each country go it alone....
Investors see riches in a cryptography-enabled technology called smart contracts–but it could also offer much to criminals.
Some of the earliest adopters of the digital currency Bitcoin were criminals, who have found it invaluable in online marketplaces for contraband and as payment extorted through lucrative “ransomware” that holds personal data hostage. A new Bitcoin-inspired technology that some investors believe will be much more useful and powerful may be set to unlock a new wave of criminal innovation.
India orders clampdown on Internet porn, sparks censorship debate...
(Second column, 19th story, link)
the future, taking photo's of computer generated game scenes.
Today, the Justice Department indicted Dylann Roof on 33 federal hate crime charges for the killings of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston last month. This indictment is entirely unnecessary.
Hard as it may be for some to imagine now, there was a long time in this country when racially and politically motivated violence against blacks was not prosecuted by state and local authorities. Or sometimes, as in the case of Emmett Till—the young boy from Chicago who was lynched in Mississippi for allegedly being too forward with a white woman—prosecution was a farce and the perpetrators were acquitted.
But in the present case, South Carolina authorities moved quickly and effectively to catch Roof and did not hesitate to charge him with nine counts of murder. This was South Carolina’s duty and their law enforcement officers have appeared to perform professionally and competently.
The Department of Justice should be more judicious with its funds and resources. The opportunity costs of a duplicative prosecution takes resources away from crimes that fall more appropriately in the federal purview, such as interstate criminal enterprises and government corruption. Today’s indictment is federal meddling in a case the state already has under control.
Even if some wholly unlikely chain of events leads to Roof’s acquittal, the DOJ could push forward with their prosecution at that time. But, in reality, that isn’t going to happen and no one at DOJ thinks it will. By not waiting for the outcome of the state’s prosecution, the timing strongly suggests the DOJ wants to assume jurisdiction for Roof’s prosecution. Thus, this indictment is an unabashed political move.
While the murders were rightly condemned as a national tragedy, it was a tremendous blow to the community of Charleston and the state as a whole. As such, the primary responsibility for prosecuting Dylann Roof belongs to South Carolina. Neither national grief nor DOJ politics should stand in the way of South Carolina’s prerogative to deliver justice on its own terms.
UPDATE: Shortly after this post went live, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement on the indictment. Notably, she referred to the state and federal cases as “parallel prosecutions.” But Roof cannot be in two courtrooms at the same time and so one proceeding will have to take place before the other.
It is hard to identify any justice interest served by federal prosecution. Rather, this appears to be for the institutional interests of the Justice Department.
should-a crashed into it or jupiter. We all want to see surfaces, not circles.
AMTRAK donated money to them. http://www.neighborcare.org/sites/default/files/NCHAnnRpt2013_Final.pdf
REPORT: Schools implant IUDs in 6th grade girls -- no parental notice...
(Third column, 6th story, link)
any non-pill way to remove white-blood cells?
laugh with people, not at them. This is mean.
Walter White would SOOoo crash into them.
“OK Google, drive me to work.”
Google announced today that its panda-shaped self-driving cars are now puttering around the streets of Mountain View, California. Quartz first reported in March that Google was likely to start trialling its cars this year.
The cars can only travel 25 mph and will have drivers behind the wheel the entire time, for safety reasons—although the company has previously blamed humans for the accidents in which its cars have been. The driverless car team’s post on Google+ said that the cars will have “a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed.”
Google’s modified Lexus and Toyota Prius self-driving cars have been on the streets for years, and have now racked up over 1 million miles of experience. The computational system that powered those cars is in Google’s purpose-built cars now driving around.
Although the cars will have drivers and steering wheels in them while they’re being tested, Google said ultimately they’re intended to be steering-wheel free, giving the human passengers more time to check their email or watch a movie, or whatever else we like to do on our commutes when we don’t have to concentrate on the road.
bullshit Quartz. I quit reading the christiansciencemonitor and i am about to quit reading quartz....
The tragedy in Charleston has revived the movement to take the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds.
On Monday June 22—just five days after the shooting in the AME Emanuel Church—South Carolina governor Nikki Haley called a press conference to announce that, “it is time to remove the flag from our capitol grounds.” “This flag,” Haley said, “while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”
This is a particularly sensitive issue because the flag is on state property. What message, exactly, is the government sending?
