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Posts Tagged ‘krou’

“Space Archeology” Uncovers Lost Pyramids

May 26th, 2011 05:20 admin View Comments

Technology

krou writes “A new technique dubbed ‘space archeology‘ using satellites and infra-red imaging has helped uncover 17 new pyramids in Egypt, as well as some 1,000 tombs, and 3,000 ancient settlements. The mud bricks used to build Egyptian structures means it has a different density to the surrounding soil, and thus shows up in the images. Dr Sarah Parcak, who pioneered the technique, said that ‘Indiana Jones is old school, we’ve moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford.’”

Source: “Space Archeology” Uncovers Lost Pyramids

UK Targets Twitter and Blog Endorsements

January 9th, 2011 01:22 admin View Comments

krou writes “The UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is cracking down on ‘Twitter users and bloggers using their online presence to endorse products and companies without clearly stating their relationship with the brand.’ They described such endorsements, including ‘comments about services and products on blogs and microblogs such as Twitter,’ as ‘deceptive’ under fair trading rules. While the US Federal Trade Commission already requires such endorsements to be labelled with ‘ad’ or ‘spon,’ the UK doesn’t have any such requirement. In relation to this, the OFT has launched an investigation into Handpicked Media, because the OFT is ‘insisting that it must clearly state when promotional comments have been paid for.’”

Source: UK Targets Twitter and Blog Endorsements

CIA Launches WTF to Investigate Wikileaks

December 22nd, 2010 12:03 admin View Comments

krou writes “In an effort to investigate the impact of the leaked diplomatic cables, the CIA have launched the Wikileaks Task Force, commonly referred to at CIA headquarters as ‘WTF’. ‘The Washington Post said the panel was being led by the CIA’s counter-intelligence centre, although it has drawn in two dozen members from departments across the agency.’ Although the agency has not seen much of its own information leaked in the cables, some revelations (such as spying at the UN) originated from direct requests by the CIA. The Guardian notes that, ‘WTF is more commonly associated with the Facebook and Twitter profiles of teenagers than secret agency committees. Given that its expanded version is usually an expression of extreme disbelief, perhaps the term is apt for the CIA’s investigation.’”

Source: CIA Launches WTF to Investigate Wikileaks

Fighting Ad Blockers With Captcha Ads

November 1st, 2010 11:02 admin View Comments

krou writes “Living in an ad-free internet thanks to ad
blockers? That could be a thing of the past if software firm
NuCaptcha has their way by

making captchas into ads
. ‘Instead of the traditional squiggly
word that users have to decipher, the new system shows them a video
advert with a short message scrolling across it. The user has to
identify and retype part of the message to proceed. Companies
including Electronic Arts, Wrigley and Disney have already signed
up.’”

Source: Fighting Ad Blockers With Captcha Ads

Look For AI, Not Aliens

August 23rd, 2010 08:41 admin View Comments

krou writes “Writing in Acta Astronautica, Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that we should be looking for ‘sentient machines’ rather than biological life. In an interview with the BBC, he said, “If you look at the timescales for the development of technology, at some point you invent radio and then you go on the air and then we have a chance of finding you. But within a few hundred years of inventing radio — at least if we’re any example — you invent thinking machines; we’re probably going to do that in this century. So you’ve invented your successors and only for a few hundred years are you… a ‘biological’ intelligence.” As a result, he says “we could spend at least a few percent of our time… looking in the directions that are maybe not the most attractive in terms of biological intelligence but maybe where sentient machines are hanging out.”"

Source: Look For AI, Not Aliens

Obama Wants Allies To Go After Wikileaks

August 11th, 2010 08:16 admin View Comments

krou writes “Coming on the back of human rights groups criticising Wikileaks, American officials are saying that the Obama administration is pressuring allies such as Australia, Britain, and Germany to open criminal investigations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and to try limit his ability to travel. ‘It’s not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It’s U.K. troops, it’s German troops, it’s Australian troops—all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan,’ said one American diplomatic official, who added that other governments should ‘review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national-security laws.’”

Source: Obama Wants Allies To Go After Wikileaks

First Full-Sky Image From Planck Mission

July 5th, 2010 07:44 admin View Comments

krou writes “Six months of work has produced a remarkable full-sky map from Planck. ‘It shows what is visible beyond the Earth to instruments that are sensitive to light at very long wavelengths — much longer than what we can sense with our eyes. Researchers say it is a remarkable dataset that will help them understand better how the Universe came to look the way it does now. … Of particular note are the huge streamers of cold dust that reach thousands of light-years above and below the galactic plane. “What you see is the structure of our galaxy in gas and dust, which tells us an awful lot about what is going on in the neighborhood of the Sun; and it tells us a lot about the way galaxies form when we compare this to other galaxies,” observed Professor Andrew Jaffe, a Planck team member from Imperial College London, UK.’ The ESA has more details on their website, with a higher-res JPG available.”

Source: First Full-Sky Image From Planck Mission

UK Gov’t Spending Details Now Online

June 5th, 2010 06:08 admin View Comments

krou writes “The UK government has released a treasure trove of public spending data in an effort to lift what Prime Minister David Cameron calls the government’s ‘cloak of secrecy.’ ‘The first two tranches of data are from 2008/09 and 2009/10. The Combined Online Information System (Coins) includes what departments were authorised to spend, what they actually spent and what they are forecast to spend in future.’ Since the government admits that ‘some degree of technical competence’ will be needed to use the files, they have asked the Open Knowledge Foundation to help make it ‘more accessible,’ and have also promised ‘more accessible formats’ by August. The datasets can be downloaded from data.gov.uk.”

And on a similarly happy note, reader mccalli writes “Bletchley Park’s archive is to be digitised and put online. It seems HP made an offer to help out with scanners and expertise, and the result is that these texts will be made available to all.”

Source: UK Gov’t Spending Details Now Online

Mars500 Mission Begins

June 3rd, 2010 06:00 admin View Comments

krou writes “The six participants in the Mars500 project have entered their sealed facility. The project, which lasts for 18 months, is designed to try and simulate a mission to mission to Mars, completely isolated and cut off from the outside world, with a ’20-minute, one-way time-delay in communications to mirror the real lag in sending messages over the vast distance between Mars and Earth.’ They also have limited consumables, with everything required being loaded onboard from the start. You can follow developments via the blog, or the Twitter feed of Diego Urbina, one of the would-be cosmonauts.”

Source: Mars500 Mission Begins

Police Investigating Virtual Furniture Theft

June 2nd, 2010 06:34 admin View Comments

krou writes “Finnish police are involved in the investigation of up to 400 cases of theft from virtual world Habbo Hotel, with some users reporting the loss of up to €1000 of virtual furniture and other items. Users were targeted using a phishing scam that used fake webpages to capture usernames and passwords. There is no mention as to whether or not the thieves made off with the bath towels, gowns, shampoo bottles, and soaps.”

Source: Police Investigating Virtual Furniture Theft

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