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Google Secret Microphone Discovered Nest Secure Alarm System

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Google is being accused of spying on consumers without their consent . In early February, Google announced that its home security and alarm system Nest Secure would be getting an update. Users, the company said, could now enable its virtual-assistant technology, Google Assistant.

Continue reading Google Secret Microphone Discovered Nest Secure Alarm System
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Rutgers University-New Brunswick astronomer offers tips for safe viewing the Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

photo by Margaret Morse

August 20,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Americans will be treated to a spectacular total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 in an approximately 70-mile-wide zone stretching from the Northwest to the Southeast.

In New Jersey, a partial eclipse will begin at about 1:20 p.m., peak at about 2:45 p.m. and end shortly before 4 p.m. that day.

The moon will block about 70 percent of the sun at the state’s northern border to 80 percent in Cape May, according to Carlton “Tad” Pryor, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“A total solar eclipse is always very dramatic,” Pryor said. “The sky gets dark, animals and birds go quiet as if it’s nighttime and it’s a little bit cooler outside.  The partial solar eclipse that will be visible in New Jersey is much more subtle, but will be noticeable if you know what to look for.”

Watch a YouTube video on the solar eclipse

Tips for Safe Eclipse Viewing

Because it is unsafe to look directly at the sun, Pryor said anyone wishing to see the phenomenon must protect their eyes with specially made and certified filters, or by observing the eclipse indirectly.

Direct viewing can be done safely with No. 14 arc welder glass or with eclipse viewing glasses that meet the following criteria outlined by NASA:

  • Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
  • Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed on the product
  • Not be used if more than three years old, or with scratched or wrinkled lenses

Homemade filters or sunglasses – even very dark ones – are NEVER safe for looking directly at the sun.  There are reports of potentially unsafe eclipse glasses appearing for sale, so be sure to buy eclipse viewers from reputable vendors.

Pryor offered a few suggestions for safe, indirect viewing.

If the sky is clear at around 2:45 p.m. on the day of the eclipse, stand in a leafy tree’s shadow and look at the ground.  The smallest spots of sunlight will make little crescent shapes, showing the sun’s apparent shape as the moon crosses in front.

Another method is to make a small hole in a piece of cardboard with the tip of a pencil or pen and project the light onto a white piece of paper, he said. For a better view, put the hole over a mirror and reflect the light onto a more distant white piece of paper or white surface.

Total eclipses in the Continental U.S. are unusual, with the last one unfolding in 1979, Pryor said. Hawaii experienced one in 1991, and New Jersey will have to wait until May 1, 2079, to get one. Even then, the total eclipse will be visible only in the northern two-thirds of the state and will occur only a few minutes after sunrise, so it won’t be easily visible.

“An eclipse is a remarkable phenomenon,” Pryor said. “It was always regarded as signifying something important. Some people thought something was eating the sun and tried to make noise to scare it away. But the ancient Greeks understood what was happening and could start to predict some of these phenomena.”

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Planning to watch the eclipse : Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses Are Flooding the Market

Fake Solar Eclipse Glasses

August 17, 2017
by
Alesha Hernandez
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Ridgewood NJ, On Monday, August 21, 2017, sky-gazers across the country will watch the solar eclipse. If you’re planning to watch, you’ll need to use eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers. Be sure to get the kind that actually protects your eyes.

Start by making sure that the glasses or viewers you’re considering have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product, and are certified as safe. The certification means the glasses and solar viewers have met an international safety standard and are safe for your eyes. Only consider products marked with ISO 12312-2, which means that the product has met the international safety standard. Check out this list from the American Astronomical Society of brands that meet the international safety standard.

What else do you need to know to watch the eclipse safely?

Be sure your glasses or viewers are new: glasses that are more than 3 years old, or are wrinkled or scratched, won’t protect your eyes.
Read – and follow – the instructions carefully. Don’t use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses.
Never look directly at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers that are certified as safe. (Again, look for ISO 12312-2 to be printed on the product.) It can lead to serious injury.
Don’t look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device – even using your eclipse glasses or viewer. Those optical devices concentrate the solar rays, will damage your eclipse glasses or viewer, and seriously injure your eyes.

This rare event will be exciting – and even better when you view the eclipse safely. Check out NASA’s Eclipse 101 for even more on the eclipse.

