Tag Archives: hacker

Skeptikai Notices (Sep11) – 9/11, Hackers, Psychology, and more


The international news media has been writing extensively about 9/11, because of the 10-year anniversary of the incident. I couldn’t possibly reproduce all of the articles about it, but here are some of the pieces that stood out for me…

Internet archive shows Sept. 11 coverage – A website has gathered international news broadcasts on the 9/11 attacks, totaling over 3,000 hours of television. This is useful for researchers, and it’s interesting to compare the news from different perspectives, from America, to the UK, to Japan, etc.

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug22) – Psychology, technology, Japan & more

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug9) – Video games, news, hacking, Japan, science

Video Games:

Robots use Kinect to understand our world – Robots can’t view the world like we do, but technology is advancing, and soon they may be able to understand it enough to convince us that they can experience it similar to us. Researchers at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab have manipulated the Kinect system – created essentially for entertainment purposes for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console – so that the robots could image their environments in “colored 3D pointclouds.” The accompanying video shows the world as they see it. The robots can locate objects, and robotics will probably be advancing exponentially, now that we have examples of robots learning skills through reinforcement – such as the robotic arm that learned to flip pancakes after 50 trials.

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Good #Hacks

I briefly mentioned in an earlier post that a band of computer hackers, known as “LulzSec” had been breaking into Sony. But as many people know by now, they also hacked Nintendo, Bethesda Game Studios, ZeniMax Media and pron.com, to name a few. By the way, this basically shows that they’re mostly a bunch of nerdy guys, breaking into video game websites and a porn site. It’s pretty clear they were up to mischief, but their odd mixed signals were baffling. For example, they hacked into the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), saying “We mean you no harm and only want to help you fix your tech issues.” This reminded me of the hackers who broke into the world’s largest experiment – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – in 2008. It caused a bit of panic in the beginning, but ended up being a harmless and important lesson: The LHC is not immune from hackers. And now we know, incidentally, neither are hackers themselves.

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