Review Category : Top Stories

“The Imitation Game”: A Look at the Life and Legacy of Alan Turing

Weinstein Company(LONDON) — Sixty years after his death, Alan Turing is back in the public eye.

Turing, a British mathematician who helped defeat the Nazis by cracking their codes, is played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film The Imitation Game, which is set for a Nov. 28 release.

Even if this is the first time you’ve heard Turing’s name, chances are you’ve already experienced his impact.

The “Turing Machine” was the first modern computer to logically process information, running on interchangeable software and essentially laying the groundwork for every computing device we have today — from laptops to smartphones.

Turing also predicted that computers would keep getting smarter. In 1950, he devised an artificial intelligence test that asks, “Can machines think?”

Known as the “Turing Test,” it investigates whether people can detect if they are conversing with a human or a computer. In order to pass, a computer must be mistaken for a human by 30 percent of judges during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations.

Earlier this year, an artificially intelligent “teenager” became the first computer to pass the test by successfully duping enough judges into believing they were conversing with a real human, according to the University of Reading, which organizes the annual event.

Despite his tremendous contributions to computer science and his role in the war effort, Turing was arrested and charged under a law that criminalized homosexuality in the United Kingdom.

As part of a deal to avoid prison time, Turning agreed to be injected with female sex hormones. He died on June 7, 1954 — believed to be a suicide by eating an apple poisoned with cyanide.

He was posthumously pardoned last year by Queen Elizabeth II.

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Dow and S&P Reach Record Closes

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 reached record closes on Friday.

The Dow soared just after Friday’s opening bell when China’s central bank cut a key interest rate. It closed up 88.94 points at 17,807.94.

The Nasdaq went up 11.10 points to 4,712.97, and the S&P went up 10.73 points to a record finish of 2,063.48.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 34 states in October– a sign that steady hiring is becoming the norm across most of the country.

Online streaming service Aereo filed for bankruptcy less than five months after an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court said Aereo had been operating like a cable TV company, and unless it paid broadcasters licensing fees, it was in violation of copyright law.

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“The Imitation Game”: A Look at the Life and Legacy of Alan Turing

Weinstein Company(LONDON) — Sixty years after his death, Alan Turing is back in the public eye.

Turing, a British mathematician who helped defeat the Nazis by cracking their codes, is played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film The Imitation Game, which is set for a Nov. 28 release.

Even if this is the first time you’ve heard Turing’s name, chances are you’ve already experienced his impact.

The “Turing Machine” was the first modern computer to logically process information, running on interchangeable software and essentially laying the groundwork for every computing device we have today — from laptops to smartphones.

Turing also predicted that computers would keep getting smarter. In 1950, he devised an artificial intelligence test that asks, “Can machines think?”

Known as the “Turing Test,” it investigates whether people can detect if they are conversing with a human or a computer. In order to pass, a computer must be mistaken for a human by 30 percent of judges during a series of five-minute keyboard conversations.

Earlier this year, an artificially intelligent “teenager” became the first computer to pass the test by successfully duping enough judges into believing they were conversing with a real human, according to the University of Reading, which organizes the annual event.

Despite his tremendous contributions to computer science and his role in the war effort, Turing was arrested and charged under a law that criminalized homosexuality in the United Kingdom.

As part of a deal to avoid prison time, Turning agreed to be injected with female sex hormones. He died on June 7, 1954 — believed to be a suicide by eating an apple poisoned with cyanide.

He was posthumously pardoned last year by Queen Elizabeth II.

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Iran Nuclear Negotiations Near Deadline; Parties Remain Deadlocked

State Department photo/ Public Domain(VIENNA) — With three days left until this round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program concludes, the outcome appeared so uncertain Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry reversed his travel plans, first announcing that he would be leaving Vienna, where negotiators have huddled, for Paris, and a few hours later saying he’d actually be staying in the Austrian capital.