The case against flying the Confederate flag
For those who want the flag to come down, it remains a symbolic reminder of white supremacy and the war fought to maintain slavery. States have been taking Confederate flags and monuments down for years now, and refusing new requests to fly them.
Just this term the Supreme Court in Walker vs. Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans permitted Texas to reject a specialty license plate proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans featuring a Confederate battle flag on it.
For those who want the flag to come down, it remains a symbolic reminder of white supremacy and the war fought to maintain slavery. Justice Breyer concluded that what appears on the license plate is a form of government speech and that Texas could decide for itself what speech to permit. When Texas decided that it did not want to include the Confederate battle flag, Breyer concluded the Sons of Confederate Veterans had no First Amendment right to display the flag.
Integral to the conclusion that Texas can keep Confederate battle flags off their license plates are the twin ideas that the government is speaking through the license plates and that Texas can control its own speech. Such principles were also used to justify the 2009 decision of Pleasant Grove City, Utah, to reject a monument from the Summum church for display on public property.
Writing for the majority in City of Pleasant Grove vs. Summum, Justice Alito said “the display of a permanent monument in a public park” is likely to be perceived as the government’s speech. The city could reject a religious monument, because observers would think the government was endorsing that monument.
So far, so good: The state can (and many of us believe ought to) reject the display of the Confederate flag on government property.
Understanding the state’s intent
But what happens when the opposite happens, and a state government decides to put a Confederate battle flag or a monument to the Confederacy on its property (or permitting others to do so)?
Take, for instance, the Confederate monument in front of the Sussex County, Virginia Courthouse, which includes the inscription: “The principles for which they fought live eternally.” That makes me suspicious of the quality of justice that African Americans can receive inside that courthouse. Indeed, many people now see the rise of the use of the Confederate flag during the Civil Rights movement as a response to the increasing claims of African Americans to equality.
And as Justice Alito recognized in the Summum case, monuments on public property will lead observers to “routinely—and reasonably—interpret them as conveying some message on the property owner’s behalf.”
A violation of the 14th amendment
That in turns leads to the question, then, of whether government speech that tells African Americans they are inferior—and perhaps that the era of slavery was right—violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
This is a stretch of current equal protection doctrine, which is concerned with tangible questions like funding rather than speech. However, if a state legislature passed a statute proclaiming African Americans are inferior I can imagine that such a bold and vicious statement might rise to the level of a violation of the 14th Amendment’s promise that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Does government speech that tells African Americans they are inferior violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment?
Now take a further step: Does the Confederate battle flag or a monument to the Confederacy tell African American citizens that they are inferior? And if so, does that violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment? While the answer to the latter question may not be clearly yes, I don’t think it is clearly no, either.
Ultimately, this is really more a question of whether a state—and its politicians—want to continue to fly a flag that is so closely associated with a war begun to maintain slavery. Many supporters of the flag say that the meaning for them is about southern heritage, not race hatred. And in this I am inclined to believe their statements about their motive.
But at this point in American history the flag has become closely associated in the minds of many with white supremacy, slavery, and Jim Crow segregation. Whatever its meaning once was—or still is in the minds of some—in the minds of many it is time to realize that this is a symbol that is sending the wrong message to US citizens.
Before this becomes a lawsuit, the Confederate flag should be taken down from in front of the South Carolina State House.
uber air. Thats what I want.
Many big companies live in fear for their future in digital age...
(First column, 14th story, link)
Flag Sales Skyrocket 3,620 Percent On AMAZON...
(Second column, 17th story, link)
S.C. pols beg DNC to quit...
PRUDEN: Letting no tragedy go wasted...
Retailers ban sales...
FOR SALE: 2008 Hillary Clinton Confederate flag pins...
Now Hillary denounces...
thanks God for Carmax.
Salary negotiations have plenty of artistry, but research is showing there’s also an underlying science.
The starting number can have a huge impact on getting what you want and how long striking a deal will take.
It’s been shown that putting forth a very precise number ($109,000 versus $100,000, for example) is effective in ultimately getting what you want. The thinking is that you’ve put a lot of thought into that number and are unlikely to budge.
