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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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How Hackers Steal Trade Secrets By Targeting Smaller Companies

How Hackers Steal Trade Secrets By Targeting Smaller Companies | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Verizon's annual data breach investigation finds that Chinese hackers are going after small organizations in order to steal the trade secrets of their larger partners.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Discovering data breaches was not easy for most organizations. Verizon found that the time from compromise to discovery took months, and sometimes years.

Verizon worked with 18 organizations worldwide in gathering data for the report. The groups included national computer emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies."

 

Interestingly, some easy steps can drastically improve information security, so it is up to the companies to reinforce info security literacy in order to avoid social engineering and brute force attacks.

 

"No one found any cutting-edge methods used by attackers to break into networks, so organizations can go a long ways toward protecting themselves by focusing on the basics, such as stronger passwords and educating employees about bogus email."

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Are cyber attacks the future of warfare? Truthloader LIVE debate

On this week's live debate, we took a look at how far cyber attacks can go, how much damage can be done, and whether these groups can really ...youtube.com
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China Is a Cyberwar Victim, Too - By Jason Healey

China Is a Cyberwar Victim, Too - By Jason Healey | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"The Chinese press has reported that the websites of 85 public institutions and companies were "hacked" between September 2012 and March 2013, with 39 of those attacks traced back to the United States. During a similar period, Chinese authorities noted that there had been some 5,800 hacking attempts from U.S. IP addresses and that U.S.-based servers had hosted 73 percent of the phishing attacks against Chinese customers. Of the 6,747 computers controlling nearly 2 million botnets in China -- the ones the Chinese spokesman told FT about -- 2,194 were in the United States, "making it the largest point of origin of cyber attacks against China," according to Xinhua."

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Arming for Virtual Battle: The Dangerous New Rules of Cyberwar - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Arming for Virtual Battle: The Dangerous New Rules of Cyberwar - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Now that wars are also being fought on digital battlefields, experts in international law have established rules for cyberwar. But many questions remain unanswered.
Artur Alves's insight:

"DarkSeoul was one of the most serious digital attacks in the world this year, but cyber defense centers in Western capitals receive alerts almost weekly. The most serious attack to date originated in the United States. In 2010, high-tech warriors, acting on orders from the US president, smuggled the destructive "Stuxnet" computer worm into Iranian nuclear facilities.

The volume of cyber attacks is only likely to grow. Military leaders in the US and its European NATO partners are outfitting new battalions for the impending data war. Meanwhile, international law experts worldwide are arguing with politicians over the nature of the new threat. Is this already war? Or are the attacks acts of sabotage and terrorism? And if a new type of war is indeed brewing, can military means be used to respond to cyber attacks?"

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Bitcoin Explained

A short video looking at 'Bitcoin', a decentralized digital currency.


Via jean lievens
Artur Alves's insight:

Bitcoin is gaining notoriety. But what is it? And how does it work?

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The Enemies of Internet

The Enemies of Internet | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Special Edition : Surveillance

This year’s “Enemies of the Internet” report is focusing on surveillance – all the monitoring and spying that is carried out in order to control dissidents and prevent the dissemination of sensitive information, activities designed to shore up governments and head off potential destabilization.

Artur Alves's insight:

"12 March, World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, we are publishing two lists. One is a list of five “State Enemies of the Internet,” five countries whose governments are involved in active, intrusive surveillance of news providers, resulting in grave violations of freedom of information and human rights. The five state enemies are Syria, China, Iran, Bahrainand Vietnam."

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Internet Evolution - Security Clan Editor's Blog - Feud Explodes Into 'Nuclear' Cyber-Attack

Internet Evolution - Security Clan Editor's Blog - Feud Explodes Into 'Nuclear' Cyber-Attack | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
A feud between a spam filtering service and a hosting service has exploded into the largest DDoS attack in history.
Artur Alves's insight:

An unexpected escalation. How many users are noticing the effect of the attacks?

 

"According to BBC News, a feud between a Dutch spam host and a spam filter vendor has spilled over into a series of "immense" DDoS attacks, slowing popular sites like Netflix, as well as threatening more serious damage.

Well, all I can say is, not around here. Netflix, YouTube, and the Internet in general seem to be working just fine. I guess I'm lucky, with The New York Times reporting that "Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time."

The spat broke out when Spamhaus, a nonprofit spam tracker, added Cyberbunker to one of its blocked lists. Cyberbunker is a web host housed, apparently, in a real bunker -- a former NATO structure. It claims to be "bullet-proof, reliable, untouchable," and it certainly seemed resistant to a recent attempted intrusion by a Dutch SWAT team."

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Essay on issues related to what digital scholarship 'counts' for tenure and promotion | Inside Higher Ed

Essay on issues related to what digital scholarship 'counts' for tenure and promotion | Inside Higher Ed | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"As institutions become increasingly open to new approaches, resistance to digital work still emanates more from a traditionalism rooted in departmental lore. It’s hard to change cultures, but academic publishing currently confronts a major structural transformation, and contributors as well as evaluators seek advice on how to assess digital projects. What steps should scholars, especially younger ones, take with their digital work to ensure that it will "count" toward hiring, promotions and tenure?"


