walterbyrd writes: It is now clear that Tom Wheeler is not a representative of the people, but corporations. Previously to taking his current position Wheeler was the former head of 2 different lobbying organizations, which represented companies like Verizon, Comcast, and At&t. His actions helped turn them into the monopolies that they are today.
Nemo the Magnificent writes: This parchment manuscript has been around since the second half of the 10th century, when someone in Constantinople was transcribing and commenting on the mathematics of Archimedes. But it turns out there was a fair bit more on that prepared goatskin. 'Normally when you're looking at medieval manuscripts that have been scraped off, you don't find unique texts,' project director William Noel says in a 2012 TED talk. 'And to find two in one manuscript is really something. To find three is completely weird. And we found three.'
KentuckyFC writes: The study of social networks has long shown that people tend to pick friends who are similar to them--birds of a feather stick together (pdf). Now a study of the genomes of almost 2000 Americans has found that those who are friends also share remarkable genetic similarities. “Pairs of friends are, on average, as genetically similar to one another as fourth cousins,” the study concludes. By contrast, strangers share few genetic similarities. The result seems to confirm a 30 year old theory that a person’s genes causes them to seek out circumstances that are compatible with their phenotype. If that’s the case, then people with similar genes should end up in similar environments and so be more likely to become friends.
alphadogg writes: The Kenya Wildlife Service has a powerful new tool in its fight against the poachers who threaten endangered species living in the country's most remote areas: a high-tech network of custom cameras built by UK-based consultants called Instant Wild that can instantly locate illegal activity as well as keep tabs on nearby animals. Based on the bare-bones Raspberry Pi mini-computer, each camera unit packs an array of different technologies. Motion sensors trigger the main camera, which uses an infrared flash, allowing nighttime operation and keeping the unit from being detected. Vibration sensors can detect the presence of nearby vehicles, and microphones can pick up the sound of gunshots and locate them via triangulation with other units on the network.
WheezyJoe writes: "Ransomware is becoming big enough that the NY Times is covering it. Essentially online extortion, ransomware involves infecting a user’s computer with a virus that locks it, scours the drive for personal info, and demands money before the computer will be unlocked. In some countries, the payout rate has been as high as 15 percent. Early variations of ransomware locked computers, displayed porno, and, in Russian, demanded a fee to have it removed. Now, fake messages from local law enforcement accuse victims of visiting illegal pornography, gambling or piracy sites and demand fines to unlock the computer, many originating from sites hacked from GoDaddy. 'This is the new Nigerian e-mail scam... We’ll be talking about this for the next two years.'"
dcblogs writes: The U.S. Dept. of Energy has set a goal to develop battery and energy storage technologies that are five times more powerful and five times cheaper within five years. DOE is creating a new center at Argonne National Labratory, at a cost of $120 million over five years, that’s intended to reproduce development environments that were successfully used by Bell Laboratories and World War II’s Manhattan Project. “When you had to deliver the goods very, very quickly, you needed to put the best scientists next to the best engineers across disciplines to get very focused,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, on Friday. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research isn’t designed to seek incremental improvements in existing technologies. This technology hub, according to DOE’s solicitation, “should foster new energy storage designs that begin with a 'clean sheet of paper' — overcoming current manufacturing limitations through innovation to reduce complexity and cost.” Other research labs, universities and private companies are participating in the effort.
nonprofiteer writes: This is a crazy story. An FBI agent put spyware on his kid's school-issued laptop in order to monitor his Internet use. Before returning the laptop to the school, he tried to wipe the program (SpectorSoft's eBlaster) by having FBI agents scrub the computer and by taking it to a computer repair shop to be re-imaged. It somehow survived and began sending him reports a week later about child porn searches. He winds up busting the school principal for child porn despite never getting a warrant, subpoena, etc. Gift-wrapped present thanks to spyware. A judge says the principal has no 4th Amendment protection because 1. FBI dad originally installed spyware as a private citizen not an officer and 2. he had no reasonable expectation of privacy on a computer he didn't own/obtained by fraud.
dinscott writes: Wondering how secure your browser is? Research show that browsers and plug-ins are frequently outdated and easily attackable. To make things worse, malware authors adapt quickly and most of their new attacks are against browser plug-ins.
The problem is that people might remember to update the browser, but forget to do the same with the plug-ins — and they are not typically updated by the browser itself. And while everybody knows about the hackers' predilection for targeting Adobe Flash, data shows that Sun Java is by far the most vulnerable plug-in installed in browsers.
cyberfringe writes: Bringing the fictional authoritarian police behavior of "A Clockwork Orange" ( http://zi.pe/iVi ) to reality, classical music is being used increasingly in Great Britain as a tool for social control and a deterrent to "bad behaviour". A school district "subjects" badly behaving children to hours of Mozart in "special detention" isolations. Unsurprisingly, some of these youth now find classical music unbearable. Recorded classical music is blared through speakers at bus stops, outside stores, train stations and elsewhere to drive away loitering youth. Apparently it works. Detentions are down, graffiti is reduced, and naughty youth flee because classical music now is "repugnant" instead of providing an intellectual and emotional opportunity to experience one of humanity's greatest arts.