from the seeing-how-big-our-userbase-is dept.
I'd like to get this setup over the weekend, and start collecting information by Sunday at the latest, then run collection for a few weeks. After that, we'll remove the tracking code, publish the results, and purge the piWik database of all personal information. We'll likely periodically re-enable stat tracking to get an idea of how we're doing, with a similiar notification post going up before we do so to give people the chance to opt-out before collection. Obviously, if the community feels dead-set against this, we'll abandon this plan, and simply work with what little information we have available.
SoylentNews Stats for 2014-06-05 UIDs IPIDs Pages total: - - 57452 (1341.1 MB) static total: - - 3822 gstatic total: - - 5972 grand total: 892 4549 59666 (1561.6 MB) secure total: - - 0 sbscrbr total: - - 0 posts: 153 219 comments: 437 1546 19402 (330.4 MB) index: 726 2319 9107 articles: 683 2860 9889 (373.1 MB) search: 11 92 209 (5.7 MB) journals: 43 98 229 (6.2 MB) users: 109 161 593 (15.9 MB) rss: 46 362 2214 (220.6 MB) other: 217 700 18023 (173.3 MB) formkeys: 487 rows total comments: 573 posted yesterday submissions: 16 submissions sub/comments: 31.2% of the submissions came from comment posters from this day not found: 4769 pages sent with status 404 (not found) total hits: 140856136 ------------------------ Yesterday | 2 days ago | 3 days ago Avg Hits Per Article: 706.4| 690.1| 629.9 Avg Comments Per Article: 30.4| 32.1| 18.4 Pages From RSS By Section ------------------------------------------------ Section Pages UIDS IPIDS Main Page 2508 87 539 For Main Page Pages IPs Bandwidth Users total: 57452 4353 1341.1 MB 885 index: 9107 2319 436.5 MB 726 comments: 19402 1546 330.4 MB 437 articles: 9889 2860 373.1 MB 683 search: 209 92 5.7 MB 11 rss: 2214 362 220.6 MB 46 other: 18023 700 173.3 MB 885 ----------------------- Top stories viewed by article.pl: 883 14/06/05/0025257 n1 First-Person Shooter Engine in 789 14/06/04/2126226 n1 Apple CEO Says Users Buy an An 708 14/06/05/0132243 n1 Seattle Approves $15 Minimum W 617 14/06/05/0121251 n1 Tesla S Road Trip Report 578 14/06/04/2131208 n1 Intel Wants Your Next PC to Ha 468 14/06/05/1256249 Woods Dwarf Fortress Update Coming N 453 14/06/04/1343246 janrinok ISPs Urged to Quarantine Infec 332 14/06/05/1418207 martyb Computer Programs Are People, 328 14/06/05/133219 Woods FBI Offers $10,000 Reward For 261 14/06/04/1329216 janrinok Underwater Sound Examined for 259 14/06/05/1419254 janrinok How to Spend $750 for One Minu 252 14/06/05/133201 LaminatorX Apple to Allow Virtual Currenc 230 14/06/04/1310212 janrinok Pixar Releasing its 3D Renderi 225 14/06/04/1337244 janrinok Vincent van Gogh's Severed Ear 217 14/06/05/1315234 LaminatorX High Brain Integration and Cre 194 14/06/04/1212207 martyb Google Trying Out End-to-End E 178 14/06/04/111243 LaminatorX Domestic Terror Task Force is 155 14/06/04/1315250 janrinok Ambulance Drones Might Appear 141 14/06/03/211257 n1 What's Lost as Handwriting Fad 139 14/06/04/1059208 LaminatorX Learning to Eat Vegetables in 125 14/06/03/2048227 n1 Battlestar Galactica Reboot 122 14/06/04/0527240 LaminatorX Windows Start Menu Won't Retur 118 14/06/05/149215 janrinok British Recording Industry Thi ----------------------- Top referers: 84 http://www.netvibes.com 67 http://feedly.com 61 http://www.google.co.uk 42 http://google.com 38 http://barrapunto.com 30 https://www.google.com 29 http://7rmath4ro2of2a42.onion 29 http://maps.google.com 27 http://www.newsblur.com 22 http://www.inoreader.com 19 http://www.protopage.com 15 http://t.co 14 http://li694-22.members.linode.com 14 http://sylnt.us 14 http://theoldreader.com 10 http://www.google.com 9 http://www.jaruzel.com 7 http://hager.pipedot.org 7 http://pi.local 6 http://www.igoogleportal.com
It looks like Battlestar Galactica is rebooted for a third time.
