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+ - Taking the census, with cellphones->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "If you want to figure out how many people live in a particular part of your country, you could spend years conducting home visits and mailing out questionnaires. But a new study describes a quicker way. Scientists have figured out how to map populations using cellphone records—an approach that doesn’t just reveal who lives where, but also where they go every day. The researchers also compared their results to population density data gathered through remote sensing technologies, a widely used method that relies on satellite imaging to gather detailed information on population settlement patterns and estimate population counts. They found that the two methods are comparable in accuracy when checked against actual survey-based census data, but estimates from mobile phone data can provide more timely information, down to the hours."
Link to Original Source

+ - 2600 Profiled: 'A Print Magazine for Hackers'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Nicolas Niarchos has a profile of 2600 in The New Yorker that is well worth reading. Some excerpts:

2600—named for the frequency that allowed early hackers and “phreakers” to gain control of land-line phones—is the photocopier to Snowden’s microprocessor. Its articles aren’t pasted up on a flashy Web site but, rather, come out in print. The magazine—which started as a three-page leaflet sent out in the mail, and became a digest-sized publication in the late nineteen-eighties—just celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. It still arrives with the turning of the seasons, in brown envelopes just a bit smaller than a 401k mailer.

“There’s been now, by any stretch of the imagination, three generations of hackers who have read 2600 magazine,” Jason Scott, a historian and Web archivist who recently reorganized a set of 2600’s legal files, said. Referring to Goldstein, whose real name is Eric Corley, he continued: “Eric really believes in the power of print, words on paper. It’s obvious for him that his heart is in the paper.”

2600 provides an important forum for hackers to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—whether it be surveillance, Internet freedom, or the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons—while sharing new code in languages like Python and C.* For example, the most recent issue of the magazine addresses how the hacking community can approach Snowden’s disclosures. After lampooning one of the leaked N.S.A. PowerPoint slides (“whoever wrote this clearly didn’t know that there are no zombies in ‘1984’ ”) and discussing how U.S. government is eroding civil rights, the piece points out the contradictions that everyone in the hacking community currently faces. “Hackers are the ones who reveal the inconvenient truths, point out security holes, and offer solutions,” it concludes. “And this is why hackers are the enemy in a world where surveillance and the status quo are the keys to power.”

"

+ - NASA's Poor Treatment of an Independent Inventor->

Submitted by LoadWB
LoadWB (592248) writes "Jed Margolin holds patents spanning four decades. When he attempted to contact NASA about possible infringement upon one of his patents he was met with numerous years of stone-walling, insults, and dubious agency and legal shenanigans, including and detailed within a 4,000-page FOIA answer. So frequently we hear of corporate juggernauts ripping the very life out of consumers (his site is also not devoid of corporate mistreatment,) but read on to see what happens when Goliath is the agency of an ever-growing and increasingly ubiquitous government."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Easy Programming Environment For Processing Video And Audio?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear Slashdotters: Me and a couple of pals want to test out a few ideas we have for processing video and audio files using code. We are looking for a programming language that is a) uncomplicated to learn b) runs reasonably fast (compiled, not interpreted please) and c) can read and write video and audio files with relative ease. Read/write support for common file formats like AVI, Video For Windows, Quicktime, MP3, WAV would make our job much easier. The icing on the cake would be if the IDE/language/compiler used is free and runs on Windows as well as MacOS (we may try Linux further down the line as well). Any suggestions? Please note that we are looking for a rapid prototyping language that is quick to setup, makes it easy to throw some working video/audio code together, and test it against an array of digital test footage/audio, rather than a language for creating a final consumer release (which would likely be C++, Assembly or similar). The ability to build a basic user interface for our experimental video/audio algos — sliders, buttons, data entry fields — would also be a plus, although we wouldn't be building hugely complex UIs at this stage. And one more bonus question — are some of the visual/node-based audio & video processing environments available, like http://vvvv.org/ any good for this kind of algorithm prototyping? (We want the final algos resulting from the effort available in code or flowchart form). Thanks for any help — Five Anonymous Video/Audio Processing Freaks =)"

+ - Contact between Native Americans and Easter Islanders before 1500 C.E->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Polynesians from Easter Island and natives of South America met and mingled long before Europeans voyaged the Pacific, according to a new genetic study of living Easter Islanders. In this week’s issue of Current Biology, researchers argue that the genes point to contact between Native Americans and Easter Islanders before 1500 C.E., 3 centuries after Polynesians settled the island also known as Rapa Nui, famous for its massive stone statues. Although circumstantial evidence had hinted at such contact, this is the first direct human genetic evidence for it."
Link to Original Source

+ - How the Big Bang's alternatives died

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It’s such a part of our cosmic and scientific history, that it’s difficult to remember that it’s only been for the past 50 years that the Big Bang has been the leading theory-and-model that describes our Universe. Ever since the 1920s, when Edwin Hubble discovered the apparent expansion of our Universe, we’ve recognized that it’s a much bigger place than simply what’s in the Milky Way. But the Big Bang was hardly the only game in town. Yet the discovery of not only the Cosmic Microwave Background, but the detailed measurement of its temperature and spectrum, was able to rule out every single alternative as a non-viable model."

Comment: Re:My prediction.. (Score 1) 175

my prediction is that they will build the network get some cash out of subscriptions for a couple of years and then sell it off to one of the big players.

exactly the same happened in my town during the late nineties with cable internet

And despite being AC you can't name the community so that we can check the story for ourselves?

Comment: Re:Dear Liza! (Score 1) 399

by unitron (#48191983) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Irrelevant. What would be relevant is whether most visitors who will be reading that article are proficient. The Americans in that group may be different than most Americans. Additionally, many in that group may have an education quite different than most Americans.

My preference would be for an education that results in them knowing that it's "different from", and that "than" is for comparing quantities of the same quality.

Comment: That was before... (Score 1) 15

by unitron (#48191967) Attached to: How the worm turns

...the Dixiecrats went over to the GOP.

Many things have changed since 1865.

Frankly, I wish there were some way to dissolve both the Republican and Democratic parties, ban anyone from ever using those as party names again, and ban anyone claiming spiritual descent from either party, and let all those suddenly partyless people hold long converstations to determine who has what in common from a political philosophy standpoint and let them form new parties (if they absolutely can't resist the urge) along those lines.

To accompany this I'd like the idea of governments conducting and paying for party primaries to become absolutely unthinkable, and for voting to be changed to getting to vote for or against every candidate, or abstain, so they get a -1, a 0, or a +1, with the highest total greater than 0 being the winner.

+ - 32 Cities Want to Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "More than two dozen cities in 19 states announced today that they're sick of big telecom skipping them over for internet infrastructure upgrades and would like to build gigabit fiber networks themselves and help other cities follow their lead.
The Next Centuries Cities coalition, which includes a couple cities that already have gigabit fiber internet for their residents, was devised to help communities who want to build their own broadband networks navigate logistical and legal challenges to doing so."

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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