Privacy

Watchdog "Not Ready" To Probe Cookie Complaints 166

nk497 writes "The UK data watchdog has admitted it doesn't have any staff investigating cookie consent complaints, more than a year after the law came in via an EU directive. The regulation requires websites to ask before dropping cookies and other tracking devices onto users' computers, and came into law in May 2011. The Information Commissioner's Office gave websites a year's grace period to update their websites, but failed to use that time to get its team together, meaning the 320 reports of sites not in compliance it's already received haven't been investigated at all."
AI

Machine Learning Allows Actors To Create Games That Understand Body Language 30

ptresset writes "Goldsmiths college is developing technology with natural responses to human interaction. The technology enables video games characters to move in a more natural way, responding to the player's own body language rather than mathematical rules. The hypothesis is that the actors' artistic understanding of human behavior will bring an individuality, subtlety and nuance to the character that it would be difficult to create in hand-authored models."
Science

First Mummies May Have Been Inspired by Field of Corpses 78

sciencehabit writes with a story about a field strewn with corpses in shallow graves. From the article: "Trekking through Chile's Atacama Desert 7000 years ago, hunter-gatherers known as the Chinchorro walked in the land of the dead. Thousands of shallowly buried human bodies littered the earth, their leathery corpses pockmarking the desolate surroundings. According to new research, the scene inspired the Chinchorro to begin mummifying their dead, a practice they adopted roughly 3000 years before the Egyptians embraced it."
Hardware

EyeRing Could Help Blind People See Objects 31

cylonlover writes "Generally speaking, the vast majority of augmented reality applications that enhance the world around us by overlaying digital content on images displayed on smartphone, tablet or computer screens are aimed squarely at the sighted user. A team from the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT's Media Lab has developed a chunky finger-worn device called EyeRing that translates images of objects captured through a camera lens into aural feedback to aid the blind."
Hardware

JPMorgan Chase Spends $500 Million On a Data Center 275

1sockchuck writes "JPMorgan Chase spends $500 million to build a data center, according to CEO Jamie Dimon. That figure places the firm's facilities among the most expensive in the industry, on a par with investments by Google and Microsoft in their largest data centers. Dimon discussed the firm's IT spending in an interview in which he asserts that huge data centers are among the advantages of ginormous banks. Dimon also offered a vigorous defense of the U.S. banking industry. 'Most bankers are decent, honorable people,' Dimon says. 'We're wrapped up in all this crap right now. We made a mistake. We're sorry. It doesn't detract from all the good things we've done. I am not responsible for the financial crisis.'"
Cloud

Red Hat Releases Preview Version of Open Stack Distribution 37

hypnosec writes "Red Hat has announced the availability of a preview version of its OpenStack Distribution that would enable it to compete with the likes of Amazon which is considered one of the leaders in infrastructure-as-a-service cloud services. The enterprise Linux maker was a late entrant into the OpenStack world where players like Rackspace, HP and Internap have already made their mark. Red Hat's OpenStack distribution enterprises can build and manage private, public, and hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service clouds. These companies will not only be competing with the likes of Amazon, but will also be competing against themselves to get a bite out of the IaaS cloud. What started as a project has quickly developed into an open source solution that enables organizations to achieve performance, features and greater functionality from their private and/or public clouds. The announcement of OpenStack Foundation acted as a catalyst toward the fast-paced development of the platform."
NASA

Could You Hack Into Mars Curiosity Rover? 452

MrSeb writes "NASA's Curiosity rover has now been on the surface of Mars for just over a week. It hasn't moved an inch after landing, instead focusing on orienting itself (and NASA's scientists) by taking instrument readings and snapping images of its surroundings. The first beautiful full-color images of Gale Crater are starting to trickle in, and NASA has already picked out some interesting rock formations that it will investigate further in the next few days. Over the weekend and continuing throughout today, however, Curiosity is attempting something very risky indeed: A firmware upgrade. This got me thinking: If NASA can transmit new software to a Mars rover that's hundreds of millions of miles away... why can't a hacker do the same thing? In short, there's no reason a hacker couldn't take control of Curiosity, or lock NASA out. All you would need is your own massive 230-foot dish antenna and a 400-kilowatt transmitter — or, perhaps more realistically, you could hack into NASA's computer systems, which is exactly what Chinese hackers did 13 times in 2011."
Security

Companies Advise Tighter Security After Honan Hack 99

In the wake of the hacking of Mat Honan's accounts, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple are just a few of the companies making their security policies tougher, and they are advising people to do the same. From the article: "Even as those companies’ teams moved to patch the holes, others moved to offer security tips. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, used his personal Website to urge Gmail users to embrace two-factor authentication. 'Much of the story is about Amazon or Apple’s security practices, but I would still advise everyone to turn on Google’s two-factor authentication to make your Gmail account safer and less likely to get hacked,' he wrote in the August 6 posting."
Image

Book Review: Navigating Social Media Legal Risks 40

benrothke writes "In the documentary Scared Straight! a group of inmates terrify young offenders in an attempt to 'scare them straight'" (hence the show's title) so that those teenagers will avoid prison life. A 2002 meta-analysis of the results of a number of scared straight and similar intervention programs found that they actively increased crime rates, leading to higher re-offense rates than in control groups that did not receive the intervention. For those considering the use of social media in their business, it is quite easy to read Navigating Social Media Legal Risks: Safeguarding Your Business as a scared straight type of reference. Author Robert McHale provides so many legal horror stories, that most people would simply be too afraid of the legal and regulatory risks to every consider using social media." Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review.
Government

Monitoring Weapons Bans With Social Media 71

Harperdog writes "Kirk Bansak has a great article outlining a coming revolution in non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and bio-weapons, courtesy of smart phones and social media. Early theory on arms control foresaw 'inspection by the people' as a promising method for preventing evasion of arms control and disarmament obligations and serves as a starting point for understanding 'social verification.' As Rose Gottemoeller recently stated: '[Cell phone-based] sensors would allow citizens to contribute to detecting potential treaty violations, and could build a bridge to a stronger private-public partnership in the realm of treaty verification.'"
Open Source

The Open Source Technology Behind Twitter 81

caseyb89 writes "If it weren't for open source technology, you wouldn't be able to tweet. Chris Aniszczyk, Open Source Manager at Twitter, shares how open source is vital to Twitter's success. He states that using open source is a 'no-brainer' for Twitter because it 'allows us to customize and tweak code to meet our fast-paced engineering needs as our service and community grows.' Twitter also established an open source office about a year ago to support a variety of open source organizations that are important to them. Aniszczyk will discuss Twitters open source usage in his keynote at LinuxCon."
Japan

"Severe Abnormalities" Found In Fukushima Butterflies 189

Dupple writes "The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. This study suggests the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species."
Cellphones

DOJ Says iPhone Is So Secure They Can't Crack It 454

zacharye writes "In the five years since Apple launched the iPhone, the popular device has gone from a malicious hacker's dream to law enforcement's worst nightmare. As recounted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review blog, a Justice Department official recently took the stage at the DFRWS computer forensics conference in Washington, D.C. and told attendees that the beefed up security in iOS is now so good that it has become a nightmare for law enforcement."

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