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Which world would you rather live in?

  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Babylon 5
  • Idiocracy
  • Dark City
  • Other (Please specify in comments)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:190 | Votes:221

posted by janrinok on Monday September 09, @11:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the hello-Eliza dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow2718

Are psychiatrists really ready for the AI revolution?

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 15% of the population experiences mental health disorders. That has significant consequences. For example, suicide is the second- or third-leading cause of death for young people in most countries. And as the population ages, the rate of dementia is set to triple over the coming decades.

At the same time, access to mental health professionals is sorely lacking in many parts of the world, particularly in low-income countries. India, for example, has a population of 1.3 billion served by only 9,000 psychiatrists.

But technological advances can help. Smartphones and wearable sensors offer people the ability to monitor themselves and to benefit from the way deep learning can analyze the data. Indeed, these techniques are already being used to detect the changes in mood that indicate bipolar disorder or to detect people at risk of depression.  

So the scene is set for artificial intelligence to become a disruptive force in psychiatry. Indeed, that's exactly what many observers predict.

But what of psychiatrists themselves? These professionals will have to play a key role in any change that artificial intelligence brings to the field. So their view ought to be a useful indicator of its potential.

Enter Murali Doraiswamy at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, and couple of colleagues. This team has surveyed psychiatrists around the world to find out how they view machine intelligence and its likely impact on mental health care.

"To our knowledge, this is the first global survey to seek the opinions of physicians on the impact of autonomous artificial intelligence/machine learning on the future of psychiatry," say the team. Curiously, the results appear to say more about psychiatrists than about the state of technological readiness or its potential.

The team's method was straightforward. The researchers randomly chose a sample of 750 professional psychiatrists registered with an online database of over 800,000 health-care professionals around the world, including 22 countries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia; 30% were women and two-thirds were white.

The respondents clearly felt that machines could never learn some skills. "An overwhelming majority (83 per cent) of respondents felt it unlikely that future technology would ever be able to provide empathic care as well as or better than the average psychiatrist," say Doraiswamy and colleagues. Interestingly, a survey of family physicians in the UK showed they had a similar view.

The group was also divided on the risks that artificial intelligence might pose.  "Only 23 per cent of women predicted that the benefits of AI would outweigh the possible risks compared to 41 per cent  of men," say Doraiswamy and colleagues.

But they think they know why. "The gender differences in AI risk perception may be commensurate with a large body of findings that women are more risk averse than men," they say.

The most interesting results are in the way respondents feel machine intelligence will change their jobs. Three-quarters of them thought that artificial intelligence will play an important role in managing data, such as medical records. And about half thought it would fully replace human physicians when it comes to synthesizing information to reach diagnoses.

Ref: : Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Psychiatry: Insights from a Global Physician Survey

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday September 09, @10:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the old-or-new? dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Diplomatic sources say radioactive materials discovered in Tehran facility, but not enriched to level needed for weapons

Samples taken by the United Nations nuclear watchdog at a facility in Tehran showed traces of uranium that Iran has yet to explain, two unnamed diplomats told Reuters news agency, although they could not say whether the materials predated the 2015 nuclear deal, or were more recent.

The news comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on Cornel Feruta, acting chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency and his inspectors "to observe the principles of professional work, maintain confidentiality of activities, and keep doing its duties impartially".

Tehran has not yet responded to the IAEA's specific request for answers, according to the diplomats interviewed by Reuters, stoking more tensions between Washington and Tehran. Reuters did not identify the nationalities of the two diplomats.

Reuters first reported in April that the IAEA, which is policing the nuclear deal, had inspected the site - a step it had said it takes "only when necessary" - and environmental samples were taken there were sent for analysis.

Those traces were of uranium, the diplomats said - the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements that can make the core of a nuclear bomb.

But since Iran has not yet given any to the IAEA it is hard to verify the particles' origin, and it is also not clear whether the traces are remnants of material or activities that predate the landmark 2015 deal or more recent, the diplomats say.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday September 09, @08:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-not-let-go-of-your-card dept.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Clerk uses photographic memory to steal credit card info from 1,300 customers

[....] In Japan, though, a store clerk has stolen credit card information the old fashioned way: Looking at and memorizing the details of over 1,300 customers, according to local news.

The 34-year-old clerk worked at a mall in Koto City, near Tokyo. Police allege he memorized the 16-digit credit card number, security code and expiry date of customers during the small period of time it takes to complete a purchase transaction. This is all according to a translation by SoraNews of reports from Sankei News and Hachima Kiko publications.

