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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 37 declined, 7 accepted (45 total, 15.56% accepted)

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Submission + - Business ideas sought to launch ISS marketplace (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Since launching in 1998, the International Space Station has played host to countless government-backed experiments aimed at furthering our understanding of the micro-gravity environment. But NASA has been signalling intentions to welcome more commercial partners aboard for a little while, and is now canvassing the private sector for ideas to increase business activity on the orbiting laboratory.

The International Space Station (ISS) has served as an hugely valuable tool when it comes to learning about the effects of micro-gravity on humans. This was most recently demonstrated by hosting astronaut Scott Kelly through his record-breaking yearlong stay in orbit, a mission researchers are continuing to pick apart for evidence of changes in human physiology.

But lately NASA has made a public effort to ween the ISS off the teat of government-funded research and court commercial partners who may benefit from directing funds into micro-gravity research, or by offering services to its inhabitants like SpaceX's Dragon resupply missions.

Shooting politicians into the sun sounds like the ideal option to me

Submission + - Google tests ads that load faster and use less power (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Google says it has found a way to make adverts load faster on web pages viewed on smartphones and tablets.
The company said the ads would also be less taxing on the handsets' processors, meaning their batteries should last longer.
The technique is based on work it has already done to make news publishers' articles load more quickly.
But it is still in development, and one expert said Google still had questions to answer.
The California-based company's online advertising revenue totalled $67.4bn (£51.2bn) last year.
That figure included banners and animations placed via the Google Display Network — which would be affected by this project — as well as other types of ads, such as search result links and YouTube pre-roll clips, which would not.

Submission + - Roborectum (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Prostate exams aren't exactly an enjoyable experience, but if you ever need one, you'll want the doctor to know what they're doing. Unfortunately, the procedure is difficult for med students to learn, thanks to the internal nature of the examination and a lack of willing test subjects. Scientists at Imperial College London wanted to solve that problem by developing a robotic rectum that recreates the feel of the real thing and even provides haptic feedback.

Submission + - Apple's Siri calls ambulance for baby (

Big Hairy Ian writes: A woman from Cairns, Australia, used Siri to call an ambulance for her one-year-old daughter when she stopped breathing.
Stacey Gleeson grabbed her iPhone and ran to the child's room to help her but dropped it as she turned on the light.
She shouted at the handset to activate Siri and told it to get the emergency services on speakerphone as she began CPR.
Ms Gleeson told the BBC she feels it may have saved her daughter's life.

Submission + - US Congress 'bans members' Yahoo Mail' (

Big Hairy Ian writes: A series of ransomware attacks on the House of Representatives has led US Congress to ban members from using Yahoo Mail, according to a leaked email.
Both Yahoo Mail and Gmail are named in the 30 April email, published on Thursday by Gizmodo, saying the attacks had increased "in the past 48 hours".
Yahoo Mail will be blocked "until further notice" it adds.
Ransomware encrypts victims' files and demands a ransom be paid for unlocking.
Meanwhile, an unnamed House of Representatives employee has told Reuters devices connected to the internet via its wi-fi or ethernet cables have been barred from accessing, the domain where Google hosts custom-built apps.
"We began blocking on 3 May 3 in response to indicators that was potentially still hosting a remote access Trojan named BLT that has been there since June 2015," the news agency was told.

Submission + - 20000 leagues under cyber space (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Although many people may think that cloud computing exists purely in cyberspace, it does in fact have a physical home – data centers located around the world, each one full of linked servers. These data centers use a lot of power, they create a lot of heat, and it helps if they're close to populated areas. While we've already seen some creative approaches to meeting these needs, Microsoft recently announced that it's tried something else yet it anchored an unmanned data center to the bottom of the sea.

Submission + - Universities suffer cyber-attack (

Big Hairy Ian writes: University students across the UK have been unable to submit work, after the academic computer network known as Janet came under cyber-attack.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks began on Monday and are continuing, according to the network's operator, Jisc.
The attacks "have resulted in reduced connectivity and disruption", says a statement on Jisc's facebook page.
Engineers are working to restore normal service, it adds.

