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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Experts Arrive To Help Barehanded Children Clean Up Massive Bangladeshi Oil Spill

The estuary was protected as a sanctuary for rare dolphin species, but that designation did not prevent oil spreading at least 40 miles, deep into the area’s mangroves, shorelines, and wetlands.


The post Experts Arrive To Help Barehanded Children Clean Up Massive Bangladeshi Oil Spill appeared first on ThinkProgress.






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Apple Removes Nintendo Emulator from iTunes

As expected, Apple this week pulled Floppy Cloud from the App Store after widespread reporting that the application was not entirely on par with the company’s guidelines. Disguised as a file manager with ties to various cloud services, including Dropbox, Floppy Cloud packed an emulator hidden behind a simplistic interface. The file management features were functional, which allowed the app to pass Apple’s tests with flying colors. However, Apple had no knowledge (at the time of the approval) ...



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This Is What an Image Recognition Algorithm Thinks a Bikini Looks Like

This Is What an Image Recognition Algorithm Thinks a Bikini Looks Like


Image recognition algorithms are nothing like our eyes, and here is blobby static proof. These images fooled an algorithm into seeing a gorilla, bikini, stopwatch and more—yet they obviously resemble nothing of the sort to human eyes.


What these squares of static reveal, of course, is that a deep neural network trained to recognize images looks for very different things than a human eye. We can look at a photograph of chair and identify its legs and back and cushion. A neural network that's been fed dozens of pictures of a chair will look for patterns in how the pixels are arranged. How a computer "sees" a chair is utterly distinct from how a human brain sees a chair.


And so you get this static. In a study uploaded to ArXiv, and reported by MIT Technology Review a trio of computer scientists created these static images by using a neural network called AlexNet. Here's how they got AlexNet to first create and then try to identify these images, as explained by Tech Review .



They operated it in reverse, asking a version of the software with no knowledge of guitars to create a picture of one, by generating random pixels across an image. The researchers asked a second version of the network that had been trained to spot guitars to rate the images made by the first network. That confidence rating was used by the first network to refine its next attempt to create a guitar image. After thousands of rounds of this between the two pieces of software, the first network could make an image that the second network recognized as a guitar with 99 percent confidence.



What this also means is that image recognition algorithms are easily fooled—computer and human vision alike are prone to optical illusions, just of different kinds. [Tech Review, ArXiv]


This Is What an Image Recognition Algorithm Thinks a Bikini Looks Like






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The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Commenter Neil presumes that Windows 286 and later simply fixed up the movable entry table with jmp selector:offset instructions once and for all.



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IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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DirectX 12 - DirectX Developer Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

What's the big deal? DirectX 12 introduces the next version of Direct3D, the graphics API at the heart of DirectX. Direct3D is one of the most critical ...



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Incorporate “Big Data” Within Your Visual Studio App ...

To help make it easier to work with “big data” in your apps, we added support for Hive queries and management of data clusters with Azure HDInsight ...



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Cloud computing helps make sense of cloud forests ...

MSDN Blogs > Microsoft Research Connections Blog > Cloud computing helps make sense of cloud forests. Cloud computing helps make sense of cloud forests.



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Updated Application Insights Status Monitor to support .12 ...

The latest release of the Application Insights Status Monitor tool provides an update to the runtime instrumentation agent, which is a component of ...



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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog - MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, each time you sign in to the system you’ll see the dashboard, which gives you easy-to-read charts and graphs that help you see how you ...



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.NET Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

The .NET blog (AKA: dotnet blog) discusses new features in the .NET Framework and important issues for .NET developers.



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Samsung’s flagship London store closes after less than a year

Samsung's biggest UK store didn't even last the holiday shopping season.

















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Who’s listening? Skype on Android flaw may allow eavesdropping

Heads up if you use Skype on an Android device: A reported flaw in the software allows another Skype user to listen to you through your phone without you even knowing. First reported on Reddit and later by Neowin, here’s how it works at a high […]

Who’s listening? Skype on Android flaw may allow eavesdropping originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.


Continue reading…






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Rackspace DNS recovers after DDoS brings system down

Facebook's now playing Verizon-sponsored NFL clips

Ready for some in-your-face(book) football? According to the WSJ, Facebook is now showing NFL news, highlights and fantasy info in US feeds, topped off by clickable Verizon ads. The social network said the new arrangement was a "small video sponsorsh...



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Bpm'online Cited by Industry Analysts, Thought Leaders

Bpm�EU�online, a world-class vendor of process-driven cloud software for sales, marketing and service automation, has been included in a December, 2014 report titled �EU�Market Overview: Enterprise Sales Force Automation Solutions�EU� by Forrester Research, a global research and advisory firm, providing advice on existing and potential impact of technology.

