conner_bw writes "Is there an acceptable compromise to behavioral targeting? On the one hand, I don't want to be profiled by unscrupulous advertisers. On the other hand, I feel that the advertiser is the middleman between the things I care about (content) and the dollars that support those things. My compromise is to take a page out of BF Skinner's book, Walden Two, and view the situation as a sort of absurd behaviorist experiment. Basically, I Adblock everything, but whitelist the sites I support. Is this too much? Not enough? What should individuals do protect themselves, if anything at all?"
Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter
Hugh Pickens writes "James Hamblin, MD writes in the Atlantic that it's unclear how common the misconception that women rarely become pregnant after rape may be, but remarks by Missouri Senatorial nominee Todd Akin that 'if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down' (video) may provide some benefit as a learning opportunity. 'From a holistic perspective, one might hypothesize that a woman's body could respond to the extreme stress and trauma of enduring rape in such a way that she would be physiologically more likely to miscarry (or not to conceive at all),' writes Hamblin. After all there is a multi-million dollar alternative reproductive health market aimed at optimizing an environment for conception so there could be something to a theory that the other, much darker end of that spectrum functions analogously. But that hypothesis doesn't hold, to any relevant degree. A widely-cited 1996 study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology sampled over 4,000 women and found that the rape-related pregnancy rate was 5.0 percent and studies from other countries have reported the percentage to be even greater."
wiredmikey writes "Wireless Internet routers used in homes and offices could be knitted together to provide a communications system for emergency responders if the mobile phone network fails, German scientists reported on Monday. In many countries, routers are so commonplace that they could be used by police and fire departments if cell towers and networks are down or overwhelmed by people caught up in an emergency, they say. This rich density means that an emergency network could piggyback on nearby routers, giving first responders access to the Internet and contact with their headquarters. The researchers suggest that routers incorporate an emergency 'switch' that responders can activate to set up a backup network, thus giving them a voice and data link through the Internet. This could be done quite easily without impeding users or intruding on their privacy, the study argues. Many routers already have a 'guest' mode, meaning a supplementary channel that allows visitors to use a home's Wi-Fi." This is a cool angle on mesh networking — reminds me of the emergency response capabilities of ham radio; if it sounds intriguing, remember that even sparse networks can make use of this kind of networking with the right antennas. Related: even without touching the hardware on your router, you can do some meshing around with Byzantium.
hypnosec writes "Charlie Shrem, co-founder of BitInstant LLC, has confirmed that a BitCoin-funded international debit/credit card should be available very soon. Giving a time frame of 6-8 weeks, Shrem said over an IRC chat session that the card will function like any other credit or debit card, and that it can be used at places where MasterCard is being accepted. Shrem has also said that the initial 1000-odd cards will be given for free and subsequent cards will carry a charge of around $10. Any transaction that is carried out through the card [will incur a] 1% BitCoin transfer fee on top of the $1.50 ATM withdrawal fee."
An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government has been running an inquiry into why technology is so much more expensive to buy down under than in the U.S. In response to the price difference, many consumers are turning to the Internet to buy tech that is imported through unofficial channels at cheaper prices from the U.S. Not to miss out on sales, some retailers are starting to set up special websites that sell this way too. The so-called 'grey market' can save you cash, but could it cost you more in the long run? This article looks at some of the potential problems for people buying technology this way." A companion article examines some of the nitty-gritty of price differences between Australia and the U.S., including the observation that entry-level salaries skew higher in Australia.
puddingebola writes "Jurors in the Apple v. Samsung case will receive a 100 page 'instructions to the jury' document. They will also receive a multi-page form with numerous questions to come to a verdict. From the article: 'The document, which both sides have yet to agree on, is still in its draft stage. In Samsung's case, it's 33 questions long, and stretched across 17 pages. For Apple, it's 23 questions spread over nine pages.' Perhaps this is standard in patent trials? Perhaps road sobriety tests will soon include hopping on one foot while juggling?" As usual, Groklaw has the juicy details on the battle over writing the jury instructions.
ananyo writes about improvement to Mexico's healthcare system. From the article: "A revamp of Mexico's beleaguered health-care system is proving to be a runaway success and offers a model for other nations seeking to reform their own systems, according to a review published this week in The Lancet (abstract). The key to the scheme's success is the way in which it has modified its reforms in response to scientific assessments of their effectiveness, the authors say. Launched in a law in 2003, the Mexican scheme was designed to sort out widespread inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the country's health-care system. Some 50 million Mexicans — nearly half the country's population — who previously were not covered by health insurance are now enrolled, leading the scheme's architects to claim that the country has near-universal health-care coverage. As well as the increased coverage, the scheme has seen the number of conditions treated under Mexican public health insurance nearly quintuple. Admittedly, the former health minister Julio Frenk, now dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, is a co-author on the paper."
