Blog Rolls

One Reason Rural Students Don't Go To College: Colleges Don't Go To Them

"People tend to overlook the rural areas," says David Hochstetler, a high school senior in rural Michigan. "I think it's kind of disappointing because some able students could get looked over."

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

Categories: Just News

A New Method of DNA Testing Could Solve More Shootings

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 06:00
Criminologists thought it was impossible to get DNA off of shell casings, but a technique pioneered in The Netherlands is having notable results.
Categories: Just News

NASA Captures Supersonic Shock Interaction

NASA Image of the Day - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 05:58
One of the greatest challenges of the fourth phase of Air-to-Air Background Oriented Schlieren flights, or AirBOS flight series was timing.
Categories: Just News

China's Close Government-Business Ties Are A Key Challenge In U.S. Trade Talks

China's government plays a large, powerful role in how its businesses operate — giving them preferential treatment over their rivals. That's a big sticking point in U.S.-China trade talks.

(Image credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

The Big Unanswered Questions After Michael Cohen's Capitol Hill Marathon

President Trump's former personal attorney has spent many hours meeting with members of Congress but big gaps remain in the public understanding of what took place in 2016 and since.

(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

U.S. Cities Skeptical Of FDA Warnings Against Medicine Imports From Canadian Firm

Critics question claims by federal officials that CanaRX jeopardizes patient safety. Many U.S. companies, cities, counties and school districts rely on the firm to help employees get cheaper medicine.

(Image credit: Hero Images/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

The NSA Makes Ghidra, a Powerful Cybersecurity Tool, Open Source

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 03/05/2019 - 21:54
No one's better at hacking than the NSA. And now one if its powerful tools is available to everyone for free.
Categories: Just News

Woman Who Left U.S. To Join ISIS Denied Request To Expedite Her Case To Return

A judge ruled there isn't sufficient evidence proving Hoda Muthana and her toddler face imminent harm in Syria. It's a setback for the ISIS bride who hoped to fight her citizenship claim from the U.S.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Just News

FDA Approves Esketamine Nasal Spray For Hard-To-Treat Depression

Three decades after Prozac arrived, consumers are getting a new kind of antidepressant. The medicine is based on the anesthetic ketamine, which has been used illicitly as a party drug.

(Image credit: Janssen Pharmaceutica)

Categories: Just News

Former Defense Leaders Warn White House It's 'Dangerous' To Downplay Climate Change

Generals, admirals, former national security officials, and scientists have signed a letter to the president warning that climate change is a threat to national security.

Categories: Just News

Why Conspiracy Theories Work so Well on Facebook

OneZero Medium – Are we all just clicks away from identifying as ‘flat-Earthers’? “…A disturbing investigative report by the Verge last week revealed that some of Facebook’s contract moderators—who are tasked with keeping content like beheadings, bestiality, and racism out of your news feed—have turned to extreme coping mechanisms to get through the workday. Some contractors have been profoundly impacted by the content they’re exposed to, which may have implications for the rest of us who have grown accustomed to scrolling past sketchy links in our news feeds. For some workers, repeatedly viewing conspiracy videos and memes became a gateway to embracing conspiracy theories themselves. Contractors told the Verge’s Casey Newton that some of their peers would “embrace fringe views” after days spent combing through conspiracy videos and memes. “One auditor walks the floor promoting the idea that the Earth is flat,” Newton wrote…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Devil in the Details – DH for Small Data and Close Reading

DigitalHumanities: “What connects Open Source Software development, scholarly edition making, Linked Open Data, and Digital Sustainability? All of them rely our human capacity for managing fine detail as much as or more than they rely on technological infrastructure. Although Digital Humanities often tends to focus on the macroscopic, with text mining, visualization, and distant reading, it has important things to say about the small-scale too. And since in the end, most of what we do is built on a foundation of details, making digital scholarship more accessible, sustainable, inclusive, equitable, and diverse will require some attention to those details. Watch the MITH Digital Dialogues talk here

Categories: Law and Legal

PCRADIO Internet Radio app that works with low speed Internet

ghacks.net: “Mobile users have several options when it comes to listening to Internet Radio on their devices. Some like to stream directly from the Radio station’s website, others prefer music apps with radio support to do so. Most radio apps work well when you have a fast-enough Internet connection but most fail when you don’t. Failing does not necessarily mean that you cannot play the stream at all, but that you may experience buffering issues and other interruptions. The default stream quality, 128 Kbit/s, uses quiet a bit of data already; a single hour of playback requires about 50 to 60 Megabytes of data. If you play music for two hours per day, you end up with up to 3600 Megabytes of data just for the streaming. That’s exactly the situation where Radio Online – PCRADIO comes into play as it was designed specifically for low speed Internet situations (think car, subway or train ride, workplace with bad Internet connectivity..)…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Marie Kondo at Work: Can Your Office ‘Spark Joy’?

Knowledge@Wharton: “…To start, set aside a day in the office to de-clutter and put each item through the “spark joy” test, Jefferson said. “Give people time to decide if all those desk tchotchkes, old stale reports, and books they never got around to reading really deserve a home in their space,” she said. Schedule a donation pick-up or ask for volunteers to drop off the stuff. “It creates an awesome ‘reset’ and the end result is a lighter, more spacious office.” But it’s more than just physical mess one could tidy up. Also focus on the digital stuff that accumulates — the hundreds of emails at work, for example, that have grown wildly out of control. “Your creativity and productivity are significantly impacted by visible clutter in your physical work environment — and equally so — by the degree of disorganization in your email inbox and the number of apps on your smartphone,” said Erin Owen, executive coach in the Wharton Executive Coaching and Feedback Program.

