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Submission + - Why Not Utopia? Mark Bittman on basic income and increasing automation (nytimes.com)

Paul Fernhout writes: Mark Bittman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times suggesting a basic income as a solution to increasing automation leading to job loss. He concludes: "We have achieved a level of social equality barely imagined by progressives 50 years ago, but economic equality has gotten much worse. No one knows what the world will look like in 50 years, but if we resign ourselves to dystopia — in which capital has full control, as it nearly does now — we'll surely have one. Let's resolve to build something better. In the long run we know that we'll make the transition from capitalism to some less destructive and hopefully more just system. Why not begin that transition now? If there is going to be a global market that will further enrich capitalists, there must be guarantees that the rest of the population can at least afford housing and food. And things can be even better than that: We'll have the robots work for us."

Submission + - Monday's Keep Us Up At Night

randomErr writes: Tune Hotels Group completed a study that we're like Wowbagger from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in that we can't deal well with Sunday afternoons and nights. People in general have a sleep deficit because of the anxieties about starting the working week. Jason Ellis, Professor of Sleep Science at Northumbria University is quotes as saying "Sunday-somnia" is something I see a lot and it's important that people deal with the issues surrounding their sleep deprivation so that it doesn't have a knock on effect on sleep later in the week.'

Submission + - Death and the NSA: Q&A with Bruce Schneier (vice.com) 1

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Since Edward Snowden's disclosures about widespread NSA surveillance, Americans and people everywhere have been presented with a digital variation on an old analog threat: the erosion of freedoms and privacy in exchange, presumably, for safety and security. Bruce Schneier knows the debate well. He's an expert in cryptography and he wrote the book on computer security; Applied Cryptography is one of the field's basic resources, "the book the NSA never wanted to be published," raved Wired in 1994. He knows the evidence well too: lately he's been helping the Guardian and the journalist Glenn Greenwald review the documents they have gathered from Snowden, in order to help explain some of the agency's top secret and highly complex spying programs. To do that, Schneier has taken his careful digital privacy regime to a new level, relying on a laptop with an encrypted hard drive that he never connects to the internet. That couldn't prevent a pilfered laptop during, say, a "black bag operation," of course. "I know that if some government really wanted to get my data, there'd be little I could do to stop them."

Submission + - Popular Science to stop allowing comments (wired.com)

roccomaglio writes: In a shot across about the bow to slashdot, Popular Science has decided to stop allowing comments on their stories. One of the stated reasons is that “A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again."

Submission + - More classified database revelations: PROTON, CRISSCROSS and CLEARWATER (cryptome.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Cryptome's John Young posted an anonymous communication detailing the existence of classified databases used for network analysis.

In the context of the recent DEA/NSA scandal: "When I read the description of Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) DEA Internet Connectivity Environment (DICE) system: the billions of records, partnership with CIA, NSA and DOD, the need to cover sources at the expense of a fair trail [sic]--- it struck me that what was described sounded more like PROTON and/or CLEARWATER."

"DICE is being used to cover PROTON and/or CLEARWATER."

These are massive databases. "...PROTON presently receives SCS collection amounting to about 1 one terabyte monthly, and that's just selectors, not content. PROTON also receives data from Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), by the now famous Tailored Access Office (TAO). Included as well is an enormous repository of Title III data from CALEA enabled domestic collection, FISA and an enormous amount of purchased data from various communications providers like Intellius."

The source continues: "I know for certain PROTON contains communications selectors on American Citizens (AMCITS) since I ran a query on a number using only a Maryland area code and a partial prefix."

Why spill the beans? "I'm providing information on both since the government is no longer under constitutional restraint and is illegitimate. Parallel Construction. You fuckers. A cornerstone of American law and western culture sacrificed for the security of the Elites."

A SIGINT Analyst job description is included which mentions experience with the databases as "Preferred" experience.

Submission + - Why Study Humanities? What I Tell Engineering Freshmen (scientificamerican.com)

Lasrick writes: This is great. Here's a quote: 'But it is precisely because science is so powerful that we need the humanities now more than ever. In your science, mathematics and engineering classes, you’re given facts, answers, knowledge, truth. Your professors say, “This is how things are.” They give you certainty. The humanities, at least the way I teach them, give you uncertainty, doubt and skepticism.'
Education

Submission + - Kentucky Lawmakers Shocked to Find Evolution in Biology Tests (arstechnica.com) 1

ahadsell writes: A report surfaced this week that suggests Kentucky legislators may be experiencing a sort of cognitive dissonance that is likely to be a preview of things we can expect elsewhere. After dictating that schools in the state include tests based on national standards, the state lawmakers were shocked to find that evolution made a prominent appearance on the science tests. Considering that the same legislative body was considering undercutting evolution less than two years ago, this may have come as a bit of a surprise.

It really shouldn't have.

Nationally, the No Child Left Behind Act has dictated that there need to be standards for educational performance, and standardized tests will be used to make sure those standards are met. Although that push started with basics like math and language, national science standards were also called for, and many states have since implemented them; the Kentucky legislature apparently adopted the national standards in 2009. ACT, a company that creates and manages standardized testing, was contracted to handle the science tests.

Given that evolution is extremely well supported and provides the central organizing idea of biology, ACT's tests featured it heavily. That made a number of the state legislators rather unhappy, and gave them the chance to demonstrate that they should not be setting education policy.

