Daily Archives: March 23, 2018

Department of Citrus employee arrested when caught mining for cryptocurrency, agents say

A Department of Citrus employee was arrested after he used state computers to produce virtual currency for himself, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Matthew McDermott, 51, of Davenport was the information technology manager for the Florida Department of Citrus, the agency that oversees the state’s citrus industry.

According to FDLE agents, he used several computers in the Department of Citrus to mine for virtual currency, which include bitcoin and litecoin.

“A mining pool, or team, is used to solve mathematical equations in an effort to mine the virtual currency and win a reward,” the FDLE said. “The pool combines its resources to help offset costs.”

Mining for cryptocurrency requires extensive computing power. Utility bills for the department jumped by more than 40 percent between October 2017 and January 2017, at a cost of about $825, according to the inspector general for the citrus agency.

Source: Department of Citrus employee arrested when caught mining for cryptocurrency, agents say

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IBM Still in the Game with a Computer Smaller than a Grain of Salt 

Have you been wondering what happened to IBM? You may have thought they were completely out of the game, but they’re not. They may not be building desktop computers, but they’re still “in the biz.”So what is IBM doing instead of producing desktop computers? They’re doing a lot, and that includes research. One of the things they have developed is a computer that is said to be smaller than a grain of salt.Just imagine how far we’ve come. While at one time people were amazed that we could fit a whole computer into a phone that we keep in our pockets, now we have one that will fit on the tip of your finger.

Source: IBM Still in the Game with a Computer Smaller than a Grain of Salt – Make Tech Easier

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Sociologist claims veganism promotes ‘white masculinity’

A sociology instructor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) is warning in a new academic article that vegan men are guilty of perpetuating “white masculinity.” “Meatless meals and masculinity” was written by Mari Mycek, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant in the NCSU sociology department, who argues that vegan and vegetarian men have reclaimed their “previously-stigmatized consumption identity” to wield power over women by framing their lifestyle as a rational, rather than emotional, choice.”These performances of masculinity are aligned with white middle-class social norms and expectations.”    Tweet ThisThough some scholars claim that eating meat causes “toxic masculinity,” Mycek came to a different conclusion based on interviews with 20 vegan men, asserting that they actually tend to “uphold gendered binaries of emotion/rationality and current ideas of middle-class, white masculinity.”

Source: Sociologist claims veganism promotes ‘white masculinity’

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Zuckerberg Facing Heat After Multiple Investigations Into Facebook Data Breach

Dark clouds are hovering over Facebook, and their stocks are falling. Now, various American and European federal bodies have started asking how a voter-profiling company managed to get hold of the data of 50 million users.Per a press release on Tuesday, the state of New York has followed the footsteps of Massachusetts that announced an investigation last weekend. As a part of a joint investigation, they have sent a demand letter to Facebook “to get to the bottom of what happened.”“Consumers have a right to know how their information is used – and companies like Facebook have a fundamental responsibility to protect their users’ personal information,” said New York’s Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.New Jersey is another American state to trigger an investigation over the Facebook data breach. “I am particularly troubled by reports that Facebook may have allowed Cambridge to harvest and monetize its users’ private data, despite Facebook’s promises to keep that information secure,” said the attorney general Gurbir S. Grewal.

Source: Zuckerberg Facing Heat After Multiple Investigations Into Facebook Data Breach

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Two thirds of Swedes want to ditch seasonal time changes: poll

This Sunday the clocks will move forward by one hour in Sweden, but it seems the practice has little support in the present day as a new polls shows that two thirds of Swedes are in favour of scrapping the shift to and from daylight saving time.The matter has started to gather force as of late after the Swedish government in February said it is not against ending the practice if there is broad support in the country or the Riksdag.There is growing debate over whether moving clocks forward in the spring and back in the autumn is really beneficial, and the neighbouring Finnish government is now pushing the issue at EU level, lobbying the union to abolish the time change.READ ALSO: Sweden agrees to consider ditching daylight saving timeAlong with showing majority support among the Swedish population for ditching the time switch, the new poll by Ipsos for newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) also asked Swedes to pick which time they would like to stick with permanently.

Source: Two thirds of Swedes want to ditch seasonal time changes: poll – The Local

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Aerones makes really big drones for cleaning turbines and saving lives

Enthusiasts will talk your ear off about the potential for drones to take over many of our dirtiest, dullest and most dangerous tasks. But most of the jobs we’ve actually seen drones perform are focused on the camera — from wildlife surveying to monitoring cracks on power plant smokestack.Aerones is working on something much larger. The Y Combinator-backed startup is building giant drones with 28 motors and 16 batteries, capable of lifting up to 400 pounds. That kind of payload means the drones can actually perform a broad range of potential tasks to address the aforementioned three Ds.

Source: Aerones makes really big drones for cleaning turbines and saving lives | TechCrunch

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S. Korea pushes to commercialize 10-gigabit Internet service

South Korea is pushing to commercialize 10-gigabit (Gb) transfer speeds for its online network systems, which is 10 times faster than Giga Internet, the fastest broadband service currently available, the ICT ministry said Sunday.The Ministry of Science and ICT said it will work closely with local IT firms to adopt 10 Gb service, considered the core technology behind fifth-generation wireless technology as well as virtual reality and augmented reality.Under the plan, the ministry plans to form a consortium to develop basic equipment and prepare networks for the rapid commercialization of the futuristic information superhighway.”The ministry hopes to achieve competitiveness in the ICT industry by successfully commercializing 10 Gb Internet through close cooperation between the private and public sectors,” an ICT ministry official said.Asia’s fourth-largest economy and one of the most connected countries in the world is aiming for 50-percent coverage of 10 Gb Internet by 2022.

Source: S. Korea pushes to commercialize 10-gigabit Internet service

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University offers guide on ‘talking to kids about whiteness’

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has a new “resource for parents” to help them with “talking to kids about whiteness.”“Given all the race, national origin, class-based violence, anti-blackness, and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the media and the subsequent backlash from white-identified people and groups, there is a growing need for mindful, supportive education for white children,” asserts the post sponsored by the UMBC Student Life Mosaic and Interfaith Centers.”White privilege can lead to a chronic case of undiagnosed entitlement, creating poor listeners, impatient speakers who talk over others, and people unaccustomed to taking orders.”    Tweet This[RELATED: Admin frets for ‘humanity’ of children raised by white parents]The page then lists three articles as suggested readings for parents and families: “What White Children Need to Know about Race,” “We need to deal with our discomfort and talk to our kids about racism,” and “Curriculum for White Americans To Educate Themselves on Race and Racism-from Ferguson to Charleston.”The first article, “What White Children Need to Know about Race,” discusses the “deep sense of shame” that the author experiences when discussing the subject of race, which he traces to the fact that his white family never engaged in conversations about race when he was growing up.

Source: University offers guide on ‘talking to kids about whiteness’

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The Transhumanist Test of Faith

Transhumanism is more often regarded as a faith by its detractors than its supporters. For my own part, I have long argued that the signature themes of transhumanism – especially the preoccupation with intellectual immortality and physical resurrection – bear the marks of Abrahamic theology. Indeed, without that theological backdrop, transhumanism’s zeal for mind uploading and cryonics looks simply bizarre. However, in this context, transhumanists can reasonably argue that they are scientifically delivering on those original theological promissory notes. Nevertheless, there remains the potentially pejorative sense of ‘faith’ lurking in what might be called transhumanism’s sense of eschatology – that is, its account of when, how and to whom those promissory notes will be delivered.History shows that any humanly conceived idea is eventually realized in some form. Most of these ideas are realized fairly shortly after conception and in more or less the manner intended by their conceiver. However, many of the most important ideas – the ones that profoundly alter humanity’s self-understanding — are only realized much later and typically in a context quite alien to those who originally conceived them. Norbert Wiener famously observed that the possibility of an artificial intelligence was first raised in Talmudic discussions of the Biblical Golem. One of the goals of medieval alchemy was the creation of life from non-living materials. As for space travel and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, they became staples of speculative thought starting with the European Renaissance’s unprecedented confidence in the power of human ingenuity. But in all these cases, the ideas have taken 500-2000 years to be realized – and many have yet to fully satisfy the ambitions of their conceivers.The disconnect between the conditions of intellectual conception and realization is quite familiar to writers of history and fiction. Hegel called it the ‘cunning of reason’ and it informs many a plot twist. These authors operate at a ‘meta-level’ to those who conceive and realize the ideas in question. In that respect, they move in the direction of God’s point of view. This enables them to survey with confidence a much broader bandwidth of the space-time continuum than either the conceivers or the realizers of the ideas themselves. However, what stops these second-order observers from achieving complete Olympian detachment is that they can still feel emotion about the consequences. Thus, they – and their readers — are the ones who laugh, cry or are simply amazed at the fate of ideas as they make their way from their conceivers to their realizers.  Moreover, those emotions may be quite different from the ones experienced by the people depicted in the works, who by definition operate from more limited horizons and hence are ignorant of the larger narrative context.

