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Daniel Suarez
Works at Novelist
Attended University of Delaware
Lives in Los Angeles
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Daniel Suarez

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Zapping hidden cameras

The legal environment in the U.S. can be mystifying at times. Price-gouging patients for life-saving medications? Totally legal. Running a script to automatically disconnect hidden wireless cameras spying on you in an Airbnb? Probably illegal (because BABY MONITORS apparently).

There have been several cases where Airbnb hosts have been found spying on their guests, and while it might seem completely obvious to you and me that this would be illegal...our sharing economy has muddied the legal waters. Whether or not a host is breaking the law by spying on you with hidden cameras, is unclear.

Whereas, in both the U.S. and Canada, hotel rooms afford a legally protected expectation of privacy, Airbnb rooms exist in a gray area between hotel room and private residence. We may not know if secretly filming guests is illegal until a case is actually tried. Hopefully, that case happens soon.

In the meantime, if a script like the one below happens to get run by someone, somehow after they get to their rental...well...I for one would be shocked -- SHOCKED, I say.

(N.B. - If you're using wireless cameras for security, you should know that illegal jammers are cheap and widely available to burglars. Hard wire those security cams instead!)
Visiting someone's home shouldn't mean tacitly consenting to having your every move recorded.
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hello miss
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Stellarator fusion reactor ready for tests.

In the next day or so, German researchers will for the first time switch on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator fusion reactor -- the largest ever built. Housed in the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Greifswald, the €1 billion machine looks like a prop escaped from the film 'Event Horizon.' However, its unusual shape serves a specific purpose, as seen in the video below.

More info available here: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6259/369.full
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Love. You. So.much
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Here's a fascinating new video (12 min) by +CGP Grey that explores why the Americas had no deadly plagues to give European settlers in return.
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This is an incredibly touching moment in a street interview for French television.
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Great, i am looking forward to it :)
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New Life for Undead Games

Most games today 'check in' to an online DRM server before launching -- even single player games. This can be irritating when your Internet connection goes down, but it becomes a show stopper when a game publisher shuts down the DRM server for an older game -- essentially taking that game out of your library. You paid for it, but they insist you're done playing that game.

But that's about to change:

"Earlier this year, a Harvard Law School student launched a petition to the US Copyright Office to allow for abandoned online games to become exempt to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This would mean that games abandoned by publishers with dead DRM servers could legally be cracked and played again. The EFF was trying to make it legal for owners of non-MMO titles to circumvent DRM in order to keep playing the games they own and this week, they succeeded.

Now thanks to the US Copyright Office’s ruling this week, games that have a single-player component that requires online authentication to access can be modified or copied if the publisher has formally shut down the servers for longer than six months."
Earlier this year, a Harvard Law School student launched a petition to the US Copyright Office to allow for abandoned online games to become exempt to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This wou…
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I'd like to see my old (licensed) copy of Adobe Photoshop get revived, too. I don't need the latest version of PS for what I use it for, but I can't install it on a newer machine because the Adobe authorization server is dead and gone. That means I'd have to buy a monthly subscription to the latest version -- which I would use only rarely. After a couple years, it's more than I would have spent just buying the old version. Sigh...
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Did the Kepler Space Telescope Discover an Alien Mega-structure?

For decades sci-fi has theorized about advanced civilizations capturing much or all of their sun's energy via gargantuan, orbiting structures. Well, the Kepler Space Telescope recently discovered a star that might nudge this idea a bit closer to reality (albeit one 1,500 light years away).

The star in question is KIC 8462852 -- 1.5 times the size of our sun and 1,480 light years from Earth. In a paper submitted to the journal 'Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society', astronomers, including citizen scientists from the Planet Hunters crowd-sourcing program, report that this star's transit signal is unique.

Their research paper focuses only on natural and known possible causes of the mystery transit events around KIC 8462852. However, a second paper is currently being drafted to investigate a completely different transit scenario -- one that focuses on the possibility of a mega-engineering project created by an advanced alien civilization.

