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Submission + - Is Wikipedia biased for Israel and against Palestinians? 5

An anonymous reader writes: Wikipedia's pro-Jewish bias has been discussed in Wikipedia-criticism circles for years, but today the Wikipediocracy blog ran a item relating to it that will attract controversy: it proves that English-language Wikipedia is heavily biased in favor of Israeli and Jewish subjects, and against Palestinians. And it starts with very disturbing examples — Wikipedia biographies of Israeli and Palestinian children who were killed in the endless civil war. Specifically, articles about Palestinian children who were killed by Israelis are almost guaranteed to be deleted from the "encyclopedia of record", while articles about Israeli children killed by Palestinians receive "special protection".

Submission + - Why Lizard Squad took down PSN and Xbox Live on Christmas Day

DroidJason1 writes: Early Christmas morning, hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for taking down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for hours. This affected those who had received new Xbox One or PS4 consoles, preventing them from playing online.

So why did they do it? According to an exclusive interview with Lizard Squad, it had to do with convincing companies to improve their security — the hard way. "Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies’ inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result."

Submission + - TLS Hardening (arxiv.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The TLS protocol guard our security for many protocols, and as such it has been subject to many attacks lately. The most heard of is Heartbleed, but let us not forget CRIME, BREACH, BEAST, Lucky 13, RC4 attacks, broken CA validation, broken revocation checks, and so on. Are you sure you spared everything you can?

In june 2014 issue of BSD magazine, Emmanuel Dreyfus publishes a helpful paper on TLS hardening (link to the standalone paper without mandatory BSD mag newsletter subscription). After introducing what a sysadmin or application developer should know about TLS, the paper looks at web server configuration, and how to cope with known attacks. The last part of the paper looks at how to harden TLS for other protocols: POP, IMAP, SMTP, LDAP, and so on.

Submission + - Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Turn On Encryption (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: We've been around the block enough times to know that outside of shredding a storage medium, all data is recoverable. It's just matter of time, money, and effort. However, it was still sobering to find out exactly how much data security firm Avast was able to recover from Android devices it purchased from eBay, which included everything from naked selfies to even a completed loan application. Does this mean we shouldn't ever sell the old handset? Luckily, the answer is no. Avast's self-serving study was to promote its Anti-Theft app available on Google Play. The free app comes with a wipe feature that overwrites all files, thereby making them invisible to casual recovery methods. That's one approach. There's another solution that's incredibly easy and doesn't require downloading and installing anything. Before you sell your Android phone on eBay, Craigslist, or wherever, enable encryption and wait for it to encrypt the on board storage. After that, perform a wipe and reset as normal, which will obliterate the encryption key and ensure the data on your device can't be read. This may not work on certain devices, which will ask you to decrypt data before wiping but most should follow this convention just fine.

Submission + - Blame austerity on Excel .. (motherjones.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: From Mike Konczal, summarizing a new study that says Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff made a coding error in a famous paper claiming that economic growth slows down in countries with debt levels above 90 percent of GDP:

Submission + - Behavior of Birds Depends on Their Hatching Order

An anonymous reader writes: A new study looks at the behavior of birds and found the hatching order of birds influences how they behave in adulthood.
The study was conducted by Dr. Ian Hartley and Dr. Mark Mainwaring (LEC), researchers at the University of Lancaster Environment Center. The researchers noticed that the youngest members of the zebra finch broods were more adventurous than their older siblings in later life.

Submission + - Inventor cultivates no-mow, easy-grow grass (foxnews.com)

schwit1 writes: After more than ten years of experimenting with thousands of seeds, Jackson Madnick cultivated Pearl’s Premium — a specific mix of red fescue, tall fescue, sheep fescue and other grasses.

It’s all in the grassroots. Pearl’s Premium develops 12- to14-inch roots and pulls water from underground, meaning it requires a quarter as much water as comparable grasses.

“It grows slow so you only have to mow it every four or six weeks,” he said. “And if you don’t mow it, it flips over and becomes a meadow.”

Madnick began experimenting with different grasses because he wanted to create environmentally sustainable lawns. “I took a weekend course on water management and learned that the number one enemy of ponds is fertilizer” He wanted a healthy alternative to a chemically-maintained lawn — deemed one of the "most toxic areas in your home" by Health Magazine.

GNOME

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't You Running KDE? (google.com) 4

mike_toscano writes: "At least some of us have recently seen Linus' most recent comments on his experience with Gnome 3 — he didn't have many nice things to say about it and as you know, he's not the only one. On the other hand, there have been some great reviews and comparisons of KDE with the other options (like this one) lately. Sure, early releases of 4.x were painful but the desktop today is fully-functional and polished.

So the question: To those who run *nix desktops and are frustrated by the latest Gnome variants, why aren't you running KDE?

To clarify, I'm not asking which desktop is better. I'm really talking to the people who have already decided they don't like the new Gnome & Unity but aren't using KDE."

Facebook

Submission + - products the Facebook generation does not use (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to 24/7 Wall Street, email use among young people declined 59% in a single year. Other products no longer used by youth include landline phones in favour of mobiles, and desktop computers.

Does this signal the beginning of the end for the aging protocol?

United States

Submission + - In Nothing We Trust 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton write in the National Journal that seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses “a great deal” of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion. “We have lost our gods,” says Laura Hansen. "We’ve lost it—that basic sense of trust and confidence—in everything.” Humans are coded to create communities, and communities beget institutions. What if, in the future, they don’t? People could disconnect, refocus inward, and turn away from their social contract. Already, many are losing trust. If society can’t promise benefits for joining it, its members may no longer feel bound to follow its rules. But history reminds us that America’s leaders can draw the nation together to solve problems. At a moment of gaping income inequality, when the country was turbulently transitioning from a farm economy to a factory one, President Theodore Roosevelt reminded Americans, “To us, as a people, it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life.” At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt chastised the business and political leaders who had led the country into ruin. “These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men," said FDR. “Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.""

Submission + - Cell phone radiation may cause disorders in offspring (netonnews.com)

monikasaini123 writes: "Experience rays from phones during pregnancy impacts the mind development of kids, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine scientists have determined.This is the first experimental evidence that fetal exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cellular telephones does in fact affect adult behaviorResearchers exposed pregnant mice to radiation from a muted and silenced cell phone positioned above the cage and placed on an active phone call for the duration of the trial. A control group of mice was kept under the same conditions but with the phone deactivated.The team assessed the mind electrical action of adult rats that were revealed to rays as fetuses, and performed a battery of emotional and personality testing. They found that the rats that were revealed to rays maintained to be more overactive and had reduced memory. Taylor assigned the personality changes to an effect during having a baby on the progression of nerves in the prefrontal cortex location of the mind.Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a developmental disorder associated with neuropathology localized primarily to the same brain region, and is characterized by inattention and hyperactivity.Results have shown that behavioral problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb. The rise in behavioral disorders in human children may be in part due to fetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.Taylor said that further analysis is required in people to better comprehend the systems behind these conclusions and to determine secure visibility boundaries during pregnancy.First writer Tamir Aldad added that mouse pregnancies last only 19 days and offspring are born with a less-developed mind than people infants, so further research is needed to determine if the danger of experience rays during human pregnancy are similar.Cell phones were used in this study to mimic potential human exposure but future research will instead use standard electromagnetic field generators to more precisely define the level of exposure.Reference: http://news.yale.edu/2012/03/15/cell-phone-use-pregnancy-may-cause-behavioral-disorders-offspring"

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