Slashdot

Subscribe to Slashdot feed Slashdot
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Ask Slashdot: How Will The Internet Affect The Next Generation?

Sun, 2019-09-08 07:34
dryriver writes: Growing up in the 1980s/90s I don't remember being embroiled in many "heated arguments" with youths my own age. There were small differences of opinion on various things -- whether a band is a great or not, whether a book is worth reading or whatever -- but nothing anywhere near the heated opinion battles that can be seen in every corner of the Internet today. It doesn't matter what the topic is -- music, games, films, religion, tech, history, science, politics -- people are battling each other on the internet. And today's youth don't live in little "go to school, then go back home to your parents" cocoons anymore. You can watch them bashing each other over the head on the Internet in every computer games, software, pop culture, gaming hardware or other forum on the Internet. So the question is, when these kids grow into adults someday, will the Internet have given them the intellectual tools to understand others, and respect differences of opinions with others? Or are we looking at adults in the year 2040 or so who are very much still in "Internet combat mode" in their real world interactions? To pose the question more bluntly: Will the Internet generation growing up today become "Generation Tolerance" or "Generation Fight", and how will the world change if the latter comes true?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

'Google's Chrome Has My Dead Grandpa's Data and He Never Used the Internet'

Sun, 2019-09-08 04:34
schwit1 shares a Forbes article by Joe Toscano, a former experience design consultant for Google who in 2017 "decided to step away from my role consulting with Google, due to ethical concerns." This summer he got a big surprise when he looked in Chrome's "addresses" panel at chrome://settings/addresses It turns out Google has info connecting me to my grandma (on my dad's side) who's alive and well but has never had the internet, and my grandpa (on my mom's side), who recently passed away in March 2019 and also never had the internet. This was disturbing for several reasons, the biggest of which being that neither of them had ever logged onto the internet in their lives. Neither even had the internet in their homes their entire lives! Beyond that, Google knew their exact addresses and their middle initials. I couldn't even have told you those things about my grandparents... [T]he data wasn't manually entered by me or anyone using my account, but yet the data is associated with my account? How did that happen? The only thing I can think of is that at one point in history my grandpa gave his information to someone or some company in real life and his information was sold to Google at one point or another... But then that led me to another question: How did his data get associated with my Google account...? Other questions I have: What other information does Google have about me/my family/others that I don't know about...? He's now asking readers if they have any idea how Google connected him to his dead grandpa -- and whether Google is somehow creating an ancestry database. Toscano also discovered Chrome has been creating a list of "Never Saved" passwords at chrome://settings/passwords?search=credentials even though "At no point did I tell Google to create and store a list of websites I had logged into that they didn't get access to but would like access to at some point in the future. Maybe in the Terms of Service/Privacy Policy I agreed to this, but who knows? Not the majority of us, and it's just creepy." And in an update Toscano writes that he hopes the article will "provoke thought" about "why we willingly allow this to happen": Why is it okay that the internet is designed to be a surveillance machine? Why isn't it designed to be private by design? Is this how we want to carry on? Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right. What would you like to see done? How would you like to see things changed?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

MIT Media Lab Chief Joi Ito Resigns Following Ronan Farrow's New Yorker Expose

Sun, 2019-09-08 01:34
Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: It was beginning to look like Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, might weather a scandal over accepting donations from the financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But less than a day after a scathing new expose in the New Yorker by Ronan Farrow alleged the Media Lab had a deeper fund-raising relationship with Epstein than previously acknowledged and attempted to conceal the extent of its contacts with him, Ito resigned from his position. "After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately," Ito wrote in an internal e-mail. In a message to the MIT community, MIT President L. Rafael Reif wrote, "Because the accusations in the story are extremely serious, they demand an immediate, thorough and independent investigation," and announced that MIT's general counsel would engage an outside law firm to oversee that investigation. Ronan's damning New Yorker story began: "Dozens of pages of e-mails and other documents obtained by The New Yorker reveal that, although Epstein was listed as 'disqualified' in MIT's official donor database, the Media Lab continued to accept gifts from him, consulted him about the use of the funds, and, by marking his contributions as anonymous, avoided disclosing their full extent, both publicly and within the university. Perhaps most notably, Epstein appeared to serve as an intermediary between the lab and other wealthy donors, soliciting millions of dollars in donations from individuals and organizations, including the technologist and philanthropist Bill Gates and the investor Leon Black." "The effort to conceal the lab's contact with Epstein was so widely known," reports the New Yorker, that some of Ito's staff "referred to Epstein as Voldemort or 'he who must not be named.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Wired Lists 'The Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now'