Universal is ramping up a movie version of the sci-fi franchise "Battlestar Galactica" aiming to develop the film as a complete reimagining of the story.
"Transcendence" writer Jack Paglen has signed on to write the screenplay. Paglen has also committed to Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" sequel for Fox that will start production this fall.
Original series creator Glen Larson will produce the "Battlestar Galactica" film.
The NY Times asks does handwriting matter? The Common Core standards stop teaching handwriting after the first grade, preferring a proficiency in typing after that.
However, studies are showing that children learn faster, are able to retain more information, and generate new ideas when they first learn to write by hand. The process of thinking about how to form a letter and putting it on the page stimulates more areas of the brain. This come from the inherent messiness in free-form writing, which can be a valuable learning tool.
Mary Jo Foley reports at ZDNet that according to sources who've had good track records on Windows information, Microsoft won't be delivering a new Start Menu for Windows 8 with its coming Windows 8.1 Update 2, after all. "Up until recently, Microsoft was hoping to make a new "Mini" Start Menu part of a second update to Windows 8.1," says Foley. "Windows 8.1 Update 2 was and still is, last I heard slated to arrive in August of this year." Microsoft's operating systems group has decided to hold off on delivering a Microsoft-developed Start Menu until Threshold, the next "major" release of Windows. Threshold, which may or may not ultimately be called Windows 9, is expected to be released in April 2015.
The original Windows 8 interface lacked the Start Menu, a familiar component of previous versions of the operating system, replacing it with the live tile-driven Start screen. Many users didn't like the change, and some PC manufacturers and developers offered ways to bring back versions of the old Start Menu. Microsoft appeared to relent at Build when it unveiled the revised Start Menu, enhanced with Windows Modern UI improvements.
A study into repeated exposure of vegetables to pre-school children has found that age had a significant affect on the eating pattern, with older children being more likely to be non-eaters of the novel food (in this study artichoke puree was used).
Successful repeated exposure is dependent upon tasting even small amounts of the target food. Thus, repeated exposure is more likely to be effective at a time when most tastes are easily accepted, namely the weaning period. The first year of life presents a window of opportunity before the onset of food neophobia, which then peaks around 2-6 years, thus introducing novel foods such as different vegetables is optimal earlier rather than later.
A few sites are starting to get a story about how the "Domestic Terror Task Force" is being ressurected. '"But now, as the nature of the threat we face evolves to including the possibility of individual radicalization via the Internet, it is critical that we return our focus to potential extremists here at home," Holder said in the video broadcast.'
Today Google announced the alpha release of a Chrome plugin that works with their Gmail service to enable end-to-end encryption for email sent through their system. This will reduce Google's ability to data-mine the content of messages, but it won't stop anyone from tracking senders and recipients. Their plugin is based on OpenPGP and they are publishing the source code.
With a focus on ease-of-use lets hope that this plugin is enough to start a broader movement towards end-to-end encryption for all email, regardless of provider.
Editor's Note: This is an early release of the code and should not be relied upon just yet. Google invites the community to test and evaluate the extension; it is even eligible for their Vulnerability Reward Program.
Pixar is to release its 3D rendering software free for non-commercial use.
The 3D rendering software behind films such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Harry Potter is to be given away free for non-commercial use.
RenderMan, which is developed by Pixar, has faced increased competition from rival animation rendering programmes such as VRay and Arnold. Although Pixar, which is owned by Disney, produces its own films, it licenses RenderMan to rival studios. The company has also cut the price of its software for commercial use.
In a statement, the firm said it would release a free version of RenderMan "without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions". "Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use," it added.
Ian Dean, editor of computer graphics magazine 3D World, told the BBC the move "could be seen as a reaction to the rise of alternatives such as Arnold," but that Disney/Pixar are also looking to "build a community".
Removing casualties from remote battlefields is often dangerous and highly skilled work for helicopter pilots.
But a prototype air ambulance drone developed by Tactical Robotics is hoping to make these evacuations safer.
