Submission + - Tim Cook in France: Better for Children to Learn to Code Than to Learn English 2

theodp writes: If I were a French student and I were 10 years old," Apple CEO Tim Cook says in a video interview with French news outlet Konbini, "I think it would be more important to learn coding than English. I’m not telling people not to learn English — but this is a language that you can [use to] express yourself to 7 billion people in the world. I think coding should be required in every public school in the world." Cook, who offered the same advice to President Trump (YouTube video) and First Daughter Ivanka at last June's White House meeting of the tech titans, went on to promote Apple's own Swift programming language, which it would like developers to use for building apps within its own product ecosystem.

Submission + - Scientists puzzled as Europe is mysteriously showered in radioactive particles (thesun.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: German scientists say there has been a slight increase in the amount of particles of the isotope Ruthenium-106 in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France.

The spike could not have come from a nuclear accident, experts added. And The low levels of the stable isotope do not pose a threat to human health.

The Office for Radiation Protection said: "New analyses of the source of the radioactive material are likely to indicate a release in the southern Ural, but other regions in Southern Russia cannot be excluded."

Submission + - President Trump Threatens to Revoke Broadcast Licenses of Critical Media (bloomberg.com)

PopeRatzo writes: In a series of Tweets today, the President has suggested that it may be appropriate to revoke the broadcast licenses of critical media outlets (specifically local television or radio stations) if they become "too partisan". His statements seem to stem from recent news stories which reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump, "a moron", and another story which cites an administration official as saying the the President wanted to increase the US nuclear arsenal "tenfold".

In one tweet last night, he wrote: “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”

Today, he reiterated, “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!”

At a meeting with Canadian President Trudeau at the White House, Trump told reporters, “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write".

Submission + - Raising taxes boosts innovation says Billionaire VC Nick Hanauer (politico.com)

Paul Fernhout writes: Billionaire Venture Capitalist Nick Hanauer explains that there is no evidence that cutting taxes promotes innovation or employment — rather, the evidence suggests raising taxes and spending the money in a way that reduces inequality boosts the economy. He says: "In reality, our modern technological economy is best understood as an evolutionary feedback loop between innovation and demand. Innovation is the process through which we evolve new solutions to human problems, while consumer demand is the mechanism through which the market selects and propagates successful innovations. And it is economic inclusion — the full participation of as many people as possible in as many ways as possible, as innovators, entrepreneurs, workers and robust consumers — that drives both innovation and demand. The more we invest in the American people — in our wages, our education, our health care and our infrastructure — the more dynamic that feedback loop, and thus the faster and more prosperous our economy grows."

Submission + - In a Cashless World, You'd Better Pray the Power Never Goes Out (mises.org) 1

schwit1 writes: When Hurricane Maria knocked out power in Puerto Rico, residents there realized they were going to need physical cash — and a lot of it.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Fed was forced to fly a planeload of cash to the Island to help avert disaster:

William Dudley, the New York Fed president, put the word out within minutes, and ultimately a jet loaded with an undisclosed amount of cash landed on the stricken island...

[Business executive in Puerto Rico] described corporate clients' urgent requests for hundreds of thousands in cash to meet payrolls, and the challenge of finding enough armored cars to satisfy endless demand at ATMs. Such were the days after Maria devastated the U.S. territory last month, killing 39 people, crushing buildings and wiping out the island's energy grid. As early as the day after the storm, the Fed began working to get money onto the island,

For a time, unless one had a hoard of cash stored up in ones home, it was impossible to get cash at all. 85 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power, as of October 9. Bloomberg continues: "When some generator-powered ATMs finally opened, lines stretched hours long, with people camping out in beach chairs and holding umbrellas against the sun."

In an earlier article from September 25, Bloomberg noted how, without cash, necessities were simply unavailable:

"Cash only," said Abraham Lebron, the store manager standing guard at Supermax, a supermarket in San Juan's Plaza de las Armas. He was in a well-policed area, but admitted feeling like a sitting duck with so many bills on hand. "The system is down, so we can't process the cards. It's tough, but one finds a way to make it work."


Submission + - Explaining the Chromebook Security Scare in Plain English: Don't Panic! (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Today my inbox is filled with concerned queries from Chromebook and Chromebox users regarding this issue, who found that Google page to be relatively opaque.

Does this bug apply to us? Should we rush to upgrade? What happens if something goes wrong? Should our school be concerned — we’ve got lots of students using Chromebooks, what should we do? Help!

Here’s the executive summary — perhaps the way that Google should have said it: DON’T PANIC! — especially if you have strong passwords.

