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Submission + - Climate Change Is Altering Global Air Currents (independent.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous “hockey stick” graph is now warning that giant jetstreams which circle the planet are being altered by climate change. Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator. But the Arctic has been warming much faster than tropical climates – the island of Svalbard, for example was 6.5 degrees celsius warmer last year compared to the average between 1961 and 1990. The land has also been warming faster than the sea. Both of those factors were changing the flow of these major air currents to create “extreme meanders” which were helping to cause “extreme weather events”, Professor Michael Mann said. In a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, Professor Mann and other researchers wrote that evidence of the effect of climate change on the jetstreams had “only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability." They said that projections of the effect on the jetstreams in “state-of-the-art” climate models were “mirrored” in “multiple” actual temperature measurements. The jetstream normally flows reasonably consistently around the planet, but can develop loops extending north and south. The researchers, who studied temperature records going back to 1870 as well as satellite data, said these loops could grow “very large” or even “grind to a halt” rather than moving from west to east. The effect has been most pronounced during the past 40 years, they found.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Does Slashdot Attend Conferences

omaha393 writes: Newbie question: how involved is Slashdot in on-the-ground interactions at conferences? I'm sure there's limitations financially that would make something like CES or E3 more difficult, but NASA offers free press credentials to launches and they have upcoming conferences with open invites to media outlets. Slashdot seems like it would be a great outlet for an invite. Given the site has millions of unique visitors monthly and an engaged community, what types of conferences could Slashdot feasibly attend? Factor in member participation to ask questions or raise funds and it seems like a good opportunity. I'm overlooking several other examples, but is this something Slashdot already does? Or is it too diffuse to be considered a true "media" outlet?

Submission + - Google and Facebook Can't Just Make Fake News Disappear (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: It makes sense that people are pointing fingers at Google and Facebook, demanding that they come up with a silver bullet for fake news: The two companies have an effective monopoly on online information flows, and because centralized systems proved able to somewhat curb spam and SEO, it seems that they should be able to stop this problem, too. But fake news is a much bigger problem than something like spam, and no one company is going to be able to just write a program that "fixes" it. At Backchannel, danah boyd writes that "I don’t want to let companies off the hook, because they do have a responsibility in this ecosystem. But they’re not going to produce the silver bullet that they’re being asked to produce. And I think that most critics of these companies are really naive if they think that this is an easy problem for them to fix."

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 + - Vinyl Record Sales Highest in 30 years (wsj.com)

retroworks writes: Wall Street Journal taped interview describes reinvestment in new vinyl LP record production, based on high demand for turntables. What old technology will be the next to resurface?

Submission + - Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students (bbc.com)

alqaly writes: Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students
Canada's largest school board is cancelling new school trips to the United States until further notice.

The Toronto District School Board announced the decision citing "uncertainty" with regards to who may be affected by US President Donald's Trump's latest travel restrictions.

Twenty-five already scheduled trips will go ahead as planned.

The school board joins the Girl Guides of Canada and a few other schools in temporarily halting travel to the US.

Under the new US travel ban, citizens from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen would not be permitted to enter the US, unless they have already been issued valid visas, for a 90-day period.

However, the ban is suspended pending a number of court challenges.

In a statement released on Thursday, Director of Education John Malloy said that the district school board faced "a difficult choice".

"We strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border," said Mr Malloy.

"For the trips that will be continuing, should students with the appropriate documentation be denied entry to the US for no legitimate reason, the entire trip will return to Toronto and will not proceed."

The board is among the largest in North America with some 246,000 students in 584 schools throughout Toronto.

Trump travel ban: Five questions about the revised executive order
Is it more difficult now for Canadians to enter the US?
The school board says that, should the US travel restrictions be fully implemented, pre-approved trips will also be cancelled.

Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have all launched legal challenges against the Trump administration's executive order.

Some individuals from those countries would be exempt from the order, including legal permanent residents of the US and dual nationals travelling on a passport from a country not on the list.

Last week, Canada's Girl Guides announced they would not be travelling to the US until further notice.

Greater Essex County school board in south-western Ontario decided last month to cancel a handful of trips over concerns about equity.

The Ottawa-Carleton District school board recently sent a letter to parents asking whether their children would participate in upcoming trips across the border to determine whether plans should go ahead.

https://instagram-photos-2016....

Submission + - US Ordered 'Mandatory Social Media Check' For Some Visa Applicants (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a “mandatory social media check” on all visa applicants who have ever visited ISIS-controlled territory, according to diplomatic cables obtained by Reuters. The four memos were sent to American diplomatic missions over the past two weeks, with the most recent issued on March 17th. According to Reuters, they provide details into a revised screening process that President Donald Trump has described as “extreme vetting.” A memo sent on March 16th rescinds some of the instructions that Tillerson outlined in the previous cables, including an order that would have required visa applicants to hand over all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts that they have used in the past. The secretary of state issued the memo after a Hawaii judge blocked the Trump administration’s revised travel ban on citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries. In addition to the social media check, the most recent memo calls for consular officials to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny.” Two former government officials tell Reuters that the social media order could lead to delays in processing visa applications, with one saying that such checks were previously carried out on rare occasions.

