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Submission + - NASA Releases Massive Climate Change Data Set (

An anonymous reader writes: NASA is releasing global climate change projections to help scientists and planners better understand local and global effects of hazards. The data includes both historical measurements from around the world and simulations based on those measurements. "The NASA climate projections provide a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 15.5 mile (25 kilometer) resolution, covering the time period from 1950 to 2100. The 11-terabyte dataset provides daily estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe." You can download them and look through the projections yourself at NASA's Climate Model Data Services page.

Submission + - Man with the "golden arm" has saved lives of 2 million babies (

schwit1 writes: James Harrison, known as "The Man with the Golden Arm," has donated blood plasma from his right arm nearly every week for the past 60 years. Soon after Harrison became a donor, doctors called him in. His blood, they said, could be the answer to a deadly problem. Harrison was discovered to have an unusual antibody in his blood and in the 1960s he worked with doctors to use the antibodies to develop an injection called Anti-D. It prevents women with rhesus-negative blood from developing RhD antibodies during pregnancy.

"In Australia, up until about 1967, there were literally thousands of babies dying each year, doctors didn't know why, and it was awful," explains Jemma Falkenmire, of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. "Women were having numerous miscarriages and babies were being born with brain damage."

It was the result of rhesus disease — a condition where a pregnant woman's blood actually starts attacking her unborn baby's blood cells. In the worst cases it can result in brain damage, or death, for the babies. Australia was one of the first countries to discover a blood donor with this antibody, so it was quite revolutionary at the time.

Submission + - Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time? (

An anonymous reader writes: The idea that pilot waves might explain the peculiarities of particles dates back to the early days of quantum mechanics. The French physicist Louis de Broglie presented the earliest version of pilot-wave theory at the 1927 Solvay Conference. As de Broglie explained that day to Bohr, Albert Einstein, and two dozen other celebrated physicists, pilot-wave theory made all the same predictions as the probabilistic formulation of quantum mechanics, but without the ghostliness or mysterious collapse.

Submission + - "Evolution = Satan" part of Atlanta Public Schools' Biology Curriculum (

McGruber writes: The young journalists at The Southerner (, the student newspaper at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, recently broke the news that creationism and other Christian religious views are incorporated into the Biology curriculum used by the City of Atlanta Public Schools. As the newspaper put it (

A PowerPoint shown to a freshman biology class featured a cartoon depicting dueling castles, one labeled “Creation (Christ)” and the other labeled “Evolution (Satan).” Balloons attached to the evolution castle were labeled euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, divorce, racism and abortion...... The PowerPoint, which has more than 50 slides largely consisting of material about evolution, was downloaded from SharePoint, an APS file-sharing database for teachers. It was uploaded by Mary E. King, a project manager at APS who has also uploaded more than 2,000 other documents. Phone calls and emails to King have not been returned. Tommy Molden, science coordinator for APS, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Students were offended by the cartoon:

“[I] have gay parents, and [the cartoon] said that evolution caused homosexuality and it implied that to be negative, so I was pretty offended by it,” [freshman Seraphina Cooley] said.

Cooley said that another student emailed the administration complaining about the PowerPoint.

Freshman Griffin Ricker, who is also in Jones’ class, said [Biology class teacher Anquinette Jones] got angry with the class when she found out students had notified the administration.

“She had a 10-minute rant,” Ricker said. “She yelled and said, ‘This is on the APS website, and it was certified.’”

In case of slashdotting, the student reporting is also posted on a local newspaper's blog (

Submission + - Supermassive Black Hole At The Centre Of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise (

KentuckyFC writes: There is growing evidence that the centre of the Milky Way contains a mysterious object some 4 million times more massive than the Sun. Many astronomers believe that this object, called Sagittarius A*, is a supermassive black hole that was crucial in the galaxy's birth and formation. The thinking is that about 100 million years after the Big Bang, this supermassive object attracted the gas and dust that eventually became the Milky Way. But there is a problem with this theory--100 million years is not long enough for a black hole to grow so big. The alternative explanation is that Sagittarius A* is a wormhole that connects the Milky Way to another region of the universe or even a another multiverse. Cosmologists have long known that wormholes could have formed in the instants after the Big Bang and that these objects would have been preserved during inflation to appear today as supermassive objects hidden behind an event horizon, like black holes. It's easy to imagine that it would be impossible to tell these objects apart. But astronomers have now worked out that wormholes are smaller than black holes and so bend light from an object orbiting close to them, such as a plasma cloud, in a unique way that reveals their presence. They've even simulated what such a wormhole will look like. No telescope is yet capable of resolving images like these but that is set to change too. An infrared instrument called GRAVITY is currently being prepared for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Chile and should be in a position to spot the signature of a wormhole, if it is there, in the next few years.

