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Submission + - Scientists Think They Might Have Found Evidence for Parallel Universe (

LCooke writes: A international research team led by the University of Durham thinks a mysterious cold spot in the universe could offer evidence of a parallel universe. The cold spot could have resulted after our universe collided with another. Physicist Tom Shanks said, "...the Cold Spot might be taken as the first evidence for the multiverse — and billions of other universes may exist like our own."

Submission + - How HR Is Failing Employees ( 1

mirandakatz writes: As the recent debacles at Uber, Thinx, Zenefits, and GitHub have made abundantly clear, HR departments are not coming close to serving the needs of employees. Indeed, the institution of HR as a whole is more or less broken. At Backchannel, Karen Wickre writes that "We’ve all had disappointing encounters with HR people who don’t seem to grasp a wrongheaded management policy or the damage a problem employee can do. And if they do understand, they often can’t express it to non-HR people...This leaves the rest of us shortchanged, and so all too often we want to avoid bringing HR into a brewing situation." Something has to change—and Wickre has a few suggestions for how to get the ball rolling.

Submission + - Chemists may be zeroing in on chemical reactions that sparked the first life (

sciencehabit writes: DNA is better known, but many researchers today believe that life on Earth got started with its cousin RNA, since that nucleic acid can act as both a repository of genetic information and a catalyst to speed up biochemical reactions. But those favoring this “RNA world” hypothesis have struggled for decades to explain how the molecule’s four building blocks could have arisen from the simpler compounds present during our planet’s early days. Now chemists have identified simple reactions that, using the raw materials on early Earth, can synthesize close cousins of all four building blocks. The resemblance isn’t perfect, but it suggests scientists may be closing in on a plausible scenario for how life on Earth began.

Submission + - Slashdot clickbait

schklerg writes: Recent news has Donald Trump in a shouting match with Linus Torvalds regarding the sexuality of Steve Jobs. H1B workers strongly support the transexuality of Jobs in this regard, noting that there are 43 genders and stating it will lead to the year of the linux desktop. It is likely that Apple will convert its devices from Li-ion to nuclear power to offset the bad press. Julian Assange states he has a cache of emails they will post indicating the heavy influence of the Clinton family and China in this decision based upon data leaked by the NSA through Edward Snowden. Donald Trump has continued to tweet that this is fake news planted by the Mexicans.

Submission + - Sweden drops investigation of Julian Assange (

rmdingler writes:

Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday. Assange, who has always denied wrongdoing, has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant. Despite Friday's announcement, he's unlikely to walk out of the embassy imminently.

There is no apparent change in the risk of being detained in the west, particularly in the US, but it's definitely a win for Assange.

Submission + - Russia's 'Killer Satellites' Re-Awaken (

schwit1 writes: A trio of mysterious Russian government satellites startled space experts when, shortly after blasting into low orbit between 2013 and 2015, they began dramatically changing their orbits, demonstrating a rare degree of maneuverability for small spacecraft.

Now after being idle for a year or more, two of the mystery-sats are on the move again. On April 20, 2017, one of them reportedly shaved hundreds of meters off its orbit in order to zoom within 1,200 meters of a big chunk of a defunct Chinese weather satellite that China smashed in a controversial 2007 test of an anti-satellite rocket.

By orbital standards, thats pretty close.

The Russian spacecrafts impressive maneuvers have got observers scratching their heads. No one outside of the Russian government — and probably the U.S. military — seems to know for sure what the satellites are for.

Experts say the Russian satellites could be technology-demonstrators. They might also be precursors to orbital weapons.

Submission + - New 'Social Justice' Math Class Teaches Kids That Math Is Evil, Dehumanizing (

schwit1 writes:

Millions of K-12 students across the country believe that mathematics is a sadistic discipline—(I should know, I was one of them)—but a new "social justice" training module aims to persuade teachers that maybe the kids are on to something.

The course was designed by Teach for America and is offered through EdX, according to Campus Reform. It presupposes that math could be made more interesting for students if it was infused with socially relevant themes. That's not a terrible assumption—maybe young people would like math better if it was being taught in a language they understood. (If Olivia eats 10 pieces of avocado toast every day, how long will it be until she can afford to move out of her parent's house? That sort of thing.)

But Teach for America thinks that language is "social justice," and has designed a course that makes some startling claims about math.

