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Showing posts from February, 2015

China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts

China censorship sweep deletes more than 60,000 Internet accounts Reuters – Fri, 27 Feb, 2015
BEIJING (Reuters) - Some of China's largest Internet companies deleted more than 60,000 online accounts because their names did not conform to regulations due to take effect on Sunday, the top Internet regulator said.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc, Sina Corp affiliate Weibo Corp and other companies deleted the accounts in a cull aimed at "rectifying" online names, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said.
The reasons for their removal included accusations of being misleading, rumor mongering, links to terrorism, or involving violence, pornography and other violations, the CAC said in a statement on its website late on Thursday.
The purge is notable as a step toward China's government locking down control over people's internet account names, an effort which censors have struggled with in the past, despite numerous efforts to introdu…

Chicago Business Files Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review

Chicago Business Files Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review
February 27, 2015 9:05 PM
(STMW) – A North Park neighborhood business is suing a husband and wife for writing a negative review on Yelp, accusing the couple of libel.
Zwick Window Shade Co., 3336 W. Foster, takes issue with a Feb. 6, 2014 review where a customer claims she and her husband never received a set of blinds ordered from Zwick, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.
“Still waiting on blinds ordered nearly 4 months ago that were supposed to take 3 to 6 weeks,” the reviewer wrote. “My husband and I like to support small, family-run businesses when doing home improvement projects.”
The two-star review states Zwick’s service was excellent, but the delay in receiving the product was frustrating.
More than four months after the Oct. 16, 2013 purchase, Zwick delivered and installed the blinds, the suit said.
But the company claims in the suit that, because the blinds were eventually delivered, …

What it means: The FCC's net neutrality vote

What it means: The FCC's net neutrality vote FCC says net neutrality plan is on a 'firm legal foundation' Net Neutrality: A social good, or a solution in search of a problem? In addition to expected legal challenges, experts say a profusion of private networks will emerge
By Matt Hamblen Computerworld | Feb 26, 2015 1:22 PM PT
Net neutrality has been debated for a decade, but the Federal Communications Commission's historic vote on Thursday signals only the beginning of further battles and likely lawsuits.
At issue is how best to keep the Internet open and neutral to all while still giving Internet service providers sufficient incentive to expand their networks to serve more customers and to support an exploding array of data-hungry applications as futuristic as holographic videoconferencing used for home-based medical exams.
The FCC voted 3-to-2 to create a series of sweeping changes, including three open Internet conduct rules that block broadband providers, both wi…

Human head transplant 'only two years away'...

Frankenstein-style human head transplant 'could happen in two years'
Italian surgeon claims procedure to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body will soon be ready
By Agency
9:37AM GMT 26 Feb 2015
The first human head transplant could take place in just two years, it was reported on Thursday.
Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero, from the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, claims the Frankenstein-style procedure to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body will soon be ready.
The breakthrough surgery is being pioneered to help extend the lives of people who have suffered degeneration of the muscles and nerves or those who have advanced cancer.
The New Scientist reported Dr Canavero plans to announce the project at the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons conference in Annapolis, Maryland, in June.
Mr Canavero published a paper on the technique he would use in the Surgical Neurology International journal this month.
The recipient's he…

Google's Quiet Dominance Over The 'Ad Tech' Industry

Opinion 2/26/2015 @ 6:00AM
Google's Quiet Dominance Over The 'Ad Tech' Industry
Guest post written by Allen Grunes
Mr. Grunes, a former attorney with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, is cofounder of the Data Competition Institute.
A few months ago, display advertising on the Internet mysteriously vanished for more than an hour. On more than 55,000 websites such as BuzzFeed and Forbes, spaces that usually display advertisements went blank. It turned out that Google’s behemoth online advertising platform, DoubleClick, was to blame. The DoubleClick ad server had crashed, disrupting the entire infrastructure by which advertisers buy billions of dollars of ads across millions of websites.
Think about it: In an era of global competition, one company’s network crash broke the Internet.
The crash was a stark reminder of how an established player like Google has quietly achieved dominance over the so-called “ad tech” industry, the multi-billion dollar economic backb…

Google computer mimics human brain; learns from new experience...

