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  1. People across the world are expecting major cyber-attacks against their own country. A Pew Research survey of more than 27,000 respondents across 26 countries shows that the majority of people expect that sensitive national security information will be accessed (74%), the public infrastructure will be damaged (69%), and elections will be targeted (61%). In all these areas, American concerns are higher than average. Eighty-three percent are worried about attacks on the infrastructure, 82% fear that national security information will be accessed, and 78% expect election tampering. The breakdown within each area follows political party associations. For example, Democrats (87%) in the U.S. are more concerned about election tampering than Republicans (66%). While the expectation of future cyber-attacks is higher than average in the Americas, so too is confidence that their country is well-prepared to withstand them. The global median for not well-prepared is 49% against 43% who believe their country is well-prepared. The U.S. and Canada both score 43% in not well-prepared, but 53% and 52% respectively believe their country is well-prepared. The two most confident nations are Israel (73% believe they are well-prepared) and Russia (67%). Europe veers towards pessimism, with France the only nation where more people believe they are well-prepared. The UK is ambivalent: with 43% for and 43% against. In all the rest of the European nations, more people are pessimistic than optimistic about their country's preparedness -- peaking in Sweden (a relatively rich country) where 61% are pessimistic compared to 36% who are optimistic. The largest gap between pessimists and optimists is in Greece (a relatively poor country) at 34 percentage points. In general, the Americas are both the most concerned about future major cyber-attacks while also being confident about their countries' preparedness. Europe tends to be somewhat pessimistic, while (apart from Japan), APAC is fairly confident. Africa is more confident than pessimistic, but Latin America is the least confident of all. Only 9% of respondents in Argentina believe their country is well-prepared for a major cyber-attack, while 81% believe they are not. While these figures are interesting and it is tempting to draw parallels with the history of cyber-attacks in each region, this is probably futile. South Korea, for example, is adjacent to one of the countries most-blamed for cyber-attacks against other nations (North Korea), and has indeed suffered numerous attacks alleged to be conducted by the North Korean Lazarus group. Despite this, 50% of South Koreans consider their country to be well-prepared against a major cyber-attack, while only 47% consider it not well-prepared. Possibly a bigger differentiator is each respondent's political affiliation within their own country. For example, in the U.S., Republicans are generally more optimistic than Democrats (61% of Republicans against 47% of Democrats). In Russia, three-quarters of the pro-Putin United Russia party are optimistic, while only 61% of those who do not support that party are optimistic. It is not clear from this survey whether relative cyber optimism or pessimism bears any relation to actual cyber preparedness, or is more a statement of confidence in the prevailing government party. Source
  2. tao

    Estonia

    Cannot the tongue of this land, In the wind of incantation, Rising up to the heavens, Seek eternity? ~ Kristjan Jaak Peterson Daily life and social customs Barn dwellings are now historical curiosities, but other elements of Estonian folk culture remain alive. Although the traditional costumes that were once everyday wear began to disappear in the last half of the 19th century as a result of increasing urbanization, they are still worn for festive occasions, and song and dance remain central to Estonian identity. Traditional cuisine in Estonia includes leavened rye bread, stews, berry jams, pickled gherkins, pearl barley, potato porridge, brawn (headcheese), and salt herring, among other dishes. Holiday meals may include roast goose or pork, ale, black pudding, apples, nuts, and gingerbread. Among the main holidays are New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Labour (or Spring) Day (May 1), and Christmas (December 25), as well as the summer holidays of Victory Day (June 23; Võidupüha) and St. John’s (or Midsummer) Day (June 24; Jaanipäev). Celebrated February 24, Independence Day honours the 1918 declaration of independence from Soviet Russia, while the 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union is observed on August 20 and known as Restoration Day. Other national holidays commemorate the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920 (February 2) and the Soviet deportation of some 10,000 Estonians on a single night in 1941 (June 14). Dancers performing at a song-and-dance festival in Tallinn, Estonia.MaSii The arts The scope and importance of Estonian literature have steadily increased since the period of national awakening in the 19th century. Open to cultural and literary influences of western Europe, Estonian literature developed a diversity of styles, ranging from Neoclassicism to bold experimentation. In the 20th century, Estonian writers represented three different epochs: Anton Hansen Tammsaare was the leading novelist of the former Republic of Estonia (1920–40); Jaan Kross wrote in an allegorical style during the period of Soviet occupation; and Tõnu Õnnepalu, whose work fits comfortably in the broader European context, became internationally recognized in the 1990s. Both Estonian classics and the works of contemporary authors have been translated into many languages. The beginning of professional theatrical art in Estonia is closely connected with the creation of the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu in 1870. Tallinn has several theatres, including the national opera theatre, a youth theatre, and a puppet theatre. The festival Baltoscandal, which presents alternative theatre, started in Parnu in 1990. Estonian visual art came of age in the middle of the 19th century, when Johann Köler was among the leading portrait painters. The graphic art of Eduard Wiiralt symbolized bohemian art in the country in the 1920s and ’30s. The international reputation of Estonian art has grown beyond these origins with the work of sculptor Juri Ojaver, ceramicists Leo Rohlin and Kaido Kask, digital media artist Mare Tralla, and graphic artist Urmo Raus. An early expression of Estonian nationalism dating from the mid-19th century, song and dance festivals continue to be extremely popular. The first national song festival was held in Tartu in 1869, and today the Song and Dance Celebration remains a linchpin of national identity. Classical composers and conductors of note include Rudolf Tobias (Jonah’s Mission, 1908), Arvo Pärt (Fratres, 1977), and Neeme Järvi. If interested, please read the entire article < here >.
