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  • Feds Go After Mylan For Scamming Medicaid Out of Millions On EpiPen Pricing
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Over the nine or so years that Mylan, Inc. has been selling -- and hiking the price -- of EpiPens, the drug company has been misclassifying the life-saving device and stiffing Medicaid out of full rebate payments, federal regulators told Ars. Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, drug manufacturers, such as Mylan, can get their products covered by Medicaid if they agree to offer rebates to the government to offset costs. With a brand-name drug such as the EpiPen, which currently has no generic versions and has patent protection, Mylan was supposed to classify the drug as a "single source," or brand name drug. That would mean Mylan is required to offer Medicaid a rebate of 23.1 percent of the costs, plus an "inflation rebate" any time Mylan raises the price of the brand-name drug at a rate higher than inflation. Mylan has opted for such price increases -- a lot. Since Mylan bought the rights to EpiPen in 2007, it has raised the price on 15 separate occasions, bringing the current list price to $608 for a two-pack up from about $50 a pen in 2007. That's an increase of more than 500 percent, which easily beats inflation. But instead of classifying EpiPen as a "single source" drug, Mylan told regulators that it's a "non-innovator multiple source," or generic drug. Under that classification, Mylan is only required to offer a rebate of 13 percent and no inflation rebates. It's unclear how much money Mylan has skipped out on paying in total to state and federal governments. But according to the state health department of Minnesota, as reported by CNBC, the misclassification cost that state $4.3 million this year alone.

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  • Print-On-Demand Bone Could Quickly Mend Major Injuries
    sciencehabit quotes a report from Science Magazine: If you shatter a bone in the future, a 3D printer and some special ink could be your best medicine. Researchers have created what they call "hyperelastic bone" that can be manufactured on demand and works almost as well as the real thing, at least in monkeys and rats. Though not ready to be implanted in humans, bioengineers are optimistic that the material could be a much-needed leap forward in quickly mending injuries ranging from bones wracked by cancer to broken skulls. Researchers at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois are working on a hyperelastic bone, which is a type of scaffold made up of hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth, and a biocompatible polymer called polycaprolactone, and a solvent. Hydroxyapatite provides strength and offers chemical cues to stem cells to create bone. The polycaprolactone polymer adds flexibility, and the solvent sticks the 3D-printed layers together as it evaporates during printing. The mixture is blended into an ink that is dispensed by the printer, layer by layer, into exact shapes matching the bone that needs to be replaced. The idea is, a patient would come in with a nasty broken bone -- say, a shattered jaw -- and instead of going through painful autograft surgeries or waiting for a custom scaffold to be manufactured, he or she could be x-rayed and a 3D-printed hyperelastic bone scaffold could be printed that same day.

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  • New California Law Allows Test of Autonomous Shuttle With No Driver
    If you live in California, you may soon start to see self-driving cars on the road with no operators to be seen. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Thursday a bill that allows a self-driving vehicle with no operator inside to test on a public road. Currently, companies are legally able to test self-driving cars in California as long as the operators are located inside the vehicles when they are being tested. Fortune reports: The bill introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla allows testing in Contra Costa County northeast of San Francisco of the first full-autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel, brakes, accelerator or operator. New legislation was necessary because although driverless vehicles can be tested on private land like the office park, the shuttle will cross a public road on its loop through the campus. The new law means that two cube-like Easymile shuttles that travel no faster than 25 mph (40 kph) will be tested for a period of up to six months before being deployed and used by people. In an interview with Reuters in March, Bonilla said the "natural tension" between regulators concerned about safety and lawmakers trying to encourage innovation in their state necessitated a new bill. "They're risk averse and we're saying we need to open the door here and take steps (to innovate)," Bonilla said, calling the driverless shuttle project "a very wise first out-of-the-gate opportunity" to show how the technology could work safely.

