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Stats: 1062819 members, 1235713 topics. Date: Friday, 24 May 2013 at 12:30 AM
|Nairaland / General / Re: Happy Birthday To Me! by The Arbiter: 2:21pm On Jul 30, 2012|
Many happy returns Seun.
Wish you many more years of happiness and lofty achievements.
But where is the cake?
|Webmasters / Chrome Narrowly Wins Web Browser Grand Prix by The Arbiter: 8:59am On Jul 08, 2012|
Tom's hardware recent examination of Windows 7 web browsers. Nine months have passed since the last completely Windows 7-based Web Browser Grand Prix.
It involves a test system running Sandy Bridge-based chip and a Radeon HD 7770. The top five browsers, tested and ranked are Chrome, Firefox, IE9, Opera, and Safari.
The Overall test scores is shown below. Access the whole test results here :http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-7-chrome-20-firefox-13-opera-12,3228.html
Final Windows 7 WBGP Champion Results
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|Webmasters / Using ORON Cyberlocker? Backup Your Data Fast Or Lose It by The Arbiter: 3:19pm On Jul 02, 2012|
The plaintiffs in a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against a cyberlocker service are warning users of the site to back up their files. Corbin Fisher, the movie studio currently suing Oron for $34.8m, say that the file-hoster could collapse after a judge denied it access to additional funds to pay for their hosting. Is this another Megaupload-style data loss debacle in the making?
Less than two weeks ago, adult studio Corbin Fisher sued the operators of file-hosting service Oron for a cool $34.8 million, claiming that they induce the sharing of copyright infringing via their service.
“Oron is cognizant of its role as the vehicle in which infringers act in concert with one another to copy and distribute huge amounts of infringing material,” Corbin Fisher’s lawyers wrote, adding that since Oron only registered a DMCA agent in June 2011, it could not seek ‘safe harbor’ immunity for infringements made before that date.
The immediate effects of the suit were highly damaging for Oron. All company assets in the U.S. and Hong Kong were frozen and payment processors such as PayPal were ordered to stand down. Additionally, the file-hoster’s domain registrar was told to forbid any transfer of the Oron.com domain.
Of course, having no cash is a serious issue for any business, so Oron went back to court to ask for funds to be released to pay for legal expenses and operating costs. The file-hoster asked for roughly $375,000, but Judge Gloria M. Navarro couldn’t see her way clear to granting the full amount.
“Defendants do not provide any itemization or accounting for the Court to consider in making its determination if the amount requested is reasonable. Therefore, the Court authorizes $100,000 U.S. dollars to be released from Defendant’s PayPal account,” Navarro said.
But quickly Oron were back again asking for more money – $355,000 in total. The company said that it needed to pay its hosting company, Netherlands-based LeaseWeb, $75,000 by last evening plus an additional payment of $280,000 by next Monday.
While Corbin Fisher’s language towards Oron has been predictably aggressive, comments and accusations leveled at LeaseWeb are bound to raise eyebrows. Challenging Oron’s need to make such large payments to LeaseWeb, Corbin Fisher’s lawyers directly accused LeaseWeb of conspiracy and/or extortion.
“The evidence put forth by [Oron] shows that these expenses fall far outside of the norm for the industry. Something is amiss. Either Oron is fabricating this newfound need for hundreds of thousands of dollars or LeaseWeb is conspiring with Oron,” XBIZ reports.
“Logic suggests that LeaseWeb is either colluding with Oron to assist Oron in removing hundreds of thousands of dollars from this court’s jurisdiction; extorting Oron; or Oron is not being entirely forthcoming with the court,” Corbin’s lawyers said.
And the criticism of LeaseWeb didn’t stop there. An investigator for the studio said that LeaseWeb is known to “…ignore DMCA notices or at the very least, minimize their impact.”
But Friday brought more bad news for Oron. Judge Gloria Navarro denied the request for extra funds, despite Oron’s warnings that without them their business would not be able to continue.
“If Oron’s servers are shut down for non-payment of those monthly hosting fees its users – 99.9 percent of whom have no connection to this litigation – will lose access to their data,” the company’s lawyers wrote.
Liberty Media, the owners of Corbin Fisher, were quick to pile on the pressure.
“This leads us to believe that Oron neither maintains nor is instituting any backup of user data. Therefore, if there are any legitimate users of Oron out there, Liberty Media Holdings advises them to back up any important files for which they are the proper owner or licensee,” the company wrote in a press release.
So while the lawyers fight, what we appear to be witnessing here is another Megaupload data-loss debacle in the making, in which completely innocent individuals could lose access to their cloud-stored data due to someone else’s legal problems.
But perhaps what is of most concern to Joe Public right now is that despite warning the court that without funds the site could close, Oron have zero warnings on their site or information on the issues the company faces.
Of course, there’s a fine line between causing panic and keeping people informed, and indeed the company may be quietly confident that it will ride out the storm, but people should have the option to take precautionary backups, However, they won’t do that if they don’t think anything is amiss.
|Computers / Re: Help With Wikipedia Please by The Arbiter: 5:54pm On Jul 01, 2012|
Its a CSS page formatting issue and it is site, and user profile, specific. Usually servers detect the kind of browser types connecting and send the required CSS file to format the page for enjoyable viewing. Its seems in this case there was a problem.
To remedy the issue you have to delve into your profile in the browser's folders and delete the offending CSS file. In the alternative you could create a new browser profile, which solves the issue. Unfortunately, I dont own a blackberry so cant give you a step by step procedure.
Why not google 'Blackberry browser profile creation' Or 'Blackberry browser CSS problem' It might bring up solutions.
Hope it helps.
|Programming / Code Crackers Break 923-bit Encryption In A Record Effort by The Arbiter: 5:35pm On Jul 01, 2012|
Before today no one thought it was possible to successfully break a 923-bit code. And even if it was possible, scientists estimated it would take thousands of years.
However, over 148 days and a couple of hours, using 21 computers, the code was cracked.
Working together, Fujitsu Laboratories, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Kyushu University in Japan announced today that they broke the world record for cryptanalysis using next-generation cryptography.
