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  • 20% of Scientific Papers On Genes Contain Conversion Errors Caused By Excel, Says Report
    An anonymous reader writes from a report via WinBeta: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled "Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature," article's abstract section, the scientists explain: "The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions." It's easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the "gene symbols" that the scientists use as examples: "For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to '2-Sep' and '1-Mar', respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession '2310009E13' to '2.31E+13'). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. 'SEPT2' converted to '2006/09/02'). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem." You can view the scientific paper in its entirety here.

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  • Microsoft Details Its 24-Core 'Holographic Processor' Used In HoloLens
    The processor powering Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset has been a mystery -- until now. During the annual Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California, Microsoft revealed some juicy details about the secretive chip. PCWorld reports: "The HoloLens' HPU is a custom 28nm coprocessor designed by TSMC, The Register reports. The chip packs 24 Tensilica digital signal processor (DSP) cores. As opposed to more general-purpose CPU cores, DSPs are a specialized technology designed for rapidly processing data flowing in from the world -- a no doubt invaluable asset while rendering augmented reality environments in real time. Microsoft's HPU also contains roughly 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SDRAM, and 1GB of traditional DDR3 RAM. It draws less than 10W of power, and features PCIe and standard serial interfaces. The HPU's dedicated hardware is up to 200 times faster than performing the same calculations via software on the less-specialized 14nm Intel Cherry Trail CPU. Microsoft added custom instructions to the DSP cores that allow the HPU to churn through HoloLens-specific tasks even faster, The Register reports. The HPU can perform roughly 1 trillion calculations per second, and the data it passes to the CPU requires little additional processing."

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  • Pinterest Acquires Instapaper
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Instapaper, a pioneering app for saving articles to read later, has been acquired -- again. The app, which was created by developer Marco Arment and sold to Betaworks in 2013, has found a new home at Pinterest. The goal is "to accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinterest," the company said in a statement. It will continue to operate as a standalone app, and the Instapaper team will work on both that app and on Pinterest generally. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. As a visual search engine, Pinterest isn't often thought of as a place to bookmark written content. But in 2013 the company introduced article pins, a format that creates rich bookmarks complete with a photo and a preview of the text. The acquisition of Instapaper suggests the company believes there is more to be done there -- although it's not certain how valuable that will be for Pinterest. Instapaper can be used for free or in a $30-a-year premium version; the company has never said how many subscribers it has.

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  • Sony Tries To Remove News Articles About PlayStation 4 Slim Leak From The Internet
    Sony is expected to announce two new PlayStation 4 consoles at a scheduled event on September 7th in New York City, but as that date nears more leaks of the consoles have emerged. The most recent leak appears to show the upcoming PlayStation 4 Slim, which Sony is trying to remove from the internet by taking down news articles from social media accounts about the leak. Erik Kain via @erikkain on Twitter tweeted (Tweet no longer exists): "Sony issued a takedown and had this post removed from my Facebook page: https://t.co/fIjP0buTdY (Warning: may be paywalled)." Techdirt reports: "[The Forbes post] references the work Eurogamer did in visiting the leaker of the image to confirm the console is for real (it is), as well as generating its own image and even video of the console working for its story on the leak. But if you go today to the Eurogamer post about the leak, the video has been replaced by the following update. UPDATE, 7.30pm: Upon taking legal advice, we have removed the video previously referenced in this article. Left unsaid is whether or not any contact had been made by Sony with Eurogamer, thus prompting this 'legal advice,' but one can imagine that being the case, particularly given Sony's threats to social media users sharing images and reporting of Sony leaks and, more to the point, threats against any media that might report on those leaks."

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  • US Trade Judge Clears Fitbit of Stealing Jawbone's Trade Secrets
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Fitbit did not steal rival Jawbone's trade secrets, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled on Tuesday, dashing Jawbone's hopes of securing an import ban against Fitbit's wearable fitness tracking devices. The judge, Dee Lord, said that there had been no violation of the Tariff Act, which gives the commission the power to block products that infringe U.S. intellectual property, because "no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret." The ruling means Jawbone comes away with nothing from a complaint it filed with the trade agency in July 2015, accusing Fitbit of infringing six patents and poaching employees who took with them confidential data about Jawbone's business, such as plans, supply chains and technical details. Jawbone first sued Fitbit last year over trade secret violations in California state court, where the case is still pending. The companies, both based in San Francisco, are also litigating over patents in federal court.

