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+ - Girls' Brains Really Are Different From Boys' Brains->

Submitted by tomhath
tomhath (637240) writes "Portions of the brain develop differently during puberty..

By the end of adolescence, females had significantly higher Cerebral Blood Flow than males, and this difference was most prominent in areas of the brain involved in social behaviors and emotion regulation, such as the orbitofrontal cortex. The findings give clues to sex-specific susceptibilities to certain psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia."

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Advertising

Google Foresees Ads On Your Refrigerator, Thermostat, and Glasses 355

Posted by Soulskill
from the brought-to-you-by-melancholy dept.
New submitter waspleg sends news of a letter Google sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission in which the tech giant laid out its vision of an ad-filled future. They wrote, "We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities. Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future, and thus our advertising systems are becoming increasingly device-agnostic."

Comment: There's a term for this: Planned obsolescence. (Score 1) 1

by The Altruist (#46994429) Attached to: Blade Runner Redux: Do Embedded Systems Need A Time To Die?

In some instances, and I can fathom just a few - mostly in regards to 32-bit time-stamp bugs, end of life is acceptable; this product should no longer be in service. Given enough time, a bug of convenience will throw the entire system out of whack. Said bugs of convenience are put in place by developers who cannot fathom the system being in use after the year 2106 (or 2038) or the entire flash memory module will fill up or the EEPROM will finally see 100,001 write operations.

But in others, I'm finding it hard to justify. There are many industries where "it's worked for years and we're not going to change it" is the modus operandi. In manufacturing operations, like a paper mill I worked in, many times the individual embedded systems don't have to be complicated; they have one job and they just have to do it right. In fact, they'll often employ the same out-dated desktop and servers on isolated networks for over 15 years simply because it's still working and there's no pressing need to change.

So, in some instances yes, sure, let's give the poor chips a dignified rest. But I'd really rather not find out that a when the warranty on a pace-maker goes ou...

(User expired during the writing of this post.)

+ - Blade Runner Redux: Do Embedded Systems Need A Time To Die? -> 1

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "In a not-so-strange case of life imitating Blade Runner, Dan Geer, the CISO of In-Q-Tel, has proposed making embedded devices such as industrial control and SCADA systems more 'human' (http://geer.tinho.net/geer.secot.7v14.txt) in order to manage a future in which hundreds of billions of them will populate every corner of our personal, professional and lived environments. (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2636073)

Geer was speaking at The Security of Things Forum (http://www.securityofthings.com), a conference focused on securing The Internet of Things last Wednesday. He struck a wary tone, saying that "we are at the knee of the curve for deployment of a different model of computation," as the world shifts from an Internet of 'computers' to one of embedded systems that is many times larger.

Individually, these devices may not be particularly valuable. But, together, IoT systems are tremendously powerful and capable of causing tremendous social disruption. Geer noted the way that embedded systems, many outfitted with remote sensors, now help manage everything from transportation to food production in the U.S. and other developed nations.

“Is all the technologic dependency, and the data that fuels it, making us more resilient or more fragile?" he wondered. Geer noted the appearance of malware like TheMoon (https://isc.sans.edu/forums/diary/Linksys+Worm+TheMoon+Summary+What+we+know+so+far/17633), which spreads between vulnerable home routers, as one example of how a population of vulnerable, unpatchable embedded devices might be cobbled into a force of mass disruption.

Taking a page out of Philip Dick's book (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7082.Do_Androids_Dream_of_Electric_Sheep_) or at least Ridley Scott's movie (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000631/) Geer proposes a novel solution: “Perhaps what is needed is for embedded systems to be more like humans.”

By "human," Geer means that embedded systems that do not have a means of being (securely) managed and updated remotely should be configured with some kind of "end of life" past which they will cease to operate. Allowing embedded systems to 'die' will remove a population of remote and insecure devices from the Internet ecosystem and prevent those devices from falling into the hands of cyber criminals or other malicious actors, Geer argued.

The idea has many parallels with Scott's 1982 classic, Blade Runner, in which a group of rebellious, human-like androids – or “replicants” – return to a ruined Earth to seek out their maker. Their objective: find a way to disable an programmed ‘end of life’ in each of them. In essence: the replicants want to become immortal."

