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Submission + - 'Style Vision' Is Google's Less Harmful April Fool's Prank (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has apparently added a new feature to its Cloud Vision image analysis API — the ability to detect 'style'. A new and elaborate video shows a series of disparate people approaching an analysis booth and receiving summary judgements from Style Vision. An older bearded man with long hair is analysed and summarised: 'SORCERER: VERY LIKELY', whilst two generic mid-thirties males are adjudicated 'STOCK_PHOTO: DEFINITELY'.

However, it doesn't seem that anyone is likely to lose their job over this unlikely technological innovation.

Submission + - Researchers Create "Deep Psychic" Neural Network That Predicts the Future (merl.com)

lstm_for_hire writes: Researchers at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) have announced a breakthrough in deep learning research, as they succeeded in developing a "Deep Psychic" neural network. Deep Psychic takes pattern recognition to the next level, by not only recognizing patterns, but also predicting them in the first place. The network is trained on large amounts of historical predictions, and has already beat the European Psychic Champion in a secret match last October.

Submission + - Artificial intelligence steals money from banking customers (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A breakthrough year for artificial intelligence (AI) research has suddenly turned into a breakdown, as a new automated banking system that runs on AI has been caught embezzling money from customers. The surprising turn of events may set back by years efforts to incorporate AI into everyday technology.

"This is the nightmare scenario," says Len Meha-Döhler, a computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge who was not involved in the work. However, Rob Ott, a computer scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who did work on the system—Deep Learning Interface for Accounting (DELIA)—notes that it simply held all of the missing money, some $40,120.16, in a “rainy day” account. "I don't think you can attribute malice," he says. "I'm sure DELIA was going to give the money back."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Protection from SCO Lawsuits

An anonymous reader writes: As reported previously, SCO has filed an appeal in their lawsuit against IBM, still seeking damages for alleged copyright infringement of SCO Unix source code in Linux. Although SCO has yet to prevail, there is a nonzero probability of a court ruling in their favor. SCO has a history of attempting to sue companies that run Linux for damages as well as requesting injunctions that they immediately stop using allegedly infringing code. As an owner of a business that operates many Linux servers and workstations, I am concerned that SCO may prevail and they could sue Linux users like my business. I've attempted to figure out how to license SCO's IP, but I haven't found a way to pay my $699 licensing fee that still works. I'm looking for ideas on Slashdot about how to be protected in case SCO sues Linux users like my business or how I can finally get around to paying my $699 licensing fee.
Canada

A Legal Name Change Puts 'None of the Above' On Canadian Ballot (foxnews.com) 171

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it's a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC. One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party. Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north? Shouldn't every election have a line for "None of the above"? I can't wait until Little Bobby Tables hits 35.

Submission + - Candidate's legal name change puts 'none of the above' on ballot in Canada (foxnews.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it’s a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC.

One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party.

Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north . . . ?

Submission + - The Periodic, Somewhat Obligatory "Earth is Flat" Argument Rears It's Head Again

mjjochen writes: A little something to make you smile (or cry). NPR reports on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson calling out rapper B.o.B. in a twitter (& rap) argument over the status of the earth (are we round or flat?), article can be found here: http://www.npr.org/sections/th.... Rapper B.o.B. references the usual conspiracy theories to support his case in his throw down. Neil deGrasse Tyson responds, actually his nephew responds, on why B.o.B.'s points are not very well-informed: https://soundcloud.com/drtyson.... As Tyson puts it, "Duude — to be clear: Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn't mean we all can't still like your music." Shall we start leaching the four humors from the body again to achieve balance? Hrm.

Submission + - Filmmaker successfully forces censors to watch 10-hour paint drying movie (ibtimes.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A British filmmaker has forced the people who decide how to censor films watch a 10-hour movie of paint drying on a wall following a protest fundraising campaign.

Charlie Lyne launched a Kickstarter to help raise the money needed to send his 'documentary' of a single shot of paint drying on a wall for consideration as a protest against the "stronghold" the organisation has on the British film industry.

The BBFC charge an initial fee of $144.88 to view a film and decide what certificate to give it, and then and additional $10.15 for each minute that the film lasts. The idea was the more money Lyne could raise via his fundraiser, the longer his paint-drying film could last.

The campaign eventually nearly £8,500, meaning he was able to send in a 607 minute video which the examiners had to watch in its entirety.

Submission + - Urban Raccoons Invade US Cities

HughPickens.com writes: Annie Correal reports at the NY Times that although New York City may be better known for its rat population, the city’s 311 help line received 1,581 inquiries about raccoon control in 2015 as of mid-December, up from 936 in all of 2014, according to official data. Raccoons are often thought of as forest-dwelling creatures, but raccoons can reach a very high density in cities. “They’re truly incredible in their adaptability,” says Samuel I. Zeveloff, author of “Raccoons, A Natural History." Raccoons are omnivorous and opportunistic, easily switching from eating grubs or bird eggs to devouring human and pet food, and from living in tree hollows to inhabiting attics and chimneys. This flexibility, combined with a relative lack of predators, can lead to rapid population growth. Flexible about where they den, willing to eat just about anything, raccoons transit seamlessly from forest to city. Brick walls prove as easy to climb as trees. Attics and chimneys turn out to be perfectly cozy places for sleeping and for rearing young. Compared to other wildlife species living near humans, such as coyotes and deer, raccoons are in a league of their own.

