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Submission + - Ask SD: How do you handle the discovery of a web site disclosing private data?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently discovered that a partner web site of a financial institution I do business with makes it trivially easy to view documents that do not belong to me. As in, change the document ID in a URL and view someone else's financial documents. This requires no authentication, only a document URL. (Think along the lines of an online rebate center where you upload documents including credit card statements.) I immediately called customer service and spoke with a perplexed agent who unsurprisingly didn't know what to do with my call. I asked to speak with a supervisor who took good notes and promised a follow-up internally. I asked for a return call but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, I still have private financial information I consider to be publicly available. I'm trying to be responsible and patient in my handling of this, but I am second guessing how to move forward if not quickly resolved. So, Slashdot, how would you handle this situation?

Submission + - $10K Ethernet Cable Claims Audio Fidelity, If You're Stupid Enough To Buy It (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: There are few markets that are quite as loaded-up with "snake oil" products as the audio/video arena. You may have immediately thought of "Monster" cables as one of the most infamous offenders. But believe it or not, there are some vendors that push the envelope so far that Monster's $100 HDMI cables sound like a bargain by comparison. Take AudioQuest's high-end Ethernet cable, for example. Called "Diamond," AudioQuest is promising the world with this $10,500 Ethernet cable. If you, for some reason, believe that an Ethernet cable is completely irrelevant for audio, guess again. According to their claim: "AudioQuest's Diamond RJ/E is a directional Ethernet cable made with the same hallmark materials, philosophy, care and attention that is applied to all their interconnects, whether it's an entry level introduction to Hi-Fi or a died-in-the-wool music connoisseur. Another upgrade with Diamond is a complete plug redesign, opting for an ultra-performance RJ45 connector made from silver with tabs that are virtually unbreakable. The plug comes with added strain relief and firmly lock into place ensuring no critical data is lost." It's too bad AudioQuest limits itself to just audio, because descriptions like that would prove a welcome sight in other markets. Just imagine how tempting it would be to own 100% solid paper clips made with uncompromising materials that take a no-nonsense approach to holding paper together. Unfortunately, in this case, there's the issue of digital data being, well, digital. But hey, a 1 or a 0 could arrive at its destination so much cleaner, right?

Submission + - The 'Cool Brick' Can Cool Off an Entire Room Using Nothing But Water (3dprint.com) 1

ErnieKey writes: Emerging Objects, a company which experiments with 3d printing technology has created what they call the 'Cool Brick'. Using basic concepts of evaporation, it holds water like a sponge, takes in hot dry air and converts it into cool moist air. 3d printed with a specially engineered lattice using ceramics, it can be formed into entire walls which could be placed in different rooms of a house or building, thus replacing the need for air conditioning in hot, dry climates such as deserts.

Submission + - DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program set up in 2008 to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects. The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Submission + - Oracle finally release Java MSI file. 1

nosfucious writes: Oracle Corporation, one of the largest software companies and leading supplier of database and enterprise software quietly started shipping a MSI version of their Java Runtime (https://www.java.com/en/download/help/msi_install.xml). Java is the worlds leading software security vulnerability and keeping up with the frequent patches of nearly a job in itself. Added to this is the very corporate (read: Window on a large scale) unfriendly EXE packaging of the Java RTE. Sysadmins around the world should be rejoicing. However, nothing from Oracle is free. MSI versions of Java are only available to those with Java SE Advanced (and other similar products). Given that urgency and frequency of Java updates, what can be done to force Oracle release MSI versions publicly (and thereby reduce impact of their own bugs and improve Sysadmin sanity).

Submission + - Single Pixel Camera Takes Images Through Breast Tissue 1

KentuckyFC writes: Single pixel cameras are currently turning photography on its head. They work by recording lots of exposures of a scene through a randomising media such as frosted glass. Although seemingly random, these exposures are correlated because the light all comes from the same scene. So its possible to number crunch the image data looking for this correlation and then use it to reassemble the original image. Physicists have been using this technique, called ghost imaging, for several years to make high resolution images, 3D photos and even 3D movies. Now one group has replaced the randomising medium with breast tissue from a chicken. They've then used the single pixel technique to take clear pictures of an object hidden inside the breast tissue. The potential for medical imaging is clear. Curiously, this technique has a long history dating back to the 19th century when Victorian doctors would look for testicular cancer by holding a candle behind the scrotum and looking for suspicious shadows. The new technique should be more comfortable.

Submission + - Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

onproton writes: The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health.

Submission + - Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops to Deceive Judges (wired.com) 1

Advocatus Diaboli writes: Police in Florida have, at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, been deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of a controversial surveillance tool to track suspects, according to newly obtained emails. At the request of the Marshals Service, the officers using so-called stingrays have been routinely telling judges, in applications for warrants, that they obtained knowledge of a suspect’s location from a “confidential source” rather than disclosing that the information was gleaned using a stingray.

Submission + - Age discrimination in the tech industry

Presto Vivace writes: Tech industry job ads: Older workers need not apply

It’s a widely accepted reality within the technology industry that youth rules. But at least part of the extreme age imbalance can be traced back to advertisements for open positions that government regulators say may illegally discriminate against older applicants. Many tech companies post openings exclusively for new or recent college graduates, a pool of candidates that is overwhelmingly in its early twenties. ...

“In our view, it’s illegal,” Raymond Peeler, senior attorney advisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws said about the use of “new grad” and “recent grad” in job notices. “We think it deters older applicants from applying.”

Am I the only one who thinks that much of the quality control and failed projects in the tech industry can be attributed to age discrimination?

