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Submission + - After Negative User Response, ChromeOS To Re-Introduce Support For Ext{2,3,4}

NotInHere writes: Only three days after the large public has known about ChromeOS to disable ext2fs support for external drives, and linux users voiced many protests on websites like reddit, slashdot, or the issue tracker, the ChromeOS team now plans to support it again. To quote Ben Goodger's comment:"

Thanks for all of your feedback on this bug. We’ve heard you loud and clear.

We plan to re-enable ext2/3/4 support in Files.app immediately. It will come back, just like it was before, and we’re working to get it into the next stable channel release."

Submission + - Infected ATMs Give Away Millions Of Dollars Without Credit Cards

An anonymous reader writes: Kaspersky Lab performed a forensic investigation into cybercriminal attacks targeting multiple ATMs around the world. During the course of this investigation, researchers discovered the Tyupkin malware used to infect ATMs and allow attackers to remove money via direct manipulation, stealing millions of dollars. The criminals work in two stages. First, they gain physical access to the ATMs and insert a bootable CD to install the Tyupkin malware. After they reboot the system, the infected ATM is now under their control and the malware runs in an infinite loop waiting for a command. To make the scam harder to spot, the Tyupkin malware only accepts commands at specific times on Sunday and Monday nights. During those hours, the attackers are able to steal money from the infected machine.

Submission + - Satanists dramatize distribution of religious materials at schools

tylikcat writes: In response to a ruling allowing Christian groups to distribute bibles and other Christian oriented materials in schools, the Satanic Temple has decided to distributed their own The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities. Let the games begin!

To be fair, the Satanic Temple is is forthright in stating that they would not have sought the right to distibute such materials on their own, but point out that most children will already be aware of Christianity, but this might be the first time they encounter to the practice of Satanism.

Submission + - A 16-Year-Old From India Built a Device to Convert Breath Into Speech (vice.com)

stephendavion writes: A 16-year-old from India has designed a device that converts breath into speech. High-school student Arsh Shah Dilbagi invented TALK as a portable and affordable way to aid people suffering from ALS, locked-in syndrome, and anyone else speech-impaired or paralyzed. Prototyped using a basic $25 Arduino microcontroller, Dilbagi’s invention costs only $80, or about a hundred times less than the sort of Augmentative and Alternative Communication device used by Stephen Hawking. TALK works by translating breath into electric signals using a MEMS Microphone, an advanced form of listeningtech that uses a diaphragm etched directly onto a silicon microchip. The user is expected to be able to give two distinguishable exhales, varying in intensity or time, so that they can spell words out using Morse code.

Submission + - EA 'blurs' pirated versions of ''The Sims'' (craveonline.com)

SternisheFan writes: You wanna play The Sims 4 for free, do ya? Well, I hope you like a blurry mess.

September 3rd, 2014 Jonathan Leack
As with virtually any game—sadly—, there is a pirated version of The Sims 4 floating around the internet. Although pirates have been successful in acquiring the game for free, it’s at a cost, albeit not a monetary one.

The current cracked version of The Sims 4 has an issue that is reminding pirates that they can’t always get away with stealing. When players with the hacked version send their Sim to go to the bathroom or take a shower, either the full screen or the Sim is permanently censored. In the case of the former, the game is a blurry mess.

This has caused some funny circumstances on the internet, where players are prone to asking for help when “bugs” are encountered. There are examples of users posting on forums asking for help, questioning why their screen is blurred. These users have become the laughing stock of communities on the official forums, fan sites, and even Reddit.

Submission + - Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During The Voyager Flybys

KentuckyFC writes: In 1980 and 1981, Voyager 1 and 2 flew past Saturn providing unprecedented images of its magnificent ring system. At that time, its most distant discrete ring, the F ring, was about 200 kilometres wide. But puzzlingly, images sent back by Cassini show that the ring is now 580 kilometres wide and twice as bright as it was thirty years ago. Now astronomers think they have finally solved the mystery of the expanding F ring. The ring is shepherded by a number of small moons, the most famous of which is Prometheus. These moons interact gravitationally with the ring creating structures such as braids and spokes. The new thinking is that the moons' orbits resonate with the F ring, pushing clouds of dust and ice further away from Saturn. This makes the ring wider. But beyond a certain radius the orbit of the dust becomes unstable and it begins to spiral back towards Saturn and collides with the rest of the ring. This causes a chain reaction of collisions that dramatically increases the number of particles in the ring and hence its brightness. This theory also leads to a prediction--the resonant process is currently at a maximum but should reduce sharply in the coming years, if the theory is correct. So by 2018, the F ring should be back to the same configuration the Voyagers saw in 80/81.