Here's another article in Discovery that has a bit more information:

http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/has-kepler-discovered-an-alien-megastructure-151014.htm
Astronomers have spotted a strange mess of objects whirling around a distant star. Scientists who search for extraterrestrial civilizations are scrambling to get a closer look.
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Sean Lally's profile photoJohn Scott's profile photoPaul Saffo's profile photoDaniel Suarez's profile photo
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Pointedly the researchers are already hard at work with Occam's Razor. In the meantime anything that fires the imagination of young people and gets them interested in science is good. The process of unraveling this mystery will be quite interesting.
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No-drone zones

I was pleased to see this idea taking shape. In an age where militant groups could use consumer drones in myriad nefarious ways, we should resist the temptation to create armed flying robots to shoot down interlopers in restricted areas. Far better to snare them instead. Carrying off trespassers and dropping them into a bomb-proof container for follow up by humans would be a civilized way of dealing with potentially uncivilized problem.

Video demo : http://i.imgur.com/aAh4jwq.gifv
Squad will patrol no-fly-zones and order unlawful operators to land their drones.
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Remembers me to a giant spider catching a fly. Everyting's copied from nature....
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A different type of cloud...

Swarming intelligence will have broad application in robotics -- one hopes mostly in peaceful applications like construction or agriculture. One of the obstacles to having clouds of drones handle a task has been replicating the pheromone-based communication ants and other eusocial insects use to organize activity. Researchers at the University of Lincoln may have found an answer.

Readers of my book, 'Kill Decision', might recall how weaver ant colonies lay down a pheromone matrix as a collective, real-time record of what the colony 'knows' at any given point in time. The artificial pheromones in this new research are an attempt to construct the same system using simple visual cues.

#KillDecision   #PheromoneBasedSwarmRobotics    #NoLongerFiction  
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+John Scott I'd go with massively redundant simplicity -- but that's just me (and the ants).
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There should be an entire channel dedicated to 'Google Maps Theater.' :-)
Google map car is coming....
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Software Defined Radio

GNU Radio is a free dev toolkit to get you started in software defined radio (or SDR). With SDR you can process radio signals using software instead of electronics -- giving you more flexibility than a hardware based radio, but also revealing first-hand how signal processing works.  #SDR  
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If it ain't matter or exotic plasma it's radio. 
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'The Water Knife' by Paolo Bacigalupi

Several people recommended +Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife  to me,  and I'm glad they did. Bacigalupi is probably best known for 2009's The Windup Girl, and I was interested to see where he'd go with a sci-fi story chronicling the endgame for 21st century water politics here in the U.S.

Those who've read the non-fiction book Cadillac Desert (1986) by Marc Reisner might not be too shocked by the world Bacigalupi depicts. In fact, Cadillac Desert  is held up as a prophetic tome by several of the characters in The Water Knife (TWK) -- and understandably so.

The Water Knife  is at once entertaining, imaginative, and thought-provoking. It's clear Bacigalupi has done his research (and the acknowledgments reflect this). He paints a believable world where climate change and overuse of aquifers have combined to render much of the southern and western U.S. uninhabitable without the aid of advanced technologies (e.g. 'arcologies' -- sealed biomes that use natural symbiotic processes to recirculate water with great efficiency). However, technology costs money, and not everyone has money. In fact, once the bottom drops out on southern and western cities, there are a whole lot of people whose real estate becomes worthless and whose jobs dry up as well. The mass migration is on, and states begin to defend their borders against refugees. Regional civil order breaks down.

Could civil order really fray so rapidly? Well, here in the real world there's been a catastrophic drought in Syria for the past several years that resulted in widespread crop failures. The fast-rising cost of food sparked riots -- riots which in turn brought a draconian crack-down from Assad's government, which in turn led to civil war along tribal and sectarian lines, which in turn caused chaos that attracted ISIS, which in turn resulted in a flood of refugees.

