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USGS: Oil and Gas Operations Could Trigger Large Earthquakes

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 17:27
sciencehabit writes: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has taken its first stab at quantifying the hazard from earthquakes associated with oil and gas development. The assessment, released in a preliminary report today, identifies 17 areas in eight states with elevated seismic hazard. And geologists now say that such induced earthquakes could potentially be large, up to magnitude 7, which is big enough to cause buildings to collapse and widespread damage. Update: 04/23 15:56 GMT by T : New submitter truavatar adds: At the same time, the Oklahoma Geological Survey released a statement explicitly calling out deep wastewater injection wells to Oklahoma earthquakes, stating "The OGS considers it very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

New Sampling Device Promises To Make Blood Tests Needle-Free

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 17:03
Zothecula writes: Though the pain they cause is minor and fleeting, a lot of people still find something pretty unsettling about needles. When it comes to conducting a routine blood test, US-based company Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely. Its ping pong ball-sized HemoLink blood sampler can be operated by the patient at home, and needs only to be placed against the skin of the arm or abdomen for two minutes to do its job.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Traffic App Waze To Alert L.A. Drivers of Kidnappings and Hit-and-Runs

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 16:46
An anonymous reader writes: Traffic-alert app Waze has announced a partnership with Los Angeles to share information on hit-and-runs and kidnappings taking place across the city, alongside traffic data and road closure updates. The deal forms part of a data-sharing agreement between L.A. authorities and the Google-owned tech startup detailed yesterday by the city's mayor Eric Garcetti. He assured that the data provided to the city by Waze would be "aggregated" and completely anonymous. According to the councillor the collaboration was mutually confirmed on Monday following a "very good meeting" between Waze and LAPD chief officer Charlie Beck. This move signals a considerable turn of events after Beck argued at the end of last year that the traffic alert app posed a danger to police due to its ability to track their location. The complaint followed the shooting of two police officers in New York after the shooter used the app to track his targets.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

New Privacy Concerns About US Program That Can Track Snail Mail

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 16:05
Lashdots writes: A lawyers' group has called for greater oversight of a government program that gives state and federal law enforcement officials access to metadata from private communications for criminal investigations and national security purposes. But it's not digital: this warrantless surveillance is conducted on regular mail. "The mail cover has been in use, in some form, since the 1800s," Chief Postal Inspector Guy J. Cottrell told Congress in November. The program targets a range of criminal activity including fraud, pornography, and terrorism, but, he said, "today, the most common use of this tool is related to investigations to rid the mail of illegal drugs and illegal drug proceeds." Recent revelations that the U.S. Postal Service photographs the front and back of all mail sent through the U.S., ostensibly for sorting purposes, has, Fast Company reports, brought new scrutiny—and new legal responses—to this obscure program.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 15:23
Freshly Exhumed writes: Wellness advocate Belle Gibson, who translated her high profile as a cancer survivor into publishing success, has admitted her cancer diagnosis was not real. Ms Gibson, 23, who claimed to have healed terminal brain cancer by eating wholefoods, made the admission in an interview with the Australian Women's Weekly. The success of Gibson's book, The Whole Pantry, and her smartphone application, which advocates natural therapies, has been largely dependent on her high-profile as a cancer survivor. Sadly, we've seen this sort of behaviour before. It would seem that Belle Gibson has emulated Dr. Andrew Wakefield in knowingly decieving the public in ways that could possibly be dangerous to the health of believers.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

POS Vendor Uses Same Short, Numeric Password Non-Stop Since 1990

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 14:42
mask.of.sanity writes: Fraud fighters David Byrne and Charles Henderson say one of the world's largest Point of Sale systems vendors has been slapping the same default passwords – 166816 – on its kit since 1990. Worse still: about 90 per cent of customers are still using the password. Fraudsters would need physical access to the PoS in question to exploit it by opening a panel using a paperclip. But such physical PoS attacks are not uncommon and are child's play for malicious staff. Criminals won't pause before popping and unlocking. The enraged pair badged the unnamed PoS vendor by its other acronym labelling it 'Piece of S***t.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 14:02
HughPickens.com writes: Newsmax reports that according to according to KRC Research about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done "more to hurt" U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. "The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming," says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "They are a generation of digital natives who don't want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls." Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States' largest living generation this year.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

