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
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Simply: the body lets less warmth out, and less cold in, and one way to do that is by not allowing blood into colder places. This is accomplished by limiting the space that blood could occupy....
How this theoretically works for your bladder is this. Because you’re sending less blood out to the extremities by reducing the volume it can occupy in those extremities, you have more blood elsewhere. The same total amount, but less space—this, naturally, equals higher blood pressure. To regulate that, your kidneys move to pull liquid out of the body, which leads to more liquid in your bladder than there would normally be. Sup, pee."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "According to new research, drivers, walkers, and bicyclists will generally provide us with more useful directions than transit riders. Published in Urban Planning , "Going Mental" shows that cognitively active travelers, regardless of commute by foot or car, tend to trump cognitively passive travelers, (those who frequent public buses and trains) in perceiving distance. Questioning cognitively active, passive, and mixed travelers about distances from a survey site to LA's city hall, the research demonstrated that the passive bus and subway riders have less of a grip on distance. Actively cognitive travelers, according to the results, were more likely to integrate street names in their directions, and also exhibited a sharper understanding of distances."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Today’s trial saw 13 of the 14 accused in court, and the majority of them pleaded guilty to damaging a protected computer, a violation under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The fourteenth member was not in court due to a separate trial in Virginia.
Per a plea deal with federal prosecutors, each of the 13 defendants in court today will pay $5,600 in restitution to eBay, which owns PayPal. According to Alexa O'Brien, sentencing was delayed for a year, which set up the mechanism for the plea bargains. Eleven of the defendants pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges; if they stay out of trouble for a year, prosecutors agreed that they'll give up felony charges which means no jail time, just probation. The other two pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, which carry a jail term of 90 days."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "On Tuesday, Pierre Omidyar, the chairman of eBay, called for leniancy in the case of a group of Anonymous hackers who pleaded guilty today to waging a denial-of-service attack on PayPal's webstie, a subsidiary of his company, in 2010.
Paypal suspended online payments to WikiLeaks in December of 2010 after, its managers said, they read a letter by the State Department indicating WikiLeaks was breaking American laws. In retaliation, a group of Anonymous hacktivists brought down the payment site with DDoS attacks two days later. The hacktivists who were apprehended, known as the PayPal 14, were in court today and accepted plea bargains in order to avoid felony charges.
"Justice requires leniency," wrote Omidyar who is also the 123rd richest man in the world. He added that in his view, the PayPal 14 "should be facing misdemeanor charges and the possibility of a fine, rather than felony charges and jail time.”
In recent days, critics have questioned Omidyar's "free expression" credentials in particular, examining his role in eBay, his late arrival to the public conversation over the PayPal 14, and eBay's role in the US Government’s lawsuit. Alexa O'Brien explained in a tweet last night that "E-Bay, Inc. is a 'movant' on the [PayPal 14] case," and that as chair of eBay, Omidyar is privy to the PayPal 14 plea deal which was sealed and unknown to the public."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Ingress, developed by Google startup Niantic Labs, is a prime example of the gamification effect. It shows how our actions can contradict the moral we defend; we love to emphasise the value of privacy, but renounce it in the blink of an eye as soon as things get fun.
The game was made available in the Google Play store at the end of October. Not wanting to be a complainiac and denounce people's behaviour without having a clue about what they actually do, I decided to download the game onto my smartphone and try it for myself. Just for academic reasons, of course, as a PhD student in the philosophy of technology. A few weeks later, and I'm totally immersed in the game."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the country’s interior ministers will meet this week to discuss use of the app, which was developed by local police in Saxony and has attracted the unofficial name of "Nazi Shazam." Just like Shazam works out what song you're hearing from just a few bars, the system picks up audio fingerprints of neo-Nazi rock so police can intervene when it’s being played.
The whole situation sounds pretty insane to an outsider, but apparently far-right music is a big problem in Germany, where it’s considered a “gateway drug” into the neo-Nazi scene. The Guardian reported that in 2004, far-right groups even tried to recruit young members by handing out CD compilations in schools.
That sort of action is illegal in Germany, where neo-Nazi groups are outlawed and the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors is tasked with examining and indexing media—including films, games, music, and websites—that may be harmful to young people. They explain on their site:"Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Turning trains into drones has other problems, which should be fairly predictable in the age of Stuxnet and growing fly-by-wire infrastructure. A system that can slow a train down before a dangerous curve can, in different hands, make it go faster into that curve. In some quarters it's thought that a hacked command-and-control system moved a Blue Line 'L' train with no operator present.
In the end, no technology could have saved Sunday’s doomed Metro-North train. However late, it’s almost certain that Rockefeller acted faster than a positive control system because such a system would still only be bound by the speed limits in place on the line. When the 30 mph speed zone might have triggered his train’s control systems at the very beginning of the curve, he was already trying to stop. And it was already much too late for that."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "This morning, peacekeepers with the United Nations spun up a pair of mid-sized unmanned surveillance aircraft from Goma, eastern Congo's second largest city. It marks the first time spy drones have been deployed by the UN, which has been accused of not doing enough to stem fighting between armed groups along the Congolese border with Rwanda and Uganda.
"The drones... will allow us to have reliable information about the movement of populations in the areas where there are armed groups," UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous told reporters as one of the two 16-foot-long Selex Falco drones, each sporting the iconic black "UN" letters, flew a demonstration loop overhead. "We will survey the areas where there are armed groups, and we can control the frontier.""Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Last month, a company working on behalf of the publisher Random House, asked Google to remove links to a free copy of Stephen King’s Carrie from search results. Google complied for three out of the four requested links, but didn’t remove Kim Dotcom’s new website Mega.co.nz as requested—for even if Mega is hosting pirated copies of Carrie, they sure aren’t on the homepage.
But leaving that link up was an exception to the rule. More and more, copyright owners and the organizations they employ are cutting off where the websites and the public meet—the search engine. Google’s transparency reports show that requests to remove links to copyrighted material rose steadily in 2013. The search giant received 6.5 million requests during the week of November 18, 2013, which is over twice as many as the same week a year ago. Google said it complies with 97 percent of requests."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Anyhow, the Glassholes are just the beginning. You need to understand that. Everything Facebook and Amazon and Google are doing to your life online, all of it is poised to become material, like something growing in a creepy Brothers Quay movie: Google Glasses emerging out of some clay forehead all trembling and jerky like bug legs from a clod of dirt.
To get my mind off of, well, that, it seemed a useful exercise to imagine the next waves of Glassholes. Let's start with the consumer technology poised to be dropped out of the bay doors of a Google Stratofortress far above San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Seattle, and then extend said technology to people, particularly the variety of person that gets way, way into new gadgets. The results are unappealing."Link to Original Source
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Since Edward Snowden's disclosures about widespread NSA surveillance, Americans and people everywhere have been presented with a digital variation on an old analog threat: the erosion of freedoms and privacy in exchange, presumably, for safety and security.
Bruce Schneier knows the debate well. He's an expert in cryptography and he wrote the book on computer security; Applied Cryptography is one of the field's basic resources, "the book the NSA never wanted to be published," raved Wired in 1994. He knows the evidence well too: lately he's been helping the Guardian and the journalist Glenn Greenwald review the documents they have gathered from Snowden, in order to help explain some of the agency's top secret and highly complex spying programs.
To do that, Schneier has taken his careful digital privacy regime to a new level, relying on a laptop with an encrypted hard drive that he never connects to the internet. That couldn't prevent a pilfered laptop during, say, a "black bag operation," of course. "I know that if some government really wanted to get my data, there'd be little I could do to stop them.""Link to Original Source