17 Sep 2019

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A gas explosion ripped through a Russian lab storing deadly viruses like smallpox, anthrax, and Ebola

A gas explosion ripped through a Russian lab storing deadly viruses like smallpox, anthrax, and EbolaA gas cylinder at a major Russian research lab known as "Vector" exploded in a sanitary inspection room and caused a fire on Monday.

17 Sep 2019 9:58am GMT

New study finds that a vegan diet could boost gut microbes related to body weight and blood sugar control

New study finds that a vegan diet could boost gut microbes related to body weight and blood sugar controlA new small-scale study has found evidence to suggest that following a vegan diet could boost levels of the microbes in our gut, which are related to improvements in body weight, body composition and blood sugar control. The participants were randomly placed into two groups, with 73 told to follow a low-fat vegan diet for 16 weeks, while the remaining 74 were told to make no changes to their diet. At the beginning of the study and at the end of the 16 weeks, the researchers assessed the gut microbiota composition, body composition, and insulin sensitivity.

17 Sep 2019 9:53am GMT


Google Preps 'Smart Screenshots' Feature To Let You Search With a Screenshot

According to Abner Li from 9to5Google, Google is working on a new "Smart Screenshots" feature that integrates Google Lens abilities into the Google app's screenshot function. From the report: The Google app has long had an "Edit & share screenshots" ability where captures made within Search would reveal cropping and annotation tools. Meanwhile, Assistant has long maintained a "What's on my screen" capability that analyzes what you're currently viewing for search suggestions. Google app 10.61 reveals work on "Smart Screenshots" that combine those two features. Like before, a toolbar -- which interestingly uses a four-color light bar -- appears after you take a screenshot. A small preview is shown at the left with a pencil button overlaid. You can open the system share sheet, but the Google app also suggests a frequently used app. The most interesting addition is Lens. "Exploring with Lens" could be intended as a "Screen search" replacement given that Lens is increasingly taking over visual lookup throughout first-party apps, like Chrome. After taking a capture, Smart Screenshots have an easy way to invoke Lens for search, OCR, and finding visually "similar items." The existing editing tools (Annotating, Cropping, and Sharing) will remain and this new functionality appears to even use the same settings toggle to enable. It's unclear if this functionality once live will again be limited to screenshots taken within Search, or if it will expand to be systemwide and invokable anywhere. A notification from the Google app could appear after capturing a screenshot.

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17 Sep 2019 9:00am GMT

Richard Stallman Resigns From MIT

Multiple Slashdotters are reporting the unfortunate news that famed free software advocate and computer scientist Richard Stallman has resigned from MIT. Slashdot reader iamacat writes: Following outrage over his remarks about Jefferey Epstein's victims, Richard Stallman has resigned from his position in MIT, effective immediately. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him -- even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon. "I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT," Stallman wrote in an email, referring to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations." Stallman also resigned as president from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as well as from the organization's board of directors, FSF announced shortly after.

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17 Sep 2019 5:00am GMT

Spouse of Ring Exec Among Lawmakers Trying To Weaken California Privacy Law

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The California legislature worked through the summer to finalize the text of the state's landmark data privacy law before time to make amendments ran out on Friday. In the Assembly (California's lower house), Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin has been a key voice and vote backing motions that would weaken the law, and a new report says her reasoning may be very, very close to home. A review of state ethics documents conducted by Politico found that Ms. Irwin is married to Jon Irwin, the chief operating officer of Amazon's controversial Ring home surveillance business. That company stands to benefit if the California law is weakened in certain key ways before it can take effect. One proposal put forth by Assemblywoman Irwin would expand what kind of data would be exempt from CCPA provisions, and this drew the ire of consumer protection groups, Politico reports. Irwin also initially proposed striking out "a provision requiring companies to disclose or delete data associated with 'households' upon request," a regulation that will likely affect companies like Ring. She also voted against an amendment that would have required smart speaker systems, like Amazon's Alexa or Google Home, to obtain user consent to sell recorded conversations, and "used store security-camera footage as an example of data that would be burdensome and risky for businesses to be required to link to consumers in response to data-deletion requests." Assemblywoman Irwin told Politico she found questions about her spouse to be offensive, given her own personal background as a systems engineer. "My role in the privacy debate in the Legislature is focused on bringing people together and solving the practical issues posed to us as policy makers and is independent of any job or role my husband may have," she said. The California Consumer Privacy Act was signed into law in June 2018 by California nGovernor Gavin Newsom. "This legislation gives California residents several protections with regard to their personal information, including the rights to know what is being collected, what is being sold, and to whom it is being sold," reports Ars Technica. "It also grants Californians the right to access their personal information, the right to delete data collected from them, and the right to opt out -- without being charged extra for services if they choose to do so."

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17 Sep 2019 3:30am GMT

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For 1 in 16 US women, first sexual intercourse experience was rape, study says

For 1 in 16 US women, first sexual intercourse experience was rape, study saysThe first experience with sexual intercourse for more than 3 million U.S. women was forced in their early teens, according to a new study.

17 Sep 2019 2:36am GMT

16 Sep 2019

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Missiles and drones that hit Saudi oil fields: Made in Iran, but fired by whom?

Evidence shows Iran supplied cruise missiles, "loitering munitions" used previously.

16 Sep 2019 11:10pm GMT

Audible fires back at book publishers, says captions are fair use

"Audible Captions is not a book of any kind," Audible writes in court filing.

16 Sep 2019 8:41pm GMT

Google’s next flagship smartphone launches October 15

We'll see the Pixel 4 and probably a bunch of other Google hardware.

16 Sep 2019 8:28pm GMT