OuKCUg

Or just look at their website, www.TSAWatch.org.
Like their Facebook: www.facebook.com/TSAWATCH.org
Share their information.

They have done all they can with the funding so far, and need some more help. They have a donor willing to match the next $3000 in donations, dollar for dollar.

Consider helping them. It's a worthy cause to benefit all who value their 4th Amendment Rights to Travel.

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