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+ - Rice Professor Predicts Humans Out Of Work In 30 Years-> 1 1

kkleiner writes: Rice University professor Moshe Vardi has been evaluating technological progress in computer science and artificial intelligence and has recently concluded that robots will replace most, if not all, human labor by 2045, putting millions out of work. The issue is whether AI enables humans to do more or less. But perhaps the real question about technological unemployment of labor isn't "How will people do nothing?" but "What kind of work will they do instead?"
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+ - NASA mission to find exoplanets grinds to a halt->

ananyo writes: Just over four years after it was launched into orbit, NASA's Kepler space telescope has broken down. On 12 May, after tilting in an unexpected direction, it entered a protective safe mode and stopped collecting data. Efforts to get the spacecraft going again failed when a wheel critical for pointing the telescope refused to spin.
NASA isn't ready to give up on the mission, which launched in 2009 and was extended last year to 2016. Running on thrusters, Kepler has the fuel to stay in orbit for months or perhaps years as engineers try to fix the problem from 40 million miles away. But with two of its four reaction wheels now out of commission — the first stopped working last July — the spacecraft's search for planets around other stars is clearly in trouble.

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+ - Larry Page: You Worry Too Much About Medical Privacy-> 1 1

jfruh writes: Yesterday, Larry Page revealed that he'd been suffering from a vocal cord ailment that impaired his ability to speak for more than a year. The positive feedback he got from opening up about it inspired him to tell attendees at Google I/O that we should all be less uptight about keeping our medical records private. As far as Page is concerned, pretty much the only legitimate reason for worry on this score is fear of being denied health insurance. "Maybe we should change the rules around insurance so that they have to insure people," he said, perhaps unaware that the Obamacare reforms kicking in next year do exactly that.
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+ - Google serves Microsoft a C&D to takedown Windows Phone Youtube App 2 2

mystikkman writes: After years of complaining to the EU and others about Google not allowing Windows Phone access to the same Youtube API features used by the Android and iOS apps and Google's refusal to make one for Windows Phone, Microsoft recently went ahead and released their own app featuring even a download button. However, Google served a Cease and Desist on Microsoft today to immediately take down the app citing lack of ads. In response, Microsoft commented that it would be more than happy to add ads if only Google would give them access to the API and indirectly accused Google of trying to cripple Windows Phone by refusing it access to one of the most popular apps on smartphones and citing Larry Page's comments at Google I/O calling for more openness in the tech space.

Given how much of humanity's video content is locked into Youtube, looks like Google needs to append "except on Windows Phone" to their grandiose mission statement: "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."

+ - The structure of polypeptide chain self-assembly was revealed by researchers->

misslisakit writes: Recently, the structure of polypeptide chain self-assembly was revealed by researchers. The research center for the first time found that amyloid polypeptide molecules on mica/water interface exotic multi-layer self-assembly of the molecular mechanisms of salt ions in the self-assembly process of peptide nanostructures fine role.

The findings reveal the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases and have a significant role in the design and manufacture of highly ordered self-assembly of nanoscale devices.

In order to find the structure of polypeptide chain, the researchers doing a lot of tests and made a great effort. The researchers found that GAV-9 is called a polypeptide under high salt conditions, can be assembled into a high degree of nanofibers, wherein the polypeptide molecules are used the arrangement perpendicular to the mica substrate.

GAV-9 peptide has varieties of neurodegenerative disease-related proteins conserved sequence, it will not only help to uncover the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases, and self-assemble into highly ordered nanostructures in nanodevices The design and manufacturing has broad application prospects.

The researchers used the unique atomic force microscope nano-manipulation techniques to reveal the structure of the polypeptide molecules on mica/water interface multi-layer self-assembly.

Large-scale molecular dynamics simulations show that in direct contact with the mica layer GAV-9 molecules are parallel to each b-folded structure, while the upper level of the polypeptide molecules are presented antiparallel b-folded structure. The nuances of this structure of polypeptide chain reflects the ability to fine regulation of the salt ions in the peptide self-assembly process.

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+ - Hacking Charge Stations for Electric Cars

An anonymous reader writes: The vision of electric cars call for charge stations to perform smart charging as part of a global smart grid. As a result, a charge station is a sophisticated computer that communicates with the electric grid on one side and the car on the other. To make matters worse, it’s installed outside on street corners and in parking lots. Electric vehicle charging stations bring with them new security challenges that show similar issues as found in SCADA systems, even if they use different technologies. Ofer Shezaf talks about what charge stations really are, why they have to be ‘smart’ and the potential risks created to the grid, to the car and most importantly to its owner’s privacy and safety.

