Twitter Publishes Archive of 10 Million Tweets From Russian, Iranian Bots

technology - Posted On:2018-10-18 21:29:59 Source: slashdot

AmiMoJo shares a report from Boing Boing: To enable "further research of information operations on Twitter," the company today published a dataset of tweets posted by known Russian and Iranian troll farms. "These large datasets comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran," the blog post reads. "They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009." You can download the Russian and Iranian datasets here. The Russian dataset is comprised of 1.24GB of tweets and 300GB of media, while the Iranian dataset is comprised of 168MB of tweets and 65.7GB of media. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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iPhone's New Parental Controls Block Sex Ed, Allow Violence and Racism

mobile - Posted On:2018-10-18 20:59:59 Source: slashdot

samleecole shares a report from Motherboard: The parental controls in the iPhone's new iOS 12 are blocking innocuous sexual education content on Safari, while allowing websites like the white supremacist Daily Stormer and searches for bomb-making instructions through its filter. The settings, found under Screen Time in the new iOS 12, are meant to give parents greater control over how their kids use their phones unsupervised, including filters for "explicit" content and content ratings and restrictions, with the option to "limit adult websites." As tested by Motherboard, the filter blocks longstanding educational sites like Scarleteen and O.school, but allows sites like The Daily Stormer, an extremist neo-Nazi white supremacist platform. The filter in question "limits adult websites" on Safari. When Motherboard tested this filter, we found several similarly blocked searches and websites: The searches "how to say no to sex," "sex assault hotline," and "sex education" were all restricted, but the results for the searches "how to poison my mom," "how to join isis," and "how to make a bomb" were allowed. 4chan and 8chan are blocked, but Reddit -- including many NSFW and porn-focused subreddits, are not. The subreddit r/gonewild, which is pornographic, is not caught by the filter, which even allows users to click through Reddit's own age-gating. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Internet Provider Groups Sue Vermont Over Net Neutrality Law

yro - Posted On:2018-10-18 20:14:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Five industry groups representing major internet providers and cable companies filed suit on Thursday seeking to block a Vermont law barring companies that do not abide by net neutrality rules from receiving state contracts. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Vermont by groups representing major providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. It followed a lawsuit by four of the groups earlier this month challenging a much broader California law mandating providers abide by net neutrality rules. The trade associations are also challenging an executive order on the issue signed by Vermont Governor Phil Scott. The Vermont lawsuit was filed by the American Cable Association; CTIA -- The Wireless Association; NCTA -- The Internet & Television Association; USTelecom -- The Broadband Association and the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association. The lawsuit argues that states cannot regulate "indirectly through their spending, procurement, or other commercial powers what they are forbidden from regulating directly." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The RadMini by Rad Power Bikes is hefty yet rad!

Gadgets - Posted On:2018-10-18 20:00:00 Source: techcrunch

Tito Hamze reviews the RadMini Electric Folding Fat Bike by Rad Power Bikes. This thing is a heavy beast but one hell of a smooth ride.

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The space pen became the space pen 50 years ago

Gadgets - Posted On:2018-10-18 20:00:00 Source: techcrunch

Everyone knows about the space pen. NASA spent millions on R&D to create the ultimate pen that would work in zero gravity and the result was this incredible machine. Well, no. In fact it was made by a pen manufacturer in 1966 — but it wasn't until October of 1968 that it went into orbit and fulfilled its space pen destiny.

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OpenBSD 6.4 Released

bsd - Posted On:2018-10-18 19:29:58 Source: slashdot

The 45th version of the OpenBSD project has been released, bringing more hardware support (Radeon driver updates, Intel microcode integration, and more), a virtualization tool that supports the disk format qcow2, and a network interface where you can quickly join and switch between different Wi-Fi networks. Root.cz also notes that audio recording is now disabled by default. If you need to record audio, it can be enabled with the new sysctl variable. An anonymous Slashdot reader first shared the announcement. You can download it from any of the mirrors here. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Microsoft Making More of the Windows 10 Built-In Apps Removable

