Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Encryption

Building an Opt-In Society 182

Posted by timothy
from the dreams-pipe-dreams-and-escaping-dystopia dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a talk at Y Combinator's startup school event, Stanford lecturer Balaji Srinivasan explained his vision for governing systems of the future. The idea is to find space to set up a new 'opt-in' society outside existing governments, and design it to take full advantage of technology to keep people in control of their own lives. That means embracing tech that subverts existing industries and rejecting regulation on new ways of doing things. '[N]ew industries are simultaneously disrupting existing ones while also exiting the system entirely, he says. With 3D printing, regulation is being turned into DRM. With quantified self, medicine is going mobile. With Bitcoin, capital control becomes packet filtering. All of these examples, Srinivasan says, are ways in which technology is allowing people to exit current systems like physical product production and distribution; personal health; and finance in favor of spaces of their own creation.' Srinivasan's ideas are a natural extension of a few proposals already in the works — Peter Thiel has been trying to build a small tech incubator city that floats in international waters, outside of government control. Elon Musk wants to have a Mars colony, and Larry Page has wished for a tech-centric Burning man that's free from government regulation. 'The best part is this,' Srinivasan said. 'The people who think this is weird, the people who sneer at the frontier, who hate technology, won't follow you there.'"
Transportation

Ford Showcases Self-Parking Car Technology 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-ma-no-hands dept.
MojoKid writes "Although the dream of roads full of driverless cars is a ways off, several companies such as Tesla and Google are taking steps toward that goal by developing self-driving car technology. Ford is now also demonstrating self-parking technology called Fully Assisted Parking Aid that will actually help a driver locate a spot and then make the car automatically park itself--without the driver inside. Indeed, you'll be able to hop out of the car and use a smartphone app to tell your car to park itself. This is ideal for both parking in tight spaces (i.e., you don't have to squeeze your way out of your vehicle while trying not to bang the next car's door) and for those who are just terrible at parking to begin with."
The Almighty Buck

MasterCard Joining Push For Fingerprint ID Standard 138

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-gum-prints dept.
schwit1 writes with this selection from a story at USA Today: "MasterCard is joining the FIDO Alliance, signaling that the payment network is getting interested in using fingerprints and other biometric data to identify people for online payments. MasterCard will be the first major payment network to join FIDO. The Alliance is developing an open industry standard for biometric data such as fingerprints to be used for identification online. The goal is to replace clunky passwords and take friction out of logging on and purchasing using mobile devices. FIDO is trying to standardize lots of different ways of identifying people online, not just through biometric methods."
Businesses

Paypal Rolls Out Photo Verification Trial In UK 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-real-money-is-no-good-here dept.
kdryer39 writes "Retailers in Richmond upon Thames are among the first to allow shoppers to leave their wallets at home and pay for items using just the PayPal app and their profile picture. The app for iOS, Windows OS and Android phones highlights nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal before the customer checks in by clicking on the required retailer and sliding an animated pin down on their screen. At present, only 12 merchants are using the system but it expects more than 2,000 locations will have the ability to use the app by the end of 2013."
Advertising

Retail Stores Plan Elaborate Ways To Track You 195

Posted by timothy
from the just-ask-at-the-casino-what-works dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Retailers are experimenting with a variety of new ways to track you, so that when you pick up a shirt, you might get a message about the matching shorts. Or pick up golf shoes at a sports store and you see a discount for a new set of clubs. New technologies like magnetic field detection, Bluetooth Low Energy, sonic pulses, and even transmissions from the in-store lights can tell when you enter a store, where you go, and how you shop. Just last year, tracking was only accurate within 100 feet. Starting this year, they can track within a few feet. ByteLight makes the lighting tech, which transmits a unique signal that the camera in your phone can read. The store can then track your location within about 3 feet — and it's already in use at the Museum of Science in Boston."
Science

Researchers Implant False Memories In Mice 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the remember-this dept.
sciencehabit writes "Call it 'Total Recall' for mice. A group of neuroscientists say that they've identified a potential mechanism of false memory creation and have planted such a memory in the brain of a mouse. With this knowledge, neuroscientists can start to figure out how many neurons it takes to give us the perception of what's around us and what goes on in our neural wiring when we remember—or misremember—the past."

Comment: Re:But... But... Why? (Score 4, Informative) 133

by Annirak (#43524309) Attached to: Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

RTFA.

