Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Scientific Study: Brits are terrible at washing their Hands (

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC reports the finding of a scientific study on the washing of hands in the UK. The result? 'Faecal bacteria are present on 26% of hands in the UK, 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards. 11% of hands are so 'grossly contaminated' they are carrying as many germs as a dirty toilet bowl. It's the same for 8% of cards and 6% of notes. Faecal matter can be found on one in six mobile phones. 99% of people interviewed at motorway service stations toilets claimed they had washed their hands after going to the toilet. Electronic recording devices revealed only 32% of men and 64% of women actually did wash their hands.

  99% of people interviewed at motorway service stations toilets claimed they had washed their hands after going to the toilet. Electronic recording devices revealed only 32% of men and 64% of women actually did.

Submission + - SPAM: NanoString Technologies Improves Cancer Research

camarchi01 writes: "Leading researchers and institutions are also finding that NanoString provides the ideal platform on which to validate their discoveries and translate them into clinically useful diagnostic assays. The NanoString system is uniquely positioned to support translational research because it provides more reproducible results than methods requiring amplification, and generates high-quality data from the difficult sample types common in clinical research, including Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) tissues.

In addition to continuing to extend the applications for the nCounter system in the discovery, target validation and routine testing segments of the genomics research market, the company’s goal is to become the platform of choice for diagnostic testing based on multiplexed gene signatures that can be offered in hospitals and pathology laboratories worldwide, following appropriate regulatory approvals. These two synergistic areas of business focus provide researchers with a seamless transition from discovery to diagnostics."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Running a policy session for online piracy 4pm EST. Need people. Can you join? (

An anonymous reader writes: I'm trying to see if this software (Synthetron) is useful for having meaningful and productive policy discussions. They're running a session today, 10/18, 4pm EST at my request on the topic of internet piracy legislation. I need people. Will you join in on this experiment?

Submission + - Google announces $250 Samsung Chromebook (

An anonymous reader writes: A typical Chromebook costing around $350–too close to a more fully-featured laptop with a much higher spec. But today Google is trying to rectify that stumbling block for consumers by introducing a new Chromebook with Samsung that costs just $250.

For that you get an 11.6-inch display (1366 x 768), 6.5 hours of battery life, 2GB RAM, 100GB of Google Drive Cloud Storage (for 2 years), dual band a/b/g/n WiFi, a VGA camera, HDMI port (for 1080p output), and Bluetooth 3.0. All that comes packaged in a laptop that’s just 0.8-inches thick, weighs 1.1Kg, and boots in under 10 seconds.


Submission + - Google's Profits Fall 20% Year-on-Year (

MentalMooMan writes: Google's quarterly profits fell 20% compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to a mistakenly-released draft earnings report. The report was supposed to be released after the markets closed, but was submitted earlier. Google is blaming printing firm RR Donnelley for the mistake. Google stock is down 9% and the NASDAQ has halted trading until the earnings report is finalised by Google.

Submission + - Should California Secede from the United States? (

boguspoppu writes: "“Yes (sort of),” says Chris Hables Gray, a “pragmatic anarchist feminist revolutionary” who works as a lecturer of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Cal State Monterey.

He believes “devolution” of large nations into smaller regions will improve democratic decision-making.

Is this a “transhumanist” topic? Indeed, it is. The Terasem survey revealed that 20.1% of H+ responders predict “Abolition of Government” in the next 100 years, with an additional 15.% foreseeing “Thousands of Small Fractured States.” California secession fits handily into the latter category.

I interviewed Dr. Gray via email last week on this controversial topic. Our e-dialogue is below:

Hank Pellissier: hi Chris — can you tell us a bit about your family background and upbringing?

Dr. Gray I was born in Bishop, California in 1953. On my mother’s side I’m a direct descendant of Jose Francisco Ortega, pathfinder of the Portola expedition, a number of other Spanish and Catalan explorers and, in two cases, of the Native California women they married. But I don’t claim any real indian heritage. These women’s real names are lost. But I did grow up thinking of myself as Spanish and Catalan (my great-grandmother who raised my mother lived in an adobe in King City), my favorites of the 23 nationalities that my parents have documented in my background.

