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Dubai Police To Use Google Glass For Facial Recognition
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '14 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watching-you-better department:
cold fjord sends word about what the Dubai police plan on doing with their Google Glass. Police officers in Dubai will soon be able to identify suspects wanted for crimes just by looking at them. Using Google Glass and a custom-developed facial recognition software, Dubai police will be able to capture photos of people around them and search their faces in a database of people wanted for crimes ... When a match is made in the database, the Glass device will receive a notification. .... What's particularly interesting about the project is that facial recognition technology is banned by the Google Glass developer policy. ... The section of the policy that addresses such technology seems to disqualify the Dubai police force's plan for Glass."

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Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '14 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's trying-something-else department:
An anonymous reader points out this opinion piece by professor Adam Grant that questions how useful the current college application system is and suggests some alternate methods to gather information about candidates. "The college admissions system is broken. When students submit applications, colleges learn a great deal about their competence from grades and test scores, but remain in the dark about their creativity and character. Essays, recommendation letters and alumni interviews provide incomplete information about students' values, social and emotional skills, and capacities for developing and discovering new ideas. This leaves many colleges favoring achievement robots who excel at the memorization of rote knowledge, and overlooking talented C students. Those with less than perfect grades might go on to dream up blockbuster films like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg or become entrepreneurs like Steve Job"

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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '14 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-getting-hot-in-here department:
An anonymous reader writes "Previous estimates of global ocean warming have been significantly underestimated due to historically sparse temperature data from the Southern Ocean, new research has found. From the article: "Earth's oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the warming caused by greenhouse gases, researchers estimate, with the stored heat showing up as warmer seawater. But a new analysis suggests scientists may have underestimated the size of the heat sink in the upper ocean—which could have implications for researchers trying to understand the pace and scale of past warming."

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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 10:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's he-saw-it-first department:
An anonymous reader writes in with news about maps attributed to Marco Polo that seem to show the coast of Alaska. "For a guy who claimed to spend 17 years in China as a confidant of Kublai Khan, Marco Polo left a surprisingly skimpy paper trail. No Asian sources mention the footloose Italian. The only record of his 13th-century odyssey through the Far East is the hot air of his own Travels, which was actually an "as told to" penned by a writer of romances. But a set of 14 parchments, now collected and exhaustively studied for the first time, give us a raft of new stories about Polo's journeys and something notably missing from his own account: maps. If genuine, the maps would show that Polo recorded the shape of the Alaskan coast—and the strait separating it from Asia—four centuries before Vitus Bering, the Danish explorer long considered the first European to do so. Perhaps more important, they suggest Polo was aware of the New World two centuries before Columbus."

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Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 07:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ignoring-you-is-easy department:
walterbyrd writes The rulemaking process does not function like a popular democracy. In other words, you can't expect that the comment you submit opposing a particular regulation will function like a vote. Rulemaking is more akin to a court proceeding. Changes require systematic, reliable evidence, not emotional expressions . . . In the wake of more than 3 million comments in the present open Internet proceeding-which at first blush appear overwhelmingly in favor of network neutrality-the current Commission is poised to make history in two ways: its decision on net neutrality, and its acknowledgment of public perspectives. It can continue to shrink the comments of ordinary Americans to a summary count and thank-you for their participation. Or, it can opt for a different path.

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Linux 3.17 Kernel Released With Xbox One Controller Support
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
An anonymous reader writes The Linux 3.17 kernel was officially released today. Linux 3.17 presents a number of new features that include working open-source AMD Hawaii GPU support, an Xbox One controller driver, free-fall support for Toshiba laptops, numerous ARM updates, and other changes.

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NASA Asks Boeing, SpaceX To Stop Work On Next-Gen Space Taxi
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-break department:
BarbaraHudson writes Due to a challenge by Sierra Nevada, NASA has asked the winners for the next earth-to-orbit launch vehicles to halt work, at least temporarily. "After rewarding Boeing and SpaceX with the contracts to build the spacecrafts NASA is now asking the companies to stop their work on the project. The move comes after aerospace company Sierra Nevada filed a protest of the decision after losing out on the bid. Sierra Nevada was competing against Boeing and SpaceX for a share of the $6.8 billion CCP contracts. The contracts will cover all phases of development as well as testing and operational flights. Each contract will cover a minimum of two flights and a maximum of four, with each agency required to have one test flight with a NASA representative on board.... According to NASA's Public Affairs Office, this legal protest stops all work currently being done under these contracts. However, officials have not commented on whether-or-not the companies can continue working if they are using private funds."

