"China's ambition to collect a staggering amount of personal data from everyday citizens is more expansive than previously known," reports the New York Times, after their Visual Investigations team with reporters in Asia "spent more than a year analyzing more than 100,000 government bidding documents." The Chinese government's goal is clear: designing a system to maximize what the state can find out about a person's identity, activities and social connections.... The Times analysis found that the police strategically chose locations to maximize the amount of data their facial recognition cameras could collect.... The police also wanted to install facial recognition cameras inside private spaces, like residential buildings, karaoke lounges and hotels. In the police's own words, the strategy to upgrade their video surveillance system was to achieve the ultimate goal of "controlling and managing people." Authorities are using phone trackers to link people's digital lives to their physical movements. Devices known as Wi-Fi sniffers and IMSI catchers can glean information from phones in their vicinity, which allow the police to track a target's movements... In a 2017 bidding document from Beijing, the police wrote that they wanted the trackers to collect phone owners' usernames on popular Chinese social media apps.... As of today, all 31 of mainland China's provinces and regions use phone trackers. DNA, iris scan samples and voice prints are being collected indiscriminately from people with no connection to crime. The police in China are starting to collect voice prints using sound recorders attached to their facial recognition cameras. In the southeast city of Zhongshan, the police wrote in a bidding document that they wanted devices that could record audio from at least a 300-foot radius around cameras. Software would then analyze the voice prints and add them to a database. Police boasted that when combined with facial analysis, they could help pinpoint suspects faster. The Times also created a separate video summarizing the results of their investigation. And their article notes estimates that more than half the world's 1 billion surveillance cameras are already in China — but there's more information to be gathered. One of China's largest surveillance contractors also pitched software that to the government displays a person's "movements, clothing, vehicles, mobile device information and social connections," according to the Times. "The Times investigation found that this product was already being used by Chinese police." Thanks to Slashdot reader nray for sharing the story.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Personal hygiene is an essential part of self-care. Keeping your body clean and well-groomed not only makes you more pleasurable around, but it can actually help to keep you from getting sick. There are some interesting and downright bizarre products around to help with your personal hygiene, and perhaps none are more beneficial than an update to the time-honored cotton swab method of cleaning your ears. — Read the rest
Phoronix reports a new change was merged into the soon-to-be-released Linux 5.19 on Tuesday, making the kernel's signature verification code compliant with the Federal Information Processing Standards known as FIPS: FIPS are public standards via the National Institute of Standards and Technology used by U.S. government agencies and contractors in the areas of computer security and interoperability... Known-answer self-tests are required for FIPS compliance at startup/reboot, but the Linux kernel's signature verification code has been lacking such tests. The signature checking code is used for module signing, Kexec, and other functionality. With Linux 5.19 there will now be some basic self-tests at start. The tests will make their debut in Linux 5.19-rc4. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader UnknowingFool for sharing the news!
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
I have a complex relationship with Purple Rain. As a Prince junkie, I have to respect how impactful the album was on 80s culture and the career of his royal badness. However, I hate how synonymous it's become with Prince and his legacy. — Read the rest
I got a challenge from a creationist.
Hello, I am a Muslim.
Recently I have written a small script as a test to see how many attempts would a random mutation require to reach a target DNA Sequence.
The script simply creates a random target DNA Sequence, and keeps generating random DNA Sequences until it matches the target, and then prints the number of attempts needed.
The Result shows a very large number of attempts the longer the Sequence is.
How does evolution explain the results of this script?
The attached files are a C++ and Python versions of the script.
I don’t know why he needed to announce he’s a Muslim, it’s completely irrelevant.
Here’s his code. I don’t think anyone will have much trouble reading it — it’s about the level of a “hello world” program in an introductory office tech class.
I think you can see the problem. It’s a typing monkeys
simulation: there’s no selection, there’s no
accumulation of small variations, on every pass it generates a
totally random sequence of the desired length and compares it for
identity with the search string. Of course it takes
a very large
number of attempts to get the desired result!
