Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Julie Beck has an interesting read in the Atlantic about how our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative because evolution has optimized our brains for survival, but not necessarily happiness, which means that we feel stressed and unhappy even though there are a lot of positive things in our lives. 'The problem is that the brain is very good at building brain structure from negative experiences,' says neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson. 'We learn immediately from pain—you know, "once burned, twice shy." As our ancestors evolved, they needed to pass on their genes. And day-to-day threats like predators or natural hazards had more urgency and impact for survival. On the other hand, positive experiences like food, shelter, or mating opportunities, those are good, but if you fail to have one of those good experiences today, as an animal, you would have a chance at one tomorrow. But the brain is relatively poor at turning positive experiences into emotional learning neural structure. 'Positive thinking by definition is conceptual and generally verbal and most conceptual or verbal material doesn't have a lot of impact on how we actually feel or function over the course of the day. A lot of people have this kind of positive, look on the bright side yappity yap, but deep down they're very frightened, angry, sad, disappointed, hurt, or lonely.' Dr. Hanson proposes several ideas for helping 're-wire' our brains for happiness. One of them is that we need to learn how to move positive experiences from short-term buffers to long-term storage. 'But to move from a short-term buffer to long-term storage, an experience needs to be held in that short-term buffer long enough for it to transfer to long-term storage,' says Hanson. 'When people are having positive thinking or even most positive experiences, the person is not taking the extra 10, 20 seconds to heighten the installation into neural structure. So it's not just positive thinking that's wasted on the brain; it's most positive experiences that are wasted on the brain.'"
MojoKid writes "AMD has launched their new top-end Radeon R9 290X graphics card today. The new flagship wasn't ready in time for AMD's recent October 8th launch of midrange product, but their top of the line model, based on the GPU codenamed Hawaii, is ready now. The R9 290 series GPU (Hawaii) is comprised of up to 44 compute units with a total of 2,816 IEEE-2008 compliant shaders. The GPU has four geometry processors (2x the Radeon HD 7970) and can output 64 pixels per clock. The Radeon R9 290X features 2816 Stream Processors and an engine clock of up to 1GHz. The card's 4GB of GDDR5 memory is accessed by the GPU via a wide 512-bit interface and the R290X requires a pair of supplemental PCIe power connectors—one 6-pin and one 8-pin. Save for some minimum frame rate and frame latency issues, the new Radeon R9 290X's performance is impressive overall. AMD still has some obvious driver tuning and optimization to do, but frame rates across the board were very good. And though it wasn't a clean sweep for the Radeon R9 290X versus NVIDIA's flagship GeForce GTX 780 or GeForce GTX Titan cards, AMD's new GPU traded victories depending on the game or application being used, which is to say the cards performed similarly."
cartechboy writes "Autonomous cars are coming even if tech companies have to produce them. The biggest hurdles are the technology (very expensive and often still surprisingly rudimentary) and how vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication happens (one car anticipates or sees an accident, it should tell nearby cars). So what are the benefits to self-driving cars? They may save us thousands of lives and not a small amount of cash. A new study from the Eno Center for Transportation (PDF) suggests that if just 10 percent of vehicles on the road were autonomous, the U.S. could see 1,000 fewer highway fatalities annually and save $38 billion in lost productivity (due to congestion and other traffic problems). Right off the bat you can imagine autonomous driving easily topping your average intoxicated drivers' ability behind the wheel. At a 90 percent adoption mark those same numbers in theory would become: 21,700 lives spared, and a whopping $447 billion saved."
the_newsbeagle writes "In spinal cord injuries, the brain's commands can't reach the lower body — so in a ground-breaking experiment at the University of Louisville, researchers are providing artificial commands via electrodes implanted in the spine. The first paralyzed people to try out the tech have already been able to stand on their own, and have regained some bowel and sexual function. A video that accompanies the article also shows paralyzed rats that were able to walk again with this kind of electrical stimulation."