Sun, 2019-09-08 00:39
"If you're at all concerned about the privacy of your data, you don't want to leave the default settings in place on your devices -- and that includes anything that runs Windows 10," warns a new article in Wired, listing out the "controls and options you can modify to lock down the use of your data, from the information you share with Microsoft to the access that individual apps have to your location, camera, and microphone." Long-time Slashdot reader shanen calls the the article "a rough estimate of the degree to which my privacy can be intruded upon," adding some particularly pessimistic additional thoughts: Not just Microsoft, of course. It's safe to conclude that there are similar capabilities embedded in the software from Apple, the google, Amazon, and Facebook (and others...) [T]here is no real boundary between the software that does the privacy intrusions, the software that controls the intrusions, and the software that tells me the state of the intrusions. Have I actually disabled that particular abuse of my privacy? Or is the software still doing it and lying to me and claiming it isn't doing it... Or maybe it's the NSA, GRU, FBI, FSB, DHS, MSS, CIA, or any other governmental agency with a secret legal power to compel intrusions that you can't be told about...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

150 Microsoft Employees Release a New Music Video: 'Microsoft: The Musical'

Sat, 2019-09-07 23:44
Microsoft's 2019 summer interns have created Microsoft: the Musical, an 8-minute video whose director describes it as "a Tony Awards-style musical theater opening number." Long-time Slashdot reader Your Average Joe shared the Verge's article about the video: 150 full-time employees and interns at Microsoft have volunteered their mornings, weekends, and nights to create a Microsoft musical video. The video was shot in various buildings at Microsoft's corporate campus in Redmond, Washington and it features interns and staff members singing and dancing about how it's "all happening here." It starts off with a section about co-founder Bill Gates, before some classic lines like "all around the world our products are well known, except for when we tried to make a phone!" The musical even briefly acknowledges the company missing a beat with Vista, and features former CEO Steve Ballmer's famous "developers, developers, developers" chant. The video's description on YouTube says the music is "coming soon" to Apple's iTunes store as well as Spotify. Directed by one of Microsoft's data science interns, it opens with a narrator remembering that "There once was a lad whose eyesight was bad, but his vision was crystal clear. He looked a line that was clearly defined and declined to align by its rigid design." (Was that a reference to the antitrust case Microsoft settled in 2001?) A later lyric emphasizes that "more than plain old gadgets is the gall that makes the magic..." The narrator then introduces a woman with a book as Bill Gates, explaining to her that "These days, Bill Gates is more of an idea." I think it's appalling that there's absolutely no mention of recently-deceased Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. (Although they found room for a tongue-in-cheek reference to "Clippy's strength of will.") But among other things, this whole video project really begs the question: what else did they leave out about Microsoft?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Two College Students Nearly Grabbed Donald Trump's Tax Returns Online

Sat, 2019-09-07 22:34
"This was a Wayne's World scene gone awry..." says an attorney for 23-year-old Andrew Harris. "They were Wayne and Garth in a blue Pacer with a dumb idea and a mixed run of luck," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer: Harris previously had filed an application for federal student aid, and noticed that the government form would redirect to the IRS and import his own tax returns automatically. Harris and his fellow classmate Justin Hiemstra wondered: What would happen if they posed as one of Trump's offspring? Could they use an application for aid to land the returns and scoop the nation's biggest newspapers? Tiffany Trump had graduated in May 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania and had announced she was going to graduate school at Georgetown University. It could work. Six days before the 2016 election, Harris and Hiemstra went to Haverford College's computer lab and logged in using another student's credentials. They accessed a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). When they attempted to register under the name of Trump's child, they were stunned to discover an application under that name already existed. Using Google, they successfully guessed most of the answers to a series of challenge questions to reset the password. Stymied four times on one of the security questions, they gave up. What they didn't realize was that the Department of Education was monitoring all traffic on the FAFSA site. The failed attempt sent up a red flag. The IRS dispatched federal investigators to Haverford shortly after. Last month Pulitzer Prize-winning tax journalist David Cay Johnston told the paper "It's surprising they didn't catch them until four tries." They also reported that while Harris was expelled from the college, 22-year-old Hiemstra was allowed to graduate, and both men have pleaded guilty to accessing a computer without authorization and attempting to access a computer without authorization to obtain government information When sentenced in December, they'll face a maximum of two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $200,000 fine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Google Expands Bug Bounty Programme To All Apps With Over 100M Installs

