The SEC Just Handed Bitcoin a Huge Setback

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 9:40pm
The SEC has decided to deny an application for the first exchange-traded product that tracks the price of bitcoin, according to an order posted on the regulator's website. From a report: In an order today, the commission found that the proposed fund was too susceptible to fraud, due to the unregulated nature of Bitcoin. The result is a major setback for the fund, and a frustrating false start for the crypto-currency at large. The ETF is essentially a common stock fund pegged to the price of Bitcoin, allowing investors to purchase Bitcoin without the work of establishing a personal wallet. (In concrete terms, the ETFs investors will be buying shares whose price will always be the same as the price of a single bitcoin, similar to an equivalent investment in gold or cattle.) Without a wallet, investors still won't be able to spend Bitcoin, but they can buy and sell it at market price, adding more liquidity to the Bitcoin system overall.

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Be Seeing You

Wired News - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 9:30pm
WIRED's security editor Brian Barrett joins Michael Calore to talk about the Vault 7 revelations. The post Be Seeing You appeared first on WIRED.
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Oculus CTO John Carmack Is Suing ZeniMax For $22.5 Million

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 9:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: The feud between Oculus and ZeniMax Media is opening up once again, this time with the CTO of Oculus, John Carmack, suing his former employer for earnings that he claims are still owed to him. The suit is largely unrelated to the $6 billion trade secrets suit which ended last month with a $500 million judgment against Oculus. Instead, Carmack is suing ZeniMax Media for $22.5 million that he says has not been paid to him for the 2009 sale of his game studio, id Software, known for such pioneering video game classics as Doom and Quake. The lawsuit reveals that ZeniMax Media paid $150 million for the game studio. The document details that Carmack was set to earn $45 million from the id acquisition. In 2011, Carmack converted half of that note into a half-million shares of ZeniMax common stock, but has yet to receive the other half of his earnings in cash or common stock from the company, despite formal requests being made. The lawsuit was reported first by Dallas News.

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Microsoft Admits Mistake, Pulls Problematic Windows 10 Driver

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 8:40pm
Wayne Williams, writing for BetaNews: Microsoft pushed out a mysterious driver to Windows users on Wednesday that caused big problems for some. The driver, listed as "Microsoft -- WPD -- 2/22/2016 12:00:00 AM -- 5.2.5326.4762," wasn't accompanied by any details, although we knew from the name that it related to Windows Portable Devices and affected users who had phones and tablets connected to the OS. Microsoft today admitted the problem with the driver, saying on the Answers Forum: "An incorrect device driver was released for Windows 10, on March 8, 2017, that affected a small group of users with connected phones or portable devices. After installation, these devices are not detected properly by Windows 10, but are affected in no other way. We removed the driver from Windows Update the same day, but if the driver had already installed, you may still be having this issue." As Williams adds, even though it was an optional update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, it was pushed to those on Windows 10.

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Alphabet's Waymo Asks Judge To Block Uber From Using Self-Driving Car Secrets

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 8:00pm
Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving spinoff from Google, is formally asking a judge to block Uber from operating its autonomous vehicles, according to new documents filed in Waymo's lawsuit against Uber. From a report on The Verge: The lawsuit, which was filed last month, alleges that Uber stole key elements of its self-driving car technology from Google. Uber has called the accusations "baseless." Today in federal court, Waymo filed the sworn testimony of Gary Brown, a forensic security engineer with Google since 2013. Citing logs from Google's secure network, Brown claims that Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer who now runs Uber's self-driving car program, downloaded 14,000 files from a Google repository that contain design files, schematics, and other confidential information pertaining to its self-driving car project. Levandowski used his personal laptop to download the files, a fact that Brown says made it easy to track.

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Organic is only one ingredient in recipe for sustainable food future

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 7:23pm
Many people choose organic thinking it's better for humans and the planet, but a new study finds that might not always be the case.
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Breath of fresh air for severe asthma research

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 7:23pm
New research points to immunological differences in responses to steroids in patients with severe asthma, suggesting why corticosteroids may paradoxically perpetuate inflammation in severe asthma.
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This small molecule could have a big future in global food security

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 7:23pm
Researchers have used RNA molecules to prevent a corn-infecting fungus from producing a potent toxin. The approach could save millions of tons of crops each year from contamination with aflatoxin, a major threat to health and food security especially in developing parts of the world, they say.
Categories: Science

Pennsylvania Sues IBM Over Jobless Claims System Upgrade

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 7:20pm
Pennsylvania has sued IBM for $170 million, claiming the company failed to deliver a promised upgrade to its outdated system of processing unemployment claims. From a report: IBM did not immediately respond to a request for comment but a company representative told the Associated Press the suit had no merit and the company would fight it. The suit stems from a 2006 fixed-price contract awarded to IBM for $109.9 million with a completion date of February 2010, the state said in a press release. As delays and costs mounted, the state let the contract lapse in 2013 when an independent assessment determined the project had a high risk of failure.

