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Submission + - Remarkable New Theory Says There's No Gravity (bigthink.com)

Jeff Socia writes: Gravity is something all of us are familiar with from our first childhood experiences. You drop something — it falls. And the way physicists have described gravity has also been pretty consistent — it’s considered one of the four main forces or “interactions” of nature and how it works has been described by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity all the way back in 1915.

But Professor Erik Verlinde, an expert in string theory from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute of Theoretical Physics, thinks that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature because it's not always there. Instead it’s “emergent” — coming into existence from changes in microscopic bits of information in the structure of spacetime.

Submission + - Inside The NYPD's Attempt To Build Community Trust Through Twitter (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: When the NYPD rolled out its Twitter presence a couple years back, it didn't go so smoothly: the @NYPDNews account tweeted a request: “Do you have a photo with a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD,” and by midnight the same day, more than 70,000 people had responded decrying police brutality. At Backchannel, Susan Crawford looks at the department's attempt to use Twitter to rebuild community trust, noting that while the NYPD has a long ways to go, any opening up of communication is an improvement on the traditionally tight-lipped culture.

Submission + - Three college students were behind BBC, Trump cyberattacks (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: How many hackers does it take to bring down one of the world's largest websites? Turns out, only three, and two of them are still in college.

Several sources have told ZDNet that despite claiming to have dozens of members across the world, the New World Hackers' consists of just three core members who carry out the bulk of the group's cyberattacks — the youngest of which is still a teenager.

The group also targeted and downed Donald Trump's campaign website and banking giant HSBC's website in separate attacks.

Submission + - How Broken Classroom Discussions Contribute to Our Vitrilioc Political Climate (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: If colleges can’t lead productive discussions of sensitive topics in their classrooms, can we expect the discourse in future elections to be any better than the election we just suffered through?

At Harvard Law School, where admission is a veritable pass to a life of leadership, longtime professor Charles Nesson says the Internet has been “crippling” for classroom discussions. “Even when laptops are closed, you still feel the danger of being in a completely connected environment,” he observes. “People are cautious on issues that engage real diversity and real difference. I think it’s tremendously challenging to law teachers, to socratic teachers. A lot of faculty are feeling that we weren’t trained for this.”

Nesson recently started experimenting with an approach he hopes will help. He's asking his students to enter an anonymous online chat room — while sitting together in class — so they can speak freely.
Others, though, say the secret is to push students to be braver in facing tough subjects in the classroom, so people can work through issues before they hit the real world.

Submission + - UK Government Warns Growth Of AI Increases Reidentification Risk

An anonymous reader writes: A new report from the UK’s Government Office For Science warns that the explosive growth in artificial intelligence, driven by Big Data, could make anonymised individuals in datasets extraordinarily easy to re-identify, due to the interlinking of vast semi-supervised systems and sets. Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir Mark Walport wrote in the report: 'As the volume of publically available data increases...and more powerful artificial intelligence techniques are developed, what was a ‘remote’ chance of re-identification may become more likely, and organisations will periodically need to revisit the protection they have in place.'

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Totally private, anonymous browsing 2

An anonymous reader writes: In an age of evercookies, zombie cookies, and always expanding efforts to track browsers, devices, and people — is there any way to browse totally anonymous to the sites you are visiting? How can a user today browse with confidence that they can't be tracked or identified, avoiding even being identified anonymously as a returning user or device?

Submission + - More Than 50% of All Pages in Chrome are Loaded Over HTTPS Now

Trailrunner7 writes: After years of encouraging site owners to transition to HTTPS by default, Google officials say that the effort has begun to pay off. The company’s data now shows that more than half of all pages loaded by Chrome on desktop platforms are served over HTTPS.

Google has been among the louder advocates for the increased use of encryption across the web in the last few years. The company has made significant changes to its own infrastructure, encrypting the links between its data center, and also has made HTTPS the default connection option on many of its main services, including Gmail and search. And Google also has been encouraging owners of sites of all shapes and sizes to move to secure connections to protect their users from eavesdropping and data theft.

That effort has begun to bear fruit in a big way. New data released by Google shows that at the end of October, 68 percent of pages loaded by the Chrome browser on Chrome OS machines were over HTTPS. That’s a significant increase in just the last 10 months. At the end of 2015, just 50 percent of pages loaded by Chrome on Chrome OS were HTTPS. The numbers for the other desktop operating systems are on the rise as well, with macOS at 60 percent, Linux at 54 percent, and Windows at 53 percent.

