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Deeper Insights Into The Prisoner's Dilemma

cold fjord (826450) writes | about 5 months ago

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cold fjord (826450) writes "The American Scientist reports, "Prisoner’s Dilemma has been a subject of inquiry for more than 60 years, not just by game theorists but also by psychologists, economists, political scientists, and evolutionary biologists. Yet the game has not given up all its secrets. A startling discovery last year revealed a whole new class of strategies, including some bizarre ones. For example, over a long series of games one player can unilaterally dictate the other player’s score (within a certain range). Or a crafty player can control the ratio of the two scores. But not all the new strategies are so manipulative; some are “generous” rules that elicit cooperation and thereby excel in an evolutionary context.""
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Julie Ann Horvath Quits GitHub, Citing Harrassment

PvtVoid (1252388) writes | about 5 months ago

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PvtVoid (1252388) writes "From TechCrunch: The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
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Russian State TV Anchor: Russia could turn US to 'radioactive ash'

Anonymous Coward writes | about 5 months ago

1

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo reports, ""Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash," anchor Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly news show on state-controlled Rossiya 1 television. ... His programme was broadcast as the first exit polls were being published showing an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voting to leave Ukraine and join Russia. He stood in his studio in front of a gigantic image of a mushroom cloud produced after a nuclear attack, with the words "into radioactive ash". ... Kiselyov has earned a reputation as one of Russia's most provocative television news hosts, in particularly with his often blatantly homophobic remarks. But he is also hugely influential with his weekly news show broadcast at Sunday evening prime time. Putin last year appointed Kiselyov head of the new Russia Today news agency that is to replace the soon to be liquidated RIA Novosti news agency with the aim of better promoting Russia's official position." — Russia has threatened to stop nuclear disarmament treaty inspections and cooperation. Russian troops are reported to have seized a natural gas terminal in Ukraine outside of Crimea. There are reported to be 60,000 Russian troops massing on Russia's border with Ukraine."
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Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 5 months ago

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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Mercury News reports that somewhere in Silicon Valley, a "mystery billionaire" has bought what the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most valuable life insurance policy in history — a policy that will pay his survivors a cool $201 million. Was it Larry Ellison? Eric Schmidt? Elon Musk? Zuck? Nobody knows because the name of the buyer is a closely guarded secret. "We don't want hit men running around Palo Alto trying to find him — or members of his own estate," joked Dovi Frances, the Southern California financial services provider who sold the policy. By last count, California boasts 111 billionaires with more than a third of them in tech, while San Francisco has 20 billionaires alone so it could be any of them. But why does a billionaire even need to take out life insurance when he or she has so many other assets. The most likely answer to this question is taxes and estate planning. Upon death, an estate would be liable to pay off loans on any leveraged properties, plus a lot of money as part of the death taxes owed. This could force the estate to liquidate holdings to raise the money to pay off these liabilities even if it weren’t the most opportune time to sell the assets. By taking out the life insurance policy, it would give the estate more flexibility in paying off the taxes and other debts owed, without necessarily having to sell assets to do so. “In California, there are state death taxes that are exceptionally high (45 percent),” says Frances adding that the policy is actually a combination of more than two dozen policies, underwritten by 19 different insurers because if any single company had to pay out such a lavish benefit, it could be crippling. “If your properties are leveraged then those loans are called immediately and need to be paid off, you want to hedge yourself against such a risk so [your beneficiary] can receive the proceeds without being exposed to taxes.""

Aussie A-G wants enforced decryption of govt intercepted user data

Bismillah (993337) writes | about 5 months ago

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Bismillah (993337) writes "If Attorney-General Brandis gets his way in the process of revising Australia's Telecommunications Interception Act, users and providers of VPNs and other encrypted services will by law be required to decrypt government intercepted data. Because, "sophisticated criminals and terrorists."

Across the Tasman, New Zealand already has a similar law, the Telecommunications Interception and Computer Security Act. Apparently, large Internet service providers such as Microsoft and Facebook won't be exempt from the TICSA and must facilitate interception of traffic."

Gates warns of software replacing people; Greenspan says H-1Bs fix inequity

dcblogs (1096431) writes | about 5 months ago

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dcblogs (1096431) writes "Bill Gates and Alan Greenspan, in separate forums, offered outlooks and prescriptions for fixing jobs and income. Gates is concerned that graduates of U.S. secondary schools may not be able stay ahead of software automation. "These things are coming fast," said Gates, in an interview with the American Enterprise Institute "Twenty years from now labor demand for a lots of skill sets will be substantially lower, and I don't think people have that in their mental model." Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan believes one way to attack income inequity is to raise the H-1B cap. If the program were expanded, income wouldn't necessarily go down much, but it would go down enough to make an impact. Income inequality is a relative concept, he argued. People who are absolutely at the top of the scale in 1925, for instance, would be getting food stamps today, said Greenspan. "You don't have to necessarily bring up the bottom if you bring the top down.""
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Ask Slashdot: How to foil web marketing analytics?