How you define yourself politically and how did you reach that position?

Dr. Gray I’ve been an anarchist since I was 14 and a revolutionary feminist since I was 18. As a frosh at Stanford in 1971 I was arrested and beaten (not for the last time) during an anti-war protest and as I became an organizer"


Submission + - SD card survives real-life disaster test (

An anonymous reader writes: A newly-wed couple lost their digital camera and SD card in the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011. The SD card survived flooding with silt and exposure to the weather for 20 months embedded in a gravel driveway. Amazingly, all 2.5 Gb of photos have recently been recovered. Sadly the digital camera did not fare so well. Even more interesting is that the SD card was from by a budget supplier, kudos to Adata!

Submission + - Oracle Leaves Fix for Critical Java SE Zero Day Until February (

Trailrunner7 writes: Oracle will not patch a critical sandbox escape vulnerability in Java SE versions 5, 6 and 7 until its February Critical Patch Update, according to the researcher who discovered the flaw. Adam Gowdiak of Polish security firm Security Explorations told Threatpost via email that Oracle said it was deep into testing of another Java patch for the October CPU released yesterday and that it was too late to include the sandbox fix.

Gowdiak said he plans to present technical details on the flaw Nov. 14 at the Devoxx Java Community Conference in Belguim. His team did share a technical description of the issue and source and binary codes of proof-of-concept exploit code.

The vulnerability and exploit were announced in late September. Gowdiak’s exploit successfully beat a fully patched Windows 7 computer running Firefox 15.0.1, Chrome 21, Internet Explorer 9, Opera 12 and Safari 5.1.7. The exploit relies on a user landing on a site hosting the exploit; an attacker would use a malicious Java applet or banner ad to drop the malware and ultimately have full remote control of a compromised machine.


Submission + - Microsoft Starts Rolling Out New Xbox 360 Dashboard (

hypnosec writes: Microsoft has started rolling out the new Xbox 360 dashboard today with some new features such as Internet Explorer, a Xbox Music app among others. The 7 years old Xbox dashboard didn’t receive a redesign or an update for quite a long time and this is the reason Microsoft rolled one out today. Some of the major changes include recommendations and ratings, pinning, Xbox video, enhanced search on top of the IE browser and new music app. Some of the minor changes include resizing of fonts and more tiles on the screen.

Submission + - Is India UNCIVILIZED for your girl child? (

NewYork writes: "As per National Crime Records Bureau, every 22 minutes a rape is committed in India and out of which 30% are against minors.
The conviction rate is below 25%, police refuse to register the complaint, rapist relatives visit victim's house to show off their hegemony and Indian politicians are saying gang-rape is consensual sex."


Submission + - FARK users attempt to bring an article from The Onion to life with. (

UncHellMatt writes: What started out as a joke within FARK's "TotalFark Discussion" referencing The Onion article about Joe Biden washing his TransAM has blossomed into a full fledged fund drive to give Joe Biden a TransAm. "Now, Uncle Joe won't be able to accept this behemoth of steely American grace and power. He has these pesky laws and regulations and political-y things to deal with," the page reads. "Take into consideration his magnanimity and power of personality, he probably wouldn't be able to drive the Trans AM without causing a mass outpouring of Conservative Tears."

The original FARK thread can be found here.


Submission + - Intellectual property Huawei's last line of defense (

ericjones12398 writes: "Huawei’s sordid intellectual property past has caught up to them. After nearly a decade of IP property theft accusations from networking gear rivals, last week’s House Intelligence Committee’s report labeled Huawei a security threat and urged U.S. companies to steer clear of the Chinese telecom giant. Now a champion of Chinese patent reform, Huawei may not just be banished from U.S. soil, but forever victimized by its nation’s dirty IP reputation."

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