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Submission + - BT Announces Free Service To Screen Nuisance Callers (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: British telco BT is launching a free landline service for UK customers which promises to divert millions of unwanted calls. A dedicated team at BT will monitor calls made to UK numbers, across its network of over 10 million domestic landlines, to identify suspicious patterns, which could help to filter out nuisance callers. The flagged numbers will then be directed to a junk voicemail box. The company has estimated that the voicemail ‘net’ will catch up to 25 million cold calls every week. It explained that to achieve this success rate, it would be deploying enormous amounts of compute power to monitor and analyse large amounts of data in real-time.

Submission + - SaxoBank Predicts Universal Basic Income for Europe

jones_supa writes: Saxo Bank, an investment bank based in Denmark, has released a list of its outrageous predictions for 2016. Among these predictions, economist Christopher Dembik claims that Europe will consider the introduction of a universal basic income to ensure that all citizens can meet their basic needs in the face of rising inequality and unemployment. This will come on the back of increased interest in basic income from Spain, Finland, Switzerland, and France.

Comment Re:I'm Skeptical (Score 2) 176

To be fair Starts With a Bang was one of the best astronomy blogs on the internet when Nathan effectively ran it for free. It is unfortunate that having moved into a more commercial setting he happens to be publishing it on Forbes. That is one good reason why his articles are featured on this site.

However a significant number of readers, myself included, do not like sharing data with Forbes advertising partners and can no longer read his good quality journalism. YMMV.

Comment Re:How is it their message finds resonance with an (Score 1) 208

You clearly have no understanding of the effect of exclusion from society has on people. Even if the exclusion is largely largely your "own" fault because your religion is different or as we would say out of sync with the modern world.

Daesh is like any other cult - it finds the excluded and pissed off and gives them a feeling of belonging. That is all it takes to radicalize young people who have not found themselves.

The awful irony is that our western society with its abundant freedom of choice and opportunity to define your own life obviously completely fails to attract the misfits who go off to Syria and Iraq to be killed by drones. The 60 people with half the worlds wealth might ponder on why the societies they run have so little meaning to the people who live in them.

The number one task of Daesh is obviously to continue to recruit, hence the odd high profile slaughter in western countries to keep their meme alive in the media and the relentless social web presence.

The number one task of western military should be to kill their propaganda and cut off their supply of recruits.

Comment Re:Gonna be fireworks at TGIF this week (Score 1) 208

Given that Google is arguably significantly more powerful than most nation states on earth it seems very reasonable of them to be discussing the topic in the open. Perhaps they are being asked to sign up to something the NSA has asked for and are seeking a public response before responding.

There are some public issues to be discussed which I would hope will get discussed in the meeting

- Whether censorship of an enemies propaganda during the time of war is a reasonable thing to have on the open web.

- Does confining an enemy to the dark web automatically criminalize everybody on the dark web (I assume that all dark web users are classed by the NSA as criminals)

- What mechanism should be used in future to control the content of the web. (Do we want Mr Trump to personally define what is on the web by banning all pages with the word "Muslim" for example?)

Comment Re:Quirks and Quarks (Score 1) 48

I would have like to have up-voted the link to more information, both podcasts are interesting.

There are many lectures on YouTube requiring varying degrees of expertise to understand but this one seems comprehensible to anyone with a STEM background and I recommend you take a look. Jennifer Doudna. The CRISPR-Cas 9 Genome Engineering Revolution, UC Berkeley Events channel (one of many excellent primary sources on YouTube)


I appreciate that many people with an interest will use a search engine to investigate this interesting topic but YouTube has a high noise to signal ratio so you might not have thought to look there.

Submission + - New Horizons' first ultra high resolution photos of Pluto released

StartsWithABang writes: After a 9 year journey to Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto this past July, taking so much data that it will take a full 16 months to send it all back. The first of the highest resolution photos ever taken were released by NASA earlier today, and before the data has even been scientifically analyzed, a visual inspection teaches us a number of things about its sedimentary history, its active geology and its transient, eroding mountainous terrain. Perhaps the best part: Pluto is the prototype for the most common type of world in the Universe, even though it's not a planet anymore.

Comment Re:Liberal Arts Guys Think Engineers are All Killb (Score 1) 497

Spot on analysis I think.

It is also an explanation for the terrorist acts of Daesh. They are extremely annoyed that many displaced Muslims would rather relocate to Europe rather than their appalling regime.

They think that by commiting terrorist acts in Europe they can make people believe that all Muslims have terrorist sympathies by leveraging our corrupt media who at the very least believe that selling more page views is their only job.

It is straightforward for Westerners to comprehend the behaviour of Daesh and to believe that defeating their military occupation of Iraq and Syria makes sense. Extending that believe to attacking our fellow Muslim citizens and refugees is unpatriotic because it is exactly what Daesh wants to reinforce the scenario you paint.

Engineers are perhaps more susceptible to the calls of propaganda for all the reasons that you cite. As a profession we should also recognise that our education might have been light on philosophy and psychology which would armour us against propaganda and manipulation.

As a society we recognise that there is an argument that some arguably disenfranchised groups should benefit from positive discrimination - Women, people of colour, disabled people. It is arguably an even stronger imperative to be inclusive towards people of a different culture who are being attacked by an extremist terroist movement who want us to turn against them so that they are easy recruitment fodder. I suggest that it would be good systems engineering to remember this when the usual supects press the emotion button and call for repression and exclusion.

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 2) 181

I would be surprised if even physicians were on top of the list of banned substances, it is quite a long one. http://www.usada.org/substance...
Not to mention the fact that not all medications list their full contents, the best advice these days says take nothing at all and just drink more water. http://www.sportsinjurybulleti...

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 2, Interesting) 181

It is certainly true that they are already leading lives different to the average Joe when they can get a life ban from sport for using an over the counter cold treatment that contains a banned substance. Maybe one day we will be raising children in special camps where modern medicine is banned just so they can compete in sports. We could call the camps "Human Zoos".

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