Sat, 2019-09-07 21:34
Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes VentureBeat: Google, which has already paid security researchers over $15 million since launching its bug bounty program in 2010, today increased the scope of its Google Play Security Reward Program (GPSRP). Security researchers will now be rewarded for finding bugs across all apps in Google Play with 100 million or more installs. At the same time, the company launched the Developer Data Protection Reward Program (DDPRP) in collaboration with [bug bounty platform] HackerOne. That program is for data abuses in Android apps, OAuth projects, and Chrome extensions.... Google also uses this vulnerability data to create automated checks that scan all Google Play apps for similar vulnerabilities. Affected app developers are notified via the Play Console. The App Security Improvement (ASI) program provides them with information on the vulnerability and how to fix it. In February, Google revealed that ASI has helped over 300,000 developers fix over 1,000,000 apps on Google Play. The article also notes that Android apps and Chrome extensions found to be abusing data "will be removed from Google Play and the Chrome Web Store."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Hong Kong Protesters Using Mesh Messaging App China Can't Block: Usage Up 3685%

Sat, 2019-09-07 20:34
An anonymous reader quotes Forbes: How do you communicate when the government censors the internet? With a peer-to-peer mesh broadcasting network that doesn't use the internet. That's exactly what Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters are doing now, thanks to San Francisco startup Bridgefy's Bluetooth-based messaging app. The protesters can communicate with each other — and the public — using no persistent managed network... While you can chat privately with contacts, you can also broadcast to anyone within range, even if they are not a contact. That's clearly an ideal scenario for protesters who are trying to reach people but cannot use traditional SMS texting, email, or the undisputed uber-app of China: WeChat. All of them are monitored by the state. Wednesday another article in Forbes confirmed with Bridgefy that their app uses end-to-end RSA encryption -- though an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute warns in the same article about the possibility of the Chinese government demanding that telecom providers hand over a list of all users running the app and where they're located. Forbes also notes that "police could sign up to Bridgefy and, at the very least, cause confusion by flooding the network with fake broadcasts" -- or even use the app to spread privacy-compromising malware. "But if they're willing to accept the risk, Bridgefy could remain a useful tool for communicating and organizing in extreme situations."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

South Africa, UK Acknowledge Mass Surveillance By Tapping Undersea Internet Cables

Sat, 2019-09-07 19:34
The South African government has been conducting mass surveillance on all communications in the country, reports Reclaim the Net:, citing a report from Privacy International as well as recently-revealed affidavits and other documents from former State Security Agency (SSA) director-general Arthur Fraser: Interestingly, the mass surveillance has been happening since 2008... The surveillance was supposedly designed to cover information about organized crime and acts of terrorism. It even involves surveillance on food security, water security, and even illegal financial flows. The report also revealed that the South African government has done bulk interception of Internet traffic by way of tapping into fiber-optic cables under the sea. What is not clear though is whether the surveillance covers all Internet traffic or limited only to some of the fiber cables. The SSA said that the automated collection of data was specifically geared for foreign communications that pose threats to state security only. However, even the SSA admits to the fact that it will require human intervention to determine whether any communications that pass through the fiber cables are foreign or not. Hence, it would be difficult to distinguish between foreign and local communications. The iAfrikan site interviewed a digital rights researcher at South Africa's amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, whose legal filings helped bring this information to light. "We had details of the state's mass surveillance activities at least as early as 2006...." he tells the site, adding later that "The government has been quite upfront that it's collecting data from a vast number of people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing... Essentially, the State Security Agency is collecting as much haystack as it can, just in case it needs to look for a needle." Privacy International reports that the U.K. government has also recently acknowledged their "bulk interception of internet traffic by tapping undersea fibre optic cables." The site describes the work of the two countries as "some of the most pervasive surveillance programmes in human history."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

