Archive for the 'tech' Category

Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets

May 18, 2018

Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets
https://www.CBSnews.com/news/digital-photocopiers-loaded-with-secrets Suspect people will increasingly think of the “data residue” that unwittingly leave on things – & want to be clean! #Privacy HT @ProfLHunter

QT:{{”
“Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive – like the one on your personal computer – storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine.

In the process, it’s turned an office staple into a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal or sensitive data.

If you’re in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold.

“The type of information we see on these machines with the social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms,” John Juntunen said, “that information would be very valuable.”” “}}

The Teens Who Hacked Microsoft’s Xbox Empire—And Went Too Far | WIRED

May 14, 2018

https://www.wired.com/story/xbox-underground-videogame-hackers/

The Digital Vigilantes Who Hack Back | The New Yorker

May 11, 2018

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/05/07/the-digital-vigilantes-who-hack-back

GP-write Cover Feature in April WIRED Magazine; Registration GP-write Scientific Meeting now open

April 21, 2018

The next best version of me: How to live forever
https://www.Wired.com/story/live-forever-synthetic-human-genome/ The @GP_write meeting & synthetic biology in the pop. press


Genome Project-write (GP-write) is featured as the cover story in the upcoming April 2018 WIRED cover story.

Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet

April 21, 2018

QT:{{”
Toward the end, the square was a dense, colorful tapestry, chaotic and strangely captivating. It was a collage of hundreds of incongruous images: logos of colleges, sports teams, bands, and video-game companies; a transcribed monologue from “Star Wars”; likenesses of He-Man, David Bowie, the “Mona Lisa,” and a former Prime Minister of Finland. In the final hours, shortly before the experiment ended and the image was frozen for posterity, BlackVoid launched a surprise attack on the American flag. A dark fissure tore at the bottom of the flag, then overtook the whole thing. For a few minutes, the center was engulfed in darkness. Then a broad coalition rallied to beat back the Void; the stars and stripes regained their form, and, in the end, the flag was still there.
“}}

Reddit & the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet
https://www.NewYorker.com/magazine/2018/03/19/reddit-and-the-struggle-to-detoxify-the-internet Describes an interesting expt: users compete & collaborate to determine the content of white square. “Toward the end, the square was…a collage…logos of colleges…teams… [&] likenesses of the Mona Lisa”

Put your email inbox on a low-spam diet : Naturejobs Blog

April 15, 2018

Put your email inbox on a low-spam diet by @j_perkel
http://blogs.Nature.com/naturejobs/2018/04/11/clean-your-email-inbox-with-a-low-spam-diet/ #Email hygiene for the researcher – ie how to escape fake conference & journal invites + #spam calendar invites
QT:{{”

The practice of publishing their email addresses on journal articles and university web sites makes research academics ready targets for email spammers. Spam, Clemons insists, is not merely a nuisance but a time-sink. Mark Gerstein, a professor of biomedical informatics at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, estimates that maybe a quarter of the 200-or-so messages he receives in a day are important. “I spend many, many, many hours a week, days a week probably, going through my correspondence,” he says.

Gerstein, for instance, uses a multi-tiered approach to triage his correspondence, relying on Gmail filters, labels, and artificial intelligence. Gerstein has a whitelist — a list of ‘approved’ email addresses. Messages from those addresses are automatically routed to his inbox, where they receive the highest priority. New senders can get on that list by placing a special keyword (available on his web site) in the subject line of their message — which is how I was able to contact him.

Below that top tier are departmental messages, messages from mailing lists, and the like. At the very bottom is the obvious spam, the stuff that gets picked up by Google’s spam-detection algorithms. And in the middle is what Gerstein calls ‘almost-spam’ — messages from predatory journals and conferences, spam invitations to join editorial boards, and even spam calendar invites, which automatically add themselves to his calendar and clog up his schedule.

Gerstein advises researchers to use multiple email addresses in dealing with journals, vendors, and the like. Then, by funneling those messages to a single inbox, one can sort the messages by account and prioritize them accordingly.

Gmail is particularly useful for this purpose, Gerstein notes. Suppose you have the address ‘janesci@gmail.com’. Google allows users to modify their addresses by placing a plus sign and additional text between the username and the at-symbol — for instance,
‘janesci+amazon@gmail.com’ and ‘janesci+ebay@gmail.com’. These messages all go to the original address, but users can sort their messages based on the specific address used.

“You can use that quite powerfully to create unique addresses for all sorts of things, and to filter your email on the basis of that,” Gerstein says.

Still, Gerstein admits, spam inevitably falls through the cracks. How to spot it?
“}}

In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society | WIRED

March 14, 2018

In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society https://www.Wired.com/story/age-of-social-credit/ The extreme evolution of the #FICO score

Why American medicine still runs on fax machines

March 14, 2018

Why American medicine still runs on fax machines
https://www.Vox.com/health-care/2017/10/30/16228054/american-medical-system-fax-machines-why Great article explains how the inability to kill the “cockroach of American medicine” illustrates the incentives or anti-incentives toward data sharing & interoperability HT @DShaywitz

QT:{{”
“Competitive pressure between the companies that sell electronic record makers themselves only made things worse. The electronic record makers don’t have much incentive to connect well with other records, when they’d rather just convert that hospital on a different electronic platform into one of their own customers.

“When you want competing entities to share information, you have to realize that they’re sharing things that could help their competitors” “If [electronic record vendors] expended all that time and effort to make it so anyone could plug into any other system, it’s reducing the advantage of staying on your particular network,” Mostashari says.

This is especially true for larger electronic medical record companies, which want to sell the advantages of joining a record that is used in lots of doctor offices. “You want to make it easier for people to say, ‘Hey, if you’re on [our electronic record], look how awesome it is! You can talk to any user, anywhere in the country,” he argues.

In short, economics gave hospitals plenty of reasons not to connect their records with other hospitals — to stick with a clunky
technology, like fax, that makes it hard to transmit information. And the government didn’t give any incentives to connect — it stopped at digitizing medicine, falling short of the interoperability that patients actually want.
“}}

What Is Up With Those Pentagon UFO Videos? | WIRED

March 3, 2018

https://www.wired.com/story/what-is-up-with-those-pentagon-ufo-videos/

Thought experiments | The Economist

February 24, 2018

Thought experiments
https://www.Economist.com/technology-quarterly/2018-01-06/thought-experiments Amazing progress in Brain-computer interfaces (#BCIs): paralyzed patients manipulating silverware. Communicating w/ “locked-in” individuals. Will this scale?

QT:{{”
Brain-computer interfaces sound like the stuff of science fiction. Andrew Palmer sorts the reality
from the hype

IN THE gleaming facilities of the Wyss Centre for Bio and
Neuroengineering in Geneva, a lab technician takes a well plate out of an incubator. Each well contains a tiny piece of brain tissue derived from human stem cells and sitting on top of an array of electrodes. …
To see these signals emanating from disembodied tissue is weird. The firing of a neuron is the basic building block of intelligence. ..

This symphony of signals is bewilderingly complex. There are as many as 85bn neurons in an adult human brain, and a typical neuron has 10,000 connections to other such cells. The job of mapping these connections is still in its early stages. But as the brain gives up its secrets, remarkable possibilities have opened up: of decoding neural activity and using that code to control external devices.

“}}