The first section suggests Klout is worthless unless you have a national audience. Too bad Klout doesn’t tell you that up front.
And telephones do replace face to face meetings?
"Hotels are now using this to identify guests upon check-in and award certain perks like an upgrade due to one’s Klout Score." Since I noticed a friends score was hand over fist higher than mine even though he is barely on 3 social networks and just started, with few followers and fewer posts, I still say there are some serious issues with this metric. ‘Tis somewhat Orwellian, when you consider I am on 15 social networks with thousands of followers and have been for the last 7 years.
Bitcoin is at once anonymous and completely public. You can follow transactions through the system in real time and see where large buys have taken place or, in this case, large transfers. See, after the fall of Silk Road the federal government transferred 26,000 BTC to a private wallet which, at..
Interesting developments and significant drop in value
“While corporations may engage in ruthless downsizing, the lay-offs and speed-ups invariably fall on that class of people who are actually making, moving, fixing and maintaining things; through some strange alchemy no one can quite explain, the number of salaried paper-pushers ultimately seems to expand, and more and more employees find themselves, not unlike Soviet workers actually, working 40 or even 50-hour weeks on paper, but effectively working 15 hours just as Keynes predicted, since the rest of their time is spent organising or attending motivational seminars, updating their Facebook profiles or downloading television series.”—The modern phenomenon of nonsense jobs — www.smh.com.au — Readability (via ario)
Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.
It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a lightbulb or your car).
The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter. It’s what Taylor calls a “second network”—an alternative to Wi-Fi that can cover 100 times as great an area, with a range of 3,200 feet, using relatively little power, and is either the future of the way that all our connected devices will talk to each other or a reasonable prototype for it.
A research firm predicts that while there will be more money in flexible displays, consumers will likely have to wait until 2016 to get their hands on a truly flexible product.
How many use cases can you really come up with for flexible screens? Because, remember the screen still has to be attached to something and those things usually aren’t flexible.
I think Tac has a good point, but the greater vision is that the whole world is a screen. When the walls and ceiling of every apartment are screens, wearable technologies will create a new layer of computing.
“The beginning of a new time period doesn’t necessarily have to be accompanied by dramatic events.”—The editor of Both Sides Now argues that we’re entering the Age of Aquarius, “Moving On into the New Era.” (via utnereader)
So it appears that the US government has been using our resources to develop and perform surveillance on the American people under the guise of counter terrorism.
They are now using data gathered from this surveillance in common criminal investigations that do not involve issues of national security. Soon this system of information will be used for resource management like minor statutory enforcement, health & welfare, socialized medicine, commerce, and virtually all forms of human interaction.
Surveillance’ ever watchful eye will keep us safe. In the Eye we trust. Always watching. Ever vigilant.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a major victory for law enforcement agencies, a divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police can take a DNA sample from someone who has been arrested and charged but not convicted of a serious crime.
As complex ecosystems, cities are confronting tremendous pressures to seek optimum efficiency with minimal impact in a resource-constrained world. While architecture, urban planning, and sustainability attempt to address the massive resource requirements and outflow of cities, there are signs that a deeper current of biology is working its way into the urban framework.
Innovations emerging across the disciplines of additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, swarm robotics, and architecture suggest a future scenario when buildings may be designed using libraries of biological templates and constructed with biosynthetic materials able to sense and adapt to their conditions. Construction itself may be handled by bacterial printers and swarms of mechanical assemblers.
Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn.
He said he met with Bradshaw about the program and “got assurances from the sheriff that this is going to be done in a way that respects people’s autonomy and privacy, and that he makes sure to protect against people making false claims.”
Yet if anonymous tips are received there is no way to prevent false claims.
1. The US incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation in the world: Approximately 1 in 100 adults or more than 2.2 million people are behind bars in the US, according to the Pew Center on the States. In addition, another 4.6 million (or a total of almost 7 million) people live under some form of correctional supervision.
Although the US is widely recognised as a “land of liberty”, it could also be described as a nation of prisons. It incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation. Its imprisonment rate (per capita) is almost 50 percent higher than Russia’s and 320 percent higher than China’s.
Within the western hemisphere, the US incarcerates five times as many people per capita as Canada and almost 2.5 times as many as Mexico.
2. Mass incarceration is not a result of higher crime rates: The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world not because it has higher crime rates, but because it imprisons more types of criminal offenders, including non-violent and drug offenders, and keeps them in prison longer.
