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Submission + - EU Court of Justice Paves Way for "Right to be Forgotten" Online

Mark.JUK writes: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that Google, Bing and others, acting as internet search engine operators, are responsible for the processing that they carry out of personal data which appears on web pages published by third parties. As a result any searches made on the basis of a person’s name that returns links/descriptions for web pages containing information on the person in question can, upon request by the related individual, be removed.

The decision supports calls for a so-called "right to be forgotten" by Internet privacy advocates, which ironically the European Commission are already working to implement via new legislation. Google failed to argue that such a decision would be unfair because the information was already legally in the public domain.

Submission + - Wisdom of Crows Demonstrates Wisdom of Aesop 1

Rambo Tribble writes: Using New Caledonian crows captured from the wild, scientists have demonstrated the corvids' ability to master the task of retrieving food by displacing water, inspired by the classic Aesop fable of the "Crow and the Pitcher". Per the researchers: 'In their understanding of physics — how objects displace water — the crows were comparable to 5-to-7-year-old children ...' Reuters provides an approachable summation of the news, here.

Submission + - Apocalypse NAO: Are Robots Threatening Your Immortal Soul? (

malachiorion writes: Have you heard the one about the Christian college in North Carolina that bought a humanoid robot, to figure out whether bots are going to charm us into damnation (dimming or cutting our spiritual connection to God)? The robot itself is pretty boring, but the reasoning behind its purchase—a religious twist on the standard robo-phobia—is fascinating. My analysis for Popular Science.

Submission + - Facebook tracks the Status Updates and Messages You Don't Write too. ( 1

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: Do you think that facebook tracks the stuff that people type and then erase before hitting (or the “post” button)? Turns out the answer is yes. If you start writing a message, and then think better of it and decide not to post it, Facebook still adds it to the dossier they keep on you.

Submission + - Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram (

ananyo writes: A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.
In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.
Maldacena's idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein's theory of gravity. It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a 'duality', that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena's ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.
In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true.

Submission + - Encrypted traffic being intercepted

lucag writes: It appears that most of the encrypted traffic over the net is currently being intercepted and in some way decoded by NSA.
Here there are some references, unfortunately scant on the details that matter; actually it is not clear if it is broken algorithms, compromised protocols, MITM attacks or just plain old simple "enforced" cooperation by the providers.

Submission + - New tool to measure consciousness (

bmahersciwriter writes: The line between consciousness and non-consciousness is thin, hard to define and, as the Terri Schiavo case taught us, often rife with ethical quandaries. A research team is developing a tool that will be able to quantify just how conscious a person is, which could prove to be quite useful for research and clinical practices.

Submission + - US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement ( 1

itwbennett writes: From the solving-nonexistent-problems department. The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkelin July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said.

Submission + - Helping Snowden Spill His Secrets (

mspohr writes: Great article in the NYTimes Magazine section by Peter Maass.

It goes into a lot of detail on how Snowden first attempted to contact Glenn Greenwald (who couldn't use secure communication at first) and then contacted Laura Poitras who was making a documentary about security. Lots of detail about their getting together, vetting each other, and personal threats to Greenwald and Poitras (as well as Snowden) as well as a good timeline of how events unfolded.
After reading this article I am more concerned than ever about the extent of US surveillance and the extent to which the USG will go to suppress information and intimidate whistle-blowers. Good to see that the NYTimes finally publish some real journalism on this subject.
Also... accompanying transcript of "Q&A — Edward Snowden"

Submission + - LinkedIn Bans Ads with Female Engineers, Says to Show Male Engineers Only (

An anonymous reader writes: LinkedIn asked developer site to take down ads containing real female developers as depicted in the blog post due to user complaints. The story has since been picked up by the Huffington Post, PandoDaily,, The India Times and many other international sources causing a furious debate. The ads have since been reinstated, though the furious debate continues on Twitter and blogs. What are your thoughts?

Submission + - Disappointing Results from Pew/Smithsonian Science Survey ( 1

Specter writes: Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine co-sponsored a quiz to test the science knowledge of Americans. Do you know which gas makes up most of the Earth's atmosphere? If you do, you're ahead of nearly 70% of the survey respondents who have a college education. That's right: I said college.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.