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Submission + - The Truth about Linux 4.6 (grsecurity.net)

An anonymous reader writes: As anticipated in public comments, the Linux Foundation is already beginning a campaign to rewrite history and mislead Linux users.

Submission + - UnaPhone Zenith - Secure and Private Smartphone (indiegogo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "Introducing the UnaPhone Zenith- The Most Secure and Privacy-friendly Android phone you'll ever own. We at Una believe that a phone should not be your personal surveillance device, but simply your personal phone."

Looks like a nice phone, but why is it so pricey?

Submission + - Implication of Bayesian reasoning in some mental disorder cases (sciencenews.org)

Taco Cowboy writes: Bayesian theorem describes the probability of an event, based on conditions that might be related to the event, but in specific mental disorders the slightest 'misses' of Bayesian guesses lead into dangerous conclusions after inner amplifying loops

People have assumptions about the world, which are either inborn or learned early in life. For example:
Light comes from above
Noses stick out
Objects move slowly
Background images are uniformly colored
Other people’s gazes are directed at us

From within the dark confines of the skull, the brain builds its own version of reality. By weaving together expectations and information gleaned from the senses, the brain creates a story about the outside world

Guesses just slightly off — like mistaking a smile for a smirk — rarely cause harm. But guessing gone seriously awry may play a part in mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism and even anxiety disorders

Experiments guided by Bayesian math reveal that the guessing process differs in people with some disorders

People with schizophrenia, for instance, can have trouble tying together their expectations with what their senses detect. And people with autism and high anxiety don’t flexibly update their expectations about the world, some lab experiments suggest. That missed step can muddy their decision-making abilities

Given the complexity of mental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, it is no surprise that many theories of how the brain works have fallen short

Current explanations for the disorders are often vague and untestable. Against that frustrating backdrop, great promises are embedded in a strong mathematical theory, one that can be used to make predictions and may actually be able to test them

Bayesian reasoning may be new to the mental illness scene, but the math itself has been around for centuries. First described by the Rev. Thomas Bayes in the 18th century, this computational approach truly embraces history: Evidence based on previous experience, known as a “prior,” is essential to arriving at a good answer, Bayes argued

He may have been surprised to see his math meticulously applied to people with mental illness, but the logic holds

To make a solid guess about what’s happening in the world, the brain must not rely just on current input from occasionally unreliable senses. The brain must also use its knowledge about what has happened before. Merging these two streams of information correctly is at the heart of perceiving the world as accurately as possible

For example, this image — https://www.sciencenews.org/si... — for ordinary people hollow face on the right looks 'protruding', but the same hollow face won't fool those who are infected with schizophrenia

The way the brain combines incoming sensory information with existing knowledge may also be different in autism, some researchers argue. In some cases, people with autism might put excess weight on what their senses take in about the world and rely less on their expectations

Distorted calculations — and the altered versions of the world they create — may also play a role in depression and anxiety, some researchers think. While suffering from depression, people may hold on to distorted priors — believing that good things are out of reach, for instance. And people with high anxiety can have trouble making good choices in a volatile environment, neuroscientist Sonia Bishop of the University of California, Berkeley and colleagues reported in 2015 in Nature Neuroscience

Scientists can’t yet say what causes this difficulty adjusting to a new environment in anxious people and in people with autism. It could be that once some rule is learned (a sequence of computer keys, or the link between a shape and a shock), these two groups struggle to update that prior with newer information

Math may be able to help clarify mental illnesses in a way that existing approaches can’t, by demystifying psychiatric disorders

By treating the brain as a Bayesian number cruncher, it might lead to a more rigorous understanding of mental illness

Scientists hope that a deeper description of mental illnesses may lead to clearer ways to identify a disorder, chart how well treatments work and even improve therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy could help depressed people recalculate their experiences by putting less weight on negative experiences and perhaps breaking out of cycles of despondence

Beyond these potential interventions, simply explaining to people how their brains are working might ease distress

“If you can give people an explanation that makes sense of some of the experiences they’ve had, that can be a profoundly helpful thing. It destigmatizes the experience”

