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Submission + - Another Final Obama Admin Last Act: Proposing How to Rethink College w/ Tech (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: Yesterday the Obama Administration's Ed Dept issued a big National Education Technology Plan focused on reimagining higher education. It's a bit of a kitchen sink of examples and suggestions, but it does argue that colleges need to step up their game: “Unless we become more nimble in our approach and more scalable in our solutions, we will miss out on an opportunity to embrace and serve the majority of students who will need higher education and postsecondary learning,” says the report. Later it underscores that “higher education has never mattered so much to those who seek it. It drives social mobility, energizes our economy, and underpins our democracy.”

Colleges are good at letting the ivy grown on walls, after all.

The timing is a bit odd. Will Trump's education team possibly continue this policy direction?
Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary for Education, admitted that much activity will move to the states or other entities in the near future, but he still sees a federal role. “These federal issues are also going to be state issues,” he said. “At the core, we believe changes will happen most profoundly at the institution level.”

Submission + - SPAM: NASA cannot confiscate an Apollo 11 artifact that was sold by mistake

schwit1 writes: A federal judge has ruled that NASA has no right to confiscate an Apollo 11 lunar rock sample bag that had been purchased legally, even though the sale itself had been in error.

Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled in the U.S. District Court for Kansas that Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Illinois, obtained the title to the historic artifact as "a good faith purchaser, in a sale conducted according to law." The government had petitioned the court to reverse the sale and return the lunar sample bag to NASA. "She is entitled to possession of the bag," Marten wrote in his order.

This court case will hopefully give some legal standing to the private owners of other artifacts or lunar samples that NASA had given away and then demanded their return, decades later.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Autonomous Vehicles Have Begun Dramatically Changing the Look and Feel of Cars (observer.com)

BradyDale writes: With Michigan passing the most permissive self-driving car laws to date, there's a bit of an arms race in the United States to be the place that provides the most fertile ground for a new industry. As the new concept vehicles move forward, the indications clearly show that designers have started to rethink what cars should look and feel like. These 9 examples give hints of the dramatic changes ahead for the inside and outside of transportation.
Examples come from major companies like Mercedes and Audi, new players like Easymile and new but big players like LeEco (which has partnered with Faraday Future).

Submission + - Remarkable New Theory Says There's No Gravity (bigthink.com)

Jeff Socia writes: Gravity is something all of us are familiar with from our first childhood experiences. You drop something — it falls. And the way physicists have described gravity has also been pretty consistent — it’s considered one of the four main forces or “interactions” of nature and how it works has been described by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity all the way back in 1915.

But Professor Erik Verlinde, an expert in string theory from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute of Theoretical Physics, thinks that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature because it's not always there. Instead it’s “emergent” — coming into existence from changes in microscopic bits of information in the structure of spacetime.

Submission + - Chinese Scientist Found Breakthrough Vaccine/Cures for All Viral Infections (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: Chinese scientists may have found the key to creating effective vaccines for the world’s deadly viruses including bird flu, SARS, Ebola, and HIV. An experiment by a research team at Beijing University was hailed as “revolutionary” in the field in a paper published in the latest issue of Science magazine on Friday. The live virus used in the vaccine used by the researchers had its genetic code tweaked to disable the viral strains’ self-replication mechanism. But it was kept fully infectious to allow the host animal cells to generate immunity. Using live viruses in their fully infectious form was considered taboo, as viruses spread rapidly. Vaccines sold and used widely today generally contain either dead or weakened forms of viruses. The animals infected with virus were cured after receiving the injection, according to the paper. This breakthrough promises to simplify the process of producing vaccines, which may help scientists develop effective vaccines or even cures for various viruses – such bird flu, SARS, Ebola and HIV – within weeks of an outbreak.

Submission + - San Francisco transit system falls prey to ransomeware (forbes.com)

Locke2005 writes: Someone managed to infect the SF Muni ticket machines with ransomware. Gee, I wonder if they still think basing the system on Windows (WIndows Server 2000, I believe) was a good choice? Any suggestions as to what they could have done that would have provided a usable touch screen interface while being less susceptible to hackers? Or was their mistake not upgrading to a newer OS?

Submission + - 65% Of Windows Devices Still Running Windows 7, Released In 2009 (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: To analyze the current state of device security, Duo Security analyzed more than two million devices, 63 percent of which were running Microsoft operating systems. Researchers found that 65 percent of all Windows devices are running Windows 7, affected by approximately 600 security vulnerabilities. To make things even more dangerous, tens of thousand of devices are still running Windows XP 15 years after its release. This represents more than 700 vulnerabilities, 200 of which are rated as high-to-critical. There are numerous reasons why companies continue to stick with older operating systems like Windows 7,” said Ajay Arora, CEO of Vera. “Reasons can range from the cost it takes to update every computer, or the software they are currently using might not translate to newer operating system and environments."

Submission + - Microsoft speech recognition tech understands a conversation as well a human (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: Microsoft researchers say they have created a speech recognition system that understands human conversation as well as the average person does. In a paper published this week the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group said its speech recognition system had attained “human parity” and made fewer errors than a human professional transcriptionist.

Submission + - The Psychological Reasons Behind Risky Password Practices (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: Despite high-profile, large-scale data breaches dominating the news cycle – and repeated recommendations from experts to use strong passwords – consumers have yet to adjust their own behavior when it comes to password reuse. A global Lab42 survey highlights the psychology around why consumers develop poor password habits despite understanding the obvious risk, and suggests that there is a level of cognitive dissonance around our online habits. When it comes to online security, personality type does not inform behavior, but it does reveal how consumers rationalize poor password habits.

