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Tuesday - July 28, 2015
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other senior White House officials on Monday met with a group of executives who pledged their companies' support for the administration's efforts to reach a strong climate change agreement in Paris this December. Thirteen major companies -- Alcoa, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Cargill, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, UPS and Walmart -- signed the American Business Act on Climate Change. [More...]

Tuesday - July 28, 2015
Leading artificial intelligence and robotics experts have issued an open letter arguing against the development of autonomous weapons. Its publication coincides with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, which ends Friday in Buenos Aires. Many arguments have been advanced both for and against autonomous weapons. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is "virtually inevitable" and autonomous weapons will "become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow," the letter says. [More...]

Tuesday - July 28, 2015
Zimperium on Monday revealed a stunning discovery by researcher Joshua Drake -- a flaw in Android's Stagefright media playback engine that could expose millions of mobile device users to attack without their having done anything. Stagefright, which processes several popular media formats, is implemented in native code -- C++ -- which is more prone to memory corruption than memory-safe languages such as Java, according to Zimperium. Stagefright has several remote code execution vulnerabilities that can be exploited using various methods. [More...]

Wednesday - July 29, 2015
Spreadsheets suffered a body blow on Tuesday, when Salesforce announced new platform functionality. Soon all spreadsheets will be good for is financial analysis. This sounds funny, because the spreadsheet for several decades has been the unofficial IT prototyping tool. Actually, it was the end-users' prototyping tool -- the default thing they used to capture data when IT was famously too busy maintaining tangled legacy systems. With Salesforce's new tools, it's now easier to build your prototype app than it is to build a spreadsheet. [More...]

 

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Do video cameras make the world safer?
Yes - People exercise more restraint because of them.
No - We just get to see more horrible things happen.
Maybe - They might deter some kinds of crime.