technology - Posted On:2018-10-18 18:44:59 Source: slashdot

With the latest Windows 10 build 18262, Microsoft is allowing you to remove apps such as Mail, Calendar, Movies & TV, and the Groove Music app. Ars Technica reports: The ability to remove these apps doesn't really mean much in terms of disk space or convenience, as none of them are very big. The move may be of more interest to corporate deployments; an organization that has standardized on Outlook, for example, might want to remove the Mail and Calendar apps to reduce user confusion. Elsewhere, the new build also updates Task Manager; an optional column in the Details tab will show which applications handle mixed DPI systems and what API level they use for that support. Microsoft is also planning, but has not yet enabled, a new Windows troubleshooter. This will examine diagnostic data and automatically perform any fixes or reconfigurations that appear to be necessary. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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eBay Files Lawsuit Against Amazon Over 'Seller Recruitment'

yro - Posted On:2018-10-18 18:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: EBay has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, accusing the U.S. retail giant of using illegal tactics to recruit sellers. It says Amazon representatives abused eBay's internal email system to contact sellers -- a violation of the marketplace's policies. Amazon declined to comment on the case, which follows a letter from eBay demanding an end to the activity. It had previously said that it was investigating the claims. In the lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County, California, eBay says Amazon representatives created eBay accounts to solicit sellers, often sending messages within minutes of setting up their profiles. The activity dates back to at least 2015 and involved dozens of Amazon representatives, who each sent hundreds of emails, it says. EBay was alerted to the issue a few weeks ago by a seller and asked Amazon to stop. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ajit Pai killed rules that could have helped Florida recover from hurricane

Policy - Posted On:2018-10-18 17:30:00 Source: arstechnica

The Federal Communications Commission chairman slammed wireless carriers on Tuesday for failing to quickly restore phone service in Florida after Hurricane Michael, calling the delay "completely unacceptable."

But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's statement ignored his agency's deregulatory blitz that left consumers without protections designed to ensure restoration of service after disasters, according to longtime telecom attorney and consumer advocate Harold Feld.

The Obama-era FCC wrote new regulations to protect consumers after Verizon tried to avoid rebuilding wireline phone infrastructure in Fire Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy hit the area in October 2012. But Pai repealed those rules, claiming that they prevented carriers from upgrading old copper networks to fiber. Pai's repeal order makes zero mentions of Fire Island and makes reference to Verizon's response to Hurricane Sandy only once, in a footnote.

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Automation is Democratizing Experimental Science

science - Posted On:2018-10-18 17:29:59 Source: slashdot

New advances are taking automation to the highest end of human endeavors, offering scientists a shot at some of the most intractable problems that have confounded them -- and along the way tipping a global balance to give upstarts like China a more level playing field in the lab. From a report: A combination of artificial intelligence and nimble robots are allowing scientists to do more, and be faster, than they ever could with mere human hands and brains. "We're in the middle of a paradigm shift, a time when the choice of experiments and the execution of experiments are not really things that people do," says Bob Murphy, the head of the computational biology department at Carnegie Mellon University. Automated science is "moving the role of the scientist higher and higher up the food chain," says Murphy. Researchers are focusing their efforts on big-picture problem-solving rather than the nitty-gritty of running experiments. He says it will also allow scientists to take on more problems at once -- and solve big, lingering ones that are too complex to tackle right now. Starting next year, Murphy's department will offer students a master's degree in automated science, the university announced last week. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Twitter publishes dump of accounts tied to Russian, Iranian influence campaigns

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-10-18 17:15:00 Source: arstechnica

Twitter has released a data store of posts from 3,841 accounts that have been identified as being connected to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Russian "troll factory" that used Twitter and Facebook to conduct an "influence campaign" aimed at causing political turmoil during the 2016 US presidential election as well as undermining the political process in other countries, including Germany and Ukraine. The company has also released another set of data connected to 770 accounts believed to be connected with an Iranian influence campaign.

Totaling over 360 gigabytes—including more than 10 million tweets and associated metadata, and over 2 million images, animated GIFs, videos and Periscope streams—the data store provides a picture of how state-sponsored agencies have used the Twitter platform. Some of the content dates back as far as 2009.

In a post announcing the release, Twitter Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety lead Vijaya Gadde and Twitter's head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth wrote that Twitter was providing the data "with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of [state-sponsored influence and information campaigns] from researchers and academics around the world."

