Space Photos of the Week: Hubbub Over Hubble

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
You can’t beat space telescopes for an unencumbered view of the cosmos.

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Alleged ‘Snake Oil’ Crypto Firm Sues Over Boos at Black Hat

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
The paper being presented suggested that the two researchers had a method to quickly find large semiprime numbers and essentially break RSA-2048 and any other semiprime-based encryption.

Posted in security, Security / Security News | Comments (0)

Our favorite gaming studios, expos, museum exhibits—in a photo blowout

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder

When we publish galleries dedicated to gaming exhibitions, events, and landmarks, it's not a way to put off writing work. For one, we have to write all of the freaking captions (and also try to make some of them equal parts funny and informative). There's also the matter of a bunch of trained writers doubling as professional photographers while finding ourselves overstimulated by the coolest video games old and new. Hey. It's a living.

But while the work of shooting, editing, touching up, and publishing these collections is more involved than they might look, we love making them. There's something to be said about basking in the glow of an expertly crafted gaming-event gallery. I liken it to the digital equivalent of a freshly mowed yard. There's a certain, I dunno, majesty to it. At least, without the whole "sunlight" thing.

Thus, to conclude our dedicated Ars Gaming Week event, we invite you to bask in years of our digital yard work, all taken from our favorite gaming-related events.

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Posted in Ars Gaming Week 2019, Gaming & Culture | Comments (0)

Cryptocurrency Mining Employees Expose Nuclear Plant to Internet

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
Xbox eavesdropping, email scammers, and more of the week's top security news.

Posted in security, Security / Security News | Comments (0)

Nobody’s Watching the Best Giant-Monster Movies

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
"Colossal," "A Monster Calls," and "I Kill Giants" are terrific sci-fi films with weird, big themes. They all failed to connect with audiences.

Posted in culture, Culture / Culture Podcast, Culture / Movies | Comments (0)

Tracking online hate groups reveals why they’re resilient to bans

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
The Facebook login screen on a Web browser.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Social networks have struggled to figure out how to handle issues like threats of violence and the presence of hate groups on their platforms. But a new study suggests that attempts to limit the latter run up against a serious problem: the networks formed by hate group members are remarkably resilient, and they will migrate from network to network, keeping and sometimes expanding their connections in the process. The study does offer a few suggestions for how to limit the impact of these groups, but many of the suggestions will require the intervention of actual humans, rather than the algorithms most social networks favor.

Finding the "hate highways"

The work, done by researchers at George Washington and Miami Universities, focused on networks of racist groups, centered on the US' KKK. To do this, the researchers tracked the presence of racist groups on two major social networks: Facebook and a Russia-based network called VKontakte. The researchers crafted an automated system that could identify interest groups that shared links with each other. It would chart these connections iteratively, continuing until the process simply re-identified previously known groups. The system tracked links to other social sites like Instagram, but it doesn't iterate within those sites.

The authors confirmed this worked by performing a similar analysis manually. Satisfied, the team then tracked daily changes for an extended period of 2018. Through this, they identified more than 768 nodes formed by members of the white supremacy movement. Other nodes were identified, but these tended to be things like pornography or illicit materials, so they were ignored for this study.

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Posted in Computer science, hate groups, Human behavior, network analysis, science, social media | Comments (0)

I Replaced My Oven With a Waffle Maker, and You Should Too

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
Dust off that waffle iron and enter a world of cooking that goes way beyond breakfast.

Posted in Gear, Gear / How To and Advice, Gear / Trends, Products / Kitchen | Comments (0)

Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text feature

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text feature

Enlarge (credit: Audible)

Seven of the nation's top book publishers sued Amazon subsidiary Audible on Friday, asking federal courts to block the company from releasing a new feature called Audible Captions that's due out next month. The technology does exactly what it sounds like: display text captions on the screen of your phone or tablet as the corresponding words are read in the audio file.

The publishers argue that this is straight-up copyright infringement. In their view, the law gives them the right to control the distribution of their books in different formats. Audio is a different format from text, they reason, so Audible needs a separate license.

This would be a slam-dunk argument if Audible were generating PDFs of entire books and distributing them to customers alongside the audio files. But what Audible is actually doing is subtly different—in a way that could provide the company with firm legal ground to stand on.

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Posted in audible, book publishers, Cablevision vs. Cartoon Network, copyright, Policy | Comments (0)

Why people keep falling for viral hoaxes

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
Why people keep falling for viral hoaxes

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images)

The Internet is dark and full of terrible sources of information. Sometimes it seems like every day brings a new one to the list. There are the toxic conspiracy theories, deepfakes, and fake news mills. And then there are good old-fashioned Internet hoaxes. You know the ones—the sort of fear-mongering, copypasta-esquewarnings that came in the form of cryptically bolded email chains a decade ago, and today dot the social media feeds of your friends and relatives.

In comparison to the targeted disinformation campaigns that have dominated headlines in recent years, social media hoaxes seem almost quaint. Aw, we used to get duped by all-caps chain texts that claimed we would end up cursed if we didn’t forward it to five of our friends!

That is, at least, until you realize that they’re somehow still around.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Instagram | Comments (0)

Honda’s New Airbag Catches Your Head to Save Your Brain

August 24th, 2019
by The Feeder
The automaker’s got a brand new bag, and it could reduce the chances of brain injury in some crashes by 75 percent.

Posted in Transportation, Transportation / Car Tech and Reviews | Comments (0)