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Leaked document reveals Facebook conducted research to target emotionally vulnerable and insecure youth

facebook-dislike-1

A SECRET document shows in scary detail how Facebook can exploit the insecurities of teenagers using the platform.

Nick Whighamnews.com.au@NWWHIGHAM

FACEBOOK has come under fire over revelations it is targeting potentially vulnerable youths who “need a confidence boost” to facilitate predatory advertising practices.

The allegation was revealed this morning by The Australian which obtained internal documents from the social media giant which reportedly show how Facebook can exploit the moods and insecurities of teenagers using the platform for the potential benefit of advertisers.

The confidential document dated this year detailed how by monitoring posts, comments and interactions on the site, Facebook can figure out when people as young as 14 feel “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/leaked-document-reveals-facebook-conducted-research-to-target-emotionally-vulnerable-and-insecure-youth/news-story/d256f850be6b1c8a21aec6e32dae16fd

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FCC Chairman Pai: ‘We Need an Open and Free Internet for the 21st Century’

FCC Chairman Pai

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that an open and free internet is vital for America in the 21st century.

During a speech at the Newseum on Wednesday, Pai said he plans to roll back the net-neutrality regulations and to restore the light-touch regulatory system established by President Bill Clinton and Congressional Republicans by the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Net neutrality passed under former Democrat Tom Wheeler’s FCC in 2010. The rule, known as the Open Internet Order, reclassified the internet as a public monopoly. Critics chided the rule, stating that it would diminish the freedom of the internet. Proponents argue that the regulations prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers.

Chairman Pai said during his speech that the internet prospered before net neutrality was enacted. Pai said, “The internet is the greatest free market success in American history.”

Breitbart News asked the FCC chief why he thinks that net neutrality is a problem, and why we must eliminate the rule. He said:

Number one there was no problem to solve, the internet wasn’t broken in 2015. In that situation, it doesn’t seem me that preemptive market-wide regulation is necessary. Number two, even if there was a problem, this wasn’t the right solution to adopt. These Title II regulations were inspired during the Great Depression to regulate Ma Bell which was a telephone monopoly. And the broadband market we have is very different from the telephone market of 1934. So, it seems to me that if you have 4,462 internet service providers and if a few of them are behaving in a way that is anticompetitive or otherwise bad for consumer welfare then you take targeted action to deal with that. You don’t declare the entire market anticompetitive and treat everyone as if they are a monopolist.

Going forward we are going to propose eliminating that Title II classification and figure out the right way forward. The bottom line is, everyone agrees on the principles of a free and open internet what we disagree with is how many regulations are needed to preserve the internet.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/exclusive-fcc-chairman-pai-need-open-free-internet-21st-century/

 

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Apple CEO Tim Cook once personally threatened to kick Uber out of the App Store (AAPL)

Marco Rubio Speech On Innovation At Uber's DC Offices

Kif Leswing, provided by

Published 8:57 am, Sunday, April 23, 2017

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Apple CEO Tim Cook once personally told Uber CEO Travis Kalanick that the Uber app violated Apple’s privacy rules, and threatened to remove Uber from Apple’s App Store, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The issue in the reported early-2015 meeting was that Uber had a system to identify iPhones after they had been wiped and the Uber app had been deleted — something Uber was doing to combat driver fraud in China.

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Tim-Cook-said-this-word-5-times-on-Apple-s-4523559.php

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IS THE SILICON VALLEY DYNASTY COMING TO AN END?

theendisnearish

IS THE SILICON VALLEY DYNASTY COMING TO AN END?

Ethical lapses at some of the tech industry’s biggest companies suggest a chilling reality of what really matters in the world’s most rollicking economy.

It has been said that Silicon Valley, or the 50 or so square-mile area extending from San Francisco to the base of the peninsula, has overseen the creation of more wealth than any place in the history of mankind. It’s made people richer than the oil industry; it has created more money than the Gold Rush. Silicon chips, lines of code, and rectangular screens have even minted more wealth than religious wars.