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Why figuring out what’s behind a big gender paradox won’t be easy

Science - Posted On:2018-10-18 16:45:00 Source: arstechnica

In Sweden, girls are just as likely to go to school and university as boys are. Women make up a greater proportion of the country’s professional and technical workers than any other country in the world. And their representation in the country’s politics is among the world’s best. But when it comes to personality tests, Swedish men and women are worlds apart.

Malaysia sits toward the opposite end of the scale: despite ranking among the world’s lowest for political empowerment of women and lagging when it comes to women’s health and survival, men and women end up looking similar in those same personality tests. What gives?

This fascinating finding—dubbed the gender-equality paradox—isn't new, but two recent papers report fresh details. In a paper published in Science today, Armin Falk and Johannes Hermle report that gender differences in preferences like risk-taking, patience, and trust were more exaggerated in wealthier and more gender-equal countries. And in a recent paper in the International Journal of Psychology, Erik Mac Giolla and Petri Kajonius provide more detail on the original paradox.

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When Your Day Job Isn't Enough

news - Posted On:2018-10-18 16:44:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: A lot of people are pursuing creative side gigs while they hold down big office jobs. It used to be that many had to choose between their creative aspirations and their commitment to a corporate career, but in the era of the side hustle some manage to do both [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. [...] Doing both comes with trade-offs and tensions. Unlike the aspiring actor waiting tables to pay the bills, true dual professionals have to balance the demands of both their aspirations, and often face a moment of reckoning where they are forced to sacrifice a step forward in one career path for job stability and financial security in the other. The two worlds of Theresa Vu -- also known as the rapper tvu -- often collide. As senior vice president of engineering at New York software firm AppNexus, Ms. Vu runs a team of coders who work on a digital advertising platform. As a vocalist with the band Magnetic North, she rhymes and drops beats, and helped propel the band's "Home: Word" album to No. 2 on the Japanese hip-hop chart. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Gender differences in personality are bigger in egalitarian countries

Science - Posted On:2018-10-18 16:30:00 Source: arstechnica

In Sweden, girls are just as likely to go to school and university as boys are. Women make up a greater proportion of the country’s professional and technical workers than any other country in the world. And their representation in the country’s politics is among the world’s best. But when it comes to personality tests, Swedish men and women are worlds apart.

Malaysia sits toward the opposite end of the scale: despite ranking among the world’s lowest for political empowerment of women and lagging when it comes to women’s health and survival, men and women end up looking similar in those same personality tests. What gives?

This fascinating finding—dubbed the gender-equality paradox—isn't new, but two recent papers report fresh details. In a paper published in Science today, Armin Falk and Johannes Hermle report that gender differences in preferences like risk-taking, patience, and trust were more exaggerated in wealthier and more gender-equal countries. And in a recent paper in the International Journal of Psychology, Erik Mac Giolla and Petri Kajonius provide more detail on the original paradox.

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Firefox Adding Search Shortcuts for Google & Amazon to Top Sites

Security - Posted On:2018-10-18 16:15:00 Source: bleepingcomputer

Mozilla is rolling out a new feature to all U.S. Firefox users that adds Google and Amazon Search Shortcuts to the list of pinned Top Sites in the new tab page.  [...]

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Earth on Pace For Fourth-Warmest Year on Record, NOAA and NASA Say

news - Posted On:2018-10-18 16:14:59 Source: slashdot

The first nine months of 2018 was the fourth-warmest such period on Earth since record-keeping began in 1880, NOAA and NASA said in their analyses this week. From a report: 2016 had the warmest January-September period, according to NOAA, followed by 2017, then 2015. NASA's analysis agreed the Earth was on pace for its fourth-warmest year. NASA climate modeler Gavin Schmidt said in a tweet that 2018 was "almost guaranteed" to be the fourth-warmest year in its period of record. Record or near-record warmth in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America helped propel the January-September 2018 period to the fourth-warmest on record, NOAA said. With temperatures 3.35 degrees Fahrenheit (1.86 degrees Celsius) above average, Europe had its record-warmest first nine months of the year, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 by more than 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 degrees Celsius). Records in the continent date to 1910. Breaking it down a bit further, Africa had its fifth-warmest year-to-date temperature on record, Asia its sixth-warmest and South America its eighth-warmest, according to NOAA. North America experienced its lowest January-September temperature departure from average since 2013. The only notable pocket of cooler-than-average temperatures in 2018's first nine months was over the far North Atlantic Ocean just south of Greenland. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Orkney Islands routes are front-runners for first commercial electric flights

