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Privacy

The Upsides of a Surveillance Society 210

Posted by timothy
from the you-mean-it's-not-all-upside? dept.
theodp writes Citing the comeuppance of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, who was suspended from her job after her filmed ad-hominem attack on a person McHenry deemed to be beneath her in terms of appearance, education, wealth, class, status went viral, The Atlantic's Megan Garber writes that one silver lining of the omnipresence of cameras it that the possibility of exposure can also encourage us to be a little kinder to each other. "Terrible behavior," Garber writes, "whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power. Which can, again, be a bad thing — but which can also, in McHenry's case, be an extremely beneficial one. It's good that her behavior has been exposed. It's good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It's good that she has publicly promised 'to learn from this mistake.'"
Android

Google Adds Handwriting Input To Android 114

Posted by timothy
from the dreaming-of-sheep-is-next dept.
BarbaraHudson writes: The Reg is reporting on the release of Google Handwriting Input for Android smartphones and tablets: "The Chocolate Factory's research arm says handwriting recognition is needed because touchscreen keyboards remain modestly effective and while 'Voice input is an option, but there are situations where it is not feasible, such as in a noisy environment or during a meeting." The Google Research Blog notes that it allows recognition both on-device and in the cloud (by tapping on the cloud icon) in any Android app.

It works as advertised on my smartphone, so now I can type, speak, or scribble my searches, texts, etc.
United Kingdom

UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the mole-mail dept.
Zothecula writes Drones flown by Amazon aren't the only way we could be getting our parcels delivered in the near future. UK firm Mole Solutions is exploring the possibility of using small robot trains running on underground tracks to manage deliveries, and it's just received funding from the British government to help test the viability of the proposal.
Supercomputing

Nuclear Fusion Simulator Among Software Picked For US's Summit Supercomputer 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-about-a-nice-game-of-chess dept.
An anonymous reader writes Today, The Register has learned of 13 science projects approved by boffins at the US Department of Energy to run on the 300-petaFLOPS Summit. These software packages, selected for the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR) program, will be ported to the massive parallel machine, and are hoped to make full use of the supercomputer's architecture.They range from astrophysics, biophysics, chemistry, and climate modeling to combustion engineering, materials science, nuclear physics, plasma physics and seismology.
Encryption

Turing Manuscript Sells For $1 Million 44

Posted by samzenpus
from the compensation-game dept.
itwbennett writes A 56-page notebook manuscript by Alan Turing, the English mathematician considered to be the father of modern computer science, was sold at auction Monday for $1.025 million. Turing apparently wrote in the notebook in 1942 when he was working in Bletchley Park, England, trying to break German military code. “It gives us insight into how Alan Turing tackles problems. Sadly it shows us what he never got to finish,” said Cassandra Hatton, senior specialist at Bonhams.
Government

Spain's Hologram Protest: Thousands Join Virtual March In Madrid 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the toon-protest dept.
An anonymous reader writes Thousands of people marched past a parliament building in Madrid to protest a new law that they say endangers civil liberties. But none of them were actually there. From the article: "Late last year the Spanish government passed a law that set extreme fines for protesters convening outside of government buildings. In response to the controversial Citizen Safety Law, which will take effect on July 1, Spanish activists have staged the world's first ever virtual political demonstration. After months of massive flesh-and-blood protests against the so-called 'gag law', thousands of holograms last night marched in front of the Spanish parliament in Madrid."
Network

Nokia Networks Demonstrates 5G Mobile Speeds Running At 10Gbps Via 73GHz 54

Posted by timothy
from the that-is-one-packed-headline dept.
Mark.JUK writes The Brooklyn 5G Summit appears to have provided a platform for Nokia Networks to demo a prototype of their future 5G (5th Generation) mobile network technology, which they claim can already deliver data speeds of 10 Gigabits per second using millimeter Wave (mmW) frequency bands of 73GHz. The demo also made use of 2×2 Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) links via single carrier Null Cyclic Prefix modulation and frame size of 100 micro seconds, although crucially no information about the distance of this demo transmission has been released and at 73GHz you'd need quite a dense network in order to overcome the problems of high frequency signal coverage and penetration.
The Internet

ICANN Asks FTC To Rule On .sucks gTLD Rollout 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
DW100 writes: "ICANN, the body in charge of overseeing the management and rollout of new top level domains, has asked the FTC to investigate whether the registry running .sucks is acting illegally . ICANN's in-house legal team raised concerns that the registry was selling the domains to brand owners in a 'predatory' manner. "The issues relate to concerns brands wishing to buy the .sucks domain, which went on sale on 30 March for a three-month ‘clearing house' period, will have to pay $2,500 to register it for their brand. This is far in excess of the price that will be offered to the general public and the price of other top-level domains."
Education