With the exception of homicide, US crime rates are comparable to other European countries with much lower incarceration rates.
High incarceration rates are the result of “truth in sentencing”, “mandatory minimum” and “three strikes” laws which have limited judicial discretion in sentencing and parole release. As a result, sentences are now mainly determined by what the prosecutor decides to charge. And prosecutors routinely over-charge defendants in order to encourage plea agreements.
An egregious, but not unusual, recent example illustrates this point. In 2012, a Florida woman, who fired a “warning shot” in the direction of her physically abusive ex-husband (who was not hit by the bullet), was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The judge, as a result of mandatory sentencing legislation, was given no discretion in her sentencing. He sentenced her to 20 years in prison.
3. Mass incarceration disproportionately impacts US racial minorities: Mass incarceration has had a devastating effect on blacks and Hispanics in the US. African Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person and non-white Latinos are almost three times more likely to be incarcerated, according to the Pew Center on the States.
Incarceration hits hardest at young black and Latino men without high school education. An astounding 11 percent of black men, aged between 20 and 34, are behind bars.
Much of the racial disparity is a result of the US’ war on drugs - started by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. By 1988, blacks were arrested on drug charges at five times the rate of whites.
By 1996, the rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men was 13 times greater than the rate for white men. This is despite the fact that African Americans use drugs at roughly the same rate as white Americans.
4. Mass incarceration is expensive: Imprisoning people is not cheap. The average cost of housing an inmate is approximately $20,000 to $30,000 per year. This price tag comes at the direct expense of public money that could be spent on public education, medical care and public assistance. And it is one reason why so many states face fiscal crises today.
To put this in perspective, the state of California spends 2.5 times more money housing and feeding its inmates than it does educating students. California is not alone: five states “spend more on corrections than higher education”, a 2008 Pew Center study revealed.
5. Mass incarceration disguises the US’ real unemployment rate and exacerbates inequality: The current unemployment rate in the US is high. And if we factored in all the people who are not looking for work because they are behind bars, it would be higher - especially among young black Americans and people without a high school diploma.
A recent research by Becky Petit reveals:
“Employment-population rates adjusted to include inmates suggest that only 26 percent of young black, male dropouts were employed in 2008, while over 37 percent were in prison or jail. Over half of the joblessness of young, black, and male dropouts is linked to incarceration.”
Incarceration also negatively impacts former prisoner’s ability to earn a decent living. Several studies suggest that there are at least six million “ex-prisoners” living within society and when they look for a job, they are 50 percent less likely to be hired than job seekers without a criminal record.
Former prisoners are paid less than those who have not been to prison. In addition, incarceration of a parent reduces a child’s prospects for economic mobility.
The sudden drop in the value of Bitcoins, the hot new Internet currency, has added urgency to the question of whether Bitcoin is the way of the future, or just another bubble. Not to keep readers in suspense, the answer is a bubble, but a particularly interesting example of one. In particular, Bitcoin represents what ought to be the final refutation of the efficient-markets hypothesis, which still guides most regulation of financial markets.
“How did you pay for your coffee this morning, by cash? By credit card? If a growing number of bank-fearing techies have their way, you’ll soon be able to pay for that mocha latte through an untraceable virtual currency called Bitcoin. You can’t touch it, it’s prized in the underworld, its creator disappeared in a cloud of mystery, and if you want to keep it safe, you should keep it hidden in a bunch of different places.”—Bitcoin Explainer, Mother Jones (via motherjones)
“Instead of typing your password, in the future you may only have to think your password,” explains a UC Berkeley School of Information press release about new research that utilizes brainwaves to authenticate users instead of passwords of numbers and letters. With a $100 consumer-friendly brainwave-reading headset, the Neurosky MindSet, Professor John Chuang found that the mere task of concentrating on one’s breath was enough to uniquely identify them.
Where by I pontificate (briefly) about one of the sciencey elements in my Sci Fi story “Edan” of pop-culture gizmo called “Manga 9F5”
• Gravity, time, and molecular structures are effected by this quantum tool. • Instead of selling the technology to the government, Colin Lloyd distributes it as open source hardware and software, but also sells it as a product. • Instead of military or scientific applications, it is used by the entertainment industry. • Manga 9F5 now comes in pink! (Via me at edanbook)