cylonlover writes: On the same day that a meteor exploded over Russia injuring almost a thousand people and an asteroid passed too close to Earth for comfort, the asteroid-mining company Deep Space Industries (DSI) proposes setting up sentry lines in space to track and study rogue asteroids posing a threat to Earth. Using technology originally intended for prospecting for water and minerals on asteroids, the sentry lines of satellites would provide information for deflecting potentially dangerous near-Earth objects.
quantr writes: ""Two of the video gaming industry's biggest powerhouses have teamed up to deliver a new sci-fi action opus: Destiny.
Bungie, the creators of the multibillion dollar Halo franchise, inked a 10-year deal with Activision, the world's largest independent video game publisher, responsible for the highly successful Call of Duty and Skylanders franchises, among others.""
theodp writes: A paper by Wharton’s Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright suggested that San Francisco’s eco-friendly ban on plastic bags might actually be killing people. Klick and Wright found that food-borne illnesses in San Francisco increased 46% after the bag ban went into effect in 2007, with no such uptick in neighboring counties. Most likely, the authors concluded, this was due to the fact that people were putting their food into dirty reusable bags and not washing them afterward. But Tomas Aragon, an epidemiologist at UC Berkeley and health officer for the city of San Francisco, begs to differ, arguing that in order to establish a link between the bag ban and illnesses, the authors would have to show that the same people who are using reusable bags are also the ones getting sick. Aragon offers an alternative hypothesis for the recent rise in deaths related to intestinal infections, noting that a large portion of the cases in San Francisco involve C. difficile enterocolitis, a disease that’s often coded as food-borne illness in hospitals which has become more common in lots of places since 2005, all around the U.S., Canada, and Europe (for yet-unexplained reasons). 'The increase in San Francisco,' he suggests, 'probably reflects this international increase.'
sciencehabit writes: Thanks to a highway-widening project in California’s Laguna Canyon, scientists have identified several new species of early toothed baleen whales. The new fossils date to 17 to 19 million years ago, or the early-mid Miocene epoch, making them the youngest known toothed whales. Three of the fossils belong to the genus Morawanocetus, which is familiar to paleontologists studying whale fossils from Japan, but hadn’t been seen before in California. These three, along with the fourth new species, which is of a different genus, represent the last known occurrence of aetiocetes, a family of mysticetes that coexisted with early baleen whales. Thus, they aren’t ancestral to any of the living whales, but they could represent transitional steps on the way to today's whales.
sciencehabit writes: When it comes to hanging on tight, the lowly mussel has few rivals in nature. Researchers have sought the secrets behind the bivalve's steadfast grip on wet, slippery rock. Now, a researcher says he has used the mollusk’s tricks to develop medical applications. These include a biocompatible glue that could one day seal fetal membranes, allowing prenatal surgeons to repair birth defects without triggering dangerous premature labor.
whoever57 writes: Patent trolls like to claim that patent laws provide a way that small inventors can create products and benefit financially from their invention. One such inventor faces selling his house, despite inventing a product that has sold tens of millions worldwide.
McGruber writes: The Chronicle of Higher Education has the news (http://chronicle.com/article/Librarians-Rally-Behind/137329/) that Herbert Richardson, founder of Edwin Mellen Press (http://mellenpress.com/) is suing McMaster University (http://www.mcmaster.ca/) and University Librarian Dale Askey (http://library.mcmaster.ca/contact/askey-dale) for $3 Million over Mr. Askey's posts on a personal blog.
In 2010 Mr. Askey wrote a blog post about Edwin Mellen Press on his personal Web site, Bibliobrary (http://bibliobrary.net/). Mr. Askey referred to the publisher as "dubious" and said its books were often works of "second-class scholarship." For a few months afterward, several people chimed in in the blog's comments section, some agreeing with Mr. Askey, others arguing in support of the publisher.
In a February 11 statement, the McMaster University Faculty Association (MUFA) (http://www.mcmaster.ca/mufa/AskeyStatementFeb11-13.pdf) stated that The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) "and the MUFA Executive agree that this case represents a serious threat to the freedom of academic librarians to voice their professional judgement and to academic freedom more generally."
