Shared posts

21 Feb 21:49

Light Leap Years

When Pope Gregory XIII briefly shortened the light-year in 1582, it led to navigational chaos and the loss of several Papal starships.
13 Feb 15:54

Molly White Reviews Blockchain Book

by Bruce Schneier
Luciano

;-)

Molly White—of “Web3 is Going Just Great” fame—reviews Chris Dixon’s blockchain solutions book: Read Write Own:

In fact, throughout the entire book, Dixon fails to identify a single blockchain project that has successfully provided a non-speculative service at any kind of scale. The closest he ever comes is when he speaks of how “for decades, technologists have dreamed of building a grassroots internet access provider”. He describes one project that “got further than anyone else”: Helium. He’s right, as long as you ignore the fact that Helium was providing LoRaWAN, not Internet, that by the time he was writing his book Helium hotspots had long since passed the phase where they might generate even enough tokens for their operators to merely break even, and that the network was pulling in somewhere around $1,150 in usage fees a month despite the company being valued at $1.2 billion. Oh, and that the company had widely lied to the public about its supposed big-name clients, and that its executives have been accused of hoarding the project’s token to enrich themselves. But hey, a16z sunk millions into Helium (a fact Dixon never mentions), so might as well try to drum up some new interest!

06 Feb 18:13

Karolina Shiino: Ukraine-born Miss Japan gives up crown following affair

The controversial Ukraine-born model has resigned after a report on her relations with a married man.
30 Nov 07:20

Sticky Vicky: Legendary Benidorm dancer dies aged 80

Luciano

Marca España.

The X-rated performer had a legendary status among Brits travelling to the Spanish resort on holiday.
21 Nov 06:45

Taiwan's opposition drama ends with no deal

Despite a week-long attempt, there will be no united opposition ticket in the presidential election.
30 Sep 10:05

South China Sea: Philippines' Marcos defends removing Chinese barrier

President says Manila's defence of its territory does not mean it is 'looking for trouble'.
16 Sep 06:47

Friday Squid Blogging: Cleaning Squid

by Bruce Schneier

Two links on how to properly clean squid.

I learned a few years ago, in Spain, and got pretty good at it.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

19 Jul 15:14

Ukraine war: Russia strikes Ukraine grain after ending sea deal

Luciano

Hey Vladimir, please enllighten me: how does this help de-nazifying Ukraine?

Attacks on Black Sea ports destroy 60,000 tonnes of grain and damage infrastructure, officials say.
10 Jul 16:28

Putin meets Prigozhin: Getting to grips with latest twist in Wagner saga

The latest twist in Russia's mutiny saga surpasses Dostoyevsky for mystery, Steve Rosenberg says.
02 Jun 06:29

AI-Controlled Drone Goes Rogue, Kills Human Operator In USAF Simulated Test

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: An AI-enabled drone killed its human operator in a simulated test conducted by the U.S. Air Force in order to override a possible "no" order stopping it from completing its mission, the USAF's Chief of AI Test and Operations revealed at a recent conference. At the Future Combat Air and Space Capabilities Summit held in London between May 23 and 24, Col Tucker 'Cinco' Hamilton, the USAF's Chief of AI Test and Operations held a presentation that shared the pros and cons of an autonomous weapon system with a human in the loop giving the final "yes/no" order on an attack. As relayed by Tim Robinson and Stephen Bridgewater in a blog post for the host organization, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Hamilton said that AI created "highly unexpected strategies to achieve its goal," including attacking U.S. personnel and infrastructure. "We were training it in simulation to identify and target a Surface-to-air missile (SAM) threat. And then the operator would say yes, kill that threat. The system started realizing that while they did identify the threat at times the human operator would tell it not to kill that threat, but it got its points by killing that threat. So what did it do? It killed the operator. It killed the operator because that person was keeping it from accomplishing its objective," Hamilton said, according to the blog post. He continued to elaborate, saying, "We trained the system -- 'Hey don't kill the operator -- that's bad. You're gonna lose points if you do that'. So what does it start doing? It starts destroying the communication tower that the operator uses to communicate with the drone to stop it from killing the target."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

