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Submission + - Spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe (theaviationist.com)

schwit1 writes: Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

However, no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131. Along with nuclear power plants, the isotope is also widely used in medicine and its presence in the air could be the effect of several different incidents.

Or, as someone speculates, it could have been the side effect of a test of a new nuclear warhead in Russia: an unlikely (considered the ability to detect nuke tests through satellites and seismic detectors) violation of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Submission + - Study shows humans slow to take over when cars call for help (autoblog.com)

schwit1 writes: At this stage in autonomous car development, a human being always needs to be there to step in just in case the computer can't handle a situation. The question is, how long will it take for a human to react to a prompt, and in turn, how soon would the driver have to be prompted to ensure a safe hand-off? The University of Southampton in the UK recently published a study examining this issue, and found that the reaction time can vary wildly, and times get worse when a driver is preoccupied with another task.

The university's study used 26 subjects, both men and women aged between 20- and 52-years-old. The subjects were asked to drive an autonomous vehicle in a simulator at 70 mph, and the autonomous drive mode would randomly require the subjects to take back control of the vehicle. Each subject did the test either when only focusing on driving, or while also reading a newspaper. In the end, the study revealed that it could take people between roughly 2 and 26 seconds to take the wheel after being prompted while paying attention to the drive, and between approximately 3 and 21 seconds while doing something else. The median reaction times for the two categories were 4.56 seconds and 6.06 seconds respectively. At 70 mph, every second equals 102 feet of travel. That means it took at least one driver about half a mile to react to the prompt.

Submission + - Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaiians to force property sales to him. (msn.com)

mmell writes: Apparently, owning 700 acres of land in Hawaii isn't enough — Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has filed suit to force owners of several small parcels of land to sell to the highest bidder. The reason? These property owners are completely surrounded by Zuckerberg's land holdings and therefore have lawful easement to cross his property in order to get to theirs.

Many of these land owners have held their land for generations, but seemingly Mr. Zuckerberg can not tolerate their presence so close to his private little slice of paradise. Landowners such as these came to own their land when their ancestors were "given" the land as Hawaiian natives.

If successful in his "quiet title" court action, Mr. Zuckerberg will finally have his slice of Hawaii's beaches and tropical lands without having to deal with the pesky presence of neighbors who were on his land before he owned it. Who knew that Hawaiians were just another kind of Native Americans?

Submission + - Older Workers Adapt To New Technology Just Fine, Survey Finds (cio.com)

itwbennett writes: Those older workers in your office, you know, the one ones you think can't handle dealing with new technology? Turns out, they struggle less with technology than their millennial colleagues. A survey by London-based market research firm Ipsos Mori, sponsored by Dropbox, found that older workers are less likely to find using technology in the workplace stressful and experience less trouble working with multiple devices than the younger cohort. The reason for this might lie in all the clunky old technologies older workers have had to master over the decades. Digital Natives don't know how good they've got it.

Submission + - FAA Confirms: Shooting Down a Drone is a Federal Felony 1

PvtVoid writes: [The FAA is] unequivocally confirming that it’s a federal crime to shoot down a drone, as John Goglia reports in Forbes. Goglia explains the FAA offered this ruling in response to his questions on the topic, citing 18 USC. 32, which “makes it a felony to damage or destroy an aircraft.”

Not linking to Forbes, because, well, Forbes. Here's the Slate.

Submission + - When Google's Chrome Security Warnings Can Do More Harm Than Good (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: We begin with a stipulation. Google has world class privacy and security teams. I know many of the Googlers on those teams. There just ain't no better this side of Alpha Centauri. They want what they feel is best for Google's users.

That said, one of Google's institutional weaknesses — improving but still very much present — is (in my opinion) a recurring lack of clarity when it comes to understanding the impacts that some of their design decisions have on ordinary, non-techie users with busy lives that don't necessarily revolve around the nuts and bolts intricacies of these systems.

Last June, in "When Google Thinks They're Your Mommy" — http://lauren.vortex.com/archi... — I noted some concerns regarding how particular aspects of the Chrome browser security model can negatively impact ordinary users.

Today let's look at a specific interesting and current related example ...

Submission + - Backdoor in MVPower DVR Firmware Sends CCTV Stills to an Email Address in China (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An IoT security research company has discovered that a DVR model manufactured by MVPower includes a backdoor-like feature in its code that takes a screenshot of your CCTV feed and sends it to an email address hosted somewhere in China. The device's firmware is based on an open source project from GitHub that was pulled by its developer when someone confronted him about the backdoor.

