We show that the MEMS gyroscopes found on modern smart phones are sufficiently sensitive to measure acoustic signals in the vicinity of the phone. The resulting signals contain only very low-frequency information (<200Hz). Nevertheless we show, using signal processing and machine learning, that this information is sufficient to identify speaker information and even parse speech. Since iOS and Android require no special permissions to access the gyro, our results show that apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone can nevertheless eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone.
Researchers have pinpointed the environmental source of fungal infections that have been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades. It literally grows on trees.
The discovery is based on the science project of a 13-year-old girl, who spent the summer gathering soil and tree samples from areas around Los Angeles hardest hit by infections of the fungus named Cryptococcus gattii (CRIP-to-cock-us GAT-ee-eye).
Cryptococcus, which encompasses a number of species including C. gattii, causes life-threatening infections of the lungs and brain and is responsible for one third of all AIDS-related deaths.
If a 13-year old can make basic discoveries like this…. we have plenty of things we still need to learn..
A police officer involved in the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, has been relieved of his duty after video surfaced of him making racist and derogatory remarks.
Dan Page was recorded in April giving a speech in which he described President Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant, and railed against Muslims and gay people. “I’m into diversity – I kill everybody,” he said.
Comcast’s proposed $45.2-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable has been criticized by angry customers, consumer advocacy groups, and even some members of Congress.
But Comcast has plenty of support, too, much of it from politicians and organizations that benefit from its political and charitable donations.
BOA Logo (2014)Bank of America will pay roughly $4 billion less to the government after-tax than the $16.65 billion it agreed to in a settlement over soured mortgage securities, because parts of the settlement will be tax deductible, the bank said Thursday.
The bank has already taken some of the savings from the settlement’s tax deductions in previous quarters, so the savings won’t all come in the current third quarter. But tallying the total tax savings to roughly $4 billion “would be fair,” a bank spokesman said.
Federal law allows companies to deduct large portions of the costs of settling with federal agencies on their tax returns. But that effectively shifts part of the settlement’s burden to taxpayers, and some lawmakers and consumer advocates have expressed concerns that the public can be misled when regulators tout giant settlement amounts that companies aren’t fully paying. …
Fines and penalties imposed as part of a settlement can’t be deducted, so that knocks out the $5.02 billion in fines Bank of America agreed to pay. But other amounts paid can be deducted as ordinary business expenses—including the $4.63 billion in compensatory payments that Bank of America agreed to pay, and the costs it incurs in providing $7 billion in mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners and other consumer relief.
So there you go – fines are just a business expense.
A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.
The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenry preceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.
The struggles of the embattled Kurdish Peshmerga to repel Islamist insurgents have put the U.S. and Iran on the same side, with both rushing to reinforce a revered fighting force to defeat a common enemy.
U.S. airstrikes this week helped the Peshmerga retake two towns on the outskirts of Erbil that they had lost days earlier in a stunning defeat that put the radical Sunni group Islamic State 20 miles from the capital of the semiautonomous Kurdish region.
On Monday, as Peshmerga fighters basked in relief in one of those towns, Makhmour, a reporter witnessed senior Kurdish commanders meeting with Iranian advisers in the operations command center there.
On Aug. 21, Kurdish social media activists published pictures that appear to depict of elements of the Iranian 81st Armored Division entering southern Kurdistan via Khaneghein, north of Jalawla.
The 81st is a battle-hardened division that fought hard during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. And before that, it had fought Kurdish insurgents in Iran’s restive southern provinces. Today the 81st Division is fighting alongside the Kurds.
After the Iran-Iraq War, the division reorganized and re-armed. As other units gained Russian T-72 tanks, the 81st gathered up all the leftover, American-made M-60s and M-48s. More recently, the 81st broke into three largely independent brigades—the 181st and 281st Armored Brigades and the 72nd Mechanized Brigade.
The units the activists spotted in Kurdistan most likely are elements of the 181st, as it’s responsible for defending the Sar-e-Pole Zahab border town near Khaneghein. Previously, there had been a build-up of armored units on the Iranian side of the border.
The violence that turns a small-town protest into a fiery national spectacle like the one that has played out this month in Missouri is often unwittingly provoked by police, according to researchers at UC Berkeley.
The research team, which studied clashes between police and activists during the Occupy movement three years ago, found that protests tend to turn violent when officers use aggressive tactics, such as approaching demonstrators in riot gear or lining up in military-like formations.
Recent events in Ferguson, Mo., are a good example, the study’s lead researcher said. For nearly two weeks, activists angered by a white police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager have ratcheted up their protests when confronted by heavily armed police forces.
