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Comment: or the future of asymmetric social conflict? (Score 1) 77

by m0llusk (#41345759) Attached to: Google Glass: Future of Movies Or Monkey Cam 2.0?
With ubiquitous cameras it may be possible for victims of group stalking or webcam spying to capture their tormentors behaving badly. This is a bigger problem than currently acknowledged. It is easy to spy on people nowadays, but much harder to capture the experience of being laughed at by strangers after having private moments published on the net.

Comment: Re:No WAY (Score 1) 768

by m0llusk (#37896834) Attached to: Student Loans In America: the Next Big Credit Bubble
Bankruptcy laws exist for a reason. Debtor prisons do not work. Enabling people to start over again after a personal financial collapse is important for getting people to take on risk. It does not make sense to cover bankruptcy for ordinary business failures or career meltdowns while not covering education. Education overall has less risk, pays off better, but is inherently risky because of the ages of those making decisions. Bankruptcy is bankruptcy whether student loans are part of the mix or not. Comparisons to bank bailouts don't really make sense because the scale and the risks are so different. There is no broke student equivalent of a bank run, for example.
Robotics

A Mind Made From Memristors 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the fully-functional dept.
Csiko writes "Researchers at Boston University's department of cognitive and neural systems are working on an artificial brain implemented with memristors. 'A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance changes depending on the amount, direction, and duration of voltage that's applied to it. But here's the really interesting thing about a memristor: Whatever its past state, or resistance, it freezes that state until another voltage is applied to change it. Maintaining that state requires no power.' Also theoretically described, solid state versions of memristors have not been implemented until recently. Now researchers in Boston claim that memristors are the new key technology to implement highly integrated, powerful artificial brains on cheap and widely available hardware within five years."

Comment: time for markets to show the way (Score 1) 324

by m0llusk (#30982438) Attached to: Cool NASA Tech That Will Never See Space

Government development of space is holding back commercial development. The time for initial investment has ended now that we know the basics. This article is full of good examples of this. The robot mower highlighted here is already being provided by the marketplace. Private ventures are preparing more forward thinking launch vehicles than the big rocket talked about in the article. There is always going to be some role or collective action, but government is no longer needed as the primary driver.

It is critically important to keep markets on Earth functioning in order to extend ourselves into space. The idea that we can have our economic activities melt down in chaos while reaching for our future in the stars is questionable. Some of the same people here who want more space development also pushed an ideologically driven view of economic activity which played a big part in this global financial implosion.

Businesses

The Languages of "The Office" 147

Posted by kdawson
from the talk-amongst-yourselves dept.
Venkat Rao has followed up his analysis of office dynamics as reflected in The Office, which we discussed last month, with one titled Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk. The Office is running a little thin of meaty examples to make his points in delineating the ways of PowerTalk — the language of the Sociopaths — so Rao reaches out to Goodfellas, Wall Street, The Boiler Room, and Making Jack Falcone. The entire analysis illuminates and is illuminated by a diagram of the disparate languages that Sociopaths, the Clueless, and Losers speak to each other and among themselves.
Medicine

Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise Performance 379

Posted by timothy
from the I-distinctly-remember-eating-4-egg-mcmuffins-today dept.
Death Metal writes "Eating fatty food appears to take an almost immediate toll on both short-term memory and exercise performance, according to new research on rats and people. Other studies have suggested that that long-term consumption of a high-fat diet is associated with weight gain, heart disease and declines in cognitive function. But the new research shows how indulging in fatty foods over the course of a few days can affect the brain and body long before the extra pounds show up."
Data Storage

A Short History of Btrfs 241

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
diegocgteleline.es writes "Valerie Aurora, a Linux file system developer and ex-ZFS designer, has posted an article with great insight on how Btrfs, the file system that will replace Ext4, was created and how it works. Quoting: 'When it comes to file systems, it's hard to tell truth from rumor from vile slander: the code is so complex, the personalities are so exaggerated, and the users are so angry when they lose their data. You can't even settle things with a battle of the benchmarks: file system workloads vary so wildly that you can make a plausible argument for why any benchmark is either totally irrelevant or crucially important. ... we'll take a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Btrfs on many levels — technical, political, personal — and trace it from its origins at a workshop to its current position as Linus's root file system.'"
Security