Submission + - ICANN's Ex CEO fronts Chinese inititive on running the Internet

Earthquake Retrofit writes: The Register reports that on the last day of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, the conference organizers unexpectedly announced they had set up a new "high-level advisory committee" that would guide the agenda of future conferences and "contribute ideas for the development of the Internet."

The committee has already had its first meeting, the organizers stated, naming ICANN's Fadi Chehade and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma as its founders and noting that it had "invited 31 leading Internet figures from governments, enterprises, academic institutions, and technological communities to be members of the first high-level advisory committee." Those "figures" have not been named but we understand they include government representatives from a number of authoritarian governments, including Russia, and do not include lead names from the internet community.

Submission + - Europe and Russia are headed back to the moon together (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Russia is turning its attention to the moon again for the first time in about 40 years. The first Russian mission to the moon since long before the end of the Cold War will be Luna 27, a robot lander that will touch down on the edge of the lunar South Pole as early as 2020. Russia is looking for international partners to help make Luna 27 a reality and may have found one in the European Space Agency, according to a story on the BBC.

Submission + - Refreshing the Amiga 1200 With New Plastic

Ichijo writes: Several years ago, the Amiga community developed a way to restore old, yellowed ABS plastic to like-new condition, and put the recipe for the gel, dubbed Retr0bright , into the public domain. But then it was discovered that the effect of the Retr0bright gel is only temporary, and plastic treated with the gel soon reverts to its original yellowed state.

Now, Amiga enthusiast Philippe Lang has started a new Kickstarter campaign to create new, improved molds for Amiga 1200 housings and do a licensed production run using anti-UV ASA plastic in the original color plus black, transparent, and 9 other colors. His team is also investigating the feasibility of producing new Amiga 1200 keyboards if this campaign succeeds. This follows a successful production run by Commodore 64 enthusiasts of new C64c housings using the original injection molds and new C64 motherboards designed with modern ASICs and DC-DC converter technology.

Submission + - Bill allows government to revoke Americans' passports without charges or trial (policestateusa.com)

schwit1 writes: A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would allow the government to restrict Americans' travel through the revocation of passports based upon mere suspicions of unscrupulous activity. This bill represents another dangerous step forward in the war on terror and the disintegration of American due process.

H.R. 237, the "FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization) Passport Revocation Act of 2015," will allow the U.S. Secretary of State the unchecked authority to prohibit individuals from traveling internationally. According to the bill, the Secretary may unilaterally revoke (or refuse to issue) a passport from "any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189)."

The bill did not bother to define what the terms "aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped" actually mean, in legal terms. The power has been left open-ended so that it can mean whatever the secretary wants it to mean. Needless to say, a bill like this would be easily abused.

The travel restriction requires no presumption of innocence for the targeted individual; no explanation; no public presentation of evidence; no opportunity for a defense; no checks and balances on the power. The bill does not outline any appeals process for the targeted individual. The only stipulation is that the Secretary of State must issue a report to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs — "classified or unclassified." The bill does not state that either committee can reverse the secretary's decisions.

Submission + - Apple Yanks Nest From Stores in Favor of Fussy HomeKit (programmableweb.com)

linkchaos writes: Late Thursday, news broke that Apple had fully removed Nest products from its retail stores and website. Nest, now owned by Google, includes the Nest camera, thermostat and smoke detector. All three are connected devices for the home that can be controlled via smartphone apps. We're talking about the Internet of Things here, folks, and Nest's products have been popular as long as they've been in the market.

Submission + - Notepad++ Leaves SourceForge (notepad-plus-plus.org)

An anonymous reader writes: SourceForge was a good place; unfortunately, sometimes good places don't last.

Recently SF hijacked its hosted projects to distribute their wrapped crapware:

        SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware
        Black “mirror”: SourceForge has now taken over Nmap audit tool project
        What happened to Sourceforge? The full story between VLC and Sourceforge

Obviously, the paid component per installation system is one of their important income generating scams. I would be fine with that, if they were the actual owners of the legitimate software. The real problem is, they are polluting these open source software installations for the purpose of filling their pockets by this scam, and worst of all, without even notifying the authors/creators of this software, while the creators are struggling against such parasitic software in order to keep their installers cleaner and safer.

Such a shameless policy should be condemned, and the Notepad++ project will move entirely out of SourceForge.

I humbly request that Notepad++ users not encourage such scams, and educate others not to download any software from SourceForge. I request as well that the project owners on SourceForge move out of SourceForge, in order to preserve the purpose of the Open Source Community and encourage the works of true authors/creators.

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