Tag Archives: focusing-on-the

The Bill of rights in Action: The Right to Privacy – 1970 Educational Film – S88TV1 – Video

Posted: February 28, 2015 at 10:47 am



The Bill of rights in Action: The Right to Privacy – 1970 Educational Film – S88TV1
An open-ended film designed to instigate discussion on what constitutes an unreasonable invasion of privacy, focusing on the Fourth Amendment, Search and Sei…

By: Tomorrow Always Comes

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Arctic bitcoin mine switches to 16nm chip to boost efficiency

Posted: February 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

A bitcoin mine near the Arctic Circle is to start using 16 nanometer chips to improve mining efficiency. KnCMiner said the technology would make mining cheaper and allow it to increase production.

The move from 20nm to 16nm reduces the die and transistor size, improving the power efficiency of the chip and cutting the cost of power-intensive mining. The new technology should protect bitcoin mines against fluctuations in the value of the cryptocurrency and the challenge of mining bitcoin.

The Stockholm-based firm has also secured $15m (10m) in Series B funding led by Accel Partners. It said the extra money would allow it to expand and future-proof its mining operation.

KnCMiner CEO Sam Cole said the use of more advanced proprietary hardware was allowing bitcoin mines to cut costs. He also dismissed concerns that it was becoming too expensive to mine bitcoin.

“We do not think the cost is prohibitively high, if we did we’d turn our farms off. We’re also developing our own hardware in-house, using several proprietary techniques to achieve higher efficiency.”

He said that at the current rate of exchange (158 is equal to one bitcoin at the time of writing) there would be “no problems”. Cole explained that KnCMiner was also able save money by using natural cooling as its bitcoin mines are all based either in or near the Arctic Circle.

KnCMiner worked with Taiwanese component manufacturer Alchip to create its new 16nm chip, which has been specially designed for bitcoin mining. Bitcoin mines around the world are investing heavily in new chip technology.

KnCMiner’s new chip is the first of its kind to enter production. The company has generated over $100m (66m) in revenue since it launched in 2013 and plans to invest a further $150m over the next 18 months to improve and expand its services.

Cole said that KNCMiner’s proprietary mining system would speed up the hashing process while reducing power consumption. He added that focusing on the bitcoin algorithm was also keeping his company ahead of its competitors.

“People tend to overestimate the impact of new technology in the short-term, but greatly underestimate the impact in the longer term. We’re in this for the long-term, believing that Bitcoin technology will make steady inroads and increase in usefulness as well as in value over many, many years to come.”

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Photonic Crystal Nanolaser Biosensor Simplifies DNA Detection

Posted: January 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm

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Newswise WASHINGTON, D.C., January 13, 2015 A simple method to sense DNA, as well as potential biomarker proteins of cancer or other diseases such as Alzheimers, may soon be within reach thanks to the work of a team of Yokohama National University researchers in Japan.

As the team reports in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, they created a photonic crystal nanolaser biosensor capable of detecting the adsorption of biomolecules based on the lasers wavelength shift.

Equally impressive, the nanolaser biosensor enables detection of the surface charge from its laser emission intensity, which in turn can also be used to sense the adsorption of biomolecules. Using laser intensity to detect biomolecules is potentially less expensive than the fluorescent tagging or spectroscopy techniques typically used in biosensors because it is a simpler procedure.

When the team first set out to explore photonic crystal nanolaser sensors, they werent focusing on the intensity of the laser emission because its sensitive to the quality of the fabricated laser and, frankly, they didnt expect it to show sensing signals.

In the beginning we focused on wavelength behavior, but quickly noticed that [the laser emission] intensity is influenced by both pH and polymers, noted Toshihiko Baba, a professor in Yokohama National Universitys Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Our results were very reproducible and, interestingly, we found that the behaviors of the wavelength and intensity are independent.

The team was surprised by these results, which they discovered when they deposited a protective film of thin zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) over the device using atomic layer deposition, and then tried sensing in liquids of high or low pH and liquids containing charged polymers. The coating was necessary to protect the nanolaser from damage and unwanted wavelength drift.

The nanolaser device can sense surface charge because the surface charge changes the occupancy rate of electrons at the surface states in the semiconductor of the nanolaser, Baba explained. This modifies the semiconductors emission efficiency.

