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+ - The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "This is an important read. If the speech that Emma Watson gave to the United Nations gathering on September 21st can cause such misogyny, then the very act of women speaking will cause it (which seems to be the case when it comes to the internet). 'Emma Watson makes a wonderful UN Goodwill Ambassador. If the campaign she champions is successful, she will have done tremendous good in the world. There is nothing about her private, consensual sexual life that has any bearing on the value of her work, the validity of her feminist views, or her integrity as a person. If her stolen nude photos are leaked on the internet in retaliation for her work, that will not mean that she was irresponsible or reckless, it will mean that she is brave. Regardless of whether any photos are released, the threats against Watson are already an attack on all of us. And we should all take it personally.'"
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+ - The myths (and realities) of synthetic bioweapons->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Three researchers from King's College, London, walk through the security threats posed by synthetic and do-it-yourself biology, assessing whether changes in technology and associated costs make it any easier for would-be terrorists to pursue biological weapons for high-consequence, mass- casualty attacks (and even whether they would want to). 'Those who have overemphasized the bioterrorism threat typically portray it as an imminent concern, with emphasis placed on high-consequence, mass-casualty attacks, performed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is a myth with two dimensions.'"
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+ - Getting around the UN's ban on blinding laser weapons->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Despite the UN’s 1995 Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, the world is moving closer to laser weapons in both military and law enforcement situations that can cause temporary and even permanent blindness. Military-funded research in this area continues to be conducted by the Optical Radiation Bioeffects and Safety program, and already "dazzlers" have been in use in Afghanistan. Domestic versions of these weapons are intended for use by law enforcement agencies and in theory cause motion-sickness type illness but not blindness. 'But something bright enough to dazzle at 300 meters can cause permanent eye damage at 50 meters, and these devices can be set to deliver a narrow (and more intense) beam. To get around the ban against blinding weapons, systems like the GLIS run off of a low-power source.' Great info."
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+ - Hypersonic Missile Testing Should be Banned Now, Before They Actually Work-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Mark Gubrud has a fascinating piece arguing for the US to lead the way in calling for a ban on the testing of hypersonic missiles, a technology that the US has been developing for decades. China has also started testing these weapons, which proponents optimistically claim would not be used to deliver nuclear weapons. Russia, India, and a few other countries are also joining in the fray, so a ban on testing would stop an arms race in its tracks. Good discussion of the two types of hypersonic technology, and whether that technology has civilian applications."
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+ - Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Stating High Speed Internet is against Sharia

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What at first instance looks like a hoax turns out to be a real statement from Irans Ayatollah. http://www.iranhumanrights.org....
A Grand Ayatollah in Iran has determined that access to high-speed and 3G Internet is “against Sharia” and “against moral standards.”
This puts ofcourse the discussion about net neutrality in a different perspective. Is internet throttling by the ISP then allowed? Up till what speed then? Luckily for the Iranians, the Fatwa is not mandatory. Also: once the new network with censorship is in place, the Fatwa will most likely be removed"

+ - Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, but Nowhere to Go-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go.

Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150-ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel.

They won't be moving anytime soon. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048.

No one knows where those sites will be, but the Obama administration is already thinking about contracts to develop, test and certify the necessary rail equipment."

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+ - Feynman Lectures Released Online, Free 2

Submitted by Anna Merikin
Anna Merikin (529843) writes "In 1964, Richard Feynman delivered a series of seven hour-long lectures at Cornell University which were recorded by the BBC, and in 2009 (with a little help from Bill Gates), were released to the public. The three-volume set may be the most popular collection of physics books ever written, and now the complete online edition has been made available in HTML 5 through a collaboration between Caltech (where Feyman first delivered these talks, in the early 1960s) and The Feynman Lectures Website. The online edition is "high quality up-to-date copy of Feynman's legendary lectures," and, thanks to the implementation of scalable vector graphics, "has been designed for ease of reading on devices of any size or shape; text, figures and equations can all be zoomed without degradation."

