Frontrunner + 2016   778

Say Goodbye to Google: 14 Alternative Search Engines
There was a point not that long ago when you could easily divide people between those that used Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and AltaVista. Now it’s got to the point where if you’re not using Google, you’re not really using the internet properly.

Right now though maybe we should be paying more attention to the alternatives. Maybe our daily lives and, for some of us, careers shouldn’t need to balance on the fickle algorithm changes of the world’s most valuable company.

Let’s see what else is out there in the non-Google world. It’s not that scary, I promise. Although you may want to bring a coat.
search  alternatives  google  bing  duckduckgo  quora  dogpile  vimeo  yandex  boardreader  wolframalpha  ixquick  askcom  slideshare  addictomatic  creativecommonssearch  giphy  2016 
april 2017 by Frontrunner
The Major Advancements in Deep Learning in 2016
Deep Learning has been the core topic in the Machine Learning community the last couple of years and 2016 was not the exception. In this article, we will go through the advancements we think have contributed the most (or have the potential) to move the field forward and how organizations and the community are making sure that these powerful technologies are going to be used in a way that is beneficial for all.
ai  machinelearning  progress  advancement  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
U.S. Life Expectancy Declines for the First Time Since 1993
For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States.

Rising fatalities from heart disease and stroke, diabetes, drug overdoses, accidents and other conditions caused the lower life expectancy revealed in a report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. In all, death rates rose for eight of the top 10 leading causes of death.
usa  health  lifeexpectancy  decline  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
The 289 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List
Since declaring his candidacy for president last June, Donald Trump has used Twitter to lob insults at presidential candidates, journalists, news organizations, nations, a Neil Young song and even a lectern in the Oval Office. We know this because we’ve read, tagged and quoted them all. Below, a directory of sorts, with links to the original tweets.
donaldtrump  insults  civility  behaviour  indecency  rudeness  impoliteness  badmanners  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Vancouver Tax Pushes Chinese to $1 Million Seattle Homes
Just a few days after Vancouver announced a tax on foreign property investors, Seattle real estate broker Lili Shang received a WeChat message from a wealthy Chinese businessman who wanted to sell a home in Canada and buy in her area.

After a week of showings, he purchased a $1 million property in Bellevue, across Lake Washington from Seattle. He soon returned to buy two more, including a $2.2 million house in Clyde Hill paid for with a single cashier’s check.
vancouver  seattle  realestate  housing  prices  chinese  investors  gentrification  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps
Dorothea Lange — well-known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother — was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”

The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.
usa  concentrationcamps  japanese  japan  ww2  history  internmentcamps  photos  racism  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
'Once in a Lifetime Find': Dinosaur Tail Discovered Trapped in Amber
The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.
Xing Lida, a Chinese paleontologist found the specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border.
dinosaurs  china  find  paleontology  history  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
China Has Now Eclipsed US in AI Research
Humanity may still be years if not decades away from producing sentient artificial intelligence. But with the rise of machine-learning services in our smartphones and other devices, one type of narrow, specialized AI has become all the rage. And the research on this branch of AI is only accelerating.

In fact, as more industries and policymakers awaken to the benefits of machine learning, two countries appear to be pulling away in the research race. The results will probably have significant implications for the future of AI.
china  usa  ai  machinelearning  investment  competition  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Tests Confirm That Germany's Massive Nuclear Fusion Machine Really Works
At the end of last year, Germany switched on a new type of massive nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, and it was successfully able to contain a scorching hot blob of helium plasma.

But since then, there's been a big question - is the device working the way it's supposed to? That's pretty crucial when you're talking about a machine that could potentially maintain controlled nuclear fusion reactions one day, and thankfully, the answer is yes.

A team of researchers from the US and Germany have now confirmed that the Wendelstein 7-X (W 7-X) stellerator is producing the super-strong, twisty, 3D magnetic fields that its design predicted, with "unprecedented accuracy". The researchers found an error rate less than one in 100,000.
germany  nuclear  nuclearfusion  stellerator  energy  power  science  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Apple to Start Publishing AI Research to Hasten Deep Learning
Apple Inc. will allow its artificial intelligence teams to publish research papers for the first time, marking a significant change in strategy that could help accelerate the iPhone maker’s advances in deep learning.

When Apple introduced its Siri virtual assistant in 2011, the company appeared to have a head start over many of its nearest competitors. But it has lost ground since then to the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s Google Assistant and Inc.’s Alexa.

Researchers say among the reasons Apple has failed to keep pace is its unwillingness to allow its AI engineers to publish scientific papers, stymieing its ability to feed off wider advances in the field.
apple  ai  machinelearning  research  researchpapers  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
When Oil is No Longer in Demand
When it comes, what might a terminal decline in the use of oil mean for the industry, governments and the world at large? The biggest turmoil would be felt in oil-dependent developing countries. As Jason Bordoff, of Columbia University’s Centre on Global Energy Policy, notes, the social stresses now evident in budget-strapped petrostates such as Venezuela and Nigeria are a hint of things to come. Gulf countries would accelerate their efforts to diversify their economies away from oil, as Saudi Arabia is already doing. America might rethink its “oil-for-security” geopolitical bargain with that country. Lower oil revenues could increase instability in places like Iraq.
oil  economy  electriccars  usa  greatbritain  venezuela  iraq  saudiarabia  nigeria  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
The End of the Anglo-American Order
One of the strangest episodes in Donald Trump’s very weird campaign was the appearance of an Englishman looking rather pleased with himself at a rally on Aug. 24 in Jackson, Miss. The Englishman was Nigel Farage, introduced by Trump as “the Man Behind Brexit.” Most people in the crowd probably didn’t have a clue who Farage — the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party — actually was. Yet there he stood, grinning and hollering about “our independence day” and the “real people,” the “decent people,” the “ordinary people” who took on the banks, the liberal media and the political establishment. Trump pulled his face into a crocodile smile, clapped his hands and promised, “Brexit plus plus plus!”
donaldtrump  nigelfarage  angloamericanorder  newworldorder  politics  nato  europe  europeanunion  eu  usa  greatbritain  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Germany’s Chinese Investment Problem
In the conflict between Beijing, Berlin and Brussels over skyrocketing investment by Chinese firms in European high-tech industries, China has a major advantage: It has a plan.

Germany doesn’t. Neither does the European Union.