Submission + - Bill Gates: Voter Opposition to Globalization is 'A Huge Concern' 1

theodp writes: GeekWire reports that the groundswell of populist opposition to open markets and collaboration among countries is "a huge concern" to Bill Gates. "Globalization has had these huge benefits of speeding up innovation and causing product prices to be far lower than they would be otherwise," argued Gates. "But the fact that people, net, see it as a bad thing — and that a vote like the Brexit vote or some other votes are a move to 'Hey, we don’t like change, we want to set back the clock, we want to be more local in our thinking' — that’s a huge concern." Commenters didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the world's richest man.

Submission + - The Neuroscience Behind Bad Decisions (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Economists have spent more than 50 years cataloging irrational choices like these. Nobel Prizes have been earned; millions of copies of Freakonomics have been sold. But economists still aren’t sure why they happen. “There had been a real cottage industry in how to explain them and lots of attempts to make them go away,” said Eric Johnson, a psychologist and co-director of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia University. But none of the half-dozen or so explanations are clear winners, he said.

In the last 15 to 20 years, neuroscientists have begun to peer directly into the brain in search of answers. “Knowing something about how information is represented in the brain and the computational principles of the brain helps you understand why people make decisions how they do,” said Angela Yu, a theoretical neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.

Submission + - Private Cloud Is As Good As Dead, Proponents Just Don't Know It Yet (cio.com)

itwbennett writes: Analyst firm Wikibon 'believes that leading vendors are currently at or below a $100M/yr run-rate for OpenStack-related business (hardware, software, services),' writes John Furrier on LinkedIn. This means, 'the sum total of all [OpenStack] vendors has to be less than $2 billion,' says Bernard Golden, who foretells the death of private cloud in a recent article. Meanwhile, in public cloud land, Amazon Web Services posted $2.88 billion in revenue in Q2 2016, and Azure revenues, which are harder to figure because Microsoft includes services like Office 365 in its 'cloud business' numbers were about $800 million in the quarter ending June 30, writes Golden. The numbers don't tell the whole story, of course, but that's not good news either, because, as Golden puts it, 'While private cloud proponents have spent the last five years focusing on getting their IaaS offerings working, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have moved way beyond core computing services.'

Submission + - Software Errors Already Affect Patient Outcomes. (We Just Don't Measure Them.) (securityledger.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Medical errors linked to the failure of medical device hardware and software may already impair patient health, but little is known about the problem, because it is rarely measured, The Security Ledger reports.(https://securityledger.com/2016/08/silent-epidemic-do-software-errors-already-affect-patient-outcomes/)

Speaking on a panel focused on medical device security at Codenomicon 2016 (http://go.codenomicon.marketing/CodenomiCON-USA-2016.html) in Las Vegas on Tuesday, a group of leading medical device and information security experts said that software errors that affect patient care almost certainly occur, but more needs to be done to identify and measure them if care delivery organizations hope to improve patient outcomes.

“I believe there has already been patient harm,” said Dr. Dale Nordenberg, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Medical Device Innovation, Safety & Security Consortium.

Nordenberg told Security Ledger that discrete interactions that patients have with medical devices each year in healthcare settings in the U.S. numbers in the billions, making errors and malfunctions that affect patient care in some way a certainty.

Only rarely do such incidents warrant notice. In May the Food and Drug Administration published an alert about an incident in which antivirus software caused a medical diagnostic computer to fail in the middle of a cardiac procedure, denying physicians access to data and potentially endangering patient safety. (https://securityledger.com/2016/05/fda-antivirus-crashed-diagnostic-tool-during-heart-procedure/)

Recent news reports have also underscored the fragile nature of many clinical networks. Widespread infections of ransomware like SamSam (http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/samsam-may-signal-new-trend-targeted-ransomware) have crippled clinical networks and forced clinical staff to cancel patient appointments, delay procedures and fall back to paper record keeping.

Despite such incidents, there is no official effort to track the link between software or hardware failures, malicious software infections or user-related errors and patient outcomes.

“In medicine, outcomes drive decisions about what to do, and we don’t have data that’s clear enough to design intervention programs,” Nordenberg told the audience at the event.

Submission + - AT&T to Head Up Anti-Robocall Strike Force

Trailrunner7 writes: Spurred by a directive from the FCC last week, AT&T will head up a new anti-robocall task force that will work to develop tools and technology to help users and carriers block robocalls.

The chairman of the FCC sent a letter to all of the major wireless and wireline carriers last week instructing them to start providing customers with tools to block robocalls. The letter tells carriers to work on free tools and to get them to customers as soon as possible.

In response, AT&T has said that it will step up and lead a new coalition that will work “to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls”. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said will chair the new Robocall Strike Force, the company said Monday.

Submission + - SPAM: $12.9B aircraft carrier 'struggles with jets taking off and landing'

schwit1 writes: The USS Gerald R. Ford, is not ready for combat, DOD says. The 'supercarrier' is the most expensive Navy warship ever built and is due to be commissioned this year. The ship delivery is scheduled for November, more than two years late of its original date of September 2014. A government memo says 'poor or unknown reliability issues' are behind the latest roll out problems with the ship.

There are two other ships in the Ford class: the USS John F. Kennedy and a new USS Enterprise — expected to be commissioned in 2020 and 2025 respectively. The total cost for the three vessels is estimated to be more than $43 billion.

Link to Original Source

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