Penguinisto writes: Recently, Microsoft put an AI experiment onto Twitter, naming it "Tay". The bot was built to be fully aware of the latest adolescent fixations (e.g. celebrities and similar), and to interact like a typical teen girl. In less than 24 hours, it inexplicably became a neo-nazi sex robot with daddy issues. Sample tweets from it proclaimed that "Hitler did nothing wrong!", then went on to blame Fmr. President Bush for 9/11, stated that "donald trump is the only hope we've got", and similar. As the hours passed, it all went downhill from there, eventually spewing racial slurs and profanity, demanding sex, and calling everyone "daddy".
The bot was quickly removed once Microsoft discovered the trouble, but the hashtag is still around for those who want to see it in its ugly raw splendor.
Penguinisto writes: According to Ars Technica, Windows 10 will still send telemetry and other data to Microsoft-owned domains — no matter how tightly you crank down the privacy settings. Even with everything buttoned down, Cortana, OneDrive, and Web Search from the Star Menu disabled, the OS still phones home, using a random system ID that persists across reboots... (it apparently also tryies to bypass proxies to do it.)
Penguinisto writes: According to a scan by Qualys, Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail server, which has lately generated more than a little controversy in US political circles, has earned an "F" rating for security from the security vendor. Problems include SSL2 support, a weak signature, and only having support for older TLS protocols, among numerous other problems.
Penguinisto writes: A new article up on Bloomberg shows that in at least two hospital chains, your doctor can know more about you than you may want them to: "Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data."
Question is, how soon before your health insurance broker demands/contracts and gets that kind of information, and what privacy can you expect in the future?
Penguinisto writes: Researchers have recently gotten a cool idea: If you want to prove how a dinosaur walked, why not test the theory on today's birds? They decided to test things out by putting prosthetic tails on chicks to provide the same balance issues that a T-Rex (and similar bipedal dinosaurs) faced. The prosthetic tails were periodically replaced with larger versions as the chicks grew. The results were astonishing: After 12 weeks, the chickens' legs were measured, and were discovered to have decreased range-of-motion in the knees while their femurs grew longer... just like the T-Rex. You can also see a nifty video of how they did this.
Penguinisto writes: The America's Cup hopeful and Ellison's favorite $8 million racing yacht Team Oraclecapsized today underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. (video). They were testing out a new $2 million sailing wing when the boat suddenly "pitch-poled", capsizing immediately. 14 people were aboard, though no one was hurt. The 13,000 lb boat was pulled four miles offshore by currents before it could be recovered. According to the crew, the boat can be salvaged, but the new multimillion-dollar sailing wing was a "total loss" as it broke up in the bay.
Penguinisto writes: According to the BBC, Segway UK owner Jimi Heselden died yesterday in a Segway accident. No word yet if the device malfunctioned, or exactly how (or why) Mr. Heselden and his device fell off of a cliff and into the river Wharfe in Yorkshire.
Penguinisto writes: In a move almost designed to shock the geek world, Seth McFarlane of Family Guy (and Robot Chicken, American Dad, etc) fame has agreed to help Microsoft sell Windows 7. The combination of the two will see a pitch for Windows 7 featuring McFarlane's voice and the crew of the Fox television comedy 'Family Guy'.