Submission + - Hidden Microphones Exposed As Part of Government Surveillance Program In The Bay (cbslocal.com)

An anonymous reader writes: den microphones that are part of a clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the Bay Area has been exposed.
Imagine standing at a bus stop, talking to your friend and having your conversation recorded without you knowing. It happens all the time, and the FBI doesn’t even need a warrant to do it.
Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.
Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”

Submission + - US will block third-party firmware on Routers (arstechnica.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: New rules that affect open source firmware on Wi-Fi routers will be implemented on June 2, but not all network hardware will prevent the loading of third-party software.

Submission + - Google Rolls Out VP9 Encoding for YouTube (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The YouTube engineering blog announced that they've begun encoding videos with Google's open VP9 codec. Their goal is to use the efficiency of VP9 to bring better quality video to people in low-bandwidth areas, and to spur uptake of 4K video in more developed areas. "[I]f your Internet connection used to only play up to 480p without buffering on YouTube, it can now play silky smooth 720p with VP9."

Comment Re:Only applies to prewritten software? (Score 3, Informative) 364

It is no different than collecting taxes on any other service performed (eg cooking, barbering).

To my knowledge most states don't tax for services (especially not as highly as sales are taxed). Have you ever heard of a musician or lawyer (or even your aforementioned chef or beautician) having to collect any sort of sales tax?

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 661

Perhaps you don't understand the point of my comment. I fail to see how it is idealistic or naive to acknowledge and protect your ability to do what you need without the risk of law suits. If anything, most people would consider that the polar opposite of naivete: paranoia :P. Naturally, the risk is fairly negligible for many people using many products but that doesn't negate the wisdom of wishing to cover your ass just in case. Granted there is a fair amount of idealism involved in the FOSS movement but don't let it cloud your view of the practical benefits of not being legally encumbered and supporting technologies that help defend it.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 5, Insightful) 661

H.264 is technically better format too. That's why it should be picked, not based on some religious free software views.

Not all concerns about the Freedom to use a technology are matters of obsessive fanboyism or faith. There are plenty of pragmatic concerns associated with IP that only the most reckless would choose to ignore. A technology can be 1000x better than anything else that exists but still be effectively useless or a huge risk to end-users or business management. As an end user, I don't want my choices limited by how many technologies a prospective vendor can afford to employ. As a developer, I want to be able to create or fix technologies I encounter without much bureaucracy, being hindered by secrecy or risking having all of my hard work phased out through planned obsolescence strategies. As a business owner, I don't want the items purchased by my business to be hindered by cumbersome, nuanced, legal agreements. In my view, the diversity and innovation facilitated by Free software is almost always better even in cases where proprietary counterparts have a few more features or slightly better performance. Essentially, the freedom to do what you want has its own innate value that, while hard to quantify, should be thoroughly considered before making *any* important decisions, both technology-related and otherwise. It's not always easy to predict when and how those restrictions might hinder your opportunities in the future.


Shakespeare In Klingon? 80

stevegee58 writes "As if the Klingon opera described recently here at Slashdot weren't enough, here's an interesting offering for Shakespeare buffs. The Washington Shakespeare Company (based in Arlington VA) will soon be performing selections from Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing in Klingon."

Submission + - Astrophotography Equatorial Mounts

Timoris writes: With the Perseids approaching rapidly, I am looking for a good beginner's motorized Equatorial mount for astrophotography. I have seen a few for $150 to $200, but apperently the motor vibrations makes for poor photographs. Orion makes good mounts, but are out of my price range ($350) and the motor is sold separately, adding to the price half over again. Does anyone have any good experiance with any low mid priced mounts?

Submission + - Terry Childs is denied motion for retrial (idg.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "The former San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords for one of the city's networks was denied a new trial on Friday and is expected to be sentenced on August 6. Terry Childs had been due for sentencing Friday but the court instead heard two defense motions, one requesting a new trial and the other for arrested judgment — essentially to have his original conviction overturned."

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