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Submission + - An Unexpected New Lung Function Has Been Found - They Make Blood (sciencealert.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don't just facilitate respiration — they also play a key role in blood production.

In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals' circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue — cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow.

"This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs — that they're not just for respiration, but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood," says one of the researchers, Mark R. Looney.

Submission + - Your Hotel Room Photos Could Help Catch Sex Traffickers (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: CNN reports: Police find an advert for paid sex online. Its an illegally trafficked underage girl posing provocatively in a Hotel room. But police doesn't know where this hotel room is — what city, what neighborhood, what hotel or hotel room. This is where the TraffickCam phone app comes in. When you are staying at a hotel, you take pictures of your room with it. The app logs the GPS data (location of the hotel) and also analyzes what is in the picture — the furniture, bedsheets, carpet and other visual features. This makes the hotel room identifiable. Now when Police come across a sex trafficking picture online, there is a database of images that may reveal which hotel room the picture was taken in. About 100,000 people have downloaded TraffickCam so far.

Submission + - Former IT Admin Accused of Leaving Backdoor Account, Accessing It 700+ Times (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An Oregon sportswear company is suing its former IT administrator, alleging he left backdoor accounts on their network and used them more than 700 times to search for information for the benefit of its new employer.

Court papers reveal the IT admin left to be the CTO at one of the sportswear company's IT suppliers after working for 14 years at his previous employer. For more than two years, he's been using an account he created before he left to access his former colleague's emails and gather information about the IT services they might need in the future. The IT admin was fired from his CTO job after his new employer found out what he was doing.

Submission + - How a typo took down S3, the backbone of the internet (theverge.com)

dougrun writes: Earlier this week, much of the internet ground to a halt when the servers that power them suddenly vanished. The servers were part of S3, Amazon’s popular web hosting service, and when they went down they took several big services with them. Quora, Trello, and IFTTT were among the sites affected by the disruption. The servers came back online more than four hours later, but not before totally ruining the UK celebration of AWSome Day.

Submission + - Today's Cyberwars Target Civilians, and We Need Protections (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, has called for a "Digital Geneva Convention"—an agreement to cover victims of cyberattacks by nations, even though the targets now are human-generated data, not lives. He's arguing that governments need to step up because global tech companies have had to take on the role as first responders when it comes to cyber attacks. Indeed, many have since praised Smith's suggestion as a historic call to action. But how would we actually go about executing such a "Digital Geneva Convention?"

Submission + - SPAM: Scientists Have Found a Way to Rapidly Thaw Cryopreserved Tissue Without Damage

schwit1 writes: Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to rapidly thaw cryopreserved human and pig samples without damaging the tissue — a development that could help get rid of organ transplant waiting lists.

Cryopreservation is the ability to preserve tissues at liquid nitrogen temperatures for long periods of time and bring them back without damage, and it's something scientists have been dreaming about achieving with large tissue samples and organs for decades.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: DHS Quietly Testing Mandatory Facial Recognition of Passengers *Exiting* U.S.

schwit1 writes: As part of the testing, travelers will present their boarding pass while their digital photo is taken. The process will take less than three seconds before travelers proceed to the passenger loading bridge to board their flight. Travelers over the age of 14 and under 79 will be required to participate in the test. The test will evaluate CBP’s ability to successfully compare the image of a traveler taken during departure against an image the traveler previously provided, in an automated fashion and without impacting airport operations.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lessons from Canada's scientific resistance (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: Andrew Nikiforuk, a contributing editor of The Tyee and author of Slick Water, has a smart piece outlining what the United States science community can do to combat expected attacks from the Trump administration on federal funding for research projects that examine the environmental impacts of industries such as mining and oil drilling. Nikiforuk seeks lessons from the years when the Canadian government, led by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, systematically reduced the capacity of publicly funded federal science to monitor the impacts of air, water, and carbon pollution from the country’s aggressive resource industries—by cutting budgets and firing staff. Great read.