So far, the teams work is the first report of the detection of surface charges using such photonic sensors. It enables detection of the adsorption of biomolecules from the nanolaser biosensor both in terms of wavelength and intensity, Baba said. Since it involves different physical parameters, the researchers can examine the details of the biomolecules.

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Should public schools teach how to use guns? Yes, say South Carolina legislators

Posted: January 9, 2015 at 12:48 am

Should public school students be instructed on firearms?

Absolutely, says a group of South Carolina legislators. They have filed two bills in the South Carolina legislature mandating gun safety courses and Second Amendment-related curricula in state schools, a move designed to target zero-tolerance policies on guns in schools.

One bill, filed by State Rep. Alan Clemmons, would establish a three-week educational unit, for all grade levels, devoted to the US Constitution, focusing on the Second Amendment.

The proposed bill would also establish a Second Amendment Awareness Day to be held on Dec. 15 each year in all state schools, complete with a poster or essay contest centered on the theme The Right To Bear Arms: One American Right Protecting All Others.

Rep. Clemmons told South Carolina’s The Greenville News that he was inspired to create the bill after hearing the story of a student who was arrested at school over a fictional essay he wrote in which he talked about buying a gun to kill a neighbors pet dinosaur.

That sort of zero-tolerance attitude towards guns in schools, Clemmons told a local South Carolina paper, is undermining knowledge of, and respect for, the Second Amendment.In this case, it squelched a students First Amendment rights, in responding to an assignment, to talk about the Second Amendment, Clemmonstold The Greenville News. We are giving short shrift to the one amendment that protects all others.

Gun rights and safety education has traditionally not been the purview of public schools, with incidents like the school shooting at Newtown, Conn., hardening many parents’ resolve against firearm-related curricula. But proponents argue that the best way to counter school shootings and inappropriate gun use is education.Nonetheless, the bill is controversial.

For starters, its proposed “Second Amendment Awareness Day” is scheduled for Dec. 15, which happens to be the day after the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a lone gunman fatally shot 20 students and six adults at a Newtown elementary school. Clemmons has said the date is a coincidence and he is open to other dates.

Another point of contention is a clause requiring new gun- and Second Amendment-related curriculum be either created or approved by the National Rifle Association, a gun advocacy group.

Another bill, proposed in the state Senate by Sen. Lee Bright, would allow South Carolina schools to offer elective courses on gun safety, gun rights, and marksmanship. If passed, the bill would allow schools to bus students off-campus to gun ranges, where they would learn about gun safety as well as how to use guns.

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Bitcoin Transactions Not Yet Entirely Anonymous

Posted: January 3, 2015 at 6:46 am

A group of researchers in Luxembourg say they have found a way to uncover the identities of Bitcoin users. So how anonymous is the vaunted crypto-currency?

Bitcoin has been having some difficulty persuading consumers to use it for online transactions, but the virtual currency is nevertheless slowly starting to win people over. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system, which means there is no centralisation or control, and payments can be made rapidly across the world free of charge. Every users identity is hidden behind an encrypted pseudonym and an address, both of which can be changed on a regular basis to protect confidentiality. Against this background, a team of cryptographic experts working at the University of Luxembourg have been carrying out research in order to find out whether the system really guarantees anonymous transactions. Now the researchers, Alex Biryukov, Dmitri Khovratovich and Ivan Pustogarov, have just published a paper entitled Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network, in which they claim to have discovered a means of identifying users IP addresses.

The three cryptographers describe their method of finding out by whom or at least from which IP address a given transaction was being made. Focusing on the Tor security network used by many Bitcoin aficionados to protect their identity, they managed to disable Tor access to the users client by using deliberately malformed messages and were then able to get the Bitcoin server to reveal the IP address that was connecting to the Bitcoin entry nodes. Using this method, the researchers claim to have managed to de-anonymise up to 60% of all users targeted. They say a hacker could discover the identity of a Bitcoin user by spending just under 1,500 on an attack involving several computers, which means that most ordinary Internet users would not be able to exploit this weak point and only the most experienced and best equipped hackers will be able to get in through the loophole. Nevertheless, the aim of the Luxembourg team is not simply to point out deficiencies in the system but to help rectify the situation, and they are now working with the Bitcoin developers on new software designed to render transactions really secure and anonymous.