CodeSOD: Open And Shut

The Daily WTF - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 13:00

Our anonymous friend writes: I was tasked with figuring out why invalid XML was being output by a homegrown XML parser.  As I looked into the code, I found the way this code handles writing out XML files…

Yes, it really does open and close the file handle for every xwrite call.  This means that it opens and closes it 3 times PER TAG when writing out the XML.

// xml_t is - essentially - a linked list of xml nodes. void xmlwrite_file(xml_t* node, char* pFilename, int bNew) {         char WriteBuff[1024 * 17];         char nodevalue[1024 * 16];         char* nodeattribs;//[ATTRIBUTE_LEN];         char nodename[256];         char spacer[16];         xml_t* pSib;         int sc = 0;         if (!node)         {                 return;         }         nodeattribs = (char*)malloc(ATTRIBUTE_LEN);         strcpy(nodename, "");         FillNodeName(nodename, node);         strcpy(nodevalue, "");         FillNodeValue(nodevalue, node);         strcpy(nodeattribs, "");         FillNodeAttribs(nodeattribs, node);         if (strlen(nodeattribs))         {                 strcpy(spacer, " ");         }         else         {                 strcpy(spacer, "");         }         sprintf(WriteBuff, "<%s%s", nodename, spacer);         xwrite(pFilename, WriteBuff, bNew);         xwrite(pFilename, nodeattribs, 0);         if (node->pChild)         {                 xwrite(pFilename, ">\n", 0);                 xmlwrite_file(node->pChild, pFilename, 0);                 sprintf(WriteBuff, "\n", nodename);                 xwrite(pFilename, WriteBuff, 0);         }         else // no child         {                 if (strlen(nodevalue))                 {                         sprintf(WriteBuff, ">%s\n", nodevalue, nodename);                         xwrite(pFilename, WriteBuff, 0);                 }                 else                 {                         xwrite(pFilename, " />\n", 0);                 }         }         pSib = node->pSibling;         while (pSib)         {                 xml_t* pHoldSib = pSib->pSibling;                 pSib->pSibling = NULL;                 xmlwrite_file(pSib, pFilename, bNew);                 pSib->pSibling = pHoldSib;                 pSib = pSib->pSibling;         }         fflush(stdout);         free(nodeattribs); } void xwrite(char* pFileName, char* pData, int bNew) {         if (strlen(pData) == 0)         {                 return;         }         File* fOut;         if (bNew)         {                 fOut = fopen(pFileName, "w");         }         else         {                 fOut = fopen(pFilename, "a");         }         if (fOut)         {                 fwrite(pData, 1, strlen(pData), fOut);                 fflush(fOut);                 fclose(fOut);         } } hljs.initHighlightingOnLoad(); code { font-family: Consolas, monospace; } [Advertisement] Manage IT infrastructure as code across all environments with Puppet. Puppet Enterprise now offers more control and insight, with role-based access control, activity logging and all-new Puppet Apps. Start your free trial today!
Categories: Fun/Other

Security Companies Accused of Exaggerating Iran's Cyberthreats Against the US

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:30
An anonymous reader writes: A widely-read report accusing Iran of hundreds of thousands of cyberattacks against the U.S. is being criticized as hugely inaccurate as well as motivated by marketing and politics, according to a new whitepaper and critics around the security industry. The original report, solicited by a conservative think tank and published by Norse in the lead up to the RSA Security Conference, hit the front page of the New York Times by calling handshakes and network scans "sophisticated cyberattacks."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Security Companies Accused of Exaggerating Iran's Cyberthreats Against the US

