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Topics - scourge

1 [2] 3 ... 23
16
Interzone / Chrome Eavesdropping Bug Discovered
« on: January 23, 2014, 11:17:27 PM »
Quote
According to Israeli coder Tal Ater, any computer running the Chrome browser can eavesdrop on conversations happening around it.

While working on his on speech recognition software, Ater found the eavesdropping bug. "Even while not using your computer - conversations, meetings and phone calls next to your computer may be recorded and compromised," wrote Ater in a blog post after finding the bug. Ater says the bug emerges when malicious sites try to sabotage the way Chrome handles speech recognition.

http://en.kioskea.net/news/24509-chrome-eavesdropping-bug-discovered

There has been a lot of reporting about video all over public spaces but audio and corresponding speech identification can get just as commonplace.

17
Interzone / Popular food coloring carcinogenic
« on: January 23, 2014, 05:36:33 PM »
Another not news news report. Junk food is a killer.

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(CNN) -- A chemical found in many sodas may be dangerous to your health, Consumer Reports says. And no, it's not sugar (this time).

The golden-brown color of many soft drinks comes with a dose of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI. On U.S. product labels it appears simply as "caramel coloring."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/23/health/consumer-reports-soda-caramel-coloring/

18
Interzone / Did our empire also grow too large too quickly?
« on: January 23, 2014, 04:37:09 AM »
Quote
China's factories lurched into 2014 at a reduced speed, with manufacturing activity falling to a six-month low.

HSBC said that its "flash" measure of sentiment among manufacturing purchasing managers fell to 49.6 in January from 50.5 in December.

January's reading raises a red flag, as any number under 50 indicates a deceleration in the manufacturing sector. If factory activity continues to lag in the coming months, it could be ominous for China's economy and pose an even greater challenge for the government's plans to enforce economic reforms.

Experts believe reforms are necessary to sustain the world's second-largest economy, especially as China seeks more stable expansion following decades of ballooning growth.
 
http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/22/news/economy/china-pmi/

All empires grow too gigantic to bother with anymore. Big ambitions, which practically define them, eventually outstrip an empire's ability to implement or maintain them anymore but they go ahead anyway, stall and begin to gain nothing from them, then get terminally dispirited which is the ultimate killer of each.

19
Interzone / Welfare, babies and love nests
« on: January 22, 2014, 11:46:53 PM »
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) --  A sperm donor must pay child support as a father, the Shawnee Co. District Court ruled on Wednesday.

Judge Mary Mattivi said William Marotta and the lesbian couple with whom he helped conceive a child simply failed to conform to Kansas law. The law states a licensed physician must be involved in an artificial insemination process.

The women, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schriener, claimed they did the procedure themselves at home. Marotta had signed documents waiving his parental rights.

The state sued Marotta for child support when Schreiner received financial assistance.

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Court-Sperm-Donor-Must-Pay-Child-Support-241547751.html

20
Interzone / Is anarchy and terror beating us?
« on: January 22, 2014, 11:39:40 PM »
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(CNN) -- The University of Oklahoma in Norman briefly shut down Wednesday after a report of a possible shooting.

No evidence has been found of any shots being fired, and no injuries have been reported, school spokeswoman Catherine Bishop said.

Quote
Boren told students the incident may have been a false alarm caused by a machinery backfire, independent student newspaper The Oklahoma Daily reported on Twitter.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/22/justice/university-oklahoma-shooting/

21
Interzone / Obama: Pot no more dangerous than alcohol
« on: January 20, 2014, 12:22:43 AM »
President Obama says marijuana use is no more dangerous than alcohol, though he regards it as a bad habit he hopes his children will avoid.

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,'' he said in a magazine interview. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/01/19/obama-marijuana-not-so-bad/4649883/

22
Interzone / Gary Gygax review of Conan movie
« on: January 15, 2014, 10:26:58 PM »
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A couple of fantastic flops by Gary Gygax

"Conan Meets The Flower Children of Set" might have been a better name for the film - and if there is any resemblance between the cinema version of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and that of Robert E. Howard, it is purely coincidental. The disappointment which began to grow inside me about one-quarter of the way into the film was not mitigated by anything which happened later on. In fact, bad became worse. I refuse to become involved in even a brief synopsis of the movie's story line.

The armor was good; the weapons less so, but passable. The muscular Arnold Schwarzennegger made a fine Conan, except - as all Conan fans know - the Cimmerian has black hair, not brown. More important, Conan can take out any opponent, even a muscular dude with a huge wooden maul. He doesn't need to resort to cheap mechanical traps versus anything less than the incarnation of a god, demon, or worse.

If you like special effects, the film is passable. If you have any respect for Conan as presented by Howard, then I suggest that you stay away from the theater or else be prepared for great disappointment. Pointless, excessive violence and gratuitous helpings of sex certainly don't help allay this impression. Director Dino De Laurentiis has a way of screwing up basically good material, as he did with his remake of King Kong. He really did a number on CONAN THE BARBARIAN, and L. Sprague de Camp should have been ashamed to allow his name to appear in the list of credits as "Technical Advisor."

from Dragon #63, Vol. VII, No. 1

The second review, the Sword and the Sorcerer movie, has been omitted from the original article partly shown here.

23
Interzone / deductive or prescriptive
« on: January 12, 2014, 02:18:06 AM »
Found somewhere on the web:

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Since most people can’t pronounce ideology, much less define it, a brief definition is in order: any prescriptive values system, in contrast to deductive value systems. A prescriptive value system tells you what you should do; a deductive one tries to figure out reality, and tell you what will happen if you do x, y or z, and thus points out what an optimal course of action is.