Submission + - Molecule Kills Elderly Cells, Reduces Signs of Aging In Mice (sciencemag.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Even if you aren’t elderly, your body is home to agents of senility—frail and damaged cells that age us and promote disease. Now, researchers have developed a molecule that selectively destroys these so-called senescent cells. The compound makes old mice act and appear more youthful, providing hope that it may do the same for us. As we get older, senescent cells build up in our tissues, where researchers think they contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In the past, scientists have genetically modified mice to dispatch their senescent cells, allowing the rodents to live longer and reducing plaque buildup in their arteries. Such genetic alterations aren’t practical for people, but researchers have reported at least seven compounds, known as senolytics, that kill senescent cells. A clinical trial is testing two of the drugs in patients with kidney disease, and other trials are in the works. However, current senolytic compounds, many of which are cancer drugs, come with downsides. They can kill healthy cells or trigger side effects such as a drop in the number of platelets, the cellular chunks that help our blood clot. Cell biologist Peter de Keizer of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues were investigating how senescent cells stay alive when they uncovered a different strategy for attacking them. Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53. In a petri dish, this peptide prevented FOXO4 and p53 from hooking up, prompting senescent cells to commit suicide. But it spared healthy cells. The researchers then injected the molecule into mutant mice that age rapidly. These rodents live about half as long as normal mice, and when they are only a few months old, their fur starts to fall out, their kidneys begin to falter, and they become sluggish. However, the peptide boosted the density of their fur, reversed the kidney damage, and increased the amount of time they could scurry in a running wheel, the scientists report online today in Cell. When the researchers tested the molecule in normal, elderly mice, they saw a similar picture: In addition to helping their kidneys and fur, the molecule also increased their willingness to explore their surroundings.

Submission + - Read your Senators Browser History Comming Soon

windwalker13th writes: The US Senate just voted to roll back privacy protections for consumers of ISPs. https://www.congress.gov/bill/... Thus making it one step closer to allowing ISPs to sell your internet activity.
Last year researches at MIT were able to identify 90% of people in a data set from 3 months of anonymized credit card transactions http://news.mit.edu/2015/ident... If we are already able to identify who people are from anonymous credit card meta data how hard will it be to identify our senators from their internet browsing history? Certainly it would be fairly easy to determine who they are, after all they probably check their e-mail every night before going to sleep.

Submission + - SPAM: Oil Find in Alaska Is Largest in 30 Years

schwit1 writes: Spanish oil giant Repsol (REPYY) has revealed the largest U.S. onshore oil discovery in 30 years, located in Alaska’s North Slope.

Repsol and joint venture partner Armstrong Energy claim to have found a massive conventional oil play that holds up to 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light crude. The discovery was confirmed after Repsol drilled two test wells during the 2016-2017 winter season. According to the company, the area was previously considered to be a mature oil basin. Oil is expected to flow beginning in 2021, with a potential rate approaching 120,000 barrels per day.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: WikiLeaks publishes huge trove of CIA spying documents in 'Vault 7' release

schwit1 writes: Julian Assange claims that documents are the most comprehensive CIA release ever

WikiLeaks has published a huge trove of what appear to be CIA spying secrets.

The files are the most comprehensive release of US spying files ever made public, according to Julian Assange. In all, there are 8,761 documents that account for "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA", Mr Assange claimed in a release, and the trove is just the first of a series of "Vault 7" leaks.

In publishing the documents, WikiLeaks had ensured that the CIA had "lost control of its arsenal", he claimed. That included a range of software and exploits that if real could allow unparalleled control of computers around the world.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Amazon Shares Data With Arkansas Prosecutor In Murder Case (ap.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon dropped its fight against a subpoena issued in an Arkansas murder case after the defendant said he wouldn't mind if the technology giant shared information that may have been gathered by an Amazon Echo smart speaker. James Andrew Bates has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Victor Collins, who was found dead in a hot tub at Bates' home. In paperwork filed Monday, Bates said Amazon could share the information and Amazon said it handed over material on Friday. The Echo "listens" for key words and may have recorded what went on before Collins was found dead in November 2015. Amazon had fought a subpoena, citing its customers' privacy rights. A hearing had been set for Wednesday on whether any information gathered was even pertinent.

Submission + - Bill to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency proposed (congress.gov) 6

sandbagger writes: Rep. Gaetz, Matt (R-FL) has proposed a bill to shutter the Environmental Protection Agency. The GOP's complaints against the EPA are many including that it kills jobs, and has endorsed climate change, which, as a rule, the Republicans have dismissed as a hoax. Long term, the elimination of the EPA might also lead to a loss of American prestige as international benchmarks are ceded to other countries.

Submission + - IEEE-USA opposes efforts to expand the H-1B visa program (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: IEEE USA says H-1B visas are a tool used to avoid paying U.S. wages. "For every visa used by Google to hire a talented non-American for $126,000, ten Americans are replaced by outsourcing companies paying their H-1B workers $65,000," says the current IEEE USA president, writing with the past president and president-elect. The outsourcing companies, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, and Tata Consultancy in 2014 "used 21,695 visas, or more than 25 percent of all private-sector H-1B visas used that year. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Uber, for comparison, used only 1,763 visas, or 2 percent," they say. They do support expanding green card programs, stating "America was built by green card holders, not guest workers."

Submission + - African elephants sleep only two hours a day (plos.org)

AmiMoJo writes: Bigger mammals generally need less sleep, and new research shows that African elephants the biggest land mammals of all need the least sleep at just two hours a day. Researchers found that the elephants slept an average of two hours out of every day, usually broken into several episodes, and regularly stayed awake 48 hours straight. At the other end of the spectrum, mountain beavers can sleep more than 14 hours a day. This finding raises questions about the role of REM sleep, which is thought to be key to laying down memories in mammals. Other outliers for this sleep state include cetaceans, which never have REM sleep, and platypuses, which spend up to eight hours a day in REM sleep.

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