The report explains how sales professionals can benefit from sales force automation (SFA) solutions, specifies the main SFA market players and the types of solutions they provide. The study focuses on the key idea of how these solutions can help sales reps to be more effective and efficient in their role, close more deals and drive revenue growth.


According to Forrester Research, the SFA market is undergoing significant change with increasing emphasis on mobile sales capability, integration with other software platforms, real-time actionable insight, and usability approaching that of consumer-grade applications.


Forrester Research analysts cited bpm�EU�online sales application as an attractive choice for companies with process-centric sales cycles who want to ensure that their sales force is following standardized processes.


Bpm�EU�online sales is a cloud-based CRM that drives efficient sales processes and enables control over the complete customer journey - from lead generation to closed deals to repeat business. Along with rich SFA functionality the system encompasses out-of-the-box sales processes that guide users through the most effective actions to make the most of the sales pipeline, minimize errors and boost results. Following pre-defined processes makes it easy for companies to jump start using the system, bring industry best practices to their work, and increase sales reps efficiency. Bpm�EU�online sales interface has a social look and feel, which makes it quick to learn and easy to navigate. The product is delivered in four editions (team, commerce, enterprise, and omnichannel) enabling businesses to choose an edition that best fits their business model.


"We are proud that bpm�EU�online technologies are...



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Maker Pro: Essays on Making a Living as a Maker

makerprocover This summer I had the pleasure of recruiting a bunch of great Makers to participate in a book project called Maker Pro: Essays on Making a Living as a Maker, a collection of essays by and interviews of professional makers. Some of the names you might have seen at Maker […]

Read more on MAKE








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GOTY 2014 Best Indie Runner-Up: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Next up in our Softpedia Game of the Year 2014 awards is the runner-up of the Best Indie category, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, created by The Astronauts. There are more and more walking simulators being created, some of them somewhat decent, others merely a derivative piece of prose fed to us one page at a time, all the while distracting us with some pretty pictures. Sometimes the pictures aren't all that pretty either, making the entire genre the butt of the joke for many who fail to see...



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PCLinuxOS 2014.12 Arrives for All Editions, Including FullMonty

PCLinuxOS 2014.12, a free Linux distribution aimed at desktop computers and laptops, has been made available and the devs have made a number in important upgrades. PCLinuxOS has many flavors such as KDE MiniMe, LXDE, MATE, or FullMonty, but the default one is the KDE edition. In fact, a new version of PCLinuxOS is usually generated once a month this this distro, which means that users don't have to perform too many updates. This is one of the few Linux distributions that follow a rolling rel...



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Apple takes over HTC's home country, iPhone 6 most popular smartphone in Taiwan

HTC's home country of Taiwan is now devoted to Apple, according to new sales data. The iPhone 6 has driven Apple's rise in the region, and of the top ten best selling smartphones in Taiwan last month, various models of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus stole a...



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The Sparkle Guns that Keep Military Air Transports Safe

The Sparkle Guns that Keep Military Air Transports Safe


Commercial airlines aren't the only planes under attack from shoulder-fired rockets and missiles these days, a number of slow-moving vehicles in the US Air Force have come under increased threat of being shot down. That's why the USAF is outfitting many of them with sparkling laser blasters to confound inbound threats.


MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense Systems) are among the most pressing threats to American heavy aircraft—both the rotary and fixed wing varieties, ie the C-17 Globemaster and CH-47 Chinook—according to a 1999 US Transportation Command report to Congress. That year, Congress ordered the installation of IR-based countermeasures—specifically Northrop Gumman's AN/AAQ-24 DIRCM system—on 59 SpecOps C-130 aircfraft.


A DIRCM (Directional Infrared Countermeasures) system is a beefed up, military spec version of the Israeli Sky Shield. Northtop Grumman calls its system the AN/AAQ-24 (V) NEMESIS, which is used by both the USAF and UK's Royal Air Force. It detects the incoming threat using a passive missile warning system, then blinds the threats IR seeker head with infrared laser beams, steering the missile away from the aircraft without the need for pilot intervention. Basically, this fuselage-mounted device offers up a "fatter" target in the form of a "brighter" IR signature for the missile's IR sensor to chase. The NEMESIS, according to Northrop Grumman, has yet to fail in 35 test firings aboard UAVs—what, it's not like you're going to lob a bunch of Stingers at a $218 million Globemaster just to see if the laser dazzler is working as advertised.