Academics around the world are tweeting about the case using the hashtag #FreeDaleAskey. Martha J. Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, created an online petition (https://www.change.org/petitions/edwin-mellen-press-end-libel-suit-against-dale-askey-and-mcmaster-university) seeking an end to the lawsuit. It has drawn nearly 1,900 signatures since Friday from Britain, Canada, and the United States.
hypnosec writes: Kevin Mitnick, who was one of the most wanted computer hacker in the US at one time, is now heading a security consultancy firm – Mitnick Security Consulting, and is entrusted with the task of securing Sunday's presidential elections in Ecuador. Sunday may very well see Rafael Correa win the presidential elections provided nothing goes wrong and Mitnick does the job perfectly which has been assigned to him. Mitnick tweeted, "18 years ago I was busted for hacking. I do the same thing today but with full authorization. How cool is that?" Mitnick has been assigned to protect the Net Lock computer system that has been assigned the task of tabulating Ecuador's elections.
imac.usr writes: The Huffington Post is reporting that The Washington Post has gone through yet another round of layoffs, but this time instead of cutting editorial positions, they're apparently cutting IT positions, specifically in the mobile applications department. According to Washington, DC media blog FishbowlDC, 54 people, including the General Manager of Mobile and Director of Mobile Products were given the axe on Valentine's Day. A particularly damning quote from the FishbowlDC article: '“[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.”'
Given that mobile products seem somewhat more likely to succeed than printed newspapers, this seems a strange decision at best.
Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Suzanne Goldenberg reports that conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120 million to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, helping build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. "We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise," says Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust. Ball's organization assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes with a guarantee of complete anonymity for donors who wished to remain hidden. The money flowed to Washington think tanks embedded in Republican party politics, obscure policy forums in Alaska and Tennessee, contrarian scientists at Harvard and lesser institutions, even to buy up DVDs of a film attacking Al Gore. "The funding of the denial machine is becoming increasingly invisible to public scrutiny. It's also growing. Budgets for all these different groups are growing," says Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which compiled the data on funding of the anti-climate groups using tax records. "These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable.""
trellz writes: Dear Slashdot, My sister and brother-in-law are self employed, and run a small business with a storefront. It was broken into about a year ago, and since then they have reinforced physical security; bars on the doors and windows, better locks, etc. Unfortunately, their store was broken into, and vandalized again last week in spite of the added security measures. Being technically savvy, I'm trying to come up with inexpensive ways to add deterrence, monitoring, and alerting to their business. They run an extremely lean lifestyle and profit margin, so the solution needs to be almost free. They do have an internet connection at the store, so motion detection, web cameras, arduino devices, and the like are certainly an option. Ideally I would like a rock solid alerting method. Something like an email or text to a laptop at home, or a dedicated prepaid phone, but without the pitfalls of such a solution(ie random wrong numbers, solicitors, email spam, etc). I'd also prefer not to poke holes in their firewall at the shop if at all possible. I was considering an email with some sort of long code or hash in the body, and then could white list that on the receiving end to key off of. The goal is to never have a false alarm based on the transmission/reception method. I know the physical triggers will have to be fine tuned, but I don't ever want them woken up at night due to some random male enhancement email.
Daniel_Stuckey writes: "Bam! For anyone that's paid a speck of attention to the tedium of political redistricting, which happens while a state grows unevenly, (and must dynamically respond to density, electorate disparity, natural resources and ridgelines, etc.), this is straight out of some psychedelic dream. For Democrats, it could be straight out of a nightmare. That's because Freeman's map necessitates 50 equally populous United States. His methods for creating the map are explained thusly:
"The algorithm was seeded with the fifty largest cities. After that, manual changes took into account compact shapes, equal populations, metro areas divided by state lines, and drainage basins. In certain areas, divisions are based on census tract lines... The suggested names of the new states are taken mainly from geographical features."
The new 50 states would be equally potent in terms of voting, but how many would be red? I made this layered GIF of Romney vs. Obama by county to try and figure things out."
badger.foo writes: "You thought you had successfully avoided the tiresome password guessing bots groping at your SSH service by moving the service to a non-standard port? It seems security by obscurity has lost the game once more. We're now seeing ssh bruteforce attempts hitting other ports too, Peter Hansteen writes in his latest column."
parallel_prankster writes: Amazon users are addressing the drone controversy with sarcasm. Maisto International Inc.’s model Predator drones are selling out on Amazon.com Inc.’s website as parody reviews highlight how the toys can help children hone killing skills, mocking a controversial U.S. practice. The toy is a replica of the RQ-1 Predator, an unmanned aircraft that the U.S. Air Force has used in combat over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq and Yemen, according to the product description on Amazon. Only one of the $49.99 military-style toy jets is available for purchase on Amazon’s site, which is brimming with assessments laced with dark humor. “You can’t spell slaughter without laughter,” one pithy joker wrote.
While Facebook and Twitter have always been more prominent forums for political satire, consumers have flocked to Amazon’s review section before. In October, the user comment section of an Avery Dennison Corp. binder listed on the e- commerce site became the subject of a similar outbreak. Reviewers used Amazon to make light of a comment made by then- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a debate. Amazon’s conditions of use posted on its website say that the Seattle-based company reserves the right to remove or edit reviews, which it doesn’t regularly examine. So far the reviews have not been removed.