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Showing posts from January, 2015

Sharyl Attkisson: If You Cross Obama Admin They Will Treat You Like "Enemies Of The State"

Posted on January 29, 2015
Sharyl Attkisson: If You Cross Obama Admin They Will Treat You Like "Enemies Of The State" Former CBS investigative correspondent testifies at the confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch:
SHARYL ATTKISSON: In 2013, Reporters Without Borders downgraded America's standing in the global free press rankings, rating the Obama administration as worse than Bush's. It matters not that when caught the government promises to dial back or that [FOX News'] James Rosen gets an apology. The message has already been received. If you cross this administration with perfectly accurate reporting they don't like, you will be attacked and punished. You and your sources may be subjected to the kind of surveillance devised for enemies of the state.
For much of history, the United States has held itself out as a model of freedom, democracy, and open accountable government. Freedoms of expression and association are of course prot…

Former MI5 chief says new terror measures jeopardise free speech...

Former spy chief says new terror measures jeopardise free speech
Baroness Manningham-Buller, the former director general of MI5, says Theresa May's plan to force universities to combat Muslim extremism is 'potentially in conflict with free speech'
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
4:32PM GMT 30 Jan 2015
The former head of MI5 has said she is unable to back controversial anti-terror measures which will force universities to restrict Muslim extremists on campus.
Wide-ranging opposition to the powers, by Baroness Manningham-Buller and other peers, means Theresa May, the Home Secretary, could face defeat in the House of Lords over the proposals next week.
A wide range of peers have argued that the proposals in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill will damage free speech.
Lady Manningham-Buller, director general of the Security Service until her retirement eight years ago, said the government’s proposals could “jeopardise” the Government’s anti-terror program…

U.S. to Develop DNA Study of One Million People

U.S. to Develop DNA Study of One Million People
An Obama initiative seeks to channel a torrent of gene information into treatments for cancer, other diseases.
By Antonio Regalado on January 30, 2015
Medicine is being revolutionized by “population-scale” genome projects.
President Barack Obama is proposing to spend $215 million on a “precision medicine” initiative the centerpiece of which will be a national study involving the health records and DNA of one million volunteers, administration officials said yesterday.
Precision medicine refers to treatments tailored to a person’s genetic profile, an idea already transforming how doctors fight cancer and some rare diseases.
The Obama plan, including support for studies of cancer and rare disease, is part of a shift away from “one-size-fits-all” medicine, Jo Handelsman, associate director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in a briefing yesterday. She called precision medicine “a game changer that holds th…

Rise of the robots at AOL lead to job cuts

Rise of the robots at AOL lead to job cuts

By Kaja Whitehouse, USAToday 7:52 p.m. EST January 30, 2015
NEW YORK — Media company AOL laid off roughly 150 employees Friday, or 3% of its staff.
The bulk of the layoffs, or close to 100, were in sales, a result of the company's surging growth in so-called programmatic ad sales, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak on the record.
The remaining cuts will come from AOL's corporate offices, including legal and HR, as well as from a planned consolidation of certain media sites, this person said.
AOL will fold Apple fan blog TUAW and gaming site Joystiq into tech website Engadget, the source told USA TODAY. It will also unite AOL Autos with AOL's Autoblog website.
In total, the 150 cuts represent about 3% of the New York company's 5,000 in staff.
The consolidation is part of AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's vision to "focus on the biggest brands and make them bigger," t…

US watchdog urges safeguards for 'Internet of Things'

US watchdog urges safeguards for 'Internet of Things'
By Rob Lever January 27, 2015 4:15 PM
Washington (AFP) - A US government consumer watchdog agency called Tuesday for better privacy and security to be built into the myriad of connected devices, for fitness, smart homes or other uses.
The "Internet of Things" guidelines released by the US Federal Trade Commission stop short of a new regulatory effort but nonetheless provoked critics who said the agency is overstepping its authority.
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who announced the guidelines at a Washington conference, said the move is aimed at promoting "best practices" for these new devices but also noted that her agency has authority to crack down on violations of privacy or deceptive consumer practices.
"Not only is deeply personal information at stake but as you have more and more devices it means there is more potential for exposure," Ramirez told the "State of the Net" confere…