+ - SPAM: Mesothelioma Symptoms Linked to Nanotechnology – Carbon Nanotubes

An anonymous reader writes: Mesothelioma back in the spotlight! From Chemical Engineering News: Mesothelioma symptoms linked to Nanotechnology, according to recent study. This sounds like a flashback to mid-2000s when the TV was full of ads for mesothelioma lawyers. Nonetheless, it is true. The lungs of mice reacted to the presence of carbon nanotubes in the same way they used to react to asbestos (a naturally occurring silicate minerals that was used extensively in construction and other industries during most of last century), that is by causing scars in lungs, which may lead to development of a dangerous form of cancer – mesothelioma.
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+ - This lego machine makes and throws paper airplanes->

An anonymous reader writes: This full automated Lego Mindstorms project is basically a paper airplane assembly line. Not only does it start with a regular sheet of paper, sending down the line for appropriate folds but when the completed airplane gets to the end of the line it gets launched.
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+ - SAS Statement on Abusive Patent Litigation->

walterbyrd writes: "In none of the cases where SAS has been sued for patent infringement is the plaintiff an operating company that makes anything, sells anything, produces anything or employs anyone (other than a bunch of lawyers). All of these cases involve what I call “patent trolls” – which others more demurely call Non-Practicing Entities, or Patent Assertion Entities — as plaintiff. It is a problem that is only becoming worse for companies like SAS for one simple reason: it is a business model that is incredibly cheap to pursue, remarkably profitable to the pursuers, and disproportionately damaging to the victims."
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+ - Book Review: Hadoop Beginner's Guide->

sagecreek writes: "Hadoop is an open-source, Java-based framework for large-scale data processing. Typically, it runs on big clusters of computers working together to crunch large chunks of data. You also can run Hadoop in “single-cluster mode” on a Linux machine, Windows PC or Mac, to learn the technology or do testing and debugging. The Hadoop framework, however, is not quickly mastered. Apache’s Hadoop wiki cautions: “If you do not know about classpaths, how to compile and debug Java code, step back from Hadoop and learn a bit more about Java before proceeding.” But if you are reasonably comfortable with Java, the well-written Hadoop Beginner’s Guide by Garry Turkington can help you start mastering this rising star in the Big Data constellation.

Dr. Turkington is vice president of data engineering and lead architect for London-based Improve Digital. He holds a doctorate in computer science from Queens University of Belfast in Northern Ireland. His Hadoop Beginner’s Guide provides an effective overview of Hadoop and hands-on guidance in how to use it locally, in distributed hardware clusters, and out in the cloud.

Packt Publishing provided a review copy of the book. I have reviewed one other Packt book previously.

Much of the first chapter is devoted to “exploring the trends that led to Hadoop's creation and its enormous success.” This includes brief discussions of Big Data, cloud computing, Amazon Web Services, and the differences between “scale-up” (using increasingly larger computers as data needs grow) and “scale-out” (spreading the data processing onto more and more machines as demand expands).

“One of the most confusing aspects of Hadoop to a newcomer,” Dr. Turkington writes, “is its various components, projects, sub-projects, and their interrelationships.”

His 374-page book emphasizes three major aspects of Hadoop: (1) its common projects; (2) the Hadoop File Distribution System (HFDS); and (3) MapReduce.

“Common projects,” he explains, “comprise a set of libraries and tools that help the Hadoop product work in the real world.”

The HFDS, meanwhile, “is a filesystem unlike most you may have encountered before.” As a distributed filesystem, it can spread data storage across many nodes. “[I]t stores files in blocks typically at least 64 MB in size, much larger than the 4-32 KB seen in most filesystems.” The book briefly describes several features, strengths, weaknesses, and other aspects of HFDS.

Finally, MapReduce is a well-known programming model for processing large data sets. Typically, MapReduce is used with clusters of computers that perform distributed computing. In the “Map” portion of the process, a single problem is split into many subtasks that are then assigned by a master computer to individual computers known as nodes (and there can be sub-nodes). During the “Reduce” part of the task, the master computer gathers up the processed data from the nodes, combines it and outputs a response to the problem that was posed to be solved. (MapReduce libraries are now available for many different computer languages, including Hadoop.)

“The developer focuses on expressing the transformation between source and result data sets, and the Hadoop framework manages all aspects of job execution, parallelization, and coordination,” Dr. Turkington notes. He calls this “possibly the most important aspect of Hadoop. The platform takes responsibility for every aspect of executing the processing across the data. After the user defines the key criteria for the job, everything else becomes the responsibility of the system.”

In this 11-chapter book, the first two chapters introduce Hadoop and explain how to install and run the software.

Three chapters are devoted to learning to work with MapReduce, from beginner to advanced levels. And the author stresses: “In the book, we will be learning how to write MapReduce programs to do some serious data crunching and how to run them on both locally managed and AWS-hosted Hadoop clusters.” [“AWS” is “Amazon Web Services.”]

Chapter 6, titled “When Things Break” zeroes in on Hadoop’s “resilience to failure and an ability to survive failures when they do happen.much of the architecture and design of Hadoop is predicated on executing in an environment where failures are both frequent and expected.” But node failures and numerous other problems still can arise, so the reader is given an overview of potential difficulties and how to handle them.

The next chapter, “Keeping Things Running,” lays out what must be done to properly maintain a Hadoop cluster and keep it tuned and ready to crunch data.

Three of the remaining chapters show how Hadoop can be used elsewhere within an organization’s systems and infrastructure, by personnel who are not trained to write MapReduce programs.

