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Submission + - AI Program Can Predict Human Rights Trials With 79 Percent Accuracy (theverge.com)

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 + - Apple's Annual Sales Fall For First Time Since 2001 (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple just posted its first annual sales decline since 2001, the year it launched the iPod and kicked off a tremendous run of groundbreaking products. The tech company revealed Tuesday that annual sales fell to $216 billion in the 2016 fiscal year ending September 30, from a record $234 billion in 2015. The sales decline is closely connected to the falling sales for the iPhone, which remains Apple's largest source of revenue. Apple sold 45.5 million iPhones in the September quarter, down from 48 million iPhones in the same quarter a year earlier. That marks the third consecutive quarter when iPhone sales and overall revenue have declined from a year prior. Many analysts have raised concerns that the global smartphone market is saturated. Customers are taking longer to replace their phones. And Apple's latest iPhone is a dead ringer for the previous two models, eliminating some of the desire to upgrade. The good news is that this sales decline may prove to be a blip and not the new norm. Apple is projecting that it will post sales of $76 billion to $78 billion in the upcoming quarter, up from $74.8 billion a year earlier.

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.

Comment Re:Seagate (Score 2) 161

Has Slashdot somehow attracted edgy Youtube commenters now? It's so dull to read useless diatribes full of personal attacks and passive-aggressive dick waving. I'd hope we're a little more intelligent here. Why do people even post this garbage? Do they think it makes them "cool", or maybe that it'll impress someone? Maybe it's just a cry for attention from a lonely 12 year old I guess...

Comment Re:why submit a project without knowing the price (Score 1) 88

On the projects I work on at least, the cost of the MCU hardware is almost irrelevent. In fact in most commercial projects involving microcontrollers or embedded systems, the cost of development boards is not that important. If you're rolling out a large volume of devices you're almost certainly going to be using a custom board anyway. Aside from all this, I can't imagine the cost of the board will be far out of line with similar products; as it'll need to compete when it's released for sale.

Comment Re:Weak (Score 1) 91

Something that has to be interacted with, through a view controlled by Javascript will not be trivial for a bot to solve. I know the typical response to this is "well I don't enable Javascript!!!" but these voices are now a tiny minority of users, who doubtless have all sorts of problems using the web now. Disabling JS in a browser is like disabling Excel's ability to automatically perform calculations on cells.

For deaf users, the choice could be from a number of sounds - maybe with filters added to prevent them being piped through an audio search engine.

I think this idea will make it harder and less profitable to run spam bots, which is always a good thing.

Comment Re:irc://irc.geekshed.net/jupiterbroadcasting (Score 2) 85

I used to be a regular user of Freenode, but it's a total cesspool of meglomaniacs who have somehow managed to crawl up someone's ass to get op status, and their toadies. Here's how the average conversation goes in most of the old channels I used to frequent:

A: Can any one help me with XXX?
Twat1: Why do you want to do that?
A: {explains}
Twat2: That's stupid
Twat1: Yeah, who told you to do that
A: Well, I'm just looking for help to do XXX
Twat1: Nobody does that, so why are you asking?
Twat2: Well said Twat1
A has left channel
Twat1: So I was talking to Twat3 about fish the other night...
B: I'd like some help with YYY
Twat2: That's off topic
B: Oh ok
B has left channel
Twat2: So what about fish? ... etc...

I wouldn't recommend anyone wanting any actual technical help/feedback go there.

Comment Re:Do you need a database? (Score 1) 272

To be honest, the OPs use case doesn't require ACID compliance. There's no need for a transaction when performing a single insert. It's also debatable to claim PostgreSQL offers better performance, at least without a qualifier. True it's (currently) faster in some areas,and (currently) equal or slower in others. As I say, I've used PG, MySQL and Oracle, although I haven't used PG for a few years now I'll admit. But it was pretty damning that I actually preferred using the Oracle command line client to PG's version! It's piqued my interest in trying it out again though :)

Most distros either come with a LAMP stack installed now, or an easy way to install one in a couple of minutes, all working out of the box. For the sake of convenience it makes sense. I'm not sure if there's an equivalent turnkey LAPP stack? I'll have to look it up!

Comment Re:Do you need a database? (Score 5, Insightful) 272

Please don't do this (use a flat file) to store data for a web app that's likely to be accessed by more than one device at a time. Unless you implement your own file locking mechanism, you'll eventually end up with corrupt entries. Even if you do implement your own locking scheme, it's probably not going to be as efficient as using a DB. It's a 5 minute job to set up a new MySQL DB and associated query to push data in, then you can filter and report on it much more easily. It's something DBs are very good at!

Unless you have a specific need to scale horizontally, it's generally better to stick with a SQL DB for web apps. I've used MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle for this. MySQL is by far the easiest to work with, hence its popularity. I don't actually know of any advantage to using PostgreSQL; it doesn't perform any better, and is (or at least used to be) much less user friendly.

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