Snowden: 'Governments Can Reduce Our Dignity To That Of Tagged Animals'

Slashdot - 1 hour 14 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden writes a report on The Guardian explaining why leaking information about wrongdoing is a vital act of resistance. "One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint," Snowden writes. "They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice." He goes on to explain the importance and significance of leaks, how not all leaks are alike, nor are their makers, and how our connected devices come into play in the post-9/11 period. Snowden writes, "By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."

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Categories: Science

The Internet Premiere of The Nostalgist, an Award-Winning Short

Wired News - 1 hour 15 min ago
Set in a dystopian future, The Nostalgist centers on a grandfather-grandson relationship that isn’t as idyllic as it first appears. The post The Internet Premiere of The Nostalgist, an Award-Winning Short appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Zika virus and health systems in Brazil: From unknown to a menace

Science Daily - 1 hour 49 min ago
A new article examines the Zika Virus epidemic in Brazil and the Americas. On February 1, 2016, a World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee declared clusters of birth defects suspected of being linked to an epidemic of Zika virus in the Americas as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 
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Scientists challenge conventional wisdom to improve predictions of bootstrap current

Science Daily - 1 hour 50 min ago
This article describes a new finding about the composition of bootstrap current at the edge of fusion plasmas.
Categories: Science

A Small Group of Journalists Control and Decide What Should Trend On Facebook

Slashdot - 1 hour 58 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: According to five former members of Facebook's trending news team, "news curators" as they're known internally, Zuckerberg and company take a downright dim view of the media industry and its talent. In interviews with Gizmodo, these former curators described grueling work conditions, humiliating treatment, and a secretive, imperious culture in which they were treated as disposable outsiders. After doing a tour in Facebook's news trenches, almost all of them came to believe that they were there not to work, but to serve as training modules for Facebook's algorithm." "We choose what's trending," said one former news curator. From personal experience I can share a similar incident. An Indian outlet extensively wrote about flaws in Facebook's Free Basics. Few days later, "Ban [that outlet's name]" was trending on Facebook. Clicking on it, for the first few hours, literally didn't return any relevant result, as nobody was talking about it, and no media outlet had written about it. It was after more than a day or so after this fabricated item kept trending that some other outlets started to write about it. (That's common in the media industry: writing about trending topics.) In the past, we've also seen Facebook employees ask whether the company should do anything to stop Donald Trump from becoming the president.

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Categories: Science

Ellen Pao Has A New Site to Push Greater Diversity in Tech

Wired News - 2 hours 22 min ago
Project Include will take an open source approach toward advising startups on how to build diverse workforces. The post Ellen Pao Has A New Site to Push Greater Diversity in Tech appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Should You Pay Sales Tax on Internet Purchases? South Dakota Law Could Be The Test

Slashdot - 2 hours 29 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a PCWorld report: A new South Dakota law may end up determining whether most U.S. residents are required to pay sales taxes on their Internet purchases. The South Dakota law, passed by the Legislature there in March, requires many out-of-state online and catalog retailers to collect the state's sales tax from customers. The law is shaping up to be a legal test case challenging a 25-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits states from levying sales taxes on remote purchases. Unless courts overturn the South Dakota law, it will embolden other states to pass similar Internet sales tax rules, critics said. The law could "set the course for enormous tax and administrative burdens on businesses across the country," Steve DelBianco, executive director of e-commerce trade group NetChoice, said in a statement. If dozens of states adopt Internet sales taxes, online sellers could face audits and changing tax rules in thousands of taxing jurisdictions nationwide. Even with software that could make tax calculations easier, that would be a burden, NetChoice says. And online shoppers could end up paying up to 10 percent more for many products.

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Categories: Science

Mapping the circuit of our internal clock

Science Daily - 2 hours 37 min ago
Researchers have shown for the first time how neurons in the SCN are connected to each other, shedding light on this vital area of the brain. Understanding this structure -- and how it responds to disruption -- is important for tackling illnesses like diabetes and posttraumatic stress disorder. The scientists have also found that disruption to these rhythms such as shifts in work schedules or blue light exposure at night can negatively impact overall health.
Categories: Science

Autism and cancer share a remarkable number of risk genes in common

Science Daily - 2 hours 37 min ago
Autism and cancer share more than 40 risk genes, suggesting that common mechanisms underlying the functions of some of these genes could conceivably be leveraged to develop therapies not just for cancer but for autism as well, an extensive assessment has found.
Categories: Science

Curious new bush species growing 'bleeding' fruits named by a US class of 150 7th graders

Science Daily - 2 hours 37 min ago
A class of 150 7th graders from the USA has helped select a name for a newly discovered plant from Australia. A biology professor challenged the students to come up with ideas for what to call the new species last spring.
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Early warning: Current Japanese encephalitis vaccine might not protect

