Judging by online chatter, it’s tempting to assume that almost everyone with Internet access is watching Love, or Making a Murderer, or catching up on House of Cards before the new season. It can feel like there’s a certain amount of pressure to watch, too, in order to stay abreast of the cultural conversation.
In reality, the odds are that only a fraction of people you know have watched Netflix’s latest “hit series.” But it’s impossible to tell, because Netflix is notorious for keeping its viewership numbers confidential. One reason is because the streaming service doesn’t want to reveal proprietary information about its products. But another is that Netflix simply doesn’t care about ratings—at least not in the way other television providers do.
In January, NBC claimed to have discovered a way to estimate Netflix’s viewership, which revealed that NBC’s top shows are more popular than Netflix’s, and thus that the reported death of broadcasting has been overstated. Predictably, Netflix claimed NBC’s revelations were “remarkably inaccurate,” leading to the type of intra-industry feud that generates good headlines. But beneath the scuffle, the more interesting story is what the feud says about television popularity today, Netflix’s unique business model, and why viewers really should care.
Other than an Apple backdoor hack, FBI could use 3 other hacks on killer’s iPhone
According to hardware-security experts, there are at least three ways the FBI could try to remove information from the phone of San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook without asking Apple for assistance.
While neither of them are easy, as they are all time consuming and expensive, and at least two of them have the danger of physically damaging the phone and everything on it. However, one is commonly used by companies that reverse-engineer computer chips in search of patent infringements, as they are possible.
Julia Elvidge, president of Chipworks, a Canadian company that does patent analytics and forensics said that given the resources “it’s almost always technically possible to reverse-engineer a product.”
The first method uses tiny changes in radio frequency and power consumption as a phone is powered on and off. This helps in guessing the passcode.
The second method rearranges the phone’s counter so that after each attempt to unlock it, the security feature’s internal counter is turned back to 1, tricking the phone into believing multiple attempts to unlock it have not been made.
However, the third method, which is the most aggressive, involves taking apart the chip where the cryptographic keys are stored so they can be read with an electronic scanning microscope.
Of the seven main candidates running for president, only one wants to keep the Affordable Care Act in place: the Democratic kind-of-front-runner Hillary Clinton. Everyone else wants to get rid of it.
Most Republicans would replace it by returning health insurance regulation to the states, although they would also lock in much of the ACA’s new spending. Self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders would replace it with a single-payer system—Medicare for all. It’s a terribly inefficient and costly idea, as many pundits have explained.
But it’s worth noting that Sanders’ main beef with the ACA is that it doesn’t offer universal coverage. Basically, not everyone is insured under the law. While I think he and the other candidates are wrong to see the provision of health insurance cards to all or most Americans as the be-all and end-all of health care policy (health care coverage, put simply, is different from health care), Sanders is right.
One understands his disappointment since covering most of the uninsured by making insurance affordable was a main policy goal of the health care overhaul. That’s what the employer and the individual mandates—the requirement for every American to buy health insurance—were for. Those who didn’t buy insurance would be required to pay a fine to cut down on the would-be free riders—who wouldn’t buy insurance and then, when they got emergency room treatment, would stick taxpayers with the tab.
Yet, the mandates aren’t working as planned. My colleague Brian Blase recently summed up the difference between the projected numbers of people who were expected to enroll in the ACA during this third open enrollment and the people who actually did. He notes a high estimate of 12.7 million people signing up for an exchange plan. But Blase actually thinks there will only be an average of 11 million enrollees this year. That’s 16 million fewer than the Rand Corporation predicted, 11.8 million fewer than the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicted, 12.1 million fewer than the Urban Institute predicted and 10 million fewer than the Congressional Budget Office projected.
In my opinion, this gap is another example of how the government always fails to deliver on its promises (whether you like the promise or not). On one hand you have the theory: The ACA will finally address the problem of the uninsured in America. On the other hand, you have a reality produced by politics and unintended consequences.
Your computer’s built-in webcam is easy to take for granted if you don’t use it very often.
But just because you don’t take advantage of this amazing piece of technology — as a woman in Toronto was recently shocked to learn — doesn’t mean it isn’t being used.
Chelsea Clark’s night watching Netflix with her boyfriend didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary — until pictures of the couple from that evening were sent to her Facebook account by the hacker who’d taken them from her webcam.
Clark described this as “a terrifying notion. It was a really bizarre thing to receive those messages and it really took a second to be like, ‘OH MY GOD, that’s what this means, that’s the implication of receiving thismessage is someone was just watching us. We obviously had no idea it was taking place at the moment, but retroactively it was like a really, really deeply creepy feeling. It was very unnerving. I mean it does feel like there’s just someone in your home with you.”
Hackread reported previously that hackers use Remote Access Trojan (RAT) to gain access to unsuspecting users’ computers and record their activity, including webcam sessions.
In the next month, scientists from RetroSense Therapeutics will inject a virus deep into the retina of legally blind human volunteers.
The virus will carry what is perhaps the most monumental payload in modern neuroscience history: DNA that codes for channelrhodopsin-2, a light-responsive protein isolated from algae that — under blue light — activates cells in the retina, thereby transmitting visual information to the brain.
Forget electronic implants. If all goes well, these volunteers will be able to see again using their own eyes — but in no way a human being has ever experienced sight before.
But the stakes are even higher: if this works, it means that optogenetics — a revolutionary neuroscience technique using channelrhodopsin-2 and other light-activated proteins — is feasible in humans as therapy.
Considering optogenetics has been used in mice to implant false memories, treat cocaine addiction, attenuate OCD symptoms, trigger sexual advances and aggression and reverse motor deficits in Parkinson’s disease — just to name a few feats— the technique could completely transform the face of neurology.
“This is going to be a gold mine of information about doing optogenetics studies in humans,” said Dr. Antonello Bonci, the scientific director of the intramural research program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to MIT Technology Review.
But let’s back up. To fully appreciate the phenomenal power of optogenetics, you first need to know a little about how it works.