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+ - Is iPhone's Lack of FM Support Increasing Your Chances of Dying in a Disaster?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""You may not know it," reports NPR's Emma Bowman, "but most of today's smartphones have FM radios inside of them. 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 has been asking mobile makers to change this. But the mobile industry, which profits from selling data to smartphone users, says that with the consumer's move toward mobile streaming apps, the demand for radio simply isn't there." But FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says radio-enabled smartphones could sure come in handy during times of emergency. So, is it irresponsible not to activate the FM chips? And should it's-the-app-way-or-the-highway Apple follow Microsoft's lead and make no-static-at-all FM available on iPhones?"

+ - Helpin' minorities in earning Ph.Ds->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The article outlines the attempts of universities in helping minorities — specifically the African Americans, the Latin Americans, the Native Americans and the Alaska Natives — obtaining their Ph.Ds, and the recent progress

A conundrum remains — nobody can put their fingers to a specific (proven) recipe which led to the success

The three-year study, which was paid for by the National Science Foundation, is the most comprehensive to date on times to degree, attrition, and completion rates for members of underrepresented minority groups

The report's suggestion on improvements on completion rates include

1) Conducting interventions throughout the entire doctoral process;
2) Providing students with enhanced academic support;
3) Monitoring and evaluating programs and interventions; and
4) Cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion,

A highlight of the report

“One of the striking lessons from this study is that the dissertation phase is a particularly critical time for students. Our country’s STEM workforce will lose a great deal of potential talent if we don’t help underrepresented doctoral students cross the finish line”

...carries the hint of 'shortening the time to degree based on interviews with minority graduate students' might prove to be controversial as that could bring forth the ' entitlement mindset ' that has been plagued the society at large for much too long


Link to Original Source

+ - Code.org: Poor Choices by US Kids Force Our Wealthy Donors to Hire H-1B Workers

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""With only 10% of all STEM graduates choosing to major in computer science," exclaims Code.org in a blog post, "it’s no surprise the U.S. needs to bring in so many skilled workers from other countries!" Code.org, which is bankrolled by some of tech's wealthiest individuals and their companies, also took to Twitter to suggest that H-1B visas be used to raise $200 million for CS education, which the White House has coincidentally endorsed Code.org to provide. Speaking of coincidences, many of Code.org's donors are also backers of Mark Zuckerberg's H-1B hungry FWD.us PAC. And that, kids, is the circle of lobbying life."

+ - The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Citing the comeuppance of ESPN reporter Britt McHenry, who was suspended from her job after her filmed ad-hominem attack on a person McHenry deemed to be beneath her in terms of appearance, education, wealth, class, status went viral, The Atlantic's Megan Garber writes that one silver lining of the omnipresence of cameras it that the possibility of exposure can also encourage us to be a little kinder to each other. "Terrible behavior," Garber writes, "whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power. Which can, again, be a bad thing — but which can also, in McHenry's case, be an extremely beneficial one. It's good that her behavior has been exposed. It's good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It's good that she has publicly promised 'to learn from this mistake.'""

+ - Is Google not able to search? 1

Submitted by ShopMgr
ShopMgr (1639595) writes "I just ran across the latest update in the Chrome Browser. Try and bookmark something, in the past you could search for the "folder". It was a lame search, wouldn't show you where the folder was at. Now it doesn't even find the folders. I had to stop using the new Google Mail, it doesn't let you search for "folders" either. So, what is a better tool for indexing my thousands of links?"

+ - Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine 1

Submitted by Adrian Harvey
Adrian Harvey (6578) writes "The New Zealand based commercial space company Rocket Lab has unveiled their new rocket engine which the media is describing as battery-powered. It still uses rocket fuel, of course, but has an entirely new propulsion cycle which uses electric motors to drive its turbopumps.

To add to the interest over the design, it uses 3D printing for all its primary components. First launch is expected this year, with commercial operations commencing in 2016."

Comment: OT: method for posting without losing mod points (Score 1) 300

by Gazzonyx (#49499481) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
For future reference, if you want to comment on a story that you've moderated in I believe you can post AC without having your mod points revoked. I'm reasonably certain I've done this in the past successfully. At the very least it's worth a shot next time.

+ - Google Ready To Unleash Thousands Of Balloons In Project Loon->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Google has figured out how to produce an Internet-broadcast balloon in a few hours, and is on the verge of unleashing Project Loon onto the world. The project, which will work with ISPs to beam LTE cellular signals to remote regions that don't have Internet access, will be working with local ISPs rather than selling broadband directly to customers."
Link to Original Source

+ - The origin of the first light in the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Before there were planets, galaxies, or even stars in the Universe, there really was light. We see that light, left over today, in the form of the Cosmic Microwave Background, or the remnant glow from the Big Bang. But these photons outnumber the matter in our Universe by more than a-billion-to-one, and are the most numerous thing around. So where did they first come from? Science has the answer."

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 300

by Gazzonyx (#49498597) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

As to your last point, I was thinking the same thing. The parent post is needlessly inflammatory, accusative, with an air of superiority and without a hint of irony considering its lack of grammar, punctuation or formatting while closing with a zinger about illiteracy.

If, perchance, the parent poster or anyone else that would like a life lesson, reads this, please consider my points. I'm coming from a place of understanding.
Many years ago while in college I wrote something with what I thought was a playful tone and got modded 'troll' hard. At the time I was really pretty angry about those mods. Years later I happened to come across that same story on /. and was reading the comments when one particularly rude post stuck out; it was my own from years earlier and I thought, "man, I really was being a jerk needlessly". As you mature you gain a bit of wisdom and hindsight and that's pretty much a life long journey. Take from that what you will.

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 300

by Gazzonyx (#49498503) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
Just, for what it's worth...
Thanks for this (from what I can tell - I don't know the subject matter) reasonably objective, unbiased explanation.

It was actually kind of refreshing and will probably in no way get the appreciation it deserves. I would have modded it up, but my mod points expired before I got to this story/comment section. So all I can give you is a 'kudos'.

+ - Is This Justice? EFF pushes Pasco County to be sensible with 8th Grade "Hacker"-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A 14-year-old eighth grader in Florida, Domanik Green, has been charged with a felony for “hacking” his teacher’s computer. The “hacking” in this instance was using a widely known password to change the desktop background of his teacher’s computer with an image of two men kissing. The outrage of being charged with a felony for what essentially amounts to a misguided prank should be familiar to those who follow how computer crimes are handled by our justice system.

Charging decisions and punishment should be proportional to the harm a person causes. The only thing that “making an example” out of Domanik Green accomplishes is to make an example of how out of whack our computer crime laws—and the prosecutorial discretion that accompanies it—are. We call on Pasco County to do the sensible thing and not ruin Domanik Green’s life. This is not justice.

Now what do you think?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.

In the realm of law enforcement, iris recognition could be used to identify suspects at long range in various lighting conditions. The system can even be used to capture images through reflections in a mirror."

Link to Original Source

+ - John Gruber on third-party Apple Watch apps: They suck and are really slow->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "During this week’s episode of John Gruber’s podcast, The Talk Show, Gruber sat down with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal to talk all things Apple Watch.

About two hours and 9 minutes into the podcast, both Gruber and Stern began lamenting the poor performance they saw with third-party Apple Watch apps. “It makes me question whether there should be third party apps for it at all yet,” Gruber noted.

The pair also took umbrage with what they perceived to be a poor design choice for the Apple Watch app screen, with both noting that the app icons were far too small to be practical."

Link to Original Source

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