However, if you want to get a deal done quickly, you’re better off with a round number, according to a new NBER working paper from researchers at Cornell, UC Berkeley, and eBay’s research lab.
The authors analyzed millions of two-way eBay auctions as a proxy for salary and other negotiations. Such auctions have both a “buy it now” and “make an offer” option.
The research found that round listings get lower initial offers and sell for 5% to 8% lower than similar precise listings. But they get offers more quickly, sell six to 11 days faster, and are 3% to 5% more likely to sell overall.
There’s a pretty simple reason behind those results, the authors think. A round price is what’s called a “cheap talk” signal. People signal that they have a weak bargaining position with a round number in order to attract buyers and sell more quickly. It’s a sign to buyers that they’re willing to move down.
Without that signal, people on both sides are more likely to play hardball to get the best deal. That makes bargaining more likely to go wrong, with significant negative consequences. A failure can derail everything from an important deal to a relationship with a boss.
A round number offer eases things along from the start.
It wasn’t just savvy buyers taking advantage of novice sellers. Some of the most experienced sellers in the study consistently used round numbers. The thinking about specific numbers was also borne out in the research. People using them were far less likely to accept first offers at any price, and made much more aggressive counteroffers:
This kind of tradeoff has been shown elsewhere. Another recent study on salary negotiations found that starting with an extremely high number leads to higher salaries, but it was also much more likely to end talks entirely.
looks like marketing, no product. Microsoft has a product and Google-cardboard is fun....
The Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus today showed off a streamlined version of its gaming headset, Rift, that will be available to consumers in the first quarter of 2016.
Oculus first excited the gaming world three years ago when it launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the development of its headset. It easily blew past its $250,000 crowdfunding goal and ended up raising $2.4 million. Then in 2014, Facebook acquired the startup for $2 billion, based on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s belief that virtual reality will represent the next major computing platform.
“Oculus Rift is going to deliver the magic of presence,” Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said today at a press event in San Francisco. “This isn’t science fiction. This is reality, and it’s happening today.”
Oculus has yet to reveal the cost of Rift, but Iribe said it will be at an “affordable price.” As part of a partnership with Xbox, Oculus Rift will ship with a wireless Xbox One controller and be able to stream Xbox One games.
The company also introduced new handheld sensors called Oculus Touch.
“One of the first things people do [when they put on Rift] is they reach out to this virtual world,” said Oculus founder Palmer Luckey. Touch will be able to recognize hand gestures, such as waving or pointing, and enable people to hold and interact with virtual objects, such as a gun in a shooting game. It will be sold separately and available shortly after Rift launches.
Revealed ahead of the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles next week, the new headset has been slimmed down and wrapped in fabric so it’s more comfortable for people to hold and wear. The company says it has also improved eye tracking so the experience is less jarring and nauseating for wearers.
“Really, for the first time it feels like a consumer product,” Iribe said. But while Oculus is finally getting ready to ship its first consumer product, it’s still far from achieving Zuckerberg’s vision of becoming a mainstream computing platform. “I think that’s going to realistically take a while,” Iribe tells Quartz. “I do absolutely think that will happen, but it will just take time.”
For now, the focus is clearly on gamers, as evidenced by the debut of Oculus Touch and the preview of upcoming titles for the headset.
The adoption of Rift among gamers—and eventually everyday consumers—will hinge on a few factors: price, experience, and especially developers producing content. “Developers need years with an input device,” says Iribe. “They just do, to make compelling content.”
ugh, Bezos investment. Hopefully this isn't just marketing.
Supercharge your immune cells to defeat cancer? Juno Therapeutics believes its treatments can do exactly that.
When Milton Wright III got his third cancer diagnosis, he cried until he laughed. He was 20 and had survived leukemia twice before, first when he was eight and again as a teen. Each time he’d suffered through years of punishing chemotherapy.
Good job. Well needed.
Pope Francis has announced a tribunal to investigate and remove bishops who failed to protect children who were sexually abused by priests. The decision comes after years of scandals in which senior Roman Catholic clergy were accused of covering up molestation and rape cases.