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:30
An anonymous reader writes: A widely-read report accusing Iran of hundreds of thousands of cyberattacks against the U.S. is being criticized as hugely inaccurate as well as motivated by marketing and politics, according to a new whitepaper and critics around the security industry. The original report, solicited by a conservative think tank and published by Norse in the lead up to the RSA Security Conference, hit the front page of the New York Times by calling handshakes and network scans "sophisticated cyberattacks."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Hubble Spots Star Explosion Astronomers Can't Explain

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 08:59
schwit1 writes: The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the explosion of a star that does not fit into any theory for stellar evolution. "The exploding star, which was seen in the constellation Eridanus, faded over two weeks — much too rapidly to qualify as a supernova. The outburst was also about ten times fainter than most supernovae, explosions that destroy some or all of a star. But it was about 100 times brighter than an ordinary nova, which is a type of surface explosion that leaves a star intact. 'The combination of properties is puzzling,' says Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. 'I thought about a number of possibilities, but each of them fails' to account for all characteristics of the outburst, he adds." We can put this discovery on the bottom of a very long list of similar discoveries by Hubble, which this week is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Ancient Hangover Cure Discovered In Greek Texts

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 06:29
An anonymous reader writes with good news for people looking for an old cure for an old problem. Trying to ease a bad hangover? Wearing a necklace made from the leaves of a shrub called Alexandrian laurel would do the job, according to a newly translated Egyptian papyrus. The "drunken headache cure" appears in a 1,900-year-old text written in Greek and was discovered during the ongoing effort to translate more than half a million scraps of papyrus known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Housed at Oxford University's Sackler Library, the enormous collection of texts contains lost gospels, works by Sophocles and other Greek authors, public and personal records and medical treatises dating from the first century AD to the sixth century A.D.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Apple Offers Expedited Apple Watch Order Lottery To Developers

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 04:12
An anonymous reader writes: Apple is sending out invites to random registered developers, giving them the chance to buy an Apple Watch with guaranteed delivery by the end of the month. "Special Opportunity for an Expedited Apple Watch Order," the invite email states. "We want to help give Apple developers the opportunity to test their WatchKit apps on Apple Watch as soon as it is available. You have the chance to purchase one (1) Apple Watch Sport with 42mm Silver Aluminum Case and Blue Sport Band that's guaranteed to ship by April 28, 2015."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

House Bill Slashes Research Critical To Cybersecurity

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 02:15
dcblogs writes: A U.S. House bill that will set the nation's basic research agenda for the next two years increases funding for computer science, but at the expense of other research areas. The funding bill, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chair of the Science, Space and Technology Committee, hikes funding for computer science, but cuts — almost by half — social sciences funding, which includes the study of human behavior. Cybersecurity uses human behavior research because humans are often the weakest security link. Research funding social, behavioral and economic sciences will fall from $272 million to $150 million, a 45% decrease. The bill also takes a big cut out of geosciences research, which includes climate change study, from $1.3 billion to $1.2 billion, an 8% decrease. The insight into human behaviors that comes from the social science research, "is critical to understanding how best to design and implement hardware and software systems that are more secure and easier to use," wrote J. Strother Moore, the Computing Research Association chair and a professor of computer science at the University of Texas.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Facebook's "Hello" Tells You Who's Calling Before You Pick Up

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 01:31
Mark Wilson writes: When you receive a call you'll usually see the number of the caller, but this may not be helpful in identifying them before you decide whether to pick up. Facebook's answer to this problem is Hello. This new app comes from the Facebook Messenger team and aims to tell you more about the person getting in touch with you even if you don't have their number saved in your address book. Currently available for Android, the dialer app also allows for the blocking of calls from individuals.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Chinese Scientists Claim To Have Genetically Modified Human Embryos

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 00:50
Annanag writes: There were rumours — but now it's been confirmed. Chinese scientists have attempted the ethically questionable feat of genetically modifying human embryos. The scientists try to head off ethical concerns by using 'non-viable' embryos, which cannot result in a live birth, obtained from local fertility clinics. The study is a landmark — but also a cautionary tale.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Swallowing Your Password

