“The internet browser you are using to read this blog post could help a potential employer decide whether or not you would do well at a job. How might your choice of browser affect your job prospects? When choosing among job applicants, employers may be swayed by a range of factors, knowingly and unknowingly. … Evolv, a company that monitors recruitment and workplace data, has suggested that there are better ways to identify the right candidate for job. … Among other things, its analysis found that those applicants who have bothered to install new web browsers on their computers (such as Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome) perform better and stay in their posts for 15% longer, on average.”
Most of us know someone that believes in magic. Not the religious kind but everyday, ordinary magic such as telekinesis, reading of the mind, or contacting the dead. Some people you know may even claim to have these powers themselves.
Good news! Instead of hawking their amazing skills on street corners or at parties for small sums, they can submit their paranormal claim to the good folks at the James Randi Educational Foundation. If they pass scientific observation and prove they have paranormal abilities, they will get one million dollars, no strings attached!
To start the application process, click here.
(3) To date, how many persons have been tested for the million-dollar prize offered by JREF?
That’s not a simple question to answer. Many hundreds have applied, and most have had to be instructed to reapply — sometimes several times — because they did it incorrectly or incompletely. There are, at any given time, about 40 to 60 applicants being considered, but from experience we know that the vast majority will drop out even before any proper preliminary test can be designed. Of those who get to the preliminary stage, perhaps a third will actually be tested, and some of those will quit before completion. To date, no one has actually passed the simple preliminaries and arrived at the formal test stage, though a couple hundred have completed and failed the preliminaries. So, no one has been formally tested for the big prize, though we’re ready and willing.
“Taking DRM (Digital Rights Management) further than it’s gone before, a group of designers have built a DRM’d chair that will melt its own joints and destroy itself after 8 uses. The chair uses an Arduino and sensors to monitor the number of uses, then triggers the melting of a set of joints that hold it together, making the product unusable without some carpentry skills. The video of device at work is both amusing and a little disconcerting.”
In the early days of color copying, less-than-honest individuals would make copies of federal currency, leading to the introduction of a hidden watermark on each copy that would identify the original machine.
Equally as covert, but not as designed, authorities can now validate the date and time of any recording you make in London.
“It appears that the Metropolitan Police in London have been recording the frequency of the mains supply for the past 7 years. With this, they claim to be able to pick up the hum from any digital recording and tell when the recording was made. From the article: ‘Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording.’”
“A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards. Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for ‘Mandatory Event Data Recorders’ to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so. ‘Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,’ states the bill.”
Ever say or do something on Facebook that might come back to haunt you? It turns out, if Facebook receives a subpeona from law enforcement, they respond by sending off all your data (over 71 pages in an example account only 3 months old), and a lot more than you would think…
All your wall posts and shares
Everything you’ve ever written on your wall, of the wall of any group you have ever liked, including a list of everything you have ever “shared” or reposted. Even posts you think you have deleted are only hidden from view.
All your friends (and enemies)
Every person you’ve ever befriended and un-friended. Facebook, like a lot of web services, has a full memory of all your actions — the friends, the unfriends, the likes, the shares. Facebook is a million little bells that you can’t unring, at least as far as police investigations go.
All your photos
Public, Private and even deleted.
Your entire Facebook browsing history
When you click on someone’s profile, it’s logged. Other Facebook users don’t know you’re looking at their profiles, but Facebook itself most assuredly does. Or rather can, if the police come asking. Facebook also knows every group you have looked at as well as any specific conversations on the group wall.
Here’s what the site says about its policies for cooperating with law enforcement:
We work with law enforcement where appropriate and to the extent required by law to ensure the safety of the people who use Facebook. We may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law. This may include respecting requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, apply to users from that jurisdiction, and are consistent with generally accepted international standards.
A new camera technology from Hitachi Hokusai Electric can scan days of camera footage instantly, and find any face which has EVER walked past it. Its makers boast that it can scan 36 million faces per second. The technology raises the specter of governments – or other organizations – being able to ‘find’ anyone instantly simply using a passport photo or a Facebook profile. The ‘trick’ is that the camera ‘processes’ faces as it records, so that all faces which pass in front of it are recorded and stored instantly. Faces are stored as a searchable ‘biometric’ record, placing the unique mathematical ‘faceprint’ of anyone who has ever walked past the camera in a database.
Straight out of 1984, Samsung has unveiled a new series of televisions with integrated cameras and microphones, complete with facial and voice recognition software. Best of all, there appears to be no physical indication of the mic and camera’s status, so consumers have no way of knowing when they’re being monitored, or by whom… and if you don’t find the idea of a TV that watches you creepy enough, apparently Samsung’s Terms of Service include a clause allowing third-party apps to make use of the monitoring system, and use the data gathered for their own purposes. Nothing Orwellian about that…
Cameras at UK petrol stations will automatically stop uninsured or untaxed vehicles from being filled with fuel, under new government plans. Downing Street officials hope the hi-tech system will crack down on the 1.4 million motorists who drive without insurance. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are already fitted in thousands of petrol station forecourts. Drivers can only fill their cars with fuel once the camera has captured and logged the vehicle’s number plate. Currently the system is designed to deter motorists from driving off without paying for petrol. But under the new plans, the cameras will automatically cross-refererence with the DVLA’s huge database.
According to the New York Times, it’s the end of the road for the printed Encyclopedia Brittanica, saying, ‘…in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely wiped out by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, particularly Wikipedia, which in 11 years has helped replace the authority of experts with the wisdom of the crowds.’ The last print edition will be the 32-volume 2010 edition.