Submission + - Wikipedia launches edit-checking artificial intelligence (

Big Hairy Ian writes:

Wikipedia has launched a tool designed to automatically highlight low-quality edits to articles. The Objective Revision Evaluation Service software has been trained by Wikipedia editors to recognise the quality of an edit based on the language and context of the change. There are about half a million changes to Wikipedia articles every day. Editors and ordinary users will now be able to quickly check how likely it is a proposed alteration is "damaging". "This allows editors to triage them from the torrent of new edits and review them with increased scrutiny," the Wikimedia Foundation said in a blog.

But will they get rid of the territorial moderators who delete anything that doesn't match their world view?

Submission + - Microsoft Office 365 experiences widespread outage (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Microsoft Office 365 is experiencing an international server outage, preventing customers from logging into their email accounts through web browsers.
Affected services seem to be restricted to the Exchange email environment, with login screens refusing to load.
Client-side software-based email Exchange services appear to be functioning largely as normal — though Computing has experienced such phenomena as emails appearing and not opening — but the general suggestion seems to be the issue with Exchange may involve login services as opposed to accessing the mail servers themselves.
Microsoft's "Office 365 health status" page is reporting: "There are currently no known issues preventing you from signing in to your Office 365 service health dashboard."

Submission + - Ask Slash Dot: Why isn't the Gun Control Lobby using health & safety?

Big Hairy Ian writes: If a gun manufacturers products repeatedly miss fire they will do a product recall because they are afraid of being sued. Why then does the gun control lobby not sue the gun manufacturers and importers (Don’t forget the ammo manufacturers too) for breaching health and safety regulations?
You could sue the pants off them every time some dumb cop shoots a member of the public for breathing.

Submission + - HullCoin launched as 'local digital currency' (

Big Hairy Ian writes: A virtual currency designed to be a "local digital currency", has been launched by Hull City Council.
In the form of digital "tokens", HullCoins can be used to pay council tax and for goods and services from firms signed up to the scheme. Hull City Council said it hoped the scheme would eventually be extended to the major supermarket chains. David Shepherdson, from the City Council, said HullCoins would have "a social purpose".

Submission + - UK reveals footage of 'top secret' drone (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Footage of Britain's new unmanned drone in flight were revealed on Wednesday.

The Taranis uses the latest stealth technology and is capable of launching precision air strikes in hostile territory.

Flying invisible to radar, the Taranis can be operated via satellite link from anywhere the world.

Should take your mind off /.beta

Submission + - Voice Bio metrics:Hello, is that really you? (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Big business wants your voice — not for customer feedback, but to tackle fraud.

Voice biometrics — the recording and analysis of unique voiceprints for authentication purposes — is one of the latest technological weapons being deployed in the war against fraudsters, thought to be pilfering at least £52bn from the UK economy each year, according to the National Fraud Authority (NFA).

UK financial services companies alone are conservatively estimated to be losing more than £5bn annually, the NFA says.

But the real figures are likely to be two or three times higher than this as so much fraud goes unreported.

Identity theft and account takeover are a big and growing problem, particularly in a digital era that has been a boon to fraudsters by presenting them with many more ways to harvest personal data.

Submission + - Apple, Microsoft-backed 'Rockstar' uses Nortel patents to sue Google, Samsung an (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Early last year, the "Rockstar" consortium backed by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Sony and Ericsson closed its purchase of thousands of patents previously owned by Nortel for $4.5 billion (around the same time Google, after failing to purchase the patents itself, closed a $12 billion deal for Motorola). That transaction cleared the DOJ as the team agreed to license the tech on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, as well as their commitments not to seek injunctions in disputes involving SEPs."

Submission + - Adobe hack: At least 38 million accounts breached (

Big Hairy Ian writes: Adobe has confirmed that a recent cyber-attack compromised many more customer accounts than first reported.

The software-maker said that it now believed usernames and encrypted passwords had been stolen from about 38 million of its active users.

It added that the attackers had also accessed details from an unspecified number of accounts that had been unused for two or more years.

The firm had originally said 2.9 million accounts had been affected.

Adobe has also announced that the hackers stole parts of the source code to Photoshop, its popular picture-editing program.

It had previously revealed that the source code for its Acrobat PDF document-editing software and ColdFusion web application creation products had also been illegally accessed.

The information could allow programmers to analyse how Adobe's software works and copy its techniques.

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