San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Slashdot - 4 hours 11 min ago
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard a few brief accounts recently of the housing situation in San Francisco, and how it's leading to protests, gentrification, and bad blood between long-time residents and the newer tech crowd. It's a complicated issue, and none of the reports so far have really done it justice. Now, TechCrunch has posted a ludicrously long article explaining exactly what's going on, from regulations forbidding Google to move people into Mountain View instead, to the political battle to get more housing built, to the compromises that have already been made. It's a long read, but well-researched and interesting. It concludes: 'The crisis we're seeing is the result of decades of choices, and while the tech industry is a sexy, attention-grabbing target, it cannot shoulder blame for this alone. Unless a new direction emerges, this will keep getting worse until the next economic crash, and then it will re-surface again eight years later. Or it will keep spilling over into Oakland, which is a whole other Pandora's box of gentrification issues. The high housing costs aren't healthy for the city, nor are they healthy for the industry. Both thrive on a constant flow of ideas and people.'"

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Categories: Science

How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 11:22pm
Velcroman1 writes: "Car stereo salesmen and installers around the country are hoping Apple's CarPlay in-car infotainment system will have a big presence in the aftermarket car stereo industry. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Alpine is making car stereo head units for between $500 – $700 that will run the iOS-like system Apple unveiled last month, and Macrumors added Clarion to the list of CarPlay supporters. Pioneer is also getting into the game, with support said to be coming to existing car stereo models in its NEX line ($700 – $1400) via firmware update, according to Twice. Given Apple's wildly supportive fan base, its likely that a lot of aftermarket CarPlay units are about to fly off stereo shop shelves. Indeed, CarPlay coming to aftermarket stereo units could bring back what Apple indirectly stole from the industry going back as far as 2006."

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Categories: Science

52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 10:40pm
Advocatus Diaboli writes "The EFF has been investigating the FBI's Next-Generation Identification (NGI) scheme, an enormous database of biometric information. It's based on the agency's fingerprint database, which already has 100 million records. But according to the documents EFF dug up, the NGI database will include 52 million images of people's faces by 2015. At least 4.3 million images will have been taken outside any sort of criminal context. 'Currently, if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting or a background check, your prints are sent to and stored by the FBI in its civil print database. However, the FBI has never before collected a photograph along with those prints. This is changing with NGI. Now an employer could require you to provide a 'mug shot' photo along with your fingerprints. If that's the case, then the FBI will store both your face print and your fingerprints along with your biographic data.'"

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Categories: Science

52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 10:40pm
Advocatus Diaboli writes "The EFF has been investigating the FBI's Next-Generation Identification (NGI) scheme, an enormous database of biometric information. It's based on the agency's fingerprint database, which already has 100 million records. But according to the documents EFF dug up, the NGI database will include 52 million images of people's faces by 2015. At least 4.3 million images will have been taken outside any sort of criminal context. 'Currently, if you apply for any type of job that requires fingerprinting or a background check, your prints are sent to and stored by the FBI in its civil print database. However, the FBI has never before collected a photograph along with those prints. This is changing with NGI. Now an employer could require you to provide a 'mug shot' photo along with your fingerprints. If that's the case, then the FBI will store both your face print and your fingerprints along with your biographic data.'"

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Categories: Science

Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 9:58pm
An anonymous reader writes "With Watch Dogs launching next month, Ubisoft is ramping up the promotion. That includes holding press events to show off the game to journalists, many of whom will end up reviewing Watch Dogs. One such event was held last week in Paris, and it has been revealed by attendees that Ubisoft decided to give everyone who turned up a Nexus 7 tablet. Why? That hasn't been explained yet, but in a statement on Twitter, Ubisoft said such gifts were 'not in line with their PR policies.' You can see how it would be viewed with skepticism; after all, these are the individuals who will give Watch Dogs a review score, which many gamers rely on to help them make a purchasing decision."

