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Is DIY Brainhacking Safe?

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the frying-your-brain-for-fun-and-profit dept.

Hardware Hacking 183

An anonymous reader writes "My colleague at IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland, looked at the home transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) movement. People looking to boost creativity, or cure depression, are attaching electrodes to their heads using either DIT equipment or rigs from vendors like Foc.us. Advocates believe experimenting with the tech is safe, but a neuroscientist worries about removing the tech from lab safeguards..."

Kaspersky: Mt. Gox Data Archive Contains Bitcoin-Stealing Malware

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the trusting-random-zip-files-considered-harmful dept.

Security 169

itwbennett writes "An archive containing transaction records from Mt. Gox that was released on the Internet last week also contains bitcoin-stealing malware for Windows and Mac, say researchers at Kaspersky Lab who have analyzed the 620MB file called MtGox2014Leak.zip. The files masquerade as Windows and Mac versions of a custom, back-office application for accessing the transaction database of Mt. Gox. However, they are actually malware programs designed to search and steal Bitcoin wallet files from computers, Kaspersky security researcher Sergey Lozhkin said Friday in a blog post."

Why Did New Zealand's Moas Go Extinct?

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the too-tasty-for-life dept.

Science 180

sciencehabit writes "For millions of years, nine species of large, flightless birds known as moas (Dinornithiformes) thrived in New Zealand. Then, about 600 years ago, they abruptly went extinct. Their die-off coincided with the arrival of the first humans on the islands in the late 13th century, and scientists have long wondered what role hunting by Homo sapiens played in the moas' decline. Did we alone drive the giant birds over the brink, or were they already on their way out thanks to disease and volcanic eruptions? Now, a new genetic study of moa fossils points to humankind as the sole perpetrator of the birds' extinction. The study adds to an ongoing debate about whether past peoples lived and hunted animals in a sustainable manner or were largely to blame for the extermination of numerous species."

Kickstarted Veronica Mars Promised Digital Download; Pirate Bay Delivers

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the netcraft-confirms-film-industry-committing-suicide dept.

Movies 243

ConfusedVorlon writes with word that Warner Bros backed out on their promise of digital downloads for backers of the Veronica Mars film "Backers were promised 'You will receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie's theatrical debut.' Warner Bros are providing a non-downloadable ultra-violet coupon (although Veronica Mars is available for download through other stores). The download is already available on the Pirate Bay. The download is even available on commercial stores. The users have already passed over their $35+. But rather than meet the demand for a DRM-free download, Warner Bros would prefer to return the original pledge to backers who complain.

What does this tell us about how movie studios view the world? There can't be a better indication of willingness to pay than 'they have already paid' — are these the pirates WB fears?"

IBM Distances Itself From the NSA and Its Spy Activities

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the we-don't-even-know-those-guys dept.

IBM 61

An anonymous reader writes "NSA surveillance has raised concerns among customers globally about the safety of their data from U.S. government spying. More organizations, companies and countries are looking for ways to distant themselves from the NSA activities to safeguard the information of internet users. IBM is the latest to fall into the category of companies that do not want to be associated with the NSA spy activities."

Algorithm Reveals Objects Hidden Behind Other Things In Camera Phone Images

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the pay-no-attention-to-the-objects-behind-the-curtain dept.

Technology 85

KentuckyFC writes "Imaging is undergoing a quiet revolution at the moment thanks to various new techniques for extracting data from images. Now physicists have worked out how to create an image of an object hidden behind a translucent material using little more than an ordinary smartphone and some clever data processing. The team placed objects behind materials that scatter light such as onion skin, frosted glass and chicken breast tissue. They photographed them using a Nokia Lumina 1020 smartphone, with a 41 megapixel sensor. To the naked eye, the resulting images look like random speckle. But by treating the data from each pixel separately and looking for correlations between pixels, the team was able to produce images of the hidden objects. They even photographed light scattered off a white wall and recovered an image of the reflected scene--a technique that effectively looks round corners. The new technique has applications in areas such as surveillance and medical imaging."