Here’s what evolution says about it:
Evolution has nothing to say about that script, because a) evolution is not a conscious entity, b) the script has no relationship to the process of evolution, and c) the author is very stupid.
Oh, look. Abortion is still safe in a few states, including Minnesota.
I don’t know what’s wrong with those gomers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, but at least the Minnesota state government has its head mostly screwed on right.
Gov. Tim Walz, a DFLer, in a Facebook post, said: “The Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade is a blatant violation of a woman’s right to choose. But let me say it again: There will never be a ban on abortion in Minnesota on my watch.”
I’d volunteer my house as a waystation on the 21st Underground Railroad that is going to emerge, funneling pregnant people to our still functioning women’s (and trans men’s) health clinics around Minneapolis and Moorhead, but Morris isn’t on the way to anything. We’re way off any major freeway route. Also, to be honest, I live in Minnesota gomer country. We’ve got “crisis pregnancy centers” out here, which are unconscionable shams to draw in people with unwanted pregnancies, where they get handed religious literature and told horror stories about abortion, but that provide no useful medical assistance at all. The countryside of rural Minnesota is littered with godawful religious billboards (Pro-Life Across America, the organization that puts up those awful “my heart was beating at 4 weeks” with a picture of a 48-week infant, is based in Minneapolis).
And yes, just like in the surrounding states, every Republican in Minnesota is a deadly stupid asshole. If you’re trying to get to Minnesota for help, get on I-35 or I-94 and stay there until you get past the suburban ring of Republican sewage that surrounds the city of Minneapolis itself, and don’t get out of the car until you arrive. Once you reach the I-494/I-694 beltway, you might be safe.
Or fly in. The airport is reasonably close.
This is part of the cruelty of the Supreme Court abortion decision. It’s not easy, or it’s expensive, to get good, responsible health care for pregnant people. No matter where you live, if you can afford it, you can donate to help desperate people stuck in the bowels of the beast (that is, most of the country), get to where doctors are allowed to do their work. For instance, Robin Marty, a former Minnesota activist for abortion rights moved a while back to become an Alabama activist for abortion rights — I guess she went where she was needed most — endorses the West Alabama Women’s Center, and I trust her on these matters.
Clinging to sunken debris in shallow, marine mangrove forests in the French Caribbean, tiny thread-like organisms—perfectly visible to the naked eye—have earned the title of the largest bacteria ever known.
Measuring around a centimeter long, they are roughly the size and shape of a human eyelash, batting away the competition at 5,000 times the size of garden-variety bacteria and 50 times the size of bacteria previously considered giant. In human terms, this is akin to coming across a person as tall as Mount Everest.
Olivier Gros, a biologist at the University of the Antilles, discovered the prokaryotes in 2009, noticing them gently swaying in the sulfur-rich waters among the mangroves in the Guadeloupe archipelago. The bacteria clung to the leaves, branches, oyster shells, and bottles that sunk into the tropical swamp, Gros said in a press briefing.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Earlier this year, news broke of the first experimental xenotransplantation: A human patient with heart disease received a heart from a pig that had been genetically engineered to avoid rejection. While initially successful, the experiment ended two months later when the transplant failed, leading to the death of the patient. At the time, the team didn't disclose any details regarding what went wrong. But this week saw the publication of a research paper that goes through everything that happened to prepare for the transplant and the weeks following. Critically, this includes the eventual failure of the transplant, which was triggered by the death of many of the muscle cells in the transplanted heart. But the reason for that death isn't clear, and the typical signs of rejection by the immune system weren't present. So, we're going to have to wait a while to understand what went wrong. [...] After death, the team performed an autopsy on the transplanted heart. They found that it had nearly doubled in weight, largely because of fluid (and some red blood cells) leaking out of blood vessels in the absence of clotting. There was significant death of heart muscle cells, but that was scattered across the heart, rather than being a general phenomenon. Critically, most of the indications of a strong immune rejection were missing. The presence of an apparent pig cytomegalovirus was worrying, but the researchers indicate there's some question about whether the tests that picked it up might have been recognizing a closely related human virus -- one that's often associated with organ transplant problems. So, for now, it's not clear what happened with this transplant or what the significance of the apparent viral infection is. Obviously, the team has lots of material to work with to try to figure out what went on, and there's a long, long list of potential experiments to do with it. And there are also additional xenotransplant trials in the works, so it may not be long before we have a better sense of whether this was something specific to this transplant or a general risk of xenotransplantation.