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Categories: Science

A Patient’s Bizarre Hallucination Points to How the Brain Identifies Places

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 9:19pm
Dr. Pierre Mégevand was in the middle of a somewhat-routine epilepsy test when his patient, a 22-year old man, said Mégevand and his medical team looked like they had transformed into Italians working at a pizzeria — aprons and all. It wasn’t long, the patient said, before the doctors morphed back into their exam room […]






Categories: Science

Chilean Port City Fire Seen from Space (Photo)

Space.com - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 9:18pm
A fire ravaging the scenic city of Valparaiso, Chile, is visible from satellite on April 13, 2014. So far, 15 people have died in the fire, and thousands of homes have been destroyed.
Categories: Science

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 9:16pm
jammag writes: "Heartbleed has dealt a blow to the image of free and open source software. In the self-mythology of FOSS, bugs like Heartbleed aren't supposed to happen when the source code is freely available and being worked with daily. As Eric Raymond famously said, 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.' Many users of proprietary software, tired of FOSS's continual claims of superior security, welcome the idea that Heartbleed has punctured FOSS's pretensions. But is that what has happened?"

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Categories: Science

Tennessee Passes Mind-Boggling Ban on Bus Rapid Transit

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 8:48pm
Tennessee lawmakers have approved a bill banning the construction of bus rapid transit anywhere in the state.






Categories: Science

China's President Xi Wants More Military Use of Space: Report

Space.com - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 8:36pm
Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly asked his nation's air force to hasten its integration of air and space capabilities. Some of the Chinese media framed Xi's request as a response to actions by the United States and other world powers.
Categories: Science

Lack of US Cybersecurity Across the Electric Grid

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 8:35pm
Lasrick writes: "Meghan McGuinness of the Bipartisan Policy Center writes about the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative, a collaborative effort between the center's Energy and Homeland Security Projects. She points out that over half the attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure sectors last year were on the energy sector. Cyber attacks could come from a variety of sources, and 'a large-scale cyber attack or combined cyber and physical attack could lead to enormous costs, potentially triggering sustained power outages over large portions of the electric grid and prolonged disruptions in communications, food and water supplies, and health care delivery.' ECGI is recommending the creation of a new, industry-supported model that would create incentives for the continual improvement and adaptation needed to respond effectively to rapidly evolving cyber threats. The vulnerability of the grid has been much discussed this last week; McGuinness's recommendations are a good place to start."

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Categories: Science

Failure Is the Best Thing That Could Happen to Google Glass

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 8:32pm
Today, for one day only, Google Glass goes on sale to everyone in the U.S. Everyone, that is, with an extra $1,500 to spare and a desire to become a guinea pig in a hotly contested social experiment. It's not a stretch to say that this little test, the first that hasn't been geared to the already converted, could steer what Google ultimately decides to do with the entire project.






Categories: Science

Geologic Wonder: See the Grand Canyon from Space

Space.com - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 7:44pm
In a new image taken by astronauts on the International Space Station, the Grand Canyon stretches across the Colorado Plateau. Entrance to the National Park is free this weekend, April 19 and 20, 2014.
Categories: Science

Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 7:42pm
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "When Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. Now Klint Finley reports that Snowden also used The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) to keep his communications out of the NSA's prying eyes. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box using a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity that you install on a DVD or USB drive, boot your computer from and you're pretty close to anonymous on the internet. 'Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn't store any data locally,' writes Finley. 'This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources.' The developers of Tails are, appropriately, anonymous. They're protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. 'The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,' the group says. But since we don't know who wrote Tails, how do we know it isn't some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it's bad for the NSA, it's safe to say it's good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. 'With Tails,' say the distro developers, 'we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.'"

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Categories: Science

Maggots Bring the Heat

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 7:30pm
Maggots can generate their own heat. Scientists tested the amount of heat that a mass of maggots makes in order to better understand forensic investigations. The results could help police identify precisely when a body died as well as allow us to calculate the amount of maggots needed to turn into a flaming ball of insect larvae.






Categories: Science

Viral Site for New X-Men Is Exhausting Clickbait. And That’s OK

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 7:30pm
The upcoming movie has kicked its marketing campaign into high gear: Clickbait ahoy!
Categories: Science

Neurons to Nirvana: How Psychedelics Can Heal the Mind & Teach the Spirit

Underground Stream - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 7:06pm


Drugs: They're harmful. They're addictive. They're everywhere, and all around you there are peddlers seeking to give them to your kids.

