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Submission + - Disney Fires President Obama's Computer Science Teacher

theodp writes: For the past two years, K-12 schools have turned to Disney characters to 'teach computer science' to millions of students. For the 2014 Hour of Code, Disney Infinity Princesses Anna and Elsa even taught President Obama to code, an event the White House celebrated again earlier this year as it asked for $4.2B to fund the President's proposed K-12 Computer Science for All K-12 initiative, which aims to make kids "job-ready on day one." So, will today's surprise announcement that Disney is shutting Disney Infinity down, exiting the self-publishing console games business, and firing 300 employees have the White House scrambling to replace Anna and Elsa as the poster children for the President's CS for All program?

Submission + - Clinton Trolls Shut Down Pro-Sanders Facebook Groups on the eve of elections (usuncut.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Some of the biggest pro-Bernie Sanders groups on Facebook were briefly taken down Monday evening in a targeted attack by Hillary Clinton supporters.

The groups Bernie Sanders Activists, Bernie Believers, BERNIE OR BUST, Bernie Sanders Revolutionaries, Bay Area for Bernie, Bernie Sanders 2016 — Ideas Welcome, Bernie Sanders is my HERO, and Bernie Sanders for President 2016 were all taken down in the attack. The pages in question were reported to be down for about three hours, from 9 p.m. to midnight Monday night.

Collectively, these groups are home to more than a quarter million Bernie Sanders supporters, and some have been in existence for nearly a year, having been launched shortly after the Vermont senator declared his intent to run for president in 2015.

The groups were targeted by online trolls, who posted pornographic images and reported the groups to Facebook admins.

Submission + - Website Offers Doxing-as-a-Service and Customized Extortion (csoonline.com)

itwbennett writes: A website on the Dark Web is making Doxing, the collection and publication of sensitive personal information, into a business. The Ran$umBin website works like this, writes CSO's Steve Ragan, "Someone uploads Dox, the information is verified, and if it's proven to be credible (at the administrator's discretion) – it will be posted to the public. The victim can then pay a ransom to have their information removed, but the cost depends on the category assigned to the Dox by the person who uploaded it.' The site also offers Doxing-as-a-Service and will collect a complete profile on a person for $150. 'So far, there are only a handful of records posted to the website, but that's still far too many,' writes Ragan. 'There are five people alleged to be pedophiles; four people listed under revenge (including two high school students); ten people under miscellaneous (including the CEO of Securi.net); two law enforcement officials; and two people under the famous category – Donald Trump and President Obama.'

Submission + - Zero Zero's Camera Drone Could Be a Robot Command Center in the Future (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Zero Zero Robotics comes out of stealth today with the Hover Camera drone that uses face and body recognition to follow and photograph selected subjects. Company cofounder Meng Qiu Wang explains why he did the engineering in China (he built a team of 80 that worked two years on the project), and how this flying camera will evolve to be a navigation and control system for future home robots
Education

Submission + - Dawkins Backs camp for atheists (timesonline.co.uk) 5

RockoTDF writes: "The Times reports that Richard Dawkins is backing a summer camp to "groom" atheists. Knowing Dawkins, can we expect something just as loaded with indoctrination and polarization as a church camp, or a place that really teaches reason and skepticism? Singing "Imagine" may point to indoctrination, but the £10 prize for the child who can disprove the existence of the mythical unicorn indicates that independent thought is put on a pedestal.

So I ask the atheists and agnostics out there, is this the kind of place you would send your child, or does it appear to be church camp sans church?"

