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Submission + - Reddit Moderator Outs Reddit Admins ( 8

Khyber writes: While the censorship is strong over at Reddit, details from a (former) moderator of one of the largest subreddits on the site have been leaked in the form of an an audio recording of a Skype conversation between an unidentified journalist and the moderator himself. User posts are being deleted rapidly from Reddit over in the /r/gaming subreddit, users are being shadowbanned, or hard-banned. (I've had my account dropped.) Really interesting parts of the 50-minute long audio sit around ~10:30 and ~26 minute marks, where the moderator details threats made against him and other moderators, and also a bit near the end regarding their censorship/spam control tools, and how anyone can effectively be banned for any made up reason, commonly-used ones being vote manipulation, brigading, and alt account creation. There is also talk about how subreddits for encryption get monitored much more closely and censored much more often than larger subreddits, such as /r/gaming.

As someone I know has put it, "...given that Reddit says that it views itself as a government for a new type of community, this is disturbing."

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Informant: NYPD paid me to 'bait' Muslims (

ryzvonusef writes:

A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam, he told The Associated Press. Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests.

This is probably related to the a 6 year spying scheme by the NYPD’s secret Demographics Unit, who finally admitted in court that the spying lead to no leads or convictions.

Submission + - US to reduce fluoride in drinking water (

bluefoxlucid writes: The US is slated to reduce the amount of fluoride recommended for drinking water. According to WebMD, "The HHS is recommending that water supplies contain 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, replacing the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. [...] The new HHS recommendation, Messina says, makes sense because in recent years the population has gotten more fluoride from other sources, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes. [...] Some data suggest that excess fluoride may also be linked with skeletal bone damage, she says, and possibly hormone disruption. It has also been deemed an emerging neurotoxin." Fluoride supplements are sourced directly from industrial toxic waste, which cannot safely be dumped into the environment and so instead goes into the water supply. Conspiracy theorists and crazy generals obsessed with commie plots to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids are, of course, rejoicing.

Woman Develops Peanut Allergy After Lung Transplant 146

An anonymous reader writes "A woman in need of a lung transplant got her new lungs from someone with a peanut allergy who died of anaphylactic shock. Seven months after the surgery, the woman was at an organ transplant support group when she ate a peanut butter cookie and had a violent allergic reaction. So how had the woman's new lungs brought along a peanut allergy? A blog post dives into the medical details and explains that immune cells in the donated lungs couldn't have lived in the new body for long enough to cause the reaction... however, if they encountered an allergen (i.e. something peanuty) shortly after being transplanted, they could have trained the woman's native immune cells to respond."

Submission + - Firefighters Watch As House Burns Down (

SofaMan writes: Residents of Obion County, TN have to pay a $75 annual fee to a neighbouring town to access a firefighting service. One family didn't pay, so firefighters stood around and watched as their house burnt to the ground. Firefighters only acted when the fire spread to a neighbouring property where the resident had paid the fee. One neighbour was so frustrated with the fire department's inaction that he went to the fire station and assaulted a firefighter. I know many Slashdotters are libertarians or have libertarian sympathies, but is this taking things a bit far?

Submission + - How do I learn a language?

bluefoxlucid writes: I've tried learning several languages in my life. Studying Spanish in school got me enough to pass the class after four years, but not enough to hold any sort of conversation. Japanese in college didn't work out when I failed to learn three different writing systems (Romaji, Hiragana, Katakana) in two months. I've turned to self-study courses, particularly Pimsleur, although other options included Rosetta Stone or cheap "Learn-In-Your-Car" courses. Pimsleur won't teach me to read and write, though; it won't even teach me a wide vocabulary, or formal grammar. I've decided on ordering an excellent fiction novel I've read in English to both learn to read and expand my German vocabulary, if I can grasp the language from this course. What other methods, products, and strategies are available to learn languages? Which work, which don't? How do I retain the language, especially if I don't talk to native speakers frequently? Is the best learning method something that varies from person to person?

Submission + - Quick! Get a tinfoil hat for your smartphone!

BuhDuh writes: TV Station KOAT in Albuquerque, reporting on the dangers of spyware on smartphones offers the following:

To test the spyware, Action 7 News purchased software for about $350, and with permission, installed it on an employee's phone. Producers Robin and Laura agreed to be spied on. So what can the software do? "I can follow you around if your phone has GPS technology. I can see where you are, I can read your e-mails, I can read your text messaging," said Carr. Once Robin makes a phone call from several miles away, a cell phone in the newsroom receives a text message alert about her call. The newsroom cell phone is able to listen to the phone call between Robin and her fiance. Robin's GPS location could also be continuously monitored.
And even with her phoned turned off, her conversation over lunch with her colleague Laura could be heard on the newsroom cell phone.

(Emphasis in the last line is mine)
So there goes our ultimate sanction against a machine takeover — no more "Hah! Let's see how far you get after I pull the plug on you, you bastard!"

Wireless Networking

Submission + - XO Laptop Despised by Intel and Microsoft (

gregsim writes: "The Wall Street Journal today reports that the new XO laptop, the brainchild of Mr. Nicholas Negroponte, a professor on leave from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is stimulating an active response from both Intel and Microsoft which evidently feel threatened by the little upstart, intended to help third world children. Microsoft has cut their software to $3 each and Intel has designed their own laptop called the Classmate to sell between $230 and $300, nearly double that of the XO. Rather than defend the relative merits of his creation, professor Negroponte is crying foul and (if the article is to be believed) not even arguing the technical merits. The initial demand for the XO has fallen well below Mr. Negroponte's projections as Intel and Microsoft have successfully argued that their entries are superior. 45,000 have been ordered through the Give One, Get One campaign. I am happy that I ordered mine — it will be a landmark model in any case."

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I think there's a world market for about five computers. -- attr. Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, IBM), 1943