Submission + - Northrop Grumman Gives Early Look at its XS-1 Experimental Spaceplane Design (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Northrop Grumman, in partnership with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic, has unveiled the preliminary design it is developing as part of DARPA’s XS-1 Spaceplane project. Looking like a windowless update of a 1960s Dyna Soar orbiter, it’s the next step in producing launch systems that will dramatically reduce the costs of getting into orbit.

Submission + - Drone films boulders trail of destruction. (suasnews.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A family in in the northern Italian town of Termeno had a lucky escape on the 21st of January. Storms and heavy rain caused enormous rocks to break free of cliffs overlooking their home and roll down the slope. The video says it all.

Submission + - Hot water does not clean hands any better than cold water (wiley.com) 1

walterbyrd writes: Multiple government and health organizations recommend the use of warm or hot water in publications designed to educate the public on best practices for washing one's hands. This is despite research suggesting that the use of an elevated water temperature does not improve handwashing efficacy, but can cause hand irritation. There is reason to believe that the perception that warm or hot water is more effective at cleaning one's hands is pervasive, and may be one factor that is driving up unnecessary energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Submission + - Billion Star Surveyor 'Gaia' Lifts Off

mrspoonsi writes: BBC Reports: Europe has launched the Gaia satellite — one of the most ambitious space missions in history. The 740m-euro (£620m) observatory lifted off from the Sinnamary complex in French Guiana at 06:12 local time (09:12 GMT). Gaia is going to map the precise positions and distances to more than a billion stars. This should give us the first realistic picture of how our Milky Way galaxy is constructed. Gaia's remarkable sensitivity will lead also to the detection of many thousands of previously unseen objects, including new planets and asteroids. Gaia will use this ultra-stable and supersensitive optical equipment to pinpoint its sample of stars with extraordinary confidence. By repeatedly viewing its targets over five years, it should get to know the brightest stars' coordinates down to an error of just seven micro-arcseconds. "This angle is equivalent to the size of a euro coin on the Moon as seen from Earth," explained Prof Alvaro Gimenez, Esa's director of science.

Submission + - SPAM: The physics of flopping: SMU researcher studies mechanics of NBA fakery

kathalinagil25 writes: The Koyal Group InfoMag


Was it a flop or not?

Last summer, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gave Southern Methodist University more than $100,000 to try to answer that question scientifically. On Thursday, SMU biomechanics expert Peter Weyand demonstrated the early stages of his flopping research to a small group of journalists.
Flopping is when an athlete fakes a fall to trick referees into calling a foul on an opponent. The behavior is prevalent in sports such as basketball and soccer.

It’s an especially sore point with fans.

“In regular life, people tend to dislike dishonest people, and the same thing goes for basketball,” said Jeff Lenchiner, editor of the NBA news site InsideHoops.com. “It’s dishonesty expressed physically, and it’s considered an insult to the game.”

In one compilation of flops posted to YouTube involving Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, an outraged spectator calls the behavior “a disease” and a mark of cowardice, “bad sportsmanship and horrible acting.”

Flopping also costs players money. Last year, the National Basketball Association cracked down on the practice. Players now receive a warning after their first flop, followed by a series of escalating fines, from $5,000 for two flops to $30,000 for five violations.

Weyand says there is plenty of good science that can come from studying flopping. “This is uncharted territory,” he says. Scientists lack even a basic understanding of how much force is required to topple someone.

That is one of the experiments Weyand demonstrated Thursday. D’Marquis Allen, an SMU sophomore, stood on a treadmill-like platform. Wearing black spandex shorts, a black cycling T-shirt and reflective sensors stuck to his skin, he braced himself for a shove. Soon a lab volunteer pushed him in the chest with a device called a “flop-buster”: a padded yellow bar embedded with sensors. Allen took several steps back.

“That was definitely a foul,” Weyand said later, after measuring the force of the collision.