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Submission + - Starcraft 2 Drops LAN Support, Battle.net Only (gamespot.com) 2

Kemeno writes: Blizzard has announced that they will be dropping LAN support for Starcraft II, citing piracy and quality concerns. Instead, ALL multiplayer games will be hosted through their new Battle.net service. I suppose I shouldn't be suprised by this move, but wasn't LAN play how the original Starcraft became popular? It's the only way I ever played it, and I don't see why Blizzard would alienate casual LAN gamers in favor of forcing their new service upon everyone (well, except for more profit, of course).
Medicine

Submission + - Getting Old? It's Not as Bad as You Expect

Hugh Pickens writes: "A new survey from the Pew Research Center reveals that when it comes to the negative stereotypes associated with aging, such as illness, memory loss, an inability to drive, an end to sexual activity, a struggle with loneliness and depression, and difficulty paying bills, the share of younger and middle-aged adults who report expecting to encounter them is much higher than the share of older adults who report actually experiencing them. For example while 57% of respondents aged 18 to 64 expect memory loss to be a problem when they get "old," only 25% of respondents aged 65 and above report it as a problem — a 32 point gap. Part of the problem may be defining exactly what is "old." Survey respondents ages 18 to 29 believe that the average person becomes old at age 60, middle-aged respondents put the threshold closer to 70, and respondents ages 65 and above say that the average person does not become old until turning 74. "Old age is always a bit older than you are," said Jeffrey Love, research director at AARP. Survey findings would seem to confirm the old saying that you're never too old to feel young with a third of respondents ages 65 to 74, saying they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their age, while one-in-six say they feel at least 20 years younger than their actual age. However if there's one realm of modern life where old and young behave very differently, it's in the adoption of those newfangled gadgets like the internet and texting. Just four-in-ten adults ages 65-74 use the internet on a daily basis, and while there are exceptions that share drops to just one-in-six among adults 75 and above."
Earth

Submission + - Did Life Start Twice On Earth? (newscientist.com)

jamstar7 writes: From The New Scientist:

Around the world, several labs are drawing close to the threshold of a second genesis, an achievement that some would call one of the most profound scientific breakthroughs of all time. David Deamer, a biochemist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been saying that scientists would create synthetic life in "five or 10 years" for three decades, but finally he might actually be right. "The momentum is building," he says. "We're knocking at the door."



Meanwhile, a no-less profound search is on for a "shadow biosphere" — life forms that are unrelated to the life we know because they are descendants of an independent origin of life. We know for sure that life got going on Earth once, so why couldn't it have happened twice? Many scientists argue that there is no reason why a second genesis might not have taken place, and no reason why its descendants should not still be living among us.

Obviously, this raises some interesting questions. Has this happened? Can we detect it? What are the interactions between the 'First Genesis' and the 'Second Genesis'? How does this affect us? And personally, are we part of the 'First Wave' or the Second?

Linux Business

Submission + - Fedora is largest Linux Distro: 100k users/week (wordpress.com)

ruphus13 writes: Fedora 10 is on a tear, and has been picking up new users at the rate of 100k/week. Fedora is the largest Linux distro now. From the article, "Fedora 10 has been gaining new users at impressive rates. This past week alone Fedora 10 has picked up over 100,000 more. This puts the total number of Fedora users somewhere around 12-13 million, higher than any other Linux distribution... At last count, Fedora 10 has a 15% gain in users over Fedora 9. This measurement was taken before this impressive week so the total gain might even be more than that."
Television

Submission + - Hulu Blocks Playstation 3 Playback

SoopahMan writes: It appears Hulu has pulled playback on the Playstation 3 — you can browse the site fine, but attempting to play any video on the site gets you "Sorry, this video is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience." These same videos play fine on a PC. With Boxee already blocked, is Hulu being pressured into blocking any device that would provide a pleasant, TV-like experience?
Privacy

Anti-Piracy Firm Offering ISPs Money For Outing File-Sharers 132

mytrip points out news that an anti-piracy firm called Nexicon has been offering financial incentives to ISPs in exchange for having the ISPs police their own networks for copyright infringement. Nexicon would offer their services (for a fee) to help the ISPs pinpoint users who are illegally sharing files, and then give the users an option to "settle" through their "Get Amnesty" website. The revenue generated by such settlements would then be shared with the ISPs. Jerry Scroggin, owner of a smaller ISP in Louisiana, is still skeptical, saying, "I would still wind up losing customers. I would also have to pay Nexicon for this ... I have to survive in this economy but I don't have the big marketing dollars that bigger ISPs have. I have to fund 401(K)s and find ways not to lay off people. Giving free rein to the RIAA is not part of my business model."

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