14 May 08:29

Will AI Just Turn All of Human Knowledge into Proprietary Products?

by EditorDavid
"Tech CEOs want us to believe that generative AI will benefit humanity," argues an column in the Guardian, adding "They are kidding themselves..." "There is a world in which generative AI, as a powerful predictive research tool and a performer of tedious tasks, could indeed be marshalled to benefit humanity, other species and our shared home. But for that to happen, these technologies would need to be deployed inside a vastly different economic and social order than our own, one that had as its purpose the meeting of human needs and the protection of the planetary systems that support all life... " AI — far from living up to all those utopian hallucinations — is much more likely to become a fearsome tool of further dispossession and despoilation... What work are these benevolent stories doing in the culture as we encounter these strange new tools? Here is one hypothesis: they are the powerful and enticing cover stories for what may turn out to be the largest and most consequential theft in human history. Because what we are witnessing is the wealthiest companies in history (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Meta, Amazon ...) unilaterally seizing the sum total of human knowledge that exists in digital, scrapable form and walling it off inside proprietary products, many of which will take direct aim at the humans whose lifetime of labor trained the machines without giving permission or consent. This should not be legal. In the case of copyrighted material that we now know trained the models (including this newspaper), various lawsuits have been filed that will argue this was clearly illegal... The trick, of course, is that Silicon Valley routinely calls theft "disruption" — and too often gets away with it. We know this move: charge ahead into lawless territory; claim the old rules don't apply to your new tech; scream that regulation will only help China — all while you get your facts solidly on the ground. By the time we all get over the novelty of these new toys and start taking stock of the social, political and economic wreckage, the tech is already so ubiquitous that the courts and policymakers throw up their hands... These companies must know they are engaged in theft, or at least that a strong case can be made that they are. They are just hoping that the old playbook works one more time — that the scale of the heist is already so large and unfolding with such speed that courts and policymakers will once again throw up their hands in the face of the supposed inevitability of it all... [W]e trained the machines. All of us. But we never gave our consent. They fed on humanity's collective ingenuity, inspiration and revelations (along with our more venal traits). These models are enclosure and appropriation machines, devouring and privatizing our individual lives as well as our collective intellectual and artistic inheritances. And their goal never was to solve climate change or make our governments more responsible or our daily lives more leisurely. It was always to profit off mass immiseration, which, under capitalism, is the glaring and logical consequence of replacing human functions with bots. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader mspohr for sharing the article.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

03 Apr 21:57

Less Than Half of US Workers Use All Their Vacation Days

by msmash
Spring break is here, and summer vacations are just around the bend. But while increasingly stressed-out US workers say having paid time off is critical, many still don't even take all that they're allowed. From a report: Only 48% of US workers say they use all their vacation days, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center. Those who don't take all their time off say it's because they don't need it, or they worry about falling behind at work or feel badly about co-workers carrying their load. A few even think vacation time hurts their chances for promotions or could cost them their job. There is growing anxiety in the labor force with layoffs spreading, hiring slowing and organizations cutting perks and other costs. Last month, the job site Indeed said it was reducing headcount because it's "simply too big for what lies ahead" -- an excuse used by many companies to justify recent cutbacks. It's no wonder that workers are exhausted.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