The research team was surrounded by gadgets that will help it measure the mechanics of basketball collisions. High-speed cameras recorded motion in three-dimensional space. Force plates beneath the platform on which Allen was standing marked his center of gravity. And motion sensors measured Allen’s position, velocity and acceleration.

The goal: to help officials tell flop from foul by simply looking at a video.

“I feel strongly about introducing science and data to situations in business and sports where there previously had been none,” Cuban said by email. “I love to challenge conventional wisdom with” research.

But at this stage, it’s unclear whether flopping can be measured scientifically.

“I have doubts that a monitoring system could distinguish flops from legitimate falls with an accuracy approaching [or exceeding] the opinion of a human observer,” Steve Robinovitch, a biomechanics expert at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, wrote in an email.

There may be too many variables, he said, from whether a player is expecting the collision, to his precise posture at the time, to the location where the force is applied.

That’s why Weyand is starting small. For now, he is studying collisions between a moving offensive player and a stationary defensive player. In the second phase, set to take place this summer, he plans to move the experiment into a basketball-like setting to test the forces involved when two moving players collide.

The project is set to end in August, when Weyand’s team must report findings to Cuban’s company Radical Hoops, which funded the research. He then plans to submit his findings to a peer-reviewed journal.

“The real value in these studies is looking toward injury prevention analytics — to predict injury risk factors,” said Gregory Myer, a sports medicine expert at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. “And that’s where the focus really has the big payoff.”

Submission + - Amazon Workers Strike in Germany as Christmas Orders Peak

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The Washington Post reports that in Germany, Amazon’s second-biggest market behind the United States, hundreds of Amazon.com workers went on strike just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months. Amazon, which employs 9,000 warehouse staff members in Germany plus 14,000 seasonal workers at nine distribution centers, says that 1,115 employees joined the strike at three sites. "Amazon must realize it cannot export its anti-union labor model to European shores. We call on the company to come to the table and sign a global agreement that guarantees the rights of workers,” says Philip Jennings of the global trade union UNI. Verdi organized several short stoppages this year to try to force Amazon to accept collective-bargaining agreements in the mail-order and retail industry as benchmarks for workers’ pay at Amazon’s German distribution centers. The union says Amazon workers receive lower wages than others in retail and mail-order jobs and that other retailers pay overtime, but Amazon does not. "What Amazon is doing is taking this American race-to-the-bottom roadshow to Germany and trying it out on our German brothers and sisters," says David Freiboth. Amazon has defended its wage policies, saying that employees earn toward the upper end of the pay scale of logistics companies in Germany. Amazon also says it prefers to address employment issues with worker councils at individual sites rather than through negotiations with the union. Amazon says that there have been no delays to deliveries. "Our customers can continue to rely on us for the prompt delivery of their Christmas presents," says a spokeswoman said, adding that Amazon uses its whole European logistics network during the Christmas period to ensure delivery times. A delegation of German workers was set to rally at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle along with US unions. "We're standing in solidarity with them. We are asking that Amazon respect the union there in Germany and negotiate in a way that is acceptable to Ver.di," says Kathy Cummings of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which was also attending the protest in Seattle.

Submission + - Video inpainting software deletes people from HD video footage (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: In a development sure to send conspiracy theorists into a tizzy, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII) have developed video inpainting software that can effectively delete people or objects from high-definition footage. The software analyzes each video frame and calculates what pixels should replace a moving area that has been marked for removal. In a world first, the software can compensate for multiple people overlapped by the unwanted element, even if they are walking towards (or away from) the camera.

Submission + - Killing Your Sexual Desires for Academic and Intellectual Pursuits? 6

An anonymous reader writes: In the past few months, I have been applying to a multitude of graduate schools. Recently, I was accepted into a Ph.D. in computer science program at a fairly prestigious and demanding institution. Like most Slashdot readers, I have always been an exceptional student throughout high school and my undergraduate studies. However, as a heterosexual male individual, there has always been a persistent desire to associate myself with females in an effort to find love, have sex, and to be in a relationship. I have learned the hard way that this is often a colossal distraction from one's schooling and I would like to train myself to become more apathetic to such desires in preparation for the difficult but intellectually awarding years of graduate school that lay ahead. So, fellow Slashdot users, I ask you a rather odd but serious question on none other than Valentine's Day: How do you kill your sexual desires to enable you to focus more on academic and intellectual goals?

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The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford