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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:No (264 comments)

I'll give you a freebie - the North Hollywood shoot out. It certainly isn't the only one. "Overwhelming mass" by itself didn't really work out well there. Far fewer people would have been injured if the police had been armed then as they are now.

2 days ago
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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

cold fjord The Greens (170 comments)

Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be 'irresponsible' for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe."

My, my, that is interesting on so many levels.

2 days ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

cold fjord Re:Character Assassination (297 comments)

I see from the comments here that the governmental mission of character assassination of this fellow is largely complete and successful. Do you know Assange personally?

Maybe you should spend some time going through the old news articles about Assange before you make wild charges. If you do you'll see that even Assanges friends refer to him as difficult, and he does himself few favors by the way he treats people. Some of his harsh critics are former friends or associates that he has jerked around. Not every jerk has a government conspiracy out to get them, and Assange needs little help there.

3 days ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

cold fjord Re:This is so silly (297 comments)

You seem a little ignorant of recent history.

It's a common vice.

Have you heard of America's rendition program?

Yes, people suspected of being terrorists, associates of al Qaida, right? Assange doesn't make that cut as a "journalist." Or are you claiming that Assange is a terrorist?

3 days ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

cold fjord Re:UK Law has changed. (297 comments)

What sex crimes? I'm unaware of any government anywhere that has charged him with any sex crimes.

And despite the fact that it has been repeatedly discussed you are also unaware that the Swedish legal system requires that he be interviewed again before they can charge him. Many people here exploit that difference in the legal system (one shared by a number of European countries) to try to depict Assange as innocent, or that there are no serious allegations against him, or that he doesn't face the prospect of charges. That is false.

3 days ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

cold fjord Re:12% of the population is Muslim (358 comments)

I assume we can agree that US politicians aren't going to try to catch Ebola to kill their constitutents?

3 days ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

cold fjord Re:How many years could he be charged with? (297 comments)

I haven't heard Sweden state that they will categorically not extradite him to the US, though.

The Swedish government has also not denied that they plan make him crown prince with a 1.000.000.000.000 SEK stipend, or that they will stick a rocket in his butt and shoot him into space to suffocate. The probability of all three isn't terribly different.

3 days ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

cold fjord Re:How many years could he be charged with? (297 comments)

It's mostly been stopped now but I'm sure they would make an exception for someone like Assange.

One thing - how is it exactly that you think the US would get hold of Assage while he is either under the protection of Ecuador and Britain and Sweden are waiting to take him into custody? Why do you think those major European nations would agree to it for such a high profile person when ordinary legal means are available? Rendition was used for people believed to be involved in terrorism, are you claiming that Assange is a terrorist instead of a "journalist"?

As is your custom you are "sure" about highly unlikely things .... just as long as American is smeared.

3 days ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

cold fjord Re:Motive? (358 comments)

It isn't an isolated problem.

Afghan Men Struggle With Sexual Identity, Study Finds

An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns -- though they seem to be in complete denial about it.

The study, obtained by Fox News, found that Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually -- yet they completely reject the label of "homosexual." ...

Apparently, according to the report, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality to mean they cannot "love" another man -- but that doesn't mean they can't use men for "sexual gratification."

4 days ago
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

cold fjord Re:12% of the population is Muslim (358 comments)

Most likely just the typical bullshit you get in a 3rd world country. Low education, coupled by poverty, corrupt government and when you get a health epidemic, people panic and do stupid shit

Terrorism is pretty common "bullshit" in some 3rd world countries. The culture of some groups that engage in terrorism celebrates self-sacrifice when engaging in terrorism. Indeed, there is essentially a death cult there when they state "we love death more than you love life." Terrible diseases like Ebola induce terror while killing many people. Modern air travel has reduced the what had been the travel of months to a few hours. Hmmm. Hmmm.

4 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

Maybe you haven't heard, but most Iraqis say they want peace and democracy. The Al Qaida inspired Islamist extremists are a small percentage of society, but they are willing to bomb and kill to get their way. They formed their own terrorist army to try to overthrow the peaceful democracy in Iraq. Why are you opposed to bombing the terrorist army trying to overthrow that peaceful democracy?

You might have a point though, that whole "democracy" thing does seem to have failed badly in Japan, Germany, and Italy.

4 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:No (264 comments)

Weapons aren't part of the M113, and many different types of weapons can be mounted on an M113 besides the M2 .50 machinegun.

4 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Militiarization of police... (264 comments)

We do indeed. They were created because Republicans (and in particular, Nixon) needed a new thing to harp on for the election, and they went for "tough on crime".

Not even close. You could just as well have answered "khrushchev" with no loss of accuracy.

Attorney General’s Commission on Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.)

Beginning in the 1960’s, local police were confronted by increasingly well-armed individuals and groups who were willing to engage in armed confrontations with the police. The traditional method of response by uniformed patrol officers placed both officers and innocent bystanders at increased risk.

In many nations of the world, such situations would likely be handled by national police forces. However, the American people have historically been very wary of deployment of federal forces within local boundaries.

It became clear that a new method of response to such complex, high-risk and often high-energy situations was needed. Such a response required expertise and weaponry beyond the normal capability of local law enforcement agencies. Thus, the concept of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) was developed by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Originally, the SWAT concept was for counter-sniper and other high-risk situations that in the past would have provoked an inordinate number of shots being fired, often with injuries to innocent persons. Over the years, SWAT has evolved into the management of barricaded suspect situations, the service of high-risk warrants, dignitary protection, and the actual rescue of hostages.

Under the SWAT model, verbal techniques and physical tactics would combine for seamless management of volatile situations confronting local police. The primary purpose behind this concept was to reduce risk to the police forces involved, to the suspects, and to the community at large.
Most of these situations are resolved with verbal tactics utilized by trained hostage negotiators who are frequently an integral component of SWAT teams. Seldom are physical tactics necessary, and even then the actual firing of shots rarely occurs.

------

And what are those "originally intended functions"?

I think that is answered above.

... there's no justification for having every police department, even those on university campuses ...

Whoever heard of shootings at schools or college campuses?

I'll leave it up to you to track down statistics on the practices of European gendarmes.

4 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

US military spending remains outrageous, at about the level of the rest of the world put together.

That is irrelevant to the question regarding the US defense budget rising or falling.

I assume you mean the 2013 cuts -- those have been matched, basically dollar for dollar, by increasing the "temporary" budget for Afghanistan.

Sorry, but no. US defense spending has been falling since 2010. For 2015 it will probably end up being about $120 billion less than 2010.

Major personnel cuts are happening too.

Pentagon Set to Slash Military to Pre-World War II Levels

Fundamentalism is a part of it, yes, but would never amount to anything like what we've seen were it not for widespread anti-US sentiments stemming from more pragmatic reasons

Islamist insurrections have been on-going since at least the 1950s (ignoring the earlier ones) and have been aimed at taking control of the local nation. They have nothing to do with the US. You don't know what you are talking about.

Coming from someone who apparently still believes the Iraq war had anything to do with 911 ...

Please provide some evidence for this. You are simply engaging in cheap, misleading rhetoric.

somehow still manages to delude himself that anti-American sentiment somehow thrives in complete isolation of its international posturing

Enjoy your illusions while you still can.

Intelligence Report: Number of Islamists in Germany Grows
Germany: Islamists Infiltrating Schools in Hamburg

German interior minister warns of threat of lethal attacks by Islamists

On Wednesday, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) warned of an imminent threat of terrorist attacks by Islamist “religious warriors” in Germany and throughout Europe.

“An abstract danger has become a concrete, lethal threat in Europe, with an impact on Germany,” the interior minister said at the presentation of the domestic intelligence agency’s 2013 report in Berlin. The attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels, where four people were killed by a jihadi at the end of May, had “made clear that the possibility of an attack by such forces returning from Syria has become a deadly reality,” de Maizière explained.

Domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maaßen added, “Islamist terrorism represents the greatest threat to society. Germany is not far from terrorism. We continue to be a target for the planning of attacks.”

Officials Say Islamic Terrorism Is Germany's Big Domestic Security Risk

4 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:No (264 comments)

I think the point is that when the police are shooting people in great numbers -- I don't think the US has a peer in that dept -- then it might not be a great idea to give them even more destructive weaponry.

That is nonsense. Police in the US aren't routinely engaging in massacres, nor do they just shoot at random people as a standard practice. The question isn't do they have weapons, but are those weapons being used inappropriately?

Remember those billions (!) of rounds of ammo that DHS bought?

That didn't actually happen. But even if it did, the actual question is still whether they are using that supply appropriately.

In combination with the, shall we say, questionable record of accountability of police actions, tooling up to this extent seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Maybe by routinely providing US police machine pistols (submachine guns ) as is common in Europe would help bring greater peace to society? What do you say, an MP-5 for every patrol officer?

Where do you come up with this "shall we say, questionable record of accountability of police actions" nonsense? There have been particular police departments or teams with a problem, but are you trying to claim this is a universal condition? That is nonsense.

5 days ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

cold fjord Re:Database? (371 comments)

Suppose we have an engineer of type Real on the scale of 1 ......A(wesome) ...

5 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Real Problem (264 comments)

Your comment is the one that is flawed. The number of bullets fired doesn't really say much about how the circumstances under which they were trained to open fire in that case specifically, let alone a more general condemnation of the police. I assume you aren't even considering the possibility that they weren't doing what they were trained to do, or may have overreacted?

5 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

It isn't hard to find examples of police officers that engaged in various forms of misconduct being sent to jail or personally sued.

5 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Militiarization of police... (264 comments)

It's not "overuse", it's literally 99% of what they do.... At this point we might as well conclude it's what those teams are created for.

We know why they were created so there is no reason to make up things. Were cars invented as transports to deliver pizza and kids to soccer matches?

It's not "overuse", it's literally 99% of what they do. Look up the stats that Maryland released after they passed a law mandating collection and public release of statistics on SWAT use. At this point we might as well conclude it's what those teams are created for.

From what I read about the situation in Maryland the SWAT teams were used for their originally intended functions 6% of the time, not 1%. The fact that they were used to serve other warrants doesn't negate that they also fulfilled their original purpose. It also doesn't necessarily make those other uses illegitimate.

How about if I kill two birds with one stone - here is an example of a SWAT team in action, and the reason why many police departments traded in their shotguns for AR-15s.

National Geographic Situation Critical Hollywood Shootout

Can you give a single example of such a thing? This is often bandied around as a hypothetical scenario for why you need SWAT, but how often does it actually happens, if at all?

Oh, I know! When in the last 45 years in a country of 300,000,000 people could that have happened? It's like the search for a pink unicorn, who ever heard of a SWAT team raiding a drug dealer armed with automatic weapons?

Drug Dealer Opens Fire on a SWAT Team

The things that changed, started to change in late 70s, and the militarization was mostly already completed under Reagan. Since then, not much has changed, indeed - it's just a slow but steady encroachment.

Nonsense. The US doesn't even have a gendarme as many European countries have. That is real police militarization, not the existence of a local SWAT team.

5 days ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

cold fjord Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

You mean other than lawsuits, formal complaints to the department, complaints to the mayor, the state, the Federal government, newspaper stories? Political campaigns to change the government that supervises the police? Demonstrations? Investigative journalism?