COBOL Turns 60. Why It Will Outlive Us All

Sat, 2019-09-07 18:34
ZDNet remembers when the only programming languages "were machine and assembler," until Burroughs Corporation programmer Mary Hawes proposed a vendor-neutral language with an English-like vocabulary. (Grace Hopper suggested they approach the Department of Defense, leading to a summit of 41 computer users and manufacturers at the Pentagon in 1959.) But ZDNet argues that 60 years later, COBOL isn't done yet. In 2016, the Government Accountability Office reported the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration, to name just three, were still using COBOL. According to a COBOL consulting company, which goes by the delightful name, COBOL Cowboys, 200 billion lines of COBOL code are still in use today and 90% of Fortune 500 companies still having COBOL code keeping the lights on. And, if you've received cash out of an ATM recently, it's almost certain COBOL was running behind the scenes. ZDNet explains that's the largest number of businesses using COBOL are financial institutions, which, according to Micro Focus includes "banking, insurance and wealth management/equities trading. Second is government services (federal, provincial, local)." Micro Focus is the company that now maintains COBOL, and their global director of marketing and "application modernization" tells ZDNet that "the number of organizations running COBOL systems today is in the tens of thousands. It is impossible to estimate the tens of millions of end users who interface with COBOL-based applications on a daily basis, but the language's reliance is clearly seen with its use in 70 percent of global transaction processing systems. Any time you phone a call center, any time you transfer money, or check your account, or pay a mortgage, or renew or get an insurance quote, or when contacting a government department, or shipping a parcel, or ordering some flowers, or buying something online at a whole range of retailers, or booking a vacation, or a flight, or trading stocks, or even checking your favorite baseball team's seasonal statistics, you are interacting with COBOL. ZDNet notes that some people are even moving their COBOL applications into the cloud, concluding "At this rate, COBOL programs will outlive us all."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

University of Texas Announces Fastest Academic Supercomputer In the World

Sat, 2019-09-07 17:34
On Tuesday the University of Texas at Texas launched the fastest supercomputer at any academic facility in the world. The computer -- named "Frontera" -- is also the fifth most-powerful supercomputer on earth. Slashdot reader aarondubrow quotes their announcement: The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas is also home to Stampede2, the second fastest supercomputer at any American university. The launch of Frontera solidifies UT Austin among the world's academic leaders in this realm... Joined by representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) -- which funded the system with a $60 million award -- UT Austin, and technology partners Dell Technologies, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, DataDirect Networks, NVIDIA, IBM, CoolIT and Green Revolution Cooling, TACC inaugurated a new era of academic supercomputing with a resource that will help the nation's top researchers explore science at the largest scale and make the next generation of discoveries. "Scientific challenges demand computing and data at the largest and most complex scales possible. That's what Frontera is all about," said Jim Kurose, assistant director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at NSF. "Frontera's leadership-class computing capability will support the most computationally challenging science applications that U.S. scientists are working on today." Frontera has been supporting science applications since June and has already enabled more than three dozen teams to conduct research on a range of topics from black hole physics to climate modeling to drug design, employing simulation, data analysis, and artificial intelligence at a scale not previously possible. Here's more technical details from the announcement about just how fast this supercomputer really is.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Facebook Accused of 'Deliberately Vague' Announcement About Face Recognition

Sat, 2019-09-07 16:34
Facebook is "bringing" facial recognition to all users, the company announced Tuesday. But the EFF's surveillance litigation director and a senior staff attorney warn that despite media reports, Facebook's announcement "definitely does not say that face recognition is now opt-in for all users." Throughout Facebook's deliberately vague announcement, it takes great pains to note that the change applies only to new Facebook users and people who currently have the "tag suggestions" setting. However, Facebook migrated many, if not most, existing users from "tag suggestions" to "face recognition" in December 2017... That means this safeguard does not apply to the billions of current Facebook users who have already been moved... Facebook should not subject any of its users to face surveillance, absent their informed opt-in consent. And Facebook should clear up the uncertainties in in its announcement before it gets any more credit than it's due for this change. Facebook's announcement didn't even include links to the "Settings" menu where users can opt out of Facebook's facial recognition, so the EFF's article helpfully provides both mobile and desktop links. According to Facebook's own help pages, the left-side menu should include a "Face Recognition" choice where users can turn off Facebook's face recognition features. But three different Facebook users I know have also reported that that menu choice just isn't there...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Chandrayaan-2's Orbiter Is Still Going Strong

