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Comments:172 | Votes:253

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @11:06PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the did-the-earth-move-for-you? dept.

dotdotdot writes:

"The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday thanks to a robot writer.

Ken Schwencke, a journalist and programmer for the Los Angeles Times, was jolted awake at 6:25 a.m. on Monday by an earthquake. He rolled out of bed and went straight to his computer, where he found a brief story about the quake already written and waiting in the system. He glanced over the text and hit "publish." And that's how the LAT became the first media outlet to report on this morning's temblor. 'I think we had it up within three minutes,' Schwencke told Slate.

The original report read: 'A shallow magnitude 4.7 earthquake was reported Monday morning five miles from Westwood, California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 6:25 a.m. Pacific time at a depth of 5.0 miles.'

According to the USGS, the epicenter was six miles from Beverly Hills, California, seven miles from Universal City, California, seven miles from Santa Monica, California and 348 miles from Sacramento, California. In the past ten days, there have been no earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

This information comes from the USGS Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm written by the author."

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @09:35PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the gaming-the-system dept.

Marneus68 writes:

"The Mozilla Foundation is reportedly working with Unity Technologies in order to bring an "HTML5 export option" to Unity3D's next major release. Unity3D 5.0 is to be released later this year.

This announcement comes out as a bit of a surprise given that Mozilla's philosophy revolves around free, open and normalized web technologies. Working along with a closed source software vendor really sounds like a weird decision from Mozilla."

posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @07:53PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sensative-and-I'd-like-to-stay-that-way dept.

sl4shd0rk writes:

"Although not as ubiquitous a name in digital security as Bruce Schneier, Brian Krebs has dealt (first hand in some instances) with much of the same related criminal activity. Krebs has some good tips worth reading for anyone interested in mitigating identity theft. If the infamous Target breach, and others like it, are any indication of how your sensitive customer info is 'secured' by retailers, it may be only a matter of time before your information is compromised."

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @05:37PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-saw-what-you-did-there,-and-in-there dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"Scientific studies of selfies have yielded interesting insights on personalities, gender differences, and national moods, but scientist F. Levent Degertekin has invented a new camera that can provide high-definition, 3-D images of your innards.

This "camera" uses ultrasound imaging techniques to create real-time, volumetric images of occlusions in arteries, but it's built more like a miniature drum cymbal than a SLR. A donut-shaped silicon chip with a 1.5 millimeter diameter and 460 micron hole in the center houses sensing and transmitting circuitry and serves as the base of the diminutive device. A thin film on top of it flutters 0.00005 of a millimeter, creating sound waves which are captured by an array of 100 sensors on the chip, processed, and transmitted to an external video monitor at a rate of 60 frames per second via 13 gossamer cables that are threaded through a catheter.

While impressive technically, the real goal is to make cardiac surgery more efficient and accessible to a wider variety of patients. Open heart surgery isn't viable for many senior citizens due to the invasive surgical techniques that are commonly employed, but this tool could help reduce the trauma associated with the intervention."

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @03:57PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the a-little-light-reading dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"In an article called Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers it is claimed that, according to one study, which was presumably read by more than three people, half of all academic papers are read by no more than three people. A burgeoning field of academic study called citation analysis (it's exactly what it sounds like) has found that this joke holds true for not just dissertations, but many academic papers. A study at the University of Indiana found that 'as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.' That same study concluded that 'some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.' That is, nine out of 10 academic papers-which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar's output is measured-contribute little to the academic conversation.

This is hardly surprising given the topics that some have chosen to research and present as papers. For example:

  1. Complexity of Early and Middle Successional Stages in a Rocky Intertidal Surfgrass Community.
  2. How Good Is Your Weed Map? A Comparison of Spatial Interpolators.
  3. Killing a Pig."
posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @02:19PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the infighting-and-you dept.

Cheetah writes:

"Full Disclosure, the security mailing list created on 9 July 2002 by Len Rose and John Cartwright, closes its doors after threats from inside the security research community. In his final email Cartwright writes: "That 'one of our own' would undermine the efforts of the last 12 years is really the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not willing to fight this fight any longer." and bitterly concludes: "This is all a sign of things to come, and a reflection on the sad state of an industry that should never have become an industry."

In its 12 years of operation, many notable security flaws have been exposed on the list, including all-time classics such as The history of a -probably- 13 years old Oracle bug: TNS Poison and Microsoft Windows Help Centre Handles Malformed Escape Sequences Incorrectly just to name a few.

Its presence will be missed."

posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @12:43PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the special-victims-unit dept.

Absinth writes:

From MSNBC, "It (the site) attempted to operate as a 'discussion-only' forum where people could share their sexual interest in young boys without committing any specific offenses, thus operating 'below the radar' of police attention. Having made contact on the site, some members would move to more private channels, such as email, to exchange and share illegal images and films of children being abused.

