Posts by Michael Mayday on

To Reform NSA, Senate Democrats Will Have To Fight Themselves

October 6, 2013

04leahy_480When Justin Amash (R-Mich.) pushed an amendment to defund and restrict the abilities of the National Security Agency (NSA) in late July it was met with a surprising amount of bi-partisan support.

The Silk Road, AKA The ‘Amazon Of Drugs,’ Shut Down By Law Enforcement

October 3, 2013

silk-roadThere’s an intriguing faux “Chinese curse” stemming from Colonial British times. It goes like this: “May you live in interesting times.” The seemingly innocuous curse is often associated with the desire for disorder or law enforcement to be visited on its victim. And if you’re a vendor, or customer, of The Silk Road, boy, your times just got a lot more interesting.

Miniature Human Brains Have Been Grown In Dishes, For Science

September 23, 2013

PrintAustrian researchers have grown tiny 3D brains, four millimeters long and complete with distinct regions, in lab dishes. That’s right: we can now grow brains (well, sort of) in petri dishes.

To The Chagrin Of Taxi Lobbists, California Legalizes Ridesharing

September 23, 2013

uber_606Watch out, taxis: ridesharing is legal in California.

Last Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously (5-0) for the legalization of ridesharing programs within the state, offering a safe passage for companies operating in legal limbo within the state.

Net Neutrality Rears Its Head In Court. Here’s What’s Being Argued.

September 11, 2013

net-neutralityA federal appeals court listened to arguments between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Verizon on Monday in a case which could alter the shape of the Internet as we know it. And, it appears, not in a way that most Internet citizens would prefer.

Twitter Streamlines Two-Step Verification With New Update

August 6, 2013

new-twitter-logoWhen Twitter announced its two-factor authentications system — a security system which requires users to enter both their password and a passcode — in May there was a collective sigh of relief from press Twitter accounts everywhere. But there was one problem: it used a cumbersome SMS-based method, drastically slowing down the process of sending an 140-character message on the go.

Kirobo Blasts Off Into Space And, Hopefully, Hearts

August 6, 2013

kirobo-650x0The first talking ‘robo-astronaut,’ Kirobo, left Earth for the International Space Station on Sunday. If its mission is successful, Kirobo may mark a significant point in human-robot relationships. No, really.

Deceptive Mirrors Has Stores Smiling All The Way To The Bank

August 3, 2013

jobssmileJapanese researchers have developed a system that can make a reflection look like it’s either smiling or frowning.

Now You Can Control Animals With Your Mind

August 3, 2013

rat_1A team of scientists at Harvard Medical School has created an interface that allows humans to move a rat’s tail simply by thinking about it.

New Cell Thermometer Could Help Fight Cancer

August 1, 2013

PW-2013-08-01-Dume-nanothermIn a paper published July 31 in Nature, researchers from Harvard University announced the discovery of a new nanothermometer that could potentially be used to treat cancer.

Head Of NSA Speaks At Black Hat, Gets Heckled By Hacker

August 1, 2013

General Keith Alexander, director of NSA, Black HatThe summer of 2013 is turning out to be a rough one for the NSA and other government security entities: highly classified cybersecurity programs made their way into the public sphere after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked the information to the British newspaper, The Guardian. Further, at a congressional inquiry, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said the NSA and the federal government wasn’t collecting information on U.S. citizens. That claim turned out to be false, thanks further revelations made by Snowden.

Artificial Intelligence Can Now Read Like A Four Year Old

July 24, 2013

skynet_offProfessors from the Psychology and Computer Science Departments at the University of Illinois at Chicago report that an artificial intelligence program (AI), ConceptNet, has a verbal IQ similar (warning: PDF link) to that of an average four-year-old.

U.K.’s David Cameron Dislikes Internet Porn, Seeks To Block It By Default

July 22, 2013

ukpornOn Monday, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron announced a plan to automatically block online pornography with default filters.

Researchers Discover Method Of Printing Liquid Metal

July 18, 2013

Buckyball-in-3D.pngResearchers from North Carolina State University have developed a method for printing liquid metal, which could help bring the rare material into the mainstream.

LivingSocial Shuts New York Office, Lays Off 30

July 17, 2013

living-social-homeLivingSocial, the deals startup competing with the likes of Groupon, is closing its New York office and cutting its events division, effectively ending its own local events as the organization dials-in its business model. This, even after an infusion of $175 million by Amazon.

New Malware Attack Hits OS X, Holds Safari Hostage

July 17, 2013

Does Mac OS X need anti-virus softwareWell Apple users, you can no longer claim immunity from malware and virus attacks: Security firm Malwarebytes spotted a new JavaScript vulnerability targeting Mac OS X users with a Safari-specific exploit. The attack is a simple ransomware attack where an attacking site holds a computer hostage for a nominal fee — in this case $300.

First Baby Screened For Genetic Defects Born, Paves Way For More

July 16, 2013

steve_jobs_babyThe first baby conceived through innovative new artificial reproduction techniques was born healthy and well in May. But baby Connor Levy (not pictured), born to a couple from Philadelphia, started his life a bit differently: he started as an embryo chosen by Dr. Dagan Wells of Oxford University from a batch of others.

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