Tuesday, September 02, 2014

My reading list 9/2/2014 - Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton are still naked (and I still don't have the pics) and Microsoft is a Scofflaw

#FeynmanLectureChallenge Day 2
At first the phenomena of nature were roughly divided into classes, like heat, electricity, mechanics, magnetism, properties of substances, chemical phenomena, light or optics, x-rays, nuclear physics, gravitation, meson phenomena, etc. However, the aim is to see complete nature as different aspects of one set of phenomena. That is the problem in basic theoretical physics, today—to find the laws behind experiment; to amalgamate these classes. Historically, we have always been able to amalgamate them, but as time goes on new things are found. We were amalgamating very well, when all of a sudden x-rays were found. Then we amalgamated some more, and mesons were found. Therefore, at any stage of the game, it always looks rather messy. A great deal is amalgamated, but there are always many wires or threads hanging out in all directions. That is the situation today, which we shall try to describe.
Some historic examples of amalgamation are the following. First, take heat and mechanics. When atoms are in motion, the more motion, the more heat the system contains, and so heat and all temperature effects can be represented by the laws of mechanics. Another tremendous amalgamation was the discovery of the relation between electricity, magnetism, and light, which were found to be different aspects of the same thing, which we call today the electromagnetic field. Another amalgamation is the unification of chemical phenomena, the various properties of various substances, and the behavior of atomic particles, which is in the quantum mechanics of chemistry.
The question is, of course, is it going to be possible to amalgamate everything, and merely discover that this world represents different aspects of one thing? 
Two days in and I am finding that you can pick out a number of passages in Feynman's Lectures and describe a workable system of magic in a game world.

Ars Technica - What Jennifer Lawrence can teach you about cloud security -
In a conversation I had on Twitter this morning with Tal Klein, the vice president of strategy for the cloud security firm Adallom, Klein said there were two things to take away from this latest breach: “1. Don't take pictures of your junk; it will end up on the Internet somehow at some point. 2. Not all security is equal. And all vendors are mostly indemnified. So use the cloud because it's great, but be cognizant of accountability.”
That sounds awfully familiar

Related - Leaks of nude celebrity photos raise concerns about security of the cloud -
Privacy experts joined Hollywood publicists in denouncing the leaks, which flooded Web sites over the weekend with nude images of more than a half-dozen A-list actresses and performers, including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, star of “The Hunger Games” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
You know, if they think denunciation is going to work I question their expertise.  Again, I repeat, keep private stuff private.  Know what your devices are doing with your data.  

Related - 4chan: The ‘shock post’ site that hosted the private Jennifer Lawrence photos -

Without violating Rules 1 and 2, and as an outsider with just passing familiarity, I would have to say this article barely scratches the surface of 4chan and /b.  

Wired - Drug Market ‘Agora’ Replaces the Silk Road as King of the Dark Net -

The online bazaar for contraband known as “Agora” now has more product listings than any other online black market, according to a report released last week by the Digital Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit focused on internet safety. The analysis counts 16,137 products for sale on the site, which is protected by the anonymity software Tor and accepts only bitcoin. That’s about 200 more listings than Silk Road 2.0, a reincarnation of the original Silk Road launched earlier this year by several of the same administrators. It’s also several thousand more than were offered on the first Silk Road before its seizure in October of last year.
And now it's been in Wired.  How long until the Feds bust it?

Popular Science - Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could Be Intercepting Your Calls -
To show what the CryptoPhone can do that less expensive competitors cannot, he points me to a map that he and his customers have created, indicating 17 different phony cell towers known as “interceptors,” detected by the CryptoPhone 500 around the United States during the month of July alone.  Interceptors look to a typical phone like an ordinary tower.  Once the phone connects with the interceptor, a variety of “over-the-air” attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device.
“Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith says.  “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip.  We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”
Who is running these interceptors and what are they doing with the calls?  Goldsmith says we can’t be sure, but he has his suspicions.
I bet his suspicions can be summed up N S A.

the BBC wants to help, so it's expanded the support materials on its Bitesize website (having already helped schoolchildren learn more about core subjects for more than 15 years) to include basic computing skills. Content will include a number of interactive games and online guides, but the BBC also intends to deliver a number of new technology-themed TV shows, 30 years after it launched its first computing initiative centred around the BBC Microcomputer.
Cool.  At some point I will see if I can embed a couple episodes.  It would be cool if and American network would do the same type of thing.  Maybe a young MacGyver where he solves problems using a Raspberry PI or Arfuino. 

US District Judge Loretta Preska on Friday issued an order lifting a stay on her previous order that Microsoft comply with a federal warrant seeking a customer's email held by the company on servers in Ireland.
 But on Saturday, Microsoft confirmed that it would not comply with the order, potentially landing the company in contempt of court.
But, wait a minute I thought Microsoft was pure evil.  I am so confused.


Not a lot more to be said here I guess, given this is an ongoing string of victories.

New York Times - A New American Oil Bonanza

If it weren’t for that, we would be seeing $200 a barrel oil or higher and $7 to $8 gasoline prices,” said Scott D. Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the most aggressive producers in the Eagle Ford shale field. “It would be another shock to the world economy at a time when we don’t need it.”
The United States now accounts for 10 percent of the world’s oil production. As it sharply curtails imports from countries like Angola and Nigeria, those producers are then compelled to sell their oil to China and other Asian markets at steep discounts, compounding the impact of American production on world markets.
I wonder how many Peak Oilers are kicking themselves in the buttocks right now?

Public Service Announcement - How to choose a password

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New Ready Player One Trailer

This dropped while I was out of town - From what I have read Ernest Cline seems to like the adaptation, but to me it seems to completely ...