"Despite numerous efforts to use and spread this cryptography at the development stage, it wasn't until this new way of approaching the problem was applied that it was proven that pairing-based cryptography of this length was fragile and could actually be broken in 148.2 days," Fujitsu Laboratories wrote in a press release.
Using "pairing-based" cryptography on this code has led to the standardization of this type of code cracking, says Fujitsu Laboratories. Scientists say that breaking the 923-bit encryption, which is 278-digits, would have been impossible using previous "public key" cryptography; but using pairing-based cryptography, scientists were able to apply identity-based encryption, keyword searchable encryption, and functional encryption.
Researchers' efforts to crack this type of code is useful because it helps companies, governments, and organizations better understand how secure their electronic information needs to be.
"The cryptanalysis is the equivalent to spoofing the authority of the information system administrator," Fujitsu Laboratories wrote. "As a result, for the first time in the world we proved that the cryptography of the parameter was vulnerable and could be broken in a realistic amount of time."
Researchers from NICT and Hakodate Future University hold the previous world record for code cracking, which required far less computer power. They managed to figure out a 676-bit, or 204-digit, encryption in 2009.
By Dara Kerr
|Programming / Re: If Java Api's Are Copyrightable....... by The Arbiter: 6:12pm On Jun 21, 2012|
Google to pay $0 to Oracle
In a hearing in the US District Court today, it was determined that Google will pay a net total of nothing for Oracle's patent claims against them. In fact, Google is given 14 days to file an application for Oracle to pay legal fees to Google(in a similar manner to how things are done for frivolous lawsuits). However, it is not quite peaches and roses for Google, as Oracle is planning on appealing the decision in the case.
This is obviously very good news for Google, but we will have to see what happens with Oracle's appeal. Of course, appeals for most cases are to be expected(especially with a case like this one, which was heavily watched, and has a large impact on the Software and IT industries as a whole).
For those who do not know about this case yet, here's a rundown. Android is based on a variant of the Java programming language/platform called 'Dalvik'. Java's copyrights was owned(at the time) by Sun Microsystems. Then, in April of 2009, Oracle bought out Sun Microsystems(primarily to gain access to Java's patents, since Java is one of the most commonly used programming languages overall). Due to the similarity to the function/method calls(called APIs) between Java and Dalvik, Oracle thought that they could have a legitimate claim against Android for violating their own patents. The initial complaints against Google were filed in 2010.
By Josh Wretlind
|Education / Re: Militants Attacking Students Of Igbinedion University. by The Arbiter: 6:11pm On Jun 17, 2012|
Igbinedion University: 2 beheaded, many wounded in ex-militants, cultists clash
Written by Vincent Egunyanga, Benin Sunday
At least two students of the Igbinedion University in Okada, Edo state were beheaded as several others injured when ex militants who are also students clashed with other students suspected to be cult members.
The clash which started at about 7;00am this morning was still on at about 4; 00pm in the afternoon with properties worth millions of naira destroyed in the process
The course of the clash could not be immediately ascertained but as early as 7;00 am this Sunday morning some of the students on campus had been sending distress calls to their parents and guardians for help.
There are about 200 ex-militants on admission at the Igbinedion University, Okada under the Federal Government amnesty programme.
|Phones / Re: Samsung Galaxy S2 Wifi Connection Problem by The Arbiter: 1:38pm On Jun 17, 2012|
The temporary solution, as stated above, is u connect to a non WEP protected Wifi for 30 secs. Disconnect and then connect to the WEP Wifi.
|Politics / Re: Bomb Blast At Shalom Church, Trikania , Kaduna by The Arbiter: 1:20pm On Jun 17, 2012|
(Reuters) - Explosions at three churches in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state killed at least seven people on Sunday, leading furious Christian youths to drag Muslims out of their cars and kill them in retaliation, officials and witnesses said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram has often attacked church services in Nigeria, split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.
The explosions and retaliatory attacks stoked fears of wider sectarian conflict in Africa's top oil producer and OPEC member, although flare-ups of this nature are usually brief.
Two explosions rocked churches in the town of Zaria within minutes of each other. First, a suicide bomber drove a blue Honda civic into a church, burning the front entrance and damaging the building, the church's pastor told a Reuters cameraman at the scene.
"Three people are confirmed killed. Others have been taken to hospital for treatment," Reverend Nathan Waziri said.
Then, militants threw bombs at another church, killing four children who were playing on the streets outside, said resident Deborah Osagie, who lives opposite the church. She added that the militants were later caught by a mob and killed.
A blast hit a third church in the state's main city of Kaduna, causing an unknown number of casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency said.
After the bombs, angry youths blocked the highway leading south out of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, dragging Muslims out of their cars and killing them, witnesses said.
"We had to return home when we saw them (the Christian youths) attacking. I saw many bodies on the ground but I don't know how many were dead or just injured," said Kaduna resident Rafael Gwaza.
Witness Haruna Isah said up to 20 people may have been killed in reprisals at the road block. "There were bodies everywhere on the ground," he said.
Regular attacks on Sunday church services are usually claimed by Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to reinstate an ancient Islamic caliphate that would adhere to strict sharia, or Islamic law.
Boko Haram, which has become increasingly radicalized and meshed with other Islamist groups in the region, including al Qaeda's north African wing, is the leading security threat to Nigeria.
Islamist militants also attacked two churches in Nigeria last Sunday, spraying the congregation of one with bullets, killing at least one person, and blowing up a car in a suicide bombing at the other, wounding 41.
The Islamists' leader, Abubakar Shekau, has justified attacks on Christians as revenge for killings of Muslims in Nigeria's volatile "Middle Belt", where the largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north meet.
Kaduna is close to the Middle Belt areas.
(Reporting by Isaac Abrak; Additional reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza and Garba Mohammed in Kaduna, and Mike Oboh in Abuja; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)
|Phones / Re: Samsung Galaxy S2 Wifi Connection Problem by The Arbiter: 6:23am On Jun 17, 2012|
An Android's user comment on the Wifi connectivity problem and proffered solution.
