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Submission + - Seizures and searches INSIDE the White House (youtube.com)

shanen writes: What would do if your boss suddenly told you to give him ALL of your phones. Your boss wants to check if you have done anything suspicious by studying EVERYONE you've spoken to. Lawyers in attendance, and obvious that refusal = instant termination of your employment.

Technology minus privacy = ?

Now imagine you're working in the White House. It's already reality.

The report in the video claims that Sean Spicer brought all of the flunkies in the press section into a room and ordered them to dump all their phones on the table for immediate examination. The report also says the supposedly nonexistent "anonymous sources" do exist and are much higher (and everywhere)...

However, I think the video mostly shows how bad the mass media is, if you regard Morning Joe as some kind of journalist. Obviously the point of the story is that the person who is MOST afraid for his job right now is Sean Spicer and he is trying to convince Herr #PresidentTweety not to fire him. In a sane scenario, he would understand that this kind of craziness guarantees his termination. Even allowing for the crazy environment, I think Spicer might be sane and has realized he's already tired of the job and WANTS to be fired.

Submission + - Lessons from Canada's scientific resistance (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: Andrew Nikiforuk, a contributing editor of The Tyee and author of Slick Water, has a smart piece outlining what the United States science community can do to combat expected attacks from the Trump administration on federal funding for research projects that examine the environmental impacts of industries such as mining and oil drilling. Nikiforuk seeks lessons from the years when the Canadian government, led by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, systematically reduced the capacity of publicly funded federal science to monitor the impacts of air, water, and carbon pollution from the country’s aggressive resource industries—by cutting budgets and firing staff. Great read.

Submission + - SpaceX plans manned moon fly-around in 2018 (orlandosentinel.com)

b0bby writes: SpaceX is planning to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late 2018. “They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission,” SpaceX said in a news release Monday. “Once operational Crew Dragon missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth.”

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 192

To be a little clearer - we have an evolution-provided brain model to copy, we did not have an evolution-provided rocket model to copy.

I can copy Kanji without understanding the meaning of what I'm copying... or even the basic rules of grammar. However, I'm not going to be able to write a new novel in Japanese.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 192

Scientists have already built an hippocampal prosthesis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampal_prosthesis

You might also look into memristors, which show some promise as artificial neurons far more effective than simulating them with transistors.

Neurology is also starting to crawl out of the dark ages, and a renaissance there will immediately spill over to AI research.

It may turn out that we don't have to figure out how it works if we can 'simply' build a replica of a biological model in silicon... though I'd suggest that might be less than ideal as we'd probably want to understand how to program a mind before creating one that would be damn near functionally immortal and could operate faster even if not smarter than ours.

My point is that an AI breakthrough is somewhere between a decade from now and 'forever', but I wouldn't set any particular minimum with a high level of confidence.

Submission + - Supersmart Robots Will Outnumber Humans Within 30 Years, Says SoftBank CEO (wsj.com)

schwit1 writes:

These beliefs underpin the wave of large and surprising deals the Japanese internet and telecommunications giant has pulled off in the past year, [SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son] said on Monday. These include starting a $100 billion technology-investment fund with a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund, buying British microprocessor designer ARM Holdings PLC for $32 billion and acquiring U.S. asset manager Fortress Investment Group PLC for $3.3 billion.

This 30-year forecast created urgency, Mr. Son said in a speech at the telecom industry’s biggest trade show, Mobile World Congress. “That is why I’m in a hurry to aggregate cash to invest.”

In a brief interview after his speech, Mr. Son said his $100 billion project with the Saudis, dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund, was bigger than the $65 billion in combined investments from the venture-capital world. He said the SoftBank Vision Fund would be focused. “Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, smart robots: those are the three main things I’m interested in,” he said.

Mr. Son said he didn’t expect the planned initial public offering of oil colossus Saudi Aramco to affect the size of Vision Fund. “They are a great partner,” he said of the Saudis. “They’re already rich. They have lots of money, even before the IPO.”

The Saudis already outsource much of their labor to millions of foreign guest-workers from India, Pakistan, and around the Arab world. Their numbers are huge — it's estimated that about 31% of the Saudi population of 27 million is made up of expatriates. The wages those workers repatriate help keep their home economies afloat. If Son is correct, that cashflow is about to be diverted away from the Third World, and towards Japan, China, the U.S., and other makers of automated systems.

Those workers getting the boot and that money drying up could create the next big disruptive wave to come out of the Middle East and South Asia.

Comment Re:Its Not If We Could get to the Moon, Its Why? (Score 1) 316

Delta-V and time, because within the limits of your propulsion system you can trade energy for time or visa versa.

And if you want to get really nit-picky... also timing, because the delta-v requirements change as your origin and destination endpoint's relative positions change.

Wait. How about just 'timing, time, distance, energy, mass, hazards and Isp'?

Err... I want to change my answer to "it's really, really complicated"!

Comment I'm torn (Score 1) 1

Blackberry has been self-sabotaging and you simply cannot trust any statements they make about their corporate health - they've lied multiple times in attempts to recover from their death spin.

On the other hand, I really, really love the sandboxed work and personal modes on their phones, and above all the QWERTY to the point that I've been looking into the TYPO2 keyboard for when I am inevitably forced to migrate to a non-sinking platform. (Apparently, a Bluetooth phone linked to an Apple device doesn't benefit from autocorrect, the keys are too small, it blocks the bottom of the touchscreen, and it makes the phones too long).

A Blackberry keyboard on an Android phone would be fine... except this is going to be a heavily Blackberry-customized OS and I don't want to be tethered to the Titanic as it goes under.

Submission + - BlackBerry KeyOne Resurrects The QWERTY Keyboard Smartphone 1

Mickeycaskill writes: BlackBerry is back with its final smartphone, the QWERTY keyboard-toting, business-focussed BlackBerry KeyOne, previously codenamed Mercury.

Launched in the run-up to Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 in Barcelona, the KeyOne was designed by BlackBerry but made by TCL Communications, which will take over the design and creation of future BlackBerry branded handsets.

Sporting a 4.5inch display with a resolution of 1620×1080, a Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip, a 3,505mAh battery, 12 megapixel rear camera and an eight megapixel one to the front, the KeyOne does not initially dazzle the smartphone market with its specifications.

But the standout feature is the phone’s QWERTY keyboard, something that both appealed and repulsed punters with the BlackBerry Priv, with the aim of making hacking out emails on the go far easier than the more haphazard process of tapping on a smartphone for some users.

Submission + - White House blocks news organizations from press briefing (cnn.com)

ClickOnThis writes: CNN reports that it, along with several other major news organizations, were blocked from attending a press briefing at the White House today. From the article:

The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room. The gaggle was held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today."

The pool usually includes a representative from one television network and one print outlet. In this case, four of the five major television networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News — were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.

And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in.


Comment Re:Stop accepting takedown notices from BSers (Score 1) 81

That's the beauty of cutting them off from the automated submission system after a very low threshold of bogus submissions (by percentage, quantity, or a combination).

It doesn't matter if they have an ulterior motive, they're shut down and have to pay a premium going forward... which means if they want to keep it up they'll be paying Google to employ extra verifiers and nobody else is affected.

Comment It seems obvious that... (Score 5, Insightful) 81

DMCA takedown requests for non-existent URLs, especially at a 99.97% invalid rate, should be evidence that the requestor is not properly verifying their DMCA claims and should:

A) Lose their right to continue to submit 'trusted' DMCA takedown requests

B) Be charged under the DMCA for filing false claims.

But we know that will never happen.

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