Showing posts with label Techology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Techology. Show all posts

September 17, 2014

New Filter will stop excluding Gay Safe content from searches


                                                                           



A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.
For several years, top Web-filtering services have been resolving a security over-reach that conflated gay rights websites with child porn, blocking both from web surfers using safe-search software. Now Symantec, one of a handful of key players in the content-filtering market, is joining the push.
Online security firm Symantec told The Associated Press that while customers can still set their search to block offensive websites, there will no longer be an option to block websites just because they relate to sexual orientation.
“Making this change was not only the right thing to do, it was a good business decision,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton Business Unit, Symantec in a Tuesday announcement. “Having a category in place that could be used to filter out all LGBT-oriented sites was inconsistent with Symantec’s values and the mission of our software.”
Symantec’s shift, which came after customers at an Au Bon Pain cafe and bakery blogged in January that the free Wi-Fi was blocking access to advocacy groups, is the latest in a series of Internet-filter revamps prompted after frustrated Web searchers found human rights campaigns and gay advocacy groups were being grouped together with child porn sites by some Web-content monitors, which then prevented users from clicking on them.
Internet filters are mandatory in most public schools and libraries, and they are frequently used as well by anyone offering Wi-Fi, from airports to cafes. They can limit students and patrons from browsing obscene or inappropriate content. But many of those filters have blocked appropriate and important content.
In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union launched a “Don’t Filter Me” campaign specifically aimed at getting public schools to allow students to look at non-sexual websites about LGBT issues and organizations. ACLU attorney Joshua Block said that at the time, they had “a gazillion complaints” about Internet filters and little opposition, but in recent months, as many software firms have revised their systems, they’ve heard few grievances.
“Symantec is a little bit behind the curve on this,” said Block, who helped lead that campaign. “Most of the leading Internet-filtering companies have already eliminated these sorts of filters from their own systems.”
GLAAD, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender media advocacy organization, along with The Trevor Project, a youth suicide prevention program, were among those that until now were blocked by Symantec’s software, and they are still blocked by several major systems.
GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said the change shows that “Symantec gets it.”
“It’s time that our software reflects our values, and that means filtering out discrimination,” she said Monday in advance of the announcement.
Web-filtering systems, including McAfee, Blue Coat, Websense and Netsweeper, divide millions of Web addresses into categories like nudity, marijuana, cults or war games and then allow the network owner to select what categories they want blocked from their systems.
Symantec’s Web-content database, which is used by its Web-content filtering and parental-control programs, dates to 1996 and is one of the largest in the industry, including billions of Web pages from around the world.
Symantec, the fourth-largest software company in the world, said the lifestyle-sexual orientation category has been removed from its databases, but that it’s still being implemented in some products. The Mountain View, California-based firm said it’s also taking a broader look at all of the categories in this database, and it will be eliminating any others that are similarly outdated.
( The Associated Press)

March 17, 2014

New TOILET That Pulverizes the Poop Better than sliced white Bread which eventually will Polverized

                                                                          
Words from the Publisher and Editor at adamfoxie: As a kid I was so excited with anything that had to do with the moon, Mars and out of space. I outgrew the taste of that and added vegetables which I hated before. So, all these news about Mars does not occupy the priority on my mind as pooping.
Yes I have been stuck everywhere, train bus , boat and had to either the no 1 bur the more serious no 2 you can.t hide. So to see a new inventions that takes the poop you generate on a trip and evaporates it on the time it takes you to park your car and put money on the meter it gets pulverized.BINGO..that is my number and Iam Interested. Let me tell you about it through the good forks of motherboard.vice.com
For all the admirable efforts to solve the world's problems—beating malaria, improving education access, closing the digital divide—one simple need tends to fall by the wayside: We humans have to poop, and some 2.5 billion of us don't have the proper facilities to do so. 
Think about what that means for a second: Beyond the commodes themselves, roughly a third of the planet's population lacks sanitation, leaving communities susceptible to disease and filth. As Jack Sim, the founder of the World Toilet Organization, told me a couple years ago, a major part of the problem is that sanitation isn't a particularly glamorous cause, which has limited its exposure and support. It's telling that more people globally have cell phones than have proper toilets.
"Why is a cell phone something someone will pay for when they won't pay for it in their house?" Karl Linden, a University of Colorado, Boulder environmental engineering professor, told me. "We need to think of sanitation as a business opportunity, and turn the toilet into a status symbol." 
Linden's team of engineers hopes to do just that. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet challenge, the team has developed a toilet that uses concentrated solar power to scorch and disinfect human waste, turning feces into a useful byproduct called biochar.
The goal is to build a self-contained block of toilets, similar to Coca-Cola's community blocks, that can also provide clean water and power for phone charging—to essentially turn toilets into a community center.
"I think it's hard to make sanitation as sexy as a cell phone, but by integrating into the community and making it a hub, it can be something more popular," Linden said.
The toilet itself, called the Sol-Char, is a fascinating bit of engineering. In order to sanitize waste without the help of massive treatment facilities, Linden's team instead designed the toilet to scorch waste in a chamber heated by fiber optic cables that pipe in heat from solar collectors on the toilet's roof.
"A solar concentrator has all this light focused in on one centimeter. It'd be fine if we could bring everyone's fecal waste up to that one point, like burning it with a magnifying glass," Linden said. "But that's not practical, so we were thinking of other ways to concentrate that light."
As the bag Linden is holding reads, that's real poopchar in his hand, and it's totally sanitary to hold. Image: University of Colorado

According to Linden, the key was figuring out how to get light to enter the fiber optic cables, which are currently about four meters long, at the right angle so it propagates evenly. Linden said that producing heat with the eight fiber optic bundles isn't hard, but packing them tightly without melting was a challenge that required a lot of direct work with materials manufacturers. The result is a high-efficiency feces-burning machine.
"The transmission efficiency is really high, it's like 90 percent as you don't have many losses," Linden said.
The end product is biochar, a sanitary charcoal material that is good for soils and agriculture. By converting solid waste to biochar (liquid waste is diverted elsewhere, as it's easier to deal with), the toilet thus allows for sanitary waste disposal without huge infrastructure investments. 
The project received $777,000 in initial funding from the Gates Foundation, with another $1 million in a second round. Currently, the team is in New Delhi for the second-annual Reinvent the Toilet Fair, an event hosted by the Gates Foundation and featuring the 16 teams in the toilet development challenge. Linden's team will present their working prototype, which has been in development for 18 months.
The complete prototype in all its feces-torching glory.

The next step is to build a system that's ready for plug-and-play use in the field, as well as decreasing costs. Linden said that they've already cut costs by 90 percent, and are looking to increase efficiency and decrease the length of their fiber bundles, which are a major cost in the design.
"Our system right now is not field ready. It can operate, and all our technology can work in an integrated fashion, but we have to be there," he said. "The next phase of the research is to take what we're doing now and make it ready for the field."
With continued development, Linden hopes his teams toilet can be delivered to communities to kickstart the conversation around sanitation investment. On its own, the community center model could provide a source of revenue to help maintain the system, while the end result is to increase awareness and demand for improved sanitation infrastructure.
"You have to have a government that's interested in investing in the health of its people, and you have to have a community that's willing to invest not just their sweat equity, but their cash," Linden said.

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