Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Doctors Have Done Almost Nothing to Combat Obesity, But That May Be Changing (

LesterMoore writes: One in 3 Americans is obese and nearly 70 percent are overweight. Politicians and public health groups have struggled to lower these numbers. But doctors have done almost nothing. Now, with evidence that weight loss is more than a question of will power combined with new programs that work, doctors are finally starting to treat their overweight patients.

Submission + - Unboiling an Egg Could Be Big Advance for Biotech (

LesterMoore writes: UC Irvine researchers figured out how to take a boiled egg white and untangle the proteins, making it a liquidy white again. The same method could work for fixing misfolded proteins, promising new cancer treatments and potentially cheaper biotech products across the board.

Submission + - What's the Science Behind So-Called Superfoods Like Bulletproof Coffee? (

LesterMoore writes: Bulletproof coffee is all the rage, mostly based on claims that medium-chain triglycerides are powerful brain food and that butter is healthier than cream. Have you wondered where the health claims that drive health food fads come from and if they're true? A Healthline article tracks the rise of popular health foods including Bulletproof coffee, cleanses and Greek yogurt. (There's also a TL;DR infographic version.)

Submission + - How To Remain (Mostly) Invisible Online (

itwbennett writes: It's a basic truth that when people use a medium owned or operated by a third party, such as the Internet, an elevator with a camera or a mobile app that requires connectivity, there is no privacy. So the best thing you can do, is to place some value on your personal information and then lie, lie, lie your way into obscurity, says Frank Ahearn, a privacy expert and author of the book 'How to Disappear.'

Submission + - The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

BarbaraHudson writes: From the "I-have-the-same-password-on-my-luggage" department The Independent lists the most popular passwords for 2014, and once again, "123456" tops the list, followed by "password" and "12345" at #3 (lots of Spaceballs fans out there?) . "qwerty" still makes the list, but there are some new entries in the top 25, including "superman", "batman", and "696969". The passwords used were mostly from North American and Western European leaks.

Submission + - FBI Seeks to Legally Hack You If You're Connected to TOR or a VPN (

SonicSpike writes: The investigative arm of the Department of Justice is attempting to short-circuit the legal checks of the Fourth Amendment by requesting a change in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These procedural rules dictate how law enforcement agencies must conduct criminal prosecutions, from investigation to trial. Any deviations from the rules can have serious consequences, including dismissal of a case. The specific rule the FBI is targeting outlines the terms for obtaining a search warrant.

It’s called Federal Rule 41(b), and the requested change would allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search electronic data without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network. It would also allow nonspecific search warrants where computers have been intentionally damaged (such as through botnets, but also through common malware and viruses) and are in five or more separate federal judicial districts. Furthermore, the provision would allow investigators to seize electronically stored information regardless of whether that information is stored inside or outside the court’s jurisdiction.

Submission + - GE Industrial Ethernet switches revealed to have hard-coded SSL key (

An anonymous reader writes: A range of industrial-level Ethernet switches in use at industrial facilities, transportation environments, waste-management plants and substations has been found to have a hard-coded SSL key that can be retrieved from the firmware. U.S. company GE’s Multilink ML800 series of managed switches contain the vulnerability, one of three identified by researcher Eireann Leverett, who passed his research on to the Department of Homeland Security in early January. Two other vulnerabilities have been identified, though the third has not yet been disclosed.

Submission + - Authors alarmed as Oxford Junior Dictionary drops nature words 1

Freshly Exhumed writes: Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion, and Michael Morpurgo are among 28 authors criticizing Oxford University Press's decision to scrap a number of words associated with nature from its junior dictionary. In an open letter (PDF) released on Monday, the acclaimed writers said they are 'profoundly alarmed' and urged the publisher to reinstate words cut since 2007 in the next edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Amongst words to be dropped are acorn, blackberries, and minnows.

