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posted by martyb on Monday July 06, @07:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the sees-the-moment dept.

Army researchers are improving how computers manage a myriad of images, which will help analysts across the DOD [Department of Defense] intelligence community.

In a new user interface developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Dr. Jeff Hansberger designed and created a system that facilitates the visualization, navigation and manipulation of tens of thousands of images.

Hansberger works at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL Human Research and Engineering Directorate field element at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. DARPA selected his design earlier this year for its Visual Media Reasoning, or VMR.

The DARPA VMR system aids intelligence analysts in searching, filtering, and exploring visual media through the use of advanced computer vision and reasoning techniques.

[Also Covered By]:

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday July 06, @04:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the getting-what-you-asked-for-may-not-be-getting-what-you-want dept.

The Greeks voted no to the European Union's terms, despite warnings from the EU that rejecting new austerity terms would set their country on a path out of the Eurozone. 62% voted "No" while 38% voted "Yes".

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday July 06, @02:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the better-safe-than-sorry dept.

TAILS is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity. It helps you to use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship almost anywhere you go and on any computer but leaving no trace unless you ask it to explicitly.

It is a complete operating system designed to be used from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card independently of the computer's original operating system. It is Free Software and based on Debian GNU/Linux.

Tails comes with several built-in applications pre-configured with security in mind: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, image and sound editor, etc. -

# Check first the about and warning pages to make sure that Tails is the right tool for you and that you understand well its limitations.

It can be downloaded here. There is plenty more info on the site, linked to above, giving details of the security enhancements and bug fixes over previous versions.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday July 06, @12:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-where-should-I-store-this-fact? dept.

BBC has a nice article:

Storing information so that you can easily find it again is a challenge. From purposefully messy desks to indexed filing cabinets, we all have our preferred systems. How does it happen inside our brains?

Somewhere within the dense, damp and intricate 1.5kg of tissue that we carry in our skulls, all of our experiences are processed, stored, and - sometimes more readily than others - retrieved again when we need them. It's what neuroscientists call "episodic memory" and for years, they have loosely agreed on a model for how it works. Gathering detailed data to flesh out that model is difficult.

But the picture is beginning to get clearer and more complete. A key component is the small, looping structure called the hippocampus, buried quite deep beneath the brain's wrinkled outer layer. It is only a few centimetres in length but is very well connected to other parts of the brain. People with damage to their hippocampus have profound memory problems and this has made it a major focus of memory research since the 1950s.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday July 05, @09:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the burning-more-than-beds dept.

A year on from the abolition of the carbon price, greenhouse pollution from electricity generation has rebounded as Australia burns more brown coal to meet its power needs.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the national electricity grid jumped by 6.4 million tonnes in the financial year after the Abbott government repealed the scheme that required big industry to buy pollution permits, according to analysis by consultants Pitt & Sherry. The 4.3 per cent increase unwound part of an 11 per cent fall in emissions across the grid in the two years the carbon price was in place.

It can mainly be attributed to Victoria's four large brown coal generators running at greater capacity more often as the electricity they generate became cheaper. Output from the ageing Latrobe Valley quartet was up about nine per cent.

With the exception of burning oil for power – a practice favoured in Saudi Arabia – burning brown coal is the most greenhouse-intensive way to create electricity. Cutting emissions from the electricity supply is widely considered the central battle in tackling climate change in coming decades. It pumps out about a third of Australia's carbon pollution.

The new data comes as the federal cabinet is set to this month consider Australia's climate change targets beyond 2020 amid international pressure over Prime Minister Tony Abbott's contrarian stance on the issue.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday July 05, @07:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the change-phone-provider dept.

NASA's mission to Pluto lost contact with ground controllers and went into "safe mode" when contact was re-established.

Ten days before NASA 's New Horizons spacecraft was due to make its closest approach to Pluto, the space agency reports that at 1:54 PM EDT on the afternoon of July 4th local U.S. time, it lost contact with the $700 million unmanned flyby mission for more than an hour and twenty minutes. Controllers were able to regain a signal from the probe via NASA's Deep Space Network at 3:15 PM. EDT, but as a result, the spacecraft's systems have entered safe mode until mission engineers can diagnose the problem.

Of course, New Horizons is way out there, which makes communications difficult.

Recovery from the event is inherently hamstrung due to the 9-hour, round trip communication delay that the agency says "results from operating a spacecraft almost 3 billion miles (4.9 billion kilometers) from Earth.

Fly-by is scheduled to take place on July 14th. Can't help but wonder if this is not revenge for being demoted to a dwarf planet.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @06:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the i'm-bald-you-insensitive-clod dept.

Nvidia has just provided an impressive demonstration of HairWorks 1.1, flaunting the real-time calculation of around half a million virtual hairs.

In this article from, we see how Nvidia has taken their Hairworks rendering program for human hair and changed the scale from the maximum of 22,000 to 500,000 hairs in a video.

