Archive for ‘Privacy’

September 17, 2012

Zeit Guy Links – 9/17/12

Studies Show Wind Power’s Massive Potential (Inside Science via 3 Quarks Daily

There is enough energy for people to reap from the wind to meet all of the world’s power demands without radically altering the planet’s climate, according to two independent teams of scientists.

Wind power is often touted as environmentally friendly, generating no pollutants. It is an increasingly popular source of renewable energy, with the United States aiming to produce 20 percent of its electricity by wind power by 2030. Still, there have been questions as to how much energy wind power can supply the world, and how green it actually is, given how it pulls energy from the atmosphere.

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This Is How Facebook Is Tracking Your Internet Activity (Business Insider)

Facebook really is watching your every move online.

In testing out a new diagnostic tool called Abine DNT+, we noticed that Facebook has more than 200 “trackers” watching our internet activity.

Abine defines trackers as “a request that a webpage tries to make your browser perform that will share information intended to record, profile, or share your online activity.” The trackers come in the shape of cookies, Javascript, 1-pixel beacons, and Iframes.

For example, cookies are tiny bits of software that web pages drop onto your device that identify you anonymously but nonetheless signal useful behavior about your background interests to advertisers who might want to target you. Facebook uses these types of cookies to activate the “like” buttons on other websites.

Critics call this spying. Advertisers call it targeting.

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‘Social voting’ really does rock the vote (KurzweilAI)

Brace yourself for a tidal wave of Facebook campaigning before November’s U.S. presidential election. A study of 61 million Facebook users finds that using online social networks to urge people to vote has a much stronger effect on their voting behavior than spamming them with information via television ads or phone calls, Science Now reports.

The study follows a Science paper that tracked how people influence each other’s online behavior through Facebook.

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Lit Motors will shake up the electric vehicle market with its two-wheeled, untippable C-1 (KurzweilAI)

Imagine a vehicle that’s smaller than a Smart Car, nearly a third of the price of a Nissan Leaf ($32,500), safer than a motorcycle with a range capacity that just lets you drive and won’t ever tip over.

What you get is Lit Motors‘ C-1, the world’s first gyroscopically stabilized, two-wheeled all-electric vehicle, which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today, writes Peter Ha on TechCrunch. Oh, and it will talk to your smartphone and the cloud.

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September 8, 2012

Zeit Guy Links – 9/8/12

BMW Never-Too-Old Assembly Insures Against Lost Engineers Bloomberg

In 2007, the luxury automaker set up an experimental assembly line with older employees to see whether they could keep pace. The production line in Dingolfing, 50 miles northeast of BMW’s Munich base, features hoists to spare aging backs, adjustable-height work benches, and wooden floors instead of rubber to help hips swivel during repetitive tasks.

The verdict: Not only could they keep up, the older workers did a better job than younger staffers on another line at the same factory. Today, many of the changes are being implemented at plants across the company.

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NASA Explains how We Caused the Hottest Decade and are generally screwing ourselves over (Video) Juan Cole

NASA’s 5-minute video explains why the last decade has been the hottest ever (we did it) and what climate change means for our hot, thirsty future. It is entitled “Piecing together the Puzzle” and is narrated in a slow, calm voice. But it should be entitled “Run for the Hills!” and should have been narrated by Jennifer Granholm. Here’s the relevant NASA website.

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Drone Use Takes Off on the Home Front  WSJ

With little public attention, dozens of universities and law-enforcement agencies have been given approval by federal aviation regulators to use unmanned aircraft known as drones, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests by an advocacy group.

The more than 50 institutions that received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft are more varied than many outsiders and privacy experts previously knew.