Submission + - New Study Confirms the Oceans Are Warming Rapidly (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The most important measurement of global warming is in the oceans. In fact, “global warming” is really “ocean warming.” If you are going to measure the changing climate of the oceans, you need to have many sensors spread out across the globe that take measurements from the ocean surface to the very depths of the waters. Importantly, you need to have measurements that span decades so a long-term trend can be established. These difficulties are tackled by oceanographers, and a significant advancement was presented in a paper just published in the journal Climate Dynamics. That paper, which I was fortunate to be involved with, looked at three different ocean temperature measurements made by three different groups. We found that regardless of whose data was used or where the data was gathered, the oceans are warming. In the paper, we describe perhaps the three most important factors that affect ocean-temperature accuracy. First, sensors can have biases (they can be “hot” or “cold”), and these biases can change over time. Another source of uncertainty is related to the fact that we just don’t have sensors at all ocean locations and at all times. Some sensors, which are dropped from cargo ships, are densely located along major shipping routes. Other sensors, dropped from research vessels, are also confined to specific locations across the globe. Finally, temperatures are usually referenced to a baseline “climatology.” So, when we say temperatures have increased by 1 degree, it is important to say what the baseline climatology is. Have temperatures increased by 1 degree since the year 1990? Since the year 1970? Since 1900? The choice of baseline climatology really matters.

Submission + - Movies on global Warming

steli002 writes: It seems that people are coming from all directions to make movies about global warming. Many people are moved to educate people about the subject and want to reach the widest possible audience. Books do not hold the appeal they once did. Now, people want to sit down and watch a movie to understand subjects like global warming.

Although Al Gore has a book by the same name, most people know An Inconvenient Truth as a feature length documentary movie. The movie boils down to a power-point presentation that Gore has given many times on the subject of global warming. Al Gore simply presents facts in a low-key, personable way. The film includes some biographical information about Al Gore, too.

The 60 Minutes documentary, The Age of Warming, which aired April 1, 2007, is a must-see for those interested in global warming. In it, correspondent Scott Pelley explores Antarctica to find evidence of global warming. There, Pelley finds that the Adelie and Chinstrap penguins are being endangered by loss of habitat. He also finds glaciers that are in the process of rapid melting into lakes. It is an eye opener.

Some fictional movies have been made with the theme of global warming. One is The Day After Tomorrow, starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal. While the science may not be precisely or even nearly right, the special effects are fantastic. It is a good old-fashioned disaster flick with all kinds of natural disasters. Bring out the popcorn, but do not expect to be educated.

An Earth Story, starring Ross Gelbspan and John Hutchison is another of those documentary-type movies. It tells the story about all those scary predictions of climate change due to global warming. The sub-title is An Alternative to Extinction. That alone should explain how dramatic this movie is. The solutions to global warming are equally dramatic.

Not exactly a traditional movie, Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris' Crisis as Opportunity: Living Better on a Hotter Planet is unique. Instead of being distraught and woeful, Sahtouris views global warming as a natural evolutionary process. She sees it as a beneficial challenge that will help people learn to live together as they never have before.

Energy Crossroads: A burning need to change course, is a documentary movie about the energy crisis. It deals with the amount of oil that will be left in the future and the different ways to overcome that crisis. However, a good part of this movie is devoted to a study of how energy issues are tied to global warming. It points to global warming as one of the reasons humans need to make changes.

There is a set of movies called the Secrets of the Millennium. Probably the best of this series is the one with information on global warming. It is titled Secrets of the Millennium: Man vs. Nature: Who Will Win? It dramatically exposes humans' desires to control earth, while letting things get out of hand environmentally at the same time.

Many celebrities have made their own movies on global warming. Some of them are not available for viewing yet, and some of them can be seen on the internet. One example is global warming films by Leonardo DiCaprio that can be viewed on his website. As the reality of global warming sets in, more movies will certainly deal with the subject.

