Daniel_Stuckey writes "Sure, Tim Draper's plan to slice up the Golden State is ridiculous. The wealthy venture capitalist has drafted a ballot initiative to split California into six separate states, he told Tech Crunch, with Silicon Valley emerging as the richest and most powerful of all. The mockery is already pouring in.
Of course a rich tech guru wants Silicon Valley to get its own government, so it can be freed from the dusty laws and regulations of California 1.0. Of course a deep undercurrent of self-aggrandizing narcissism runs through the proposal—only one other state-to-be gets an actual name, (inexplicably, "Jefferson") and the rest are lazily affixed with topographical descriptors: West, South, Central, and North California...
Yes, in shaping his doctrine, Draper has conjured the perfect blend of Seasteading's offshore tech nirvana lawlessness, boilerplate Tea Party antiestablishmentarianism, and good ol' secessionist chutzpah."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "I'm not, however, happy about the course of the word "hack." Near as I can tell it used to have something to do with breaking into a computer system and doing cool or at least meaningful stuff. You know, Swordfishing. While I believe there are people in the world that do that very thing, the word has totally evaporated from their cool or at least meaningful activities. So, I have made this list of things that should never be used in conjunction with "hacking" again and, if we're lucky, in another decade we might be able to again retain the word for functional purposes."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Yup, it’s the first digital currency based on an internet meme—not just any internet meme, mind you, but the 2013 meme of the year. Very currency. Such crypto. Wow.
Sorry for that, but it’s also kind of the point. “Is this supposed to be retarded on purpose?” wondered a confused onlooker on the BitcoinTalk forums. If Bitcoin is a compelling concept, Dogecoin is totally stupid. Even so, it's still proving successful in the midst of the cryptocurrency craze. In just 24 hours, the mining difficulty for Dogecoins increased thirty levels, according to one impressed, self-described fanboy. That means a whole lot of people are trying to mine their own Dogecoins. Believe it or not, Dogecoin has gone viral.
Indeed, after a week of existence, Dogecoin is already the 24th most valuable altcoin, with a total market value of $1,621,559 based on its price on the exchange CoinedUp, though it might be worth even more elsewhere. On eBay, someone just paid $600 for 1 million Dogecoins."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "It was only a matter of time until the vice-shaming trend found its way to electronic cigarettes, whose champions believe are a godsend for the smoking-cessation game. Digital smokes already run on batteries charged through the USB jack in your laptop; now a French startup has jiggered the electronic device to create the first "connected" e-cigarette. The gadget, called Smokio, syncs up with your smartphone to carefully monitor your vaping habits and analyze the health boost you’re getting from e-smoking.
It's worth noting that this premise is predicated on the dubious assumption that vapers are all ex-smokers who have totally replaced traditional cigarettes with the tobacco-free variety, and thus every electronic puff would otherwise be a throat full of smoke. But, assuming that's the case, the app gives a data-rich overview of how your decision to go digital is saving your ass."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The AP, the Times and other news organizations knew for years, but they didn't spill the beans until Friday: Robert Levinson was an enterprising retired FBI agent who ended up getting captured in Iran while working under an "unapproved" contract for the CIA. His job was to supply information for an agency program related to money laundering; his output was prodigious and "helpful," despite the fact that he was not on an official contract in March of 2007, when he traveled to Iran to meet with a potential source and an American fugitive.
That's when Levinson was captured by local authorities, and disappeared, to become the longest held American hostage."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Earlier this year, it was London. Most recently, it was a university in Germany. Wherever it is, Bartholl is opening up his eight white, plainly printed binders full of the 4.7 million user passwords that were pilfered from the social network and made public by a hacker last year. He brings the books to his exhibits, called 'Forgot Your Password', where you're free to see if he's got your data—and whether anyone else who wanders through is entirely capable of logging onto your account and making Connections with unsavory people. In fact, Bartholl insists:
"These eight volumes contain 4.7 million LinkedIn clear text user passwords printed in alphabetical order," the description of his project reads. "Visitors are invited to look up their own password.""Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Ever since Chien won the inaugural Kong Off at Richie Knucklez Arcade Games in Flemington, NJ back in 2011, Lemay has been nipping at Chien's heels. His guiding mission in life now, other than getting Hulked out at the gym, is annihilating Hank Chien at Donkey Kong.
Last month, Motherboard traveled to Denver, Colorado, to attend The Kong Off 3, the highly anticipated and near-capacity Donkey Kong world championship, held at the 1UP arcade and bar. During four loopy days of shooting inside a subterranean cave of amusement, which assaulted our senses with flashing lights, blippity bloops, and killscreens, we witnessed first-hand the drama of a showdown between a video game's top contenders."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The electromagnetic undercurrents of our hyper-connected society is something people very seldom think about, which is why artist Nickolay Lamm created these eye-catching visualizations of what cell phone signals would look like if you could see them.
Painting a picture of the unseen, abstract parts of life is Lamm's MO. He recently created these depictions of what wi-fi signals would look like if visual to the human eye. Now he's moved into the mobile realm. "We use our phones all the time yet don't really think about the cellular network which gives us the ability to call, text, and browse the web," Lamm told me.