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  • Facebook 'Messenger Day' Is the Chat App's New Snapchat Stories Clone
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Facebook is stealing the Stories format and invading countries where Snapchat isn't popular yet. Today in Poland it launched "Messenger Day," which lets people share illustrated filter-enhanced photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like on Snapchat. Much of the feature works exactly like Snapchat Stories, with the ability to draw or add text to images. Facebook's one big innovation with Messenger Day is the use of graphic filters as suggestions for what to share, instead of just to celebrate holidays and events or to show off your location like with Snapchat's geofilters. At the top of the Messenger thread list, users see a row of tiles representing "My Day" and friends' Days they can watch, but there are also prompts like "I'm Feeling," "Who's Up For?" and "I'm Doing." Tapping on these tiles provides a range of filters "I'm feeling [...] so blue" with raindrops and a bubbly blue font, "I'm feeling [...] blessed" with a glorious gold sparkly font, "Who's up for [...] road trip" with a cute car zooming past, or "Who's up for [...] Let's grab drinks" with illustrated beer mugs and bottles that cover the screen. This feature allows people to share visually appealing images even if they aren't great artists or especially creative. These prompts could also spur usage when people are bored, sparking their imagination. Messenger is already an app people use all day with close friends, so it could end up a better home for the Stories format than cramming it into Facebook's core app, which the company tested as "Quick Updates" and scrapped.

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  • New US 'Secret' Clearance Unit Hires Firm Linked To 2014 Hacks
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A U.S. government bureau set up to do "secret" and "top secret" security clearance investigations has turned for help to a private company whose login credentials were used in hack attacks that looted the personal data of 22 million current and former federal employees, U.S. officials said on Friday. Their confirmation of the hiring of KeyPoint Government Solutions by the new National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) comes just days ahead of the bureau's official opening, scheduled for next week. Its creation was spurred, in part, by the same hacks of the Office of Personnel Management that have been linked to the credentials of KeyPoint, one of four companies hired by the bureau. The officials asked not to be named when discussing sensitive information. A spokesman for OPM said the agency in the past has said in public statements and in congressional testimony that a KeyPoint contractor's stolen credentials were used by hackers to gain access to government personnel and security investigations records in two major OPM computer breaches. Both breaches occurred in 2014, but were not discovered until April 2015, according to investigators. One U.S. official familiar with the hiring of KeyPoint said personnel records were hacked in 2014 from KeyPoint and, at some point, its login credentials were stolen. But no evidence proves, the official said, that the KeyPoint credentials used by the OPM hackers were stolen in the 2014 KeyPoint hack. OPM officials said on Thursday one aim for NBIB is to reduce processing time for "top secret" clearances to 80 days from 170 days and for "secret" clearances to 40 days from 120 days.

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  • USB-IF Publishes Audio Over USB Type-C Specifications
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from AnandTech: The USB Implementers Forum this week published the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 (direct download) specification, which standardizes audio over USB Type-C interface. The new spec enables hardware makers to eliminate traditional 3.5mm mini-jacks from their devices and use USB-C ports to connect headsets and other audio equipment. Makers of peripherals can also build their audio solutions, which use USB-C instead of traditional analog connectors. Developers of the standard hope that elimination of mini-jacks will help to make devices slimmer, smarter and less power hungry. As reported, the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification supports both analog and digital audio. Analog audio is easy to implement and it does not impact data transfers and other functionality of USB-C cables since it uses the two secondary bus (SBU) pins. The USB ADC 3.0 defines minimum interoperability across analog and digital devices in order to avoid confusion of end-users because of incompatibility. In fact, all ADC 3.0-compliant hosts should support the so-called headset adapter devices, which allow to connect analog headsets to USB-C. However, digital audio is one of the primary reasons why companies like Intel wanted to develop the USB-C audio tech on the first place, hence, expect them to promote it. According to the USB ADC 3.0 standard, digital USB-C headphones will feature special multi-function processing units (MPUs), which will, to a large degree, define the feature set and quality of headsets. The MPUs will handle host and sink synchronization (this is a key challenge for digital USB audio), digital-to-analog conversion, low-latency active noise cancellation, acoustic echo canceling, equalization, microphone automatic gain control, volume control and others. Such chips will also contain programmable amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, which are currently located inside devices. Besides, USB ADC 3.0-compatible MPUs will also support USB Audio Type-III and Type-IV formats (the latest compressed formats), but will retain compatibility with formats supported by ADC 1.0 and 2.0. Finally, among the mandated things set to be supported by USB-C Audio devices are new Power Domains (allows devices to put certain domains in sleep mode when not in use) as well as BADD (basic audio device definition) 3.0 features for saving power and simplified discovery and management of various audio equipment (each type of devices has its own BADD profile).

