writes "Skynet is coming. But not like in the movie: The future of communications is high-altitude solar-powered drones, flying 13 miles above the ground, running microwave wireless equipment, delivering broadband to the whole planet. This technology will replace satellites, fiber, and copper, and fundamentally change the broadband industry. Call it Skynet, after the antagonist in the Terminator movies. It's coming in about 20 years — the same amount of time between Arthur C. Clarke's predicting the geosynchronous satellite and their reality as a commercial business. "Several important technology milestones need to be reached along the way. The drones that will make up Skynet have a lot more in common with satellites than the flippy-flappy helicopter drone thingies that the popular press is fixated on right now. They’re really effing BIG, for one thing. And, like satellites, they go up, and stay up, pretty much indefinitely. For that to happen, we need two things: lighter, higher-capacity wireless gear; and reliable, hyper-efficient solar tech.""Link to Original Source
writes "Arthur Obermayer, a friend of the Isaac Asimov, writes that he recently rediscovered an unpublished essay by Asimov written in 1959 while cleaning out some old files that is "as broadly relevant today as when he wrote it. It describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity." Some excerpts from Asimov's essay which is well worth reading in its entirety:
Presumably, the process of creativity, whatever it is, is essentially the same in all its branches and varieties, so that the evolution of a new art form, a new gadget, a new scientific principle, all involve common factors. It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable. What is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected. To begin with, it usually seems unreasonable. It seems the height of unreason to suppose the earth was round instead of flat, or that it moved instead of the sun, or that objects required a force to stop them when in motion, instead of a force to keep them moving, and so on.
A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others. Probably more inhibiting than anything else is a feeling of responsibility. The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren’t paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all. The great ideas came as side issues.
My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required. The creative person is, in any case, continually working at it. His mind is shuffling his information at all times, even when he is not conscious of it. The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display."
writes "A 40-year-old paralyzed man from Bulgaria can now walk again with the aid of a frame after breakthrough surgery transplanted cells from his nose into his spinal cord, which had been severed in a knife attack.
After undergoing surgery to transplant cells from his nose to his spinal cord, a paralyzed man from Bulgaria is able to walk again. The procedure effectively provided a "bridge" over the injury site so nerve cells — encouraged by the special nose cells — could regrow across the scar tissue."Link to Original Source
writes "The code that runs Facebook isn't open source, but that hasn't stopped it from leaking out in dribs and drabs. One blogger has assembeled code snippets and hints from various sources, including PasteBin, Quora answers, and others."Link to Original Source
writes "A partnership between TV measurement company Nielsen and analytics provider Adobe, announced today, will let broadcasters see (in aggregate and anonymized) how people interact with digital video between devices — for example if you begin watching a show on Netflix on your laptop, then switch to a Roku set-top box to finish it. The information learned will help broadcasters decide what to charge advertisers, and deliver targeted ads to viewers. Broadcasters can use the new Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, as they're called, beginning early next year. Early users include ESPN, Sony Pictures Television, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom."Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "A man in Australia is believed to be the first to have been convicted as the result of an undercover sting in which charity workers posed online as a 10-year-old Filipina, using a computer avatar to produce an image of the fictional girl.
Details of other 1000 men who contacted the fictional child were sent to police around the world.
For now, the avatar was animated and the chat conducted by an undercover human operative. How long will it be till we have fully automatic computer programs fishing for sex offenders online?"Link to Original Source
writes "From Metro UK:
Berkeley scientists say that the Earth’s magnetic field can weaken and dip within just 100 years, before flipping so that compasses point south – an event they admit could wreck the entire world’s power grid and expose the world to deadly cosmic rays.
Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal at present, leading geophysicists to predict a flip within a few thousand years – but Discovery news says that could understimate [sic] the speed of the change."Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "Looks like the folks up at IPredatorVPN have broken the 100MB/sec traffic barrier on a Tor exit node. The water-cooled setup clocked at 4.9Ghz comes with a 10G link and has been worked into a nice setup guide. Hats off folks!
Btw, love the fact its located in a third world country!"Link to Original Source
writes "In the olden days, when monitoring a file system of a few 100 MB, we would be alerted when it topped 90% or more, with 95% a lot of times considered quite critical. Today, however, with a lot of file systems in the Terabyte range, a 90-95% full file system can still have a considerable amount of free space but we still mostly get bugged by the same alerts as in the days of yore when there really isn't a cause for immediate concern. Apart from increasing thresholds and/or starting to monitor actual free space left instead of a percentage, should it be time for monitoring systems to become a bit more intelligent by taking space usage trends and heuristics into account too and only warn about critical usage when projected thresholds are exceeded? I’d like my system to warn me with something like, “Hey!, you’ll be running out of space in a couple of months if you go on like this!” Or is this already the norm and I’m still living in a digital cave?"
writes "Apple has apparently solved much of the problems related to provide a working solution for contactless mobile payments . Android OEMs such as Samsung are left with the dilemma of being left behind.
Now, what is next for Android? Handset manufacturers can’t let Apple have this huge advantage, and their previous experiences with the operators have been frustrating, to say the least. OEMs such as Samsung, Sony and HTC are focusing on providing real solutions to their users, and need to get a mobile payments solution for them similar to Apple Pay."