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March, 2018

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Book review: Are we nearly there, yet? How autonomous driving will change the world

Autonomous vehicles are going to change the world in many ways you may not expect, just as the horseless carriage did. An authoritative new book has the details… …read more

Source:: ZDNet

Tesla crash: Model X was in Autopilot mode, firm says – CNET

The news could amplify worries over the reliability of automated-driving systems, but Tesla says they’re still the safer option. …read more

Source:: CNet

MailChimp Bans Emails Promoting Cryptocurrency

“MailChimp to Cryptocurrency Promoters: Your Fake Money’s No Good Here,” jokes the headline at Gizmodo. The mass emailing service — which sends over a billion emails a day — just updated its Acceptable Use Policy to warn users that MailChimp “does not allow businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing, or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering, to use MailChimp to facilitate or support any of those activities.”
An anonymous reader quotes Gizmodo:
The ban on cryptocurrency promotion isn’t out of the blue so much as a clarification of existing use policies… In a statement to Gizmodo, MailChimp further clarified: “We recognize that blockchain technology is in its infancy and has tremendous potential. Nonetheless, the promotion and exchange of cryptocurrencies is too frequently associated with scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices at this time…” MailChimp previously held policies prohibiting multi-level marketing, “make money online” businesses, and “industries hav[ing] higher-than-average abuse complaints,” and earmarked “online trading, day trading tips, or stock market related content” for “additional scrutiny…” This follows similar, though less restrictive bans by Facebook (and Instagram by extension), Google, Linkedin, Twitter, and Snapchat on ICO ads, and country-wide bans in China and South Korea.

Futurism reports that the first victims are “responding in kind by attempting to read the riot act to a Twitter account whose avatar is a monkey with a hat,” strongly informing that monkey that “Centralized capricious power is exactly why we need blockchains.”

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Source:: Slashdot

The EFF Hosts a ‘John Perry Barlow Symposium’ Next Saturday

An anonymous reader writes:
The EFF is announcing “a celebration of the life and leadership of the recently departed founder of EFF, John Perry Barlow,” to be held next Saturday at the Internet Archive in San Francisco from 2:00 to 6:00. The event will also be streamed live on the Internet Archive’s YouTube channel.
Confirmed speakers include Edward Snowden, Cory Doctorow, EFF co-founders John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor, and Shari Steele, the executive director of the Tor Project (and a former EFF executive director).

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Source:: Slashdot

‘Nature’ Explores Why So Many Postgrads Have Bad Mental Health

An anonymous reader writes:
This week Nature tweeted that the rates of depression and anxiety reported by postgraduate students were six times higher than in the general population — and received more than 1,200 retweets and received 170 replies. “This is not a one dimensional problem. Financial burden, hostile academia, red tape, tough job market, no proper career guidance. Take your pick,” read one response. “Maybe being told day in, day out that the work you spend 10+ hrs a day, 6-7 days a week on isn’t good enough,” said another.
The science magazine takes this as more proof that “there is a problem among young scientists. Too many have mental-health difficulties, and too many say that the demands of the role are partly to blame. Neither issue gets the attention it deserves.” They’re now gathering stories from postgraduates about mental-health issues, and vowing to give the issue more coverage. “There is a problem with the culture in science, and it is one that loads an increasing burden on the shoulders of younger generations. The evidence suggests that they are feeling the effects. (Among the tweets, one proposed solution to improving the PhD is to ‘treat it like professional training instead of indentured servitude with no hope of a career at the end?’.)”

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Source:: Slashdot

CIO playbook: Citizen development is your ‘most important’ tool

Chief Information Officers must innovate, deliver faster than ever before, and reduce costs. Low-code environments can help IT balance these conflicting and challenging mandates. Here’s what you need to know! …read more

Source:: ZDNet

Thermoelectric Generator Shines Where the Sun Doesn’t

Digi-Key

For off-grid renewable electricity, solar seems to make sense. Just throw some PV panels on the roof and you’re all set to stick it to the man, right? But the dirty little secret of the king of clean energy is that very few places on the planet get the sort of sunshine needed to make residential PV panels worth their installation cost in the short term, and the long-term value proposition isn’t very good either.

The drearier places on the planet might benefit from this high-power thermoelectric generator (TEG) developed and tested by [TegwynTwmffat] for use on a wood burning stove. The TEG modules [Tegwyn] used are commercially available and rated at 14.4 volts and 20 watts each. He wisely started his experiments with a single module; the video below shows the development of that prototype. The bulk of the work with TEGs is keeping the cold side of the module at a low enough temperature for decent performance, since the modules work better the higher the difference in temperature is across the module. A finned heatsink and a fan wouldn’t cut it for this application, so a water-cooled block was built to pump away the heat. A successful test led to scaling the generator up to 10 modules with a very impressive heatsink, which produced about 120 watts. Pretty good, but we wonder if some easy gains in performance would have come from using heat sink compound on the module surfaces.

Using thermal differences to generate electricity is nothing new, but a twist on the technique is getting attention lately as a potential clean energy source. And who knows? Maybe [TegwynTwmffat]’s or one of the other Hackaday Prize 2018 entries will break new ground and change the world. What’s your big idea?

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Source:: Hackaday

Is It Illegal to Trick a Robot?

An anonymous reader writes:
Can you get into trouble under anti-hacking laws for tricking machine learning…? A new paper by security researchers and legal experts asks whether fooling a driverless car into seeing a stop sign as a speed sign, for instance, is the same as hacking into it.
The original submission asks another question — “Do you have inadequate security if your product is too easy to trick?” But the paper explores the possibility of bad actors who deliberately build a secret blind spot into a learning system, or reconstruct all the private data that was used for training. One of the paper’s authors even coded DNA that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of its underlying computer, and the researchers ultimately warn about the dangers of “missing or skewed security incentives” in the status quo.
“Our aim is to introduce the law and policy community within and beyond academia to the ways adversarial machine learning alter the nature of [cracking] and with it the cybersecurity landscape.”

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Source:: Slashdot

Is It Illegal to Trick a Robot?

An anonymous reader writes:
Can you get into trouble under anti-hacking laws for tricking machine learning…? A new paper by security researchers and legal experts asks whether fooling a driverless car into seeing a stop sign as a speed sign, for instance, is the same as hacking into it.
The original submission asks another question — “Do you have inadequate security if your product is too easy to trick?” But the paper explores the possibility of bad actors who deliberately build a secret blind spot into a learning system, or reconstruct all the private data that was used for training. One of the paper’s authors even coded DNA that corrupts gene-sequencing software and takes control of its underlying computer, and the researchers ultimately warn about the dangers of “missing or skewed security incentives” in the status quo.
“Our aim is to introduce the law and policy community within and beyond academia to the ways adversarial machine learning alter the nature of [cracking] and with it the cybersecurity landscape.”

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of this story at Slashdot.

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Source:: Slashdot

Falling Tiangong-1 space station may miss April 1 crash date – CNET

China’s “Heavenly Palace” space station is predicted to crash into Earth’s atmosphere on April 1, but the latest revisions may prolong its life by a day or so. …read more

Source:: CNet

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