“Everything starts to turn bad when you see a police officer come out of an SUV and he’s carrying an AR-15,” said Nick Adams, a sociologist and fellow at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Data Science who leads the Deciding Force Project. “It just upsets the crowd.”
I think she misunderstood the phrase ‘rollin in dough’.
Bodies are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. The bodies of dogs and cats, or squirrels and raccoons, let alone the bodies of children, are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. No bodies are left in the streets of the financial districts. Freeze to death on a bench in the financial districts and you are whisked away before your inconvenient body can disturb the folks in line at the Starbucks across the street. But the body of a boy can be left in the street for four hours in a place like Ferguson, Missouri, and who knows whether it was because people wanted to make a point, or because nobody gave a damn whether he was there or not. Ferguson, Missouri was a place where they left a body in the street. For four hours. And the rage rose, and the backlash built, and the cameras arrived, and so did the cops, and the thing became something beyond what it was in the first place. And, in a very real way, in the streets of Ferguson, the body was still in the street.
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
The Vatican said the commission’s request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was “neither possible nor appropriate”.
Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See.
Cardinal George Pell, now working in Rome, was asked if he sought an assurance from the Vatican that any document the royal commission needed would be provided.
“That is correct,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video-link on Thursday.
“I suppose in retrospect there would be some discussion over what ‘any document’ meant.”
In 2002 E.I. du Pont de Nemours announced plans to turn some of its operations into a separate subsidiary. Most of the affected employees were under a union agreement that gave them the right to transfer within DuPont if they preferred, a decision which would have cost the company an enormous amount of money to retrain the transfers and hire their replacements.
The employees were worried that if DuPont sold the new subsidiary it would hurt both their pay and retirement funds. To convince them to work in the subsidiary instead of transferring within the company, DuPont assured its employees that it had absolutely no plans to sell the spin-off. Based on this promise almost everyone moved to the subsidiary, which a few weeks later DuPont sold to Koch Industries. Koch cut both salaries and retirement packages. DuPont had, as it turns out, been negotiating this deal the entire time.
The Texas Supreme Court sees no problem with any of this.
It’s a “very real possibility” that individuals with the extremist group ISIS may have crossed into the United States at the southern border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday, though he added he doesn’t have any evidence.
Because the border is insecure, Perry said that “individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be” taking advantage of the situation. “I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that,” he told an audience at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.
“We have no clear evidence of that,” he continued.
There’s a very real possibility that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. We have no clear evidence that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, but its a very real possibility.
Apple’s documentation on the tel scheme is really short and easy to read. While reading the first paragraph something caught my attention:
When a user taps a telephone link in a webpage, iOS displays an alert asking if the user really wants to dial the phone number and initiates dialing if the user accepts. When a user opens a URL with the tel scheme in a native app, iOS does not display an alert and initiates dialing without further prompting the user.
So if I click the link in Safari I get the prompt asking me to confirm my action, if I click the link in a native app’s webView it doesn’t ask and performs the action right away (makes the call).
Do people read documentation?
No. And it’s bad.
I instantly assumed people do read documentation so there was no way a big player like Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, etc. would do such a silly mistake… but I was wrong.
Can you guess which books the wannabe jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed ordered online from Amazon before they set out from Birmingham to fight in Syria last May? A copy of Milestones by the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb? No. How about Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden? Guess again. Wait, The Anarchist Cookbook, right? Wrong.
Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric – think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war” – but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.
In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could . . . be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”, the newspaper said.
Abu Mosa, spokesperson for the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has been killed by the Syrian Army, according to unconfirmed reports that are making the rounds on Twitter.
Mosa was featured in the recent Vice News documentary, in which he said, “I say to America the Islamic Caliphate has been established and we will not stop.”
Mosa also famously said, “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
Mosa’s statement was released the same week that an ISIS supporter reportedly Tweeted a photo of the ISIS flag on his phone while standing in front of the White House.
One post from a pro-ISIS Twitter account said: “This brother Abu Moussa was martyred during missile clashes” by the Syrian Arab Army in Raqqa.
Newly released video from NYC Housing Authority security cameras in Queensbridge appears to show that the NYPD is lying about a fatal crash that killed a Japanese student last year and may have tried to cover up the incident by discarding further video evidence. Although the NYPD has refused to release any video—which they previously claimed shows the NYPD vehicle with its flashing lights engaged—attorney Steve Vaccaro has obtained video from NYCHA through a Freedom of Information Law request.
“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” -Charles de Montesquieu
…because you never quite know what some British people are saying, even when they’re speaking English.
