Analysis: Iran's Nuclear Program Has Been an Astronomical Waste

Slashdot - 22 min 15 sec ago
Lasrick writes: Business Insider's Armin Rosen uses a fuel-cost calculator from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to show that Iran's nuclear program has been "astronomically costly" for the country. Rosen uses calculations from this tool to hypothesize that what Iran "interprets as the country's 'rights' under the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty is a diplomatic victory that justifies the outrageous expense of the nuclear program." Great data crunching.

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Categories: Science

UK's National Computer Museum Looks For Help Repairing BBC Micros

Slashdot - 2 hours 30 min ago
tresho writes: 1981-era 8-bit BBC Micro computers and peripherals are displayed in a special interactive exhibit at the UK's National Museum of Computing designed to give modern students a taste of programming a vintage machine. Now, the museum is asking for help maintaining them. "We want to find out whether people have got skills out there that can keep the cluster alive as long as we can," said Chris Monk, learning coordinator at the organization. "Owen Grover, a volunteer at the museum who currently helps maintain the cluster of BBC Micro machines, said they held up well despite being more than 30 years old. The BBC Micro was 'pretty robust,' he said, because it was designed to be used in classrooms. This meant that refurbishing machines for use in the hands-on exhibit was usually fairly straightforward. 'The main problem we need to sort out is the power supply,' he said. 'There are two capacitors that dry out and if we do not replace them they tend to explode and stink the place out. So we change them as a matter of course.'"

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Categories: Science

Surveillance Court: NSA Can Resume Bulk Surveillance

Slashdot - 4 hours 27 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: We all celebrated back in May when a federal court ruled the NSA's phone surveillance illegal, and again at the beginning of June, when the Patriot Act expired, ending authorization for that surveillance. Unfortunately, the NY Times now reports on a ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which concluded that the NSA may temporarily resume bulk collection of metadata about U.S. citizens's phone calls. From the article: "In a 26-page opinion (PDF) made public on Tuesday, Judge Michael W. Mosman of the surveillance court rejected the challenge by FreedomWorks, which was represented by a former Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican. And Judge Mosman said that the Second Circuit was wrong, too. 'Second Circuit rulings are not binding' on the surveillance court, he wrote, 'and this court respectfully disagrees with that court's analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the U.S.A. Freedom Act.' When the Second Circuit issued its ruling that the program was illegal, it did not issue any injunction ordering the program halted, saying that it would be prudent to see what Congress did as Section 215 neared its June 1 expiration."

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Categories: Science

Pulsed electric field technology may rejuvenate skin function and appearance

Kurzweil AI - 4 hours 38 min ago

Experimental setup for PEF testing (credit: Alexander Golberg et al./Scientific Reports)

A team of Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School researchers has devised a novel non-invasive tissue-stimulation technique using pulsed electric fields (PEF) to generate new skin tissue growth.

The technique produces scarless skin rejuvenation and may revolutionize the treatment of degenerative skin diseases, according to research team leader Alexander Golberg of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies and the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston.

“Pulsed electrical field technology has many advantages, which have already proved effective — for example, in food preservation, tumor removal, and wound disinfection,” said Golberg. “Our new application may jumpstart the secretion of new collagen and capillaries in problematic skin areas.

Current therapies to rejuvenate skin use various physical and chemical methods to affect cells and the extracellular matrix, but they induce unsightly scarring.

How it works

Pulsed electric fields, however, affect only the cell membrane itself, preserving the extracellular matrix architecture and releasing multiple growth factors to spark new cell and tissue growth, according to the researchers.

By inducing nanoscale defects on the cell membranes, electric fields cause the death of a small number of cells in affected areas, but the released growth factors increase the metabolism of the remaining cells, generating new tissue.

“We have identified in rats the specific pulsed electric field parameters that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring,” said Dr. Golberg. “Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases.”

The research is described in an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports. Other researchers include  William J. Austen, Jr. from the Department of Plastic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Martin L. Yarmush at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, along with other prominent researchers.

The researchers are currently developing a low-cost device for use in clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the technology in humans.

