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Submission + - LSD Microdosing Gaining Popularity For Silicon Valley Professionals (rollingstone.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Rolling Stone reports that an unusual new trend is popping up around the offices of Silicon Valley companies: taking tiny doses of LSD or other psychedelic drugs to increase productivity. "A microdose is about a tenth of the normal dose – around 10 micrograms of LSD, or 0.2-0.5 grams of mushrooms." According to the article, the average user is a 20-something looking to improve their creativity and problem-solving skills. Some users report that the LSD alleviates other problems, like anxiety or cluster headaches. That said, it's important to note that such benefits are not supported by scientific research — yet.

Submission + - Montana Newspaper Plans To Out Anonymous Cowards Retroactively

HughPickens.com writes: Eugene Volokh reports at the Washington Post that in a stunning policy shift, The Montana Standard, a daily newspaper in Butte, Montana, has decided to replace commenters' pseudonyms with their real names. "The kicker here is that the change is retroactive," writes Paul Alan Levy. "Apparently unwilling to part with the wealth of comments that are already posted on its web site under the old policy, but also, apparently, unwilling to configure its software so that comments posted before the new policy is implemented remain under the chosen screen names, the Standard announces that past comments will suddenly appear using the users’ real names unless users contact the paper no later than December 26 to ask that their comments be removed." "We have encountered consistent difficulty with posts that exceed the bounds of civil discourse — as have many sites where comments from anonymous posters are allowed," the paper stated in a November 12 editorial outlining the new real-name policy.

The paper's new policy has proven controversial among readers. "This is the end of open and honest comments on this site," wrote one user who goes by the name BGF. "It is easy to put your name to your comments if you are retired. But it is another thing altogether if you have to worry about upsetting your peers and bosses at work." The newspaper editor, David McCumber, says the he has extensively investigated the feasability of configuring the newspaper's software so that comments posted before the new policy is implemented remain under chosen screen names but was unfortunately told by his content-management software experts that such a configuration is impossible. "Based on that, I am trying to do what is most equitable to all of our readers," says McCumber. "When a relatively small city is at the center of your market, just about everybody commented about is known, and the anonymous comments sting."

Submission + - Parts of the SpaceX Falcon-9 Rocket found off the Isles of Scilly (bbc.com)

AppleHoshi writes: The BBC is reporting that a large chunk of the SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket, which exploded shortly after take-off from Cape Canaveral earlier this year, has been found 4,000 miles away, in the sea off the Isles of Scilly. The BBC also hints that they may have discovered the cause of the failure, noting at two different places in the article that the Falcon-9 was "...sending a cargo ship to the International Space Station". No word from "Aunty" yet as to whether they attribute the failure to the inefficient aerodynamics, or just the weight of said ship, though.

Submission + - React.js is like DHTML (hhvm.ovh)

janit writes: DHTML is a term that was used in the late 90s and early 2000s to describe any kind of functionality that were somehow out of the realm of regular web site browsing. This went from dropdown navigations to snow flakes falling from the top of the screen to birds flying out of a banner to follow your cursor.

Today with React.js the DHTML snippets are looking more familiar than in the last 15 years or so. Why? Because separation of concerns for web components is done at a component level, so all markup, styling and code are slapped into one file.

Submission + - Privacy Vulnerability Exposes VPN Users' Real IP Addresses (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A major security flaw which reveals VPN users’ real IP addresses has been discovered by Perfect Privacy (PP). The researchers suggest that the problem affects all VPN protocols, including IPSec, PPTP and OpenVPN. The technique involves a port-forwarding tactic whereby a hacker using the same VPN as its victim can forward traffic through a certain port, which exposes the unsuspecting user’s IP address. This issue persists even if the victim has disabled port forwarding. PP discovered that five out of nine prominent VPN providers that offer port forwarding were vulnerable to the attack.

Submission + - SpaceX's Elon Musk battles with Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos in a new space race (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos do not like each other. That fact was demonstrated once again, as Business Insider noted, by a series of tweets Musk sent concerning the successful launch and landing of Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a suborbital rocket intended to take paying passengers on jaunts into space. The flight was the first time a rocket reached space, albeit barely, and then landed on Earth under its own power. Musk has been trying to land the first stage of his Falcon 9 on a barge in the middle of the ocean, thus far unsuccessfully.

Submission + - VR Empathy Machine links UN dignitaries with Syrian Refugees

An dochasac writes: So, you stood there in the dark all night long. Maybe you even slept in a tent in a frigid urban wasteland. But you got it. You are now the proud owner of the the latest Gear VR, Google Cardboard or Occulus Virtual Reality(VR) headset. As you recover from your night of sleeping rough, you're probably looking for worthwhile VR content.

The late film critic Roger Ebert considered movies to be like a machine that creates empathy. Filmmaker Chris Milk took this concept a step further when he brought his VR empathy machine to Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to film Clouds over Sidra. He hopes this will help us step into the moccasins of these vulnerable people and understand about the struggles of their daily lives and of their humanity. He has already taken his film to UN dignitaries and it did seem to change their perceptions of people like Sidra. Will it work for the rest of us?

Might our empathy gap be caused by the fact that communicating empathy requires more bandwidth than communicating the primitive emotions of fear, anger and despair?

"My name is Sidra. I am 12 years old... I have lived here in the Zaatari camp in Jordan for the last year and a half..."