So how do they work? The basic gist is that radio signals travel to and from base stations with antennas, traveling at varying frequencies. Each base station provides coverage to a geographical area, known as a cell. Antennas are connected to form a cell network that's structured like a mesh of hexagonal cells."Link to Original Source
Austrian Anarchy writes "Via Reason and Wired: Mike Caldwell ran a business called Casascius that printed physical tokens with a bitcoin digital key on it, key hidden behind a tamper proof strip. He's charge you $50 worth of bitcoin to print a key of a bitcoin you sent him via computer on this token. Cool stuff--a good friend of mine found one sitting unnoticed in her tip jar from an event at which she sold her artisan lamps from 2011 and was naturally delighted given the nearly 1000x increase in value of a bitcoin since then.
So, you're making something fun, useful, interesting, harmless---naturally the federal government is very concerned and wants to hobble you.
Just before Thanksgiving, [Caldwell] received a letter from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, the arm of the Treasury Department that dictates how the nation’s anti-money-laundering and financial crime regulations are interpreted. According to FINCEN, Caldwell needs to rethink his business. “They considered my activity to be money transmitting,” Caldwell says. And if you want to transmit money, you must first jump through a lot of state and federal regulatory hoops Caldwell hasn’t jumped through."
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Given the well-documented systematic inequalities of gender in science, that disparity probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s still a staggering, global problem that persists through most disciplines and most countries worldwide. According to the study, published in Nature , men are also more likely to collaborate with international peers than women are, and papers by male authors are more often cited, a measure of a study’s impact.
The study looked at more than 5.4 million peer-reviewed articles published between 2008 and 2012. From those papers, they were able to determine the genders of 17.6 million authors.
“There have been studies for years showing a bias against women,” Vincent Lariviere, lead author of the study, said. “But we see that it’s essentially happening in each and every country and in each and every discipline.”"Link to Original Source
Godzilla2014 writes "Godzilla is an upcoming American science fiction monster film featuring the Japanese film monster of the same name and a reboot of the Godzilla film franchise. It is the second Godzilla film to be fully filmed by an American studio, the first having been the 1998 film of the same name.
The film retells the origin of Godzilla in contemporary times as a "terrifying force of nature". The film is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe.
The film is a co-production of Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures worldwide, except for Japan where it will be distributed by Toho. The film is scheduled to be released on May 16, 2014 in 2D and 3D."
Daniel_Stuckey writes "From the moment we first saw 3D-printed guns, one question has remained: How will legislators respond? Yesterday saw the conclusion of the first substantial Congressional discussion about 3D-printed guns, and the result is a 10-year extension on a 25-year-old ban on plastic guns. The deal, signed by President Obama last night, is a reaffirmation of the status quo, and largely leaves 3D-printed guns untouched by regulation.
The law in question is the 1988 Undetectable Firearms Act (UFA), which bans guns that can't be picked up by metal detectors or x-ray scanners. It was set to expire at midnight last night, and a bill for a 10 year extension was supported by both sides of the aisle in the Senate and House. Even the National Rifle Association stayed mum on the issue, which is surprising given the group's staunch opposition to any gun control regulations proposed in the last few years."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "If you wanna make money, become a doctor or something—but you if you want to design money, then here’s your chance: You’ve got a month to apply for the US Mint and the National Endowment for the Arts program that brings outsiders into the coin-designing fold.
Since in 2003, the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) has brought in new artists into exciting and surprisingly un-lucrative practice of molding America’s dough. The designers of the backs of contemporary nickels and pennies came up through the program, as well as the designers of some of the 50 States quarters, the America the Beautiful series and the ever-unpopular $1 coins. This year the Mint is expecting to bring up to 20 artists into its stable.
Once under contract, artists can be paid for each demonstrations of design they submit, depending on how long they’ve been under contract. It’s, uh, not a ton of money:"Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "If anything's been "disrupted" by Silicon Valley, it's grief. As an emotional process, it's always been split into two parts: the private grieving we do to work through our loss, and the relative stoicism we use in public to avoid anyone feeling too sorry for us. But now grief feels more like a checklist than anything else, a process of diligently updating dozens of platforms, and nodding appreciatively at a push notification saying that someone, somewhere, took five seconds to respond with "So sorry!"
My grandmother passed away last week, and surely enough, I found out thanks to a Facebook status. Amidst the phone calls and text messages from another coast, Facebook fits right in, and really, being able to loop a whole family into a conversation across time zones is where the network can shine. But nonetheless, upon reading that I'd never again see someone I've seen my whole life, there sat the most awkward interactions of our digital lives: The 'likes' that no one likes."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "“Technology has surpassed our laws and we need to bring our laws up to date,” Sargent told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Earlier this year, Sargent authored a social media bill that would protect users against voyeuristic employers, educational institutions, and landlords, among others. With the work on these bills, Sargent finds herself leading Wisconsin’s privacy charge at the intersection of technology and government.
Sargent “stumbled across the metadata issue” after putting together the social media privacy bill. “Watching surveillance playout on the national level with the NSA revelations, and seeing that people were as outraged as I was, led me to believe I was on to something,” said Sargent, who felt that a mobile privacy bill had the potential to pass even in Wisconsin’s divisive political climate."Link to Original Source