Source: The Transhumanist Test of Faith

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Teens Already Know How to Overthrow the Government

It’s early morning on a school day, and I’m texting with Emma González — the shaved-head badass co-founder of the #NeverAgain movement and one of the primary teenage organizers of the anti-gun rally to be held on March 24 in Washington, D.C. — about her preferences in fiction. Specifically, what I want to know is this: Does she read YA and fantasy fiction? Which characters does she like or relate to? “Are you a person who likes/liked Harry Potter/Divergent/Hunger Games?”I ask because Emma, and the other activist kids in Parkland, Florida (I wrote about them earlier this month here) are being compared all over social media to YA heroes and heroines, their brave, defiant rebellion reminiscent of something from a dystopian plot. A viral post on Twitter, circulating in the days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High — which killed 17 people, most of them teenagers — said this: “You know, when I said I wanted the real world to be more like Harry Potter I just meant the teleportation and the magic stuff not the entire plot of book 5 where the government refuses to do anything about a deadly threat so the teenagers have to rise up and fight back.”And a tweet by Jennifer Ansbach, a teacher, said this: “I’m not sure why people are so surprised that the students are rising up — we’ve been feeding them a steady diet of dystopian literature showing teens leading the charge for years. We have told teen girls they are empowered. What, you thought it was fiction? It was preparation.”It made me wonder: Is the viral nature of the #NeverAgain movement at least partially because there was something familiar about the Parkland teenagers? Did other American teens feel they “knew” them already?I have been writing about religion and religious beliefs for years, and saw similarities between the Parkland activists and the Biblical prophets, whose countercultural messages presaged wars and revolutions and the coming of a different, better age, galvanizing people to their side. If the activists are like prophets, then the YA novels and comics and movies consumed by kids are like Scripture, stories told over and over again, to be consumed by a mass audience: defining a mind-set and setting expectations for the future. (And the fandoms are like the apocrypha, new versions and iterations of the canonical story.)

Source: The Parkland Students Are Fictional Heroes Come To Life

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Giant yellow duck missing off the WA coast after fleeing swimming competition 

A giant inflatable duck is missing off the coast of Western Australia after strong winds whisked it into the Indian Ocean.”Daphne” the duck was meant to be the mascot for last Sunday’s Coogee Jetty to Jetty Swim.President of the Cockburn Masters Swimming Club, Peter Marr, said he was setting up ahead of the event when Daphne took flight in strong winds.Mr Marr said his attempts to swim after the inflatable were futile.”I probably overestimated my ability and underestimated Daphne’s hunger for freedom and she just bolted,” Mr Marr told ABC Radio Breakfast.

Source: Giant yellow duck missing off the WA coast after fleeing swimming competition – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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These animals have nipples on their butts and that is not the most fascinating thing about them

If any animal were going to outlive the dinosaurs, you probably wouldn’t guess it’d be this lil shrew-lookin’ dude. Look at it, with its little eyes and almost-creepily-bald snout. Crocodiles, deep-sea sharks—they look like they’ve survived millennia. But this guy? Nah.But as it turns out, this little solenodon is part of one of the earliest branches of the mammalian family tree, departing from the rest about 74 million years ago. They are also one of the very few existing venomous mammals, and among a small group of animals that survived the human settlement of the Caribbean islands. Most others died off as their environment changed, but solenodons kept scurrying along in their maze of underground tunnels with their mini shovel paws.

Source: These animals have nipples on their butts and that is not the most fascinating thing about them | Popular Science

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This Black Box Can ‘Unlock Your iPhone’ For Cops; Images Leaked

The debate whether law enforcement agencies should be given exclusive access to iOS-powered Apple devices started when the FBI was unable to unlock San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Eventually, FBI found other ways to get inside Apple’s secured digital fortress, through an Israel-based company called Cellebrite.In the latest news, we have come across about a new iPhone unlocking device called GrayKey that can be used by law enforcement guys to harvest passcode of an iPhone and other iOS-powered devices such as iPads and iPods.GrayKey is developed by a low profile company called Grayshift based in Atlanta, Georgia. The device wasn’t known to many until late 2017. Earlier this month, a Forbes report described the first details of the supposed iPhone unlocking hardware. As per the report, the company is run by an ex-Apple security engineer and longtime US intelligence contractors.Now, the security firm Malwarebytes has released the leaked images of the so-called black box that compromises iPhone’s security.

Source: This Black Box Can ‘Unlock Your iPhone’ For Cops; Images Leaked

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