Submission + - Former Small ISP Owner Blasts ISP Network Neutrality Claims as a Lie (

Dangerous_Minds writes: As the debate over network neutrality heats up, AT&T claimed that nothing will change once network neutrality rules are gutted. Comments like this are not sitting well with one former small ISP owner. As Freezenet reports, Drew Curtis shared his story about how his small Kentucky-based ISP was wiped out after a lobbying effort in 2000. He then went on to blast the claims that nothing will change after network neutrality rules are gutted as "a bald-faced lie"

Submission + - Feds Shut Down Allegedly Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Offering (

An anonymous reader writes: The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday announced that it was taking action against an initial coin offering (ICO) that the SEC alleges is fraudulent. The announcement represents the first enforcement action by the SEC's recently created cyber fraud unit. In July, the agency fired a warning shot. It announced that a 2016 fundraising campaign had run afoul of securities law, but that the SEC would decline to prosecute those responsible. The hope was to get the cryptocurrency world to take securities laws more seriously without doing anything drastic. Now the SEC is taking the next step by prosecuting what it considers to be one of the most egregious scams in the ICO world. The SEC's complaint, filed in federal court in New York, is against Dominic Lacroix, whom the SEC describes as a "recidivist securities law violator." The SEC considers Lacroix's cryptocurrency project, PlexCoin, to be a "fast-moving Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud that raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month." The PlexCoin website has a hilariously vague description of this supposedly revolutionary cryptocurrency.

Submission + - US Says It Doesn't Need a Court Order to Compel Tech Companies to Build Backdoor ( 2

schwit1 writes:

According to the documents, intelligence officials told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that there’s no need for them to approach courts before requesting a tech company help willfully—though they can always resort to obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order if the company refuses. The documents show officials testified they had never needed to obtain such an FISC order, though they declined to tell the committee whether they had “ever asked a company to add an encryption backdoor,” per ZDNet. Other reporting has suggested the FISC has the power to authorize government personnel to compel such technical assistance without even notifying the FISC of what exactly is required.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives authorities additional powers to compel service providers to build backdoors into their products.

Nice product you have there. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

Submission + - Spy Eye in the Sky: DHS says DJI Drones Gather Data on US Infrastructure (

chicksdaddy writes: Why are all those DJI Drones so cheap? The Department of Homeland Security has one terrifying explanation: they're being dumped on the US market in part to conduct surveillance on US critical infrastructure and industry for use by the Chinese government — including use in future attacks, The Security Ledger reports.

DHS issued a bulletin in August that commercial drones made by the China-based firm Da Jian Innovations (DJI) may be providing “U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data” to the Chinese government and favored industries in that country, according to a copy of an August, 2017 Intelligence Bulletin ( published by the website Public Intelligence.

The report cites an unnamed sources in Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Army and local law enforcement, as well as an unnamed “source within the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry” saying that DJI is providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government. The company is also “selectively targeting government and privately owned entities within these sectors to expand its ability to collect and exploit sensitive U.S. data.” The data could help the Chinese government “coordinate physical or cyber attacks against critical sites” and appears to have been used to aid Chinese companies looking to invest in the US assets like vineyards, DHS warned.

Among the allegations in the report: that, starting in 2015, DJI slashed the prices on its Category One (small) drones by up to 70% and began dumping them on the US market. Drones that previously cost upwards of $3,000 were sold for $900 by DJI, effectively pushing French and US competitors like Parrot and Yuneec of the US out of business. Within a year, DJI drone imports to the US tripled from 2,873 in 2016 to 10,321 in 2017.

At the same time, the company began aggressively targeting executives in industries like electricity and transportation, as well as critical sectors like water. Executives at key firms received invitations to multi-day DJI sponsored symposia and test facilities in Silicon Valley to push commercial applications of the drone technology.

But investing in DJI technology may be a short-term solution with long-term costs. The bulletin related the experience of a large family owned wine producer in California who purchased DJI UAS technology to survey its vineyards and monitor grape production, using a drone-mounted infrared scanner capable of calculating nitrogen levels of plants. “Soon afterwards, Chinese companies began purchasing vineyards in the same

According to the report, Chinese firms purchasing vineyards in California were able to use DJI data to their own benefit and profit. DHS warns that use of the same technology with cash crops “could allow China the opportunity to influence the cash crop market and futures.” The source of that information was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official.

