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Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 1) 64

That's foolish beyond reason (shock, amazement) because every boarding pass I've ever had has had personal information right on it that I'd rather not leave to the whims of trash collection. I haven't flown in a while (hate it now) but it's easy enough to keep your documents in your suitcase until you get home.

OK, I appreciate a good discussion, and you made me think twice about it. I went back and looked at a boarding pass (United). Please tell me what personal information I'm missing that's "foolish beyond reason" to throw out:
Name: not top-secret
Starting point/flight time: not sensitive after travel is done
Destination/landing time: not sensitive after travel is done
Flight number: not sensitive after travel is done
date: not sesitive after travel is done
gate: not terribly sensitive
seat: well, I suppose I'll guard this information jealously
boarding group: not sensitive
reservation confirmation code: not useful after flight
ticket number: not useful after flight
last 3 digits of United frequent flyer pass: the only thing that is remotely sensitive

In particular, I don't see an credit card information, home address, social security number, date of birth, driver's license number, or passport number. The receipt for any luggage payments is another matter, but what am I missing on the boarding pass? Thanks -- Paul

Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 1) 64

Is it actually bad design? It's fault-tolerant design. If there's a problem with their network, they can still retrieve the data from the boarding pass itself. Protect your boarding pass, and you won't have a problem. You were already planning to treat it as a secret, right?

And how many people are shredding their boarding passes when they get home instead of throwing them away?

This doesn't seem to be current practice, because most regard it as a "permission slip to board an individual flight" instead of a "embedding of personalized information beyond the individual flight."

The Almighty Buck

Why the LHC May Mean the End of Experimental Particle Physics 191

StartsWithABang writes: At the end of the 19th century, Lord Kelvin famously said, "There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." He was talking about how Newtonian gravity and Maxwell's electromagnetism seemed to account for all the known phenomena in the Universe. Of course, nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, general relativity and more made that prediction look silly in hindsight. But in the 21st century, the physics of the Standard Model describes our Universe so well that there truly may be nothing else new to find not only at the LHC, but at any high-energy particle collider we could build here on Earth. If there are no new particles found below about 2–3 TeV in energy—particles that the LHC should detect if they’re present—it’s a reasonable assumption that there might not be anything new to find until energy scales of 100,000,000 TeV or more. And even if we build a particle accelerator to the fullest capacity of our technology around the equator of the Earth, we still couldn’t reach those energies.

Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack On Train In France 468

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including U.S. service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama. The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Write a Paper? Apparently, Thousands 122

An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the current spike in number of contributors cedited in scientific journals. The problem is highlighted by a recent physics paper which credits 5,154 researchers. The journal reports: "In fact, there has been a notable spike since 2009 in the number of technical reports whose author counts exceeded 1,000 people, according to the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, which analyzed citation data. In the ever-expanding universe of credit where credit is apparently due, the practice has become so widespread that some scientists now joke that they measure their collaborators in bulk—by the 'kilo-author.'"

Comment Re:What? (Score 4, Informative) 14

Hi, I've used a FuelBand (SE+) for a year or so.

They do log / track locally. There is enough onboard memory to store several days' worth of activity, in one minute increments as far as I can tell. (I only sync my data once a day when recharging by USB, but I've often gone a few days between. All the data make it home.)

Moreover, the FuelBand has a display that gives real-time feedback: it can give you move reminders if you've been still for too long, or "encouragement" if you start up. (I've disabled this feature on mine.) It makes a little animation when you've hit your daily goal. You can press the button to get statistics on Fuel (more on that in a moment), number of steps, and number of "hours won" (hours with at least several minutes of continuous activity) at any time in the day.

So yes, there is local storage, tracked minute by minute, accessible on demand for visual feedback. It can communicate via Bluetooth with an Android phone or iPhone for a bit more capability. (The button broke on my FuelBand, so this is my sole means of real-time communication with the device.)

I'd imagine that where they might have had more trouble is the "health" than the "tracking". They use an arbitrary unit called "Fuel" that correlates well with physical activity, but tries to scale many types of activity onto a single unit of measure. I've noticed that on very inactive days (couch potato sick day), I'm under 1000 Fuel. On a moderately active office day where I take a walk in the afternoon, 2000-2500. On days where I go for a run, 4000-5000+. It seems to scale well. But they may not have enough trials and other tests to validate that tracking Fuel means tracking health.


