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Submission + - NIST Machine Learning i-vector Challenge->

Jaime Hernández-Cordero writes: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is coordinating a special speaker recognition challenge. This challenge is intended to foster interest in this field from the machine learning community and its early results will be featured in a special session of the Odyssey 2014 International Workshop on Speaker and Language Recognition.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Tor compromised (Score 3, Informative) 620

> I'm still flabbergasted that he was using servers in the U.S.

He may have used some servers in the U.S. but the server the FBI grabbed was overseas. From the complaint, page 14, item 22:

In particular, the FBI has located in a certain foreign country the server used to host Silk Road's website (the "Silk Road Web Server"). Pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty request, an image of the Silk Road Web server was made on or about July 23, 2013, and produced thereafter to the FBI.

There's a list of U.S. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties here. Who's got a guess?

Submission + - How can I copy text from Scribd's obfuscated format?

An anonymous reader writes: Information wants to be free, but online document provider Scribd is doing its best to keep it chained up. A growing trend seems to be for online news articles to contain mostly teasers, with the best content being displayed only using Scribd's latest "feature", a locked-down container that uses Javascript so that you only get jibberish if you try to copy or print it. Worse yet, screen readers can't make sense of it, which violates every accessibility guideline around.

The browser tricks that used to make it possible to copy or print content locked up in Scribd's system don't work anymore. An earlier generation of hackers would have been all over this situation like Adobe's ill-fated PDF DRM. But today, it seems to be impossible to find any discussion of freeing content from Scribd on the internet. Is the open content movement dead, or just too preoccupied with other issues?

Submission + - Paypal Being Rebuilt From Ground Up->

hypnosec writes: PayPal is being built from the ground, according to our man at South By South West, Andy Evans, with Sam Shrauger, the VP Global Production and Experience, revealing some of the main features of where the future of the eBay-owned payment solution lie at a presentation. PayPal will be "rebuilt from ground up", allowing customers to set rules on how they spend and what account they can use via PayPal. The company will give a grace period of seven days to its customers so that they can change the way they paid for something. Using its previous acquisition, BillMeLater, PayPal will calculate the risk without any interest or fee incurred for the scheme which will be called Zilla for Money. Expect this to be rolled out globally in the the next 9 to 12 months. The company "doesn't believe" in a simple digital wallet on mobile only, arguing that users should be able to manage their money the way they want it on any device they own.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Domains registered overseas, seized in US anyway->

mdecerbo writes: Online poker sites,, and just had their domains seized-- no due process, just an "arrest warrant". Their name servers now point to the FBI's Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit. What's shocking is that the domains were registered overseas, in countries where online gambling is perfectly legal. If .com is a global TLD, why should US law matter more than the law where the domain was registered? I'm looking forward to the decentralized root server at dot-p2p. I'll let one of those P's stand for poker.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - TSA Investigates ...People Who Complain about TSA

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "CNN has obtained a list of roughly 70 "behavioral indicators" that TSA behavior detection officers use to identify potentially "high risk" passengers at the nation's airports and report that arrogant complaining about airport security is one indicator TSA officers consider when looking for possible criminals and terrorists and when combined with other behavioral indicators, it could result in a traveler facing additional scrutiny. "Expressing your contempt about airport procedures — that's a First Amendment-protected right," says Michael German, a former FBI agent who now works as legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's circular reasoning where, you know, I'm going to ask someone to surrender their rights; if they refuse, that's evidence that I need to take their rights away from them. And it's simply inappropriate." Interestingly enough some experts say terrorists are much more likely to avoid confrontations with authorities, saying an al Qaeda training manual instructs members to blend in. "I think the idea that they would try to draw attention to themselves by being arrogant at airport security, it fails the common sense test," says CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen."

Submission + - Domains registered overseas, seized in US anyway->

mdecerbo writes: Online poker sites,, and just had their domains seized-- no due process, just an "arrest warrant". Its name servers now point to the FBI's Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit. What's shocking is that the domains were registered overseas, in countries where online gambling is perfectly legal. If .com is a global TLD, why should US law matter more than the law where the domain was registered? I'm looking forward to the decentralized root server at dot-p2p. I'll let one of those P's stand for poker.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Firefox Add-on 'Undoes' ICE Domain Seizures->

schwit1 writes: The seizure of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government hasn't been as effective as the entertainment industries had hoped since many of them simply continued their operations under new domains. To make these type of domain transitions go more smoothly, an anonymous group has coded a simple Firefox add-on that automatically redirects users to these new homes.

The seizures of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government in recent months have stirred up a lot of controversy. Despite heavy critique from various sides, the end is not yet in sight.

ICE director John Morton confirmed last week that the seizures will continue in the coming years. But at the same time the authorities amp up their anti-piracy efforts, those in opposition are already coming up with ways to bypass them.

One of these initiatives is the MAFIAA Fire add-on for Firefox that was officially published today. The plugin, which will support the Chrome browser at a later stage too, maintains a list of all the domains that ICE (hence the fire) has seized and redirects their users to an alternative domain if the sites in question have set one up.