Sat, 2019-09-07 15:34
An anonymous reader quotes Space.com: India's Chandrayaan-2 orbiter attempted to drop a lander named Vikram near the lunar south pole yesterday afternoon (Sept. 6), but mission controllers lost contact with the descending craft when it was just 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) above the gray dirt. As of early Saturday morning (Sept. 7), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) still had not officially declared Vikram dead. But comments by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leave little room for optimism... But Chandrayaan-2's journey isn't over yet, because the orbiter is still going strong. In fact, its yearlong moon mission has barely begun; the spacecraft slipped into lunar orbit just last month. Since then, the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has been studying Earth's natural satellite with eight different science instruments, from an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers). The probe's data should eventually allow researchers to compile detailed maps of the lunar surface, revealing key insights about the moon's elemental composition, formation and evolution, ISRO officials have said. Some of these maps will attempt to assess the moon's stores of water ice. A decade ago, Chandrayaan-2's predecessor, the orbiter Chandrayaan-1, showed that water is widespread across the lunar surface, especially at the poles... Vikram was supposed to deploy a rover named Pragyan, which would have mapped out the elemental composition of the landing site, potentially providing up-close information about ice in the area.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Parts of Wikipedia Went Offline After 'Malicious' DDoS Attack

Sat, 2019-09-07 14:34
An anonymous reader quotes the website of Ireland's national public service broadcasting: Popular online reference website Wikipedia went down in several countries after the website was targeted by what it described as a "malicious attack". The server of the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the site, suffered a "massive" Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, the organisation's German account said in a tweet last night. In a separate statement the Wikimedia Foundation said that the attack on the encyclopedia - one of the world's most popular websites - was "ongoing" and teams were working to restore access... Wikimedia condemned the breach of its server, saying it threatened "everyone's fundamental rights to freely access and share information."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Sony Releases a Walkman For Its 40th Anniversary

Sat, 2019-09-07 10:00
The Sony Walkman is back. The electronics maker will release a new version of its revolutionary portable music player, it announced Friday at IFA 2019, a leading annual consumer electronics trade show in Berlin. From a report: First released in 1979, the Sony TPS-L2 Walkman was the first truly portable personal cassette player and changed the way we listen to music. Sony has since released various iterations of its Walkman, but it's gone the extra mile with this special 40th anniversary edition. The Sony NW-A100TPS Walkman has a 40th anniversary logo printed on the back, and it comes with a specially designed case and package that pay homage to the original TPS-L2 Walkman. It also has a unique cassette tape interface for those who want to take a trip down memory lane. It runs Android and offers battery life of up to 26 hours. It is built for the future, with a USB-C port for connections. Its cost and release date haven't officially been announced.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Police Shut Down 3,000-Person Game of Hide-and-Seek At IKEA

Sat, 2019-09-07 07:00
An IKEA hide-and-seek game with 3,000 people was scheduled to take place in Glasglow, Scotland on Saturday, August 31, but police managed to put a stop to it before it even got started. From a report: The one-stop shop for everything home-related and also the ideal place for a 3,000-person hide-and-seek game. After all, the average store is about 300,000 square feet, while the world's largest IKEA is 700,000 square feet, and honestly, it's easy to imagine endless hiding spots. But unfortunately for one Facebook group, their planned trip to an IKEA in Glasgow, Scotland was cancelled after word got out about their Saturday event. Five police officers were called to the Braehead branch and remained at the store until the evening. "People are stopping everyone who 'looks like they are here for a game of hide and seek,'" one person wrote on Facebook after stopping by the store, The Scotsman reported. The IKEA itself also had its own security personnel, and no incidents were reported. The report says that IKEA management initially allowed hide-and-seek events -- a trend that began in Belgium in 2014 -- but were eventually forced to ban the events after they began getting out of hand. "The safety of our customers and co-workers is always our highest priority," said Rob Cooper, IKEA Glasgow Store Manager in a statement. "We were aware of an unofficial Hide and Seek Facebook event being organized to take place at our store today and have been working with the local police for support. While we appreciate playing games in one of our stores may be appealing to some, we do not allow this kind of activity to take place to ensure we are offering a safe environment and relaxed shopping experience for our customers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

