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Submission + - Study: microbiome changes drive the dieting yo-yo effect

wheelbarrio writes: We've known for a long time that diet-induced weight loss is rarely permanent but until now what has been a frustration for dieters has also been largely a mystery to science. A paper published today in the prestigious journal Nature presents good evidence that your gut microbiome may be to blame. Studying mice fed cycles of high-fat and normal diets, the authors find that the particular bacterial population that thrives in the high-fat regime persists in the gut even once the mice have returned to normal weight and normal metabolic function after a dieting cycle. This leaves them more susceptible to weight gain than control mice who were never overweight, when both populations are exposed to a cycle of high-fat diet. The details are fascinating, including the suggestion that dietary flavonoid supplementation might mitigate the effect. My guess is that this may end up being one of the most cited papers of the year, if not the decade.

Submission + - Dogs remember more than expected (gizmodo.com)

tomhath writes: This story won't surprise most dog owners: They're watching you, and they remember what you've done.

A new study published in Current Biology shows that dogs, like humans, can recall prior events, even when those events weren’t particularly important or meaningful at the time. This suggests that dogs have “episodic memory,” which is the ability to mentally travel back in time and recall experiences and specific events, such as times, places, and associated emotions. Importantly, episodic memory is also a possible sign of self-awareness in dogs...

Importantly, the dogs had to remember events they had witnessed, but not performed before. This means they had to dig into the “recent history” file of their brains and pull out the required information—in other words, they had to rely on their episodic memory.


Submission + - ESA: European Mars Lander Crash Caused By 1-Second Glitch (space.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The European Space Agency (ESA) on Nov. 23 said its Schiaparelli lander’s crash landing on Mars on Oct. 19 followed an unexplained saturation of its inertial measurement unit (IMU), which delivered bad data to the lander’s computer and forced a premature release of its parachute. Polluted by the IMU data, the lander’s computer apparently thought it had either already landed or was just about to land. The parachute system was released, the braking thrusters were fired only briefly and the on-ground systems were activated. Instead of being on the ground, Schiaparelli was still 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) above the Mars surface. It crashed, but not before delivering what ESA officials say is a wealth of data on entry into the Mars atmosphere, the functioning and release of the heat shield and the deployment of the parachute — all of which went according to plan. In its Nov. 23 statement, ESA said the saturation reading from Schiaparelli’s inertial measurement unit lasted only a second but was enough to play havoc with the navigation system. ESA said the sequence of events "has been clearly reproduced in computer simulations of the control system’s response to the erroneous information." ESA’s director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration, David Parker, said in a statement that ExoMars teams are still sifting through the voluminous data harvest from the Schiaparelli mission, and that an external, independent board of inquiry, now being created, would release a final report in early 2017.

Submission + - SPAM: Satellite Abandoned In 1967 Mysteriously Comes Back Online

schwit1 writes: An American satellite abandoned in 1967 suddenly came back online and began transmitting again for the first time in 50 years.

Amateur astronomers first suspected that they’d found the satellite in 2013, but needed years to confirm that it was still occasionally transmitting. The satellite, dubbed LES1, was built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and launched into space in 1965.

A mistake in the satellite’s circuitry caused it to never leave its circular orbit, and it eventually stop transmitting in 1967. The satellite’s signal now fluctuates widely in strength, meaning that it’s likely only transmitting when its solar panels are in direct sunlight. Scientists expect that the satellite’s onboard batteries have disintegrated.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The "impossible" EM drive: real or not? (nationalgeographic.com) 1

Locke2005 writes: National Geographic has an article on the "impossible" drive. Either this is another Pons and Fleischmann cold fusion, or it actually works. If it actually works, can somebody explain to me HOW it actually works? Wouldn't the best way to test it be to actually send up a miniature spacecraft with solar cells and instrumentation?

Submission + - Brain Cancer Patients Live Longer by Sending Electric Fields Through Their Heads (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: The big problem with treating glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, is that nothing really works. Surgeons cut out the tumor as soon as it's detected and blast left-behind cells with radiation and chemo, but it always comes back. Most glioblastoma patients live only one or two years after diagnosis.

The Optune system, which bathes the brain tumor in an AC electric field, is the first new treatment to come along that seems to extend some patients' lives. New data on survival rates from a major clinical trial showed that 43% of patients who used Optune were still alive at the 2-year mark, compared to 30% of patients on the standard treatment regimen. At the 4-year mark, the survival rates were 17% for Optune patients and 10% for the others.

The catch: Patients have to wear electrodes on their heads around the clock, and they're wired to a bulky generator/battery pack that's carried in a shoulder bag.

Submission + - The iron fist pokes out through the velet glove. 1

RockDoctor writes: Google are (allegedly) shutting down the Google Accounts of people indulging in a sales-tax [trick/ scam/ workaround — IANAmerican, so I'm not sure on the legal status of this], blocking them from access to photos, emails, contacts and the other detritus of a digital life. The Guardian adds : "Google has suspended the accounts of hundreds of people who took advantage of a loophole in US sales tax to make a small profit on Pixel phones.
The Google customers had all bought the phones from the company’s Project Fi mobile carrier, and had them shipped directly to a reseller in New Hampshire, a US state with no sales tax. In return, the reseller split the profit with the customers."

"One user reported that an account that hadn’t been used to purchase a Pixel was suspended, apparently because it was listed as a back-up address for an account that had."

People might ask, in a hurt tone of voice, "why are you doing this to me?" To which the obvious answer is "because we can, and you agreed to these (link to 3000 pages of text) terms and conditions, including our ability to do this."

Totally expected behaviour. The only question has been 'When?', never 'If?'

