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Submission + - Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers' DNA (fusion.net)

schwit1 writes: When companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe first invited people to send in their DNA for genealogy tracing and medical diagnostic tests, privacy advocates warned about the creation of giant genetic databases that might one day be used against participants by law enforcement. DNA, after all, can be a key to solving crimes. It âoehas serious information about you and your family,â genetic privacy advocate Jeremy Gruber told me back in 2010 when such services were just getting popular.

Now, five years later, when 23andMe and Ancestry both have over a million customers, those warnings are looking prescient. "Your relative's DNA could turn you into a suspect," warns Wired , writing about a case from earlier this year, in which New Orleans filmmaker Michael Usry became a suspect in an unsolved murder case after cops did a familial genetic search using semen collected in 1996. The cops searched an Ancestry.com database and got a familial match to a saliva sample Usry's father had given years earlier. Usry was ultimately determined to be innocent and the Electronic Frontier Foundation called it a "wild goose chase" that demonstrated "the very real threats to privacy and civil liberties posed by law enforcement access to private genetic databases."

Submission + - Robbery Suspect Tracked by GPS and Killed (nytimes.com)

Lew Lorton writes: Relying on a GPS device placed in a decoy pill bottle, police officers tracked an armed man suspected of robbing a pharmacy on Friday afternoon and fatally shot him during a confrontation on the Upper East Side. When the man was confronted while his car was in a traffic jam, according to police he raised a gun to shoot and an officer shot and killed him.
The pill bottles sit on the pharmacy shelf in a special base; when the bottles are lifted from the base, they begin to emit a signal.
The decoy bottles were developed by Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, a brand of oxycodone,

Submission + - Waterloo WeBike Project (uwaterloo.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: A research group at University of Waterloo — ISS4E is planning to use electric bikes to study many different problems facing today's Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Academic studies of EVs are limited by the fact that they are expensive. The idea is to deploy a fleet of sensor-equipped electric bicycles or e-bikes to UW faculty, staff, and students, analyze data collected from them to study the problems of EV range, battery performance, battery life, and battery temperatures (given the recent Tesla fire mishaps)! Given that both EVs and e-bikes use very similar battery technology.

Not only does it go a long way in benefitting EV research, but it also may present in the future, a cost-effective completely off-grid transportation solution.

Submission + - Silicon Valley workers may pursue collusion case as group (reuters.com)

amartha writes: Roughly 60,000 Silicon Valley workers won clearance to pursue a lawsuit accusing Apple Inc, Google Inc and other companies of conspiring to drive down pay by not poaching each other's staff, after a federal appeals court refused to let the defendants appeal a class certification order.

Submission + - Request for Funding OpenBSD HQ's Electricity

An anonymous reader writes: The OpenBSD Project started a Request for Funding our Electricity. As Undeadly.org writes:

OpenBSD supports a wide range of hardware architectures, and for practical and logistical reasons there are few places in the world that have them all in one place except OpenBSD headquarters [...] But keeping all this hardware running involves a considerable electricity bill, and Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) is asking for help, preferably in the form of a company willing to specifically sponsor the project's electricity bill.

Donations are greatly appreciated and bigger donations can go to the OpenBSD Foundation which will help with details and can provide receipts.

Submission + - Harvard Bomber Hoax Perpetrator Caught through Tor (nbcnews.com)

Meshach writes: The FBI has caught the student who called in a bomb threat on December 16. The student used a temporary anonymous email account routed through Tor but the FBI were able to trace it because it originated in the Harvard wireless network. He could face as long as five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Submission + - Multivitamin researchers say "case is closed" as studies find no health benefits (cbsnews.com)

schwit1 writes: “Enough” with the multivitamins already.

That’s the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine: Do daily multivitamins make you healthier?

After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.”

“We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

They went on to urge consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins.

Submission + - Crypto: FreeBSD playing catch-up, says De Raadt (itwire.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The OpenBSD project has no reason to follow the steps taken by FreeBSD with regard to hardware-based cryptography because it has already been doing this for a decade, according to Theo de Raadt. "FreeBSD has caught up to what OpenBSD has been doing for over 10 years," the OpenBSD founder told iTWire. "I see nothing new in their changes. Basically, it is 10 years of FreeBSD stupidity. They don't know a thing about security. They even ignore relevant research in all fields, not just from us, but from everyone."

Submission + - US Light Bulb Ban Set To Take Effect (cnn.com) 3

SonicSpike writes: Light bulb manufacturers will cease making traditional 40 and 60-watt light bulbs — the most popular in the country — at the start of 2014.

This comes after the controversial phasing out of incandescent 75 and 100-watt light bulbs at the beginning of 2013.

In their place will be halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high efficiency incandescents — which are just regular incandescents that have the filament wrapped in gas. All are significantly more expensive than traditional light bulbs, but offer significant energy and costs savings over the long run. (Some specialty incandescents — such as three-way bulbs — will still be available.)

The end of old light bulbs will likely anger some consumers that are already faced with higher prices for a variety of goods. But it will also tick off tea party activists since the ban is the result of the final phase of government-mandated efficiency standards.

The rules were signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007. They are designed to address gross inefficiencies with old light bulbs — only 10% of the energy they use is converted into light, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has a handy fact sheet about the changes. The rest is wasted as heat.

But the rules have drawn fire from a number of circles — mainly conservatives and libertarians who are unhappy about the government telling people what light bulbs they can use. They argue that if the new ones really are so good, people will buy them on their own without being forced to do so.

Submission + - Men arrested for 'anti-Semitic' comments on Twitter, after football game (reuters.com) 2

magic maverick writes: Reuters reports that three men were arrested for posting anti-Semitic comments on Twitter following the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in October, police said on Friday.

Two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested on Thursday in London and in Wiltshire, while a 48-year-old man was arrested at his home in Canning Town in London last week on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. The investigation following the match on October 6 was triggered by complaints about tweets that referred to Hitler and the gas chambers.

I guess it goes to show, you'd be stupid to use your real name, or identifying details on Twitter. Perhaps the British should also work on reforming their laws on free speech (or lack there of).

Submission + - Bots now account for 61% of net traffic (bbc.co.uk)

codeusirae writes: A study by Incapsula suggests 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots. The security firm said that was a 21% rise on last year's figure of 51%.

Submission + - FreeBSD Developers Will Not Trust Chip-Based Encryption

srobert writes: An article at ars-technica details that following stories of NSA leaks, FreeBSD developers will not rely solely on Intel's or Via's chip-based random number generators for /dev/random values. The values will first be seeded through another randomization algorithm known as "Yarrow". The changes are effective with the upcoming FreeBSD 10.0 (for which the first of three planned release candidates became available last week).

Submission + - German court invalidates Microsoft FAT patent (techworld.com) 1

walterbyrd writes: Microsoft storage patent that was used to get a sales ban on products from Google-owned Motorola Mobility in Germany has been invalidated by the German Federal Patent Court.

Microsoft's FAT (File Allocation Table) patent, which concerns a "common name space for long and short filenames" was invalidated on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Patent Court said in an email Friday. She could not give the exact reasons for the court's decision before the written judicial decision is released, which will take a few weeks.

Submission + - Federal Appeals Court Says Police Can't Search Cell Phone Without Warrant (uscourts.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: In a decision that's almost certainly going to result in this issue heading up to the Supreme Court, the Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that police can't search your phone when they arrest you without a warrant. That's contrary to most courts' previous findings in these kinds of cases where judges have allowed warantless searches through cell phones.

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