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First thing we do, let’s kill all the experts

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Timeworn headstones in Donegal Cemetery.

Enlarge / Here lies an expert (maybe). (credit: Nicolas Raymond / Flickr)

There is a Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. Take a moment to consider the implications of that fact. The inhabitants of what, under other circumstances, would be an obscure academic backwater need legal defense. Non-scientists have convinced themselves so thoroughly that these experts have to be wrong that they claim the whole field is swimming in fraud and have engaged in legal assaults to try to confirm their beliefs. The scientists need legal defense because their opponents are convinced they can provide evidence of the fraud—if only they could see every email the scientists have ever sent.

Climate scientists may suffer from an extreme example of this sort of vilification, but they're hardly alone. The US has had a long history of mistrust in highly educated professionals, but we seem to have shifted to a situation in which expertise has become both a disqualification and a reason for attack.

That's the central argument of Tom Nichols' recent book, The Death of Expertise, which has recently come out in a paperback edition. Nichols is a professor at the Naval War College and an expert himself, having done graduate studies about the former Soviet Union. While he's gained some prominence as a never-Trump conservative, the arguments in his book are evenhanded at distributing blame. And they make disturbing reading for anyone in science who's interested in engaging the public—especially in the science arena.

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mrobold
2 hours ago
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Orange County, California
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Samsung launches Snapdragon 850-powered Windows 2-in-1

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Samsung

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Book2 (sic; the company has not put a space between the word and the number), a 2-in-1 tablet running Windows 10, powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor.

The first generation of Windows 10-on-ARM machines were roundly criticized for the performance of their Snapdragon 835 processors. The second generation of machines, however, uses the Snapdragon 850, a variant of the Snapdragon 845 that's designed for the bigger batteries and higher power dissipation of laptops and tablets. This is widely hoped and expected to bring performance up to respectable levels.

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mrobold
3 days ago
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Orange County, California
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Open offices have driven Panasonic to make horse blinders for humans

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At what point do we just give up and admit we’re living in exactly the dystopian nightmare speculative fiction warned us about? It probably ought to be these horse blinders for people, which look like something straight out of a Terry Gilliam movie.

Panasonic design studio Future Life Factory designed the things, but open space offices are basically the worst. The startup-driven push to eliminate the world from the tyranny of the cubicle has apparently driven us to create cubicles for our faces that have the added bonus of making workers look like their identity has been blurred out on Cops.

Along with obscuring the wearer’s peripheral vision, Wear Space (weirdly Office Face is still unclaimed), also sports noise-canceling headphones to really get the job done.

“As open offices and digital nomads are on the rise, workers are finding it ever more important to have personal space where they can focus,” the company told Dezeen. “Wear Space instantly creates this kind of personal space – it’s as simple as putting on an article of clothing.”

The device, which debuted as a prototype at SXSW earlier this year, is now the subject of a crowdfunding campaign. Early birds can snag one for around $260, but we’re going to say neigh on this one.

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mrobold
3 days ago
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#neveropenoffice
Orange County, California
freeAgent
3 days ago
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I thought this was a joke when I first saw it. I guess not.
Los Angeles, CA
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TSA lays out plans to use facial recognition for domestic flights

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The airport security experience is about to see facial recognition technology taking on a bigger role, as TSA today released its roadmap to use biometrics technology in the coming years.

Customs and Border Protection has been using facial recognition to screen non-US residents on international flights since 2015, a project that was expedited by the Trump administration. Last year, the US government laid out its plans to start expanding the screening tools to US citizens, which would require them to undergo facial scans when they leave the country through a system called the Biometric Pathway. Today’s news lays out how the TSA will adopt the same technology, partnering with CBP on biometrics for international travelers, expanding...

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mrobold
3 days ago
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Orange County, California
freeAgent
3 days ago
They have been using facial recognition on international flights even for green card holders at least since 2017 at LAX. It adds a ton of time to processing.
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Apple to Australia: “This is no time to weaken encryption”

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Apple to Australia: “This is no time to weaken encryption”

Enlarge (credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Apple has filed its formal opposition to a new bill currently being proposed by the Australian government that critics say would weaken encryption.

If it passes, the "Assistance and Access Bill 2018" would create a new type of warrant that would allow what governments often call "lawful access" to thwart encryption, something that the former Australian attorney general proposed last year.

The California company said in a filing provided to reporters on Friday that the proposal was flawed.

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mrobold
8 days ago
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Orange County, California
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New Microsoft HoloLens headset spotted in NASA video

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An unreleased Microsoft HoloLens headset has appeared in a NASA video this week. Spotted by VentureBeat, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory video reveals a newly designed HoloLens headset. The headset includes a different visor at the front that appears to better support glasses, and a single adjustable band.

The Kinect sensor isn’t as visible at the front of the device, and overall it seems lot less bulkier than the existing HoloLens model that’s available today. It’s not clear from the video whether this is Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, or simply a prototype HoloLens headset that NASA is testing. NASA was an early partner for Microsoft on HoloLens, and previously tested early prototypes of the augmented reality headset. It’s likely that this...

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mrobold
8 days ago
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!!!!!
Orange County, California
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