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Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

retroworks Re:Enterprise backup (253 comments)

I hope these women read the entire EULA agreement!

about two weeks ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

retroworks Re:as the birds go (610 comments)

Last month I got a photo of a bird splattered into the side of my red house. No window for 2 meters. I'd upload it but this is /. not /. beta

about two weeks ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

retroworks Number of Passwords / Sites Risk (549 comments)

"The fact is that the number of passwords you should memorize is pretty small..." ...Says the author. I mostly agree with him but feel that any password is as weak as the weakest internal security of the weakest site you use it on. It drives me nuts when coworkers use a complex password on a news site or to register to leave a comment somewhere. Unless you know all the employees at Slashdot, /. should be the weakest password you use. What, someone's gonna steal your mod points? The use of complex passwords on low risk sites confuses users who, when they forget their passwords, wind up "guessing" important passwords onto weak sites.

about two weeks ago
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Kmart Says Its Payment System Was Hacked

retroworks Re:social security? wtf (101 comments)

FTFA "The spokesperson said that based on the forensic investigation to date, no personal information, no debit card PIN numbers, no email addresses and no social security numbers were obtained by the attackers."

about three weeks ago
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Dubai Police To Use Google Glass For Facial Recognition

retroworks Re:Ads On Facebook (122 comments)

Maybe it's only Tesco and Walmart, then.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/08/tesco-facial-recognition-scanners_n_4241801.html

http://adage.com/article/digital/facebook-walmart-write-rules-facial-recognition/245707/

about three weeks ago
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Dubai Police To Use Google Glass For Facial Recognition

retroworks Ads On Facebook (122 comments)

I walk into Staples to buy something, and then am distracted by the price of an HP laser printer, spend a minute looking it over. I get home and find an ad for the same HP Laser printer on Facebook. Ok, maybe they identified me from the credit card I used and just randomly advertised that? Nope. Because this weekend I walked into a Best Buy and wound up getting curious about a particular Sony movie camera. Left the store without making a purchase. Facebook ad for that specific Sony camera when I got home.

Minority Report is here, and I don't see any AntiPhorm or Digital Haystack / Data Pollution solution. Guy Fawkes Masks or Groucho Marx glasses don't seem realistic. Maybe if people boycott the stores using facial recognition cameras for internet advertising it would blunt the ads, but the tech is still there.

about three weeks ago
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Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

retroworks Re:Big Old Liar (276 comments)

According to TFA they have maps of where he went. How do you lie about getting to a place and then do a map of it? I guess it would imply someone else made the trip and Marco Polo plagiarized and took credit for it, but someone made the trip at that time, or there'd be no silk and no maps to the silk.

about three weeks ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

retroworks Re:Define "counterfeit" (35 comments)

Glad to. Did you read the articles linked behind the Slashdot stories you cite? The only two sources of "disputed" chips in the articles are 1) first use lawsuit chips (parts purchased by OEM 2 from OEM 1, sold as surplus to OEM 3 which lacks licensing agreement with OEM 1), and 2) used harvested chips from military parts.

I witnessed it first hand in 3 Chinese factories, and have previously read and/or commented on the three /. links. None of the articles discounts/contradicts used and harvested chips at the sources. In fact the only one of the three articles to mention the source of chips describes them orienting from a chip harvesting center profiled in Junkyard Planet (2014 Adam Minter).

Back at you, where is the fake chip manufacturing plant? You realize how difficult it replicate Intel chips below the cost of Intel? Check the court cases on chip patent infingement cases (e.g. Qualcomm), and the maker of the chip is always the original chip maker, the suits are over the license and the first use doctrine (Samsung sells 1000 chips to LG, LG uses 800 of them and sells 200 excess to Qualcomm, Samsung sues Qualcomm). Now, for military grade, it is possible and even probable that a foreign government would reverse engineer and copy a restricted chip. But they couldn't likely produce them cheaply at commercial sale. Consumer product chip counterfeiting is something I've never seen and isn't evidenced in your links.

about a month ago
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Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

retroworks Re:Article is about Measurement (232 comments)

Use your points to mod him up (not mine down)

about a month ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

retroworks Define "counterfeit" (35 comments)

Most of the accused "counterfeit" chips I've read about aren't "counterfeit" at all. They are used, secondary market, chips harvested from used boards. The "infamous Guiyu" of China e-waste fame is a hub where workers cut out individual microprocessors and chips from boards and repurpose them. The general term in the industry is "gray market"... gray because it's not purely black market, and because of the difficulty in distinguishing what the illegality is when a Chinese factory has substituted a working used part for an OEM part.

about a month ago
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Antarctic Ice Loss Big Enough To Cause Measurable Shift In Earth's Gravity

retroworks Article is about Measurement (232 comments)

"Scientists are now armed with the most accurate gravity model ever produced."

