Forgot your password?

+ - Malaysia flight MH17... not the first... probably not the last

Submitted by Flytrap
Flytrap (939609) writes "Whoever brought down the Malaysian airliner should be held accountable... But history shows us that geopolitics often overshadows accountability and very few of the parties responsible for such disasters are ever held accountable.

An article contrasting the downing of Malaysian Flight M17 (by forces still to be determined) with the downing of Korean Air Flight 007 by Soviet fighters and the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes got me thinking about why the standards of accountability are so inconsistent.

The Independent catalogues 7 passenger planes that were shot down prior to Malaysian Flight M17 (I added 2 more for completeness). This article also raises questions about why some parties are able to get away with downing a civilian aircraft while some parties are held accountable (the article does not attempt to answer the question)
  • 1954. Cathay Pacific VR-HEU shot down by the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Ten people on board were killed.
  • 1955. El Al Flight 402 shot down in Bulgarian airspace by two MiG-15 jets. Seven crew and 51 passengers were killed.
  • 1973. Libyan Airlines Flight 114 shot down by Israeli Phantom jet fighters. Only 5 survived of the 113 on board.
  • 1978. Korean Air flight 902 shot down by Soviet Sukhoi fighters after it violated Soviet airspace. Remarkably nearly all the passengers on board survived an emergency landing on a frozen lake. Two people were killed.
  • 1978. Air Rhodesia Flight RH 825 and Flight RH827 shot down by Zimbabwe People’s Liberation Army (Zipra) using ground-launched Stela missiles. 10 survivors were murdered at one of the crash sites, in the other none of the 59 passengers and crew survived.
  • 1980. Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 brought down by a missile fired from French Navy aircraft over the Tyrrhenian Sea. All 77 passengers and 4 crew were killed.
  • 1983. Korean Air Flight 007 shot down by Soviet fighters after the pilot strayed into Soviet airspace. There were no survivors.
  • 1988. Iran Air Flight 655 shot down by the USS Vincennes using a surface-to-air missile while in Iranian territorial waters. All 290 passengers and crew were killed.
  • 2001. Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 shot down by the Ukrainian military over the Black Sea using a BUK S-200 missile. All 66 passengers and 12 crew members died.

The Russians, of course have their own take on this inconsistency, and one suspects that they are counting on a continuation of this practice, in the event that they may have had a hand in the downing of Flight M17. However, despite their obviously ulterior motives, they have a valid point, which other web sites are beginning to also pick up on.

Not withstanding what may have happened in the past, we should not let that get in the way of holding those who may be responsible for shooting down Flight M17 accountable, regardless of whether their act was deliberate or accident — when you wield weapons of that nature, one has to accept culpability for how they are used. The question for us, is: how do we do that when the standard of accountability set by prior incidents is so low and inconsistent and seems to be overshadowed by geopolitical agendas that make it hard to sift fact from fiction — Colin Powell's very detailed presentation to the UN security Council of fake made up evidence of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, comes to mind."

Comment: Re:Sorry to tell you... (Score 1) 515

Ditto, from my WinMob-based Dopod 838pro which I had from 2006 to 2010, vs every touchscreen phone I've owned since then. I send fewer and shorter emails from the phone nowadays, and even my sms messages have gotten shorter (from comfortably typing ~8 unit/1200 character messages on the Dopod to now usually staying below ~3 unit/450 character messages).

+ - How do you wipe an Android tablet?

Submitted by UrsaMajor987
UrsaMajor987 (3604759) writes "I have a Asus Transformer tablet that I dropped on the floor. There is no obvious sign of damage but It will no longer boot. Good excuse to get a newer model. I intend to sell it for parts (it comes with an undamaged keyboard) or maybe just toss it. I want to remove all my personal data. I removed the flash memory card but what about the other storage? I know how to wipe a hard drive, but how do you wipe a tablet?"

+ - "Canvas Fingerprinting" Online Tracking Difficult To Block->

Submitted by globaljustin
globaljustin (574257) writes "First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.

