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+ - Ask Slashdot: how to verify your identity without being there in person? 1

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "I work for a large university, and our recruitment policy allows us to interview prospective staff and grad students over Skype, but the chosen applicant still has to show up in person before they can be formally appointed. This is so that they can physically hold up a genuine passport and prove their identity (as a failsafe against bogus interviews). What other ways could applicants do this, without flying potentially around the world just to file paperwork?"

+ - Does mass media, like, affect how we speak?

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "It might seem obvious that the kids are all like, yeah whatever, because they hear it on the tellybox. But in the field of sociolinguistics (the study of language in society) that has long been a contentious and hotly debated topic. In the latest issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics is an article summing up 20 years of research on the matter and proposing a new research framework — followed by a series of response articles thinking it through from different angles. The skinny: there is some influence of mass media on spoken language, but it's nowhere near as simple as it seems. The main article is open access (Creative Commons Attribution License) but the response articles are paywalled."

+ - The Hub of All Things (H.A.T.) lets you collect and sell your own consumer data

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "A £1.2 million project, taking place across 6 UK universities (Warwick, Exeter, Nottingham, Cambridge, West England and Edinburgh), is looking to reinvent the consumer data business, enabling consumers to collect and sell their own data. From the project website: "The H.A.T digital vault (which could be server-at-home, cloud-based or a hybrid of the two) will store all data collected in the home and, crucially, all data generated by the individual is owned by the individual. This means that the data’s worth – in every sense from a ‘vertical’ dataset (such as consumption of medicine) to the relational dataset (such as the linkages between several objects e.g. food, fitness and medicine) – is owned by and can only be used with explicit permission from the individual for the time period stipulated by the individual. Such data could be exchanged with firms for personalized products or services that would enhance lives, and could inform and empower individuals for better decisions and behaviours." And if you want to get involved, they're hiring."

+ - Secrets of Beatboxing Revealed by MRI

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "Beatboxing, pioneered in the 1980s and made famous by Michael Winslow in Police Academy (1984), and recently demonstrated by Tom Thum at TEDxSydney), has long been something of an enigma. Phonetic transcriptions have been attempted, including Standard Beatbox Notation and The Beatbox Alphabet (the latter based more closely on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)). The Beatbox Bible also uses phonetic terminology to teach the technique. Now, an international team from UCSD and Philips Research have published a paper (article paywalled; extensive free related resources at UCS here) in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, showing the results of real-time magnetic resonance imaging conducted on a beatboxing performer. The authors make interesting comparisons to sounds in many minority languages around the world (such as the 'click' consonants in many African languages); they also show how beatboxing sounds can be represented using the IPA."

+ - NSA Spying Hurts California's Business

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "Interesting opinion piece by Joe Mathews published today (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/13/could-nsa-spying-hurt-california-economy/all/?print)
makes the argument that California's economic life depends on global connections. "Our leading industries — shipping, tourism, technology, and entertainment — could not survive, much less prosper, without the trust and goodwill of foreigners. We are home to two of the world’s busiest container ports, and we are a leading exporter of engineering, architectural, design, financial, insurance, legal, and educational services. All of our signature companies — Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Chevron, Disney — rely on sales and growth overseas. And our families and workplaces are full of foreigners; more than one in four of us were born abroad, and more than 50 countries have diaspora populations in California of more than 10,000."
It quotes John Dvorak: "Our companies have billions and billions of dollars in overseas sales and none of the American companies can guarantee security from American spies. Does anyone but me think this is a problem for commerce?”
It points out that: "Asian governments and businesses are now moving their employees and systems off Google’s Gmail and other U.S.-based systems, according to Asian news reports. German prosecutors are investigating some of the American surveillance. The issue is becoming a stumbling block in negotiations with the European Union over a new trade agreement. Technology experts are warning of a big loss of foreign business."
The article goes on to suggest that perhaps a California constitutional ammendment confirming privacy rights might help (but would not guarantee a stop to Federal snooping)."
United Kingdom

