A Clever Plan to Secure the Internet of Things Could Still Have Big Drawbacks

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 1:00pm
Relying on companies to secure IoT at the device level hasn't worked. Cloudflare has a different approach. The post A Clever Plan to Secure the Internet of Things Could Still Have Big Drawbacks appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Computer Program Prevents 116-Year-Old Woman From Getting Pension

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 1:00pm
Bruce66423 quotes a report from The Guardian: Born at the turn of the past century, Maria Felix is old enough to remember the Mexican Revolution -- but too old to get the bank card needed to collect her monthly 1,200 pesos ($63) welfare payment. Felix turns 117 in July, according to her birth certificate, which local authorities recognize as authentic. She went three months without state support for poor elderly Mexicans after she was turned away from a branch of Citibanamex in the city of Guadalajara for being too old, said Miguel Castro, development secretary for the state of Jalisco. Welfare beneficiaries now need individual bank accounts because of new transparency rules, Castro said. "They told me the limit was 110 years," Felix said with a smile in the plant-filled courtyard of her small house in Guadalajara. In an emailed statement, Citibanamex, a unit of Citigroup Inc, said Felix's age exceeded the "calibration limits" of its system and it was working to get her the bank card as soon as possible. It said it was adjusting its systems to avoid a repeat of the situation.

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Want Electric Airplanes? Sorry, But You Gotta Start Small and Boring

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 12:30pm
After the grandeur of Solar Impulse 2's round-the-world flight, André Borschberg is ready to start small. The post Want Electric Airplanes? Sorry, But You Gotta Start Small and Boring appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Who’ll Be the First to Meld With the Machines? Diabetics

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 12:00pm
Five years ago, the feds would never let a computer deliver a drug that could kill you. Then they approved the artificial pancreas. The post Who'll Be the First to Meld With the Machines? Diabetics appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Let’s Do the Shocking Physics of Why Power Lines Sag

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 12:00pm
When a cable is supported by the two ends, it will hang down a bit depending on the tension in the cable. How can you model this cable sag with a computer? The post Let’s Do the Shocking Physics of Why Power Lines Sag appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

The Breast Pump Finally Joins the 21st Century

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
The device millions of women rely on is stuck decades behind the times. Now tech entrepreneurs are hacking this essential tool of motherhood. The post The Breast Pump Finally Joins the 21st Century appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Handmaid’s Tale Is Somehow All the More Terrifying as a Hulu Show

Wired News - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
The series is based on the 1985 novel, but it feels perfectly suited to 2017. The post Handmaid’s Tale Is Somehow All the More Terrifying as a Hulu Show appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Alien Planet with Earth's Mass Discovered ... But It's an 'Iceball'

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
A newfound alien world is quite Earth-like in some ways, but you wouldn't want to live there.
Categories: Science

NASA's Dawn Probe at Dwarf Planet Ceres Loses Another Reaction Wheel

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has lost another orientation-maintaining reaction wheel, but the failure doesn't threaten the probe's continuing work at the dwarf planet Ceres, agency officials said.
Categories: Science

Student's Genes in Space Test Looks at Effects of Microgravity on Chromosomes

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
The experiment, which arrives at the ISS on Saturday, will test a technique to reproduce and analyze telomeres, the DNA-protecting tips of chromosomes.
Categories: Science

On Saturn's Moon Titan, Twilight Outshines Daylight

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
Unlike anywhere else in the solar system, Saturn's moon Titan is brighter during twilight than during daylight, a new study finds.
Categories: Science

Cassini's Journey into the Unknown: NASA Engineer Talks Saturn Risks & Rewards (Video)

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:30am
Space.com talked with Joan Stupik about the risks of that first pass between the planet and rings and what scientists hope to learn over the course of its unprecedented journey.
Categories: Science

Cassini Saturn Probe Survives 1st 'Grand Finale' Dive

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:00am
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has survived its first plunge between Saturn's cloud tops and the giant planet's innermost rings, a region that no probe had ever explored before.
Categories: Science

LinkedIn Testing 1970's-Style No-CS-Degree-Required Software Apprenticeships

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 11:00am
theodp writes: The Mercury News reports on REACH, a new software apprenticeship program that LinkedIn's engineering team started piloting this month, which offers people without Computer Science degrees an opportunity to get a foot in the door, as Microsoft-owned LinkedIn searches for ways to help diversify its workforce. For now, the 29 REACH participants are paid, but are only short-term LinkedIn employees (for the duration of the 6-month program). LinkedIn indicated it hopes to learn if tech internships could eventually be made part of the regular hiring process, perhaps unaware that no-CS-degree-required hiring for entry-level permanent positions in software development was standard practice in the 70's and 80's, back when women made up almost 40% of those working as programmers and in software-related fields, nearly double the percentage of women in LinkedIn's global 2016 tech workforce. Hey, even in tech hiring, everything old is new again!

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NASA Inspector Says Agency Wasted $80 Million On An Inferior Spacesuit

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 9:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: When NASA began developing a rocket and spacecraft to return humans to the Moon a decade ago as part of the Constellation Program, the space agency started to think about the kinds of spacesuits astronauts would need in deep space and on the lunar surface. After this consideration, NASA awarded a $148 million contract to Oceaneering International, Inc. in 2009 to develop and produce such a spacesuit. However, President Obama canceled the Constellation program just a year later, in early 2010. Later that year, senior officials at the Johnson Space Center recommended canceling the Constellation spacesuit contract because the agency had its own engineers working on a new spacesuit and, well, NASA no longer had a clear need for deep-space spacesuits. However, the Houston officials were overruled by agency leaders at NASA's headquarters in Washington, DC. A new report released Wednesday by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin sharply criticizes this decision. "The continuation of this contract did not serve the best interests of the agency's spacesuit technology development efforts," the report states. In fact, the report found that NASA essentially squandered $80.6 million on the Oceaneering contract before it was finally ended last year.

