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Submission + - Lavabit Reopens, Snowden's Former Email Provider (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Lavabit, the encrypted email service provider once used by Snowden, has announced it will reopen its doors after a three-year hiatus during which it developed new email technology. The service is not yet up and running, but old users can reactivate their previous accounts, while new users can pre-register a new one. Levison says the service will most likely roll out in full over the weekend.

Lavabit opened in 2008, and its owner shut down the service in 2013, after receiving a court order from the NSA for access to Snowden's account. Because this meant giving up an ecnryption key that would have granted access to all accounts, Lavabit chose to close down for good. The service is now back with two new email encryption technologies named DIME and Magma.

Submission + - Scientists Enter Hawaii Dome In Eight-Month Mars Space Mission Study (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Six scientists have entered a dome perched atop a remote volcano in Hawaii where they will spend the next eight months in isolation to simulate life for astronauts traveling to Mars, the University of Hawaii said. The study is designed to help NASA better understand human behavior and performance during long space missions as the U.S. space agency explores plans for a manned mission to the Red Planet. The crew will perform geological field work and basic daily tasks in the 1,200-square-foot (365 m) dome, located in an abandoned quarry 8,000 feet (2.5 km) above sea level on the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. There is little vegetation and the scientists will have no contact with the outside world, said the university, which operates the dome. Communications with a mission control team will be time-delayed to match the 20-minute travel time of radio waves passing between Earth and Mars. "Daily routines include food preparation from only shelf-stable ingredients, exercise, research and fieldwork aligned with NASA’s planetary exploration expectations," the university said. The project is intended to create guidelines for future missions to Mars, some 35 million miles (56 million km) away, a long-term goal of the U.S. human space program. The NASA-funded study, known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (Hi-SEAS), is the fifth of its kind.

Submission + - Man doxxes laptop thief by taking control remotely and pilfering her Facebook (ibtimes.co.uk) 1

drunkdrone writes: A Canadian man took matters into his own hands after his laptop was stolen when he logged into it remotely and posted the thief's misdeeds online. Stu Gale, from Cochrane, Alberta, had his computer swiped after leaving it in an unlocked car and days later received a notification informing him that someone had logged onto the device.

The 51-year-old computer security expert tried to access his computer by beginning a remote connection, which allows someone to connect to and take control of a device from another location. To begin with the thief kept closing the pop-up window, but she eventually left the room, unwisely while still logged into her Facebook account.

Submission + - Atomic clocks on 9 of 72 European GPS satellites have failed (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: The atomic clocks on 9 of the 72 European Galileo GPS satellites, designed to compete with the American, Russian, and Chinese GPS satellites, have failed.

No satellite has been declared “out” as a result of the glitch. “However, we are not blind If this failure has some systematic reason we have to be careful” not to place more flawed clocks in space, [ESA director general Jan Woerner] said.

Each Galileo satellite has four ultra-accurate atomic timekeepers — two that use rubidium and two hydrogen maser. Three rubidium and six hydrogen maser clocks are not working, with one satellite sporting two failed timekeepers. Each orbiter needs just one working clock for the satnav to work — the rest are spares.

The question now, Woerner said, is “should we postpone the next launch until we find the root cause?”

That they are even considering further launches with so many failures of the same units seems absurd. They have a systemic problem, and should fix it before risking further launches.

Submission + - Superbugs now Killing more Americans than Breast Cancer

randomErr writes: Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are now slaying more patients than breast cancer, according to a new statistics by the UK Sepsis Trust. The British Department of Health say about 5,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections The UK Sepsis Trust looked at the Department of Health’s own data to produce an estimate of 12,000 killed per year by superbugs. That’s more than twice as high as the current estimate.

Submission + - Scientists Turn Docile Mice Into Ruthless Hunters

BenBoy writes: A couple of years ago, a story surfaced about smarter mice: Scientists Create Super-intelligent Mice, Discover They're Also Very Laid Back. Well, implicit challenge accepted! 2017 brings us a report from Cell, via The Scientist:

Neural circuits in the amygdala are responsible for predatory behavior in mice, according to a study published January 12 in Cell. Using optogenetics, a technique that uses light to turn neural circuits on and off, a group of researchers led by neuroscientist Ivan de Araujo of Yale University was able to turn docile mice into ruthless hunters.

Nuclear death-mice are, we assume, right around the corner ...

