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Supreme Court blocks patenting of genomic DNA

Supreme Court blocks patenting of genomic DNA | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Micah Baldwin



The US Supreme Court, in a nearly unanimous ruling (Scalia joined the majority, but only in part), has held that a piece of DNA that occurs naturally is not eligible for patenting.
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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Rescooped by Artur Alves from Sustainable transportation: SEAMless mobility - Shared, Electric, Autonomous (driverless), OMNImodal mobility
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Uber and Quebec reach in-principle agreement after “difficult” negotiations

Uber and Quebec reach in-principle agreement after “difficult” negotiations | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Difficult negotiations culminate with compromises made

Via Catherine Kargas
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4chan and Reddit bombarded debate polls to declare Trump the winner

4chan and Reddit bombarded debate polls to declare Trump the winner | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Who won the first presidential debate? It depends on who trolled the polls.
Artur Alves's insight:
brigading: A concentrated effort by one online group to manipulate another. (e.g. by mass commenting) (From UD http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=brigading)
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World's largest 1 Tbps DDoS Attack launched from 152,000 hacked Smart Devices

World's largest 1 Tbps DDoS Attack launched from 152,000 hacked Smart Devices | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
More than 150,000 Internet-Connected Smart Devices Hacked to launch World's Largest 1 Tbps DDoS Attack
Artur Alves's insight:
"As the Internet of Things (IoT) or connected devices are growing at a great pace, they continue to widen the attack surface at the same time, giving attackers a large number of entry points to affect you some or the other way.1 Tbps DDoS Attack Hits OVH."
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The Democratization of Censorship — Krebs on Security

The Democratization of Censorship — Krebs on Security | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:
"Why do I speak of DDoS attacks as a form of censorship? Quite simply because the economics of mitigating large-scale DDoS attacks do not bode well for protecting the individual user, to say nothing of independent journalists. In an interview with The Boston Globe, Akamai executives said the attack — if sustained — likely would have cost the company millions of dollars. In the hours and days following my site going offline, I spoke with multiple DDoS mitigation firms. One offered to host KrebsOnSecurity for two weeks at no charge, but after that they said the same kind of protection I had under Akamai would cost between $150,000 and $200,000 per year. Ask yourself how many independent journalists could possibly afford that kind of protection money? A number of other providers offered to help, but it was clear that they did not have the muscle to be able to withstand such massive attacks.
(...)
I don’t know what it will take to wake the larger Internet community out of its slumber to address this growing threat to free speech and ecommerce. My guess is it will take an attack that endangers human lives, shuts down critical national infrastructure systems, or disrupts national elections. But what we’re allowing by our inaction is for individual actors to build the instrumentality of tyranny. And to be clear, these weapons can be wielded by anyone — with any motivation — who’s willing to expend a modicum of time and effort to learn the most basic principles of its operation. The sad truth these days is that it’s a lot easier to censor the digital media on the Internet than it is to censor printed books and newspapers in the physical world. On the Internet, anyone with an axe to grind and the willingness to learn a bit about the technology can become an instant, self-appointed global censor."
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“Too Cheap to Meter” Nuclear Power Revisited

“Too Cheap to Meter” Nuclear Power Revisited | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
After 50 years of operation, nuclear electric generation is still having teething pains
Artur Alves's insight:
While nuclear electricity generation might benefit from innovative technologies that have the potential to redefine the sector, maintaining that the public somehow lacks understanding of nuclear power after Chernobyl and Fukushima makes very little sense. It would be more productive to argue, for example, that the current push towards solar and wind has provided altogether safer alternatives.

"The project to generate electricity from fission stalled during the 1980s, as demand for electricity in affluent economies fell and problems with nuclear power plants multiplied. And three failures were worrisome: Accidents at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, in 1979; at Chernobyl in Ukraine, in 1986; and at Fukushima in Japan, in 2011, provided further evidence for those opposed to fission under any circumstances. Meanwhile, there have been cost overruns in the construction of nuclear plants and a frustrating inability to come up with an acceptable way to store spent nuclear fuel. Nor has there been much success in switching to reactors that might be safer and less expensive than the dominant design of pressurized water reactors, which are essentially beached versions of U.S. Navy submarine designs of the 1950s. As a result, the Western public remains unconvinced, utilities are wary, Germany and Sweden are on the course of shutting down their entire industries, and even France plans to cut back. In August 2016, 61 reactors were under construction worldwide, too few to make up for the capacity that will be lost as aging reactors are shut down in coming years."
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Are solar roadways on the road to reality?