Responding to a shoplifting call just a few miles from the unrest in Ferguson yesterday afternoon, two St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department fired a dozen shots in all at 25-year-old Kajieme Powell, killing him instantly. Described by neighbors as mentally ill, Powell was carrying a knife and shouting, “Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me now, motherfucker!” as he approached the officers. Today, the department released a cell phone video of the shooting, which a rep for the police union called “exculpatory.”
No attempt to assess the actual situation. Just charge in and shoot….
The UK Parliament passed the first Metropolitan Police Act in 1829. The act was introduced by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who undertook a study of crime and policing, which resulted in his belief that the keys to building an effective police force were to 1) make it professional (most prior policing had been volunteer in nature); 2) organize as a civilian force, not as a paramilitary force; and 3) make the police accountable to the public. The Metropolitan Police, whose officers were referred to as “bobbies” after Peel, was extremely successful and became the model for the modern urban police force, both in the UK and around the world, including in the United States.
At the heart of the Metropolitan Police’s charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:
1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the ACLU called on the Missouri Highway Patrol to “identify and remove” an officer featured in the video below. In the video, the officer points a gun protesters and says he’ll “fucking kill” one man. When asked what his name is, he replies “Go fuck yourself.” While Ferguson protests have had “tense moments,” the ACLU argues that the officer’s behavior was “from start to finish wholly unacceptable.”
In a statement, the St. Louis County Police Department said the officer was with the St. Ann Police Department, and had been relieved of duty and suspended “indefinitely”:
Funny how a camera can help. With all the news coverage saying the cops are out of control, this first public reprimand for one of the cops involved comes only after a video capturing his actions was released and viral.
Maybe it doesn’t mean much to you that the average black family has eight-cents of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by whites, that the the ongoing recession has doubled the wealth gap between blacks and whites, or that the unemployment rate of blacks is edging up on twice as high as the white rate – easily surpassing it when you count incarcerated blacks. After all, a black child in American is nine-times more likely than a white child to have a parent who’s locked up.
But let’s look into the data and the implications a little bit more.
The precise era that saw a drug-law fueled explosion in our prison population, the early 1970s, are the exact same years that the economic situation of blacks began to starkly worsen and that the gap between rich and poor is wrenched wide open. Beginning in those years and continuing into today, “the economic status of black compared to that of whites has, on average, stagnated or deteriorated.”
Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller Drug Laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing. But then that year it changed course, and in “an ominous bellwether… the gap between black and white incomes started to grow wider again, in both absolute and relative terms.” Direct empirical research into incarceration’s economic effects weren’t done until recently, when a Pew Charitable Trusts research paper showed that prior to imprisonment two-thirds of male inmates were employed and half were their family’s primary source of income. Additionally, upon release an ex-con’s annual earnings were reduced by 40%
In the nearly forty years since America’s modern drug laws were passed, there has been a massive increase in economic inequality by any measure. In the early 1970′s not only did the income gap between black and white begin to widen again, it also becomes much more top-heavily favored to the very rich – who happen to be almost exclusively white as well.
The company’s choice to transform what is traditionally a non-revenue-generating area—customer service—into a revenue-generating one is playing out with almost hilariously Kafkaesque consequences. It is the nature of large corporations like Comcast to have dozens of layers of management through which leadership instructions and directives are filtered. The bigger the company, the more likely that members of senior leadership (like Tom Karinshak) typically make broad policy and leave specific implementations to lower levels. Here, what was likely praised in the boardroom as an “innovative” strategy to raise revenue is instead doing much to alienate customers and employees alike. Karinshak’s assurances that he doesn’t want employees to feel pressured to sell in spite of hard evidence that Comcast demands just that are hard to square with the content of the document.
“We are an Islamic army, an estate that has been accepted by a number of Muslims worldwide. So, effectifvely, any agression towards the Islamic State is an aggression towards Muslims of all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic Caliphate as their leadership.
“So, any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic Caliphate, will result in the bloodshed of your people.”
The fucker is lying. What they want more than anything else is for their war to become “ISIS vs. USA”, instead of “ISIS vs. Other Arabs” as it is now. Much easier recruiting that way.
Above you’ll see a picture of Scott Olson, the Getty photographer who’s brought us many of the most striking images of protests and police crackdown that followed the shooting of Michael Brown.
The other two men in the photograph, despite presumably being police officers, are not identifiable at this time. Unlike normal police officers, they are not wearing name tags or badges with visible numbers on them. When police arrested the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, they weren’t wearing badges or nametags either. Reasonable people can disagree about when, exactly, it’s appropriate for cops to fire tear gas into crowds. But there’s really no room for disagreement about when it’s reasonable for officers of the law to take off their badges and start policing anonymously.
There’s only one reason to do this: to evade accountability for your actions.
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