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/02/20/essay-issues-related-what-digital-scholarship-counts-tenure-and-promotion#ixzz2OYkUH5Pw
Inside Higher Ed
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South Korea on alert for cyber-attacks after major network goes down

South Korea on alert for cyber-attacks after major network goes down | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Computer systems of banks and broadcasters are interrupted, with fingers immediately pointed at North Korea
Artur Alves's insight:

"The computer networks of three broadcasters - KBS, MBC and YTN - and two banks, Shinhan and Nonghyup, froze at around 2pm local time. Shinhan said its ATMs, payment terminals and mobile banking in the South were affected. TV broadcasts were not affected."

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Gathering clouds over digital freedom? | Index on Censorship

Gathering clouds over digital freedom? | Index on Censorship | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"In democracies such as the US, UK, Sweden, India or Brazil, governments and politicians will often make stirring calls to defend digital freedom, emphasising that fundamental rights to freedom of expression and privacy apply online as much as off. But faced with temptations, such as the growing technological ease of mass population surveillance — from mobile phones to internet usage, web searches and social media chat — too many governments in democracies are starting to look at the sort of mass gathering of communications data that previously only authoritarian regimes would consider."

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'Parallel Universe' of Life Described Far Beneath the Bottom of the Sea | Wired Science | Wired.com

'Parallel Universe' of Life Described Far Beneath the Bottom of the Sea | Wired Science | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Deep beneath the ocean floor off the Pacific Northwest coast, scientists have described the existence of a potentially vast realm of life, one almost completely disconnected from the world above.
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EU fines Microsoft €561 million for not giving users a browser choice

EU fines Microsoft €561 million for not giving users a browser choice | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Microsoft's "technical error" violated antitrust agreement for more than a year.
Artur Alves's insight:

The browser wars are never really over:

"European regulators today fined Microsoft €561 million (or $732 million) for failing to offer Windows users a choice of Web browsers as the company had been required to do.

A previous antitrust agreement required Microsoft to present users a choice of Web browsers in addition to its own Internet Explorer, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Microsoft did so for most versions of Windows, but an apparent accident caused the browser ballot to be stripped out of Windows 7 when its first service pack was released.

Microsoft admitted to the mistake last year, attributing it to a "technical error." The browser ballot screen was missing on Windows 7 from May 2011 until July 2012, although users could still change their default browser in Windows settings. Microsoft confirmed the mistake and distributed a software fix after EU officials notified the company of reports that users weren't being offered the browser choice."

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Robot warriors: Lethal machines coming of age

Robot warriors: Lethal machines coming of age | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Engineers are designing robots that will kill on future battlefields without human intervention - and the ethics are being hotly debated.
Artur Alves's insight:

Automation of warfare is in full swing, and ethics is once again brought to the foreground. Just how autonomous can killing robots be?

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The Future of Humanity

The Future of Humanity | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Natasha Vita-More is a committed transhumanist: She believes in the power of technology to alter human nature and, ultimately, human destiny. She talked to Lars Mensel about meta brains, artificial limbs, and digitized memory.
Artur Alves's insight:

"We are at the very beginning stages of designing future humans outside of the biological evolutionary script authored by DNA. "

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Can Capitalism Tolerate a Democratic Internet? An Interview With Media Expert Robert McChesney

Can Capitalism Tolerate a Democratic Internet? An Interview With Media Expert Robert McChesney | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Anne Elizabeth Moore speaks with McChesney about the future of the Internet, capitalism and Truthout.
Artur Alves's insight:

Interview with R. McChesney, author of Digital Disconnect.

 

"The social order, more often than not, trumps the technology. The best way to understand them is that they work together. Technology does have a great deal of influence in its own right on a society, but the way society is structured, the political economy of the society, has every bit as much influence as - I think generally more influence than - the technology. It shapes the technology. And that's the great battle we have.

The benefits of technology are, I think, obvious. But what's less easy to see and understand are the drawbacks: the price we pay, what's being lost. And what some of the at-times frightening prospects are of the current path we're on. There's very little discussion of these."

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Many Neuroscience Studies May Be Based on Bad Statistics | Wired Science | Wired.com

Many Neuroscience Studies May Be Based on Bad Statistics | Wired Science | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The fields of psychology and cognitive neuroscience have had some rough sledding in recent years.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Statistical power is essentially the probability that a study will detect an effect of a given size if the effect is really there. It depends on two things: the sample size (the number of people in a study, for example) and the effect size (such as a difference in brain volume between healthy people and Alzheimer’s patients). The more people in the study and the bigger the size of the effect, the higher the statistical power.

Low statistical power is bad news. Underpowered studies are more likely to miss genuine effects, and as a group they’re more likely to include a higher proportion of false positives — that is, effects that reach statistical significance even though they are not real.

