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Submission + - DHS Wants to Monitor Web for Terrorists (foxnews.com) 1

clustro writes: Under the belief that terrorists are "increasingly" recruiting U.S. citizens, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano says that increased government monitoring of the internet is necessary to thwart terrorists. It is believed that Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and attempted Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad were inspired by radical internet postings. Speaking at a meeting of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Napolitano said, "We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable."

Submission + - Utah Attorney General Tweets Execution Order (bbc.co.uk)

Kilrah_il writes: In a new all-time record low for Internet use, Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtlef, used Twitter to announce to the public his approval of the execution of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner. "I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner's execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims," the attorney general wrote. The AG's 7,000 followers retweeted the message further on and soon many replied concerning the awfulness of tweeting the execution of a human being. "Another user, known only as Brenstrong, observed in a public reply that: 'death penalty bad enough. Firing squad! And there's an absurdity to a man's demise being announced over twitter...'"

Comment ELIZA (Score 1) 170

I wonder if a website where people subscribed to artificial friends, shrinks, lovers would be a viable business model if it was as good at mimicking these things in conversations. An Eliza frontend on this Jeopardy beast might work. Plus Eliza was always giving questions as answers too!! I'd rather talk to a computer program about certain things anyway......and this one *would* be connected to the internet and would hone into your tastes quickly.

Submission + - Being Wrong is What Makes Humans Smart 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Kathryn Schulz has an interesting article in the Boston Globe about how the more scientists understand about cognitive functioning, the more it becomes clear that our capacity to make mistakes is utterly inextricable from what makes the human brain so swift, adaptable, and intelligent and recognize that human fallibility is part and parcel of humans' brilliance. Neuroscientists increasingly think that inductive reasoning undergirds virtually all of human cognition — the decisions you make every day, as well as how you learned almost everything you know about the world and that we use inductive reasoning to learn language, organize the world into meaningful categories, and grasp the relationship between cause and effect in the physical, biological, and psychological realms. "The distinctive thing about inductive reasoning is that it generates conclusions that aren’t necessarily true. They are, instead, probabilistically true — which means they are possibly false," writes Schulz. "Because we reason inductively, we will sometimes get things wrong." Schulz recommends that we respond to the mistakes (or putative mistakes) of those around us with empathy and generosity and demand that our business and political leaders acknowledge and redress their errors rather than ignoring or denying them. "Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity, or evil intent, we can liberate ourselves from the impossible burden of trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition that we could be in error, without deeming ourselves idiotic or unworthy.""

Comment Well duh...sooner or later (Score 5, Insightful) 67

They have to turn a profit. Look at how over-run youtube has become. It's pretty annoying, but they did it gradually which helped silent the complaints.

Twitter will do the same. Slowly but surely making it lamer than it already is. Look at its profit forecasts (from wikipedia):

"Some of Twitter's documents covering revenue and user growth were published on TechCrunch after they were retrieved by the hacker, Croll Hacker. These contained internal projections that in 2009 they would have revenues of $400,000 in the third quarter (Q3) and $4 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) along with 25 million users at the end of the year. The projections for the end of 2013 were $1.54 billion in revenue, $111 million in net earnings, and 1 billion users.[1] No information about how Twitter plans to achieve those numbers has been published. Biz Stone published a blog post suggesting legal action for revealing the details was a possibility.[28]"\

I don't see how they can ever reach such high estimates no matter what they do. But they will certainly try.

Comment ya right (Score 4, Informative) 135

Does anyone on /. honest believe anything seriously juicy or even particularly interesting would *ever* be released to the public. "Likelihood of Declassification – Factors include complexity of information, volume of tabs (exemptions, exclusions, referrals) and age of material. There are a number of lower level classified records which may lend themselves to quick turnaround, while other records contain classified information that must be protected under E.O. 13526 and will not result in significant public release."

This is from: "THE NATIONAL DECLASSIFICATION CENTER Releasing All We Can, Protecting What We Must National Declassification Center Prioritization Plan" mmmk

User Journal

Journal Journal: God

the topics today are a snoozefest and a half

Comment A Scentsor? (Score 3, Interesting) 282

I always wondered why there can't be an electronic way to generate smells, such as how a speaker produces sounds. Is it theoretically possible to ever create a machine or device that can create a variety of scents based on some sort of scent-spectrum? Or are "cartridges loaded with BBQ fragrance oil" the best we'll ever do? (This is one of those questions I have always wondered but been afraid to ask!)



Steak-Scented Billboard Entices Drivers 282

In addition to car exhaust and road grime, travelers along Highway 150 in North Carolina can now enjoy the smell of a barbecue thanks to a new billboard. The work of ScentAir, which provides custom scents for businesses, the advertisement for a local grocer emits the smell of charcoal and black pepper over the highway. "Marketing director Murray Dameron said the beef scent was emitted by a high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard that blows air over cartridges loaded with BBQ fragrance oil. 'It smells like grilled meat with a nice pepper rub on it,' he explained."

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