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Submission + - Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep the price of US AIDS drugs high (

Okian Warrior writes: A newly released Podesta E-mail explains how the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) works to keep the price of AIDS medicines high in the US. CHAI contracted with Big Pharma companies for AIDS drugs to be distributed in developing countries. In return, the group agreed to resist efforts to bring similarly lower cost and generic drugs to the US. The email is a reaction to "comments President Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event":

[...]We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries.

[...] If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board.

[...] I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. ... We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

Submission + - AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal (

schwit1 writes: The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.

Hemisphere isn’t a “partnership” but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.

Hemisphere is used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.

Submission + - 'Calibration error' changes GOP votes to Dem in Illinois ( 1

Okian Warrior writes: Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.

Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan: “I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Moynihan said. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.

Submission + - Spare the Screen Time, Spoil the Child?

theodp writes: For years, the conventional wisdom has been that too much screen time is bad for kids. Indeed, the Obamas famously limited their 11- and 14-year-old daughters' use of technology to weekends, and banned watching TV on weekdays. But now, Engadget reports, new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics studies suggest we were wrong about limiting children's screen time. So, with new Google-Gallup research suggesting that students deprived of daily use of a computer at home are placed at a disadvantage when it comes to learning CS, could it be that the President's well-intentioned screen time limits contributed to his daughters' failure to take to coding in the way he'd like? Might he have been better off to emulate the Onion's 'Craig Georges' ("I've never once considered monitoring my child’s screen time. I guess I’m a better parent than I realized.")?

Submission + - A peek into the future of lithium batteries (

Eloking writes: In a great example of a low-cost research solution that could deliver big results, University of Michigan scientists have created a window for lithium-based batteries in order to film them as they charge and discharge.

The future of lithium-ion batteries is limited, says University of Michigan researcher Neil Dasgupta, because the chemistry cannot be pushed much further than it already has. Next-generation lithium cells will likely use lithium air and lithium sulfur chemistries. One of the big hurdles to be overcome in making these batteries practical is dendrites — tiny branch-like structures of lithium that form on the electrodes.

Submission + - First New US Nuclear Reactor In 20 Years Goes Live (

An anonymous reader writes: The Tennessee Valley Authority is celebrating an event 43 years in the making: the completion of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. In 1973, the TVA, one of the nation's largest public power providers, began building two reactors that combined promised to generate enough power to light up 1.3 million homes. The first reactor, delayed by design flaws, eventually went live in 1996. Now, after billions of dollars in budget overruns, the second reactor has finally started sending power to homes and businesses. Standing in front of both reactors Wednesday, TVA President Bill Johnson said Watts Bar 2, the first US reactor to enter commercial operation in 20 years, would offer clean, cheap and reliable energy to residents of several southern states for at least another generation. Before Watts Bar 2, the last time an American reactor had fired up was in 1996. It was Watts Bar 1--and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it cost $6.8 billion, far greater than the original price tag at $370 million. In the 2000s, some American power companies, faced with growing environmental regulations, eyed nuclear power again as a top alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil. A handful of companies, taking advantage of federal loan guarantees from the Bush administration, revived nuclear reactor proposals in a period now known as the so-called "nuclear renaissance." Eventually, nuclear regulators started to green light new reactors, including ones in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2007, the TVA resumed construction on Watts Bar 2, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The TVA originally said it would take five years to complete. The TVA, which today serves seven different southern states, relies on nuclear power to light up approximately 4.5 million homes. Watts Bar 2, the company's seventh operating reactor, reaffirms its commitment to nukes for at least four more decades, Johnson said Wednesday. In the end, TVA required more than five years to build the project. The final cost, far exceeding its initial budget, stood at $4.7 billion.

Submission + - DNA testing for jobs may be on its way, warns Gartner (

dcblogs writes: It is illegal today to use DNA testing for employment, but as science advances its understanding of genes that correlate to certain desirable traits — such as leadership and intelligence — business may want this information. People seeking leadership roles in business, or even those in search of funding for a start-up, may volunteer their DNA test results to demonstrate that they have the right aptitude, leadership capabilities and intelligence for the job. This may sound farfetched, but it's possible based on the direction of the science, according to Gartner analysts David Furlonger and Stephen Smith, who presented their research Wednesday at the firm's Symposium IT/xpo in Orlando. This research is called "maverick" in Gartner parlance, meaning it has a somewhat low probability and is still years out, but its potential is nonetheless worrisome to the authors. It isn't as radical as it seems. Job selection on the basis of certain desirable genetic characteristics is already common in the military and sports. Even without testing, businesses, governments and others may use this understanding about how some characteristics are genetically determined to develop new interview methodologies and testing to help identify candidates predisposed to the traits they desire.

Submission + - Just 2 weeks in the mountains can change your blood for months (

schwit1 writes: The human body begins adapting to high-elevation environments as quickly as overnight, and these biological changes can last for months — even after the person has returned to lower elevations.

