“Shall we play a game?”
The U.S. Department of Defense may have found a new way to scan millions of lines of software code for vulnerabilities, by turning the practice into a set of video games and puzzles and having volunteers do the work.
Having gamers identify potentially problematic chunks of code could help lower the work load of trained vulnerability analysts by “an order of magnitude or more,” said John Murray, a program director in SRI International’s computer science laboratory who helped create one of the games, called Xylem.
The Telegraph claims that a surprising number of mainstream investment bankers make decisions based on astrology. Can you envision this growing into a quasi-religious cult?
Donald Bradley’s method of foreseeing changes in the market involved assigning a numerical value to the position of the planets and stars and plotting the values on a graph. The peaks and troughs of that line should, in theory, plot “turns” in the fortunes of stocks, bonds and commodities. It sounds utterly mad, but the model has been described by market watcher Peter Eliades as “eerily accurate”.
I wanted to do a statistical analysis of his method and use it if it worked,” says Crawford. Back in the library, Crawford found records of the Dow Jones going back to 1885 and a book outlining the details of planetary positions. After comparing the two, he was impressed.
So Crawford began using astrology alongside his technical analysis. Over the years, Crawford found his predictions working out so well that, in 1977, he set up business as a full-time astrological adviser.
Best known as the creator of seminal TV series The Wire, David Simon gave an impromptu speech about the divide between rich and poor in America at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, and how capitalism has lost sight of its social compact. This is an edited extract via The Guardian:
America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It’s astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.
There’s no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know.
Via ScienceDaily, how changing your mind changes your body:
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.
The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.
“Interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain.
Years ago, while a student at USC’s Cinema Production Department, I took a class taught by Arthur Knight, whose The Liveliest Art: A Panoramic History of the Movies was a standard textbook at colleges and universities all over the world. In it he argued that cinema was the liveliest art because it incorporated all arts. It’s a notion that was dear and sacrosanct to all of us cinephiles. For centuries it was cathedrals that incorporated all arts; then it was opera; in the 20th century, supposedly, cinema. Nowadays that’s hardly the case. Hollywood blockbusters are made for the PG-13 audience, except for a few “serious” movies that aim at Academy Awards recognition and, under the pretense of being socially or culturally relevant, are generally platitudinous. Then there are the inevitably marginal “independent” movies that, far from incorporating all arts, are minimalistic not only in production values but above all in content.… Read the rest
Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone occasionally delves deep into issues that most major publications would rather leave well alone. Case in point, its report on what it takes to provide America with cheap meat. Not for the faint of heart…
Sarah – let’s call her that for this story, though it’s neither the name her parents gave her nor the one she currently uses undercover – is a tall, fair woman in her midtwenties who’s pretty in a stock, anonymous way, as if she’d purposely scrubbed her face and frame of distinguishing characteristics. Like anyone who’s spent much time working farms, she’s functionally built through the thighs and trunk, herding pregnant hogs who weigh triple what she does into chutes to birth their litters and hefting buckets of dead piglets down quarter-mile alleys to where they’re later processed. It’s backbreaking labor, nine-hour days in stifling barns in Wyoming, and no training could prepare her for the sensory assault of 10,000 pigs in close quarters: the stench of their shit, piled three feet high in the slanted trenches below; the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure.
The most important revolutionary aspect of the printed page: it allowed people to learn how to improve themselves and change the way they thought about the world
Disinfo has echoed the point that the internet is alike to the printing press here: The Global Awakening. It’s an observation which is almost a cliché and it certainly wasn’t new when I wrote that article. The frustrating thing about the comparison is how hard it is not to be drawn toward the headline grabbing side of what happened next,- The French Revolution and a whole lot of violence. This is partly because it terrified the world’s leaders so much at the time that they’ve never let us forget about it. For me though what’s more important is the spread of radical ideas which preceded and underpinned those events, a period known as “The Enlightenment”. That process is less spectacular and blood thirsty but far more important, long lasting and relevant to you right now.… Read the rest
You’d think with my level of obsessive music nerdiness I’d have read a bunch of musician biographies at this point in my life but you’d be completely wrong. I listen to so many bands that there aren’t many I care enough about to devote that level of energy to, but being a fan since I was a teenager, Ministry: The Last Gospels According to Al Jourgensen was something I couldn’t resist. And it’s not like I read it because of the music really. I was more curious as to how a long time heroin addict is not only still alive after all these years but also continues to put out quality shit for the most part.
I remember reading an interview nearly a decade ago where he was talking about cleaning up off smack while recording and thinking to myself: errr, that guy was strung out back in the 90’s. I can’t vouch for his recent output but both Animositsomina and Houses of the Molé which came out in the early 2000’s were both surprisingly solid.… Read the rest
How ‘Thor’ May Save the World:
Unbeknownst to most climatologists that decry nuclear energy for its environmental liability (in the form of radioactive waste and potential Chernobyl/Fukushima meltdown), there is a friendly and feasible cousin to the Uranium reactor that uses Thorium (yes named after the Norse god of thunder).
Thorium is an element much more abundant than Uranium in the Earth’s crust (comparable in abundance to Lead), and is already produced industrially as a byproduct of rare-earth-metals mining. Thorium reactor designs (using liquid Fluoride as coolant) consume atomic fuel far more efficiently than Uranium reactors using pressurized water as a coolant. Furthermore, these reactors are ‘incapable of meltdown’ and produce hazardous radioactive materials lasting only 300 years as opposed to 10,000 years for Uranium, in relative quantities of 1 ton instead of 35 tons, respectively. Unlike Uranium reactors, Thorium does not pose a proliferation risk because none of the products or reactants present viable materials for creating an atomic bomb.… Read the rest