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Submission + - How Technology Is Increasing the Number of Jobs We Have (

An anonymous reader writes: An article at The Guardian takes a look at the way in which we hold jobs as technology as changes. Its central thesis is this: "My father had one job in his life, I've had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time." This may compress the generational changes a bit, but it's an interesting point; the average time being spent at one job has been trending downward for a long time. As technology enables the so-called "gig economy" (or "sharing economy," if you prefer), we're seeing many more people start to hold multiple jobs, working whichever one happens to give them something to do at a given time. Economist Jeremy Rifkin says, "This sharing economy is reestablishing the commons in a hi-tech landscape. Commons came about when people formed communities by taking the meager resources they had and sharing then to create more value. The method of regulation of these systems is also comparable."

Submission + - It is now next to impossible to reside anonymously in a modern city (

dkatana writes: In a panel on “Privacy in the Smart City” during this month's Smart City World Congress, Dr. Carmela Troncoso, a researcher from Spain, argued that data anonymization itself is almost impossible without using advanced cryptography. Our every transaction leaves a digital marker that can be mined by anyone with the right tools or enough determination.

Most modern cities today are full of sensors and connected devices. Some are considering giving away free WiFi in exchange of personal data. LinkNYC, which was present at the congress as exhibitor, is one such example of this.

The panelists insisted that it is the duty of world leaders to safeguard their citizens’ privacy, just as corporations are answerable to leaks and hacks.

Submission + - MST3K Kickstarter about to break record (

the_Bionic_lemming writes: Recently Joel Hodgson, the creator of Mystery Science 3000 that had a successful run of over 197 shows has after 15 years launched a kickstarter to relaunch the series. Previous MST3K Is Kickstarting Back To Life, MST3K Successfully Crowdsources Its Comeback.
In just over two weeks Joel has been wildly successful in not only having over 25000 fans contribute, but actually scoring the second highest show kickstarter on record — he has just under two weeks to shoot past the Number 1 kickstarter, Veronica Mars.

Additionally , Joel had an eight year old girl write in during the long series run , and they did her letter on the air (something the fans loved — having their mail on the air) . A few days ago, Freezepop's Ashley (who was that 8 year old girl) sang a wonderful tribute with Joel for the Kickstarter .

Submission + - Microphone 32 X more sensitive has been invented (

Taco Cowboy writes: A microphone which is 32 X more sensitive than regular microphone has recently been invented

Most microphones have the same componentry as a loudspeaker – in fact, they’re loudspeakers working in reverse, turning sound into electrical currents. When you speak, the sound waves travel towards the microphone, which impact a membrane that then vibrates. These vibrations are transferred to a metallic coil that then moves back and forth across a permanent magnet. A temporary electromagnet is created by the interaction of the magnetic field with the coil, and an electrical current is generated, which travels to an amplifier or a sound recording device. Nickel is normally used in the construction of the membrane

Replacing the Nickel with a graphine based membrane 30n carbon-atom thick, showed a remarkable 32-fold increase in sensitivity across a significant part of the audio spectrum: up to 11 kilohertz, across a dizzying array of amplitudes

The researchers also simulated a 300-layer thick graphene membrane, which has the potential to be even more sensitive; it could hypothetically detect frequencies of up to one megahertz, which is in the ultrasonic part of the spectrum. This has yet to be tested experimentally, though

This research shows that it is demonstrably possible for graphene to be used in a new generation of highly sensitive microphones, which will pick up far more sound detail than regular microphones do at present. Excitingly, highly sensitive ultrasonic microphones may also be on the cards

Submission + - Amazon reveals new delivery drone design with range of 15 miles (

reifman writes: Amazon released new video of its futuristic drones (honestly the though of them buzzing around is the only thing that makes me want to join the NRA) but there's some hopefulness here. Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated 'sense and avoid' technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more. 'It looks like science fiction, but it's real: One day, seeing Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road. ' Amazon said its drones fly under 400 feet and weigh less than 55 pounds.

Submission + - Super-Strong Diamond Nanothread Has People Dreaming Of A Space Elevator ( 1

schwit1 writes: Looking for a material stronger than carbon nanotubes and graphene? A new microscopic structure, called diamond nanothread (DNT), shows the potential to revolutionize material science.

A team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia modeled the properties of this DNT and found that the length of the thread doesn’t significantly affect its strength. The results are presented in a paper uploaded toArXiv.

Submission + - Purdue Experiments With Income Contingent Student Loans writes: Danielle Douglas-Gabriel writes in the Washington Post that Purdue University is partnering with Vemo Education, a Reston-based financial services firm, to create income-share agreements, or ISAs, that its students can tap to pay for tuition, room and board. In return, students would pay a percentage of their earnings after graduation for a set number of years, replenishing the fund for future investments. Purdue president Mitch Daniels calls the contracts a constructive addition to today’s government loan programs and perhaps the only option for students and families who have low credit ratings and extra financial need. "From the student’s standpoint, ISAs assure a manageable payback amount, never more than the agreed portion of their incomes. Best of all, they shift the risk of career shortcomings from student to investor: If the graduate earns less than expected, it is the investors who are disappointed; if the student decides to go off to find himself in Nepal instead of working, the loss is entirely on the funding providers, who will presumably price that risk accordingly when offering their terms. This is true “debt-free” college."

