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Submission + - London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit and they want volunteer info (

An anonymous reader writes: The Metropolitan Police is to spend £2.1m of public money funding a unit that will actively investigate “offensive” comments on Twitter and Facebook, according to reports.

Backed by a team of “volunteers”, the Met's new unit will actively seek out anything “deemed inappropriate” on social media services, according to the Sunday papers.

Scotland Yard is splurging £1.7m of its own budget on the headline-grabbing stunt, which will have five full-time detectives on its staff.

The Home Office is contributing a further £452,756 to the Online Hate Crime Hub, as reported by the Sunday Telegraph.

The five-strong hub will consist of a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and three detective constables.

Submission + - Tim Cook: Privacy Is Worth Protecting (

An anonymous reader writes: In a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post, Apple's CEO Tim Cook talks iPhones, AI, privacy, civil rights, missteps, China, taxes, and Steve Jobs — all without addressing rumors about the company's Project Titan electric car. One of the biggest concerns Tim Cook has is with user privacy. Earlier this year, Apple was in the news for refusing a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to unlock a suspected terrorist's iPhone because Apple argued it would affect millions of other iPhones, it was unconstitutional, and that it would weaken security for everyone. Cook told the Washington Post: "The lightbulb went off, and it became clear what was right: Could we create a tool to unlock the phone? After a few days, we had determined yes, we could. Then the question was, ethically, should we? We thought, you know, that depends on whether we could contain it or not. Other people were involved in this, too — deep security experts and so forth, and it was apparent from those discussions that we couldn't be assured. The risk of what happens if it got out, could be incredibly terrible for public safety." Cook suggest that customers rely on companies like Apple to set up privacy and security protections for them. "In this case, it was unbelievable uncomfortable and not something that we wished for, wanted — we didn't even think it was right. Honestly? I was shocked that [the FBI] would even ask for this," explained Cook. "That was the thing that was so disappointing that I think everybody lost. There are 200-plus other countries in the world. Zero of them had ever asked [Apple to do] this." Privacy is a right to be protected, believes Cook: "In my point of view, [privacy] is a civil liberty that our Founding Fathers thought of a long time ago and concluded it was an essential part of what it was to be an American. Sort of on the level, if you will, with freedom of speech, freedom of the press."

Submission + - Tesla Preps Bigger 100 kWh Battery For Tesla Model S and Model X (

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla will soon offer a 100 kWh battery for the Model S and Model X that will allow for increased range — perhaps as much as 380 miles for the Model S. Currently, the 90 kWh batteries are the company's largest capacity. Kenteken.TV is reporting that the Dutch regulator that certifies Tesla's vehicles for use in the European Union, RDW, has recently published a number of new Tesla variants. RDW's public database now includes entries for a Tesla "100D" and "100X," which are titles that follow Tesla's current naming system based on battery capacity. The listing for the 100D claims the vehicle has a range of 381 miles or 613 kilometers. The motor output is reported as 90 kilowatts (121 horsepower), which is the maximum output the Tesla motors can sustain without overheating.

Submission + - SPAM: July 2016 Was Earth's Warmest Month on Record

mdsolar writes: Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), operated by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the global average July temperature was nearly one-fifth of a degree Celsius higher than previous July temperature records set in 2015 and in 2009. July was also 0.55 degrees Celsius higher than the July average for 1981-2010.

Compared to the July average, the south-central part of the United States including Texas and into northern Mexico were the most anomalously warm for North America.

Globally, portions of western Russia and the Southern Ocean were warmest compared to average.

In Russia, fires and an anthrax outbreak have been blamed on warmer than average temperatures.

Each of the last 12 months has been the warmest on record for their respective months. This is due to a combination of global climate variability and human activity according to C3S.

July is typically the warmest month of the year globally because the Northern Hemisphere has more land masses than the Southern Hemisphere.

(NASA GISTEMP confirms today)

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Hackers Claim To Be Selling NSA Cyberweapons In Online Auction

blottsie writes: A group of hackers identifying themselves as the Shadow Brokers claims to have hacked the NSA's Equation Group, a team of American hackers that have been described as both "omnipotent" and "the most advanced" threat cyberspace has ever seen.

On the Shadow Brokers' website, the group has shared a sample of data that some cybersecurity experts say lends credibility to the breach. The the hackers' asking price for what they claim is a cache of NSA-built cyberweapons.

Comment Re:As PE said (Score 2) 343

“For most of us, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bed down a new weapon set and make it employable and bring this capability for the defense of our nation,” Anderson said. “Everyone from the youngest airmen on up through our wing commanders is totally invested in this program. We are all excited and very motivated for what we’ve accomplished over the last year and what we’re going to accomplish in the future.”

Nope, no hype or spin here.

Submission + - What Research Says About the Relationship Between Prac (

digitalmar99 writes: Some people are dramatically better at activities like sports, music and chess than other people. Take the basketball great Stephen Curry. This past season, breaking the record he set last year by over 40 percent, Curry made an astonishing 402 three-point shots–126 more than his closest challenger.


Comment Re:Just wait for the future to arrive. (Score 1) 108

So in about 200 years, the people alive then will have something to worry about.