Hackers Get Free Parking In San Francisco 221

Posted by timothy
from the usually-spots-at-the-end-of-the-judah-line dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that at the Black Hat security conference this week, security researchers say that it is pretty easy for a technically savvy hacker to make a fake payment card that gives them unlimited free parking on San Francisco's smart parking meter system. 'It wasn't technically complicated and the fact that I can do it in three days means that other people are probably already doing it and probably taking advantage of it,' says Joe Grand. 'It seems like the system wasn't analyzed at all.' To figure out how the payment system worked, Grand hooked up an oscilloscope to a parking meter and monitored what happened when he used a genuine payment card. Grand discovered the cards aren't digitally signed, and the only authentication between the meter and card is a password sent from the former to the latter. Examining the meters themselves could yield additional vulnerabilities that might allow someone to conduct other kinds of attacks, such as propagating a virus from meter to meter via the smart cards or a meter minder's PDA."
Security

Solving Obama's BlackBerry Dilemma 374

Posted by kdawson
from the first-personal-communicator dept.
CurtMonash writes "Much is being made of the deliberations as to whether President Obama will be able to keep using his beloved "BarackBerry." As the NYTimes details, there are two major sets of objections: infosecurity and legal/records retention. Deven Coldeway of CrunchGear does a good job of showing that the technological infosecurity problems can be solved. And as I've noted elsewhere, the 'Omigod, he left his Blackberry behind at dinner' issue is absurd. Presidents are surrounded by attendants, Secret Service and otherwise. Somebody just has to be given the job of keeping track of the president's personal communication device. As for the legal question of whether the president can afford to put things in writing that will likely be exposed by courts and archivists later — the answer to that surely depends on the subject matter or recipient. Email to his Chicago friends — why not? Anything he'd write to them would be necessarily non-secret anyway. Email to the Secretary of Defense? That might be a different matter."
Programming

Linux Kernel 2.4 Or 2.6 In Embedded System? 178

Posted by kdawson
from the comfort-on-the-trailing-edge dept.
snikulin writes "My 6-year-old embedded software happily runs on kernel v2.4 on an XScale CPU. The software gets a bunch (tens of megabytes) of data from an FPGA over a PCI-X bus and pushes it out over GigE to data-processing equipment. The tool chain is based on the somewhat outdated gcc v2.95. Now, for certain technical reasons we want to jump from the ARM-based custom board to an Atom-based COM Express module. This implies that I'll need to re-create a Linux RAM disk from scratch along with the tool chain. The functionality of the software will be essentially the same. My question: is it worth it to jump to kernel 2.6, or better to stick with the old and proven 2.4? What will I gain and what will I lose if I stay at 2.4 (besides the modern gcc compiler and the other related dev tools)?"
Education

What Restrictions Should Student Laptops Have? 1117

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-less-you-know dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We're a school district in the beginning phases of a laptop program which has the eventual goal of putting a Macbook in the hands of every student from 6th to 12th grade. The students will essentially own the computers, are expected to take them home every night, and will be able to purchase the laptops for a nominal fee upon graduation. Here's the dilemma — how much freedom do you give to students? The state mandates web filtering on all machines. However, there is some flexibility on exactly what should be filtered. Are things like Facebook and Myspace a legitimate use of a school computer? What about games, forums, or blogs, all of which could be educational, distracting or obscene? We also have the ability to monitor any machine remotely, lock the machine down at certain hours, prevent the installation of any software by the user, and prevent the use of iChat. How far do we take this? While on one hand we need to avoid legal problems and irresponsible behavior, there's a danger of going so far to minimize liability that we make the tool nearly useless. Equally concerning is the message sent to the students. Will a perceived lack of trust cripple the effectiveness of the program?"
Databases

Is MySQL's Community Eating the Company? 223

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the get-yer-drizzle-on dept.
mjasay writes "Craigslist's Jeremy Zawodny reviews the progress of MySQL as a project, and discovers that through third-party forks and enhancements like Drizzle and OurDelta 'you can get a "better" MySQL than the one Sun/MySQL gives you today. For free.' Is this a good thing? On one hand it demonstrates the strong community around MySQL, but on the other, it could make it harder for Sun to fund core development on MySQL by diverting potential revenue from the core database project. Is this the fate of successful open-source companies? To become so successful as a community that they can't eke out a return as a company? If so, could anyone blame MySQL/Sun for creating its own proprietary fork in order to afford further core development?"
Programming

Would You Add Easter Eggs To Software Produced At Work? 747

Posted by Soulskill
from the throw-in-a-flight-sim dept.
Mr. Leinad writes "Do you add Easter Eggs to the software that is produced at the office? I mean, if you have complete control over the final product, do you spice it up with that little personal touch, which, as unlikely as it is that anyone will see, carries with it an 'I was here' signature? I've just finished the development of a large software product, and I have a couple of days left to try to add my own personal Easter Egg code, but given that the software is quite professional, I don't know if I should. What do you think? Should we developers sign our creations?"

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