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Submission + - Soros, the Open Society Foundations, and the Continued Political Hacks (

jkouns writes: A website called DC Leaks published internal data about the Open Society Foundations, an organization run by George Soros. The bulk of the data, which totals 1.51GB and is spread across 2,576 files. The DC Leaks website allows visitors to view the data and even offers a search function that has indexed the Soros leak to some extent. In the Soros leak there are interesting mentions about drones over 15 documents. The documents appear to show some of the intentions and contributing ideas made by the Open Society Foundations into accountability surrounding drone use by the United States military.

Submission + - Genetically modified mosquitoes released in Cayman Islands (

Okian Warrior writes: The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses, officials in the British Island territory said.

Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don't bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood, were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island, according to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec.

[Note from submitter: This November Florida will hold a referendum to decide whether to release genetically modified mosquitos to combat Zika]

[Also, here's some background on the process.]

Submission + - Japan Starts 8K TV Broadcasts In Time For Rio Olympics (

An anonymous reader writes: Japan began the world's first regular 8K television broadcasts on Monday, five days ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games. 8K refers to broadcasts with a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels. That's 16 times the resolution of today's full high-definition (FHD) broadcasts and four times that of the 4K standard, which is only just emerging in many other countries. The format used by NHK, which it calls "Super Hi-Vision," also features 22.2-channel surround sound. Public broadcaster NHK launched a satellite channel that will broadcast a mix of 8K and 4K content as it prepares to launch full-scale 8K transmissions in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The channel will be on air daily from 10am until 5pm, with extended hours during the Rio Olympics. Japan's early lead in 8K broadcasting is thanks to NHK and its Science and Technology Research Laboratories in Tokyo.

Submission + - Germany's Energiewende: The problems remain (

Dan Drollette writes: Wanna know why certain American fossil fuel tycoons (who shall remain nameless) are so hostile to fighting climate change? Just look at what happened to the big utility companies and the large, energy-intensive heavy industries of Germany after its "Energiewende" kicked in—they are "on the brink of dissolution" from that country's embrace of renewable energy, says the author of this piece, who used to work for German utilities as their renewables go-to person.

Submission + - New Surveillance System May Let Cops Use All of the Cameras (

An anonymous reader writes: The system, which is just a proof of concept, alarms privacy advocates who worry that prudent surveillance could easily lead to government overreach, or worse, unauthorized use. It relies upon two tools developed independently at Purdue. The Visual Analytics Law Enforcement Toolkit superimposes the rate and location of crimes and the location of police surveillance cameras. CAM2 reveals the location and orientation of public network cameras, like the one outside your apartment. You could do the same thing with a search engine like Shodan, but CAM2 makes the job far easier, which is the scary part. Aggregating all these individual feeds makes it potentially much more invasive.

Submission + - TeslaCrypt Ransomware Maker Shuts Down, Releases Master Key (

An anonymous reader writes: The TeslaCrypt ransomware makers have officially closed down shop and apologized for all the damage they have caused in the past. TeslaCrypt upset a lot of gamers as it would locate and encrypt video games on your Windows PC. With the recent decision to shut down, anti-ransomware researchers have been able to create a fool-proof decryption app called TeslaDecoder. Now, many of the hard drives rendered useless by the malware are available to use, and almost every file can be accessed using the unlock system. "TeslaCrypt's website was on the Tor network and now consists of a master key and an apology," writes TechCrunch.

Submission + - Japanese Government decides to recycle contaminated waste from Fukushima

AppleHoshi writes: Friends of the Earth in Japan are reporting that the Ministry of the Environment quietly introduced a proposal on March 30th to re-use soil contaminated with radioactivity from the Fukushima meltdown for public works projects across Japan. The recycled soil will be limited to that with a radiation level of less than 8,000 Becquerels per kilogram, a mere eighty times the pre-Fukushima legal limit for such waste.
While residents of Japan are obviously worried about the long term effects it's also worth noting that some of the biggest "public works" projects lined up for the next four years are directly related to the infrastructure for the 2020 Olympics.

Submission + - How Big Data Creates False Confidence (

Mr D from 63 writes: FTA

The general idea (of "big data") is to find datasets so enormous that they can reveal patterns invisible to conventional inquiry. The data are often generated by millions of real-world user actions, such as tweets or credit-card purchases, and they can take thousands of computers to collect, store, and analyze. To many companies and researchers, though, the investment is worth it because the patterns can unlock information about anything from genetic disorders to tomorrow’s stock prices.

