Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Submission + - House approves bill to force public release of EPA science (ap.org)

schwit1 writes: House Republicans are taking aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, targeting the way officials use science to develop new regulations.

A bill approved Wednesday by the GOP-controlled House would require that data used to support new regulations to protect human health and the environment be released to the public.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said "the days of 'trust me' science are over," adding that the House bill would restore confidence in the EPA's decision-making process.

Connecticut Rep. Elizabeth Esty and other Democrats said the bill would cripple EPA's ability to conduct scientific research based on confidential medical information and risks privacy violations by exposing sensitive patient data.

The bill was approved 228-194 and now goes to the Senate.

Submission + - Scientists Discover Way to Transmit Taste of Lemonade Over Internet (vice.com)

schwit1 writes: With the use of electrodes and sensors—and zero lemons—a group of researchers at the University of Singapore have announced that they can convince you that you're drinking lemonade, even if it's just water. Plus, they can send you a glass of lemonade virtually over the internet.

In an experiment that involved 13 tasters, the subjects' taste buds were stimulated using electricity from receiving electrodes; LED lights mimicked a lemony color. Some were convinced that the water they were drinking was, in fact, almost as sour as lemonade.

"We're working on a full virtual cocktail with smell, taste, and color all covered. We want to be able to create any drink."

Why would anyone want to drink a virtual lemonade? Advocates of virtual eating say that virtual foods can replace foods that are bad for you, that you may be allergic to, or that you shouldn't eat because of a medical condition.

Submission + - Obama allowed use of NSA data in politics (circa.com)

mi writes: Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures' perceptions of the incoming president and his administration.

Submission + - Nathan's Famous Becomes MLB's First-Ever Official Hot Dog (forbes.com)

turkeydance writes: The hot dog. Is there anything that is more perfectly associated with baseball than the American classic? For years, going to a ballgame and having a dog has become a rite of passage. Kids taking in their first games will almost assuredly remember having a hot dog as part of the summertime adventure.

So, it may come as a surprise that there has been no “official hot dog” for the great game.

Until now.

Submission + - Massachusetts Prepares to Vacate Nearly 24,000 Tainted Drug Convictions (reason.com)

schwit1 writes: Massachusetts prosecutors will move in mid-April to vacate nearly all of the roughly 24,000 drug convictions tainted by a single corrupt forensic lab chemist, The Boston Globe reported Saturday, marking the denouement of one of the largest drug lab scandals in U.S. history.

A Massachusetts prosecutor told the state's Supreme Judicial Court last week that D.A.'s would seek to keep fewer than 1,000 of the 24,000 convictions tainted by drug lab chemist Annie Dookahn, who pled guilty in 2012 to falsifying test results in favor of law enforcement and tampering with evidence over a nine-year period starting in 2003.

Submission + - An Unexpected New Lung Function Has Been Found - They Make Blood (sciencealert.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don't just facilitate respiration — they also play a key role in blood production.

In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals' circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue — cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow.

"This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs — that they're not just for respiration, but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood," says one of the researchers, Mark R. Looney.

Submission + - Judge OK's Petition for America's First 'Genderless' Person (heatst.com)

schwit1 writes: Home Culture Wars By Jillian Kay Melchior | 12:33 pm, March 25, 2017 A Portland student has become the first American to gain legal designation as “genderless”, following a ruling by a Multnomah County judge.

The March 10 decision, reported for the first time on Thursday, involved a 27-year-old who was born male but claimed to identify with no gender whatsoever. Judge Amy Holmes, who approved the petition, also last year approved a “non-binary” gender designation for another Portland resident.

The 27-year-old formerly known as Patrick Abbatiello, now legally designated agender, also got legal approval to change names, now going only by “Patch,” no surname. That name also serves as a pronoun, Patch explained to the local NBC affiliate this week.

Submission + - Foreign Students Say U.S. High School Classes Are Absurdly Easy (the-american-interest.com)

schwit1 writes: When the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy surveyed foreign exchange students studying in the U.S. in 2001, it found that they thought that American education was a cake walk compared to secondary education in their home countries. And when it conducted the survey again in 2016, it found that exchange students thought that U.S. education was even less challenging than before.