Robots to pack drugs for hospital patients

Robots to pack drugs for hospital patients
By Merc_Reporter  |  Posted: January 29, 2015
An Italian company is to run a scheme to transform the way drugs are stored and given to patients at Leicester’s hospitals.
Robots will be used to pack drugs into individual doses and a bar code system for nurses will make sure the right patient gets the right drug.
It will be run by the Italian company Ingegneria Biomedica Santa Lucia and IBSL (UK) Ltd.
The equipment and management is being funded by IBSL and the project will run for nine months on four renal wards at Leicester General Hospital to see how it works.
If it is a success it will be expanded to include Leicester Royal infirmary and Glenfield Hospital.
Graeme Hall, deputy chief pharmacist at Leicester’s hospitals, said the new system should help to reduce errors in prescriptions and wastage and so allow more time for patient care.
He added: “Almost every hospital patient will receive medication of some sort, and on a typical day in L…

FCC raises threshold for high-speed internet as service providers cry foul

FCC raises threshold for high-speed internet as service providers cry foul
New benchmark means 55 million Americans currently lack broadband access after chairman derides internet companies’ advertisement claims
By Amanda Holpuch in Washington Thursday 29 January 2015 14.29 EST 
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday changed the definition of broadband to increase the threshold speed – a move that has already angered cable companies.
In a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a measure that increases the minimum standard for broadband speed, giving the agency more power to force internet service providers to improve their service.
The definition of broadband is set to be raised from 4 megabits per second (Mbps) to 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads.
With that speed as the benchmark, significantly fewer Americans have access to high-speed broadband. Under the previous definition, 19 million Americans were without access; the new definition means that 55 milli…

New Japenses Hotel Have Over 90% of Services by Robots

Huis Ten Bosch theme park to get hotel staffed by robots
Jan 28, 2015 
NAGASAKI – A hotel with robot staff and face recognition instead of room keys will open this summer in Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki Prefecture, the operator of the theme park said Tuesday.
The two-story Henn na Hotel is scheduled to open July 17. It will be promoted with the slogan “A Commitment for Evolution,” Huis Ten Bosch Co. said.
The name reflects how the hotel will “change with cutting-edge technology,” a company official said. This is a play on words: “Henn” is also part of the Japanese word for change.
Robots will provide porter service, room cleaning, front desk and other services to reduce costs and to ensure comfort.
There will be facial recognition technology so guests can enter their rooms without a key.
“We will make the most efficient hotel in the world,” company President Hideo Sawada told a news conference. “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots…

Millions of cars tracked across US in 'massive' real-time DEA spy program

Millions of cars tracked across US in 'massive' real-time DEA spy program
American Civil Liberties Union warns scanning of license plates by Drug Enforcement Agency is building a repository of all drivers’ movements
The DEA database has the potential to track every driver's movements, the American Civil Liberties Union has warned. 
By Rory Carroll in Los Angeles Tuesday 27 January 2015 08.55 EST 
The United States government is tracking the movement of vehicles around the country in a clandestine intelligence-gathering programme that has been condemned as a further official exercise to build a database on people’s lives.
The Drug Enforcement Administration was monitoring license plates on a “massive” scale, giving rise to “major civil liberties concerns”, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday night, citing DEA documents obtained under freedom of information.
“This story highlights yet another way government security agencies are seeking to quietly amplify t…

Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

Jan 25, 8:24 PM EST
Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys
By JENNIFER KAY Associated Press KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.
Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.
"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment.
Dengue and chikungunya are growing threats in the U.S., but some people are more frightened at the thought of being bitten by a genetically modified organism. More than 130,000 people signed a Change.org petition against the experiment.
Even potential boosters say those responsible must do more to show that benefits ou…