Pluto Regains Its Title As Largest Object In Its Neighborhood

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the back-on-top dept.

Space 138

sciencehabit writes "In 2005 astronomers discovered Pluto's biggest neighborhood rival: Eris, which they claimed definitely surpassed Pluto in size. Now, as astronomers report an analysis of methane gas in Pluto's atmosphere suggests that Pluto is about 2368 kilometers across, in which case it's larger than Eris and thus the champ of the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, which boasts more than a thousand known objects revolving around the sun beyond Neptune's orbit."

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the to-drive-or-not-to-drive dept.

Earth 405

cartechboy writes "Pollution is becoming a very large issue in major cities due to the amount of vehicles on the road. To try and help this issue Paris just banned all vehicles on alternate odd and even license plates today and tomorrow. Of course, electric cars and hybrids are exempt from the new restrictions as they aren't part of the problem, rather they are seen as part of the solution. Naturally taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, and cars carrying three or more passengers (hooray for carpooling) are also exempt. High levels of particulate matter are blamed for all the various respiratory diseases, while higher oxides of nitrogen are a primary cause of smog. We'd have to say that this ban probably won't be the last one as traffic levels increase over time."

Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the change-your-ways dept.

Ubuntu 147

jones_supa writes "In a new blog post, the Ubuntu main man Mark Shuttleworth calls for an end to proprietary firmwares such as ACPI. His reasoning is that running any firmware code on your phone, tablet, PC, TV, wifi router, washing machine, server, or the server running the cloud your SAAS app is running on, is a threat vector against you, and NSA's best friend. 'Arguing for ACPI on your next-generation device is arguing for a trojan horse of monumental proportions to be installed in your living room and in your data center. I've been to Troy, there is not much left.' As better solutions, Shuttleworth suggests delivering your innovative code directly to the upstream kernel, or using declarative firmware that describes hardware linkages and dependencies but doesn't include executable code."

Dorian Nakamoto Officially Denies That He Created Bitcoin

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the wasn't-me dept.

Bitcoin 102

sumoinsanity writes "A succinct and comprehensive rebuttal has been distributed from this Mr Nakamoto about being the founder of Bitcoin. His statement reads in part: 'The first time I heard the term "bitcoin" was from my son in mid-February 2014. After being contacted by a reporter, my son called me and used the word, which I had never before heard. Shortly thereafter, the reporter confronted me at my home. I called the police. I never consented to speak with the reporter. In an ensuing discussion with the reporter from the Associated Press, I called the technology "bitcom." I was still unfamiliar with the term.' Newsweek copped a lot of criticism regarding their original expose on the purported uncovering of a BitCoin founder following their two month investigation. They defended with, 'Ms. Goodman's research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Ms. Goodman and her article.'"

Origins of Blarney Stone Revealed

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the origin-story dept.

Science 47

sciencehabit writes "Kissing the Blarney Stone, which involves hanging upside down from the battlements of Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland, is meant to bestow eloquence and persuasiveness. Such claims are not known to have been put to the test in a clinical trial, but then not much is known about the rock itself. Some say it is made of Welsh bluestone, the same material used to make the monoliths of Stonehenge. Others say it was cleaved from the Stone of Scone, which forms the coronation seat used by the kings and queens of Scotland and Great Britain for hundreds of years. Now, some light has finally been shed on the stone's mysterious origins by the chance find of a microscope slide in the Hunterian Museum of the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Analysis of the sample, which is cut thin enough to be transparent, by geologists at the museum reveals that it is not a bluestone, nor is it sandstone like the Stone of Scone. In fact, it is a 330-million-year-old carboniferous limestone typical of that corner of Ireland and contains fragments of fossilized brachiopod shells and bryozoans."

