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+ - The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket->

Submitted by mr crypto
mr crypto (229724) writes "Data providers would probably prefer you not know that most smart phones contain an FM chip that lets you listen to broadcasts for free: "But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off." The National Association of Broadcasters, National Public Radio, and American Public Media — have launched a lobbying campaign to get those radios switched on."
Link to Original Source

+ - Denver TSA Screeners Manipulated System in order to Grope Men's Genitals->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The CBS affiliate in Denver reports: "Two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers."

According to law enforcement reports obtained during the CBS4 investigation, a male TSA screener told a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at DIA.

“He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.”

Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done."

Link to Original Source

+ - Governor orders one week shut down of Thirty Meter Telescope project 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Bowing to the demands of about two dozen protesters, the governor of Hawaii has ordered a one week halt in the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea.

You can read statements from the governor, the protesters, and the telescope's project manager here. Make sure especially you read the statement by the telescope manager, as it outlines in great detail the negotiations over the past seven years between the telescope and the local community. This project was not forced upon them. They discussed it and agreed to it. As the statement notes,

Following an appeal of the permit and further contested case proceedings, the TMT project has proceeded in full compliance with the law. The TMT site was selected with great care and respect. There are no archaeological shrines or burial sites within TMT's project site. Comprehensive research by expert hydrologists confirm there is no threat to the aquifer.

This is the same story we've seen for the past half century with every telescope that has been built in territories where the local native population has some say in construction. Years of negotiation are ignored just as construction is about to begin by a small number of protesters demanding a halt. The protesters always claim a combination of religious and environmental concerns. In every case, these so-called passionate demands somehow vanish after they are promised some additional cash.

It would a terrible tragedy for Hawaii, and the human race, if this $1.4 billion telescope ends up getting canceled because of the complaints of a handful of people who behave like extortionists. It will also be unfortunate if the government bows to this extortion and rewards them for this behavior."

+ - Snowden statue in NY->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A statue of Snowden showed up in Brooklyn. As quickly as it showed up, it was even more quickly removed. Apart from this, the bust was also hidden by a blue tarp so that New Yorkers do not get any ideas.
  Still, it is nice to see civil disobedience did not completely die in this nation."

Link to Original Source

+ - Judge Allows Divorce Papers To Be Served Via Facebook 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Want to divorce your husband or wife but can’t give them the papers in person? Just use Facebook. No, apparently this isn’t a late April Fools’ joke. The New York Daily News reports Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper has allowed 26-year-old Ellanora Baidoo to serve her husband Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku divorce papers via a Facebook message. In fact, Baidoo won’t even be the one sending the message. Her lawyer has been granted permission to message Blood-Dzraku using her account. “This transmittal shall be repeated by plaintiff’s attorney to defendant once a week for three consecutive weeks or until acknowledged,” the ruling states."

Techdirt: USPTO Demands EFF Censor Its Comments On Patentable Subject Matter->

From feed by feedfeeder
As you know, last year the Supreme Court made a very important ruling in the Alice v. CLS Bank case, in which it basically said that merely doing something on a general purpose computer didn't automatically make it patentable. This has resulted in many courts rejecting patents and the USPTO being less willing to issue patents, based on that guidance. The USPTO sought to push out new "guidance" to its examiners taking the ruling into account. Soon after the Alice ruling, it issued some "Preliminary Examination Instructions." However, it then issued the so-called 2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility and sought public comment through March 16 of this year.

Plenty of folks did comment, including the EFF. However, the USPTO apparently was offended at parts of the EFF's comment submission, claiming that it was an "improper protest." In response, the EFF refiled the comment, but redacted the part that the USPTO didn't like. Here's what page 5 of the document on the USPTO site looks like: However, EFF also added the following footnote (footnote 8) on page 6:

On April 2, 2015, the PTO contacted EFF to request that we remove a portion of these comments on the basis that they constituted an improper “protest.” We respectfully disagree that our comments were a protest under 35 U.S.C. 122(c). Rather, our comments discussed a specific application to illustrate our broader points about the importance of applying Alice. Nevertheless, to ensure these comments are considered by the Office, we have redacted the relevant discussion in this revised version of our comments. Our original comments remain available to the public at: https://www.eff.org/files/2015/03/18/eff_comments_regarding_ interim_eligibility_guidance.pdf.
And, of course, if you go to that link, you get the full, unredacted version of the EFF's filing.