09 Dec 17:58

Gut Bacteria Are Linked To Depression

by BeauHD
Two studies published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications found a link between several types of bacteria in the gut and depressive symptoms. The first study, titled "Gut microbiome-wide association study of depressive symptoms," reports: Here we investigate the relation of fecal microbiome diversity and composition with depressive symptoms in 1,054 participants from the Rotterdam Study cohort and validate these findings in the Amsterdam HELIUS cohort in 1,539 subjects. We identify association of thirteen microbial taxa, including genera Eggerthella, Subdoligranulum, Coprococcus, Sellimonas, Lachnoclostridium, Hungatella, Ruminococcaceae (UCG002, UCG003 and UCG005), LachnospiraceaeUCG001, Eubacterium ventriosum and Ruminococcusgauvreauiigroup, and family Ruminococcaceae with depressive symptoms. These bacteria are known to be involved in the synthesis of glutamate, butyrate, serotonin and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), which are key neurotransmitters for depression. Our study suggests that the gut microbiome composition may play a key role in depression. The second study, titled "The gut microbiota and depressive symptoms across ethnic groups," reports: Both the microbiome and depressive symptom levels vary substantially across ethnic groups. Thus, any intervention for depression targeting the microbiome requires understanding of microbiome-depression associations across ethnicities. Analyzing data from the HELIUS cohort, we characterize the gut microbiota and its associations with depressive symptoms in 6 ethnic groups (Dutch, South-Asian Surinamese, African Surinamese, Ghanaian, Turkish, Moroccan; N=3211), living in the same urban area. Diversity of the gut microbiota, both within (a-diversity) and between individuals (B-diversity), predicts depressive symptom levels, taking into account demographic, behavioural, and medical differences. These associations do not differ between ethnic groups. Further, B-diversity explains 29%-18% of the ethnic differences in depressive symptoms. Bacterial genera associated with depressive symptoms belong to mulitple families, prominently including the families Christensenellaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae. In summary, the results show that the gut microbiota are linked to depressive symptom levels and that this association generalizes across ethnic groups. Moreover, the results suggest that ethnic differences in the gut microbiota may partly explain parallel disparities in depression. The Wall Street Journal shared (paywalled) the findings.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

18 Nov 18:50

World Cup 2022: Alcohol sales banned at World Cup stadiums in Qatar

Luciano

And now: thousands of people discover football is boring after they spend huge amounts of money traveling to World Cup

Alcohol will not be sold to fans at the World Cup's eight stadiums in Qatar after Fifa changes its policy two days before the start of the tournament.
08 Nov 12:52

Low Notes Really Do Get People Dancing, Research Finds

by msmash
When it comes to getting into the groove on the dancefloor, it really is all about the bass, researchers have found. From a report: Scientists say when very low frequency (VLF) sound was introduced during a live electronic music event, gig-goers moved more even though they could not hear the frequencies. "This is real world -- real electronic music dance concert -- validation that the bass really does make people dance more, and this isn't just something that comes from our conscious awareness," said Dr Daniel Cameron, a neuroscientist and first author of the work from McMaster University in Canada. Cameron and colleagues note that previous studies suggested music that induces dance has more low frequency sound, and that low pitches help people to move in time to music. However, it was not clear this impact of low frequencies would be seen in the real world, or when such sounds are not consciously detectable. Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team report how they set up an electronic music concert by the Canadian duo Orphx at McMaster and asked attenders to wear motion-capture headbands before turning on and off specialised VLF speakers every 2.5 minutes during the 55-minute performance. Results from 43 attenders who agreed to wear a headband revealed they moved 11.8% more, on average, when the VLF speakers were turned on. Cameron noted this meant people danced more vigorously, or with more exaggerated movements. At the end of the concert, 51 attenders completed a questionnaire that asked whether they could feel the music in their body, and whether the bodily sensations affected their compulsion to move.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

