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Submission + - PirateBay targeted (

FredPhreak writes: Looks as if PirateBay was the target of a wide scale police raid. Begin countdown timer for new sites to pop up.

"However, over in Sweden authorities have just confirmed that local police carried out a raid in Stockholm this morning as part of an operation to protect intellectual property.

“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” read a statement from Paul Pintér, police national coordinator for IP enforcement."

Submission + - Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records Of Americans ( 1

cold fjord writes: The Weekly Standard reports, "... the Affordable Care Act aims to make the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) universal. This plan actually began with the 2009 stimulus ... Doctors and other health providers have been offered incentives to convert patient information and health histories to a compatible and transferable electronic format, and as of June 2014, 75 percent of eligible doctors and 92 percent of eligible hospitals had received payments under the program. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the release of the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which details the efforts of some 35 departments and agencies of the federal government and their roles in the plan to "advance the collection, sharing, and use of electronic health information to improve health care, individual and community health, and research." ... Now that HHS has publicly released the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, the agency is seeking the input from the public before implementation. The plan is subject to two-month period of public comment before finalization. The comment period runs through February 6, 2015." — Among the many agencies that will be sharing records besides Health and Human Services (HHS) are: Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Justice and Bureau of Prison, Department of Labor, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Personnel Management, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Submission + - Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: Is this Snowcrash for AI? ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A new paper on deep learning produces snowcrash to hack deep neural networks, producing fascinating images and raising security concerns. The paper is called "Deep Neural Networks are Easily Fooled: High Confidence Predictions for Unrecognizable Images".

Here is the abstract:

Deep neural networks (DNNs) have recently been achieving state-of-the-art performance on a variety of pattern-recognition tasks, most notably visual classification problems. Given that DNNs are now able to classify objects in images with near-human-level performance, questions naturally arise as to what differences remain between computer and human vision. A recent study revealed that changing an image (e.g. of a lion) in a way imperceptible to humans can cause a DNN to label the image as something else entirely (e.g. mislabeling a lion a library). Here we show a related result: it is easy to produce images that are completely unrecognizable to humans, but that state-of-the-art DNNs believe to be recognizable objects with 99.99% confidence (e.g. labeling with certainty that white noise static is a lion). Specifically, we take convolutional neural networks trained to perform well on either the ImageNet or MNIST datasets and then find images with evolutionary algorithms or gradient ascent that DNNs label with high confidence as belonging to each dataset class. It is possible to produce images totally unrecognizable to human eyes that DNNs believe with near certainty are familiar objects. Our results shed light on interesting differences between human vision and current DNNs, and raise questions about the generality of DNN computer vision.

Comment Re:Avatars and those boxes in service stations (Score 1) 117

My apologies - I am not well versed with the US patent process but I thought that the detailed description saying:

"Described herein are systems and methods for cartoon face generation. In one implementation, an exemplary system generates a cartoon face from an original image, such as a photo that portrays a user's face. The style of cartoon face resembles the likeness of the person portrayed in the original photo more than cartoons generated by conventional vector-based cartooning techniques. The cartoon faces thus achieved render an attractive facial appearance and thus have wide applicability in art, gaming, and messaging applications in which a cartoon, avatar, or action figure is desired that captures the user's appearance with a pleasing degree of realism but without exaggerated comedy or caricature. For example, a user can insert a cartoon or graphic of the user's own face into a game or an instant messaging forum. The exemplary system achieves pleasing cartoon faces by applying pixel-based methods separately to some parts of the cartooning process. "

pretty much described a method of generating a cartoon image from a picture - hence the suggestion of prior art.

Comment Avatars and those boxes in service stations (Score 1) 117

I am sure I have seen those "photographic" type booths in service stations that do cartoony caricatures of people - are these not prior art? and what about avatars for forums - does Microsoft now own the patent on these? What about services like befunky? are they now going to have to pay MS a license fee for continuing to provide services?