Our prescriptive system follows from out of rationalism which is rooted in an imaginary reality of what ought to be instead of the temporal one of what is or must be. Since what's rational can also be deduced, the conflict is therefore between empiricism and rationalism.

We have a real problem marrying the two. We refuse to believe consistent observations about our world because some exceptions have shown us otherwise. The exceptions themselves are subjected to a kind of broad brushed, idealistic artistic license like Thomas Jefferson's famous quote about all men created equal along with some of the experiences of parts of early America.


Our rationalism tells us that these various exceptions exemplify a basis for a prescriptive rule set and that by applying this rule set (equality, world democracy e.g.) we may overcome the conditions we have been observing.

When we fail to overcome, our sole solution is to reapply the rule set:

Quote
If the action fails, there wasn’t enough of the ideology, or it was sabotaged by some ideological enemy. There is never any means for the ideology to stop and criticize itself.

24
Interzone / More black communism
« on: December 10, 2013, 11:22:19 PM »
Quote
(Reuters) - For sure it's just what Nelson Mandela would have wanted, but does it amount to more than that?

The historic handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Mandela on Tuesday in Johannesburg was greeted on the streets of Cuba with surprise and hopes of improved relations.

Reaction was more muted in Miami, where Cuban exiles have had a hard time accepting Mandela's respect for Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/10/us-cuba-usa-mandela-idUSBRE9B90YS20131210

We've forgotten the one way flow out of Cuba or west away from the Berlin wall. Red fell out of fashion for a while but then know nothing generations y and omega came along to make communism trendy yet again.

25
Interzone / End costly humanitarian corruption
« on: December 03, 2013, 12:18:34 AM »
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Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican on the Armed Services Committee, sent letters to House committee chairmen and the Army secretary urging them to cut funding to the Human Terrain System and shut it down. The program, begun during the height of the counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had documented cases of fraud, racism and sexual harassment dating to 2010, a USA TODAY investigation found earlier this year.

Quote
Former and current team members told Army investigators and the paper, on condition of anonymity, that they regularly claimed hours they didn't work, taking home more than $200,000 a year and months of comp time for little or no work. The Army's investigation showed some members were paid salaries topping $280,000 and also given six months paid leave upon returning home.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/02/rep-duncan-hunter-human-terrain-system-racism-sexual-harassment-fraud/3814647/

This is nowhere near the first such scandal of its kind.

26
Interzone / Zimmerman as ghetto hoodie
« on: November 19, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »
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Samantha Scheibe claimed Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, threatened her with a shotgun and ultimately pushed her out of the house she rented.

Scheibe told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house. Her account in the arrest report says he began packing his belongings, including a shotgun and an assault rifle. She says she began putting his things in the living room and outside the house, and he became upset. At that point, the report says, he took the shotgun out of its case.

http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2022285305_apxzimmermanarrested.html

It doesn't make sense to have a neighborhood watchman whos sole means of response is a pistol. No wonder people didn't want the guy on patrol and the initial incident turned into an ugly fiasco.

A professional understands escalated response and has the training for each stage. Unarmed combat for fist fighting, a baton for melee and a firearm for shooting. Most importantly he has the means to first report potential trouble via phone or radio.

This latest drama is par for the course.

27
Interzone / Physics jihads human blightscape
« on: November 19, 2013, 05:30:58 PM »
Quote
JOHANNESBURG --  Paramedics in South Africa say part of a shopping mall under construction has collapsed, trapping up to 50 workers inside.

The South African Press Association reported that the accident happened in Tongaat, near the eastern coastal city of Durban.

SAPA is quoting Chris Botha, a spokesman for emergency responders in the area, as saying an "unconfirmed number" of 50 people are trapped inside.

The agency also quotes a fire department chief, Mark te Water, as saying workmen were trapped and his department is sending units to the scene.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/19/3764451/safrica-mall-collapse-reports.html#storylink=cpy

God is great!

28
Interzone / Volcano under arctic ice
« on: November 18, 2013, 03:36:08 PM »
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Pity poor Antarctica: already shedding its land (but not its sea) ice, it's now been found to conceal a volcano of some considerable size beneath its frosty coating.

Like a nicotine addict making a desperate attempt to hide in an airline toilet, this smoker had itself hidden – but instead of a couple of centimetres of door, its presence was concealed underneath the glaciers in the vicinity of Mount Sidley.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/18/deep_antarctic_volcanoes/

Aw shucks. We were so sure it was Wall Street and lack of free medicine that conspired to melt the ice and drown the poor nations. There has to be something else we can pin on the elitist right.

29
Interzone / Old stars blast heavy metal
« on: November 13, 2013, 08:11:37 PM »
Astronomers have now found the signature of heavy particles moving at two-thirds the speed of light in the jet from a stellar-mass black hole candidate. María Díaz Trigo and colleagues monitored the X-ray and radio emissions from a binary system thought to contain a black hole and found strong emission most consistent with highly ionized iron atoms accelerated to high velocity. Since this system is typical of other black holes in the Milky Way, this new observation indicates that similar systems are likely to all blast protons and nuclei into the surrounding space.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/11/black-hole-caught-blasting-heavy-metal-in-jets/

30
Interzone / Decline with a whimper
« on: November 12, 2013, 10:30:42 PM »
What are we really best at anymore? Financial and intellectual fraud, shopping, and narcissism are at the top.

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New York's World Trade Center has been crowned the tallest building in the nation. That's fourth when ranked among the world's tallest skyscrapers.

I wanted to write "only" fourth in the world. Because when you start to compare our tallest with the tallest around the world -- and with one particular sky-scraping building in the works -- it's hard not to feel puny.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-world-trade-center-tallest-building-20131112,0,5491033.story

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