While trade experts warn that a recent spending spree by Chinese companies — many of them supported by the Chinese government — will harm the competitiveness of European business in the long-term, Berlin and Brussels are struggling to come up with a political response.
germany  china  industry  investment  industrialespionage  spying  madeinchina2025  politics  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip
In December of 2010, Microsoft researcher Andrew Putnam had left Seattle for the holidays and returned home to Colorado Springs. Two days before Christmas, he still hadn’t started shopping. As he drove to the mall, his phone rang. It was Burger, his boss. Burger was going to meet with Bing execs right after the holiday, and he needed a design for hardware that could run Bing’s machine learning algorithms on FPGAs.

Putnam pulled into the nearest Starbucks and drew up the plans. It took him about five hours, and he still had time for shopping.

Burger, 47, and Putnam, 39, are both former academics. Burger spent nine years as a professor of computer science at the University of Texas, Austin, where he specialized in microprocessors and designed a new kind of chip called EDGE. Putnam had worked for five years as a researcher at the University of Washington, where he experimented with FPGAs, programmable chips that had been around for decades but were mostly used as a way of prototyping other processors. Burger brought Putnam to Microsoft in 2009, where they started exploring the idea that these chips could actually accelerate online services.
microsoft  microcontrollers  chip  ai  performance  fpga  hardware  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
The Code That Took America to the Moon was Just Published to GitHub, and it’s Like a 1960s Time Capsule
When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.

They came up with a new way to store computer programs, called “rope memory,” and created a special version of the assembly programming language. Assembly itself is obscure to many of today’s programmers—it’s very difficult to read, intended to be easily understood by computers, not humans. For the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), MIT programmers wrote thousands of lines of that esoteric code.
space  moonlanding  sourcecode  opensource  apollo11  programming  history  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Will the Church Apologize to Indians for Their Brutality in Goa and Kerala?
A few days ago, the Catholic Church apologized for its role in the genocidal Rwandan civil war, which claimed between 5-10 lakh lives. Although apologies by the Catholic Church have become increasingly common in recent years, they do draw attention to the destructive and villainous role played by the Church as an organization in the past. From destroying the indigenous civilizations of the Americas, to siding with Hitler in exterminating the Jews, from enslaving Africans during the Slave trade to slaughtering protestants, the Church has a dark, malevolent past, drenched in blood of the people who it crushed under the banner of ‘spreading civilization’ and ‘spreading the gospel’. In some ways, European powers of yore, especially the Spanish and the Portuguese, were not unlike the ISIS and Saudi Arabia of today, governed as they were by religious laws, where the Monarch took it upon himself to spread the Church’s agenda. The history of Spain and Portugal is filled with instances of forced conversions, torture, executions, all in the name of preventing heresy and adhering to Church’s dogma. While the destruction and havoc unleashed by the Spaniards and the Portuguese in Africa, Asia and Americas is commonly ascribed to the imperialistic policies of these empires, the fact remains that the empires were guided by the Church in devising their policies and executing them. Thankfully, now that the Church has recognized its destructive role, it is probably time for it to extend its apologies to a place closer home. The coast of western India holds in its bosom, dark and sinister secrets. Between the 16th and the 18th century, Portuguese imperialists, fired by their faith, unleashed unspeakable savagery on natives. Many were killed, burnt at the stake, driven away from their homes and many others forced to renounce the faith of their ancestors and accept a foreign religion. This is the story of desolation of Kerala and Goa by the Portuguese.
religion  christianity  catholicchurch  india  portugal  spain  apology  goa  kerala  mistreatment  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Can Sweden Tackle the Throwaway Society?
Would you stop throwing things away and get them repaired instead, if it were cheaper to do so?

The Swedish government likes to think its citizens would, and is putting the idea into practice.

The country's Budget for 2017 will cut the VAT rate charged on minor repairs to things like bicycles, shoes and clothes.

Tax refunds will be offered to people who get their white goods repaired, like washing machines and dishwashers.

The VAT rate will be cut from 25% to 12%, and the tax refund will let people reclaim half the labour cost of a repair to white goods and kitchen stoves.

The idea of encouraging people to be less wasteful in their everyday lives has been promoted by the Swedish Green party, which is a partner in the country's ruling minority coalition government, along with the Swedish Social Democrats.
sweden  recycling  repair  bicycles  shoes  clothes  washingmachines  dishwashers  politics  sustainability  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
India is Displaying Classic Signs That Foreshadow Fascism
India is in churn. To what end, it is too early to say. And as with everything else about the country, the process is neither uniform nor universal nor consistent. But in churn it is undoubtedly. Traditional social equations, religious identities, political activism, and nationalism are all in overhaul mode. So much so that the emerging country may, in a few years, seem unrecognizable.

Many observers recoil at the seeping of Hindutva (Hinduness) into the national consciousness. A provocatively titled piece in The New York Times by author Pankaj Mishra began thus, “Brexit, Erdogan, Putin and now Trump. Something is rotten in the state of democracy… The stink first became unmistakable in India in May 2014, when Narendra Modi, a member of an alt-right Hindu organisation inspired by fascists and Nazis, was elected prime minister.” The emerging country may, in a few years, seem unrecognizable.
india  politics  fascism  narendramodi  bjp  nationalism  authoritarian  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Why a Strengthening Dollar is Bad for the World Economy
THE world’s most important currency is flexing its muscles. In the three weeks following Donald Trump’s victory in America’s presidential elections, the dollar had one of its sharpest rises ever against a basket of rich-country peers. It is now 40% above its lows in 2011. It has strengthened relative to emerging-market currencies, too. The yuan has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 2008; anxious Chinese officials are said to be pondering tighter restrictions on foreign takeovers by domestic firms to stem the downward pressure. India, which has troubles of its own making (see article), has seen its currency reach an all-time low against the greenback. Other Asian currencies have plunged to depths not seen since the financial crisis of 1997-98.
usdollar  worldeconomy  economy  globalism  economics  donaldtrump  usa  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Another Canadian Uni Hit by Ransomware, Students Told to Keep Windows PCs Away
Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed it has been hit by a ransomware infection that crippled some of the Windows machines on its main campus.

Systems at the university started to go down on Tuesday, and its IT department reported that email, network drives and the central university student portal had all crashed. It warned those students using Windows PCs not to access the system.
ransomware  carletonuniversity  canada  windows  security  hacking  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
Hackers are Holding San Francisco's Light-rail System for Ransom
Computer screens at MUNI stations displayed a message: "You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact For Key( ,Enter."
hacking  lrt  sanfrancisco  russia  security  ransomware  2016 
december 2016 by Frontrunner
China’s Great Leap Backward
The political climate is darkening. “China is experiencing the most sustained domestic political crackdown since Tiananmen Square.” Those days are gone. Every week or two the Chinese press carries warnings, more and more explicit, by President Xi Jinping and his colleagues that dissent is not permissible and the party’s interests come first. Also this year, the government banned foreign-owned media—that is, all media beyond its direct control—from publishing anything in China without government approval. It cracked down on several publications (notably the business magazine Caixin and the Guangzhou-based newspaper Southern Weekend) that for years had mastered the art of skirting government controls.
china  society  dictatorship  politics  oppression  religion  economy  military  conflicts  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President
The globe is dotted with such potential conflicts. Mr. Trump’s companies have business operations in at least 20 countries, with a particular focus on the developing world, including outposts in nations like India, Indonesia and Uruguay, according to a New York Times analysis of his presidential campaign financial disclosures. What’s more, the true extent of Mr. Trump’s global financial entanglements is unclear, since he has refused to release his tax returns and has not made public a list of his lenders.

In an interview with The Times on Tuesday, Mr. Trump boasted again about the global reach of his business — and his family’s ability to keep it running after he takes office.

“I’ve built a very great company and it’s a big company and it’s all over the world,” Mr. Trump said, adding later: “I don’t care about my company. It doesn’t matter. My kids run it.”
donaldtrump  conflictofinterest  corruption  business  businesspractice  insiderinformation  politics  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
German Cities are Solving the Age-Old Public Toilet Problem
Paying businesses to allow access to their toilets, rather than trying and failing to maintain public ones on the street, is such an obvious and such a brilliant idea.
germany  society  public  washrooms  business  progressive  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
California Today: More Than 100 Million Trees Are Dead. What Now?
California’s trees are dying at an alarming rate.

Late last week, the U.S. Forest Service said an aerial survey revealed that 36 million additional trees had died while in the grip of persistent drought, bringing the total since 2010 to more than 102 million.

Those numbers have startled California officials and scientists while adding urgency to a long-simmering debate over what should be done about it.

The tree deaths have been concentrated in the southern and central Sierra Nevada, but experts warn of increasing deaths in forests all the way up to the Oregon border.
california  trees  climatechange  environment  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Finland Set to Become First Country to Ban Coal Use for Energy
Finland could become the first country to ditch coal for good. As part of a new energy and climate strategy due to be announced tomorrow, the government is considering banning the burning of coal for energy by 2030.

“Basically, coal would disappear from the Finnish market,” says Peter Lund, a researcher at Aalto University, and chair of the energy programme at the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council.

The groundwork for the ban already seems to be in place. Coal use has been steadily declining in Finland since 2011, and the nation heavily invested in renewable energy in 2012, leading to a near doubling of wind power capacity the following year. It also poured a further €80 million into renewable power this past February.
finland  coal  ban  progressive  globalwarming  environment  energy  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Everyone Who Can Now See Your Entire Internet History, Including the Taxman, DWP and Food Standards Agency
* British Transport Police
* City of London Police
* Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
* Competition and Markets Authority
* Criminal Cases Review Commission
* Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
* Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
* Department for Transport
* Department for Work and Pensions
* Department of Health
* Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
* Financial Conduct Authority
* Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
* Food Standards Agency
* Food Standards Scotland
* Gambling Commission
* Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
* Health and Safety Executive
* HM Revenue & Customs
* Home Office
* Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
* Information Commissioner
* Metropolitan Police Service
* Ministry of Defence
* Ministry of Defence Police
* Ministry of Justice
* National Crime Agency
* NHS Business Services Authority
* NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
* Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
* Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
* Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
* Office of Communications
* Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
* Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
* Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
* Police Service of Northern Ireland
* Police Service of Scotland
* Royal Air Force Police
* Royal Military Police
* Royal Navy Police
* Scottish Ambulance Service Board
* Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
* Secret Intelligence Service
* Security Service
* Serious Fraud Office
* Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust
greatbritain  surveillance  government  agencies  lawenforcement  privacy  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
I Had a Health Crisis in France. I’m Here to Tell You That ‘Socialized Medicine’ is Terrific
On Sunday, March 29, 2015, two days after my 54th birthday, I came very close to dying. I was sitting in an armchair in my Paris apartment, reading a newspaper, when I became dizzy. The next thing I knew, my heart was beating violently. When the paramedics arrived, it was racing at 240 beats per minute.

I was taken to Lariboisière, a major hospital in the north of Paris. In the intensive care unit, I learned that I had been born with a defective aortic valve. Basically, I’d been walking around my entire life with a ticking time bomb in my chest. How could I not have known? In high school, I ran track and played football; every summer, my wife and I took long hikes in the Swiss Alps. But an experienced nurse was not surprised. “With your condition,” she said, “the first symptom is often sudden death.” OK, I replied, what’s the second symptom?

So began my sojourn in the French healthcare system. In the United States, opponents of the Affordable Care Act often raise the nightmarish specter of European “socialized medicine.” For what it’s worth, here is a brief account of my experience with a single-payer system in the face of a life-threatening crisis.
france  healthcare  american  experience  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
How Can I Protect Myself from Government Snoopers?
The UK has just passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, at the third attempt, and it will become law by the end of the year. The bill was instigated by the then home secretary, Theresa May, in 2012. It is better known as the snooper’s charter.

Jim Killock, the director of Open Rights Group, described it as the “most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy”. It more or less removes your right to online privacy.

The law forces internet service providers to keep a record of all the websites – not the actual pages – you visit for up to a year. It also obliges companies to decrypt data on demand and gives government security services the power to hack your computers, tablets, mobile phones and other devices.
greatbritain  surveillance  privacy  tools  countermeasures  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Privacy Experts Fear Donald Trump Running Global Surveillance Network
Privacy activists, human rights campaigners and former US security officials have expressed fears over the prospect of Donald Trump controlling the vast global US and UK surveillance network.

They criticised Barack Obama’s administration for being too complacent after the 2013 revelations by the NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, and making only modest concessions to privacy concerns rather than carrying out major legislative changes.

The concern comes after Snowden dismissed fears for his safety if Trump, who called him “a spy who has caused great damage in the US”, was to strike a deal with Vladimir Putin to have him extradited.

Snowden, in a video link-up from Moscow with a Netherlands-based tech company on Thursday, said it would be “crazy to dismiss” the prospect of Trump doing a deal but if personal safety was a major concern for him, he would not have leaked the top-secret documents in the first place.
donaldtrump  nsa  surveillance  snowden  vladimirputin  privacy  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Trump's Stock in Contentious Dakota Access Pipeline Company Raises Concern
President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and pipeline opponents fear his investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8-billion project.

Trump's 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. That's down from between $500,000 and $1 million a year earlier.

Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.