Community Pick

Management Lessons from Heinlein

Esther Schindler (16185) writes | about 4 months ago

0

Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Robert Anson Heinlein was an influential science-fiction author who created great page-turning stories, invented a “future history” that was in some ways prescient, and had a major impact on the SF field. But, it turns out, Heinlein’s short stories and novels also have quite a few good pointers for anyone who needs to make things happen.

The most obvious items that spring to your mind, I expect, are from Lazarus Long, such as this one:

Heinlein’s recurring character, Lazarus Long, certainly offers plenty of management advice. In Long’s first appearance in Methusaleh’s Children, in which another character asks what Long expects a meeting resolution to be, he says, “A committee is the only known form of life with a hundred bellies and no brain.” That’s an oft-quoted quip, but too often it leaves off the next line: “But presently somebody with a mind of his own will bulldoze them into accepting his plan. I don’t know what it will be.” It was an important thing for me to learn: The plan that is adopted often is not “the best” but the brain-child of the most persistent communicator.

...but it turns out to be a minor example. See if you agree with these, and what you'd add to the list."

Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the lets-have-a-look dept.

Space 269

astroengine writes "For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the universe, a previously theoretical event that took place a fraction of a second after the Big Bang explosion nearly 14 billion years ago. The clue is encoded in the primordial cosmic microwave background radiation that continues to spread through space to this day. Scientists found and measured a key polarization, or orientation, of the microwaves caused by gravitational waves, which are miniature ripples in the fabric of space. Gravitational waves, proposed by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity nearly 100 years ago but never before proven, are believed to have originated in the Big Bang explosion and then been amplified by the universe's inflation. 'Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today,' lead researcher John Kovac, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement."

Obama Administration Transparency Getting Worse

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the nothing-to-see-here dept.

Government 152

schwit1 writes "The government's own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that halfway through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records. In category after category — except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees — the government's efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office."

Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the lighten-up-francis dept.

The Military 878

An anonymous reader writes with a Ukraine news roundup. "'Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,' anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television. ... His programme was broadcast as the first exit polls were being published showing an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voting to leave Ukraine and join Russia. He stood in his studio in front of a gigantic image of a mushroom cloud produced after a nuclear attack, with the words 'into radioactive ash.' ... Kiselyov has earned a reputation as one of Russia's most provocative television news hosts, in particularly with his often blatantly homophobic remarks. But he is also hugely influential with his weekly news show broadcast at Sunday evening prime time. Putin last year appointed Kiselyov head of the new Russia Today news agency that is to replace the soon to be liquidated RIA Novosti news agency with the aim of better promoting Russia's official position. — Russia has threatened to stop nuclear disarmament treaty inspections and cooperation. Russian troops are reported to have seized a natural gas terminal in Ukraine outside of Crimea. There are reported to be 60,000 Russian troops massing on Russia's border with Ukraine."

Endeavor Launch Pad Being Rebuilt Piece By Piece

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the one-piece-at-a-time dept.

NASA 48

dangle writes "The Exposition Park museum in LA is working to rebuild the Endeavor launch stack, a display that will take thousands of pieces to complete due to parts that are scattered at NASA facilities, museums and other places across the U.S. Most are one of a kind and impossible to replicate. Dennis Jenkins, who spent his entire 30-plus year career sending the shuttles into space, is playing a key role in locating essential parts using his own and his colleagues' institutional memory. Employed by NASA contractor Martin Marietta, he helped write the software used in loading and controlling the liquid oxygen needed to launch the 2,250-ton shuttle assembly into low Earth orbit. Now, with the program part of a bygone era of exploration, the 57-year-old works for the California Science Center, helping officials figure out how to rebuild Endeavour."

Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the things-you-want-to-keep-to-yourself dept.

