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Weekend Reads 1/12/19

It's too soon to tell

It’s like the difference between “John quit smoking on Saturday” and “John quits smoking on Saturdays.” The former might be a true first step. It might be big news, indicating a major positive change in John’s life. But the latter would tell us, instead, that nothing in John’s life is really changing at all.

Investigation of NOAA climate scientists finds bupkis

During his run as chair of the House Science Committee, recently retired Texas Congressman Lamar Smith made a habit of accusing US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists of manipulating data to exaggerate global warming. Smith did so almost entirely on the basis of his own wishes that data would stop showing warming, relying on fever swamp bloggers and disregarding published research.

Hackers Make a Fake Hand to Beat Vein Authentication

One attraction of a vein based system over, say, a more traditional fingerprint system is that it may be typically harder for an attacker to learn how a user’s veins are positioned under their skin, rather than lifting a fingerprint from a held object or high quality photograph, for example.

But with that said, Krissler and Albrecht first took photos of their vein patterns. They used a converted SLR camera with the infrared filter removed; this allowed them to see the pattern of the veins under the skin.

Most Democrats Now Identify As ‘Liberal’

One possible factor in this shift could be the recent rise in the share of Americans who identify as independent, rather than as Republican or Democratic. In 2018, 42 percent of Americans said they were politically independent, the highest number since at least 1951, according to Gallup. It’s possible that some people who had previously identified as either moderate or conservative Democrats are now placing themselves in the “independent” bucket.

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