SpaceX plans to send two people around the Moon
Two private citizens approached the company, are ‘very serious’ about the trip
By Angela Chen

SpaceX has plans to send two private citizens around the Moon, CEO Elon Musk announced today.

It will be a private mission with two paying customers, not NASA astronauts, who approached the company. The passengers are “very serious” about the trip and have already paid a “significant deposit,” according to Musk. The trip around the Moon would take approximately one week: it would skim the surface of the Moon, go further out into deep space, and loop back to Earth — approximately 300,000 to 400,000 miles.

The plan is to do the trip in the second quarter of 2018 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to do its maiden launch this summer. Of course, Musk is well-known for his unrealistic deadlinesin 2011, he promised to put people in space in just three years.

The two people going on the trip, who weren’t named, already know each other. They will begin initial training for the trip later this year. Musk declined to comment on the exact cost of the trip, but said it was “comparable” or a little more than the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. For context, one ticket on the Russian Soyuz rocket costs NASA around $80 million.

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Computer bots are more like humans than you might think, having fights lasting years

Researchers say ‘benevolent bots’, otherwise known as software robots, that are designed to improve articles on Wikipedia sometimes have online 'fights’ over content that can continue for years. Editing bots on Wikipedia undo vandalism, enforce bans, check spelling, create links and import content automatically, whereas other bots (which are non-editing) can mine data, identify data or identify copyright infringements. The team analysed how much they disrupted Wikipedia, observing how they interacted on 13 different language editions over ten years (from 2001 to 2010). They found that bots interacted with one another, whether or not this was by design, and it led to unpredictable consequences. The research paper, published in PLOS ONE, concludes that bots are more like humans than you might expect. Bots appear to behave differently in culturally distinct online environments. The paper says the findings are a warning to those using artificial intelligence for building autonomous vehicles, cyber security systems or for managing social media. It suggests that scientists may have to devote more attention to bots’ diverse social life and their different cultures.

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Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor

Obama hacked West Virginia, Kentucky, Georga and now we find that he hacked the election system of  Indiana, Idaho too.  Rather they “shook the lock” to see how easy it would be to enter. Jimmy

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

The attacks are the second confirmed IT scanning assault by DHS officials against states that resisted then-President Barack Obama’s attempt to increase federal involvement in state and local election systems by designating them as “critical infrastructure” for national security.

Governmental deployment of IT technology could be an evolving new tool against political opponents or to impose censorship, according to James Scott, a senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a cybersecurity think tank.  

Canadian Government invests $7 million in electric vehicles
The Government of Canada is investing in clean and efficient transportation to improve the country's environmental footprint.
By KelownaNow

On Monday, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne that the Government of Canada will invest up to $7 million to develop advanced electric-vehicle charging stations across Canada.

The ministers made the announcement at the Shawinigan plant of AddEnergie, the Quebec-based electric-vehicle charging company that will receive the funding.

With the money, they will be installing 1,000 new charging stations across Canada by 2019 and will develop the next generation of fast-charging stations.

“Electric cars are becoming cheaper and more efficient and are part of the solution to fight climate change,” said McKenna. “By investing in charging stations, our government can make these cars an easier choice for Canadians.”

Almost a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions currently come from the transportation sector.


Sony QX Series

Smartphone cameras have been developing quickly, but Sony, being very active in the field, chose to push the boundaries creating QX Series attachable lens-style camera that easily transforms your phone into a real camera.

Meet the Chinatown matchmaker with prodigious memory powers

Forget Tinder. Yingchen Lee pairs off Chinese singles the old-fashioned way. And it works.

While most matchmaking agents today use back-end computer systems to record information, and one fourth of young people have online dating apps installed on their phones, Lee sticks to the traditional way, keeping handwritten forms and printed pictures of her clients in folders categorized by gender and age. Relying on her memory and intuition instead of data or analysis generated by computer programs, Lee has served more than 10,000 people, among which about 2,000 pairs have gotten married.

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I realised that I was spending all this time trying to think about how to engage women with technology, and I was ignoring the fact they already were. They were essentially already video editors, graphic designers, community managers.  They were teaching each other CSS to make their tumblr themes look more gorgeous, and they were using Chrome extensions in anger to make tumblr do what they wanted. These were basically front end developers, social media managers, they were absolutely immersed in technology, every day, and we weren’t paying attention, because they were doing it in service of something we don’t care about.

Sacha Judd, How The Tech Sector Could Move In One Direction. Presented at Beyond Tellerrand, Berlin, November 2016.

A really interesting look at fannish engagement with technology. Covers many topics, from the AO3 to fanworks and activism by Larry fans to Pinboard. We know many fans are good at technology, but it’s fascinating to read about it from the perspective of someone whose goals are a) to convince tech companies that (female) fans make great employees, and b) offer those companies concrete pointers on how to attract fans to their job postings.


Social Media Manipulation and Electioneering: How the US Billionaire behind Donald Trump’s election also helped engineer Brexit

Robert Mercer, who bankrolled Donald Trump, played key role in Brexit by using using military disinformation tactics via Breitbart News and analytic data from Facebook

Cambridge Analytica, an offshoot of a British company, SCL Group, which has 25 years’ experience in military disinformation campaigns and “election management”, claims to use cutting-edge technology to build intimate psychometric profiles of voters to find and target their emotional triggers. Trump’s team paid the firm more than $6m (£4.8m) to target swing voters in the US election.

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