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The Internet

Submission + - How a Digital Pioneer Turned Against the Web (smithsonianmag.com)

cheezitmike writes: Jaron Lanier helped to pioneer the field of Virtual Reality in the 1980's and was an influential part of the early days of the digital revolution. But later, he turned against the web culture that he helped to create. Smithsonian Magazine talked to Lanier to explore his thinking on how the Internet is leading our culture the wrong way: 'Lanier was one of the creators of our current digital reality and now he wants to subvert the “hive mind,” as the web world’s been called, before it engulfs us all, destroys political discourse, economic stability, the dignity of personhood and leads to “social catastrophe.”'

Submission + - Elite Social Network TopCom Isn't Evil: An Interview with Tibco CTO Matt Quinn (vice.com)

pigrabbitbear writes: "Back when the news dropped that the World Economic Forum had commissioned software giant Tibco to produce TopCom, a social network supposedly designed for the 200 most powerful figures in the world, people started to freak out. It was described as the antithesis of the open, social web: A hyper-exclusive Facebook where the world’s elite could communicate instantly and secretly, whether that be coordinating sanctions against Iran or sharing goofy pictures from important galas.

Blame it on the Internet’s raw nerves following the SOPA fiasco and general paranoia, but the news about TopCom ruffled skeptics’ feathers. The Esquire profile of Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadivé, which focused on his vision of dominating the information-aggregation realm, may not have helped allay fears that TopCom wasn’t the tool of some new world order.

According to Tibco CTO Matt Quinn, TopCom is ultimately an über-secure version of tibbr, Tibco’s social platform that builds connections around topics rather than relationships. For world leaders, it’s billed as a quicker way to find expert advice on key issues and disasters."


Submission + - Algo trading rapidly replacing need for humans (computerworlduk.com)

DMandPenfold writes: Algorithmic trading, also known as high frequency trading (HFT), is rapidly replacing human decision making, according to a government panel which warned that the right regulations need to be introduced to protect stock markets.

Around one third of share trading in the UK is conducted by computers fulfilling commands based on complex algorithms, said the Foresight panel in a working paper published yesterday.

Nevertheless, this proportion is significantly lower than in the US, where three-quarters of equity dealing is computer generated.

The Foresight panel, led by Dame Clara Furse, the former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, argued that there are both benefits and severe risks to algorithmic trading.

There was "no direct evidence" that the computer trading in itself increased volatility, it said, but in specific circumstances it was possible for a series of events with "undesired interactions and outcomes" to occur and cause massive damage.


Submission + - HIPPA will bite over health-care privacy blunders (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Healthcare organizations that are performing risk assessments as a way to craft patient-privacy policies might want to consider a new potential attack vector: federal regulators. Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to start auditing up to 150 health providers at random through December 2012 in an effort to find medical entities that fail to comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations about how personal data must be handled securely."

Submission + - DoT Grants $15M to Test Car-to-Car Communication (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Car-to-car communications is about to get its first large-scale, real-world test in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute will be putting as many as 3,000 cars equipped with short-range radio on the roads, thanks to a $14.9 million grant it just got from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. DoT reports predict that up to 82 percent of serious accidents among unimpaired drivers can be eliminated or reduced by a little car-to-car negotiation, or early warning that a sedan three cars ahead just hit the brakes even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you."

Submission + - Car Makers Explore EEG Headrests (technologyreview.com) 1

mrtr writes: A number of car makers are looking at whether EEG devices built into headrests could prevent accidents by sensing when a driver is in danger of drifting off. The technology comes from Neurosky, which already makes commercial EEG units for use in gaming and market research. Other approaches, such as using cameras to spot drooping eyelids have proven too unreliable so far. From the story: "Fatigue causes more than 100,000 crashes and 40,000 injuries, and around 1,550 deaths, per year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some studies suggest drowsiness is involved in 20 to 25 percent of all crashes on monotonous stretches of road."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - New Twitter-Based Hedge Fund Beat the Stock Market (theatlanticwire.com)

nonprofiteer writes: Derwent Capital, a new hedge fund that makes trades and investments based on Twitter sentiment, beat the market--and other hedge funds--in its first full month of trading. From the Atlantic: " Using an algorithm based on the social media mood that day, the hedge fund predicted the market to make the right trades. Sounds unbelievable that something cluttered with mundane musings and media links could have anything smart to say about the market. But it's working so far." Blind luck?

Submission + - Samarai UAV Inspired by Maple Seed - Demo at AUVSI (engineeringtv.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Bill Borgia, Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Lockheed Martin, gives us the details on their latest unique creation: a small UAV with a design inspired by a samara, the seed from a maple tree. The Samarai has only two moving parts, weighs less than half a pound. At AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2011, the Samarai debuted and demonstrated vertical takeoff and landing, stable hover, and on-board video streaming.

Submission + - DARPA to Sponsor R&D for Interstellar Travel (nytimes.com)

Apocryphos writes: The government agency that helped invent the Internet now wants to do the same for travel to the stars.

In what is perhaps the ultimate startup opportunity, Darpa, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, plans to award some lucky, ambitious and star-struck organization roughly $500,000 in seed money to begin studying what it would take — organizationally, technically, sociologically and ethically — to send humans to another star, a challenge of such magnitude that the study alone could take a hundred years.

Submission + - How volunteers rebuilt WW2 computers (pcpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: "A single photograph, scraps of circuit diagrams drawn from memory and a pile of disused components – it isn’t much to go on, but from such meagre beginnings, engineers rebuilt one of the precursors to the modern computer. The Tunny decryption machine – on display at The Museum of National Computing at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire in the UK – was a feat of engineering both during World War II when it was created, and over the past five years when it was rebuilt by retired BT engineers."

GM Working On Interactive Windshields 307

this_boat_is_real writes "Rather than project info onto a portion of the windshield, GM's latest experiment uses the entire windshield as a display. Small ultraviolet lasers project data gleaned from sensors and cameras onto the glass. General Motors geeks are working alongside researchers from several universities to develop a system that integrates night vision, navigation and on-board cameras to improve our ability to see — and avoid — problems, particularly in adverse conditions like fog."

Submission + - Learning from EA's Annual Report (gamepolitics.com)

eldavojohn writes: GamePolitics rounded up some "fun facts" from EA's annual report and found among them 'EA's failed bid to gobble up Take-Two cost the company $21 million. EA uses DRM (you knew that) and is watching for piracy online. 3% of the company's employees are unionized. GameStop and Wal-Mart are EA's biggest customers; each accounts for 14% of EA sales. EA worries about game content legislation and its potential effect on sales. EA worries about falling victim to a Hot Coffee incident but has taken steps to prevent it from happening.' More evidence that while it's good to be the big dog it comes a lot of responsibility and worrying.
The Internet

Submission + - Meet moot: A Virtual Unknown (washingtonpost.com)

cheezitmike writes: The Washington Post has a feature story about 4chan.org founder moot: "Over in the corner, a serious-looking 21-year-old wearing a gray hoodie and a mop of curly hair chats with friends about his two kittens and the night's dinner plans and how, after dinner, and after the after-party, he'll be going home to his mom's house in a nearby suburb. This is moot. His real name is Christopher Poole. He is responsible for the online lives of 5 million monthly 4chan visitors — the hackers, slackers and potty-mouthed geeks. They come to 4chan when they should be doing calc homework. Now — in debt, out of work, another example of the Internet's intangibility — Poole just needs to figure out how to make that matter."

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