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  1. Shared Online Brain Hopes To Make Robots Smarter And Cheaper At Once

    Robots are heavy, metal, clumsy, and expensive, but we generally assume they eventually plan on taking over. Still, they're far from being intelligent -- or organized -- enough to do so. How to remedy this? Well, maybe we could outsource all the processing power that makes them so heavy and expensive? What if we could put their brains into the cloud, let them communicate with one another, and then trust them to use the information they get there to help us out? That's just what a bunch of European researchers are doing, and it's not really as scary as it sounds.

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  2. In These Modern Times, Can You Ever Really Be Offline? [Video]

    Here at Geekosystem we spend all our time online. All of it. It's kind of what we do. Whether we're on our computers, our phone, our tablets, our gaming consoles, or any other of the countless devices we own that connect us to the Internet, we're somehow connected at all times. This new video from PBS Idea Channel asks the question of whether or not its even possible to be offline anymore, or if the line is so blurred that we're all now online at all times. IS THIS THE MATRIX!?

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  3. Feeling Bored and Undereducated? Try Any of These 400 Free Online Courses!

    Are you an over-educated college graduate unable to find a job? Then why not spend your time between filling out job applications by taking some free online college courses to keep you well ensconced in your ivory tower! While Stanford may have turned lots of heads with their free, graded online courses, there are quite literally hundreds of other courses available online for free. At least 400 of them, according to Open Culture. They cover everything from History to Computer Science to English to Biology, and everything in between. But 400 is an awful lot to read through, so we've broken down a much shorter list for your reading pleasure.

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  4. What People Are Doing Online [Infographic]

    Everyone is almost always online nowadays, but what is anyone actually doing there? Most often, wasting time, but you may be surprised to learn that there are actually a number of productive things you can do on the Internet. I know! I was surprised when I found out too! According to this infographic by Flowtown, some of the most common Internet activities are simple things like "using a search engine" or "watching videos," but also more important things like online banking and practically everyone is sending emails to practically everyone else. The one curious thing is how low Tweeting ranks in the lists, but I suppose it doesn't take very long, so that might explain way. How do you square up against the norm?

    Check after the jump to find out.

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  5. New Study Suggests Wasting Time Online Boosts Worker Productivity

    You know how you have browser-based games or listicles about your favorite celebrity breakups open in your browser window right now, but have mastered the art of alt+tabbing back to your spreadsheet when your supervisor walks by? Well, according to a new study, you may just want to leave that session of Civ World up and running next time your supervisor hovers around your desk, because wasting time on the Internet may actually increase your productivity.

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  6. Chinese Prisoners Forced into Online Gaming “Goldfarms”

    Imprisoned for "illegally petitioning" the government over corruption in his town, the former Chinese inmate known as "Liu Dali" has told the U.K. Guardian that in addition to back-breaking manual labor he and other prisoners were forced to play video games for hours on end. Not as a form of punishment or leisure activity, but because their overseers had assembled a massive "goldfarming" operation, wherein they exploited prison labor to earn money playing online games. From the Guardian:

    "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."
    While the idea of prisoners being forced to play video games may seem chuckleworthy, and it certainly is absurd, it is no laughing matter.

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  7. The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced a new vision for providing security online with the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). Calling it a voluntary identity ecosystem, the NSTIC aims to make the web safer, easier to use, and open to a wider range of online activities. First and foremost, the Government wants you to know that there is no national ID program in the works. Furthermore, the NSTIC envisions a completely voluntary environment where users can opt for higher-level security when and if they want it. Lastly, while the government will be supporting these efforts and providing endorsement for NSTIC projects, the nitty-gritty will likely be handled by private companies. It works like this:

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  8. How To Die On Facebook

    The New York Times reports on a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common as the average age of Facebook users rises: those times when an algorithm prompts you to reach out and connect with someone who is no longer alive.
    Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution. “It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a company spokeswoman, “and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful.” Given the site’s size, “and people passing away every day, we’re never going to be perfect at catching it,” she added.
    This phenomenon is not limited to baby boomers and older. Reading the article became quite eerie when I suddenly remembered that I also have a deceased Facebook friend. Facebook does have a method of dealing with profiles of those who have died, though it needs improving.

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