Submission + - Evidence Suggest Updated Timeline Towards Supervolcano Eruption (nytimes.com)

Camel Pilot writes: Geologist have been aware of fresh magma moving in the Yellowstone's super volcano system. Previously this was thought to precede an eruption by thousands of years. Recent evidence by Hannah Shamloo, a graduate student at Arizona State University, demonstrate that perhaps the timeline from the underground basin filling to eruption is more on the scale of decades. A super volcano eruption has the power to alter life's story on this earth and even destroy all life on a continent In light of this, it seems like a good time to invest some effort and resources into finding ways to prepare, delay or deflect the potential threat.

Submission + - Facebook is experiencing a major outage. (mashable.com) 2

wgoodman writes: Bad news, friends: Facebook appears to be down for a large number of users. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is reportedly struggling too.

Users of the social media platform began reporting issues around 11:11 a.m. EST, and it appears the outage has spread. The problems appear to be affecting users on both desktop and mobile.

Submission + - Pornhub is categorizing its library using computer vision. (techcrunch.com)

Baron_Yam writes: From Techcrunch: "The computer vision system can identify specific actors in scenes and even identifies various positions and attributes. While it is obviously very difficult to describe the feature set for a family audience, the system can identify individual performers in real time – in the demo here it recognizes one performer even from the side – and it can also identify sex acts."

Submission + - New French law says airbrushed or Photoshopped images must be labelled (france24.com)

AmiMoJo writes: All commercial photos that have been digitally retouched will now have to bear a label in accordance with a new French law that aims to combat unrealistic body images and eating disorders. As of October 1, "it will be mandatory to use the label ‘retouched photo’ alongside any photo used for commercial purposes when the body of a model has been modified by an image-editing software to either slim or flesh out her figure”, the French ministry of health said in a statement published last May. The law applies to photos published both in magazines and online. Anyone who violates the law could face a fine of up to €37,500.

Submission + - Is your Google Home mini overly curious? (androidpolice.com)

macker writes: From "androidpolice" poster Artem Russakovskii:
"Google is nerfing all Home Minis because mine spied on everything I said 24/7 "
[updated to include info about the unusually quick response from the G-plex]
"Without fail, every time a new listening device comes to market, some tinfoil hat-wearer points out how perfect they would be as modern-day Trojan horses for any of the three-letter acronym organizations — NSA, CIA, FBI — you name it. "
"I didn't give too much thought to these privacy concerns because they all sounded theoretical and unlikely. My four Google Homes and three Echos sat quietly on their respective desks and counters, and only turned on when one of three things happened:
  [...list of the three expected triggers...]
"That is until last week, when a 4th case came along — 24/7 recording, transmission to Google's servers, and storing on them of pretty much everything going on around my Home Mini, which I had just received at the Made by Google October 4th launch event."

Submission + - The last nail in the coffin for Kaspersky's Reputation? (nytimes.com)

phayes writes: All through the USG's delisting of Kaspersky's Anti-Virus software, then their removal from stores like Best Buy, and news that the Russian intelligence agency used it to hack into a NSA contractor, Eugene Kaspersky has been steadfastly stating that his company is not a tool of the FSB. Now comes news that as the FSB was using Kaspersky AV to steal information from the NSA contractor, Israel's Mossad was watching them do it. (may be paywalled)

Submission + - You're thinking about the 2nd Amendment all wrong. (ginsudo.com)

peterhudson writes: The Second Amendment is unique among the Bill of Rights for appearing to protect an object you hold in your hand rather than an idea you hold in your head. The First Amendment protects freedoms of speech and religion. Imagine if the First Amendment read something like, “Congress shall make no law infringing on the right of the people to keep and operate a printing press.” The sentiment would be clear: a free press is vital to a properly functioning democracy, the spread of information and debate is a bulwark against government tyranny. This version of the First Amendment would have worked just fine for the first two hundred years of the nation. And then it would become ridiculously outdated with the rise of digital information and the dominance of the Internet as the means through which speech is disseminated among the masses.

The Second Amendment, like all of the rest of the Bill of Rights, is about limiting governmental power. It is about ensuring that governmental tyranny will ultimately have to contend with the will of the people. The problem is that the disparity of destructive power between the weaponry of the government and the weaponry that people can own has become too great. Even if all citizens were armed with fully automatic assault rifles, this arsenal would pale in comparison to the firepower available to state and local police forces, never mind the world-ending power of the national armed forces.

The Second Amendment protects the idea of armed rebellion as a limitation on governmental power. Even though guns are obsolete for the protection of this idea, no serious discussion of the Second Amendment can propose their elimination without also proposing the armaments that should replace them.

It should be obvious by now that the weapons that matter are no longer ballistic, they are digital. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be online. The government does not fear guns. The government fears anonymity, connection and encryption. Second Amendment reform should be pushing in this direction:

A digital Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to remain Anonymous to the government, Connect online to all governmental information, and use and possess tools for unbreakable Encryption, shall not be infringed.

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