Submission + - Cool and a Little Creepy (buzzfeed.com)

steli002 writes: I plod into the kitchen on a Sunday morning and tell the new Alexa to turn on CNN. Its screen lights up, and it shows a video about Russia as I microwave bacon and worry if there will be a nuclear war.

The Echo Show is Amazon’s new $230 device with a built-in camera and touchscreen, powered by the AI-assistant, Alexa. In the top right-hand corner of its little 7-inch screen, I see a person-shaped icon. I tap it and the display changes; now it's telling me which of my contacts have been recently active. I wonder if it is also telling them that I am active now too.

This thing, Alexa, that's been living with me, listening to me, is now looking at me as well. It can see that I'm awake and about now, talking to it. If the original Echo, and Echo Dot, were all about device interactions, this new Echo Show seems to be largely designed to help you interact with other people. Once you connect it to your phone’s address book, it looks up which of your contacts also have Echo Show devices, so you can place video calls. (It already does this for voice calls with the Echo.) And to facilitate these conversations, it has a “Recently Active” feature that tells you who from your Drop In contacts (see below) has been up and about, and interacting with their Echo Show. So, conceivably, it could have told other people that I'm active, but at this point I only have one Drop In contact with an Echo Show. And because she works for Amazon PR, and we only talked to test the device, it would kind of weird for her to call me first thing in the morning, on a Sunday.

I dismiss the thought. The Echo Show makes me dismiss a lot of thoughts.

It has this wild new feature called Drop In. Drop In lets you give people permission to automatically connect with your device. Here’s how it works. Let’s say my father has activated Drop In for me on his Echo Show. All I have to do is say, “Alexa, drop in on Dad.” It then turns on the microphone and camera on my father’s device and starts broadcasting that to me. For the several seconds of the call, my father’s video screen would appear fogged over. But then there he’ll be. And to be clear: This happens even if he doesn’t answer. Unless he declines the call, audibly or by tapping on the screen, it goes through. It just starts. Hello, you look nice today.

Honestly, I haven’t figured out what to think about this yet. But, it’s here.

I love making calls with Alexa. Video calling, both Drop Ins and garden-variety video chats where one party initiates a call and the other accepts it, are the Echo Show’s killer feature for now. Because I only have one other contact with an Echo Show (again, the nice woman who works for Amazon), I only made a handful of video calls. But they are all amazing. (Eventually, these video calls will also work with the Alexa smartphone app, in addition to the Echo Show.)

Long ago, when we imagined the future, we often imagined video calls. And although they’ve been around forever, doing one from a mobile phone, or a desktop computer, never felt quite as futuristic as this pulsing thing in my kitchen that’s always watching me, and always listening, ready to do what I tell it.

It’s Facetime without the phonebook. You can use it without tapping any icons. Without pulling a device out of your pocket. Without having to hold it in your hands, or prop it up. I command it to make calls for me, and it does.

And during calls, the sound booms out of it. If you’re used to placing video calls on a phone, or a tablet, this is an entirely other experience. The other person’s presence fills the room. (Or at least their voice does; the screen is tiny.)

I don’t like the way Alexa makes me look. If you place it on a countertop, or table, or desk, it peers up at you from below. It’s not a flattering angle. It makes me think about my neck and chin. It makes me wish I was thinner.

But mostly, it is easy and delightful. This is why we let these things into our homes. They make little tasks — turning on the lights, placing a call, playing music — easier than to do than they are on a phone. My three year-old can reliably use it to place calls to her grandparents on their Echo.

Brave new world.

Submission + - Recently unclassified report slams NSA opsec

Frosty Piss writes: From The Register, we learn that according to a now-unclassified review (PDF) that was instigated after Snowden released his million-and-a-half files, “NSA did not have guidance concerning key management and did not consistently secure server racks and other sensitive equipment in the data centers and machine rooms.” Server access was probably the most outstanding security gap: in a number of facilities including NSA's Texas facility, its Utah data center, and at a laboratory in North Carolina State University, an audit team “observed unlocked server racks and sensitive equipment.” In addition, the agency large numbers users with admin privileges and for some reason they were unable to cut the number of agents authorized to carry out data transfers.

