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Ancient Cannibals Didn't Turn To Cannibalism Just For the Calories, Study Suggests

Slashdot - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 3:30am
sciencehabit quotes a report from Science Magazine: A new, slightly morbid study based on the calorie counts of average humans suggests that man-eating was mostly ritualistic, not dietary, in nature among hominins including Homo erectus, H. antecessor, Neandertals, and early modern humans. On average, an adult male human contains 125,822 calories of fat and protein, enough to meet the 1-day dietary requirements of more than 60 people. The numbers represent a lower limit, as Neandertals and other extinct hominins likely had more muscle mass than modern humans. Still, when compared with other animals widely available to ancient man like mammoths (3,600,000 calories), wooly rhinoceroses (1,260,000 calories), and aurochs (979,200 calories), it hardly seems worthwhile to hunt hominins that are just as wily and dangerous as the hunters, the researchers conclude. Some instances of cannibalism from nine Paleolithic sites, which date from 936,000 to 14,700 years ago, might be chalked up to starvation or not wanting to waste a perfectly good body that died from natural causes.

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Reversible head transplants coming back to Windows Server 2016

El Reg - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 3:02am
Sysadmins miss Windows Server 2012's GUI-or-no-GUI-and-back-again option

Microsoft says it might bring back Windows Server 2012's option to run with or without a GUI.…

Germany gives social networks 24 hours to delete criminal content

El Reg - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 2:03am
Schnell! Designated complaint handlers could cop €5m Euro fine, networks could wear €50m

Germany has followed through on its proposal to make social networks remove slanderous hate speech and fake news or face massive fines.…

Alcohol-Related Car Accidents Declined In New York After Introduction of Uber, Analysis Finds

Slashdot - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 1:20am
According to a new paper from Jessica Lynn Peck of the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, ride-hailing services may have helped reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents by 25-30% in New York City. The report specifically focuses on Uber, which was first introduced in the city in May 2011, and looks at how the ride-hailing service has impacted New York City. The Economist notes in its report that Uber is "largely banned outside of New York City." From the report: To control for factors unrelated to Uber's launch such as adverse weather conditions, Ms Peck compares accident rates in each of New York's five boroughs to those in the counties where Uber was not present, picking those that had the most similar population density and pre-2011 drunk-driving rate. The four boroughs which were quick to adopt Uber -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx-- all saw decreases in alcohol-related car crashes relative to their controls. By contrast, Staten Island, where Uber caught on more slowly, saw no such decrease.

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GNOME Could Soon Have An Alternative To Microsoft Paint

Phoronix - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:59am
While there is GIMP for advanced image manipulation and then a few other alternatives for more simpler image manipulation or drawing, a new "GNOME Paint" program is in development...

Facebook To Use Photo-Matching To Block Repeat 'Revenge Porn'

Slashdot - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:40am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from AOL: Facebook is adding tools to make it easier for users to report so-called "revenge porn" and to automatically prevent the images from being shared again once they have been banned, the company said. "Revenge porn" refers to the sharing of sexually explicit images on the internet, without the consent of the people depicted in the pictures, in order to extort or humiliate them. The practice disproportionately affects women, who are sometimes targeted by former partners. Beginning on Wednesday, users of the world's largest social network should see an option to report a picture as inappropriate specifically because it is a "nude photo of me," Facebook said in a statement. The company also said it was launching an automated process to prevent the repeat sharing of banned images. Photo-matching software will keep the pictures off the core Facebook network as well as off its Instagram and Messenger services, it said.

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Wisdom of crowds plus a splash of AI give Australia new national analytical map data

El Reg - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:18am
It's nice to know where a lake lies. It's better if you know how fast rain can get into it

Australia's Public Sector Mapping Agency (PSMA) and US satellite constellation operator DigitalGlobe have joined together to come up with a whole-of-continent, high-resolution analytical data set.…

Uber Contract 'Gibberish', Says MP Investigating Gig Economy

Slashdot - Fri, 07/04/2017 - 12:00am
A committee of MPs has lambasted Uber's contracts with drivers as "gibberish" and "almost unintelligible" as the company attempts to ensure its drivers remain self-employed. From a report: Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee that is carrying out an investigation into the so-called gig economy, said: "Quite frankly the Uber contract is gibberish. They are well aware that many, if not most, of their drivers speak English as a second language -- they recently lost a court case trying to escape Transport for London's new English testing rules for private hire drivers -- yet their contract is almost unintelligible." [...] Publishing full details of Uber's contract terms, along with those for the takeaway courier firm Deliveroo and Amazon, Field said all three used some kind of "egregious clause" which attempted to prevent people challenging their "self-employed" designation, although neither Uber's nor Amazon's contract went as far as Deliveroo's, in the committee's view.

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Twitter cofounder to sell chunk of his stock for personal reasons

El Reg - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 11:34pm
Better do it quickly before the price falls further

Ev Williams, the cofounder of Twitter and Medium, has revealed that he'll be selling a large chunk of his stock in the microblogging site to fund other activities.…

YouTube Now Requires Channels To Have More Than 10K Views To Make Money Off Ads

Slashdot - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 11:20pm
YouTube is getting a little pickier about who can make money there. From a report on CNET: Google's massive video site said Thursday that channels must reach 10,000 total views before they qualify to run ads, the most direct way to make money there. The logic, essentially, is to remove one of the main incentives that spur bad actors to set up bogus accounts with somebody else's content -- the easy money. It also comes two weeks after YouTube suffered big advertiser pull-outs after a rash of news reports about brands' commercials running next to objectionable videos, like those with racist language.

