hypnosec writes "With the wide array of electronic devices available in our everyday lives, it appears that children have formed an attachment to a different kind of toy. According to the latest survey, 77 per cent of polled US, UK parents believe that iPads and other tablets are good educational tools that boost kids' creativity. Meanwhile, researchers in this field explain that it is a matter of balance — and a child's access to tablets and other similar electronic devices should be monitored. Specialists warn that using tablets in excess could cause attention deficit disorder and even autism, particularly at a very young age."
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An anonymous reader writes "You probably don't remember the RockYou fiasco as it happened in late 2009. In case you don't, social game developer RockYou suffered a serious SQL injection flaw on its flagship website. Worse, the company was storing user details in plain text. As a result, tens of millions of login details, including those belonging to minors, were stolen and published online. Now, RockYou has finally settled with the Federal Trade Commission."
OverTheGeicoE writes "A group of students and a professor were detained by TSA at Dallas' Love Field. Several of them were led away in handcuffs. What did they do wrong? One of them left a robotic science experiment behind on an aircraft, which panicked a boarding flight crew. The experiment 'looked like a cell phone attached to a remote control car with some exposed wires protruding.' Of course, the false alarm inconvenienced more than the traveling academics. The airport was temporarily shut down and multiple gates were evacuated, causing flight delays and diversions."
An anonymous reader writes "At one point an NYU librarian literally got into a shouting match with a protester at an Occupy protest, trying to make the case for why a digital record should be kept of photos, videos, audio recordings, posters, and other materials, so future scholars and activists can recount what happened. Academics are taking unusual steps to preserve the protesters' stuff, including 'distributing postcards promoting archiving at protests, developing automated systems to download photos posted online, and asking participants to vote on which images are most important for the historic record.'"
alphadogg writes "For the first time ever, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually."
redletterdave writes "Popular photo-sharing app Instagram, which has been one of the most popular social start-ups despite only being housed on a single platform (iOS), was finally released onto the Android ecosystem on Tuesday. The app, which boasts more than 10 million users and plenty of ways to stylize and share photos, is available as a free download from Google Play."
dsinc contributes a link to Neil deGrasse Tyson's short piece in Wired on how we could deal with the very real threat of killer asteroids, writing "In 2029 we'll be able to know whether, seven years later, Apophis will miss Earth or slam into the Pacific and create a tsunami that will devastate all the coastlines of the Pacific Rim." From the article: "Saving the planet requires commitment. First we have to catalogue every object whose orbit intersects Earth’s, then task our computers with carrying out the calculations necessary to predict a catastrophic collision hundreds or thousands of orbits into the future. Meanwhile, space missions would have to determine in great detail the structure and chemical composition of killer comets and asteroids."
mikejuk writes "The open source flight simulator Flight Gear is great fun but it can also be used for serious research. Suppose you want to develop a drone that can roam the seas and spot debris so that ships can be directed to it and pick it up. It's a good idea, but how do you test your methods? The obvious way is to take to the sea and fly a drone over real debris and see what happens. It uses a lot of fuel and generates a lot of sea sickness. Why not just fly a simulated drone over a simulated sea and save the sea sickness? This is what Curtis Olson, project manager at FlightGear and he explains how to get OpenCV to use the simulator as if it was a camera."
JSBiff writes "Ars Technica is reporting on a study by NOAA scientists who surveyed the ocean near Fukushima, which concludes that while a lot of radioactivity was released into the water, as would be expected, it diluted out to levels that pose little risk to wildlife or humans, and that the seafood is safe to eat. Perhaps we needn't worry so much about "millions of gallons of radioactive water" being released into the ocean, like it's a major environmental disaster, as it's really not — the ocean is many orders of magnitude larger than any accidental release of radiation which might happen from a nuclear plant."
Trailrunner7 writes with this excerpt from Threatpost: "Mozilla has made a change in Firefox that will block all of the older versions of Java that contain a critical vulnerability that's being actively exploited. The decision to add these vulnerable versions of Java to the browser's blocklist is designed to protect users who may not be aware of the flaw and attacks. 'This vulnerability — present in the older versions of the JDK and JRE — is actively being exploited, and is a potential risk to users. To mitigate this risk, we have added affected versions of the Java plugin for Windows (Version 6 Update 30 and below as well as Version 7 Update 2 and below) to Firefox's blocklist. A blocklist entry for the Java plugin on OS X may be added at a future date. Mozilla strongly encourages anyone who requires the JDK and JRE to update to the current version as soon as possible on all platforms,' Mozilla's Kev Needham said."
sl4shd0rk writes "Taking a page out of the TSA handbook, the Supreme Court has voted to allow strip searches for any offense, no matter how minimal. The article cites these two tidbits from Justice Anthony Kennedy: 'Every detainee who will be admitted to the general [jail or prison] population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,' and 'Maintaining safety and order at detention centers requires the expertise of correctional officials.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Two controversial scientific papers on a mutant form of the H5N1 avian flu virus should be published in uncensored form after a review determined there would be no immediate threat from releasing the data, a U.S. biosecurity panel said, revising its earlier decision."
Hugh Pickens writes writes "In spring of 1940, the Census Bureau sent out more than 120,000 fact-gatherers, known as 'enumerators,' to survey the nation's 33 million homes and 7 million farms. Now as the 72 years of confidentiality expires, the National Archives website buckled under the load as the 1940 census records were released and 1.9 million users hit the archives servers in the first four hours the data went public and at one point, the Archives said, its computers were receiving 100,000 requests per second. Data miners will have the opportunity to pick and chip through more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps and other sociological minutiae. What will we learn from this mother lode? The pivotal year 1940 'marked the beginnings of a shift from a depressed peacetime to a prosperous wartime,' says David E. Kyvig, author of Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1939. The vast data dump, Kyvig says, will allow historians 'to look closely at particular communities and how people within them were doing in terms of employment, income and material comforts.' The 1940 census was the first Census that looked deeper into the details of much of American life. 'As we see how the country evolved over the subsequent 20 years, where we have aggregate census data ... we ought to be able to see more clearly how government spending bettered everyday life, confirmed Keynesian economic theory and revealed that, before the war, the New Deal did too little, rather than too much, to stimulate the U.S. economy."" Get all 18TB of it while it's hot.
An anonymous reader writes "In response to a plans to introduce real time monitoring of all UK Internet communications, a petition has been set up in opposition." Previously covered here, El Reg chimes in with a bit of conspiracy theorizing and further analysis: "It would appear that the story is being managed: the government is looking to make sure that CCDP is an old news story well ahead of the Queen's Speech to Parliament on 9 May. Sundays — especially Sunday April the 1st — are good days to have potentially unpopular news reach the population at large."