Submission + - Revolutionary stretchable implant enables broken spinal cord to function again (

An anonymous reader writes: A team from EPFL and NCCR Robotics lead by Profs Stéphanie Lacour, Grégoire Courtine and Silvestro Micera published an article in Science today describing their e-dura implant that could revolutionise how we think about and treat paralysis. Until now, implants placed beneath the dura mater of the spinal cord have caused significant tissue damage when used over long periods. Research shows that the new e-dura implant is viable for months at a time in animal subjects. The team is now moving on to clinical trials in human subjects and is developing their prototype to take to market.

Submission + - How Close Are We to Engineering the Climate?

merbs writes: The scientists had whipped themselves into a frenzy. Gathered in a stuffy conference room in the bowels of a hotel in Berlin, scores of respected climate researchers were arguing about a one-page document that had tentatively been christened the “Berlin Declaration.” It proposed ground rules for conducting experiments to explore how we might artificially cool the Earth—planet hacking, basically. This is the story of scientists' first major international meeting to tackle geoengineering.

Submission + - 15 per cent of business cloud users have been hacked, research finds (

An anonymous reader writes: Recent research has identified that only one in ten cloud apps are secure enough for enterprise use. According to a report from cloud experts Netskope, organisations are employing an average of over 600 business cloud apps, despite the majority of software posing a high risk of data leak. The company showed that 15 per cent of logins for business apps used by organisations had been breached by hackers. Over 20 per cent of businesses in the Netskope cloud actively used more than 1,000 cloud apps, and over eight per cent of files in corporate-sanctioned cloud storage apps were in violation of DLP policies, source code, and other policies surrounding confidential and sensitive data. Google Drive, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Gmail were among the apps investigated in the Netskope research.

Submission + - Monarch butterfly in steep decline, might be added to threatened species 1

BarbaraHudson writes: Tierra Curry, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, says Monarch butterfly numbers have declined by more than 90% in less than 20 years. "The reason for that is largely the decline of milkweed in the Midwestern United States, because milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars can eat," says Curry. With the invention of Roundup Ready (glyphosate-resistant) crops, farmers were able to increase their use of the herbicide and spray it directly on their corn and soybean crops, but Curry says the herbicide kills milkweed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to add the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Submission + - EFF: Apple's Dev Agreement Means No EFF Mobile App for iOS (

schwit1 writes: Today we launched a new app that will make it easier for people to take action on digital rights issues using their phone. The app allows folks to connect to our action center quickly and easily, using a variety of mobile devices.

Sadly, though, we had to leave out Apple devices and the folks who use them. Why? Because we could not agree to the outrageous terms in Apple’s Developer Agreement and Apple’s DRM requirements.

Submission + - Stem Cell Treatment to Regrow Torn Meniscus 'Very, Very Close' (

LesterMoore writes: In a new study, researchers put 3D model meniscus in sheep's knees. (Their joints are a lot like humans'.) The model attracted stem cells to it and supplied growth factors and eventually biodegraded. New working menisci grew and the sheep regained full mobility. Orthopedists say similar treatments for humans are "very, very close," according to one article.

Submission + - French Cabbies Say They're Going To Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

mrspoonsi writes: Parisian taxi drivers have vowed to block roads leading into the French capital on Monday to protest a court's refusal to ban urban ridesharing service UberPOP. Like their counterparts in large cities across the globe, Parisian taxi drivers are fed up with what they see as unfair competition from Uber's popular smartphone taxi service. UberPOP, which uses non-professional drivers using their own cars to take on passengers at budget rates, has 160,000 users in France, according to the company. A commercial court in Paris ruled on Friday that a new law making it harder for Uber drivers to solicit business could not be enforced until the government had published full details of the restrictions. "It's the straw that breaks the camel's back," said Ibrahima Sylla, president of France Taxis, whose organisation has joined several others in calling for the early morning protest on Monday. They have urged taxi drivers to gather at the northern Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport and the southern Orly airport at 05:00 am before slowly converging on the city in a bid to block arterial highways. "This is a fight against Uber. We're fed up. Allowing UberPOP means leaving 57,000 French taxis high and dry, and thus 57,000 families. And that is out of the question," said Sylla.

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