Police added that, after arresting the clerk, they found a notebook containing the credit card details of 1,300 victims, reports ANN News. The scammer, despite apparently having a Sherlock Holmes level of memorization ability, led police straight to him by using stolen credit card information to buy two bags valued at 270,000 yen (approximately $2,500) -- which he then had mailed to his own address.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday September 09, @07:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the cold-start dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

All comets might share their place of birth, new research says. For the first time ever, astronomer Christian Eistrup applied chemical models to fourteen well-known comets, surprisingly finding a clear pattern. His publication has been accepted in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Comets travel through our solar system and are composed of ice, dust, and small rock-like particles. Their nuclei can be as large as tens of kilometers across. "Comets are everywhere, and sometimes with very funky orbits around the Sun. In the past, comets even have hit the Earth," Christian Eistrup says. "We know what comets consist of and which molecules are present in them. They vary in composition, but are normally seen as just one group of icy balls. Therefore, I wanted to know whether comets are indeed one group, or whether different subsets can be made."

"What if I apply our existing chemical models to comets?", Eistrup thought during his Ph.D. at Leiden University. In the research team at Leiden Observatory, which included Kavli Prize winner Ewine van Dishoeck, he developed models to predict the chemical composition of protoplanetary discs—flat discs of gas and dust encompassing young stars. Understanding these discs can give insight into how stars and planets form. Conveniently, these Leiden models turned out to be of help in learning about comets and their origins.

"I thought it would be interesting to compare our chemical models with published data on comets," says the astronomer. "Luckily, I had the help of Ewine. We did some statistics to pin down if there was a special time or place in our young solar system, where our chemical models meet the data on comets." This happened to be the case, and to a surprising extent. Where the researchers hoped for a number of comets sharing similarities, it turned out that all fourteen comets showed the same trend. "There was a single model that fitted each comet best, thereby indicating that they share their origin."

And that origin is somewhere close to our young Sun, when it was still encircled by a protoplanetary disc and our planets were still forming. The carbon monoxide becomes ice—relatively far away from the nucleus of the young Sun. "At these locations, the temperature varies from 21 to 28 Kelvin, which is around minus 250 degrees Celsius. That's very cold, so cold that almost all the molecules we know are ice.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @06:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the $ dept.

How Lyft Creates Hyper-Accurate Maps from Open-Source Maps and Real-Time Data

At Lyft, our novel driver localization algorithm detects map errors to create a hyper-accurate map from OpenStreetMap (OSM) and real-time data. We have fixed thousands of map errors in OSM in bustling urban areas. Later in the post, we share a sample of the detected map errors in Minneapolis with the OSM Community to improve the quality of the map.

[...] Our internal map of the road network is based on OSM, which has been built and improved over the years by the open source community. More recently, larger organizations (such as Apple, Microsoft, Mapbox, Mapillary, Facebook, Uber, Grab, Lyft, etc.)¹ have also worked to improve the map. Akin to Wikipedia as an open-source encyclopedia, OSM as an open-source map may contain missing or erroneous data for several possible reasons. Old roads may have never been mapped, new roads may not have been mapped yet, previously closed roads may be reopened, roads may be digitally vandalized, buildings may be non-existent, turn restrictions may be erroneous, road directions may be incorrectly labeled, and so forth. As OSM is a source for our basemap, we need to monitor its quality and accuracy. Upon detecting map errors in OSM, we work with our Data Curation Team to fix them in OSM. This can be done using our proprietary data.

Before discussing map error detection, it is necessary to have an understanding of what map-matching is. At Lyft, we geo-localize drivers from the sensors embedded in their smartphones. This includes a GPS receiver that receives sparse (due to battery constraints) and often noisy (due to urban canyons) locations.

If we do not have any understanding of the road network, we can only employ a space-free tracking algorithm such as a Kalman Filter, as shown in Fig. 1. Drivers would therefore not be localized on the road network.

However, OSM provides us knowledge of the road network. Taking both a sequence of sparse and noisy GPS traces and a map of the road network as input, map matching algorithms can infer the most accurate trajectory on the road network, as shown in Fig. 2. An example of a map-matching algorithm is the one based on Hidden Markov Models (HMM) developed by Newson and Krumm². The quality of the map is essential for accurate map-matching.