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Vampire freestyle rapping, baby Colin Robinson growing up, the group opens a nightclub (Nadja's) to attract high-end food ("Rich humans are basically like veal, conceptually repulsive, but so buttery on the tongue"), and the return of all 37 of Nandor's dead wives. — Read the rest
As cryptocurrency loses its value, less electricity is being used, reports Alex Hern for The Guardian. It's a simple problem: the cost of energy isn't falling, so it's becoming uneconomical to mine crypto. Who benefits? Gamers! A GPU-buying tip tip, though, from James Archer at Rock Paper Shotgun: skip the shady mass-seller eBay deals, as prices are likewise falling on local, see-it-in-person venues like Craiglist and Facebook Marketplace. — Read the rest
If, like me, you woke up yesterday to the SCOTUS Roe decision with utter despair and white-hot rage burning in your heart, here's a playlist to help you scream it all out. Music always, always helps. When you're done, gather yourself, go to a march this weekend, then work like hell to elect pro-choice Democrats in the midterms and in all levels of government. — Read the rest
The president's signing comes just over a month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two adults.
(Image credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
The most telling testimony against the Republican former president has come from Republicans he appointed or who supported him and voted for him (and, in some cases, say they would do so again).
(Image credit: Chris Wilkins/AFP via Getty Images)
Yesterday, the Supreme Court voted to uphold a Mississippi abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade, ending abortion access in some states and triggering impending bans in others. The decision won’t end abortion in America, but in many places it will move the procedure underground and, based on recent history, online.
Understandably, abortion advocates have focused on surveillance issues in the immediate aftermath of the ruling, concerned about states using online records for criminal prosecutions. But there’s also a fight brewing over how and where advocates will be able to share abortion information online. If a procedure is illegal, then states could claim content enabling that procedure is illegal too — raising thorny questions for...
From time to time, I’ll grab a random device out of the Verge reviews closet and spend a week or two with it. It’s mostly out of random curiosity and for the sake of comparing “old” products against the latest and greatest. Most recently, I was drawn to Google’s Pixel 5. So I gave it a factory reset, updated the phone to Android 12, and have been using it as my daily driver for the past several days.
The experience has been fantastic. I’ve got very large hands — an iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t look out of place in them — and I prefer large screens, so I don’t think I could fully switch over to the Pixel 5. But it’s such a good “small” phone (by 2022 standards) that I’ve certainly been tempted. The Pixel 5 makes it easy to do anything I...
Fist of the North Star doesn't get enough credit today. In the early to mid-80s, Kenshiro, Fist of the North Star's protagonist, became the template for shonen heroes. Sadly, most contemporary anime fans regard any series before Dragonball and Sailor Moon as too ancient to merit any interest. — Read the rest
Kevin Mayes, pilot of a single-engine Cessna, was on his way to Sacramento from Seattle, WA when he suffered catastrophic engine failure at 9,000 feet. Luckily, he was close to an airfield at Hillsboro, OR. Kevin managed to glide to the airport, spiral down to the runway, and make a textbook non-powered landing, all while seeming to barely break a sweat. — Read the rest
Somewhere along the line, consumer display technology became an alphabet soup full of terms using the letters "LED."
In this succinct guide, we'll provide a brief overview of common initialisms found in the world of TV, PC monitor, and laptop displays. To keep things simple, we'll focus on how each technology impacts expected image quality. Whether you're looking for a handy refresher for the next time you're shopping or a quick, digestible guide to give to inquisitive friends and family, we've got you covered.
