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Submission + - UN asking experts if Olympics should be cancelled.

BarbaraHudson writes: After months of saying there is no threat from the zika virus, the Associated Press is reporting the United Nations is asking a panel of experts to assess the risks due to the zika virus.

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization's chief says she will convene an expert committee to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics should proceed as planned, following concerns raised about the threat of the Zika virus.

In a request last month, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen asked WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan to evaluate whether the Rio games this year should be delayed or postponed. Chan said in a letter released by Shaheen on Friday that WHO has sent senior scientists to Brazil four times to assess the risk of Zika to the approximately 500,000 athletes and visitors expected to attend the Aug. 5-21 games in Brazil.

Between the open sewer that is the aquatics venue, the zika virus, the problems with basics such as electricity, and a host country that can't mount the type of security we're seen in recent Olympics, would you go?

Submission + - IT Admin Faces Felony for Deleting Files Under Flawed Hacking Law (wired.com)

schwit1 writes: IT administrator Michael Thomas deleted a collection of files before leaving his job at the auto dealership software firm ClickMotive in 2011, the 37-year-old Texan wasn’t merely charged with destruction of property or sued by his ex-employer for damages. Instead, he’s been charged with a felony count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, (CFAA) a law passed in 1986 to prevent and prosecute malicious hacking.

Submission + - Experts surprised by rise in US death rate.

Ungrounded Lightning writes: According to The New York Times, the US death rate has risen for the first time in more than a decade (or several decades if particular. The rise is across the whole population, though whites, especially the less educated among them, were recently (and separately) documented to be particularly hard hit.

The article speculates about drug abuse (prescription as well as illiegal), suicides, and Alzheimer's, though it notes that heart disease — which had been consistently dropping — has also risen.

No mention was made of whether the cutover to Obamacare, with its disruption of established doctor-patient relationships, retirement of doctors, rises in health-care costs, reduction in healthcare options, and delays in filling or rejections of prescriptions for lifesaving drugs, might have had some effect.

The ageing of the population was mentioned — though the rise is present even within particular age groups.

Submission + - Australia's major parties vote against encryption in wake of Apple FBI case (delimiter.com.au) 1

daria42 writes: If you're counting on Apple to keep your digital information safe, you may want to think again ... at least if you live in Australia. Yesterday the country's two major political parties — Labor and the Coalition — voted down a motion in Federal Parliament calling for strong encryption to be supported in the wake of the FBI's demands that Apple unlock iOS. It appears that implementing comprehensive telephone and email retention in Australia may not have been the end of demands by law enforcement in the country.

Submission + - State Dept releases 5500 Hillary Clinton emails, "classified" count up to 1,274 (cbsnews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The State Department on Thursday released 5,500 more pages of Hillary Clinton's emails, but fell short of meeting a court-ordered target of making 82 percent of the former secretary of state's messages public by the end of 2015.

The email dump is the latest release from the private server Clinton used during her time as America's top diplomat. The State Department said it failed to meet the court's goal because of "the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule."

Portions of 275 documents in the batch were upgraded to classified, though they were not classified at the time they were sent to Clinton's personal email, according to the State Department. In total, 1,274 of her emails were retroactively classified by the government before their release.

Submission + - Replacement for Mozilla Thunderbird? 3

maxcelcat writes: I've used Thunderbird for about a decade, and Netscape Mail before that (I have an email from 1998 from Marc Andreessen, welcoming me to Netscape Email, telling me different fonts can add impact to my emails).

Thunderbird has served me well, but it's getting long in the tooth.

Given the lack of development and the possibility that it's going End of Life, what should I use instead? I have multiple email accounts and an archive of sixteen years of email. I could get a copy of Outlook, but I don't like it.

Things I like about Thunderbird:
  • Supports multiple email accounts
  • Simple interface
  • Storage structure is not one monolithic file
  • Plain Text email editor
  • Filtering

Things I don't like:

  • HTML email editor
  • Folders are hard to change and re-arrange

Submission + - Who is Discouraging Women From STEM Careers? (blogspot.com)

Press2ToContinue writes: Having worked in a STEM field (computer programming) for over a quarter of a century, I have found the idea that girls are discouraged from entering STEM fields to be curious. It certainly didn't line up with my experience in the industry. Schools have been pushing girls into math and science, not discouraging them. In my experience technology companies have been bending over backwards and jumping through hoops to get more women into IT (information technology). From programs aimed at getting high school students involved in technology to hiring decisions, there has always been a blunt, out-in-the-open emphasis on getting more women into IT.

So, if it's not “the patriarchy” pushing women down and denying them a chance to enter technology fields, what does account for women being underrepresented in technology fields? After a little research into personality types and career fields, I think I found the answer.

The Myers-Briggs personality test places people into 16 personality type categories. One researcher surveyed computer programmers to determine what personality types were represented. I compared how common the personality types were among programmers compared to how common they were in the general population, and although there is always room for error, a clear pattern emerged from my analysis placing programmers, men, and women, into a clearer picture for me to understand their under-representation.