It will come as no surprise however to learn that people closely involved with the virtual currency are aware of potential privacy issues. Bitcoin is often perceived as an anonymous payment network. But in reality, Bitcoin is probably the most transparent payment network in the world, points out one of the first sites dedicated to the currency. For this reason a number of tools such as Darkwallet have already been developed with a view to enhancing the confidentiality of Bitcoin financial transactions. The Luxembourg research project is one of the very first efforts to test the limits of the crypto-currency but, given the obvious attractions of having an anonymous cash-like system for worldwide online transfers, it will doubtless not be the last. Meanwhile the revelations might well make people hesitate before embarking on such innovative ideas as preserving their DNA via the Bitcoin network, or even simply making micro-payments over the social networks, where a degree of confidentiality is a major requirement.

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Is This the Libertarian Moment?

Posted: September 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Earlier this month the New York Times wondered aloud if the libertarian moment had arrived. A good question, to be sure.

To answer it, though, Times reporter Robert Draper sought out not quite the top libertarian thinkers in the world, but instead those people most easily reached within a ten-minute walk from the Capitol or the Empire State Building.

Draper begins with an ex-MTV personality and proceeds from there. None of the people whose work and writing have shaped the libertarian movement, and who have converted so many people to our point of view, make an appearance. Ask the hordes of young kids who are devouring libertarian classics how many of them were introduced to libertarianism, or even slightly influenced, by the figures on whom the Times chooses to rely. You already know the answer.

The movements major thinkers have rather more intellectual heft behind them, which I suspect is why the Times would prefer to keep them from you. Far better for libertarianism to seem like an ill-focused, adolescent rebellion against authority per se, instead of a serious, intellectually exciting school of thought that challenges every last platitude about the State we were taught in its ubiquitous schools.

Economist and historian Bob Higgs shared my impression of the Times article:

Of course, its easy to ridicule libertarians if you focus exclusively on the lifestyle camp. Easy, too, to accuse them of inconsistency, because in truth these particular libertarians are inconsistent. Easy, too, to minimize their impact by concentrating heavily on conventional electoral politics, as if no other form of societal change were conceivable. Easy, too, to ignore completely the only ones the anarchists who cannot be accused of inconsistency or ridiculed for their impotence as players in the conventional political game, a game for which they have only contempt. Finally, its easy, too and a great deal more interesting for general, clueless readers to focus on the hip libertarians.

As Bob points out, the Time reporter says he finds inconsistency among libertarians, because some want to cut only this much, or abolish only those things. But this is what he gets for focusing on the political class and the Beltway brand of libertarianism. Libertarianism is about as consistent a philosophy as a Times reader is likely to encounter. We oppose aggression, period. That means we oppose the State, which amounts to institutionalized aggression.

We have zero interest in public policy, a term that begs every important moral question. To ask what kind of public policy ought to exist in such-and-such area implicitly assumes (1) that private property is subject to majority vote; (2) that people can be expropriated by the State to whatever degree the State considers necessary in order to carry out the public policy in question; (3) that there exists an institution with moral legitimacy that may direct our physical resources and even our lives in particular ways against our wills, even when we are causing no particular harm to anyone.

Still, I note in passing, political consultants are doing their best to make a quick buck on the rising tide of libertarianism. A fundraising email I receive from time to time urges people to get involved in the political process, since simply educating people (contemptuous, condescending quotation marks in original) isnt enough. Instead, theyre told, its more important to spend their time supporting political candidates who occasionally give a decent speech but who otherwise deny libertarian principles on a routine basis, in the spurious hope that once in office, these candidates will throw off their conventional exteriors and announce themselves as libertarians.

The Times, too, thinks primarily about politics, of all things, when assessing whether the libertarian moment has arrived. The article is fixated on the political class. But why conceive of the question so narrowly? Why should we assess the growth and significance of libertarianism on the basis of political metrics alone?

