Mars Opportunity Rover Appears To Contact Earth; Turns Out To Be a False Alarm

dmoberhaus writes: NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover appeared to briefly make contact with the agency’s Deep Space Network on Thursday afternoon after 5 months of silence. In June, a dust storm took Opportunity offline and every attempt to bring the rover back to life has failed. NASA scientists were hoping that seasonal winds that sweep the planet from November to February might blow the dust off of Opportunity’s solar panels. Was…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

Some Birds Are Excellent Tool-Makers

brindafella writes: Veterinary scientists from Viena have shown that Goffin’s cockatoos can do an excellent job of remaking cardboard into tools to get rewards. This follows on from earlier experiments with the New Caledonian crow that can select tools for its purposes. So, birds are definitely not “bird-brained.” “[The study] tells us that the cockatoos’ mind is highly flexible and that they can modify their solution to a problem in…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

Facebook Filed a Patent To Predict Your Household’s Demographics Based On Family Photos

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed News: Facebook has submitted a patent application for technology that would predict who your family and other household members are, based on images and captions posted to Facebook, as well as your device information, like shared IP addresses. The application, titled “Predicting household demographics based on image data,” was originally filed May 10, 2017, and made public today. The system Facebook proposes…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

Man Spoofs GPS To Fake Shop Visits For Profit, Gets Caught

AmiMoJo writes: A man in Japan used GPS spoofing to fake 2.7 million visits to shops in the Aeon Kyushu chain. Each visit rewarded him with two “WAON” points, with the total worth around 5.3 million yen ($45,000). The man used 45 laptops to continually spoof GPS readings and launch the Aeon Kyushu app, collecting two points each time. Read more of this story at Slashdot. Source: www.slashdot.org

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

Silicon Valley’s alliance with Democrats, already strained by issues like fake news and Cambridge Analytica, is at a breaking point after NYT’s Facebook exposé (New York Times)

November 18, 2018

New York Times: Silicon Valley’s alliance with Democrats, already strained by issues like fake news and Cambridge Analytica, is at a breaking point after NYT’s Facebook exposé  —  The alliance between Democrats and Silicon Valley has buckled and bent this year amid revelations that platforms like Facebook … Source: http://www.techmeme.com

Read More >>

EFF, MuckRock Partner To See How Local Police Are Trading Your Car’s Location

v3rgEz writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation and transparency non-profit MuckRock helped file over a thousand public records requests, looking into how local police departments were trading away sensitive data on where you drive and park, picked up by their use of automated license plate recognition devices. They’ve just published the results of those requests, including looking at how hundreds of departments freely share that data with hundreds of other organizations…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

Bill Godbout, Early S-100 Bus Pioneer, Perished In the Camp Wildfire

evanak writes: Bill Godbout was one of the earliest and most influential supports of the S-100 bus in the mid-1970s. He passed away last week due to the Camp wildfire in Concow, California, according to a Vintage Computer Federation blog post. More than 50 other people also died in the fires, but chances are Mr. Godbout was the only one with a license to fly blimps. “Godbout was born October…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>

People Sensitive To Caffeine’s Bitter Taste Drink More Coffee, Study Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: A team of researchers conducted their analysis using data stored in something called the UK Biobank. More than 500,000 people have contributed blood, urine and saliva samples to the biobank, which scientists can use to answer various research questions. The volunteers also filled out questionnaires asking a variety of health-related questions, including how much coffee they drink. Part of what determines our…

November 18, 2018
Read More >>