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Submission + - Spam Makes Up Less Than Half of All Emails Now

An anonymous reader writes: According to Symantec’s latest Intelligence Report, Spam has fallen to less than 50% of all email in June – a number we haven’t seen in over a decade. Of all emails received by Symantec clients in June, junk emails only accounts for 49.7% down from 52.1% in April which shows a huge drop. Year over year, Spam has decreased as well due to internet providers doing a better job at filtering and shutting down spam bots.

Submission + - Renderman Gets Blender Integration

jones_supa writes: Now that Renderman has been available for free for non-commercial use for a while, there has been many requests for integration with Blender. An initiative spearheaded by Pixar now presents the first Blender to Renderman plugin. With the release of PRMan 20, a small group of developers headed by Brian Savery of Pixar have been working on support for using Renderman and Blender together. The plugin is still in early alpha but has had many great developments in the last few weeks. The source code is available in GitHub.

Submission + - Nuclear power losing steam after Fukushima->

The Real Dr John writes: Japan has been without nuclear power for a full calendar year for the first time since the first commercial nuclear power plant started up in the country 50 years ago. New reactor construction around the world is down, and most plants under construction have been delayed, often by years. Renewable energy including wind and solar have surpassed nuclear generation in many developed countries without posing the threat of radioactive disasters. Nuclear power looks like it will be around for decades to come, but its time is over.
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Submission + - Robots appear to raise productivity without causing total work hours to decline->

Hallie Siegel writes: We often read about the economic impact of robots on employment, usually accompanied with the assertion that "robots steal jobs". But to date there has precious little economic analysis of the actual effects that robots are already having on employment and productivity. Georg Graetz (Professor of Economics at Uppsala University) and Guy Michaels (Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics) undertook a study of how robots impacted productivity and employment between 1993 and 2007, and found that "industrial robots increase labour productivity, total factor productivity and wages." And while there is some evidence that they reduced the employment of low skilled workers, and, to a lesser extent, middle skilled workers, industrial robots had no significant effect on total hours worked.

This is important because it seems to contradict many of the pessimistic assertions that are presently being made about the impact of robots on jobs.

What I am especially curious about is post 2007 data, however, because it's just in the past few years that we have seen a major shift in industrial robotics to incorporate collaborative robots, or co-robots. ie. Robots specifically designed to work alongside humans, as tools for augmenting human performance. One might reasonably suspect that some of the negative impact of industrial robotics on low and middle skilled workers pre 2007 could be offset by the more recent and increasing use of co-bots, which are not designed to replace humans, but instead to make them more efficient.

I sincerely hope that Graetz and Michaels continue in their line of research to look at the more recent phenomenon of collaborative robotics. The field is moving so quickly now, and technologically speaking, eight years is a long time. Yet with so much speculation out there about the impact of robots on employment, it's critical that we acquire more empirical data so that correct taxation, education and social policies can be developed.

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Comment uhhhhh (Score 1) 138 138

Almost certainly this is due to it using Ham frequencies and some other crap, and nothing to do with OH NOES TEH NSA.

It's trivially easy to build a signal boosting reflector out of some aluminum foil and construction paper, or use one of the 8139417234 different cantenna plans on dem innernetz.

Submission + - Most Americans Don't Trust Telemedicine

cameronag writes: According to a nationwide survey of 504 U.S. adults, only 35% of people would choose to see a doctor via telemedicine. Additionally, 75% of respondents said they would trust a diagnosis made over video less than an in-person one, or not at all. This comes as stores such as Rite Aid are beginning in-store trials of telemedicine kiosks.

Submission + - NASA algorithms keep unmanned aircraft away from commercial aviation->

coondoggie writes: It is one of the major issues of letting large unmanned aircraft share the sky with commercial airliners: preventing a disaster by keeping the two aircraft apart – or “well clear” in flight. "The most difficult problem we are trying to solve is how do we replace the eyes of the pilot in the cockpit? We have developed, and are currently testing, detect-and-avoid algorithms. We're also running multiple research experiments to support the validation of this technology," said Maria Consiglio, who leads the NASA Langley Sense and Avoid/Separation Assurance Interoperability.
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Submission + - Researchers create quad-core computer from four rat brains->

ZippyTheChicken writes: ok its getting a little scary out there..............

A group of scientists at Duke University have set out to answer a question that no one was really asking: is it possible to create a computer from rat brains?