Part funded by the Israel's Ministry of Defence, the AirMule, has a top speed of 120 knots (140 mph, 190 km/h) and can reach an altitude of 12,000 ft (3,600 m).
A team of Australian researchers looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 released data on Wednesday about an unusual underwater sound recorded around the time the plane vanished.
A team of Australian researchers looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 released data on Wednesday about an unusual underwater sound recorded around the time the plane vanished, though the lead scientist acknowledged the chances it is linked to the jet are slim.
The low-frequency sound was picked up by underwater listening devices in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia on March 8, the same day the Boeing 777 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board. Researchers at Curtin University in Western Australia have been analyzing the signal to see if it may be the sound of the plane crashing into the ocean.
But Alec Duncan, who's heading up the research, said the sound appears to have originated well outside the jet's projected flight path that officials determined based on satellite and radar data, and is therefore unlikely to have come from the plane.
"It's one of these situations where you find yourself willing it all to fit together but it really doesn't," said Duncan, senior research fellow with Curtin's Center for Marine Science and Technology. "I'd love to be able to sit here and say, 'Yeah, we've found this thing and it's from the plane' - but the reality is, there's a lot of things that make noise in the ocean."
The noise could have come from a natural event, such as a small earthquake, Duncan said. He put the chances of it being linked to Flight 370 at less than 20 percent.
A living copy of Vincent van Gogh's ear has been grown and put on display in a museum in Germany. The Associated Press reports that artist Diemut Strebe took samples from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson to Vincent's brother Theo, after failing to acquire genetic material from the deceased virtuoso. She then shaped the cells into the painter's severed ear with a 3D printer. Strebe says the organ is currently being kept alive in a nourishing fluid and could "theoretically last for years."
Its amazing what medical science is capable of nowadays, but I can't help but think that there must be better uses for all of this knowledge.
The recent effort to disrupt the Gameover Zeus botnet includes plans for Internet service providers to notify victims, but some security researchers think ISPs should play an even bigger role in the future by actively quarantining infected computers identified on their networks. Law enforcement agencies from several countries including the FBI and Europol announced Monday that they worked with security vendors to disrupt the Gameover Zeus botnet, which is estimated to have affected between 500,000 and 1 million computers. "Individuals in the U.K. may receive notifications from their Internet Service Providers that they are a victim of this malware and are advised to back up all important information - such as files, photography and videos," the U.K.'s National Crime Agency said in a statement on its website.
Notifying Internet users of malware infections, especially when their computers become part of known botnets, has become a relatively common practice for some ISPs in recent years. For example, in the U.S., Comcast introduced security alerts for its Xfinity service subscribers back in 2010, while in Germany the government partnered with ISPs to notify users whose computers are infected with malware on an ongoing basis and help them clean their machines.
Chris Smith writes that Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking during the WWDC 2014 opening keynote, took clear hits at his company's main rival, making fun of Google's Android several times. "Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months, were buying their first iOS device," Cook said. "Now, many of these customers were switchers from Android." "They had bought an Android phone... by mistake," Cook added, igniting the crowd in attendance, "and then sought a better experience, and a better life, and decided to check iPhone and iOS." Cook went on to say that nearly half of Apple's customers in China in the past six months came from Android.
Cook took another hit at Google for its fragmentation issues. "If you look at a broader group, over a third of [Android] customers, are running a version of Android from four years ago," Cook said. "That's like ancient history." Cook also addressed Android's vulnerability to malware. "Android dominates the mobile malware market," the exec said, because of its fragmentation. "No wonder experts are saying things like this," Cook said, quoting ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: "Android fragmentation is turning devices into a toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities."
From Computer World:
Intel wants to completely eliminate wires from computers, and is working on a series of wireless technologies to make that a reality in the coming years.
PCs are on the way to a "true no-wire" experience, and Intel is working on technologies to remove the clutter of power cords, display connectors and peripheral cables, said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president, and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, during a speech at the Computex trade show in Taipei.
Intel is working on new wireless charging, docking, display and data transfer technologies. Skaugen shared details of the new wireless technologies and provided demonstrations of how they would work during the keynote.
Intel's hoping for a completely wire-free PC by 2016. The company will deliver a reference design of a Core processor code-named Skylake which will succeed the next generation Broadwell chip that will enable wireless docking, charging, display and data transfers.
From Boing Boing:
More information can be found here.