Submission + - Light Play : A Robotic Army Controlled by Your Thoughts (zoness.com)

Sarah Petkus writes: The world needs a robotic army. One that anyone can come and experience the awe-inspiring sensation of controlling with their thoughts. That is what I believe. My interactive installation, “Light Play” may be ambitious, but I am setting out to simulate precisely that.

What began as a nerdy girl’s fantasy two years ago, has evolved into an ongoing project involving my close friends and other experts in our maker community here in Las Vegas. Our city’s budding art scene has recently started to take off, having been jump started by creative projects related to the downtown revival. Working from Vegas’s first hackerspace, SYN Shop, I aim to make Las Vegas the heart of art tech, in the spirit of what the city is known for; beautiful gaudy displays of light.

Light Play involves a massive network of hundreds of miniature delta robots which I have designed, all being controlled by the gestural motion and neural input provided by those interacting with them. Though delta robots are stationary, my models each have an RGB LED mounted on their swift moving end effector, making for a dynamic ballet of light motion. So far I have a smaller version of the installation developed which makes use of the Kinect’s motion capture abilities. Anyone who approaches the small collective of ten delta robots can use the angle of their body to control the robot’s motion or the color of the robot’s light.

Though the miniature installation is fun and effective, it isn’t an army. I want a whole room, if not airplane hanger filled from wall to wall with these things, and I need help doing it. To fund my cause I’m Kickstarting my robot’s design as a kit for other DIY enthusiasts to build for themselves. If my financial goals are met when the project launches in mid January, I plan to take my fully realized army and march wherever the wind takes me, leading up to Maker Faire and the like. I want others with the same nerdy fantasy as I to be able to geek out and experience controlling a robotic army of their own.

It’s a large feat to accomplish, but the ride has been exciting. It’s my first time attempting to crowd fund a project, so I’ve been documenting the whole experience as well as the progress on the installation on my tech blog : roboticarts.wordpress.com. I’m hoping that with the faith of the maker community, I can pull this idea from science fiction into reality, and in a BIG way.

Submission + - New Methods Can Halt the Process of Dying

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: It was once thought that after the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body, a person has only few minutes before suffering permanent brain damage caused by lack of oxygen and nutrients getting to the brain cells. Now Discovery Magazine reports that developments in the science of resuscitation have made it possible to revive people even hours after their heart has stopped beating and they are declared dead. "Historically, when a person's heart stopped and they stopped breathing, for all intents and purposes, they were dead," says Dr. Sam Parnia adding that this process "could take hours of time, and we could potentially reverse that." Some insights for how to halt the dying process come from case reports of people who were brought back to life with little or no brain damage after hours of a silenced brain and heart. Studies have found that hypothermia seems to protect the brain by decreasing its need for oxygen and aborting activated cell death pathways. Still, there are limits — although body-cooling techniques have improved recovery in many patients after cardiac arrest, there will be a moment when the damage is too much and it's too late to come back. "When somebody's been without oxygen, we know there’s a whole bunch of signals that are now starting to tell cells that it's time to die. So we have an opportunity to modify that programing just a little bit, to say 'wait put the brakes on,'" says Dr. Lance Becker. However, Dr. Stephan Mayer argues that our knowledge of brain damage and dying is incomplete, and it's not always clear how much injury one has endured, and whether it's reversible. "What we've come to learn is that those notions of irreversibility of brain damage are dead wrong," Mayer said. "If you make those judgments too soon without going fully all the way, you may be actually writing people off."

Submission + - Excel error causes austerity

quarterbuck writes: Many politicians, especially in Europe, have used the idea that economic growth is impeded by debt levels above 90% of GDP to justify austerity measures. The academic justification came from a paper and a book by Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. Now researchers at U Mass at Amherst have refuted the study — they find that not only was the data tainted by bad statistics, it also had an Excel error . Apparently when averaging a few GDP numbers in an excel sheet, they did not drag down the cell ranges down properly, excluding Belgium.
The supporting website for the book "This time it is different" has lots of financial information if a reader might want to replicate some of the results.

Submission + - Parasite Inspires Surgical Patch (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: By mimicking a technique used by an intestinal parasite of fish, researchers have developed a flexible patch studded with microneedles that holds skin grafts in place more strongly than surgical staples do. After burrowing into the walls of a fish's intestines, the spiny-headed worm Pomphorhynchus laevis inflates its proboscis to better embed itself in the soft tissue. In the new patch, the stiff polystyrene core of the 700-micrometer-tall needles penetrates the tissue; then a thin hydrogel coating on the tip of each needle—a coating based on the material in disposable diapers that expands when it gets wet—swells to help anchor the patch in place. In tests using skin grafts, adhesion strength of the patch was more than three times higher than surgical staples. Because the patch doesn't depend on chemical adhesives for its gripping power, there's less chance for patients to have an allergic reaction. And because the microneedles are about one-quarter the length of typical surgical staples, the patches cause less tissue damage when they're removed. Besides holding grafts in place, the patch could be used to hold the sides of a wound or an incision together—even, in theory, ones inside the body if a slowly dissolving version of the patch can be developed. Moreover, the researchers say, the hydrogel coating holds promise as a way to deliver proteins, drugs, or other therapeutic substances to patients.

Comment Same here.... (Score 1) 2

Just like when Digg went feral, I'm increasingly annoyed by Slashdot changes on the iPad. The new hovering advertisements are the last straw for me. I am starting to look for a new source for my nerd news or at least something that scrapes Slashdot and presents it to me in something more palatable.

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