Dangerous_Minds writes "The New Zealand, Australian, and Canadian Green Parties have released a joint statement on the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). Among the concerns are the secretive nature of the talks and 'could hinder access to safe, affordable medicines, weaken local content rules for media, stifle high-tech innovation, and even restrict the ability of future governments to legislate for the good of public health and the environment.' ZeroPaid also notes that the statement is starting to appear in New Zealand and Australian media."
colinneagle writes with news of a marine turned conspiracy theorist who was detained for psychological evaluation after posting rants on Facebook. He has since been ordered to remain in a mental facility for at least 30 days. From the article: "There are conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was an inside job. I don't really follow that news, but can people be arrested after saying so online, exercising their First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech? On August 16, the FBI, Secret Service and the Chesterfield Police arrested a decorated former U.S. Marine for 'airing his critical views of the U.S. government on Facebook.' On Facebook, Raub talked about the Illuminati, a shadow organization in which 'some of the leaders were involved with the bombing of the twin towers' and the 'great amount of evil perpetrated by the American Government.' He said people may think he was going crazy, but a 'civil war,' the 'Revolution' is coming. 'I'm starting the Revolution. I'm done waiting.' On July 24, he said he was at a 'great crossroads. As if a storm of destiny is about to pick me up and take me to fight a great battle.' On August 9 he talked about severing heads and told the generals he was coming for them. On August 13, he wrote, 'Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads.' On August 14, Raub wrote, 'The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it.'" I suspect being a former marine and threatening to decapitate military officials might have had something to do with this (communicating specific threats?). But then again, his Facebook page was reportedly private, and according to the AP newswire: "The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens' private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree."
First time accepted submitter Dr Bip writes "Flush with the good news coming from Mars, NASA has announced that JPL has won funding for the next mission to Mars. It seems that the lander will be carrying a self-driving mole developed by the German space agency (DLR). Commiserations to the two other projects that were also in the selection finale (TiME and CHopper). Note the DLR mole's last attempt to get to Mars was with the Beagle 2 lander, fingers crossed for this second attempt."
hypnosec writes "RapidShare has said that the U.S. government should crack down on linking sites rather than punishing file-sharing sites and strangling innovation. The file-sharing site is understandably a little worried about the recent crackdowns on sites involved in or found to be promoting piracy. Daniel Raimer, RapidShare's Chief Legal Officer, is to meet with technology leaders and law enforcement at the Technology Policy Institute forum. Responding to a public consultation on the future of U.S. IP enforcement, the company emphasized that linking sites are the real problem. It wrote, 'Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network.'"
Nerval's Lobster writes "Dr. Armando Angulo was indicted in 2007 on charges of illegally selling prescription drugs. He fled the country in 2004, with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Marshals Service eventually finding him in Panama. As the case developed (and Panama resisted calls to extradite Angulo back to the United States), the DEA apparently amassed so much electronic data that maintaining it is now a hardship; consequently, the government wants to drop the whole case. 'These materials include two terabytes of electronic data (which consume approximately 5 percent of DEA's world-wide electronic storage capacity),' Stephanie M. Rose, the U.S. attorney for northern Iowa, wrote in the government's July motion to dismiss the indictment. 'Continued storage of these materials is difficult and expensive.' In addition, information associated with the case had managed to fill 'several hundred boxes' of paper documents, along with dozens of computers and servers. As pointed out by Ars Technica, if two terabytes of data storage represents 5 percent of the DEA's global capacity, then the agency has only 40 terabytes worth of storage overall. That seems quite small for a law enforcement agency tasked with coordinating and pursuing any number of drug investigations at any given time."
This past week, SCO filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which finally begins the end of a long saga that started over nine years ago. While their anti-IBM litigation has risen from the grave and still shambles onward, the company itself is nearly put to rest after nine years of choosing the wrong legal battle to get into. Even if it may be too early to dance on SCO's grave, join me as I look back over the long and bumpy road to nowhere of The SCO Group.
Have you ever been handcuffed and wish you weren't? Even if you haven't, what if you plan to demonstrate at a political party convention in the next couple of weeks? Either way, you need to watch this video, shot by Timothy Lord and unknown_lamer at H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth), which will teach you the rudiments of unhandcuffing yourself -- but on purpose leaves out the fine points. For those, you'll need to buy several pairs of handcuffs and practice on your own. At worst, you will probably embarrass yourself no more than Timothy does as he tries to shimmy his handcuffed hands from behind him to in front of him, starting at about 5:18.
hype7 writes "The Harvard Business Review is running an article that's questioning the very premise of the Apple v Samsung case. From the article: 'It isn't the first time Apple has been involved in a high-stakes "copying" court case. If you go back to the mid-1990s, there was their famous "look and feel" lawsuit against Microsoft. Apple's case there was eerily similar to the one they're running today: "we innovated in creating the graphical user interface; Microsoft copied us; if our competitors simply copy us, it's impossible for us to keep innovating." Apple ended up losing the case. But it's what happened next that's really fascinating. Apple didn't stop innovating at all.'"