Science Daily - 2 hours 37 min ago
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading cause of viral encephalitis (infection of the brain) in Asia. There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis (JE) which can cause death or serious long-term disability, and WHO recommends JEV vaccination in all areas where the disease is recognized as a public health priority. A new study suggests that current vaccines may fail to protect individuals against an emerging strain of the virus.
Categories: Science

IBM’s Watson Helped Design Karolina Kurkova’s Light-Up Dress for the Met Gala

Wired News - 2 hours 52 min ago
The dress is a compelling example of how designers can use technology to augment their creative processes. The post IBM's Watson Helped Design Karolina Kurkova's Light-Up Dress for the Met Gala appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Prince Quietly Helped Launch a Coding Program For Inner City Youth

Slashdot - 3 hours 9 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Though many would say Prince changed the world through his music, the artist also took a hands-on approach to changing the world beyond music. The global superstar was the inspiration behind YesWeCode, an Oakland nonprofit, which works to help young people from minority backgrounds enter the tech world. The idea for the program came from a conversation between Prince and his friend Van Jones, who heads Rebuild the Dream charity, following the 2012 shooting of teenager Travoyn Martin. "Prince said, 'A black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug. A white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius. Let's teach the black kids how to be like Mark Zuckerberg.'" Jones told CNN. The program is aiming to teach 100,000 low-income non-white teenagers how to write code, and was launched at the 20th Anniversary Essence Festival in New Orleans in 2014.

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Categories: Science

Biotech Company To Attempt Revitalizing Nervous Systems of Brain-Dead Patients

Slashdot - 3 hours 49 min ago
Sarah Knapton, writing for The Telegraph: A groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs. A biotech company called BioQuark in the U.S. has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life. Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas. The trial participants will have been certified dead and only kept alive through life support. They will be monitored for several months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, particularly in the upper spinal cord -- the lowest region of the brain stem which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.

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Categories: Science

Samsung Smart Home Flaws Let Hackers Pick Connected Doors From Anywhere In the World

Slashdot - 4 hours 34 min ago
Researchers have discovered flaws in Samsung's Smart Home automation system, which if exploited, allows them to carry a range of remote attacks. These attacks include digitally picking connected door locks from anywhere in the world. The flaws have been documented by researchers from the University of Michigan ahead of the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. "All of the above attacks expose a household to significant harm -- break-ins, theft, misinformation, and vandalism," the researchers wrote in a paper. "The attack vectors are not specific to a particular device and are broadly applicable." Dan Goodin, reports for Ars Technica: Other attacks included a malicious app that was able to obtain the PIN code to a smart lock and send it in a text message to attackers, disable a preprogrammed vacation mode setting, and issue a fake fire alarm. The one posing the biggest threat was the remote lock-picking attack, which the researchers referred to as a "backdoor pin code injection attack." It exploited vulnerabilities in an existing app in the SmartThings app store that gives an attacker sustained and largely surreptitious access to users' homes. The attack worked by obtaining the OAuth token that the app and SmartThings platform relied on to authenticate legitimate users. The only interaction it required was for targeted users to click on an attacker-supplied HTTPS link that looked much like this one that led to the authentic SmartThings login page. The user would then enter the username and password. A flaw in the app allowed the link to redirect the credentials away from the SmartThings page to an attacker-controlled address. From then on, the attackers had the same remote access over the lock that users had.

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Categories: Science

New Zealand’s White Island Volcano Rumbles to Life and Paints Itself Green

Wired News - 4 hours 41 min ago
White Island had its first small eruption since 2013. Also, updates from Ruapehu, Nyiragongo and Turrialba. The post New Zealand's White Island Volcano Rumbles to Life and Paints Itself Green appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Children with autism learn new words much like others do, study finds

Science Daily - 4 hours 44 min ago
Children with autism are capable of learning new words the same way any child would—by following someone’s gaze as they name an object. They just take longer to pick up the skill, new research suggests.
Categories: Science

Changing colors for built-in sunblock

Science Daily - 4 hours 45 min ago
Too much sunlight can harm plants; with an eye to learning from nature's success, scientists found that an orange-colored protein that protects cyanobacteria from overexposure to sunlight shifts to a reddish color that helps dissipate excess energy as heat.
Categories: Science

Seeking to rewind mammalian extinction: The effort to save the northern white rhino

Science Daily - 4 hours 47 min ago
In December 2015 an international group of scientists convened to discuss the imminent extinction of the northern white rhinoceros and the possibility of bringing the species back from brink of extinction.
Categories: Science

Delayed onset adulthood keeps young Brits away from ballot box

Science Daily - 4 hours 47 min ago
The poor voter turnout of young Brits can be explained by the delayed transition to adulthood, says new research. Research shows that if today's young adults were as 'mature' as young people from the pre-war generation, voter turnout among young people in the UK these days would be 12 percentage points higher.
Categories: Science