So the dominoes can quickly fall unless plans are laid for a crisis we know is coming. Here in the southwest climate change isn't theoretical. We're in the middle of the worst drought in 1,200 years. We're already planning and building to accommodate these changes -- conservation, re-use, resilience. But are we doing it fast enough? I pondered this while reading TWK. It's partly what made the book so relevant to me.

I also enjoyed Bacigalupi's world-building -- his late 21st century Phoenix, Arizona feels gritty and real, cluttered with lurid products and services aimed at a slow-motion regional apocalypse (murder-mags, collapse porn, and REI designer gas masks and more). It's a world familiar to us but also alien in its cruelty. His world has popular TV shows depicting good vs evil heroes, while the book's actual characters navigate a complicated moral landscape where even the best intentions can result in the death of innocent people. Marauding street gangs bedevil the outer parking lots of malls and abandoned, strip-mined housing subdivisions. Sand storms lash Phoenix and everyone's looking for a way out. A way North. Metered public water pumps and refugee camps. A callousness toward death. A feeling of disdain for outsiders who 'don't belong' in an area. A ruthlessness as older people defend their outmoded ways of life, and young people reject the previous generation's insistence that things return to the way they were -- something that's no longer in the cards for humanity. Instead, young people seek to do what's necessary to thrive under new circumstances -- charting their own course. Adapting.

Again, I live near a big city in a desert climate, and I found the reality in TWK compelling -- just a few bad policy decisions from being possible. We experience Bacigalupi's world through several well-developed characters who are continually forced to make difficult choices. Both the lingo, technology, and organizations in this potential future are convincing -- with various watersheds in the southwest competing for access to life itself. Each one has its 'water knives' -- assassins and enforcers who 'convince' riparian rights holders to part with their future.

It's also interesting that the outside world appears only obliquely in The Water Knife. Chinese engineers and executives appear with their money and advanced technology, but we have little idea what's going on around the globe. This is more a statement on the provincial mindset of the book's characters; they have no interest in the outside world because they are literally fighting for survival right where they are. They might want to escape to Shanghai or San Diego or 'up north', but the larger world is left to look after itself.

You can find links to all of Bacigalupi's work at his web site:

http://windupstories.com/books/water-knife/

#TheWaterKnife    #GreatRead    #SciFi  
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👫damelia 💑lo♥ufbe lting keche like the way to get the way of your email and the way to get the way of your email and the way to get the other use of your email address and the way you know if you have to see you know if the other hand it was thinking that the way of your email and the new Jersey city is 
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Basic privacy protections finally reach the Internet...at least in California

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was just signed into law here in California -- and with huge bipartisan support. This law will require state and local law enforcement to obtain a search warrant -- detailing what they're looking for -- to gain access to web mail, texts, geolocation history, and more for a California resident. I'm just surprised it took so long to consider the content we generate online and through mobile devices (though held by third parties) to be equivalent to our proverbial 'persons, houses, papers, and effects.'

Sure, the companies that hold our web mail and private chat sessions still have access to the data, but at least they can't be compelled to cough up information to the police on a whim -- there must now be a warrant...again, only for California residents. However, we all know where the most prominent tech companies are headquartered and hopefully this state law will have a salutary effect on legislation elsewhere. That's important because with our current drought everyone moving to California is not an option...

"State senators Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) wrote the legislation earlier this year to give digital data the same kinds of protection that non-digital communications have."
New law requires state law enforcement get warrant or other court order to obtain digital data held by companies, track GPS location or search mobile devices.
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They already collect all this information.

This law requires a warrant for it to be admissible in court. 
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Story
Introduction
NY Times bestselling author.  Writes high-tech / sci-fi thrillers:  Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx.
Education
  • University of Delaware
    English literature
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
December 21
Other names
Leinad Zeraus (my sometimes pen name)
Work
Employment
  • Novelist
    2008 - present
  • Verdugo Technologies, Inc.
    President, 1997 - 2015
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Los Angeles
Previously
Anchorage, Alaska - New York - Delaware - New Jersey
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