Submission + - 75 British Highrise Buildings Fail Fire Safety Tests, 600 More To Be Tested (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The catastrophic Grenfell Tower fire in London killed 79 people, injured many others and made headlines around the world. After the national shock and mourning caused by this tragic event, the British government has hastily implemented a program where building cladding samples taken from highrise buildings thought to be at risk of fire are sent to a testing laboratory and subjected to a "combustibility test". The result: 75 buildings in 26 council areas have failed fire safety tests — every one tested so far. Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has said all hospitals and schools had also been asked to carry out "immediate checks". He has said the fact all tested samples had failed the so-called combustibility test underlined the "vital importance of submitting samples urgently". "The testing facility can analyse 100 samples a day and runs around the clock. I am concerned at the speed at which samples are being submitted". "I would urge all landlords to submit their samples immediately," Mr Javid told the House of Commons. Cladding from as many as 600 tower blocks across England is being tested for safety.

Submission + - Do Cyber Attacks Against Political Targets Constitute an Act of War (wordpress.com)

SciFiTurboGeek writes: This blog mentions the recent rise of cyber attacks and the shift to political targets in recent years and suggests they may be acts of war (in absence of any cyber treaties). Then it suggests that an ongoing stealth cyber war combined with reports of IT vendors giving source code to Russia may accelerate the migration of legacy apps to the cloud.

Submission + - New Study Explains Why Trump's 'Sad' Tweets Are So Effective (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: During his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump has used Twitter to circumvent traditional media broadcasters and speak directly to the masses. He is particularly known for one specific tweet construction: he sets up a situation that he feels should inspire anger or outrage, then punctuates it with “Sad!” New research from New York University suggests a reason why this style is so effective: a tweet containing moral and emotional language spreads farther among people with similar political persuasion. The study offered up “duty” as an example of a purely moral word, “fear” as a purely emotional one, and “hate” as word that combined the two categories. The research found that the use of purely moral or purely emotional language had a limited impact on the spread of a tweet, but the “presence of moral-emotional words in messages increased their diffusion by a factor of 20% for each additional word.” The impact of this language cut both ways. Tweets with moral-emotional words spread further among those with a similar political outlook, and they spread less with those who held opposing views, according to the research published in the journal PNAS. The study looked at 563,312 tweets on the topics of gun control, same-sex marriage, and climate change, and rated their impact by the number of retweets each one received.

Submission + - $1 Million Ransomware Payment Has Spurred New DDoS-for-Bitcoin Attacks (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The $1 million ransom payment paid last week by South Korean web hosting company Nayana has sparked new extortion attempts on South Korean companies. Seven banks have received emails that asked the organizations to pay ransoms of nearly $315,000 or suffer downtime via DDoS attacks. Only five of the seven targets are publicly known, which are also the country's biggest financial institutions: KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, KEB Hana Bank, and NH Bank.

The ransom demands were signed by a group of "Armada Collective," a name that has a long history behind it. The group first appeared in 2015, and they are considered one of the hacker groups that popularized ransom DDoS (RDoS) attacks alongside another group known as DD4BC (DDoS-for-Bitcoin). The Armada Collective ransom letters sent last week to South Korean banks said the group would launch DDoS attacks on the targeted banks today, June 26, and double their ransom demand.

Submission + - Zillow threatens architecture blogger with lawsuit 2

Theaetetus writes: McMansion Hell (link goes to Google cache) is an architecture blog, with hilarity and education in a rarely found combination. Author Kate Wagner posts critiques of large, ostentatious modern houses (frequently called "McMansions") using annotated photos from real estate aggregators. Or at least, she used to, until recent threats from Zillow forced her to shut the site down.

In an interview with The Verge, Wagner said, “this blog is my entire livelihood and I am at risk of losing everything." It's tough to see how fair use (codified at 17 U.S.C. 107) does not apply to this sort of educational criticism, but easy to imagine how these threats could have chilling effects on any public commentary.