Before that gives anyone the wrong idea, the brains were still in the rats' heads for the duration of the experiment — they were connected to one another via microwire arrays, rather than simply being scooped out and placed in a desktop tower. From there, they made up something the researchers are calling a 'Brainet,' which is described as a network of animal brains exchanging information via brain-to-brain interfaces.

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Submission + - Why it will take New Horizons 16 months to transmit its data to Earth

StartsWithABang writes: The speed of light requires a little over four hours to send a signal from Pluto to Earth. With NASA's New Horizons having just completed its flyby the morning of July 14th, you might think that it's only a short matter of time before we have everything it has to offer. But in reality, when it begins data transmission, it will take a full 16 months to transfer the full suite of its data to us. Here's the science of why.

Submission + - ProxyHam Talk pulled from DEFCON -- Here's how to build it and why you shouldn't->

szczys writes: Use WiFi anonymously from a mile away? It's obvious why the ProxyHam talk got a lot of interest when it was announced as part of this year's DEFCON line-up. Yesterday the talk was cancelled and no reason was given for doing so.

From photos and what little information is available, Brian Benchoff explains how you can build your own ProxyHam without it ever being presented. There are a few caveats, the radio and encryption technologies combined will have you breaking a few laws, and there's really no reason to go to these lengths.

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Submission + - The New Laws of Explosive Networks->

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers usually think of network connectivity as happening in a slow, continuous manner, similar to the way water moves through freshly ground coffee beans, slowly saturating all the granules to become coffee in the container below. However, over the past few years, researchers have discovered that in special cases, connectivity might emerge with a bang, not a whimper, via a phenomenon they have dubbed “explosive percolation.”

This new understanding of how über-connectivity emerges, which was described earlier this month in the journal Nature Physics, is the first step toward identifying warning signs that may occur when such systems go awry — for example, when power grids begin to fail, or when an infectious disease starts to mushroom into a global pandemic. Explosive percolation may help create effective intervention strategies to control that behavior and, perhaps, avoid catastrophic consequences.

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Submission + - Samsung Releases First 2TB Consumer SSD for Laptops->

Lucas123 writes: Samsung has released what it is calling the world's first 2.5-in consumer-grade, multi-terabyte SSD, and it's issuing the new drive a 10-year warranty. With up to 2TB of capacity, the new 850 Pro and 850 EVO SSDs double the maximum capacity of their predecessors. As with the previous 840 Pro and EVO models, Samsung used its 3D V-NAND technology, which stacks 32 layers of NAND atop one another in a microscopic skyscraper that offers vastly greater flash memory density. Additionally, the drives take advantage of multi-level cell (MLC) and triple-level cell (TLC) (2- and 3-bit per cell) technology for even greater density. The 850 Pro, Samsung said, is designed for power users that may need higher performance with up to 550MBps sequential read and 520MBps sequential write rates and up to 100,000 random I/Os per second (IOPS). The 850 EVO SSD has slightly lower performance with 540MBps and 520MBps sequential read/write rates and up to 90,000 random IOPS. The SSDs will range in capacity from 120GB to 2TB and in price from $99 to $999.
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Submission + - UK Student's Dissertation Redacted Thanks to Wassenaar Rules

Trailrunner7 writes: U.S.-based security researchers may soon be championing the case of Grant Wilcox, a young U.K. university student whose work is one of the few publicly reported casualties of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

Wilcox last week published his university dissertation, presented earlier this spring for an ethical hacking degree at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England. The work expands on existing bypasses for Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), free software that includes a dozen mitigations against memory-based exploits. Microsoft has on more than one occasion recommended use of EMET as a temporary stopgap against publicly available zero-day exploits.

Wilcox’s published dissertation, however, is missing several pages that describe proof-of-concept exploits, including one that completely bypasses a current EMET 5.1 installation running on a fully patched Windows computer. He said last Wednesday in a blogpost that the missing pages and redactions within the text happened partly because of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

“Whilst it has impacted the release of my research it has not impacted my passion and I plan to continue researching such material as and when I feel like, though in an ideal world I would like clearer instructions so I can figure out how to do this appropriately (of which there seems to be some confusion),” Wilcox said in an email to Threatpost.

Submission + - Cameron reaffirms there will be no "safe spaces" from UK government snooping->

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's prime minister, David Cameron, has re-iterated that the UK government does not intend to "leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other." This confirms remarks he made earlier this year about encryption, when he said: "The question is are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read. My answer to that question is: no, we must not."

David Cameron was replying in the House of Commons on Monday to a question from the Conservative MP David Bellingham, who asked him whether he agreed that the "time has come for companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to accept and understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?" To which Cameron replied: "we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on."

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