Submission + - Theo De Raadt's Small Rant on OpenSSL ( 1

raides writes: Theo De Raadt has been on a better roll as of late. Since his rant about FreeBSD plating catch up (here), he has something to say about OpenSSL. It is worth the 5 second read because it is how a few thousand of us feel about the whole thing and the stupidity that caused this panic. Enjoy

Submission + - BitCoin suffers flash crash after MtGox pintpoints bug ( 1

Golgafrinchan writes: MtGox, which on Friday suspended all withdrawals, issued a press release today wherein they discussed a bug they have discovered in BitCoin. MtGox states that the bug is not specific to MtGox; it affects all transactions where BitCoins are sent to a third party. Following the press release, BitCoin plummeted from roughly 700 USD/BTC to 102, before rebounding back to over 600 minutes later.

Below is the non-technical explanation provided by MtGox: A bug in the bitcoin software makes it possible for someone to use the Bitcoin network to alter transaction details to make it seem like a sending of bitcoins to a bitcoin wallet did not occur when in fact it did occur. Since the transaction appears as if it has not proceeded correctly, the bitcoins may be resent. MtGox is working with the Bitcoin core development team and others to mitigate this issue.

Submission + - Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: David Stout reports at Time Magazine that what began with a Craigslist ad from a lesbian couple calling for a sperm donor in rural Topeka, Kansas ended in court on Wednesday with a judge ordering the sperm donor to pay child support. The Kansas Department for Children and Families filed the case in October 2012 seeking to have William Marotta declared the father of a child born to Jennifer Schreiner in 2009 so he can be held responsible for about $6,000 in public assistance the state provided, as well as future child support. "In this case, quite simply, the parties failed to perform to statutory requirement of the Kansas Parentage Act in not enlisting a licensed physician at some point in the artificial insemination process, and the parties' self-designation of (Marotta) as a sperm donor is insufficient to relieve (Marotta) of parental right and responsibilities to the child," wrote Judge Mattivi. Marotta opposed that action, saying he had contacted Schreiner and her partner at the time, Angela Bauer, in response to an ad they placed on Craigslist seeking a sperm donor and signed a contract waiving his parental rights and responsibilities. "We stand by that contract," says Defense attorney Swinnen adding that the Kansas statute doesn't specifically require the artificial insemination be carried out by a physician. "The insinuation is offensive, and we are responding vigorously to that. We stand by our story. There was no personal relationship whatsoever between my client and the mother, or the partner of the mother, or the child. Anything the state insinuates is vilifying my client, and I will address it."

Submission + - The final confessions of a Silk Road kingpin (

An anonymous reader writes: The Daily Dot has an extensive interview with Steven Sadler, aka Nod, one of the most popular cocaine and heroin dealers on the Silk Road—and one of the informants who brought down Silk Road owner Dread Pirate Roberts.

"The conditions of the bond were clear: Sadler wasn't allowed leave the state of Washington. He was also strictly forbidden from dealing or using drugs.

"Hold on,” he cut in at one point. “I have to buy some cocaine, can I call you back?"

Five minutes later, he was back on the line, as chatty as ever.

At the time, there was no clear direction forward. Maybe he'd go to Las Vegas on a wild bender. Maybe he'd try to start his drug empire over in Los Angeles. Maybe he’d visit old friends in his hometown who didn't know about his criminal enterprise.

Sadler talked through each potential scenario, as if working through them in his mind, looking for possibilities and pitfalls. In roughly 10 hours of phone calls over the course of several weeks, Sadler told me almost everything.

Then he dropped off the grid."