Submission + - "I'm Suing New York City to Loosen Verizon's Iron Grip" (wired.com)

mirandakatz writes: New York City is lagging far behind when it comes to ensuring ubiquitous, reasonably priced fiber optic internet access for every resident. There's a jaw-dropping digital divide in the city, and more than a quarter of households are still using dial-up. The city could be doing more to fix that—but it's not. That's why Susan Crawford, a professor at Harvard Law School and fierce advocate for nationwide fiber, is suing the city. At Backchannel, Crawford writes that "the city’s intransigence should be embarrassing to it. Instead of a plan, instead of exercising power and acting coherently, all we’ve got is shuffling and nay-saying. Getting information regarding access is the key to transforming telecommunications policy in the US—as well as in New York City. We must do better."

Submission + - How Google Risks Court Actions Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Yet the probability of some group moving ahead with legal action in these regards seems to be increasing dramatically as Google’s user interfaces overall — plus documents, blogs, and various other display aspects — keep getting worse in terms of the disadvantaged categories of users. Nor is the fact that most Google users are not paying for Google services necessarily a useful defense — Google has become integral to the lives of much of this planet’s population.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Looking for args against installing anti-virus on AWS EC2 instance

the_ghst_ridr writes: I'm looking around for researched type articles that provide solid reasons why it isn't a good idea to install anti-virus software on AWS EC2 instances. My company wants my department to install it just because the CTO says so and hand over the management to a completely different department. That seems wrong.

Submission + - Physicists Have Created the Brightest Light Ever Recorded

Jason Koebler writes: A group of physicists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Extreme Light Laboratory announced Monday that they have created the brightest light ever produced on Earth using Diocles, one of the most powerful lasers in the United States.
When this high intensity laser pulse, which is one billion times brighter than the surface of the sun, strikes the electron, it causes it to behave differently. By firing this laser at individual electrons, the researchers found that past a certain threshold, the brightness of light will actually change an object's appearance rather than simply making it brighter.

Submission + - Brexit means Brexit, and "papers, please".

Oxygen99 writes: The UK Government has proposed a national foreigner registration database and ID card scheme for European nationals following the mooted 2019 exit from the EU. This flies in the face of the views of many of the current administration including Brexit chief minister David Davis. The MP for Haltemprice and Howden has previously resigned over the matter, calling ID Cards an 'ill conceived, intrusive gimmick".

Submission + - UW study finds Seattle's $15/hr minimum wage is costing jobs (seattletimes.com)

RoccamOccam writes: Seattle Washington decided to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour. Supporters of the hike promised an effective model for cities around the United States. The results are in. From the study:

"The city’s escalating minimum wage has meant a slight increase in pay among workers earning up to $19 per hour, but the hours worked in such jobs have shrunk, a study commissioned by the city found. It estimates there would be 5,000 more such jobs without the Seattle law."

Submission + - VC Justin Caldbeck takes indefinite leave after admiting to sexual harrassment.

Required Snark writes: Justin Caldback, co-founder of Binary Capital, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from his Silicon Valley VC firm after confirming sexual harassment allegations from six women entrepreneurs who were talking with him about financing. According to The Guardian, three of the women were willing to go public and state they had been subjected to inappropriate behavior. The transgressions included attempts to have sex, texts requesting meetings late at night, and groping one woman during a meeting in a public venue.

Reid Hoffman, of LinkedIn, published a sharp rebuke on the scandal saying VCs have the "same moral position to the entrepreneurs they interact with that a manager has to an employee, or a college professor to a student”, adding: “We all need to solve this problem. If you stay silent, if you don’t act, then you allow this problem to perpetuate.”

Submission + - Fake online stores reveal gamblers' shadow banking system

randomErr writes: A network of dummy online stores offering household goods has been used as a front for internet gambling payments. The seven sites in Europe to sell items including fabric, DVD cases, and maps are fake outlets. The faux store fronts are a multinational system to disguise payments for the $40 billion global online gambling industry. Online gambling is illegal in many countries and some U.S. states. The dummy sites underline a strategy which regulators, card issuers and banks have yet to tackle head-on.

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