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Submission + - Terrifying anti-riot vehicle created to quash any urban disturbance (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A formidable remote-controlled anti-riot vehicle called the Bozena Riot has been designed to make light work of angry mobs with a giant expanding shield and packing an arsenal of crowd dispersal tools.

Built by Slovakian company Bozena, the high-tech security system keeps law enforcement units safe with its shock-absorbing barrier, which can be expanded out to 7.5 metres to protect 36 officers and features a rising platform to give riot police an elevated view of their surroundings and provide tactical advantage against aggressors.

The shield has ports for firing non-lethal projectiles and is equipped with tear gas guns to "guarantee control of crowds" when things get dicey. Mounted loudspeakers can be used either to issue instructions to officers or to appeal to crowds, and the vehicle can optionally be equipped with smoke grenade launchers and a radio jammer for blocking mobile communications.

Submission + - U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Fall 3 Percent (reason.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The International Energy Agency is reporting data showing that economic growth is being increasingly decoupled from carbon dioxide emissions. Basically, human beings are using less carbon dioxide intensive fuels to produce more goods and services. The IEA attributes the relatively steep drop in U.S. emissions largely to the ongoing switch by electric generating companies from coal to cheap natural gas produced using fracking from shale deposits. Renewals also contributed a bit to the decline. From the IEA:

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency, signaling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity. This was the result of growing renewable power generation, switches from coal to natural gas, improvements in energy efficiency, as well as structural changes in the global economy.


Submission + - Hash indexes are faster than Btree indexes? (blogspot.in)

amitkapila writes: PostgreSQL supports Hash Index from a long time, but they are not much used in production mainly because they are not durable. Now, with the next version of PostgreSQL, they will be durable. The immediate question is how do they perform as compared to Btree indexes. This blog has tried to answer that question.

Submission + - US-CERT: HTTPS Interception Weakens TLS (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Recent academic work looking at the degradation of security occurring when HTTPS inspection tools are sitting in TLS traffic streams has been escalated by an alert published Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS’ US-CERT warned enterprises that running standalone inspection appliances or other security products with this capability often has a negative effect on secure communication between clients and servers.

“All systems behind a hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) interception product are potentially affected,” US-CERT said in its alert.

HTTPS inspection boxes sit between clients and servers, decrypting and inspecting encrypted traffic before re-encrypting it and forwarding it to the destination server. A network administrator can only verify the security between the client and the HTTP inspection tool, which essentially acts as a man-in-the-middle proxy. The client cannot verify how the inspection tool is validating certificates, or whether there is an attacker positioned between the proxy and the target server.

Submission + - Unproven Stem Cell Treatments Blind 3 Women (npr.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have long hoped that stem cells might have the power to treat diseases. But it's always been clear that they could be dangerous too, especially if they're not used carefully. Now a pair of papers published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine is underscoring both the promise and the peril of using stem cells for therapy. In one report, researchers document the cases of three elderly women who were blinded after getting stem cells derived from fat tissue at a for-profit clinic in Florida. The treatment was marketed as a treatment for macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness among the elderly. Each woman got cells injected into both eyes. In a second report, a patient suffering from the same condition had a halt in the inexorable loss of vision patients usually experience, which may or may not have been related to the treatment. That patient got a different kind of stem cell derived from skin cells as part of a carefully designed Japanese study. The Japanese case marks the first time anyone has given induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to a patient to treat any condition. The report about the three women in their 70s and 80s who were blinded in Florida is renewing calls for the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on the hundreds of clinics that are selling unproven stem cell treatments for a wide variety of medical conditions, including arthritis, autism and stroke.

Submission + - ASK SLASHDOT: Which VR system is worth the investment? 1

Quantus347 writes: Straightforward question: I held off for a year to let the various manufacturers shake out the bugs, but now it's down to either a VR system or a new gen console. So I ask you, the Slashdot community, what are your personal experiences with any of the various VR systems out there? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What little things annoy you the most? What features make a given product the best (or worst) option?

"Sprinkle us with Wisdom from your Mighty Brain!"

Submission + - Biological version of malware reverses antibiotic resistance in TB (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: As the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis has frighteningly become resistant to one drug after another, scientists for years have searched for new compounds that will stop the pathogen before it kills. Now, in a novel twist, researchers have found a way to recruit help from none other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis itself to make the deadly pathogen susceptible to an existing tuberculosis (TB) drug that it has learned to dodge. It's like a biological version of “malware,” says co–senior author Benoit Déprez of the University of Lille in France. In effect, he says, the approach activates a previously silent system that, when coupled with a TB drug, instructs the bacteria to self-destruct.

Submission + - SPAM: Astronomers Just Found a Star Orbiting a Black Hole at 1% the Speed of Light

schwit1 writes: Astronomers have spotted a star whizzing around a vast black hole at about 2.5 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, and it takes only half an hour to complete one orbit.

To put that into perspective, it takes roughly 28 days for our Moon to do a single lap around our relatively tiny planet at speeds of 3,683 km(2,288 miles) per hour.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Congressmen Push DHS For Answers on SS7 Security 1

Trailrunner7 writes: year after flaws in SS7, one of the underlying protocols in the cell network came to the public’s attention, two powerful members of Congress are asking the secretary of Homeland Security how DHS has addressed the threat and whether the department has sufficient resources to detect and defeat SS7-related attacks.

