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The Internet

NSF-Funded "Dark Web" to Battle Terrorists 258

BuzzSkyline writes "The National Science Foundation has announced a new University of Arizona project, which they call the Dark Web, intended to monitor all terrorist activity on the Internet. The project relies on 'advanced techniques such as Web spidering, link analysis, content analysis, authorship analysis, sentiment analysis and multimedia analysis [to] find, catalog and analyze extremist activities online.' The coolest part of the project is a tool called Writeprint, which 'automatically extracts thousands of multilingual, structural, and semantic features to determine who is creating "anonymous" content' with an accuracy of 95%, according to the release."

FBI Seeks To Restrict University Student Freedoms 593

amigoro writes with a link to the Press Escape blog, which is discussing new guidelines suggest by the FBI for university administrations. The Federal Bureau, worried about the possibility of international espionage via our centers of learning, now sees the need to restrict the freedoms of university students for national security. "FBI is offering to brief faculty, students and staff on what it calls 'espionage indicators' aimed at identifying foreign agents. Unexplained affluence, failing to report overseas travel, showing unusual interest in information outside the job scope, keeping unusual work hours, unreported contacts with foreign nationals, unreported contact with foreign government, military, or intelligence officials, attempting to gain new accesses without the need to know, and unexplained absences are all considered potential espionage indicators."

Could Global Warming Make Life on Earth Better? 923

mikee805 writes "A lengthy article in Spiegel explores the possibility that global warming might make life on Earth better, not just for humans, but all species. The article argues that 'worst-case scenarios' are often the result of inaccurate simulations made in the 1980s. While climate change is a reality, as far as the article is concerned, some planning and forethought may mean that more benefits than drawbacks will result from higher temperatures. From the article:'The medical benefits of higher average temperatures have also been ignored. According to Richard Tol, an environmental economist, "warming temperatures will mean that in 2050 there will be about 40,000 fewer deaths in Germany attributable to cold-related illnesses like the flu." Another widespread fear about global warming -- that it will cause super-storms that could devastate towns and villages with unprecedented fury -- also appears to be unfounded. Current long-term simulations, at any rate, do not suggest that such a trend will in fact materialize.'"

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