First Long-Distance Heart Surgery Performed Via Robot

Sat, 2019-09-07 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. The feat was pulled off using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus. The results of the surgeries, which were successful, have just been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet. During the remote procedures, Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, used Corindus' CorPath GRX robot and a hardwired internet connection, manipulating the robot with a set of joysticks and a video monitor. Corindus has performed several remote test cases in the U.S. since, but Dr. Patel's procedure marked a major milestone in medicine. "Remote procedures have the potential to transform how we deliver care when treating the most time-sensitive illnesses such as heart attack and stroke," says Mark Toland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corindus Vascular Robotics. "The success of this study paves the way for large-scale, long-distance telerobotic platforms across the globe, and its publication in Lancet's EClinicalMedicine demonstrates the transformative nature of telerobotics. While remote robotic procedures are still in the early stages of development, it is clear we are on track to expand patients' access to care, while reducing their time to treatment."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Squirrels Listen To Birds' Conversations As Signal of Safety

Sat, 2019-09-07 02:10
According to a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE, the "chatter" from multiple bird species can be a useful cue to squirrels and other animals that there is no imminent threat in the area. Phys.Org reports: To test this hypothesis, the researchers observed the behavior of 54 wild Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in public parks and residential areas in Ohio in response to threat, which they simulated by playing back a recording of the call of a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a common predator of both squirrels and small birds. They followed the predator's call with a playback of either multi-species songbird bird chatter or ambient sounds lacking bird calls and monitored the behavior of each squirrel for 3 minutes. The researchers found that all squirrels showed an increase in predator vigilance behaviors, such as freezing, looking up, or fleeing, after they heard the hawk's call. However, squirrels that were played bird chatter afterwards performed fewer vigilance behaviors and returned to normal levels of watchfulness more quickly than squirrels that did not hear bird calls after the hawk's call. This suggests that the squirrels are able to tap into the casual chatter of many bird species as an indicator of safety, allowing them to quickly return to getting on with normal behaviors like foraging rather than remaining on high alert after a threat has passed. "We knew that squirrels eavesdropped on the alarm calls of some bird species, but we were excited to find that they also eavesdrop on non-alarm sounds that indicate the birds feel relatively safe," the authors said. "Perhaps in some circumstances, cues of safety could be as important as cues of danger."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness Surge, Health Officials Say

Sat, 2019-09-07 01:30
Medical experts and federal health officials on Friday warned the public about the dangers of vaping and discouraged using the devices as the number of people with a severe lung illness linked to vaping has more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states. The New York Times reports: The number of deaths linked to vaping rose to four from two on Friday. The Indiana Department of Health announced the third death, saying only that the victim was older than 18. Hours later, officials in Minnesota confirmed that a fourth person had died. The patient, who was 65, had a history of lung disease, but state officials said his acute lung injury was linked to vaping illicit T.H.C. products.The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was investigating a possible fifth death, saying on Friday afternoon that the fatality was associated with the use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping. "There is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response," Dr. David C. Christiani of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health wrote in an editorial published on Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The editorial called on doctors to discourage their patients from using e-cigarettes and for a broader effort to increase public awareness about "the harmful effects of vaping." Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoed that call in a briefing. "While this investigation is ongoing, people should consider not using e-cigarette products," said Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, who is leading the C.D.C.'s investigation into the illness.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Streaming Makes Up 80 Percent of the Music Industry's Revenue

Sat, 2019-09-07 00:50
Revenue made from streaming services in the United States grew by 26 percent in the first six months of the year, according to trade group Recording Industry Association of America, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. That makes for a revenue of $4.3 billion, according to research conducted by the group, which represents approximately 80 percent of the music industry's overall revenue. The Verge reports: Although this included both paid subscriptions and ad-supported streams, the report also found that paid subscriptions grew by 31 percent, accounting for 62 percent of the industry's total revenue. Spotify has more than 100 million subscribers, and Apple Music boasts 56 million paid subscribers. The record industry in the U.S. saw an 18 percent increase in revenue -- hitting $5.4 billion -- in the first six months of 2019. It's not just streaming that's helping the industry see a boost, though: physical media sales also jumped. Both vinyl and CDs saw increases in sales, growing 5 and 13 percent, respectively. CD sales made up roughly $485 million of the industry's revenue over the first six months of the year, and vinyl sales brought in an additional $224 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pages