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Submission + - John Cook's experiment with online science trolls

Lasrick writes: John Cook is a researcher who writes about climate change denial at SkepticalScience, and he writes here about dealing with online trolls. Not only has he turned online trolling into a source of data collection, but has also come up with a very effective way to deal with trolling. Great read: 'When I turn the spotlight around to expose the techniques of science denial, the reaction can be intense.'

Submission + - SPAM: Iran destroys 100,000 satellite dishes in crackdown

schwit1 writes: Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," he said at the event according to Basij News.

Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros). Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - More TSA Security Theater - Slamming the Face of a Disabled Cancer Patient (theguardian.com) 1

Kobun writes: From the Guardian: "A disabled teenage cancer patient was injured during a violent arrest by security agents at Memphis international airport, her family has alleged in a lawsuit filed against the Transport Security Administration." A disabled and confused brain cancer survivor doesn't immediately comply with TSA officers, earning her face a violent meeting with the ground and a night in jail. The TSA has yet to provide a non-answer or statement.

Submission + - Wikipedia Disappears True Identity of UVA Rape Hoaxer Jackie Coakley 1

cpaglee writes: After nearly driving an editor to contemplate suicide the Wikipedia editorial community continues to practice extreme censorship by disappearing all references to UVA Rape Hoaxer Jackie's last name even though it shows up in the top 3 search results for every major search engine. On July 3 anonymous Wikipedia editor Permstrump removed 2,098 characters from the article, in addition to destroying all records of previous edits so

Submission + - Volkswagen: $10.2 billion settlement for emissions lawsuit

Khashishi writes: Slashdot has been following the story of Volkswagen manipulating diesel emissions tests for some time now. The control software contained algorithms which reduced emissions during testing but not during normal driving. Well, now Volkswagen has agreed to pay $10.2 billion to settle the case. This is higher than the $430 million damages estimated in this story. It appears that vehicle owners will have the choice of fixing their cars or selling them back. Most of the money will go towards fixing the cars, buying them back, and compensating owners.

Submission + - String Theorist Makes Intellectual Property Claim to Suppress Critical Paper (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sabine Hossenfelder at the blog Backreaction has this curious story of a new paper which makes an experimental test of the "multiverse" in string theory: "In a recent paper, William Kinney from the University at Buffalo put to test the multiverse-entanglement with the most recent cosmological data. The brief summary is that not only hasn’t he found any evidence for the entanglement-modification, he has ruled out the formerly proposed model for two general types of inflationary potentials... Much to my puzzlement, his analysis also shows that some of the predictions of the original model (such as the modulation of the power spectrum) weren’t predictions to begin with...To add meat to an unfalsifiable idea that made predictions which weren’t, one of the authors who proposed the entanglement model, Laura Mersini-Houghton, is apparently quite unhappy with Kinney’s results and tries to use an intellectual property claim to get his paper removed from the arXiv. I will resist the temptation to comment on the matter and simply direct you to the Wikipedia entry on the Streisand Effect. Dear Internet, please do your job."

Submission + - Repurposing Drugs to Tackle Cancer (theguardian.com)

sackvillian writes: Many slashdotters are aware of the infamous thalidomide birth defect crisis. What might come as a surprise is the incredible success that thalidomide and some analogs have recently found as treatments for cancer, ulcers, lupus, and more. In fact, thanks in part to their success, there's a growing research movement that's attempting to treat cancer with other existing drugs that are commonly used for totally unrelated conditions. Drugs as common as aspirin, for example, which is in the early stages of a clinical trial that will involve over 10,000 cancer patients. As described in the article in the Guardian, at least one major international collaboration has taken this approach: The Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project. However, as most of the drugs are long since off-patent, researchers are having to be creative in obtaining funding for their work.

Submission + - Hot Spring Death at Yellowstone Highlights Tourists Breaking the Rules

HughPickens.com writes: AP reports that the grisly death of Colin Nathaniel Scott who left a boardwalk and fell into a high-temperature, acidic spring in Yellowstone National Park offers a sobering reminder that visitors need to follow park rules. Scott and his sister had traveled about 225 yards off the boardwalk when he slipped and fell into the hot spring in the Norris Geyser Basin. Officials said the two had left the boardwalk to get closer to some of the basin's thermal features. After Scott's sister reported the fall, rangers navigated over the highly fragile crust of the geyser basin to try to recover his body but halted the effort "due to the extreme nature and futility of it all," says Charissa Reid. The death occurred in one of the hottest and most volatile areas of Yellowstone, where boiling water flows just beneath a thin rock crust and water temperatures there can reach 199 degrees, the boiling point for water at the park's high elevation. "It's sort of dumb, if I could be so blunt, to walk off the boardwalks not knowing what you're doing," says geologist Kenneth Sims. "They're scofflaws, essentially, who look around and then head off the boardwalk." At least 22 people are known to have died from hot spring-related injuries in and around Yellowstone since 1890, park officials say. "This tragic event must remind all of us to follow the regulations and stay on boardwalks," says Yellowstone Supt. Dan Wenk. Scott's body will not be recovered. “Recovery efforts have been terminated in part because we have not been able to locate any remains, unfortunately,” says Morgan Warthin.

