Substance user’s social connections: Family, friends, and the foresaken

Science Daily - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 3:06pm
It’s no secret that social environments can play a role in the development as well as recovery from substance-abuse problems. A new study, designed to uncover how individual relationships respond to substance use and social influences, has found that the links between substance use and social connections are bidirectional and strong.
Categories: Science

Understanding Risk Factors Involved in Initiation of Adolescent Alcohol Use

Science Daily - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 3:06pm
Underage drinking is a major public health and social problem in the U.S. The ability to identify at-risk children before they initiate heavy alcohol use has immense clinical and public health implications. A new study has found that demographic factors, cognitive functioning, and brain features during the early-adolescence ages of 12 to 14 years can predict which youth eventually initiate alcohol use during later adolescence around the age of 18.
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After Death, Hundreds of Genes Spring Back to Life

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 2:33pm
Two surprising studies reveal new information about what genes do after death. Slashdot reader gurps_npc writes: You think your body stops after death, but up to two days later certain genes may turn on and start doing stuff for another two days before they give up the ghost. We are all zombies for up to four days after death. Gizmodo reports that in fact "hundreds" of genes apparently spring back to life. "[P]revious work on human cadavers demonstrated that some genes remain active after death, but we had no idea as to the extent of this strange phenomenon."

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Axiom Plans A New Private-Sector Outpost in Space

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 1:31pm
A seed-funded company named Axiom wants to build a private-sector outpost in orbit by launching a new module for the International Space Station, according to an article on Space News. Once on the station, Axiom Space would use it for commercial purposes, ranging from research to tourism. [Former space station manager] Suffredini said that it would also be available for use by NASA when the company is not using it, helping the process of transitioning research done on the International Space Station to future private stations. Research hardware elsewhere in the station could eventually be moved to this module to allow its continued use after the station's retirement. Slashdot reader MarkWhittington shares an article from Blasting News: In the meantime, Nanoracks, a company that is already handling some of the logistics for the ISS, is proposing a commercial airlock for the ISS. The development of commercial space stations, as well as commercial spacecraft such as the SpaceX Dragon and the Boeing Starliner, constitutes NASA's long-term strategy of handing off low-Earth orbit to the private sector while it concentrates on deep space exploration.

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The Most Amazing Space Stories This Week!

Space.com - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 1:10pm
Pluto has a splashy secret, a monster black hole shakes violently awake, Juno prepares for a deep dive and Britain's space future is questioned — it's Space.com's best news stories of the week.
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Star Trek Actor's Death Inspires Class Action Against Car Manufacturer

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 11:30am
Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, was killed Sunday when his own vehicle rolled backwards. Now Slashdot reader ripvlan writes: It has recently emerged that his vehicle was a Jeep. As discussed on Slashdot previously consumers are having a hard time knowing if the vehicle is in "Park." A new class action lawsuit is gaining momentum... Also Maserati has a similar system and can join the class action. In fact, Maserati "is recalling about 13,000 sedans that have the same sort of gear shifter that was used in the Jeep that killed Yelchin," according to CNN Money, and Chrysler Fiat had in fact already filed a recall notice with federal regulators in April for Yelchin's band of Jeep, "but owners had only received a warning and not an official recall notice at the time of Yelchin's death". The lawsuit claims Chrysler "fraudulently concealed and failed to remedy a gear shifter design defect affecting 811,000 vehicles and linked to driverless rollaway incidents," including 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees, 2012-2014 Chrysler 300s, and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers.

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So Hey You Should Stop Using Texts for Two-Factor Authentication

Wired News - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 11:00am
A string of recent SMS hacks means security-conscious users should switch to a more secure login system. The post So Hey You Should Stop Using Texts for Two-Factor Authentication appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

This $15K Electric Motorcycle Made Me Love Riding in NYC

Wired News - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 11:00am
Alta Motors’ electric RedShift SM may be the ultimate commuter bike. The post This $15K Electric Motorcycle Made Me Love Riding in NYC appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

An MIT Algorithm Predicts the Future by Watching TV

Wired News - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 9:39am
Using neural networks and shows like “The Office” and “Big Bang Theory,” CSAIL’s system was able to predict how actors were about to greet each other. The post An MIT Algorithm Predicts the Future by Watching TV appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

LA’s New Skyslide Is in Good, Heart-Attack-Inducing Company

Wired News - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 9:30am
Cubes slide out from buildings, windows tilt out. Heart attacks are waiting to happen on top of today's towers. The post LA's New Skyslide Is in Good, Heart-Attack-Inducing Company appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Vacationing Security Researcher Exposes Austrian ATM Skimmer

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 7:30am
While vacationing with his family in Vienna, Ben Tedesco (from security company Carbon Black) discovered an ATM skimmer "in the wild", perfectly crafted to look like the original card reader. New submitter rmurph04 shares Ben's story: I went to grab some cash from an ATM. Being security paranoid, I repeated my typical habit of checking the card reader with my hand as I have hundreds of times. Today's the day when my security awareness paid off! Ben's blog post includes a video demonstrating the ATM skimmer, as well as close-ups showing the device had its own control board, strip reader, and even its own battery.