Its not Sony's fault. (Well, its no ONLY Sony's fault).
This is a long standing problem with Android and certain wifi chip sets and ICS. It first reared its head in the Nook first edition
a long time ago, then it disappeared for quite a while only to come back with a vengeance with ICS.
Simply google the words: connecting authenticating obtaining ip loop
and you will see this is common to a LOT of Android handsets and tablets.
Google search click here. [google.com]
The entire flagship HTC One line has similar problems. Samsung has the same problem, as does ZTE, Achros, Huawei and several others.
Some of these vendors (HTC) have promised fixes (and all have failed to deliver as best as I can tell).
If you fiddle with it long enough it will connect, eventually. Often rebooting your router will work, but you can't always do that.
Often connecting to your neighbor's "guest" network will work, and then subsequently reconnecting to your own network will also work fine.
(especially if said guest account is an open network with no encryption).
Its never a problem of a bad password. Its not something you can fix with a static IP.
The problem is in the actual authentication layer of the wifi connection, before it even gets around to asking for an IP Address.
Seems to affect 802.11G routers more than others. Its not specific to certain router brands.
I've alogcated my self into a stupor and dug thru some of the opensource code.
The only thing I can see is that it appears some token is supposed to be incremented by the handset with each authentication attempt, and it is not
being incremented, so the router disconnects the client. But so much of wpa_suplicant is running in binary blobs that the end user is at a
serious disadvantage trying to dig through this stuff.
I can induce this error at will on my HTC One X, and I can recover from it by simply connecting to an unprotected wifi "guest" account
near by, then wait 30 seconds, and re-connect to my wpa2 secured router. I also solved it by running a spare router with no security
and leaving the router unconnected to anything. I use this for connection, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect to my home router.
Its a major pain. But its not SONY's fault, I suspect its Google's fault or the wifi chipset manufacturer's fault.
Oh, the token I mentioned was the EAPOL replay counter. (What ever the hell that is).
See this thread http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=177798 [fedoraforum.org] where the resolution (near the bottom) was as I mentioned, connecting to any unsecured router than connecting back again.
|Programming / Re: NL Programming Board Is Near Dead by The Arbiter: 12:56pm On Jun 16, 2012|
I had meant sticky for topics not the informational (notices) ones u mentioned.
|Programming / Re: NL Programming Board Is Near Dead by The Arbiter: 11:19am On Jun 16, 2012|
My observations are
1. The search feature on NL is not very helpful. Searching for terms brings up a mash of results from across the forum while u intended to only search a particular section deeply. Its no wonder newbies post the same questions again and again. They just cant find the answers they want.
2. Even for expert users, making searches is a nightmare. Type 'Java syntax' in search and u will see what i mean. I expected a post result on Java language coding syntax but what i get are unrelated results.
3. The sticky feature is common in forums. I just wonder why it is not implemented on NL. It serves to keep interesting topics on the board for longer so that it gets wide attention and contribution. Right now what is obtainable is that the most argumentative, and often unimportant, topics get elevated on the board while interesting ones get buried.
4. A beginner sticky should be on the board to help beginners. This could contain post titles that could be of help to beginners.
5. The moderators should do more by pointing new posters to threads containing answers to their posts and closing such new posts. This way the poster gets the benefits of the discussions in the older thread.
6. Lastly, i feel a little reorganization is due. How about creating a tutorial section for people to post simple helpful tutorials. A ranking system for posts so that the most relevant pops up in searches. Subsections for the main programming languages, A ranking system (beginner to expert/guru) to encourage contributors to be more active (everybody likes being an expert even if its meaningless).
|Webmasters / SPDY And Page Rendering Performance by The Arbiter: 7:19am On Jun 16, 2012|
By Guy Podjarny
SPDY is awesome. It’s the first real upgrade to HTTP in 10+ years, it tackles high latency mobile networks performance issues and it makes the web more secure. SPDY is different than HTTP in many ways, but its primary value comes from being able to multiplex many requests/responses from client to server over a single (or few) TCP connections.
Previous benchmarks tout great benefits, ranging from making pages load 2x faster to making mobile sites 23% faster using SPDY and HTTPS than over clear HTTP. However, when testing real world sites I did not see any such gains. In fact, my tests showed SPDY is only marginally faster than HTTPS and is slower than HTTP.
Why? Simply put, SPDY makes HTTP better, but for most websites, HTTP is not the bottleneck.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t have time to read the full details, here’s the quick summary.
I tested the top 500 websites in the US (per Alexa), measuring their load time over HTTPS with and without SPDY, as well as over HTTP. I used a Chrome browser as a client, and proxied the sites through Cotendo to control whether SPDY is used. Note that all the tests – whether HTTP, HTTPS or SPDY – were proxied through Cotendo, to ensure we’re comparing apples to apples.
The results show SPDY, on average, is only about 4.5% faster than plain HTTPS, and is in fact about 3.4% slower than unencrypted HTTP. This means SPDY doesn’t make a material difference for page load times, and more specifically does not offset the price of switching to SSL.
I started this test because I found previous tests to be bad representations of the real world. This test is therefore different in several ways:
-> I only enabled SPDY for 1st party content.
Website owners don’t control 3rd party domains and how they’re delivered.
-> I combined 1st party domains, but not 3rd party domains.
Most previous tests flattened the page into a single domain by creating static copies of pages, which is an artificial environment where SPDY
-> I did not use a client-side proxy, but rather reverse-proxied the website.
Using a client side proxy again creates one client/proxy connection where all requests are multiplexed, which is beneficial to SPDY but not
-> I tested real world websites, with all their warts.
This includes many domains on the page, unoptimized page, inefficient backends, etc. Most other data I’m aware of is either from the highly
optimized Google websites or from static copies of websites, which eliminates many real world bottlenecks.
I’ll let you decide if these differences make it a better test or a worse test, but it helps understand why the results are different.
There could be many reasons why SPDY does not help, but the two that stand out are:
1. Web pages use many different domains, and SPDY works per domain. This means SPDY can’t reduce connections or multiplex requests across the different domains (with some exceptions), and its value gets diminished.