Submission + - "Watershed" Medical Trial Proves Type 2 Diabetes Can Be Reversed (

dryriver writes: For those suffering from type 2 Diabetes, there is good news. Nearly half of the participants in a watershed trial of a new Diabetes treatment were able to reverse their affliction. The method is quite simple — an all liquid diet that causes participants to lose a lot of weight, followed by a carefully controlled diet of real solid foods. Four times a day, a sachet of powder is stirred in water to make a soup or shake. They contain about 200 calories, but also the right balance of nutrients. If the patient can keep away from other foods long enough, there is a chance of reversing type 2 Diabetes completely. Prof Roy Taylor, from Newcastle University, told the BBC: "It's a real watershed moment. Before we started this line of work, doctors and specialists regarded type 2 as irreversible. But if we grasp the nettle and get people out of their dangerous state (being overweight), they can get remission of diabetes." However, doctors are not calling this a cure. If the weight goes back on, then the diabetes will return. The trial only looked at people diagnosed with Diabetes in the last six years. Doctors believe — but do no know with absolute certainty yet — that in people who have had the affliction much longer than that, there may be too much permanent damage to make remission possible.

Submission + - Tencent Says There Are Only 300,000 AI Engineers Worldwide, But Millions Needed (

An anonymous reader writes: It’s well-established that talent is in short supply in the AI industry, but a new report from Chinese tech giant Tencent underscores how great the need might be. According to the study, compiled by the Tencent Research Institute, there are just 300,000 “AI researchers and practitioners” worldwide, but the “market demand” is for millions of roles. These are unavoidably speculative figures, and the study does not offer much detail on how they were reached, but as a general trend they fit with other, more anecdotal reports. Around the world, tech giants regularly complain about the difficulty hiring AI engineers, and the demand has pushed salaries to absurd heights. Individuals with just a few year’s experience can expect base pay of between $300,000 and $500,000 a year, says The New York Times, while the very best will collect millions. One independent AI lab told the publication that there were only 10,000 individuals worldwide with the right skills to spearhead serious new AI projects. Tencent’s new “2017 Global AI Talent White Paper” suggests the bottleneck here is education. It estimates that 200,000 of the 300,000 active researchers are already employed in various industries (not just tech), while the remaining 100,000 are still studying. Attendance in machine learning and AI courses has skyrocketed in recent years, as has enrollment in online courses, but there is obviously a lag as individuals complete their education.

Submission + - 40 Percent of America Will Cut the Cord by 2030, New Report Predicts

bumblebaetuna writes: By 2030, as many as 40 percent of Americans will have cut the cord, according to predictions in a new report by market analyst TDG Research. The percent of US households still shelling out for cable has dropped every year since 2012. If the trend continues on the current path, TDG predicts the percent of US households subscribing to pay TV will drop to 60 percent in the next 13 years.

Cost is a major driver of this shift: the cost of bundling a few favorite streaming services together still pales in comparison to the average cable bill. TDG found that two thirds of cord cutters and “cord nevers” (people who have never paid for cable) said service expense was the key reason legacy pay TV services

Submission + - Google Agrees: More Humans Fighting YouTube Hate and Child Exploitation Videos (

Lauren Weinstein writes: However, I have long argued that the changing shape of the Internet requires more humans to “ride herd” on those algorithms, to fill in the gaps where algorithms tend to slump, and to provide critical sanity checking. This is of course an expensive proposition, but my view has been that Google has the resources to do this, given the will to do so.

I’m pleased to report that Google/YouTube has announced major moves in exactly these sorts of directions that I have long recommended ...

Submission + - Confessions of a Semi-Reformed Video Game Completionist ( 1

ar2286 writes: There are healthy ways to deal with stress and unhealthy ways to deal with stress. When backed into a corner, I tend to go with the unhealthy options. Which is how video games helped destroy my first marriage.

Back in 2009, the US had just elected Barack Obama, I worked 40 hours in a retail job that was killing me, and I had decided I wanted to 100 percent Fallout 3. I had already beaten the game, but I hadn’t completed it. There’s a difference.

Beating a game typically means going through the main story and seeing the credits. Completing a game, or "100 percenting" a game, means getting all its achievements, finishing every side quest, and scooping up every collectible. It typically involves completing the main game, all the side quests, and a laundry list of optional content. If you’ve ever played an Ubisoft-style sandbox game such as Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry, it means hitting all the points on the map and clearing them out.