Wealthy societies, indeed, have their own complicated incentive structures and mores. But they do often tend, as any technological entrepreneur will be quick to remind you, to distribute value across numerous income levels, in a scaled capacity. The Ford line, for instance, may have eventually minted some serious millionaires in Detroit, but it also made transportation cheaper, helped drive down prices on countless consumer goods, and facilitated new trade routes and commercial opportunities. Smartphones, or any number of inventive modern apps or other software products, are no different. Sure, they throw off a lot of money to the geniuses who came up with them, and the people who got in at the ground floor. But they also make possible innumerable other opportunities, financial and otherwise, for their millions of consumers.

Silicon Valley is, in its own right, a dynasty. Instead of warriors or military heroes, it has nerds and people in half-zip sweaters. But it is becoming increasingly likely that the Valley might go down in history not only for its wealth, but also for creating more tone deaf people than any other ecosystem in the history of the world.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/04/is-the-silicon-valley-dynasty-coming-to-an-end

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Facebook knocks down massive spammer network

spam_theridgewoodblog

The social network says it had been “combating” the operation for six months.

Facebook famously boasts it has 1.86 billion users who visit the social network every month. It looks like that number shrank on Friday.

The company, which previously announced it’s cracking down on fake accounts, said it’s disrupted a major spam operation being run out of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

“The apparent intent of the campaign was to deceptively gain new friend connections by liking and interacting primarily with popular publisher Pages on our platform, after which point they would send spam,” Shabnam Shaik, a Facebook technical program manager wrote in a blog post.

“We found that most of this activity was generated not through traditional mass account creation methods, but by more sophisticated means that try to mask the fact that the accounts are part of the same coordinated operation,” Shaik wrote. “By disrupting the campaign now, we expect that we will prevent this network of spammers from reaching its end goal of sending inauthentic material to large numbers of people.”

The number of authentic users matters for Facebook because the company charges marketers and advertisers to reach the most eyeballs. Facebook didn’t reveal the number of accounts affected by this crackdown.

https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-knocks-down-spam-network-fake-accounts/

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April Fools’ Day comet will make closest pass to Earth on record

day the earth stood still

Doyle Rice , USA TODAYPublished 2:39 p.m. ET March 30, 2017 | Updated 6 hours ago

It might be streaming by on April Fools’ Day, but this comet is no holiday prank.

On Saturday, the inelegantly named comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will make its closest flyby of Earth since its discovery in 1858.

There’s no need to worry about it hitting Earth: The comet will zoom past at a safe distance of around 13.2 million miles, about 50 times the moon’s distance, EarthSky.org reports.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2017/03/30/april-fools-day-comet-make-closest-pass-earth-record/99828158/

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J Scott Armstrong: Fewer Than 1 Percent Of Papers in Scientific Journals Follow Scientific Method

super_sciencesaturday_theridgewoodblog

by ALLUM BOKHARI29 Mar 20172,972

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Professor Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim in a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change.

“We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.”

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/03/29/j-scott-armstrong-fraction-1-papers-scientific-journals-follow-scientific-method/

 

Ask a Question: The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: How, What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where?

For a science fair project some teachers require that the question be something you can measure, preferably with a number.

Your Question
Do Background Research: Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, you want to be a savvy scientist using library and Internet research to help you find the best way to do things and insure that you don’t repeat mistakes from the past.

Background Research Plan
Finding Information
Bibliography
Research Paper

Construct a Hypothesis: A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. It is an attempt to answer your question with an explanation that can be tested. A good hypothesis allows you to then make a prediction:
“If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen.”

State both your hypothesis and the resulting prediction you will be testing. Predictions must be easy to measure.

Variables
Variables for Beginners
Hypothesis

Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment: Your experiment tests whether your prediction is accurate and thus your hypothesis is supported or not. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same.

You should also repeat your experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren’t just an accident.

Experimental Procedure
Materials List
Conducting an Experiment

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion: Once your experiment is complete, you collect your measurements and analyze them to see if they support your hypothesis or not.

Scientists often find that their predictions were not accurate and their hypothesis was not supported, and in such cases they will communicate the results of their experiment and then go back and construct a new hypothesis and prediction based on the information they learned during their experiment. This starts much of the process of the scientific method over again. Even if they find that their hypothesis was supported, they may want to test it again in a new way.

Data Analysis & Graphs
Conclusions

Communicate Your Results: To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a final report and/or a display board. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster or during a talk at a scientific meeting. In a science fair, judges are interested in your findings regardless of whether or not they support your original hypothesis.