rjmarvin writes "A South Korean patent filing, complete with memos and device designs has let the cat out of the bag about Samsung's new head-mounted wearable device to compete with Google Glass, two days after Microsoft was found to be testing a similar prototype. The device isn't wireless; in fact it has an attached USB extension to plug into and serve as an extension of a smartphone. The device is categorized as 'sports glasses' to 'take phone calls and listen to music during workouts.' The filing gives an overhead, front, and side view of the proposed device, another entry into the rapidly expanding and increasingly competitive wearables marketplace."
itwbennett writes "Earlier this week, Microsoft rolled out a handful of hybrid cloud services that make it easy for businesses to start using Azure in a small way. What struck blogger Nancy Gohring about the announcement was 'how deeply Microsoft is integrating Azure into other products,' with the intention of moving long-time customers onto Azure in ways that are hardly perceptible to them."
An anonymous reader writes "With recent action by the FTC against TRENDnet, the 'Internet of Things' has taken a sharp turn in the eyes of the public and government with regard to security. This week, Duo Security employee Mark Stanislav presented security research he did on the IZON IP camera from Stem Innovation. Through his testing, Mark found hardcoded credentials for Linux accounts (accessible by Telnet; Yes, — really), an undocumented web interface allowing for viewing a camera's stream (also with hardcoded credentials, user/user), and a variety of other failings including a lack of cryptography in most of the camera's functionality, including when uploading videos to Amazon Web Services's S3 storage." According to the above-linked article, "Contacted by The Security Ledger, Stem Innovation CTO Matt McBeth said that the IZON firmware, server system and iOS applications tested by Stanislav have since been updated, and that the research contains “inaccurate and misleading information.” Stem did not provide specific information about any inaccuracies."
First time accepted submitter xavier2dc writes "TrueCrypt is a popular software enabling data protection by means of encryption for all categories of users. It is getting even more attention lately following the revelations of the NSA as the authors remain anonymous and no thorough security audit have yet been conducted to prove it is not backdoored in any way. This has led several concerns raised in different places, such as this blog post, this one, this security analysis [PDF], also related on that blog post from which IsTrueCryptAuditedYet? was born. One of the recurring questions is: What if the binaries provided on the website were different than the source code and they included hidden features? To address this issue, I built the software from the official sources in a careful way and was able to match the official binaries. According to my findings, all three recent major versions (v7.1a, v7.0a, v6.3a) exactly match the sources."
McGruber writes "The Wall Street Journal reports on the new level of surveillance available to bosses of blue collar workers. Thanks to mobile devices and inexpensive monitoring software, managers can now know where workers are, eavesdrop on their phone calls, tell if a truck driver is wearing his seat belt and intervene if he is tailgating. 'Twenty-five years ago this was pipe dream stuff,' said Paul Sangster, CEO of JouBeh Technologies, a Canadian company that develops tracking, or 'telematics,' technology for businesses. 'Now it is commonly accepted that you are being tracked.' In the U.S., workplace tracking technology is largely unregulated, and courts have found that employees have few rights to privacy on the job. No federal statutes restrict the use of GPS by employers, nor force them to disclose whether they are using it. Only two states, Delaware and Connecticut, require employers to tell workers that their electronic communications — anything from emails to instant messages to texts — are being monitored."
Nerval's Lobster writes "In Boston, a number of UberX drivers reportedly planned to strike yesterday afternoon in response to a rate cut. (UberX is a low-cost program from Uber, which is attempting to "disrupt" the traditional cab industry via a mobile app that connects ordinary drivers in need of cash with passengers who want to go somewhere.) Uber tried to preempt the strike with a blog posting explaining that the rate cut actually translated into more customers and thus more revenue to drivers, but it needn't have bothered: according to local media (the same media that reported a strike was in the making) a strike failed to materialize. Many of the biggest firms of the so-called 'sharing economy,' such as Uber and Airbnb, are locked in battle with some combination of deeply entrenched industries and government regulators. But if the 'labor' that drives the sharing economy becomes more agitated about its compensation, it could create yet another interesting wrinkle. The Boston strike may have fizzled, but that doesn't mean another one, in a different city, won't enjoy more success." Free (or freer) entry makes occupation-based roadblocks harder to enforce, though, so Uber and other crowd-sourcing matchmakers are tougher to pin down and disrupt in the way that more tightly controlled enterprises are. (Not that city councils and other bodies aren't trying to corral crowd-sourced undertakings into their regulatory purviews, putting a damper on some of that freewheeling disintermediation.)