However some observers worry that students pursuing profitable degrees in engineering or business would get better repayment terms than those studying to become nurses or teachers. "Income share agreements have the potential to create another option for students looking to pay for college while seeking assurances they will not be overwhelmed by future payments," says Robert Kelchen. "However, given the current generosity of federal income-based repayment programs and the likely hesitation of those who expect six-figure salaries to sign away a percentage of their income for years to come, the market for these programs may be somewhat limited."

Submission + - Google to work with Israel to censor Palestinian YouTube videos (

Mark Wilson writes: Coverage of any conflict is rarely free from bias, with propaganda being a staple tool. This certainly rings true of the war between Israel and Palestine, and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister has engaged in talks with representatives of YouTube and Google with a view to censoring videos coming out of the region.

Tzipi Hotovely met with Google's Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. On the agenda was discussion about how to censor Palestinian video footage deemed to be "inflammatory" or "inciting violence and terrorism" by Tel Aviv.

It's a move that will concern journalists, anti-censorship proponents, and freedom of the press advocates alike, but the Israeli government is keen to stem the flow of what it sees as uncensored propaganda coming out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Submission + - Bill Gates to Headline Paris Climate Talks

theodp writes: The NY Times and others report that Bill Gates will announce the creation of a multibillion-dollar clean energy fund on Monday at the opening of the two-week long Paris Climate Change Conference. The climate summit, which will be attended by President Obama and 100+ world leaders, is intended to forge a global accord to cut planet-warming emissions. The pending announcement was first reported by ClimateWire. A spokesman for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond to a request for comment. Let's hope it goes better than BillG school reform!

Submission + - DecryptorMax/CryptInfinite Ransomware Decrypted, No Need to Pay Ransom (

An anonymous reader writes: Emsisoft has launched a new tool capable of decrypting files compromised by the DecryptorMax (CryptInfinite) ransomware. The tool is quite easy to use, and will generate a decryption key. For best results users should compare an encrypted and decrypted file, but the tool can also get the decryption key by comparing an encrypted PNG with a random PNG downloaded off the Internet.

Submission + - Pwned Barbies Spying on Children? Toytalk CEO downplays hacking reports (

McGruber writes: Earlier this year Mattel unveiled "Hello Barbie" (, a $74.99 wi-fi equipped interactive doll. Users press a button on Barbie's belt to start a conversation and the recorded audio is processed over the internet so that the doll can respond appropriately. The doll also remembers the user’s likes and dislikes.

Now Security Researcher Matt Jakubowski claims that he has managed to hack the Hello Barbie system to extract wi-fi network names, account IDs and MP3 files, which could be used to track down someone’s home. “You can take that information and find out a person’s house or business. It’s just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want,” Jakubowski warned.

Mattel partnered with ToyTalk to develop "Hello Barbie". ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob said: “An enthusiastic researcher has reported finding some device data and called that a hack. While the path that the researcher used to find that data is not obvious and not user-friendly, it is important to note that all that information was already directly available to Hello Barbie customers through the Hello Barbie Companion App. No user data, no Barbie content, and no major security or privacy protections have been compromised to our knowledge.”

A petition by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asking Mattel to drop the doll has already been signed by over 6,000 people.

NOTE: The original reporting of this hack appears to have been this NBC-Chicago newscast:

Submission + - Privacy Vulnerability Exposes VPN Users' Real IP Addresses (

An anonymous reader writes: A major security flaw which reveals VPN users’ real IP addresses has been discovered by Perfect Privacy (PP). The researchers suggest that the problem affects all VPN protocols, including IPSec, PPTP and OpenVPN. The technique involves a port-forwarding tactic whereby a hacker using the same VPN as its victim can forward traffic through a certain port, which exposes the unsuspecting user’s IP address. This issue persists even if the victim has disabled port forwarding. PP discovered that five out of nine prominent VPN providers that offer port forwarding were vulnerable to the attack.

Submission + - NASA concludes that comets, not alien megastructures orbit KIC 8462852 ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: Back in October, findings from the Kepler Space Telescope suggested that something strange was going on around a star called KIC 8462852. Kepler was built to detect exoplanets by measuring the cycles of dimming light from other stars, indicating that a large object was passing between them and Earth. But the dimming light cycle from KIC 8462852 seemed to suggest a lot of smaller objects swarming around it. Scientists narrowed down the explanations to either a swarm of comets or alien megastructures. NASA announced evidence garnered by two other telescopes that pointed to the comet explanation.

Submission + - Erasing Our Messages From Other People's Inboxes Is A Rocky Road (

An anonymous reader writes: Viber is the latest communications app to offer the facility to erase content that we sent to other people from the recipient's inbox, whether they like it or not. But unlike similar functionality in Line and WeChat, there are no time restrictions imposed, and users can erase old messages from all inboxes at will. 'Unsending' a message is the dream of anyone who ever forgot to BCC properly. But while we are keen to protect our communications from government interference, do we not perhaps have some responsibility to history as well?

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie