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+ - Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Citizenship and Immigration Canada has granted an unprecedented exemption to Microsoft that will allow the company to bring in an unspecified number of temporary foreign workers as trainees without first looking for Canadians to fill the jobs. No other company in any other field has been granted such an exemption, and it does not fall within any of the other categories where exemptions are normally given, according to a source familiar with process, effectively creating a new category: the Microsoft Exemption. Microsoft Canada did not immediately respond to questions about the deal, but in an interview earlier this year with Bloomberg Businessweek, Karen Jones, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, said the deal will allow Microsoft to bypass stricter U.S. rules on visas for foreign workers. The entire issue of temporary foreign workers has been as blisteringly hot a topic across Canada as it has been in the USA."

+ - Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Ford's in-car infotainment system known as Sync will soon evolve to add a capacitive touch screen, better integration with smartphone apps and, eventually, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in version 3, thanks to a switch of OSes. After years of teaming with Microsoft, the automobile giant has switched to Blackberry's QNX, a real time operating system renowned for stability."

+ - How Data From The Kepler Space Telescope Is Changing The Drake Equation

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The Drake equation describes how the number of other extraterrestrial civilisations in the galaxy depends on factors such as the percentage of stars with planets, the percentage of those that are capable of hosting life, the percentage of these on which life actually forms, and so on. It has been a famous rallying point for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence since the early 1960s when Frank Drake first formulated it. Since then, critics have argued that many of the parameters are unknown so the equation produces numbers that are little better than guesses. Now one astronomer points out that the Kepler Space Telescope is changing that. Kepler was specifically designed to find Earth-like planets around other stars, something it has done remarkably well. For example, the Kepler data suggests that up to 15 per cent of Sun-like stars have Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. These kinds of figures dramatically change that inferences that can be made using Drake's equation. For instance, the new data applied to the Drake equation suggests that the nearest life-bearing planet may be within 10 light years of here. But it also suggests that the nearest civilisation is likely to be thousands of light years away."

+ - Researchers seek the origins of an early Analog Computer->

Submitted by puddingebola
puddingebola (2036796) writes "The Antikythera Mechanism is described as an early analog computer, used to predict the time of eclipses, and for astrological and astronomic instruction. Speculation about its origin has ranged from attributing it to different Greek Mathemeticians and thinkers, such as Archimedes, Hipparchus, and Posidonius, Current research suggests its origin may be much earlier, and its working based on Babylonian arithmetical methods rather than Greek Trigonometry, which did not exist at the time. From the article, "Writing this month in the journal Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Dr. Carman and Dr. Evans took a different tack. Starting with the ways the device’s eclipse patterns fit Babylonian eclipse records, the two scientists used a process of elimination to reach a conclusion that the “epoch date,” or starting point, of the Antikythera Mechanism’s calendar was 50 years to a century earlier than had been generally believed.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Objective C vs. Swift for a new iOS developer

Submitted by RegularDave
RegularDave (3930161) writes "I'm a recent grad from a master's program in a potentially worthless social science field, and I've considered getting into iOS development. Several of my friends who were in similar situations after grad school have done so and are making a healthy living getting contract work. Although they had CS and Physics degrees going into iOS, neither had worked in objective C and both essentially went through a crash courses (either self-taught or through intensive classes) in order to get their first gigs. I have two questions. First, am I an idiot for thinking I can teach myself either objective C or Swift on my own without any academic CS background (I've tinkered in HTML, CSS, and C classes online with some success)? Second, if I'm not an idiot for attempting to learn either language, which should I concentrate on?"

+ - France Wants To Get Rid Of Diesel Fuel

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "France wants to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport and will put in place a system to identify the most polluting vehicles, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday. Next year, the government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit, Valls said in a speech. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars. "In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically," Valls said. About 80 percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars. Valls said taxation would have to orient citizens towards more ecological choices, notably the 2015 state budget measures to reduce the tax advantage of diesel fuel versus gas."

+ - Scientists develop paint to help cool the planet->

Submitted by AaronW
AaronW (33736) writes "Engineers at Stanford University have developed an ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings but also directs internal heat away from the building using a system called "photonic radiative cooling." The coating is capable of reflecting away 97% of incoming sunlight and when combined with the photonic radiative cooling system it becomes cooler than the surrounding air by around 9F (5C). The material is designed to radiate heat into space at a precise frequency that allows it to pass through the atmosphere without warming it.

The material is designed to be cost effective for large-scale deployments."

Link to Original Source

+ - Female TV Reporters Decry FHRITP Meme-Bomb

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "If you’re a TV reporter on a remote feed in a public space, try for some crowd control beforehand because there’s a good chance someone will invade your broadcast with an increasingly prominent, viral meme called FHRITP, which has repeatedly appeared ever since January 4th 2014 when reporter John Cain did not realize that he was being broadcast live and made lewd comments about a missing 20-year-old girl. Cain was quickly fired for his on-air remarks, but they were immortalized just one month later when a hooded man with sunglasses named “Fred” jumped into the middle of a news report, grabbed the microphone and shouted the epithet before running off. Reporters are voicing their outrage, rightly or wrongly perceiving the pranks as overtly sexual harrassment of females. The meme has spread beyond the Internet and live TV, as in the case of this road warning sign."

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