The researchers note that degenerative skin diseases affect one in three adults over the age of 60. Americans spend over $10 billion a year on products and surgery in their quest to find a “fountain of youth,” with little permanent success. Botulinum toxin — notably Botox — which smoothes lines and wrinkles to rejuvenate the aging face has been the number one nonsurgical procedure in the U.S. since 2000. But injections of this toxic bacterium are only a temporary solution and carry many risks, some neurological.

Abstract of Skin Rejuvenation with Non-Invasive Pulsed Electric Fields

Degenerative skin diseases affect one third of individuals over the age of sixty. Current therapies use various physical and chemical methods to rejuvenate skin; but since the therapies affect many tissue components including cells and extracellular matrix, they may also induce significant side effects, such as scarring. Here we report on a new, non-invasive, non-thermal technique to rejuvenate skin with pulsed electric fields. The fields destroy cells while simultaneously completely preserving the extracellular matrix architecture and releasing multiple growth factors locally that induce new cells and tissue growth. We have identified the specific pulsed electric field parameters in rats that lead to prominent proliferation of the epidermis, formation of microvasculature, and secretion of new collagen at treated areas without scarring. Our results suggest that pulsed electric fields can improve skin function and thus can potentially serve as a novel non-invasive skin therapy for multiple degenerative skin diseases.

Categories: Science

How to form 3-D shapes from flat sheets of graphene

Kurzweil AI - 6 hours 14 min ago

Graphene integration in a variety of different microstructured geometries, including pyramids, pillars, domes, and inverted pyramids (credit: Nam Research Group, University of Illinois)

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new approach for forming 3D shapes from flat, 2D sheets of graphene, paving the way for future integrated systems of graphene-MEMS hybrid devices and flexible electronics.

Reported methods of using graphene transfer have been mostly limited to planar or curvilinear surfaces due to the challenges associated with fractures from local stress during transfer onto 3D microstructured surfaces, the researchers said.

“To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate graphene integration to a variety of different microstructured geometries, including pyramids, pillars, domes, inverted pyramids, and the 3D integration of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs)/graphene hybrid structures,” explained SungWoo Nam, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois.

The ability to create 3D structures could allow for highly sensitive 3D sensors, graphene-coated atomic force microscope (AFM) probes, electrode arrays, and biosensing devices that can be conformed to the shape and characteristics of biological systems, and hybrid devices combining “microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and 2D materials for sensing and actuation, the researchers note in an article in Nano Letters journal.

The process for forming 3D graphene shapes

“Our method utilizes wet-transfer and adaptive substrate-engineering, providing several key advantages over other fabrication/integration methods of 3D graphene,” stated Jonghyun Choi, a graduate student in Nam’s research group and first author of the article.

“Our results demonstrate a simple, versatile, and scalable method to integrate graphene with 3D geometries with various morphologies and dimensions. Not only are these 3D features larger than those reported in previous works, but we also demonstrate the uniformity and damage-free nature of integrated graphene around the 3D features.”

Schematic illustration of the 3D integration of graphene. Left: graphene with supporting layer transferred onto a 3D swollen PDMS substrate. The graphene with supporting layer is suspended (not conformed to the substrate). Center: PDMS substrate shrinking during the evaporation of solvent (e.g., toluene), allowing for three-dimensional adaptation of graphene/supporting layer. Right: Removal of the transfer film with a proper etchant (e.g., acetone for PMMA). (credit: Jonghyun Choi et al./Nano Letters)

The researchers’ robust approach to integrate graphene onto 3D microstructured surfaces, with features that vary from 3.5 to 50 μm, maintains the structural integrity of graphene. The process incorporates three sequential steps: (1.) substrate swelling using a solvent that (2.) shrinks during the evaporation process, allowing graphene to (3.) adapt, or conform to the shape of a prepared substrate, to achieve damage-free, large area integration of graphene on 3D microstructures.

“Our swelling, shrinking, and adaptation steps are optimized to minimize the degree of graphene suspension around the 3D microstructures and facilitate successful 3D integration,” Nam added. “We control the amount of substrate swelling by adjusting the time of immersion in organic solvent and the mixing ratios of monomer and curing agent of the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate.”

