To control your self control

April 1st, 2009 Comments off

Firstly, your self control be affected if you see or just imagining how other people are doing some exhausting.  In work done by Ackerman et al. It is known that imagining or actively perceiving other people’s actions can elicit many of the same neural and embodied responses that would occur if we performed those actions ourselves. In this work was shown that observing someone exerting self control sufficiently engages our empathetic mirroring of that process that it fatigues our own self control!

In a first study, participants who simulated the perspective of a person exercising self-control exhibited less restraint over spending on consumer products than did other participants.

In a second study, participants who took the perspective of a person using self-control exerted less willpower on an unrelated lexical generation task than did participants who took the perspective of a person who did not use self-control.

Conversely, participants who merely read about another person’s self-control exerted more willpower than did those who read about actions not requiring self-control. These findings suggest that the actions of other people may either deplete or boost one’s own self-control, depending on whether one mentally simulates those actions or merely perceives them.

But not all that bad. Second study done by Nidhi Agrawal (Northwestern University) and Echo Wen Wan (University of Hong Kong). It shows effect of focusing on long term goals gives you additional willpower to make right decision then you are tired. Read more…

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Do not think about your death

March 31st, 2009 Comments off

What we think about our death and implications of that on our decision by Sheldon Solomon in The anatomy of human destructiveness.

He is known for something called Terror Management Theory which can be described as:

It looks at what researchers claim to be the implicit emotional reactions of people when confronted with the psychological terror of knowing we will eventually die (it is widely believed that our awareness of mortality is a trait that is unique to humans).

This wiki page is defenatly worth a reading.

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Why brain can switch off judgment

March 28th, 2009 Comments off

“Most average people have this tendency to turn off their own capacity for making judgments when an expert comes into the picture,” says Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University in Atlanta.

His team ask 24 young volunteers to make a simple choice:  accept a sure payment or bet on a riskier, yet higher-paying lottery. While brain of volunteers was calculating a decision,  circuits known to calculate risk and reward was active.

“When advice is not there, when people are making these judgments on their own, you can make clear correlations with expected value in the lottery and areas associated with the dopamine system,” he says.

To see what changes if expert give advice on what to choice. Volunteers was told that Charles Noussair, an economics professor at Emory who advises the US Federal Reserve, would offer his opinion on whether they should accept the easy money or take a chance. After this new information volunteers usually took the expert’s advice blindly. Brain scans shows what the correlation between increased potential reward and brain activity disappeared.

Does this professor’s study fool you? Read full article at PLoS 1.

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Studying without staring

March 26th, 2009 Comments off

Information what comes to brain is processed and remembered even if you not pay attention on it.

Contrary to common belief, attention may actually impair the ability of people to draw conclusions based on the visual images or stimuli they observe, reports Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an assistant professor at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

“Even when you ignore environmental stimuli, your brain may still be sensitive to their content and store information that will influence subsequent decisions,” Dragoi said. “Paradoxically, paying attention may actually reduce learning during repeated exposure to visual images.”

It has good and bad side.  We can improve learning process using this information. Or We can be brainwashed by new more sophisticated  advertisements.

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What you think about lie in a fiction

March 20th, 2009 Comments off

Today I have read a post on Bruce Schneier blog. It was about TV show “24” and his crypto algorithm Blowfish. Blowfish was mentioned in most negative way even possible for crypto algorithm.

LM: Unfortunately, it’s encrypted with Blowfish 148 and no one here knows how to crack that. Therefore, we need your help, please. MO: The designer of this algorithm built a backdoor into his code. Decryption’s a piece of cake if you know the override codes. LM: Mr. O’Brian, can you tell me specifically when you’ll have the file decrypted? MO: Yes. MO: Now.

