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Comment Re:Well of course we are (Score 1) 374

I believe that the blind following of rules is a result of trying to adapt to an alien social environment, not one that is innate. A normal person stuck in a society of (functioning) autists/asperger people would be equally at loss, and would have to make up rules to get along. My mother has stated that she had to reason in this manner, both regarding me and regarding "aspie" colleauges and friends.

Also, for me at some point the rules turned into intellectual models about human behaviour that tries to relate my emotions and thoughts to those of others and thus lost much of their rigidity.
Security

Backdoor Found In Arcadyan-based Wi-Fi Routers 59

Mojo66 writes "A recently reported flaw that allowed an attacker to drastically reduce the number of attempts needed to guess the WPS PIN of a wireless router isn't necessary for some Arcadyan based routers anymore. According to German computer publisher Heise, some 100,000 routers of type Speedport W921V, W504V and W723V are affected in Germany alone. (Google translation, original here.) What makes things worse is the fact that in order to exploit the backdoor, no button has to be pushed on the device itself and on some of the affected routers, the backdoor PIN ("12345670") is still working even after WPS has been disabled by the user. The only currently known remedy for those models is to disable Wi-Fi altogether. Since all Arcadyan routers share the same software platform, more models might be affected."

Comment Re:Useless (Score 1) 404

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that numbers might be innate to the human perception of reality? If our brains worked differently we might use an entirely other way of viewing quantities that, for example, relies entirely upon geometry or some other, completely alien faculty not just for expression but for actually thinking about them - like those of a mind (hypothetically, that of a little green man from alpha centauri) that sees reality as a continuum and doesn't think about discrete objects or groupings as such. Who's to say that such a mind wouldn't have a more accurate view of reality?

A friend of mine has dyscalculia, and he doesn't grasp arithmetic or more than very basic numeral manipulation - yet he obviously can judge quantities and can intuitively reason abstractly about logical relationships between things. He just can't do math like we others can.

Comment Citizen (Score 1) 146

"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to test a prototype software program designed to trap filthy Communists and Mutants inside a simulation of the life of a Red-level warehouse worker that Friend Computer has laboriously constructed. Unfortunately, the manual is marked Blue and cannot be accessed by a Red-level citizen such as yourself. Attempting to access the manual without clearance is Treason and punishable by termination. Friend Computer wishes you godspeed."

Comment Transparency (Score 2) 478

While this is certainly rather awesome, as a non-US citizen I think they should be open about it. Even if everyone else already assumed that they monitored everything they possibly could. Also, how did they ever think they where going to keep a domestic operation of that scale secret?

Besides, how could they monitor foreign computer/internet-based espionage and other such things without actually monitoring the entire domestic network? If they where more open about this they could perhaps release information about botnet activity or similar useful data.

Submission + - Megaupload Trial May Never Happen, Judge Says

Turbine2k5 writes: A US judge has put a bomb under the Megaupload case by informing the FBI that a trial in the United States may never happen. The cyberlocker was never formally served with the appropriate paperwork by the US authorities, as it is impossible to serve a foreign company with criminal charges.

Comment Re:Chronic Depression, type 1 diabetes, (Score 1) 190

In the case of autism there's a quirk: "hyper-systemizing" people (i.e. potentially productive geeks) tend to have more children with autism and Asperger syndrome. This would indicate that there's a positive side to these genes that is maladaptive if taken too far.
Microsoft

Submission + - In Soviet Russia, Bing Searches You!

theodp writes: A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application, reports GeekWire, describes a 'user-following engine' that analyzes your posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to deduce your mood, interests, and even your smarts. The system would then automatically adjust the search experience and results to better match those characteristics, explains Microsoft, such as changing the background color of the search interface to suit your mood, or bringing back only those search results that won't strain your feeble brain. From the patent application: 'In addition to skewing the search results to the user’s inferred interests, the user-following engine may further tailor the search results to a user’s comprehension level. For example, an intelligent processing module may be directed to discerning the sophistication and education level of the posts of a user. Based on that inference, the customization engine may vary the sophistication level of the customized search result.' So, is this the same technology the Microsoft Store used to determine I'd need a $49-an-hour Microsoft "personal trainer" to grasp Windows Live Photo Gallery, the same software that 4-and-a-half year-old Kylie mastered on her own?
Open Source

Submission + - Scientists Can Recreate Brain 'Flow' State in Lab; You too, soon (fellowgeek.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A small software startup called “GoFlow”, a company that is making a DIY opensource kit for tDCS. tDCS, in case you are wondering, stands for “transcranial Direct Current Stimulation".
Tennis players report it, expert video game players know it well. It is a state in which you are utterly focused on the task, one in which you learn faster and perform better. All with the flip of a switch.

GoFlow is attempting to build a $99.00 device that can be comfortably worn while doing whatever it is you do...

Toys

Submission + - LEGO is in trouble with feminists (foxnews.com)

Bravoc writes: "The new “LEGO Friends” rolled out in December featuring LadyFigs, curvier takeoffs on the traditional boxy LEGO men. Construction sets include a hot tub, a splash pool, a beauty parlor, an outdoor bakery and a “cool convertible," as well as an inventor's workshop.
But the SPARK Movement objects to the "LadyFigs," the female version of the little figures who man the spaceships, trucks and forts children create. "Ladyfigs" are somewhat anatomically correct, which hypersexualizes girls, according to the group.
"They have little breasts and they have fancy hair," the organization's executive director, Dana Edell, told FoxNews.com. "And it just disturbs us that this is the image that they want girls to see."
(as opposed to mostly anatomically incorrect BIG breasts and fancy hair — ala Barbi. Maybe they are just upset at fancy hair?)"

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