[...] At Lyft, we distinguish two types of road network errors:

  • The road network errors that trigger map-matching issues and routing issues, denoted Type I map errors
  • The road network errors that mostly trigger routing issues, denoted Type II map errors

[...] GPS accuracy is particularly bad in urban canyons when high density of tall buildings corrupt GPS readings due to multi-path or occlusion.

Even when the road network is correct, if, for example, a driver decides to ignore a turn restriction, the algorithm will generate off-road locations. Those off-road locations unfortunately falsely indicate that the map is wrong.

Using our map error detector, we have fixed and contributed thousands of critical Type I map errors in OpenStreetMap, hoping that it will be beneficial for the OSM community.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @05:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the Who-trains-the-trainers?-Engineers? dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

The skills gap is widening between people and AI.

Artificial Intelligence is apparently ready to get to work. Over the next three years, as many as 120 million workers from the world's 12 largest economies may need to be retrained because of advances in artificial intelligence and intelligent automation, according to a study released Friday by IBM's Institute for Business Value. However, less than half of CEOs surveyed by IBM said they had the resources needed to close the skills gap brought on by these new technologies.

"Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies," said Amy Wright, a managing partner for IBM Talent & Transformation, in a release. "Yet while executives recognize severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps."

[...] IBM says companies should be able to close the skills gap needed for the "era of AI," but that this won't necessarily be easy. The company said global research shows the time it takes to close a skills gap through employee training has grown by more than 10 times in the last four years. That's due in part to new skills requirements rapidly emerging, while other skills become obsolete.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the thirty-six-dollars-million dept.

HackerOne bug bounty platform closes new $36.4m funding round

HackerOne has announced the closure of a Series D funding round that has secured the bug bounty program a further $36.4 million in investment.

On Sunday, the company said the cash injection will be earmarked for scaling up its international business footprint as well as for expanding the firm's enterprise market solutions, moves which will "continue to strengthen the world's largest and most diverse hacker community."

[...] Users are able to submit reports on new and previously unknown vulnerabilities impacting products before they potentially end up in the hands of cybercriminals, and in return, they are given credit and financial rewards.

[...] The HackerOne client roster includes a number of well-known companies including Dropbox, Coinbase, GitHub, Google Play, PayPal, Qualcomm, and Verizon Media. In addition, the platform is used by the US Department of Defense (DoD), the European Commission, the Ministry of Defence Singapore, and Goldman Sachs.

[...] On the heels of the announcement, the bug bounty platform also revealed some interesting statistics. Over 30,000 vulnerabilities have been reported and resolved in the past 12 months and only 24 hours, in 77 percent of cases, is required for a new bug bounty program to receive its first valid report. In total, 25 percent of bugs discovered are considered high or critical and the average bug bounty paid is $3,384.

While some vendors employ crowd-sourced vulnerabilities through such platforms, they may also run their own independent programs. Google's Project Zero, for example, finds and reports serious bugs impacting other companies and generally maintains a strict 90-day disclosure deadline.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @02:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the watch-that-diet! dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Vegan and vegetarian diets lower the risk of heart disease but raise the risk of stroke, a major study suggests.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at 48,000 people for up to 18 years.

The vegans and vegetarians had 10 fewer cases of coronary heart disease per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters but three more cases of stroke.

Diet experts said, whatever people's dietary choice, eating a wide range of foods was best for their health.

It analyses data from the EPIC-Oxford study, a major long-term research project looking at diet and health.

[...] Altogether, there were 2,820 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) and 1,072 cases of stroke - including 300 haemorrhagic strokes, which happen when a weakened blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain.

The pescetarians were found to have a 13% lower risk of CHD than the meat-eaters, while the vegetarians and vegans had a 22% lower risk. But those on plant-based diets had a 20% higher risk of stroke. The researchers suggested this could be linked to low vitamin B12 levels but said more studies were needed to investigate the connection.

It is also possible that the association may have nothing to do with people's diets and may just reflect other differences in the lives of people who do not eat meat. Dr Frankie Phillips, from the British Dietetic Association, says not - because this was an observational study. "They looked at what people ate and followed them for years, so it's an association, not cause-and-effect," she says.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @12:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the got-to-start-somewhere dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Verizon yesterday announced that its 5G service is available in 13 NFL stadiums but said the network is only able to cover "parts" of the seating areas. Verizon 5G signals will also be sparse or non-existent when fans walk through concourses and other areas in and around each stadium.

