Botnets are fascinating to me. Who creates them? What are they for? And why doesn’t someone delete them? The answers are probably less interesting than I hope, but in the meantime I like to cheer when large populations of bots are exposed. That’s what security outfit F-Secure’s Andy Patel did this week after having his curiosity piqued by a handful of strange likes on Twitter . Curious about the origin of this little cluster of random likes, which he just happened to see roll in one after another, he noticed that the accounts in question all looked… pretty fake. Cute girl avatar, weird truncated bio (“Waiting you”; “You love it harshly”), and a shortened URL which, on inspection, led to “adult dating” sites. So it was a couple bo...
The mystery surrounding Amelia Earhart’s 1937 disappearance has taken another turn, as a Tennessee researcher says bones found on a remote island in the South Pacific “likely” belong to the legendary American pilot. “Until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers,” Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center, said in a statement. Although the bones had been analyzed in 1940 by physician D. W. Hoodless — who concluded that the remains belonged to a man — Jantz recently reexamined the seven bone measurements using modern techniques and found a different result. “There are many examples of erroneous assessments by a
Cecil the lion, who was killed with a bow and arrow in Zimbabwe in 2015 by an American dentist and trophy hunter, was clinging to life for 10 to 12 hours before dying, a researcher who studied the animal claims in a new book.
John Lott, a discredited researcher with a history of pushing false and misleading information about guns, scored space in Tuesday’s New York Times. The article, which argues that background checks are flawed and ineffective, continues his streak of misleading and deeply flawed analyses. It’s unclear why, exactly, the New York Times believed Lott is a credible source of gun research. Lott’s trademark assertion that more guns means less crime was formally and thoroughly repudiated by a panel convened by the National Research Council. In one case, a researcher has suggested that Lott fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. Lott has also been caught publishing studies with severe statistical errors. Faced with mounting criticism, Lott created a fake online persona,