New developments in research etc.

Conservative Politics Leads The Global Change Game

In 2003 Robert Altemeyer, the father of contemporary Right-wing authoritarianism research, reported on a series of global leadership simulations. Publishing in the Journal “Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy” Altemeyer named his paper, “What Happens When Authoritarians Inherit the Earth? A Simulation”.

Using a paradigm known as the Global Change Game, Altemeyer created two mock worlds, one in which leaders and followers were high on Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and one in which they were low. Right-wing authoritarianism correlates with political conservatism and involves punitive submission to authority and the status quo.

FUN FACT: In June 1999, Bhutan became the last nation on earth to introduce TV—an unprecedented crime wave followed

Bhutan is a country with no traffic lights and no fast-food chains. It has more monks than soldiers. It may be the only country in the world to measure Gross National Happiness.

Tucked between India and China, the Buddhist kingdom is the size of Switzerland and has less than a million people. For centuries it has remained isolated in the Himalayan mountains. But now it has opened itself to what critics call "an electronic invasion" -- cable TV.

Microsoft backports privacy-invading Windows 10 features to Windows 7, 8

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of an operating system, there’s always a few users bitterly unhappy at the company’s decision not to support new features on older products. Microsoft has finally listened to these die-hard devotees of older operating systems. If you felt like Windows 7 and Windows 8 offered you a little too much privacy, rejoice: Microsoft is updating those operating systems with the same telemetry gathering software it deployed on Windows 10.

Neurohacking and the mind as the 6th domain of human warfare

It’s been fashionable in military circles to talk about cyberspace as a “fifth domain” for warfare, along with land, space, air and sea. But there’s a sixth and arguably more important warfighting domain emerging: the human brain.

This new battlespace is not just about influencing hearts and minds with people seeking information. It’s about involuntarily penetrating, shaping, and coercing the mind in the ultimate realization of Clausewitz’s definition of war: compelling an adversary to submit to one’s will. And the most powerful tool in this war is brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies, which connect the human brain to devices.

Microsoft Starts Collecting User Data from Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs

Microsoft has been accused of spying on its users with some of the features that it implemented in Windows 10, and the company not only refrains from commenting too much on these claims but it has also released some updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 computers, which appear to enhance data collection on older OS versions.

A number of updates that Redmond has recently released “introduce the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service” in Windows 7 and 8.1 and “add telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels,” as the company says in the official KB pages.

Concerns new Tor weakness is being exploited prompt dark market shutdown

A dark market website that relies on the Tor privacy network to keep its operators anonymous is temporarily shutting down amid concerns attackers are exploiting a newly reported weakness that can identify server locations.

As Ars reported last month, the technique requires the adversary to control the Tor entry point for the server hosting the hidden service. It also requires the attacker to have previously collected unique network characteristics that can serve as a fingerprint for that particular service. Still, once that bar is met, the attack has an 88-percent accuracy rate. Hidden services are sites that are accessible only from within the Tor, which conceals IP addresses of servers and users.

The Basic Principles of Security (and Why They Matter)

When people make general statements about Linux being more secure than Windows, know it or not, they are generally referring to architectural security. As a descendant of Unix, unlike Windows, Linux was designed from its earliest days as a multi-user system, which historically has meant that it is better adapted than Windows to modern computing.

That doesn’t mean, however, that all Linux installations are more secure than all Windows ones. As the shipping condition of many phones and tablets shows, it is all too easy for a Linux or Android system to be configured so that it is essentially wide open. Instead, what it means is that Linux has been easier to secure than Windows because, when you harden the system, you are working with it rather than against it, and with core parts of the system rather than add-ons.

Low Skilled Humans Need Not Apply: Exponential Job Disruption

I wish to emphasise before I begin that robots taking jobs is not the problem, the issue is the current government policies that are not ready to handle this disruption. I am not against automation, far from it, I want as much automation as possible but it would be naive to not consider any potential side effects with the way policies currently are and how slow government and culture can change regarding attitudes towards the most vulnerable in our society. The way the unemployed are treated and the government's acceptance of spiralling education costs, low social mobility and rising wealth/income inequality are difficult. but optimistically. not insurmountable obstacles.

Jeb Bush wants “a new arrangement with Silicon Valley” to ease crypto

Jeb Bush, one of the leading Republican presidential candidates, told a national security forum that Washington, DC needs a stronger link to Silicon Valley.

"There's a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job," Bush said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. "I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way."

Algorithms are producing profiles of you. What do they say? You probably don’t have the right to know

The infancy of the internet is over. As online spaces mature, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and other powerful corporations are setting the rules that govern competition among journalists, writers, coders, and e-commerce firms. Uber and Postmates and other platforms are adding a code layer to occupations like driving and service work. Cyberspace is no longer an escape from the ‘real world’. It is now a force governing it via algorithms: recipe-like sets of instructions to solve problems.

From Google search to OkCupid matchmaking, software orders and weights hundreds of variables into clean, simple interfaces, taking us from query to solution. Complex mathematics govern such answers, but it is hidden from plain view, thanks either to secrecy imposed by law, or to complexity outsiders cannot unravel.

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