The rollout of 5G is more complicated than the rollout of 4G was because 5G relies heavily on millimeter-wave signals that don't travel far and are easily blocked by walls and other obstacles. While Verizon is trying to build excitement around 5G, its announcement for availability in NFL stadiums carried several caveats.

"Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service will be available in areas of the [13] stadiums," Verizon said. "Service will be concentrated in parts of the seating areas but could be available in other locations in and around the stadium as well."

Notice the phrase "could be available" in that last sentence. Verizon isn't promising any 5G coverage outside the seating areas, and the seating-area coverage will only be available in some sections.

[...] 5G can work on any frequency used by mobile networks, including the lower-band frequencies Verizon uses for its nationwide 4G network. But Verizon has said that customers will only notice small speed increases on 5G when it's delivered over low-band frequencies. The big speed increases will come on millimeter-wave deployments, which will be concentrated in densely populated areas.

The 13 stadiums where Verizon 5G is partially available include those used by the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and New York Jets (they share a stadium in New Jersey), Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings. That's only 12 stadiums, so there's a 13th that Verizon hasn't revealed. There are another 18 other NFL stadiums without Verizon 5G service.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the *THIS*-will-be-the-year-of-Linux-on-the-desktop dept.

Manjaro Linux Just Made A Massive Announcement About Its Future

Since 2011, Arch Linux-based Manjaro has focused on being a simple-to-use, accessible Linux desktop distribution with a friendly community. Manjaro has become widely available with multiple desktop environments, usable on multiple chipsets, has enjoyed partnerships with both hardware and software companies, and quickly risen up as a respected and popular choice for desktop Linux users. But as of today, Manjaro Linux is no longer just a Linux distribution -- it's officially transforming into a company with ambitious plans for its future.

[...]The announcement happened just hours ago, via Manjaro developer Philip Müller. It's not the catchiest name, but the advantages to this move seem beneficial to the both the Manjaro project and the community using it.

Müller says that for quite some time he's been researching "ways to secure the project in its current form and how to allow for activities which can't be undertaken as a 'hobby project.'" Crucially, he and the team wanted to reach new heights and be able to invest considerably more time into the project, without compromising the way its currently operating.

To that end, the Manjaro team is announcing the formation of an established company, Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG, "to enable full-time employment of maintainers and exploration of future commercial opportunities." They'll also be taking on Blue Systems -- a German IT company specializing in Free and Libre software -- as an advisor.

Additionally, the team will transfer the ownership of all donations -- and the allocation of donations -- to fiscal hosts CommunityBridge and OpenCollective, which will both secure donations and make their use transparent. And transparency is always welcome.

The BetaNews hot take.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @08:40AM   Printer-friendly

The lander module from India's moon mission was located on the lunar surface on Sunday, one day after it lost contact with the space station, and efforts are underway to try to establish contact with it, the head of the nation's space agency said.

The Press Trust of India news agency cited Indian Space and Research Organization chairman K. Sivan as saying cameras from the moon mission's orbiter had located the lander. "It must have been a hard landing," PTI quoted Sivan as saying.

[...] The space agency said it lost touch with the Vikram lunar lander on Saturday as it made its final approach to the moon's south pole to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.

A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.

The space agency said Saturday that the lander's descent was normal until 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the lunar surface.

Previously: Chandrayaan-2: India's Vikram Lander Presumed to Have Crashed

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @07:20AM   Printer-friendly

Gigantic Raft of Volcanic Rock is Drifting Toward Australia. That Could be Good News.:

A huge raft of volcanic rock has been spotted in the Pacific Ocean, and the Manhattan-size mass appears to be drifting slowly toward Australia.

As it floats along, scientists said various marine plants and animals would populate the loose collection of light, porous rock — and that their arrival and dispersal Down Under could help revive portions of the Great Barrier Reef that have been damaged by pollution and the warmer, more acidic waters resulting from climate change.

The mass, which was spotted on Aug. 9 by NASA’s Terra satellite, is made up of an estimated 1 trillion bits of pumice ranging in size from marbles to basketballs. All of the material is believed to have come from the eruption of an underwater volcano near the island nation of Tonga in early August.

“If you think about the eruption like a bottle of Coke or Champagne, and you shake it up and take the lid off, there’s all that foam that comes out,” said Scott Bryan, a geologist at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. “If we solidify that foam, that’s basically what pumice is when it cools and falls back down to the ocean.”