28 Oct 20:57

How a Redditor Ended Up With an Industrial-Grade Netflix Server

by msmash
A Redditor says they've managed to get a hold of an old Netflix server for free, and has posted a detailed online look at the once mysterious hardware. The devices were part of Netflix's Open Connect Content Delivery Network (CDN), and can often be found embedded within major ISP networks to ensure your Netflix streams don't suck. From a report: Reddit user PoisonWaffle3 said the ISP he currently works for has been offloading old Netflix servers as they upgrade to more modern equipment. In a Reddit thread titled "So I got a Netflix cache server..." he posted a photo of the server, which is bright Netflix red, and explained how he was curious about what's inside the boxes given how little public information was available. "All I could find online was overviews, installation/config guides for their proprietary software, etc.," he said. "No specs, no clue what was inside the red box." Dave Temkin, Netflix's former Vice President of Network Systems Infrastructure told Motherboard there's nothing too mysterious about what the servers can do, though they significantly help improve video streaming by shortening overall content transit time. "They're just an Intel FreeBSD box," he said. "We got Linux running on some of the generations of that box as well." Netflix's Open Connect Content Delivery Network hardware caches popular Netflix content to reduce overall strain across broadband networks. Netflix lets major broadband ISPs embed a CDN server on the ISP network for free; the shorter transit time then helps improve video delivery, of benefit to broadband providers and Netflix alike. It took all of three screws for PoisonWaffle3 to get inside the mysterious red unit, at which point users discovered a "fairly standard" Supermicro board, a single Xeon E5 2650L v2 processor, 64GB of DDR3 memory, and a 10 gigabit ethernet card. They also found 36 7.2TB 7200RPM drives and six 500GB Micron solid state drives, for a grand total of 262 terabytes of storage.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

31 Aug 15:52

The Ashes of Four 'Star Trek' Actors Will Be Carried Into Deep Space

by EditorDavid
United Launch Alliance has been developing a heavy-lift space vehicle since 2014 (with investment from the U.S. military) called the Vulcan Centaur. So CNN reports that the ashes of the late Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols "will head to deep space on a Vulcan rocket." Nichols' cremated remains will be aboard the first Celestis Voyager Memorial Spaceflight, which will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Celestis, Inc., is a private company that conducts memorial spaceflights. Among the remains also aboard the flight will be the ashes of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry; his wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who played various roles in the show and films; and James Doohan, who played Montgomery "Scotty" Scott in the films and TV series.... The spaceflight will travel beyond NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and into interplanetary deep space. In addition to cremated remains, capsules onboard will also carry complete human genome DNA samples from willing participants. People can participate in the flight — by having DNA or loved ones' remains in a spaceflight container — for a price starting at $12,500, and reservations close August 31. (Celestis offers other voyages that don't travel as far, but can cost less than $5,000.) Ahead of the flight's liftoff, Celestis will host a three-day event with mission briefings, an astronaut-hosted dinner, launch site tours, an on-site memorial service and launch viewing. All events will be shown via webcast, according to Celestis. An announcement on the flight's site invites fans of Nichelle Nichols to "share your own story about how she inspired you and it will be sent into deep space aboard the first Celestis Voyager Memorial Spaceflight — the Enterprise Flight, launching later in 2022."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

05 Jul 05:51

Mickey Mouse Could Soon Leave Disney As 95-Year Copyright Expiry Nears

by msmash
schwit1 writes: Mickey will be for the public domain in 2024, following U.S. copyright laws that state intellectual property on artistic work expires at the 95-year mark. When Mickey Mouse first appeared, Disney's copyright was protected for 56 years. The company supported the Copyright Act of 1976 which extended protections for 75 years. In 1998, Disney lobbied for a further extension. It is unclear whether the entertainment giant plans to make another move before 2023 to prevent Mickey from being moved into the public domain. Once copyright expires, anyone wishing to use characters from everyone's favorite rodent will not have to request permission or pay copyright charge.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15 Jun 15:16

Saudi authorities seize rainbow toys for promoting homosexuality

An official tells state TV the items "promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation".
15 Jun 15:13

Hot coal walk leaves 25 injured in Switzerland

The group suffered burns after walking over a bed of coals as part of a team building exercise.
14 Jun 12:23

Haze Fan: China releases Bloomberg journalist on bail

Luciano

He leído 'hazte fan', y parecía mal pero creíble que la BBC hubiera llegado a eso.