5 days ago

Submissions

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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, And Kofi Annan

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  3 days ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Foreign Policy reports, "The revelation that Germany spies on Turkey, a NATO member, should dispel any notion that spying on allies violates the unwritten rules of international espionage ... For nearly a year, the extent of NSA surveillance on German leaders ... has drawn stern rebuke from the German political and media establishment. ... Merkel went so far as to publicly oust the CIA station chief in Berlin. "Spying among friends is not at all acceptable," Merkel said ... However, Germany's sanctimony toward "friendly" espionage is now a huge embarrassment ... Over the weekend, Der Spiegel reported ... Germany's foreign intelligence collection agency, was spying on Turkey. It also reported ... calls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were accidentally recorded. ..... Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that if the allegations are true, they are "totally unacceptable." Turkey also summoned German Ambassador ... Pohl ... demanding an explanation. ... Lindsay Moran, a former CIA ... officer, doesn't believe that the German spying on American officials was an accident. "I find the notion that [Clinton and Kerry] were accidentally overheard preposterous," ... "It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse." Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor, added that the report on German spying is a perfect example of why rifts over intelligence among allies should be handled quietly and privately." — The Wall Street Journal reports, "Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be "irresponsible" for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe." More at Spiegel Online and The Wall Street Journal."
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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, And Kofi Annan

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  3 days ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Foreign Policy reports, "The revelation that Germany spies on Turkey, a NATO member, should dispel any notion that spying on allies violates the unwritten rules of international espionage ... For nearly a year, the extent of NSA surveillance on German leaders ... has drawn stern rebuke from the German political and media establishment. ... Merkel went so far as to publicly oust the CIA station chief in Berlin. "Spying among friends is not at all acceptable," Merkel said ... However, Germany's sanctimony toward "friendly" espionage is now a huge embarrassment ... Over the weekend, Der Spiegel reported ... Germany's foreign intelligence collection agency, was spying on Turkey. It also reported ... calls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were accidentally recorded. ..... Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that if the allegations are true, they are "totally unacceptable." Turkey also summoned German Ambassador ... Pohl ... demanding an explanation. ... Lindsay Moran, a former CIA ... officer, doesn't believe that the German spying on American officials was an accident. "I find the notion that [Clinton and Kerry] were accidentally overheard preposterous," ... "It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse." Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor, added that the report on German spying is a perfect example of why rifts over intelligence among allies should be handled quietly and privately." — The Wall Street Journal reports, "Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be "irresponsible" for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe." More at Spiegel Online and The Wall Street Journal."
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US Department of Homeland Security Providing Online Open Source Code Testing

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about three weeks ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "ZDNet reports, "At OSCon, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ... quietly announced that they're now offering a service for checking out your open-source code for security holes and bugs: the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP). ... Patrick Beyer, SWAMP's Project Manager at Morgridge Institute for Research, the project's prime contractor, explained, "With open source's popularity, more and more government branches are using open-source code. Some are grabbing code from here, there, and everywhere." Understandably, "there's more and more concern about the safety and quality of this code. We're the one place you can go to check into the code" ... funded by a $23.4 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), SWAMP is designed by researchers from the Morgridge Institute, the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, Indiana University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each brings broad experience in software assurance, security, open source software development, national distributed facilities and identity management to the project. ... SWAMP opened its services to the community in February of 2014 offering five open-source static analysis tools that analyze source code for possible security defects without having to execute the program. ... In addition, SWAMP hosts almost 400 open source software packages to enable tool developers to add enhancements in both the precision and scope of their tools. On top of that the SWAMP provides developers with software packages from the National Institute for Standards and Technology's (NIST) Juliet Test Suite.""
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In New Zealand The Right To Silence And Presumption Of Innocence Are In Danger

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about a month ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "The New Zealand Herald reports, "Fundamental pillars of the criminal justice system may be eroded whichever party wins the election this year, as both National's and Labour's proposals would look into changing the right to silence or the presumption of innocence in rape cases. Both major parties claim the current system is not upholding justice for victims, and are looking at changes that would effectively make it easier for prosecutors to obtain convictions. National wants to explore allowing a judge or jury to see an accused's refusal to give evidence in a negative light, while Labour wants to shift the burden of proof of consent from the alleged victim to the accused.""
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Swedish Farmers Have Doubts About Climatologists And Climate Change