[...] “These billions and billions of rock can carry corals, and in the best-case scenario, they spread these little corals through the Southwest Pacific and resettle on the Great Barrier Reef,” said Martin Jutzeler, a lecturer at the University of Tasmania, in Australia, and an expert on underwater volcanoes.

Even if only 0.1 percent of the pumice rocks deliver baby corals that successfully colonize the Great Barrier Reef, Bryan said, that could represent hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of new corals added to the imperiled reef.

Does that make the pumice a coral corral?

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @05:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the do-you-want-AI-with-your-control-system? dept.

Report Reveals Play-By-Play of First U.S. Grid Cyberattack:

A first-of-its-kind cyberattack on the U.S. grid created blind spots at a grid control center and several small power generation sites in the western United States, according to a document posted yesterday from the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

The unprecedented cyber disruption this spring did not cause any blackouts, and none of the signal outages at the "low-impact" control center lasted for longer than five minutes, NERC said in the "Lesson Learned" document (pdf) posted to the grid regulator's website.

But the March 5 event was significant enough to spur the victim utility to report it to the Department of Energy, marking the first disruptive "cyber event" on record for the U.S. power grid (Energywire, April 30).

The case offered a stark demonstration of the risks U.S. power utilities face as their critical control networks grow more digitized and interconnected — and more exposed to hackers. "Have as few internet facing devices as possible," NERC urged in its report.

[...] "So far, I don't see any evidence that this was really targeted," said Reid Wightman, senior vulnerability analyst at industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos Inc. "This was probably just an automated bot that was scanning the internet for vulnerable devices, or some script kiddie," he said, using a term for an unskilled hacker.

Nevertheless, the case turned heads at multiple federal agencies, collectively responsible for keeping the lights on in the face of an onslaught of cyber and physical threats. The blind spots would have left grid operators in the dark for five-minute spans — not enough time to risk power outages but still posing a setback to normal operations.

[...] Wightman said the "biggest problem" was the fact that hackers were able to successfully take advantage of a known flaw in the firewall's interface.

"The advisory even goes on to say that there were public exploits available for the particular bug involved," he said. "Why didn't somebody say, 'Hey, we have these firewalls and they're exposed to the internet — we should be patching?'"

Large power utilities are required to check for and apply fixes to sensitive grid software that could offer an entry point for hackers. NERC declined comment on whether the March 5 incident would lead to any enforcement actions, though the nonprofit has levied multimillion-dollar cybersecurity fines against power companies in the recent past. Late last month, NERC announced it had reached a $2.1 million penalty settlement with an unnamed utility — also based out West — over a spate of cybersecurity violations dating back to 2009. Fines for breaking critical infrastructure protection rules are reported to FERC for final approval.

Couldn't help but be reminded of the WOPR and "Let's play Global Thermonuclear War!"

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday September 09, @04:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the when-a-hack-is-a-good-thing dept.

Hackaday Celebrates 15 Years and Oh How the Hardware has Changed:

Tip of the hat to a fellow site with incongruous beginnings that just celebrated 15 years of publication!

Today marks exactly 15 years since Hackaday began featuring one Hack a Day, and we’ve haven’t missed a day since. Over 5,477 days we’ve published 34,057 articles, and the Hackaday community has logged 903,114 comments. It’s an amazing body of work from our writers and editors, a humbling level of involvement from our readers, and an absolutely incredible contribution to open hardware by the project creators who have shared details of their work and given us all something to talk about and to strive for.

What began as a blog is now a global virtual hackerspace. That first 105-word article has grown far beyond project features to include spectacular long-form original content. From our community of readers has grown, launched in 2014 you’ll now find over 30,000 projects published by 350,000 members. The same year the Hackaday Prize was founded as a global engineering initiative seeking to promote open hardware, offering big prizes for big ideas (and the willingness to share them). Our virtual connections were also given the chance to come alive through the Hackaday Superconference, Hackaday Belgrade, numerous Hackaday Unconferences, and meetups all over the world.

All of this melts together into a huge support structure for anyone who wants to float an interesting idea with a proof of concept where “why” is the wrong question. Together we challenge the limits of what things are meant to do, and collectively we filter through the best ideas and hold them high as building blocks for the next iteration. The Hackaday community is the common link in the collective brain, a validation point for perpetuating great ideas of old, and cataloging the ones of new.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the last 15 years of Hackaday is how much the technological landscape has changed. Hackaday is still around because all of us have actively changed along with it — always looking for that cutting edge where the clever misuse of something becomes the base for the next transformative change. So we thought we’d take a look back 15 years in tech. Let’s dig into a time when there were no modules for electronics, you couldn’t just whip up a plastic part in an afternoon, designing your own silicon was unheard of, and your parts distributor was the horde of broken electronics in your back room.