Detailed scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electrical resistance measurement studies show that the amount of substrate swelling, as well as the flexural rigidities of the transfer film, affect the integration yield and quality of the integrated graphene.

To demonstrate the versatility of their approach, the researchers applied the process to a variety of 3D microstructured geometries, as well as integrating hybrid structures of graphene decorated with gold nanoparticles onto 3D microstructure substrates, demonstrating the compatibility of the integration method with other hybrid nanomaterials.

This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research/Asian Office of Aerospace Research Development Nano Bio Info Technology (NBIT) Phase III Program, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association, and the National Science Foundation. Experiments were carried out in part in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory and the Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory, and the Beckman Institute Imaging Technology Group at Illinois.

Abstract of Three-Dimensional Integration of Graphene via Swelling, Shrinking, and Adaptation

The transfer of graphene from its growth substrate to a target substrate has been widely investigated for its decisive role in subsequent device integration and performance. Thus far, various reported methods of graphene transfer have been mostly limited to planar or curvilinear surfaces due to the challenges associated with fractures from local stress during transfer onto three-dimensional (3D) microstructured surfaces. Here, we report a robust approach to integrate graphene onto 3D microstructured surfaces while maintaining the structural integrity of graphene, where the out-of-plane dimensions of the 3D features vary from 3.5 to 50 μm. We utilized three sequential steps: (1) substrate swelling, (2) shrinking, and (3) adaptation, in order to achieve damage-free, large area integration of graphene on 3D microstructures. Detailed scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electrical resistance measurement studies show that the amount of substrate swelling as well as the flexural rigidities of the transfer film affect the integration yield and quality of the integrated graphene. We also demonstrate the versatility of our approach by extension to a variety of 3D microstructured geometries. Lastly, we show the integration of hybrid structures of graphene decorated with gold nanoparticles onto 3D microstructure substrates, demonstrating the compatibility of our integration method with other hybrid nanomaterials. We believe that the versatile, damage-free integration method based on swelling, shrinking, and adaptation will pave the way for 3D integration of two-dimensional (2D) materials and expand potential applications of graphene and 2D materials in the future.

Categories: Science

South Africans used milk-based paint 49,000 years ago

Science Daily - 6 hours 14 min ago
Scientists have discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000 years ago that inhabitants may have used to adorn themselves with or to decorate stone or wooden slabs.
Categories: Science

Causal pathway may link job stress, sleep disturbances

Science Daily - 6 hours 14 min ago
There may be a reciprocal, causal pathway between job strain and disturbed sleep, implying that interventions to treat sleep problems may improve work satisfaction, researchers have learned.
Categories: Science

Does radiation from X-rays and CT scans really cause cancer?

Science Daily - 6 hours 14 min ago
In recent years, there has been widespread media coverage of studies purporting to show that radiation from X-rays, CT scans and other medical imaging causes cancer. But such studies have serious flaws, including their reliance on an unproven statistical model, according to a recent article.
Categories: Science

Is Safari the New Internet Explorer?

Slashdot - 6 hours 30 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Software developer Nolan Lawson says Apple's Safari has taken the place of Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the major browser that lags behind all the others. This comes shortly after the Edge Conference, where major players in web technologies got together to discuss the state of the industry and what's ahead. Lawson says Mozilla, Google, Opera, and Microsoft were all in attendance and willing to talk — but not Apple. "It's hard to get insight into why Apple is behaving this way. They never send anyone to web conferences, their Surfin' Safari blog is a shadow of its former self, and nobody knows what the next version of Safari will contain until that year's WWDC. In a sense, Apple is like Santa Claus, descending yearly to give us some much-anticipated presents, with no forewarning about which of our wishes he'll grant this year. And frankly, the presents have been getting smaller and smaller lately." He argues, "At this point, we in the web community need to come to terms with the fact that Safari has become the new IE. Microsoft is repentant these days, Google is pushing the web as far as it can go, and Mozilla is still being Mozilla. Apple is really the one singer in that barbershop quartet hitting all the sour notes, and it's time we start talking about it openly instead of tiptoeing around it like we're going to hurt somebody's feelings."