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UK Tech Sector Reacts To Brexit: Some Anticipate Slow Down, Some Contemplate Relocation

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 3:30am
In the aftermath of the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, UK's technology industry is reassessing its position, with many of them considering moving to a continental location. According to reports, Samsung, LG, and Acer have noted that the UK leaving the EU will affect their operations. From a BBC report:As news of Brexit broke, tech firms including BT, TalkTalk and software firm Sage reported share price falls. [...] "I have concerns that the local market might slow down," said Drew Benvie, founder of London-based digital agency Battenhall. From a report on The Guardian:Britain's financial technology sector is particularly hard-hit, with the prospect of losing access to European markets an unappealing one. "Fintech" has long been one of the UK's most promising growth areas, in part due to London's position as the financial capital of Europe. [...] Not one of the 14 billion-dollar tech firms based in the UK the Guardian asked said leaving the EU would be good for their business.Toby Coppel, the co-founder of venture capital firm Mosaic, said: "The next entrepreneur who's 22 years old, graduating from a technical university in Germany may, instead of moving to London to do their Fintech startup, decide to go to Berlin instead. I think that's one of the biggest concerns I have about the trajectory of the London technical ecosystem."

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ECMAScript 2016: New Version of JavaScript Language Released

Slashdot - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 1:30am
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Ecma International, the organization in charge of managing the ECMAScript standard, has published the most recent version of the JavaScript language. ECMAScript 2016 (ES7 or JavaScript 7th Edition in the old naming scheme) comes with very few new features. The most important is that JavaScript developers will finally get a "raise to the power" operator, which was mysteriously left out of the standard for 20 years. The operator is **... It will also become much easier to search for data in a JavaScript array with Array.prototype.includes(), but support for async functions (initially announced for ES2016), has been deferred until next year's release. "From now on, expect smaller changelogs from the ECMAScript team," reports Softpedia, "since this was the plan set out last year. Fewer breaking changes means more time to migrate code, instead of having to rewrite entire applications, as developers did when the mammoth ES6 release came out last year."

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Ubuntu-Based Peppermint 7 Released

Slashdot - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 11:33pm
Softpedia reports on the newest version of Peppermint OS, "a lightweight, stable, elegant, and fast computer operating system based on GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes their report: It's a bit earlier than expected, but the Peppermint OS 7 GNU/Linux distribution has been officially unveiled...based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system [with] a lot of packages from the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS distro, which means that it will also be a long-term support release.... "Along with the shift to the 16.04 (Xenial) code base, Peppermint 7 continues our policy of choosing the best components from other desktop environments, wherever that may be, and integrating them into a cohesive whole with our own software," reads today's announcement. "Team Peppermint" says they're switching to Firefox as their default browser for site-specific browser functionality (similar to Chrome's -app mode) after Google dropped their 32-bit version of Chrome and moved to PPAPI plugins "which effectively ends Flash support in 32-bit Chromium"... But you can also still choose Chrome or Chromium for site-specific browsing (and the OS comes in 32-bit and 64-bit editions).

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Categories: Science

Why Are Hackers Increasingly Targeting the Healthcare Industry?

Slashdot - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 10:30pm
Slashdot reader Orome1 shares an article by Bitdefender's senior "e-threat analyst," warning about an increasing number of attacks on healthcare providers: In general, the healthcare industry is proving lucrative for cybercriminals because medical data can be used in multiple ways, for example fraud or identity theft. This personal data often contains information regarding a patient's medical history, which could be used in targeted spear-phishing attacks...and hackers are able to access this data via network-connected medical devices, now standard in high-tech hospitals. This is opening up new possibilities for attackers to breach a hospital or a pharmaceutical company's perimeter defenses. If a device is connected to the internet and left vulnerable to attack, an attacker could remotely connect to it and use it as gateways for attacking network security... The majority of healthcare organizations have often been shown to fail basic security practices, such as disabling concurrent login to multiple devices, enforcing strong authentication and even isolating critical devices and medical data storing servers from a direct internet connection. The article suggests the possibility of attackers tampering with the equipment that dispenses prescription medications, in which case "it is likely that future cyber-attacks could lead to the loss of human life."