2. Web pages have other bottlenecks, which SPDY does not address. For example, SPDY doesn’t prevent scripts from blocking downloads of other resources, nor does it make CSS not block rendering. SPDY is better than HTTP, but for most pages, HTTP is not the bottleneck.
For this experiment, I needed a set of websites to test, a client that supports SPDY and reverse-proxy that support SPDY.
For the websites, I chose the top 500 websites in the US, as defined by Alexa. The percentage of Indecency sites on that list is a bit alarming, but it’s a good representation of websites users browse often.
For a proxy, I used the Cotendo CDN (recently acquired by Akamai). Cotendo was one of the early adopters of SPDY, has production-grade SPDY support and high performance servers. Cotendo was used in three modes – HTTP, HTTPS and SPDY (meaning HTTPS+SPDY).
For a client, I used WebPageTest’s Chrome agent (with Pat Meenan’s help). WebPageTest automats a real Chrome browser (version 18 at the time of my tests), and through that supports SPDY. Note that Chrome randomly disables SPDY on 5% of browser runs, but WebPageTest disables this sampling. I measured each page 5 times, over 4 different network speeds, including Cable, DSL, low-latency mobile and high latency mobile.
Since some websites use multiple 1st party domains, I also used some Akamai rewriting capabilities to try and consolidate those domains. Roughly speaking, most resources statically referenced in the HTML were served through the page’s domain. This helped enable SPDY for those resources and consolidate some domains.
Lastly, since time of day and Internet events can skew results, I repeated the test 3 times, twice during the day and once overnight. In total I ran 90,000 individual page loads, or 30,000 per mode, more than enough for statistical accuracy.
The main result was that SPDY didn’t make the websites faster. Many different views of the data repeated this result:
>> SPDY was only 4.5% faster than HTTPS on average
>> SPDY was 3.4% slower than HTTP (without SSL) on average
>> The median SPDY acceleration over HTTPS was 1.9%
>> SPDY was faster than HTTPS in only 59% of the tests
>> SPDY is only 2.1% faster than HTTPS when comparing the average load time of each URL/scheme, across batches and network speeds
>> SPDY’s acceleration over HTTPS was 4.3%, 6.3% and 2.8% in each of the three test batches
See Summary in Pic
|Education / Know Your Fractions And Long Division And Be Succesful At Maths by The Arbiter: 6:12am On Jun 16, 2012|
From factory workers to Wall Street bankers, a reasonable proficiency in math is a crucial requirement for most well-paying jobs in a modern economy. Yet, over the past 30 years, mathematics achievement of U.S. high school students has remained stagnant -- and significantly behind many other countries, including China, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands and Canada.
A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Robert Siegler has identified a major source of the gap -- U. S. students' inadequate knowledge of fractions and division. Although fractions and division are taught in elementary school, even many college students have poor knowledge of them. The research team found that fifth graders' understanding of fractions and division predicted high school students' knowledge of algebra and overall math achievement, even after statistically controlling for parents' education and income and for the children's own age, gender, I.Q., reading comprehension, working memory, and knowledge of whole number addition, subtraction and multiplication. Published in Psychological Science, the findings demonstrate an immediate need to improve teaching and learning of fractions and division.
"We suspected that early knowledge in these areas was absolutely crucial to later learning of more advanced mathematics, but did not have any evidence until now," said Siegler, the Teresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Carnegie Mellon. "The clear message is that we need to improve instruction in long division and fractions, which will require helping teachers to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts that underlie these mathematical operations. At present, many teachers lack this understanding. Because mastery of fractions, ratios and proportions is necessary in a high percentage of contemporary occupations, we need to start making these improvements now."
The research, supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences and by the National Science Foundation's Developmental and Learning Science Group at the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Directorate, was conducted by a team of eight investigators: Siegler; U.C. Irvine's Greg J. Duncan; the University of Michigan's Pamela E. Davis-Kean, Maria Ines Susperreguy and Meichu Chen; the University of London's Kathryn Duckworth; the University of Chicago's Amy Claessens; and Vanderbilt University's Mimi Engel.
For the study, the team examined two nationally representative data sets, one from the U.S. and one from the United Kingdom. The U.S. set included 599 children who were tested in 1997 as 10-12 year-olds and again in 2002 as 15-17-year-olds. The set from the U.K. included 3,677 children who were tested in 1980 as 10-year-olds and in 1986 as 16-year-olds. The importance of fractions and division for long-term mathematics learning was evident in both data sets, despite the data being collected in two different countries almost 20 years apart.
"This research is a good demonstration of what collaborations between psychologists, economists, public policy analysts and education scientists can create," said Davis-Kean, associate professor of psychology at Michigan. "Instead of relying on results from a single study, this study replicates findings across two national data sets in two different countries, which strengthens our confidence in the results."
Rob Ochsendorf, program officer for special education research at the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences added, "This study is critical for providing empirical and general confirmation of the crucial role of division and fractions proficiency for long-term success in mathematics for all students. The results provide important cues to educators and researchers regarding the skills that are ripe for intervention in order to improve overall mathematics achievement in the U.S."
|Webmasters / Re: Your E-data After Death; What Happens To It. by The Arbiter: 5:55am On Jun 16, 2012|
This is an increasingly important area of interest. The person who develops a workable model will surely get rich if its patented. Its a problem Nigerian web geniuses could wrap their brains around for a solution.
|Webmasters / Your E-data After Death; What Happens To It. by The Arbiter: 5:48am On Jun 16, 2012|
IT'S E-LIFE after death. You pass on, but your digital self remains on email, Facebook, Twitter and numerous online accounts; a cache of words, photos, music, videos and money, which offshore companies then control.
Most Australians, their lawyers and lawmakers have done little to address what should happen to this vast online trove, which can be lost through passwords which heirs cannot penetrate, or through policies set out in the fine print of a user's account authorising a company to keep or delete it.
''Protecting the privacy of our users is a top priority,'' said Amanda Millar, a Yahoo! spokeswoman. The company made a commitment to treat everyone's account content as confidential, ''even after death''.
Advertisement: Story continues below
Google imposes rigorous conditions and a deliberately lengthy two-part review, which involves sending a paper copy of a death certificate to its California headquarters, before it will allow access to Gmail and information stored in Google Drive and Google Documents.
''The underlying point is we would always privilege someone's privacy … It's really hard for us to make exceptions to open somebody's account to someone else,'' said a Google spokeswoman, Kate Mason.
Tama Leaver, a Curtin University internet studies lecturer researching what happens to our digital legacy, said consumers were bewildered and the policies of the big online companies varied wildly.
He urged people to consider the consequences of failing to leave details and directions about their online files. Otherwise bills could be unpaid, precious words and photos lost or embarrassing content revealed, while hackers might see a death notice as an invitation to piracy, he said.
''It's important for people to consider their online material as an asset and to think about how that's managed. If you have a partner or person you trust deeply, or whoever would be the executor of your will, you should make somewhere available so they can find your most important passwords,'' he said.
The American composer Leonard Bernstein failed to do that and, 22 years after his death, no one has been able to crack the password to the computer holding his memoir manuscript.
His story alarmed the Sydney writer Mariza O'Keeffe, who is now giving grave thought to the fate of her draft novel The Cut. Every dawn before she goes to work, her tale grows. When she closes her laptop, her nascent novel, now 40,000 words long, disappears behind a password only she knows.
For back-up, she sporadically uses a memory stick, but emails her fresh words to herself every day. O'Keeffe writes dialogue for avatars professionally and has been part of the digital world for almost 20 years. But it was only when she learnt about Bernstein and checked on the Yahoo! policy that she realised if she were to die suddenly, her words - including her novel and her blog - could perish too.
''There's a lot of writing on there I am quite proud of. I'd be quite devastated for it to be lost,'' she said.
Some technically savvy people have encryption codes and give different halves of the key to two trusted friends, who can match them to access critical passwords if there is a death or emergency, Dr Leaver said. But having hidden his own password list in a rainjacket pocket, he understands human fallibility.
''It's a hard balance to strike, because a lot of these companies have us changing our passwords every three months,'' he said.
The Melbourne firm Hutchinson Legal encourages people to list all their electronic information and accounts with login details, passwords and last wishes and give them to someone they trust. Suggestions include cutting each page vertically and giving the two halves in sealed envelopes to different people, such as adult children.
A managing partner with the firm, Grant Hutchinson, told of one widowed client whose husband had left no access clues to a computer program he developed, which was the core of his company's work. She was confronted by the business partner asking to go through his drawers.
''They never found the password,'' Mr Hutchinson said. But it would be a security risk to put passwords into wills, which are public documents, he said.
A Sydney wills specialist, Pam Suttor, who chairs the NSW Law Society's elder law and succession committee, agreed and said papers listing passwords could be locked in a strongroom for use by the executor.
She plans to raise the legal issues surrounding digital legacy with her committee later this month and the NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, after that.
Governments had barely ventured into this uncertain world, Dr Leaver said. ''To the best of my knowledge, no high level policy work is being done - and I have looked.''
Even digital companies' policies have come slowly. Start-ups often have none, while Facebook was forced to act because of the horror some messages and posts could cause the loved ones of deceased users, he found.
New social customs are evolving, as memorialised Facebook accounts can be useful for close kin to contact friends of the deceased whom they may not know, he said.
''I have seen someone getting a funeral notice from someone who has died,'' he said. But he echoed historians' lament that valuable information was being lost daily.
Gmail account holders who want information to be available when they are gone should post it on Google Drive or Google Documents and specify who had access, Ms Mason said.
But what happened with information stored on the cloud was still hazy, Dr Leaver said.
''The cloud is a complex area, because it is storage on the same machines which drive Google search. So they are public machines trying to drive what for many people is something very private; the storage of their valuable information.''
Ms Millar said Yahoo! users who wanted to ensure their account was dealt with after death according to their wishes, including allowing access to photos or message content by legal heirs, should make it part of their estate planning.
O'Keeffe plans to give her partner, Murrough, passwords and to print her draft book. Unlike Bernstein.
''What a silly man not to do a printout,'' Ms Suttor said.
By Debra Jopson
|Romance / Hard-faced Men Have Softer Hearts by The Arbiter: 1:40pm On Jun 15, 2012|
The face is the most complex-surface structure of human .The human face is commonly seen as a means of identifying individuals and understanding their emotional states and intentions. Its characteristic structures and expressions have been the focus of much of cultures around the world making the face perhaps the most important anatomical subject of mythology as he case may be.
Human beings are often very quick to judge people by their facial appearance or looks. When a man appears with a hard face the first thing that comes to mind is that he is mean, wicked and aggressive. The reverse is the case for those who have a calm and simple outward appearance as such men may act the exact opposite of their looks.
Men with classic ‘hard man’ faces are actually very soft at heart because they are willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, a new study suggests.
Psychologists found that men with a more aggressive appearance, expecially those with wider faces were more likely to sacrifice themselves to help friends or colleagues.
In the study in which they arrived at this conclusion, researchers gave students money to play a game in which they could either enrich themselves or risk their cash to assist their groups.
At the end of the study they were astonished to find out that participants with wider hard-looking faces were more co-operative than the other men.
Previous research had found that men with wide faces are judged to be aggressive and dishonest, while facial masculinity has also been commonly associated with a perceived lack of warmth and co-operation.
The outcome of this study provides greater understanding to masculinity and male group behaviour and overturns previous theories that masculine looking men are bad or wicked.
An Abuja based psychologist, Ms Rukkaiya Jibril in explaining this stereotype, said it is very important to mention the theories of Personality, Behaviorism, Conditioning, Nature and Nurture Argument/Theory, and Face Reading because these theories have attempted to explain human behavior and its impact on social as well as work life. They have also tried to explain how human behavior shapes a person’s personality, she said.
Ms Jubril pointed out that in behaviorism, individuals response to different environmental stimuli shapes our behaviors. She said that all behaviors can be clarified without the need to reflect on psychological mental states.
This school of thought maintains that behaviors as such can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs, such as the mind. Therefore, based on behaviorism, men with hard faces are very soft at heart might be based on their personality learned from circumstances and experiences, she said.
She states that Conditioning is a form of learning in which either a given stimulus becomes increasingly effective in evoking a response or a response occurs with increasing regularity in a well-specified and stable environment.
The type of reinforcement used will determine the outcome.When two stimuli are presented in an appropriate time and intensity relationship, one of them will eventually induce a response resembling that of the other. Based on this, men with hard faces may be very soft at heart due to conditioning of a stimulus in their lives thus the personality and font is put up.
She says further that the nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual’s innate qualities versus personal experiences in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits.
According to Nature vs. Nurture in relation to ‘Men with hard faces are very soft at heart’ might be either they are naturally like that or have learned to portray such personality.
In the case of facial appearance, she noted that it is one of the broadest topics, because it defines every feature of the face as well as the body. “Our face is the mirror of our personality”. Statistical results have shown that there is a strong connection between facial features and personality traits.
“Since thousands of years people have been trying to study the relationship between facial features and personality traits, the findings that they have reached have proven that you can judge someone’s personality through his face features with a high degree of confidence,” Ms Jubril said.
Men are naturally known to be egocentric, tough and strong; some men who wear hard faces might just be displaying their natural inbuilt trait of the male gender while some are putting up a font for obvious reasons or other reasons. Kindness is in the nature of some people, while some learn to be; this all depends on either nature or nurture; she states.
By Raliat Yusuf
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|Politics / ‘Massive Expansion’ In US Covert Operations In Africa by The Arbiter: 6:22pm On Jun 14, 2012|
The United States administration of President Barack Obama is implementing a near-unprecedented expansion of covert operations by American military forces throughout Africa, aimed at a host of armed groups deemed extremist by Washington. A lead article published yesterday in The Washington Post quotes over a dozen unnamed American and African officials, as well as military contractors, who refer to the US military-led effort as Project CREEKSAND. It allegedly involves secret operations in several African countries, conducted out of a large network of small air bases located in strategic locations around the continent.
The fleet of surveillance planes is made up of single-engine Pilatus PC-12s [Wikipedia: Creative Commons]
According to The Post, most of the airplanes used in Project CREEKSAND are small, unarmed, disguised to look like private aircraft, and bear no military markings or government insignia. In reality, however, they carry sophisticated electronic equipment designed to collect signals intelligence, while some are used to transport US Special Forces troops during capture or kill missions. The paper quotes an unnamed “former senior US commander [...] involved in setting up the [air bases] network”, who alleges that the US government has built about a dozen such bases throughout Africa since 2007. These secret air bases are located in countries such as Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, and Seychelles. Most of the US personnel involved in Project CREEKSAND consists of Special Operations forces tasked with “training foreign security forces [and] performing aid missions”. However, The Post alleges that there are also small teams of US operatives who are “dedicated to tracking and killing suspected terrorists”. Their targets include groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Shabaab in Somalia, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, as well as Azawad, the newly established state in northern Mali, whose independence was declared recently by Islamist separatists. Some US forces are also involved in gathering intelligence on Joseph Kony, the elusive Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Interestingly, the article mentions skepticism by some critics, who wonder why the US military, rather than the Central Intelligence Agency, is in charge of Project CREEKSAND. Others warn that the groups targeted by the Obama administration in Africa are local in scope and fight for regional goals, not global, and thus do not pose any direct threat to the US. Thus, by interfering in their local religious or nationalist struggles, Washington risks creating unwanted backlash. The Post says that it sent an email with several questions about Project CREEKSAND to the US Pentagon’s Africa Command, which refused to provide “specific operational details”.
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS
|Travel / The Biggest Cave In The World by The Arbiter: 6:02pm On Jun 14, 2012|
The world's biggest cave ( Son Doong cave ) is tucked away in the jungles of Vietnam.
Howard and Deb Limbert, a husband and wife team from the Speleological began to research the world's biggest cave ( Son Doong cave ) in 2009
Darryl Granger of Purdue University and a part of the team, who studied the world's biggest cave ( Son Doong cave ) in 2010, says that in some parts of the cave, you can safely fly a plane.
The development of almost 6500 meters of the world's biggest cave ( Son Doong cave ) showed that in some places reaches a height of 200 meters and stretched wide by 80 meters.
Despite the fact that there are longer and deeper caves, the underground extent and enormity of this one beats the previous the world record holder - Deer Cave (Deer Cave) on the island of Borneo.
|Computers / Re: Which Is Your Best Antivirus And Why? by The Arbiter: 5:07pm On Jun 14, 2012|
Have used Avast, Norton, Kaspersky, Bitdefender plus a fair number of antispyware over a 9yr period. Bitdefender (Not free) is my favorite with Kaspersky in 2nd place. Been using Bitdefender since 2009 with no infection whatsoever. My present combination is Bitdefender + spyshelter; unbeatable.
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|Health / Diesel Exhaust Fumes Do Cause Cancer - WHO by The Arbiter: 4:26am On Jun 13, 2012|
The World Health Organization previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic
Exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer, a panel of experts working for the World Health Organization says.
It concluded that the exhausts were definitely a cause of lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder.
It based the findings on research in high-risk workers such as miners, railway workers and truck drivers.
However, the panel said everyone should try to reduce their exposure to diesel exhaust fumes.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, had previously labelled diesel exhausts as probably carcinogenic to humans.
IARC has now labelled exhausts as a definite cause of cancer, although it does not compare how risky different carcinogens are. Diesel exhausts are now in the same group as carcinogens ranging from wood chippings to plutonium and sunlight to alcohol.
It is thought people working in at-risk industries have about a 40% increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Dr Christopher Portier, who led the assessment, said: "The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group's conclusion was unanimous, diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans.
"Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide."
The impact on the wider population, which is exposed to diesel fumes at much lower levels and for shorter periods of time, is unknown.
Dr Kurt Straif, also from IARC, said: "For most of the carcinogens when there is high exposure the risk is higher, when there is lower exposure the risk is lower."
There have been considerable efforts to clean up diesel exhausts. Lower sulphur fuel and engines which burn the fuel more efficiently are now in use.
The UK Department of Health said: "We will carefully consider this report. Air pollutants are a significant public health concern, we are looking at this issue as part of our plans to improve public health."
Cancer Research UK said employers and workers should take appropriate action to minimise exposure to diesel fumes in the workplace.
But director of cancer information Dr Lesley Walker said the overall number of lung cancers caused by diesel fumes was "likely to be a fraction of those caused by smoking tobacco".
|Education / Why Smart People Are silly by The Arbiter: 4:06am On Jun 13, 2012|
Drawing by James Stevenson
Here’s a simple arithmetic question: A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
The vast majority of people respond quickly and confidently, insisting the ball costs ten cents. This answer is both obvious and wrong. (The correct answer is five cents for the ball and a dollar and five cents for the bat.)
For more than five decades, Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate and professor of psychology at Princeton, has been asking questions like this and analyzing our answers. His disarmingly simple experiments have profoundly changed the way we think about thinking. While philosophers, economists, and social scientists had assumed for centuries that human beings are rational agents—reason was our Promethean gift—Kahneman and his scientific partner, the late Amos Tversky, demonstrated that we’re not nearly as rational as we like to believe.
When people face an uncertain situation, they don’t carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts aren’t a faster way of doing the math; they’re a way of skipping the math altogether. Asked about the bat and the ball, we forget our arithmetic lessons and instead default to the answer that requires the least mental effort.
Although Kahneman is now widely recognized as one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century, his work was dismissed for years. Kahneman recounts how one eminent American philosopher, after hearing about his research, quickly turned away, saying, “I am not interested in the psychology of stupidity.”
The philosopher, it turns out, got it backward. A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology led by Richard West at James Madison University and Keith Stanovich at the University of Toronto suggests that, in many instances, smarter people are more vulnerable to these thinking errors. Although we assume that intelligence is a buffer against bias—that’s why those with higher S.A.T. scores think they are less prone to these universal thinking mistakes—it can actually be a subtle curse.
West and his colleagues began by giving four hundred and eighty-two undergraduates a questionnaire featuring a variety of classic bias problems. Here’s a example:
In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?
Your first response is probably to take a shortcut, and to divide the final answer by half. That leads you to twenty-four days. But that’s wrong. The correct solution is forty-seven days.
West also gave a puzzle that measured subjects’ vulnerability to something called “anchoring bias,” which Kahneman and Tversky had demonstrated in the nineteen-seventies. Subjects were first asked if the tallest redwood tree in the world was more than X feet, with X ranging from eighty-five to a thousand feet. Then the students were asked to estimate the height of the tallest redwood tree in the world. Students exposed to a small “anchor”—like eighty-five feet—guessed, on average, that the tallest tree in the world was only a hundred and eighteen feet. Given an anchor of a thousand feet, their estimates increased seven-fold.
But West and colleagues weren’t simply interested in reconfirming the known biases of the human mind. Rather, they wanted to understand how these biases correlated with human intelligence. As a result, they interspersed their tests of bias with various cognitive measurements, including the S.A.T. and the Need for Cognition Scale, which measures “the tendency for an individual to engage in and enjoy thinking.”
The results were quite disturbing. For one thing, self-awareness was not particularly useful: as the scientists note, “people who were aware of their own biases were not better able to overcome them.” This finding wouldn’t surprise Kahneman, who admits in “Thinking, Fast and Slow” that his decades of groundbreaking research have failed to significantly improve his own mental performance. “My intuitive thinking is just as prone to overconfidence, extreme predictions, and the planning fallacy”—a tendency to underestimate how long it will take to complete a task—“as it was before I made a study of these issues,” he writes.
Perhaps our most dangerous bias is that we naturally assume that everyone else is more susceptible to thinking errors, a tendency known as the “bias blind spot.” This “meta-bias” is rooted in our ability to spot systematic mistakes in the decisions of others—we excel at noticing the flaws of friends—and inability to spot those same mistakes in ourselves. Although the bias blind spot itself isn’t a new concept, West’s latest paper demonstrates that it applies to every single bias under consideration, from anchoring to so-called “framing effects.” In each instance, we readily forgive our own minds but look harshly upon the minds of other people.
And here’s the upsetting punch line: intelligence seems to make things worse. The scientists gave the students four measures of “cognitive sophistication.” As they report in the paper, all four of the measures showed positive correlations, “indicating that more cognitively sophisticated participants showed larger bias blind spots.” This trend held for many of the specific biases, indicating that smarter people (at least as measured by S.A.T. scores) and those more likely to engage in deliberation were slightly more vulnerable to common mental mistakes. Education also isn’t a savior; as Kahneman and Shane Frederick first noted many years ago, more than fifty per cent of students at Harvard, Princeton, and M.I.T. gave the incorrect answer to the bat-and-ball question.
What explains this result? One provocative hypothesis is that the bias blind spot arises because of a mismatch between how we evaluate others and how we evaluate ourselves. When considering the irrational choices of a stranger, for instance, we are forced to rely on behavioral information; we see their biases from the outside, which allows us to glimpse their systematic thinking errors. However, when assessing our own bad choices, we tend to engage in elaborate introspection. We scrutinize our motivations and search for relevant reasons; we lament our mistakes to therapists and ruminate on the beliefs that led us astray.
The problem with this introspective approach is that the driving forces behind biases—the root causes of our irrationality—are largely unconscious, which means they remain invisible to self-analysis and impermeable to intelligence. In fact, introspection can actually compound the error, blinding us to those primal processes responsible for many of our everyday failings. We spin eloquent stories, but these stories miss the point. The more we attempt to know ourselves, the less we actually understand.
by Jonah Lehrer
|Programming / Nigeria Represented In Google Code Jam, Russians Dominate by The Arbiter: 3:51pm On Jun 12, 2012|
Nigeria was represented in this year's Google code jam by 34 participants. Sadly, none made it through the qualification round. The Russians have the highest number of qualified contestants so far.
