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Comment: Admitted under duress to Iranian captors (Score 2) 251

by GabrielF (#38642322) Attached to: Video Games As Propaganda
Hekmati "admitted" this while he was in Iranian custody - as reported by the Tehran Times. Given the history of the Iranian regime (they seem to arrest people for spying for Israel or the US every couple of weeks) I think we should take this with a grain of salt. Considering that making video games and infiltrating a foreign country require completely different skill sets, I find it hard to believe that the CIA would send their video game developer deep into Iranian territory. (According to the NY Times, he was visiting his Iranian grandparents.)

Comment: there's a lot more to it than engineering (Score 3, Interesting) 727

by GabrielF (#38576378) Attached to: Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?
My grandfather was an aerospace engineer and a lifelong New Deal Democrat. He grew up poor in the depression, worked in the tobacco fields when he was about 13, put himself through college by selling blood, etc. He understood that government had helped him and a lot of people of his generation to become middle class.

On the other hand I know a lot of engineers who grew up under Soviet communism and are super right-wing. They had a very bad experience with government persecution and they tend to view all government activity through the lens of restricting their rights.
Media (Apple)

+ - Apple: NBC wanted to double price of TV shows

Submitted by GabrielF
GabrielF (636907) writes "In a press release today, Apple confirmed that NBC TV shows will no longer be sold on iTunes. According to Apple, NBC, which accounted for 30% of Apple's TV sales, wanted to double the wholesale price of each episode, resulting in a new retail price of $4.99 an episode instead of $1.99. The other four networks, as well as more than 50 cable channels, will be selling their next season's shows on iTunes for $1.99 an episode."
Technology (Apple)

+ - Steve Jobs publishes Apple environmental plans

Submitted by
GabrielF
GabrielF writes "Steve Jobs has followed up on the success of his Thoughts on Music editorial by publishing a new piece on Apple's website aimed at responding to a different set of critics. In A Greener Apple , Steve acknowledges that Apple has been a frequent target of environmental groups such as Greenpeace for building products that "contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned." Jobs describes Apple's current use of a variety of toxic chemicals, contrasts his company with others in the industry and outlines ambitious plans for the future, for example, eliminating the use of arsenic in displays, and PVC plastics in all products by 2008 and expanding its recycling program to 19 million pounds per year by 2010, or 30% of the product weight Apple sold 7 years earlier. By comparison, Apple, Dell and HP each currently recycle about 10% of the product weight they sold seven years ago. How will this new piece be received by environmentalists? Will it help kick-start industry-wide changes like Thoughts on Music?"
Software

+ - Web-Based Video Editors

Submitted by
mikemuch
mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has just posted reviews of five free online video editors. They range from Cuts, which only works with already-hosted video clips, to products like Jumpcut and One True Media which offer an assortment of scene transitions and special effects on video you upload to the service. The last is the only with a clear profit strategy, offering a more powerful premium version, and most of the rest are basically YouTube-plusses, with sharing groups and community features."
Security

+ - Bridging the Gap Between Hackers and Academics

Submitted by
Tal Garfinkel
Tal Garfinkel writes "There is long been a disconnect between academic computer security and underground forums like Blackhat and Phrack. A new USENIX sponsored workshop called WOOT (Workshop On Offensive Technologies) is looking to bridge that gap by providing a high quality, peer reviewed form for submitting attack papers, with top reviewers from the academic, open source, commercial IT and information warfare communities. Got a great attack paper, see if it makes the cut at WOOT ."
Education

+ - VA Tech victims include top researcher

Submitted by
GabrielF
GabrielF writes "As we learn more about the victims of yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech it is becoming clear that the international community has been dealt a significant blow. Thus far, the identities of three murdered professors have been announced. They are:
  • Kevin Granata — Described as one of the top 5 biomechanics researchers in the US
  • Liviu Librescu — 76, a Romanian-born Israeli Holocaust survivor "recognized internationally for his research in aeronautical engineering". He reportedly saved the lives of his students by throwing himself in front of the shooter when the man tried to enter the classroom
  • G. V. Loganathan — 51, an Indian-born civil engineering professor
"
Biotech

+ - Swedish chickens challenge evolutionary theory

Submitted by paulraps
paulraps (1007407) writes "...or at least the bit where Darwin says that behaviour cannot be inherited. Researchers from Sweden and Norway have found that offspring of domestic hens that were exposed to high levels of stress displayed similar behavioral anomalies as their parents — despite growing up in a stress free environment. Of course, this doesn't mean evolution is out the window, but it's a major new twist in the tale."
Announcements

+ - At Least 20 Dead in Virginia Tech Shooting

Submitted by StarvingSE
StarvingSE (875139) writes "Virginia Tech police state that at least 20 are dead in a campus shooting school officials are describing as a "monumental tragedy." From the article:

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said university President Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."

The attacks mark the worst school shooting incident since 1999 when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado


This story is a little off-topic on a technology-related site, but I'm sure quite a few readers attend or are alumni of Virginia Tech."

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