The flaws in SS7, a protocol that’s designed to connect various telecom carriers, can enable anyone with access to the system to carry out discreet surveillance against a victim, knowing only the target’s phone number. Many people at each of the carriers have access to the system, and security researchers have been warning about the problem for years. Last year, researchers demonstrated an attack on the phone of Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) using this technique, prompting Lieu to call on congressional leaders to address the issue.

Now, a year later, Lieu and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have sent a letter to John F. Kelly, secretary of Homeland Security, to detail what the department has done to address the SS7 problem and whether the federal government understands how this vulnerability could be used for surveillance.

“We are deeply concerned that the security of America’s telecommunications infrastructure is not getting the attention it deserves. Although there have been a few news stories about this topic, we suspect that most Americans simply have no idea how easy it is for a relatively sophisticated adversary to track their movements, tap their calls, and hack their smartphones. We are also concerned that the government has not adequately considered the counterintelligence threat posed by SS7-enabled surveillance,” the letter says.

Submission + - America May Miss Out On the Next Industrial Revolution (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Robots are inevitably going to automate millions of jobs in the US and around the world, but there’s an even more complex scenario on the horizon, said roboticist Matt Rendall. In a talk Tuesday at SXSW, Rendall painted a picture of the future of robotic job displacement that focused less on automation and more on the realistic ways in which the robotics industry will reshape global manufacturing. The takeaway was that America, which has outsourced much of its manufacturing and lacks serious investment in industrial robotics, may miss out on the world’s next radical shift in how goods are produced. That’s because the robot makers — as in, the robots that make the robots — could play a key role in determining how automation expands across the globe. As the CEO of manufacturing robotics company Otto Motors, Rendall focuses on building fleets of warehouse bots that could eventually replace the many fulfillment workers who are hired by companies like Amazon. “The robots are coming,” Rendall said. “After the Great Recession, there was a fundamental change in people’s interest in automation. People started feeling the pain of high-cost labor and there’s an appetite for automation that we haven’t seen before.” While Rendall described himself as one of the optimists, who believes automation will, in the long-term, improve society and help humans live better lives, he said there are changes afoot in the global manufacturing scene that could leave American industries in the dust. “China is tracking to be the No. 1 user in robots used in industrial manufacturing,” he said, adding that the country is driving “an overwhelming amount” of growth. The difference, he added, is how China is responding to automation, which is by embracing it instead of shying away from it. This is in stark contrast to industrial advances of the previous century, like Ford’s assembly line, that helped transform American industries into the most powerful on the planet.

Submission + - US Dept of Veterans Affairs to dump freely-available electronic health record sy

dmr001 writes: US Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, MD announced to Ongress plans to transition from VistA to a commercial EHR. Despite the fact that physicians typically find VistA sensible and relatively easy to use, Shulkin feels the VA should get out of the software business and buy a "commercially tested" product. The US Department of Defense recently contracted with Cerner though that transition is already beset with delays. There's no word yet how the VA might ensure any new system will be compatible with DOD's solution. Recent attempts to upgrade VistA (originally developed in house) using outside contractors have not been clearly successful.

Submission + - Facebook and Instagram Ban Developers From Using Data For Surveillance (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook and Instagram have banned developers from using their data for surveillance with a new privacy policy that civil rights activists have long sought to curb spying by law enforcement. Following revelations last year that police departments had gained special access to the social networks to track protesters, Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced on Monday that it had updated its rules to state that developers could not “use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance." The American Civil Liberties Union obtained government records last year revealing that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter had provided users’ data to a software company that aids police surveillance programs and had helped law enforcement monitor Black Lives Matter demonstrations. The ACLU found that the social networking sites had given “special access” to Geofeedia, a controversial startup that has partnered with law enforcement to track streams of user content. “Our goal is to make our policy explicit,” Facebook said in its announcement on Monday. “Over the past several months we have taken enforcement action against developers who created and marketed tools meant for surveillance, in violation of our existing policies; we want to be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.”

Submission + - Comedian John Oliver puts the boot into Samsung (itwire.com)

troublemaker_23 writes: Public memory is short and people probably do not have the Samsung Galaxy Note7 disaster at the forefront of their thoughts these days. But the recent leak of CIA documents, wherein it was stated that one Samsung Smart TV could be hacked to listen to conversations, gave comedian John Oliver a chance to roast the South Korean company in no uncertain way during his show Last Week Tonight on Sunday US time.

Submission + - Renewable energy now Australia's cheapest power option (econews.com.au)

Socguy writes: With the cost of gas rising and the cost of storage falling, true cost renewables (renewables + storage) have become the cheapest option in Austrailia.

Carbon capture technology will not be ready for prime time till perhaps as late as 2030 and by then there may be no appetite to build new base-load generating stations as they are too inflexible to compete in the modern electrical infrastructure.

Submission + - How to effectively implement sitewide file encryption?

Pig Hogger writes: The recent assertion that, given the recent CIA/Wikileaks dump about “encryption really working” makes encryption much more desirable.

So, if you decide to implement server-level encryption accross all your servers, how do you manage the necessary keys/passwords/passphrases to insure that you both have maximum uptime (you can access your data if you need to reboot your servers), yet that the keys cannot be compromised, as if the password is known by many different people, because, once the server is seized, you can’t change the password?

What are established practices to address this issue?

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