Raycasting feels like cheating, and as a lazy programmer, I love it. You get the immersion of a 3D environment without many of the complexities of "real 3D" to slow you down. For example, raycasts run in constant time, so you can load up a massive world and it will just work, without optimization, as quickly as a tiny world.
Just came across a Tesla S review at Winding Road Magazine, it's a roadtest from trip from Texas to Wisconsin. [Article 4, Issue 148]
Lots of interesting details about real world use of the Tesla, for example:
How Far Can You Go Each Day?
Our total trip was 1300 miles, plus or minus a few mistakes and detours. So in principle we needed to recharge five times. That is, we started with 250 miles range and once that was used up, we had to recharge enough to go 1050 miles. That's 4.2 charges at 250 miles each. Or if you count the number of times we had to recharge, it is five recharging events, in theory. Also in theory, if recharging were instantaneous, we could travel say 60 mph for 24 hours or 1440 miles. Thus, we could have done our trip in one day.
But, it doesn't really work that way. The first limit is recharging time. With J1772 chargers, full recharging takes 14 hours. Again using our 60 mph average, we could go 240 miles every 18 hours (14 recharging hours plus 4 hours of travel). That means, theoretically, our maximum distance per day is 320 miles. Our 1300 mile trip should take a little over 3 days.
In practice, we did it comfortably in 4 days. There is some time lost because you don't necessarily take off exactly when your charging is done (for example, we didn't get up at 5am if that's when charging finished). There is also some time gained on the calculation above when you use a Supercharger. But 300 miles per day is a reasonable rule of thumb.
They found that charging at Whole Foods and other places was all free, however:
Note that with the extra time required for recharging, and the resulting extra hotel and restaurant charges, our free electricity didn't save us money. In fact, this trip cost more than it would have in a gasoline powered car. Economy is not the raison d'etre for EVs.
The NYT reports that in a unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council went where no big-city lawmakers have gone before, raising the local minimum wage to $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum, and pushing Seattle to the forefront of urban efforts to address income inequality. "Even before the Great Recession a lot of us have started to have doubt and concern about the basic economic promise that underpins economic life in the United States," says Council Member Sally J. Clark. "Today Seattle answers that challenge." High-tech, fast-growing Seattle, population 634,535, is home to Amazon.com, Zillow, and Starbucks. It also has more than 100,000 workers whose incomes are insufficient to support their families, according to city figures and around 14% of Seattle's population lives below the poverty level. Some business owners have questioned the proposal saying that the city's booming economy is creating an illusion of permanence. "We're living in this bubble of Amazon, but that's not going to go on," says businessman Tom Douglas. "There's going to be some terrific price inflation."
Dwarf Fortress, the free ASCII fantasy world simulator and rogue-like game will soon be getting a new version after a two-year development cycle. The long-awaited new version is slated to be released next July according to its developers.
The game has been in constant development for the past 11 years and its developers, "Toady One" and "Threetoe", have been living solely on fan donations since its initial public release in 2006.
A comprehensive list of the changes and additions has been compiled by the community and can be found on Google docs. The list includes long-awaited features such as multi-tile trees (that will hopefully still grow over time), people (and dwarves) of the world having long-term goals and dreams as well as a complete combat and dialog system rewrite.
All these features will contribute to make this accurate fantasy world simulator even more realistic... and possibly even more complicated to play.
Study finds brain integration correlates with greater creativity in product-development engineers:
Creativity may depend on greater brain integration, according to a new study(Paywalled) published in Creativity Research Journal (26:2, 239-243) by Maharishi University brain researcher Fred Travis and University West quality management researcher Yvonne Lagrosen. Scientists refer to brain integration as mind-brain development. People with high mind-brain development are alert, interested in learning new things and disposed to see the whole picture. They think in wide circles and are emotionally stable and unselfish. "It's a simple fact that some people stand out, and we're trying to tease out why," says Dr. Travis. "We hypothesized that something must be different about the way their brains work, and that's what we're finding." Dr. Travis uses a measure he developed called a Brain Integration Scale. He uses EEG recording to assess frontal brain wave coherence (a measure of connectedness among the various areas of the brain) and alpha power (a measure of inner directedness of attention). He also assesses the brain's preparation response, which measures how efficiently the brain responds to a stimulus.