Submission + - Stanford Develops Fast-Charging, Stable Aluminum Battery (stanford.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: Stanford researchers have announced the creation of an aluminum-ion battery that they say will charge quicker, last longer, and be generally safer than common lithium-ion batteries. "Aluminum has long been an attractive material for batteries, mainly because of its low cost, low flammability and high-charge storage capacity. For decades, researchers have tried unsuccessfully to develop a commercially viable aluminum-ion battery. A key challenge has been finding materials capable of producing sufficient voltage after repeated cycles of charging and discharging. ... For the experimental battery, the Stanford team placed the aluminum anode and graphite cathode, along with an ionic liquid electrolyte, inside a flexible, polymer-coated pouch." The researchers' main challenges now are getting the battery to produce a higher voltage and store energy at a higher densities.

Submission + - Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' on Gay Rights

HughPickens.com writes: David Knowles reports at Bloomberg that former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called out Apple CEO Tim Cook as a hypocrite for criticizing Indiana and Arkansas over their Religious Freedom Restoration Acts while at the same time doing business in countries where gay rights are non-existent. “When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he’s in, including China and Saudi Arabia,” Fiorina said. “But I don’t hear him being upset about that.”

In similar criticism of Hillary Clinton on the Fox News program Hannity, Fiorina argued that Clinton's advocacy on behalf of women was tarnished by donations made to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments where women's rights are not on par with those in America. ""I must say as a woman, I find it offensive that Hillary Clinton travels the Silicon Valley, a place where I worked for a long time, and lectures Silicon Valley companies on women's rights in technology, and yet sees nothing wrong with taking money from the Algerian government, which really denies women the most basic human rights. This is called, Sean, hypocrisy." While Hillary Clinton hasn't directly addressed Fiorina's criticisms, her husband has. “You’ve got to decide, when you do this work, whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country,” former president Bill Clinton said in March. “And I believe we have done a lot more good than harm. And I believe this is a good thing.”

Submission + - Seed from ancient extinct plant planted and brought back to life

schwit1 writes: Israeli scientists have successfully gotten a 2000-year-old seed of an extinct date plant to grow and now reproduce.

Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had been pulled from the remains of Masada, an ancient fortification perched on a rock plateau in southern Israel, and at the time, no one could be sure that the plant would thrive. But he has, and his recent reproductive feat helps prove just how well he’s doing.

For a while, the Judean date palm was the sole representative of his kind: Methuselah’s variety was reportedly wiped out around 500 A.D. But Solowey has continued to grow date palms from ancient seeds discovered in the region, and she tells National Geographic that she is “trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove.” Doing so would allow researchers to better understand exactly what earlier peoples of the region were eating and how it tasted.

Submission + - Apple seemingly attempts to determine your location even when location services (youtube.com)

chrisgagne writes: Apple says "You can also turn Location Services off altogether by deselecting Enable Location Services in the Privacy pane of Security & Privacy preferences. However, here's a video showing that although Location Services are turned off, Apple's com.apple.geod (their location services daemon) is still active and attempting to communicate with gsp-ssl.ls.apple.com. It's blocked from doing so by Little Snitch, whose Network Monitor is showing all of these attempts.

Submission + - Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials for "improper influence"

SpzToid writes: Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the Oracle Corporation has filed a rather timely suit against five of former governor John Kitzhaber's staff for their "improper influence" in the decision to shutter the Cover Oregon healthcare website, while blaming Oracle to defuse the political consequences. Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April.

"The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn’t match the former-Governor's re-election strategy to 'go after' Oracle,” Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement.

Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain.

Submission + - US Military Soon Able to Copy & 3D Print Exact Replicas of Bones & Limbs (3dprint.com)

ErnieKey writes: The US military is working with technology that will allow them to create exact virtual replicas of their soldiers. Then in case of an injury, these replicas, which are created using x-rays, MRI and Ultrasound technology, will be able to be restored for surgeons to 3D print both exact medical models for rebuilding the injured patient's body and even 3D print exact replica implants. Could we all one day soon have virtual backups of ourselves that we can access and have new body parts 3D printed on demand? It appears as though we are getting closer.

Submission + - 'Laziness' behind fall in productivity in Norway (newsinenglish.no)

Ugmug writes: Too many Norwegians just want to have fun and head for their holiday homes, frets the boss of an international accounting firm’s operations in Norway who’s Norwegian himself. He went public Thursday with his irritation over fellow executives and employees alike who spend too much time at their “hytter” and not enough time in the office.

Submission + - The 'Cool Brick' Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water (3dprint.com) 1

ErnieKey writes: Emerging Objects, a company which experiments with 3d printing technology has created what they call the 'Cool Brick'. Using basic concepts of evaporation, it holds water like a sponge, takes in hot dry air and converts it into cool moist air. 3d printed with a specially engineered lattice using ceramics, it can be formed into entire walls which could be placed in different rooms of a house or building, thus replacing the need for air conditioning in hot, dry climates such as deserts.

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