Many researchers consider a statistical power of 80 percent to be a desirable goal in designing a study. At that level, if an effect of a particular size were genuine, the study would detect it 80 percent of the time.

But roughly half of the neuroscience studies Munafò and colleagues included in their analysis had a statistical power below 20 percent. Those studies would fail to detect a genuine effect at least 80 percent of the time.

(...)

"He believes neuroscientists can take a cue from researchers in genetics and other fields who’ve combatted problems with underpowered studies by creating ways for scientists to pool their data. The OpenfMRI project led by Poldrack is one example of an effort to do this in neuroscience.

Giving scientists an incentive and making it easier to replicate each other’s findings — generally considered a distinctly unglamorous pursuit — is another approach to increasing the collective statistical power of a body of research, Munafò and colleagues suggest. Two efforts to do this in psychology, the Open Science Framework and the related Reproducibility Project, were launched recently by Munafò’s co-author Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia."

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The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens: Scientific American | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
E-readers and tablets are becoming more popular as such technologies improve, but research suggests that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages
Artur Alves's insight:

Tactile and opto-spatial considerations coming into play in the digital versus analogue reading debate.

 

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Polynesian DNA found in Brazilian amerindians- PNAS | Mobile

Polynesian DNA found in Brazilian amerindians- PNAS | Mobile | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
"There is a consensus that modern humans arrived in the Americas 15,000–20,000 y ago during the Late Pleistocene, most probably from northeast Asia through Beringia. However, there is still debate about the time of entry and number of migratory waves, including apparent inconsistencies between genetic and morphological data on Paleoamericans. Here we report the identification of mitochondrial sequences belonging to haplogroups characteristic of Polynesians in DNA extracted from ancient skulls of the now extinct Botocudo Indians from Brazil. The identification of these two Polynesian haplogroups was confirmed in independent replications in Brazil and Denmark, ensuring reliability of the data. Parallel analysis of 12 other Botocudo individuals yielded only the well-known Amerindian mtDNA haplogroup C1. Potential scenarios to try to help understand these results are presented and discussed. The findings of this study may be relevant for the understanding of the pre-Columbian and/or post-Columbian peopling of the Americas."
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MI5 and industry join forces to fight cybercrime - The Guardian

MI5 and industry join forces to fight cybercrime - The Guardian | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Guardian
MI5 and industry join forces to fight cybercrime
The Guardian
Cyber-security experts from industry are to operate alongside the intelligence agencies for the first time in an attempt to combat the growing online threat to British firms.
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Nike+ FuelBand and Google Glass: what next for the 'quantified self'?

Nike+ FuelBand and Google Glass: what next for the 'quantified self'? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Chris Hollindale: We're only just at the beginning of the 'quantified self' movement, which tracks movement, diet and other issues using gadgets
Artur Alves's insight:

"The quantified self movement – the idea that tracking metrics about yourself can lead to self-improvement – appears to be gathering steam. With products such as the FitBit One, Jawbone Up and Nike+ FuelBand boasting impressive sales numbers (the FuelBand reportedly sold out within four hours of its launch), it seems that self-tracking is finding traction and on the way to becoming an ubiquitous feature of daily life."

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U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran was ‘act of force,’ NATO study says

U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iran was ‘act of force,’ NATO study says | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The 2009 cyberattack by the U.S. and Israel that crippled Iran’s nuclear program by sabotaging industrial equipment constituted “an act of force” and was likely illegal under international law, according to a manual commissioned by NATO’s...
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Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - what is it?

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - what is it? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

CISPA is back on the table. A summary of CISPA, its provisions, consequences and supporters.

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Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water

"A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue. The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin - just one atom in thickness - it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said. The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis."
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Stanford psychologists uncover brain-imaging inaccuracies | KurzweilAI

Stanford psychologists uncover brain-imaging inaccuracies | KurzweilAI | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The researchers found that traditional methods of processing fMRI data may lead scientists to overlook smaller brain structures, thus skewing their results
Artur Alves's insight:

Brain imaging techniques might not be sufficiently accurate to support the studies which rely on fMRI.

"Traditional methods of fMRI analysis systematically skew which regions of the brain appear to be activating, potentially invalidating hundreds of papers that use the technique, according to Stanford School of Medicine researchers."

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WHEN YOU JUST CANNOT GET AWAY

Exploring the use of information and communication technologies in facilitating negative work/home spilloverDOI:10.1080/1369118X.2013.772650

Ronald W. Berkowsky

Artur Alves's insight:

"The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of ICTs in facilitating negative spillover in both the work–home (i.e. work-to-home) and home–work (i.e. home-to-work) directions. This investigation utilizes data collected from a cross-sectional study conducted with a sample of US workers to determine if using ICTs at home for work purposes serves as a predictor for negative work–home spillover and if using ICTs at work for personal reasons serves as a predictor for negative home–work spillover. Findings may provide insight into the role ICTs play in the relationship between work life and home life and may be used by employers and employees in developing strategies and tactics to reduce the negative impacts associated with spillover."

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