All signs point to the demise of Microsoft's Surface RT tablet

All signs point to the demise of Microsoft's Surface RT tablet
Microsoft can finally put its billion-dollar mistake behind it By Gregg Keizer  FOLLOW Computerworld | Jan 26, 2015 8:27 AM PT
Microsoft seems to be within a whisker of calling it quits on its failed experiment with the Surface tablet, the device powered by the ARM architecture and Windows RT, an offshoot of Windows 8.
Last week, the company's own online store showed all configurations of the Surface 2 -- the lone Windows RT tablet still sold -- as out of stock, and that held as of early Monday. Best Buy, Microsoft's U.S. retail partner, also showed no Wi-Fi models available for online ordering, although spot checks had some stores with inventory for in-store pickup. And while giant e-tailer Amazon listed some Surface 2 tablets for sale, many were refurbished units, not new devices.
"It is currently out of stock [and] unfortunately we do not have specific dates on when products are back in stock, [so] you…

Cutting the cord: Dish's Sling TV could win older fans

Cutting the cord: Dish's Sling TV could win older fans
By Mike Snider, USA TODAY 8:01 a.m. EST January 25, 2015
Now that we know what's on Sling TV, it's time to figure out who will pay for it. The answer may be a surprise — even to its creators.
Sling TV is Dish Network's new subscription Net video service. It's likely to become available by the end of the month and will cost $20 monthly for about a dozen live TV channels, including ABC Family, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN 2, the Food Network, HGTV, TBS, TNT, The Travel Channel and Adult Swim.
As the cable cord-cutting movement has advanced, many have held back because pay-TV alternatives such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video don't have live sports. Having ESPN and ESPN 2 available on Sling TV may lure some to join the cord-cutting conga line.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch says the new offering targets Millennials who are less likely to subscribe to pay TV.
Not so fast, says David L…

Bidding war between networks, sports leagues will increase price of cable TV

Bidding war between networks, sports leagues will increase price of cable TV
By Cecilia Kang January 23 at 8:38 PM 
Cable TV is about to get more expensive for millions of consumers because of a bidding war between networks and the country’s most powerful sports leagues.
Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and scores of rural cable providers are tacking on sports surcharges each month, the direct result of higher fees they are paying to ESPN and other sports networks to carry their channels. Beginning Feb. 5, DirecTV will raise fees by 5.7 percent.
The rise in cable prices is likely to test the patience of customers, who may already be tempted to cut their cords in exchange for streaming options that will soon be available to them. For providers and customers, the creeping prices amount to a test — at what point will viewers decide it isn’t worth paying for cable anymore?
A flood of new options for watching TV are about to arrive this year, from HBO’s standalone service, set to launch th…

Privacy is dead, Harvard professors tell Davos forum

Privacy is dead, Harvard professors tell Davos forum
AFP By Richard Carter January 22, 2015 9:46 AM
Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA - hat is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed at Davos Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) - Imagine a world where mosquito-sized robots fly around stealing samples of your DNA. Or where a department store knows from your buying habits that you're pregnant even before your family does.
That is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed by a group of Harvard professors at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, where the assembled elite heard that the notion of individual privacy is effectively dead.
"Welcome to today. We're already in that world," said Margo Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University.
"Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer feasible... How we conventionally think of privacy is dead," she added.
Another Harvard researcher into gen…

Robot wars: New film explores limits of AI...

Alex Garland's film Ex Machina explores the limits of artificial intelligence - but how close are we to machines outsmarting man? Having watched the new film, Rhodri Marsden found himself celebrating the joys of humanity
By Rhodri Marsden   Author Biography
Thursday 22 January 2015
My girlfriend casually informed me, apropos of nothing, that she'd washed her hair using shower gel rather than shampoo. I raised an eyebrow. "Well, I guess it's all the same," I said. "It's all detergent, isn't it? Shampoo, shower gel…" "Cillit Bang," she added, prompting 30 seconds of sporadic giggling at the very idea. At that moment, I could be pretty certain that neither of us were robots. Such exchanges feel like the essence of being human: unpredictable behaviour, saying things that don't need saying, reaching absurd conclusions and experiencing joy as a consequence. Good times.
In the film Ex Machina, released this week, a young coder finds …

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: "The Internet Will Disappear"

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: "The Internet Will Disappear"
Christopher Patey
•He also discusses online dominance on a World Economic Forum panel with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, while Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is asked about privacy issues.
by Georg Szalai
1/22/2015 11:10am PST
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday predicted the end of the Internet as we know it.
At the end of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where his comments were webcast, he was asked for his prediction on the future of the web. “I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear,” Schmidt said.
“There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it,” he explained. “It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in th…