The Siri of the cell – tech podcast

The Guardian

How can scientists deal with the huge volume of new research publish on a daily basis? How can computers go further than merely parsing scientific papers, and actually suggest hypotheses themselves? When will we see a computer as another member of the lab team, serving hundreds of scientists simultaneously from its huge data set of extant research? This is the work of John Bachman, a systems biology PhD from Harvard Medical School, and Ben Giori, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School's systems pharmacology lab. They're part of Darpa's Big Mechanism project, which is developing technology to read research abstracts and papers to extract pieces of causal mechanisms, then to assemble these pieces into more complete causal models, and to produce explanations.


Cornell lawyers and computer experts team up to make government rule-making accessible in Internet age

AITopics Original Links

At least 160 federal agencies churn out rules and regulations -- more than 4,000 a year -- from specifying the height of steps on buses for the disabled to the method of calculating food's fiber content. Before finalizing a rule, government agencies are required to solicit and consider public comment, which, until recently meant publishing a notice in the Federal Register, accessible mostly to lobbyists. Now, all notices and requests for comment are to go through the Web site http://regulations.gov. Although that site communicates about as clearly as the instructions that come with income tax forms, it sometimes produces more public participation than regulators would prefer. To help the agencies deal with rule-making in the Internet age and make the process more accessible to the public, Cornell scientists and legal experts have created the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI), funded by a $750,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.


World of Warcraft: Legion Brings 6 Reasons to Revisit the Game

TIME - Tech

The best reason to revisit World of Warcraft by way of its new Legion expansion, out August 30 for PC and Mac, is that you're a lapsed devotee. You already grasp exactly the sort of rock-rolling footslog you're signing up for, though maybe a year or three or five away from the game was enough to bleed off any lingering longing to return. And to think: five years would be less than half the time Blizzard's online fantasy opus has been with us (of upwards of 12 million concurrently subscribed in 2010, and over 100 million if we're talking discrete accounts). Released in November 2004, it predates YouTube, Hurricane Katrina, Angela Merkel's chancellorship, Twitter, the Wii, the 2008 global financial crisis, Barack Obama's presidency, both the iPhone and iPad, the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Edward Snowden's leaks, Brexit, and of course, Donald Trump's candidacy. Which bring us to Legion, the sixth expansion to a game that's managed to buck all attempts at shelf life prognostication.


The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme

WIRED

The most dramatic cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet--powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers--that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn't anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state.


Warner Bros paid YouTube stars for positive game reviews

The Independent - Tech

Rave reviews of games on YouTube might not be all that they seem, according to a new ruling, after developers have been told off for not disclosing that it had paid vloggers to rave about its games. The US Federal Trade Commission announced that it has reached a settlement with Warner Brothers Entertainment after allegations arose that the publisher had failed to adequately disclose that it had paid high profile gaming YouTube personalities to give positive coverage of its title Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The FTC had complained that Warner Bros had hired a third-party marketing company which paid YouTube gaming "influencers" sums ranging from "hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars" to cover the game. The conditions of the payment were that the coverage had to be positive, should not report any bugs or glitches that might have been uncovered, and that at least one Facebook post or Tweet had to be posted to promote the video. The sponsored videos generated over 5.5 million views and according to a press release from the FTC regarding the settlement one of the most high earning YouTube personalities in the world, PewDiePie's sponsored video made up 3.7 million of these views.