Submission + - London's Deputy Mayor: Ditch Diesel!

dkatana writes: During an interview in Barcelona last week, at the Smart Cities Congress, London's Deputy Mayor Matthew Pencharz said that he doesn't believe diesel cars belong in cities.

He said, “I don’t believe that for the urban setting, for light vehicles, diesel is the right thing,” He added, “I don’t think it is the right thing if you are an urban driver, stopping-starting in traffic all day, not going very far, not zipping along at 50 mph on the motorway. [I think] diesel is not the right technology.”

He also blamed the European Commission for being too lenient with emission standards and conformity factors. “The conformity factors the Commission [has recently approved] are not as good as we would like, clearly, because we are going to have the same problem again,” he said.

“The VW scandal has focused attention on a problem we hardly knew about, and it has raised to the top the public policy of failure of dieselization across the European Union, and the UK too, combined with the spectacular failure of the Euro engine standards,” he said. “[The scandal] has focused our minds on the fact that we need to accelerate the way out of diesel.”

Submission + - NASA concludes that comets, not alien megastructures orbit KIC 8462852 (examiner.com) 1

MarkWhittington writes: Back in October, findings from the Kepler Space Telescope suggested that something strange was going on around a star called KIC 8462852. Kepler was built to detect exoplanets by measuring the cycles of dimming light from other stars, indicating that a large object was passing between them and Earth. But the dimming light cycle from KIC 8462852 seemed to suggest a lot of smaller objects swarming around it. Scientists narrowed down the explanations to either a swarm of comets or alien megastructures. NASA announced evidence garnered by two other telescopes that pointed to the comet explanation.

Submission + - UK Prisons To Crack Down On Inmate Internet And Mobile Phone Use (thestack.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: UK prisons will roll out enhanced internet and mobile phone blocking technologies, according to new measures announced yesterday by Chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement. The step which seeks to stop inmate access to the internet and calls made from mobile devices, will involve part of a £1.3bn investment from the Ministry of Justice to improve the country’s Prison Service. Through this strategy, the government hopes to drive “safety improvements” by denying calls and data used on illicit mobile devices. The latest development in blocking technologies promises to be better than earlier systems, which inmates have been able to get around.

Submission + - Russians Build Nuclear Powered Data Center (datacenterdynamics.com)

judgecorp writes: The government-owned Russian energy company Rosenergoatom is building Russia's largest data center at its giant Kalinin nuclear power station. Most of the space will be available to customers, and the facility expects to be in demand, thanks to two factors: reliable power, and the data residency rules which require Russian citizens' data to be located within Russia. Facebook and Google don't have data centers within Russia yet — and Rosenergoatom has already invited them into the Kalinin facility.

Submission + - Why CIA is smearing Edward Snowden after Paris attacks (latimes.com)

JoeyRox writes: "Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity. Bodies were still lying in the streets of Paris when CIA operatives began exploiting the resulting fear and anger to advance long-standing political agendas. They and their congressional allies instantly attempted to heap blame for the atrocity not on Islamic State but on several preexisting adversaries: Internet encryption, Silicon Valley's privacy policies and Edward Snowden."

Submission + - Pressure From Uber Forces London Taxis To Finally Accept Cards (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Following a public consultation that compared the service unfavorably with Uber, London's 21,000 black cabs will finally accept card payment from October of 2016, with a possible option to pay via PayPal. London Mayor Boris Johnson continues to support and defend the legendarily expensive and iconic taxi service, saying 'This move will boost business for cabbies and bring the trade into the 21st century by enabling quicker and more convenient journeys for customers'. Most Londoners feel that the move should have been made in the 1980s, and the consultation report indicates that Uber's increasing share of London fares has forced the innovation.

Submission + - Apple Looks To Introduce OLED Displays In iPhone Models from 2018 (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is expected to integrate organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology in its iPhone handsets from 2018. The Cupertino-based giant will jump from liquid crystal display (LCD), which has been used in iPhones since 2007, to OLED – turning to suppliers like LG Displays, according to Japanese reports. The switch follows the steps of other smartphone makers such as Samsung and LG, which have both already integrated OLED technology in their mobile device ranges.

Submission + - How to protect WordPress website from offenders? (wordpress.com)

digitalpursuit writes: Wordpress has become the platform that has taken up everything in the web designing and development industry. It is now considered as one of the biggest platform in the web world that helps people and business meet their needs with utmost care.

Submission + - Japanese company makes low calorie noodles out of wood

AmiMoJo writes: Omikenshi Co, an Osaka based cloth manufacturer best known for rayon, a fibre made from tree pulp, is expanding into the health food business. Using a similar process, Omikenshi is turning the indigestible cellulose into a pulp that’s mixed with konjac, a yam-like plant grown in Japan. The resulting fibre-rich flour, which the company calls “cell-eat,” contains no gluten, no fat and almost no carbohydrate. It has just 60 calories a kilogram, compared with 3,680 for wheat.

Submission + - AMD's Crimson Radeon Driver For Linux Barely Changes Anything (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AMD Windows customers were greeted this week to the new "Crimson" Radeon Software that brought many bug fixes, performance improvements, and brand new control panel. While AMD also released this Crimson driver for Linux, it really doesn't change much. The control panel is unchanged except for replacing "Catalyst" strings with "Radeon" and there's been no performance changes but just some isolated slowdowns. The Crimson Linux release notes only mention two changes: a fix for glxgears stuttering and mouse cursor corruption.