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Government

New Sensors Will Scoop Up "Big Data" On Chicago 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the count-them-up dept.
Graculus writes with news about a plan to install sensors to collect environmental data and count people in Chicago. Chicago plans to install sensors in light poles to observe air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation, and wind. The sensors will also count people by observing cell phone traffic. The curled metal fixtures set to go up on a handful of Michigan Avenue light poles later this summer may look like delicate pieces of sculpture, but researchers say they'll provide a big step forward in the way Chicago understands itself by observing the city's people and surroundings. Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy. In particular, sensors collecting cell phone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of every device.
Crime

Hackers Ransom European Domino's Customer Data (including Favourite Toppings) 100

Posted by timothy
from the pineapple-and-olives-kinky dept.
stephendavion (2872091) writes Hackers who compromised the servers of Domino's Pizza have demanded a ransom of €30,000 or they will publish the records of more than 600,000 customers – including their favourite toppings. "Earlier this week, we hacked our way into the servers of Domino's Pizza France and Belgium, who happen to share the same vulnerable database," wrote Rex Mundi [the name the perpetrators go by]. "And boy, did we find some juicy stuff in there!"
Robotics

MIT Working On Robotic Limbs That Attach To Shoulders, Waist 12

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: 'Following up on news that ActiveLink is building heavy-duty exoskeletons for work in nuclear plants, IEEE Spectrum reports that MIT researchers are experimenting with Supernumerary Robotic Limbs (SRLs) that attach to either the shoulder or waist. The SRLs are capable of lifting objects and bracing against solid surfaces. From the article: "The SRL watches what you're doing with your arms to decide how to move. It does that by monitoring two inertial measurement units (IMUs) that the user wears on the wrists. A third IMU sits at the base of the robot's shoulder mount, to track the overall orientation and motion of the SRL." In the future, we will all have the ability to become Doctor Octopus (minus two robo-limbs, of course).'
Transportation

Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars? 362

Posted by Soulskill
from the batteries-aren't-as-fun-to-drive dept.
cartechboy writes: "Tesla seems to be doing quite well these days, but one bond trader thinks the company should quit making electric cars and focus efforts on making batteries instead. Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach says he's already tried to meet with Elon Musk to persuade him to take the battery-only route. Speaking to Bloomberg, he said Tesla could be 'wildly transformational' in the same way electricity and electromagnets were at the advent of their discovery. Enough people are interested in Tesla's vehicles that Musk probably won't take Gundlach's advice. Should he?"

Comment: Safe until they evolve a fix (Score 2) 85

by hoggy (#46957139) Attached to: Scientists Create Bacteria With Expanded DNA Code

Dr. Romesberg dismissed concern that novel organisms would run amok and cause harm, saying the technique was safe because the synthetic nucleotides were fed to the bacteria. Should the bacteria escape into the environment or enter someone’s body, they would not be able to obtain the needed synthetic material and would either die or revert to using only natural DNA.

Yeah, and we all know how well that worked out with the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

Thanks, Obama!

AMD

AMD Designing All-New CPU Cores For ARMv8, X86 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
crookedvulture (1866146) writes "AMD just revealed that it has two all-new CPU cores in the works. One will be compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set, while the other is meant as an x86 replacement for the Bulldozer architecture and its descendants. Both cores have been designed from the ground up by a team led by Jim Keller, the lead architect behind AMD's K8 architecture. Keller worked at Apple on the A4 and A4 before returning to AMD in 2012. The first chips based on the new AMD cores are due in 2016."
Security

Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism? 245

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the security-through-obsolescence dept.
chicksdaddy writes "The Security Ledger has picked up on an opinion piece by noted cyber terrorism and Stuxnet expert Ralph Langner (@langnergroup) who argues in a blog post that critical infrastructure owners should consider implementing what he calls 'analog hard stops' to cyber attacks. Langner cautions against the wholesale embrace of digital systems by stating the obvious: that 'every digital system has a vulnerability,' and that it's nearly impossible to rule out the possibility that potentially harmful vulnerabilities won't be discovered during the design and testing phase of a digital ICS product. ... For example, many nuclear power plants still rely on what is considered 'outdated' analog reactor protection systems. While that is a concern (maintaining those systems and finding engineers to operate them is increasingly difficult), the analog protection systems have one big advantage over their digital successors: they are immune against cyber attacks.