While Trump's stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets, ethics experts say it's among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.
donaldtrump  conflictofinterest  corruption  business  businesspractice  pipeline  insiderinformation  politics  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Donald Trump’s Conflicts of Interest
THE NEW Trump Tower in Worli, a buzzing district of Mumbai, looks like any building site but its marketing sells a dream. A golden structure soars to the sky alongside a picture of Donald Trump. He is—potential residents are assured—the gold standard around the globe, a dealmaker without peer who operates across the gateway cities of the world and the man who built the American dream. Until a few days ago the developer, Lodha, carried a message on its website: “Congratulations Mr President-elect”. But now that a storm has blown up over the possible conflicts of interest between the various operations of Mr Trump’s group and his new job, it has been deleted.

The self-embellished legend is of a global tycoon. In a kind of mirror image, outraged suspicion is mounting that the Trump Organisation could morph into a vast global network of cronyism. America has been treated to reports of multi-billion dollar projects across the planet, to photos of Mr Trump glad-handing businessmen and to images of exotic, Trump-branded buildings standing like monuments to the decay of American ethics. Paul Krugman, a left-of-centre economist, has suggested that the Trump family could reap $10bn while its patriarch is in office.
donaldtrump  conflictofinterest  corruption  business  businesspractice  insiderinformation  politics  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Most Students Don’t Know When News Is Fake, Stanford Study Finds
Preteens and teens may appear dazzlingly fluent, flitting among social-media sites, uploading selfies and texting friends. But they’re often clueless about evaluating the accuracy and trustworthiness of what they find.

Some 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website, according to a Stanford University study of 7,804 students from middle school through college. The study, set for release Tuesday, is the biggest so far on how teens evaluate information they find online. Many students judged the credibility of newsy tweets based on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source.
society  internet  news  criticalthinking  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Australia’s Hypersonic Plane for a New Space Race
Woomera has remained in use as a military test range for artillery, missiles and aircraft but now Smart is using the isolated site to test a brand new generation of scramjet spacecraft.

Developed in the 1960s, and first successfully flown in the ’90s, scramjets are air-breathing engines that only work at hypersonic speeds – greater than five times the speed of sound or Mach 5. Like jet engines, scramjets pull in air, and use it to burn fuel to produce thrust. Whereas jets use turbines to compress the air, however, scramjets have no moving parts. Instead, the hypersonic speed of the aircraft is enough to compress air within the motor.
australia  scramjet  space  satellites  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Surveillance Self-Defense Against the Trump Administration
Trump has repeatedly shown utter disrespect for the rule of law. He doesn’t believe in freedom of religion. He advocates torture. He has said he’ll instruct his Justice Department to investigate Black Lives Matter activists, and it’s likely he’ll appoint Rudy Giuliani, of New York City’s racist and unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” fame, as his attorney general to do the investigating. The New York Times also reports that “Mr. Trump still privately muses about all the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day.”

With Trump eager to misuse his power and get revenge on his perceived enemies, it’s reasonable to conclude there will be a parallel increase in abuse of power in law enforcement and the intelligence community. Activists who put their bodies on the line trying to protect basic rights — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, privacy rights — will face the brunt of it.

Thanks to 16 years of relentless and illegal expansion of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, Trump is about to have more tools of surveillance at his disposal than any tyrant ever has. Those preparing for the long fight ahead must protect themselves, even if doing so can be technically complicated.

The best approach varies from situation to situation, but here are some first steps that activists and other concerned citizens should take.
donaldtrump  surveillance  protection  encryption  privacy  security  howto  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
An Insider's View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America
As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: "Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.
politics  donaldtrump  powerbase  republicanparty  supporters  racism  ignorance  christianity  evangelicalchristians  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Heavy Screen Time Rewires Young Brains, For Better And Worse
The debate centered on a study of young mice exposed to six hours daily of a sound and light show reminiscent of a video game. The mice showed "dramatic changes everywhere in the brain," said Jan-Marino Ramirez, director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children's Hospital.

"Many of those changes suggest that you have a brain that is wired up at a much more baseline excited level," Ramirez reported. "You need much more sensory stimulation to get [the brain's] attention."

So is that a problem?

On the plus side, it meant that these mice were able to stay calm in an environment that would have stressed out a typical mouse, Ramirez explained. But it also meant they acted like they had an attention deficit disorder, showed signs of learning problems, and were prone to risky behavior.
games  technology  children  brain  effects  research  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
National Security Agency Said to Use Manhattan Tower as Listening Post
From a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan, the building at 33 Thomas Street, known as the Long Lines Building, looks like nothing less than a monument to the prize of privacy.

With not a window in its walls from the ground up to its height of 550 feet, 33 Thomas looms over Church Street with an architectural blank face. Nothing about it resembles a place of human habitation, and in fact it was built for machines: An AT&T subsidiary commissioned the tower to house long-distance phone lines. Completed in 1974, it was fortified to withstand a nuclear attack on New York, and the architect made plans to include enough food, water and generator fuel to sustain 1,500 people for two weeks during a catastrophic loss of power to the city.

Now, an investigative article in The Intercept and an accompanying 10-minute documentary film, “Project X,” opening on Friday at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, say the building appears to have served another purpose: as a listening post code-named Titanpointe by the National Security Agency. The article and film say that Titanpointe was one of the facilities used to collect communications — with permission granted by judges — from international entities that have at least some operations in New York, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and 38 countries.
nsa  newyork  manhattan  buildings  att  spying  surveillance  unitednations  imf  worldbank  titanpointe  skidrowe  laurapoitras  henrikmoltke  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
5 Horrible Things I Found Out When I Made a Video Game
01. The Industry Doesn't Really Encourage Innovation
02. Surprise: Everything Takes 70 More Steps
03. There's No "Good" Way To Make Money
04. Your Game Has Enemies
05. There's A Covert Industry That Exists Only To Leech Money
gamedev  gameindustry  business  insights  experience  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
So You Want to Be a Hero? The Digital Antiquarian
Rule #1 is “The Player Must have Fun.” It’s trivially easy for a game designer to “defeat” players. We have all the tools and all the power. The trick is to play on the same side as the players, to tell the story together, and to make them the stars.

That rule is probably the biggest differentiator that made our games special. We didn’t strive to make the toughest, hardest-to-solve puzzles. We focused on the characters, the stories, and making the player the star.
games  history  gamedev  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Playing with History: What Sid Meier’s Video Game Empire Got Right and Wrong About ‘Civilization’
The pleasure of Sid Meier’s Civilization series is that it is at once tantalizingly grand and endearingly granular. The game’s approach to the past has always been playful. Abe Lincoln can lead war-bands against Mahatma Gandhi’s phalanxes. The Aztecs can build the first nuclear bomb. Every version of the game begins with the same wide-open promise: a settler, a worker, a few tiles of visible land, and an ocean of darkness—all the ingredients of a world ready to be discovered and made anew.

