Pro-Privacy Senator Wyden story shows – Secret meetings don’t work

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Senator Ron Wyden thought he knew what was going on. The Democrat from Oregon, who has served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2001, thought he knew the nature of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities. As a committee member with a classified clearance, he received regular briefings to conduct oversight. But when the The New York Times broke the story in late 2005 that the spy agency was engaging in warrantless wiretapping, Wyden was as surprised as the rest of us: All the time he was misled and lied to. Half year after that, again. Again. Again.
Wyden on NSA’s backdoor search loophole: “The Bush administration, as incredible as it sounds, closed it before they left in 2008, and the Obama administration came back and re-opened it.”
Wyden acknowledges that there are many problems with the oversight process that prevent lawmakers from doing their job properly. “We only get probably half an hour a year to ask questions in public on the Intelligence committee,” he notes. Wyden on US telecoms undermining foreign networks: “I can’t get near that. It’s a classified matter.”

Conclusion: Select Committee on Intelligence weren’t told shit about all the NSA activities or lied to. Sounds familiar? First comments on the Wired article are telling:

Clapper lies, under oath, to congress and not a peep from anybody, no prosecution, stays in his job, keeps issuing stupid quotes like he has credibility, etc, etc, etc. I used to be a Monty Python fan….The Dept. of Redundancy Dept., and stuff like that. But I didn’t know it was real.

So how about commission Stiekem?

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Cheating Math 2.0

The result of two years of development of text recognition software by tech company MicroBlink, PhotoMath is a school slacker’s dream. Simply load the app on your phone, point the camera at a math equation, and voila—solved.
It’s not intended for cheating, of course. There’s an option to show working, taking you through how to solve the problem step-by-step, which could be invaluable as a learning tool. But it’s not hard to imagine the app being used for slightly more nefarious purposes too.

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Elon Musk – Artificial Intelligence is humans biggest threat

Stephen Hawking has discussed the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, and apparently Elon Musk feels the same way. Musk refers to Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. In it Bostrom argues that machine intelligence could eventually surpass human intelligence and become the dominant force on Earth. Is this the start of a case for an killer robot ban at the United Nations? Norway doesn’t seem to care..

The dire warnings of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk in recent months regarding the perils of artificial intelligence, but this week he actually managed to raise the bar in terms of making A.I. seem scary. First, according to Musk, A.I. was as dangerous as nuclear war. Now Musk is likening the possible battle between humans and computers in the future, termed by some as “the singularity,” as a struggle for the soul of mankind itself.

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence,” said Musk, the expression on his face suddenly turning very serious. “If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. There should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon,” said Musk. “In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, ‘Yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon.’ Doesn’t work out.”

It is even a weirder comment from someone who massively invest in Artificial Intelligence (eg. Vicarious FPC, an artificial-intelligence company). According to an cbs interview “for keeping tabs on them”. Again.. How intelligent are they at the moment?

The rest of the talk is here.

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Eerste VIRUS penicilline gevonden?

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Chinese onderzoekers hebben een molecule ontdekt die ze “de eerste penicilline tegen virussen” noemen. Het gaat om de molecule MIR2911, die van nature gevonden wordt in een Chinees kruid dat Japanse kamperfoelie heet. MIR2911 levert een anti-virale activiteit over een breed spectrum tegen griepvirussen, kan het een nieuwe strategie worden om dodelijke infecties tegen te gaan. [via]

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