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Submission "First, Let's Get Rid of All the Bosses" - the Zappos Management Experiment

schnell writes: The New Republic is running an in-depth look at online shoe retailer's experiment in a new "boss-less" corporate structure. Three years ago the company introduced a management philosophy that came from the software development world called "Holacracy," in which there are no "people managers" and groups self-organize based on individual creativity and talents. (When the change was announced, 14% of the company's employees chose to leave; middle management openly rebelled, but perhaps surprisingly the tech organization was slowest to embrace the new idea). The article shows that in this radically employee-centric environment, many if not most employees are thrilled and fulfilled, while others worry that self-organization in practical terms means chaos and a Maoist culture of "coercive positivity." Is Zappos the future of the American workplace, a fringe experiment, or something in between?

Submission Porsche chooses Apple over Google because Google wants too much data->

countach44 writes: As reported in number 5 of this list from Motor Trend, Porsche went with Apple over Google for the infotainment system in its new 911. Apparently, Android Auto wants vehicle data (throttle position, speed, coolant temp, etc...) whereas Apple Play only needs to know if the car is in motion. Speculation is around what Google, as a company building its own car, wants that data for.
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Submission Cold Fusion Rears Ugly Head with Claims of Deuterium Powered Homes->

szczys writes: Ah, who can forget the cold-fusion fiasco of the early 1990's? Promises of room-temperature fusion machines in every home providing nearly-free energy for all. Relive those glory days of hype with this report of Deuterium-Based Home Reactors. Elliot Williams does a good job of deflating the sensationalism by pointing out all of the "breakthroughs", their lack of having any other labs successfully verify the experiments, and the fact that many of the same players from the news stories in the 90s are once again wrapped up in this one.
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Submission Dear FCC : Please don't kill my PC!->

An anonymous reader writes: This past year the FCC passed a set of rules that require manufacturers to thwart end-users from violating rules intended to keep the airwaves usable by all. Unfortunately the rules are such that they will do nothing to stop violators who have the knowledge and intent to bypass them and are already having massive collateral damage on non-violating users. Many people in the OpenWRT and LibreCMC communities are already seeing these locks in newer stock firmware images.

What we would like people to keep in mind is that these rules are not explicit to routers and will hamper other devices as well. Can't install your favourite distribution on a new computer? These rules may be to blame.

The EFF, FSF, Purple Foundation, OpenWRT, ThinkPenguin, Qualcomm, and others have been working diligently to stop this, but we need your help. This is your last chance to send in comments for a set of proposed rules that will make the situation even worse than it already is. For accurate information (there have been many factually inaccurate and misleading stories/quotes) check out the following blog post: and send your comments into the FCC via the EFF's new site: Also see

This is your last chance to stop this. The comment period ends October 9th!

Additional thoughts: Canada and Europe are also passing a similar set of rules. This fight won't be over any time soon. However we won't win unless we can overcome and win the first battle: stopping the proposed rules in the USA.

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Submission Europe's highest court just rejected the US's 'safe harbor' agreement->

craigtp writes: The European Court of Justice has just ruled that the transatlantic Safe Harbour agreement, which lets American companies use a single standard for consumer privacy and data storage in both the US and Europe, is invalid.

The ruling came after Edward Snowden's NSA leaks showed that European data stored by US companies was not safe from surveillance that would be illegal in Europe.

This ruling could have profound effects on all US based companies, not just tech companies, that rely upon the "safe harbor" agreement to allow them to store their European customers' data in the US.

Under this new ruling, they could effectively be forced to store European customers' data in Europe and then have to follow 20 or more different sets of national data privacy regulations.

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Submission EU Court Invalidates Europe-US Safe Harbour Data Sharing Agreement

Mickeycaskill writes: The top court of the European Union on Tuesday has suspended an agreement that has allowed data-sharing between the EU and the US for the past 15 years, following months of increased tensions over spying and the protection of personal data.