Submission + - The World's Oldest Computer May Have Been Used to Predict the Future (gizmodo.com)

schwit1 writes: ATHENS, Greece – When you're trying to fathom a mangled relic of very old hi-tech, it helps to have the manufacturer's instructions.

For over a century since its discovery in an ancient shipwreck, the exact function of the Antikythera Mechanism — named after the southern Greek island off which it was found — was a tantalizing puzzle.

From a few words deciphered on the twisted, corroded fragments of bronze gears and plates, experts guessed it was an astronomical instrument. But much more remained hidden out of sight.

After more than a decade's efforts using cutting-edge scanning equipment, an international team of scientists has now read about 3,500 characters of explanatory text — a quarter of the original — in the innards of the 2,100-year-old remains.

They say it was a kind of philosopher's guide to the galaxy, and perhaps the world's oldest mechanical computer.

Submission + - British Startup Strip Mines Renters' Private Social Media For Landlords

Rick Zeman writes: Creepy British startup Score Assured has brought the power of "big data" to plumb new depths. In order to rent from landlords who use their services, potential renters are "...required to grant it full access to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram profiles. From there, Tenant Assured scrapes your site activity, including entire conversation threads and private messages; runs it through natural language processing and other analytic software; and finally, spits out a report that catalogues everything from your personality to your “financial stress level.”"
This "stress level" is a deep dive to (allegedly) determine whether the potential renter will pay their bills using vague indicators like "online retail social logins and frequency of social logins used for leisure activities." To make it worse, the company turns over to the landlords indicators that the landlords aren't legally allowed to consider (age, race, pregnancy status), counting on the landlords to "do the right thing." As if this isn't abusive enough, the candidates are not allowed to see nor challenge their report, unlike with credit reports.
Landlords first, employers next...and then? As the co-founder says, "People will give up their privacy to get something they want" and, evidently, that includes a place to live and a job.

Submission + - Google caught manipulating Hillary searches (youtube.com)

Trachman writes: It looks like Google is manipulating Google search prompts, by significantly artificially reducing popularity of searches that are deemed understandable. See link below for a quick video ( https://youtu.be/PFxFRqNmXKg )

Facebook has already been caught. It looks like that Google has been caught with the knife and the blood on their hands.

Google manipulation is page from the playbook prophetically depicted in the House of Cards by Underwoods and other players.

The question is if Barbara Streisand effect will prove it's effectiveness...

Submission + - EBT Cards Experiencing Outages (zerohedge.com)

Salo2112 writes: Widespread reports continue to pour in from all over the nation of “glitches” with the food stamp system. It is eight days into the month and large numbers of people still have not received their benefits, and in other instances it is being reported that EBT cards are simply not working correctly. So what in the world is going on here? On downdetector.com there are scores of reports of problems with the EBT system from people all over the nation.

Submission + - Mikko Hyppönen: 'Poor' North Korea Has stolen $1bn From Banks In Cyberatta 1

Mickeycaskill writes: Security expert Mikko Hyppönen has said that North Korea was without a doubt behind the SWIFT bank heists that have so far funnelled almost one billion dollars out of banks around the world.

“There are different theories on who is behind this. One theory looks at the technical evidence,” he told a keynote audience at Infosec 2016 in London.

“I’m not saying North Korea did the SWIFT attack, but North Korea did the SWIFT attack.”

The security expert, who has worked at security firm F-Secure for 25 years, said that North Korea may be trying to make up for its economic deficits.

“Do you know what the annual budget is of the whole country of North Korea? It’s a little less than $4 billion. So is this North Korea trying to fix its budget deficit by stealing from the rest of the world? Well maybe it is,” he said.

Submission + - Facebook's CS Career Days: We'd Like to Know a Little Bit About You for Our File

theodp writes: If you were ever asked to give a talk about the computer programming profession at a school Career Day, did you agree to do so only if the kids — and their parents — were required to fill out a form ahead of time for you with their names, contact/location information, and answers to your questions about their gender, race, and age? Of course not. But then again, you're not Facebook. Through its TechPrep initiative with McKinsey & Company, Facebook is bringing its take on Career Day to schoolkids in seven cities, and kids and parents who want to hear presentations from Facebook employees about computer programming (and perhaps score a free breakfast) are asked to fill out a registration form that requests their name, email address, zip code, gender ("Female", "Male", "Gender Non-conforming/Transgender", "I prefer not to disclose or I do not identify with the options listed above."), race/ethnicity ("Asian", "African American or Black", "Hispanic or Latino", "Native American or Alaska Native", "Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander", "White", "Two or more", "I prefer not to disclose"), and age ("< 13 years of age", "13 — 18", "18 — 25", "25 — 35", "> 35 years of age"). Oh, and there's just one more little thing — make sure you've got a signed Facebook Marketing Release ("I will indemnify and hold Facebook harmless from and against third party claims arising out of my violation of the representations and warranties in this section, solely with respect to the Materials in the condition received from or approved by me."), kids!

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