Few gaming experiences take you on such a sweeping journey while demanding nit-picking, almost fussy attention to detail. Surveying the arc of human history, you trundle your armies over cities, settle continents, and shape the destiny of a people. And yet the work of the game is more managerial than magisterial. You learn “technologies” like Ceremonial Burial, tweak tax rates, build sanitation infrastructure, feed and placate a fickle citizenry. The alchemy of the Civilization series has always been found in this balance of scales, embedding the smallest decisions in the largest accomplishments.
games  game  civilization  sidmeier  history  gamedev  review  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
How We Make Money at Stack Overflow: 2016 Edition
I’m Nick Craver, and you may remember me from my posts about how Stack Overflow does deployment, how we do hardware, and how we built our architecture.

What I haven’t explained yet, and what remains a mystery to most developers I meet, is how we make money. I want to do this now not only to answer this frequently asked question, but because it’s my and Stack Overflow’s belief that being relentlessly open and honest with our community can be nothing but good. That extends to normally sticky situations like finances, and it’s why we’ve created projects like the Stack Overflow Salary Calculator to make our salary processes transparent.
nickcraver  stackoverflow  business  revenue  businessmodel  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Meet PoisonTap, the $5 Tool That Ransacks Password-protected Computers
The perils of leaving computers unattended just got worse, thanks to a newly released exploit tool that takes only 30 seconds to install a privacy-invading backdoor, even when the machine is locked with a strong password.

PoisonTap, as the tool has been dubbed, runs freely available software on a $5/£4 Raspberry Pi Zero device. Once the payment card-sized computer is plugged into a computer's USB slot, it intercepts all unencrypted Web traffic, including any authentication cookies used to log in to private accounts. PoisonTap then sends that data to a server under the attacker's control. The hack also installs a backdoor that makes the owner's Web browser and local network remotely controllable by the attacker.
hardware  security  poisontap  hacking  tool  usb  raspberrypi  computers  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
A “Nation-state” Used Wikileaks to Influence the US Election, the Head of the NSA Says
The head of the US’s National Security Agency said Nov. 15 that a “nation-state” consciously targeted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to affect the US election.

In response to a question, Michael S. Rogers, a Naval officer and NSA director since 2014, said on stage at a Wall Street Journal conference that Wikileaks was furthering a nation-state’s goals by publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign weeks ahead of the election.

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s minds, this was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect,” he said.
nsa  hillaryclinton  russia  email  hacking  wikileaks  elections  usa  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Microsoft Fortifies Commitment to Open Source, Becomes Linux Foundation Platinum Member
The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced that Microsoft has joined the organization at a Platinum member during Microsoft’s Connect(); developer event in New York.

From cloud computing and networking to gaming, Microsoft has steadily increased its engagement in open source projects and communities. The company is currently a leading open source contributor on GitHub and earlier this year announced several milestones that indicate the scope of its commitment to open source development. The company released the open source .NET Core 1.0; partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10; worked with FreeBSD to release an image for Azure; and after acquiring Xamarin, Microsoft open sourced its software development kit. In addition, Microsoft works with companies like Red Hat, SUSE and others to support their solutions in its products.
microsoft  linux  goodwill  linuxfoundation  member  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Hunting Submarines with Magnets
Submarines rely on stealth to do their jobs, whether that is sinking enemy ships or hiding nuclear-tipped missiles beneath the ocean. The traditional way of hunting them is with sonar. Modern sonar is extremely sensitive. But modern submarines are very quiet, and neither side has gained a definitive upper hand.

There are other options. Submarine-spotting aircraft carry “magnetic anomaly detectors” (MAD) which pick up disturbances in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by a submarine’s metal hull. Those disturbances are tiny, which means MAD is only useful at ranges of a few hundred metres.

There may, though, be a better way. Thanks to something called the Debye effect, it might be possible to hunt submarines using the magnetic signatures of their wakes. Seawater is salty, full of ions of sodium and chlorine. Because those ions have different masses, any nudge—such as a passing submarine—moves some farther than others. Each ion carries an electric charge, and the movement of those charges produces a magnetic field.
usa  russia  submarines  detector  detection  magnetism  military  ingenious  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Iran's Great Wall Is Now Buried and Forgotten
In northwestern Iran, running for almost 200 kilometers from the southeastern shores of the Caspian Sea to the mountains of Bilikuh in the east, lies the remains of the Great Wall of Gorgan—once the largest defensive structure ever built.

It protected the ancient kingdoms of the region from raiding parties who would sweep down across the plains and deserts to the north. It was several meters high, and impressively thick, providing a secure imperial frontier, and was buttressed by 40 permanently garrisoned fortresses containing tens of thousands of soldiers.
iran  greatwallofgorgan  gorgan  caspiansea  bilikuhmountains  history  wall  defense  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
The Spy Who Added Me on LinkedIn
Evgeny Buryakov woke up to a snowstorm. On the morning of Jan. 26, 2015, his modest brick home in the Bronx was getting the first inches of what would be almost a foot of powder, and Buryakov, the No. 2 executive at the New York branch of a Russian bank, decided to skip work and head around the corner to a grocery store to buy supplies for his family of four. As the 39-year-old Russian bundled into his winter gear and closed the front door of his house behind him, he didn’t realize he would never set foot in it again.

Since the Buryakovs’ arrival in New York in August 2010, they had seemed like any other immigrant family in the melting-pot Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale. Of average height and build, Evgeny’s only curious feature might have been his near-obsessive taste for McDonald’s. The kids in nice weather played in the sandbox out back, next to the clothesline where their mother, Marina, liked to hang their laundry. While Evgeny commuted to the 29th floor of a Manhattan high rise, she shuttled the children to a nearby parochial school and to afternoon activities like karate. The two nuns who lived next door watched the family parrot while the Buryakovs went on ski vacations.
usa  russia  espionage  newyork  professionals  spies  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Britain has Passed the 'Most Extreme Surveillance Law Ever Passed in a Democracy'
The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories - including domains visited - for one year, in case of police investigations.
surveillance  greatbritain  law  privacy  security  isp  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in U.S. History
The election of Donald Trump has sent shockwaves through the souls of compassionate, humane people across the country and the world. Horror that a candidate who ran on a platform of open bigotry, threats against immigrants and Muslims, and blatant misogyny will soon be president is now sinking in. Trump appointed a white nationalist, Steve Bannon, as chief White House strategist — which was promptly celebrated by the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. Bannon and other possible extremist Trump appointees, such as John Bolton, a neocon who believes the U.S. should “bomb Iran,” and the authoritarian Rudy Giuliani, are now receiving much deserved public scrutiny.