It’s clear what the United States and its allies want from Iran: a significant and irreversible rollback of its nuclear program, plus ironclad monitoring of any remaining civilian nuclear activity, in exchange for sanctions relief. But the parties, while remaining tight-lipped in public, have not yet agreed on how to implement such a deal.

There are really only three possible scenarios that could arise come Monday: the talks conclude with a deal, no deal or an agreement to extend the talks with some outline for how to proceed.

DEAL

Most observers and some participants have said a comprehensive deal by the start of next week is probably not going to happen.

“Right now, I think it’s going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It’s not impossible,” Tony Blinken, the nominee to be the next deputy secretary of state, added during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Iran and the Western negotiators, made up of the United States plus five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, remain far apart on many of the core issues under discussion, including the number and kind of centrifuges Iran would be allowed to keep, under a final deal, in order to enrich uranium for a peaceful nuclear program; the length of such a deal; and the way in which economic sanctions on Iran get phased out.

But on the off chance the sides do reach a deal by Monday, members of Congress are already signaling they will seek to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it continues any nuclear activity, even for what it contends is a peaceful civilian program.

NO DEAL

Many skeptics of an Iran nuclear deal say they don’t want diplomacy to fail, but they also don’t believe the Iranian regime is sincere in its desire for a strictly peaceful nuclear program. It has become a common refrain in Washington and Israel that no nuclear deal is better than a bad one; it just depends on one’s definition of a “bad” deal. Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a video message earlier this month against “rush[ing] into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb.”

In this way, the potential failure of these talks might give relief to those doubters, like Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He testified in Congress Thursday, saying negotiation is the right way to go, but “the dispute that is taking place now is between those who are skeptical of Iran and those who may be skeptical but they fundamentally believe…that we have a chance to fundamentally change the Iranian regime’s approach to its nuclear weapons program.”

Those participating in the negotiations have warned that failure to reach a deal could lead to dire consequences. “There’s no question that, if everything goes away, escalation will be the name of the game on all sides, and none of that is good,” Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, the top U.S. negotiator, said in a speech Oct. 23.

But others contend that no one really knows what would happen if these talks fail. Asked that question in the same hearing as Dubowitz, Gen. Michael Hadyen, who served as the director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush administration, responded, “That’s why we left this, an ugly baby, for the next administration. We didn’t have any good answers.”

INTERIM DEAL

Secretary of State John Kerry may have tipped his hand to what the parties believe will happen when he said during remarks in Paris Thursday, “we’re driving towards what we believe is the outline of an agreement that we think we can have” — a far cry from a comprehensive deal.

More likely is another interim agreement that extends the talks with the stipulation that Iran continue to freeze progress on aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That’s what happened back in July, when the negotiations were originally supposed to end, and the parties decided to extend until No. 24, which is three days away.

But even in the past month, the political situation in the United States has only gotten more hostile to a deal with Iran. Forty-three Republican senators, plus 11 incoming GOP senators-elect, have already pledged they will attempt to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it’s allowed to continue any nuclear development in a final agreement.

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Iran Nuclear Negotiations Near Deadline; Parties Remain Deadlocked

State Department photo/ Public Domain(VIENNA) — With three days left until this round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program concludes, the outcome appeared so uncertain Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry reversed his travel plans, first announcing that he would be leaving Vienna, where negotiators have huddled, for Paris, and a few hours later saying he’d actually be staying in the Austrian capital.

It’s clear what the United States and its allies want from Iran: a significant and irreversible rollback of its nuclear program, plus ironclad monitoring of any remaining civilian nuclear activity, in exchange for sanctions relief. But the parties, while remaining tight-lipped in public, have not yet agreed on how to implement such a deal.

There are really only three possible scenarios that could arise come Monday: the talks conclude with a deal, no deal or an agreement to extend the talks with some outline for how to proceed.

DEAL

Most observers and some participants have said a comprehensive deal by the start of next week is probably not going to happen.