Previously, Nvidia has conducted tests with 22,000 separate strands, that has been quite a success. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is among the first games to take advantage of the Nvidia HairWorks, using which it has greatly enhanced the visible hairstyles of the characters in the game.

But the work of the latest version 1.1 is just breathtaking, as it creates a realistic looking representation of human hair.

The card used to record the video is GeForce GTX 980, and it's not used because it is enough powerful, but the fact that HairWorks functionality only supports NVIDIA cards. Which means AMD Radeon card owners won't be able to enjoy this remarkable effect.

AMD has a competitive (and Open Source) product that will run on both the AMD Radeon and Nvidia graphics cards called TressFX.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @04:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the i-wonder-if-they-run-rehash dept.

Stumbled upon this (disclaimer, I'm not affiliated and don't hold any special interest):

Aether is an app you install to your computer to connect to Aether network. This network is made of different boards (forums) where people post and discuss things. On the surface, it's fairly similar to Slashdot, Metafilter, Reddit, or any other community site on the Internet.

The different thing about Aether is that it doesn't have a server somewhere. The only thing the app does is that it finds and connects to other people using Aether. In other words, it's a distributed, peer-to-peer network.

This makes it impossible to censor, and renders its users anonymous. It's useful for people concerned about privacy, or pretty much anyone who doesn't want to be watched and catalogued for every word they write on the Internet (so, pretty much everybody).

It's also temporary. Whatever you post disappears after six months. It's designed to be an ephemeral space, and it's focused on now, rather than the past. Other people can still keep copies of what you wrote, but it won't last forever in the network itself. They also won't know who you are.

Community moderated, distributed and anonymous. Almost to good to be true, but... how do you know it is actually _gewg that's posting?

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @01:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the kinda-makes-you-feel-small dept.

In an article from 9 News Australia, photographer Dylan O'Donnel gives us a stunning view of the ISS against the backdrop of the moon.

With the space station rocketing around the Earth at approximately 27,600 km/h, astrophotograher Dylan O'Donnell had less than a second to capture the incredible moment using his telescope and digital camera.

In this image, the space station was roughly 400km above Mr O'Donnell's home town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, but even at this distance, the distinct shape and features of the orbital outpost are clearly visible, including its solar panels and various pressurised modules.

The original hi-resolution photo can be found here.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @11:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the ready-or-not-here-we-come-ipv6 dept.

In an article in the Hindustan Times, The American Registry is quoted as telling us that they are running out of IPV4 addresses.

On Wednesday July 1, the ARIN - in charge of North America - was forced to turn down a request for a block of IP addresses for the first time in history. The CIO Richard Jimmerson told CBS news "We are weeks away from having zero left."

On the same subject, Arstechnica details the emerging IPv4 address trading market.

We spoke to Janine Goodman, vice president of Avenue4, a broker of IPv4 addresses, about what to expect in the short term.

"IPv6 is going to happen, that's the direction it's going," she said. "But it's going to take a while. Organizations are not ready to turn to IPv6 tomorrow; this will take a few years. A transfer market allows for the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in a responsible way, not a panicked way."

"The price for blocks of IPv4 addresses of 65,536 addresses (a /16) or smaller is about $7 to $8 per address in the ARIN region. In other regions, which have fewer addresses out there, the price tends to be a little higher," Goodman said. "We expect the IPv4 market to be around for at least three to five years. During that time, the price per address will likely go up and then finally come back down as IPv6 is being widely deployed."

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @09:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the remember-the-good-old-days dept.

On a day when America looks back on those who came before, Wired is remembering a pioneering technology magazine named Mondo 2000

Before WIRED, there was Mondo 2000, a magazine that fused counter-culture and technology together into a surreal glossy magazine that first appeared on newsstands in 1989. A typical issue would cover everything from DIY micro-satellites to smart drugs to weird bands like The Residents.

"Mondo 2000 is here to cover the leading edge in hyper-culture," an introduction by editor Ken "R.U. Sirius" Goffman and publisher Allison "Queen Mu" Kennedy announced in the first issue. "We're talking Cyber-Chautauqua: bringing cyber-culture to the people! Artificial awareness modules. Visual music. Vidscan Magazines. Brain-boosting technologies. William Gibson's Cyberspace Matrix—full realized!"

Wired goes on to share a video of Mondo 2000 editors' legendary appearance on a mid-90s PBS series, "The Internet Cafe".

When its host questioned them about cyberpunk, they turned the interview into an ironic media stunt by providing a live, sneering cyberpunk model named Malice (wearing a fake neural implant on his head), as the words "real cyberpunk" jokingly flashed on the bottom of the screen.

"At a time when few people outside academia had access to the internet, Mondo 2000 was many a wannabe hacker's introduction to the online world," Wired remembers fondly, even acknowledging that they'd "borrowed" their own magazine's design motif from Mondo 2000, in those early years before ISPs started popularizing consumer internet access.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @06:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the but-apple-can-do-no-wrong dept.