I wanted to tick every box in Fallout 3 and get that exhausted sense of accomplishment that can only come from spending way too much time with a video game. Some estimates said this process would cost me more than 120 hours of my time but I was ready.

It was going well and I was having fun, but somewhere in the sewers below Fort Bannister I realized I had a problem. I had killed all the Talon mercenaries, checked every computer terminal, and opened up every strong box looking of items to sell. After I’d neutralized the threats, I spent an entire day carrying the assorted loot back and forth to vendors across the wastes and converting it into bottle caps— Fallout’s coin of the realm.

I stripped the Talon soldiers of every spare scrap of clothing, every weapon, and every bit of ammo. Once I could carry no more, I teleported to a township, sold everything off, then went back for more, systematically moving through the corpses of the fallen to strip them of their gear to sell them for cash I didn’t really need. I don’t know how many hours I spent doing this, but it was too many. Even for a completionist, this level of compulsion was overkill.

In the sewers of Fallout 3, pawing through another set of clothing that’d sell for a pittance, I stopped and looked around my apartment. I had no idea where my wife was, I was stoned out of my mind, and I had a full shift the next day at a retail job I hated. Yet here I was, in front of a glowing screen, not dealing with my problems. I’d settled for the small dopamine—the brain’s reward neurotransmitter—kick that comes from accomplishing quick repetitive tasks in a video game.

I love video games and I typically use them to unwind at the end of a long day. But when life gets hard and its victories come too slowly, the thing I do to relieve stress often becomes another source of it. When life gets tough, I 100 percent video games. It’s just easier to fill out a digital checklist than it is to do the hard work of getting my shit together.

After that day, back in the early years of the Obama presidency, I never played Fallout 3 again. I lost the wife in a few months, quit the job, and started a new career. I’d like to say I got better.

But the patterns repeats. This is still something I do.

Submission + - Emotion recognition systems may be used in job interviews (

dcblogs writes: Emotion recognition software identifies micro-expressions through video analysis. These are expressions that may be as fast as 1/25 of a second and invisible to the human eye, but a close analysis of video can detect them. These systems are being used in marketing research, but some employers may be interested in using them to assess job candidates. Vendors claim these systems can be used to develop a personality profile and discover a good cultural fit. The technology raises concerns, illustrated earlier this year who showed that face-reading technology could use photographs to determine sexual orientation with a high degree of accuracy.

Submission + - The secret use of Minix3 inside Intel ME can be copyright infringement 2

anjara writes: Almost all Free Software licenses (BSD,MIT,GPL...) require some sort of legal notice (legal attribution) given to the recipient of the software. Both when the software is distributed in source and in binary forms. The legal notice usually contains the copyright holder's name and the license text.

This means that it is not possible to hide and keep secret, the existence of Free Software that you have stuck into your product that you distribute. If you do so, then you are not complying with the Free Software license and you are committing a copyright infringement!

This is exactly what Intel seems to have done with the Intel ME. The Minix3 operating system license require a legal notice, but so far it seems like Intel has not given the necessary legal notices. (Probably because they want to keep the inside of the ME secret.) Thus not only is Minix3 the most installed OS on our recent x86 cpus, but it might also the most pirated OS on our recent x86 cpus!

Here is a longer explanation that I wrote:

Submission + - The Compelling Case For Working Less (

An anonymous reader writes: As we fill our days with more and more "doing," many of us are finding that non-stop activity isn’t the apotheosis of productivity. It is its adversary. Researchers are learning that it doesn’t just mean that the work we produce at the end of a 14-hour day is of worse quality than when we’re fresh. This pattern of working also undermines our creativity and our cognition. Over time, it can make us feel physically sick – and even, ironically, as if we have no purpose. Think of mental work as doing push-ups, says Josh Davis, author of Two Awesome Hours. Say you want to do 10,000. The most ‘efficient’ way would be to do them all at once without a break. We know instinctively, though, that that is impossible. Instead, if we did just a few at a time, between other activities and stretched out over weeks, hitting 10,000 would become far more feasible. “The brain is very much like a muscle in this respect,” Davis writes. “Set up the wrong conditions through constant work and we can accomplish little. Set up the right conditions and there is probably little we can’t do.” Many of us, though, tend to think of our brains not as muscles, but as a computer: a machine capable of constant work. Not only is that untrue, but pushing ourselves to work for hours without a break can be harmful, some experts say.

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