August, 2013

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Americans hurt by server outages: We need to shop! We need to Facebook!

A survey shows that people are becoming more aware of servers going down. It’s truly cramping their lifestyle…. Read More

First Asteroid Discovered At Uranus’s Leading Trojan Point

LeadSongDog writes “ is reporting on a 60km comet-like body in Lagrangian orbit around the Sun, locked to Uranus’s leading Trojan Point. This means a distant, but fairly accessible supply of water-ice, hence: reaction mass, hydrogen and oxygen for robotic miners if we can just get them there with an energy source. ‘The sun and Earth have two Trojan points, one leading ahead of Earth, known as the L-4 point of the system, and one trailing behind, its L-5 point. The sun and other planets have Lagrangian points also, with asteroids seen at those the sun shares with Jupiter, Neptune and Mars. Scientists thought the Trojan points of Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, were too unstable to host asteroids.”… Read More

Modsecurity Cross Site Scripting Bypass

Modsecurity suffers from a cross site scripting bypass vulnerability…. Read More

Hot Wheels car races down world’s highest wall track

A toy Hot Wheels car takes a huge plunge down the side of an apartment building on what may be the world’s highest wall track…. Read More

The Cognitive Cost of Poverty

An anonymous reader writes “It’s a common trope that most poor people are poor because they’re lazy or just inherently bad with money. But a new study (abstract) makes a fascinating find: being poor actually reduces your cognitive capabilities when thinking about money. ‘In a series of experiments run by researchers at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Warwick, low-income people who were primed to think about financial problems performed poorly on a series of cognition tests, saddled with a mental load that was the equivalent of losing an entire night’s sleep. Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults.’ This makes the difficulty in climbing out of poverty much easier to understand. The researchers also demonstrated causality by showing that thinking about a very small expense led to no impairment, while thinking about a very large expense did. They confirmed this by looking at a group of farmers in India who tend to receive most of their income at one time — immediately following their harvest. Shortly before that payment, when the farmers had very little money, their scores dropped as well.”… Read More

Feds Seek Prison For Man Who Taught How To Beat a Polygraph

George Maschke writes “In a case with serious First Amendment implications, McClatchy reports that federal prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence for Chad Dixon of Indiana, who committed the crime of teaching people how to pass or beat a lie detector test. Some of his students passed polygraphs and went on to be hired by federal agencies. A pleading filed by prosecutors all but admits that polygraph tests can be beaten. The feds have also raided and seized business records from Doug Williams, who has taught many more people how to pass or beat a polygraph over the past 30 years. Williams has not been criminally charged. I’m a co-founder of (we suggest using Tor to access the site) a non-profit, public interest website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud, and abuse associated with the use of lie detectors. We offer a free e-book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector (1 mb PDF) that explains how to pass a polygraph (whether or not one is telling the truth). We make this information available not to help liars beat the system, but to provide truthful people with a means of protecting themselves against the high risk of a false positive outcome. As McClatchy reported last week, I received suspicious e-mails earlier this year that seemed like an attempted entrapment. Rather than trying to criminalize teaching people how to pass a polygraph, isn’t it time our government re-evaluated its reliance on the pseudoscience of polygraphy?”… Read More

Does it go to ’11,’ and other myths about volume

The Audiophiliac muses about why gearheads fixate on wattage and power…. Read More

Syria: a Defining Moment For Chemical Weapons?

Lasrick writes “Oliver Meier describes the long-term significance (even beyond the incredible human suffering) of Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons on August 21, and outlines six major steps for response. Quoting: ‘The attack in August is a historic event with wider implications. Its impact on the role of chemical weapons in international security in general will depend primarily on the responses. Looking beyond the current crisis, failure to respond to the attacks could undermine the taboo against chemical weapons. … First, a unified response by the international community is essential. The strength of international norms depends primarily on great-power support. So far, such a unified response is sorely lacking. Judgments about how to react to the use of chemical weapons appear to be tainted by preferences about the shape of a post-war Syria. This has already damaged the international chemical weapons legal regime.'”… Read More

Yoast SEO 1.14.15 Cross Site Scripting

Yoast SEO plugin version 1.14.15 suffers from a cross site scripting vulnerability…. Read More

How Facebook is banishing roommate horror stories from the dorm

Ah, the dreaded college roommate. Or the perfect roommate. It’s all less of a guessing game, thanks to — you guessed it — Facebook…. Read More

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