MI5 warning: we’re gathering more than we can analyse, and will miss terrorist attacks

‘In 2010, the UK spy agency MI5 drafted memos informing top UK officials that its dragnet surveillance programme was gathering more information than it could make sense of, and warning that its indiscriminate approach to surveillance could put Britons at risk when signals about dangerous terror attacks were swamped by the noise of meaningless blips from the general population….’

Source: Boing Boing

Some Fish Can Recognize Human Faces

‘A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests the tropical archerfish (Toxotes chatareus) can recognize faces with surprising accuracy. It was previously thought that only humans and some primates had this cognitive ability, but recent studies are beginning to suggest other creatures share this trait, like birds and bees.

“Being able to distinguish between a large number of human faces is a surprisingly difficult task, mainly due to the fact that all human faces share the same basic features,” Dr. Cait Newport, Marie Curie Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and first author of the study, explained in a statement. “All faces have two eyes above a nose and mouth, therefore to tell people apart we must be able to identify subtle differences in their features. If you consider the similarities in appearance between some family members, this task can be very difficult indeed.

”Even humans have trouble picking out other humans in a lineup, and we actually have a region in our brains that deals with facial recognition, known as the fusiform face area. The brain of the archerfish lacks this region, yet, it can recognize a familiar face 80 percent of the time…’

Source: Big Think

This is a fascinating finding from a cognitive neuroscience viewpoint. Yet does that explain why it is all the rage throughout the net??

Researchers Teach Robots to Feel Pain

‘A group of German researchers are developing a way for robots to process pain. This “artificial robot nervous system” is designed to allow the robots to “feel” and avoid further unwanted stimulus.

…This system would help robots protect themselves from harm, giving robots a “pain reflex” would allow them to react to physical disturbances… We like robots because they can do jobs which would be otherwise fatal to humans, like going into highly radioactive environments. So, why would we want them to feel pain? A pain system could have applications for human-robot teams, which would allow robots to predict and prevent human harm.

Researchers from Stanford and University of Rome-La Sapienza built a robot that avoids collisions with humans. A pain-sensory system builds upon this idea, allowing robots to also prioritize their own survival, so long as it also accounts for the preservation of human life first.When designers implement these self-preservation systems into everyday robots, Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics will be important to remember:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws…”

Source: Big Think

Inside the bitter last days of Bernie’s revolution

‘There’s no strategist pulling the strings, and no collection of burn-it-all-down aides egging him on. At the heart of the rage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the campaign aides closest to him say, is Bernie Sanders.It was the Vermont senator who personally rewrote his campaign manager’s shorter statement after the chaos at the Nevada state party convention and blamed the political establishment for inciting the violence.

He was the one who made the choice to go after Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz after his wife read him a transcript of her blasting him on television. He chose the knife fight over calling Clinton unqualified, which aides blame for pulling the bottom out of any hopes they had of winning in New York and their last real chance of turning a losing primary run around. And when Jimmy Kimmel’s producers asked Sanders’ campaign for a question to ask Donald Trump, Sanders himself wrote the one challenging the Republican nominee to a debate.

There are many divisions within the Sanders campaign—between the dead-enders and the work-it-out crowds, between the younger aides who think he got off message while the consultants got rich and obsessed with Beltway-style superdelegate math, and between the more experienced staffers who think the kids got way too high on their sense of the difference between a movement and an actual campaign.

But more than any of them, Sanders is himself filled with resentment, on edge, feeling like he gets no respect — all while holding on in his head to the enticing but remote chance that Clinton may be indicted before the convention…’


Cross Japanese Culture With ASMR and This Is What You Get

‘A Japanese woman peers at you through a YouTube clip, whispering words in Japanese and English that are barely audible. In some videos she taps different materials gently; in others, she makes sounds with traditional Japanese instruments. Welcome to the quirky world of Japanese Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)—the phenomenon of inducing pleasurable chills and shivers in responsive listeners via sounds. Since 2014, YouTuber Yukino Yumijuku, who was recently featured in a Japan Times article on the rise of ASMR in Japan, has created 78 YouTube videos associated with the phenomenon for her channel “Japanese ASMR.” …’

Source: Motherboard