Daily Archives: June 23, 2013
Today’s Top-10 Best Selling Science Fiction Books
1st and 3rd Person POV in the same book??
Dear Lord, just say NO! I have read only one book like this and it was CL Anderson’s “Bitter Angels” and I hope it’s the only one! That was by far the most jarring, poorly flowing novel that I’ve ever read. Here’s why:
She wrote it in a very weird and annoying way. One chapter could be written in first person (the name of the character given) and then she’d write a second chapter from another character’s POV in first. Fine..I can deal with that…
Then…she’d make a third chapter in 3rd person with a third character. See the problem?
Trying to read that book was the ultimate in what’s called ‘head hopping.’ It became a pain in the ass to keep up with it all and ruined what was a very good premise.
So, just say no!
George Takei and Free Speech
George Takei, for those who don’t know, is “Mr Sulu” from the original Star Trek. He also is gay. Well, people seem to have a problem with him talking about that on his facebook page! Huh???
The last time I checked, Facebook pages are free and you can ‘like’ or ‘unlike’ someone all you want. So, what’s the big damn deal about him posting about himself??
Sometimes I think people would love to see freedom of speech limited to those who they don’t agree with. Yet, they don’t want theirs limited. Well, guess what! You limit one…the end result is limiting your own..do’oh!
Sometimes people need to be hit upside the head with the damn clue TREE…
Man Made Pollution Lowered Hurricanes in the 20th Century
How interesting…I thought it was supposed to increase it instead. As an intellectual, I can solve the problem with now. You say CO2 is the biggest problem? Then plant more trees. Trees breath in CO2 and release Oxygen-which keeps us alive. Then we exhale CO2-which keeps the trees alive. You see the symmetry?
AFP – Higher levels of air pollution reduced the frequency of North Atlantic hurricanes and other tropical storms for most of the 20th century, a study said Sunday.
Adding to evidence for mankind’s impact on the weather system, the probe found a link between these powerful storms and aerosols, the scientific term for specks of matter suspended in a gas.
Aerosols can occur in natural form — as dusty volcanic plumes, clouds or fog — but are also man-made, such as sooty particles from burning coal or oil.
The study focused on particles from North America and Europe that were generated mainly from burning fossil fuels.
Researchers from the UK Met Office created weather simulations covering the period 1860 to 2050.
They found that tropical storms were much less frequent during periods when emissions of man-made aerosols increased over the North Atlantic.
“Increases in anthropogenic emissions (particularly of aerosols) through most of the last century is found to have reduced hurricane activity,” co-author Ben Booth told AFP.
“The cooling impact of man-emitted aerosols may have had a more important regional impact on climate than we previous appreciated.”
Aerosols reflect solar rays and change the brightness of clouds, which affects how much of the Sun’s heat is projected onto the surface of the sea, the authors suggest.
Ocean warmth provides the raw energy for tropical storms, which in extreme conditions can brew into destructive hurricanes.
Conversely, the study found that measures since the 1980s to tackle pollution and improve air quality reduced levels of aerosols — and in turn ramped up hurricane activity.
“The clean-up of industrial aerosols in the last 20 years, while being beneficial for human health and linked to a recovery of African Sahel rains since the 1980s droughts, may have contributed to increases in Atlantic hurricane activity,” Booth said by email.
The authors said their study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, is the first to demonstrate a link between aerosols and Atlantic tropical storms.
The research team postulates that in the future, it will be Earth-warming greenhouse gases, much longer-lasting than aerosols, that will exert the most influence on tropical storm frequency.
Previous work published in Nature Climate Change had said that while the number of tropical storms was not projected to increase in future, their intensity was.
The hurricane season runs from June to November. For 2013, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted 13 to 20 “named” storms, seven to 11 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes.
Anger Mounts over Facebook’s Shadow Profiles leak
Sounds like Facebook’s got enough, intentionally or unintentionally, holes to qualify as Swiss Cheese. I’m not sure what’s worse: unintentional holes or the ones created for the government to spy on. As a writer, I loathe the idea of limiting the right of free speech, which I’m afraid is really happening here.
Anger mounts after Facebook’s ‘shadow profiles’ leak in bug
Summary: Facebook said Friday it fixed a bug that exposed contact info for over six million accounts. The admission revealed its ‘shadow profile’ data collection activities, and users are furious.
By Violet Blue for Zero Day | June 23, 2013 — 01:54 GMT (18:54 PDT)
Friday Facebook announced the fix of a bug it said inadvertently exposed the private information of over six million users when Facebook’s previously unknown shadow profiles accidentally merged with user accounts in data history record requests.
According to Reuters, the data leak spanned a year beginning in 2012.
The personal information leaked by the bug is information that had not been given to Facebook by the users – it is data Facebook has been compiling on its users behind closed doors, without their consent.
A growing number of Facebook users are furious and demand to know who saw private information they had expressly notgiven to Facebook.