Unfortunately "global warming" has become politicized to the extent that it's really hard to follow the science and technology being discussed. For me the original article is about measurement and our ability to detect minute changes in gravity. There is no "global threat" from the ebbs of gravity. But the scientists behind the satellite gravity monitoring probably figured that introducing the findings with "reveals" and relating the tools to "climate" would find a "hook" in the global warming debate. Not dismissing the debate, and this new ability to measure the ebbs and flows of gravity may well tell us something about "global warming". We just don't know what that would be yet, but the tool gets pulled into the shouting match.

Science is like "South Park". Science is not your Political Ally, no matter what you believe. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... South Park

about a month ago
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Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

retroworks Calls from Credit Cards on "Suspicious Activity" (78 comments)

Over the years I can think of many times we've received a call from our credit card companies to "report suspicious activity". Sometimes it's annoying (yes, we are travelling, please don't cancel our card) but other times it's saved us thousands of dollars.

I personally cannot think of anyone who has gotten a call from medical establishment to report "suspicious activity" or any other kind of "fraud alert", but perhaps others have? If not, the fact that credit card companies respond to these would make them less profitable activity than defrauding companies that don't alert or respond.

about a month ago
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Indian Mars Mission Beams Back First Photographs

retroworks Hey India (113 comments)

Welcome to the steeplechase. Room for everyone, hats off.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

retroworks Legit Effort (385 comments)

I'm a pretty big critic of fellow environmentalists who get carried away with authority, sometimes actually doing environmental harm in the pursuit of theory (e.g. ROHS, removal of recycled content lead from circuit boards, replaced with tin mined from Indonesian coral islands, oy vey. Like replacing plastic with "organic, natural" baby seal pelts).

However, in defense of the enviros and the article posted on /., organic waste really is a pretty cutting edge activity. A century ago pig farmers actually collected significant amounts of food waste, and until very recently the Egyptian Zabaleen community (Coptic Christians) ran a hugely successful organic waste collection system in Cairo. It was a fairly recent innovation to put recyclables and organics and junk into "landfills" and incinerators. It's legitimate to study public policy and efforts to achieve more sustainable cities.

When I was in charge of a state recycling program in the 90s (MA DEP), however, I found that rewarding positive behavior got better publicity than "fines" for not recycling. We ran a "recycling lottery" in Somerville where they'd choose a household at random and if they had their recyclables out, they got $200. It generated the awareness the Seattle fine is trying to achieve without the Drudge-Report-iness. It's also easier to backtrack if the whole thing turns out to be a mistake, if you've given out prizes for affirmative behavior instead of fines.

about a month ago
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Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

retroworks Pan-Racial Future (85 comments)

On an evolutionary time scale, this is a snapshot. "Europeans" meant something for several thousand years, but the intermarriage and population growth and travel will commingle DNA in a century or two (evolutionarily known as an "instant"). I'm white and have native American DNA, most black / African Americans are dark skinned and have loads of European DNA, etc etc. These DNA results are interesting but it's like trying to follow a weather pattern, the geographical barriers are toast.

about a month and a half ago
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Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

retroworks Part of the defamed "e-waste" culture (53 comments)

Have been to these markets in Shenzhen and Foshan, and to similar marketplaces in Cairo and Lima and Jakarta. In Chinese there is a word "shenzhai" I think which means to "hack" or copy, but it doesn't have the nefarious English connotations. It's more like a musician jamming someone else's guitar riff, it's seen as a talent worthy of applause. Slate had a great article in 2012, "The Chinese Steve Jobs is Probably a Pirate". I'm now working with 3 researchers at universities to document what we call the "Tinkerer Blessing", which is the opposite of the "Resource Curse"... correlating that emerging markets with a lack of natural resources develop better through technology repair and "grey market" activity. Simon Lin of Acer, Terry Gou of Foxconn, both started in video display refurbishment, by the way. http://www.slate.com/articles/...

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

retroworks Employer says Thank You (109 comments)

While it's popular to cheer for victims of lost jobs and the unemployed, the brutal truth is that unemployment is 4% (in my state) and asshole-dom is about 14%. We look forward to MS-less resumes to grow our business. There's a shortage of smart employees, and until we figure out how to educate the emerging intellect-nots, medium-tech industry needs the dis-employed. Or immigrants. We are color blind, we don't care.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Interpol Developing "Guidelines" for Use of Facial Recognition Software

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about a week ago

retroworks (652802) writes "INTERPOL announced the first meeting of its "Facial Expert Working Group" in order to "begin the process of developing international facial recognition standards." The two-day meeting (14 and 15 October) gathered 24 technical and biometrics experts and examiners from 16 countries who produced a ‘best practice guide’ for the quality, format and transmission of images to be used in facial recognition. It will be circulated to all 190 INTERPOL member countries to serve as a guideline for improving the quality of images necessary for accurate and effective facial recognition.

Last December (Bloomberg News) described a similar "voluntary guidelines" meeting between Facebook and Walmart for use of visual recognition to keep identification by retail store cameras in targeted online advertising. CBS also covered the story last December. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/20.

As more technology start ups like Facedeals http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/... recognize the opportunity to sell our browsing habits at stores to online marketing firms, Minority Report seems closer than ever. And unlike programs to erase, block, or deliver false clicks (cookie camouflage) to online advertisers, the solutions (wearing a Guy Fawkes mask or Groucho Marx glasses) seem much more intrusive."

Link to Original Source
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Google Fiber to Launch in Austin, Texas in December

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about two weeks ago

retroworks (652802) writes "WSJ blog reports on the third city to get fiber-optic high speed internet networks laid down by Google (Kansas City and Provo, UT were the first). The service averages 1 gigabit per second, about 100X the average US household speed, and costs $70-120 per month (depending on television). Google promotes the roll-outs by holding "rallies" in small neighborhoods. Suggested slogan — "Don't be Comcast"."
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Facial Recognition At Retailers: How Are They Used To Target Facebook Ads?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about three weeks ago

retroworks (652802) writes "I made a comment a couple of days ago about how specific items I stopped to view at retail stores, without purchasing, showed up in hours on my Facebook ads. One respondent thought it was just coincidence, another told me to take off my tinfoil hat.

However, it was just last December (Bloomberg News) that Facebook and Walmart announced a "voluntary system" to keep identification by retail store camera from being misused. CBS also covered the story last December. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/20... Business Insider covered it earlier, May 2013. http://www.businessinsider.com...

It seems hush hush, but I'm certain I'm getting ads targeted at me solely based on time I spend viewing certain products (Sony video camera, HP Laser printers) at Staples and Best Buy. There are dozens of cameras and dozens of laser printers in the aisle, and I got ads for the specific camera / printer I touched or held in the store. Can we really believe that technology start ups like Facedeals http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/... have not recognized the opportunity to sell the "opportunity" to marketing firms? As we approach the holiday shopping season, how big is this advertising market going to get, and how fast?"

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Rise and Fall of Gluten Intolerance Parellels use of Monsanto's RoundUp

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about a month ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The decades of increasing cases of "gluten intolerance" and "celiac sprue" among Americans has been linked (in Toxicology peer reviewed article) to the use or disuse of Monsanto's "Roundup" on USA crops. Unknown a few decades ago, "sprue" or gluten intolerance has spiked, leading to widely recognized "gluten free" advertised diets. The article (linked from Mother Jones http://www.motherearthnews.com... coverage) shows that when glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp — use decreases, cases of gluten intolerance also fell."
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Paypal Jumps into Bitcoin with Both Feet

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "BBC, WSJ, Bloomberg, Forbes and several other business sites are buzzing with Paypal's incorporation of Bitcoin transactions. According to Wired, Paypal will be "the best thing ever to happen to bitcoin" http://www.wired.com/2014/09/p... Paypal-owned Braintree not only brings 150 million active users in close contact with Bitcoin, it signals "mainstreaming" similar to cell phone app banking, perceived as experimental just a few years ago.

Meanwhile Wired News reports on "someone's efforts" to expose or unmask Bitcoin guru Satoshi Nakamoto... http://www.wired.com/2014/09/s..."

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Tesla to Open $5B Battery Factory in Nevada

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes ""In winning the contract, Nevada beat out California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to become the new home of the factory where Tesla, in partnership with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, will build the lithium ion power plants for its Model S and Model X electric vehicles.""
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Apple Stock falls 3-4% after "Nude Celeb Scandal"

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Both the Wall Street Journal (paywall http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat...), USA

Today, and Business Insider are all running stories about the big dip in Apple stock, close to the eve of the iPhone 6 rollout. Huffington Post's Headline is "Apple Stock Getting Killed" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

There are two different explanations given for the tanking Apple stock. To be sure, potential liabilities over The iCloud photo scandal and leaked celebrity nude photos gets its share of the blame. But and a note from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves telling investors to sell Apple shares seems to carry more weight.

"Last week, the company was flying high as anticipation built for the iPhone 6, and the iWatch, which are expected to be announced next week. The stock was hitting new all-time highs...It all came to a screeching halt over the weekend for Apple, when nude photos of celebrities hit the web. Apple's weak security on iCloud, where the photos were backed up, was blamed for the photos hitting the web."

Apple's new mobile payments feature, as well as health tracking data tied to the iPhone, may feel the pinch from the data security breach (although most of that data is likely to be stored right on the phone, not in the iCloud, BusinessInsider points out). Pacific Crest's Hargreaves says, "We recommend taking profits in Apple.""

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Burger King Announces Possible Move to Canada, Eh?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 2 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The announced merger discussions of Burger King and Canadian Burger-Coffee Chain Tim Hortons sets the stage for an "inverse acquisition", where the smaller company winds up the HQ. This tactic has long been used in domestic markets (waste giants BFI and Waste Management both had inverse mergers with smaller waste hauling firms more than a decade ago). http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03...

The spin on the Burger King — Tim Horton's deal is that it would allow Burger King itself to move to Canada, where corporate taxes are lower. Similar "big pharma" deals are cited in the WSJ coverage of the BK-TH deal. WSJ notes that since 2010, Burger King has been owned by a Brazilian company, 3G Capital Management, which took BK stock private, and purchased Heinz (the ketchup chain) and Anheiser Busch... so making an example out of Burger King could put Obama (who has publicly professed a willingness to "take action" on inverse mergers and expatriation) could take the USA out of the frying pan and into the flame broiler. WSJ http://online.wsj.com/articles..."

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Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 3 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

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Dubai's Climate-Controlled "Dome City": Members Only?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Motherboard.vice reports on Dubai's planned 7Km "pedestrian city", complete with retractable air conditioned dome. The mega-project is projected to open at the United Arab Emirates World Expo Trade Fair (2020). Dubai's demographics — 85% expatriot imported labor (mostly Asian) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... — is already one of the most polarized by income level, and Motherboard finds the air conditioned cityscape artwork "dystopian". Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Rasheed, on the other hand, sees it as a move towards a tourism economy, and part of the kingdom's plan for post-petroleum. "We plan to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the two billion people living in the region around us; and we are determined to achieve our vision," Bin Rasheed explains in a press release. http://www.dubaiholding.com/me...

Details of the "Mall of the World" project include:
- World’s largest mall occupying 8 million sq. ft. connected to 100 hotels and serviced apartments buildings with 20,000 hotel rooms
- Temperature-controlled covered retail street network spreading over 7 km
- Largest indoor family theme park in the world
- Wellness district catering to medical tourists in 3 million sq. ft."

Link to Original Source
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British Airways Experiments with Electronic Mood Reading Blankets

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "From Bloomberg Businessweek: "British Airways (BAY:LN), the airline that pioneered the flat-bed seats in the 1990s, has taken the business of in-flight sleep to its next (logical? absurd?) level: The airline has developed a blanket to analyze the “meditative state” of premium cabin fliers. The wool “happiness blanket” is embedded with tiny fiber-optic LEDs that change color based on brainwaves transmitted via Bluetooth from a band worn on a passenger’s head. Blue signifies calm, peace, and relaxation and is seen most often when the person is sleeping deeply."

A British Airways video (embedded in the article) http://www.businessweek.com/ar... describes how its gizmo monitors "neurons in the brain" sensing when a passenger is enjoying a state of well being. Information is transferred via bluetooth to microfibers in the blanket, which turn bright red if the passenger feels anxious. Now, the video explains, British Airways knows — scientifically — that people like to sleep during their flight."

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NIgerian born UK TV repairman sentenced 16 months prison for 91% reuse

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste", including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% working and repaired product. The study, covered in Slashdot last February, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the UK tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But 5 separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the UK judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. http://retroworks.blogspot.com... But what do Nerds at Slashdot think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?"

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PR Firms Admit: Whitewashing Wikipedia Articles is a "Black Hat" Process

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 4 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "In the wake of a dispute over paid edits of Wikipedia pages, 11 of the largest public relations firms have agreed to comply with the online encyclopedia's rules. The move comes after Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that administers Wikipedia, threatened legal action for "suspicious edits", citing FTC laws.

Acknowledging that "prior actions of some in our industry have led to a challenging relationship" with Wikipedia editors, the firms vowed to abide by the site's policies, guidelines and terms of service. The firms also promised to police their own industry and counsel their clients in regard to proper conduct on the site.

The WSJ Blogger Jeff Elder quotes Wikipedia representatives position that whitewashing Wikipedia articles is a "black hat" process. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/20..."

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Australian Solar Power Breaks Key Milestone: Subcritical Steam

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 5 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Gizmag and ScienceAlert.com report that a solar thermal test plant in Newcastle, Australia, has generated “supercritical” steam. According to the reports, CSIRO is claiming it as a world record, and a big step for solar thermal energy. Using a field of more than 600 directional mirrors (heliostats) directed at two towers housing solar receivers and turbines, the researchers generated steam at a pressure of 23.5 mpa (3,400 psi) and 570 C (1,058 F).

"It's like breaking the sound barrier; this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources," Dr Alex Wonhas, CSIRO’s Energy Director, told Colin Jeffrey for Gizmag. Supercritical steam is used to drive the world’s most advanced power plant turbines, but the articles claim it was previously only been possible by burning fossil fuels (or I'd presume nuclear fission)."

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Saturated Fat and Heart Disease Studies Full of Baloney (NYT, WSJ)

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 6 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "The NYT and WSJ both report growing frustration with long-held medical "wisdom" on saturated fats in the human diet. While medical associations continue to caution against saturated fats, the strongest correlations seem to stem from research bias.

Per wikipedia: "Medical, heart-health, and governmental authorities, such as the World Health Organization, the American Dietetic Association, the Dietitians of Canada, the British Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, the British Heart Foundation, the World Heart Federation, the British National Health Service, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority advise that saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD)."

However, original studies may have been influenced by "big corn". Nina Tiecholz (WSJ) writes "The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these [saturated] fats cause disease... Nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias... Too much whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast and whole-grain pasta for dinner, with fruit snacks in between, add up to a less healthy diet than one of eggs and bacon."

"Butter and lard had long been staples of the American pantry until Crisco, introduced in 1911, became the first vegetable-based fat to win wide acceptance in U.S. kitchens. Then came margarines made from vegetable oil and then just plain vegetable oil in bottles. All of these got a boost from the American Heart Association—which Procter & Gamble, the maker of Crisco oil, coincidentally helped launch as a national organization. " Tiecholz goes on to document the concerns now associated with saturated fats replacements, from oxidation to Alzheimers. "In short, the track record of vegetable oils is highly worrisome—and not remotely what Americans bargained for when they gave up butter and lard."

http://online.wsj.com/news/art..."

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Arkansas Tornado Coverage with Drone Camera Raises Legal Questions

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 6 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "In the latest tornado and storm tragedy to hit the USA's south and midwest, small drone cameras steered by storm-tracker and videographer Brian Emfinger gathered stunning bird's-eye footage of the wreckage. Forbes magazine covers the [paywalled] Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's speculation that Emfinger has violated FAA rules which prohibit commercial use of small drones. The laws, designed years ago to restrict hobbyists use of model airplanes, may conflict with USA First Amendment free press use. So far, nothing in the article says that the FAA is enforcing the rule on the media outlets that may pay Emfinger for his video coverage, but interest in the footage will probably create a business economy for future commercial drone use if the FAA does not act."
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Is facial recognition at retailers being used to target banner ads online?

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 6 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Yesterday I had to go to a retail store (Staples) for something unrelated to laser printers. While I was in the store, I decided to check out the laser printers, see what's new, though I don't really need one.

Now my Sunday morning news search is filled with laser printer ads for HP. I have not been searching online. Looking for updates on whether stores are selling my aisle browsing habits to online advertisers, I found this NYT article by Natasha Singer to be quite informative, with interesting links to varying leads from Snowden testimony to Silicon Valley startups to National Telecom and Information Agency web pages."

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WSJ: Prepare to hang up the phone - forever

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 7 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon Communications are lobbying states, one by one, to hang up the plain, old telephone system, what the industry now calls POTS--the copper-wired landline phone system whose reliability and reach made the U.S. a communications powerhouse for more than 100 years. Is landline obsolete, and should be immune from grandparents era social protection?"
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Google Public DNS Hijacked for 22 Minutes in South America

retroworks retroworks writes  |  about 7 months ago

retroworks (652802) writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet reports:

"Without the Domain Name System (DNS), we're all lost on the Internet. DNS provides the service that translates our human readable Web addresses such as google.com to their real, but mysterious Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, such as 8.8.8.8 or IPv6's 2001:4860:4860::8888. The problem with this master yellow pages directory to the Internet is that DNS records themselves can be corrupted or your communications with the DNS servers interrupted by a man-in-the-middle (MiM) attack. "

While it's only 22 minutes, and apparently only affected internet users in Brazil and Venezuela, the repercussions of DNS hijacking could be huge for online commerce. Since many of these attacks in the past have originated in Eastern Europe, should we all be on guard now that Russia has been sabre-rattling? How likely is this to occur in California-based Google servers? For reaction on Twitter, visit here https://twitter.com/bgpmon/sta..."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Free Manoi-Go in Vermont

retroworks retroworks writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Vermont environmentalists were torn when Agency of Natural Resources began a crackdown on "e-waste" reuse, recycling, and repair company in Middlebury. Japanese robot Manio-Go was seized and impounded as hazardous waste, under actual new Vermont laws classifying electronic devices with less than 80% battery levels as "hazardous". A petition was released to get Governor Peter Schumlin to commute the sentence of recycling-by-shredder, to Free Manio-Go. This is partly April Fools, but sadly not April Fools enough http://tinyurl.com/saveManoi

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To Our Recycling Friends In Egypt

retroworks retroworks writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Ten years ago this week, I was inspired to attempt to establish "fair trade recycling" exports of the much maligned "e-waste" (which is one of the most misleading and misunderstood terms ever coined). It was based on my experience in Africa, watching entrepreneurs and small businesspeople who "tinkered" and repaired goods, which I recognized was the way Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Signapore emerged. The opposite of the "resource curse", repair and refubishment is so vital to economic development that one could even argue that it was worth the price of "waste"... but I also believe that proper recycling, the best recycling, is done with hand-disassembly.

[Read more about my fair trade recycling philosophy, and how it guides my own company, at www.retroworks.blogspot.com ]

Like Fair Trade Coffee (which emerged in response to a horrible "coffee boycott" idea to help coffee farmers), the result of fairly traded used electronics can result in proper recycling infrastructures within the developing world, which has its own "ewaste" to manage. More importantly, it can result in Egyptian revolutions... the 3 billion people in the world who earn about $3 thousand per year have gotten online at ten times the rate of growth of the developed world, and they are not doing it with brand new PCs. http://retroworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/to-our-recycling-friends-in-egypt.html

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Camouflage v. Cloaking

retroworks retroworks writes  |  more than 11 years ago Submitted for comment:

A program which submits random browser data can effectively complicate investigative work by 3rd party data collectors. It would take a lot of camouflage users to pollute Google or NSA's historic record base, but only take a few pieces of bad data to "poison the well" of information (e.g. he visited a gay website) used in court. I would like an option which is not completely random, which does not submit false terrorist or pedofile site data for example.

This would not be very effective against cookies (except when presence of cookies was to be used as evidence in a courtroom) but would effectively cloud any suspicions with doubt at the level of a large database such as a search engine.

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