There is a bit more to it than just losing ice off the surface. As the sheet loses mass it will shift and readjust its position. Fissures form at places where the ice is under tension. Melt water falls down into these fissures and starts what amount to underground streams. If these streams cross through areas of lower density ice - say old mostly collapsed tunnels - they will naturally flow along all the interconnected tunnels and rooms, this being an easier path than melting through solid ice. If we're lucky they might fill all the tunnels and freeze solid, thus preserving everything very nicely. Unfortunately this guy I know named Murphy says that the tunnels will probably first fill and then start draining through other openings out into streams or the sea. Any one who lives there and eats fish, or likes being able to drink from streams, would probably start to have a problem at this point.

Submission + - Highest-Paid CEOs Run Worst-Performing Companies, Research Finds (

An anonymous reader writes: According to a study carried out by corporate research firm MSCI, CEO's that get paid the most run some of the worst-performing companies. It found that every $100 invested in companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 over 10 years. However, the same amount invested in the companies with the lowest-paid CEOs would have grown to $367 over 10 years. The report, titled "Are CEOs paid for performance? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Equity Incentives," looked at the salaries of 800 CEOs at 429 large and medium-sized U.S. companies between 2005 and 2014 and compared it with the total shareholder return of the companies. Senior corporate governance research at MSCI, Ric Marshall, said in a statement: "The highest paid had the worse performance by a significant margin. It just argues for the equity portion of CEO pay to be more conservative."

Submission + - EU Plans To Create Database Of Bitcoin Users With Identities & Wallet Addres (

An anonymous reader writes: The European Commission is proposing the creation of a database that will hold information on users of virtual currencies. The database will record data on the user's real world identity, along with all associated wallet addresses.

The database will be made available to financial investigation agencies in order to track down users behind suspicious operations. The creation of this database is part of a regulatory push that the EU got rolling after the Paris November 2015 terror attacks, and which it officially put forward in February 2016, and later approved at the start of July 2016. Legally, this is an attempt to reform the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). The current draft is available here.

Submission + - Norway Is Building The World's First 'Floating' Underwater Tunnels (

An anonymous reader writes: Norway plans to build "submerged floating bridges" to allow drivers to cross its bodies of water. The Next Web reports: "The 'submerged floating bridges' would consist of large tubes suspended by pontoon-like support structures 100 feet below water. Each will be wide enough for two lanes of traffic, and the floating structures should ease the congestion on numerous ferries currently required to get commuters from Point A to Point B. Each support pontoon would then be secured to a truss or bolted to the bedrock below to keep things stable."

Submission + - John Cook's experiment with online science trolls

Lasrick writes: John Cook is a researcher who writes about climate change denial at SkepticalScience, and he writes here about dealing with online trolls. Not only has he turned online trolling into a source of data collection, but has also come up with a very effective way to deal with trolling. Great read: 'When I turn the spotlight around to expose the techniques of science denial, the reaction can be intense.'

Submission + - Can Crowdfunding Save the Pluto Discovery Telescope? (

astroengine writes: 85 years before NASA's New Horizons mission buzzed Pluto on July 14, 2015, the dwarf planet (then a planet) was found hidden in photographic plates by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh while he was working at Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Those plates came from a telescope (actually, an "astrograph," or astronomical camera) that was built specifically to hunt down the much-fabled "Planet X" that was believed to be a massive planet orbiting beyond Neptune. Though it turned out Pluto wasn't a massive planet, it was a planet nonetheless and its 1930 discovery went down in the history books as the year an American astronomer added the 9th planet to the solar system. But now, 87 years since its construction, the Pluto Discovery Telescope needs help and a Kickstarter campaign has been set up to get the telescope and its dome back in working order. There are even hopes to get its optics back up to par so it can image Pluto once more. "People have such a connection with Pluto ... there's a certain magic," said Lowell Observatory Historian Kevin Schindler. "There's a lot more feeling and emotion over Pluto than the other planets."

Submission + - Failing Tanks Have Hanford Site Cascading Towards Disaster

An anonymous reader writes: As the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear waste site slide continually further behind schedule local news sources are reporting that even the newer doubled walled tanks are failing to contain the high level waste. Looming on the horizon is a DOE prediction from 2008 that puts the window where contamination from the begins reaching the Columbia River only four years away.

Submission + - How Big Data Creates False Confidence (

Mr D from 63 writes: FTA

The general idea (of "big data") is to find datasets so enormous that they can reveal patterns invisible to conventional inquiry. The data are often generated by millions of real-world user actions, such as tweets or credit-card purchases, and they can take thousands of computers to collect, store, and analyze. To many companies and researchers, though, the investment is worth it because the patterns can unlock information about anything from genetic disorders to tomorrow’s stock prices.

But there’s a problem: It’s tempting to think that with such an incredible volume of data behind them, studies relying on big data couldn’t be wrong. But the bigness of the data can imbue the results with a false sense of certainty. Many of them are probably bogus—and the reasons why should give us pause about any research that blindly trusts big data.

So rather than succumb to “big data hubris,” the rest of us would do well to keep our skeptic hats on—even when someone points to billions of words.

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