But wait, the drugs I'm referring to are the corporate drugs patented by Big Pharma; the ones your government wants you & your children to be hooked on, in order to numb you into compliance. And if that doesn't keep you sedated enough, there's the sanctioned stimulants - i.e. alcohol, tobacco & caffeine - along with all sorts of sleek consumables promoted by TV ads & flashy billboards; guaranteed to force you into voluntary slavery, until you literally drop out from exhaustion.

On the other hand, the drugs our leaders have been trying to protect us from for the past 40+ years, have been shown through sound scientific trials to have incredible therapeutic benefits, when given to patients under the right conditions. The documentary Neurons to Nirvana explores the healing potential of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, Cannabis & Ayahuasca, not only for the treatment of physiological ailments, but also in helping integrate past traumas, and all the psychological wounds which lead many in our society to try filling their internal void with external satisfactors.

What's more, the biggest lesson these plant teachers can instill to the willing seeker, is that Mind, Spirit & Soul are *all* part of the same equation; as such, the imbalance in one would provoke an illness in the other... which might also account why we have brought our world into such state of disarray.

Neurons to Nirvana, directed by Oliver Hockenhull --who was recently interviewed by our good friend Alex Tsakiris on his Skeptiko podcast-- brings together a whole set of 'heayweights' in the fields of Neuroscience and/or Psychedelic research; like ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna, addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté, professor of Psychiatrics & Pediatrics at UCLA Dr. Charles S. Grob, and many others.

On the link NeuronsToNirvana.com you can find a list of all the upcoming screenings worldwide, but if you prefer it you can either order a DVD or stream the film online --you can even send the streaming link as a gift to up to 5 different people; why not send one to your Congressman or elected representative? Maybe that could grease the wheels of change a bit.

The Surprising Gut Microbes of African Hunter-Gatherers

Wired News - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 6:59pm
In Western Tanzania tribes of wandering foragers called Hadza eat a diet of roots, berries, and game. According to a new study, their guts are home to a microbial community unlike anything that's been seen before in a modern human population -- providing, perhaps, a snapshot of what the human gut microbiome looked like before our ancestors figured out how to farm about 12,000 years ago.






Categories: Science

The Security of Popular Programming Languages

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 6:59pm
An anonymous reader writes "Deciding which programming language to use is often based on considerations such as what the development team is most familiar with, what will generate code the fastest, or simply what will get the job done. How secure the language might be is simply an afterthought, which is usually too late. A new WhiteHat Security report approaches application security not from the standpoint of what risks exist on sites and applications once they have been pushed into production, but rather by examining how the languages themselves perform in the field. In doing so, we hope to elevate security considerations and deepen those conversations earlier in the decision process, which will ultimately lead to more secure websites and applications."

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Categories: Science

Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

Slashdot - Tue, 15/04/2014 - 6:01pm
ananyo writes: "If ever a technology were ripe for disruption, it is the microscope. Microscopes are expensive and need to be serviced and maintained. Unfortunately, one important use of them is in poor-world laboratories and clinics, for identifying pathogens, and such places often have small budgets and lack suitably trained technicians. Now Manu Prakash, a bioengineer at Stanford University, has designed a microscope made almost entirely of paper, which is so cheap that the question of servicing it goes out of the window. Individual Foldscopes are printed on A4 sheets of paper (ideally polymer-coated for durability). A pattern of perforations on the sheet marks out the 'scope's components, which are colour-coded in a way intended to assist the user in the task of assembly. The Foldscope's non-paper components, a poppy-seed-sized spherical lens made of borosilicate or corundum, a light-emitting diode (LED), a watch battery, a switch and some copper tape to complete the electrical circuit, are pressed into or bonded onto the paper. (The lenses are actually bits of abrasive grit intended to roll around in tumblers that smooth-off metal parts.) A high-resolution version of this costs less than a dollar, and offers a magnification of up to 2,100 times and a resolving power of less than a micron. A lower-spec version (up to 400x magnification) costs less than 60 cents."

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Categories: Science