Submission + - SPAM: Peak oil? Sooner than you think

schwit1 writes: The London-based investment advisory firm Redburn thinks that global demand for oil could peak around 2026, writes Fereidoon Sionshansi, President of Menlo Energy Economics and publisher of the newsletter EEnergy Informer. The implications for oil majors are ominous.For some time, there has been speculation about when global oil demand may peak – not because we will run out of oil or prices will spike making oil unaffordable, notions that are now considered passé – but because we won’t be needing as much of the stuff as we thought we would. And once the peak is finally reached – whenever that is – demand will begin to drop thereafter, perhaps precipitously.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Double Filters Allow Tetrachromatic Vision in Humans.

schwit1 writes: “Humans have three types of cone cells in the back of the eye to differentiate color. Some react to blue, some to green and some to red. The cones do their work by responding to the difference in wavelength of the incoming light. Such vision is known as trichromatic. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way of fooling the brain into seeing as if there were a fourth type of cone, by wearing glasses with two types of filters. The result is tetrachromatic vision. . . . The filters remove some parts of the blue light spectrum. But the filters each remove a different part. When the filters are fitted into a frame and worn like regular glasses, the wearer is able to see colors that are normally hidden—metamers. In a sense, it is rather the opposite of what occurs with people who are color blind. They might see blue and red as the same, even though there is more light information there. Adding spectrum identification to color blind eyes allows for seeing more of what is already there. With the new combined filter system, a person is able to look at what appears to be an object that is all the same color, such as purple, and see more colors in it—those normally hidden metamers.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Soviet cover-up of nuclear fallout worse than Chernobyl

schwit1 writes: It was a nuclear disaster four times worse than Chernobyl in terms of the number of cases of acute radiation sickness, but Moscow’s complicity in covering up its effects on people’s health has remained secret until now.

We knew that in August 1956, fallout from a Soviet nuclear weapons test at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan engulfed the Kazakh industrial city of Ust-Kamenogorsk and put more than 600 people in hospital with radiation sickness, but the details have been sketchy.

After seeing a newly uncovered report, New Scientist can now reveal that a scientific expedition from Moscow in the aftermath of the hushed-up disaster uncovered widespread radioactive contamination and radiation sickness across the Kazakh steppes.

The scientists then tracked the consequences as nuclear bomb tests continued — without telling the people affected or the outside world.

The report by scientists from the Institute of Biophysics in Moscow was found in the archive of the Institute of Radiation Medicine and Ecology (IRME) in Semey, Kazakhstan. “For many years, this has been a secret,” says the institute’s director Kazbek Apsalikov, who found the report and passed it on to New Scientist.

More nuclear bomb tests were conducted at Semipalatinsk than anywhere else in the world during the 1950s and early 1960s. Western journalists have reported since the breakup of the Soviet Union on the apparent health effects on villagers downwind of the tests. And some recent studies have estimated radiation doses using proxies such as radioactivity in tooth enamel.

The newly revealed report, which outlines “the results of a radiological study of Semipalatinsk region” and is marked “top secret”, shows for the first time just how much Soviet scientists knew at the time about the human-health disaster and the extent of the cover-up.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: NY bill would require removal of inaccurate, irrelevant or excessive statements 1

schwit1 writes: In a bill aimed at securing a "right to be forgotten," introduced by Assemblyman David I. Weprin and (as Senate Bill 4561 by state Sen. Tony Avella), New York politicians would require people to remove 'inaccurate,' 'irrelevant,' 'inadequate' or 'excessive' statements about others...
  • Within 30 days of a "request from an individual,"
  • "all search engines and online speakers] shall remove ... content about such individual, and links or indexes to any of the same, that is 'inaccurate', 'irrelevant', 'inadequate' or 'excessive,'' "
  • "and without replacing such removed ... content with any disclaimer [or] takedown notice."
  • " '[I]naccurate', 'irrelevant', 'inadequate', or 'excessive' shall mean content,"
  • "which after a significant lapse in time from its first publication,"
  • "is no longer material to current public debate or discourse,"
  • "especially when considered in light of the financial, reputational and/or demonstrable other harm that the information ... is causing to the requester's professional, financial, reputational or other interest,"
  • "with the exception of content related to convicted felonies, legal matters relating to violence, or a matter that is of significant current public interest, and as to which the requester's role with regard to the matter is central and substantial."

Failure to comply would make the search engines or speakers liable for, at least, statutory damages of $250/day plus attorney fees.
Link to Original Source

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

Slashdot Top Deals

The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky

Working...