As you can see by the full filing, the EFF filing isn't some sort of improper protest. Rather it is a clear demonstration of how the USPTO does not appear to be living up to what the courts are saying in the wake of the Alice ruling. It is difficult to see what the USPTO was thinking in trying to silence the EFF's comment. It is beyond ludicrous on multiple levels. First, it suggests a skin so thin at the USPTO that you can see right through it. Second, it suggests that the USPTO doesn't want people to recognize that its guidance is problematic in light of what actual federal courts are saying. And, finally, it suggests (still) a complete lack of understanding of how the internet and freedom of expression works, thereby guaranteeing that the EFF's complete dismantling of the USPTO's guidelines will now get that much more attention...

Has anyone patented a method and system for self-inflicted shaming for being overly sensitive to someone pointing out your flaws?

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story

Link to Original Source

+ - Seed from ancient extinct plant planted and brought back to life

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Israeli scientists have successfully gotten a 2000-year-old seed of an extinct date plant to grow and now reproduce.

Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had been pulled from the remains of Masada, an ancient fortification perched on a rock plateau in southern Israel, and at the time, no one could be sure that the plant would thrive. But he has, and his recent reproductive feat helps prove just how well he’s doing.

For a while, the Judean date palm was the sole representative of his kind: Methuselah’s variety was reportedly wiped out around 500 A.D. But Solowey has continued to grow date palms from ancient seeds discovered in the region, and she tells National Geographic that she is “trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove.” Doing so would allow researchers to better understand exactly what earlier peoples of the region were eating and how it tasted.


Comment: "not the best" (Score 1) 1

The OP left out key info....
Luckily for him, Sunday_Account had narrated his Craiglist and the seller guy in coffee shop episode to his colleagues back at the office. The lawyer believed him and cross checked with his colleagues. He also had PI track down the guy who had made the listing on Craiglist. It turned out that the guy who made the listing was a registered sex offender.

It took a month for all the charges against Sunday_Account to be dropped and his arrest record to be erased. The $250 lappy cost him $12,000 in legal bills for the entire fracas.

Sunday_Account made a post of his ordeal on TIFU subreddit where he advised fellow Redditors and other readers to “reformat the drive on any used computer you buy or eat bologna sandwiches with retards in jail.” [emphasis added]

Add the info, and it might be worth posting to /. -- however the clean up of a system you know nothing about is is common sense (perhaps worth retelling). As posted, it is little more than a Fox News bit.

+ - Jupiter destroyed 'super-Earths' in our early solar system->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "If Jupiter and Saturn hadn’t formed where they did—and at the sizes they did—as the disk of dust and gas around our sun coalesced, then our solar system would be a very different and possibly more hostile place, new research suggests. Computer models reveal that in the solar system’s first 3 million years or so, gravitational interactions with Jupiter, Saturn, and the gas in the protoplanetary disk would have driven super-Earth–sized planets closer to the sun and into increasingly elliptical orbits. In such paths, a cascade of collisions would have blasted any orbs present there into ever smaller bits, which in turn would have been slowed by the interplanetary equivalent of atmospheric drag and eventually plunged into the sun. As Jupiter retreated from its closest approach to the sun, it left behind the mostly rocky remnants that later coalesced into our solar system’s inner planets, including Earth."
Link to Original Source

+ - Southern California Edison Lays off 500 workers- replaces with H1B Visa workers.->

Submitted by Maxo-Texas
Maxo-Texas (864189) writes "California Edison workers are being laid off and replaced with Infosys H1B visa workers. They will be required to train their Infosys replacements in order to receive their severance pay and they will be required to sign NDA's in order to receive their full payment.

This violates the premise of H1B visa's-- that the workers are needed to fill jobs for which employees cannot be found. The story is being widely reported on conservative talk radio as well so this event may actually bridge the political gap and bring about bipartisan corrections to the H1B programs

Full details:

Link to Original Source

Nothing happens.