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Submission + - AI Program Can Predict Human Rights Trials With 79 Percent Accuracy (

An anonymous reader writes: Computer scientists have created an AI program capable of predicting the outcome of human rights trials. The program was trained on data from nearly 600 cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and was able to predict the court's final judgement with 79 percent accuracy. Its creators say it could be useful in identifying common patterns in court cases, but stress that they do not believe AI will be able to replace human judgement. As described in a study published in the journal PeerJ Computer Science, the AI program worked by analyzing descriptions of court cases submitted to the ECHR. These descriptions included summaries of legal arguments, a brief case history, and an outline of the relevant legislation. The cases were grouped into three main violations of human rights law, including the prohibition on torture and degrading treatment; the right to a fair trial; and the right to "respect for private and family life." (Used in a wide range of cases including illegal searches and surveillance.) The AI program then looked for patterns in this data, correlating the courts' final judgements with, for example, the type of evidence submitted, and the exact part of the European Convention on Human Rights the case was alleged to violate. Aletras says a number of patterns emerged. For example, cases concerning detention conditions (eg access to food, legal support, etc.) were more likely to end in a positive judgement that an individual's human rights had been violated; while cases involving sentencing issues (i.e., how long someone had been imprisoned) were more likely to end in acquittal. The researchers also found that the judgements of the court were more dependent on the facts of the case itself (that is to say, its history and its particulars) than the legal arguments (i.e., how exactly the Convention on Human Rights had or had not been violated).

Submission + - WiGig will enable untethered, high-fidelity VR and AR

lpress writes: Over 50 years ago, Ivan Sutherland envisioned then built the first head-mounted augmented reality display. This week, testing and certification of WiGig — very fast, short range wireless connectivity — began and it will be in computers, phones and tablets next year. That will enable untethered, high-fidelity virtual and augmented reality.


rickyslashdot writes: How many AT&T customers have been slammed with the current issue that AT&T has burdened it's users with — - — visit an AT&T store to get 'new' / 'replacement' SIM card . . . or have your service terminated ?
This may seem like a trivial issue for most folks, but how about the disabled veterans (ME) who can barely make it to doctors' appointments at the VA? Even for the healthy people who use AT&T, it is STILL a pain in the A55 to have to take time to go by a store and wait, get new SIM, and then resume their regular daily activities.
Anybody else out there have issues with this 'new SIM' turnover that AT&T has imposed on their customers?

Submission + - Benchmark Battle October 2016: Chrome Vs. Firefox Vs. Edge

Krystalo writes: It’s been more than a year since our last browser benchmark battle, and the competition remains fierce. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all gained a variety of new features and improvements over the past year. It’s time to see if any of them have managed to pull ahead of the pack. It appears that Edge has made the biggest gains since last year. That said, browser performance is improving at a very rapid pace, and it shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming Internet content.

Submission + - Dyn DDoS Attack Work of Script Kiddies (

msm1267 writes: New research on the source of Friday’s DDoS attack against DNS provider Dyn indicates that script kiddies are likely responsible, rather than a politically motivated actor.

Researchers at Flashpoint dismissed numerous claims of responsibility that separately linked the attack to the Russian government, WikiLeaks or the New World Hackers group. Instead, the threat intelligence company said with “moderate confidence” that the attacks are linked to the Hackforums community. Hackforums is an English-speaking hacking forum and the place where the source code for the Mirai malware was publicly released by a hacker known as Anna-Senpai.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said today as well that it’s likely the attack was not carried out by nation-state actors during testimony at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“That appears to be preliminarily the case,” Clapper was quoted in The Hill. “But I wouldn’t want to be conclusively definitive about that, specifically whether a nation state may have been behind that or not.”

Flashpoint hinges its conclusion on a number of factors, starting with public release of the Mirai source code. Mirai scans the Internet for IoT devices such as those used in the attack on Dyn, Krebs on Security and French webhost OVH. The malware uses 60 known weak and default credentials on the IP-enabled cameras, DVRs and home networking gear to access the devices before corralling them into giant botnets used to DDoS targets. Since the source code was made public, the number of bots compromised by the malware has more than doubled, Level 3 Communications, a Colorado telco and ISP, said.

Submission + - Google thinks its Assistant will be the biggest thing since search (

mirandakatz writes: Google's rollout of its Assistant bot marks a turning point for the company: if enough users engage with the Assistant, it'll get smarter, and before long, it'll be able to make huge leaps in understanding, applying information from a wide range of sources to get a single task completed. But none of that will happen if people get fed up with the Assistant's initial shortcomings and stop using it altogether. "The Transition," as Google calls it, is waiting to happen—but first people have to start saying "OK Google," and then keep talking.

Submission + - Strange signals from star survey may be evidence of intelligent life (

Okian Warrior writes: A recent paper reporting on strange artifacts in the spectra of 234 stars is raising eyebrows in the Astronomical community.