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  • Newsweek Website Attacked After Report On Trump, Cuban Embargo
    After Newsweek published a report titled "How Donald Trump's Company Violated The United States Embargo Against Cuba," the site found itself on the receiving end of a "massive" denial-of-service attack that managed to shut down the site for several hours. TPM reports: Editor-In-Chief Jim Impoco noted that the attack came as the story earned national attention. "Last night we were on the receiving end of what our IT chief called a 'massive' DoS (denial of service) attack," Impoco wrote in an email to TPM. "The site was down most of last evening, at a time when Kurt Eichenwald's story detailing how Donald Trump's company broke the law by violating the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba was being covered extensively by prominent cable news programs. Our IT team is still investigating the hack." Later Friday afternoon, Impoco emailed TPM that in an initial investigation, the "main" IP addresses linked to the attack were found to be Russian. It should be noted that it is possible to fake an IP address. "As with any DDoS attack, there are lots of IP addresses, but the main ones are Russian, though that in itself does not prove anything," he wrote. "We are still investigating." Eichenwald tweeted Friday morning: "News: The reason ppl couldnt read #TrumpInCuba piece late yesterday is that hackers launched a major attack on Newsweek after it was posted."

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  • Researchers Ask Federal Court To Unseal Years of Surveillance Records
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based. According to the petition, Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn were partly inspired by a number of high-profile privacy cases that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from Lavabit to Apple's battle with the Department of Justice. In their 45-page petition, they specifically say that they don't need all sealed surveillance records, simply those that should have been unsealed -- which, unfortunately, doesn't always happen automatically. The researchers wrote in their Wednesday filing: "Most surveillance orders are sealed, however. Therefore, the public does not have a strong understanding of what technical assistance courts may order private entities to provide to law enforcement. There are at least 70 cases, many under seal, in which courts have mandated that Apple and Google unlock mobile phones and potentially many more. The Lavabit district court may not be the only court to have ordered companies to turn over private encryption keys to law enforcement based on novel interpretations of law. Courts today may be granting orders forcing private companies to turn on microphones or cameras in cars, laptops, mobile phones, smart TVs, or other audio- and video-enabled Internet-connected devices in order to conduct wiretapping or visual surveillance. This pervasive sealing cripples public discussion of whether these judicial orders are lawful and appropriate."

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  • Yahoo Open Sources a Deep Learning Model For Classifying Pornographic Images
    New submitter OWCareers writes: Yahoo today announced its latest open-source release: a model that can figure out if images are specifically pornographic in nature. The system uses a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning, which involves training artificial neural networks on lots of data (like dirty images) and getting them to make inferences about new data. The model that's now available on GitHub under a BSD 2-Clause license comes pre-trained, so users only have to fine-tune it if they so choose. The model works with the widely used Caffe open source deep learning framework. The team trained the model using its now open source CaffeOnSpark system.The new model could be interesting to look at for developers maintaining applications like Instagram and Pinterest that are keen to minimize smut. Search engine operators like Google and Microsoft might also want to check out what's under the hood here.The tool gives images a score between 0 to 1 on how NSFW the pictures look. The official blog post from Yahoo outlines several examples.

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  • Amazon Marketplace Shoppers Slam the Spam
    Spammy follow-up email messages are turning off Amazon Marketplace shoppers. Shoppers who buy from Amazon's Marketplace typically like the convenience and prices. But many are also unhappy about the barrage of emails that sellers send them after the purchase, notes Fortune. It adds: Sellers deluge often inboxes with requests for product reviews, inquiries about how the process went, and sales pitches for more stuff. Considering the comments on social media, feedback from friends and family, and in posts in Amazon.com's customer service forum over the past two years, this problem is not getting any better. There appears to be no way to opt out of this email flood, which is odd, given Amazon's self-professed zeal for great customer service. One shopper in Amazon's customer forum thread posted a response from an Amazon service representative that apologized for the notifications and noted that the feedback had been forwarded to the company's "investigations team."

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rss: digg

  • Can Penn Station Be Resurrected?
    Decades ago, New York lost one of its grand entryways. What if a new one were hiding in plain sight?

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  • What The Reviews Have To Say About Netflix's 'Luke Cage'
    After the huge success of "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones," Netflix is back today with "Luke Cage," a new series devoted to Jessica Jones' steel-skinned friend. Its predecessors were well received by critics as well ? does "Luke Cage" stack up?