To start the ball rolling the add-on's developers have redirected some of the seized sites for which they know the alternate domains, such as and In addition, they are offering webmasters the option to register an alternate domain in anticipation of an eventual domain seizure. These domains will then be verified and the site owners can "activate" them in case they're needed.

Link to Original Source

Comment It's the Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel! (Score 1) 431

I only support this if it can eventually make Maciej Ceglowski's awesome Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel a reality, so that we can finally get decent burritos on the East Coast:

Propelled by powerful bursts of compressed air, the burritos speed along the same tunnel as the BART commuter train, whose passengers remain oblivious to the hundreds of delicious cylinders whizzing along overhead. Within twelve minutes, even the remotest burrito has arrived at its final destination, the Alameda Transfer Station, where it will be prepared for its transcontinental journey.

High pressure pneumatic tubes from all over the Bay Area emerge in the center of the facility, spilling silvery burritos onto a high-speed sorting line. The metal-jacketed burritos look like oversize bullets, and the conveyor belts that move them through the facility resemble giant belts of delicious ammunition. Within a few seconds of arrival the burritos have been bar coded, checked for balance and round on a precision lathe, and then flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen.

The mouth of the tunnel is a small concrete arch in the side of a nearby hill, about as glamorous as an abandoned railway tunnel. Yet if you could open the airlocks and stare down its length with a telescope, you would see airplanes on final approach to Newark Airport, three thousand miles away! To reduce drag on the burritos to a minimum, the tunnel must be kept in near-vacuum with powerful pumps. At the tunnel’s deepest point the burritos will be traveling nearly two kilometers a second - even the faintest whiff of air would quickly drag them to a stop.


Ozzy Osbourne's Genome Reveals Some Neanderthal Lineage 151

ByOhTek writes "CNN reports that in July, rocker Ozzy Osbourne became one of few to submit his blood to have his full genome sequenced and analyzed. The results are in, and it turns out his genome reveals some Neanderthal lineage. What does Ozzie have to say about it? 'I was curious, given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years - not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol... there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why,' he wrote."
The Military

Russian Army Upgrades Its Inflatable Weapons 197

jamax writes "According to the BBC: 'The Russian military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save money at the same time: inflatable weapons. They look just like real ones: they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations.' But the interesting thing is these decoys are not dumb - actually they appear to be highly advanced for what I thought was a WWII-grade aerial photography countermeasures. Apparently they have heat signatures comparable with the military tech they represent, as well as the same radar signature."
United Kingdom

Oxford Expands Library With 153 Miles of Shelves 130

Oxford University's Bodleian Library has purchased a huge £26m warehouse to give a proper home to over 6 million books and 1.2 million maps. The Library has been housing the collection in a salt mine, and plans on transferring the manuscripts over the next year. "The BSF will prove a long-awaited solution to the space problem that has long challenged the Bodleian," said its head librarian Dr Sarah Thomas. "We have been running out of space since the 1970s and the situation has become increasingly desperate in the last few years." The 153 miles of new shelf space will only be enough for the next 20 years however because of the library's historic entitlement to a copy of every volume published in the UK.

Comment Your choices are basically humans or the Dragon (Score 1) 221

Though there are interesting speech recognition products for other applications ; for this task Dragon and IBM ViaVoice, both sold by ScanSoft, are pretty much the only software choices until someone qualified gets an NSF grant to beef up Sphinx.

I can second the recommendation of the LDC's XTrans if you're going to do this yourself.

If you want someone else to do it, here are a lot of podcasters who want transcripts, and a bunch of transcription services have sprung up to address the market. They've already implemented a lot of the quality-control mechanisms you'd have to address in order to get good results from something like the Mechnical Turk.

The Wall Street Journal ran a side-by-side comparison back in 2008 and recommended, but another provider may very well be better by now. Shop around.

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours 154

An anonymous reader writes "Aaron Ardiri challenged himself to port his classic PalmOS version of Lemmings to the iPhone, Palm Pre, Mac, and Windows. The porting was done using his own dev environment, which creates native C versions of the game. He liveblogged the whole thing, and finished after only 36 hours with an iPhone version and a Palm Pre version awaiting submission, and free versions for Windows and Mac available on his site."
GNU is Not Unix

FSF Asks Apple To Comply With the GPL For Clone of GNU Go 482

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Free Software Foundation has discovered that an application currently distributed in Apple's App Store is a port of GNU Go. This makes it a GPL violation, because Apple controls distribution of all such programs through the iTunes Store Terms of Service, which is incompatible with section 6 of the GPLv2. It's an unusual enforcement action, though, because they don't want Apple to just make the app disappear, they want Apple to grant its users the full freedoms offered by the GPL. Accordingly, they haven't sued or sent any legal threats and are instead in talks with Apple about how they can offer their users the GPLed software legally, which is difficult because it's not possible to grant users all the freedoms they're entitled to and still comply with Apple's restrictive licensing terms."

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.