“Right now, I think it’s going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It’s not impossible,” Tony Blinken, the nominee to be the next deputy secretary of state, added during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Iran and the Western negotiators, made up of the United States plus five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, remain far apart on many of the core issues under discussion, including the number and kind of centrifuges Iran would be allowed to keep, under a final deal, in order to enrich uranium for a peaceful nuclear program; the length of such a deal; and the way in which economic sanctions on Iran get phased out.

But on the off chance the sides do reach a deal by Monday, members of Congress are already signaling they will seek to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it continues any nuclear activity, even for what it contends is a peaceful civilian program.

NO DEAL

Many skeptics of an Iran nuclear deal say they don’t want diplomacy to fail, but they also don’t believe the Iranian regime is sincere in its desire for a strictly peaceful nuclear program. It has become a common refrain in Washington and Israel that no nuclear deal is better than a bad one; it just depends on one’s definition of a “bad” deal. Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a video message earlier this month against “rush[ing] into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb.”

In this way, the potential failure of these talks might give relief to those doubters, like Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He testified in Congress Thursday, saying negotiation is the right way to go, but “the dispute that is taking place now is between those who are skeptical of Iran and those who may be skeptical but they fundamentally believe…that we have a chance to fundamentally change the Iranian regime’s approach to its nuclear weapons program.”

Those participating in the negotiations have warned that failure to reach a deal could lead to dire consequences. “There’s no question that, if everything goes away, escalation will be the name of the game on all sides, and none of that is good,” Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, the top U.S. negotiator, said in a speech Oct. 23.

But others contend that no one really knows what would happen if these talks fail. Asked that question in the same hearing as Dubowitz, Gen. Michael Hadyen, who served as the director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush administration, responded, “That’s why we left this, an ugly baby, for the next administration. We didn’t have any good answers.”

INTERIM DEAL

Secretary of State John Kerry may have tipped his hand to what the parties believe will happen when he said during remarks in Paris Thursday, “we’re driving towards what we believe is the outline of an agreement that we think we can have” — a far cry from a comprehensive deal.

More likely is another interim agreement that extends the talks with the stipulation that Iran continue to freeze progress on aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That’s what happened back in July, when the negotiations were originally supposed to end, and the parties decided to extend until No. 24, which is three days away.

But even in the past month, the political situation in the United States has only gotten more hostile to a deal with Iran. Forty-three Republican senators, plus 11 incoming GOP senators-elect, have already pledged they will attempt to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it’s allowed to continue any nuclear development in a final agreement.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Iran Nuclear Negotiations Near Deadline; Parties Remain Deadlocked

State Department photo/ Public Domain(VIENNA) — With three days left until this round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program concludes, the outcome appeared so uncertain Friday that Secretary of State John Kerry reversed his travel plans, first announcing that he would be leaving Vienna, where negotiators have huddled, for Paris, and a few hours later saying he’d actually be staying in the Austrian capital.

It’s clear what the United States and its allies want from Iran: a significant and irreversible rollback of its nuclear program, plus ironclad monitoring of any remaining civilian nuclear activity, in exchange for sanctions relief. But the parties, while remaining tight-lipped in public, have not yet agreed on how to implement such a deal.

There are really only three possible scenarios that could arise come Monday: the talks conclude with a deal, no deal or an agreement to extend the talks with some outline for how to proceed.

DEAL

Most observers and some participants have said a comprehensive deal by the start of next week is probably not going to happen.

“Right now, I think it’s going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It’s not impossible,” Tony Blinken, the nominee to be the next deputy secretary of state, added during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Iran and the Western negotiators, made up of the United States plus five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, remain far apart on many of the core issues under discussion, including the number and kind of centrifuges Iran would be allowed to keep, under a final deal, in order to enrich uranium for a peaceful nuclear program; the length of such a deal; and the way in which economic sanctions on Iran get phased out.

But on the off chance the sides do reach a deal by Monday, members of Congress are already signaling they will seek to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it continues any nuclear activity, even for what it contends is a peaceful civilian program.