The incoming vice president, Mike Pence, has not elicited the same reaction, instead often painted as the reasonable adult on the ticket, a “counterbalance” to Trump and a “bridge to the establishment.” However, there is every reason to regard him as, if anything, even more terrifying than the president-elect.

Pence’s ascent to the second most powerful position in the U.S. government is a tremendous coup for the radical religious right. Pence — and his fellow Christian supremacist militants — would not have been able to win the White House on their own. For them, Donald Trump was a godsend. “This may not be our preferred candidate, but that doesn’t mean it may not be God’s candidate to do something that we don’t see,” said David Barton, a prominent Christian-right activist and president of Wall Builders, an organization dedicated to making the U.S. government enforce “biblical values.” In June, Barton prophesied: “We may look back in a few years and say, ‘Wow, [Trump] really did some things that none of us expected.’”
donaldtrump  religion  fundamentalist  evangelicalchristians  mikepence  politics  usa  whitehouse  whitesupremacy  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
SpaceX Plans Worldwide Satellite Internet with Low Latency, Gigabit Speed
SpaceX has detailed ambitious plans to bring fast Internet access to the entire world with a new satellite system that offers greater speeds and lower latency than existing satellite networks.

The private spacecraft company founded by CEO Elon Musk filed an application Tuesday for satellite space station authorizations with the US Federal Communications Commission. SpaceX recently said that its satellite service’s commercial availability date has not yet been determined, but the application’s technical description mentioned 2019 as a possible time for launching satellites into orbit.

SpaceX wants to launch 4,425 satellites into low-Earth orbits, with altitudes ranging from 715 miles to 823 miles. By contrast, the existing HughesNet satellite network has an altitude of 22,000 miles.
spacex  elonmusk  internet  connectivity  isp  satellites  lowearthorbit  fcc  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Automated Pro-Trump Bots Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say
An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University.

The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would send messages on Twitter based on a topic, usually defined on the social network by a word preceded by a hashtag symbol, like #Clinton.

Their purpose: to rant, confuse people on facts, or simply muddy discussions, said Philip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute and one of the authors of the report. If you were looking for a real debate of the issues, you weren’t going to find it with a chatbot.
usa  elections  chatbots  bots  manipulation  donaldtrump  hillaryclinton  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Researchers Have Found a Surprisingly Powerful Effect of Sleeping More
We all know sleep matters for job performance. After a week of vacation, you may find your work better than ever. But rack up a week of sleepless nights — say, following a polarizing presidential election — and you may find yourself struggling.

It wouldn't surprise anyone that sleep affects attention, memory and cognition — important factors in the workplace. But striking new research suggests the effect of additional sleep has a high monetary value. A paper — from Matthew Gibson of Williams College and Jeffrey Shrader of the University of California at San Diego, based on data from Jawbone, the fitness- and sleep-tracker company — says that additional time sleeping can translate into thousands of dollars in wages.
sleep  performance  success  career  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Despite Trump Fears, Snowden Sees a Hopeful Future
While we’re still two months away from an actual Trump presidency, tech companies and civil liberties advocates are already grappling with the question of what his ascendency means for privacy and surveillance. Among those weighing in? NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“We are never farther than a single election away from a change in government, from a change in policy, from a change in the way the powers that we have constructed into a system are used,” Snowden said today in a moderated question-and-answer session sponsored by the UK-based search engine Start Page. That’s always been true but perhaps feels more vital now than ever.
snowden  donaldtrump  nsa  surveillance  usa  privacy  impact  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Freedom on the Net 2016
* Internet freedom around the world declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year.
* Two-thirds of all internet users – 67 percent – live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family are subject to censorship.
* Social media users face unprecedented penalties, as authorities in 38 countries made arrests based on social media posts over the past year. Globally, 27 percent of all internet users live in countries where people have been arrested for publishing, sharing, or merely “liking” content on Facebook.
* Governments are increasingly going after messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which can spread information quickly and securely.
internet  freedom  world  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Pascal GPUs on All Fronts Push Nvidia to New Highs
Chip maker Nvidia was founded by people who loved gaming and who wanted to make better 3D graphics cards, and decades later, the company has become a force in computing, first in HPC and then in machine learning and now database acceleration. And it all works together, with gaming graphics providing the foundation on which Nvidia can build a considerable compute business, much as Intel’s PC business provided the foundation for its Xeon assault on the datacenter over the past two and a half decades.

At some point, Nvidia may not need an explicit link to PC graphics and gaming to have a self-sustaining datacenter compute business based on Tesla and GRID accelerator cards and now DGX-1 systems. Just like Intel arguably does not need the Core PC chip business to justify the existence of a very large and profitable Xeon server chip business. The two are evenly matched, in terms of profits, but the synergies are still there that allow Intel to do its process ramps on the smaller PC chips that have higher volumes and then build bigger Xeon chips that have lower volumes on a much more mature process.
computing  highperformance  chip  gpu  cpu  hardware  performance  nvidia  pascal  intel  tesla  xeon  hpc  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
The NHS's 1.2 Million Employees are Trapped in a 'Reply-all' Email Hell
The NHS's 1.2 million employees are currently trapped in a "reply-all" email hell.

A "test" email was accidentally sent to everyone who works at the UK health service — prompting a series of reply-all responses from annoyed recipients going out to all 1-million-plus employees of the organisations.
government  email  replyall  funny  nhs  greatbritain  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Teslas in the Trailer Park: A California City Faces Its Housing Squeeze
If there is anything that just about every Californian agrees with, it is that it costs too much to live in the state. Over the last few years, the price of buying a home or renting an apartment has become so burdensome that it pervades almost every issue, from the state’s elevated poverty rate to the debate about multimillion-dollar tear-downs to the lines of recreational vehicles parked on Silicon Valley side streets.

The town of Mountain View, Google’s home, wants to do something about that. Given new marching orders from a reform-minded City Council that was swept into office here two years ago, Mountain View is looking to increase its housing stock by as much as 50 percent — including as many as 10,000 units in the area around Google’s main campus.
usa  siliconvalley  mountainview  paloalto  gentrification  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
AtomBombing: A Code Injection that Bypasses Current Security Solutions
Our research team has uncovered new way to leverage mechanisms of the underlying Windows operating system in order to inject malicious code. Threat actors can use this technique, which exists by design of the operating system, to bypass current security solutions that attempt to prevent infection. We named this technique AtomBombing based on the name of the underlying mechanism that this technique exploits.

AtomBombing affects all Windows version. In particular, we tested this against Windows 10.