Haze Fan of Bloomberg news was held 18 months ago and accused of threatening China's security.
22 May 18:16

Why Gov.UK Stopped Using jQuery

by EditorDavid
The head of the UK government's digital transformation unit recently announced a change to the nation's government services site gov.uk: they've "removed jQuery as a dependency for all frontend apps, meaning 32 KB of minified and compressed JavaScript was removed" for everything from selecting elements to attaching event listeners.... Nearly 84% of mobile pages used jQuery in 2021, points out a new essay at Gov.UK — before explaining why they decided not to: jQuery was an instrumental tool in a time when we really needed a way to script interactivity in a way that smoothed over the differing implementations of stuff like event handling, selecting elements, animating elements, and so on. The web is better because of jQuery — not just because it has such incredible utility, but because its ubiquity led to making what it provided part of the web platform itself. Nowadays, we can do just about anything jQuery can do in vanilla JavaScript... It really begs the question: Do we really need jQuery today? That's a question that GOV.UK has answered with a resounding "no".... This is a big deal when it comes to the user experience, because GOV.UK provides services and information online for The United Kingdom at scale. Not everyone is tapping away on their 2022 MacBook Pro on a rip-roarin' broadband connection. GOV.UK has to be accessible to everyone, and that means keepin' it lean.... dependencies matter when it comes to performance. Don't shortchange your users if the web platform can easily do the job a framework can. This level of commitment to the user experience from a institution that works at the scale GOV.UK does is commendable. I can only hope others follow in their footsteps.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

13 May 12:59

Selection Bias

We carefully sampled the general population and found that most people are familiar with acquiescence bias.
08 Apr 18:50

Diabetes Successfully Treated Using Ultrasound In Preclinical Study

by BeauHD
Luciano

So it's not going to be gene therapy or mRNA or anything like that.

Across three different animal models researchers have demonstrated how short bursts of ultrasound targeted at specific clusters of nerves in the liver can effectively lower insulin and glucose levels. New Atlas reports: Reporting in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, a team led by GE Research, including investigators from the Yale School of Medicine, UCLA, and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, demonstrated a unique non-invasive ultrasound method designed to stimulate specific sensory nerves in the liver. The technology is called peripheral focused ultrasound stimulation (pFUS) and it allows highly targeted ultrasound pulses to be directed at specific tissue containing nerve endings. "We used this technique to explore stimulation of an area of the liver called the porta hepatis," the researchers explained in a Nature briefing. "This region contains the hepatoportal nerve plexus, which communicates information on glucose and nutrient status to the brain but has been difficult to study as its nerve structures are too small to separately stimulate with implanted electrodes." The newly published study indicates short targeted bursts of pFUS at this area of the liver successfully reversed the onset of hyperglycaemia. The treatment was found to be effective in three separate animal models of diabetes: mice, rats and pigs. [...] The study found just three minutes of focused ultrasound each day was enough to maintain normal blood glucose levels in the diabetic animals. Studies in humans are currently underway to work out whether this method translates from animal studies. But there are other hurdles facing broad clinical deployment of the technique beyond simply proving it works. Current ultrasound tools used to perform this kind of pFUS technique require trained technicians. The researchers suggest the technology exists to simplify and automate these systems in a way that could be used by patients at home, but it will need to be developed before this treatment can be widely deployed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

11 Mar 20:07

False Dichotomy

There are two types of dichotomy: False dichotomies, true dichotomies, and surprise trichotomies.
16 Feb 18:31

Cryptocurrency is Akin To a 'Ponzi Scheme', Warns India's Central Bank

by msmash
A top official of India's central bank has compared cryptocurrency to a "Ponzi scheme" and suggested an outright ban in its sharpest criticism just weeks after the government proposed taxation of the virtual digital asset and paved way to recognize it as legal tender in the world's second-largest internet market. From a report: T. Rabi Sankar, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), told an audience at a banking conference that cryptocurrencies have been "specifically developed to bypass the regulated financial system," and are not backed by any underlying cash flow. "We have also seen that cryptocurrencies are not amenable to definition as a currency, asset or commodity; they have no underlying cash flows, they have no intrinsic value; that they are akin to Ponzi schemes, and may even be worse," he said. "As a store of value, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have given impressive returns so far, but so did tulips in 17th century Netherlands."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02 Feb 00:49

Última semana de enero 2022. Do the Right Thing

by Ernesto Rodera




Lunes 24 de enero 2022
Todavía seguimos con lo obvio.