Is playing 'Space Invaders' a milestone in artificial intelligence?
Researchers with Google's DeepMind project created a computer loosely based on brain architecture that mastered computer games -- such as Space Invaders -- without any knowledge of their rules.
By Geoffrey Mohan 
Computers have beaten humans at chess and "Jeopardy!," and now they can master old Atari games such as "Space Invaders" or "Breakout" without knowing anything about their rules or strategies..
Playing Atari 2600 games from the 1980s may seem a bit "Back to the Future," but researchers with Google's DeepMind project say they have taken a small but crucial step toward a general learning machine that can mimic the way human brains learn from new experience.
Unlike the Watson and Deep Blue computers that beat "Jeopardy!" and chess champions with intensive programming specific to those games, the Deep-Q Network built its winning strategies from …

Mind-Controlled Drone Scientists Work On Groundbreaking Flight

Mind-Controlled Drone Scientists Work On Groundbreaking Flight
2/25/2015 @ 7:47AM
A company has successfully flown a mind controlled drone, a step that its scientists say will lead to passenger carrying airplanes steered only by pilots’ brains.
In a rather stunning demonstration yesterday, Portuguese business Tekever fitted a special cap to a pilot to measure his brain activity, allowing him to steer a drone through a mission in the sky using his thoughts alone.
The company’s eventual target for the drone technology is applying it to pilots flying private and commercial aircraft using their minds alone, but it acknowledges there is a lot of work ahead.
For yesterday’s test demonstration, in order to steer the drone, pilot Nuno Lourenço focused entirely on simple thoughts within set formats, which he learned during extensive training. This means the drone received clear signals, from his brain waves, that it could process quickly.
“This is an amazing, high-risk and high-payoff projec…

China drops leading US technology brands for state purchases

Exclusive: China drops leading technology brands for state purchases
By Paul Carsten
BEIJING  Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:47am EST (Reuters) - China has dropped some of the world's leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, while approving thousands more locally made products, in what some say is a response to revelations of widespread Western cybersurveillance.
Others put the shift down to a protectionist impulse to shield China's domestic technology industry from competition.
Chief casualty is U.S. network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc, which in 2012 counted 60 products on the Central Government Procurement Center's (CGPC) list, but by late 2014 had none, a Reuters analysis of official data shows.
Smartphone and PC maker Apple Inc has also been dropped over the period, along with Intel Corp's security software firm McAfee and network and server software firm Citrix Systems.
The number of products on the list, which covers regular spending by centr…

Obama's regs will make Internet slow as in Europe, warn FCC, FEC commissioners

Obama's regs will make Internet slow as in Europe, warn FCC, FEC commissioners
By Paul Bedard  | February 23, 2015 | 2:14 pm
As the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission toy with regulating aspects of the Internet, critics on those agencies are warning that speed and freedom of speech are in jeopardy.
In a joint column, Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai and Federal Election Commission member Lee Goodman, leveled the boom on the Obama-favored regulations, essentially charging that it will muck up the freedom the nation has come to expect from the Internet.
In one key passage of the column published in Politico, the duo wrote Monday that heavy-handed FCC regulations like those imposed in Europe will significantly slow down Internet speech. “These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the…

FCC Commissioners Ask Chariman To Delay Net Neutrality Vote, Release Proposal

Republican FCC Commissioners Ask Wheeler To Delay Net Neutrality Vote, Release Proposal
4:45 PM 02/23/2015
By Giuseppe Macri
Three days before the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on the most significant Internet regulations in history, two commissioners are asking Chairman Tom Wheeler to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public.
“We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it,” Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly said in a statement Monday. “Then, after the commission reviews the specific input it receives from the American public and makes any modifications to the plan as appropriate, we could proceed to a final vote.”
The commission is set to vote on Wheeler’s aggressive proposal — which will regulate Internet service providers as public utilities and set new standards …

Google Calls FBI's Plan to Expand Hacking Power a 'Monumental' Constitutional Threat