But there’s a problem: It’s tempting to think that with such an incredible volume of data behind them, studies relying on big data couldn’t be wrong. But the bigness of the data can imbue the results with a false sense of certainty. Many of them are probably bogus—and the reasons why should give us pause about any research that blindly trusts big data.

So rather than succumb to “big data hubris,” the rest of us would do well to keep our skeptic hats on—even when someone points to billions of words.

Submission + - I finally caught them in the act! 5

fustakrakich writes: Slashdot is deleting comments!

I am asking you if you find this acceptable. To me it isn't. Indelible comments is Slashdot's only advantage it has over other what are now simple news aggregators. Deletions will mean the end of any of that. Better that the place shuts down completely. Please help save Slashdot. Don't let your comments be deleted. Please. Without Slashdot, there is no internet.

Submission + - Judge Slams Anthem, Rules That Breach Constitutes Harm To Customers (

chicksdaddy writes: You would think that the "damages" caused by massive online thefts, like those leveled against Target, Home Depot and Anthem Healthcare are self evident. But companies are arguing hard that they can't be sued for damages resulting from data breaches because the "victims" can't show that they were harmed by the theft. That was the case back in June, when lawyers for Home Depot filed a motion to have a case linked to the compromise at that company dropped. The case was brought by customers whose data was stolen in the attack, but Home Depot's attorneys argued that those customers could't prove that they were harmed by the theft of their credit card information. (

Now a judge in San Francisco has dealt a blow to would-be defendants,finding against the health insurer Anthem in a case brought by customers whose data was stolen in that attack. n an opinion released on Sunday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that the loss of personal information in the breach of Anthem constitutes harm under New York’s General Business Law. The ruling rejected arguments from Anthem and its lawyers that no direct harm resulted from the breach, which was first disclosed in February, 2015, The Recorder reported this week. (

In her decision in the Anthem case, Koh reasoned that the theft of personal identification information is harm to consumers in itself, regardless of whether any subsequent misuse of it can be proven. Allegations of a “concrete and imminent threat of future harm" are enough to establish an injury and standing in the early stages of a breach suit, she said.(

Submission + - Variable Instruction Computing: What Is Old Is New Again (

szczys writes: Higher performance, lower power. One of the challenges with hitting both of those benchmarks is the need to adhere to established instruction sets like x86. One interesting development is the use of Variable Instruction Sets at the silicon level. The basic concept of translating established instructions to something more efficient for the specific architecture isn't new; this is what yielded the first low-power x86 processors at the beginning of the century. But those relied on the translation at the software level. A company called Soft Machine is paving the way for variable instructions in hardware. Think of it as an emulator for ARM, x86, and other architectures that is running on silicon for fast execution while sipping very little power.

Submission + - Samsung Returns to 2D, releases 250GB 750 EVO for $75

Vigile writes: Even with Samsung pushing forward into 3D NAND with 32-layer technologies used in SSDs like the 850 Pro and the recently released M.2 PCIe NVMe 950 Pro, there is still plenty of traditional 2D planar memory being fabbed on production lines. To utilize that inventory Samsung is shifting its low capacity SSDs back to it, announcing the 750 EVO drives today available in 120GB and 250GB capacities. Though based largely on the very popular, but sometimes troubled, 840 EVO specs, the new drives are faster and start with some impressively low prices. The starting MSRP for the 250GB 750 EVO will be just $75.

Submission + - If You Registered Your Drone with the FAA, Kiss Your Privacy Goodbye (

SonicSpike writes: Are you a law-abiding drone owner who registered your unmanned aerial vehicle with the federal government? Congratulations! Total strangers can now find your name, address, and lots of stuff about your fun toy in a public, searchable database!

Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that virtually everyone who owns a drone (a drone's a drone, no matter how small, it seems) would have to register their flying computers for $5 a pop with the federal government. The penalty for failing to register: civil fines of up to $27,500 and criminal penalties of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for three years.

Reason's Scott Shackford has written about the failure of the FAA to actually convince most people to register their drones.

And thank goodness for that incompetence, since it will offset this latest revelation of incompetence: The 300,000 entries in the federal UAV registry are public, searchable, and downloadable, despite claims by the feds to the contrary, Engadget reports.

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