I wonder how hard it would be to train an AI to react like Stephen Wolfram based upon his emails.
The coolest looking animated gifs I've ever seen are on mspaintadventures.com
Dan writes "According to Wired: 'The US military's new Cyber Command is headquartered at Ft. Meade, Maryland, one of the military's most secretive and secure facilities. Its mission is largely opaque, even inside the armed forces. But the there's another mystery surrounding the emerging unit. It's embedded in the Cyber Command logo. On the logo's inner gold ring is a code: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a.'"
theodp writes "To power the Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge, the US Department of Labor tapped IdeaScale, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics, which is headquartered in Seattle with satellite offices in Nasik, India and Auckland, NZ (PDF). According to the Federal Register (PDF), an Emergency OMB Review was requested to launch the joint initiative of the DOL, White House, and IdeaScale to help out unemployed US workers. A cached Monster.com ad seeks candidates to work on the development and maintenance of ideascale.com, but in India at an annual salary of Rs. 200,000 to 300,000 ($4,4000 to $6,600 US). BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.'" There's no guarantee that Indian workers recruited by that Monster.com ad would work on US Department of Labor projects.
An anonymous reader writes On October 14, the FCC issued a call for public comments on a study (PDF) done by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society about whether the US should require the telephone and cable companies to open their networks to competitors so that independent ISPs could begin offering broadband, much in the way it was done back in the days of dialup access. The study found that open-access in virtually every other country 'is playing a central role in current planning exercises throughout the highest performing countries,' noting: 'While Congress adopted various open access provisions in the almost unanimously-approved Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC decided to abandon this mode of regulation for broadband in a series of decisions in 2001 and 2002. Open access has been largely treated as a closed issue in US policy debates ever since. We find that in countries where an engaged regulator enforced open access obligations, competitors that entered using these open access facilities provided an important catalyst for the development of robust competition which, in most cases, contributed to strong broadband performance across a range of metrics.'"
Timmy writes "In the cruelest of ironies, e-mail security vendor McAfee has accidentally coughed up the personal details of some 1400 attendees of its recent security conference in Sydney, Australia. Those who were sent the list — attached as a spreadsheet to a thank you e-mail — are far from pleased that such an extraordinary thing could happen. McAfee, which sells products to 'stop sensitive and protected data from leaving the enterprise through email and web traffic' has blamed 'human error' for the blunder and is 'taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.' Doh!"
Hugh Pickens writes "Finding the right approach for gender-specific marketing can be really tricky, said Andrea Learned, a marketing expert and author of Don't Think Pink — What Really Makes Women Buy. So when Dell recently took the wraps off a new Web site called Della, geared toward women, featuring tech 'tips' that recommended calorie counting, finding recipes, and watching cooking videos as ways for women to get the most from a laptop, a backlash erupted online, as both women and men described the Web site as 'ridiculous' and 'gimmicky.' Della's heavy emphasis on colors, computer accessories, dieting tips, and even the inclusion of a video about vintage shopping 'seems condescending to women consumers,' says Learned. Instead, Dell should have emphasized function and figured out ways to sell the netbooks that weren't clichéd and reliant on gender stereotypes. 'Some brands go too far with the girlie stuff,' Learned says. 'Della's marketing strategy sounds like it's advertising a purse. There's a level of consumer sophistication they're missing.'"
TechDirt is reporting that the Associated Press is poised to be the next in a long line of news organizations to completely bungle their online distribution methods by making their content require payment. While this wouldn't happen for a while due to deals with others, like Google, to distribute AP content for free, even considering this is a massive step in the wrong direction. "Also, I know we point this out every time some clueless news exec claims that users need to pay, but it's worth mentioning again: nowhere do they discuss why people should want to pay. Nowhere do they explain what extra value they're adding that will make people pay. Instead, they think that if they put up a paywall, people will magically pay -- even though the paywall itself is what takes away much of the value by making it harder for people to do what they want with the news: to spread it, to comment on it, to participate in the story. Until newspaper execs figure this out, they're only going to keep making things worse."
knifeyspooney writes in with an Ars Technica report that a federal judge has issued a strong rebuke to government lawyers attempting to invoke the "state secrets" defense to quash a lawsuit over warrantless wiretapping. This is not the high-profile case the EFF is bringing against the NSA; instead the case is being pursued by an Islamic charity that knows it had been wiretapped. "At times, a note of irritation crept into [Judge] Walker's even, judicial language. At one point, he described the government's argument as 'without merit,' and characterized another as 'circular.' He also seemed impatient with the Justice Department's refusal to provide any classified documents addressing Al Haramain's specific claims for review in chambers. 'It appears... that defendants believe they can prevent the court from taking any action under 1806(f) by simply declining to act,' wrote Walker."