NO DEAL

Many skeptics of an Iran nuclear deal say they don’t want diplomacy to fail, but they also don’t believe the Iranian regime is sincere in its desire for a strictly peaceful nuclear program. It has become a common refrain in Washington and Israel that no nuclear deal is better than a bad one; it just depends on one’s definition of a “bad” deal. Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a video message earlier this month against “rush[ing] into a deal that would let Iran rush to the bomb.”

In this way, the potential failure of these talks might give relief to those doubters, like Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He testified in Congress Thursday, saying negotiation is the right way to go, but “the dispute that is taking place now is between those who are skeptical of Iran and those who may be skeptical but they fundamentally believe…that we have a chance to fundamentally change the Iranian regime’s approach to its nuclear weapons program.”

Those participating in the negotiations have warned that failure to reach a deal could lead to dire consequences. “There’s no question that, if everything goes away, escalation will be the name of the game on all sides, and none of that is good,” Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, the top U.S. negotiator, said in a speech Oct. 23.

But others contend that no one really knows what would happen if these talks fail. Asked that question in the same hearing as Dubowitz, Gen. Michael Hadyen, who served as the director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency during the George W. Bush administration, responded, “That’s why we left this, an ugly baby, for the next administration. We didn’t have any good answers.”

INTERIM DEAL

Secretary of State John Kerry may have tipped his hand to what the parties believe will happen when he said during remarks in Paris Thursday, “we’re driving towards what we believe is the outline of an agreement that we think we can have” — a far cry from a comprehensive deal.

More likely is another interim agreement that extends the talks with the stipulation that Iran continue to freeze progress on aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That’s what happened back in July, when the negotiations were originally supposed to end, and the parties decided to extend until No. 24, which is three days away.

But even in the past month, the political situation in the United States has only gotten more hostile to a deal with Iran. Forty-three Republican senators, plus 11 incoming GOP senators-elect, have already pledged they will attempt to impose additional sanctions on Iran if it’s allowed to continue any nuclear development in a final agreement.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Five Scams to Beware of This Holiday Season

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Holidays are a time for joy, family and maybe a few presents. But it’s also when scammers and thieves are on the lookout for shoppers who let their guard down.

Here’s how to stay safe this holiday season, and what scams to watch out for:

Too Good to Be True Deals: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“This is what we’re considering the year of the breach,” said Robert Siciliano, an online security expert for McAfee. “Consumers need to recognize that there’s a solid chance their email is currently in the hands of a criminal.”

That’s why people should watch out for emails appearing to be from big brands offering dirt-cheap deals.

“Do not click the links in the body of the email — just don’t do that,” he said.

There’s a chance the email is a fake. To find out if the deal if real, visit the retailer’s website directly.

Fake Charities: People might feel the urge to be charitable during the holidays, but they should always make sure they are giving to a reputable organization.

Never hand over your financial information to someone who calls claiming to be from a charity, Siciliano said. If you want to give, call the organization directly. The same goes for online transactions. Instead of clicking an email link purporting to be from a charity, go directly to that group’s website to donate.

$100 Bill Scam: Police in Maryland have warned citizens about a scary scam involving a thief who places a $100 bill on the windshield of a parked car, and waits for the driver to return. The driver gets in the car and sees the bill on the windshield, and when they get out to grab it, leaving the car door open, the thief then swipes the vehicle. At least, that’s the crook’s plan, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s office. However, there have been no police reports about the scam, the attorney general’s office said.

Credit Card Fraud: You should be cautious with your credit cards year-round, but especially around the holidays, when you’re probably more likely to use them, experts said.

Carolyn Balfany of MasterCard said people who do their Christmas shopping online should be careful to only use well-established websites.

“Look for security markers,” she said. “The consumer should be vigilant and smart, and only shop on trusted website with merchants they know.”

Avoid giving your credit card number to someone verbally or letting anyone write the number down.

iScams: People use their smartphones more than ever today, and the holiday season is no exception.

But be careful about what apps you download around the holidays. New ones may not be entirely secure, according to McAfee. Watch out for apps that request too many permissions — they may get access to information you want to keep private, the company said.