In all of his studies so far, top-level performers consistently show higher levels of brain integration. Previous studies by Dr. Travis and colleagues have found that greater brain integration is present in world-class athletes, top managers, and professional musicians. This current study was conducted on 21 product-development engineers in Sweden a group that would be expected to have high levels of creativity. Drs. Travis and Lagrosen assessed their level of creativity using standardized Torrance measures and found them to be in the 70th to 90th percentile. They also looked at their levels of brain integration, speed of processing information, speed of executive decision-making, and Sense-of-Coherence.
Apple has changed its policy to allow payments in virtual currencies in its App Store. It will be limited to a list of "approved" currencies, although this list has not been released yet. What impact will such a large established market have on exchange rates between the different currencies?
The FBI has announced that they are expanding their campaign nationwide aimed at deterring people from pointing lasers at aircraft-by rewarding those who provide information about individuals who engage in this dangerous crime and aggressively prosecuting the perpetrators. A key part of the publicity campaign is reward money. The FBI will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft. "We want to encourage people to come forward when they see someone committing this crime, which could have terrible consequences for pilots and their passengers," says George Johnson.
Since the FBI and the FAA began tracking laser strikes in 2005, there has been more than a 1,100 percent increase in the number of incidents with these devices, which can be purchased in stores or online for as little as a few dollars. Last year, 3,960 laser strikes against aircraft were reported. It is estimated that thousands of attacks go unreported every year. In March a 26-year-old California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter and a hospital emergency transport helicopter. The man and his girlfriend were using a device that was 13 times more powerful than the permissible power emission level for handheld lasers. The girlfriend was also convicted and recently sentenced to a two-year prison term.
Samir Chopra at The Nation proposes that we treat algorithms as agents of the companies that deploy them. In effect, treat computer programs as people, too.
From the article:
I suggest we fit artificial agents like smart programs into a specific area of law, one a little different from that which makes corporations people, but in a similar spirit of rational regulation. We should consider programs to be legal agents--capable of information and knowledge acquisition like humans--of their corporate or governmental principals. The Google defense--your privacy was not violated because humans didn't read your e-mail--would be especially untenable if Google's and NSA's programs were regarded as their legal agents: by agency law and its central doctrine of respondeat superior (let the master answer), their agents' activities and knowledge would become those of their legal principal, and could not be disowned; the artificial automation shield between the government (the principal) and the agent (the program) would be removed.
If such a position were adopted, there could be a significant impact on the permissibility of scanning of emails for targeted advertisements or on ISP's ability to perform deep packet inspection.
Jeff Reifman reports his experience traveling to Canada and getting hit with a $750 roaming charge for just one minute of data usage on his AT&T cell phone. Apparently, as a result of a navigational problem, Reifman decided to have a quick peek at Google maps. It took less than a minute.... but:
"My iPhone went to "No Carrier", then gradually found a new carrier but didn't seem to be getting any data. Google Maps wasn't updating. Within 60 seconds, I turned off data roaming. Immediately after, I received a text from AT&T that they'd suspended my data access in both countries due to high international data usage.
My phone was on AT&T's U.S.-based LTE for the hours leading up to my Canadian border crossing - in other words, it and its apps were fully synced before I entered the country.
AT&T texted me about crossing the border at 1:02 pm and again with the account suspension at 1:08 pm. Most of the time in between was spent driving from the border to Notti Biscotti before I ever turned on data roaming."
I think that we have all heard of Google's decision to comply with the EU ruling on an individual's right to be forgotten. The British recording industry have reasonsed that, if Google can implement a ruling allowing a person to be forgotten, then they should also have the capability to remove data on demand from other organisations - in particular, themselves.
In the past when there have been requests to delete search results pointing to sites that are offering media that is being 'pirated', Google's response has been that it is not possible to sanitise the data that they display as a result of a search. However it would seem that if they can remove data referring to individuals then they can, at least theoretically, remove links to unauthorised films, music and other media. The article also provides counters to this logic
However, if Google does so then it and all the other search engines will no longer be agnostic and will become censored versions of their current selves. Furthermore, Google isn't allowing entire sites to be deleted from their search results, as is being requested by 'big media', but only specific items supported by an reasoned case and evidence of the identity of the individual requesting the deletion.
An interesting article, and in my opinion well worth a read.