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Crime

PayPal Most Phished, Facebook Most Blocked 37

Orome1 writes "OpenDNS released statistics about which websites were commonly blocked — and which websites users were frequently given access to — in 2010. The report additionally details the companies online scammers targeted in 2010, as well as where the majority of phishing websites were hosted. Facebook is both one of the most blocked and the most allowed websites, reflecting the push/pull of allowing social sites in schools and the workplace. On the other hand, 45 percent of all phishing attempts made in 2010 were targeting PayPal."
The Internet

Nmap Developers Release a Picture of the Web 125

iago-vL writes "The Nmap Project recently posted an awesome visualization of the top million site icons (favicons) on the Web, sized by relative popularity of sites. This project used the Nmap Scripting Engine, which is capable of performing discovery, vulnerability detection, and anything else you can imagine with lightning speed. We saw last month how an Nmap developer downloaded 170 million Facebook names, and this month it's a million favicons; I wonder what they'll do next?"
News

Ray Kurzweil Responds To PZ Myers 238

On Tuesday we discussed a scathing critique of Ray Kurzweil's understanding of the brain written by PZ Myers. Reader Amara notes that Kurzweil has now responded on his blog. Quoting: "Myers, who apparently based his second-hand comments on erroneous press reports (he wasn't at my talk), [claims] that my thesis is that we will reverse-engineer the brain from the genome. This is not at all what I said in my presentation to the Singularity Summit. I explicitly said that our quest to understand the principles of operation of the brain is based on many types of studies — from detailed molecular studies of individual neurons, to scans of neural connection patterns, to studies of the function of neural clusters, and many other approaches. I did not present studying the genome as even part of the strategy for reverse-engineering the brain."
The Internet

Facebook Usage Hits 16 Billion Minutes a Day 107

1sockchuck writes "Facebook's 400 million users spend more than 16 billion minutes on the site every day, and view 1 million photos every second. That's prompted massive growth in the social network's infrastructure, which now encompasses more than 60,000 servers. Facebook's Tom Cook discussed how the company's operations team manages that growth in a presentation last week at the O"Reilly Velocity conference (video). The next day at Structure 2010, Facebook Vice President of Operations Jonathan Heiliger said server and chip makers have 'come a long way' in supporting cloud platforms since he bashed them last year."
Education

Khan Academy Delivers 100,000 Lectures Daily 213

eldavojohn writes "Working from the comfort of his home, Salman Khan has made available more than 1,500 mini-lectures to educate the world. Subjects range from math and physics to finance, biology, and current economics. Kahn Academy amounts to little more than a YouTube channel and one very devoted man. He is trying to provide education in the way he wished he had been taught. With more than 100,000 video views a day, the man is making a difference for many students. In his FAQ he explains how he knows he is being effective. What will probably ensure his popularity (and provide a legacy surpassing that of most highly paid educators) is that everything is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. He only needs his time, a $200 Camtasia Recorder, an $80 Wacom Bamboo Tablet, and a free copy of SmoothDraw3. While the lecturing may not be quite up to the Feynman level, it's a great augmenter for advanced learners, and a lifeline for those without much access to learning resources."
The Internet

When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive? 261

DeviceGuru writes "European researchers are developing a cooperative traffic system, known CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems), comprised of vehicle-, roadside-, and central infrastructure-based communications hardware and software, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless. Among other capabilities, cars communicate with each other and with 'smart traffic signals' to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid accidents, or with 'smart traffic signs' to avoid dangerous driving conditions. The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audi has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project. The ambitious vision of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) includes goals such as reduced traffic congestion and fuel consumption, enhanced safety, and improved driver and passenger comfort. Ultimately, the developers envision a sort of Automotive Internet."
Space

Hubble Builds 3D Dark Matter Map 177

astroengine writes "Dark matter can't be spotted directly because it doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation (i.e. it doesn't emit any radiation and reflects no light). However, its gravitational influence on space-time can bend light from its otherwise straight path (a phenomenon known as 'lensing'). Using a sophisticated algorithm to scan a comprehensive Hubble Space Telescope survey of the cosmos, astronomers have plotted a map of 'weak lensing' events. Combining this with red shift measurements from ground-based observatories, they've produced a strikingly colorful 3D map of the structure of dark matter."

Comment Re:Frame job? (Score 1) 337

No, but it was real. Fortunately I'd moved, and didn't end up with him for a client.