Unfortunately, this issue cannot be patched since it doesn’t rely on broken or flawed code – rather on how these operating system mechanisms are designed.
hacking  windows  codeinjection  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Why the Industrial Revolution Didn’t Happen in China
To economic historians like Joel Mokyr, there's nothing inevitable about the incredible wealth and health of the modern world. But for a spark in a little corner of Europe that ignited the Industrial Revolution — which spread incredible advances in technology and living standards first across the north Atlantic coast in the 1700 and 1800s and gradually around the world — we could all be living the nasty, brutish and short lives of our ancestors centuries before.

Drawing on centuries of philosophy and scientific advancements, Mokyr argues that there's a reason the Industrial Revolution occurred in Europe and not, for example, in China, which had in previous centuries shown signs of more scientific advancement: Europe developed a unique culture of competitive scientific and intellectual advancement that was unprecedented and not at all predestined.
history  china  europe  industry  industrialrevolution  freedomofthought  bureaucracy  stability  religion  innovation  invention  progressive  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
‘We Couldn’t Believe Our Eyes’: A Lost World of Shipwrecks is Found
Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz said the team had so far discovered and photographed 44 shipwrecks, and that more beckoned.
history  ships  shipwrecks  blacksea  archaeology  discovery  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
‘No Vacancy’ Signs Are Vanishing From America’s Highways
You’ve been driving for a good chunk of the day, you’re pulling into an unfamiliar town, and you need a place to stay for the night. Happily, there’s a comforting sight just ahead—a motel with an illuminated “Vacancy” sign, the “No” thankfully darkened.

The “(No) Vacancy” sign, a beacon of hospitality and/or disappointment, has greeted road-weary American travelers for generations. But just as paper maps and toll booth clerks increasingly seem quaint relics of the analog age, the classic “(No) Vacancy” sign may soon become another victim of shifting travel habits and market forces.
history  motels  vacancy  usa  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Infographics: Operation Costs in CPU Clock Cycles
Whenever we need to optimise the code, we should profile it, plain and simple. However, sometimes it makes sense just to know ballpark numbers for relative costs of some popular operations, so you won’t do grossly inefficient things from the very beginning (and hopefully won’t need to profile the program later).
programming  cpu  performance  operations  hardware  infographics  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Built to crash: The Ugly, Sputtering Beginning of Shared Services, and How Politics Conspired Against It
Carol Bellringer, the auditor general for the B.C. government, last month offered three key reasons why IT projects fail: Government departments, she said, lack in-house expertise; they attempt “overly ambitious” programs; they justify the latter through “incomplete” business cases.

All three elements were present at the launch of Shared Services. Most of the responsible bureaucrats were not trained in IT, yet were tasked with remaking on the country’s electronic infrastructure. Many also lacked experience in project management with a heavy IT component.

“I don’t know how many times I heard from deputy ministers that they didn’t understand information technology,” said a senior Shared Services official, “They didn’t like IT and they hoped never to see anything to do with IT for the rest of their career.”

Yet it is a group of deputy ministers — the ones in charge of the most IT-intensive departments — who determine the shape and scope of large IT projects. And when it came to launching Shared Services — the centrepiece of the government’s online renewal — the already high risks were exacerbated by a political agenda that stripped it of the capital necessary to get the job done.

It will likely end up costing taxpayers a fortune to set things right again.
canada  government  sharedservices  ssc  failure  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Inside Churchill's Secret Subterranean WWII Bunker in London
“All the world that is still free marvels at the composure and fortitude with which the citizens of London are facing and surmounting the great ordeal to which they are subjected, the end of which or the severity of which cannot yet be foreseen.”

Winston Churchill broadcast these words from a secret underground command center in central London on September 11, 1940, just after Germany began bombing the city. Now known as Churchill’s War Rooms, the complex was situated beneath Whitehall and, for the next five years, would serve as the center of wartime operations.
ww2  history  winstonchurchill  bunker  commandcenter  war  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
How I Became HackerRank #1 In Two Hours
My ranking on Hacker Rank is #1 for Java programming and it only took me two hours. For every question on the HackerRank site, there is a discussion area. In the discussion area are the answers for the questions; often posted by moderators of the site. I only found out about this feature because I was using the site normally and looking for more information about a problem I was trying to solve.

What I did was go to the discussions, copy the code and paste it to the answer box without even reading the questions. I passed every single question perfectly and I am now ranked #1 for Java programming. It took two hours because there was still some fiddling with braces, and semi-colons.
programmers  ranking  nonsense  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Casual Introduction to Low-Level Graphics Programming
* Graphics programming-- let's begin. Maybe we should start with math.
* Vectors and scalars
* Dot products
* Scalars multiplying with vectors
* Matrices
* Wait, what's a graphics API anyway?
* Cool. So back to math...
* Memory
* Wait, how is GPU memory different?
* What's a vertex buffer and an index buffer?
* If I can get creative with how I send buffers, can I use the GPU for processes other than graphics?
* What other things do we keep in mind for optimization?
* Other notes
graphics  programming  3d  gpu  math  vector  scalar  matrices  notes  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
President Obama Should Shut Down the NSA’s Mass Spying Before It’s Too Late
President Obama has just 71 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as our next commander-in-chief. That means he has a matter of weeks to do one thing that could help prevent the United States from veering into fascism: declassifying and dismantling as much of the federal government’s unaccountable, secretive, mass surveillance state as he can — before Trump is the one running it.
barackobama  donaldtrump  nsa  surveillance  security  privacy  usa  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Sexual Secrets for Hundreds of Millions Exposed in Largest Hack of 2016
Friend Finder Network Inc is a company that operates a wide range of 18+ services and was hacked in October of 2016 for over 400 million accounts representing 20 years of customer data which makes it by far the largest breach we have ever seen -- MySpace gets 2nd place at 360 million. This event also marks the second time Friend Finder has been breached in two years, the first being around May of 2015.
hacking  passwords  usernames  adultfriendfinder  security  privacy  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
This Résumé Landed Me Interviews at Google, BuzzFeed, and More Than 20 Top Startups
During my senior year of college, I decided that I wasn't going to become another boomerang kid that moved back home, jobless and with no plan for after graduation.

I took on an extra internship, participated in extracurricular activities to expand my network, and made connections at job fairs.

I also crafted, revised, rewrote, and continuously edited my résumé.

This résumé landed me interviews at Google, BuzzFeed, Oscar, and nearly two dozen other top startups.