A Fourier transform analysis of 2.5 million spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was carried out to detect periodic spectral modulations. Signals having the same period were found in only 234 stars overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range. The signals cannot be caused by instrumental or data analysis effects because [various reasons...]

Finally, we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by ETI to makes us aware of their existence. We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis. The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the Sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis. However, at this stage, this hypothesis needs to be confirmed with further work.

Submission + - Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep the price of US AIDS drugs high (

Okian Warrior writes: A newly released Podesta E-mail explains how the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) works to keep the price of AIDS medicines high in the US. CHAI contracted with Big Pharma companies for AIDS drugs to be distributed in developing countries. In return, the group agreed to resist efforts to bring similarly lower cost and generic drugs to the US. The email is a reaction to "comments President Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event":

[...]We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries.

[...] If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board.

[...] I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. ... We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

Submission + - Votes Switched From Trump to Hillary in Texas (

Okian Warrior writes: Early voting for the 2016 presidential election started yesterday for people in some areas who have been given the opportunity to avoid the long lines on November 8.

However, in Amarillo, a woman was shocked to see her ballot flip from Republican to Democrat.

“Gary and I went to early vote today,” wrote Lisa Houlette on Facebook. “I voted a straight Republican ticket and as I scrolled to submit my ballot I noticed that the Republican straight ticket was highlighted, however, the Clinton/Kaine box was also highlighted!”

“I tried to go back and change and could not get it to work. I asked for help from one of the workers and she couldn’t get it to go back either. It took a second election person to get the machine to where I could correct the vote to a straight ticket,” she added.

Submission + - AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal (

schwit1 writes: The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.

Hemisphere isn’t a “partnership” but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers. No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.

Hemisphere is used far beyond the war on drugs to include everything from investigations of homicide to Medicaid fraud.

Submission + - Viewing a Malicious JPEG Can Lead to Code Execution on iPhones

Trailrunner7 writes: Apple has patched several vulnerabilities in iOS that could lead to arbitrary code execution, including a handful of memory corruption bugs and a flaw that enables an attacker to use a malicious JPEG file to run arbitrary code.

The release of iOS 10.1 includes patches for 13 vulnerabilities, many of which can be used for arbitrary code execution. The most intriguing of those flaws is CVE-2016-4673, a bug in the Core Graphics component of iOS. Core Graphics is a framework used to handle drawing and images, and researchers from the Keen Lab in China discovered an issue with the way the framework handles JPEG files.

Submission + - Could Google influence the presidential election? (

sciencehabit writes: Last summer, scientists reported on something called the search engine manipulation effect. Companies like Google have gotten so good at providing the best links first, biased search results could influence how undecided voters choose a candidate, sometimes by 12% or more. Now researchers say they have more evidence for this effect, as well as similar influence wielded by Facebook and Twitter. Although there is no evidence that these companies are trying to bias the U.S. presidential election, lawmakers and internet experts are already proposing ways--including plugins and taking search out of private hands--to curb the influence of these tech giants.

Submission + - Google Research Suggests President Did Kids No Favors By Banning Daily Tech Time

theodp writes: Exploring racial and gender gaps in computer science learning that Silicon Valley says explains its low percentages of women and minorities, Google offers up new research — a "Little Data" survey of 1,571 U.S. students in 7th-12th grade — that suggests students are unlikely to grow up to be CS cowgirls and cowboys without daily use of computers at home. "Black (58%) and Hispanic (50%) students are less likely than White students (68%) to use a computer at home at least most days of the week," explains Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics [curiously, no survey results are provided for Asian students — the most successful AP CS group]. "This could influence their confidence in learning CS because, as this study finds, students who use computers less at home are less confident in their ability to learn CS." In a 2015 interview, President Obama explained that he had encouraged his two daughters to learn to code, although they hadn't taken to it the way he’d like. "I think they got started a little bit late," the president conjectured. "Part of what you want to do is introduce this with the ABCs and the colors." But if Google's research is to be believed, could the First Family's famous ban on tech time during the week have had something to do with his daughters' failure to embrace CS?

Submission + - Google Chrome To Make Certificate Transparency Mandatory In 2017 (

An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome will make certificate transparency obligatory for domains issued from October 2017. The announcement, by Google software engineer Ryan Sleevi, makes clear that the Chrome team will extend all necessary help to certificating authorities to prepare them for compliance in the next twelve months. 'Although the date is a year away, we encourage any participants that wish to have their use cases addressed to bring them forward as soon as possible during the next three months. This will ensure that the IETF, the CA/Browser Forum, and the broader community at large have ample time to discuss the challenges that may be faced, and find appropriate solutions for them.' The Certificate Transparency open framework, which has been criticized over privacy aspects, uses logs to which information can only be appended (not removed or altered) to provide an authentic chain of trust which is capable of detecting compromised certificates in hours rather than the days, weeks or months involved in traditional propagation.

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