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Africa Gets Its Own Web Address

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:40pm
Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union. From a report on BBC: AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa "got [its] own digital identity." The AU says the .africa domain name will "bring the continent together as an internet community." Addresses can now reflect a company's interest in the whole of Africa. For example, a mobile phone company could create mobile.africa to show its Africa-wide presence, or a travel company could set up travel.africa.

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Carbon-based approaches for saving rainforests should include biodiversity studies

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:26pm
Conservationists working to safeguard tropical forests often assume that old growth forests containing great stores of carbon also hold high biodiversity, but a new study finds that the relationship may not be as strong as once thought, according to a group of researchers.
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Rapid blood pressure drops in middle age linked to dementia in old age

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:26pm
Middle-aged people who experience temporary blood pressure drops that often cause dizziness upon standing up may be at an increased risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia 20 years later.
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Investigational vaccine protects cattle from respiratory syncytial virus

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:26pm
A novel vaccine protected cattle from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. The version of RSV that naturally infects cattle is closely related to human RSV, so the results suggest that a similar human RSV vaccine construct may provide protection in humans, according to the study authors.
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Discovery in new material raises questions about theoretical models of superconductivity

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:26pm
A new study has successfully created the first pure, single-crystal sample of a new iron arsenide superconductor, CaKFe4As4, and studies of this material have called into question some long-standing theoretical models of superconductivity.
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Targeting cancer stem cells improves treatment effectiveness, prevents metastasis

Science Daily - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:25pm
Targeting cancer stem cells may be a more effective way to overcome cancer resistance and prevent the spread of squamous cell carcinoma — the most common head and neck cancer and the second-most common skin cancer, according to a new study. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is a highly invasive form of cancer and frequently spreads to the cervical lymph nodes.
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How Many Snapchat Clones Does It Take For Facebook To Lose Its Self-Respect?

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 6:00pm
Alex Hern, writing for The Guardian: Over the past year, Facebook has shown an almost monomaniacal dedication to taking on Snapchat by importing its defining features wholesale into the company's own apps. Facebook Live has "masks" now (think Snapchat's Lenses). Instagram has geostickers (like Snapchat's location-aware stickers.) WhatsApp has "Status" (think Snapchat Stories). Instagram has "Stories" (think ... Snapchat stories). The latest fruit of Facebook's labours is Messenger Day -- "a way for you to share these photos and videos -- as they happen -- by adding to your Messenger Day, where many of your friends can view and reply to them". It's Snapchat Stories. Again. [...] Facebook has seen potential threats on the horizon before, but its chequebook has always been enough to ward off real danger: that's why it bought Instagram, that's why it bought WhatsApp, and that's why it tried to buy Snapchat. But it couldn't get the company's fiercely independent co-founder, Evan Spiegel, to sell. And now it's in uncharted waters, with a competitor stealing advertising revenue, desirable millennial users, and industry credibility, and with no obvious way to reverse that trend. Facebook's time at the top probably isn't up. But its self-respect deficit is going to take years to pay off.

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Life Among a Billion Locusts

Wired News - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 5:53pm
Our podcast miniseries goes behind the scenes of BBC America's awesome nature show, Planet Earth II. The post Life Among a Billion Locusts appeared first on WIRED.
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Time Crystals Created, Suspending Laws of Physics

Space.com - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 5:49pm
A new form of matter called a time crystal seems to suspend the laws of thermodynamics.
Categories: Science

Carbon Dioxide Is Warming the Planet (Here's How)

Space.com - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 5:30pm
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a main driver of climate change. That is wrong, and here's how the greenhouse gas is warming our planet, courtesy of humans.
Categories: Science

U.S. Jobs, Pay Show Solid Gains in Trump's First Full Month

Slashdot - Fri, 10/03/2017 - 5:20pm
Two anonymous reader share a Bloomberg report: U.S. employers added jobs at an above-average pace for a second month on outsized gains in construction and manufacturing while wage growth picked up, as the labor market continued its steady improvement in the new year. The 235,000 increase followed a 238,000 rise in January that was more than previously estimated, the best back-to-back rise since July, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent, and wages grew 2.8 percent from February 2016. While unseasonably warm weather may have boosted the payrolls count, the data represent President Donald Trump's first full month in office and coincide with a surge in economic optimism following his election victory.

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