Facebook was accidentally combining user’s shadow profiles with their Facebook profiles and spitting the merged information out in one big clump to people they ‘had some connection to’ who downloaded an archive of their account with Facebook’s Download Your Information (DYI) tool.
According to the admissions in its blog, posted late Friday afternoon, Facebook appears to be obtaining users’ offsite email address and phone numbers and attempting to match them to other accounts. It appears that the invisible collected information is then being stored in each user’s ‘shadow profile’ that is somehow attached to accounts.
Users were clearly unaware that offsite data about them was being collected, matched to them, and stored by Facebook.
Looking at comments on Facebook’s blog and community websites such as Hacker News, Facebook users are extremely angry that the phone numbers and email addresses that are not-for-sharing have been gathered and saved (and now accidentally shared) by Facebook.
Facebook stated in its post yesterday that the bug was resolved, but Facebook users are telling a different story today in the comments.
One man commented this afternoon, “I just downloaded the “extended backup” and I’m still viewing emails and phone numbers that are NOT PUBLIC!!!!”
Facebook explained in its post that the bug shared information about a user that had been scraped from a source other than the personal data the user had ever entered into Facebook about themselves.
The action of the bug is that if a user downloaded their own Facebook history, that user would also download email addresses and phone numbers of their friends that other people had in their address books, without their friends ever knowing Facebook had gathered and stored that information.
This data is being gathered by Facebook about individuals through their friends’ information about them – harvested when a user grants Facebook address book or contact list access.
Facebook did not specify which app or contact database tool was utilized when collecting and matching offsite-sourced data about users.
The social network said that it was harvesting and matching the offsite-sourced data to user profiles – creating these shadow profiles – “to better create friend suggestions” for the user.
Facebook users are deftly reading between the lines. One commenter on Hacker News observed wisely,
The blog says the fix was made in the DYI tool. That means they would continue to maintain “shadow profiles”, but would stop letting others know that FB has a shadow profile on you.
Facebook’s post downplays the significance of the data breach by telling users that while six million accounts were exposed, very few people saw the personal phone and email data because it could only be seen when a user downloaded their Facebook history.
The social giant assured users their shadow profiles were shared only with Facebook users they were somehow connected to,
if a person went to download an archive of their Facebook account through our Download Your Information (DYI) tool, they may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection.
Facebook did not specify in its post what is meant by “somehow connected to” and comment speculation is attempting to fill in the gaps.
According to Reuters, who spoke with a Facebook representative, the data was being exposed in this manner for about a year.
What the revelation means is that Facebook has much more information on us than we know, it may not be accurate, and despite everyone’s best efforts to keep Facebook from knowing our phone numbers or work email address, the social network is getting our not-for-sharing numbers and email addresses anyway by stealing them (albeit through ‘legitimate’ means) from our friends.
The yearlong gap of exposure as described by Reuters creates a scenario of horrifying possibilities for any woman who has begin to experience harassment, abuse or stalking by an ex within the past year. Or, anyone being maliciously stalked and harassed by a tech-savvy aggressor (or a stalker’s Facebook sock puppet) they may have accidentally friended over the past year.
This could be remedied and harm would be greatly reduced if Facebook addressed and answered the growing demands of its users to know who has seen their non-Facebook private data.
What it means for me is that even though I’ve been very careful not to give my phone number to Facebook or the men in my “friends,” the guys I’ve ‘friended’ might have gotten my phone number anyway, regardless of my consent. I did not know they may have been able to get my phone number throughout the course of a year, and now I have no way of finding out who might have gotten my phone number.
I am glad I’ve never used a Facebook app or allowed Facebook access to my contacts in any way whatsoever. (Yay paranoia.) The private numbers and emails of my friends and colleagues should remain exactly that: private.
Facebook has officially stated that it does not know of any malicious use derived from the bug.
This appears to be the first time Facebook has publicly admitted that users’ shadow profiles contain more than native data (such as posts or information you deleted but are retained by Facebook) and also contain data that Facebook has harvested.
Meanwhile, anger continues to rise on the Facebook post, and as of this writing there are no representatives from Facebook in the comments to quell the storm.
Topics: Security, Data Management, Privacy
Supreme Court Saves Biggest Cases for Last
Facebook’s former Security Chief Now Works for NSA
Unpaid internships in jeopardy after court ruling – Richmond Times Dispatch: Richmond’s Latest Business & Economic News
Not sure how I feel about this. Most of us who have degrees have done an unpaid internship.
Unpaid internships in jeopardy after court ruling – Richmond Times Dispatch: Richmond’s Latest Business & Economic News.
Virginia Beach shooting leaves one dead, three wounded – Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia News
Bad thing is, even if you took the guns away, things like this would still happen. They’d just use knives, swords and sticks. Until we address the issues we have as people then no amount of legislation will make any difference.
Virginia Beach shooting leaves one dead, three wounded – Richmond Times Dispatch: Virginia News.