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Crime

London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data 12

Posted by timothy
from the gotta-get-my-car-out-of-this-bad-area dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002.

+ - US Military Unaware of Chinese Attacks Against Transport Contractors->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The Senate Armed Service Committee released on Wednesday an unclassified version of a report (PDF) commissioned last year to investigate cyberattacks against contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). The report alleges that the Chinese military successfully stole emails, documents, login credentials and more from contractors, but few of those incidents were ever reported to TRANSCOM. During a one-year period starting in June 2012, TRANSCOM contractors endured more than 50 intrusions, 20 of which were successful in planting malware. TRANSCOM learned of only two of the incidents. The FBI, however, was aware of 10 of the attacks."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance 31

Posted by timothy
from the tastes-sweet-produce-insulin dept.
onproton (3434437) writes The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance [note: abstract online; paper itself is paywalled], a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health.

+ - NASA's Dawn spacecraft Delayed 1 month due to radiation

Submitted by ordirules
ordirules (2874769) writes "NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been delayed 1 month due to a suspected radiation blast, causing the spacecraft to enter into safe mode and disable its ion engine. From JPL:
"Although they have not yet specifically pinpointed the cause of this issue, it could also be explained by a high-energy particle corrupting the software running in the main computer. Ultimately the team reset the computer, which restored the pointing performance to normal. "
One of the goals of this mission was to test their ion engine. With technology containing less and less moving parts, it is clear that space travel relies heavily on the ability of software to recover from a malfunction."

Google News Sci Tech: Apple updates privacy policy, moves to reassure users - Computerworld->

From feed by feedfeeder

ZDNet

Apple updates privacy policy, moves to reassure users
Computerworld
Apple outlined its new privacy policy and set up a site to explain what information it collects from users and how it handles it, as the company enters new areas like health tracking and mobile payments that have potential privacy implications. "We don't build a...
Cook: We have never allowed GOVERNMENT access to Apple serversRegister
Apple says iOS 8 will shield your data from policeCNNMoney
Apple is using iPhone privacy as a sales pitch—too bad nobody seems to careQuartz
USA TODAY-Daily Mail-Maine News Online
all 272 news articles

Link to Original Source
United States

FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the reasonable-speed dept.
An anonymous reader writes On Wednesday at a hearing in front of the US House Committee on Small Business, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated that for ISPs to be eligible for government broadband subsidies, they would have to deliver speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Said Wheeler: "What we are saying is we can't make the mistake of spending the people's money, which is what Universal Service is, to continue to subsidize something that's subpar." He further indicated that he would remedy the situation by the end of 2014. The broadband subsidies are collected through bill surcharges paid for by phone customers.

Techdirt: Federal Legislation Introduced To Strengthen Consumer Free Speech Rights Online->

From feed by feedfeeder
Last week, Tim Cushing wrote about California's new law that outlaws consumer-silencing non-disparagement clauses. Apparently momentum is on consumers' side, as Rep. Eric Swalwell, along with Rep. Brad Sherman, introduced similar federal legislation this week to protect all consumers from this shady tactic.

The bill, cited as the "Consumer Review Freedom Act of 2014," voids any provision of a contract that:
  1. prohibits or restricts the ability of a person who is a party to the form contract to engage in a covered communication;
  2. imposes a penalty or fee against a person who is a party to the form contract for engaging in a covered communication; or
  3. assigns or provides an exclusive license, or requires a person who is a party to the form contract to assign or provide an exclusive license, to any business, other person, or entity any intellectual property rights that such party to the adhesion contract has or may have in a covered communication.
The bill later defines "covered communication" as "a person's written, verbal, or pictorial review, performance assessment of, or other similar analysis of, the products, services, or conduct of a business which is a party to the form contract."

While the bill does not specify fines for violations like California's new law, it is still a step in the right direction (and better than nothing).

In his press release following the introduction, Swalwell said, "No country that values free speech would allow customers to be penalized for writing an honest review. I introduced this legislation to put a stop to this egregious behavior so people can share honest reviews without fear of litigation. I look forward to advancing this in a bipartisan manner, and protecting the right to speak one's mind."

Swalwell also cited Palmer v. Kleargear.com in his press release (the case involving a couple from Utah who was fined $3,500 by KlearGear for violation of a non-disparagement clause after they posted a negative review online about their experience with the company).

Palmer is just one example of recent headlines that shed light on the problem of non-disparagement clauses. From a hotel in New York that threatened to charge guests $500 for posting negative reviews online, to a contractor who voided his client's warranty because of a negative online review, numerous examples over the past few years have shed light on this shameful practice by businesses.

