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Basics: Birds Beware: The Praying Mantis Wants Your Brain

Scientists have developed a healthy respect for mantises, acrobatic hunters with 3-D vision and voracious appetites.

How to Survive the Apocalypse

Amid natural disasters, terrorist attacks and going nuclear over North Korea, it is not just camouflage-clad cave dwellers who are prepping for doomsday.

Big City: Can Prep Schools Fight the Class War?

Trinity School’s headmaster sends shock waves through the city’s private-school world calling out insidious parental entitlement and self-interest.

Trump Attacks Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

The president directly inserted himself into a fiery debate about race, social justice and the role athletes play in highlighting those issues.

Op-Ed Columnist: The Great and Immortal French ‘Bof’

It is useful to look at Trump’s apocalyptic leanings through this different lens.

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far

After revelations of harassment and bias in Silicon Valley, a backlash is growing against the women in tech movement.

Mexico City Was Built on an Ancient Lake Bed. That Makes Earthquakes Much Worse.

The devastating earthquake on Tuesday was all the more destructive because of Mexico City’s unusual position atop an ancient lake bed.

Sporting: Are Physical Limits All in Our Heads?

The Berlin marathon will test the primacy of mind over body in sports.

Personal Health: Giving Migraine Treatments the Best Chance

To be most effective, new therapies may require patients to recognize and respond to the early warning signs of a migraine.

The New Health Care: The Best Health Care System in the World: Which One Would You Pick?

Assessing the systems in eight countries can inform the debate in the U.S. over universal coverage.

Market Snapshot: New era of uncertainty dawns in the stock market as Fed begins to taper QE

As the Federal Reserve prepares to shut down the nearly decadelong quantitative-easing program and President Trump ramps up pressure on North Korea, some analysts are heralding the dawn of a new era where investors will have to grapple with unknown risks and uncertain rewards.

Market Snapshot: Dow, S&P 500 eke out small gains, post second weekly advance

U.S. stocks bounce late in the session, paring early losses and ending little changed on Friday as investors shook off the latest bellicosities between North Korean and U.S. leaders.

Market Snapshot: Stocks retreat from records as Dow snaps nine-day winning streak

U.S. stocks finish lower Thursday with the Dow snapping a nine-day winning streak as investors found few reasons to chase equities a day after the Federal Reserve indicated it still intends to deliver another rate increase in 2017 and detailed the unwinding of $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Market Snapshot: Dow, S&P 500 finish at records as Fed announces October start to ‘great unwind’

U.S. stock benchmarks end a volatile session mostly in the green, with the Dow and the S&P 500 carving out fresh all-time highs, as the Federal Reserve announced that, for the first time in nine years, it would start reducing the size of its $4.5 trillion asset portfolio commencing in October.

Market Snapshot: Longtime laggers, an ‘important turn is happening’ in energy stocks

U.S. stocks have been in a strong uptrend in 2017, hitting dozens of records, but they have achieved this feat without the contribution of a major sector: energy, which has sharply lagged behind the broader market for years. That could be about to change.

Saudi Arabian Textbook Shows Yoda Joining The UN

Long-time Slashdot reader Mikkeles quotes the BBC: Saudi Arabia's education minister has apologised for the production of a school textbook in which the Star Wars character Yoda is seen superimposed on a photograph of the late King Faisal... The image, which shows the diminutive Jedi Master sitting beside King Faisal as he signs the UN Charter in 1945, was created by the Saudi artist Shaweesh. He told the BBC it was not yet clear how it had ended up in the textbook... The 2013 artwork, entitled United Nations (Yoda), is part of a series in which symbols of American pop culture -- ranging from Captain America to Darth Vader -- are superimposed onto archive photos of historical events... Shaweesh said he included Yoda because, like King Faisal, he was "wise, strong and calm". "Someone should have checked the image before printing," he added.

