推薦此篇：.......換句話說，人類的智商或已高出一籌，但智慧卻並未因此增加分毫。「時值20世紀，想要將我們智商的增量化成有價值的東西並讓它們和政治掛上鉤，閱讀文學和歷史是唯一的途徑。」對此，你或許欣然贊同，或許不以為然，但要知道，並非只有弗林懷有這種擔憂：正如威廉·龐德斯通（William Poundstone）在其最新力作《異想天開》（Head In The Clouds）中所展現的，如今，人們對愚昧無知習以為常，而這一點正影響著大家的決策方式，令生活中的諸多方面都發生變化。.....
請訪問 BBC Future 閱讀 英文原文。 ~~~~~ "Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t." "Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument is beneficial for children and adults alike, and may even be helpful to patients recovering from brain injuries."
Hacked home devices caused massive Internet outage - USA Today
If you live on the East Coast and had trouble accessing Twitter, Spotify Netflix, Amazon or Reddit Friday morning, you were not alone. USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO — Eleven hours after a massive online attack that blocked access to many popular websites, the company under assault has finally restored its service.
Dyn, a New Hampshire-based company that monitors and routes Internet traffic, was the victim of a massive attack that began at 7:10 a.m. ET Friday morning. The issue kept some users on the East Coast from accessing Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, PayPal and other sites.
At 6:17 p.m. ET Friday, Dyn updated its website to say it had resolved the large-scale distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) and service had been restored.
DDoS attacks flood servers with so many fake requests for information that they cannot respond to real ones, often crashing under the barrage. It's unclear who orchestrated the attack.
“It’s a very smart attack. We start to mitigate, they react. It keeps on happening every time. We’re learning though,” said Kyle York, Dyn’s chief strategy officer said on a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon.
Troubling to security experts was that the attackers relied on Mirai, an easy-to-use program that allows even unskilled hackers to take over online devices and use them to launch DDoS attacks. The software uses malware from phishing emails to first infect a computer or home network, then spreads to everything on it, taking over DVRs, cable set-top boxes, routers and even Internet-connected cameras used by stores and businesses for surveillance.
These devices are in turn used to create a robot network, or botnet, to send the millions of messages that knocks the out victims' computer systems.
The source code for Mirai was released on the so-called dark web, sites that operate as a sort of online underground for hackers, at the beginning of the month. The release led some security experts to suggest it would soon be widely used by hackers. That appears to have happened in this case.
Dyn is getting “tens of millions” of messages from around the globe sent by seemingly harmless but Internet-connected devices.
“It could be your DVR, it could be a CCTV camera, a thermostat. I even saw an Internet-connected toaster on Kickstarter yesterday," said York.
The complexity and breadth of the multiple attack points makes it difficult to fight, because it's hard to distinguish legitimate traffic from botnet traffic.
York said one bright spot for the company had been the tremendous outpouring of aid from its customers, competitors and law enforcement. “You guys wouldn’t believe the amount of support we’ve received,” he told reporters.
Effects felt nationwide
Dyn first posted on its website at 7:10 a.m. ET that it "began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure."
These resolved towards 9:30 a.m.. Then more waves began. "It's been a hectic day," said York.
The attack comes at a time of heightened public sensitivity and concern that the nation's institutions and infrastructure could face large-scale hacking attacks. The most recent example has been the release of emails stolen from the servers of the Democratic National Committee, which U.S. intelligence sources say was the work of Russia. The topic has come up frequently during the fall's hard-fought presidential campaign.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security was “monitoring the situation" but that “at this point I don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”
So far Dyn has not been able to ascertain whether the attack is aimed at any specific customer. “We have no reason to believe it is at this point,” said Dave Allen, the company’s general counsel.
The attack is “consistent with record-setting sized cyberattacks seen in the last few weeks,” said Carl Herberger, vice president of security at security company Radware.
A post on Hacker News first identified the attack and named the sites that were affected. Several sites, including Spotify and GitHub, took to Twitter Friday morning to post status updates once the social network was back online.
CMU President Subra Suresh’s heart beat lit up the Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge earlier this week.