Technically authors of 24 from Fox is right. They created this situation in their imagination. Put it on video and show to a few million people. Authors can put in their show all that they want because no one use fictional show as source of knowledge, right? Answer is no. All who seen this dialog and did not have previous knowledge about Blowfish put in their memory two new words “Blowfish backdoor”. And next time then they about to make a decision to which system buy to secure personal data they recall “Blowfish backdoor”. And it cut their chances to make objective decision. Viewers do not have enough competency to block misinformation from pseudo professional shows like 24, House MD and other there producers save money on consultant. We have only one way to change it. Do not view misinformation. What if you see big dirty lie about you in popular TV show? Does fact that show is fictional enough to for you to do nothing about this fact?

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Pwn2Own 2009 begins

March 19th, 2009 Comments off

Do you have believes in what there is full secure web browser. Little head prize of $5000 can make them dead in a minute.

The 3rd annual Pwn2Own contest kicked off today at CanSecWest around 3:00pm PST. For the first time, we had so many people register for the contest that we had to draw names from a hat- literally! In typical techie format, Aaron wanted to take a moment and write a quick program to randomly select order- but I stopped that nonsense, and we used a real hat.

The browser targets are IE8, Firefox, and Chrome installed on a Sony Vaio running Windows 7 as well as Safari and Firefox installed on a Macbook running Mac OS X. All browsers are fully patched and in their default configuration as of the first day of the contest.

The mobile device targets will include fully patched BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Symbian and Windows Mobile phones in their default configurations.

Mobile device security is still intriguing and we are waiting final contest results.

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Why we blame users of unsecure systems?

March 18th, 2009 Comments off

Blaming the victim is common in IT: users are to blame because they don’t patch their systems, choose lousy passwords, fall for phishing attacks, and so on. But, while users are, and will continue to be, a major source of security problems, focusing on them is an unhelpful way to think .

They must accept that security systems that require the user to do the right thing are doomed to fail. And then they must design resilient security nevertheless.

We know solution for this problem for years. But it is easy to blame some one other and continue to do nothing.

The solution is to better design ­security systems that assume uneducated users: to prevent them from changing security settings that would leave them exposed to undue risk, or – even better – to take security out of their hands entirely.

Read full article at Guardian.co.uk

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Can we use magnets like a batteries

March 15th, 2009 Comments off

Not regular magnets what comes to mind if you heard this word. But nano-magnets what can be “charged” by strong EM field and later used to produce current.

The device created by University of Miami Physicist Stewart E. Barnes, of the College of Arts and Sciences and his collaborators can store energy in magnets rather than through chemical reactions. Like a winding up toy car, the spin battery is “wound up” by applying a large magnetic field –no chemistry involved. The device is potentially better than anything found so far, said Barnes.
“We had anticipated the effect, but the device produced a voltage over a hundred times too big and for tens of minutes, rather than for milliseconds as we had expected,” Barnes said. “That this was counterintuitive is what lead to our theoretical understanding of what was really going on.”

Now opened big market for batteries for electric cars. As many auto concerns announced new models for 2009-2011. Electric cars and many other mobile-electric devices can take support form new big batteries.  It is a first step on this branch of magnet-battery and scientists have to done a lot of studies before I can have it in my mobile “phone”( I wonder if there will be phone then such batteries came to market?).

Although the actual device has a diameter about that of a human hair and cannot even light up an LED (light-emitting diode–a light source used as electronic component), the energy that might be stored in this way could potentially run a car for miles.

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Вот почему я не хочу работать

March 13th, 2009 Comments off

Откровение от самого президета росии Медведева. Тут я с ним даже согласен. Если они продолжат так работать – то кризис никуда не исчезнет.

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How to think about your past properly

March 13th, 2009 Comments off

When we think about our past behavior in the imperfective (e.g. what we were doing), we get better in recall it or repeat this action in future.

If you want to perform at your peak, you should carefully consider how you discuss your past actions. The way a statement is phrased (and specifically, how the verbs are used), affects our memory of an event being described and may also influence our behavior.

The authors surmise that when we think about our past behavior in the imperfective (e.g. what we were doing), we tend to imagine that behavior as ongoing (and not completed yet). This enables us to easily think about what went into that behavior and may help us improve performance on similar tasks in the future.

Interesting what if you want not to do something you can describe it in perfect form.

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