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The Politically Incorrect Truth About the French Revolution Part III – Video

Posted: April 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm



The Politically Incorrect Truth About the French Revolution Part III
The politically incorrect truth about the French Revolution, focusing on the revolution itself which the facts show was not necessary, not productive and not…

By: Mad Monarchist

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Private Censorship and Perfect Choice – Video

Posted: April 2, 2014 at 8:42 am



Private Censorship and Perfect Choice
Conversation about intellectual property issues focusing on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the the sharing of content on the Internet. Recorded on …

By: Duke Law

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What factors contribute to sexual assault in the military and what can be done to prevent it?

Posted: March 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

18-Mar-2014

Contact: Kathryn Ruehle kruehle@liebertpub.com 914-740-2100 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, March 18, 2014Recent high-profile cases have drawn attention to the problem of sexual assault in the U.S. military, the effects on survivors, and the actions and response of military leadership. Issues such as why there is more sexual assault in the military than in the general population, why it is under-reported, and what preventive approaches should the military adopt are explored in a provocative Roundtable Discussion published in the preview issue of Violence and Gender, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website at http://www.liebertpub.com/vio.

Roundtable participants Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Violence and Gender and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigator Analyst (ret.), Christopher Kilmartin, United States Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs), and Colonel Jeffery Peterson, Center for Naval Analyses (Alexandria, VA), discuss specific factors that likely contribute to the sexual assault problem, including the acceptance of bullying in American culture, and an overall greater risk for sexual assault among people who join the military due to more previous experience with sexual assault than the general population, both as offenders and as survivors.

“From the battlefield to Congress, sexual assault in the military is viewed as one of the most concerning criminal problems we face today,” says Dr. O’Toole. “Sexual offenders in the military wear the same uniform but victimize innocent men and women who work alongside them to serve their country. As a society we should be outraged at this behavior and want answers. I think we give you some of those answers in this Roundtable Discussion.”

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About the Journal

Violence and Gender is the only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence. Through research papers, roundtable discussions, case studies, and other original content, the Journal critically examines biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, racial, ethnic, and cultural factors as they relate to the gender of perpetrators of violence. Led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.), Violence and Gender explores the difficult issues that are vital to threat assessment and prevention of the epidemic of violence. Violence and Gender is published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, and is the official journal of The Avielle Foundation.

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Is the male or female brain more vulnerable to triggers of violent behavior?

Posted: February 6, 2014 at 6:44 am

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

5-Feb-2014

Contact: Kathryn Ruehle kruehle@liebertpub.com 914-740-2100 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, February 5, 2014Human behaviors such as violence depend on interactions in the brain between genetic and environmental factors. An individual may be more vulnerable to developing violent behaviors if they have predisposing factors and are then exposed to stress, abuse, or other triggers, especially early in life. The latest research on how differences between the male and female brain contribute to sex differences in violence is explored in Violence and Gender, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website at http://www.liebertpub.com/vio.

The article “Not Hardwired: The Complex Neurobiology of Sex Differences in Violence” describes the complex and flexible biological mechanisms in the brain that lead to the development of behaviors. These include interconnected neural networks, multiple genes, and chemical signals such as hormones and neurotransmitters, which can be modified by environmental factors. Brain structure, function, and connectivity can all differ between men and women, affecting how they may change on exposure to stressful or abusive triggers.

“Neurobiologist Dr. Debra Niehoff explains the amazing interaction of how our brains, genetics, and environmental influences can interact and serve as the genesis for violent behavior,” says Editor-in-Chief of Violence and Gender Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant, and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigator Analyst (ret.). “This holistic view of the origin of violence means that reducing violence will not be a simple fix because it does not have a single origin or cause. The temptation to delineate a male and female brain must be resisted because there is overlap between the two. With more research will come greater insight and knowledge about the biological and environmental causes of violence. With more knowledge will come answers; answers will lead to solutions, and with solutions will come prevention.”

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About the Journal

Violence and Gender is the only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence. Through research papers, roundtable discussions, case studies, and other original content, the Journal critically examines biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, racial, ethnic, and cultural factors as they relate to the gender of perpetrators of violence. Led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O’Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.), Violence and Gender explores the difficult issues that are vital to threat assessment and prevention of the epidemic of violence. Violence and Gender is published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, and is the official journal of The Avielle Foundation.

About the Publisher

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