Is Advertising Morally Justifiable? The Importance of Protecting Our Attention 351

theodp writes: With Is Advertising Morally Justifiable?, philosopher Thomas Wells is out to change the way you think about Google and its ilk. Wells says: "Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted. Two problems result from this. The solution to both requires legal recognition of the property rights of human beings over our attention. First, advertising imposes costs on individuals without permission or compensation. It extracts our precious attention and emits toxic by-products, such as the sale of our personal information to dodgy third parties. Second, you may have noticed that the world's fisheries are not in great shape. They are a standard example for explaining the theoretical concept of a tragedy of the commons, where rational maximising behaviour by individual harvesters leads to the unsustainable overexploitation of a resource. Expensively trained human attention is the fuel of twenty-first century capitalism. We are allowing a single industry to slash and burn vast amounts of this productive resource in search of a quick buck."
The Internet

Study: Major ISPs Slowing Traffic Across the US 181

An anonymous reader writes: A study based on test results from 300,000 internet users "found significant degradations on the networks of the five largest internet service providers" in the United States. This group includes Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and AT&T. "The study, supported by the technologists at Open Technology Institute's M-Lab, examines the comparative speeds of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which shoulder some of the data load for popular websites. ... In Atlanta, for example, Comcast provided hourly median download speeds over a CDN called GTT of 21.4 megabits per second at 7pm throughout the month of May. AT&T provided speeds over the same network of of a megabit per second." These findings arrive shortly after the FCC's new net neutrality rules took effect across the U.S.

Ask Toolbar Now Considered Malware By Microsoft 212

AmiMoJo writes: Last month Microsoft changed its policy on protecting search settings to include any software that attempts to hijack searches as malware. As a result, this month the Ask Toolbar, which most people will probably recognize as being unwanted crapware bundled with Java, was marked as malware and will now be removed by Microsoft's security software built in to Windows 7 and above.

Scientists Discover Sawfish Escape Extinction Through "Virgin Births" 111

An anonymous reader writes: The first known virgin births in smalltooth sawfish have been documented in the wild. Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission used DNA to show that three percent of a Florida sawfish population was created by female-only reproduction. Dr Warren Booth, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Tulsa, who previously discovered an instance of parthenogenesis in snakes, said: "This is basically a very extreme form of inbreeding. Most people think of inbreeding as bad, but it could be helpful in purging deleterious mutations from a population." The findings were published in the journal Current Biology.

The Decline of Pixel Art 175

An anonymous reader writes: Blake Reynolds, lead artist for a pair of popular mobile games, has put up a post about the decline of pixel art in games. He decries the current state of "HD fetishism" in the industry, saying that games with great pixel art get needlessly marked down in reviews for their pixelation, while games that have awful — but high-res — art get glowing praise. He walks through a number of examples showing how pixel art can be well done or poorly done, and how it can be extremely complex despite the lower resolution. But now pixel artists are running into not only the expectation of high-definition content, but technological obstacles as well. "Some devices blur Auro [their game]. Some devices stretch it. Some devices letterbox it. No matter how hard I worked to make the art in Auro as good as I could, there's no way a given person should be expected to see past all those roadblocks. Making Auro with higher-resolution art would have made it more resistant to constantly-changing sizes and aspect ratios of various devices." Reynolds says his studio is giving up on pixel art and embracing the new medium, and recommends other artists do the same. "Don't let the medium come between you and your audience. Speak in a language people can understand so that they can actually see what makes your work great without a tax."

Sharp Announces 4K Smartphone Display 152

An anonymous reader writes: Japanese electronics giant Sharp has announced production of 5.5" displays with 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. They'll hit the market next year. The display will have a pixel density of 806 PPI. It's not known yet which smartphone makers will build devices with these screens. The displays cost significantly more than a more typical 1080p or 1440p display, so they'll probably only make it into high-end phones. On the other hand, this will help to drive down prices for lower-resolution displays, so it could indirectly benefit everybody.
United States

Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid 676

An anonymous reader writes In a move that surprised no one, Hillary Clinton has officially announced she is entering the 2016 race for the White House. According to the Times: "Ending two years of speculation and coy denials, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Sunday that she would seek the presidency for a second time, immediately establishing herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee. 'I'm running for president,' she said with a smile near the end of a two-minute video released just after 3 p.m. 'Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion,' Mrs. Clinton said. 'So I'm hitting the road to earn your vote — because it's your time. And I hope you'll join me on this journey.'"

Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted 228

An anonymous reader sends word that Hawaii Gov. David Ige has asked for a week-long hold in the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. "After more than a week of demonstrations and dozens of arrests, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday that the company building one of the world's largest telescopes atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea has agreed to his request to halt construction for a week. 'They have responded to my request and on behalf of the president of the University and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs have agreed to a time out on the project, and there will be no construction activities this week,' Ige said at a news conference. Thirty Meter Telescope is constructing the telescope on land that is held sacred to some Native Hawaiians. Scientists say the location is ideal for the telescope, which could allow them to see into the earliest years of the universe. Ige said he hopes the temporary pause in construction will allow the interested parties to have more discussions about the project. Native Hawaiian groups have been protesting the construction of the telescope since its inception last year."

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan