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Posts Tagged "Internet"

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Newest Scientific American E-Book Ripped from the Headlines: Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space

cyber hacking ebook cover

From media and communications to banking, an increasing number of our daily activities is performed online. While this transformation has raised the curtain on exciting new frontiers, it also opens doors to security threats undreamed of by previous generations. In Scientific American’s newest eBook, Cyber Hacking: Wars in Virtual Space, we peer behind the scenes [...]

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Cross-Check

Chain links: Is the Internet empowering or enslaving us?

I don’t believe in God—at least, not any version I’ve encountered so far—but I do believe in free will. Free will, which I define as our capacity to recognize and act on choices, is what makes life meaningful. I can’t be sure that free will exists, so my belief is, I suppose, a faith. And [...]

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Guest Blog

Facing Up to Online Murder and Other Cyber Crimes

Crime scence, do not cross. (Credit: Yumi Kimura/Flickr)

A recent report from Europol’s European Cybercrime Center includes a forecast that the world’s first “online murder” will likely occur before the end of 2014. Obviously this is a frightening concept and one that a number of news outlets quickly seized upon with ominous headlines. However, there’s a far more dangerous story that underlies this [...]

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Guest Blog

5 Ways to Thwart Illegal Drug Dealing Online

eBay headquarters in San Jose, California. (CoolCeasar via Flickr(

Recent reports from ABC News and the UK’s Mail on Sunday suggest eBay is providing a platform for sellers engaged in an illegal prescription drug trade. An ecommerce pioneer now ranked number 250 on the Forbes magazine rankings of the largest public companies on Earth, eBay’s corporate success doesn’t appear to translate into sufficient success [...]

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Guest Blog

The Frustrations of Being Scientifically Literate

Life's dirty little secret. (Credit: Debaird via Flickr)

Editors note: Craig Fay will be appearing live at the Laughing Devil Comedy Festival in New York City May 14-18. Here’s a theory for you: ignorance is bliss. If that’s true then being scientifically literate has got to be one of the most miserable and frustrating things possible. And when you think about it that [...]

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Guest Blog

What Is War in the Digital Realm? A Reality Check on the Meaning of “Cyberspace”

Cyber is everywhere: in political speeches, in newspapers, at dinner conversations. There’s cyberwar and cybersex and cybercafés (they still exist, I promise), and there’s the U.S. Cyber Command. Once in a while, there is a new surge of articles arguing that the word “cyber” is vague, dated and that we just should get rid of [...]

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Guest Blog

Social media for science: The geologic perspective

Last week, I spent a pleasant hour over lunch talking to my 60-year-old aunt and her 80-something husband about "this Twitter thing" and how one defines a blog. They had heard that social media had played a role in the protests in Egypt and wanted to learn more. Good students, they nodded and asked questions [...]

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Life, Unbounded

The Interstellar Internet

An interstellar web? (Original image by B. Torrissen)

A speculative but intriguing discussion that sometimes crops up when talking to people engaged in exoplanetary science goes like this; let’s suppose that we find an unmistakably terrestrial style planet around a relatively nearby star (less than about 30 light years away), perhaps even around one of the Alpha Centauri members, a touch over four [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Internet Addiction: Real or Virtual Reality?

Credit: Sam Wolff via Flickr

In 1995, Ivan Goldberg, a New York psychiatrist, published one of the first diagnostic tests for Internet Addiction Disorder. The criteria appeared on psycom.net, a psychiatry bulletin board, and began with an air of earnest authenticity: “A maladaptive pattern of Internet use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) [...]

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Observations

Ted Cruz Is Not 100 Percent Wrong That Net Neutrality Is ObamaCare for the Internet

President Obama announced his support Monday for net neutrality. And Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz let loose one of his biggest howls, tweeting: “Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government. — Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014 Cruz really really does not like net [...]

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Observations

Smartphone App Takes Morality Science out of the Lab and into the Real World

Image of the Smartphone Experience-Sampling Signal (SMS linking to smartphone survey). Courtesy of Wilhelm Hofmann.

Just when it seems there’s a mobile app for just about everything, psychologists have shown there’s room for one more: they are using smartphones to help them better understand the dynamics of moral and immoral behavior out in the community. A team of U.S., German and Dutch researchers has used Apple iOS, Google Android and [...]

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Observations

Google Gives the Internet Amnesia in Europe

Logo of the Court of Justice of the European Union courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

One of the Internet’s greatest assets is also perhaps its biggest curse—it never forgets. Except in the European Union, where a court last month ruled that people have the right to have certain sensitive information about themselves deleted from Google search results. (pdf) As of Tuesday morning, the region’s most popular search engine has received [...]

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Observations

Developing Countries Still Far from Closing Digital Divide

laptop

The United States is not the greatest country in the world, at least when it comes to information and communication technology. Last month, the World Economic Forum released its 13th annual Global Information Technology Report, which ranks the nations of the world by their “networked readiness” – that is, how much each country can use [...]

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Observations

Negroponte’s Next Goal Is to Connect the “Last Billion”

http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child

Nicholas Negroponte, the visionary computer scientist who founded the One Laptop Per Child initiative, now says he wants to connect the “last billion” people on the planet. He told the audience at TED on Monday in Vancouver that his next project would be to bring connectivity to rural people around the world who have so [...]

