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Submission + - SPAM: "Big Givers" Get Punished for Being Nonconformists, Research Shows

An anonymous reader writes: People punish generous group members by rejecting them socially — even when the generosity benefits everyone — because the "big givers" are nonconformists, according to a Baylor University study. The study, published in the journal Social Science Research, showed that besides socially rejecting especially generous givers, others even "paid" to punish them through a points system.

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally Screenshot-sm 703

jamie writes "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent 'Restoring Honor' event. The would-be rally has been dubbed 'Restoring Truthiness' and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own Colbert Nation.'"

Submission + - Nmap cripples a whole corporate network (

rfelsburg writes: An nmap scan with certain parameters is apparently sufficient to temporarily cripple a whole corporate network. On the Full Disclosure mailing list, a network admin reported that he used the following command to establish the SNMP versions of his routers and servers:

nmap -sU -sV -p 161-162 -iL target_file.txt

where target_file.txt contained his systems' IP addresses. However, the scan caused most of his network devices to crash and reboot, including several Cisco routers. There were very varied responses to his question on the list whether this problem was caused by a DoS vulnerability within the devices or by a flawed configuration.

Data Storage

Submission + - Motherboard eSATA Vs USB 3.0 Performance Explored (

MojoKid writes: "USB 3.0 and eSATA connections are slowly becoming more mainstream on various OEM motherboards and systems alike. Obviously eSATA is a native interface with comparable SATA-like speeds for direct attached storage devices and standard SATA drives. However, USB 3.0 has the promise of the ubiquity of USB 2.0, with competitive throughput versus eSATA, as you can see measured here in the coverage of this Gigabyte motherboard. As it turns out, USB 3.0 is the real deal, with only a couple of milliseconds of latency separating it from eSATA responsiveness but almost no variance in overall throughput."

Submission + - Spark of multicellular life two billion years old (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists unveiled fossils from west Africa Thursday that push back the dawn of multicellular life on Earth by at least 1.5 billion years. Just how complex the newly discovered organisms are is sure to be hotly debated.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 347

And just think what these test subjects are thinking.

Here they are stuck inside their minds for years - in solitary confinement able to stare at the ceiling and hear what is going on, but not respond. They are going insane from a form of torture FAR more cruel than anything the CIA could come up with.

Then suddenly somebody starts asking them questions after putting them in a machine. The scientists start talking - HEY - THEY REALIZE I CAN HEAR THEM. I CAN COMMUNICATE NOW. MY FAMILY WILL START TALKING TO ME AND I CAN TALK BACK. Ok, maybe this is still a horrible condition to be in, but there is hope now!

Then the scientists say "ok, subject looks positive - let's take a look at the next one" and the patient goes back to their room wondering when anybody will bother to take another look at them. They get to listen to their family talking to the doctors about it, and the doctor indicates that fMRI time is far too precious to spend on family conversations. They are doomed to at least a few more years of complete isolation, maybe for the rest of their lives unless fMRIs get a lot cheaper.

Unless this actually results in an improvement to quality of life for those in this condition I fear that it will only prolong suffering. Now, if this provides diagnostic information or some chance at being released from their coma then that would be a great thing all around.

Having been in a hospital for short periods of time and having been with others in hospitals, it can be near-torture for those who are nearly ambulatory. Just imagine what it would be like to be in a coma.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - 14-Year-Old Hacks Tram System Into Train Set

F-3582 writes: "By modifying a TV remote a 14-year-old boy from Lodz, Poland, managed to gain control over the junctions of the tracks. According to The Register the boy had 'trespassed in tram depots to gather information needed to build the device. [...] Transport command and control systems are commonly designed by engineers with little exposure or knowledge about security using commodity electronics and a little native wit.' Four trams derailed in the process injuring a number of passengers. The boy now 'charges at a special juvenile court of endangering public safety.'"

Submission + - Huge black hole tips the scales (

porkpickle writes: " Astronomers have weighed the biggest known black hole in the Universe. The monster celestial object is 18 billion times more massive than our own Sun, says a team from Finland — six times larger than the previous record. The object, called OJ287, is orbited by a smaller black hole, which allowed its mass to be measured very accurately. The finding also enabled the researchers to test Einstein's theory of gravity for the first time in a strong gravitational field."

Submission + - Plasma-Based Life possible? 1

An anonymous reader writes: According to, Researchers from Germany's Max Planck Institute have created a computer model demonstrating that microscopic dust-particles injected into low-temperature plasmas spontaneously self-organize into crystalline structures resembling DNA and other biological structures. Team member V.N. Tsytovich states "These complex, self-organized plasma structures exhibit all the necessary properties to qualify them as candidates for inorganic living matter."

No word yet on how this discovery might affect Human-Klingon relations.

Submission + - Infinite series usage traced to medieval India

ntropic writes: Physorg report that a team from the Universities of Manchester and Exeter had found that mathematicians from the Indian state of Kerala had identified and studied infinite series in the 14th century, 250 years before these were formalized in Europe. The wikipedia entry seems to be updated already.

Submission + - Multiformat Listening Test at 64kbps 1

prospective_user writes: "Do you think you have good ears? Think again.

The community at Hydrogenaudio has prepared a Public Listening Test for comparison of the most popular audio codecs (AAC, Vorbis, and Microsoft's WMA included) in a battle to see how they stand at compressing audio at 64kbps.

Many of the participants right now have expressed their surprise at being unable to determine which is the original and which is the compressed version of 18 samples covering a vast amount of musical styles.

The results of this test (and other that are conducted at Hydrogenaudio) will be used by the developers of the codecs to further improve the "transparency" and let this kind of test be even harder.

Everyone is invited to participate and show how good your listening is!"

Submission + - Chernobyl Mushrooms Feeding on Radiation

cowtamer writes: According to a National Geographic Article certain fungi can use ionizing radiation to perform "radiosynthesis" using the pigment melanin (the same one in our skin that protects us from UV radiation). It is speculated that this might be useful on long space voyages where energy from the Sun is not readily available.
United States

Submission + - Forensics Expert says Al-Qaeda Images Altered

WerewolfOfVulcan writes: Wired reports that researcher Neal Krawetz revealed some veeeeeery interesting things about the Al-Qaeda images that our government loves to show off.

From the article: "Krawetz was also able to determine that the writing on the banner behind al-Zawahiri's head was added to the image afterward. In the second picture above showing the results of the error level analysis, the light clusters on the image indicate areas of the image that were added or changed. The subtitles and logos in the upper right and lower left corners (IntelCenter is an organization that monitors terrorist activity and As-Sahab is the video production branch of al Qaeda) were all added at the same time, while the banner writing was added at a different time, likely around the same time that al-Zawahiri was added, Krawetz says." Why would Al-Qaeda add an IntelCenter logo to their video? Why would IntelCenter add an Al-Qaeda logo? Methinks we have bigger fish to fry than Gonzo and his fired attorneys... }:-) The article contains links to Krawetz's presentation and the source code he used to analyze the photos.

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