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  • Our IQs Have Never Been Higher ? But It Hasn?t Made Us Smart
    We tend to assume that our intelligence is simply a matter of nature and nurture ? but many other factors can stunt or boost your IQ, right down to the person you choose to marry.

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  • You?re An Adult. Drink Better Wine, Damnit!
    A new take on the wine club, VINEBOX sends it by the glass. They?ve already sold out twice, don?t miss it. Here's $10 to get started.

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  • An Impatient Obama Tries To Coax Bill Clinton Onto Air Force One
    When leaving Israel after the funeral of Shimon Peres, President Obama had a tough time getting President Clinton onto Air Force One. He was reportedly engaged with a reporter.

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  • The Computer Voting Revolution Is Already Crappy, Buggy And Obsolete
    Remember when everyone hated hanging chads and wanted computerized voting? Seemed like a good idea at the time.

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  • The Biggest Real Estate Bubble Isn't In London, San Francisco Or New York
    That?s not to say that housing in London, San Francisco and New York isn?t extremely expensive, gouged by foreign demand and sparse on space for new buildings. But it could be worse ? it could be Vancouver.

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  • We Have Found The Reincarnation Of Jimi Hendrix And He Is A 19-Year-Old Fedora-Wearer
    Watch in awe as this kid and his band, "The Georgia Flood," perform a freakin' flawless cover.

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  • The Terrorist Inside My Husband's Brain
    Robin Williams' wife Susan writes about the little-known neurologic disease that afflicted the actor in the years before his suicide.

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  • A Naked Body And An Ex's Face: The Disturbing World Of 'Fake' Porn
    In the thriving subculture of pornographic fakes, Photoshop whizzes seamlessly edit women's faces into pornographic scenes.

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rss: the register

  • Firefox to doctor Pepper so it can run Chrome's PDF, Flash plugins

    Mozilla decides to crib some of Google's browser interfaces

    Mozilla is investigating hooking up Google Chrome's builtin plugins to Firefox.?



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  • How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering

    Think SQL injections on steroids

    Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, among other technology companies, have been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and related disciplines like machine learning because they see the technology enabling services that become a source of revenue.?



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  • Criticize Donald Trump, get your site smashed offline from Russia

    Newsweek Cuban connection story enrages miscreants

    It has been an odd day for Newsweek ? its main site was taken offline after it published a story claiming a company owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump broke an embargo against doing deals with Cuba.?



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  • Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

    Rights warriors gives their two cents on Tencent's nonsense

    Pic Chinese internet giant Tencent is the newly minted holder of a US design patent on the concept of placing rectangles on a display screen.?



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  • Crypto guru Matt Green asks courts for DMCA force field so he can safely write a textbook

    Next move in EFF's plans to regain the right to tinker

    Assistant Professor Matthew Green has asked US courts for protection so that he can write a textbook explaining cryptography without getting sued under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.?



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  • FCC keeps secret Google TV landgrab under wraps forever

    While comms commish faces a doxing for defying Silicon Valley

    Analysis US broadband regulator the FCC dramatically cancelled the much-anticipated vote on its secretive TV set-top box plan on Thursday ? and it's keeping the details confidential.?



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  • Internet handover is go-go-go! ICANN to take IANA from US govt

    Judge refuses injunction, handover of global DNS etc at midnight

    The most significant change in the internet's functioning for a generation will happen tonight at midnight.?



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  • Apple's Breaxit scandal: Frenchman smashes up ?50,000 of iThings with his big metal balls

    Fuming frenchie causes a oui bit of damage

    A French man has been charged after he stormed into an Apple store and smashed up iPhones and MacBooks using a metal ball that is more commonly used for the traditional game of pétanque.?



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  • Google, Facebook etc rush to defend US govt in last-minute ICANN internet takeover lawsuit

    Mad dash on eve of critical IANA transition

    A slew of internet organizations have come to the support of the US government in a last-minute lawsuit designed to prevent the handover of critical internet functions at midnight on Friday.?



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  • No surprise: Microsoft seeks Windows Update boss with 'ability to reduce chaos, stress'

    Reduce it for Redmond's engineers, that is ? not you

    Microsoft wants to hire a particularly thick-skinned person to help run its Windows Updates team.?



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