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Chinese, European Space Agencies In Talks To Build a Moon Base

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 7:00am
ESA's Pal Hvistendahl has confirmed via Bloomberg that Chinese and European space agencies are talking with one another about plans to build a base on the moon. The discussions "involve working together to build a human-occupied 'moon village' from which both agencies can potentially launch Mars missions, conduct research, and possibly explore commercial mining and tourism projects," reports TechCrunch. From the report: China's upcoming projects in space include a mission to collect samples from the moon via an uncrewed craft by the end of this year, and to also launch an exploratory mission to the far side of the moon next year, with the similar aim of returning samples for study. The ESA's collaboration with China thus far include participating in the study of those returned samples, and potentially sending a European astronaut to the Chinese space station (which is currently unoccupied) at some future date.

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Watch Triton Orbit Neptune via Kepler Space Telescope | Video

Space.com - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 5:19am
Neptune came within Kepler Space Telescope's field of view late 2014 into early 2015. The imagery Kepler captured was compiled to show the moon Triton orbit Neptune.
Categories: Science

Popular Belief That Saturated Fat Clogs Up Arteries Is a Myth, Experts Say

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 3:30am
schwit1 quotes a report from Irish Independent: The authors, led by Dr Aseem Malhotra, from Lister Hospital, Stevenage, wrote: "Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong." Dr Malhotra and colleagues Professor Rita Redberg, from the University of California at San Francisco, and Pascal Meier from University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland and University College London, cited a "landmark" review of evidence that appeared to exonerate saturated fat. They said relative levels of "good" cholesterol, or high density lipoprotein (HDL), were a better predictor of heart disease risk than levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad" cholesterol. High consumption of foods rich in saturated fat such as butter, cakes and fatty meat has been shown to increase blood levels of LDL. The experts wrote: "It is time to shift the public health message in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease away from measuring serum lipids (blood fats) and reducing dietary saturated fat. "Coronary artery disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and it can be reduced effectively by walking 22 minutes a day and eating real food." They pointed out that in clinical trials widening narrow arteries with stents -- stainless steel mesh devices -- failed to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

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AI will upload and access our memories, predicts Siri co-inventor

Kurzweil AI - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 3:16am

“Hey Siri, what’s the name of that person I met yesterday?” (credit: Apple Inc.)

Instead of replacing humans with robots, artificial intelligence should be used more for augmenting human memory and other human weaknesses, Apple Inc. executive Tom Gruber suggested at the TED 2017 conference yesterday (April 25, 2017).

Thanks to the internet and our smartphones, much of our  personal data is already being captured, notes Gruber, who was one the inventors of voice-controlled intelligent-assistant Siri. Future AI memory enhancement could be especially life-changing for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, he suggested.

Limitless

“Superintelligence should give us super-human abilities,” he said. “As machines get smarter, so do we. Artificial intelligence can enable partnerships where each human on the team is doing what they do best. Instead of asking how smart we can make our machines, let’s ask how smart our machines can make us.

“I can’t say when or what form factors are involved, but I think it is inevitable,” he said. “What if you could have a memory that was as good as computer memory and is about your life? What if you could remember every person you ever met? How to pronounce their name? Their family details? Their favorite sports? The last conversation you had with them?”

Gruber’s ideas mesh with a prediction by Ray Kurzweil: “Once we have achieved complete models of human intelligence, machines will be capable of combining the flexible, subtle human levels of pattern recognition with the natural advantages of machine intelligence, in speed, memory capacity, and, most importantly, the ability to quickly share knowledge and skills.”

Two projects announced last week aim in that direction: Facebook’s plan to develop a non-invasive brain-computer interface that will let you type at 100 words per minute and Elon Musks’ proposal that we become superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI.

But trusting machines also raises security concerns, Gruber warned. “We get to choose what is and is not recalled,” he said. “It’s absolutely essential that this be kept very secure.”

 

 

 

 

Categories: Science

New Study Suggests Humans Lived In North America 130,000 Years Ago

Slashdot - Thu, 27/04/2017 - 1:25am
An anonymous reader writes: In 1992, archaeologists working a highway construction site in San Diego County found the partial skeleton of a mastodon, an elephant-like animal now extinct. Mastodon skeletons aren't so unusual, but there was other strange stuff with it. "The remains were in association with a number of sharply broken rocks and broken bones," says Tom Demere, a paleontologist at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He says the rocks showed clear marks of having been used as hammers and an anvil. And some of the mastodon bones as well as a tooth showed fractures characteristic of being whacked, apparently with those stones. It looked like the work of humans. Yet there were no cut marks on the bones showing that the animal was butchered for meat. Demere thinks these people were after something else. "The suggestion is that this site is strictly for breaking bone," Demere says, "to produce blank material, raw material to make bone tools or to extract marrow." Marrow is a rich source of fatty calories. The scientists knew they'd uncovered something rare. But they didn't realize just how rare for years, until they got a reliable date on how old the bones were by using a uranium-thorium dating technology that didn't exist in the 1990s. The bones were 130,000 years old. That's a jaw-dropping date, as other evidence shows that the earliest humans got to the Americas about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. The study has been published in the journal Nature.

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