- Supercomputer predicts some revolutions
As intriguing as the lede for this Singularity Hub article linked to by Slashdot may be, I am deeply skeptical of the computability of emergently complex phenomenon like the social and political dynamic that precededs events like revolutions. Digging further into what was done by Kalev Leetaru has done here in terms of sentiment analysis, it is misleading to call it prediction as it was done entirely retrospectively. As much as the events trends in the resulting analysis revealed may have taken some by surprise as the research states, I suspect that at those times, in those places, many on the ground had as accurate a sense, more in real time, of what this backwards looking computation exposes in some sort of quantitative fashion. I’d be more interested to see details of any false positives and to see it applied to news coverage as it is published rather than well after the fact.
- Understanding how connected vulnerable SCADA systems are in practice, including on Boeing 747’s
Cory at BoingBoing was tipped off by a colleague of mine, Ashkan Soltani, to this fascinating look over at InfoSecIsland inside Boeing’s popular and massive airliner, among other systems reliant on SCADA. Given the scale of the aircraft, the use of technologies we are more familiar with from other industrial settings isn’t surprising in retrospect. The rest of the article is well worth reading for many data points around theses uses of SCADA, an automation system that has increasingly come under fire for persistent vulnerabilities. Craig S. Wright even includes some of the circumstances interfering with the intent to attempt improve many of the security concerns.
- The future desktop
Pam Baker at ReadWriteWeb shares a survey of possible futures for the desktop environment on the personal computer that serves as a much needed counter-balance to the over-inflated rhetoric recently about the end of the PC. She couples some of her speculation about what the future of the deskop might include with a well reasoned argument for why it has staying power that will see it complementing newer form factors and usage patterns, like pervasive and ubiquitously available network serviers (i.e. “cloud computing.) Well worth a read if you are unconvinced by suggestions we are entering a post-PC era and are curious to read some excellent supposition about why PC makers in particular are flogging this notion.
- Sign EFF’s petition seeking substantive reform of electronic privacy on 25th anniversary of ECPA, EFF
- NASA to trial laser-powered space broadband, The Register
- Senate lets copyright lobby set up shop in the Senate building while latest copyright law is debated, Techdirt