Google Builds a Native PDF Reader Into Chrome 285

An anonymous reader writes "Google's latest Chrome 6 Developer Update comes with a few subtle GUI changes, but there is also a major update under the hood. As its ties with Adobe quite apparently grow stronger, there is not just an integrated Flash player, but also a native PDF reader in the latest version of Chrome 6. Google says the native reader will allow users to interact with PDF files just like they do with regular HTML pages. The reader is included in Chrome versions (Chromium) 6.0.437.1 and higher, and you can use the feature after you have enabled it manually in the plug-ins menu. That is, of course, if you can keep Chrome 6 alive — Windows users have reported frequent crashes, and Google has temporarily suspended the update progress to find out what is going on." The Register has some more details on the PDF plugin and a link to Google's blog post about it.

Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Star Being Born 34

Arvisp tips news of a discovery by astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii of the youngest known star in a nearby star-forming region. From the Yale press release: "Astronomers think L1448-IRS2E is in between the prestellar phase, when a particularly dense region of a molecular cloud first begins to clump together, and the protostar phase, when gravity has pulled enough material together to form a dense, hot core out of the surrounding envelope. ... Most protostars are between one to 10 times as luminous as the Sun, with large dust envelopes that glow at infrared wavelengths. Because L1448-IRS2E is less than one tenth as luminous as the Sun, the team believes the object is too dim to be considered a true protostar. Yet they also discovered that the object is ejecting streams of high-velocity gas from its center, confirming that some sort of preliminary mass has already formed and the object has developed beyond the prestellar phase. This kind of outflow is seen in protostars (as a result of the magnetic field surrounding the forming star), but has not been seen at such an early stage until now."
The Internet

How To Supplement Election Coverage? 241

An anonymous reader asks "What information sources and social networking sites will you be using to supplement the election coverage on TV next Tuesday? I am ready with a big HDTV with Comcast, a Mac mini, and and an Xbox 360. I also have two laptops (one good for websites and one for streaming video), an old-school Blackberry, a 'regular' cell phone, a Nokia N810, a Squeezebox, and finally Sirius Satellite Radio. Which websites should I watch for live county results? I already know about the Twitter Vote Report for tracking and reporting voting issues and I already watch 'CNN Reporters' on Friendfeed for the national flair. What other Twitter accounts should I follow? Which urgent ones should I send to my phones? Which YouTube accounts or keywords I should subscribe to in Miro? What are the most popular sites for posting 'on-scene' videos — iReport, Flickr, something else? I know most local Fox affiliates are great about streaming, but is there a page that lists all of the streams, in case I need to quickly focus on one city or area? Basically, how would you configure all those gadgets?" This reader might find some guidance in what to focus on from a video produced by reader (and data modeler) Bruce Nash that lays out a predicted timeline for when the media will call each state, depending on when the polls close and how tight each race is expected to be.

Schneier Calls Quantum Cryptography Impressive But Pointless 233

KindMind writes "Bruce Schneier writes in Wired that quantum cryptography, while an awesome technology, is actually pointless (that is, of no commercial value). His point is that the science of cryptography is not the weak point, but the other links in the chain (like people, etc.) are where it breaks down."

Extended Gmail Outage Frustrates Admins 430

CWmike writes "A prolonged, ongoing Gmail outage has some Google Apps administrators pulling their hair out as their end users, including high-ranking executives, complain loudly while they wait for service to be restored. At about 5 p.m. US Eastern on Wednesday, Google announced that the company was aware of the problem preventing Gmail users from logging into their accounts and that it expected to fix it by 9 p.m. on Thursday. Google offered no explanation of the problem or why it would take it so long to solve the problem, a '502' error when trying to access Gmail. Google said the bug is affecting 'a small number of users,' but that is little comfort for Google Apps administrators. Admin Bill W. posted a desperate message on the forum Thursday morning, saying his company's CEO is steaming about being locked out of his e-mail account since around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. It's not the first Gmail outage. So, will this one prompt calls for a service-level agreement for paying customers? And a more immediate question: Why no Gears for offline Gmail access at very least, Google?"

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.