Forgot your password?

Protecting Our Brains From Datamining 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-all-know-what-your-brain-would-tell-us dept.
Jason Koebler writes: 'Brainwave-tracking is becoming increasingly common in the consumer market, with the gaming industry at the forefront of the trend. "Neurogames" use brain-computer interfaces and electroencephalographic (EEG) gadgets like the Emotiv headset to read brain signals and map them to in-game actions. EEG data is "high-dimensional," meaning a single signal can reveal a lot of information about you: if you have a mental illness, are prone to addiction, your emotions, mood, and taste. If that data from gaming was collected and mined, it could theoretically be matched with other datasets culled from online data mining to create a complete profile of an individual that goes far beyond what they divulge through social media posts and emails alone. That's led some to develop privacy systems that protect your thoughts from hackers.'

US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sorry-dave,-the-value-of-your-life-is-a-string-and-i-was-expecting-an-integer dept.
coondoggie writes: "The U.S. Office of Naval Research this week offered a $7.5m grant to university researchers to develop robots with autonomous moral reasoning ability. While the idea of robots making their own ethical decisions smacks of SkyNet — the science-fiction artificial intelligence system featured prominently in the Terminator films — the Navy says that it envisions such systems having extensive use in first-response, search-and-rescue missions, or medical applications. One possible scenario: 'A robot medic responsible for helping wounded soldiers is ordered to transport urgently needed medication to a nearby field hospital. En route, it encounters a Marine with a fractured leg. Should the robot abort the mission to assist the injured? Will it? If the machine stops, a new set of questions arises. The robot assesses the soldier’s physical state and determines that unless it applies traction, internal bleeding in the soldier's thigh could prove fatal. However, applying traction will cause intense pain. Is the robot morally permitted to cause the soldier pain, even if it’s for the soldier’s well-being?'"

Most of What We Need For Smart Cities Already Exists 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the using-what-we-have dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Looking to a day when modern infrastructure is network addressable, Glen Martin considers that, lacking only requisite content and relatively simple augmentation, most of what we need for smart cities already exists: 'Using smart phones, pedestrians could "wake up" the objects by accessing codes generally used by the city to identify street items that required repair. Each bit of infrastructure would make some kind of declamatory statement — sometimes gracious and welcoming, sometimes didactic, sometimes peevish. The "interlocutor" would then respond, and a brief exchange would ensue. The object would then invite the passerby to return for more conversation.'"

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Unix Admins 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-sure-you're-in-folder-you-think-you're-in dept.
jfruh writes: "Being a Unix or Linux admin tends to be an odd kind of job: you often spend much of your workday on your own, with lots of time when you don't have a specific pressing task, punctuated by moments of panic where you need to do something very important right away. Sandra Henry-Stocker, a veteran sysadmin, offers suggestions on how to structure your professional life if you're in this job. Her advice includes setting priorities, knowing your tools, and providing explanations to the co-workers whom you help." What habits have you found effective for system administration?

+ - Scientist Investigates Most Painful Body Locations for Bee Stings

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Pain is notoriously difficult to quantify. Many pain-rating scales have been developed to bridge the gap between a patient’s perceived pain, and the medical practitioner who is trying to relieve the patient’s pain. One such scale is the Schmidt Sting Pain Index developed when Justin Schmidt judged the painfulness of stings from 78 species of Hymenopter.Schmidt’s 4-point scale ranges from 0, a sting that cannot penetrate the skin, to 4, the most painful insect sting known. Only the bullet ant, Paraponera clavata, and the tarantula hawk, Pepsis grossa, were awarded a painfulness of 4 . Now Rod McPhee reports at the Mirror that Michael Smith – a postgraduate studying bee behavior at Cornell decided to explore how pain affects different body parts by forcing insects to sting him 190 times, literally from head to toe, over five weeks. “We speculated it probably really would hurt to get stung in the testicles. Two days later, by chance, I did get stung there. But I was really surprised that it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would.” Smith, who previously studied bee-keeping at United World College of the Atlantic, took agitated bees in forceps and applied them to 25 different areas of his body. He then rated the resulting pain from zero to ten. The results? Although his testicles were the fourth worst place to be stung – with a pain rating of 7.0 – that was only equally as painful as being stung in the palm and the cheek. The penis was only marginally more uncomfortable with a 7.3 rating. His nostril with a rating of 9.0 was the most painful, with the upper lip not far behind on 8.7. “If you’re stung in the nose and the penis, you’re going to want more stings to the penis, over the nose –if you’re forced to choose. There’s definitely no crossing of wires of pleasure and pain down there. It’s painful. Getting stung on the nose is a whole body experience. Your body really reacts. You’re sneezing and wheezing and snot is just dribbling out. It’s electric and pulsating.""

"I have just one word for you, my boy...plastics." - from "The Graduate"