  3. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the internet was abuzz with discussion when reports surfaced that Floyd Mayweather wore a hijab to a Donald Trump rally, daring people to fight him. The concocted story started on a sports comedy website, but it quickly spread on social media—and people took it seriously. From Russian “bots” to charges of fake news, headlines are awash in stories about dubious information going viral. You might think that bots—automated systems that can share information online—are to blame. But a new study shows that people are the prime culprits when it comes to the propagation of misinformation through social networks. And they’re good at it, too: Tweets containing falsehoods reach 1500 people on Twitter six times faster than truthful tweets, the research reveals. Bots are so new that we don’t have a clear sense of what they’re doing and how big of an impact they’re making, says Shawn Dorius, a social scientist at Iowa State University in Ames who wasn’t involved in the research. We generally think that bots distort the types of information that reaches the public, but—in this study at least—they don’t seem to be skewing the headlines toward false news, he notes. They propagated true and false news roughly equally. The main impetus for the new research was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The lead author—Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge—says after the attack a lot of the stuff he was reading on social media was false. There were rumors that a student from Brown University, who had gone missing, was suspected by the police. But later, people found out that he had nothing to do with the attack and had committed suicide (for reasons unrelated to the bombing). That’s when Vosoughi realized that “these rumors aren’t just fun things on Twitter, they really can have effects on people’s lives and hurt them really badly.” A Ph.D. student at the time, he switched his research to focus on the problem of detecting and characterizing the spread of misinformation on social media. He and his colleagues collected 12 years of data from Twitter, starting from the social media platform’s inception in 2006. Then they pulled out tweets related to news that had been investigated by six independent fact-checking organizations—websites like PolitiFact, Snopes, and FactCheck.org. They ended up with a data set of 126,000 news items that were shared 4.5 million times by 3 million people, which they then used to compare the spread of news that had been verified as true with the spread of stories shown to be false. They found that whereas the truth rarely reached more than 1000 Twitter users, the most pernicious false news stories—like the Mayweather tale—routinely reached well over 10,000 people. False news propagated faster and wider for all forms of news—but the problem was particularly evident for political news, the team reports today in Science. At first the researchers thought that bots might be responsible, so they used sophisticated bot-detection technology to remove social media shares generated by bots. But the results didn’t change: False news still spread at roughly the same rate and to the same number of people. By default, that meant that human beings were responsible for the virality of false news. That got the scientists thinking about the people involved. It occurred to them that Twitter users who spread false news might have more followers. But that turned out to be a dead end: Those people had fewer followers, not more. Finally the team decided to look more closely at the tweets themselves. As it turned out, tweets containing false information were more novel—they contained new information that a Twitter user hadn’t seen before—than those containing true information. And they elicited different emotional reactions, with people expressing greater surprise and disgust. That novelty and emotional charge seem to be what’s generating more retweets. “If something sounds crazy stupid you wouldn’t think it would get that much traction,” says Alex Kasprak, a fact-checking journalist at Snopes in Pasadena, California. “But those are the ones that go massively viral.” The research gives you a sense of how much of a problem fake news is, both because of its scale and because of our own tendencies to share misinformation, says David Lazer, a computational social scientist at Northeastern University in Boston who co-wrote a policy perspective on the science of fake news that was also published today in Science. He thinks that, in the short term, the “Facebooks, Googles, and Twitters of the world” need to do more to implement safeguards to reduce the magnitude of the problem. But in the long term we also need more science, he says—because if we don’t understand where fake news comes from and how it spreads, then how can we possibly combat it? Source
  4. Batu69

    People are awesome

    Talented, interesting, amazing, unique,crazy, extraordinary humans around the world. Happy watching
  5. Users complain it's harder to tell where they’ve been. Google is considering a big visual shake-up for its search results that renders links in black instead of blue. Google has been testing black search result links internationally since Friday or Saturday, according to TheSEMPost. Previously visited links appear in a lighter shade of gray, rather than the current purple. It’s unclear whether Google will roll out black links to all users, but keep in mind the search giant routinely tests visual tweaks among a small percentage of its users. In a famous example, Google once experimented with 41 shades of blue to determine which one provoked the most clicks. But unlike that subtler test, black links are easy to notice, and many test subjects aren’t happy with the change. A handful of Google help forums are now filled with grievances, and as the Telegraph reports, some users have taken to Twitter to express their frustration. (One complaint: It’s too hard to tell the difference between clicked and unclicked links.) If Google doesn’t decide to make black links permanent, test subjects should have their links restored to blue and purple before long. In the meantime, some users report that logging out and back into their Google accounts, or resetting Chrome settings, may restore the old look. Why this matters: Worldwide, Google serves more than 1 trillion search results per year, so even something as simple as a color change can provoke a loud response. The switch from blue to black links would be striking, but Google will likely back off if it doesn’t produce an uptick in clicks. The Source