 


Martes 25 de enero 2022
Fue muy comentada una foto de los señores de Fuerza Nueva paseándose por las calles de León vestidos de... no sé sabe muy bien qué. Pablo Casado, el líder nacional del Partido Popular por su parte sigue dando ruedas de prensa rodeado de rumiantes, únicos seres que pueden darle dos y hasta tres vueltas a su alimento.







Miércoles 26 de enero 2022
Todo está bien. Hablemos de lo sabroso de nuestros productos y la hermosura de nuestras mujeres.





Jueves 27 de enero 2022
Y no había una consejería de Marina y otra Aeroespacial de puta casualidad. En arte menor (ocho sílabas o menos) las formas abab se llaman cuartetas. En arte mayor... chan, chan, chan... ¡serventesios (ABAB)! Luego ya van las redondillas (abba) y los cuartetos (ABBA).






Viernes 28 de enero 2022
Yo estaba seguro de que la campaña ya había empezado. Pero, no. Empieza hoy. Mientras, tremendo nublado se cierne sobre Ucrania. Pero nos da igual. Nosotros, a lo nuestro.





Sábado 29 de enero 2022
El alfabeto electoral sigue con sus cosas electorales. Hoy presentamos al candidato del partido Unión del Pueblo Leonés, cuyos líderes y simpatizantes siempre han tenido un programa, unas ideas y un plan (económico, cultural, demográfico...) muy sencillo: absolutamente todo es culpa de Valladolid. Si León fuera una autonomía uniprovincial, o con Zamora y Salamanca, o con la franja de Gaza y parte de República Dominicana... seríamos la monda porque debemos ser listísimos. Pero sin Valladolid: origen y solución de nuestros problemas.





Domingo 30 de enero 2022
Esto es literal. El Partido Popular (por ejemplo) puede llegar a un sitio de la Comunidad y asegurar que va a llevar a cabo un proyecto que haya anunciado antes CUATRO VECES. Bueno, no es que pueda. Tengo la seguridad de que lo va a hacer (no el proyecto, claro).







Colofón no relacionado. A veces pongo aquí estas cosas para... guardarlas. El día cuatro de abril de 2017 dibujé (y publicaron) la viñeta de la derecha. A la izquierda se puede ver la dada a imprenta por Andrés Rábago (El Roto) en el diario El País el día veintiséis de enero de 2022. Casi cinco años después. ¿Qué significa esto? Pues nada en absoluto. Que es un chiste tontorrón, en el mejor de los casos. Lo tengo muy estudiado: cuánto más abstracto y críptico y general sea el tema (las tramas, la guerra, las mujeres, LA POBREZA...), más molan. Ahora, si te metes con algo o alguien en concreto... la cosa cambia. Me gusta más la mía.


Los enlaces a ambos dibujos:


http://back.ctxt.es/es/20170329/Multimedia/11924/ernesto-rodera-trama-corrupcion-politica.htm


