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Comment: Diamond Age? (Score 1) 182

On one hand, I understand (and largely agree with) the various concerns about algorithm-izing students, grade inflation, and using the money directly to fund teachers. Our public education system has a shit-ton of critical P1 bugs.

However. On the other hand, I'm reminded to Neal Stephenson's "Diamond Age" interactive primer. First, the manifestation from the book is clearly not the initial beta version; some lengthy amount of revision and improvement would clearly be necessary to achieve the level of sophistication presented in the storyline. As such, Gates' initial investment along these lines could be a key first step down this path. Second, the manifestation from the book demonstrates a clear power over educational thought that is conveyed by the approach -- that is, if creating an algorithm for more effective education WAS attainable, then it would be an algorithm which could single-handedly influence entire generations* down a path of compliance with, or rejection of, status quo systems.

* This technology would also likely be available only to the elites with money to fund it, at least initially. Perhaps GNU GPL versions would surface over time. Given the power over educational philosophy, would the developers have to be thoroughly licensed in the educational system first? With versions of the software that are considered with the same distaste as allowing middle-schoolers to read Hunter S Thompson?

Comment: i'm all over it (Score 2) 86

by DreadPirateShawn (#35982964) Attached to: Using AI To Identify Innuendo
I think this could be really big; their task is really quite hard. First they have to suss out the meaning of the sentence, and ideally the cadence, in order to hold back until the right moment. Then they have to figure out where their addition can be legitimately inserted; not just any opening will suffice. Their biggest risk now is if they release prematurely; the timing is key and they don't want to blow it.

I'm near Seattle in the moment, and TFA cites a presentation in Portland in June. I may just have to go down.
Security

+ - Apple: We 'must have' comprehensive location data

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and iPad models are also keeping track of consumers whereabouts. Mac computers running Snow Leopard and even Windows computers running Safari 5 are being watched. But the question is why? "To provide the high quality products and services that its customers demand, Apple must have access to the comprehensive location-based information," Apple says."
Sony

+ - Father of CD's, Norio Ohga dies at 81->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "Former Sony president and chairman Norio Ohga, credited with expanding the company from electronics hardware to software and entertainment and developing the compact disc, died Saturday at age 81. Ohga, who led the company from 1982 to 1995, died of multiple organ failure in Tokyo, Sony said."
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - Leveraging Java applets & Google to locate use->

Submitted by simonplexus
simonplexus (2064780) writes "With all of the talk about iphone and android location security lately, I thought id share something I came up with a while ago. I saw some talk of getting users router MAC addresses then using this data to talk to google Geolocation API to pull the location from their big wifi database. The methods I saw involved mainly exploiting browsers, then exploiting vulnerable routers to pull the MAC. I figured this needs a better attack vector, something which is less dependent on vulnerable browsers or routers. Java delivered me the answer.

Using signed Java applets under default security settings, Java is allowed access to system calls. Using these calls, one can calculate the default gateway IP of a site visitor (netstat -rn) and then use the ARP table to determine the MAC address of the users default gateway (arp -a).

Plugging that MAC address into Goolge's Geolocation API gives either a pretty accurate location, or a GeoIP only location if google does not know the MAC address. Unscrupulous site operators could then use JSON or AJAX from the running applet to send the resulting location back to their systems and locate website users, with the minimum level of accuracy being GeoIP, the maximum level of accuracy being as accurate as google's DB (it locates me to the house next door)"

Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Wal-Mart tests online grocery delivery->

Submitted by
fysdt
fysdt writes "The world's biggest retailer had been rumored to be considering dipping its toe into online grocery delivery for the past few years.

The "Walmart To Go" test allows customers to visit Walmart.com to order groceries and consumables found in a Walmart store and have them delivered to their homes, the spokesman said.

Products include fresh produce, meat and seafood, frozen, bakery, baby, over-the-counter pharmacy, household supplies and health and beauty items."

Link to Original Source
Japan

+ - Japanese robots await call to action->

Submitted by Kyusaku Natsume
Kyusaku Natsume (1098) writes "The Japan Times carries a report from Kyodo News showing the robots that japanese manufacturers have on standby to work in Fukushima Daiichi

Japanese robots designed for heavy lifting and data collection have been prepared for deployment at irradiated reactor buildings of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power station, where U.S.-made robots have already taken radiation and temperature readings as well as visual images at the crippled facility via remote control.