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HP Is Planning To Split Into Two Separate Businesses Sources Say
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's breaking-things-up department:
mrspoonsi writes Hewlett-Packard is planning to split itself into two separate businesses, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Sources tell the WSJ that HP will split its personal-computer and printer segments from its corporate hardware and services business. The announcement could come as early as Monday, the sources said. The company reorganized itself in 2012 under CEO Meg Whitman. That move combined its computer and printer businesses. The PC and computer segment is massive for HP. For the first six months this year, it reported $27.8 billion in revenue. That's about three times the size of HP's next biggest unit, the Enterprise Group, which makes servers, storage, and network hardware. Under the new split, Whitman would be chairman of the computer and printer business, and CEO of a separate Enterprise Group, according to one of the sources. Patricia Russo, who sits on HP's board, would be chairman of the enterprise company. The printer and PC operation would be led by Dion Weisler, a current exec in that division."

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US Navy Develops Robot Boat Swarm To Overwhelm Enemies
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's angry-bees department:
HughPickens.com writes "Jeremy Hsu reports that the US Navy has been testing a large-scale swarm of autonomous boats designed to overwhelm enemies. In the test, large ship that the Navy sometimes calls a high-value unit, HVU, is making its way down the river's thalweg, escorted by 13 small guard boats. Between them, they carry a variety of payloads, loud speakers and flashing lights, a .50-caliber machine gun and a microwave direct energy weapon or heat ray. Detecting the enemy vessel with radar and infrared sensors, they perform a series of maneuvers to encircle the craft, coming close enough to the boat to engage it and near enough to one another to seal off any potential escape or access to the ship they are guarding. They blast warnings via loudspeaker and flash their lights. The HVU is now free to safely move away.

Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), points out that a maneuver that required 40 people had just dropped down to just one. "Think about it as replicating the functions that a human boat pilot would do. We've taken that capability and extended it to multiple [unmanned surface vehicles] operating together within that, we've designed team behaviors," says Robert Brizzolara. The timing of the briefing happens to coincide with the 14-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen that killed 17 sailors. It's an anniversary that Klunder observes with a unique sense of responsibility. "If we had this capability there on that day. We could have saved that ship. I never want to see the USS Cole happen again."


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How Computer Vision Algorithms Cope With Detecting Human Figures In Art
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's because-we-can department:
KentuckyFC writes The human visual system has evolved to recognize people in almost any pose under a vast range of lighting conditions. But abstract art pushes this ability to its limits by distorting the human form. In particular, Cubism seeks to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional plane by juxtaposing snapshots from different angles. The result is that a Cubist picture contains many 'fragments of perception' of the same object. That's why it is often hard for people to recognize the human figures that these pictures contain. Now a group of computer scientists have tested how computer vision algorithms fare at the task of spotting human figures in Cubist art. They compared a variety of different algorithms against humans in trying to spot human figures in 218 Cubist paintings by Picasso. Humans easily outperform all the algorithms at this task. But some algorithms were much better than others. The most successful were based on so-called "deformable parts models" that recognize human figures by looking for body parts rather than the entire form. Interestingly, the team says this backs up various studies by neuroscientists suggesting that the human brain works in a similar way.

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DARPA Delving Into the Black Art of Super Secure Software Obfuscation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lock-it-down department:
coondoggie writes Given enough computer power, desire, brains, and luck, the security of most systems can be broken. But there are cryptographic and algorithmic security techniques, ideas and concepts out there that add a level of algorithmic mystification that could be built into programs that would make them close to unbreakable. That's what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants for a new program called "Safeware." From DARPA: “The goal of the SafeWare research effort is to drive fundamental advances in the theory of program obfuscation and to develop highly efficient and widely applicable program obfuscation methods with mathematically proven security properties.”

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Smart Gun Inspires Smart Mouse Authentification System
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's give-it-a-squeeze department:
dcblogs writes Defense contractor Raytheon has received a patent for a mouse that has a biometric pressure grip. It believes the pressure grip, as a form of authentication, will be particularly hard to defeat because it works from a neurological pattern versus a physical pattern, such as a facial scan. "It's not just how much pressure you exert on the mouse itself, but it's also the x-y coordinates of your position," said Glenn Kaufman, a cybersecurity engineer. The approach was inspired by similar pressure grips used in smart guns.

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Darth Vader, Yoda, Chewbacca Aim To Invade Ukraine's Govt. In Upcoming Elections
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's may-the-political-force-be-with-you department:
An anonymous reader writes The BBC and RT report that 16 men named after the Star Wars character "Darth Vader" are running for parliamentary elections in Ukraine later this month. In addition, a Chewbacca, Palpatin, Padme Amidala and Grand Jedi Master Yoda will stand in the snap October 26 polls. All of them have been nominated for parliament by the Internet Party of Ukraine. "This is not the first time Darth Vader has stood for election in Ukraine. In April, a man going by that name tried running for presidency, but his application was rejected by the Central Electoral Commission. One official suggested that his campaign could be an attempt to make a mockery of elections in Ukraine - possibly by Russia."