Submission + - SPAM: California Law Enforcement Union Sues To Block Police Accountability

schwit1 writes: Because there's just not enough opacity shrouding police misconduct and not enough slanting of the criminal justice system against defendants, California police unions have decided to get involved in a judicial dispute over lists of law enforcement officers whose half of "our word against yours" isn't quite as bulletproof as is normally assumed.

A Los Angeles sheriff is trying to do the right thing, but he's running into opposition from his own supposed "representatives."

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has collected the names of about 300 deputies who have a history of past misconduct — such as domestic violence, theft, bribery and brutality — that could damage their credibility if they testify in court.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell wants to send the names to prosecutors, who can decide whether to add them to an internal database that tracks problem officers in case the information needs to be disclosed to defendants in criminal trials.

I don't imagine prosecutors are exactly thrilled to be the recipient of information that damages the credibility of their favorite witnesses, but it's probably better than having your witness destroyed in open court by a defense attorney. But prosecutors may never see this information, thanks to the police union's belief that officers shouldn't be held accountable for anything.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Supersmart Robots Will Outnumber Humans Within 30 Years, Says SoftBank CEO

schwit1 writes:

These beliefs underpin the wave of large and surprising deals the Japanese internet and telecommunications giant has pulled off in the past year, [SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son] said on Monday. These include starting a $100 billion technology-investment fund with a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund, buying British microprocessor designer ARM Holdings PLC for $32 billion and acquiring U.S. asset manager Fortress Investment Group PLC for $3.3 billion.

This 30-year forecast created urgency, Mr. Son said in a speech at the telecom industry’s biggest trade show, Mobile World Congress. “That is why I’m in a hurry to aggregate cash to invest.”

In a brief interview after his speech, Mr. Son said his $100 billion project with the Saudis, dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund, was bigger than the $65 billion in combined investments from the venture-capital world. He said the SoftBank Vision Fund would be focused. “Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, smart robots: those are the three main things I’m interested in,” he said.

Mr. Son said he didn’t expect the planned initial public offering of oil colossus Saudi Aramco to affect the size of Vision Fund. “They are a great partner,” he said of the Saudis. “They’re already rich. They have lots of money, even before the IPO.”

The Saudis already outsource much of their labor to millions of foreign guest-workers from India, Pakistan, and around the Arab world. Their numbers are huge — it's estimated that about 31% of the Saudi population of 27 million is made up of expatriates. The wages those workers repatriate help keep their home economies afloat. If Son is correct, that cashflow is about to be diverted away from the Third World, and towards Japan, China, the U.S., and other makers of automated systems.

Those workers getting the boot and that money drying up could create the next big disruptive wave to come out of the Middle East and South Asia.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: New Nokia 3310 Arrives Alongside Three Android Smartphones

Mickeycaskill writes: Nokia has officially brought back the iconic 3310 handset via HMD Global, only it’s with a modern twist on a retro handset.

Rather than simply re-release the old 3310 in order to tap into a vein of tech nostalgia, the 3310 has a few twists, notably 2.4inch QVGA display, a 2MP rear camera and Nokia’s Series 30+ software, as well as a microSD slot and micro USB port for charging the mobile.

Support for 2G connectivity is present but no Wi-Fi or GPS, so one could call it a semi-smartphone. However it does promise 22 hours of talk-time battery life and a lengthy month work of power when on standby.

Available in matt grey and blue, and glossy red and yellow colours, the 3310 will sell for €49 (around £40) and will go on sale in the second quarter of 2017.

Submission + - SPAM: New auto-destruct system to increase launch rate

schwit1 writes: A new auto-destruct system operating by computer, using GPS, and installed on each rocket should allow the launch rate in Florida to ramp up significantly.

Up until now it took several days to reconfigure the ground-based radar facilities. This system, first used on the most recent Falcon 9 launch, does not require this. It also involves fewer people to operate it. They expect that they will soon be able to launch up to 48 missions per year, some on the same day.

Link to Original Source

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