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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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Malware being installed on computers in factories, warns Microsoft

Malware being installed on computers in factories, warns Microsoft | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Researchers find malware pre-installed on brand new computers bought in China...
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Web Index 2012 | World Wide Web Foundation

Sweden tops the chart of WWW Foundation's Web Index 2012.

"The Web Index is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s use, utility and impact on people and nations. It covers 61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web, as well as indicators of Web connectivity and infrastructure."

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Apple patent could remotely disable protesters' phone cameras | ZDNet

Apple patent could remotely disable protesters' phone cameras | ZDNet | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"A new patent, granted to Apple, could prevent academic cheating, cinema interruptions, but also see areas of political protest activity 'ring-fenced' disabling phone and tablet cameras.

(...) It's clear that although Apple may implement the technology, it would not be Apple's decision to activate the 'feature,' such as a remote-switch -- it would be down governments, businesses and network owners to set such policies.

Those policies would be activated by GPS, and Wi-Fi or mobile base-stations, which would ring-fence ("geofence") around a building, a protest, or a sensitive area to prevent phone cameras from taking pictures or recording video.

Other features, such as email or connecting to non-authorized networks -- such as working in the office and connecting to a non-work network on a company-owned device -- could be set, for example.

This sort of 'feature' would not bode well for journalists taking photos and citizens recording acts of state violence or police brutality in areas where ordinary people are facing increasing crackdowns on civil and human rights."

 

 

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How Pacific Island Missile Tests Helped Launch the Internet | Danger Room | Wired.com

How Pacific Island Missile Tests Helped Launch the Internet | Danger Room | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
There are a thousand stories about the origin of the internet, each with their own starting point and their own heroes. Charles Herzfeld's tale began in 1961 on a series of tiny islands in the South Pacific.
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State-sponsored cyber espionage projects now prevalent, say experts

Former military officer says every Middle Eastern country now has Stuxnet-like malware.
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Biofuel fails EU sustainability test, German researchers claim

Biofuel fails EU sustainability test, German researchers claim | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Study says EU-grown rapeseed biodiesel falls under 35% marker, adding weight to calls to end food biofuels...
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US National Security Agency boss asks hackers to make internet more secure

US National Security Agency boss asks hackers to make internet more secure | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
General Keith Alexander stresses common ground between US officials and hackers at Def Con gathering in Las Vegas...
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Truth in the Age of Social Media: A Social Computing and Big Data Challenge

Truth in the Age of Social Media: A Social Computing and Big Data Challenge | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
I have been writing and blogging about “information forensics” for a while now and thus relished Nieman Report’s must-read study on “Truth in the Age of Social Media.”...

Via P2P Foundation
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Most Comments Are Horrible—Sites Look for Ways to Make Them Better

Most Comments Are Horrible—Sites Look for Ways to Make Them Better | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Online news outlets realized long ago you can have an open commenting space or you can have intelligent conversations—but you can’t have both. Jesse Singal reports on the latest attempts to stem the flow of Internet bile.

"(...) In general, though, it’s become clear that the old model of anonymous free-for-all commenting is on its way out. News sites both large and small are requiring online commenters to post an identity, often by connecting them to a Facebook profile."

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Does Cybercrime Really Cost $1 Trillion?

Does Cybercrime Really Cost $1 Trillion? | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Security software companies Symantec and McAfee are touting inflated cybercrime numbers—no doubt good for business.

There is little doubt that a lot of cybercrime, cyberespionage and even acts of cyberwar are occurring, but the exact scale is unclear and the financial costs are difficult to calculate because solid data is hard to get. Relying on inaccurate or unverifiable estimates is perilous, experts say, because it can tilt the country's spending priorities and its relations with foreign nations. The costs could be worse than the most dire estimates — but they could be less, too."

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Facebook share price slumps below $20 amid fake account flap

Facebook share price slumps below $20 amid fake account flap | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Its shares have now lost almost half their value since debuting at $38 in May...
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What is science? (according to Google)

What is science? (according to Google) | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Dean Burnett: The 'Science: it's a girl thing' controversy gave us a very clear image of what science is not. But it raises the question, what do non-scientists think it actually is?
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West 86th - The Administration of Things: A Genealogy

West 86th - The Administration of Things: A Genealogy | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture...
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Cosmo, the Hacker 'God' Who Fell to Earth | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Cosmo, the Hacker 'God' Who Fell to Earth | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"With his group, UGNazi (short for “underground nazi” and pronounced “you-gee” not “uhg”), Cosmo took part in some of the most notorious hacks of the year. Throughout the winter and spring, they DDoS’ed all manner of government and financial sites, including NASDAQ, ca.gov, and CIA.gov, which they took down for a matter of hours in April. They bypassed Google two step, hijacked 4chan’s DNS and redirected it to their own Twitter feed, and repeatedly posted Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s address and Social Security number online. After breaking into one billing agency using social-engineering techniques this past May, they proceeded to dump some 500,000 credit card numbers online. Cosmo was the social engineer for the crew, a specialist in talking his way past security barriers. His arsenal of tricks held clever-yet-idiot-proof ways of getting into accounts on Amazon, Apple, AOL, PayPal, Best Buy, Buy.com, Live.com (think: Hotmail, Outlook, Xbox) and more. He can hijack phone numbers from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and your local telco."

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After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge Of Solar System : NPR

After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge Of Solar System : NPR | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"One of the twin space probes launched 35 years ago has traveled more than 11 billion miles from Earth. The Voyager probes were originally slated just to examine Jupiter and Saturn during a five-year trip.

