Blog Rolls

Astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor at Excel Academy In Washington, D.C.

NASA Image of the Day - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:16
NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor is hugged by students after a presentation about her experience on Expeditions 56 and 57 onboard the International Space Station at Excel Academy Public Charter School in DC.
Categories: Just News

Your Cadillac Can Now Drive Itself More Places

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 09:00
Cadillac's Super Cruise will shut itself off when the car reaches a tricky spot where a driver needs to pay attention.
Categories: Just News

Botswana's High Court Rules Homosexuality Is Not A Crime

"A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness," Justice Michael Leburu said. Activists immediately celebrated the landmark ruling.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Just News

How To Save Text Messages on Your iPhone: 5 Simple Solutions

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 08:00
Here are five ways to back up all of the Messages and SMS conversations stored on your mobile device.
Categories: Just News

Hackers Grabbed Security Camera Images Taken At Border Crossing, CBP Says

The photographs of license plates and people inside vehicles were taken over a six-week period at a single U.S. land-border point, the Customs and Border Protection agency says.

(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

What Aladdin—And Napoleon—Teach Us About Copyright

Disney's first wish: longer copyright protection. And Congress was their genie.

(Image credit: Daniel Smith/Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

Categories: Just News

How The Author Of 'Midnight Chicken' Unexpectedly Built A Life Worth Living

Ella Risbridger was suicidally depressed when she roasted a chicken and ended up writing an uplifting, genre-bending cookbook that reads like a magical mix of memoir, novel and self-help book.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gavin Day)

Categories: Just News

Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 07:00
Archive of Our Own, the fanfiction database recently nominated for a Hugo, has perfected a system of tagging that the rest of the web could emulate.
Categories: Just News

New Space Telescopes Could Look Like Giant Beach Balls

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 07:00
Inflatable balloon reflectors could peer into deep space, scanning for signs of water, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional telescope.
Categories: Just News

Beyond Madonna: A More Colorful Picture of Queer History

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 07:00
From Pose to Tales of the City, there's a slew of content telling new stories about the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Categories: Just News

North Korean Leader's Slain Brother Was Reportedly Working With the CIA

Kim Jong Nam, who was attacked with a deadly nerve agent in a Malaysian airport in 2017, was in the country to meet with his CIA handler, according to The Wall Street Journal and a new book.

(Image credit: Japan Pool via Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Democratic Presidential Debates Could Reignite Warren-Biden Bankruptcy Fight

What a testy 2005 fight between Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren and Delaware Senator Joe Biden can tell us about the two 2020 presidential candidates

(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Alex Jones To Pay $15,000 In Pepe The Frog Copyright Infringement Case

The suit stemmed from a promotional poster put out by conspiracy website Infowars featuring an image of the Pepe character, as well that of Jones and President Trump.

(Image credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Categories: Just News

Southern Baptists To Confront Sexual Abuse And Role Of Women In The Church

The largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. faces allegations of sexual abuse by ministers and controversy over its refusal to allow women to preach in church.

(Image credit: Mark Humphrey/AP)

Categories: Just News

Microsoft says mandatory password changing is “ancient and obsolete”

ars technica – Bucking a major trend, company speaks out against the age-old practice. ” Microsoft is finally catching on to a maxim that security experts have almost universally accepted for years: periodic password changes are likely to do more harm than good. In a largely overlooked post published late last month, Microsoft said it was removing periodic password changes from the security baseline settings it recommends for customers and auditors. After decades of Microsoft recommending passwords be changed regularly, Microsoft employee Aaron Margosis said the requirement is an “ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value.”

The change of heart is largely the result of research that shows passwords are most prone to cracking when they’re easy for end users to remember, such as when they use a name or phrase from a favorite movie or book. Over the past decade, hackers have mined real-world password breaches to assemble dictionaries of millions of words. Combined with super-fast graphics cards, the hackers can make huge numbers of guesses in off-line attacks, which occur when they steal the cryptographically scrambled hashes that represent the plaintext user passwords…”

Categories: Law and Legal

California's Budget Proposal Would Expand Health Care To Some Undocumented Immigrants

The Democratic-controlled Legislature agreed to let low-income residents under 26 to receive Medi-Cal regardless of immigration status. It could cover up to 138,000 people — a cost of $98 million.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Just News

Should Researchers Be Allowed to Use YouTube Videos and Tweets?

Slate – A new paper used YouTubers’ voices to guess what they looked like. We’re going to see more of this. “There’s a lot you might guess about a person based on their voice: their gender, their age, perhaps even their race. That’s your brain making an educated guess about the identity of a speaker based on what you’ve experienced, but sometimes, those guesses are wrong. (People I talk to on the phone who don’t know my name often assume I’m white because I speak English without an accent. They frequently express surprise to learn I’m Asian.) In a recent paper, a group of MIT researchers set out to investigate what a computer can guess about a person’s appearance from their voice…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Keanu Reeve’s E3 Surprise, a Government Photo Hack, and More News

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 19:41
Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Categories: Just News

Worried About the Future of the Monograph? So Are Publishers

The Chronicle of Higher Education interview with the president of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), Jennifer Crewe: “…Our biggest challenge remains the low sales of scholarly monographs, such as revised dissertations or scholarly books with a narrow focus in a small field. Libraries share copies, and individuals don’t purchase the new books in their fields as they did 20 years ago. We want to publish these books. They are the building blocks of our own reputation and they are often groundbreaking, field-changing works. We’re looking for publishing grants to support them, and we try each season to publish enough profitable books to cover the losses on monographs. But today’s model isn’t sustainable. There are a number of experiments under way to figure out how to publish specialized monographs in a freely available open-access format. But open access doesn’t mean “free,” except to the end user. Someone still has to pay the upfront costs of curation, peer review, editing, design, discoverability, publicity — plus promotion, to make sure people notice the book when its published. Those costs are actually much higher than the paper, printing, and binding costs that you save when you publish in digital format only. Publishers need grants up front to cover those costs, and right now there is no established system for that. I should also point out that tenure committees, reviewers, and authors still prefer print books for the most part, so I don’t see the system changing right away…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New video editing technology raises disinformation worries

Washington Post – A new algorithm developed by Stanford University engineers is putting the spotlight on advances in video editing that could make it more difficult to separate fact from fiction online. “A team of researchers has developed new technology allowing editors to alter the words of anyone who appears on video in an image from the shoulders up, making doing so as easy as typing changes into a word processing program. In practice, this could be a talking head, a politician, a news anchor or any other person who influences political discourse. The researchers say this technology could be used to adapt instructional videos or quickly make edits to movies — but experts warn it could have more sinister effects if applied to politics. It raises serious ethical concerns because it could make it far easier for bad actors to manipulate videos from typically trusted sources.

Here’s how the new technology works: Editors can simply delete or add words to a transcript, and the application will assemble the right word or speech motions from another point in the video and use machine learning to edit the video version of the transcript in a way that appears seamless to the natural eye. Jack Clark, policy director at San Francisco artificial intelligence research center OpenAI, warned that if the technology were widely released, it could make it far cheaper to spread propaganda…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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