“You can reduce your stress level, improve your mental focus, and reduce the time it takes you to find what you need by removing, recycling, shredding or donating old books, files, papers, and even deleting lesser used apps and removing old digital files to an external hard drive,” Owen continued….”

Categories: Law and Legal

As More Universities Cancel Elsevier, Sci-Hub Blossoms

TorrentFreak: “The University of California (UC) is the latest institution to cancel its subscription to leading academic publisher Elsevier. UC cites high costs and the lack of open access research among the reasons. This likely means an increase in traffic for Sci-Hub, the site that’s often referred to referred to as ‘The Pirate Bay for Science’, which may actually play a bigger role than some suspect. Little more than three years ago, Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, took Sci-Hub to court. It was a mismatched battle from the start. With a net income of more than $2.4 billion per year, the publisher could fund a proper case, while its nemesis relied on donations. Elsevier won the case, including millions of dollars in damages. However, the site remained online and grew bigger. Ironically, the academic publisher itself appears to be one of the main drivers of this growth. In recent years there has been a major push in academic circles to move to Open Access publishing. Instead of locking academic publications behind paywalls, they should be freely available to researchers around the world as well as the public at large, the argument goes. There has been some progress on this front, but it’s been slow. Meanwhile, Elsevier and other publishers continue to sell expensive subscriptions to universities. So expensive, that many institutions can’t afford them.

…This is where Sci-Hub comes into play. The “Pirate Bay of Science” might just quietly play a major role in this conflict. Would the universities cancel their subscriptions so easily if their researchers couldn’t use Sci-Hub to get free copies? Without access to critical research, their employees can’t function properly, so this ‘pirate’ backup comes in handy for sure…”

Categories: Law and Legal

OpenAI’s Recent Announcement: What Went Wrong, and How It Could Be Better

EFF: “Earlier this month, OpenAI revealed an impressive language model that can generate paragraphs of believable text. It declined to fully release their research “due to concerns about malicious applications of the technology.” OpenAI released a much smaller model and technical paper, but not the fully-trained model, training code, or full dataset, citing concerns that bad actors could use the model to fuel turbocharged disinformation campaigns. Whether or not OpenAI’s decision to withhold most of their model was correct, their “release strategy” could have been much better.

The risks and dangers of models that can automate the production of convincing, low-cost, realistic text is an important debate to bring forward. But the risks attached to hinting about dangers without backing them up with detailed analysis and while refusing public or academic access, need to be considered also. OpenAI has appeared to consider one set of risks, without fully considering or justifying the risks they have taken in the opposite direction. Here are the concerns we have, and how OpenAI and other institutions should handle similar situations in the future…”

Categories: Law and Legal

OCLC publishes list of top 100 novels

OCLC, a leading library technology and research organization, has published The Library 100: Top Novels of All Time, a list of the novels most widely available in libraries today. The list is based on data in WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive database of information about library collections. Produced and maintained by OCLC and individual member libraries and library organizations, WorldCat reflects the collections of more than 18,000 libraries worldwide. It includes information about more than 2.7 billion copies of more than 447 million titles. This aggregate worldwide library collection is likely the best view of the global scholarly and published record.

  • The full list, and more information about The Library 100 can be found at https://www.oclc.org/en/worldcat/library100.html.
  • …”Of course, the list of top novels emphasizes classics,” Prichard continued, “and so reflects dominant cultural views over the years about the canon and its formation. Librarians are aware of this and are more mindful than ever of the need to think critically about their collections. Librarians are actively seeking out and preserving overlooked, minority and marginalized perspectives.” (Read Prichard’s blog post at https://oc.lc/top-novel-blog.)…
Categories: Law and Legal

Smithsonian posts finalists in global photography contest

“We are excited to announce the finalists of the 16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest. This year, we received more than 48,000 submissions from photographers in 207 countries and territories. From dynamic portraits to breathtaking landscapes, these 60 images stood out to our photo editors as the most unique and memorable. Readers’ Choice voting is now open! Come back each day through March 29 at 5:00pm EST to vote for your favorite finalist. Winners will be announced the first week of April…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Phone numbers are the new Social Security numbers

Axios: “Cellphone numbers have become a primary way for tech companies like Facebook to uniquely identify users and secure accounts, in some ways becoming a proxy for a national ID.Why it matters: That over-reliance on cellphone numbers ironically makes them a less effective and secure authentication method. And the more valuable the phone number becomes as an identifier, the less willing people will be to share it for communication.

Driving the news: Facebook faced criticism this week for its handling of phone numbers that users provide for the purpose of two-factor authentication (2FA) — in which a person’s login is protected by both a password and a device like their smartphone.

The big picture: American culture and law are hostile to establishing any sort of national ID, leaving businesses and organizations to find substitute…Many Americans try to avoid broadcasting SSNs online. But now people have to share them with so many institutions and clerks that there’s very little that’s truly secret about them…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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