Scientists have been eagerly waiting for Voyager 1 to become the first human-made object to leave the solar system. And in recent weeks, the spacecraft has sent back intriguing signs that it might be getting close, to the delight of researchers who have been working on it for decades."

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When A Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get The Money Back? : NPR

On Kickstarter, the largest crowd-funding site, a handful of entrepreneurs have raised millions of dollars more than they expected.
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Qatari Gas Company Hit With Virus in Wave of Attacks on Energy Companies | Threat Level | Wired.com

Qatari Gas Company Hit With Virus in Wave of Attacks on Energy Companies | Threat Level | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The Qatari natural gas company commonly known as RasGas has been hit with a virus that shut down its office computers, according to news reports.
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Why Bitcoin lives in a "legal gray area"

Why Bitcoin lives in a "legal gray area" | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Because exchanges deal in dollars, they are relatively easy to regulate. But the Bitcoin network itself is highly resistant to meddling by regulatory authorities. Rather than having a central authority in charge of authenticating and clearing payments, the Bitcoin payment process is based on a peer-to-peer design. All nodes in the Bitcoin network have the basic rules of the Bitcoin system baked into them, and efforts to deviate from those rules will be rejected by the Bitcoin system.

Hence, governments that want to force the Bitcoin network to comply with local laws are likely to fail. And because the network operates globally, even shutting down the network in one country is unlikely to have much effect. It will continue to operate in other jurisdictions, and users in the jurisdiction where the technology is banned can easily participate in Bitcoin transactions via VPN. And simply requiring Bitcoin exchanges to disclose the identities of their users won't fully address Schumer's concerns; it will still remain difficult to unmask the parties to transactions within the Bitcoin economy."

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Timeline: How République Squeaked Out a Kickstarter Success | Game|Life | Wired.com

Timeline: How République Squeaked Out a Kickstarter Success | Game|Life | Wired.com | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
At 7:58 a.m. Pacific Friday morning, a game called République (pronounced "Republic") finally reached its $500,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with only six hours to go after one of the most tumultuous month-long campaigns in Kickstarter history.
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Printable Houses and the Future Opportunity Therein | World Future Society

Printable Houses and the Future Opportunity Therein | World Future Society | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

All the way back in March of 2004, working in his laboratory at the University of Southern California in San Diego, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, was working with a new process he had invented called Contour Crafting to construct the world’s first 3D printed wall.

His goal was to use the technology for rapid home construction as a way to rebuild after natural disasters, like the devastating earthquakes that had recently occurred in his home country of Iran.

While we have still not seen our first “printed home” just yet, they will be coming very soon. Perhaps within a year. Commercial buildings will soon follow.

For an industry firmly entrenched in working with nails and screws, the prospects of replacing saws and hammers with giant printing machines seems frightening. But getting beyond this hesitancy lies the biggest construction boom in all history.


Via Jose Murilo
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Gauss Espionage Malware: 7 Key Facts -- InformationWeek

From targeting Lebanese banking customers to installing a font, security researchers seem to be unearthing as many questions as answers in their teardown of the surveillance malware.
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The Single Most Important Object in the Global Economy

The Single Most Important Object in the Global Economy | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Earlier this spring, the Washington Conservation Corps faced a sudden influx of beach debris on the state’s southwestern shore. Time and tide were beginning to deposit the aftereffects of Japan’s March 11, 2011, tsunami.
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Exploring Tappestry: A Storable Social Network for Learning | David Kelly

Exploring Tappestry: A Storable Social Network for Learning | David Kelly | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Now this sounds interesting if you think of it as a platform for augmented social cognition as peer learning -- a knowledge aggregator for personal learning networks. -- Howard

 

"Tappestry is the social network for learning.

For the first time, you can record what you have learned easily and immediately throughout your day. You can come back to it whenever you want. And the best part is you can share with others and learn from others with other social networks and websites.

What did you learn today? With Tappestry, you can track what you have learned and catalog it. Then you can tell everyone. Don’t be shy, you might just meet someone. You can use Tappestry to create and curate your own learning stream. Tappestry is a great place to store your learning and your thoughts and check in those little “A-ha!” moments you have. Think of it as your own learning journal or notebook for things you pick up over the course of your day all woven together to create your own distinct learning fabric, your Tappestry.

Why Tappestry? It helps you learn more. It helps you remember and track what you have learned. It helps take what you have learned and start using it."


Via Howard Rheingold
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The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate

The Real Story Behind the Fracking Debate | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Fracking is not good or bad: it is a process to increase the production of fossil fuels, primarily natural gas, from certain geological formations. But good or bad things can happen as a result of fracking, depending on how it is implemented, where it is pursued, the technologies used, and the actions taken to increase its benefits and reduce its impacts. And whether or not you support or oppose fracking depends on how those benefits and impacts are perceived, distributed, addressed, and valued -- and whether it is in your backyard.."

 

Good article in the Huffington Post on the US fracking debate.


Via Willy De Backer
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Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | Red Pepper

Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | Red Pepper | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

Capitalism in its present form is facing limits, especially resource limits, and in spite of the rapid growth of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, is undergoing a process of decomposition. The question is whether the new proto-mode can generate the institutional capacity and the alliances able to break the political power of the old order.

One way to describe the changes now taking place is as a shift away from a context in which the technological and economic advantage lies with economies of scale and mass production that depend on cheap global transportation and, thus, the continuous availability of fossil fuels. The move is to ‘economies of scope’, where bringing down the cost of common infrastructure for networked enterprises brings competitive advantages.

It is in achieving these economies of scope that the distributed, peer-to-peer forms of production made possible by new information and communication technologies can be deployed.


Via Jose Murilo, P2P Foundation
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