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Comment Automated news is the real problem (Score 1) 24

I think the real problem here is that media sources are turning to automated scrapers instead of using human beings to investigate and report the news. Look at some of the sources that rebroadcast this fake report. The BBC, Telegraph, Mirror, and MSN news. How can anyone take an article they read from a news source seriously knowing that automated scripts likely wrote it. This is a growing trend as well. A growing number of news articles are the result of automated reporting scripts. From my point of view, if news agencies want to increase the speed with which they report and the number of stories they can get out there by using automated scripts they should at least use their existing humans to proof and sanity check stuff before it goes out.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 56

I imagine it's more trying to gear for PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). If, instead of fumbling with a keyboard or swiping on my phone, I can simply talk naturally to tell my PDA to create an appointment, find a gas station, read the science news, etc. then that may be a beneficial piece of software. My question is always "Who pays for it?" My guess is that this kind of technology will be used as a new advertising platform. If I ask for a nearby restaurant or grocery store, it would make sense that companies could pay to have their products/services be the one my PDA recommends.

Submission + - SPAM: Possible Internet "Kill Switch" used?

michaelwigle writes: The idea of the U.S. being able to "kill" the Internet if necessary has been discussed before. It was generally thought of as a bit of a "nuclear option". However, it looks possible that we have just seen a surgical outage that targeted certain key areas for a specific amount of time with a pretty fast response. It was all centered around a possible WikiLeaks release that turned out to be a "no go".
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Bounty hunters are legally hacking Apple and the Pentagon – for big money (

alir1272 writes: Nathaniel Wakelam became a bounty hunter when he was 18.

Now 21, it is his full time job. This month so far he has earned $21,150, in installments: he counted them out over the phone – “400, plus 400, plus 300, plus 100, plus 1,000, plus 3,000, plus 4,000”

Wakelam’s month-to-month profit varies considerably, but in an average year, he said, he can comfortably clear $250,000, working from his home in Melbourne or on his Macbook in coffee shops or nearby bars.

Comment Re:Might? (Score 1) 410

I proved it by pointing at the 10 yard fresh skid mark that started at the lane marker and moved toward the middle of my lane. Driver in front told the officer they thought they saw something in the road just as they changed lanes (right in front of me). Officer cited them for something like erratic driving (I don't really remember). It does happen, although probably not too often. Which is why the conventional wisdom says if you do the rear ending you're at fault.

Submission + - You can't audit voting machines in Kansas

Geoffrey.landis writes: A statistician discovered evidence of suspicious counting on voting machines in Kansas. The voting machines keep a paper trail for verification... but her request to examine the record of votes is being blocked with the explanation that no one, not even the election officials, is allowed to see it.

According to the Washington Post "The voting machines that Sedgwick County uses have a paper record of the votes, known as Real Time Voting Machine Paper Tapes... . Since the software is proprietary, even elections officials can’t examine it and postelection audits can’t be done, according to Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting Foundation".

Even the Kansas papers editorialize that this is going too far. More evidence that the software used in voting machines should never be proprietary.

Comment Re:Somehow I'm reminded of Kirk (Score 1) 114

True, but good decisions in what "appears" to be a no-win scenario can be the cause of getting out of a 1 in a million chance of survival scenario. It also gives insight into the captain's world view. Is the captain a "take 'em all down with me" kind of person or a "Run away!" kind of captain, or some other kind? It allows those higher in the chain of command to have at least an idea of what kind of assignments to give in the future. I think it also allows the test taker to look more deeply into themselves to see what kind of person they really are when the chips are down. Assuming, of course, the student takes the test seriously enough.

Comment Re:Email lets you organize your thoughts (Score 1) 115

Absolutely this. At the end of a meeting I will summarize verbally what I believe the other person wants from me and then ask them to put it in an e-mail with the understanding I don't move forward until I have the e-mail. If I don't get one right away I will be pro-active and send them one with what we agreed on and ask them to confirm the points, again mentioning no work starts until I get an acknowledgement e-mail. I have found this not only keeps the other party accountable for what they ask for but it also keeps me on top of what I need to be doing (the e-mail usually becomes a task list item in Outlook).

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