Blog Rolls

How the Louvre’s Leonardo Blockbuster Shows a Master’s Progress

The New York Times – Eight highlights from the exhibition plot Leonardo da Vinci’s trajectory as an artist and show the breadth of his talents. “No institution in the world owns more Leonardo da Vincis than the Louvre. There are five paintings in its collections — including, most famously, the Mona Lisa, which the Renaissance artist had with him, along with two other masterpieces, when he died in France in 1519. To mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, the Louvre is staging a retrospective featuring some 160 works. The blockbuster show, which opens on Thursday and runs through Feb. 24, is one of the most ambitious surveys ever of the artist’s work. On display are eight paintings by Leonardo (plus the Mona Lisa, which remains in her usual, mobbed gallery upstairs but can be seen with the same exhibition ticket). The exhibition also contains 22 drawings from the Louvre’s own collection, and paintings and drawings from institutions such as the Vatican Museums, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Royal Collection and the National Gallery in Britain, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Objects drawn from private collections include the “Codex Leicester,” a set of scientific writings owned by Bill Gates…”

Categories: Law and Legal

‘The perfect combination of art and science’: mourning the end of paper maps

UK Guardian – Digital maps might be more practical in the 21st century, but the long tradition of cartography is magical – “Some for one purpose and some for another liketh, loveth, getteth, and useth Mappes, Chartes, & Geographicall Globes.”So explained John Dee, the occult philosopher of the Tudor era. The mystical Dr Dee would, perhaps, have understood the passion stirred by Geosciences Australia’s recent decision to stop producing or selling paper versions of its topographic maps in December, citing dwindling demand…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Trailer: Watch It Here

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 21:51
The movie hits theaters December 20—and it promises to be intense.
Categories: Just News

IBM Says Google’s Quantum Leap Was a Quantum Flop

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 20:01
A paper from Google leaked last month claimed its researchers had achieved “quantum supremacy.” Now IBM says Google rigged the test.
Categories: Just News

How to create RSS Feeds from Twitter “Twitter is a great tool to stay up-to-date with everything that is happening: news, hobbies and interests, celebrities and influencers. However, some users prefer to consume and monitor this information via RSS feeds using RSS readers or custom integrations within their own apps. allows users to create RSS feeds from any public Twitter user feed, hashtag, at mention or search keyword, as well as feeds of their own Twitter timelines without writing a single line of code. Here are three options on how to create these feeds…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New DNA Editing for Diseases, Dining Surveillance, and More

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 19:25
Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Categories: Just News

A Push To Have Cars Say 'No' To Drunk Drivers

All new autos would be outfitted with alcohol detection technology, under legislation being proposed by U.S. lawmakers. That would make it impossible to drive if you're over the limit.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program )

Categories: Just News

Alexa and Google Home abused to eavesdrop and phish passwords

ars technica – Amazon- and Google-approved apps turned both voice-controlled devices into “smart spies”. – “By now, the privacy threats posed by Amazon Alexa and Google Home are common knowledge. Workers for both companies routinely listen to audio of users—recordings of which can be kept forever—and the sounds the devices capture can be used in criminal trials. Now, there’s a new concern: malicious apps developed by third parties and hosted by Amazon or Google. The threat isn’t just theoretical. Whitehat hackers at Germany’s Security Research Labs developed eight apps—four Alexa “skills” and four Google Home “actions”—that all passed Amazon or Google security-vetting processes. The skills or actions posed as simple apps for checking horoscopes, with the exception of one, which masqueraded as a random-number generator. Behind the scenes, these “smart spies,” as the researchers call them, surreptitiously eavesdropped on users and phished for their passwords…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Equifax used ‘admin’ as username and password for sensitive data: lawsuit

Yahoo Finance: “Equifax used the word “admin” as both password and username for a portal that contained sensitive information, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. The ongoing lawsuit, filed after the breach, went viral on Twitter Friday after Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko came across the detail. “Equifax employed the username ‘admin’ and the password ‘admin’ to protect a portal used to manage credit disputes, a password that ‘is a surefire way to get hacked,’” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit also notes that Equifax admitted using unencrypted servers to store the sensitive personal information and had it as a public-facing website…”

See also If you asked Equifax for $125, you need to update your request and Equifax data breach settlement: How to file a claim for $125 or free credit reporting

Categories: Law and Legal

NYT Opinion – The Chinese Threat to American Speech

American companies have an obligation to defend the freedom of expression, even at the risk of angering China. “China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s core values: the freedom of expression. The Communist state is becoming more and more aggressive in pressuring foreign companies to choose between self-censorship and the loss of access to what will soon be the world’s largest market. An old list of taboo topics, sometimes described as the “three Ts” — Tibet, Tiananmen and Taiwan — has been joined by newer subjects that must not be mentioned, including protests in Hong Kong and China’s mistreatment of its Muslim minority…”

See also Million People Are Jailed at China’s Gulags. I Managed to Escape. Here’s What Really Goes on Inside.