The Almighty Buck 300

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Mercury News reports that somewhere in Silicon Valley, a 'mystery billionaire' has bought what the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most valuable life insurance policy in history — a policy that will pay his survivors a cool $201 million. Was it Larry Ellison? Eric Schmidt? Elon Musk? Zuck? Nobody knows because the name of the buyer is a closely guarded secret. 'We don't want hit men running around Palo Alto trying to find him — or members of his own estate,' joked Dovi Frances, the Southern California financial services provider who sold the policy. By last count, California boasts 111 billionaires with more than a third of them in tech, while San Francisco has 20 billionaires alone so it could be any of them. But why does a billionaire even need to take out life insurance when he or she has so many other assets. The most likely answer to this question is taxes and estate planning.

Upon death, an estate would be liable to pay off loans on any leveraged properties, plus a lot of money as part of the death taxes owed. This could force the estate to liquidate holdings to raise the money to pay off these liabilities even if it weren't the most opportune time to sell the assets. By taking out the life insurance policy, it would give the estate more flexibility in paying off the taxes and other debts owed, without necessarily having to sell assets to do so. 'In California, there are state death taxes that are exceptionally high (45 percent),' says Frances adding that the policy is actually a combination of more than two dozen policies, underwritten by 19 different insurers because if any single company had to pay out such a lavish benefit, it could be crippling. 'If your properties are leveraged then those loans are called immediately and need to be paid off, you want to hedge yourself against such a risk so [your beneficiary] can receive the proceeds without being exposed to taxes.'"

OKCoin Raises $10 Million To Become China's Largest Bitcoin Exchange

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the what-could-go-wrong? dept.

China 48

edibobb writes "Despite recent cryptocurrency crackdowns by the Chinese government, OKCoin announced a round of $10 million funding by three prominent venture capital firms and other investors. OKCoin is supposed to be the largest bitcoin exchange in China. From the article: 'Back in November 2013, the focus of the bitcoin community was on China – the world’s hub for bitcoin trading. At that time, BTC China was the biggest exchange in the world, having managed to raise a $5m Series A funding round from Lightspeed Venture Partners (Snapchat, Nest). There were even rumours that a bigger round was in the works for the young company. However, things change quickly. After the Chinese government began regulating bitcoin in December, trade volume plummeted and the world’s top exchange was no longer Chinese.'"

EU Project Aims To Switch Data Centers To Second Hand Car Batteries

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the jump-starting-data dept.

Data Storage 87

judgecorp writes "A €2.9 million European Commission funded project aims to make data centers more efficient, and one of its ideas is to use second hand car batteries to power data centers. The GreenDataNet consortium includes Nissan, which predicts a glut of still-usable second hand car batteries in around 15 years, when the cars start to wear out. Gathered into large units, these could store enough power to help with the big problem of the electricity grid — the mismatch between local renewable generation cycles and the peaks of demand for power."

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the aim-high dept.

Education 529

theodp writes "'Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore,' explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, 'have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year "National Talent Development Plan" to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields.' It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, 'we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student' and 'risk shortchanging the country in a different way.' The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to 'find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality.' And address it we must. 'How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?' asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital."

Prominent GitHub Engineer Julie Ann Horvath Quits Citing Harrassment

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the hostile-environment dept.

Businesses 710

First time accepted submitter PvtVoid writes in with the story of Julie Ann Horvath alleging a culture of sexism at GitHub. "The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."

Aussie Attorney General's War On Encrypted Web Services

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the no-code-for-you dept.

Encryption 151

Bismillah writes "If Attorney-General Brandis gets his way in the process of revising Australia's Telecommunications Interception Act, users and providers of VPNs and other encrypted services will by law be required to decrypt government intercepted data. Because, 'sophisticated criminals and terrorists.' New Zealand already has a similar law, the Telecommunications Interception and Computer Security Act. Apparently, large Internet service providers such as Microsoft and Facebook won't be exempt from the TICSA and must facilitate interception of traffic."

Community Pick

Bitcoin Barron Challenges Berkshire

MrBingoBoingo (3481277) writes | about 4 months ago

2
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