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Submission + - Continued Rise in Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates (

sciencehabit writes: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised eyebrows, and concern among current and prospective parents, with a new report documenting that the rate of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in the United States jumped 30% between 2008 and 2010, from one in 88 to one in 68 children. CDC officials don’t know, however, whether the startling increase is due to skyrocketing rates of the disorder or more sensitive screening, or a combination of both.

Submission + - Facebook ID fraud case on the rise (

thorgimov writes: The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Avanti Group (Sept. 02 2013) — Identity fraud on the popular social networking site Facebook has been surging recently, with fraudsters hijacking accounts or masquerading as real friends or acquaintances. Some victims have had their personal information stolen after approving fake friend requests from acquaintances.
Familiar name
“These are some pictures taken by my friend. If you don’t mind, please vote for them.”
A 48-year-old male company employee from Chiba city, the capital of Chiba Prefecture, received this Facebook message in June from a female company employee in Kashiwa, also in the prefecture.
As she was an acquaintance from more than 10 years ago, he did not think twice before clicking on the URL. The link took him to another site with several photos of scenery.
When he tried to vote for one of them, he was asked to enter his cell phone number.
Thinking this to be strange, he contacted the woman, who said she had not sent any such message.
She logged into her Facebook profile and checked with her friends on the matter, only to find her account had been used by an unknown person.
Similar messages had been sent to about 60 of her Facebook friends.
The woman had been using the same password on several different websites. “My password must have been stolen from some of the sites and used maliciously,” she said.
“My account may have been hijacked. I’m terribly sorry for causing my friends trouble.”
Antiviral software company Trend Micro Inc. said it had confirmed five cases in which Facebook users were tricked into visiting websites using a similar technique and actually entered their cell phone numbers.

Submission + - Companies Turn to Switzerland for Cloud Storage Following NSA Spying Revelation (

DavidGilbert99 writes: The NSA spying revelations are having a huge impact on governments across the globe, as well as seeing people becoming more and more worried about their privacy. But a so-far unseen impact is happening in the background. The services which could be affected by NSA spying — such as Dropbox, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure cloud platform — are now seen as unsafe. This however is good news for one company, with Swiss-based ultra-secret hosting company Artmotion recording a 45% rise in revenue since Edward Snowden blew the whistle last month.

Slackware 13.1 Released 155

Several readers made sure we are aware that Slackware 13.1 release is out. Here's the list of mirrors. "Slackware 13.1 brings many updates and enhancements, among which you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.6.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy-to-use desktop environment, and KDE 4.4.3, a recent stable release of the new 4.4.x series of the award-winning KDE desktop environment."

Affordable and Usable Video Conferencing? 170

Sabalon writes "I work at a state university with remote sites, minimal space, and all the other usual bits. We used to have some dedicated-circuit video conferencing tools but those have fallen into disuse. The administration is now interested in being able to stream a class from site to site, or at least have a student at one site have visual interaction with a person at another site. My thought is that if Skype, uStream and others can do live video, there has to be some things out there that don't cost a fortune but work effectively. Key things would be the ability to use commodity web cams as a source, viewable on a PC (preferably all the main OSes) and the ability to add in other devices (say H.323 encoders) or desktop/application sharing. Are there decent products and solutions out there for us mere mortals?"
The Media

Misadventures In Online Journalism 133

An anonymous reader writes "Paul Carr, writing for TechCrunch, has posted his take on some of the flaws inherent to today's fast-paced news ecosystem, where bloggers often get little or no editorial feedback and interesting headlines are passed around faster than ever. His article was inspired by a recent story on ZDNet that accused Yahoo of sharing the names and emails of 200,000 users with the Iranian government; a report that turned out to be false, yet generated a great deal of outrage before it was disproved. Carr writes, 'Trusting the common sense of your writers is all well and good — but when it comes to breaking news, where journalistic adrenaline is at its highest and everyone is paranoid about being scooped by a competitor, that common sense can too easily become the first casualty. Journalists get caught up in the moment; we get excited and we post stupid crap from a foreign language student blog and call it news. And then within half a minute — bloggers being what they are — the news gets repeated and repeated until it becomes fact. Fact that can affect share prices or ruin lives. This is the reality of the blogosphere, where Churchill's remark: that "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on" is more true, and more potentially damaging, than at any time in history.'"

AIDS Vaccine Is Partially Successful 317

ifchairscouldtalk writes "A Phase III 'RV 144' study in Thailand succeeded in reducing HIV infection rate in trial with 31.2% effectiveness. The study was conducted by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health and used strains of HIV common in Thailand. It is not clear whether the vaccine, which combines AIDSVAX with Aventis Pasteur ALVAC-HIV canarypox vector, known as 'vCP1521,' would work against other strains in the United States, Africa or elsewhere. Strangely, the vaccine had no effect on levels of HIV in the blood of those who did become infected, providing 'one of the most important and intriguing findings' of the trial, according to Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is one of the trial's sponsors."

Microsoft Says Google Chrome Frame Makes IE Less Secure 459

Mark writes "The release of Google Chrome Frame, a new open source plugin that injects Chrome's renderer and JavaScript engine into Microsoft's browser, earlier this week had many web developers happily dancing long through the night. Finally, someone had found a way to get Internet Explorer users up to speed on the Web. Microsoft, on the other hand, is warning IE users that it does not recommend installing the plugin. What does the company have against the plugin? It makes Internet Explorer less secure. 'With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers,' a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars. 'Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attack area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.'"

Aussie Data Centres Brace For Dust Storm Barrage 148

An anonymous reader writes "Data centers and telcos in the Australian cities of Sydney and Brisbane have shut off external ventilation systems, restricted loading dock access and attended false alarms after a major dust storm choked the cities today. The storm is said to be the worst of its type ever recorded in Australia. Macquarie Telecom disengaged automatic deployment of fire-prevention gas from the fire alarm to prevent gas being released on a false alarm. Other major data center operators reported clogged air filters and heat exchangers and said they would be performing cleaning and maintenance operations this week."

ISP Emails Customer Database To Thousands 259

Barence writes "British ISP Demon Internet has mistakenly sent out a spreadsheet containing the personal details of more than 3,600 customers with one of its new ebills. The spreadsheet contains email addresses, telephone numbers and what appears to be usernames and passwords for the ebilling system. It was attached to an email explaining how to use the new system. Police forces and NHS trusts are among the email addresses listed in the database. A spokesman for Demon Internet confirmed that the company "was aware this happened this morning"."
Input Devices

Can New Game Control Schemes Hope To Match the PC Keyboard? 202

An opinion piece on Gamasutra discusses how, in spite of the fancy new motion control systems that have come to console gaming, the PC's keyboard and mouse setup is still unreplaceable for many titles and genres. Quoting: "With over 100 keys to choose from (back of the box quotation right there), the possibilities are near endless, if you start to think of shift and control functions altering the purpose of keys. It means that, when the developers start to make their game, they don't have to worry about the limitations of the interface, knowing that, if all else fails, they can always assign the compass to K, even if that's a bit of a stretch to all but the pianists. The keyboard is the friend of ambition, and ArmA 2 is the testament to that, in all its surrealist, broken glory. ... It's the same reason RTS games have found a home on the PC for so long, able to use the skills people accumulate moving around windows and clicking on icons to command troops and manipulate their battle lines. Developers taking advantage of what we already know to teach us something we don't is what gaming is all about."

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