They brought her to the scene, and he said, "Yeah, that's her; she's the one I robbed."

This was a couple of years before the lineup of mugging victims or whatever they were in that spoof movie (Hot Shots?).

Yes, criminals are capital-S STUPID!

If they, as a group, had what we think of as "ordinary intelligence," we'd be in *BIG* trouble . .
hawk, esq.

Communications

26 Years Old and Can't Write In Cursive 921

theodp writes "Back in 1942, Chicago mail-order house Spiegel's looked to handwriting analysis to identify inconsistent, unreliable, poorly adjusted people. Ah, those were the days. TIME reports we are witnessing the death of handwriting, noting that Gen Y struggles with cursive and the group following them has even less of a need for good penmanship. And while the knee-jerk explanation is that computers are to blame for our increasingly illegible scrawl, literacy prof Steve Graham explains that kids haven't learned to write neatly because no one has forced them to. 'Writing is just not part of the national agenda anymore,' he says. So much for 100 Years of Handwriting Success!"
Robotics

Submission + - Ants More Rational Decision Makers Than Humans

Hugh Pickens writes: "Humans and animals often make irrational choices when faced with very challenging decisions, but researchers in collective robotics have recently found that is that for ants making collective decisions, the lack of individual options translated into more accurate outcomes by minimizing the chances for individuals to make mistakes. The conclusions arose from an examination of the process of nest selection in the ant, Temnothorax curvispinosus, where the challenge before the colony was to "choose" a nest, when offered two options with very similar advantages. "Rationality in this case should be thought of as meaning that a decision-maker, who is trying to maximize something, should simply be consistent in its preferences." says Stephen Pratt, an assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "For animals trying to maximize their fitness, for example, they should always rank options, whether these are food sources, mates, or nest sites, according to their fitness contribution. Typically we think having many individual options, strategies and approaches are beneficial," Pratt adds, "but irrational errors are more likely to arise when individuals make direct comparisons among options." Studies of how or why irrationality arises can give insights into cognitive mechanisms and constraints, as well as how collective decision making occurs. "A key idea in collective robotics is that the individual robots can be relatively simple and unsophisticated, but you can still get a complex, intelligent result out of the whole group," says Pratt. "The ability to function without complex central control is really desirable in an artificial system and the idea that limitations at the individual level can actually help at the group level is potentially very useful.""
Medicine

Submission + - Artificial brain '10 years away' (bbc.co.uk) 1

SpuriousLogic writes: A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed. Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already built elements of a rat brain. He told the TED global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses. Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said. "It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years," he said.
Idle

Missouri Car Dealer To Give Away AK-47 With New Truck Screenshot-sm 66

Frizbie writes "Max Motors in Butler, Missouri is giving away free AK-47 assault rifles with the purchase of a new truck. The promotion starts in the beginning of August. The video of CNN's coverage of the promotion shows Mark Muller being interviewed by a woman who was taking a very strong stand against what Muller had to say; however, it seems to have backfired pretty heavily."
NASA

Stuck Knob Causes Serious Window Damage To Atlantis 291

FTL writes "While in orbit a metal knob floated between a window and the dashboard of Atlantis. Once back on Earth, the shuttle contracted, wedging the knob firmly in place and damaging the window. Initial attempts to free the knob have failed and engineers may need six months to disassemble that section of the orbiter. Given that the shuttle program will probably end next year anyway, such a delay might mean scrapping Atlantis early rather than repairing it. Efforts to remove the knob using less invasive techniques continue."
Image

Broke Counties Turn Failing Roads To Gravel Screenshot-sm 717

To save money, more than 20 Michigan counties have decided to turn deteriorating paved roads back to gravel. Montcalm County estimates that repaving a road costs more than $100,000 a mile. Grinding the same mile of road up and turning it into gravel costs $10,000. At least 50 miles of road have been reverted to gravel in Michigan the past three years. I can't wait until we revert back to whale oil lighting and can finally be rid of this electricity fad.
Robotics

Robots Take To the Stairs 85

Singularity Hub writes "Robots can climb stairs, and they are doing it everywhere you look. 'No big deal' you say, but it really is a big deal. Five to ten years ago, almost nobody was doing it. Now grad students are doing it all by themselves for thesis projects. Check out our review of robots navigating stairs, which includes some awesome videos."

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