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Categories: Science

Lenovo Warns Users To Upgrade Pre-Installed Tool With Severe Security Holes

Slashdot - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 9:33pm
Long-time Slashdot reader itwbennett writes: Lenovo is advising users to upgrade to version 3.3.003 of Lenovo Solution Center (LSC), which includes fixes for two high-severity vulnerabilities in the tool. [The tool] allows users to check their system's virus and firewall status, update their Lenovo software, perform backups, check battery health, get registration and warranty information and run hardware tests. The CVE-2016-5249 vulnerability allows an attacker who already has control of a limited account on a PC to execute malicious code via the privileged LocalSystem account. And the CVE-2016-5248 vulnerability allows any local user to send a command to LSC.Services.SystemService in order to kill any other process on the system, privileged or not.

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Crypto Ransomware Attacks Have Jumped 500% In The Last Year

Slashdot - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 8:30pm
Kaspersky Lab is reporting that the last year saw a 500% increase in the number of users who encountered crypto ransomware. Trailrunner7 shares an article from On The Wire: Data compiled by Kaspersky researchers from the company's cloud network shows that from April 2015 to March 2016, the volume of crypto ransomware encountered by users leapt from 131,111 to 718,536. That's a massive increase, especially considering the fact that ransomware is a somewhat mature threat. It didn't just burst onto the scene a couple of years ago. Kaspersky's researchers said the spike in crypto ransomware can be attributed to a small group of variants. "Looking at the malware groups that were active in the period covered by this report, it appears that a rather short list of suspects is responsible for most of the trouble caused by crypto-ransomware..." It's difficult to overstate how much of an effect the emergence of ransomware has had on consumers, enterprises, and the security industry itself. The FBI has been warning users about crypto ransomware for some time now, and has consistently advised victims not to pay any ransoms. Security researchers have been publishing decryption tools for specific ransomware variants and law enforcement agencies have had some success in taking down ransomware gangs. Enterprise targets now account for 13% of ransomware attacks, with attackers typically charging tens of thousands of dollars, the article reports, and "Recent attacks on networks at the University of Calgary and Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have demonstrated the brutal effectiveness of this strategy."

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Categories: Science

Why You Should Stop Using Telegram Right Now

Slashdot - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 7:30pm
Earlier this week, The Intercept evaluated the best instant messaging clients from the privacy standpoint. The list included Facebook's WhatsApp, Google's Allo, and Signal -- three apps that employ end-to-end encryption. One popular name that was missing from the list was Telegram. A report on Gizmodo sheds further light on the matter, adding that Telegram is riddled with a wide range of security issues, and "doesn't live up to its proclamations as a safe and secure messaging application." Citing many security experts, the report states:One major problem Telegram has is that it doesn't encrypt chats by default, something the FBI has advocated for. "There are many Telegram users who think they are communicating in an encrypted way, when they're not because they don't realize that they have to turn on an additional setting," Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Gizmodo. "Telegram has delivered everything that the government wants. Would I prefer that they used a method of encryption that followed industry best practices like WhatsApp and Signal? Certainly. But, if it's not turned on by default, it doesn't matter."The other issue that security experts have taken a note of is that Telegram employs its own encryption, which according to them, "is widely considered to be a fatal flaw when developing encrypted messaging apps." The report adds:"They use the MTproto protocol which is effectively homegrown and I've seen no proper proofs of its security," Alan Woodward, professor at the University of Surrey told Gizmodo. Woodward criticized Telegram for their lack of transparency regarding their home cooked encryption protocol. "At present we don't know enough to know if it's secure or insecure. That's the trouble with security by obscurity. It's usual for cryptographers to reveal the algorithms completely, but here we are in the dark. Unless you have considerable experience, you shouldn't write your own crypto. No one really understands why they did that."The list goes on and on.

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Categories: Science

Controlling cardiac scarring could help heart tissue regenerate

Science Daily - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 7:05pm
The potential promise of targeting non-muscle cells in the heart responsible for cardiac scarring could lead to new treatments for heart disease, researchers say in a review paper.
Categories: Science

Adolescent Girls Choose to Drink at Lower Blood Alcohol Concentrations

Science Daily - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 7:05pm
Gender and a family history of alcoholism (FH) are two genetically determined factors known to affect someone’s risk for developing alcohol-use disorders (AUDs). Adolescence is also a critical period for the development of AUDs; drinking habits can be unstable and environmental factors such as peer pressure may be substantial. This study looked at how gender and FH might affect alcohol use in a sample of 18- to 19-year-olds from the Dresden Longitudinal Study on Alcohol use in Young Adults (D-LAYA).
Categories: Science