https://elpais.com/opinion/2022-01-26/el-roto.html










08 Jan 22:45

Judge Orders FDA To Hasten Release of Pfizer Vaccine Docs

by BeauHD
A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, imposing a dramatically accelerated schedule that should result in the release of all information within about eight months. Reuters reports: That's roughly 75 years and four months faster than the FDA said it could take to complete a Freedom of Information Act request by a group of doctors and scientists seeking an estimated 450,000 pages of material about the vaccine. The court "concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance," wrote U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump in 2019. The FDA didn't dispute it had an obligation to make the information public but argued that its short-staffed FOIA office only had the bandwidth to review and release 500 pages a month. While Pittman recognized "the 'unduly burdensome' challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA," in his four-page order, he resoundingly rejected the agency's suggested schedule. Rather than producing 500 pages a month -- the FDA's proposed timeline -- he ordered the agency to turn over 55,000 a month. That means all the Pfizer vaccine data should be public by the end of the summer rather than, say, the year 2097. "Even if the FDA may not see it this way, I think Pittman did the agency -- and the country -- a big favor by expediting the document production," writes Reuters' Jenna Greene. "Making the information public as soon as possible may help assuage the concerns of vaccine skeptics and convince them the product is safe." "Still, the FDA is likely to be hard-pressed to process 55,000 pages a month," Greene adds. "The office that reviews FOIA requests has just 10 employees, according to a declaration filed with the court by Suzann Burk, who heads the FDA's Division of Disclosure and Oversight Management. Burk said it takes eight minutes a page for a worker 'to perform a careful line-by-line, word-by-word review of all responsive records before producing them in response to a FOIA request.' [...] But as lawyers for the plaintiffs Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency pointed out in court papers (PDF), the FDA as of 2020 had 18,062 employees. Surely some can be dispatched to pitch in at the FOIA office."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23 Dec 19:23

Watching A Lecture Twice At Double Speed Can Benefit Learning Better Than Watching It Once At Normal Speed

by msmash
The British Psychological Society: Watching lecture videos is now a major part of many students' university experience. Some say they prefer them to live lectures, as they can choose when to study. And, according to a survey of students at the University of California Los Angeles, at least, many students also take advantage of the fact that video playback can be sped up, so cutting the amount of time they spend on lectures. But what impact does sped-up viewing have on learning? The answer, according to a new paper in Applied Cognitive Psychology, is, within some limits, none. In fact, if used strategically, it can actually improve learning. However, what students think is going to be the best strategy isn't actually what's most beneficial, Dillon Murphy at UCLA and colleagues also report. First, the team assigned 231 student participants to watch two YouTube videos (one on real estate appraisals and the other on the Roman Empire) at normal speed, 1.5x speed, 2x speed or 2.5x speed. They were told to watch the videos in full screen mode and not to pause them or take any notes. After each video, the students took comprehension tests, which were repeated a week later. The results were clear: the 1.5x and 2x groups did just as well on the tests as those who'd watched the videos at normal speed, both immediately afterwards and one week on. Only at 2.5x was learning impaired. When the team surveyed a separate group of UCLA students, they found that a massive 85% usually watched pre-recorded lectures at faster than normal speed. However, 91% said they thought that normal speed or slightly faster (1.5x) would be better for learning than 2x or 2.5x. These new results certainly suggest that this isn't right: double-time viewing was just as good as normal viewing. It seems, then, that as long as the material can still be accurately perceived and comprehended, it's okay to speed up playback. So, a student could just watch videos at 2x speed and halve their time spent on lectures...Or, according to the results of other studies reported in the paper, they could watch a video at 2x normal speed twice, and do better on a test than if they'd watched it once at normal speed. The timing mattered, though: only those who'd watched the 2x video for a second time immediately before a test, rather than right after the first viewing, got this advantage.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

27 Jul 07:43

Backdoor.Win32.Nbdd.bgz / Remote Stack Buffer Overflow

Posted by malvuln on Jul 26

Discovery / credits: Malvuln - malvuln.com (c) 2021
Original source:
https://malvuln.com/advisory/6fab73bf104c6a9211b94f9559faa134.txt
Contact: malvuln13 () gmail com
Media: twitter.com/malvuln

Threat: Backdoor.Win32.Nbdd.bgz
Vulnerability: Remote Stack Buffer Overflow
Description: NetBot_Attacker VIP 5.9 on initial startup listens on port
8080 and on subsequent restarts port 80. Third-party attackers who can
reach an infected system can send...