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[9 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]

Facebook Inc is adding tools to make it easier for users to report so-called “revenge porn” and to automatically prevent the images from being shared again once they have been banned, the company said.
“Revenge porn” refers to the sharing of sexually explicit images on the internet, without the consent of the people depicted in the pictures, in order to extort or humiliate them. The practice disproportionately affects women, who are sometimes targeted by former partners.
Facebook has been sued in the United States and elsewhere by people who said it should …

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[4 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]

Bob Dylan finally has his hands on his Nobel Literature diploma and medal.
Klas Ostergren, a member of the Swedish Academy, said the 75-year-old American singer-songwriter received his award during a small gathering Saturday afternoon at a hotel next to the conference center where Dylan was performing a concert later that night.
Ostergren told The Associated Press that the ceremony was a small, intimate event in line with the singer’s wishes, with just academy members and a member of Dylan’s staff attending.
“It went very well indeed,” he said, describing Dylan as “a …

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[3 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]

If human beings finally reach Mars, they may find themselves depending on the humble, if hardy potato.
Scientists in Peru have used a simulator that mimics the harsh conditions on the Red Planet to successfully grow a small potato plant.
It’s an experiment straight out of the 2015 Hollywood movie “The Martian” that scientists say may also benefit arid regions already feeling the impact of climate change.
“It’s not only about bringing potatoes to Mars, but also finding a potato that can resist non-cultivable areas on Earth,” said Julio Valdivia, an astrobiologist with …

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[30 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Most people look for a place to hide when a typhoon is on the horizon, but Atsushi Shimizu hopes that the fury of nature may one day help resource-poor Japan tackle its energy woes.
As thousands of Australians seek shelter from a “monster” cyclone battering the country’s northern coast, the Tokyo-based engineer believes that his bladeless wind turbine can not only stand up to the raw force of these destructive storms, but also harness that power to generate electricity.
Shimizu’s egg-beater shaped creation—it has three cylinders and a central rod—responds to wind …

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[26 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Scientists in Germany are testing what they describe as “the world’s largest artificial sun,” which they hope could pave the way toward creating hydrogen to use as a green fuel.
The system called Synlight – being developed at the German Aerospace Center near Cologne – is an array of 149 bright film projector spotlights. They produce light about 10,000 times stronger than typical sunlight.
The test aims to find new ways to create hydrogen to fuel vehicles such as cars and planes, explained Bernhard Hoffschmidt, the director of the Center’s Institute for …

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[22 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Google painted a bleak picture of cybersecurity trends Monday, saying the number of websites hacked rose 32% last year, with little relief in sight.
“We don’t expect this trend to slow down. As hackers get more aggressive and more sites become outdated, hackers will continue to capitalize by infecting more sites,” Google said in a post on its webmaster blog.
Google, which inserts security warnings when it detects hacked sites, said most of those warned can clean up their pages, but that 61% are not notified because their sites are not verified …

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[15 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Facebook is prohibiting developers from using the massive amount of data it collects on users for surveillance. This includes using such data to monitor activists and protesters.
The company said Monday that it is making an existing policy “explicit.” Facebook says it has already taken action against developers who created or marketed tools meant to be used for surveillance. It says it wants to “be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.”
Last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union obtained records that Facebook and its Instagram service provided user …

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[7 Mar 2017 | No Comment | ]

Google said Monday it was working to fix a search algorithm glitch that produced “inappropriate and misleading” results from its search engine and connected speaker.
The internet giant reacted after a blog post highlighted unsubstantiated search results indicating former president Barack Obama was planning a “coup d’etat’ and that four former U.S. presidents were members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The weekend post from Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan found Google delivered “terribly wrong” answers to some queries in its “one true answer” box at the top of search results and …

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[16 Feb 2017 | No Comment | ]

Scientists have invented a new kind of thin material that can cool a surface against the heat of the sun without using energy or typical air conditioning.
The glass-polymer hybrid material measures just 50 micrometers thick—slightly more than aluminum foil—and can be manufactured cheaply, researchers said in the journal Science.
“We feel that this low-cost manufacturing process will be transformative for real-world applications of this radiative cooling technology,” said researcher Xiaobo Yin, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Uses for the product could include keeping buildings and other objects cool, …

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[14 Feb 2017 | No Comment | ]

When you browse online for a new pair of shoes, pick a movie to stream on Netflix or apply for a car loan, an algorithm likely has its word to say on the outcome.
The complex mathematical formulas are playing a growing role in all walks of life: from detecting skin cancers to suggesting new Facebook friends, deciding who gets a job, how police resources are deployed, who gets insurance at what cost, or who is on a “no fly” list.
Algorithms are being used—experimentally—to write news articles from raw data, while …