"In western mathematics, our ways of knowing include formalized reasoning or proof, decontextualization, and algorithmic thinking, leaving little room for those having non-western mathematical skills and thinking processes," the training course claims.

Submission + - China Successfully Mines Gas From Methane Hydrate in Production Run (

hackingbear writes: In a world's first, China has successfully extracted gas from gas hydrates in production run in the northern part of the South China Sea. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), global estimates vary, but the energy content of methane in hydrates, also known as ‘fire ice’ or ‘flammable ice’, is “immense, possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels”. But no methane production other than small-scale field experiments has been documented so far. The China Geographical Survey said that it managed to collect samples from the Shenhu area in the South China Sea in a test that started last Wednesday. Every day some 16,000 cubic meters (565,000 cubic feet) of gas, almost all of which was methane, were extracted from the test field, exceeding goals for production mining. This is expected to help cut down China's coal-induced pollution greatly and reduce reliance on politically sensitive petroleum imports controlled by the US. "The production of gas hydrate will play a significant role in upgrading China's energy mixture and securing its energy security," Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming said on Thursday.

Submission + - Massive Tax Fraud Uncovered in Australian IT Contractor Non-Payment (

skirmish666 writes: Paul Johnston was an IT contractor in Canberra being paid by Plutus.
"Every month I'd do my hours, I'd get paid, I'd get a pay slip, life went on," he said.
How did the case unfold?
Planes, sports cars, and fine wines were just some of the big-ticket items allegedly purchased as part of a major tax-fraud conspiracy. So how did this happen?
"Then one night I was working back in the office and I got an email [from Plutus] basically saying 'we've suspended operations'."
Plutus said this was due to a "commercial dispute" but gave no other explanation.
On May 2, Plutus sent an update email to contractors saying the company was "neither in receivership or administration".

Submission + - Windows XP PCs Infected By WannaCry Can Be Decrypted Without Paying Ransom ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Owners of some Windows XP computers infected by the WCry ransomware may be able to decrypt their data without making the $300 to $600 payment demand, a researcher said Thursday. Adrien Guinet, a researcher with France-based Quarkslab, has released software that he said allowed him to recover the secret decryption key required to restore an infected XP computer in his lab. The software has not yet been tested to see if it works reliably on a large variety of XP computers, and even when it does work, there are limitations. The recovery technique is also of limited value because Windows XP computers weren't affected by last week's major outbreak of WCry. Still, it may be helpful to XP users hit in other campaigns. "This software has only been tested and known to work under Windows XP," he wrote in a readme note accompanying his app, which he calls Wannakey. "In order to work, your computer must not have been rebooted after being infected. Please also note that you need some luck for this to work (see below), and so it might not work in every case!"

Submission + - Firefox 55: Flash Will Become "Ask to Activate" for Everyone (

An anonymous reader writes: Starting with the release of Firefox 55, the Adobe Flash plugin for Firefox will be set to "Ask to Activate" by default for all users. This move was announced in August 2016, as part of Mozilla's plan to move away from plugins built around the NPAPI technology. Flash is currently the only NPAPI plugin still supported in Firefox, and moving its default setting from "Always Activate" to "Ask to Activate" is just another step towards the final step of stop supporting Flash altogether.

This new Flash default setting is already live in Firefox's Nightly Edition and will move through the Alpha and Beta versions as Firefox nears its v55 Stable release. By moving Flash to a click-to-play setting, Firefox will indirectly start to favor HTML5 content over Flash for all multimedia content. Other browsers like Google Chrome, Brave, or Opera already run Flash on a click-to-play setting, or disabled by default.

Submission + - Doctor Who S10E5 Makes a case for GPL and removal of DRM - authorized actions (

passionplay writes: Richard Stallman — please work with a TV show to get your point across. The reviewers all missed it. They think that corporate ownership of things is ludicrous or that oxygen could never be currency. ( But if we can lock down music and ideas, why not the thing that keeps us alive? There was never any oxygen on the station except in the suits. BBC America got it perfectly right ( But the key pivot in the story is the fact that the equipment refusing to allow lifesaving actions because they are not authorized. DRM, Copyright, Ownership, Licensing. All of these vehicles can easily be depicted in BBC or Hollywood TV Shows. Now is the time.

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