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London Police Ink Shadowy Deal With Industry On Website Takedowns

Slashdot - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 11:00pm
AmiMoJo writes: The EFF is warning about unregulated activity against websites by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) of the City of London Police. A program called RogueBlock accepts notifications from IP holders, which the PIPCU then acts on, giving private companies legal jurisdiction over the entire internet, with appeals in the case of malicious reports and mistakes being extremely difficult to make. For example, Spanish sports streaming site Rojadirecta had its domain name seized by the U.S. government for over a year, despite the site being lawful in its native Spain. The EFF terms this kind of activity "Shadow Regulation."

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New Destructive Malware Intentionally Bricks IoT Devices

Slashdot - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 10:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: "A new malware strain called BrickerBot is intentionally bricking Internet of Things (IoT) devices around the world by corrupting their flash storage capability and reconfiguring kernel parameters. The malware spreads by launching brute-force attacks on IoT (BusyBox-based) devices with open Telnet ports. After BrickerBot attacks, device owners often have to reinstall the device's firmware, or in some cases, replace the device entirely. Attacks started on March 20, and two versions have been seen. One malware strain launches attacks from hijacked Ubiquiti devices, while the second, more advanced, is hidden behind Tor exit nodes. Several security researchers believe this is the work of an internet vigilante fed up with the amount of insecure IoT devices connected to the internet and used for DDoS attacks. "Wow. That's pretty nasty," said Cybereason security researcher Amit Serper after Bleeping Computer showed him Radware's security alert. "They're just bricking it for the sake of bricking it. [They're] deliberately destroying the device."

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Twitter Co-Founder Ev Williams Is Selling 30 Percent of His Stock For 'Personal' Reasons

Slashdot - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 10:00pm
The co-founder and current board member of Twitter, Ev Williams, said today that he plans to sell a "minority of [his] TWTR" stock over the next year, and doesn't plan to sell "more than 30 percent" of his holdings. Williams is the company's largest individual shareholder, so his recent announcement may make some investors worried. However, Twitter stock was only down less than 1 percent Thursday following this news. Recode reports: Williams was careful to say the sale was for "personal" reasons, not company performance reasons. Twitter's stock is down more than 15 percent over the past three months. Williams explained the sale in a blog post, and wrote that he has spent a lot of money investing through his venture fund, Obvious Ventures, and also donated a lot to charity and political campaigns over the past year. "I'd like to continue," he added. Williams sold about $4 million in stock this week, according to an SEC filing, and has set up a 10b5-1 trading plan, which means he'll sell at pre-determined dates moving forward to avoid any concerns over insider trading.

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Twitter sues US govt to protect 'Department of Immigration employee' who doesn't like Trump

El Reg - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 9:49pm
Because it's 2017 and nothing really makes sense any more

Twitter has sued the US Department of Homeland Security over its demands that the microblogging site unmask an anonymous anti-Trump account.…

Democrats draft laws in futile attempt to protect US internet privacy

El Reg - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 9:31pm
In non-snowball-in-Hell's-chance news: New York joins states' revolt on ISP rules

Less than a week after President Trump signed the law allowing ISPs to sell customers' browsing habits to advertisers, Democratic politicians are introducing bills to stop the practice.…

Uber Said To Use 'Sophisticated' Software To Defraud Drivers, Passengers

Slashdot - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 9:20pm
A class-action lawsuit against Uber alleges that Uber has "devised a 'clever and sophisticated' scheme in which it manipulates navigation data used to determine 'upfront' rider fare prices while secretly short-changing the driver," reports Ars Technica. "When a rider uses Uber's app to hail a ride, the fare the app immediately shows to the passenger is based on a slower and longer route compared to the one displayed to the driver. The software displays a quicker, shorter route for the driver. But the rider pays the higher fee, and the driver's commission is paid from the cheaper, faster route, according to the lawsuit." From the report: This latest lawsuit (PDF) claims that Uber implemented the so-called "upfront" pricing scheme in September and informed drivers that fares are calculated on a per-mile and per-minute charge for the estimated distance and time of a ride. "However, the software that calculates the upfront price that is displayed and charged to the Users calculates the expected distance and time utilizing a route that is often longer in both distance and time to the one displayed in the driver's application," according to the suit. In the end, the rider pays a higher fee because the software calculates a longer route and displays that to the passenger. Yet the driver is paid a lower rate based on a quicker route, according to the suit. Uber keeps "the difference charged to the User and the fare reported to the driver, in addition to the service fee and booking fee disclosed to drivers," according to the suit.

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Roll up, sysadmins, now you can join Windows Insider for businesses

El Reg - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 9:01pm
Preview builds aimed at IT dept guinea pigs

Microsoft is opening up a new Windows Insider program for IT departments looking to test out new features in advance.…

Twitter's motto: If at first you screwed developers over, try, try again, eh?

El Reg - Thu, 06/04/2017 - 8:46pm
Post-profit social network offers to rebuild repeatedly burned bridge with app makers

After taking developers for a ride and then repeatedly driving into a ditch, Twitter has a new destination in mind and has produced a roadmap to reassure those who haven't already leapt out the door.…