Idle

Submission + - Allowing the mind to wander aids creative problem solving (nature.com)

ananyo writes: From the Nature story: Scientists from Archimedes to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are said to have had flashes of inspiration while thinking about other things. But the mechanisms behind this psychological phenomenon have remained unclear. A study now suggests that simply taking a break does not bring on inspiration — rather, creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.
The researchers gave 145 students 2 minutes to list as many possible uses for an everyday object (the creative thinking task).
Participants then either rested, undertook a demanding memory activity that required their full attention or engaged in an undemanding reaction-time activity known to elicit mind-wandering. A fourth group of students had no break. The researchers then set the students a second set of unusual-uses tasks and found those that had, in the interim, been set the undemanding task that encouraged mind-wandering performed an average of around 40% better than they did before. The students in the other three groups showed no improvement.

Microsoft

Submission + - Windows 8 Start button isn't coming back, but there will be a tutorial (arstechnica.com)

suraj.sun writes: The Start button won't be coming back, no matter how much detractors of Windows 8's new user interface would like it to. Windows 8 removes the Start button and instead depends on hot corners(http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/02/getting-started-with-the-windows-8-consumer-preview.ars) for essential functionality, but to make the new operating system easier to understand for mouse and keyboard users, it will contain a tutorial to explain how things work.

Investment firm Nomura has hosted a series of meetings with Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of the Windows and Windows Live division, to talk about what's coming up for Microsoft's next operating system. In these meetings, Reller confirmed that the Start button will remain gone, but that the discoverability problem will be addressed through a tutorial for users(http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/03/windows-8-start-button-isnt-coming-back-but-there-will-be-a-tutorial.ars), so that when they first run the operating system they will be guided through the new interactions.

Cellphones

Submission + - Girls Around Me: An App Takes Creepy to a New Level (nytimes.com)

suraj.sun writes: Girls Around Me uses Foursquare(http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/girls-around-me-ios-app-takes-creepy-to-a-new-level/) to determine your location. It then scans for women in the area who have recently checked-in on the service. Once you identify a woman you’d like to talk to, one that inevitably has no idea you’re snooping on her, you can connect to her through Facebook, see her full name, profile photos and send her a message. When you sign up for the Girls Around Me application, you are asked to log in to Facebook, giving the service your personal information, too.

The app, which was first discovered by the blog, Cult of Mac(http://www.cultofmac.com/157641/this-creepy-app-isnt-just-stalking-women-without-their-knowledge-its-a-wake-up-call-about-facebook-privacy/), is built by a company called SMS Services O.o.o., which is based in Russia. Although the app maker knows a lot about its users, the company seems to have done a fairly good job of obscuring itself online.

Encryption

Submission + - Crypto legends hotly debate alleged RSA flaw (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Is the RSA cryptosystem flawed or is the recent sharp criticism of it the result of poor — or even malicious — implementation of key-generation techniques that appear to have rendered some RSA-based encryption keys crackable? A panel at the RSA Conference yesterday took up that topic, with legendary cryptographers Whitfield Diffie and Ron Rivest on hand to render judgment on an explosive research paper entitled "Ron was wrong, Whit is right," that blasts the RSA cryptosystem co-invented by Rivest and saying crypto techniques pioneered by Diffie are better.

Related Content"

Businesses

Submission + - The 1% -- psychopaths. (guardian.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: In an article that many /. readers will not find surprising, the Guradian summarizes research that shows that the 1% did not obtain their wealth through greater intelligence, creativity or drive — rather, a combination of birth and rutheless exploitation of others. It sumamrizes how highly compensated wealth managers make decisons that have outcomes that are no better than random choices, how business executives have traits that matched patients in Britain's Broadmore special hospital — in fact, the scores exceeded those diagnosed with phychopathic personality disorders.
Technology

Submission + - SPAM: IEEE-USA Lobbies Congress to kill US Jobs for EEs

An anonymous reader writes: Of the fifteen senior staff members listed at IEEE-USA, [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — USA] not a single one has an engineering degree; the nearest technical qualifications are one member who has worked as a nuclear power technician in the US Navy, and another who worked for an ISP.

The support that IEEE-USA is showing for.... visa reform strikes us...as a body that is siding with business and not with the membership of the institute. It appears to free up a large percentage of H-1B visa allocations that could then bring in even more overseas underpaid slaves for jobs that US residents are already available and willing to fill.

Link to Original Source
Patents

Submission + - Samsung cites Kubrick film in Apple patent case (cnet.com)

suraj.sun writes: In its ongoing legal battle with Apple, Samsung has returned fire against Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction that aims to bar some of its phones and Galaxy Tab in the US.

In a new filing, picked up by intellectual-property tracking blog Foss Patents, Samsung has opposed the preliminary injunction Apple filed for in early July. While the document is sealed at the moment, Foss points to one of the non-sealed exhibits Samsung is using to go up against Apple, which cites Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" as clear evidence that tablets were an idea long before Apple's 2004 patent design filing:

        Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image taken from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey." In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. The clip can be downloaded online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo. As with the design claimed by the D'889 Patent, the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table's surface), and a thin form factor.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo

CNET News: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20096061-248/samsung-cites-kubrick-film-in-apple-patent-spat/

Cellphones

Submission + - Verizon Makes It Easy To Go Over Your Data Cap (itworld.com) 1

jfruhlinger writes: "Verizon Wireless has revamped its video service; many Android phones can now stream a full episodes from a number of current TV shows. You can even choose to just buy access for a day if you don't see yourself using the service often. Sounds great, right? Well, except for the part where all of Verizon's current smartphone plans have data caps — and the new service makes it awfully easy to go over them and incur overage charges."

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