An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a “mandatory social media check” on all visa applicants who have ever visited ISIS-controlled territory, according to diplomatic cables obtained by Reuters. The four memos were sent to American diplomatic missions over the past two weeks, with the most recent issued on March 17th. According to Reuters, they provide details into a revised screening process that President Donald Trump has described as “extreme vetting.” A memo sent on March 16th rescinds some of the instructions that Tillerson outlined in the previous cables, including an order that would have required visa applicants to hand over all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts that they have used in the past. The secretary of state issued the memo after a Hawaii judge blocked the Trump administration’s revised travel ban on citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries. In addition to the social media check, the most recent memo calls for consular officials to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny.” Two former government officials tell Reuters that the social media order could lead to delays in processing visa applications, with one saying that such checks were previously carried out on rare occasions.
BrianFagioli writes: Today, the Final Beta of Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' becomes available for download. While it is never a good idea to run pre-release software on production machines, Canonical is claiming that it should be largely bug free at this point. In other words, if you understand the risks, it should be a fairly safe. Home users aside, this is a good opportunity for administrators to conduct testing prior to the official release next month.
"The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed 'Zesty Zapus', 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs," says Adam Conrad, Canonical.
An anonymous reader writes: Even if you aren’t elderly, your body is home to agents of senility—frail and damaged cells that age us and promote disease. Now, researchers have developed a molecule that selectively destroys these so-called senescent cells. The compound makes old mice act and appear more youthful, providing hope that it may do the same for us. As we get older, senescent cells build up in our tissues, where researchers think they contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In the past, scientists have genetically modified mice to dispatch their senescent cells, allowing the rodents to live longer and reducing plaque buildup in their arteries. Such genetic alterations aren’t practical for people, but researchers have reported at least seven compounds, known as senolytics, that kill senescent cells. A clinical trial is testing two of the drugs in patients with kidney disease, and other trials are in the works. However, current senolytic compounds, many of which are cancer drugs, come with downsides. They can kill healthy cells or trigger side effects such as a drop in the number of platelets, the cellular chunks that help our blood clot. Cell biologist Peter de Keizer of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues were investigating how senescent cells stay alive when they uncovered a different strategy for attacking them. Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53. In a petri dish, this peptide prevented FOXO4 and p53 from hooking up, prompting senescent cells to commit suicide. But it spared healthy cells. The researchers then injected the molecule into mutant mice that age rapidly. These rodents live about half as long as normal mice, and when they are only a few months old, their fur starts to fall out, their kidneys begin to falter, and they become sluggish. However, the peptide boosted the density of their fur, reversed the kidney damage, and increased the amount of time they could scurry in a running wheel, the scientists report online today in Cell. When the researchers tested the molecule in normal, elderly mice, they saw a similar picture: In addition to helping their kidneys and fur, the molecule also increased their willingness to explore their surroundings.
windwalker13th writes: The US Senate just voted to roll back privacy protections for consumers of ISPs. https://www.congress.gov/bill/... Thus making it one step closer to allowing ISPs to sell your internet activity. Last year researches at MIT were able to identify 90% of people in a data set from 3 months of anonymized credit card transactions http://news.mit.edu/2015/ident... If we are already able to identify who people are from anonymous credit card meta data how hard will it be to identify our senators from their internet browsing history? Certainly it would be fairly easy to determine who they are, after all they probably check their e-mail every night before going to sleep.
dryriver writes: A slightly older story from Kotaku (Nov 2016) examines how a Microsoft Corporation Patent filed in 2011 proposes electronically monitoring the number of people viewing digital content on a device (possibly with a Kinect-like camera), and taking action if the number of viewers is larger than the content was "licensed for". So if you were to stream a Movie or TV Show licensed for 2 viewers to your living room TV and the system determines that 4 rather than 2 people are watching, you would be in violation of the viewing license for the content, and content playback would cease, or you would possibly be charged for the extra eyeballs present. Here's how the patent's abstract (US 2012/0278904 A1) puts it: "A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken. "
Lauren Weinstein writes: Google has announced some changes and apparently more are in the pipeline, so far relating mostly to making it easier for advertisers to avoid having their ads appear with those sorts of content.
But let’s be very clear about this. Most of that content, much of which is on long-established YouTube channels sometimes with vast numbers of views, shouldn’t be permitted to monetize at all. And in many cases, shouldn’t be permitted on YouTube at all...
yakatz writes: SixXS started providing IPv6 tunnels in 1999 to try to break the "chicken-and-egg" problem of IPv6 adoption. After 18 years, the service is shutting down. The cited reasons are: 1. that growth has been stagnant, 2. many ISPs offer IPv6, and 3. some ISPs have told customers that they don't need to provide IPv6 connectivity because the customer can just use a tunnel from SixXS. This last reason in particular made the SixXS team think they are doing more harm than good in the fight for native IPv6, so they will be shutting down on June 6.
mirandakatz writes: Google thinks that the next billion lies in the developing world—but promising global startups often lack the mentorship and resources they need to really break out. That's where the tech giant comes in: it's quietly grooming companies overseas by offering them mentorship and steeping them in the Google gospel. It's not taking any equity, but it's getting a whole lot in return: as Sandra Upson writes at Backchannel, "Eventually, these companies will play an enormous role in getting millions more people to conduct their lives online—and Google will be there as well, ready to scoop up new users."
schwit1 writes: It was a nuclear disaster four times worse than Chernobyl in terms of the number of cases of acute radiation sickness, but Moscow’s complicity in covering up its effects on people’s health has remained secret until now.
We knew that in August 1956, fallout from a Soviet nuclear weapons test at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan engulfed the Kazakh industrial city of Ust-Kamenogorsk and put more than 600 people in hospital with radiation sickness, but the details have been sketchy.
After seeing a newly uncovered report, New Scientist can now reveal that a scientific expedition from Moscow in the aftermath of the hushed-up disaster uncovered widespread radioactive contamination and radiation sickness across the Kazakh steppes.
The scientists then tracked the consequences as nuclear bomb tests continued — without telling the people affected or the outside world.
The report by scientists from the Institute of Biophysics in Moscow was found in the archive of the Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology (IRME) in Semey, Kazakhstan. “For many years, this has been a secret,” says the institute’s director Kazbek Apsalikov, who found the report and passed it on to New Scientist.
The newly revealed report, which outlines “the results of a radiological study of Semipalatinsk region” and is marked “top secret”, shows for the first time just how much Soviet scientists knew at the time about the human-health disaster and the extent of the cover-up.