To date, no bishop has ever been removed, or even punished, for allowing abusive members of the clergy to commit their crimes. One US bishop was allowed to resign earlier this year for failing to report a suspected child abuser.
The United Nations released a scathing report last year detailing the “code of silence” surrounding abuse cases, alleging that the church systematically implemented policies that endangered children, and that in some countries clergy obstructed investigations in criminal or civil cases.
The new tribunal will be formed under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican said in a statement. It will hear complaints related to “abuse of office” by bishops, making it the first official mechanism to judge these cases. The measures were recommended by an advisory panel on sexual abuse, and approved by the pope.
One case of an abusive priest and the effort to cover up his crimes is portrayed in the Oscar-nominated 2006 documentary “Deliver Us From Evil.”
One word, Dyson.
that would be a good use of a robot, in connecting the millions of tiny blood vessels.
TX Doctors Do World's First Skull-Scalp Transplant...
(Second column, 12th story, link)
get a cruise control for $100 http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/build-photos-30632.html
This morning, Oculus Story Studio unveiled its latest interactive film project.
The post Your First Look at Oculus’ Adorable New Filmy-Gamey Thing appeared first on WIRED.
couldn't find cardboard fax #. Must be taken down.
All of the attendees of Google I/O this year (myself included) got the latest version of the Mountain View company’s Cardboard virtual reality headset for free—and now it looks like you can too. To promote their “Adult Swim Virtual Brainload” app, Adult Swim is trying to put a free Cardboard viewer in the hands of as many people as they can. But there’s only one catch: You have to fax them a form.
To learn more about the promo, you can head over to the company’s trippy VR promo page. The Virtual Brainload app “will test your mind as well as your body and the person who emerges may not be anyone you know,” Adult Swim says. And if you want to experience this, the company is giving you the chance of a lifetime to get what is assumably an Adult Swim-themed viewer.
The details of promotion say that it’s valid through June 7th, and that those who actually take the time to fill out and fax the form will have to wait 4-5 weeks for delivery. The offer is open to US residents only, and there’s a limit of one per person. The Virtual Brainload app works with HTC One M8, LG G3, Moto X, Google Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6 and running Android KitKat and Lollipop.
Here’s the form with all of the details.
Filed under: Android, Tech Industry Tagged: 9to5toys, adult swim, Android, Android Wear, Cardboard, deal, free, Google Cardboard, Virtual reality, vr
he will get out in a few years. This will not stand.
Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind of the illicit online marketplace Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison today for narcotics trafficking and other charges.
Federal judge Katherine Forrest handed down the sentence for Ulbricht’s role in facilitating the sale of drugs including heroin, cocaine, and LSD on Silk Road, using hard-to-trace technology tools like the Tor browser and the digital currency bitcoin. Prosecutors said that the creation of Silk Road was a “blueprint for a new way to use the Internet to undermine the law and facilitate criminal transactions,” and that the now-shuttered site has since spawned a number of copycat services.
Ulbricht was convicted in February, several months before two law enforcement agents were themselves arrested for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin in the course of their undercover investigation of Silk Road.
thats gotta be one noisy kitchen!
Advances in robotics make it possible to automate tasks such as processing poultry and vegetables.
It is less striking than Deep Blue’s victory over chess champ Garry Kasparov, but Richard van der Linde says that his robotic hand’s mastery at picking up cabbage is something of a milestone for machines. With the aid of five cameras, plus sensors in its wrist to monitor the resistance it encounters, the three-fingered gripper can carefully pick up a cabbage, reorient it, and place it into a machine that removes the core. “In industry, only humans can do that at the moment,” says van der Linde.
I love this guy.
Ahh, finally time to start suing-them.... Deep pockets.
Let the tea-leaf reading begin.
Uber, the app enabled ride-sharing/hailing company, is negotiating with banks over a $1 billion credit line, reports the Wall Street Journal (paywall), which tends to follow these things closely. Uber declined to comment.
Now, a revolving credit facility—it’s like a giant credit card for corporations—is not the type of thing normal people get excited about. But this is the one of the ducks companies typically get in a row before they go public. Facebook and Twitter took similar steps in the run up to their IPOs. (On the other hand, Spotify was reportedly in talks about a similar credit line last year and it hasn’t gone public yet).