"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Verizon May Modify Your Router Admin Login 2

Submitted by theMany
theMany (844214) writes "From an e-mail on April 24, 2011
---------------------------------------------
Dear Valued Verizon Customer,
Good news! Below please find the description of changes to the Verizon Online Terms of Service (TOS) effective 4/19/11.
---------- snip -------------------------
3. Home Router Password Changes. Section 10.4 was updated to clarify that Verizon may in limited instances modify administrative passwords for home routers in order to safeguard Internet security and our network, the security and privacy of subscriber information, to comply with the law, and/or to provide, upgrade and maintain service. The administrative password for your home router is used to access the “administrative” controls for the router and to make changes to your router’s internal settings. We will use reasonable means to notify Subscribers whose home router administrative passwords are changed, which may include email notice to your Primary Email Address and/or an announcement on the My Verizon portal.
----------- snip ------------------
1. Does this policy bother others like it bothers me?
2. How may a user be held responsible for their TOS obligations when Verizon can essentially prevent them from administering access to the broadband from their side of the interface? For example, Verizon could prevent user control of the wireless access point to include management of passwords, encryption/type, SSID broadcast, MAC access table, etc.
3. What are the legal implications?
4. What are the privacy implications?
5. Ref the AcionTek routers used by Verizon: Is there a way to prevent modification of the admin password at the user site that requires Verizon to actually interact with a human there — first? (internal settings, board-level jumper, etc.)"
AI

+ - Google teaches computers regret ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Google is funding an AI project that will introduce the technical concept of regret into programs — but there's a big difference between regret and being sorry.
In fact regret is just the difference between maximum possible reward and the actual reward received and the project is about optimization.
There are two things to learn from this situation. The first is that just because some numerical measure is called "regret" it doesn't mean it has anything to do with the common use of the term. Secondly if you are going to invent an AI technique then picking emotive words for your jargon is a good way to ensure publicity."

Link to Original Source
Games

+ - A 9V Battery to Your Brain can Improve Your Gaming-> 1

Submitted by autospa
autospa (2003166) writes "Are you desperate to take your video game performance to the next level – and willing to indulge in some high-risk behavior? Hint: you’ll need a 9-volt battery and a wet sponge! Researchers in New Mexico claim that a faint electric massage to the brain improved the performances of volunteers playing the war simulator games. The electric current was produced by a device running on a 9-volt battery and delivered to the volunteers via a moistened sponge applied to their right temple."
Link to Original Source

+ - Judge Rules That Police Can Bar High I.Q. Scores-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a man who was barred from the New London police force because he scored too high on an intelligence test. Judge Dorsey ruled that Mr. Jordan was not denied equal protection because the city of New London applied the same standard to everyone: anyone who scored too high was rejected."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How will we communicate? (Score 1) 615

by DreadPirateShawn (#35730324) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Would You Take a Pay Cut To Telecommute?

I'd love to work at home but then how would I communicate with my co-workers?

--
Burris Ewell
burris@gmale.com
415/555-1212
fax: 415/555-1213
twitter: @burris
skype: burris_ewell
facebook: facebook.com/burris
irc: burris@oftc.net
jabber: burris@gmale.com
blog: burris.blogger.com
linkedin: linkedin.com/burris
pgp: b6cd-5bbb-090d-cb92-9834-b38b-73e2-9c0e

First of all, well put. :-)

That having been said, many don't have a fax #, don't leave a tab open to Twitter, don't keep Skype running, don't have a blog, rarely check LinkedIn due to steady job and deadlines, don't quite recall what jabber is. Personally, I monitor my work email (ActiveSync + Android TouchDown) like a hawk, and phone / SMS make their noises well enough, but everything else can wait until I get around to it.

Besides which, I guarantee* you can talk faster than you can type, and for a larger thread there's never a need to click "get latest mail" rapid-fire for 5 minutes to make sure you keep the conversation from branching. Being "on location" offers the same benefits as visiting a good friend versus just calling or emailing them -- clearer communication, better teamwork, more sharing of miscellaneous knowledge and ideas. I prefer to work from home occasionally, but mostly when I'm in the middle of a lengthy task and want to avoid interruptions, and can more or less skip my meetings for the day.

And let's face it. If you're valuable enough to your boss, if you over-deliver / deliver early / solve your boss' problems reliably enough, strongly contribute at meetings when dialed in, and never* ever* slip up due to being off-site, then it will be in your boss' best interests to let you work from home whenever you please. Those who excel, usually get more.

* Yeah yeah, I know. Work with me here.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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