cstacy writes: The Justice Department filed court papers last Thursday saying that Apple's rhetoric is "false" and "corrosive", and in a footnote, threatens to make them hand over both the iOS source code and Apple's signing key. "For the reasons discussed above, the FBI cannot itself modify the software on [the San Bernardino shooter’s] iPhone without access to the source code and Apple’s private electronic signature. The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labor by Apple programmers.”
cstacy writes: Marvin Minsky, a founding father of Artificial Intelligence, died on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at the age of 88. He cofounded the MIT AI Lab in 1959, and was an inventor, mathematician, computer scientist, cognitive scientist, visionary, and musician who pioneered the field of AI. His latest books were “The Society of Mind” (1986) and “The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind,” (2006).
There are so many things to say about his life's work, the field of AI, and stories of how he inspired, taught, and mentored so many people.
cstacy writes: A poll by the Pew Research Center suggests that Snowden's revelations have not much changed the public's favorable view of the NSA. Younger people (under 30) view the NSA favorably, compared to those 65 and older. Is sanity statistical?
cstacy writes: As a publicity stunt, LG attached vouchers for free smartphones (852$US) to 100 helium balloons for people to catch at a promotional event widely advertised on social media. Customers showed up with BB guns, knives on sticks, and other tools. With only about two dozen security guards, the frenzied crowd surged, the guns fired, the blades were wielded, and at the end of the day 20 people were injured; some had to be taken to the hospital.
A spokesman for LG was reportedly overheard to say, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly..."
cstacy writes: Google has removed the Navigation app from the Android smartphones, and released a new version of Google Maps (which they think replaces Nav). Customer response seems to be universally negative.
Maps is not an in-car navigation app like Nav. It doesn't have a UI suitable for use in a car, and lacks most of the significant features such as traffic alerting, ETA, alternate routes selection, plan/turn view toggling, and much more. Moreover, the new version of Maps apparently crashes all the time.
It's a breathtaking move on Google's part. Many people, like me, purchased their devices (mine's a Samsung Note 2) specifically because of the excellent Nav app provided on the ROM. People are really upset. No word from Google.
cstacy writes: Tatu Yionen, inventor of SSH, says he feels "a moral responsibility" to come out of retirement and warn that a "little-noticed problem" could jeopardize the security of much of the world's confidential data. He is referring to the management (or lack thereof) of SSH keys (i.e. "authorized_keys") files. He suggests that most organizations simply allow the SSH key files to be created, copied, accumulated, and abandoned, all over their network, making easy pickings for intruders to gain access.
Do you think this is a widespread problem? How does your company manage SSH keys?
cstacy writes: The American Psychiatric Association is dropping Asperger's Syndrome from the upcoming edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). It's symptoms will be included under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes everything from severe autism such as children who do not talk or interact, to milder forms of autism. Asperger's disorder is impairment in social interaction and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, activities and interests, without significant delay in language or cognitive development. Often the person has high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lacks social skills. DSM-5 comes out in May and will be the first major rewrite in 19 years.
cstacy writes: NASA has announced that there is no announcement — the supposed tease of an amazing discovery, "one for the history books", was a quote taken out of context. Geographical evidence of water has already been found, but perhaps evidence of organics will still be found. Curiosity continues, at home and on the red planet.
cstacy writes: The Nassau County (New York) Police Department is "very concerned" about reports that shreds of police documents (with social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, incident reports, and more) rained down as confetti in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The documents also unveiled the identities of undercover officers, including their SSNs and bank information, according to WPIX-TV. Macy's has no idea how this happened, as they use commercial, colored confetti, not shredded paper.
cstacy writes: The Inamori Foundation has awarded the Kyoto Prize to graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland, for developing Sketchpad in 1963. The award recognizes significant technical, scientific and artistic contributions to the “betterment of mankind, and honors Sutherland him for nearly 50 years of demonstrating that computer graphics could be used “for both technical and artistic purposes.”
cstacy writes: Apple's "rubber band" scrolling patent has been provisionally invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This patent was part of Apple's recent billion-dollar win against Samsung. The patent includes a number of touch screen gesture features (such as rotation); all 20 claims have been invalidated. Many of the claims have been ruled "obvious" and "anticipated". Is the PTO getting a clue?