Chapter 8, for example, provides “A Relational View on Data with Hive.” What Hive provides is “a data warehouse that uses MapReduce to analyze data stored on HFDS,” Dr. Turkington notes. “In particular, it provides a query language called HiveQL that closely resembles the common Structured Query Language (SQL) standard.”

Using Hive as an interface to Hadoop “not only accelerates the time required to produce results from data analysis, it significantly broadens who can use Hadoop and MapReduce. Instead of requiring software development skills, anyone with a familiarity with SQL can use Hive,” the author states.

But, as Chapter 9 makes clear, Hive is not a relational database, and it doesn’t fully implement SQL. So the text and code examples in Chapter 9 illustrate (1) how to set up MySQL to work with Hadoop and (2) how to use Sqoop to transfer bulk data between Hadoop and MySQL.

Chapter 10 shows how to set up and run Flume NG. This is a distributed service that collects, aggregates, and moves large amounts of log data from applications to Hadoop's HFDS.

The book’s final chapter, “Where to Go Next,” helps the newcomer see what else is available beyond the Hadoop core product. “There are,” Dr. Turkington emphasizes, “a plethora of related projects and tools that build upon Hadoop and provide specific functionality or alternative approaches to existing ideas.” He provides a quick tour of several of the projects and tools.

A key strength of this beginner’s guide is in how its contents are structured and delivered. Four important headings appear repeatedly in most chapters. The “Time for action” heading singles out step-by-step instructions for performing a particular action. The “What just happened?” heading highlights explanations of “the working of tasks or instructions that you have just completed.” The “Pop quiz” heading, meanwhile, is followed by short, multiple-choice questions that help you gauge your understanding. And the “Have a go hero” heading introduces paragraphs that “set practical challenges and give you ideas for experimenting with what you have learned.”

Hadoop can be downloaded free from the Apache Software Foundation’s Hadoop website.

Dr. Turkington’s book does a good job of describing how to get Hadoop running on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. But while he assures that “Hadoop does run well on other systems,” he notes in his text: “Windows is supported only as a development platform, and Mac OS X is not formally supported at all.” He refers users to Apache’s Hadoop FAQ wiki for more information. Unfortunately, few details are offered there. So web searches become the best option for finding how-to instructions for Windows and Macs.

Running Hadoop on a Windows PC typically involves installing Cygwin and openSSH, so you can simulate using a Linux PC. But other choices can be found via sites such as Hadoop Wizard and Hadoop on Windows with Eclipse".

To install Hadoop on a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to search for websites that offer how-to tips. Here is one example.

There are other ways get access to Hadoop on a single computer, using other operating systems or virtual machines. Again, web searches are necessary. The Cloudera Enterprise Free product is one virtual-machine option to consider.

Once you get past the hurdle of installing and running Hadoop, Garry Turkington’s well-written, well-structured Hadoop Beginner’s Guide can start you moving down the lengthy path to becoming an expert user.

You will have the opportunity, the book's tagline states, to "[l]earn how to crunch big data to extract meaning from the data avalanche.”

(Si Dunn is an author, screenwriter, and technology book reviewer.)"

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+ - Who Are the Enemies of the Internet?->

An anonymous reader writes: In their latest report on online surveillance, Reporters Without Borders have named Bahrain, China, Iran, Syria and Vietnam as "state enemies" of the Internet due of their continuous and intensive efforts at spying on journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and political dissidents. The French-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press and freedom of information also considers five big private-sector companies as "corporate enemies," because they sell products that are liable to be (and have been) used by governments to violate human rights and freedom of information.
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+ - Arduino Releases new GSM Connectivity Shield ->

An anonymous reader writes: Arduino has released a new "GSM Shield" that allows Arduino developers to connect their applications to the Internet via GPRS. It's bundled with a globally roaming data-only SIM from TelefÃnica (who helped design the shield) but you can use it with any SIM card out of the box. This will really help Arduino developers build more connected devices especially where Wifi connectivity is impractical.
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+ - Atomic Age Artifacts->

BuzzSkyline writes: "For years in the 1950s and 1960s, the U.S. federal government spent millions stocking fallout shelters for the Soviet atomic attack that never came. But what exactly was the government putting in there? Physics Buzz blogger Quantum takes a look at some of the retro Geiger counters, dosimeters and radiation detectors the U.S. Office of Civil Defense sent to thousands of fallout shelters across the country."
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+ - France Demands Skype Register As A Telco->

jfruh writes: "Skype made a name for itself by largely bypassing the infrastucture — and the costs, and the regulations — of the legacy telecommunications industry. But now the French telecom regulator wants to change that, at least in France. At issue is not the service's VoIP offering, but rather the Skype Out service that allows users to dial phones on traditional networks. Regulators say that this service necessitates that Skype face the same regulations as other telecoms."
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+ - Mars Rover Finds Conditions Once Suited for Ancient Life on Mars->

sighted writes: "NASA is announcing that analysis of a rock sample collected by the Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The statement says that scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in Gale Crater last month. The announcement quotes Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program: 'A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment. From what we know now, the answer is yes.'"
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There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"