For the last several years, we’ve been operating the Facebook fork of MySQL 5.1 with most of our production environment running a build of r3753. We’ve been pleased with its performance; Facebook’s MySQL team contains some of the finest database engineers in the industry and they’ve done much to advance the open source MySQL ecosystem.
That said, MariaDB’s optimizer enhancements, the feature set of Percona’s XtraDB (many overlap with the Facebook patch, but I particularly like add-ons such as the ability to save the buffer pool LRU list, avoiding costly warmups on new servers), and of Oracle’s MySQL 5.5 provide compelling reasons to consider upgrading. Equally important, as supporters of the free culture movement, the Wikimedia Foundation strongly prefers free software projects; that includes a preference for projects without bifurcated code bases between differently licensed free and enterprise editions. We welcome and support the MariaDB Foundation as a not-for-profit steward of the free and open MySQL related database community.

It's part performance and part philosophical. Given that wikipedia is a strongly philosophical enterprise, this seems reasonable.

Comment: Re:That title has quite a spin on it. (Score 4, Informative) 170

by Annirak (#43523915) Attached to: RCMP Says Terror Plot Against Canadian Trains Thwarted

That's not what it says. The article says this:

Toronto Imam Yusuf Badat, of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, told CBC's Evan Solomon that RCMP officers said they received tips from the Muslim community that led to the arrests.

This is not the same as:

A few men, in the Mosque that they went to, heard about the plan and reported it to the RCMP.

Transportation

DARPA Develops Non-GPS Navigation Chip 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-life-just-isn't-worth-living-otherwise dept.
Zothecula writes "The Global Positioning System (GPS) has proved a boon for those with a bad sense of direction, but the satellite-based system isn't without its shortcomings. Something as simple as going indoors or entering a tunnel can render the system useless. That might be inconvenient for civilians, but it's potentially disastrous to military users, for whom the system was originally built. DARPA is addressing such concerns with the development of a self-sufficient navigation system that can aid navigation when GPS is temporarily unavailable."
Security

Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests? 572

Posted by timothy
from the quick-name-an-os-that's-never-been-compromised dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We frequently have guests in our home who ask to use our computer for various reasons such as checking their email or showing us websites. We are happy to oblige, but the problem is many of these guests have high risk computing habits and have more than once infested one of our computers with malware, despite having antivirus and the usual computer security precautions. We have tried using a Linux boot CD but usually get funny looks or confused users. We've thought about buying an iPad for guests to use, but decided it wasn't right to knowingly let others use a computing platform that may have been compromised. What tips do you have to overcome this problem, technologically or otherwise?"
Power

Nuclear Power Prevents More Deaths Than It Causes 599

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-conducive-for-uninformed-panic dept.
MTorrice writes "NASA researchers have compared nuclear power to fossil fuel energy sources in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution-related deaths. Using nuclear power in place of coal and gas power has prevented some 1.8 million deaths globally over the past four decades and could save millions of more lives in coming decades, concludes their study. The pair also found that nuclear energy prevents emissions of huge quantities of greenhouse gases. These estimates help make the case that policymakers should continue to rely on and expand nuclear power in place of fossil fuels to mitigate climate change, the authors say."

Comment: Re:Tyranny of Age (Score 1) 196

by Annirak (#43246705) Attached to: Google Reportedly Making a Smartwatch, Too

Watches have some kind of an allure, much like fountain pens. Just take a look at the Tread 1. It's a beautiful watch and I want one, but I can't have one because it's $20,000. Some people like Rolex's too. Personally, I don't get that one, but that's fine.

If you have a smartphone, you surely must have had at least on occasion where it alerts, but it's awkward to get at it. You'll fish it out if it's important, but you'd like to know if it's important before you do that. For me, this has happened in a few ways: 1) it's raining and I'm outside. 2) it's winter, and the phone is in my pants pocket, which my coat covers. Finding out what the alert was requires removing a glove, and fishing it out of my pocket. 3) I'm in a meeting.

There's another use-case: Suppose you have bluetooth headphones. If you also have a smart-watch, you don't need to get out the smartphone to: 1) see who is calling and/or answer a call. 2) check which track is playing. 3) read a text message or email. 4) skip tracks, adjust volume...
The list goes on. Some of these functions are also covered by the bluetooth headphones, but not all.

Is it necessary for the smartphone to fulfill its purpose? Absolutely not. Can it be convenient to have a tiny UI strapped to your wrist? Absolutely.

13. ... r-q1

Working...