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 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Hot Air

by Jazz Shaw

March 9, 2013

At the moment you read this, you may want to consider running outside if you're on the east coast of the US. For the folks further west, you have a few hours left to plan.

Assuming that the clouds aren't covering the sky, there is a bit of hopefully spectacular science coming up on the western horizon. While the Southern Hemisphere has had some great views of Comet Pan-STARRS for several weeks, it's now everyone else's turn to have a shot. Starting tonight and lasting through March 20th, Pan-STARRS will start to make it's way up the western horizon - with tomorrow evening (March 10th) marking its brightest point.

reason.com

by Ronald Bailey

December 17, 2012

How the surveillance state co-opted personal technology

Big Brother has been outsourced. The police can find out where you are, where you've been, even where you're going. All thanks to that handy little human tracking device in your pocket: your cellphone. There are 331 million cellphone subscriptions-about 20 million more than there are residents-in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of adult Americans carry at least one phone. The phones communicate via a nationwide network of nearly 300,000 cell towers and 600,000 micro sites, which perform the same function as towers. When they are turned on, they ping these nodes once every seven seconds or so, registering their locations, usually within a radius of 150 feet. By 2018 new Federal Communications Commission regulations will require that cellphone location information be even more precise: within 50 feet. Newer cellphones also are equipped with GPS technology, which uses satellites to locate the user more precisely than tower signals can. Cellphone companies retain location data for at least a year. AT&T has information going all the way back to 2008.

The American Spectator

by Peter Hannaford

October 18, 2012

Since we know it's not, what can be done about it?

Call it the Law of Robot Customer Service. As ever more companies adopt endlessly complicated automated telephone systems, ever more customers become ever more frazzled. You know the symptoms (translations in parentheses): "Your call is important to us, so please wait for the next available associate" (after three minutes the line goes dead, followed by a new robot voice saying, "If you want to make a call, hang up and dial again); or,

wpshout.com

by Alex Denning

December 24, 2012

Last week I friend of mine who's a mathematician was helping me out with a formula I was trying to create which could predict how successful a post from a brand page on Facebook was going to be.

We worked for a couple of hours on what I had already and he changed it around a little and added some distributions I didn't really understand, but by the time we were done we had a formula which we thought would do the trick. We ran a couple of randomly selected posts through the formula and... yep, as we'd hoped, it was working pretty much perfectly and scoring the posts on a scale of 0 - 100, with 0 being the least successful post possible and 100 being wildly successful.

37signals.com

by Lee J. Colan

September 7, 2011

I used to think time was the most limited resource. It's so limited that you can't even save it for later.

But there's something even more limited than time. It's your attention. Attention is a subset of time, therefore it's more limited. How you spend your attention is more important than how you spend your time. Attention is about focus and careful, thoughtful consideration. Unlike time - which can be broken into convenient chunks of 15 minutes - attention doesn't divide quite so neatly or easily.

Commtouch Cafe

by Avi Turiel

April 5, 2012

Large outbreaks of phony AT&T wireless emails have been distributed in the last 2 days. The emails include links to malware on 9 different sites!

The emails describe very large balances ($943 in the example below), that are sure to get aggravated customers clicking on the included links. Every link in the email leads to a different compromised site that has malware hidden inside.

yacity.blogspot.com

May 11, 2015

By now many of you have heard about the Naugler family. Headlines have focused on a homeschooling or homesteading family of 10 children who were taken away from their parents in Kentucky on May 7th.

I have never met the Naugler family in person and have never been to their residence. My connection with the family is through online discussions with Nicole in a private Facebook group the past year. There is much I cannot know about them only knowing them through this forum, although the types of discussions had in the group tend to be fairly in depth and people can get to know one another better than many of the people they see every day. I don't pretend to know them well or claim a close friendship, but I do have some understanding of their views and lifestyle and a great deal of sympathy toward their plight. More importantly, I see how the criticisms against them can be applied to many, many other people who have or will be wrongfully treated and will need help.

safeandsavvy.f-secure.com

February 27, 2013

Thursday night and checking Facebook on my mobile before going to sleep. One of my friends is complaining about how hard it is to use Yahoo mail abroad. Problem logging in and now there's some problem with the account.

"Your E-mail account has exceeded its limit and needs to be verified, if not verified within 24 hours, we shall suspend your account. Click Here to verify your email account now." And when you try to resolve it, it doesn't even work. You just end up on the login page! Damn Yahoo! Stop! This message is not about a problem with the mail system, it's a very typical phishing mail. I responded with a warning, and yes, the link had indeed been clicked and the credentials entered on a page that looked like the Yahoo login page. That made my friend a phishing victim like so many other Internet users...

vindy.com

by David R. Just and Brian Wansink

February 8, 2012

Last fall, Los Angeles took a hard line on school nutrition. In an attempt to mold better eating habits in kids, the Los Angeles Unified School District eliminated flavored milk, chicken nuggets and other longtime childhood favorites.

But instead of making kids healthier, the changes sent students fleeing from school cafeterias. There have been reports of a thriving trade in black-market junk food, of pizzas delivered to side doors and of family-size bags of chips being brought from home. Garbage cans are filling up with the more nutritious food, even if kids aren't.

Hot Air

by Jazz Shaw

December 31, 2011

Ever since I was a young(er) man, I've heard about the coming wave of young voters who were ready to "rock the vote" and change the world.

Sadly, while this was predicted every four years, it rarely happened. The youth vote tended to raise their voices loudly for the media but failed to deliver on election day. That changed to a certain extent in 2008, though, when they turned out in fairly impressive numbers for Barack Obama. So are they gearing up for a similar showing in the coming year? At least according to one analysis, not so much.

      
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