The first public trial of Solar Roadways will soon debut in Missouri, and two European agencies are also testing this type of futuristic technology, which begs the question: Are solar roads closer to reality than we think?
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Where the Wild Things Aren’t: National Parks

Where the Wild Things Aren’t: National Parks | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Preserving nature is not the straightforward proposition it seemed to be back in Theodore Roosevelt’s day.
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T-Mobile reveals small rise in government demands for customer data | ZDNet

T-Mobile reveals small rise in government demands for customer data | ZDNet | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
But the number of secret national security requests went down during the period.
Artur Alves's insight:
»T-Mobile saw a slight uptick in the number of government demands for customer data during 2015, the company's latest transparency report shows. The third largest cell network in the US quietly released its transparency report late Monday, its second in as many years. The numbers also include MetroPCS, which T-Mobile acquired in 2013. For the full calendar year, T-Mobile said it responded to 372,461 requests for customer or network information, a 6 percent increase on the year prior. Breaking that down, the company responded to 175,823 subpoenas, 47,998 court orders, and 17,424 warrants. The company also received 4,454 wiretap demands for real-time calling and texting content. By comparison to other networks, Verizon received 289,378 overall requests and AT&T received 287,980 demands for the same period.«
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Tsunami Stones: Ancient Japanese Markers Warn Builders of High Water - 99% Invisible

Tsunami Stones: Ancient Japanese Markers Warn Builders of High Water - 99% Invisible | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Residents of Aneyoshi, Japan, heeded the warnings of their ancestors. They obeyed directions and wisdom found on a local stone monument: “Do not build any homes below this point,” it reads. “High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis.” When the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Artur Alves's insight:
«In Aneyoshi, village leader Tamishige Kimura praises his forefathers for putting a stone marker in place and obviating the need to rebuild. “They knew the horrors of tsunamis, so they erected that stone to warn us,” he told the New York Times in 2011. Kimura describes its warning as “a rule from our ancestors, which no one in Aneyoshi dares break.” This particular stone in Aneyoshi dates back to the 1930s. After the village was devastated by the 1896 tsunami it was rebuilt in the same place. But when another tsunami struck in 1933 the village was moved uphill. A tsunami stone was put in place after that disaster and is credited with saving the town in 1960 and again in 2011.«
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Bikini Atoll radiation levels remain alarmingly high

Bikini Atoll radiation levels remain alarmingly high | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Lingering radiation levels from nuclear bomb tests on Bikini Atoll are far higher than previously estimated.
Artur Alves's insight:
The long-lived effects of nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll
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Did Preemies Make Humans Smart? - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus

Did Preemies Make Humans Smart? - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Monkeys can tell numbers apart, make ordinal comparisons, and even add and subtract, but that’s where their abilities peak. The…
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Darian Leader: how technology is changing our hands

Darian Leader: how technology is changing our hands | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Doctors predict that our increasing use of computers and mobile phones will permanently alter our hands. What will this mean for the way we touch, feel and communicate?
Artur Alves's insight:
One more entry in the "accelerated evolution" dossier
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Story of cities #32: Jane Jacobs v Robert Moses, battle of New York's urban titans

Story of cities #32: Jane Jacobs v Robert Moses, battle of New York's urban titans | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When city planning supremo Robert Moses proposed a road through Greenwich Village in 1955, he met opposition from one particularly feisty local resident: Jane Jacobs.
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True or false: If its on your phone, and you paid for it, you own it

True or false: If its on your phone, and you paid for it, you own it | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
When you purchase a book from a bookstore your rights to that particular stack of paper are pretty intuitive. It becomes your personal property, not much different from a t-shirt, a diamond ring, or anything else you might carry around. You can sell your book, lend it to a friend, or toss it in the fireplace. In short
Artur Alves's insight:
Transparent Terms of Service are the exception. In fact, most buyers of digital products or cloud services do not understand the limits of their property rights.

"Owners of John Deere tractors discovered that they can’t legally fix their own equipment, because according to the company, the buyer only acquires “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.” Those terms prevent third-party mechanics from using diagnostic software to determine why the tractor is broken, effectively making it impossible to repair. As a result, no matter how capable a farmer’s local mechanic might be, he has no choice but to take his tractor to John Deere’s own, often much more expensive, certified mechanics. Contracts designed to protect software often also grant the company the right to do things that seem to invite abuse. For example, in 2009 Amazon remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from customers’ Kindle readers. If doing this had required them to physically enter each customer’s house, it would have clearly been a crime, but under the Kindle Store terms of service their action was entirely legal. In similar fashion, video game companies have knowingly broken certain games."
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Ethics isn’t just for philosophers—designers need to take responsibility, too

Ethics isn’t just for philosophers—designers need to take responsibility, too | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A few years ago, I was doing PhD research and interviewing designers around the world to identify the limiting factors in designers integrating sustainability into their work. Nearly everyone I interviewed had, at some point, learned about the systemic implications of rapid innovation and how to make better decisions. Yet most of them stil
Artur Alves's insight:
"Design is an incredibly powerful social scriptor. The designed world creates us, so if we create designed artifacts, cities, communities, and the technologies that guide it all, then why aren’t we having bigger, louder, stronger, and more significant public debates about the ethics of our collective choices? Who gets to decide what we end up with and what is not a good collective decision to invest in? I mean, do we even want AI? 