And only download apps from an official app store, never from a third-party.

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Five Scams to Beware of This Holiday Season

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Holidays are a time for joy, family and maybe a few presents. But it’s also when scammers and thieves are on the lookout for shoppers who let their guard down.

Here’s how to stay safe this holiday season, and what scams to watch out for:

Too Good to Be True Deals: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“This is what we’re considering the year of the breach,” said Robert Siciliano, an online security expert for McAfee. “Consumers need to recognize that there’s a solid chance their email is currently in the hands of a criminal.”

That’s why people should watch out for emails appearing to be from big brands offering dirt-cheap deals.

“Do not click the links in the body of the email — just don’t do that,” he said.

There’s a chance the email is a fake. To find out if the deal if real, visit the retailer’s website directly.

Fake Charities: People might feel the urge to be charitable during the holidays, but they should always make sure they are giving to a reputable organization.

Never hand over your financial information to someone who calls claiming to be from a charity, Siciliano said. If you want to give, call the organization directly. The same goes for online transactions. Instead of clicking an email link purporting to be from a charity, go directly to that group’s website to donate.

$100 Bill Scam: Police in Maryland have warned citizens about a scary scam involving a thief who places a $100 bill on the windshield of a parked car, and waits for the driver to return. The driver gets in the car and sees the bill on the windshield, and when they get out to grab it, leaving the car door open, the thief then swipes the vehicle. At least, that’s the crook’s plan, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s office. However, there have been no police reports about the scam, the attorney general’s office said.

Credit Card Fraud: You should be cautious with your credit cards year-round, but especially around the holidays, when you’re probably more likely to use them, experts said.

Carolyn Balfany of MasterCard said people who do their Christmas shopping online should be careful to only use well-established websites.

“Look for security markers,” she said. “The consumer should be vigilant and smart, and only shop on trusted website with merchants they know.”

Avoid giving your credit card number to someone verbally or letting anyone write the number down.

iScams: People use their smartphones more than ever today, and the holiday season is no exception.

But be careful about what apps you download around the holidays. New ones may not be entirely secure, according to McAfee. Watch out for apps that request too many permissions — they may get access to information you want to keep private, the company said.

And only download apps from an official app store, never from a third-party.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Robin Williams’ Son Zak Says Their Family Is ‘Acclimating to the New Normal’

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Robin Williams’ death devastated his family. However, his son, Zak, said that they’re trying to move forward.

“We’re doing okay,” he told Us Weekly. “”We’re acclimating to the new normal. Everything is step by step.”

Zak, 31, is the oldest of Williams’ three children. He also has two half-siblings Zelda, 25, and Cody, 22.

“Personally, my wife and I are focusing on doing a lot of good,” he said. “She runs the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch, and we’re working with them to do good in the world.”

Robin Williams was 63 when he died this past August of an apparent suicide.

However, he left behind a legacy that his son cherishes.

“Dad had almost a childlike love, and he shared that love with people, with everyone,” he said. “And that ability to love, and that ability to be generous and giving and kind is something we would want to share with future generations.”

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Robin Williams’ Son Zak Says Their Family Is ‘Acclimating to the New Normal’

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Robin Williams’ death devastated his family. However, his son, Zak, said that they’re trying to move forward.

“We’re doing okay,” he told Us Weekly. “”We’re acclimating to the new normal. Everything is step by step.”

Zak, 31, is the oldest of Williams’ three children. He also has two half-siblings Zelda, 25, and Cody, 22.

“Personally, my wife and I are focusing on doing a lot of good,” he said. “She runs the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch, and we’re working with them to do good in the world.”

Robin Williams was 63 when he died this past August of an apparent suicide.

However, he left behind a legacy that his son cherishes.

“Dad had almost a childlike love, and he shared that love with people, with everyone,” he said. “And that ability to love, and that ability to be generous and giving and kind is something we would want to share with future generations.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Read More →