+ - Rightster blocks Youtube video of UK Prime Minister's Questions->

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "Prime Minister's Questions is a popular weekly televised puppet show in the UK. Expatriate political nerds cannot access it via the BBC's iPlayer unless they have access to a UK-based VPN (top tip: most UK universities and many UK employers run VPNs, all you need is a working login!). For VPN-less expats, the solution has been the UK Parliament's imaginatively named 'UKParliament' Youtube channel. But their upload of last week's PMQs has been blocked by online media distribution firm Rightster. Rightster have previously hosted clips of PMQs, but does that enable them to block the whole thing? Just W exactly TF is going on here?"
Link to Original Source
NASA

Congress Dumps James Webb Space Telescope 409

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-telescope-for-you dept.
Teancum writes "On the list of items on the upcoming federal budget for 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives has announced they are going to cancel the continued development of the James Webb Space Telescope. While this debate is certainly still very much a preliminary draft, the road ahead for this project is now very much uncertain. In this time of budget cuts, it seems unlikely that this project is going to survive at this time. It certainly will be an uphill battle for fans of this telescope if they want to keep it alive."
Education

Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements? 913

Posted by timothy
from the already-read-the-other-book dept.
davidjbeveridge writes "I'm interested in getting a CS degree. I've been programming since I was 13, and like many of us, taught myself. I am familiar with a number of languages, understand procedural, functional, and object-oriented paradigms; I'm familiar with common design patterns and am a decent engineer. I learn quickly. I work 2 jobs and I have a life. I want to get a CS degree from an accredited school (a BS, that is), but I have no interest in wasting any of my precious time taking classes in English, Philosophy, History, Art and the like. While these fields are useful and perhaps enriching, they will not contribute to making me better at my job. Moreover, I attended an excellent high school that covered these fields of study in great detail, and I feel no need or desire to spend more time studying these things. I want a BS in Computer Science with no general education requirements. Any suggestions?"
The Internet

ICANN To Allow .brandname Top-Level Domains 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the phishers-everywhere-rejoice dept.
AndyAndyAndyAndy sends in this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web — such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro — if the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded is approved. After years of preparation and wrangling, ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, is expected to approve the move at a special board meeting in Singapore on Monday. ... The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites — and a danger for those who fail to take advantage."

+ - Gmail Quietly Adds 'Conversation View Off' Option-> 1

Submitted by united_notions
united_notions (916092) writes "Loved by many, deeply loathed by some, Gmail's innovative 'conversation view' (grouping together email replies) was for six years stubbornly maintained as the only option. Well, Gmail have finally introduced a 'Conversation view off' option in the General tab of the Settings page. Luddites rejoice!"
Link to Original Source
Android

Google To Merge Honeycomb and Gingerbread 158

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
eldavojohn writes "In Barcelona, Google's Eric Schmidt has been revealing future plans for Google, saying that the next release will merge smartphone and tablet versions of its mobile operating system Android. Aside from bragging about Android's growth, Schmidt tiptoed around a question of Google acquiring Twitter, instead offering the very nebulous statement that YouTube doubled its revenues last year."
Facebook

Saudi Students In US Seek Segregation By Gender On Facebook 353

Posted by timothy
from the gradualism-and-quantum-effects dept.
Beetle B. writes "A 22,000-member group for Saudis studying in the US on the social networking website Facebook has been split into two groups, one for women and one for men. The split follows a request from the group's female members who wanted extra privacy. The separate page for Saudi women is a valid decision. We took it to fulfill the wishes of the Saudi women in the US. We have been contacted by a lot of women asking for their private group,' Majed Aleid, media chair of the 'Saudis in the US' group, told Arab News in a letter."
AI

RoboEarth Teaches Robots to Learn From Peers 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-sorry-dave dept.
mikejuk writes "A world wide web for robots? It sounds like a crazy idea, but it could mean that once a task is learned, any robot can find out how to do it just by asking RoboEarth. From the article: 'It's not quite war-ready, but a new Skynet-like initiative called RoboEarth could have you reaching for your guide to automaton Armageddon sooner than you think. The network, which is dubbed the "World Wide Web for robots," was designed by a team of European scientists and engineers to allow robots to learn from the experience of their peers, thus enabling them to take on tasks that they weren't necessarily programmed to perform. Using a database with intranet and internet functionality, the system collects and stores information about object recognition, navigation, and tasks and transmits the data to robots linked to the network. Basically, it teaches machines to learn without human intervention.'"

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