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Submission + - How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All (theatlantic.com)

Thelasko writes: Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.

Comment Garbage In... (Score 1) 282

From my understanding, the difficult part of being a CEO is getting good data. If all of the facts are readily available, middle management would have made the call already. This is why a lot of companies create arbitrary metrics to measure performance. If they have data, it should make it easier to make a decision.

Unfortunately, the age old rule still applies. Garbage in, garbage out. Most corporate measurements of performance aren't reliable, and therefore the decisions made by upper management are questionable. This AI would have to be really incredible to turn garbage data into something useful.

Comment Re:Not exactly a neural lace (Score 0) 63

Musk is smart to focus on medical applications, where even an implant that functions poorly is much better than the alternative. It's a lot easier to make a pacemaker than to perform a heart transplant, and the same holds true for the brain.

Musk is very good at taking seemingly impossible goals and breaking them down into more achievable ones. Medical implants for the disabled are likely a stepping stone for brain enhancement on healthy individuals.

Another example of this method:
1. Invest in a high performance, low volume, electric vehicle. Profit.
2. Invest in a high end, luxury, electric vehicle. Profit
3. Invest in a high volume electric vehicle. End goal.

Submission + - SPAM: Russia is better at encouraging women into tech?

randomErr writes: A new study from Microsoft based on interviews with 11,500 girls and young women across Europe finds their interest in engineering or technology subjects drops dramatically at age 15. The reason found are that girls follow gender stereotypes, have few female role models, peer pressure and a lack of encouragement from parents and teachers. Russia is different. According to Unesco, 29% of women worldwide are in science research, compared with 41% in Russia. In the UK, about 4% of inventors are women, whereas the figure is 15% in Russia. Russian girls view Stem far more positively, with their interest starting earlier and lasting longer, says Julian Lambertin, managing director at KRC Research, the firm that oversaw the Microsoft interviews.

Comment Re:Monthly versus momentary salt intake (Score 1) 78

In the very short term, at a bar, eating salty snacks definitely makes you thirsty at the moment - the body wants to balance the intake of salt and water - basically to the wash the salty taste out of your mouth, when it's very salty.

Sounds like a storage cycle to me. Eat salty food, drink more. Once the salt is secreted from the body, the water goes too. If you keep replenishing the salt, the water doesn't leave the body.

Submission + - Physicists create negative mass (sciencedaily.com)

wisebabo writes: So, what's to keep me from getting a lot of this stuff (I know, the quantities that they have now are nanoscopic), putting it into a (very cold and well insulated) box and having it float upwards? (Antigravity). I mean gravity is a force and if this accelerates in the opposite direction then couldn't I harness it to do that?

Of course that means you could use it to make a machine that could generate energy from nothing so there must be a flaw in my reasoning somewhere. Also possibly useful for weight loss (if you could eat it).

Comment Re: permissions (Score 1) 313

And more review costs more. And more testing costs even more than more review. So managers aren't a big fan of either.

Customers typically aren't willing to pay more for a product based on its quality review process. They will assess the quality of the product themselves, or by word of mouth. Managers don't care about quality review because the customers don't either.

Keep in mind, review and testing don't make the product good, the developers do. Review and testing are just there to keep the developer in check. If developers were infallible, testing would be a complete waste of resources.

Unfortunately, developers are human, and all humans make mistakes. So, how much review and testing is appropriate? Here's a few clues:
1. Does a bug put someone's life in jeopardy?
2. How much financial risk can a bug expose the customer or company to?
3. How many bugs has the development team made in the past?

When you are testing medical devices or financial software, test the hell out of it. If you have excellent developers making a game, you might want to consider skipping review and test.

Comment Re:Cheap 1st/2nd year textbooks, expensive years 3 (Score 1) 98

...solve the debt crisis in education and allow discharge of student debt in bankruptcy...

There's one simple scenario that prevents this from happening: 1. Go to expensive college.
2. Graduate.
3. File for bankruptcy immediately.
4. Profit.
Most college students have no assets and poor credit. There is no downside to filing for bankruptcy. An established adult with a house and a car are a different story. Creditors can go after that persons house, car, retirement savings, etc.

Submission + - NSA-Leaking Shadow Brokers Just Dumped Its Most Damaging Release Yet (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Shadow Brokers—the mysterious person or group that over the past eight months has leaked a gigabyte worth of the National Security Agency's weaponized software exploits—just published its most significant release yet. Friday's dump contains potent exploits and hacking tools that target most versions of Microsoft Windows and evidence of sophisticated hacks on the SWIFT banking system of several banks across the world. Friday's release—which came as much of the computing world was planning a long weekend to observe the Easter holiday—contains close to 300 megabytes of materials the leakers said were stolen from the NSA. The contents (a convenient overview is here) included compiled binaries for exploits that targeted vulnerabilities in a long line of Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows 2012. It also included a framework dubbed Fuzzbunch, a tool that resembles the Metasploit hacking framework that loads the binaries into targeted networks. Independent security experts who reviewed the contents said it was without question the most damaging Shadow Brokers release to date. One of the Windows zero-days flagged by Hickey is dubbed Eternalblue. It exploits a remote code-execution bug in the latest version of Windows 2008 R2 using the server message block and NetBT protocols. Another hacking tool known as Eternalromance contains an easy-to-use interface and "slick" code. Hickey said it exploits Windows systems over TCP ports 445 and 139. The exact cause of the bug is still being identified. Friday's release contains several tools with the word "eternal" in their name that exploit previously unknown flaws in Windows desktops and servers.

Submission + - Burger King Won't Take Hint; Alters TV Ad to Evade Google's Block (washingtonpost.com) 1

ewhac writes: Earlier this week, Burger King released a broadcast television ad that opened with an actor saying, "Ok, Google: What is The Whopper?" thereby triggering any Google Home device in hearing range to respond to the injected request with the first line from the Whopper's Wikipedia page. Google very properly responded to the injection attack by fingerprinting the sound sample and blocking it from triggering responses. However, it seems Burger King and/or its ad agency are either unwilling or congenitally incapable of getting the hint, and has released an altered version of the ad to evade Google's block. According to spokesperson Dara Schopp, BK regards the ad as a success, as it has increased the brand's "social conversation" on Twitter by some 300%. It seems that Burger King thinks that malware-laden advertising infesting Web pages is a perfectly wonderful idea (in principle, at least), and taken it to the next level by reaching through your TV speakers and directly messing with your digital devices. You may wish to consider alternate vendors for your burger needs.

Submission + - Shadow Brokers Release New Batch of Files Containing Windows and SWIFT Exploits (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: On Good Friday and ahead of the Easter holiday, the Shadow Brokers have dumped a new collection of files, containing what appears to be exploits and hacking tools targeting Microsoft's Windows OS and the SWIFT banking system. The tools were dumped via the Shadow Brokers Twitter account and were accompanied by a blog post, as the group did in the past. This dump contains three folders named Windows, Swift, and Oddjob. The Windows folder contains 23 Windows exploits ranging from SMB to IIS, while the OddJob folder contains an eponymous implant for Windows operating systems. The folder claiming to hold SWIFT exploits also contains Excel files that hint the Equation Group had hacked several banks across the world, mainly in the Middle East. One of these tools was previously linked to the NSA by Snowden.

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