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Test Version Windows 10 Includes Keylogger
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-the-better-to-track-you-with department:
wabrandsma writes From WinBeta: "One of the more interesting bits of data the company is collecting is text entered. Some are calling this a keylogger within the Windows 10 Technical Preview, which isn't good news. Taking a closer look at the Privacy Policy for the Windows Insider Program, it looks like Microsoft may be collecting a lot more feedback from you behind the scenes. Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage." This isn't the only thing Microsoft is collecting from Insider Program participants. According to the Privacy Policy, the company is collecting things like text inputted into the operating system, the details of any/all files on your system, voice input and program information.

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Obama Names National Medal of Science, Technology & Innovation Winners
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-a-medal department:
alphadogg writes Computer scientists who made breakthroughs in areas such as software architectures and database management systems were among those named National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners by President Barack Obama. These awards, along with the National Medal of Science, are the nation's highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. Overall, 18 medalists were named.

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FCC Puts Comcast and Time Warner Merger On Hold
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-yet department:
An anonymous reader writes "In a public letter to both Time Warner and Comcast, the FCC said that they are putting a hold on the merger deal between the two companies. Citing inadequate responses by both cable companies to earlier FCC requests for additional information, the agency is stopping the clock on its 180 day review period until late October. Comcast and Time Warner, together control most of the Internet services in the country. However, the companies said that they are in different regions and are not going to suppress the competition.

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Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-gets-the-placebo department:
An anonymous reader writes: This summer, news broke that Facebook had conducted an experiment on some of their users, tweaking which posts showed up in their timeline to see if it affected the tone of their later posts. The fallout was extensive — Facebook took a lot of flack from users and the media for overreaching and violating trust. (Of course, few stopped to think about how Facebook decided what to show people in the first place, but that's beside the point.) Now, Wired is running a somewhat paranoid article saying Facebook can't help but experiment on its users. The writer says this summer's blowback will only show Facebook they need to be sneakier about it.

At the same time, a study came out from Ohio State University saying some users rely on social media to alter their moods. For example, when a user has a bad day, he's likely to look up acquaintances who have it worse off, and feel a bit better that way. Now, going on social media is going to affect your mood in one way or another — shouldn't we try to understand that dynamic? Is there a way Facebook can run experiments like these ethically? (Or Twitter, or Google, or any similarly massive company, of course.)


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Diners Tend To Eat More If Their Companions Are Overweight
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '14 at 02:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'll-have-what-she's-having-plus-butter department:
BarbaraHudson writes: A University of Illinois study (abstract) that shows that people tend to eat more in the presence of an overweight person. From the article: "The test involved a sample of 82 college coeds who were observed helping themselves to a simple pasta and salad meal. Each of the coeds were themselves of normal weight. The students first required to watch what they believed was a fat woman serving herself some of the food. The fat woman was actually an actress wearing a fat suit.

After observing the "corpulent" woman serve herself, the students were allowed to come forward and serve themselves pasta and salad. On average, the coeds each served themselves more pasta than the "fat" woman had selected while taking less salad than she did. When the same study was performed with the actress appearing sans the fat suit, researchers observed that students ended up eating more salad than pasta. The conclusion was simple: people may consume more unhealthy food and eat less healthy food when in the presence of an overweight person." As anyone on a diet will tell you, a waist is a terrible thing to mind. Weight control is a lot more complex than the article makes it seem, though some will welcome the opportunity to blame someone else.


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Only Two States Have Rules To Prevent Cheating On Computerized Tests
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '14 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's eyes-on-your-test-no-keyloggers-keep-your-botnet-to-yourself department:
New submitter Williamcole sends news that in many U.S. states, educators will begin administering standardized tests on school computers this school year. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, for the sneakier kids), only two states have codified regulations to prevent cheating and make sure the tests are secure: Oregon and Delaware. According to a new report (PDF) from American College Testing (ACT), the other states aren't doing enough to prevent keyloggers, transmission of test materials, or even teachers going in afterward to change a student's responses. They also warn that the kids will likely find ways to access the internet while taking the test, letting them look up answers as needed. Even the rules in Oregon and Delaware have weaknesses ACT recommends strengthening before testing begins.

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The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '14 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's every-day-is-saturday department:
An anonymous reader writes Gizmodo published an article on Saturday pointing out that, with The CW having aired its last episodes of Vortexx cartoons last weekend, this is the first weekend in the United States with no Saturday morning cartoons playing on national broadcast stations. NBC stopped airing Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS stopped shortly after, and ABC followed suit in 2004. Gizmodo failed to take into account the Public Broadcast Station (PBS), but during an age of instant online media access...and cable...the oversight is understandable because everyone has already moved on. TV is dead. Long live the Internet.

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