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Showing posts from August, 2015

Intelligent robot tells interviewer, ‘I’ll keep you safe in my people zoo’

Intelligent robot tells interviewer, ‘I’ll keep you safe in my people zoo’
By Rob Waugh for Metro.co.uk Monday 31 Aug 2015 4:15 pm
An ‘intelligent’ robot offered a truly chilling answer to an interviewer’s question, ‘Will robots take over the world?’
‘Don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake,’ the bearded robot intoned.
His interviewer, from PBS, is visibly taken aback by the answer.
The robot – modelled after Philip K Dick, the novelist whose work inspired Blade Runner – uttered the terrifying words in an interview with PBS in 2011, in response to the question, ‘Will robots take over the world?.
The robot intoned, ‘Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you.
‘So don’t worry, even if evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you fo…

Apple’s Ad Blockers Rile Publishers

Apple’s Ad Blockers Rile Publishers New iOS lets users halt ads on mobile devices, posing a challenge to publishers and
By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI and JACK MARSHALL Aug. 30, 2015 6:47 p.m. ET
Apple Inc.’s move to make it easier to block ads on iPhones and iPads is troubling publishers and heightening tensions with its Silicon Valley neighbors.
The next version of Apple’s mobile-operating system, due out as early as next month, will let users install apps that prevent ads from appearing in its Safari browser.
Putting such “ad blockers” within reach of hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users threatens to disrupt the $70 billion annual mobile-marketing business, where many publishers and tech firms hope to generate far more revenue from a growing mobile audience. If fewer users see ads, publishers—and other players such as ad networks—will reap less revenue.
The move also is a competitive weapon against Apple rival Google Inc., which makes more money from Internet advertising than an…

Uber Hires Two Hackers to Work on Self-Driving Cars’ Defenses

Uber Hires Two Hackers to Work on Self-Driving Cars’ Defenses
The ride-hailing company confirmed the hire of security researchers known for hacking into a Jeep Cherokee’s system
By DANNY YADRON Aug. 28, 2015 7:49 p.m. ET
Uber Technologies Inc. wants to make self-driving cars and naturally, it doesn’t want people to hack them.
The ride-hailing company confirmed on Friday that it had hired two well-known car hackers to help devise its own defenses. Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will work for the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.
The center, launched this past winter, is working on maps and automation technology with a cadre of former Carnegie Mellon University robotics experts.
Messrs. Miller and Valasek caused a stir earlier this summer when they brought a Jeep Cherokee to a halt on a St. Louis highway by wirelessly hacking into its entertainment system.
The stunt angered executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the automobile industry’s tr…

Pentagon teams up with Apple, Boeing to develop wearable tech

Pentagon teams up with Apple, Boeing to develop wearable tech
By David Alexander | Reuters – 23 hours ago
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter awarded $75 million on Friday to help a consortium of high-tech firms and researchers develop electronic systems packed with sensors flexible enough to be worn by soldiers or molded onto the skin of a plane.
Carter said funding for the Obama administration's newest manufacturing institute would go to the FlexTech Alliance, a consortium of 162 companies, universities and other groups, from Boeing, Apple and Harvard, to Advantest Akron Polymer Systems and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
The group will work to advance the development and manufacture of so-called flexible hybrid electronics, which can be embedded with sensors and stretched, twisted and bent to fit aircraft or other platform where they will be used.
"This is an emerging technology that takes advanced flexible materials for circuits, commu…

Inside Amazon: Conducting an Experiment in How Far it Can Push White-Collar Workers

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace
The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.
By JODI KANTOR and DAVID STREITFELD AUG. 15, 2015
SEATTLE — On Monday mornings, fresh recruits line up for an orientation intended to catapult them into Amazon’s singular way of working.
They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported. To be the best Amazonians they can be, they should be guided by the leadership principles, 14 rules inscribed on handy laminated cards. When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions.
At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (email…

The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’ - Cash

August 23, 2015 7:03 pm The case for retiring another ‘barbarous relic’
Could a world without cash make for a much-improved economy?
The fact that people treat cash as the go-to safe asset when banks are teetering is heavy with historical irony. Paper money was once the symbol of monetary irresponsibility. But even as individuals have taken recent crises as reasons to stock up on banknotes, authorities would do well to consider the arguments for phasing out their use as another “barbarous relic”, the moniker Keynes gave to gold.
Already, by far the largest amount of money exists and is transacted in electronic form — as bank deposits and central bank reserves. But even a little physical currency can cause a lot of distortion to the economic system.
The existence of cash — a bearer instrument with a zero interest rate — limits central banks’ ability to stimulate a depressed economy. The worry is that people will change their deposits for cash if a central bank moves rates into negativ…

DoD manual allows journalists to be held as 'belligerents'

DoD manual allows journalists to be held as 'belligerents'
Aug 26, 3:16 AM (ET)
By WENDY BENJAMINSON
WASHINGTON (AP) — New Defense Department guidelines allow commanders to punish journalists and treat them as "unprivileged belligerents" if they believe journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with the enemy.
The Law of War manual, updated to apply for the first time to all branches of the military, contains a vaguely worded provision that military commanders could interpret broadly, experts in military law and journalism say. Commanders could ask journalists to leave military bases or detain journalists for any number of perceived offenses.
"In general, journalists are civilians," the 1,180 page manual says, but it adds that "journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents."
A person deemed "unprivileged belligerent" is not entitled to the rights afforded…

10 reasons you shouldn't upgrade to Windows 10

10 reasons you shouldn't upgrade to Windows 10
By Woody Leonhard, InfoWorld | Aug 20, 2015
You may be better off sticking with Win7 or Win8.1, given a wide range of Win10 trade-offs and shortcomings.
Back when Windows 10 officially launched, I ran down 10 reasons you should upgrade to the latest incarnation of Windows. Win10 may not yet offer any killer apps, but it provides a compelling combination of features that may tempt you to take the plunge -- the greatly improved navigation for mousers, new browser, facial recognition, and Cortana all rate as significant improvements over what you are currently getting from Win7 and Win8.
But yes, there are "but"s. As I noted in my full review of Windows 10, it may have a few too many rough edges to tempt you, especially if you’re comfortable with what you have. “Better the Devil ye ken, than the Devil ye don't” -- those are wise words, born of much pain.
In this slideshow, I step you through the main reasons why you may, l…