For the first time ever, scientists comparing the blood of mountain hikers have observed how multiple changes affect the red blood cells' ability to retain oxygen in low-oxygen environments — and it happens within hours.

The find contradicts an assumption that’s lasted for half a century suggesting that humans in high-altitude environments start producing new red blood cells that are more capable of supplying oxygen to their muscles and organs than the average human’s blood.

Submission + - US Republican Senate Committee hacked

pdclarry writes: While all of the recent news has been about hacking the Democratic party, apparently the Republicans have also been hacked, over many months (since March 2016). This was not about politics, however; it was to steal credit card numbers. Brian Krebs reports that; "a report this past week out of The Netherlands suggests Russian hackers have for the past six months been siphoning credit card data from visitors to the Web storefront of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)." "If you purchased a “Never Hillary” poster or donated funds to the NRSC through its Web site between March 2016 and the first week of this month [October 2016], there’s an excellent chance that your payment card data was siphoned by malware and is now for sale in the cybercrime underground." Krebs says his information comes from Dutch researcher Willem De Groot, co-founder and head of security at Dutch e-commerce site The Republicans were not alone; theirs was just one of 5,900 e-commerce sites hacked by the same Russian actors.

Submission + - Filmmaker Arrested At Pipeline Protest Facing 45 Years In Felony Charges (

walterbyrd writes: The lengths that the oil industry, and their puppet politicians, will go to suppress information is amazing. 45 years is way more than most people get for murder.

Deia Schlosberg, the producer of the upcoming documentary “How to Let Go of the World and Love All Things Climate Can’t Change,” was detained while filming a protest against TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. Activists at the event, associated with the group Climate Direct Action, shut down the pipeline, which carries oil from Canadian tar sands to the U.S, for about seven hours.

Submission + - The mathematics of the American Justice System (

Bob the Super Hamste writes: The BBC is reporting on the Compas assessment, Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions. This tool is used by a number of agencies to assess if someone is likely to commit additional crimes and the resulting score is used in determining bail, sentencing, or determining parole. The article points out that while the questions on the assessment do not include race the resulting score may be correlated with race but this is disputed by the software's creators. The assessment scores someone on a 10 point scale but the algorithm used to determine someone's score is kept secret. Because of this defendants are unable to effectively dispute that the score is incorrect.

Submission + - Feds Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones (

ArtemaOne writes: Under the Fourth Amendment, Americans are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, but according to one group of federal prosecutors, just being in the wrong house at the wrong time is cause enough to make every single person inside provide their fingerprints and unlock their phones.

Back in 2014, a Virginia Circuit Court ruled that while suspects cannot be forced to provide phone passcodes, biometric data like fingerprints doesn’t have the same constitutional protection. Since then, multiple law enforcement agencies have tried to force individual suspects to unlock their phones with their fingers, but none have claimed the sweeping authority found in a Justice Department memorandum recently uncovered by Forbes.

Submission + - Nuclear Fusion World Record: MIT's Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Breaks Its Own Plasma P (

mdsolar writes: On Friday, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center announced that they had achieved a key milestone — one that brings us closer than ever before to viable fusion reactors. The MIT team at the Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor set a new world record for plasma pressure at 2.05 atmospheres — 15 percent higher than the previous C-Mod record of 1.77 atmospheres set in 2005.

“This is a remarkable achievement that highlights the highly successful Alcator C-Mod program at MIT,” Dale Meade, former deputy director at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, who was not directly involved in the experiments, said in a statement. “The record plasma pressure validates the high-magnetic-field approach as an attractive path to practical fusion energy.”

Submission + - SPAM: NFL ratings plunge could spell doom for traditional TV

schwit1 writes: Football, America’s biggest prime-time powerhouse, has been thrust into a crisis this fall, with dwindling ratings sparking questions over whether it can remain a gold mine for television in an age when more Americans are abandoning traditional TV.

Network executives have long used the National Football League’s live games as a last line of defense against the rapid growth of “cord-cutting” and on-demand viewing upending the industry.

But now, the NFL is seeing its ratings tumble in the same way that the Olympics, awards shows and other live events have, falling more than 10 percent for the first five weeks of the season compared with the first five weeks of last season. A continued slide, executives say, could pose an even bigger danger: If football can’t survive the new age of TV, what can?

The explosion of modern entertainment options, offered on more devices and at any time, has splintered American audiences and sped TV’s decline, Hughes said. “Sports seemed to be immune from it — it was live, the last bastion of broadcast television. But [the world] has caught up to it now.”

They pointed to “a confluence of events,” including the election, to explain the ratings slide. Other weaknesses have plagued America’s most popular TV sport. Some of the league’s top players have retired or have been suspended, including Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch and Tom Brady, creating a star-power vacuum that may have driven casual fans away.

Add to that the cowardly way the NFL handled the Colin Kaepernick situation, which alienated so many, now former, fans.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: FBI agents dismayed by failure to charge Clinton

Okian Warrior writes: The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved claiming that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged.

“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by

Link to Original Source

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