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Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the or-maybe-it-won't dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes "A new website sponsored by Ubisoft as part of its advertising campaign for the upcoming hacking-themed game Watch Dogs isn't just a plug for the title — it's a chilling example of exactly how easy it is for companies to mine your data. While most folks are normally averse to giving any application or service access to their Facebook account, the app can come back with some interesting results if you dare. Facebook's claims that it can identify you with 98.3% accuracy based on images.The Datashadow app also offers the ability to compare various character traits and gives a great deal of information about total number of posts, post times and inferred values about income, location, and lifestyle. Is Ubisoft actually performing some kind of data analysis? Almost certainly not. This is far from an exhaustive, comprehensive examination of someone's personality or FB posting habits. The companies that actually perform that kind of data analysis are anything but cheap. The point Ubisoft is making, however, is that your FB profile contains enormous amounts of information in a single place that can be mined in any number of ways. All of this information absolutely is combined and collated to create detailed digital profiles of all of us, and the more we engage with various online services (from Facebook to Google Plus), the larger the data pool becomes."

+ - GOP Bill to Outlaw EPA 'Secret Science' that is Not Transparent, Reproducible

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Fox News reports that Republican lawmakers in the House are pushing legislation that would prohibit the EPA from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or not reproducible. The bill introduced by Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., would bar the agency from proposing or finalizing rules without first disclosing all "scientific and technical information" relied on to support its proposed action. "Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups,” says Schweikert. “For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions.” The bill, dubbed the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 (HR 4012), would prohibit the EPA’s administrator from proposing or finalizing any rules unless he or she also discloses “all scientific and technical information” relied on by the agency in the regulations' development including all data, materials and computer models. According to Schweikert's press release a 2013 poll from the Institute of Energy Research found that 90 percent of Americans agree that studies and data used to make federal government decisions should be made public. "Provisions in the bill are consistent with the White House’s scientific integrity policy, the President’s Executive Order 13563, data access provisions of major scientific journals, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the recommendations of the Obama administration’s top science advisors.""

+ - CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"-> 30

Submitted by Antipater
Antipater (2053064) writes "The furor over Slashdot Beta is loud enough that even outside media has begun to notice. The Washington Post's tech blog The Switch has written a piece on the issue, and the anti-Beta protesters aren't going to be happy about it. The Post questioned Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who believes the protests are the work of only a vocal minority or readers: "It's easy to forget that the vocal population of a community driven site like Slashdot might be the most important group, but they are typically also the smallest class of users." The current caretakers of Slashdot need to balance the needs of all users with their limited engineering resources, Malda argues — noting wryly, "It ain't easy.""
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+ - Slashdot Beta: Because They Hate You 3

Submitted by boolithium
boolithium (1030728) writes "People on here are missing the point of the Beta roll out. The elimination of the existing user base is not a side effect, it is a feature. Slashdot as a brand has value, but as a site has limited commercial appeal. The users are the kids at the lunch table, where not even the foreign exchange students want to sit. Nobody ever got laid from installing NetBSD.

Once they are finished with their nerd cleansing, they can build a new Slashdot. A sexier Slashdot. A Slashdot the kids can dance to.

They aren't ignoring you. They are exterminating you."

+ - Slashdot Beta Sucks Elephant Penis 2

Submitted by ShaunC
ShaunC (203807) writes "Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes:

Have you even seen an elephant penis? Because I have, and the colors align to Slashdot. The beta is so bad, Roland Piquepaille is surrendering his account (as the French do). The GNAA has reorganized to post fake job offerings on Dice.com with an emphasis on affirmative action. Profane Motherfucker has come out of retirement simply to say: "fuck this shit.""

+ - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

Submitted by unitron
unitron (5733) writes "Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience"."

+ - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset.-> 4

Submitted by magic maverick
magic maverick (2615475) writes "Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...

"

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+ - Chicago transit system fooled by federal ID cards

Submitted by johnslater
johnslater (61055) writes "The Chicago Transit Authority's new "Ventra" stored-value fare card system has another big problem. It had a difficult birth, with troubles earlier this fall when legitimate cards failed to allow passage, or sometimes double-billed the holders. Last week a server failure disabled a large portion of the system at rush hour. Now it is reported that some federal government employee ID cards allow free rides on the system. The system is being implemented by Cubic Transportation Systems for the bargain price of $454 million."