Submission + - Federal regulators give Turkey Point nuclear expansion plan a key environmental (miamiherald.com)

mdsolar writes: Federal nuclear regulators have wrapped up a seven-year environmental study partly clearing the way for two new reactors at Turkey Point, just as work gets underway on a massive cleanup of leaking cooling canals connected to the plant’s old reactors.

In a two-volume 1,200-page review, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found the use of cooling towers to operate the new reactors perched on the shores of Biscayne Bay between two national parks would do no damage to the fragile ecosystem. The approval comes as Florida Power & Light begins tackling ongoing problems at the aging cooling canals that over the years pushed an underground plume of saltwater miles inland, threatening drinking water supplies, and leaked water tainted with a radioactive tracer into Biscayne Bay.

Submission + - U.S. Government Launches Code.gov Open Source Repository (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. federal government has announced the launch of Code.gov, an open source repository of original code developed for government projects. U.S. CIO Tony Scott demonstrated Code.gov at this week’s Code for America Summit, an annual civic technology meeting held in Oakland, CA. Code.gov is starting with the code resources from 50 different governmental projects across 10 different agencies. It's intended to help the government curb spending on specialized code, since the federal government spends over $6 billion USD per year on over 42,000 transactions on federal software development. Sharing code between departments in an open source environment is intended to help separate agencies avoid paying for original code when a modification of existing code could be done in-house. Scott said: "This is consistent with the Digital Government Strategy’s “Shared Platform” approach, which enables Federal employees to work together—both within and across agencies—to reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information."

Submission + - Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube Banned in Turkey Again (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Turkey has once again banned several online services, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and YouTube, as part of a media suppression effort that’s believed to be related to the detention of several leaders of opposition political party HDP.

Although specifics are not available at the moment, TurkeyBlocks is reporting that all these services went down on Friday, November 04, 2016 at 1:20AM local time, as they were blocked by the country’s largest ISPs. Users in Turkey have already confirmed huge slowdowns when accessing the aforementioned services and without a VPN, connecting to social media no longer seems to be possible.

Submission + - WikiLeaks: Code.org CEO Advised Hillary To Embrace CS If She Wants To Be Elected

theodp writes: If new emails released by WikiLeaks are to be believed, Code.org co-founders Hadi and Ali Partovi advised Hillary Clinton to embrace computer science if she wants to be the next President. "Computer Science is about jobs and equity in every state in America, and it wins elections," begins Ali Partovi in a May 2015 email to Hillary for America CTO Stephanie Hannon and others. "Whichever candidate embraces it first will be seen as a visionary leader when it comes to about jobs, economic growth, and America's future." Hadi Partovi, CEO of tech-backed Code.org, adds: "One thing to consider, *Any* time Hillary says 'STEM', if she instead said 'Computer science' she'd have more voters understand and support her. Of course, STEM is *critically important* to our country. However, STEM is not where the job growth is or where the gender disparity is. STEM is also not where the H1B skilled immigration problem is." He concludes, "I'd love to work with the Clinton campaign to help sharpen a focus on this issue. Even if it's just participation in a marketing gimmick around the Hour of Code." In June, Clinton unveiled her tech plan, which promises to "engage the private sector and nonprofits to train up to 50,000 computer science teachers in the next decade."

Submission + - SPAM: Apply for Citizenship at Earth's First Space Colony

juanhf writes: For the first time in history a new nation state has been created — not on Earth but in the heavens above. Asgardia is the prototype of a free and unrestricted society which holds knowledge, intelligence and science at its core along with the recognition of the ultimate value of each human life. You can join like-minded people on this new exciting step in fostering an extended future for humankind.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: 12 Years Later: Common Configuration Flaw + Internet of Things = Massive Attacks

SecurityJorge writes: A common configuration flaw that has been documented for more than 12 years now affects millions of devices connected to the Internet of Things, and is contributing to large and diffuse attacks aimed at social media sites and other online services, according to a report by researchers at the firm Akamai.
Akamai said in a report released Wednesday that it has observed millions of of Internet connected devices taking part in web-based “credential stuffing” campaigns, a kind of slow motion brute force attack in which attackers leverage stolen (or leaked) user name and password combinations to try to hack into accounts on a revolving list of popular sites. Typically, such low-volume attacks go unnoticed. However, Akamai’s view of more than 30% of the Internet allows it to tie such diffuse activity back to a common actor – like a single host trying to methodically log into 50,000 different web sites.

Here's a link to the original paper (pdf): [spam URL stripped]...

Link to Original Source

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