Rather than bowing to the inevitability of the digital revolution, the U.S. Government (and others) could offer support for (or at least openness to) analog components as a backstop to advanced cyber attacks could create the financial incentive for aging systems to be maintained and the engineering talent to run them to be nurtured, Langner suggests."
Or maybe you could isolate control systems from the Internet.
Math

Can Electric Current Make People Better At Math? 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-bet-it-can-make-them-worse dept.
cold fjord sends this excerpt from the Wall Street Journal: "In a lab in Oxford University's experimental psychology department, researcher Roi Cohen Kadosh is testing an intriguing treatment: He is sending low-dose electric current through the brains of adults and children as young as 8 to make them better at math. A relatively new brain-stimulation technique called transcranial electrical stimulation may help people learn and improve their understanding of math concepts. The electrodes are placed in a tightly fitted cap and worn around the head. ... The mild current reduces the risk of side effects, which has opened up possibilities about using it, even in individuals without a disorder, as a general cognitive enhancer. Scientists also are investigating its use to treat mood disorders and other conditions. ... Up to 6% of the population is estimated to have a math-learning disability called developmental dyscalculia, similar to dyslexia but with numerals instead of letters. [In an earlier experiment, Kadosh] found that he could temporarily turn off regions of the brain known to be important for cognitive skills. When the parietal lobe of the brain was stimulated using that technique, he found that the basic arithmetic skills of doctoral students who were normally very good with numbers were reduced to a level similar to those with developmental dyscalculia. That led to his next inquiry: If current could turn off regions of the brain making people temporarily math-challenged, could a different type of stimulation improve math performance?"
United Kingdom

Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures 237

Posted by timothy
from the ask-not-what-your-country-can-destroy-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On Saturday 20 July 2013, in the basement of the Guardian's office in Kings Cross, London, watched by two GCHQ technicians, Guardian editors destroyed hard drives and memory cards on which encrypted files leaked by Edward Snowden had been stored. This is the first time footage of the event has been released."

Comment: Re:It's a memorial, not an art exhibition. (Score 1) 132

by garyok (#45812465) Attached to: The Strange Story Of the Sculpture On the Moon

You're assuming that the art is solely the product of the sculptor but it's not. The piece is a collaboration between Scott and Van Hoeydonck. Without Scott to commission (in whatever sense), transport, and arrange the installation, then neither the sculpture or the the plaque (Van Hoeydonck's sense of artistic fulfillment notwithstanding) would have had a lot of significance.

If you want to get all classical greek about it, Van Hoeydonck, controlled the material and formal causes of the installation but Scott controlled the effective cause and, without Scott, there could not have been a teleological cause for the piece. So Scott definitely gets equal standing weighing in on "what it was meant for".

Comment: Re:Stole exam answers? (Score 4, Insightful) 504

by garyok (#45703065) Attached to: CBS 60 Minutes: NSA Speaks Out On Snowden, Spying
So he broke into a secure environment, serruptitiously obtained confidential and/or classified information, and used his take to successfully gain a competive advantage over his peers? And somehow this makes him unsuitable for employment at the NSA? If he'd just 'fessed up he'd be the first new guy to start his job with an employee of the month award.
Medicine

US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures 1160

Posted by Soulskill
from the are-you-saying-that-killing-people-has-consequences dept.
ananyo writes "Allen Nicklasson has had a temporary reprieve. Scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Missouri on 23 October, the convicted killer was given a stay of execution by the state's governor, Jay Nixon, on 11 October — but not because his guilt was in doubt. Nicklasson will live a while longer because one of the drugs that was supposed to be used in his execution — a widely used anesthetic called propofol — is at the center of an international controversy that threatens millions of U.S. patients, and affects the way that U.S. states execute inmates. Propofol, used up to 50 million times a year in U.S. surgical procedures, has never been used in an execution. If the execution had gone ahead, U.S. hospitals could have lost access to the drug because 90% of the U.S. supply is made and exported by a German company subject to European Union regulations that restrict the export of medicines and devices that could be used for capital punishment or torture. This is not the first time that the E.U.'s anti-death-penalty stance has affected the U.S. supply of anesthetics. Since 2011, a popular sedative called sodium thiopental has been unavailable in the United States. 'The European Union is serious,' says David Lubarsky, head of the anesthesiology department at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. 'They've already shown that with thiopental. If we go down this road with propofol, a lot of good people who need anesthesia are going to be harmed.'"

Comment: Re:I remember being puzzled by that chapter (Score 2) 423

by garyok (#44228073) Attached to: Malcolm Gladwell On Culture and Airplane Crashes

On a trip from Delhi to Agra in 2010, I saw so much scary driving. Entire families on the backs of motorbikes. A tractor popping wheelies cos the tow bar was grossly overloaded. Bus passengers jumping on and off the buses in the middle of the road, in traffic going 10-20mph. Another bus driving straight at us when we were on the inside lane of a dual carriageway.

Every car journey in India was like a roller-coaster squared worth of white knuckles.

Comment: Re: Not-so-accurate source (Score 3, Funny) 487

by garyok (#43923617) Attached to: BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?
My mistake - GP is right. Just as long as he never, ever accidentally clicks on the Listen Live button he'll be fine. But if he does it, even once, then a ravening horde of TV Licencing inspectors will descend on his demise and commit inventive mayhem on him and his housemates. And he'll be liable for the licence fee.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman

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