The problem is that is difficult to dispose of a raccoon. New York City law dictates that any captured raccoon must be killed in a humane fashion, because raccoons are known to carry rabies. But many trappers, as well as homeowners who do the job themselves, say they transport raccoons to parks or wilderness areas and set them free instead, because they don’t have the heart to do what is legally required. “Now, everybody is just releasing them," says one urban trapper. "They’re letting them go in any quiet place.” The problem, experts say, is that from there, the animals tend to wander into the nearest neighborhood. People see wooded areas as the animals’ natural habitat, where they belong. But these are city raccoons that tend to make a U-turn for civilization when dropped off in nature, says Stanley D. Gehrt who has studied urban raccoons for two decades. “When you take them and drop them off in a natural environment, they’re going to look for buildings,” says Gehrt. “It’s what they’re used to.”

Submission + - Dutch Government Backs Strong Encryption, Condemns Backdoors

blottsie writes: The Netherlands government issued a strong statement on Monday against weakening encryption for the purposes of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The move comes as governments in the United Kingdom and China act to legally require companies to give them access to wide swaths of encrypted Internet traffic. U.S. lawmakers are also considering introducing similar legislation.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Long-Term Societal Consequences of Sexbots?

An anonymous reader writes: A few months ago, fellow Slashdot brethren discussed one robot researcher's perilous journey to ban the development of sexbots. An old episode of Futurama once suggested that humans should not date robots, hinting at the possibility that the very fabric of society will fall apart. There has been some hype into virtual reality in the past few years and it seems inevitable that sexbots may someday become a reality. We always facetiously claim that new technologies are driven by the pornography industry. With this in mind, I ask the following uncomfortable question: What would a future with sexbots look like?

Submission + - Microsoft has your encryption key if you use Windows 10 (theintercept.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The fact that new Windows devices require users to backup their recovery key on Microsoft’s servers is remarkably similar to a key escrow system, but with an important difference. Users can choose to delete recovery keys from their Microsoft accounts (you can skip to the bottom of this article to learn how) – something that people never had the option to do with the Clipper chip system. But they can only delete it after they’ve already uploaded it to the cloud.

and..

As soon as your recovery key leaves your computer, you have no way of knowing its fate. A hacker could have already hacked your Microsoft account and can make a copy of your recovery key before you have time to delete it. Or Microsoft itself could get hacked, or could have hired a rogue employee with access to user data. Or a law enforcement or spy agency could send Microsoft a request for all data in your account, which would legally compel them to hand over your recovery key, which they could do even if the first thing you do after setting up your computer is delete it. As Green puts it, “Your computer is now only as secure as that database of keys held by Microsoft, which means it may be vulnerable to hackers, foreign governments, and people who can extort Microsoft employees.”

Submission + - A Scam of Galactic Proportions (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: What would the Galactic Economy look like following the destruction of two Death Stars? This is the informed Star Wars debate taking shape between to people who know their economics. Elliot Williams, a Ph.D. in Econometrics, has just debunked the work of Zachary Feinstein who claimed that the Rebel Alliance would have been off better had they not destroyed the two Death Stars because what they're left with is a Galactic Economy in ruin.

Feinstein, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, published a scholarly paper early this month touting financial suicide to destroy both of the giant construction projects. Williams' take on things is that the project was a sunk cost; destroyed or whole the Death Star expenditures already made are gone and not likely to further cost or benefit the new government. Perhaps most interesting in the discussion is how you estimate the cost of the Death Star projects and the GGP — the Galactic Gross Product of the fictional universe.

Submission + - MST3K Breaks Kickstarter record

the_Bionic_lemming writes: Raising over 6.3 million dollars in just one month MST3K fans helped push the new 14 episode series past the Official Kickstarter Veronica Mars total of $5,702,153 by raising $5,764,229 On Kickstarter. $600,000 + Was added to the total from the Add on store at MST3K.com . And what's more, they did it with only 48,270 backers compared to 91,585 Veronica Mars backers.

sorry, got the total wrong in the previous submission

Submission + - Man Used Location Data in Instagram Photos to Steal Women's Underwear (petapixel.com)

sandbagger writes: The next time you hear 'it's only meta-data' you may want to look up the story of 44-year-old Arturo Galvan. The gentleman is believed to be behind 6 burglaries with 24 victims dating back to October 2015. He used the location data in instagram photos to locate the addresses of women, police allege, and then burgle their underpants and bras. Mr Galvan has posted bond in relation to the accusation.

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