cagraham writes "Google promised in 2005 to never "ever" put banner ads on their search results, but that appears to be changing. The company confirmed to SearchEngineLand that it is running a "small experiment" involving large-scale banners on searches for Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Crate&Barrel, among others. The ads are being shown in less than 5% of searches, and only in the US, for now. Interestingly enough, the Google exec who wrote the no banner ads promise was Marissa Mayer, now CEO of Yahoo."
RenderSeven writes "Science has so far been at a loss to explain why tapping a beer bottle with another causes it to explosively foam over. Thanks to a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, a research team at the University of Madrid studying fluid mechanics has found the answer with some fascinating slow-motion video. Their soon-to-be-published paper found that tapping the bottle (or shooting it with a laser) causes a series of compression and expansion waves, that generate unstable buoyant plumes, quickly turning most of the liquid into foam. PhysicsBuzz notes that the process is very rapid and nearly unstoppable once started."
sl4shd0rk writes "In what could be an act of desparation of a company in it's death throes, Blackberry has submitted their BBM messaging application to Google Play for download. While this may seem like a logical path for a company on life-support, what wasn't expected is the sheer number of identical 5-star reviews the application has received since being posted. In what appears to be review 'ballot stuffing,' it poses the questions of just how Google is going to handle the subject of manufactured reviews as well as how many other entities have engaged in the same behavior. The same problems have plagued Amazon's review system as well bringing into question the validity of 'crowd based review' and whether it's possible to legitimize this type of system." The linked article points out that the suspicious posts may be the result of ballot stuffing intended to hype one of the unofficial Blackberry apps, rather than RIM's own.
theodp writes "With new bike sharing programs all the rage, spending tens of millions of dollars to make city streets more bike friendly with hundreds of miles of bike lanes has become a priority for bike-loving mayors like NYC's Michael Bloomberg and Chicago's Rahm Emanuel. 'You cannot be for a startup, high-tech economy and not be pro-bike,' claimed Emanuel, who credited bike-sharing and bike lanes for attracting Google and Motorola Mobility to downtown Chicago. Now, with huge bike-sharing contracts awarded and programs underway, the NY Times asks the big question, How Safe Is Cycling? Because bike accidents rarely make front page news and are likely to be dramatically underreported, it's hard to say, concludes the NYT's Gina Kolata. UCSF trauma surgeon Dr. Rochelle Dicker, who studied hospital and police records for 2,504 bicyclists treated at San Francisco General Hospital, told Kolata,'Lots of my colleagues do not want to ride after seeing these [city biking] injuries.' On the other hand, Andy Pruitt, the founder of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and an avid lifelong cyclist, said the dangers were overstated, noting he's only broken his collarbone twice and hip once in four decades of long-distance cycling. So, is cycling safe, especially in the city? And is it OK to follow Mayor Emanuel's lead and lose the helmet?"
jfruh writes "Apple is now offering upgrades to the latest version of OS X for free. When Linux inventor Linus Torvalds was asked whether this threatened Linux (presumably by someone who had only a passing knowledge of all the things 'free' can mean when applied to software) it gave him an opportunity for a passionate defense of open source. Torvalds also says that he'll keep programming until it gets 'not interesting,' which hasn't happened yet." The newest version of OS X may be gratis for Apple hardware buyers, but it's notably far from the original, (literally) un-branded sense of "mavericks."
judgecorp writes "Hewlett-Packard wants to cash in a lot of mobile patents, as part of Meg Whitman's restructuring, according to reports. HP acquired the WebOS operating system, as seen on phones and tablets, when it bought Palm, but failed to build a business on it. It's since sold its WebOS business to LG for use in TVs and cars but hung onto the patents which are licensed to LG. Now, Bloomberg reports the patents themselves may be for sale — possibly to whoever fails to buy BlackBerry's tempting bundle of mobile technology."
