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Submission + - Spying on Students in the Classroom (eff.org)

schwit1 writes: It seems a day doesn’t go by without another report of a company monitoring what we do on the Internet and selling that data to generate more revenue. And now the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has examined what happens to the data that's collected from students using technology in the classroom. They released the results of an extensive survey covering students in grades K-12.

What they found was that little work has been done to protect the privacy of the student information that is collected from both the classroom and from using the online software the schools issue for use at home on the students' own devices. They found that while many school districts have embraced technology and all of the benefits it can bring to the schools and students, often little thought has been given to one of the unintended consequences of this: the students' privacy.

The study was very extensive and took two years to complete. Virtually everything was examined, including what's being done along each point from the suppliers of hardware and software and the cloud services, to the schools and the students. They found that lots of data is being collected without permission and that it's easy for outside companies to access the data. They also discovered that there's little to prevent suppliers from sharing data with others, including advertisers.

Submission + - Quick Tutorial: Deleting Your Data Using Google's "My Activity" (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Since posting "The Google Page That Google Haters Don’t Want You to Know About" last week, I’ve received a bunch of messages from readers asking for help using Google’s “My Activity” page to control, inspect, and/or delete their data on Google. The My Activity portal is quite comprehensive and can be used in many different ways, but to get you started I’ll briefly outline how to use My Activity to delete activity data.

Submission + - Neuroscientists offer a reality check on Facebook's "typing by brain" project (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: Yesterday Facebook announced that it's working on a "typing by brain" project, promising a non-invasive technology that can decode signals from the brain's speech center and translate them directly to text (see the video beginning at 1:18:00). What's more, Facebook exec Regina Dugan said, the technology will achieve a typing rate of 100 words per minute.

Here, a few neuroscientists are asked: Is such a thing remotely feasible? One neuroscientist points out that his team set the current speed record for brain-typing earlier this year: They enabled a paralyzed man to type 8 words per minute, and that was using an invasive brain implant that could get high-fidelity signals from neurons. To date, all non-invasive methods that read brain signals through the scalp and skull have performed much worse.

Comment If you haven't tried it you have no clue (Score 4, Informative) 288

Study the medical aspects involved and you'll have lots of knowledge that is inapplicable to the experience of skydiving. This analogy is a pale example of how these studies really miss the point. And anyone who comments about these experiences without having tried them is truly blowing hot air with no valuable substance at all.
        I could describe in detail and pontificate for a decade and you would still not have any grasp of what these experiences are like. You simply cannot, and are being foolish if you think otherwise.
      And mushrooms (preferably as tea) are the best.

Submission + - Anbox: Android runs natively on Linux via LXC (anbox.io)

downwa writes: Canonical engineer Simon Fels has publicly released an Alpha version of Anbox. Similar to the method employed for Android apps on ChromeOS, Anbox runs an entire Android system (7.1.1 at present) in an LXC container. Developed over the last year and a half, the software promises to seamlessly bring performant Android apps to the Linux desktop.

After installing Anbox (based on Android 7.1.1) and starting Anbox Application Manager, ten apps are available: Calculator, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Email, Files, Gallery, Music, Settings, and WebView. Apps run in separate resizeable windows. Additional apps (ARM-native binaries are excluded) can be installed via adb.

Installation currently is only supported on a few Linux distributions able to install snaps.

Contributions are welcome on Github.

Comment The good and the opulent (Score 2) 440

This will cut down on house fires, which is certainly good.

It's also progress towards something I've wanted for decades: An automatic closet. When I get undressed I want to just toss my clothes at the closet and have it launder, dry, and fold or hang them as appropriate, hopefully doing it quietly enough to not bother my sleep.

I actually don't mind the cleaning and drying part - just a robot to put them away would be awesome.

Submission + - User-Made Patch Lets Owners of Next-Gen CPUs Install Updates on Windows 7 & (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: GitHub user Zeffy has created a patch that removes a limitation that Microsoft imposed on users of 7th generation processors, a limit that prevents users from receiving Windows updates if they still use Windows 7 and 8.1. This limitation was delivered through Windows Update KB4012218 (March 2017 Patch Tuesday) and has made many owners of Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Bristol Ridge CPUs very angry last week, as they weren't able to install any Windows updates.

Microsoft's move was controversial, but the company did its due diligence, and warned customers of its intention since January 2016, giving users enough time to update to Windows 10, move to a new OS, or downgrade their CPU, if they needed to remain on Windows 7 or 8.1 for various reasons.

When the April 2017 Patch Tuesday came around last week, GitHub user Zeffy finally had the chance to test four batch scripts he created in March, after the release of KB4012218. His scripts worked as intended by patching Windows DLL files, skipping the CPU version check, and delivering updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 computers running 7th generation CPUs.

