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Submission + - Best credit card practices? (google.com)

justthinkit writes: It seems to be almost impossible for people to use Uber or Lyft without having their credit card credentials stolen, then sold online for as little as $4 a card. With no way to reach a person at the ride-providing services, consumers appear to be left with no choice but to cancel yet another card and request a new one. Are there better ways of providing payment online, or easy ways of obtaining "burner" charge cards? Is this the fault of smartphone applications, or are these insider hacks?

Comment Re:Fake science/sloppy science (Score 1) 319

To continue the story, several of us asked "why". And compared the data we got, from the data we were EXPECTED to get (and 20 years of previous classes got. . . )

The difference was more sodium and aluminum in the mineral profiles we found. These were all Feldspars, our results all tended towards orthoclase feldspars, rather than the actual plagioclase feldspars, which have higher calcium content.

So the question became, if there was more aluminum and sodium than expected, and the sample hadn't changed, then the mounting matrix (i.e. the generic office rubber cement) had to be the change. We sent the old, dried-up jar, and the current jar. They found a slightly higher concentration of salt, and metallic aluminum contamination. No clue on how the Chem Department did the analysis, but I know the graduating Chem majors got handed the project as an exercise. . .

And that's the rest of the story. Or, in the short version, Science, Bitches! (grin)

Submission + - Malaysian Police: VX nerve gas killed N Korea leader's brother in airport attack (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Malaysian police have announced their finding that Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, was killed by assassins using VX nerve gas in an attack in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysian authorities plan to decontaminate the airport and other sites visited by the attackers. Police are holding the two female attackers, one of whom was affected by the chemical agent, as well as two other men. They are seeking seven more North Koreans connected to the case. VX is the most toxic of the nerve gasses and the UN has declared it a weapon of mass destruction. The manufacture and stockpiling of more than 100 grams of VX per year is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. It has no commercial uses. The Malaysian police are trying to discover if it was smuggled into their country, or manufactured there. The Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador to North Korea for consultation. North Korea is blaming the death of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysia. North Korea is believed to have major stockpiles of chemical weapons, and is alleged to conduct experiments on prisoners and social undesirables.

Submission + - SPAM: SNES Game Preservation Project Revived After Package Located

Xenographic writes: Byuu's SNES Game preservation project has been revived after social media attention led to the discovery of the $10,000 package of SNES games at an Atlanta, GA mail recovery center. As you may remember from Slashdot's previous coverage, byuu was working to preserve PAL format SNES games when 100 titles that were lent to him vanished in the mail. It turns out that the shipping label became separated from the package, causing it to fail to be delivered and only through special effort on the part of USPS were they able to locate the package and return it.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Film studios seek to block Australians from acessing 41 pirate websites (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: A group of film studios is undertaking what is set to be the most significant use so far of Australia's anti-piracy laws, which allow rights holders to apply for court orders that can compel ISPs to block their customers from accessing certain piracy-linked sites. A pair of rights holders last year successfully obtained court orders forcing Australia's most popular ISPs to block a handful of sites including The Pirate Bay. Now Village Roadshow wants to have 41 more sites blocked

Comment Re:Fake science/sloppy science (Score 1) 319

Techniques are not materials. We only found out about the change of ingredient vendor AFTER the Chemistry Department found traces of metallic aluminum in the cement. We then queried the producer of the cement, and they told us that, based on the lot number on the jar, that was with the new ingredient vendor.

20+ years, same brand of rubber cement, new jar every year or two.

Submission + - A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”

Laws and rules are for the little people.

Comment Re:Fake science/sloppy science (Score 5, Interesting) 319

. . . or that an unknown and unrecognized variable is at play.

Mind you, this goes back 40 years, but in my undergrad days, we were required to do a needle powder mount of a ground mineral, and use it in an x-ray diffractometry device. in order to identify the mineral by diffraction patterns.

The year my class did it, we were **all** off by about 5-6% from the reference shots, made years earlier (the sample sources remained the same). Turns out the manufacturer of the adhesive we used for the powder mounts (it was office-type rubber cement) had undergone a minor formula change, they had a new source of one ingredient, which had some metal dust contamination.

We had students doing the same experiment for 20 years previously, used identical techniques, and we STILL got different results. And we wouldn't have figured it out, if one of the TAs recalled that she had to get a new jar of rubber cement, the old one had solidified. . . . and it still took comparative chemical analyses of two different needle mounts of the same sample, but different years, to identify the difference.

Submission + - naturalnews.com delisted from Google search results (scienceblogs.com) 2

bazorg writes: As of 23rd February, organic search results for the alternative medicine website naturalnews.com seem to have disappeared from Google, along with other domains owned by self-appointed Health Ranger Mike Adams, who sits in 3rd place on QuackWatch on their list of "promoters of questionable methods and/or advice".

This website is described in its wikipedia entry as "a website for the sale of various dietary supplements, promotion of alternative medicine, controversial nutrition and health claims, and various conspiracy theories, such as "chemtrails", chemophobic claims (including the purported dangers of fluoride in drinking water, anti-perspirants, laundry detergent, monosodium glutamate, aspartame), and purported health problems caused by allegedly "toxic" ingredients in vaccines, including the now-discredited link to autism." source

While this website does not fit exactly the profile of "fake news" that have been in everyone's radar as of late, it seems to be have received direct attention from Google, with no public explanation for the fact. True to form, the editor of the site makes important claims about the establishment trying to silence him:

The removal of Natural News from Google’s index means that millions of people may now be unnecessarily harmed by toxic medicines, herbicides and brain-damaging mercury in vaccines because they are being denied the “other side of the story” that’s censored by the corporate-controlled media. By censoring Natural News, Google is, in effect, siding with the criminal pharmaceutical industry that has been charged with multiple felony crimes and caught bribing doctors, fraudulently altering scientific studies, conducting medical experiments on children and price fixing their drugs to maximize profits. In effect, censorship of Natural News is part of the establishment’s war on humanity which includes depopulation measures (Bill Gates), covert infertility vaccines, corporate-run media disinfo campaigns and a full-on assault against scientific truth and free speech conducted in the public interest.

Submission + - Google: 99.95% of Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus (torrentfreak.com)

AmiMoJo writes: In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes. “For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place.”

Comment Re:do you want to get mugged behind a bar? (Score 4, Insightful) 135

I beg to differ. That's where I met my wife, 20 years ago. I have a number of friends who met their spouse online. I even know a couple who met online BEFORE the Net, on CompuServe.

There are real women, and real men, on the net. But you generally need to be a decent person to connect with them . . . .

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