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Comment Why.... (Score 1) 83

Why do we announce things of this nature? Wouldn't it be more in our interest to just keep this sorta thing like in an "Area 51" type logic. Sure we have the capability, sure we may or may not use it. I don't think we should just say, we are going to do more of it, so you other countries that may be our enemy now or in the future, get your shit together and raise your defense against energy weaponry.

Submission + - The Machines Are Coming writes: Zeynep Tufekci writes in an op-ed at the NYT that machines can now process regular spoken language and not only recognize human faces, but also read their expressions. Machines can classify personality types, and have started being able to carry out conversations with appropriate emotional tenor. Machines are getting better than humans at figuring out who to hire, who’s in a mood to pay a little more for that sweater, and who needs a coupon to nudge them toward a sale. It turns out that most of what we think of as expertise, knowledge and intuition is being deconstructed and recreated as an algorithmic competency, fueled by big data. "Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans," writes Tufekci. "Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency."

According to Tufekci technology is being used in many workplaces: to reduce the power of humans, and employers’ dependency on them, whether by replacing, displacing or surveilling them. Optimists insist that we’ve been here before, during the Industrial Revolution, when machinery replaced manual labor, and all we need is a little more education and better skills but Tufekci says that one historical example is no guarantee of future events. "Confronting the threat posed by machines, and the way in which the great data harvest has made them ever more able to compete with human workers, must be about our priorities," concludes Tufekci. "This problem is not us versus the machines, but between us, as humans, and how we value one another."

Submission + - Chromebooks replaced Windows laptops for these in-home pediatric nurses ( 1

mattydread23 writes: Here's another example of Google chipping away at Microsoft's dominance. This pediatric home care company went Google and swapped out old Windows laptops for Chromebooks. The nurses love them: They're lighter, with longer battery life, and overall easier to use. The IT department loves them too, since they have lower maintenance costs. Look for this scenario to be repeated millions of times in the next year — chipping away at Microsoft's enterprise dominance, bit by bit.

Comment Re:What drugs and what protections from failure? (Score 1) 439

It will probably be in single pill form - i.e. you can't take half of it unless you are seriously trying to screw yourself or the system.

There are commercials on the radio, and they say it could be upwards of 100 pills. I know it's a political add, but there might and I say MIGHT be some truth to it being more than 1 pill.


Submission + - App Can Prevent Users from Texting While Driving

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Scientific American reports that while laws prohibit texting while driving in many states, many people still find it impossible to resist. Now researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are studying how software on a cell phone could analyze keystrokes to determine when that phone’s user is distracted while composing and sending text messages and combined with GPS and other data, determine when a texter is behind the wheel and shut off texting functions automatically. Such a feature could take the form of a mobile app for any phone—independent of the manufacturer, operating system and wireless service provider. The researchers programmed a cell phone to log keystroke dynamics using a common operating system as a means of determining if an individual was texting while driving, in particular, “keystroke entropy,” (pdf) when keys are struck at irregular intervals, as an indicator that the test subjects’ attention is divided between texting and driving. “The things that we are measuring, the data never needs to leave the person’s phone,” says Mike Watkins, developer of the algorithm. “But as a parent, you could require your child to have something like this on their cellphone as a way to protect them. Employers could use it as a way to mitigate their liability for accidents on work time. Even insurance companies could use it.”"

Submission + - Siri Is The New Clippy

theodp writes: In perhaps the unkindest cut of all to Apple, TechCrunch's Alexia Tsotsis likens Siri to Clippy. 'Despite whatever Samuel L. Jackson says,' writes Tsotsis, 'Siri in its current incarnation simply doesn’t work. In fact, it’s actually starting to remind us of Microsoft’s Mr.Clippy, that cloying MS Office "assistant" that would pop up upon start and say stuff like, "It looks like you’re writing a letter, can I help you?" Tsotsis adds: 'What bugs people the most about these ill-thought-out products is that they’re like that annoying person at work who’s always all, "Can I do anything to help?" when they can’t actually do anything, don’t know shit, and are actually neglecting their real job while they take the time to ask you that question.' Ouch.

Submission + - NSA Director Says Cybercrime is 'Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History' (

Trailrunner7 writes: The general in charge of the National Security Agency on Monday said the lack of national cybersecurity leglislation is costing us big and amounting to what he believes is "the greatest transfer of wealth in history."

U.S. Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander urged politicians to stop stalling on approving a much-needed cybersecurity law — of which various versions currently are circulating in Congress. At the same time, he implored private companies to better cooperate with government agencies, many of whom remain mum because of privacy concerns.

"We can do the protection of civil liberties and privacy and cybersecurity as a nation. Not only that we can, but I believe it's something that we must do," Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.


Submission + - No More thunderbird??? WTF!!! (

Am3r1cAn1nF1d3L writes: So mozilla is dropping development of Thunderbird.... WTF? I get the mobile thing or whatever but some of us use real computers too and don't want MicroCrap WinBl0z clients. Thunderbird is really the only viable alternative in my mind. Now I really have no real wiggle room to beetch cause I haven't donated any time, energy or money to the Thunderbird project BUT come on... I have been on the Netscape/Mozilla bandwagon since Communicator 4.5... never used never will use Outlook. Damn you mozilla. I ll take the Security updates, thank you but come on...

Submission + - Apple's Siri technology to integrate into Cars – Will it work? (

An anonymous reader writes: Now in 2012, after driving tens of millions of people up the wall, Siri is set help drivers on the roads, by being integrated into cars. Motorists will soon be able to active Siri by tapping their steering wheel and make a hands-free call, dictate text messages or emails, and control the radio, air conditioning and sat nav.....

Submission + - Database and IP records tie election fraud to Canada's ruling Conservatives (

choongiri writes: Canada's election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party's CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.