Ethics is not an option—the conversations need to transpire out in the open, not behind locked doors or protected by the privileged and perverse legal structures of proprietary information. Things that will dramatically impact the planet, and all of us on it, need to be collectively agreed upon. Otherwise, we will lose much of the incredible beauty our species has created over the last millennium of complex evolution, development, and negotiation around what it means to be a human living on this planet."
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Twitter data shows a world on high alert after a series of terror attacks

Twitter data shows a world on high alert after a series of terror attacks | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
With terrorism on the rise, law enforcement officials across the world are turning to social media to curb messages from terror outfits. Belgian authorities requested information for 75 Twitter accounts in the first six months of this year, a nearly tenfold increase from seven accounts during the same period a year ago. In its latest transparency report released Sept. 21, Twitter says th
Artur Alves's insight:
Terrorism is pushing government data requests to all-time highs, Twitter transparency report reveals.

"With terrorism on the rise, law enforcement officials across the world are turning to social media to curb messages from terror outfits. Belgian authorities requested information for 75 Twitter accounts in the first six months of this year, a nearly tenfold increase from seven accounts during the same period a year ago. In its latest transparency report released Sept. 21, Twitter says the surge in requests came after ISIL’s Brussels attacks in March. Overall, governments around the world sought information for 3% more accounts in the first half of 2016 than the year prior. Officials increasingly want to identify extremists on social media as ISIL uses Twitter and other platforms to recruit new members."
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Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet - Schneier on Security

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet - Schneier on Security | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet https://t.co/1POhxVi4LF
Artur Alves's insight:
"Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they're used to seeing. They last longer. They're more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure."
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How Elon Musk Plans to Go to Mars 

How Elon Musk Plans to Go to Mars  | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
SpaceX plans to build a “self-sustaining city” on Mars, according to its founder Elon Musk. But, while we now know a lot more about how SpaceX plans to get to Mars, details about how people will actually survive up there remain sketchy.
Artur Alves's insight:
Musk has announced his plans to travel to, mine, and colonise Mars.
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Facebook fires human editors, algorithm immediately posts fake news

Facebook fires human editors, algorithm immediately posts fake news | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Facebook makes its Trending feature fully automated, with mixed results.
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Stadiums and Other Sacred Cows - Issue 39: Sport - Nautilus

Stadiums and Other Sacred Cows - Issue 39: Sport - Nautilus | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
There’s a strange sort of reverence that surrounds our relationship with sports. Jay Coakley first noticed it as a graduate student…
Artur Alves's insight:
«Coakley developed a theory that finally explained the strange behavior he had first seen at Notre Dame, and which he continued to see throughout the athletic world. He called it “The Great Sports Myth”: the widespread assumption that sport is, inherently, a force of good—despite the fact that it can both empower and humiliate, build bonds and destroy them, blur boundaries and marginalize.»
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Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online

Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The cache mysteriously surfaced over the weekend and appears to be legitimate.
Artur Alves's insight:
«Several of the exploits were pieces of computer code that took advantage of “zero-day” or previously unknown flaws or vulnerabilities in firewalls, which appear to be unfixed to this day, said one of the former hackers. The disclosure of the file means that at least one other party — possibly another country’s spy agency — has had access to the same hacking tools used by the NSA and could deploy them against organizations that are using vulnerable routers and firewalls. It might also see what the NSA is targeting and spying on. And now that the tools are public, as long as the flaws remain unpatched, other hackers can take advantage of them, too.»
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It Hasn't Been This Hot In a Scary Long Time

It Hasn't Been This Hot In a Scary Long Time | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Did it feel hot to you last month? Blisteringly, oppressively hot? You weren’t imagining things. It was the hottest month on Earth since humans began keeping scientific records in the 1880s. In all likelihood, it was the hottest month since the last interglacial period ended 125,000 years ago.
Artur Alves's insight:
«Globally, Earth’s surface temperature last month averaged 0.84 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the historic mean temperature for July. July, 2016 also pulled in 0.11 degrees Celsius warmer than July 2015, swiping the title of hottest month in recorded history. Although our planet has seen a seemingly endless string of record-smashingly hot months (14 according to NOAA, but who’s counting?) the hottest of the year always occurs at the height of the northern hemisphere’s summer.«
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The New Economics of Cybercrime

The New Economics of Cybercrime | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Digital thieves’ most crucial adaptation in recent years has little to do with their technical tools and everything to do with their business model.
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Chilling Effects Watch: Oracle v. Google

Chilling Effects Watch: Oracle v. Google | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A lawsuit over the Android operating system could adversely affect how companies write and release software
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Is Telegram Really Safe for Activists Under Threat? These Two Russians Aren’t So Sure. · Global Voices

Is Telegram Really Safe for Activists Under Threat? These Two Russians Aren’t So Sure. · Global Voices | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Russian opposition activists are investigating the possible role of state law enforcement in the remote hacking of their Telegram messenger accounts.
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