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Submission + - Creepy genealogy site knows a lot about you. (washingtonpost.com)

schwit1 writes: There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.

Profiles on FamilyTreeNow include the age, birth month, family members, addresses and phone numbers for individuals in their system, if they have them. It also guesses at their “possible associates,” all on a publicly accessible, permalink-able page. It’s possible to opt out, but it’s not clear whether doing so actually removes you from their records or (more likely) simply hides your record so it’s no longer accessible to the public.

Submission + - Eggs from Skin Cells? Why the Next Fertility Technology Will Open Pandora's Box (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: Imagine you are Brad Pitt. After you stay one night in the Ritz, someone sneaks in and collects some skin cells from your pillow.

But that’s not all. Using a novel fertility technology, your movie star cells are transformed into sperm and used to make a baby. And now someone is suing you for millions in child support.

Such a seemingly bizarre scenario could actually be possible, say three senior medical researchers who today have chosen to alert the public to the social risks of in vitro gametogenesis, a technique they say could allow any type of cell to be reprogrammed into a sperm or egg.

Comment Re:Obligatory Fight Club (Score 1) 357

It is a measure of our adherence to the rule of law, but really more like sheepification (http://tinyurl.com/lpeltlp), that of all the Enron execs, Wall Street gamblers, crooked bankers, Madoff and the innumerable other grifters that pollute, infect and degrade our society the total number that has been spit on, pushed, slapped, punched in the nose, kneecapped, shot, blown up, or even had his car keyed is approximately zero.

That might more effective than having the company pay a hundred million.

This is after ruining and destroying the life of millions, so some dozens of deaths and handicaps is more of the same. /rant

Congrats to Mr. Mark Hood and thanks for his fine effort that helps not just the client but society at large.

Submission + - How I cut my Time Warner Cable bill by 33%

lpress writes: I was at a Time Warner Cable (TWC) store returning a router, when I asked what my new monthly bill would be. The answer — $110 — surprised me, so I asked a few questions and ended up with the same service for $76.37. Check out my conversation with their representative to see what was said, then do the same yourself.

Submission + - Free version of Windows could be a reality soon (pureinfotech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is exploring whether to release a free version of Windows to increase the number of computers using the latest operating system. Currently the company seems to be testing a new version of the OS called “Windows 8.1 with Bing”, which will include Microsoft’s key modern apps and services.

Submission + - The Spy In Our Living Room (polygon.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ben Kuchera at Polygon ponders the surveillance capabilities of our gaming consoles in light of recent NSA revelations. 'Xbox One Kinect can see in the dark. It can keep a moving human being in focus without motors. It knows how to isolate voices from background noise. The privacy implications of having a device that originally couldn't be removed pointed at your living room at all times was always kind of scary, and that fear has been at least partially justified.' Kuchera, like many of us, habitually disconnects cameras and microphones not currently in use. But he also feels a sense of inevitability about the whole thing: 'If the government wants this information they’re going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles. It's important to pay attention to what our government is doing, but this issue is much bigger than our gaming consoles, and we open ourselves up to much greater forms of intrusion on a daily basis.'

Submission + - Middle Eastern Virus More Widespread Than Thought (sciencemag.org) 1

sciencehabit writes: It's called Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, after the region where almost all the patients have been reported. But the name may turn out to be a misnomer. A new study has found the virus in camels from Sudan and Ethiopia, suggesting that Africa, too, harbors the pathogen. That means MERS may sicken more humans than previously thought—and perhaps be more likely to trigger a pandemic.

Submission + - Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area" (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: When you hear a friend’s voice, you immediately picture her, even if you can’t see her. And from the tone of her speech, you quickly gauge if she’s happy or sad. You can do all of this because your human brain has a “voice area.” Now, scientists using brain scanners and a crew of eager dogs have discovered that dog brains, too, have dedicated voice areas. The finding helps explain how canines can be so attuned to their owners’ feelings.

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