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Categories: Science

Rice University installs powerful electron microscope with sub-nanoscale resolution

Kurzweil AI - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 11:45pm

The Titan Themis microscope at Rice University incorporates a variety of detectors, including X-ray, optical, and multiple electron detectors and a 4K-resolution camera. The microscope gives researchers the ability to create three-dimensional structural reconstructions and carry out electric field mapping of subnanoscale materials. (credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Rice University has installed the Titan Themis scanning/transmission electron microscope, which will enable scientists from Rice as well as academic and industrial partners to view and analyze materials at angstrom-scale (one-tenth of a nanometer) resolution, about the size of a single hydrogen atom.

Images will be captured with a variety of detectors, including X-ray, optical and multiple electron detectors and a 4K-resolution camera (will create 4K ultra HD images). The microscope gives researchers the ability to create three-dimensional structural reconstructions and carry out electric field mapping of subnanoscale materials.


Rice University | The Titan microscope gives Rice researchers a new look at atoms

Electron microscopes use beams of electrons rather than light to illuminate objects of interest. Because the wavelength of electrons is so much smaller than that of photons, the microscopes are able to capture images of much smaller things with greater detail than even the highest-resolution optical microscope. Titan is a fourth-generation model manufactured in the Netherlands. It’s the latest and most powerful model and the first to be installed in the United States.

“The beauty of these newer instruments is their analytical capabilities,” said said Emilie Ringe, a Rice assistant professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry. “Now we can probe a particular atom’s chemical composition. Through various techniques, either via scattering intensity, X-rays emission or electron-beam absorption, we can figure out, say, that we’re looking at a palladium atom or a carbon atom. We couldn’t do that before.”

Another instrument, a Helios NanoLab 600 DualBeam microscope, will be used for three-dimensional imaging, analysis of larger samples, and preparation of thin slices of samples for the more powerful Titan next door.

“A visual image of something on an atomic level can give you so much more information than a few numbers can,” said Peter Rossky, a theoretical chemist and dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences. Comparing images of the same material taken by an older electron microscope and the Titan Themis was like “the difference between a black-and-white TV and high-definition color,” he said.

“Taking a complex image — not just a picture but a spectrum image that has lots of energy information — in the older model would take about 35 minutes,” she said. “By that time, the electron beam has destroyed whatever you were trying to look at. With this generation, you have the data you need in about two minutes. You can generate a lot more data more quickly.”

Rice plans to host a two-day workshop in September to introduce the microscopes and their capabilities to the research community at the university and beyond. Beginning this summer, Ringe said, the electron microscopy center will be open to Rice students and faculty as well as researchers from other universities and industry.

 

Categories: Science

Quebec Government May Force ISPs To Block Gambling Websites

Slashdot - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 11:24pm
New submitter ottawan- writes: In order to drive more customers to their own online gambling website, the Quebec government and Loto-Quebec (the provincial organization in charge of gaming and lotteries) are thinking about forcing the province's ISPs to block all other online gambling websites. The list of websites to be blocked will be maintained by Loto-Quebec, and the government believes that the blocking will increase government revenue by up to $27 million (CAD) per year.

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Categories: Science

‘Microswimmer’ robots to drill through blocked arteries within four years

Kurzweil AI - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 11:14pm

Drexel’s microswimmer robots (bottom) are modeled, in form and motion, after spiral-shaped Borrelia burgdorferi  bacteria (top), which cause Lyme Disease (credit: Drexel University)

Swarms of microscopic, magnetic, robotic beads could be used within five years by vascular surgeons to clear blocked arteries. These minimally invasive microrobots, which look and move like corkscrew-shaped bacteria, are being developed by an $18-million, 11-institution research initiative headed by the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technologies (KEIT).

Drexel engineers are able to control the movement of their micro-swimmer robots using magnetic fields (visual representation at right) generated by an electromagnetic device (left) (credit: Drexel University)

These “microswimmers” are driven and controlled by external magnetic fields, similar to how nanowires from Purdue University and ETH Zurich/Technion (recently covered on KurzweilAI) work, but based on a different design.

