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Submission + - Politics Have Turned Facebook Into a Steaming Cauldron of Hate (backchannel.com) 1

mirandakatz writes: America has never been more divided, and on social media, people are blocking, muting, and unfriending each other left and right. At Backchannel, Jessi Hempel argues that Facebook is the last place we should be having political discussion right now: "We know the “filter bubble” about which Eli Pariser first wrote back in 2011 is part of the problem—it limits the viewpoints we see to those that reflect the opinions we already have. And yet we double down on that bubble, muting and blocking and unfriending people who think differently from us, if they make it into our social streams at all. We hate ourselves a tiny bit for this. And yet, if we do the opposite—engage on social media with people who hold different viewpoints—it almost always goes sideways." If you really want to understand people who don't think the same way as you? Get off of Facebook, and into the real world.

Submission + - One Woman's Brilliant "Fuck You" to Wikipedia Trolls (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Now 22, Emily Temple-Wood has been editing Wikipedia for a decade, making her one of few young, female editors on the site. Along with that status has come a slew of harassment, including death and rape threats. To fight back, she's come up with a brilliant solution, which she's dubbed the "Fuck You" project: for every harassing email, death threat, or request for nude photos that she receives, she creates a Wikipedia biography on a notable woman scientist who was previously unknown to the free online encyclopedia. She may not be able to silence the trolls, but she can taunt them with what misogynists hate the most—successful women.

Submission + - Obama's FCC Head Is Worried About Our Online Future (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In a candid interview with Susan Crawford, outgoing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler discusses net neutrality, telecom mergers, high-speed access, and the dangers that lie ahead under the Trump administration. It's not the rosiest outlook: Wheeler expresses significant concern about the future of internet access in America, and urges advocates to "to get out of our technocrat mode and into making the point that it’s the Trump voter who has the worst internet experience, and that broadband is the key to getting an education to be able to do your homework, the key to being able to get a job, the key to be able to interact with the world around you."

Submission + - At-home brain-zapping treatment for depression may soon be mainstream (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: This isn't old-school brain zapping: It's not electroshock therapy, in which doctors flood a depressed patient's brain with some 900 milliamps of current to cause a seizure and something like a mood reset. This is tDCS (transcranial direct current stimulation), which would let psychiatrists send their depressed patients home with a brain-zapping headband that sends perhaps 2 milliamps of current through specific portions of their brains. A doctor's prescription might call for the patient to do a 20-minute stimulation session daily for a few weeks, then less frequent maintenance sessions.

While tDCS is being investigated as a treatment for all sorts of neuropsychiatric disorders, many researchers and doctors think depression may be the killer app. A South Korean company called Ybrain thinks its consumer-friendly headband for depression will be the product that makes this treatment mainstream — first in Korea, then in Europe, then in the United States and around the world.

Comment Re:Not doomsday (Score 1) 745

WWI and WWII got so bad, at least partly because of strategic alliances. Even if you're not directly involved, if you have a mutual assistance pact with some other nation, and they get involved in a conflict, you're involved too. The question is what happens when this chain of involvement leads to each side having a nuclear-armed power.

There will always be wars - perhaps. The difference is how hot those wars get, who is involved, etc. That Trump doesn't seem to be into mutual assistance might actually be a positive for avoiding nuclear war. That Trump seems to be in favor of nuclear proliferation (Let them defend themselves.) is a decided negative.

Life goes on, almost certainly.
Human life is a bit less certain.
Civilized human life is far less certain yet.

Comment Re:Not doomsday (Score 5, Insightful) 745

The US military recognizes that global warming puts stress on people and governments. Human life can prosper with a changed climate, but it can't always continue in-place. People may have to move, because their current habitation may no longer be habitable. If that movement requires crossing national borders, it becomes an international incident.

That's why global warming advances the Doomsday Clock - its side-effects on national sovereignty and politics.

Comment Many reasons (Score 2) 215

Bloatware, privacy, support, all send you to something other than stock.

T-Mobile stopped supporting my Relay at JB. At least with CM I've got KK, and there are words indicating that CM's successor is going to bring out Nougat for it. (Didn't know that could happen, thought the graphics was too primitive, but I'll take it.)

Submission + - Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient, utterly hackable website (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: US president-elect Donald Trump's freshly minted cyber tsar Rudy Giuliani runs a website so insecure that its content management system is five years out of date, unpatched and is utterly hackable.
Giulianisecurity.com the website for Giuliani's eponymous infosec consultancy firm, runs Joomla! version 3.0, released in 2012, and since found to carry 15 separate vulnerabilities. More bugs and poor secure controls abound.

Submission + - Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid

DogDude writes: National Security Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont
This week, officials from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence shared the Grizzly Steppe malware code with executives from 16 sectors nationwide, including the financial, utility and transportation industries, a senior administration official said. Vermont utility officials identified the code within their operations and reported it to federal officials Friday, the official said.

Submission + - RSS Congressional Encryption Working Group says encryption backdoors won't work (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The Congressional Encryption Working Group (EWG) was set up in the wake of the Apple vs FBI case in which the FBI wanted to gain access to the encrypted contents of a shooter's iPhone. The group has just published its end-of-year report summarizing months of meetings, analysis and debate.

The report makes four key observations, starting off with: "Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest". This is certainly not a new argument against encryption backdoors for the likes of the FBI, but it is an important one. EWG goes on to urge congress not to do anything to weaken encryption.

The group says: "Congress should not weaken this vital technology because doing so works against the national interest. However, it should not ignore and must address the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement and intelligence communities".

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