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Education

Texas School District Drops Embattled RFID Student IDs; Opts For Cameras 244

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
The Northside Independent School District (NISD) of Texas, has decided to drop their controversial student RFID card plans and settle on hundreds of cameras to monitor students. Apparently, the technology wasn't quite the attendance silver bullet administration thought it would be, as Slate's Will Oremus discovered. 'Northside Independent School District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez told me that the microchip-ID program turned out not to be worth the trouble. Its main goal was to increase attendance by allowing staff to locate students who were on campus but didn't show up for roll call. That was supposed to lead to increased revenue. But attendance at the two schools in question a middle school and a high school barely budged in the year that the policy was in place. And school staff found themselves wasting a lot of time trying to physically track down the missing students based on their RFID locators. "We're very confident we can still maintain a safe and secure school because of the 200 cameras that are installed at John Jay High School and the 100 that are installed at Jones Middle School. Plus we are upgrading those surveillance systems to high-definition and more sophisticated cameras. So there will be a surveillance-camera umbrella around both schools," Gonzalez said."'
Transportation

Researchers Are Developing Ad Hoc Networks For Car-To-Car Data Exchange 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-buddy-your-blinker-is-on dept.
Lucas123 writes "Researchers are developing machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technology that allows cars to exchange data with each other, enabling vehicles to know what the cars all around them are doing, and perhaps, where they're going. Intel is working with National Taiwan University on M2M connectivity, an idea came from caravanning — an available, but-not-yet-deployed technology that uses direct line of site infrared (IR) and a range finder in order to automatically adjust the speed of cars so they can travel at a measured distance from each other. In other words, they're electronically tethered to one another. Now, imagine a group of cars traveling down the road together as an ad hoc network, each one aware of the location, any sudden actions or even the travel route of other vehicles as uploaded to the cloud from a GPS device. 'We're even imagining in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, "Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,' said Jennifer Healey, a research scientist with Intel."
Medicine

Weebots: Driveable Robots For Babies Who Need Them 72

Posted by timothy
from the so-many-good-ways-to-get-in-trouble dept.
toygeek writes "Babies, as you may have noticed if you own one, like to get into all sorts of mischief, and studies show that exploring and interacting with the world is important for cognitive development. Babies who can't move around as well may not develop at the same rate as babies who can, which is why researchers from Ithaca College in New York are working on a way to fuse babies with robots to give mobility to all babies, even those with conditions that may delay independent mobility, like Down syndrome, spina bifida, or cerebral palsy."

Comment: Kudos to the fellow embedded dev. (Score 1) 283

I would recomment a 3 year stint in embedded for app programmers. You'll be shocked how sloppy you are, and, more importantly, how needlessly sloppy. Many techniques can be incorporated without slowing down the freewheeling development much at all.

Somebody mod that guy up.

Linux

Why Desktop Linux Hasn't Taken Off 1264

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flaming-begin dept.
alphadogg writes "It's free, easier to use than ever, IT staffers know it and love it, and it has fewer viruses and Trojans than Windows. So, why hasn't Linux on the desktop taken off? When it comes to desktop Linux, the cost savings turn out to be problematic, there are management issues, and compatibility remains an issue. 'We get a lot more questions about switching to Macs than switching to Linux at this point, even though Macs are more expensive,' one Gartner analyst says."
Security

Spoiler Alert: Your TV Will Be Hacked 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-hope-so dept.
snydeq writes "With rising popularity of Internet-enabled TVs, the usual array of attacks and exploits will soon be coming to a screen near you. 'Will Internet TVs will be hacked as successfully as previous generations of digital devices? Of course they will. Nothing in a computer built into a TV makes it less attackable than a PC. ... Can we make Internet TVs more secure than regular computers? Yes. Will we? Probably not. We never do the right things proactively. Instead, we as a global society appear inclined to accept half-baked security solutions that are more like Band-Aids than real protection.'"
Biotech

Solving Climate Change By Bioengineering Humans? 363

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-lazy-enough-to-work dept.
derekmead writes "Forget CFLs, hybrid cars, and organic jeans. Buying our way out of climate change — even if it's green consumption — won't get us far. A new paper (PDF), published in Ethics, Policy, and the Environment by NYU bioethics professor S. Matthew Liao, poses an answer: engineer humans to use less. The general plan laid out by Liao is straightforward, ranging from using pharmacological behavior modification to create an aversion to meat in people, to using gene therapy to create smaller, less resource-intensive children. The philosophical and ethical questions, on the other hand, are absurdly complicated. The Atlantic also has a great interview with Liao, in which he talks about gene therapy and making humans hate the taste of meat."

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