Google Calls FBI's Plan to Expand Hacking Power a 'Monumental' Constitutional Threat
Any change in accessing computer data should go through Congress, the search giant said.
By Dustin Volz
February 18, 2015 Google is warning that the government's quiet plan to expand the FBI's authority to remotely access computer files amounts to a "monumental" constitutional concern.
The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.
The push to change an arcane federal rule "raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal, and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide," wrote Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security.
The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, generally permits judges to grant sea…

Mark Cuban Says Net Neutrality Will ‘Fuck Everything Up’

Ethics Billionaire Mark Cuban Says Net Neutrality Will ‘Fuck Everything Up’ (Video)
February 18, 2015, 6:26 PM PST
By Dawn Chmielewski
Billionaire investor and ABC “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban unloaded on the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to fundamentally change how it oversees the open Internet.
“That will fuck everything up,” said the voluble Cuban in remarks Wednesday at the Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
In early February, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed tough new rules for Internet lines that would prohibit wired and wireless broadband providers from collecting payment to cut to the front of the line, or blocking and throttling lawful content and services.
Cuban said this bid to significantly expand the agency’s authority to regulate broadband providers is nothing more than an attack on giant media companies like Comcast*.
“Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies,” Cuban said.
Cuban, who parlayed his windfall from the…

Scientists store data inside DNA that could last MILLIONS of years

Scientists store data inside DNA that could last MILLIONS of years Potential for DNA to be used for data storage has been discussed for years But retrieving the data encoded in the genes has previously proved tricky Inspired by fossils, researchers from Zurich encased DNA in a 'fossil shell' They subjected these shells - or silica spheres -  to extreme temperatures This was carried out to mimic chemical degradation seen naturally on DNA Despite the conditions, the DNA was extracted and decoded from the silica And if preserved in freezing temperatures, the researchers said the data has the potential to last for 'millions of years' inside DNA
By Victoria Woollaston for MailOnline
Published: 10:35 EST, 16 February 2015  | Updated: 14:57 EST, 16 February 2015 
Just one gram of DNA can store the equivalent of 14,000 Blu-ray discs.
But although the potential for DNA as an alternative to hard drives has been known about for years, it is not the most reliable and secure wa…

Sony Releases Google Glass Alternative... Developer Edition On Sale Now

Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition On Sale Now
By Stephanie Mlot  February 17, 2015 11:04am EST
Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition is on sale in the U.K. and Germany, and will soon go on sale in 10 other countries.
Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition
Where Google failed, Sony hopes to succeed. Its SmartEyeglass Developer Edition eyewear is available now for pre-order in the U.K. and Germany.
The SED-E1 transparent-lens headset will go on sale in eight more countries—Japan, the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden—next month. Developers can access the official version of the SmartEyeglass SDK today.
Using holographic wavelength technology, Sony's futuristic glasses connect with compatible smartphones to superimpose information onto the wearer's field of view—"without any half mirrors that may obstruct the user's vision," the company boasted.
It also comes with a built-in 3-megapixel CMOS image sensor, accelerometer, gyro, electronic com…

Will These 12 Robots Makes Chefs Obsolete?

Will These 12 Robots Makes Chefs Obsolete?
By Chandra Steele   February 17, 2015
Robots roll rotis, serve up sushi, steam lattes, twirl ramen, and even make pizza from scratch.
U.S. chain restaurants make it their business to create a homey, familiar environment. Places like Applebee's, Cracker Barrel, and T.G.I. Friday's are dedicated to making customers feel like they're eating at a neighborhood institution rather than a replica of a place that can be found in the next town over…and the town after that, and so on.
But in China, there's a restaurant movement that wants diners to feel like they're having an interplanetary interaction as soon as they walk in. "Earth person, hello!" a robot greeter says at Haohai Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China. Diners are then seated at their table, place an order with a robot waiter, have their food prepared by a robot chef, and then pay as their (robot-cleared) dishes are being scrubbed by a robot dishwasher.
Robots…

Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program
By Joseph Menn 4 hours ago
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear …