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Submission + - There Were Mega-Tsunamis On Mars (popularmechanics.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today, a team of scientists has announced the first discovery of extraterrestrial tsunamis. A team of astronomers and geologists led by J. Alexis Rodriguez at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona has uncovered evidence of massive tsunamis on Mars billions of years ago. As Rodriguez reports, two separate megatsunamis tore across the red planet around 3.4 billion years ago, a time when Mars was a mere 1.1 billion years old and nearby Earth was just cradling its first microbial lifeforms. The two tsunamis created 150-foot-high shore-break waves on average, and some absolutely monster waves up to 400 feet tall. Rodriguez and his colleagues outline their tsunami findings today in the journal Scientific Reports.

Submission + - If You Clicked Anything Online, Google Probably Knows About It (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two Princeton academics conducted a massive research into how websites track users using various techniques. The results of the study, which they claim to be the biggest to date, shows that Google, through multiple domains, is tracking users on around 80 percent of all Top 1 Million domains. Researchers say that Google-owned domains account for the top 5 most popular trackers and 12 of the top 20 tracker domains.

Additionally, besides tracking scripts, HTML5 canvas fingerprinting, and WebRTC local IP discover, researchers discovered a new user fingerprinting technique that uses the AudioContext API. Third-party trackers use it to send low-frequency sounds to a user's PC and measure how the PC processes the data, creating an unique fingerprint based on the user's hardware and software capabilities. A demo page for this technique is available.

Submission + - Mapping the Brain to Build Better Machines (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: An ambitious new program, funded by the federal government’s intelligence arm, aims to bring artificial intelligence more in line with our own mental powers. Three teams composed of neuroscientists and computer scientists will attempt to figure out how the brain performs these feats of visual identification, then make machines that do the same. “Today’s machine learning fails where humans excel,” said Jacob Vogelstein, who heads the program at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). “We want to revolutionize machine learning by reverse engineering the algorithms and computations of the brain.”

Submission + - Red dwarfs could have intelligent life-harboring planets in orbit (dispatchtribunal.com)

hypnosec writes: Red dwarfs have been one of the most sidelined celestial objects as far as search of intelligent extraterrestrials is concerned because astronomers have long believed that conditions around these old stars is not conducive for life. However, the SETI Institute now believes that there is a possibility that intelligent aliens may have evolved on planets orbiting red dwarfs and if they are present, they are an ideal choice to look for radio signals transmitted by these aliens. The Institute has announced its intentions of expanding the search for intelligent extraterrestrials by incorporating area in the vicinity of 20,000 red dwarf stars.

Submission + - Earth barraged by supernovae millions of years ago, debris found on moon (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: t sounds like the plot of a disaster movie: A nearby star explodes as a supernova, outshining the sun in the sky. The fleeting light show blows away Earth's ozone layer, leaving the planet's inhabitants—human and otherwise—exposed to the full force of the sun's radiation. Cancer skyrockets, crops fail, and civilization falls apart. Far-fetched, perhaps, but two independent teams of researchers have found evidence that within the past 10 million years, our planet was in fact exposed to multiple nearby supernovae. Although these were too far away to cause death and destruction, the blasts would have been bright enough to see during the day—and could conceivably have sparked Earth’s recent ice ages.

Submission + - AI Is Transforming Google Search. The Rest of the Web Is Next

catchblue22 writes: Yesterday, the 46-year-old Google veteran who oversees its search engine, Amit Singhal, announced his retirement. For much of his tenure, Singhai believed that Google’s search engine should be driven by algorithms based on definite rules that automatically generate a response to each query. His replacement, John Giannandrea is a proponent of using deep learning instead of hard coded algorithms; the "RankBrain" project uses deep neural networks to produce search results. Some at engineers at Google have shown skepticism of using neural networks for search: "...it’s hard to explain and ascertain why a particular search result ranks more highly than another result for a given query...It’s difficult to directly tweak a machine learning-based system to boost the importance of certain signals over others.”

Giannandrea's appointment shows that deep learning has arrived at Google Search. "By building learning systems, we don’t have to write these rules anymore...Increasingly, we’re discovering that if we can learn things rather than writing code, we can scale these things much better.”

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can you permanently disable Windows 10 privacy invading features?

An anonymous reader writes: I really want to upgrade to Windows 10, but have begun seeing stories come out about the new Terms and how they affect your privacy. It looks like the default Windows 10 system puts copies of your data out on the "cloud", gives your passwords out, and targets advertising to you. The main reason I am looking to upgrade is that Bitlocker is not available on Windows 7 Pro, but is on Windows 10 Pro, and Microsoft no longer offers Anytime Upgrades to Windows 7 Ultimate. However, I don't want to give away my privacy for security. The other option is to wait until October to see what the Windows 10 Enterprise version offers, but it may not be available through retail. Are the privacy minded Slashdot readers not going with Windows 10?

For reference, I am referring to these articles:
http://www.theguardian.com/tec...
http://betanews.com/2015/07/31...

Submission + - The Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist (businessweek.com)

rrconan writes: “There’s no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there’s a shortage in the conventional sense,” says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. “They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I’m not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV.

Submission + - Is Chernobyl still dangerous or was 60 Minutes pushing propaganda? (atomicinsights.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ron Adams is a long time nuclear advocate, so read with that in mind. This article is an interesting take on media presentation of the present Chernobyl situation.

"The show is full of fascinating contrasts between what the cameras show to the audience and what the narrator tells the audience that they should believe."

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