German Teenager Gets Job Offer By Trying To Use FOI For His Exam Papers 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-for-an-edge dept.
Bruce66423 writes "A German schoolboy has taken exam preparation to ingenious new levels by making a freedom of information request to see the questions in his forthcoming Abitur tests, the equivalent of A-levels in the UK." and SATS in the USA. The media attention from his FoI request has already garnered him an offer of work from another transparency-related organization, the research website Correctiv. “If I have time before university starts I’ll definitely do it,” he said.
NASA

America's Methane Mystery: NASA Set To Investigate Hotspot Over the 4 Corners 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the hot-spot dept.
schwit writes A "hot spot" of the largest concentration of methane seen over the United States is in the area near the Four Corners intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah and covers 2,500 square miles. The hotspot predates widespread fracking in the area. Researchers from several institutions are now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest with a suite of airborne and ground-based instruments, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane "hot spot" detected from space. "With all the ground-based and airborne resources that the different groups are bringing to the region, we have the unique chance to unequivocally solve the Four Corners mystery," said Christian Frankenberg, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, who is heading NASA's part of the effort.
Security

French TV Network TV5Monde Targeted In 'Pro-ISIS' Cyberattack 71

Posted by timothy
from the hate-by-wire dept.
An anonymous reader writes French broadcaster TV5Monde [was] today working to regain control of its 11 television channels and online platforms after hackers claiming ties with the Islamic State hijacked its network on Wednesday evening, forcing the media group to show only pre-recorded content. The television network was able to return in part to its planned schedule by 1:00am (23:00 GMT) last night, after the hacking group had suspended its broadcast services for three hours. Yves Bigot, the Parisian company's director general, said that the network had been "severely damaged" by an "unprecedented attack" which would have taken weeks to prepare. The hacking group posted threats and shared a collection of files across TV5Monde's Facebook page which it claimed were copies of ID cards and CVs of relatives of French soldiers involved in anti-IS operations. More coverage at The Independent, which says the attack "revealed personal details of French soldiers."
Programming

Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey Reveals Coder Stats 428

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody-loves-matlab dept.
SternisheFan points out the results from 26,086 developers who answered Stack Overflow's annual survey. It includes demographic data, technology preferences, occupational information, and more. Some examples: The U.S. had the most respondents, followed by India and the UK, while small countries and several Nordic ones had the most developers per capita. The average age of developers in the U.S. and UK was over 30, while it was 25 in India and 26.6 in Russia. 92.1% of developers identified as male. Almost half of respondents did not receive a degree in computer science.

The most-used technologies included JavaScript, SQL, Java, C#, and PHP. The most loved technologies were Swift, C++11, and Rust, while the most dreaded were Salesforce, Visual Basic, and Wordpress. 20.5% of respondents run Linux more than other OSes, and 21.5% rely on Mac OS X. Vim is almost 4 times more popular than Emacs, and both are used significantly less than NotePad++ and Sublime Text.

45% of respondents prefer tabs, while 33.6% prefer spaces, though the relationship flips at higher experience levels. On average, developers who work remotely earn more than developers who don't. Product managers reported the lowest levels of job satisfaction and the highest levels of caffeinated beverages consumed per day.
Google

Google In Talks To Create International Roaming Network 25

Posted by timothy
from the hello-operator dept.
jones_supa writes Google is in talks towards a deal with Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of the mobile operator Three, that will allow United States customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost. The two giants are discussing a wholesale access agreement that would become an important part of Google's planned attempt to shake up the US mobile market with its own network. It is understood that Google aims to create a global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where a customer is located. By linking up with Hutchison, it could gain wholesale access to mobile service in the UK, Ireland, Italy and several more countries where the Hong Kong conglomerate owns mobile networks.
Government

Snapchat Joins the Gang, Releases Transparency Report 12

Posted by timothy
from the only-a-metaphoric-gang dept.
Snapchat has released its first transparency report, detailing the number of requests for data it's fielded from law enforcement agencies both in the U.S. and elsewhere. For a service sometimes vilified as a conduit for shady dealings, Snapchat received surprisingly few police requests from U.S. agencies (just 375, involving 666 accounts). Perhaps agencies are put off by the small number of Snapchat messages that may be vulnerable to such requests.
China