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Observations

Why Big Data Isn’t Necessarily Better Data

Google,flu,big data

Tech companies—Facebook, Google and IBM, to name a few—are quick to tout the world-changing powers of “big data” gleaned from mobile devices, Web searches, citizen science projects and sensor networks. Never before has so much data been available covering so many areas of interest, whether it’s online shopping trends or cancer research. Still, some scientists [...]

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Observations

How to Reconcile Big Data and Privacy

White House image, courtesy of CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade

In many ways “big data” and “encryption” are antithetical. The former involves harvesting, storing and analyzing information to reveal patterns that researchers, law enforcement and industry can use to their benefit. The goal of the latter is to obscure that data from prying eyes. That tension was at the core of a conference this week [...]

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Observations

How Hackers Take Down Web Sites [Video]

Courtesy of Scientific American

Many of the Web sites we visit every day are under cyber attack by malicious hackers looking to disrupt business transactions, discourage people from using a particular online service or exact payback for some real or perceived slight. One of the most common ways to bring down a site is to flood its computer servers [...]

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Observations

Could Your Texts, Tweets and Selfies Be Funding War in Africa?

intel,africa

Hard to believe that our mundane social media banter could have an impact on the civil war raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a decade. The problem isn’t the content of these messages, it’s the devices used to send them. Smartphones, tablets, PCs and other devices often have electrical components made [...]

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Observations

The Formula for Kick-Starting U.S. Manufacturing Begins with Technology

manufacturing,3d printing,material,robot

Much of what we buy in the U.S. is not made here, and hasn’t been for decades. If 2013 is any indication this could be changing, although the next generation of American manufacturing will differ greatly from its predecessor thanks to advanced technologies that rely on information rather than brawn. Early in the year, President [...]

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Plugged In

Technology for the rest of us

As you’ve no doubt read, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down from the company he co-founded three decades ago. Tim Cook will take over the reigns for the long-term, and has served as COO since 200. For those who don’t follow Apple nerdery obsessively like I do, This Is My Next has a profile [...]

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PsySociety

Lady Gaga, You Shouldn’t Be Doing It For The Applause.

Lady Gaga

When Lady Gaga tells us in her latest hit single that everything she does is “for the applause,” is that a message that we should be celebrating? Or is it something to worry about? And, while we’re talking Gaga, what about her well-known proclamation that people are who they are because they were Born That [...]

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PsySociety

Psychology’s brilliant, beautiful, scientific messiness.

Book_Heart_by_antsandneedles

Today, sitting down to my Twitter feed, I saw a new link to Dr. Alex Berezow’s old piece on why psychology cannot call itself a science. The piece itself is over a year old, but seeing it linked again today brought up old, angry feelings that I never had the chance to publicly address when [...]

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PsySociety

Weiner’s Wiener? Too perfect to be a coincidence.

AnthonyWeiner

In case you haven’t heard, Carlos Danger — AKA shamed former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner — recently got in trouble once again for exposing his infamous…well, his infamous wiener. Everyone’s had fun ragging on Weiner for his online gaffes. Two years ago, Weiner accidentally exposed a meant-to-be-privately-sent picture of his privates to the entire [...]

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PsySociety

Fighting Fair: How To Tackle Crucial Conversations On Facebook & Twitter

ArguingPeople

When’s the last time you had an online fight?       Unfortunately, most of us probably won’t have to try particularly hard to recall the last time that this happened.  In a recent survey, 76 percent of almost 2,700 respondents indicated that they have witnessed an argument over social media, 88 percent of respondents [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Porn on the Mind

iconic image of female face behind screen

If you like to surf porn on the Internet, you’ve got company. In a 2008 survey of college students, 90 percent of males and 60 percent of females had been there, done that. The practice is only half as common among people in their 40s, but still hardly rare, and the habits of youth are [...]

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Symbiartic

What Getty Can Teach Us About Copyright

14-008FEATURE

Last week Getty announced that they would release 35 million of their copyrighted images for editorial and commentary use with a handy embed tool. The system works a lot like the embed tool in YouTube and Vimeo videos – although the image can appear anywhere, it is very clear where it originated from and it’s [...]

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Symbiartic

Evolution Ha-Has (minus Gary Larson)

What Next? by Ed Heck

So I’m putting together this post on great evolution cartoons that focus on the water-to-land transition and I remember this Gary Larson cartoon from the Far Side that depicts three fish in the water staring longingly at their baseball lying on the shore, a few feet from the water’s edge. The caption reads, “Great moments [...]

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Symbiartic

Pinterest’s Terms of Service, Word by Terrifying Word

Pinterest-andC-small

Pinterest is surely a rising star. For those of you not in the know, it’s the online equivalent of a bulletin board – a slicker, cleaner way to put together collages of your favorite styles, photographs, design ideas, or dino art. But lately, Pinterest’s terms of service have been garnering a lot of criticism for [...]

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Talking back

Who Will Be Behind the Next Wikileaks or PRISM? Let Us Know

The legacy of Wikileaks—the outing of secret government information—is all the vogue. It won’t stop with PRISM and the government contractor who fed The Guardian and The Washington Post the skinny on the U.S. surveillance program. The question is what comes next—and the only given is that there most certainly will be a “next.” This [...]

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