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 2 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "ScienceNordic reports, "Researchers the world over almost unanimously agree that our climate is changing ... But many farmers – at least Swedish ones – have experienced mild winters and shifting weather before and are hesitant about trusting the scientists. The researcher who discovered the degree of scepticism among farmers was surprised by her findings. Therese Asplund ... was initially looking into how agricultural magazines covered climate change. Asplund found after studying ten years of issues of the two agricultural sector periodicals ATL and Land Lantbruk that they present climate change as scientifically confirmed, a real problem. But her research took an unexpected direction when she started interviewing farmers in focus groups about climate issues. Asplund had prepared a long list of questions about how the farmers live with the threat of climate change and what they plan to do to cope with the subsequent climate challenges. The conversations took a different course: “They explained that they didn’t quite believe in climate changes,” she says. “Or at least that these are not triggered by human activities.” ""
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Papers Reveal Source Of Ramanujan's Maths - New Movie Depicts Life

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 2 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Discover reports, "... on the 100th anniversary of Ramanujan’s arrival in Cambridge, the source of his equations was finally found. Ken Ono of Emory University, his graduate student Michael Griffin, and their colleague Ole Warnaar of the University of Queensland presented theorems they had just proved, which vastly generalize the work of Ramanujan and identify the source of his mathematical formulas. ... the two Rogers-Ramanujan identities were just specific examples of a literally infinite reservoir of general identities employing similar infinite sums and products. In Ono’s words, they had found the mother lode that gave Ramanujan his “gold nuggets.” This new, vast ocean of Rogers-Ramanujan-Ono-Griffin-Warnaar identities has the desirable property that it produces algebraic numbers (which are generally hard to obtain) quite readily. One of them is (phi) – the “golden ratio” ubiquitous in art and nature. " — The Deccan Chronicle reports, "The biopic of mathematical genius, Ramanujan, is all set for release in both Tamil and English. ... Abhinay Vaddi, a debutant who plays Ramanujan in the film, says, “I was most excited when I got this offer. ...” ... Abhinay loves mathematics in real life too, having opted for it for his post graduate. " — The trailer at the Times of India."
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"Belief In Evolution" Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 3 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Dan Kahan at the Yale Law School Cultural Cognition Project writes, "Because imparting basic comprehension of science in citizens is so critical to enlightened democracy, it is essential that we develop valid measures of it, so that we can assess and improve the profession of teaching science to people. ... The National Science Foundation has been engaged in the project of trying to formulate and promote such a measure for quite some time. A few years ago it came to the conclusion that the item "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals," shouldn't be included when computing "science literacy." The reason was simple: the answer people give to this question doesn't measure their comprehension of science. People who score at or near the top on the remaining portions of the test aren't any more likely to get this item "correct" than those who do poorly on the remaining portions. What the NSF's evolution item does measure, researchers have concluded, is test takers' cultural identities, and in particular the centrality of religion in their lives." — A previous related post"
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Sexually Transmitted Virus Sterilizes Insects While Encouraging Mating

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "National Geographic reports, "Why would a sterile male cricket mate with an infertile female? On the surface, this behaviour makes no sense: sex takes energy and effort, and there’s nothing in it for either of these partners. Neither one can foster the next generation. Shelley Adamo from Dalhousie University has the answer. Her team have shown that one particular insect virus can sterilise crickets, but also change their behaviour so they continue to mate with each other. By doing so, they pass the virus on to uninfected hosts. This virus is the latest example of parasitic mind control ... Scientists have now documented hundreds of such manipulators." — TED2014 Video"
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Data-Stealing Snoopy Drone Unveiled At Black Hat