We do not often carry stories on SoylentNews about hardware hacking, but I thought others here might appreciate a trip down memory lane and a chance to comment on their hacks over the years.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @02:59AM   Printer-friendly
from the *my*-PC-runs-Linux dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refers to immigrant detention centers as "concentration camps," or President Trump calls immigrants "illegals," they may take some heat for being politically incorrect. But using politically incorrect speech brings some benefits: It's a powerful way to appear authentic.

Researchers at Berkeley Haas [School of Business] found that replacing even a single politically correct word or phrase with a politically incorrect one—"illegal" versus "undocumented" immigrants, for example—makes people view a speaker as more authentic and less likely to be swayed by others.

"The cost of political incorrectness is that the speaker seems less warm, but they also appear less strategic and more 'real,'" says Asst. Prof. Juliana Schroeder, co-author of the paper, which includes nine experiments with almost 5,000 people and is forthcoming in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "The result may be that people may feel less hesitant in following politically incorrect leaders because they appear more committed to their beliefs."

Although politically correct speech is more often defended by liberals and derided by conservatives, the researchers also found there's nothing inherently partisan about the concept. In fact, conservatives are just as likely to be offended by politically incorrect speech when it's used to describe groups they care about, such as evangelicals or poor whites.

"Political incorrectness is frequently applied toward groups that liberals tend to feel more sympathy towards, such as immigrants or LGBTQ individuals, so liberals tend to view it negatively and conservatives tend to think it's authentic," says Berkeley Haas Ph.D. candidate Michael Rosenblum, the lead author of the paper (the third co-author is Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School). "But we found that the opposite can be true when such language is applied to groups that conservatives feel sympathy for—like using words such as 'bible thumper' or 'redneck'."

[...]Although President Trump's wildly politically incorrect statements seem to make him more popular in certain circles, copycat politicians should take heed. The researchers found that politically incorrect statements make a person appear significantly colder, and because they appear more convinced of their beliefs, they may also appear less willing to engage in crucial political dialogue.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday September 09, @12:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the own-your-mistakes dept.

Apple takes flak for disputing iOS security bombshell dropped by Google

Apple is taking flak for disputing some minor details of last week's bombshell report that, for at least two years, customers' iOS devices were vulnerable to a sting[sic] of zeroday exploits, at least some of which were actively exploited to install malware that stole location data, passwords, encryption keys, and a wealth of other highly sensitive data.

Google's Project Zero said the attacks were waged indiscriminately from a small collection of websites that "received thousands of visitors per week." One of the five exploit chains Project Zero researchers analyzed showed they "were likely written contemporaneously with their supported iOS versions." The researcher's conclusion: "This group had a capability against a fully patched iPhone for at least two years."

Earlier this week, researchers at security firm Volexity reported finding 11 websites serving the interests of Uyghur Muslims that the researchers believed were tied to the attacks Project Zero identified. Volexity's post was based in part on a report by TechCrunch citing unnamed people familiar with the attacks who said they were the work of [a] nation—likely China—designed to target the Uyghur community in the country's Xinjiang state.

[...]For a week, Apple said nothing about any of the reports. Then on Friday, it issued a statement that critics are characterizing as tone-deaf for its lack of sensitivity to human rights and an overfocus on minor points.


Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at UC Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute, summed up much of this criticism by tweeting: “The thing that bugs me most about Apple these days is that they are all-in on the Chinese market and, as such, refuse to say something like ‘A government intent on ethnic cleansing of a minority population conducted a mass hacking attack on our users.’"

[...]Apple had an opportunity to apologize to those who were hurt, thank the researchers who uncovered systemic flaws that caused the failure, and explain how it planned to do better in the future. It didn't do any of those things. Now, the company has distanced itself from the security community when it needs it most.

See also: The stakes are too high for Apple to spin the iPhone exploits
Apple says Uighurs targeted in iPhone attack but disputes Google findings

Related: China Forces its Muslim Minority to Install Spyware on Their Phones
China Installs Surveillance App on Smartphones of Visitors to Xinjiang Region

Original Submission