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  • Google Search Removes 'Mobile-Friendly' Label, Will Tackle Interstitials Next
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today announced two updates to mobile search results: an aesthetic one rolling out now and an algorithmic one coming next year. The former consists of removing the "mobile-friendly" label in search results and the latter will punish mobile sites that use interstitials. The goal is to "make finding content easier for users," though as always, the company didn't share exactly how much of an impact users and webmasters can expect. The report adds: "If your site is in the 15 percent group, here's a quick recap. A webpage is considered 'mobile friendly' if it meets the following criteria, as detected in real time by Googlebot: Avoids software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash; Uses text that is readable without zooming; Sizes content to the screen so users don't have to scroll horizontally or zoom; Places links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped. The company now wants to tackle 'intrusive interstitials' as they 'provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.' After January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible when coming from mobile search results 'may not rank as highly.' Interstitials that Google doesn't like include showing a popup that covers the main content (immediately or delayed), displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content, and using a layout where the above-the-fold portion is similar to a standalone interstitial but the original content is inlined underneath. Interstitials that Google deems OK include legal obligations (cookie usage or for age verification), login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable, and banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible."

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  • FBI Authorized Informants To Break The Law 22,800 Times In 4 Years
    blottsie quotes a report from the Daily Dot: Over a four-year period, the FBI authorized informants to break the law more than 22,800 times, according to newly reviewed documents. Official records obtained by the Daily Dot under the Freedom of Information Act show the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave informants permission at least 5,649 times in 2013 to engage in activity that would otherwise be considered a crime. In 2014, authorization was given 5,577 times, the records show. USA Today previously revealed confidential informants engaged in "otherwise illegal activity," as the bureau calls it, 5,658 times in 2011. The figure was at 5,939 the year before, according to documents acquired by the Huffington Post. In total, records obtained by reporters confirm the FBI authorized at least 22,823 crimes between 2011 and 2014. Unfortunately, many of those crimes can have serious and unintended consequences. One of the examples mentioned in the Daily Dot's report was of an FBI informant who "was responsible for facilitating the 2011 breach of Stratfor in one of the most high-profile cyberattacks of the last decade. While a handful of informants ultimately brought down the principal hacker responsible, the sting also caused Stratfor, an American intelligence firm, millions of dollars in damages and left and estimated 700,000 credit card holders vulnerable to fraud."

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  • Ashley Madison Security Protocols Violated Canada, Austrialia Privacy Laws
    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said Tuesday that the Canada-based online dating and social networking service Ashely Madison used inadequate privacy and security technology while marketing itself as a discreet and secure way for consenting adults to have affairs. CBC.ca reports: "In a report Tuesday, the privacy watchdog says the Toronto-based company violated numerous privacy laws in Canada and abroad in the era before a massive data breach exposed confidential information from their clients to hackers. The hack stole correspondence, identifying details and even credit card information from millions of the site's users. The resulting scandal cost the company about a quarter of its annual revenues from irate customers who demanded refunds and cancelled their accounts. Working with a similar agency in Australia, the privacy group says the company knew that its security protocols were lacking but didn't do enough to guard against being hacked. The company even adorned its website with the logo of a 'trusted security award' -- a claim the company admits it fabricated." The report found that "poor habits such as inadequate authentication processes and sub-par key and password management practices were rampant at the company" and that "much of the company's efforts to monitor its own security were 'focused on detecting system performance issues and unusual employee requests for decryption of sensitive user data.'" What's more is that Ashley Madison continued to store personal information of its users even after some of which had deleted or deactivated their account(s). These people then had their information included in databases published online after the hack.

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  • WikiLeaks Published Rape Victims' Names, Credit Cards, Medical Data
    Joe Mullin, writing for ArsTechnica: Even as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits trapped in the Ecuadorean embassy, the WikiLeaks website continues to publish the secrets of various governments worldwide. But that's not all it's publishing. A report today by the Associated Press highlights citizens who had "sensitive family, financial or identity records" published by the site. "They published everything: my phone, address, name, details," said one Saudi man whose paternity dispute was revealed in documents published by the site. "If the family of my wife saw this... Publishing personal stuff like that could destroy people." One document dump, from Saudi diplomatic cables, held at least 124 medical files. The files named sick children, refugees, and patients with psychiatric conditions. In one case, the cables included the name of a Saudi who was arrested for being gay. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death. In two other cases, WikiLeaks published the names of teenage rape victims. "This has nothing to do with politics or corruption," said Dr. Nayef al-Fayez, who had a patient with brain cancer whose personal details were published.

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  • Tesla Unveils New Model S, Its Quickest Production Car
    Electric car maker Tesla said Tuesday that it is launching a 100-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery for its Model S and Model X cars. A report on Bloomberg says: Tesla is adding versions of its Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle with a more powerful battery pack that the company said makes the Model S the world's quickest production car and gives it range of 315 miles on a single charge. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is trying to appeal to sports car enthusiasts with the new Model S P100D with a 100 kilowatt-hour battery, which with Ludicrous mode can go from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds, compared with 2.8 seconds for the P90D Ludicrous version. The P100D Ludicrous upgrade costs $10,000 for customers who have ordered a P90D Ludicrous but haven't taken delivery, or $20,000 for owners who already have that vehicle type.