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "BBC reports, "Security firm SensePost has unveiled its Snoopy drone, which can steal data from unsuspecting smartphone users, at the Black Hat security conference in Singapore. The drone uses the company's software, which is installed on a computer attached to a drone. That code can be used to hack smartphones and steal personal data — all without a user's knowledge." — Ars Technica reports, "The researchers behind an earlier version of Snoopy that tracked only Wi-Fi signals have already used it to track more than 42,000 unique devices during a single 14-hour experiment in 2012 at the King's Cross train station in London. ... Snoopy has a creepy ability to collect a dizzying array of data, such as unique device IDs, including their changing locations, the Wi-Fi access points the devices hail, and unencrypted data carried in their radio signals. Once the data is collected and stockpiled, virtually all of it can cross-referenced to reveal key details about the users, including their employers and friends, and possibly names and addresses. To make it easier to find relationships, the data can be visualized using Maltego or similar software. "What's nice is this pulls all the data together and allows you to explore it over time," Wilkinson said."
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The 3D Economy - What happens when everyone prints their own shoes?

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "From Reason: "Last May, Cody Wilson produced an ingeniously brief but nuanced manifesto about individual liberty in the age of the ever-encroaching techno-state-a single shot fired by a plastic pistol fabricated on a leased 3D printer. While Wilson dubbed his gun The Liberator, his interests and concerns are broader than merely protecting the Second Amendment. ... Wilson is ultimately aiming for the "transcendence of the state." And yet because of the nature of his invention, many observers reacted to his message as reductively as can be: "OMG, guns!" ... But if armies of Davids really want to transcend the state, there are even stronger weapons at their disposal: toothbrush holders, wall vases, bottle openers, shower caddies, and tape dispensers. ... Imagine what will happen when millions of people start using the tools that produced The Liberator to make, copy, swap, barter, buy, and sell all the quotidian stuff with which they furnish their lives. Rest in peace, Bed, Bath & Beyond. Thanks for all the stuff, Foxconn, but we get our gadgets from Pirate Bay and MEGA now. Once the retail and manufacturing carnage starts to scale, the government carnage will soon follow. How can it not, when only old people pay sales tax, fewer citizens obtain their incomes from traditional easy-to-tax jobs, and large corporate taxpayers start folding like daily newspapers? Without big business, big government can't function.""
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Survey Finds Nearly 50% in US Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "NY Daily News reports, "About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results. (paywalled, first page viewable) Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others ... three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). J. Eric Oliver, the study's lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they're easier to understand than complex medical information. ... Some 49 percent of the survey participants agreed with at least one of the conspiracies. In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory." — One of the conspiracy theories, that the US created the AIDs virus, was created for an active disinformation campaign by the Soviet Union against the US as a form of political warfare during the Cold War, and still gets repeated."
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Deeper Insights Into The Prisoner's Dilemma

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

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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The Earth May Have Twice As Much Water As Previously Thought

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "CBC reports, "A dirty, $10 diamond with a prize inside has helped reveal that there are vast quantities of water stored deep inside the Earth. The diamond formed in the "transition zone" around 410 to 660 kilometres below our planet's surface. Analysis of a mineral grain trapped inside it suggests that it came from surroundings that were about one per cent water, report researchers led by University of Alberta geochemist Graham Pearson. They published their findings online in the journal Nature today. (abstract) If the sample is representative of that part of the deep Earth, the amount of water there could be "about the same as the mass of all the world’s oceans combined," wrote Hans Keppler, a geophysicist at the University of Bayreuth ... That, in turn, changes our understanding of the way water cycles through our planet, and has implications for the way tectonic plates and volcanoes behave, Pearson notes.""
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Turing's Theory Of Chemical Morphogenesis Validated 60 Years After His Death

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 5 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Phys.org reports, "Alan Turing's accomplishments in computer science are well known, but lesser known is his impact on biology and chemistry. In his only paper on biology (abstract), Turing proposed a theory of morphogenesis, or how identical copies of a single cell differentiate, for example, into an organism with arms and legs, a head and tail. Now, 60 years after Turing's death, researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory in cell-like structures. The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, March 10.""
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "CNN reports, "Massachusetts' highest court ruled Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person's clothing — a practice known as "upskirting" — prompting one prosecutor to call for a revision of state law. The high court ruled that the practice did not violate the law because the women who were photographed while riding Boston public transportation were not nude or partially nude.""
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Strange State of Matter Found For First Time In Biological System

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "Live Science reports, "Never before seen in biology, a state of matter called "disordered hyperuniformity" has been discovered in the eye of a chicken. This arrangement of particles appears disorganized over small distances but has a hidden order that allows material to behave like both a crystal and a liquid. ... Researchers say this may be the first time disordered hyperuniformity has been observed in a biological system; previously it had only been seen in physical systems like liquid helium and simple plasmas." — More at Princeton."
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Russia admits that it has moved troops in Ukraine

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "The Telegraph reports, "Russian troops have moved into Crimea in what Moscow is calling a mission to “protect Black Sea Fleet’s positions” but which the Ukrainian government has denounced as an “armed intervention.” The Russian foreign ministry said Friday that it had informed the Ukrainian government that armoured units from the Black Sea Fleet base near Sevastopol had entered Crimea in order to protect fleet positions. “The Ukrainian side was also passed a note regarding the movement of armoured vehicles of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which is happening in full accordance with the foundation Russian-Ukrainian agreement on the Black Sea Fleet,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Friday afternoon. In the same note the Russian foreign ministry said it had declined a Ukrainian request for “bilateral consultations” on events in Crimea because they are “the result of recent internal political processes in Ukraine.” " — Fox News reports, "The United States warned Russia it would be a "grave mistake" to intervene militarily in Ukraine, as the Kremlin ordered 150,000 troops to test their combat readiness and armed men seized government buildings in Ukraine's Crimea region and raised a Russian flag over a barricade." — USA Today reports Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych has surfaced in Moscow after fleeing the country and being removed by parliament."
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Researchers Have Developed Technique To Create Self-Organizing Drone Swarms

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "The Register reports, "Researchers have taught flying drones to behave like birds, clearing the way for further development of technologies to marshal swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles. In a paper titled Outdoor flocking and formation flight with autonomous aerial robots boffins from Budapet's Eötvös University Department of Biological Physics describe how they have been able to teach quadcopters to flock – an approach that lets them work like swarms of birds, traveling in a self-adjusting, self-stabilizing fleet that doesn't need to communicate back to a central controller." — More at Nature."
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The challenge of the modern scientist is to avoid career suicide

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "From The Conversation, " .... the all-consuming nature of code development means that an individual researcher may not uncover ... major scientific results, missing out on the publications and citations that are the currency of modern science. Other researchers, those that just use rather than develop such codes, are able to reap the rewards, and this better paves their way into an academic career. The rewards go to those that seek to answer the questions, not those that make it happen. With fewer publications under their belt, those that develop the tools needed by the scientific community find themselves pushed ... out of academia. Some senior academics recognise this path to career suicide, and young researchers are steered into projects with a more stable future ... But we are then faced with a growing challenge on who will develop the necessary tools for Big Science to continue to flourish.""
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Google ordered to remove anti-Islamic film from YouTube

cold fjord cold fjord writes  |  about 6 months ago

cold fjord (826450) writes "The NY Daily News reports, "A federal judge ordered Wednesday that YouTube must take down a film blamed by the Obama administration for sparking the deadly September 2012 protests at the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the video hosting site to yank the controversial 14-minute film, “Innocence of Muslims.”" ... The ruling addressed only the copyright issue, not the film's content, which YouTube has contended did not violate its terms of service." — Techdirt has some extensive commentary on the ruling and issue worth reading. It seems likely there will be an appeal, with the distinct possibility that Google and the MPAA will be on the same side."
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