  6. When people take the psychedelic drug LSD, they may feel as if the boundary that separates them from the rest of the world has dissolved, as if they are connected with everything. Now, a new study has revealed a neural mechanism behind this phenomenon, called "ego dissolution." The study's results suggest that further research on LSD and other psychedelic drugs, which is currently banned in the U.S. and elsewhere, could provide important insight into how the human brain works, the researchers said. They noted that the research should be done in carefully controlled settings. Ego dissolution is not a universally positive or negative experience, said Enzo Tagliazucchi, a co-author of the new study and a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. "For some people, the experience of ego dissolution can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety, panic and what is usually called a 'bad trip,'" he told Live Science. However, ego dissolution is also at the core of the treatment of death-related anxiety in terminal-stage cancer patients, which involves the use of psilocybin, another psychedelic that has some similarities with LSD, Tagliazucchi said. For such patients, ego dissolution "can be a positive and transformative experience, leading to peace, acceptance, a new perspective on things," he said. The new findings also suggest that taking LSD may result in an enhanced sharing of information among different brain regions that, in turn, reinforces a stronger link between a person's sense of self and his or her sense of the rest of the world, Tagliazucchi said in a statement. In the study, the researchers scanned the brains of 15 healthy people twice —after the people took LSD, and after they took a placebo. The researchers found that, when the people were high on LSD, different regions of their brains were more connected to each other, compared with when the people were given placebo. And the more connected these brain regions were in these people, the higher their sense of ego dissolution was, the researchers found. The results suggest that people on LSD can experience ego dissolution because these brain regions become heavily interconnected, the researchers said. However, ego dissolution does not automatically occur every time someone takes LSD, Tagliazucchi said. Whether LSD users experience it may depend, for example, on the dose of the drug they take. But when this phenomenon does occur, it does not last longer than the other effects of LSD, which typically last about 10 hours, he said. Tagliazucchi said that in his future research, he is planning to investigate, using neuroimaging and other methods, how other psychedelic drugs modify consciousness. Scientists are also currently investigating whether other psychedelic drugs could potentially be used in the treatment of disorders such as depression and anxiety, the researchers said. The new study was published today (April 13) in the journal Current Biology. source
  7. One thing you learn from hanging around cybersecurity professionals, even briefly: Tech and law enforcement work together more closely than most people realize. "I talk to the FBI all the time, actually," said Nico Sell, founder and chairman of encrypted messaging service Wickr. "Not always formally — they will be here at my party this week," she said. It's an interesting admission for someone who says Apple CEO Tim Cook is a "national hero" for standing up to the FBI in the San Bernardino iPhone case. But in the cybersecurity world, this mix of sentiments is not uncommon. Participants at the RSA Conference in San Francisco — the largest annual gathering of security experts — were quick to point out the degree to which the industry does work closely with government, both in a general advisory role and in specific cases. "A lot of people from the outside just look at it and say 'why doesn't Apple help the FBI, this is ridiculous,'" said Sell. "Generally they do, but [the FBI's demand] is going too far and really threatens our democracy." "We certainly support the position of law enforcement and we do comply with legal issues when we need to," said Intel security SVP and GM Chris Young. "But the reality is, we do need to make sure that encryption and strong security are paramount for customers and that's what we are committed to." It's also something that Apple's attorney Bruce Sewell will emphasize in his opening statement before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. "We have a team of dedicated professionals that are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to assist law enforcement," he said in prepared remarks. Executives in the security business generally voiced support for Apple's fight against a federal court order that it must develop software to help the FBI hack into San Bernardino killer Syed Farook's iPhone. "We think the real issue in all of this is it's not appropriate for the government to ask any tech company to weaken security in its products," said Young. "We are not a fan of backdoors," said Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security. "We have been very vigilant across our portfolio and we're watching that case carefully." Palo Alto Networks CEO and president Mark McLaughlin said both sides have valid arguments — on the one hand, impassioned government and law enforcement officials are doing what they believe is the right thing on national security, on the other hand people are legitimately concerned about privacy. McLaughlin, who was appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee in 2011, and as chairman in 2014 by President Barack Obama, expects both sides to be willing to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. "Things that are important as a matter of principal are worth fighting for, and both sides in this equation are very principled in what their arguments are," he said. The Source
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