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rss: digg

  • Teenage Wasteland
    The billion-dollar troubled-teen industry has been a disaster for decades. It's still not fixed.

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  • Rise Of The Nazi-Grave Robbers
    Profiteers are digging up World War II gravesites in search of memorabilia. Preservationists want to stop them.

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  • The Surprising, Complex Partnerships That Rule Pop Culture
    In today?s landscape of media conglomerates and vertical integration, everything we watch on TV is the product of more partnerships than we can even keep track of?but that?s not going to stop us from trying.

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  • Straight Teeth For A Sweet Price
    Smile Direct Club?s aligners are invisible, affordable and shipped straight to your door. Everything?s assessed online, so you don?t even need to visit the dentist!

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  • A Hilarious Supercut Of SNL Cast Members Breaking Character
    It's easy to lose it when you live in a van down by the river.

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  • How Congress, The FDA And Sarah Jessica Parker Helped EpiPen Become A $1 Billion Business
    In 2007, an EpiPen cost about $57. Today that price has skyrocketed to over $600?all for about $1 worth of injectable medicine.

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  • An Interactive Guide To The Evolution Of The National Mall
    The original idea for the Mall ? a grand, tree-lined avenue flanked by imposing buildings ? goes back to the very origins of the capital city, Pierre L?Enfant?s plan conceived for George Washington. But in Washington, plans rarely go as planned, so the Mall has been a work in progress for more than 200 years.

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  • Everything The Internet Is Saying About Donald Trump In One Easy Feed
    The best way to keep up with the Republican candidate is by keeping this tab open all day.

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  • Everything The Internet Is Saying About Hillary Clinton In One Easy Feed
    She hasn't done a press conference in a while, but that doesn't mean she isn't making news. Check here to see the latest on the Democratic candidate.

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  • Today In 2016: Hillary Clinton ? The Natural Born Actor
    Welcome to Today In 2016, your daily digest of all things election. Today Donald's paying more rent...to himself, Hillary faces the reality of her own foundation, and Trump backs away from mass deportation.

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rss: the register

  • Nuclear fallout shelter becomes cloud storage bunker

    Cold war relic beneath Paris now houses cold storage at ?0.002/GB/Month

    French hosting company Online.net has revealed its new data centre resides in a former nuclear fallout shelter.?



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  • Microsoft drops OMI for Linux to GitHub

    Management for Penguin-powered things, phones, and other skinny stuff

    Microsoft has added another piece to its Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) jigsaw, publishing Unix/Linux code that implements the Distributed Management Task Force's (DMTF) models and standards.?



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  • Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

    Big names launch CBRS Alliance. Think of it as truckers-versus-tech

    Another industry alliance is gearing up to pitch mobile phone spectrum access to spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band ? this time using frequencies formerly devoted to Citizens Band (CB) radio users.?



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  • NIST spins atomic gyroscope to allow navigation without GPS

    Wait, there's more: it's also an accelerometer

    The United States' National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has thinks it can use a cloud of atoms as a gyroscope.?



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  • Intel douses Wildfire ransomware as-a-service Euro menace

    Group scored $79k a month with infect-o-tronic rent-a-bot

    An alliance of cops and anti-malware experts have doused the Wildfire ransomware that plagued users in Belgium and the Netherlands.?



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  • Equation Group exploit hits newer Cisco ASA, Juniper Netscreen

    NSA cache dump keeps patches pumping

    Hungary-based security consultancy SilentSignal has ported a public exploit to newer models of Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA).?



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  • Google broke its own cloud by doing two updates at once

    Right hand, meet left hand. Then both do a facepalm

    Google has explained an August 11th brownout on its cloud as, yet again, a self-inflicted wound.?



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  • Boffins design security chip to spot hidden hardware trojans in processors

    When fabs go rogue

    Scientists at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering have designed a new form of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designed to spot hidden vulnerabilities deep within a processor's design.?



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  • Hacked hookup site Ashley Madison's security was laughable

    Canadian and Australian privacy watchdogs bite, hard

    Ruby Corp, the rebranded parent company of illicit-affair-arranging outfit Ashley Madison, has had to enter into court-enforceable orders with privacy authorities in Canada and Australia, following the findings of a joint investigation in the two countries.?



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  • Australian Federal Police resume NBN raids, this time in parliament

    Former comms minister Conroy calls on cops to back off, current minister says they're just following orders

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is resuming its hunt for documents associated with leaks about the financial position of the National Broadband Network.?



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