You're likely reading this article on a liquid crystal display (LCD). "LCD" refers to any display type that uses liquid crystals, including TN, IPS, and VA (which we'll get into shortly). Even an old-school calculator or digital watch can use an LCD. But a simple "LCD" designation doesn't tell you how a screen will perform. You need more information, like the backlight type the panel uses—usually LED, followed by the more expensive Mini LED.
Synthesized Sounds of the Sea is a new project from composer Tomer Baruch — a concept album (with accompanying music videos like the one above), comprised of instrumental synthesizer music, with each song inspired by a different deep-sea creature. Here's how they describe the project in the press release:
— Read the rest
Tomer Baruch invents new and often eccentric deep-sea narratives, crafting and carefully matching his analogue, electronic based instrumental songs with beautifully shot videos of the marine world.
Bodily autonomy is a principle of the disability rights movement. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, people with disabilities worry about how they will be disproportionately affected.
(Image credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
School officials praised the students for their strength and resilience through three COVID-19 pandemic years, three changes of principals and then the May 14 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
(Image credit: Jae C. Hong/AP)
Stay connected while disconnecting
Austria-based crypto trading platform Bitpanda is slashing its headcount to ensure sustainability, the company said in a Friday blog post. CoinDesk reports: Bitpanda's founders said the firm needs to let employees go as it scales down due to market conditions. The company said it is aiming for a target headcount of 730. It has just over 1,000 employees, according to LinkedIn. "We reached a point where more people joining didn't make us more effective, but created coordination overheads instead, particularly in this new market reality," Bitpanda wrote. "Looking back now, we realize that our hiring speed was not sustainable. That was a mistake." In addition, recent offers will be retracted, and employees have been notified.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The testing system set up by the CDC actually deters doctors from ordering a monkeypox test, and many physicians aren't familiar with the disease, resulting in too few tests and little tracking.
(Image credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
With the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Minnesota will be one of the states where abortion remains legally protected. But legal doesn't necessarily mean accessible, advocates warn.
(Image credit: Christina Saint Louis/KHN)
The grave of a rocket body that slammed into the moon more than three months ago has been found. Space.com reports: Early this year, astronomers determined that a mysterious rocket body was on course to crash into the lunar surface on March 4. Their calculations suggested that the impact would occur inside Hertzsprung Crater, a 354-mile-wide (570 kilometers) feature on the far side of the moon. Their math was on the money, it turns out. Researchers with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission announced last night (June 23) that the spacecraft had spotted a new crater in Hertzsprung -- almost certainly the resting place of the rogue rocket. Actually, LRO imagery shows that the impact created two craters, an eastern one about 59 feet (18 meters) wide superimposed over a western one roughly 52 feet (16 m) across. "The double crater was unexpected and may indicate that the rocket body had large masses at each end," Mark Robinson of Arizona State University, the principal investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), wrote in an update last night. "Typically a spent rocket has mass concentrated at the motor end; the rest of the rocket stage mainly consists of an empty fuel tank," he added. "Since the origin of the rocket body remains uncertain, the double nature of the crater may help to indicate its identity." As Robinson noted, the moon-crashing rocket remains mysterious. Early speculation held that it was likely the upper stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission for NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in February 2015. But further observations and calculations changed that thinking, leading many scientists to conclude that the rocket body was probably part of the Long March 3 booster that launched China's Chang'e 5T1 mission around the moon in October 2014. China has denied that claim.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A spokesperson for the Spanish government's office in Melilla said about 2,000 people tried to enter, but many were stopped by Spanish and Moroccan forces on either side of the border fence.
(Image credit: Javier Bernardo/AP)
Police are investigating the shooting as a possible terrorist attack during the Norwegian capital's annual Pride festival. Investigators said a suspect was arrested.
(Image credit: Javad Parsa/AP)
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