I also got interviews for full-time jobs at a major political campaign, a huge government contractor, and a billion-dollar foundation.
cv  resume  formatting  career  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
How to Encrypt Your Entire Life in Less Than an Hour
Andy Grove was a Hungarian refugee who escaped communism, studied engineering, and ultimately lead the personal computer revolution as the CEO of Intel. He died earlier this year in Silicon Valley after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease.

When one of the most powerful people in the world encourages us to be paranoid, maybe we should listen.

And Grove isn’t the only powerful person urging caution. Even the director of the FBI — the same official who recently paid hackers a million dollars to unlock a shooter’s iPhone — is encouraging everyone to cover their webcams.

But you obey the law. What do you have to worry about? As the motto of the United Kingdom’s surveillance program reminds us, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”

Well, law-abiding citizens do have reason to fear. They do have reasons to secure their devices, their files, and their communications with loved ones.

“If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” — Cardinal Richelieu in 1641

In this article, I will show you how you can protect yourself by leveraging state-of-the-art encryption. In a single sitting, you can make great strides toward securing your privacy.
encryption  tools  tor  signal  privacy  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Lessons From the Dyn DDoS Attack
A week ago Friday, someone took down numerous popular websites in a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against the domain name provider Dyn. DDoS attacks are neither new nor sophisticated. The attacker sends a massive amount of traffic, causing the victim's system to slow to a crawl and eventually crash. There are more or less clever variants, but basically, it's a datapipe-size battle between attacker and victim. If the defender has a larger capacity to receive and process data, he or she will win. If the attacker can throw more data than the victim can process, he or she will win.
security  ddos  dyn  bruceschneier  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
The George W. Bush White House ‘Lost’ 22 Million Emails
For 18 months, Republican strategists, political pundits, reporters and Americans who follow them have been pursuing Hillary Clinton’s personal email habits, and no evidence of a crime has been found. But now they at least have the skills and interest to focus on a much larger and deeper email conspiracy, one involving war, lies, a private server run by the Republican Party and contempt of Congress citations—all of it still unsolved and unpunished.
usa  email  secret  confidential  government  officials  republican  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Condoleezza Rice Aides, Colin Powell Also Got Classified Info on Personal Emails
State Department officials have determined that classified information was sent to the personal email accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior staff of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, NBC News has learned.

In an interview with NBC News, Powell challenged the conclusion, saying nothing that went to his personal account was secret. A Rice spokeswoman said the emails were about diplomatic communications.

In a letter to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy dated Feb. 3, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick said that the State Department has determined that 12 emails examined from State's archives contained national security information now classified "Secret" or "Confidential." The letter was obtained by NBC News.

Two of the messages were sent to Powell's personal account, and 10 were sent to personal accounts of Rice's senior aides, the letter said.
usa  email  secret  confidential  government  officials  republican  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Tesla’s Autopilot Chip Supplier NVIDIA on New Self-driving System: ‘It’s Basically 5 Yrs Ahead and Coming in 2017’
NVIDIA reported its financial results for the last quarter yesterday and surprised Wall Street. The chip maker, which is now becoming an “AI company” according to its leadership, reported revenue of $2 billion on expectations of $1.7 billion and they also surpassed earnings expectations by a similar margin.

On a conference call with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang following the results, analysts were particularly interested in the company’s push in AI and the automotive industry, especially since Tesla’s started delivering every single one of its vehicles with NVIDIA’s Drive PX2 supercomputer.
nvidia  autonomousvehicles  ai  tesla  hardware  sensors  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Finland Will Become the First Country in the World to Get Rid of All School Subjects
Finland’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. In international ratings, it’s always in the top ten. However, the authorities there aren’t ready to rest on their laurels, and they’ve decided to carry through a real revolution in their school system.

Finnish officials want to remove school subjects from the curriculum. There will no longer be any classes in physics, math, literature, history, or geography.

The head of the Department of Education in Helsinki, Marjo Kyllonen, explained the changes:

“There are schools that are teaching in the old-fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginning of the 1900s — but the needs are not the same, and we need something fit for the 21st century.“
finland  education  reform  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Why I'm Excited About Yarn and You Should Be Too
Creating an application without the massive package repository that npm has to offer is hard and simply terrifying to even imagine. It's super easy, just type npm install mypackage and it's installed and ready to use, add --save and it's added to the package.json. What's not to like?

Don’t get me wrong, npm is not without its imperfections. Npm is very complex and with this ever-increasing complexity, some imperfections became more apparent. Enter: Yarn.

Last week, Google, Tilde, Facebook, and Exponent collaboratively launched Yarn, a new package manager to address some of the glaring issues with npm. In this post I will take a closer look at Yarn and discuss the most important improvements that it’s claiming to make.
yarn  nrm  comparison  performance  complexity  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
I Don’t Like Computers
* I don’t watch videos on computers.
* I barely read Twitter.
* I don’t listen to podcasts.
* I don’t Instagram. Or Snapchat. Or Vine. Or…any of those things.
* I don’t Netflix.
* I don’t Spotify.
* I don’t Uber.
* I don’t have or want an Alexa. Or a Google Home. Or a Sonos.
* I don’t want my light switches connected to the internet.
* Or my fridge.
* Or my thermostat.
* Or really anything except my computer.
opinion  rant  computers  internet  iot  twitter  videos  music  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
Stealth Cell Tower
Stealth Cell Tower is an antagonistic GSM base station in the form of an innocuous office printer. It brings the covert design practice of disguising cellular infrastructure as other things - like trees and lamp-posts - indoors, while mimicking technology used by police and intelligence agencies to surveil mobile phone users.
surveillance  imsicatcher  diy  raspberrypi  gsm  privacy  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
In Scathing Ruling, Federal Court Says CSIS Bulk Data Collection Illegal
The Federal Court of Canada has faulted Canada’s domestic spy agency for unlawfully retaining data and for not being truthful with judges who authorize its intelligence programs. Separately, the court also revealed that the spy agency no longer needs warrants to collect Canadians’ tax records.

All this has been exposed in a rare ruling about the growing scope of Canadian intelligence collection disclosed by the court on Thursday. At issue is how the federal domestic spy service has been pushing past its legal boundaries in the name of collecting data, in hopes of rounding out the holdings of a little-known Canadian intelligence facility dubbed the “operational data analysis centre.”

Many corporations and government agencies are now gravitating toward so-called big data computer analytics that can predict patterns of future behaviour based upon records about what has happened in the past. Spy agencies are no different, and the centre in question appears to be the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s equivalent of a crystal ball – a place where intelligence analysts attempt to deduce future threats by examining, and re-examining, volumes of data.
canada  csis  surveillance  law  ruling  federalcourtofcanada  privacy  security  2016 
november 2016 by Frontrunner
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