Just in case you thought there were any vestiges of privacy left…
Cloud-Powered Facial Recognition Is Terrifying
By harnessing the vast wealth of publicly available cloud-based data, researchers are taking facial recognition technology to unprecedented levels
Couple this with the police state tactics our government is already engaged in, I already have strong doubt that even if the Wall Street protesters start to develop a strong following that there will be any change. I recently read an article that essentially said that anyone who was involved in these (and other similar) protests are basically consigning themselves to a lifetime of unemployment since they are all likely to get criminal records for their efforts (thus making them unemployable) and even if they manage to avoid that fate, their pictures are everywhere and it is highly unlikely that any well established mainstream company would risk hiring them. Particularly for people like me, simply showing up as a bystander is conceivably enough to get me fired (a state dept. employee was recently fired with the stated reason being he was guilty of revealing classified information since he had a link (just a link) to a Wiki leaks page) so even if I was otherwise inclined to show support (I think they are barking at the moon and trying to staunch the tide) that fear might persuade me to stay home.
Welcome to our Brave New World!
Computer virus hits U.S. drone fleet
And the geniuses are not even sure if it was specifically targeted or just happened to coincidentally infect from the Internet.
I am starting to take the doomsday scenarios about China having our systems complete infiltrated more seriously now, since you can be sure this isn’t the only case of this sort of thing happening.
Rather than the govt being actually involved in the 911 attacks, this is about the cover-up afterward when it seems the CIA not only knew that a couple of the terrorists were in the US, but actively worked to keep the FBI from knowing about it, then after 911 they worked diligently to continue denying the FBI access to any of the information.
Insiders voice doubts about CIA’s 9/11 story
Former FBI agents say the agency’s bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers
Perhaps you heard some of the buzz that a group was reporting that they had measured a particle (neutrino) moving faster than the speed of light? Well, most people who have studied the topic were 99.9% sure it was an anomaly in their measurements (but would love to be wrong). Below is an article that refutes that evidence. You might not find the article as amusing as I did, though my high energy physics background is more of a wannabe nature than anything resulting from actual study or comprehension, so I will paraphrase the article:
Using data that had been collected years ago (thus not requiring any new experiments), a group was able to conclude with very high statistical certainty (1,000 times higher level of certainty) that the earlier faster-than-light neutrino measurements were full of crap.
ICARUS Refutes Opera’s Superluminal Neutrinos
Scientists Create Reconfigurable Electronic Materials
I didn’t get any sense of the speed that the hardware could be reconfigured and in the case of FPGAs it seems the lag in reprogramming is substantial enough that it is something you don’t want to do every second or faster, but this is an interesting idea if it can be made practical.
And I bet I don’t get any benefit from it either…
Student loan debts crush an entire generation
Hyped like subprime mortgages, school loans now run to hundreds of billions with no relief in sight
I have been out of school now for over 15 years but because of lots of financial difficulties (resulting in capitalization of the unpaid interest) I have barely made a dent in my student loans and will (barring winning the lotto) be making payments for the next 15-20 years (at, btw, over $500 a month with record low interest rates (I currently owe something on the order of $55K)). Since I have means, my debt will eventually get paid, but exactly like the Fannie/Freddy mortgage mess, the US taxpayer is on the hook to pay back the majority of the debt (I am sure that the article is off by three orders of magnitude; the collective debt isn’t a billion, it is a trillion) and at some point people are going to have to wake up to the realization that most of this debt, just like the mortgage issue (where, at least part of the debt can be recovered because of the house as security) will never get paid. It seems to me that the earlier article I sent that talked about wiping out debt for the 99% really makes sense if we ever want to return to a vibrant economy in our life times. Sure, there are some snags that have to be worked out, but think of all the money now pumped into the economy!
I was really interested in this idea when I first read about it:
New camera allows users to shoot first, focus later
But it definitely appears that the company is operated by morons who insist on doing things themselves. The camera apparently does not come with removable storage (how hard is that to add?) and is only compatible with OSX (when as everyone knows 95% of all computers are Windows). I guess the are not licensing their technology because if they had they would likely already be out of business. If there is a determined market that these idiots refuse to cater to (the price is right, but the capabilities are stupid, else I might buy one right now), then out and out patent violators plus the inevitable almost-the-same-but-hairsplittingly-different applications (see beta vs VHS for parallels) will drive these morons out of business.
All these idiots get money to do stupid things and I can’t even get meetings with investors!
The right to live in America isn’t for sale
Wall Street, not homeowners, would benefit from Schumer and Lee’s plan to let foreigners buy U.S. homes
As mentioned in the article Canada basically allows the same thing (except I believe they also can ‘buy’ the right to work as well) and when I have looked into it that approach seems quite reasonable. I am of the opinion that we should give foreign PhD graduates a greencard, a prepaid citizenship application and the right to bring some amount of family into the US immediately. I think we should make it trivial for the wealthy and intellectual to enter the country legally and stay as long as they want (of course, I also feel we should allow the poor the same right, so perhaps it is just the slant of the article that I am ambivalent about). The article makes it sound like it is a bad idea to encourage wealthy to invest in the US, I am not sure that is a valid argument.
Red-light traffic camera deals under scrutiny
I think I am starting to grok the core problem with our government. When you have governments that award lucrative contracts (i.e., outsource something) you get corruption that is nearly impossible to remove. Sure, on the surface privatizing makes sense because on the surface corporations are less wasteful than government, but because governments lack any sort of profit model, and I am starting to think now, because governments lack any millionaires (or billionaires) backing them to pay for endless lobbyists, governments are more likely (though that does not mean highly likely) to downsize when revenues drop, rather than borrow endless trillions of future tax payer dollars to continue the feeding of aforesaid rich people. I have long held that the government which governs best, governs least, but I am starting to reconsider that idea. Though governments are (I believe) inherently wasteful, because they lack a profit motive (and doesn’t pay out million dollar bonuses, offer stock options, etc.) I think their overall, long-term, cost structure is probably more in line with the greatest good for the greatest number.
This will be my third attempt to generate some interest in my maunderings. I and a friend started the Waxology web site (http://www.sol-biotech.com/cgi-bin/waxology/YaBB.cgi), but it sort of fizzled. I also tried for a bit at Rant (http://rant-your-head-off.com/politics/wordpress/ (a couple at the performance enhancing drug blog here: http://rant-your-head-off.com/WordPress/)). I have some of my writings here: http://sol-system.com/koxenrider/bok/, but there is no facility for feedback. The last few months I have been sending emails to a group of friends with links to articles I find and find interesting, often along with a bit of commentary. Partly as a way to make this available to others who might be interested and partly to give them a way to opt out of getting my emails, I felt I would give this type of venue a try, this time on my own blog.
Hopefully you will find my eclectic musing interesting enough to sign up for notifications (at least I presume that function is possible, I have never really done any blogging before). Ideally you will be so interested from time to time to contribute with comments from time to time. I am not very sophisticated about web marketing (despite having my own web sites for over a decade) so if you feel like promoting my site please feel free.
I will start by rehashing a lot of my old emails, so initially there will be a bit of a flood. Afterward I will probably do a handful a week. Sometimes there is a flood, other times a drought, it all depends on how the news strikes me.