+ - Ballmer Realized He Was a Problem at Microsoft->

Submitted by ausekilis
ausekilis (1513635) writes "Toms Hardware has a story (original paywalled at WSJ) about Ballmer's decision to retire early. It wasn't due to his office running out of chairs, rather it was he realized he wasn't as quick to adapt or as adept at the emerging markets (mobile, wearables, etc...). He then decided that for Microsoft to succeed, it would need someone else at the helm. While this is something Slashdotters have been talking about for years, the usual rationale was his missing the boat or just plain inept to the world around him. From the article, it wasn't until he talked to another CEO, who saved Ford Motor Company, that he realized he could change the culture at MS a bit to be more adaptive. Ballmer insituted some changes in how the company was run, and once finished, he realized that he was no longer the right guy for the job. Instead of being captain of the sinking ship, he decided it's time for a new captain."
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+ - TSA Screener Bled to Death because Police wouldn't let Paramedics Into LAX->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "An update on the tragic Gunman Opens Fire At LAX (http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/11/01/2014210/gunman-opens-fire-at-lax) story: FoxNews reports (www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/15/lax-security-officer-bled-for-33-minutes-as-help-stood-by) that shot Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez laid helplessly bleeding after a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport while paramedics waited 150 yards away because police had not declared the terminal safe to enter.

33 minutes passed before wounded Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez, who was about 20 feet from an exit, was wheeled out by police to an ambulance. For all but five of those minutes, there was no threat from the suspected gunman — he had been shot and was in custody.

Formal conclusions may take months to reach, but what is already known raises the possibility that a lack of coordination between police and fire officials prevented speedy treatment for Hernandez and other victims. Victor Payes, President of the Union Local for TSA Workers at LAX explained: "I basically think there's a lack of coordination between entities at this airport. That lack of coordination may have led to something that shouldn't have happened. We may be talking about Officer Hernandez as a survivor.""

Link to Original Source

+ - DOJ, SEC Call Bitcoins "Legitimate Instruments"->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike (242293) writes "The Department of Justice said Bitcoins can be “legal means of exchange” at a U.S. Senate committee hearing, boosting prospects for wider acceptance of the virtual currency. “We all recognize that virtual currencies, in and of themselves, are not illegal,” Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department’s criminal division, said at the hearing.

The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which solicited comments in an Aug. 12 letter, scheduled the hearing “to explore potential promises and risks related to virtual currency for the federal government and society at large” after the Silk Road Hidden Website was shut down in October. The closing of the marketplace, is helping fuel a rally in the virtual currency as speculators bet that the digital money will gain more mainstream acceptance.

“The FBI’s approach to virtual currencies is guided by a recognition that online payment systems, both centralized and decentralized, offer legitimate financial services,” Peter Kadzik, principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a letter dated Oct. 23. “Like any financial service, virtual currency systems of either type can be exploited by malicious actors, but centralized and decentralized online payment systems can vary significantly in the types and degrees of illicit financial risk they pose.”

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, is also weighing in on the hearing, saying that it has no plans to regulate the currency. “Although the Federal Reserve generally monitors developments in virtual currencies and other payments system innovations, it does not necessarily have authority to directly supervise or regulate these innovations or the entities that provide them to the market,” Bernanke wrote in a letter to the committee ahead of the meeting. Quartz's Zachary Seward called it a "cautious blessing," with Bernanke acknowledging the Fed doesn't have the authority to supervise virtual currencies, but that they "may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.”

The hearings will bolster the view that Bitcoins are an acceptable alternate means of conducting transactions, and that their use will grow, said Jerry Brito senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University who is also testifying in front of the committee today. “These hearings means Bitcoin is finally coming into its own; it’s a real thing and it’s not going anywhere and these hearings highlight that.""

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+ - Yahoo: We found sandwich.com and other brilliant domains in the back of the sofa->

Submitted by DW100
DW100 (2227906) writes "Yahoo has found some rather wonderful old domains it forgot it owned and now doesn't have any need for as it goes about putting its house in order. Sandwich.com, webservers.com and av.com are just some of the domains now up for grabs and they are all worth a small fortune. In fact the firm could make a quick $4m from selling these dusty old domains and help some up-and-coming firm land a plumb piece of interest real estate."
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+ - AMD Confirms Kaveri APU is A 512 GPU Core Integrated Processor->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "At APU13 today, AMD announced a full suite of new products and development tools as part of its push to improve HSA development. One of the most significant announcements to come out the sessions today-- albeit in a tacit, indirect fashion, is that Kaveri is going to pack a full 512 GPU cores. There's not much new to see on the CPU side of things — like Richland/Trinity, Steamroller is a pair of CPU modules with two cores per module. AMD also isn't talking about clock speeds yet, but the estimated 862 GFLOPS that the company is claiming for Kaveri points to GPU clock speeds between 700 — 800MHz. With 512 cores, Kaveri picks up a 33% boost over its predecessors, but memory bandwidth will be essential for the GPU to reach peak performance. For performance, AMD showed Kaveri up against the Intel 4770K running a low-end GeForce GT 630. In the intro scene to BF4's single-player campaign (1920x1080, Medium Details), the AMD Kaveri system (with no discrete GPU) consistently pushed frame rates in the 28-40 FPS range. The Intel system, in contrast, couldn't manage 15 FPS. Performance on that system was solidly in the 12-14 FPS range — meaning AMD is pulling 2x the frame rate, if not more."
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