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Comment Models and simulations (Score 1) 429

I've long wondered why models and simulations aren't used a lot more in economic and political matters. They're used everywhere in physics and engineering, even when there are many unknowns (look at the Lorenz equation of climate models and how much it's improved since then). So why aren't modelisations with positive outcomes OBLIGATORY before voting some new laws that nobody really knows if it'll improve things or not ? Models may not be perfect but they provide a starting point and WILL be improved.

Comment Not hereditary, but can be (Score 1) 92

The Sichuan University trial, it is important to note, does not edit the germ-line; its effects will not be hereditary.

This test run may not be, but this technique can not only be applied to germ-line cells, but also made 'super-hereditary'. When you change germ-line cells, they are transmitted only in half the cases, no matter if dominant or recessive. But they found a technique to have the modifications transmitted every time ! I don't remember the name of that technique though.

Space

SpaceX Successfully Lands Falcon 9 Rocket On Solid Ground For the Second Time (theverge.com) 101

SpaceX successfully landed another Falcon 9 rocket after launching the vehicle into space on Sunday evening from Florida. The Verge reports: Shortly after takeoff, the vehicle touched down at SpaceX's Landing Complex 1 -- a ground-based landing site that the company leases at the Cape. It marks the second time SpaceX has pulled off this type of ground landing, and the fifth time SpaceX has recovered one of its rockets post-launch. The feat was accomplished a few minutes before the rocket's second stage successfully put the company's Dragon spacecraft into orbit, where it will rendezvous with the International Space Station later this week. It's also the first time this year SpaceX has attempted to land one of its rockets on land. For the past six launches, each rocket has tried landing on an autonomous drone ship floating in the ocean. That's because drone ship landings require a lot less fuel to execute than ground landings.
Encryption

UK Gov Says New Home Sec Will Have Powers To Ban End-to-end Encryption (theregister.co.uk) 282

An anonymous reader writes: During a committee stage debate in the UK's House of Lords yesterday, the government revealed that the Investigatory Powers Bill will provide any Secretary of State with the ability to force communication service providers (CSPs) to remove or disable end-to-end encryption. Earl Howe, a Minister of State for Defence and the British government's Deputy Leader in the House of Lords, gave the first explicit admission that the new legislation would provide the government with the ability to force CSPs to "develop and maintain a technical capability to remove encryption that has been applied to communications or data".

This power, if applied, would be imposed upon domestic CSPs by the new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, who was formerly the secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change. Rudd is now only the fifth woman to hold one of the great offices of state in the UK. As she was only appointed on Wednesday evening, she has yet to offer her thoughts on the matter.

Comment Re:xkcd (Score 4, Insightful) 180

I guess it surprises someone that "software development" includes a whole lot of people all over the country.

It actually surprises me that a full 10 percent of software jobs are actually in Silicon Valley. Every major city I've ever lived in across the US has been teeming with job openings in the tech sector. Just seems kind of weird that the headline of the article is going on about 90 percent of software developers working outside the valley. Is this news to anyone?

Cellphones

US Judge Throws Out Cell Phone 'Stingray' Evidence For The First Time (reuters.com) 118

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects' cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis' rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment. Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators," mimic cell phone towers in order to force cell phones in the area to transmit "pings" back to the devices, enabling law enforcement to track a suspect's phone and pinpoint its location. The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis' apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge had suppressed evidence obtained using a stingray, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which like other privacy advocacy groups has criticized law enforcement's use of such devices. "Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device," Pauley wrote. FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin suggests in a report via Motherboard that decrypting encrypted data fundamentally alters it, therefore contaminating it as forensic evidence.

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