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Comment or the future of asymmetric social conflict? (Score 1) 77

With ubiquitous cameras it may be possible for victims of group stalking or webcam spying to capture their tormentors behaving badly. This is a bigger problem than currently acknowledged. It is easy to spy on people nowadays, but much harder to capture the experience of being laughed at by strangers after having private moments published on the net.

Comment Re:No WAY (Score 1) 768

Bankruptcy laws exist for a reason. Debtor prisons do not work. Enabling people to start over again after a personal financial collapse is important for getting people to take on risk. It does not make sense to cover bankruptcy for ordinary business failures or career meltdowns while not covering education. Education overall has less risk, pays off better, but is inherently risky because of the ages of those making decisions. Bankruptcy is bankruptcy whether student loans are part of the mix or not. Comparisons to bank bailouts don't really make sense because the scale and the risks are so different. There is no broke student equivalent of a bank run, for example.

A Mind Made From Memristors 320

Csiko writes "Researchers at Boston University's department of cognitive and neural systems are working on an artificial brain implemented with memristors. 'A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance changes depending on the amount, direction, and duration of voltage that's applied to it. But here's the really interesting thing about a memristor: Whatever its past state, or resistance, it freezes that state until another voltage is applied to change it. Maintaining that state requires no power.' Also theoretically described, solid state versions of memristors have not been implemented until recently. Now researchers in Boston claim that memristors are the new key technology to implement highly integrated, powerful artificial brains on cheap and widely available hardware within five years."

Comment time for markets to show the way (Score 1) 324

Government development of space is holding back commercial development. The time for initial investment has ended now that we know the basics. This article is full of good examples of this. The robot mower highlighted here is already being provided by the marketplace. Private ventures are preparing more forward thinking launch vehicles than the big rocket talked about in the article. There is always going to be some role or collective action, but government is no longer needed as the primary driver.

It is critically important to keep markets on Earth functioning in order to extend ourselves into space. The idea that we can have our economic activities melt down in chaos while reaching for our future in the stars is questionable. Some of the same people here who want more space development also pushed an ideologically driven view of economic activity which played a big part in this global financial implosion.


The Languages of "The Office" 147

Venkat Rao has followed up his analysis of office dynamics as reflected in The Office, which we discussed last month, with one titled Posturetalk, Powertalk, Babytalk and Gametalk. The Office is running a little thin of meaty examples to make his points in delineating the ways of PowerTalk — the language of the Sociopaths — so Rao reaches out to Goodfellas, Wall Street, The Boiler Room, and Making Jack Falcone. The entire analysis illuminates and is illuminated by a diagram of the disparate languages that Sociopaths, the Clueless, and Losers speak to each other and among themselves.
Data Storage

A Short History of Btrfs 241

diegocgteleline.es writes "Valerie Aurora, a Linux file system developer and ex-ZFS designer, has posted an article with great insight on how Btrfs, the file system that will replace Ext4, was created and how it works. Quoting: 'When it comes to file systems, it's hard to tell truth from rumor from vile slander: the code is so complex, the personalities are so exaggerated, and the users are so angry when they lose their data. You can't even settle things with a battle of the benchmarks: file system workloads vary so wildly that you can make a plausible argument for why any benchmark is either totally irrelevant or crucially important. ... we'll take a behind-the-scenes look at the design and development of Btrfs on many levels — technical, political, personal — and trace it from its origins at a workshop to its current position as Linus's root file system.'"

Hackers Get Free Parking In San Francisco 221

Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that at the Black Hat security conference this week, security researchers say that it is pretty easy for a technically savvy hacker to make a fake payment card that gives them unlimited free parking on San Francisco's smart parking meter system. 'It wasn't technically complicated and the fact that I can do it in three days means that other people are probably already doing it and probably taking advantage of it,' says Joe Grand. 'It seems like the system wasn't analyzed at all.' To figure out how the payment system worked, Grand hooked up an oscilloscope to a parking meter and monitored what happened when he used a genuine payment card. Grand discovered the cards aren't digitally signed, and the only authentication between the meter and card is a password sent from the former to the latter. Examining the meters themselves could yield additional vulnerabilities that might allow someone to conduct other kinds of attacks, such as propagating a virus from meter to meter via the smart cards or a meter minder's PDA."

Submission + - Building and Running Debian User-Mode-Linux

An anonymous reader writes: Patrick McFarland, the famous Free Software Magazine author, has written a short guide on how to build a Debian User-Mode-Linux image from inside Debian, and also how to connect it to your LAN and the Internet securely. Now, all we need is a beowulf cluster of UML virtual machines.

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