Submission + - 'Quiet' Black Holes May Be Lurking Throughout Galaxy (

sciencehabit writes: Although black holes emit no light, all those that are several times more massive than the sun came to attention because hot gas falling into them gives off x-rays. Now, for the first time, astronomers have managed to discover a stellar-mass black hole without using x-ray observations. Located 8500 light-years from Earth, the dark object orbits a bright, blue star named MWC 656 that spins so fast it flings gas around itself; additional gas swirls around the black hole but doesn't fall in, explaining the lack of x-rays. By measuring Doppler shifts of the two gaseous disks as they orbit each other every 60.37 days, the scientists deduce that the dark object weighs 3.8 to 6.9 times more than the sun—massive enough to be a black hole, the researchers report. The discovery suggests that many other equally quiescent black holes inhabit the galaxy, unknown to astronomers.

Submission + - NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" in PCs (

retroworks writes: NY Times has an interesting story on how NSA put transistors into the USB input devices of PC, allowing computers unplugged from the internet to still be monitored, via radiowaves, from up to 8 miles away. The article mainly reports NSA's use of the technology to monitor Chinese military, and minor headline reads "No Domestic Use Seen". A link inside the story leads to a Dutch news article which maps placement of the monitoring system in 50,000 PCs. The source of the data was evidently the leak from Edward J. Snowden.

Submission + - Coldest Spot on Planet Earth Identified ( writes: Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed with data from remote sensing satellites including the new Landsat 8, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., joined a team of researchers reporting the findings Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 92 degrees Celsius on a clear winter night.

Researchers analyzed 32 years' worth of data from several satellite instruments. They found temperatures plummeted to record lows dozens of times in clusters of pockets near a high ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, two summits on the ice sheet known as the East Antarctic Plateau. The new record of minus 93.2 C was set Aug. 10, 2010.

Submission + - Stanford Researchers: With Three Hops, NSA Can Blanket the United States

An anonymous reader writes: At a House of Representatives hearing in July, the NSA admitted it can follow up to three hops in phone metadata. Just how far does that authority go? Researchers at Stanford crowdsourced data to find out. They discovered that Americans are often linked by pervasive phone numbers, such as voicemail systems, customer service lines, and telemarketing spam. "Under current FISA Court orders," write the authors, "the NSA may be able to analyze the phone records of a sizable proportion of the United States population with just one seed number."

Submission + - TSA cancels $60 million Rapiscan contract; Congress to increase TSA Tax anyway (

McGruber writes: Bloomberg has the news that the US General Accounting Office (GAO) has forced the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to cancel a contract for carry-on baggage screening equipment ( The contract had been awarded to Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS), less than three months after the TSA nearly barred the company from future contracts, over how Rapiscan handled software fixes for body-scanning machines known as "naked scanners”.

Another contractor protested the award of the baggage screening contract to OSIS/Rapiscan. The protesting firm pointed out that OSI’s Rapiscan unit planned to make the machines in Malaysia in violation of federal rules and was using outdated technology that might miss dangerous objects and trigger false alarms.

Two House committees said in a report last year that the TSA spent $184 million on Rapiscan scanners that are now stored in a warehouse instead of being deployed at airports. The agency was spending $3.5 million a year to lease and manage the warehouse, the committees said.

Sadly, not even Congress reads reports produced by house committees, as demonstrated by this Businessweek report ( that Congress is posed to increase the TSA Tax: "Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. It’s one of the few money-raisers that has bipartisan support in budget negotiations, even as its surprise emergence mobilized resistance from airlines in the U.S. and abroad, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Consumer Travel Alliance."

Submission + - Stuxnet's "Secret Twin" Was Even More Damaging and Better Hidden

schnell writes: Cyberdefense analyst Ralph Langner reports the results of a lengthy investigation into Stuxnet in Foreign Affairs, revealing that the Stuxnet we know was only the later and more obvious part of a sophisticated cyber attack on Iran's nuclear enrichment program. Two years before the release of the better-known Stuxnet variant, an original version was launched with a more subtle and stealthy mission — wearing down centrifuges gradually through improper overuse. While it couldn't spread itself as easily as the later Stuxnet, it was deliberately designed to degrade centrifuges slowly and remain invisible. The author also speculates that the discovery of the later Stuxnet version was actually beneficial to the US, since if another country was outed first as having engaged in cyberwarfare, it would seem a "Pearl Harbor" that made the US look weak in terms of its cyberwar capabilities.

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I'm still waiting for the advent of the computer science groupie.