The statement said Europol analysts had cracked the security features of a key computer server at the center of the network which uncovered the identities of suspected child sex offenders. And, after his arrest, the forum's Dutch administrator helped police break encryption measures that shielded users' identities, allowing police to begin their covert investigations.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE ) has also issued a news release."

posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @11:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the distributed-accolades dept.

Rashek writes:

"Leslie Lamport, the famous distributed systems researcher best known for his paper The Byzantine Generals Problem [PDF] and as the the initial developer of LaTeX , has been granted the 2013 ACM A.M. Turing Award 'for imposing clear, well-defined coherence on the seemingly chaotic behavior of distributed computing systems.'"

posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @08:15AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the room-at-the-botom dept.

janrinok writes:

"A report from Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science and Engineering brings news of a breakthrough in miniaturization that could have a major impact on hardware in the future."

From the report:

An ultra-fast and ultra-small optical switch has been invented that could advance the day when photons replace electrons in the innards of consumer products ranging from cell phones to automobiles.

The new optical device can turn on and off trillions of times per second. It consists of individual switches that are only one five-hundredth the width of a human hair (200 nanometers) in diameter. This size is much smaller than the current generation of optical switches and it easily breaks one of the major technical barriers to the spread of electronic devices that detect and control light: miniaturizing the size of ultrafast optical switches.

The ultrafast switch is made out of an artificial material engineered to have properties that are not found in nature. In this case, the 'metamaterial' consists of nanoscale particles of vanadium dioxide (VO2) a crystalline solid that can rapidly switch back and forth between an opaque, metallic phase and a transparent, semiconducting phase which are deposited on a glass substrate and coated with a 'nanomesh' of tiny gold nanoparticles.

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @05:28AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the we're-doomed,-I-tell-you,-doomed dept.

Anonymous Coward writes:

"I've heard this theme repeated many times in debates and economic discussions, but this NASA-funded study seems like one of the more well researched studies in this area. This article contains more links to other studies that provide more empirical and less theoretical models."

The report continues:

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that 'the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.' Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to 'precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common.'

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @03:19AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

bucc5062 writes:

"In a surprising twist, the EU is struggling with issues surrounding Net Neutrality. An ARS technica article reports on how the EU and its citizens seems to be walking down the same path US ISP customers have these days; ISPs and major carriers throttling content as well as attempting to extort more money from content providers. The Dutch seemed to understand the importance of having a level playing field. Sad that what was viewed as the example of how ISPs should compete and do business, now the EU body politic has caught the US version of the golden rule, he who has the gold, makes the rules."

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 19 2014, @01:36AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

ancientt writes:

"'Researchers have documented an ongoing criminal operation infecting more than 10,000 Unix and Linux servers with malware that sends spam and redirects end users to malicious Web pages' as reported at Arstechnica, in an attack campaign being called Windigo.

It has been going on since 2011 and successfully hit Linux Foundation servers and developers of cPanel. 'During its 36-month run, Windigo has compromised more than 25,000 servers with robust malware that sends more than 35 million spam messages a day and exposes Windows-based Web visitors to drive-by malware attacks."

A detailed PDF writeup is available from We Live Security.'

posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday March 19 2014, @12:37AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the now-you-see-him dept.

Fluffeh writes:

"Both Wired and Ars are covering a surprise appearance at the TED Conference in Vancouver, Edward Snowden spoke about what is to come, what everyone can do right now to start to thwart this dragnet of data collection and hinted at what will come soon. And it's big.

"The biggest thing that an internet company in America can do today, right now, without consulting lawyers, to protect users of the internet around the world is to enable web encryption on every page you visit," he said. "If you look at a copy of 1984 on Amazon, the NSA can see a record of that, the Russians, the French, can the world's library is unencrypted. This is something we need to change not just for Amazon all companies need to move to an encrypted browsing habit by default."

"There are absolutely more revelations to come," he said. "Some of the most important [publishing] to be done is yet to come.""

posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the suddenly-not-a-game dept.

Vanderhoth writes:

"According to a story from the Washington Post, Microsoft is using gamer profiles to create targeted political ads. The article talks mostly about XBox Live, but other services like Skype and MSN will be included. The article also presents some interesting, to non-gamer, stats about the typical gamer that Microsoft was promoting at the CPAC. As an example, 40% of it's 25 million subscribers are actually married! who'd of thunk it?"

posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 18 2014, @11:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the getting-there-eventually dept.

Marneus68 writes

"Digital DRM-free game distributor is finally jumping on the Linux bandwagon.

Following the steps of Desura and Steam, plans to offer Linux compatible games starting this year. Along with games already available for Linux, will also be selling 'a variety of classics that are, for the first time, officially supported and maintained [by them].'

Most of the DOS titles already provided by will probably pose no major technical challenge since GOG has been using DosBox on Windows and Mac OS X since the very beginning however, all the exclusive ports will probably be more difficult to provide."