Submission + - SLAPPed, but Not Down: Medical Researcher Wins Defamation Lawsuit (statnews.com)

somekind writes: In 2015, Dr. Pieter Cohen and colleagues at the Harvard Medical School published an article in the research journal Drug Testing And Analysis announcing they detected the presence of the controversial stimulant B-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA) in 11 of 21 commercial dietary supplement products labeled as containing extracts of Acacia rigidula, a shrub native to Texas and Mexico. Their study was a follow-up to a study published by scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a year earlier, which also reported the presence of BMPEA in "Acacia rigidula" supplements, without providing product names; the FDA scientists moreover suggested that the stimulant was probably synthesized rather than harvested from the shrub. The FDA acted on the study by Cohen et. al, and the media publicity it received, by banning the use of BMPEA in dietary supplements and sending warning letters to several of the vendors whose products were tested by Cohen. Six of the eleven supplements that tested positive for BMPEA were distributed by a Georgia-based company called Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. Hi-Tech's CEO, Jared Wheat, who turns out to have a "colorful" past, responded by suing Cohen for defamation. STAT (health/medicine news site) recapped the case in detail, and reports that a US Federal jury decided in favor of Cohen. But Wheat took the loss in stride: "I spent a lot of money, but hopefully it will deter others from going out there and making baseless allegations", he told the STAT reporter.

Submission + - Eggs from Skin Cells? Why the Next Fertility Technology Will Open Pandora's Box (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: Imagine you are Brad Pitt. After you stay one night in the Ritz, someone sneaks in and collects some skin cells from your pillow.

But that’s not all. Using a novel fertility technology, your movie star cells are transformed into sperm and used to make a baby. And now someone is suing you for millions in child support.

Such a seemingly bizarre scenario could actually be possible, say three senior medical researchers who today have chosen to alert the public to the social risks of in vitro gametogenesis, a technique they say could allow any type of cell to be reprogrammed into a sperm or egg.

Submission + - County's Claims That Its Social Workers Didn't Know Lying In Court was Wrong (ocweekly.com)

schwit1 writes: Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?

From the you-can't-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn't have "clearly" known that dishonesty wasn't acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.

Submission + - Tinder and Grindr dating apps linked to more than 500 UK crimes (mirror.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: Data compiled by almost three-quarters of police forces across England and Wales listed 523 crimes from the past five years where official logs included the words Tinder or Grindr.

It comes after serial killer Stephen Port was jailed last month for the murders of four young men, including Daniel Whitworth, he met on gay websites and apps including Grindr. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron warned: “I worry that these shocking figures could just be the tip of the iceberg.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Are Some Great Games Panned And Some Inferior Games Praised? (soldnersecretwars.de) 2

dryriver writes: A few years ago I bought a multiplayer war game called Soldner that I had never heard of before. (The game is entirely community maintained now and free to download and play at www.soldnersecretwars.de) The professional reviews completely and utterly destroyed Soldner — buggy, bad gameplay, no singleplayer mode, disappointing graphics, server problems and so on. For me and many other players who did give it a chance beyond the first 30 minutes, Soldner turned out to be THE most fun, addictive, varied, sattisfying and multi-featured multiplayer war game ever. It had innovative features that AAA titles like Battlefield and COD did not have at all at the time — fully destructible terrain, walls and buildings, cool physics on everything from jeeps flying off mountaintops to Apache helicopters crashing into Hercules transport aircraft, to dozens of trees being blown down by explosions and then blocking an incoming tank's way. Soldner took a patch or three to become fully stable, but then was just fun, fun, fun to play. So much freedom, so much cool stuff you can do in-game, so many options and gadgets you can play with. By contrast, the far, far simpler — but better looking — Battlefield, COD, Medal Of Honor, CounterStrike war games got all the critical praise, made the tens of millions in profit per release, became longstanding franchises and are, to this day, not half the fun to play that Soldner is. How does this happen? How does a title like Soldner that tried to do more new stuff than the other war games combined get trashed by every reviewer, and then far less innovative and fun to play war games like BF, COD, CS sell tens of millions of copies per release and get rave reviews all around?

Submission + - Toshiba may go bankrupt (businessinsider.com)

bsharma writes: TOKYO — Faced with the prospect of a multibillion-dollar write-down that could wipe out its shareholders' equity, Japan's Toshiba is running out of fixes: It is burning cash, cannot issue shares, and has few easy assets left to sell.

The Tokyo-based conglomerate, which is still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal in 2015, dismayed investors and lenders again this week by announcing that cost overruns at a US nuclear business bought only last year meant it could now face a crippling charge against profit.

Submission + - Satellite spots massive object hidden under the frozen wastes of Antarctica (thesun.co.uk) 5

schwit1 writes: SCIENTISTS believe a massive object which could change our understanding of history is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice.

The huge and mysterious “anomaly” is thought to be lurking beneath the frozen wastes of an area called Wilkes Land. It stretches for a distance of 151 miles across and has a maximum depth of about 848 metres. This “Wilkes Land gravity anomaly” was first uncovered in 2006, when NASA satellites spotted gravitational changes which indicated the presence of a huge object sitting in the middle of a 300 mile wide impact crater.

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