Volume I deals mainly with mechanics, radiation and heat; Volume II with electromagnetism and matter; and Volume III with quantum mechanics."

+ - From nukes to killer robots: how amoral technologies become immoral weapons->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Interesting philosophical discussion of the process by which lethal technology usually becomes governed by treaty only after it's been used, and how autonomous killer robots need to be examined and governed now, before they are deployed. 'Because technologically advanced countries typically enjoy political and economic power, nations inventing new weapons are often able to shape the relevant international legal framework. This trend has continued with the introduction of emerging technologies since 1945.'"
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+ - Senator wants all US cops to wear video cameras->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Ferguson teen's shooting death may dramatically expand the surveillance society.

Claire McCaskill, the Democratic senator from Missouri, says police departments nationwide should require their officers to wear body cameras in order to qualify for the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding they receive each year.

McCaskill's comments come in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting death of Michael Brown and is one of a myriad of calls in the episode's aftermath for police officers to wear video cams.

"Everywhere I go, people now have cameras," McCaskill said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with voters in her home state. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

The lawmaker did not offer legislation to support her words.

McCaskill, however, is not alone in her thinking. Last week, an online petition asking the White House to require all police departments to wear lapel cameras hit 100,000 signatures. The Obama administration has promised to publicly address petitions reaching 100,000 signatures."

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+ - Climate damage 'Irreversible' according leaked climate report 1

Submitted by SomeoneFromBelgium
SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) writes "According to Bloomberg a leaked climate report of the IPPC speaks of 'Irreversible Damage'.
The warnings in the report are, as such, not new but the tone of voice is more urgent and more direct than ever.

It states among other things that global warming already is affecting “all continents and across the oceans,” and that “Risks from mitigation can be substantial, but they do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation action,”"

+ - Feds creating database to track hate speech on Twitter->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

The university has received $919,917 so far for the project."

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+ - How Facebook could accidentally make its engineers into military targets-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Adam Henshke and Patrick Lin write that because of a lack of clear rules for cyberwarfare, technology workers could find themselves fair game in enemy attacks and counterattacks. 'If they participate in military cyberoperations—intentionally or not—employees at Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Sprint, AT&T, Vodaphone, and many other companies may find themselves considered “civilians directly participating in hostilities” and therefore legitimate targets of war, according to the legal definitions of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.' This is a fascinating read about the myriad questions that cybersecurity raises--among them: Would nations ever target Google engineers if a cyberattack was launched with gmail? Could a company be justified in launching it's own military operations if it were under cyberattack from a hostile country? Great read."
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+ - How Facebook, Google could accidentally make its engineers into military targets->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Adam Henshke and Patrick Lin write that because of a lack of clear rules for cyberwarfare, technology workers could find themselves fair game in enemy attacks and counterattacks. 'If they participate in military cyberoperations—intentionally or not—employees at Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Sprint, AT&T, Vodaphone, and many other companies may find themselves considered “civilians directly participating in hostilities” and therefore legitimate targets of war, according to the legal definitions of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.' This is a fascinating read about the myriad questions that cybersecurity raises--among them: Would nations ever target Google engineers if a cyberattack was launched with gmail? Could a company be justified in launching it's own military operations if it were under cyberattack from a hostile country? Great read."
Link to Original Source

+ - Solar energy innovation and Silicon Valley->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "UC Berkeley's brilliant Daniel Kammen believes the potential of photovoltaics is enormous and 'could produce tens of times more electricity than is consumed by the entirety of human civilization.' In this thoroughly researched article, Kammen describes advances in the PV industry and the 'unintended consequences of economies of scale', and advocates for 'an innovation-focused policy framework for a path toward affordable PV.' Kammen believes the combination of academic research and industrial entrepreneurship that is endemic to Silicon Valley, along with the strong overarching suite of environmental policies in place in California, work together to drive the solar energy industry. Together, they will keep the region a leader in a fast-changing industry as China, Europe, and other areas build their clean energy sectors. The globalized nature of solar energy is essential to building the energy sector needed as one vital element of a sustainable society."
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