OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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June 26, 2012

MediaSmarts and CIRA release cyber security tip sheet for online commerce
Press Release, Media Smarts, June 26, 2012.

Media Smarts is the new name for the Media Awateness Network (I iiked the old name better; the new name makes it sound like media hurts). CIRA is the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which to my mind really should stick to registering internet domain names and stop trying to be something it's not. Anyhow, between them they've developed the Online Commerce Cyber Security Consumer Tip Sheet. The advice is pretty basic and common-sense, and perhaps the most important is the warning to beware of in-app purchases. I have a few such apps - for example, the Major League Baseball app, through which I listen to Blue Jays games, and it's always trying to sell me things (especially video, which is absurd, because they have declared all of Canada to be in the Blue Jays blackout zone). But we didn't need CRIA to tell us this, and tghe Media Awareness Network can do better.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video, Domain Names, Canada, Security Issues]

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files/images/CATS-articleLarge.jpg, size: 46415 bytes, type:  image/jpeg
How Many Computers to Identify a Cat? 16,000
John Markoff, New Your Times, June 26, 2012.

I keep my links to the NY Times to a minimum because of the paywall, but this story is worth a look. In a nutshell: a neural network composed on some 16,000 computers feed YouTube videos not only learned how to recognize cats, it created the concept 'cat' from scratch. "'We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,’ ' said Dr. Dean, who originally helped Google design the software that lets it easily break programs into many tasks that can be computed simultaneously... of memory locations to successively cull out general features after being exposed to millions of images." See also this article from CNet.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: YouTube, Video, Google, Networks]

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E-books' popularity crimps demand for paper
Unattributed, CBC News, June 26, 2012.

Something that is being felt in New Brunswick is a reduced demand for paper. "Canada's paper products industry is in for several years of weakness, partly because consumers are increasingly abandoning paper-based books and switching to the virtual kind, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada." Though there is an economic impact, this is actually good news for the province as its Crown forests have been over-harvested. Wood will be valuable in the long term for much better uses than paper, but it needs a chance to grow (and forestry companies need to obey the law).

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Canada]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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