Though this is not an entirely new phenomenon. Consumers have been getting hit with Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) for years, where a plaintiff files a meritless lawsuit against a consumer for posting a negative review online. Yet, now businesses are attempting to avoid having to file a SLAPP by burying non-disparagement clauses in the fine print of consumer contracts.

Both tactics by businesses are aimed at chilling the First Amendment rights of consumers. Here's hoping Rep. Swalwell's bill becomes law and that federal anti-SLAPP legislation follows suit.

Evan Mascagni is the Policy Director of the Public Participation Project (www.anti-slapp.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to enactment of strong federal and state legislative protections against SLAPPs.

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+ - Future Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way, Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002."

Google News Sci Tech: Genetic make-up of Europeans - Business Standard->

From feed by feedfeeder

NBCNews.com

Genetic make-up of Europeans
Business Standard
The present-day Europeans trace their ancestry back to three and not just two ancestral groups. The first is an indigenous hunter-gatherers; the second is Middle Eastern farmers that migrated to Europe around 7,500 years ago; and a novel third is a more...
Europe's Family Tree Gets A New BranchMaine Public Broadcasting
New branch added to European family treePopular Archaeology
Modern Europeans descended from three groupsYahoo News UK
Examiner.com-Thanh Nien Daily
all 77 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - Irate NSA Staffer Doesn't Like Being Filmed in Public, for Some Reason

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Intercept writes "The NSA sent someone bearing the nametag “Neal Z.” to the University of New Mexico’s Engineering and Science Career Fair today, in the hopes of recruiting young computer geniuses to help manage the yottabytes of data it is collecting about you. But instead of eager young applicants, Mr. Z. encountered University of New Mexico alumnus Andy Beale and student Sean Potter, who took the rare opportunity of being in the room with a genuine NSA agent to ask him about his employer’s illegal collection of metadata on all Americans. Mr. Z. did not like that one bit.""

+ - Ask Slashdot: How hard is it to pick-up astronomy and physics as an adult?

Submitted by samalex01
samalex01 (1290786) writes "I'm 38, married, two young kids, and I have a nice job in the IT industry, but since I was a kid I've had this deep love and passion for astronomy and astrophysics. This love and passion though never evolved into any formal education or anything beyond just a distant fascination as I got out of high school, into college, and started going through life on more of an IT career path.

So my question, now that I'm 38 is there any hope that I could start learning more about astronomy or physics to make it more than just a hobby? I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field. MIT Open Courseware has some online courses for free that cover these topics, but given I can only spend maybe 10 hours a week on this would it be a pointless venture? Not to mention my mind isn't as sharp now as it was 20 years ago when I graduated high school.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions."

+ - Top 50 science stars of Twitter: Not wasting time after all->

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "Genomicist Neil Hall proposed a “Kardashian Index” (K-index), which divides a scientist’s Twitter followers by his or her citations. Scientists with a high score should “get off Twitter” and write more papers, wrote Hall.

Science magazine calculated the K-index of the 50 most followed scientists on Twitter. Actually, many of the high tweeters also had high citation counts too. The converse wasn't true: Many high-ranking scientists think Twitter is a waste of time. But others were converted.

The 3 scientists with the highest K-index are:

1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, @neiltyson
2. Brian Cox, @ProfBrianCox
3. Richard Dawkins, @RichardDawkins


The top 50 list is here. http://news.sciencemag.org/sci..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Wikipedia's page view counts are off by nearly one-third->

Submitted by The ed17
The ed17 (2834807) writes "A prominent Wikipedia researcher has discovered that Wikipedia's widely used article traffic statistics are missing out on approximately one-third of all views. Why? The Wikimedia Foundation's official article traffic data segregates desktop and mobile hits, and the hit counter linked from every Wikipedia page is only using the former.

This carries particularly large implications for the Global South, where far more individuals own web-capable mobile devices than computers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Europeans came from three ancestry groupings->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A recent study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Tübingen in Germany has found that present day Europeans are descendants of three different groups of people — A near east farmer group, an indigenous hunter gatherer group, and an ncient North Eurasian group from Siberia

"Nearly all Europeans have ancestry from all three ancestral groups," said Iosif Lazaridis, a research fellow in genetics in Reich's lab and first author of the paper. "Differences between them are due to the relative proportions of ancestry. Northern Europeans have more hunter-gatherer ancestry — up to about 50 percent in Lithuanians — and Southern Europeans have more farmer ancestry."

The most surprising part of the project, however, was the discovery of the Basal Eurasians

Before Australian Aborigines and New Guineans and South Indians and Native Americans and other indigenous hunter-gatherers split, they split from Basal Eurasians

The study also found that Mediterranean groups such as the Maltese, as well as Ashkenazi Jews, had more Near East ancestry than anticipated, while far northeastern Europeans such as Finns and the Saami, as well as some northern Russians, had more East Asian ancestry in the mix"

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