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Submission + - Origin of meteor showers highlighted for upcoming Perseids

StartsWithABang writes: In 1833, the regular Leonid meteor shower became spectacular, with 1000 meteors per hour creating a meteor storm. For the next 32 years, the Leonids were normal and quiet again, but in 1866, another storm appeared. John Couch Adams, the British astronomer who failed to find Neptune, correctly surmised where meteor showers came from, a picture that's been spectacularly confirmed for all known meteor showers, including this week's coming Perseids!

Submission + - Japanese engineer develops "WalkCar", world's first 'car in a bag'

rtoz writes: A Japanese engineer has developed a portable transporter small enough to be carried in a backpack that he says is the world's first 'car in a bag'.

Twenty-six-year-old Kuniako Saito and his team at Cocoa Motors recently unveiled the lithium battery-powered "WalkCar" transporter, which is the size of a laptop and resembles a skateboard more than a car.

According to the Reuters report, the slender WalkCar is made from aluminum and weighs between two and three kilograms , depending on whether it is an indoor or outdoor version.

The developer Saito expects to see many other uses for his transporter, as he says it has enough power to help people push wheelchairs with ease. The lightweight aluminum board is stronger than it looks, and can take loads of up to 120kg .

It reaches top speeds of 10 kilometers per hour, for distances of up to 12 kilometers after three hours of charging.
Its developer says it's also extremely simple to ride. Once the rider stands on it the WalkCar starts automatically, while simply stepping off stops the vehicle. To change direction, the user just shifts their weight.
Best of all, there is no need to find a parking space, because it fits into a small bag when not in use.
Saito says customers will be able to reserve their own WalkCars from autumn 2015 on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. The futuristic skateboard will have a price-tag of around $800. Shipping is expected to begin by spring 2016.

Submission + - Google asked to police stolen webcam videos on YouTube - BBC News->

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from Digital Citizens Alliance has called on Google to do a better job of making sure illicit webcam footage doesn't stick around on YouTube. Over the past several years, hackers have found profit in hijacking webcams and using the footage they capture to embarrass or extort money from their victims. This footage is frequently posted to YouTube, sometimes even as livestreams. DCA says these videos collectively have millions of views on YouTube, and that Google is part of the reason hackers can profit from it. They add that Google has not yet responded to their request.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Congressional Black Caucus Begs Apple for its 'Trade Secret' Racial Data

theodp writes: In Silicon Valley this week with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to turn up the heat on the tech industry to hire more African Americans, Rep. Barbara Lee called on Apple and other holdouts among the nation's tech companies to release federal data on the diversity of their work forces. "If they believe in inclusion," said Lee, "they have to release the data so the public knows that they are being transparent and that they are committed to doing the right thing." Apple has refused to make public the EEO-1 data that it routinely supplies to the U.S. Dept. of Labor on the demographics of their workers. In the absence of the race and gender data, which Apple and others historically argued were 'trade secrets' that were not subject to release Freedom of Information requests, tech companies were free to make unchecked claims about their Black employee ranks (Google's 2007 Congressional testimony) until recent disclosures revealed otherwise, and the National Science Foundation was even convinced to redirect NSF grant money specifically earmarked for getting African American boys into the computer science pipeline to a PR campaign for high school girls of all colors and economic backgrounds.

Submission + - Def Con: Hacker Shows How to "Kill" Anyone-> 1

wiredmikey writes: Hackers the Def Con gathering in Las Vegas on Friday got schooled in how to be online killers. A rush to go digital with the process of registering deaths has made it simple for maliciously minded folks to have someone who is alive declared dead by the authorities.

"This is a global problem," Australian computer security specialist Chris Rock said as he launched a presentation titled "I Will Kill You."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Chinese Celebrate Their Country's Loss in Math Olympiad->

hackingbear writes: While American politicians, for their own political marketing images, pitch more math and science to children and parents and the U.S. eventually won the 2015 International Math Olympiad (with half of the team descendants of Chines or Indian,) many in China celebrates their country's loss in the competition after country had won 19 times in the past. To them, losing the Olympiad offers hope that painful, nightmarish years spent studying for the contest could finally be over. Chinese students often start paying for expensive math Olympiad training in elementary school on the motivation that winners of math Olympiads receiving bonus points in school entrance exams, a policy some provinces have taken steps to eliminate since last year. "The question we should ask is why we don't have great mathematicians in China," Yang Dongping, the director of a education think-tank asked and answer, "Not many of our math champions continued to study math — many left academia for Wall Street."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - UK Develop The World's First Negative Emission Power Plant->

Sepa Blackforesta writes: A new coal fired power station is being developed by Drax in the UK, that would be the first new coal fired power station to be switched on. A power station that delivers negative emissions is the paragon of excellence that all sustainable energy ventures should aspire to emulate.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Fourth Bangladeshi Blogger Murdered->