Anonymous Coward writes | about 5 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "With all the recently popular news stories about insidious web surveillance, I'm feeling prompted to go on the offensive in a civilly disobedient way, but probably need some help guiding and refining how to do it effectively. I'm thinking of something like using wget or curl to automate web page downloads on a more-or-less continuous basis for a wide variety of innocuous topics so that the traffic monitored from my home IP address will have diluted value to marketeers and other hucksters, i.e., artificially increasing the volume and variety of traffic so that my actual browsing habits are obscured. I have already figured out that I need to set the “user agent” string to something besides those two application names, but what else is needed to to make this pastime effectively neutralize the ability of invasively-snooping marketeers to get any value out of what they record?"

Mercury Has Shrunk More than Thought

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | about 5 months ago

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sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Measuring just 4880 kilometers across, Mercury is a small world. The planet became slightly smaller as its interior cooled, which caused Mercury to shrink, buckling its surface and creating numerous cliffs and ridges. Now, after studying 5934 of these features, researchers report online today in Nature Geoscience that Mercury's contraction was much greater than previously thought: During the past 4 billion years, the planet's diameter decreased by 7 to 14 kilometers. The greater estimate of shrinkage accords with models that predict how much a rocky planet should contract as its interior cools; the new work may also lend insight into the evolution of extrasolar planets that, like Mercury and unlike Earth, lack any moving continents."
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The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

theodp (442580) writes | about 5 months ago

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theodp (442580) writes ""Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore," explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, "have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year 'National Talent Development Plan' to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields." It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, "we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student" and "risk shortchanging the country in a different way." The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to "find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality." And address it we must. "How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?" asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital.""

Chinese e-Commerce Giant to Go IPO in US

hackingbear (988354) writes | about 5 months ago

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hackingbear (988354) writes "China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group confirmed early Sunday that it plans to become a public company in the US. The proposed US IPO, which is expected to raise more than $15 billion and giving Alibaba a $130 billion valuation, is a bid winning over Hong Kong stock exchange, which had been competing for the offering with US stock exchanges but objected to some of Alibaba's proposed listing terms. Founded in 1999 by former English teacher Jack Ma, the Hangzhou, China company, of which Yahoo owns 24%, provides marketplace platforms that allow merchants to sell goods directly to consumers controlling 80% of Internet e-commerce market in China."
Link to Original Source

Professor wins surprise, $100,000 grant from Google CEO to fight censorship

Anonymous Coward writes | about 5 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Google Chairman Eric Schmidt picked Portland State University professor Thomas Shrimpton 'out of the blue for a $96,400 grant to fund Shrimpton's research into overcoming online censorship.' Shrimpton and his colleagues developed a technique, Format-Transforming Encryption, which '[enables] users to disguise their encrypted web traffic as something innocuous, such as routine network communication among computers.' The FTE software, presented at ACM CCS 2013, has recently been incorporated into Tor to subvert online censorship in countries such as Iran and China."

Jack A Kinzler savior of the Skylab mission, dies at 94

puddingebola (2036796) writes | about 5 months ago

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puddingebola (2036796) writes "From his New York Times Obituary, "Had Jack A. Kinzler not built model planes as a boy, had he not visited the post office as a youth and had he not, as a grown man, purchased four fishing rods at $12.95 apiece, Skylab — the United States’ $2.5 billion space station — would very likely have been forfeit." An excellent obit from the NYT, recounting the story of how Kinzler saved the Skylab mission with a telescoping parasol to patch a damaged heat shield. An inventive thinker and tinkerer, Mr. Kinzler was also responsible for the flags and plaques placed during the Apollo mission. Worth reading."
Link to Original Source

'Sons of Anarchy' Creator on Google Copyright Anarchy

theodp (442580) writes | about 5 months ago

0

theodp (442580) writes "Over at Slate, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter argues that Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content, which is bad for artists and bad for consumers. The screed is Sutter's response to an earlier anti-copyright rant in Slate penned by a lawyer who represents Google and is a Fellow at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute chaired by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt that receives funding from Schmidt and Google. "Everyone is aware that Google has done amazing things to revolutionize our Internet experience," writes Sutter. "And I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Google are very nice people. But the big G doesn't contribute anything to the work of creatives. Not a minute of effort or a dime of financing. Yet Google wants to take our content, devalue it, and make it available for criminals to pirate for profit. Convicted felons like Kim Dotcom generate millions of dollars in illegal revenue off our stolen creative work. People access Kim through Google. And then, when Hollywood tries to impede that thievery, it's presented to the masses as a desperate attempt to hold on to antiquated copyright laws that will kill your digital buzz. It's so absurd that Google is still presenting itself as the lovable geek who's the friend of the young everyman. Don't kid yourself, kids: Google is the establishment. It is a multibillion-dollar information portal that makes dough off of every click on its page and every data byte it streams. Do you really think Google gives a shit about free speech or your inalienable right to access unfettered content? Nope. You're just another revenue resource Google can access to create more traffic and more data streams. Unfortunately, those streams are now pristine, digital ones of our work, which all flow into a huge watershed of semi-dirty cash. If you want to know more about how this works, just Google the word 'parasite.'""

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