Submission + - The Intel 4004 Microprocessor Chip Turns 45 1

mcpublic writes: Today marks the 45th anniversary of the 4004, Intel’s first microprocessor chip, announced to the world in the November 15, 1971 issue of Electronic News . It seems that everyone (except Intel) loves to argue whether it was truly the “first microprocessor.” Ken Sherriff's recent article in IEEE Spectrum tells the more complicated story. But what’s indisputable is that the 4004 was the computer chip that started Intel’s pivot from a tiny semiconductor memory company to the personal computing giant we know today. Federico Faggin, an Italian immigrant who invented the self-aligned, silicon gate MOS transistor and buried contacts technology, joined Intel in 1970. He needed both his inventions to squeeze the 4004's roughly 2,300 transistors into a single 3x4mm silicon die. He later went on to design the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80 with Masatoshi Shima, a Japanese engineer with a “steel trap mind,” the once-unsung hero of the 4004 team.

Submission + - The "You Wouldn't Steal A Car" DVD Anti-Piracy Ads Used Stolen Music (abc.net.au) 1

dryriver writes: According to ABC, back in 2006, Buma/Stemra (Dutch Music Royalties Collection Agency) approached a Dutch musician, Melchior Reitveldt, to write some music for an anti-piracy ad, with the strict proviso that this music would be played only and exclusively at a local film festival. Mr. Reitveldt wrote the music, it was played, he got paid and all was well. But then, in 2007, he bought a Harry Potter DVD and to his surprise, there was his music in the anti-piracy ad at the beginning. His composition had been taken and used without his permission. In fact, it had been illegally used on dozens of movie DVDs, both in Holland and overseas. So Mr. Reitveldt went to the Buma/Stemra music royalty collection agency to clear up this misunderstanding, and ran into a brick wall. Nothing happened for a long time, and then pathetically small refunds were offered, and then they weren't paid in full, and the delaying tactics went on and on.The breakthrough came in 2011, 5 years later, when he secretly recorded a Buma director cynically telling him that "things could be sped up" if he let them "buy the music" for 1 Million Euros. The director had to resign in disgrace. In June 2012, a court ordered Buma/Stemra to repay the money.

Submission + - Donald Trump Child Rape Victim's Story Was Completely Fabricated (inquisitr.com) 9

Okian Warrior writes: The Donald Trump child rape victim’s story, as revealed early this morning by Daily Mail, is a work of complete fiction.

Katie Johnson herself spoke with journalists about why she lied and made herself into the Donald Trump child rape victim. “We would have a rapist in the White House. I would feel horrified every single day if I stay in this country,” she said, making it apparent that, although the GOP-running presidential hopeful never sexually assaulted her, she still believes he’s a rapist.

Katie maintains that she was sexually abused on more than one occasion by Jeffrey Epstein during mid-1994. A separate informant told Daily Mail that her story “had been believable and compelling right up until the last minute,” when it was found out “Donald Trump’s name had been inserted into this, [and] he was not involved whatsoever.”

Submission + - Grubhub CEO requests Trump supporters resignation (nypost.com) 2

helsinki92 writes: The co-founder of food delivery service Grubhub sent an email to all his employees suggesting that supporters of President-elect Donald Trump should resign, then issued a statement saying he welcomes all employees, regardless of their political beliefs.

Submission + - Let's Get Cyber Physical: DDoS Turns off the Heat in Finland (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack resulted in the loss of heating to two buildings in the city of Lappeenranta in eastern Finland according to a report by YLE (in Finnish here: http://yle.fi/uutiset/3-927849...), just the latest example of downstream effects of cyber attacks on connected infrastructure.

According to a published statement from a local IT management firm Valtia (http://www.valtia.fi/tiedote-tietoturvahyokkayksesta) the attack was noticed after a building automation system used in two properties began issuing strange alarms and could not be remotely accessed. The cause was a sustained denial of service attack that was flooding the building management system with bogus Internet traffic, causing it to restart every few minutes, and denying remote administrators at Valtia access to the device. The attack spanned November 3rd and 4th, according to Simo Rounela, the CEO of Valtia, who spoke with The Security Ledger. (https://securityledger.com/2016/11/lets-get-cyberphysical-ddos-attack-halts-heating-in-finland/)

The result? “The majority of the controlled systems, such as heat distribution, ventilation and hot water went temporarily ‘broken’,” the company said in a statement. To fix it, a technician visited the buildings and removed the affected hardware from the Internet until the malicious traffic could be filtered out. Once disconnected from the Internet, the building automation system returned to normal operation.

Around 50 people were affected, though Rounela said he doubts any noticed any change in the temperature as a result of the attacks because the building would maintain its current temperature when the system was down. Temperatures in Lappeenranta were expected to be in the mid 20s (F) this week, -6 (C).

In a conversation with The Security Ledger, Rounela said that there is strong evidence that vulnerable and Internet exposed devices manufactured by Fidelix (https://www.fidelix.fi/), a Finnish building automation firm.

“There are about 1000 similar automation devices (on the) public Internet in Finland,” Rounela said in an email, citing a search using Shodan, the hardware search engine. “Some of the affected systems were not using Dynamic DNS services, so I can’t really say how the targets were chosen.”

A report by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority said that the attacks appear to be part of a larger cyber criminal denial of service operation, not targeted at the building in question, YLE reported (http://yle.fi/uutiset/3-9278497).

Submission + - McDonald's claims $20m from Florence over piazza restaurant rebuff (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: McDonald’s has filed a $20m lawsuit against Florence for blocking a proposed outlet in the city’s most revered square.

The US fast-food chain said on Monday that it was claiming €17.8m ($19.65m) in damages after the city rejected an application to open an outlet in the historic Piazza del Duomo, one of the most visited places in Europe.

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