Instead of wires, they’re made from chains of three or more iron oxide beads, rigidly linked together via chemical bonds and magnetic force.

The beads are put in motion by an external magnetic field that causes each of them to rotate. Because they are linked together, their individual rotations cause the chain to twist like a corkscrew and this movement propels the microswimmer.

The chains are small enough­­ — the nanoparticles are 50–100 nanometers in diameter — that they can navigate in the bloodstream like a tiny boat, Fantastic Voyage movie style (but without the microscopic humans) via a catheter to navigate directly to the blocked artery, where a drill would clear it completely.

Drilling through plaque

The inspiration for using the robotic swimmers as tiny drills came from the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria (shown above), which causes Lyme’s Disease and wreaks havoc inside the body by burrowing through healthy tissue. Its spiral shape enables both its movement and the resultant cellular destruction.

By controlling the magnetic field, a surgeon could direct the speed and direction of the microswimmers. The magnetism also allows for joining separate strands of microswimmers together to make longer strings, which can then be propelled with greater force.

Once flow is restored in the artery, the microswimmer chains could disperse and be used to deliver anti-coagulant medication directly to the effected area to prevent future blockage. This procedure could supplant the two most common methods for treating blocked arteries: stenting and angioplasty. Stenting is a way of creating a bypass for blood to flow around the block by inserting a series of tubes into the artery, while angioplasty balloons out the blockage by expanding the artery with help from an inflatable probe.

“Current treatments for chronic total occlusion are only about 60 percent successful,” said MinJun Kim, PhD, a professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Biological Actuation, Sensing & Transport Laboratory (BASTLab) at Drexel University.

“We believe that the method we are developing could be as high as 80–90 percent successful and possibly shorten recovery time. The microswimmers are composed of inorganic biodegradable beads so they will not trigger an immune response in the body. We can adjust their size and surface properties to accurately deal with any type of arterial occlusion.” Kim’s research was recently reported in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

Mechanical engineers at Drexel University are using these microswimmers as a part of a surgical toolkit being assembled by the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST).

Researchers from other institutions on the project include ETH ZurichSeoul National UniversityHanyang UniversityKorea Institute of Science and Technology, and Samsung Medical Center. DGIST anticipates testing the technology in lab and clinical settings within the next four years.


BAST Lab at Drexel University | Demonstration of Achiral microwimmers translational swimming


BAST Lab at Drexel University | Multiple robot control of 3 bead achiral microswimmers

Absbract of Self-assembly of robotic micro- and nanoswimmers using magnetic nanoparticles

Micro- and nanoscale robotic swimmers are very promising to significantly enhance the performance of particulate drug delivery by providing high accuracy at extremely small scales. Here, we introduce micro- and nanoswimmers fabricated using self-assembly of nanoparticles and control via magnetic fields. Nanoparticles self-align into parallel chains under magnetization. The swimmers exhibit flexibility under a rotating magnetic field resulting in chiral structures upon deformation, thereby having the prerequisite for non-reciprocal motion to move about at low Reynolds number. The swimmers are actuated wirelessly using an external rotating magnetic field supplied by approximate Helmholtz coils. By controlling the concentration of the suspended magnetic nanoparticles, the swimmers can be modulated into different sizes. Nanoscale swimmers are largely influenced by Brownian motion, as observed from their jerky trajectories. The microswimmers, which are roughly three times larger, are less vulnerable to the effects from Brownian motion. In this paper, we demonstrate responsive directional control of micro- and nanoswimmers and compare their respective diffusivities and trajectories to characterize the implications of Brownian disturbance on the motions of small and large swimmers. We then performed a simulation using a kinematic model for the magnetic swimmers including the stochastic nature of Brownian motion.

Categories: Science

Greece’s Empty ATMs Show the Surprising Power of Cash—Even in 2015

Wired News - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 11:00pm

As economies break down, so does trust in the digital ways we pay. Cash inspires confidence---at least until the ATMs dry up.