Categories: Law and Legal

The Placebo Effect Works And You Can Catch It From Your Doctor

Doctor-patient interactions can make a big difference to the effectiveness of treatments. In a new study, even a fake pain treatment helped when doctors believed it was real.

(Image credit: Larry Washburn/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Portrait of an Inessential Government Worker

Bloomberg Opinion – Glory isn’t part of the deal when you go to work for the federal government. “The following is adapted from a new chapter for the paperback edition of “The Fifth Risk,” which will be published by Norton in November. “I found Art Allen standing on the lawn just outside his front door, a few miles inland from some uninviting Connecticut beach. He was in his mid-60s, and a scientist — but a scientist with a man-of-action feel to him. He wore a Coast Guard Search and Rescue polo and a massive Fenix 3 GPS watch, and he had this snow-white Hemingway beard. Six canoes hung from hooks inside his garage, a scrum of mountain bikes leaned against the wall, and all looked as if they had a lot of miles on them. So did he. For nearly 40 years, Art Allen had been the lone oceanographer inside the U.S. Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue division. Among other subjects, he had mastered the art of finding things and people lost at sea. At any given moment, all sorts of objects are drifting in the ocean, a surprising number of them Americans. The Coast Guard plucks 10 people a day out of the ocean, on average. Another three die before they’re found. Which is to say that 13 Americans, every day, need to be hauled out of the water or off some crippled sailboat or sea kayak or paddleboard. “I’ve only thought about one problem in my life,” said Art, with an odd little laugh, which sounded half like a chuckle and half like an apology for speaking up. “Which is how to improve Coast Guard search and rescue.”..

During the shutdown I’d stumbled upon a very long list of federal workers who had been nominated for an obscure public-service award called the Sammies. Virtually all the people on the list had been laid off without pay and more or less told by their society that their work was not all that important. I wondered what it felt like to be at once up for an award for one’s work, and required by law not to do it. The list was in alphabetical order. At the top was Arthur A. Allen…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Best Cities in the World: 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards

Conde Nast Traveler – “There’s a striking amount of diversity among the global superpower cities, which are filled with everything from centuries-old palaces to neon-lit skylines and staggering skyscrapers. For our 32nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—yes, readers have been voting for more than three decades—a record 600,000 registered voters weighed in. The impressive number of 2019 results were especially exciting for us: We’re always curious about where in the world you go, what you loved, and who you went with. As you continue to travel, we continue to listen: Here are the international cities you loved most this year…” [Note – disregard the error in the URL which is directly from the publisher – oops – this is 2019 not 2014!]

Categories: Law and Legal

White House Factions Fight Over Trump's Next Homeland Security Secretary

White House staffers have told President Trump he can't choose two immigration hard-liners for a top job because of federal vacancy laws, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Copyright Law Should Not Restrict AI Systems From Using Public Data

Commentary – Center for Data Innovation: “In March 2019, IBM created the “Diversity in Faces” dataset to provide a set of photos of peoples’ faces of various ages and ethnicities to help reduce bias in facial recognition systems. Even though IBM compiled the dataset from photos people shared online with a license which allows others to use the images for any purpose, some people strongly objected because IBM did not explicitly ask people for permission to use their photos in this dataset. NBC News even called it “facial recognition’s ‘dirty little secret.’” While this characterization is profoundly misleading (it was an effort to reduce bias in facial recognition, which is hardly “dirty,” and IBM was very public about the source of this data), this controversy highlights the challenge organizations face in creating datasets for AI, even when they have lawful access to the data, and the need for government to play a larger role in compiling data for computational uses…”

Categories: Law and Legal

A Brief History of Russian Hackers' Evolving False Flags

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/21/2019 - 17:51
Most hackers know how to cover their tracks. But Russia’s elite groups are working at a whole other level.
Categories: Just News

A Soccer Team In Denmark Is Using Facial Recognition To Stop Unruly Fans

Past matches between archrivals Brondby and Copenhagen have resulted in mayhem and arrests. So the Brondby team has begun screening fans to make sure banned spectators aren't allowed in the stadium.

(Image credit: Lars Ronbog/FrontzoneSport via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Justice Department Announces Plan To Collect DNA From Migrants Crossing The Border

Immigrant advocates are denouncing the proposal, arguing that collecting genetic information of border crossers could have implications for family members residing in the U.S.

(Image credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

Categories: Just News

Trump Says Republicans Need To 'Get Tougher And Fight' On Impeachment

The president went off on members of his own party during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, while saying at least Democrats are united in their pursuit of trying to remove him from office.

(Image credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Categories: Just News

Nordstrom Bets On A Big NYC Store As Other Retailers Close Across U.S.

The luxury department store chain is opening a 320,000- square-foot store in Manhattan as retailers such as Barneys and Forever 21 file for bankruptcy and more competition comes from online brands.

(Image credit: Peter Talbot/NPR)

Categories: Just News


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