Outside Beijing, a Military-style Bootcamp For "Internet Addiction" 91

Posted by timothy
from the just-got-caught-up-in-it dept.
Press2ToContinue writes Last year, China recognized internet addiction as an official disorder. Since then, over 6,000 patients have submitted themselves for treatment, after some spent up to 14 hours a day online. And as these amazing pictures show, dealing with it is serious. The Daxing Internet Addiction Treatment Centre (IATC) is a military-style bootcamp nestled in the suburbs of Bejing. The young men that enter its doors are subjected to a strict military regime of exercise, medication and solitary confinement. Any kind of electronic gadgetry is completely banned. Additionally, patients are frequently subjected to psychiatric assessments and brain scans to make sure they stay on the straight and narrow. And the concept is gaining steam; the first Internet Congress on Internet Addiction Disorders was held in Milan in early 2014. Despite its recent official classification, Is internet addiction a real disorder? Or is it a red herring masking depression and escapism? And to make things more indeterminate, Isn't more and more time online the inevitable future?
United Kingdom

UK's Tories Promise To Enact Age Limits For Viewing Online Porn 187

Posted by timothy
from the they'll-know-it-when-they-see-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from the UK: The Conservatives say they will force hardcore pornography websites to put in place age-restriction controls or face being shut down if they win the election. The culture secretary, Sajid Javid, said the party would act to ensure under-18s were locked out of adult content after a recent Childline poll found nearly one in 10 12-13 year olds were worried they were addicted and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting images. Experts welcomed the move – targeted at both UK-based and overseas websites – but warned it would take hard work to implement in practice.
Emulation (Games)

Building an NES Emulator 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the thank-you-mario,-but-that-register-is-in-another-castle dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Programmer Michael Fogleman recently built his own emulator for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. He's now put up a post sharing many technical insights he learned along the way. For example: "The NES used the MOS 6502 (at 1.79 MHz) as its CPU. The 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed in 1975. ... The 6502 had no multiply or divide instructions. And, of course, no floating point. There was a BCD (Binary Coded Decimal) mode but this was disabled in the NES version of the chip—possibly due to patent concerns. The 6502 had a 256-byte stack with no overflow detection. The 6502 had 151 opcodes (of a possible 256). The remaining 105 values are illegal / undocumented opcodes. Many of them crash the processor. But some of them perform possibly useful results by coincidence. As such, many of these have been given names based on what they do." It's an interesting look at how software and hardware interacted back then, and what it takes to emulate that in modern times. Fogleman released the source code on GitHub.
Security

Laptop Destroyed Over Snowden Leaks Is Now an Art Exhibit 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-man's-junk dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that a busted MacBook Air and a Western Digital hard drive that once held Snowden revelations are going on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. "The remains of computer hardware which had contained the Guardian's London trove of Snowden documents – and which was destroyed on the rather spiteful demands of GCHQ personnel – have gone on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum. While the frankly unremarkable remnants of a MacBook Air are uninteresting in and of themselves – who among us has not taken an angle grinder to an errant machine? – the causes of the MacBook Air's destruction are seemingly interesting enough to merit those remnants being considered art and subsequently included in V&A's new exhibition about 'the museum as a public space and the role of public institutions in contemporary life.' Disconcertingly titled All of This Belongs to You, the exhibition is to include 'three specially curated displays,' among which is Ways to be Secret, which will examine what the curators describe as 'the contradiction between our concern for online privacy and our obsession with sharing via social media.'"
Google

Google 'Makes People Think They Are Smarter Than They Are' 227

Posted by timothy
from the hold-on-while-I-google-for-contradiction dept.
HughPickens.com writes Karen Knapton reports at The Telegraph that according to a study at Yale University, because they have the world's knowledge at their fingertips, search engines like Google or Yahoo make people think they are smarter than they actually are giving people a 'widely inaccurate' view of their own intelligence that can lead to over-confidence when making decisions. In a series of experiments, participants who had searched for information on the internet believed they were far more knowledgeable about a subject that those who had learned by normal routes, such as reading a book or talking to a tutor. Internet users also believed their brains were sharper. "The Internet is such a powerful environment, where you can enter any question, and you basically have access to the world's knowledge at your fingertips," says lead researcher Matthew Fisher. "It becomes easier to confuse your own knowledge with this external source. When people are truly on their own, they may be wildly inaccurate about how much they know and how dependent they are on the Internet." In the tests searching for answers online leads to an illusion such that externally accessible information is conflated with knowledge "in the head" (PDF). This holds true even when controlling for time, content, and search autonomy during the task. "The Internet is an enormous benefit in countless ways, but there may be some trade-offs that aren't immediately obvious and this may be one of them," concludes Fisher. "Accurate personal knowledge is difficult to achieve, and the Internet may be making that task even harder."
United Kingdom

UK Forces Microsoft To Adopt Open Document Standards 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the opening-it-up dept.
First time accepted submitter Barsteward writes Microsoft has confirmed it will start supporting the Open Documents Format (ODF) in the next update to Office 365, following a lengthy battle against the UK government. In 2014, Microsoft went against the government's request to support ODF, claiming its own XML format was more heavily adopted. The UK government refutes the claim, stating that ODF allows users to not be boxed into one ecosystem.