[The] fingerprints are unusually hard to block: They can’t be prevented by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking tools such as AdBlock Plus.

The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code, primarily written by a company called AddThis, on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites."

Link to Original Source

+ - Australian website waits three years to tell customers about a data breach->

Submitted by AlbanX
AlbanX (2847805) writes "Australian daily deals website Catch of the Day waited three years to tell its customers their email addresses, delivery addresses, hashed passwords, and some credit card details had been stolen.

Its systems got hacked in April 2011 and the company told police, banks and credit cards issues, but didn't tell the Privacy Commissioner until later, or customers until last night."

Link to Original Source

+ - Why fundemantal research matters->

Submitted by fiannaFailMan
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "Governments sometimes see the value of science in purely economic terms, resulting in short-term thinking about what should be funded. For example, the Irish government has been criticized for focusing to much on scientific research that produces immediately tangible benefits, i.e. jobs, that bolster the image of politicians. "Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, European Research Council president, recently reiterated a criticism made two years ago that Ireland is too focussed on research aimed at immediate job creation and as a result is missing out on potential funding. He is also quoted as saying that basic science must be left to flourish before people move to exploit it to create jobs.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Months before their first words, babies' brains rehearse speech mechanics->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes ""Infants can tell the difference between sounds of all languages until about 8 months of age, when their brains start to focus only on sounds they hear around them. It’s been unclear how this transition occurs, but social interactions and caregivers’ use of exaggerated “parentese” style of speech seem to help.

New University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech. The study, published July 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that baby brains start laying down the groundwork of how to form words long before they actually begin to speak, and this may affect the developmental transition.

“Most babies babble by 7 months, but don’t utter their first words until after their first birthdays,” said lead author Patricia Kuhl, who is the co-director of the UW’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. “Finding activation in motor areas of the brain when infants are simply listening is significant, because it means the baby brain is engaged in trying to talk back right from the start and suggests that 7-month-olds’ brains are already trying to figure out how to make the right movements that will produce words.”

Kuhl and her research team believe this practice at motor planning contributes to the transition when infants become more sensitive to their native language.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Kinda minimizes "consensus", doesn't it? (Score 1) 123

by stoborrobots (#47446863) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

... attempt to falsify any claims...

Falsifying claims is the worst thing a scientist can do. Once they're caught their career is over.

This a misunderstanding of the the term "falsify". Unfortunately, there are two well-understood meanings for the word:

In the sciences, we use the second meaning of the word a lot. It is considered a good thing. We propose an idea, or make a claim, then find ways to test the idea/claim. A useful idea in science is one which is said to be "falsifiable", that is, one which it is theoretically possible to disprove. If you can find a way to test your claim, and state beforehand which results will prove that your claim is wrong, then your claim is falsifiable, and is now a scientific claim. Then you run the test, and see what results it gives. If you get any results which don't falslify your claim, then the claim stands for a little longer. If you get results which falsify your claim, you throw the claim away and come up with a new claim. So science moves forward when we make claims and attempt to falsify them.

Using the first meaning of the word, you might say that someone "falsified some data". That would be a bad thing. This is not the common usage of the word in the scientific community, but is a popular understanding of the word elsewhere, so the distinction is worth calling out.

Notably, you can lie about data, but you generally can't lie about a claim; so context is essential in determining whether the verb "falsify": lying about data/evidence/results is bad, but attempting to disprove claims/ideas/hypothesis is good.

Comment: Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (Score 1) 579

by stoborrobots (#47381485) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Speakers or piezos... Interesting... Most of the ones I've seen, I've assumed had some sort of solenoid flicking back and forth to make the clicks.... Although some of the newer ones seem to have speaker grills on them, so maybe they've been switching over to electronic noise rather than mechanical...

Comment: Re:Email is expensive? (Score 2) 130

Are your email addresses hosted with services like hotmail, gmail, or managed by competent admins who use services like spamtitan or mailcleaner? It's very likely you're seeing the results of a large number of people working very hard to keep the spam you receive away from your inbox...

Your program is sick! Shoot it and put it out of its memory.