Any1 knows who the Nigerian participants may be. They deserve recognition for participating.
Check out the participants according to country in the link below.
|Nairaland / General / Re: Seun Nairaland Is Not P.m News. Always Verify Stories Before Putting On The Fp by The Arbiter: 10:49am On Jun 10, 2012|
Right on point OP.
Most of the people on the forum are attention seekers. But the moderators are not helping matters either. Some of them are too damn lazy.
Insistence on only posting news with links to reputable newslinks would be one solution.
The other is to view the posters history for accurate reporting. A score of 75% should be a confident margin for making the front page.
The last should be news accompanied by pictures, this stand on their own merits. However a caveat here, with photoshoped pics being a great danger, an internet search of posted news worthy pics should be a precaution.
A popular story takes just 15mins of search to verify on the web, while a lame one takes up to a day. Its better to get it right than shoot at shadows when it matters.
|Religion / Re: Christianity For Christians. by The Arbiter: 7:25pm On Jun 09, 2012|
Your reply is typical i was not disappointed. Your antics i find amusing, much rather like a fly zipping round sweet pickings. I have only pity for you. The gnawing emptiness in you will only grow, it will never be satiated by your vituperation. I have watched a few of your kind end their lives in misery and i doubt if yours would be any different. Its pretty clear that you are yet to attain the elevated height of mental clarity true atheism bestows. Strive for it and be really liberated rather than waste your time as a lowly hyena hunting for food on the forum. You are just out of your depth with me because i've been there and back. Human frailty, faults, blunders and all, faith in GOD it would all be for me until death. A proud proclamation till the end of my earthly time.
Now let me get out of the way while your poo hits the fan.
|Programming / Re: I Need Help by The Arbiter: 12:17pm On Jun 09, 2012|
Such books are usually copyrighted and expensive. Copies can however be obtained one way or the other from people who sometimes post their copies on file sharing sites. I have sometimes used the two links below to search for such uploads with varying success. You will need patience and luck.
|Programming / Re: C++, Ruby, Coffeescript: A Visual Comparison Of Language Complexity by The Arbiter: 9:15am On Jun 09, 2012|
Abstraction is a characteristic of high level languages but it is not a defining one since even assembly languages have certain levels of abstraction. Differences in abstraction lead to the generational classification of languages which remains accepted. If i were to infer the above statements imply high level languages have increased in abstraction over the years, i agree 100%. I still maintain that as long the current definition remains, nothing changes much.
Beaf: "The typical definition of a low-level language is one which does not require a compiler or interpreter to run." This really isn't correct as all low level languages (aside machine code, but including assembler) are compiled - they need a compiler; they cannot just run. However, they do not need an interpreter or compiler to be converted to machine code.
Delving into this will really blur the lines for the not so technical as the arguments are more academic (theoretical). In layman's terms a compiler takes an abstract (high level) language and translates it to a low level (machine code) language, while an assembler translates assembly (symbolic) code to machine code.
Computer science recognizes a distinct division in low level languages. Assembly (symbolic) language (with its levels of abstraction) which requires translators and native (machine) language which can be directly executed. This is clearly evident to those who have done FPGA programming.
Beaf: "Basically, a high-level language is one which needs to be turned into a low-level language (bytecode/assembly instructions) before it can execute." This is partially wrong as bytecode needs a virtual machine (or other interpreter) to interprete it to native code.
Thanks for catching that one. Copy and paste devil. the correct statement should be "Basically, a high-level language is one which needs to be turned into a low-level language (native instructions) before it can execute."
Beaf: C++ is directly converted to machine code, so the above makes it a low or intermediate level language.
I shall ignore the erroneous general implications of your statement and focus on the issue at hand. It is acknowledged that C++ inherited elements of C's low level features (which i have already admitted to) but this are highly insignificant compared to the level of abstraction the language provides. As i have conclusively shown in my statements, C++ is a high level language. This fact is incontestable unless if the definition of programming languages undergoes a radical change.
|Programming / Re: C++, Ruby, Coffeescript: A Visual Comparison Of Language Complexity by The Arbiter: 11:45pm On Jun 08, 2012|
Interesting. I can see where this is heading. Lets chew on this a little:
"The easiest way to categorize a programming language as "high level" is to actually determine whether or not it is a low-level language. The typical definition of a low-level language is one which does not require a compiler or interpreter to run. Basically, a high-level language is one which needs to be turned into a low-level language (bytecode/assembly instructions) before it can execute."
Based on the above argument C++ is most definitely a high level language. It is widely accepted that C++ inherited features of its low level predecessor C. However, this does not categorize it as an intermediate language because:
"In computer science, an intermediate language is the language of an abstract machine designed to aid in the analysis of computer programs. The term comes from their use in compilers, where a compiler first translates the source code of a program into a form more suitable for code-improving transformations, as an intermediate step before generating object or machine code for a target machine." (Wikipedia)
"A variation in the meaning of this term is to refer to those languages used as an intermediate language by some high-level programming languages which do not output object or machine code, but output the intermediate language only, to submit to a compiler for such language, which then outputs finished object or machine code. This is usually done to gain optimization much as treated above, or portability by using an intermediate language that has compilers for many processors and operating systems, such as C. Languages used for this fall in complexity between high-level languages and low-level languages, such as assembly languages."
Seun's position reflects the evolutionary trend of programming languages which reflect shifts in concepts of 'High' vs 'Low' language representations. This can seen in the context of development of C++, Ruby and then cofeescript. The latter is seen to offer ease of coding in a more 'human language' while still offering the functionality of the other two languages. I however beg to disagree with the 'relative' concept. The definition of programming languages still retains its hardline meanings. Until a new definition removes the necessity of a compiler between high and low level languages, the current classification of programming languages will not change anytime soon.
|Religion / Re: Christianity For Christians. by The Arbiter: 8:05pm On Jun 08, 2012|
Well spoken. I was wondering when the agitation would start.
Having a healthy Swim in dirty water is wishful thinking, but swimming with sharks in dirty water is suicide.
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