New submitter mrspoonsi writes with this news, excerpted from the BBC: "The European Parliament has voted to suspend the sharing of financial data with the U.S., following allegations that citizens' data was spied on....The European Parliament voted to suspend its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement with the US, in response to the alleged tapping of EU citizens' bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT. The agreement granted the U.S. authorities access to bank data for terror-related investigations but leaked documents made public by whistleblower Edward Snowden allege that the global bank transfer network was the target of wider U.S. surveillance."
New submitter bhv writes "After firmly denying that it used software on its rent-to-own computers to spy on customers, including capturing passwords, sensitive financial information and images of private intimate moments, Atlanta-based Aaron's has owned up to the practice in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission."
First time accepted submitter jellie writes "According to Ars Technica, a new bill introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has received bipartisan support and has a real chance of passing. In a press call, lawyers from the CCIA, EFF, and Public Knowledge had universal praise for the bill, which is called the Innovation Act of 2013. The EFF has a short summary of the good and bad parts of an earlier draft of the bill. The bill will require patent holders who are filing a suit to identify the specific products and claims which are being infringed, require the loser in a suit to pay attorney's fees and costs, and force trolls to reveal anyone who has a 'financial interest' in the case, making them possibly liable for damages."
New submitter tvf_trp writes "Fox Sports VP Jerry Steinbers has just announced that the broadcaster is not looking to implement 4K broadcasting (which offers four times the resolution of today's HD), stating that 4K Ultra HD is a 'monumental task with not a lot of return.' Digital and broadcasting specialists have raised concerns about the future of 4K technology, drawing parallels with the 3D's trajectory, which despite its initial hype has failed to establish a significant market share due to high price and lack of 3D content. While offering some advantages over 3D (no need for specs, considerable improvement in video quality, etc), 4K's prospects will remain precarious until it can get broadcasters and movie makers on board."
angry tapir writes "The Internet – or at least its namespace – just got bigger. Four new top-level domains have been added to the Internet's root zone. The four new gTLDs all use non-Latin scripts: 'web' in Arabic, 'online' in Cyrillic, 'sale' in Cyrillic, and 'game' in Chinese. In total, the generic top-level domain process run by ICANN will result in the expansion of top-level domains from 22 to up to 1400."
Mark Gibbs writes "Knight Capital monumentally fouled up a software update. According to the SEC, 'Knight did not have supervisory procedures to guide its relevant personnel when significant issues developed.' In other words, not only was Knight's code management inadequate but their human management processes were just as bad. The fine for what could have been a biblical financial disaster? A measly $12 million."
First time accepted submitter Papa Fett writes "DARPA announced the Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC)--the first-ever tournament for fully automatic network defense systems. International teams will compete to build systems that reason about software flaws, formulate patches and deploy them on a network in real time. Teams would be scored against each other based on how capably their systems can protect hosts, scan the network for vulnerabilities, and maintain the correct function of software. The winning team would receive a cash prize of $2 million , with second place earning $1 million and third place taking home $750,000." Also at Slashcloud.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Cybersecurity, as an industry, is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs as network systems and information security professionals are expected to grow by 53 percent through 2018. Yet, young people today aren't interested in getting jobs in cybersecurity. By all accounts it's a growing and potentially secure, lucrative job. But according to a new survey by the defense tech company Raytheon, only 24 percent of millennials have any interest in cybersecurity as a career."
coondoggie writes "Vanderbilt University researchers say they have come up with a way to store electricity on a silicon-based supercapacitor that would let mobile phones recharge in seconds and let them continue to operate for weeks without recharging. The Vanderbilt team said they used porous silicon -- a material with a controllable and well-defined nanostructure made by electrochemically etching the surface of a silicon wafer. This let them create surfaces with optimal nanostructures for supercapacitor electrodes, but it left them with a major problem: Silicon is generally considered unsuitable for use in supercapacitors because it reacts readily with some of chemicals in the electrolytes that provide the ions that store the electrical charge, the researchers said."