Slashdot - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 00:07
HughPickens.com writes: Amir Mizroch reports at the WSJ that a PayPal executive who works with engineers and developers to find and test new technologies, says that embeddable, injectable, and ingestible devices are the next wave in identification for mobile payments and other sensitive online interactions. Jonathon Leblanc says that identification of people will shift from "antiquated" external body methods like fingerprints, toward internal body functions like heartbeat and vein recognition, where embedded and ingestible devices will allow "natural body identification." Ingestible devices could be powered by stomach acid, which will run their batteries and could detect glucose levels and other unique internal features can use a person's body as a way to identify them and beam that data out. Leblanc made his remarks during a presentation called Kill all Passwords that he's recently started giving at various tech conferences in the U.S. and Europe, arguing that technology has taken a huge leap forward to "true integration with the human body." But the idea has its skeptics. What could possibly go wrong with a little implanted device that reads your vein patterns or your heart's unique activity or blood glucose levels writes AJ Vicens? "Wouldn't an insurance company love to use that information to decide that you had one too many donuts—so it won't be covering that bypass surgery after all?"

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Slashdot - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 23:23
mpicpp sends the latest news on California legislation that would eliminate exemptions for vaccinating school children. A bill that would require nearly all children in California to be vaccinated by eliminating "personal belief" exemptions advanced through the State Legislature on Wednesday, though it still has several hurdles to clear. If approved, California would become one of only three states that require all parents to vaccinate their children as a condition of going to school, unless there is a medical reason not to do so. Under the bill, introduced after a measles outbreak that began at Disneyland, parents who refuse vaccines for philosophical or religious reasons would have to educate their children at home. The legislation prompted a roiling debate in Sacramento, and last week hundreds of people protested at the Capitol, arguing that it infringed on their rights and that it would unfairly shut their children out of schools. Last Wednesday, the legislation stalled in the Senate Education Committee as lawmakers said they were concerned that too many students would be forced into home schooling. This Wednesday, however, the bill passed that committee after its authors tweaked it, adding amendments that would expand the definition of home schooling to allow multiple families to join together to teach their children or participate in independent study programs run by public school systems.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Yahoo Called Its Layoffs a "Remix." Don't Do That.

Slashdot - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 22:41
Nerval's Lobster writes: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in a conference call with reporters and analysts, referred to the net layoffs of 1,100 employees in the first quarter of 2015 as part of a 'remixing' of the company. A 'remix' is a term most often applied to songs, although it's also appropriate to use in the context of photographs, films, and artwork. CEOs rarely use it to describe something as momentous as a major enterprise's transition, especially if said transition involves layoffs of longtime employees, because it could potentially appear flippant to observers. If you run your own shop (no matter how large), it always pays to choose words as carefully as possible when referring to anything that affects your employees' lives and careers. Despite a renewed focus on mobile and an influx of skilled developers and engineers, Yahoo still struggles to define its place on the modern tech scene; that struggle is no more evident than in the company's most recent quarterly results, which included rising costs, reduced net income, and layoffs.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

New Javascript Attack Lets Websites Spy On the CPU's Cache

Slashdot - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 21:58
An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Upbin at Forbes reports on a new and insidious way for a malicious website to spy on a computer. Any computer running a late-model Intel microprocessor and a Web browser using HTML5 (i.e., 80% of all PCs in the world) is vulnerable to this attack. The exploit, which the researchers are calling "the spy in the sandbox," is a form of side-channel attack. Side channel attacks were previously used to break into cars, steal encryption keys and ride the subway for free, but this is the first time they're targeted at innocent web users. The attack requires little in the way of cost or time on the part of the attacker; there's nothing to install and no need to break into hardened systems. All a hacker has to do is lure a victim to an untrusted web page with content controlled by the attacker.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

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