Two 70-year-old papers by Alan Turing on the theory of code breaking have been released by the government’s communications headquarters, GCHQ.
It is believed Turing wrote the papers while at Bletchley Park working on breaking German Enigma codes.
A GCHQ mathematician said the fact that the contents had been restricted “shows what a tremendous importance it has in the foundations of our subject”.
He was the true Voice of America, as far as I’m concerned. And, after The Band split up, he kept touring, wrote a hilarious memoir, and then started hosting the Midnight Ramble in his barn in upstate New York. He was as generous with his talent and his time as any artist ever was. There was a message on his website on Tuesday saying that, goddammit, he was in the last stages of a long and brave fight with cancer. I wanted to write all of this before he passed. I wanted to thank him for the way he sang, and for the throb of his drums, and for the way he helped point the way home for all of us who thought we’d lost our country. He brought us back to what was really important: the fugitive grace of a young democracy, that America, for all its flaws and shortcomings, for all its loss of faith in itself and its stubborn self-delusions, was a country that was meant to rock. For that, I return his salute from long ago. Thank you, neighbor. And godspeed.
Pre-crime prevention is a terrible idea.
Here is a quiz for you. Is predicting crime before it happens: (a) something out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report; (b) the subject of of a Department of Homeland Security research project that has recently entered testing; (c) a terrible and dangerous idea which will inevitably be counter-productive and which will levy a high price in terms of civil liberties while providing little to no marginal security; or (d) all of the above.
If you picked (d) you are a winner!
The U.S. Department of Homeland security is working on a project called FAST, the Future Attribute Screening Technology, which is some crazy straight-out-of-sci-fi pre-crime detection and prevention software which may come to an airport security screening checkpoint near you someday soon. Yet again the threat of terrorism is being used to justify the introduction of super-creepy invasions of privacy, and lead us one step closer to a turn-key totalitarian state. This may sound alarmist, but in cases like this a little alarm is warranted. FAST will remotely monitor physiological and behavioral cues, like elevated heart rate, eye movement, body temperature, facial patterns, and body language, and analyze these cues algorithmically for statistical aberrance in an attempt to identify people with nefarious intentions. There are several major flaws with a program like this, any one of which should be enough to condemn attempts of this kind to the dustbin. Lets look at them in turn.
A user on the popular social website Reddit was the first to bring our attention to this enormous Photoshop fail. A recent Target advertisement left one of the models sporting a little something extra. You won’t believe your eyes when you see this, nor will you believe that somehow, nobody caught the mistake.
Look closely – see anything disconcerting? Don’t see it yet? Alright. Took me a minute too, even though I knew something was up. Check out the model playing the role of the father: He’s getting extra handsy with the mother, literally: He’s got three hands! One around her shoulder, one by his side, and one around his daughter.
Looks like ‘Thing’ from the Addams family has restarted his career with a modeling gig.
With the latest piece of the puzzle just published in a scientific journal, a solar system mystery that has perplexed people for more than 20 years has been solved, truly thanks to the support of Planetary Society members. That mystery is the “Pioneer Anomaly,” an anomalous acceleration that affected the two Pioneer spacecraft as they left the solar system.
After an epic four year legal battle, the Australian High Court has upheld previous rulings that ISP iiNet is not responsible for the copyright infringements of its customers. Despite today’s huge defeat for Hollywood, the chief of local anti-piracy group AFACT insists that the landscape has changed since the case began, with legislators and courts around the world now recognizing that ISPs have a role in preventing piracy.
All of this factored into the reasoning of AFACT and its chief sponsor the MPAA to take legal action against iiNet, as revealed by US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks in November 2011. The US Ambassador to Australia in 2008, Robert McCallum, reported back to Washington that iiNet was chosen because it was judged too small to put up a decent legal fight. In the cable, the Ambassador prophetically cautioned the coming legal tussle could be perceived as “…the giant American bullies [versus] little Aussie battlers….”