The ruling was the court’s final decision in a data-protection case brought by 27-year-old Austrian law student Max Schrems against the Irish data protection commissioner. Schrems was concerned his data on Facebook could be shared with US intelligence.

The court declared that Safe Harbour deal was “invalid” as it takes data on European citizens outside the protection of European authorities. The deal was originally intended to facilitate data-transfers to the US, a country whose data-protection regime is less stringent than that of the EU.

Safe Harbour has been enforced since 2000, but has been reviewed since 2013 following Edward Snowden's relevations about mass surveillance. A new agreement on a new deal is thought to be close, but the invalidation of the current agreement, in place since 2000, is likely to create difficulties for many trans-Atlantic companies in the short term.

Submission Humans Are More Toxic to Wildlife than Chernobyl->

derekmead writes: The Chernobyl disaster remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, with a death toll that is difficult to tally even decades later. Given the sobering reach of the resulting radiation contamination, you might expect the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone—the 4,200 square kilometers in the immediate vicinity of the explosion—to have suffered serious long-term ecological damage.

Surprisingly, though, a study published today in Current Biology shows that wildlife in the exclusion zone is actually more abundant than it was before the disaster. According to the authors, led by Portsmouth University professor of environmental science Jim Smith, the recovery is due to the removal of the single biggest pressure on wildlife—humans.

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Submission Worst Tech Recruiter 'Pickup Lines'

snydeq writes: We've all received them: Trawling emails from tech recruiters looking to lure us away from our current employer, often with a cringe-worthy line or two that makes it seem as if we are being courted by an unwanted pickup artist. From the article: 'The men and women tasked with recruiting tech talent go to great lengths to attract the attention of their targets — (often unsuspecting) tech pros viewed as valuable "gets." While some recruiters prove to be invaluable in improving your career, finding exactly the right words to pique your interest in a new gig, far more seem to stammer, stumble, and elicit exasperated sighs.' What are the best doozies you've received?

Comment Google stories (Score 3, Informative) 58

Google selling targeted Gmail ads that look like emails

Google violating Russian antitrust regulations by bundling its services with Android

Many web pages load something from Google, so Google is tracking us wherever we go.

The Slashdot home page loads these from Google:

Submission Chrome AdBlock joining Acceptable Ads Program (And Sold to Anonymous Company)->

basscomm writes: Hot on the heels of the formation of the independent board to oversee "acceptable ads", users of the popular Chrome ad blocking extension, AdBlock, got notice that AdBlock is participating by the program, and that acceptable ads are being turned on by default.

At the bottom of the announcement, buried in the fine print is word that AdBlock has been sold, but nobody will say to whom.

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Submission Scientists Invent a New Steel as Strong as Titanium-> 1

schwit1 writes: South Korean researchers have solved a longstanding problem that stopped them from creating ultra-strong, lightweight aluminum-steel alloys.

Today a team of material scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea announced what they're calling one of the biggest steel breakthroughs of the last few decades: an altogether new type of flexible, ultra-strong, lightweight steel. This new metal has a strength-to-weight ratio that matches even our best titanium alloys, but at one tenth the cost, and can be created on a small scale with machinery already used to make automotive-grade steel. The study appears in Nature.

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Submission Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s 2

schwit1 writes: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise. The authors examined the dietary data of 36,400 Americans between 1971 and 2008 and the physical activity data of 14,419 people between 1988 and 2006. They grouped the data sets together by the amount of food and activity, age, and BMI.

They found a very surprising correlation: A given person, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988 would have a BMI that was about 2.3 points higher. In other words, people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

Submission Boulders high on the coast of Cape Verde show 170-270m Tsunami 73,000 years ago->

TaleSlinger writes: Researchers from University of Bristol, UK found that boulders strewn 200m above sea level on Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa, were ripped from cliffs below and washed up there by a tsunami between 170m and 270m (550-850ft).
Researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory dated the tsunami at 73,000 years ago.
Its interesting that this is about the same time as the Mt. Toba Eruption and about the same time humans nearly became extinct.

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One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener