Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers
... as credit card companies have been keeping on us since the 1980s?
High School Students Not Waiting For Schools To Go Online
The blog about the second link (2013 in particular http://www.heri.ucla.edu/brief...) doesn't really add much value.
The UCLA report, however, is pretty interesting. Many of the application strategies described were the same my daughter (entering college in September) and wife and I adapted. We told her that the mortgage crisis of 2008 was triggered by a bunch of adults who were told at 17-18 that signing student debt notes for university was rational and wise, and that it so confused people that it's no surprise they never saved to buy cars or houses and brought the whole economy down. We figured that more and more applicants were coming from overseas, which is a good thing as otherwise the middle tier colleges in the USA will collapse. Like the averages in the report, we told her to apply to many more colleges, as the cost of the application (about $100 per college) was probably less than the standard deviation between financial aid offers from the 1/4-1/3 of institutions she'd get admitted to.
If you are going to apply to college, or have kids headed that way, the report is definitely worth reading. We managed to find a way to get the full cost down to about $15K including room and board. All the things people were told to consider in choosing a college 20-30 years ago don't matter. You can choose based on selectivity, class size, strength of degree programs, etc. but aside from geography the only thing you will remember is people - roomates, classmates, bandmates, workmates, and professors - and there's no way to analyze that in advance, so just take the deal you can afford.
How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa
The "curse of natural resources", also known as the paradox of plenty, refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. The skills to succeed are in government control of billion dollar resource control contracts, and being related to people with sharp elbows.
By contrast, nations which have succeeded despite having few natural resources - Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. - usually develop from import for repair and refurbishment. Fixer economies reward problem solving skills and education. "Good enough" tech. I like Hartree's phrase "like locking the toolbox until the car is fixed" (mod him up please)
"Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so." - Adam Smith
Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It
I moderated /. (emitted my energy). But the world is not more enlightened, because I was counter-moderated (anti-doesn't-matter). We may need this device/material to more accurately graph our lack of enlightenment, given the energy (carbon) submitted. Already available, BTW, on /. beta.
Want To Ensure Your Personal Android Data Is Truly Wiped? Turn On Encryption
It's well established that plenty of consumers discard or donate hard disks without taking any precautions, and are playing roulette with their identity. It's also well established that hundreds of millions of tons of this equipment is replaced, resold, stolen or discarded, and most people who wind up with the secondary device lack either the time, money, or effort to scavenge data off the phone. If in fact someone is in the identity theft business by buying phones on ebay, they'd profile themselves pretty well after a dozen phone purchases (what do these data-theft-victims have in common?). And who knows how many phones they'd have to buy which had been wiped in some way (and required more time, money and effort)?
This isn't a bad article in that it birddogs simple things you can do before selling your used phone, and if it elevates the perception of risk in order to get people to do something easy, that's appropriate. But in response to people who are shooting and burning their devices to be "100% sure" that no one spends the time, money and effort to follow them... that's appropriate if you are a high risk target. If you have stuff on your phone of interest to the FBI or KGB, the amount of time+money+effort may be less than or = the amount of risk. Your call.
But there is a lot of hyperbole out there about the percentage of identity theft which is traced to secondary market devices, and the billions of dollars in secondary market sales on sites like ebay represent time+money+effort interest in new product makers to spend fanning flames. Again it's appropriate that the article raises concerns and then points to simple efforts a consumer can take to increase the barrier-to-entry to their personal data. But the army of ebay buyers getting their porn fixes by buying and then de-encrypting cell phones to retrieve ugly selfies seems exaggerated. Warn people about sharks if they are swimming in shark infested waters, don't tell people that most swimmers will be attacked by sharks.
Tear your mail in 8 pieces and someone could dig it out of the trash and tape it together, but the time+money+effort that represents is significant. I remember people selling paper shredding equipment in the 1990s who described armies of Iranian students or Chinese peasants who could be buying torn paper and taping it back together. If they know it's the President of the USA's mail, they no doubt will expend that time+money+effort... Presidents should assume they are swimming in a shark tank. For most of us, ebay resales are a swimming pool, and warnings of shark attacks get tiresome.
Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics
Can't remember whether I saw this on /. or another news site, but the cutting edge research on evolution has been called "neo Lamarckism". Intelligence itself can be passed on genetically. A recent "Epigenetic inheritance" study showed that mice who were taught to associate an odor with danger had baby mice who reacted strongly to the same odor. http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... (Science Daily 12/2013). It may be that learning or education "triggers" latent genes. Lamarck may not turn out to be a Tesla, but Darwin is unfinished business.
Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC
They better act fast if they want to skirt the law with yeast, while there's still a law to break. In USA, Pot will be legal nationwide by 2018
At least that's been my bet. According to the LA Times today, the DEA in Washington is showing "fatigue" at enforcing it and the White House is ready to give up on the "war on pot". http://www.latimes.com/nation/...
Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body
This is intriguing. Jokes about tasers and cattleprods will abound, and it would definitely get plenty of late night comedy attention. But if the science is good, it will have a lot of commercial applications. As the employer of several commercial truck drivers (and a CDL who takes the tests myself), I'd be very interested in having one at the doorway of our employment office (to scare away certain substance abusing job applicants, mainly).
What it doesn't really address is the "bottleneck" equation at TSA. We've already reached the breakeven point where a suicide bomber can kill more people standing in the incoming security line of the airport than he'd kill bringing down a plane (arguably TSA is mainly a property crime and marketing psychology tool). Also I wonder what the "false positives" rates are and how many people will miss flight connections. You are going after one out of a billion flyers, it would have to either be wickedly accurate in order to achieve it's outcome, which is to redirect suicide bombers from airplanes and towards softer targets.>/p>
NASA Successfully Tests 'Flying Saucer' Craft, New Parachute
Actually I completely support this kind of NASA test, but I question why NASA would want their trial balloons in the Wasthington @#$ing Post.
That Toy Is Now a Drone
The article and comments miss the point. http://washington.cbslocal.com... They are trying to regulate the use of the drones for peeping in neighbors yards and windows. They are trying to regulate it in a way without banning them, the over-reaction which will probably occur the first time a nude child shows up on youtube from an evil neighbor's google glasses. The CBS article - and most articles via news.google.com - point out that you can buy these pocket yard drones on amazon and are more nuanced about the policy debate than the /. "government is gonna take your toys away" article.
Match.com, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses
Mensa members appear to treat IQ as a fixed point, like an SAT test score or GPA that stays in your recordbook forever. But people obviously slow down over time, or suffer psychological symptoms such as paranoia or obsession which may have a deleterious effect on IQ. Some think the act of joining Mensa itself is a contraindicator of highest intelligence (perhaps why they had to dip to 98th percentile, the top thought better of enlisting).
What dating sites actually need is not more dating sites, but a Kayak,com service where I can find dates simultaneously from MENSA, Match.com, EHarmony, FarmersOnly.com, AdultFriendFinder, ChristianSingles, AshleyMadison, HinduConnections, etc., with search-by boxes for attractiveness, income, and other values-based searches. Oh wait, i think the NSA has that already, maybe we can lower the national debt by making it a paid search service.
Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit
Agreed. I have no problem with Wikipedia editors being sued. I recently ran across a Wikipedia biography of El Salvador ex-presidente Jose Napolean Duarte which was written atrociously, basically accusing him of being a dictator behind a military coup. I corrected the article, noting he was actually popularly elected (a mayor of San Salvador, not a military coup leader), ousted in a coup, and then brought back in a counter coup, and then again popularly elected. Had to repost it twice, it kept getting "reverted" (it did get fixed but someone has since added "His military regime is noted for large-scale human rights abuses and massacres amongst the civilian population, supported by the Reagan Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency" to the first paragraph). Sure, Duarte was criticized for accepting the invitation of the second coup, but most people feel the human rights abuses were the work of the first junta and those opposed to the Salvadoran land reforms proposed by Duarte. But who has time to fight an idiot editor?
This could get modded "off topic", I guess, but IMHO Wikipedia should encourage defamation lawsuits against its volunteer editors. The main problem is that people with extremely hostile views edit more perniciously, and moderate editors don't have time to fight about it. Unfortunately, that's a remedy of the rich, not for people who don't have the means to sue for defamation.
UK Man Sentenced To 16 Months For Exporting 'E-Waste' Despite 91% Reuse
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Joseph Benson on the "bullyboys". He is illiterate, never attended school, but knows TV repair.
Continuous System For Converting Waste Plastics Into Crude Oil
Pyrolysis for "recycling" plastic waste into oil (or tire waste into oil) has been around since at least the 1990s. The main problems are 2: A) As Irate Engineer states, a polymer is an "added value" and deconstructing polymers back to oil always fails economically when actual recycling to like-polymers is available, and B) as Itzy says, the comparative value of returning it to fuel, vs. leaving it in an Municipal Solid Waste to energy facility and burning it, is small.
I read TFA and cannot figure out what differentiates this from the pyrolysis "waste investments" of the 1990s, none of which really sailed.
Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them
Mod parent up. This is a silly idea. Yes, the Non-OECD growth in carbon emmissions is growing enormously. But the non-OECD still has LESS CO per unit of production than the OECD. In other words, a carbon tax would benefit China production from the start. Plus, over time, China's already investing a lot more in CO free energy (as a percentage of GDP) than the OECD is. http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/i.... Trade agreements don't allow WTO members to apply rules specifically against a certain member, they apply to all members, and the West still produces more CO per capita
Obesity too is increasing in China. But if you tax obesity, you aren't going to advantage western countries. .
Millions of Smart TVs Vulnerable To 'Red Button' Attack
News at 11. Or is it...? (organ music) Dunnn Dunnn DUNNNNNN!!!
The article winds up with "Another fix would be to prompt users to press a button confirming their okay before an app launches on their TV, as well as regular reminders that apps are loading or running whenever they switch channels." Well, I don't look forward to having to click my remote to approve apps from my couch, but it's not exactly an emergency. Seems appropriate to wait for Miller Beer or Dr. Evil to actually execute the attempt first, before worrying much about the potential for television broadcast content impurities.
Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks
Mostly it comes from Marx, "commodity fetishism" (see wikipedia). Using the same concept Marx used to describe how the labor added value of goods and commodities are unseen but known and measurable. Similarly, in regulating an object which is "waste" or "discard" differently from the same material mined and smelted attaches a fetish, ignoring hidden environmental and economic costs of production a waste or secondary commodity. I learned the concept from papers by Josh Lepawsky and Ramzy Kahhat on electronic scrap, but it goes back at least to 2003 http://oae.sagepub.com/content..., or more recently by Graham Pickren of Univ of Georgia 2013 "Political ecologies of electronic waste: uncertainty and legitimacy in the governance of e-waste geographies"
Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks
Parent link George Carlin (Q:"Why are we here?" A:"Plastic, asshole.") routine was insightful. Reporting on environmental problems needs to better distinguish between serious harms like habitat loss and species extinction, resource conservation issues (one generation using everything up - like fresh water - disadvantaging later human generations), and what researchers call "fetishizing". The "fetish" is used when people are made to feel guilty about something (e.g. "waste") and continue to attach guilt and responsibility to the item based not on risk but on past human ownership. This can lead to regulations which disadvantage recycling (secondary copper smelters), secondary markets (e.g. used display devices and cell phones) disproportionately to the risk.
There are some interesting academic papers on environmental fetishes and untended consequences of fixations based on previous human 'ownership' and 'guilt association'. Many environmentalists are scientists and are aware of the 'quasi-religion' of moral risk association, but are afraid to speak openly about it the same as the Renaissance's great thinkers were afraid to publicly pose their doubts about Christianity. The philosophers doubted much about sources of Christian ethics but were concerned about replacing it with anarchy. Scientific environmentalists have similar concerns about exposing "fetish" environmentalism without discrediting actual moral progress on stewardship.
Facebook Wants To Listen In On What You're Doing
Thought this had to be a joke, maybe not.
Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?
You left off #5, that while it's good to turn spoiled or over-produced corn into ethanol, to actually plant/fertilize/grow/harvest/synthesize corn in order to produce ethanol likely consumes more fuel than the ethanol produces. From what I've read, you can't power the farm tractors and distilleries without a net loss of gasoline.
Free Manoi-Go in Vermont
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
To Our Recycling Friends In Egypt
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
Camouflage v. Cloaking
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.