When they were first installed at the turn of the century, the NEMESIS system ran a directed IR xenon arc lamp to generate its jamming signal, however, many of these units have been upgraded in recent years to use the laser-based Guardian system. You can now find these IR countermeasures on most C-17 Globemaster III, AC-130, MC-130, CV-22, and the CH-53E Super Stallions in active service. And, as part of the USAF's Large Aircraft Infrared Counter-Measure program (LAIRCM), Northrop Grumman has just announced that it will be upgrading an additional 11 AC-130H's, 12 MC-130U's, and 5 EC-130J's beginning early next year.



The NEMESIS is not the only dazzler flying the not-so-friendly skies. It actually lost out lon a $68 million contract to BAE's ATIRCM (Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures), a rival IR countermeasure system, in 2012. The ATIRCM works in much the same manner as the DIRCM—tracking inbound threats with the company's common missile warning system then dazzling the missile out of the sky using concentrated laser beams—and has logged more than 125,000 hours of flight time since its introduction in 2009. The ATIRCM can be found on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. [Military Aerospace - GlobeSec 1, 2 - NG - FAS - BAE]






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A Last-Minute Gift Guide of Items Currently in My Bedroom

A Last-Minute Gift Guide of Items Currently in My Bedroom


Oh no. Your Big Holiday Event is just a day/hour/30 minutes ago away, and you have yet to pick up an appropriate gift. One option is to try to find a 24-hour drug store. Another is murder-suicide. Don't bother! I'm sure I have something.


A book


Don't take any of the ones I haven't read yet. Or any of the ones I like. Here is Chuck Klosterman's entire literary catalog from my time as an asshole in high school. You can put it in a box and present it as a set. No, I don't have a box, but here's a copy of Infinite Jest. Its pages have never been touched by human hands.


A gently used candle and lighter set


Prometheus sacrificed everything to gift man with fire; don't let his eternal suffering have been in vain . This one is lemon verbena. It smells like the Olive Garden and crayons.


A 2007 Nikon Coolpix (pre-loaded w/ photos of me and my friends)


This camera got me through my senior year of high school and the entirety of college. Your giftee's smartphone camera is probably better at this point, but hey—retro! Also, his or her smartphone presumably did not come with photos of 17-year-olds drinking in parking lots. Photos they'll be able to see if they can find the charger. I sure can't.


Four (4) empty journals


Every six months or so, I decide to start writing things in journals. I have never once written anything in a journal. Which, fortunately for our giftee-to-be, hasn't stopped me from buying a new notebook every time the mood strikes. Here are four. They'll go nicely with these pens from the week I decided that I was into pens.


Please don't go into my closet


Thank you.


A completed Paint by Numbers portrait of Jesus


A Last-Minute Gift Guide of Items Currently in My Bedroom


After breaking my leg senior year of college, I spent three weeks immobilized. The selection at Michael's was limited, and it was either Christ or a dolphin. I have an irrational disdain for dolphins. The painting doesn't have a frame, but feel free to take some thumbtacks. (Important note: The comedic value of the drawn-on "YOLO" speech bubble has significantly diminished over time. Will likely continue to do so.)


A $30 gift card to Borders in a Barnes & Noble envelope


This unlikely pair was discovered in the bottom of my suitcase and is your most high risk/high reward option. On the one hand, judging from the envelope alone, it appears that you put enough thought into the gift to make a pre-meditated purchasing decision. On the other, should they ever look inside, Borders does not exist. Best used aspirationally for babies and the otherwise illiterate.


A smile


It's the least you can do after handing someone literal garbage.






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How BlackBerry Evolved With The New BlackBerry Classic Smartphone





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Why you're so busy



The Economist's feature on time-poverty is an absolute must-read, explaining the multi-factorial nature of the modern time crunch, which combines the equivalence of time and money (leading to leisure hours that are as crammed as possible in order to maximize their value), the precarity of the American workplace (meaning that affluent workers work longer hours), and the pace of electronically mediated communications (which makes any kind of refractory pause feel like a wasteful and dull eternity). Read the rest






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Knox Co. deputies search for Subway armed robber





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Rihanna Channels A Smurfette In Faux Fur Blue Coat: Get The Look





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Rihanna channels her inner Smurf in huge fluffy blue coat





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Rihanna Shops at Toys "R" Us, Too!—See the Pic!





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The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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DirectX 12 - DirectX Developer Blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

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Incorporate “Big Data” Within Your Visual Studio App ...

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog - MSDN Blogs - MSDN Blogs

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Microsoft acquires HockeyApp, leading mobile crash analytics and beta distribution service for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone



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