An anonymous reader writes: In May we discussed news that three bloggers in Bangladesh had been targeted for brutal killings in recent months over what they wrote about online. Now, the local branch of Al-Qaeda is claiming responsibility for a new victim, blogger Niloy Chakrabarti. "The journalist had contributed to the humanist blogging platform Mukto-Mona. His posts often were critical of Islam. Mukto-Mona was established by another blogger—Avijit Roy, who was murdered in Bangladesh in February." His murder was as ghastly as the previous three — six men broke into his apartment with machetes. Rights groups are condemning the killings and demanding that the government put a stop to them. "There is little doubt that these especially brutal killings are designed to sow fear and to have a chilling effect on free speech. This is unacceptable."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - No Immunity For Cops Who Sent A SWAT Team To A 68-Year-Old Woman's House->

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, we covered the story of Louise Milan, a 68-year-old grandmother whose house was raided by a SWAT team (accompanied by a news crew) searching for someone who had made alleged threats against police officers over the internet. Part of the probable cause submitted for the warrant was Milan's IP address.

But the police made no attempt to verify whether any resident of Milan's house made the threats and ignored the fact that the IP address was linked to an open WiFi connection.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - IBM Drops $1 Billion For Medical Images For Watson->

An anonymous reader writes: IBM is purchasing a company called Merge Healthcare for $1 billion. The company specializes in medical imaging software, and it will be a key new resource for IBM's Watson AI. Big blue's researchers estimate that 90% of all medical is contained within images. Having a trove of them and the software to mine that data should help Watson learn how to make more accurate diagnoses. IBM thinks it'll also provide better context for run of the mill medical imaging. "[A] radiologist might examine thousands of patient images a day, but only looking for abnormalities on the images themselves rather than also taking into account a person’s medical history, treatments and drug regimens." They can program Watson to do both. The AI is already landing contracts to assist with medical issues: "Last week, IBM announced a partnership with CVS Health, the large pharmacy chain, to develop data-driven services to help people with chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease better manage their health."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - You can't audit voting machines in Kansas

Geoffrey.landis writes: A statistician discovered evidence of suspicious counting on voting machines in Kansas. The voting machines keep a paper trail for verification... but her request to examine the record of votes is being blocked with the explanation that no one, not even the election officials, is allowed to see it.

According to the Washington Post "The voting machines that Sedgwick County uses have a paper record of the votes, known as Real Time Voting Machine Paper Tapes... . Since the software is proprietary, even elections officials can’t examine it and postelection audits can’t be done, according to Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting Foundation".

Even the Kansas papers editorialize that this is going too far. More evidence that the software used in voting machines should never be proprietary.

Submission + - Real-Time Control of a Humanoid Robot->

An anonymous reader writes: A new project at MIT aims to put humans in real-time control of a humanoid robot. Operators strap into a vest that contains control circuitry and a pair of arm-link joysticks. As the operator grasps the ends and moves his arms, the robot mimics his arm movements in real time. A demonstration shows the robot crushing cans and punching through drywall. The operator is also given a pair of goggles that shows what the robot is currently "seeing," and the vest provides haptic feedback about what the robot is "feeling." According to a video MIT posted, the goal is to give robots human reflexes for tasks like keeping balance and simple maneuvering. The need for such technology was evident earlier this summer at the DARPA Robotics Challenge, where robots tasked with inspection and repair duties couldn't help but fall down as they moved throughout the testing grounds.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - FBI: Retweeting a Terrorist's Tweet Could Land You In Trouble->

An anonymous reader writes: Twitter has become a valuable tool for U.S. law enforcement agencies in their fight against terrorism. It's been used as evidence in trials, provided useful intelligence, and has helped them figure out who is involved with these groups. But ACLU lawyer Lee Rowland is trying to make sure they don't take it too far. In April, a 30-year-old man was charged with providing "material support" to the Islamic State. The FBI's probably cause? He retweeted some of the group's tweets. FBI director James Comey says a person's intent is the heart of the issue: "Knowing it was wrong, you provided material support for a terrorist organization or some other offense. That is the bulwark against prosecuting someone for having an idea or having an interest. You have to manifest a criminal intent to further the aims prohibited by the statute." Rowland points out the obvious First Amendment concerns. He adds, "... there's also the question of intent there: repeating speech is not automatically an endorsement. ... So a RT alone is certainly not an endorsement and in many situations may be a criticism of the original speaker, and that's particularly true with terrorism, because I believe many people may believe terrorism is self-evidently immoral."
Link to Original Source

Comment Obvious Troll Is Obvious (Score 1) 278

He sounds like an SJW, so I don't believe you or your links.

Ad hominem, round #2, FIGHT!

(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

For those of you who forgot what the term means, since the last time I pointed out a clear ad hominem, I was met with downvotes. Okay, go ahead and mod me down now.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante

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