jm + scary   11

Burning Fossil Fuels Almost Ended All Life on Earth - The Atlantic
“what I like to talk about is ‘the Great Weirding’ and not just the Great Dying because the Great Dying seems to have been a relatively quick event at the very end. But if you just talk about the Great Dying you’re missing all of this other crazy stuff that led up to it,” he said. “The Earth was getting really weird in the Permian. So we’re getting these huge lakes with these negative pHs, which is really weird, we don’t know why that happened. Another thing is that the whole world turned red. Everything got red. You walk around today and you’re like, ‘Hey, there’s a red bed, I bet it’s Permian or Triassic.’ The planet started looking like Mars. So that’s really weird. We don’t know why it turned red. Then you have a supercontinent, which is weird in the first place. Plate tectonics has to be acting strangely when you have all the continents together. Eventually it rifts apart and we go back into normal plate tectonics mode, but during the Permian-Triassic everything’s jammed together. So there has to be something strange going on. And then at the end, the Earth opens up and there’s all these volcanoes. But we’re not talking about normal volcanoes, we’re talking about weird volcanoes.”
extinction  history  geology  permian-era  earth  climate-change  carbon-dioxide  scary  pangaea 
5 weeks ago by jm
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian

A map shown to the Observer showing the many places in the world where SCL and Cambridge Analytica have worked includes Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Iran and Moldova. Multiple Cambridge Analytica sources have revealed other links to Russia, including trips to the country, meetings with executives from Russian state-owned companies, and references by SCL employees to working for Russian entities.

Article 50 has been triggered. AggregateIQ is outside British jurisdiction. The Electoral Commission is powerless. And another election, with these same rules, is just a month away. It is not that the authorities don’t know there is cause for concern. The Observer has learned that the Crown Prosecution Service did appoint a special prosecutor to assess whether there was a case for a criminal investigation into whether campaign finance laws were broken. The CPS referred it back to the electoral commission. Someone close to the intelligence select committee tells me that “work is being done” on potential Russian interference in the referendum.

Gavin Millar, a QC and expert in electoral law, described the situation as “highly disturbing”. He believes the only way to find the truth would be to hold a public inquiry. But a government would need to call it. A government that has just triggered an election specifically to shore up its power base. An election designed to set us into permanent alignment with Trump’s America. [....]

This isn’t about Remain or Leave. It goes far beyond party politics. It’s about the first step into a brave, new, increasingly undemocratic world.
elections  brexit  trump  cambridge-analytica  aggregateiq  scary  analytics  data  targeting  scl  ukip  democracy  grim-meathook-future 
may 2017 by jm
Ethics - Lyrebird
'Lyrebird is the first company to offer a technology to reproduce the voice of someone as accurately and with as little recorded audio. [..] Voice recordings are currently considered as strong pieces of evidence in our societies and in particular in jurisdictions of many countries. Our technology questions the validity of such evidence as it allows to easily manipulate audio recordings. This could potentially have dangerous consequences such as misleading diplomats, fraud and more generally any other problem caused by stealing the identity of someone else.

By releasing our technology publicly and making it available to anyone, we want to ensure that there will be no such risks. We hope that everyone will soon be aware that such technology exists and that copying the voice of someone else is possible. More generally, we want to raise attention about the lack of evidence that audio recordings may represent in the near future.'
lyrebird  audio  technology  scary  ethics 
april 2017 by jm
Zeynep Tufekci: Machine intelligence makes human morals more important | TED Talk | TED.com
Machine intelligence is here, and we're already using it to make subjective decisions. But the complex way AI grows and improves makes it hard to understand and even harder to control. In this cautionary talk, techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci explains how intelligent machines can fail in ways that don't fit human error patterns — and in ways we won't expect or be prepared for. "We cannot outsource our responsibilities to machines," she says. "We must hold on ever tighter to human values and human ethics."


More relevant now that nVidia are trialing ML-based self-driving cars in the US...
nvidia  ai  ml  machine-learning  scary  zeynep-tufekci  via:maciej  technology  ted-talks 
april 2017 by jm
Spotify’s Love/Hate Relationship with DNS
omg somebody at Spotify really really loves DNS. They even store a DHT hash ring in it. whyyyyyyyyyyy
spotify  networking  architecture  dht  insane  scary  dns  unbound  ops 
april 2017 by jm
Kodak Had a Secret Nuclear Reactor Loaded With Enriched Uranium Hidden In a Basement
non-proliferation? what's that?
Kodak's purpose for the reactor wasn't sinister: they used it to check materials for impurities as well as neutron radiography testing. The reactor, a Californium Neutron Flux multiplier (CFX) was acquired in 1974 and loaded with three and a half pounds of enriched uranium plates placed around a californium-252 core. The reactor was installed in a closely guarded, two-foot-thick concrete walled underground bunker in the company's headquarters, where it was fed tests using a pneumatic system. According to the company, no employees were ever in contact with the reactor. Apparently, it was operated by atomic fairies and unicorns.
kodak  nuclear  safety  non-proliferation  scary  rochester  reactors 
may 2016 by jm
A Team of Biohackers Has Figured Out How to Inject Your Eyeballs With Night Vision
Did it work? Yes. It started with shapes, hung about 10 meters away. "I'm talking like the size of my hand," Licina says. Before long, they were able to do longer distances, recognizing symbols and identifying moving subjects against different backgrounds. "The other test, we had people go stand in the woods," he says. "At 50 meters, we could figure out where they were, even if they were standing up against a tree." Each time, Licina had a 100% success rate. The control group, without being dosed with Ce6, only got them right a third of the time.


Well, that's some risky biohacking. wow
biohacking  scary  night-vision  eyes  chlorin-e6  infravision  sfm 
march 2015 by jm
"A reason to hang him": how mass surveillance, secret courts, confirmation bias and the FBI can ruin your life - Boing Boing
This is bananas. Confirmation bias running amok.
Brandon Mayfield was a US Army veteran and an attorney in Portland, OR. After the 2004 Madrid train bombing, his fingerprint was partially matched to one belonging to one of the suspected bombers, but the match was a poor one. But by this point, the FBI was already convinced they had their man, so they rationalized away the non-matching elements of the print, and set in motion a train of events that led to Mayfield being jailed without charge; his home and office burgled by the FBI; his client-attorney privilege violated; his life upended.
confirmation-bias  bias  law  brandon-mayfield  terrorism  fingerprints  false-positives  fbi  scary 
february 2014 by jm
Mail from the (Velvet) Cybercrime Underground
Brian Krebs manages to thwart an attempted framing for possession of Silk Road heroin. bloody hell
silk-road  drugs  bitcoin  ecommerce  brian-krebs  crime  framed  cybercrime  russia  scary  law-enforcement 
july 2013 by jm
The world’s first 3D-printed gun
I wasn't expecting to see this for a few years. The future is ahead of schedule!

A .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal. [...]

While this pistol obviously wasn’t created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part. In short, this means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun. What a chilling thought.
via:peakscale  guns  scary  future  grim-meathook-future  3d-printing  thingiverse  weapons 
july 2012 by jm
747s using VLANs to secure in-flight access to engine management systems
'I was contracted to test the systems on a Boeing 747. They had added a new video system that ran over IP. They segregated this from the control systems using layer 2 VLANs. We managed to break the VLANs and access other systems and with source routing could access the Engine management systems.' (via Risks)
scary  aviation  flight  security  boeing  747  via:risks 
november 2011 by jm

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