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Experian Criticized Over Credit-Freeze PIN Security and 'Dark Web' Scans

Security researcher Brian Krebs complains that Experian's identity-protecting credit freezes are easily unfrozen online. An anonymous reader quotes the Verge: Experian makes it easy to undo a credit freeze, resetting a subject's PIN through an easily accessible account recovery page. That page only asks for a person's name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number...data [that] was compromised in the Equifax breach, as well as other breaches, so we can probably assume hackers possess this information. After entering that data, attackers then just have to enter an email address -- any email -- and answer a few security questions. That might not jump out as insecure; security questions exist for a reason. But the questions themselves are easy to answer, particularly if you know how to use the internet and a search bar. Krebs says sample questions include asking users to identify cities where they've previously lived and the people that resided with them. Much of that information is available through a person's own social media accounts, search engines, or Yellow Pages-like databases, including Spokeo and Zillow... In response to Krebs' report, Experian claims that it goes beyond the measures identified to authenticate users. "While we do not disclose those additional processes," said the company in a statement, "they include a broad array of checks that are not visible to the consumer." Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that Experian is also advertising a "free scan of the dark Web" which actually binds anyone who accepts it to their 17,600-word terms of service, as well as acceptance of "advertisements or offers" from financial products companies -- plus "an arbitration clause preventing you from suing the company" which a spokesperson acknowledges could remain in effect for several years.

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Inside Amazon's Warehouses: Thousands of Senior Citizens and the Occasional Robot Mishap

Amazon aggressively recruited thousands of retirees living in mobile homes to migrate to Amazon's warehouses for seasonal work, according to a story shared by nightcats. Wired reports:From a hiring perspective, the RVers were a dream labor force. They showed up on demand and dispersed just before Christmas in what the company cheerfully called a "taillight parade." They asked for little in the way of benefits or protections. And though warehouse jobs were physically taxing -- not an obvious fit for older bodies -- recruiters came to see CamperForce workers' maturity as an asset. These were diligent, responsible employees. Their attendance rates were excellent. "We've had folks in their eighties who do a phenomenal job for us," noted Kelly Calmes, a CamperForce representative, in one online recruiting seminar... In a company presentation, one slide read, "Jeff Bezos has predicted that, by the year 2020, one out of every four workampers in the United States will have worked for Amazon." The article is adapted from a new book called "Nomadland," which also describes seniors in mobile homes being recruited for sugar beet harvesting and jobs at an Iowa amusement park, as well as work as campground hsots at various national parks. Many of them "could no longer afford traditional housing," especially after the financial downturn of 2008. But at least they got to hear stories from their trainers at Amazon about the occasional "unruly" shelf-toting "Kiva" robot: They told us how one robot had tried to drag a worker's stepladder away. Occasionally, I was told, two Kivas -- each carrying a tower of merchandise -- collided like drunken European soccer fans bumping chests. And in April of that year, the Haslet fire department responded to an accident at the warehouse involving a can of "bear repellent" (basically industrial-grade pepper spray). According to fire department records, the can of repellent was run over by a Kiva and the warehouse had to be evacuated.

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'Tetris' Recreated In Conway's 'Game of Life'

In 1970 mathematician John Conway created rules for the "Game of Life," a now famous "zero-player game" where a grid of cells evolves (following Conway's rules) from an initial state proposed by the player. In 2013 someone challenged readers of StackExchange's "Programming Puzzles & Code Golf" section to devise an initial state "that will allow for the playing of a game of Tetris." An anonymous Slashdot reader reports that "This challenge sat around, gathering upvotes but no answer, for four years. Then, it was answered." Citing the work of seven contributors, a massive six-part response says their solution took one and a half years to create, and "began as a quest but ended as an odyssey." The team created their own assembly language, known as QFTASM (Quest for Tetris Assembly) for use within Conway's mathematical universe, and then also designed their own processor architecture, and eventually even a higher-level language that they named COGOL. Their StackExchange response includes a link to all of their code on GitHub, as well as to a page where you can run the code online. One StackExchange reader hailed the achievement as "the single greatest thing I've ever scrolled through while understanding very little."

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Spain's Crackdown on Catalonia Includes Internet Censorship

Spain's autonomous Catalonia region wants to hold a referendum on independence next weekend. Spain's Constitutional Court insists that that vote is illegal, and has taken control of Catalonia's police force to try to stop the vote. They're deploying thousands of additional police officers and have seized nearly 10 million ballots. And now the Internet Society has gotten involved, according to an announcement shared by Slashdot reader valinor89: Measures restricting free and open access to the Internet related to the independence referendum have been reported in Catalonia. There have been reports that major telecom operators have been asked to monitor and block traffic to political websites, and following a court order, law enforcement has raided the offices of the .cat registry in Barcelona, examining a computer and arresting staff. We are concerned by reports that this court order would require a top-level domain (TLD) operator such as .cat to begin to block "all domains that may contain any kind of information about the referendum."

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