Submission + - SPAM: Can Parents Sue If Their Kid Is Born With the 'Wrong' DNA?

randomErr writes: In a fascinating legal case out of Singapore, the country's Supreme Court ruled that this situation doesn't just constitute medical malpractice. The fertility clinic, the court recently ruled, must pay the parents 30% of upkeep costs for the child for a loss of 'genetic affinity.' In other words, the clinic must pay the parents' child support not only because they made a terrible medical mistake, but because the child didn't wind up with the right genes.

“It’s suggesting that the child itself has something wrong with it, genetically, and that it has monetary value attached to it,” Todd Kuiken, a senior research scholar with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University, told Gizmodo. “They attached damages to the genetic makeup of the child, rather than the mistake. That’s the part that makes it uncomfortable. This can take you in all sort of fucked up directions.”

Submission + - If you want my attention, pay me (usatoday.com)

schwit1 writes: Napoleon famously told his generals, “Ask me for anything but time.” For me, it’s more like, “Ask me for anything but attention.” Or at least, be prepared to pay. It’s an idea whose time may have come.

Submission + - Teenager arrested for 'swearing near pensioner' 1

oobayly writes: The Daily Telegraph reports that a Louisiana teenager has been arrested for swearing near 75 year old. According to the the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office the charge is for "DISTURBING THE PEACE / LANGUAGE/ Disorderly Conduct" and that:

While standing next to my 75 year-old complainant, Jared yelled the word "fuck" and clearly disturbed her peace.

As an outsider to the US — who is seriously envious of the 1st Amendment — how is this even an arrest-able office? Given that 43% Slashdot readers describe themselves as liberal/libertarian I doubt that many will support this — especially as Smith is only accused of shouting "fuck", not verbally abusing the lady — but is it likely the Sherif's office actually have a case?

Submission + - SPAM: Artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse, tech researcher warns

randomErr writes: As artificial intelligence becomes more powerful, people need to make sure it’s not used by authoritarian regimes to centralize power and target certain populations, Microsoft Research’s Kate Crawford warned on Sunday. “Just as we are seeing a step function increase in the spread of AI, something else is happening: the rise of ultra-nationalism, rightwing authoritarianism and fascism,” she said. All of these movements have shared characteristics, including the desire to centralize power, track populations, demonize outsiders and claim authority and neutrality without being accountable. Machine intelligence can be a powerful part of the power playbook, she said.

Comment Re:Vote Europa (Score 4, Interesting) 59

It's not the proximity of another moon that produces tidal forces. Just going around Saturn is enough to produce the stresses that induce heat. We can't match the heat output in our models yet because we don't have enough data on the composition of Enceladus or the size of it's ocean(s). We can't even characterize how much heat comes from nuclear decay in our own core; we're just guessing about other planets and moons. Some of Europa's heat comes from the high radiation and strong magnetic fields in the Jupiter system, so the accuracy of your claim that it's heat matches only tidal stresses is doubtful.

Submission + - The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General Motors, and it showed the rising power of artificial intelligence. The car didn’t follow a single instruction provided by an engineer or programmer. Instead, it relied entirely on an algorithm that had taught itself to drive by watching a human do it.

Getting a car to drive this way was an impressive feat. But it’s also a bit unsettling, since it isn’t completely clear how the car makes its decisions. Information from the vehicle’s sensors goes straight into a huge network of artificial neurons that process the data and then deliver the commands required to operate the steering wheel, the brakes, and other systems. The result seems to match the responses you’d expect from a human driver. But what if one day it did something unexpected—crashed into a tree, or sat at a green light? As things stand now, it might be difficult to find out why. The system is so complicated that even the engineers who designed it may struggle to isolate the reason for any single action. And you can’t ask it: there is no obvious way to design such a system so that it could always explain why it did what it did.

The mysterious mind of this vehicle points to a looming issue with artificial intelligence. The car’s underlying AI technology, known as deep learning, has proved very powerful at solving problems in recent years, and it has been widely deployed for tasks like image captioning, voice recognition, and language translation. There is now hope that the same techniques will be able to diagnose deadly diseases, make million-dollar trading decisions, and do countless other things to transform whole industries.

But this won’t happen—or shouldn’t happen—unless we find ways of making techniques like deep learning more understandable to their creators and accountable to their users. Otherwise it will be hard to predict when failures might occur—and it’s inevitable they will. That’s one reason Nvidia’s car is still experimental.

To be fair, we don’t really understand how natural intelligence works, either.

Comment Re:What if you don't dream? (Score 1, Informative) 86

Dream recall directly correlates with how much zinc and b6 you get in your diet. b6 is water soluble, zinc needs to build up a serum level. Funny thing; cum is high in zinc, and most men on western diets are deficient in zinc. I know in my teens and twenties I put out LOTS of cum on a daily basis, enough to rival most girls monthly periods, yet all the hype about women getting enuf iron never mentions men getting zinc. Try taking 50mgs of b6 and 30mgs of Zn for a week or so. Take them at lunchtime, not just before bed. You may be surprised. I admit it may have been psychosomatic, but the first time I took them I had so many dreams the next morning felt like it was 3 days later.

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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