But the general idea is that investment banks are keen to offer such credit lines to private companies in the hope that it puts the banks in a preferred position to act as underwriters in any ensuing IPO.
Now, it’s unclear exactly what Uber would do with access to another billion. It doesn’t seem to need the cash. The fast growing company has already raised a ridiculous amount of capital from private investors in recent months. And at this point the company seems to be simply raising money because it can do so on very favorable terms.
In a story earlier this month, the New York Times (paywall) described Uber’s latest funding round—reportedly $1.5 billion—as happening primarily due to an “overwhelming amount of investor interest” in the company, rather than a need for capital. (Although since then, Uber has been linked to a bid for Nokia’s maps business, which could eat up at least some cash.)
Anyway, the company’s effortless ability to raise capital from private investors has led some observers to question why Uber would ever bother going public. But as Matt Levine pointed out earlier this year, the point of an IPO wouldn’t be to raise money, it would be to allow early investors—which include traditional venture capital funds, corporate venture capital funds (like Google Ventures), mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds—an ability to cash out.
Companies issue stock in IPOs because it looks weird not to, but the goal is never to flood the market with as much new stock as it will absorb. The goal is to bring in new money to buy existing shares, so that the people who own those existing shares get rich.
And then there’s the need to keep employees happy. (They would also benefit from a public offering.) All that suggests that an IPO is likely on the cards. We just don’t know when. For what its worth, the Journal’s sources seem to think it won’t be until next year at the earliest.
One thing is at least clear: Since Uber is the most highly valued startup on the planet right now, when an IPO does happen, it will be a very big deal.
NSA Planned to Hijack App Store to Hack Smartphones...
(Third column, 8th story, link)
PAUL COMMANDEERS SENATE TO PROTEST PATRIOT ACT...
Wants to stop mass collection of data...
'Probably a Dozen' Spy Programs We Don't Even Know About!
GERMAN GOVT STALLS LAWMAKERS' PROBE INTO SPY AGENCY...
only 3 winners, ouch. They need millions of certificate winners, not 3 money winners. Why bother.....
You all know how much I like the idea of kid coders, that we can teach the next generations that they are not slaves to their PC's, that they can have control, via code.
With this event, they not only learn, share but can win cash too!
You know those games and apps you use on your phone every day? Somebody made those – and it could be somebody like you! With free software and tutorials from Microsoft Imagine, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, students ages 9-18 worldwide can learn to code their first game in about an hour and then dive deeper to personalize it, remix it, change it up however they want. Finally with our new Break into Code! contest students can submit their finished games to compete for a total of $12,000 (USD) in cash prizes!
This is just the first in a new series of contests from Microsoft Imagine that give students like you the opportunity to learn coding, make great games and apps you can share with your friends, and unleash your ideas and your creativity. Become a technology creator today and Break Into Code!
The Break Into Code! challenge:
- Use any device with a browser and internet connection to register and participate
- Follow an easy tutorial to create a working video game using TouchDevelop
- Ask yourself – what would you do to make the game different?
- Modify the game to make it your own and submit it to the contest before June 7th
Yes, it’s that easy! Don’t have any coding experience? No problem! Do you think you know your stuff? Show us what you’ve got! This challenge isn’t just about coding – it’s about creativity! With Break Into Code! you will see that coding is within your reach and allows for limitless possibilities - what are you waiting for? Get started today, compete with your peers around the world, and Break Into Code! for your chance to win cash prizes!
Microsoft Imagine introduces the Break Into Code challenge as a beginner level challenge that will get you excited about coding even if you don’t have any previous experience. We’ve teamed up with Microsoft Research’s TouchDevelop to get students of all ages started with a simple, easy to follow tutorial on coding a brick breaker game. The tutorial will get you started from a blank slate to a working game which you can then personalize and reinvent to make it your own. You can use any device with a browser and internet connection to participate.
Step 1: Create and Customize your game ...
Step 2: Collect your Materials ...
Step 3: Upload your submission for the competition ...
More to Explore
Visit the Microsoft YouthSpark Hub to learn new skills, explore careers and get the tools you need to seize the opportunities before you.