While Dr. Suresh was miles away in New York City, students used biometric data from a Fitbit he was wearing to illuminate the bridge with flashing lights that changed from lavender to fuchsia as his heart rate increased.
Students created the project for a cross-disciplinary course called "Interaction and Expression Using the Pausch Bridge Lighting,” which is taught by Cindy Limauro, a professor in the College of Fine Arts, and Evan Shimizu, a PhD student in the School of Computer Science.
The video below was produced by Noah Johnson, a student in the course.
Scientists make a fundamental discovery about the amino acid valine’s role in blood stem cell development 科學家對血液幹細胞發育中氨基酸纈氨酸的作用進行了基本的發現
A team of researchers from California and Japan has found that an essential amino acid plays a crucial role in the creation of blood stem cells—a discovery the scientists say could offer a potential alternative to chemotherapy and radiation in treating blood cancer patients.
The amino acid valine, which people obtain by eating protein, appears key to the formation of blood stem cells. Mice deprived of the protein building blockfor two to four weeks stopped making new blood cells altogether, according to the new study, published Thursday in Science.
In lab tests the study showed human blood stem cells also appear to be as dependent on valine, the researchers said. If this proves true, depriving patients of the amino acid before a bone marrow transplant might spare them the necessity of chemotherapy or radiation, both of which destroy blood stem cells to make room for new, transplanted ones. But with these procedures one in 20 transplant patients dies, sometimes from complications linked to the toxic treatments.
Additionally, depriving certain leukemia patients of valine might even kill off the cells that are causing their cancers, says Hiromitsu Nakauchi, a senior author on the new paper. “If such a simple and relatively less harmful therapy could be used to treat leukemias, that would be great,” says Nakauchi, a stem cell researcher at both the University of Tokyo and Stanford University. “That’s what I’m hoping at the moment.” Nakauchi adds that he was surprised to uncover such a basic biological process. “I couldn’t believe it myself,” he says.
Camilla Forsberg, a blood stem cell researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was not involved in the research, says she was impressed with the results and thrilled there are still such fundamental discoveries to be made. “It’s pretty exciting how the basic things we think about are still giving us surprises,” she says, adding that it will be crucial to figure out why these blood stem cells—also called hematopoietic cells—are so sensitive to valine. Other cell types might have particular sensitivities to the other 19 amino acids active in the body, nine of which are vital and must be obtained via food, so Forsberg believes these must now be studied as well. The essential role valine plays in blood should not come as such a surprise, says Linheng Li, a stem cell biologist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Some people who eat a low-protein vegetarian diet are known to develop anemia, a disease characterized by low levels of red blood cells.
Li was not involved in the new research, but says he made a similar, unpublished finding in his own lab that makes him confident of Nakauchi’s results. He also thinks valine deprivation could work as well in people as it does in mice, although it will take a lot of research to determine how long people can tolerate being deprived of the amino acid. If valine deprivation works in bone marrow transplant patients, it could open the procedure to some people—such as pregnant women—who are usually not considered candidates for chemotherapy or radiation, he says. Li suspects, however, that valine deprivation alone will not be effective for treating cancer directly, although it might work well combined with other therapies.
In the new study Nakauchi and his colleagues say they were able to successfully transplant bone marrow in valine-deprived mice without needing radiation or chemotherapy—but some of the mice died from lack of the nutrient, which is also involved in metabolism and tissue repair. Nakauchi says it should be relatively easy to deprive people of valine by feeding them on specially formulated intravenous diets, although he admits that might be difficult if the depletion needs to last weeks or months.
The researchers also found human blood stem cells failed to proliferate when cultured without valine. Nakauchi says the team realized only after their study was completed that it built on research published 70 years ago in Science by the late Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg. When Nakauchi was a postdoctoral student at Stanford he knew the biochemist, and says it made him proud to renew and extend Kornberg’s findings.
Now Nakauchi says he hopes the work will lead to new approaches to cancer treatment. “There may be some other, similar amino acid–dependency in other stem cells and also cancer stem cells,” he says. “Those are the things I’m very much interested in.”