According to Forbes, Apple Music Could Wreck Your iTunes Library:

At its heart, Apple Music is a simple proposition. For your monthly subscription fee, Apple will offer you access to a library of over 30 million tracks. You can listen, explore, and discover to your heart's content, and you can take that music with you wherever you go. But subscribing to Apple Music and making full use of the streaming service requires a sacrifice.

You have to hand over control of your iTunes music library to Apple and hope that Cupertino's arrogance will preserve your music collection.

[...] The issue that is upsetting many Apple users is that moment when you turn on iCloud Music for the first time and your tracks are synced to the cloud. Apple's methodology on this is not clear, but from reports and feedback from users across the internet, it appears that Apple's view of metadata and what the 'correct' track is, will take precedence over your custom edits.

The Verge's Chris Welch highlights his preference of listening to early tracks from The Beatles in mono format (just as they were recorded) rather than the automatic matching services' preferences for stereo versions. Support forums talk of collections approaching 20,00 songs becoming corrupted and full of duplicate entries, incorrect meta-data overwriting current entries, album art switched out to show the wrong albums, and more stories of personal pain. 

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @04:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the i-think-we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat dept.

The Washington Post reports that this is becoming another Summer of the Shark as there have been seven recent shark attacks in North Carolina and scientists are looking for what might be luring the usually shy sharks so close to shore and among the swimmers they usually avoid. North Carolina's seven shark attacks is an unusual number for a state that recorded 25 attacks between 2005 and 2014. Even with the recent incidents, researchers emphasize that sharks are a very low-level threat to humans, compared with other forms of wildlife. Bees, for example, are much more dangerous. And swimming itself is hazardous even without sharks around.

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History, speculates that several environmental factors could be pushing sharks to congregate in the Outer Banks. It is a warm year, and the water has a higher level of salinity because of a low-level drought in the area. Also, a common species of forage fish — menhaden — has been abundant this year and might have attracted more sharks to the area. Burgess also says some fishermen put bait in the water near piers, which could lure the predators closer to shore; two of the encounters took place within 100 yards of a pier. "That's a formula for shark attacks," Burgess says of these conditions, taken together. "Now, does that explain seven attacks in three weeks? No, it doesn't."

Burgess says not to swim near seals, where fishing is occurring, or near other things that sharks find tasty. Sharks can sniff out blood, so don't swim with open wounds. And leave your bling on the beach -- sharks are curious about bright, shiny objects, so don't lure them with baubles. Also avoid swimming at dawn and dusk, when sharks tend to feed. Stick together in groups and stay out of the water during and after storms. Aside from dangerous surf and rip currents, decreased water visibility can confuse sharks, prompting mistaken-identity bites. "Always remember," concludes Burgess. "They have bigger teeth, but we have bigger brains."

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Sunday July 05, @02:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the double-double-toil-and-trouble;-fire-burn-and-caldron-bubble dept.


Your bitcoins are safe if you received them in transactions confirmed before 2015-07-04 15:00 UTC.

However, there has been a problem with a planned upgrade. For bitcoins received later than the time above, confirmation scores are significantly less reliable then they usually are for users of certain software:

  • Lightweight (SPV) wallet users should wait an additional 30 confirmations more than you would normally wait.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.9.4 or earlier users should wait an additional 30 confirmations more than you would normally wait or upgrade to Bitcoin Core 0.10.2.
  • Web wallet users should wait an additional 30 confirmations more than you would normally wait, unless you know for sure that your wallet is secured by Bitcoin Core 0.9.5 or later.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.9.5 or later users are unaffected. (Note: upgrade to 0.10.2 is recommended due to denial-of-service vulnerabilities unrelated to this alert.)

[More after the break.]

posted by cmn32480 on Sunday July 05, @12:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the plain-text-is-good-enough dept.

The FBI and other LEOs often complain about the risk to preventing and protecting against crime posed by the use of encryption on the internet. Recently, there have been several senior figures stating quite categorically that encryption will enable criminals to operate with impunity, completely defeating the efforts of those 'trying to protect us'.

In fact, next Wednesday, both the Senate Intelligence Commitee and the Senate Judiciary Committee are hosting "hearings" for [FBI Director James] Comey, about the issue of "going dark" due to encryption.

[...] So it's rather interesting that before all that, the US Courts had released their own data on all wiretaps from 2014, in which it appears that encryption was almost never an issue at all, and in the vast majority of cases when law enforcement encountered encryption, it was able to get around it. Oh, and the number of wiretaps where encryption was even encountered has been going down rather than up:

The number of state wiretaps in which encryption was encountered decreased from 41 in 2013 to 22 in 2014. In two of these wiretaps, officials were unable to decipher the plain text of the messages. Three federal wiretaps were reported as being encrypted in 2014, of which two could not be decrypted. Encryption was also reported for five federal wiretaps that were conducted during previous years, but reported to the AO for the first time in 2014. Officials were able to decipher the plain text of the communications in four of the five intercepts.

Obviously, if more communications are encrypted by default, it's true that the numbers here would likely rise. But the idea that there's some massive problem that requires destroying the safety of much of the internet, seems more than a bit far-fetched.

Original Submission

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