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Government

GCHQ and NSA Targeted World Leaders, Private German Companies 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the caught-with-your-hand-in-the-cookie-jar dept.
Advocatus Diaboli sends this news from Der Spiegel: "Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation? ... A secret NSA document dealing with high-ranking targets has provided further indications that Merkel was a target. The document is a presentation from the NSA's Center for Content Extraction, whose multiple tasks include the automated analysis of all types of text data. The lists appear to contain 122 country leaders. Twelve names are listed as an example, including Merkel's."
Programming

Wolfram Language Demo Impresses 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the lingua-mathematica dept.
theodp writes "The devil will be in the details, but if you were stoked about last November's announcement of the Wolfram programming language, you'll be pleased to know that a just-released dry-but-insanely-great demo delivered by Stephen Wolfram does not disappoint. Even if you're not in love with the syntax or are a FOSS devotee, you'll find it hard not to be impressed by Wolfram's 4-line solution to a traveling salesman tour of the capitals of Western Europe, 6-line camera-capture-to-image-manipulation demo, or 2-line web crawling and data visualization example. And that's just for starters. So, start your Raspberry Pi engines, kids!"

Comment: Only under the right circumstances (Score 1) 192

by SkOink (#46204705) Attached to: Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

I would completely support Google Glass on police if (and only if) there are penalties to the participating police departments for 'accidentally' losing the footage or having a 'malfunction'. These two things both sem to happen at a shocking rate whenever a policeman is accused of misconduct.

Comment: Jefferson (Score 3, Interesting) 489

by SkOink (#45754761) Attached to: Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split

No comment on whether or not the state of Jefferson would ever be able to support itself without the rest of California, but Tim Draper didn't pull that particular state out of the ether. I have some parents that used to live up in North State, and the hill folk there love the idea of Jefferson.

They even have a website: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/

China

Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-them-a-sporting-chance dept.
MTorrice writes "In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment. Environmental and public health experts worry that this discharge could promote the spread of resistance."

Comment: Water (Score 2) 92

by SkOink (#45598909) Attached to: NASA Will Send Seeds to the Moon In 2015

The moon is pretty dry. If if this is supposed to be some proof-of-concept for growing food in a lunar base/colony, don't they need to address the larger issue of where such a garden would get its water?

If we have to transport the water to the moon as well as all of the raw materials (dirt, plant nutrients), what possible savings could there be against just stocking a base with MREs?

Comment: re: I'm ready to replace Make (Score 1) 179

by SkOink (#45085519) Attached to: GNU Make 4.0 Released

I'm not sure what to use to replace Make though. I'm a Python guy so I would probably want Scons or something like that, but Ruby fans probably want Rake, Java fans probably want Ant, and in general I don't think there is any consensus on what might be the best replacement for Make

I went back and forth on different Pythonic build tools for awhile. Scons is pretty great if you're doing 'standard' sorts of builds, but I found it a little heavy for my tastes and really hard to customize to my tool flow (in FPGA land, there are all kinds of nonstandard vendor tools that all need to play together).

I've been using doit more and more over the past few months, and I'm continually impressed by the tool (aside from the goofy name). It works amazingly well for automating tricky/exotic build processes.

Check it out! http://pydoit.org/index.html/

Technology

Automatic Translation Without Dictionaries 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the baby-steps-to-the-universal-translator dept.
New submitter physicsphairy writes "Tomas Mikolov and others at Google have developed a simple means of translating between languages using a large corpus of sample texts. Rather than being defined by humans, words are characterized based on their relation to other words. For example, in any language, a word like 'cat' will have a particular relationship to words like 'small,' 'furry,' 'pet,' etc. The set of relationships of words in a language can be described as a vector space, and words from one language can be translated into words in another language by identifying the mapping between their two vector spaces. The technique works even for very dissimilar languages, and is presently being used to refine and identify mistakes in existing translation dictionaries."
Networking

Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly 452

Posted by timothy
from the fifo-with-a-vengeance dept.
michaelmalak writes "In a technique that reminds me of the just-in-time torpedo engineering of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a company called Argon Design has "developed a high performance trading system" that puts an FPGA — and FPGA-based trading algorithms — right in the Ethernet switch. And it isn't just to cut down on switch/computer latency — they actually start assembling and sending out the start of an Ethernet packet simultaneously with receiving and decoding incoming price quotation Ethernet packets, and decide on the fly what to put in the outgoing buy/sell Ethernet packet. They call these techniques 'inline parsing' and 'pre-emption.'"

Comment: Only some of the story (Score 1) 91

by SkOink (#43855111) Attached to: Nasdaq Fined $10M Over Facebook IPO Failures

Why is it that whenever people talk about how this-or-that stock market action has "cost investors millions"? It's not like the money was lit on fire. It either never existed in the first place, or somebody won big off of somebody else's poor decisions. Isn't stock trading a zero-sum game by definition?

Science

Make Your Own Invisibility Cloak With a 3D Printer 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't dept.
cylonlover writes "Invisibility cloaks have been around in various forms since 2006, when the first cloak based on optical metamaterials was demonstrated. The design of cloaking devices has come a long way in the past seven years, as illustrated by a simple, yet highly effective, radar cloak developed by Duke University Professor Yaroslav Urzhumov, that can be made using a hobby-level 3D printer."
United States

State Secrets, No-Fly List Showdown Looms 216

Posted by samzenpus
from the need-to-know-basis dept.
schwit1 writes "The Obama Administration and a federal judge in San Francisco appear to be headed for a showdown over the controversial state secrets privilege in a case about the U.S. government's 'no-fly' list for air travel. U.S. District Judge William Alsup is also bucking the federal government's longstanding assertion that only the executive branch can authorize access to classified information. From the article: 'The disputes arose in a lawsuit Malaysian citizen and former Stanford student Rahinah Ibrahim filed seven years ago after she was denied travel and briefly detained at the San Francisco airport in 2005, apparently due to being on the no-fly list. In an order issued earlier this month and made public Friday, Alsup instructed lawyers for the government to "show cause" why at least nine documents it labeled as classified should not be turned over to Ibrahim's lawyers. Alsup said he'd examined the documents and concluded that portions of some of them and the entirety of others could be shown to Ibrahim's attorneys without implicating national security.'"
Technology

+ - Energy efficiency gains failing to keep pace with Internet's growth->

Submitted by terrancem
terrancem (1928624) writes "Energy efficiency gains are failing to keep pace with the Internet's rapid rate of expansion, says a new paper published in the journal Science. Noting that the world's data centers already consume 270 terawatt hours and Internet traffic volume is doubling every three years, Diego Reforgiato Recupero of the University of Catania argues for prioritizing energy efficiency in the design of devices, networks, data centers, and software development. Recupero highlights two approaches for improving efficiency: smart standby and dynamic frequency scaling or CPU throttling."
Link to Original Source
GNOME

+ - GNOME 3.8 released now with extra special GNOME Classic session->

Submitted by
Sri Ramkrishna
Sri Ramkrishna writes "it's that time again and GNOME project has put out the next release of the GNOME 3 series. Highlights include tighter integration with owncloud, new core apps, and for those who wanted the old GNOME 2 experience back, we have GNOME Classic which contains the familiar 2 bar configuration. New controls for privacy and search.and some improvements in shell performance. You can read all about it here"
Link to Original Source

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