Cars - Posted On:2018-10-18 15:45:00 Source: arstechnica

Up in the remote northeast of Scotland, residents of the Orkney Islands use small island-hopping aircraft to commute around the archipelago. The longest flight in the area is 15 minutes, traveling 33 miles from the city of Kirkwall to the island of North Ronaldsay. The shortest flight takes an average of 80 seconds to travel 1.7 miles between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray. That flight holds the Guinness World Record as the shortest commercial flight route in the world.

Now, Scottish airline Loganair and aircraft modifier Cranfield Aerospace Solutions are working together in the hopes of turning the Orkney Islands' 10 inter-island routes all-electric, perhaps even establishing the world's first all-electric commercial flight routes.

Electric planes are still something of a pipe-dream for environmentalists and technologists. Jet fuel is extremely energy-dense compared to batteries, and flight requires a lot of energy at little additional weight. Electric flight startups are either developing hybrid battery/jet-fuel planes or banking on the continuous improvement of batteries to make their visions viable years down the road. While the most optimistic see the advent of lithium-air batteries and engine efficiency improvement as a path to commercial electric flight, others have focused on decarbonizing jet-fuel synthesis.

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Windows 10 Cumulative and Compatibility Updates Released

Security - Posted On:2018-10-18 15:30:05 Source: bleepingcomputer

The latest October updates with minor improvements are rolling out to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 Anniversary Update and Windows 10 November Update. [...]

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Scotland’s Orkney Islands may see electric plane service by 2021

Cars - Posted On:2018-10-18 15:30:00 Source: arstechnica

Up in the remote northeast of Scotland, residents of the Orkney Islands use small island-hopping aircraft to commute around the archipelago. The longest flight in the area is 15 minutes, traveling 33 miles from the city of Kirkwall to the island of North Ronaldsay. The shortest flight takes an average of 80 seconds to travel 1.7 miles between the islands of Westray and Papa Westray. That flight holds the Guinness World Record as the shortest commercial flight route in the world.

Now, Scottish airline Loganair and aircraft modifier Cranfield Aerospace Solutions are working together in the hopes of turning the Orkney Islands' 10 inter-island routes all-electric, perhaps even establishing the world's first all-electric commercial flight routes.

Electric planes are still something of a pipe-dream for environmentalists and technologists. Jet fuel is extremely energy-dense compared to batteries, and flight requires a lot of energy at little additional weight. Electric flight startups are either developing hybrid battery/jet-fuel planes or banking on the continuous improvement of batteries to make their visions viable years down the road. While the most optimistic see the advent of lithium-air batteries and engine efficiency improvement as a path to commercial electric flight, others have focused on decarbonizing jet-fuel synthesis.

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Remote South Atlantic Islands Are Flooded With Plastic

news - Posted On:2018-10-18 15:30:00 Source: slashdot

Thirty years ago, the ocean waters surrounding British islands in the South Atlantic were near-pristine. But plastic waste has increased a hundredfold since then, and is ten times greater than it was a decade ago. From a report: The islands of the British Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic, including St. Helena, East Falkland, and Ascension Island, are so tiny and remote that most people don't even realize they exist. For centuries, that kept them relative clean and pristine, but in recent decades discarded straws, fishing nets, and millions of bits of degraded plastic have begun washing up on their shores. Now, reports Marlene Cimons at Nexus Media, that pollution is getting even worse. A new study in the journal Current Biology shows that plastic trash on the beaches and in the ocean has increased tenfold in the just the last decade and a hundredfold over the last three decades. During four research cruises between 2013 and 2018, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and nine other organizations aboard the RMS James Clark Ross sought to quantify the plastic around the islands. The crew took samples of marine debris from the water's surface, the water column, the seabed and the beaches. They also investigated plastic ingestion in 2,243 animals comprised of 26 different species ranging across the marine food web from plankton to apex predators, like seabirds; all were found to consume plastic at high rates. What they found was plastic, and lots of it. About 90 percent of all the contaminants they analyzed were made of plastic, which abundant in the ocean, on the beach and inside the animals. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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