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Submission + - Clinton regrets, but defends, use of family email server->

dcblogs writes: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that, in hindsight, her decision to use a private email server to conduct official business was not the best one. But she is defending it and said the system was secure. Clinton, at news conference in New York, said the email server that she used had been set up for former President Bill Clinton. The system had "numerous safeguards" and is on home property protected by the U.S. Secret Service, she said. "There were no security breaches," said Clinton. "I think the use of that server, which started with my husband, proved to be effective and secure," she said. It still remains unclear about just how appropriate Clinton's system was. As a general rule, government IT policies don't give federal employees the option of using their own email accounts to exclusively conduct government business.
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Submission + - Strange Stars Pulse to the Golden Mean->

An anonymous reader writes: What struck John Learned about the blinking of KIC 5520878, a bluish-white star 16,000 light-years away, was how artificial it seemed.

Learned, a neutrino physicist at the University of Hawaii, Mnoa, has a pet theory that super-advanced alien civilizations might send messages by tickling stars with neutrino beams, eliciting Morse code-like pulses. “It’s the sort of thing tenured senior professors can get away with,” he said. The pulsations of KIC 5520878, recorded recently by NASA’s Kepler telescope, suggested that the star might be so employed.

A “variable” star, KIC 5520878 brightens and dims in a six-hour cycle, seesawing between cool-and-clear and hot-and-opaque. Overlaying this rhythm is a second, subtler variation of unknown origin; this frequency interplays with the first to make some of the star’s pulses brighter than others. In the fluctuations, Learned had identified interesting and, he thought, possibly intelligent sequences, such as prime numbers (which have been floated as a conceivable basis of extraterrestrial communication). He then found hints that the star’s pulses were chaotic.

But when Learned mentioned his investigations to a colleague, William Ditto, last summer, Ditto was struck by the ratio of the two frequencies driving the star’s pulsations.

“I said, ‘Wait a minute, that’s the golden mean.’”

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Submission + - Apple's Tim Cook is gay. Seriously, he is.->

rodrigoandrade writes: What seems at first to be the pinnacle of Apple fanboy trolling is actually true. Tim Cook has publicly come out of the closet. "Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
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Submission + - Cutting the Cord? Time Warner loses 184,000 TV subscribers in one quarter.->

Mr D from 63 writes: Time Warner Cable’s results have been buoyed recently by higher subscriber numbers for broadband Internet service. In the latest period, however, Time Warner Cable lost 18,000 overall residential customer relationships.

The addition of 92,000 residential high-speed data customers was offset by 184,000 fewer residential video customers in the quarter. Triple play customers fell by 24,000, while residential voice additions were 14,000.

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Submission + - Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

HughPickens.com writes: Michelle Cottle reports in The Atlantic that in an earlier era, a suspicious husband might have rifled through his wife's pockets or hired a private investigator but today spouses have easy access to an array of sophisticated spy software that that record every keystroke; compile detailed logs of calls, texts, and video chats; that track a phone’s location in real time; recover deleted messages from all manner of devices (without having to touch said devices); and that turn phones into wiretapping equipment. One might assume that the proliferation of such spyware would have a chilling effect on extramarital activities. But according to Cottle, aspiring cheaters, need not despair: software developers are also rolling out ever stealthier technology to help people conceal their affairs. Right or wrong, cheating apps tap into a potentially lucrative market and researchers regard the Internet as fertile ground for female infidelity in particular. “Men tend to cheat for physical reasons and women for emotional reasons,” says Katherine Hertlein. “The Internet facilitates a lot of emotional disclosure and connections with someone else.”

But virtual surveillance has its risks. Stumbling across an incriminating email your partner left open is one thing; premeditated spying can land you in court. A Minnesota man named Danny Lee Hormann, suspecting his wife of infidelity, installed a GPS tracker on her car and allegedly downloaded spyware onto her phone and the family computer. In March 2010, Hormann's wife had a mechanic search her car and found the tracker. She called the police, and Hormann spent a month in jail on stalking charges. “I always tell people two things: (1) do it legally, and (2) do it right,” says John Paul Lucich, a computer-forensics expert and the author of Cyber Lies, a do-it-yourself guide for spouses looking to become virtual sleuths. Lucich has worked his share of ugly divorces, and he stresses that even the most damning digital evidence of infidelity will prove worthless in court—and potentially land you in trouble—if improperly gathered. His blanket advice: Get a really good lawyer.

Comment Re:Deniers are too stupid to read -- prove me wron (Score 1) 661

Exactly. Even as sophisticated as they are, computer models can only be as good as our understanding of the phenomenon being modeled. It's the climate models that are showing catastrophic positive feedbacks for temperature with an increase in "greenhouse gases". But those catastrophic positive feedback scenarios present in the computer model may or may not exist in the real world, because of interactions that are not accounted for in the model because they're presently not known or not well characterized.

The comparison to modeling the macroeconomy is well taken. Both are complex nonlinear systems in which the validity of computer models are highly dependent upon detailed knowledge of the initial conditions, and in which the information content of the phenomenon being modeled cannot reasonably be captured except in a highly simplified fashion. The same information problem that plagues macroeconomic models (you can't really gather all the information necessary to know the initial state, because there's far too much information required, and even if you could gather it, by the time you've gathered the information, the system's state has changed) to some degree applies to modeling climate, particularly where there are direct interactions between human actions and the system.

Paleoclimate data appears to show we're on the downward side of the peak of the current interglacial, with the amplitude of short term warm periods actually decreasing over the last few thousand years. And the current computer models didn't predict the "pause" in increased global mean surface temperature observed since about the turn of the millennium. The models simply aren't good enough to restructure the basis of the entire global energy economy on.

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