The post Greece’s Empty ATMs Show the Surprising Power of Cash—Even in 2015 appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Celebrating Workarounds, Kludges, and Hacks

Slashdot - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 10:41pm
itwbennett writes: We all have some favorite workarounds that right a perceived wrong (like getting around the Wall Street Journal paywall) or make something work the way we think it ought to. From turning off annoying features in your Prius to getting around sanctions in Crimea and convincing your Android phone you're somewhere you're not, workarounds are a point of pride, showing off our ingenuity and resourcefulness. And sometimes artful workarounds can even keep businesses operating in times of crisis. Take, for example, the Sony employees, who, in the wake of the Great Hack of 2014 when the company's servers went down, dug out old company BlackBerrys that, while they had been abandoned, had never had their plans deactivated. Because BlackBerrys used RIM's email servers instead of Sony's, they could still communicate with one another, and employees with BlackBerrys became the company's lifeline as it slowly put itself back together. What hacks and workarounds keep your life sane?

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Categories: Science

Pluto and Charon Starting to Come into Focus (Photo)

Space.com - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 10:02pm
Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, posed for a solemn portrait taken by NASA's New Horizon's probe, which is only two weeks away from its close encounter with the dwarf planet.
Categories: Science

Apple Loses Ebook Price Fixing Appeal, Must Pay $450 Million

Slashdot - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 today that Apple indeed conspired with publishers to increase ebook prices. The ruling puts Apple on the hook for the $450 million settlement reached in 2014 with lawyers and attorneys general from 33 states. The Justice Dept. contended that the price-fixing conspiracy raised the price of some e-books from the $10 standard set by Amazon to $13-$15. The one dissenting judge argued that Apple's efforts weren't anti-competitive because Amazon held 90% of the market at the time. Apple is unhappy with the ruling, but they haven't announced plans to take the case further. They said, "While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps."

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Categories: Science

Solar-Powered Plane Begins a Risky Trip Across the Pacific

Wired News - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 9:59pm

After a couple of false starts, Solar Impulse 2 is finally crossing the Pacific, the hardest part of its around-the-world journey.

The post Solar-Powered Plane Begins a Risky Trip Across the Pacific appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

If You Paid for Beats, Apple Music Is a Broken Promise

Wired News - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 9:45pm

Dear Apple: You booted me off Beats with the promise my music would follow me. So where is it?

The post If You Paid for Beats, Apple Music Is a Broken Promise appeared first on WIRED.











Categories: Science

Stanford Starts the 'Secure Internet of Things Project'

Slashdot - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 9:18pm
An anonymous reader writes: The internet-of-things is here to stay. Lots of people now have smart lights, smart thermostats, smart appliances, smart fire detectors, and other internet-connect gadgets installed in their houses. The security of those devices has been an obvious and predictable problem since day one. Manufacturers can't be bothered to provide updates to $500 smartphones more than a couple years after they're released; how long do you think they'll be worried about security updates for a $50 thermostat? Security researchers have been vocal about this, and they've found lots of vulnerabilities and exploits before hackers have had a chance to. But the manufacturers have responded in the wrong way. Instead of developing a more robust approach to device security, they've simply thrown encryption at everything. This makes it temporarily harder for malicious hackers to have their way with the devices, but also shuts out consumers and white-hat researchers from knowing what the devices are doing. Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan have now started the Secure Internet of Things Project, which aims to promote security and transparency for IoT devices. They hope to unite regulators, researchers, and manufacturers to ensure nascent internet-connected tech is developed in a way that respects customer privacy and choice.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science

Cory Doctorow Talks About Fighting the DMCA (2 Videos)

Slashdot - Tue, 30/06/2015 - 8:27pm
Wikipedia says, 'Cory Efram Doctorow (/kri dktro/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.' Timothy Lord sat down with Cory at the O'Reilly Solid Conference and asked him about the DMCA and how the fight against it is going. Due to management-imposed restraints on video lengths, we broke the ~10 minute interview into two parts, both attached to this paragraph. The transcript covers both videos, so it's your choice: view, read or listen to as much of this interview as you like.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science