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United States

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment 1633

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the invest-in-crossbows dept.
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.'

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names 'the People' as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious about his other 5 suggested changes, but I guess we'll have to wait until the end of April to find out."
Japan

Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots In Japan 80

Posted by timothy
from the totally-unfair dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Bloomberg reports that humans are taking the place of machines in plants across Japan so workers can develop new skills and figure out ways to improve production lines and the car-building process. "We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them," says Mitsuru Kawai, a half century-long company veteran tapped by President Akio Toyoda to promote craftsmanship at Toyota's plants. "When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods (Kami-sama in Japanese), and they could make anything."

According to Kawai, learning how to make car parts from scratch gives younger workers insights they otherwise wouldn't get from picking parts from bins and conveyor belts, or pressing buttons on machines. At about 100 manual-intensive workspaces introduced over the last three years across Toyota's factories in Japan, these lessons can then be applied to reprogram machines to cut down on waste and improve processes. In an area Kawai directly supervises at the forging division of Toyota's Honsha plant, workers twist, turn and hammer metal into crankshafts instead of using the typically automated process. Experiences there have led to innovations in reducing levels of scrap and shortening the production line and Kawai also credits manual labor for helping workers improve production of axle beams and cut the costs of making chassis parts. "We cannot simply depend on the machines that only repeat the same task over and over again," says Kawai. "To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine.""
Privacy

Through a Face Scanner Darkly 336

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-know-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with a story that raises the issue of how public anonymity is quickly disappearing thanks to facial recognition technology. "NameTag, an app built for Google Glass by a company called FacialNetwork.com, offers a face scanner for encounters with strangers. You see somebody on the sidewalk and, slipping on your high-tech spectacles, select the app. Snap a photo of a passerby, then wait a minute as the image is sent up to the company's database and a match is hunted down. The results load in front of your left eye, a selection of personal details that might include someone's name, occupation, Facebook and/or Twitter profile, and, conveniently, whether there's a corresponding entry in the national sex-offender registry."
Power

World's First Magma-Based Geothermal Energy System 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-pour-it-into-your-gas-tank dept.
Lucas123 writes: "The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) announced it broke through to the Mantle and created a superheated steam pipe capable of producing power at the nearby Krafla Power Plant in Northern Iceland. The system was operational for several months until a malfunctioning valve forced its closure. The IDDP, however, plans to either reopen its first magma-based geothermal bore hole (PDF) — IDDP-1 — or drill another one at Reykjanes. While the IDDP-1 is not the first bore hole to reach the planet's magma, it is the first time an operation has been able to harness the mantle's heat to produce a steam pipe that could power a plant."
Stats

+ - Predicting the Risk of Suicide by Analyzing the Text of Clinical Notes->

Submitted by J05H
J05H (5625) writes "Soldier and veteran suicide rates are increasing due to various factors. Critically the rates have jumped in recent years. Bayesian search experts use gathered, anonymous Veteran's Administration notes to predict suicide risks. The main link is to the paper in PLoS One. A related effort by Mr. Poulin is the Durkheim Project that uses opt-in social media data for similar purposes http://www.durkheimproject.org..."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer 1034

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the probable-russian-spy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Google Glass user was interrogated without legal counsel for a couple of hours under suspicion that he may have been recording a film in the AMC movie theater. Although the matter could have been cleared in minutes, federal agents insisted on interrogating the user for hours. So long for our constitutional freedoms." Hours of being detained that could have been avoided if they had just searched his devices (which he repeatedly suggested they do): "Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong." Update: 01/21 21:41 GMT by U L : The Columbus Dispatch confirmed the story with the Department of Homeland Security. The ICE and not the FBI detained the Glass wearer, and there happened to be an MPAA task force at the theater that night, who then escalated the incident.
Earth

How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions 517

Posted by samzenpus
from the cold-is-the-new-hot dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with this story about how people's belief in climate change shifts with the temperature. "Last week's polar vortex weather event wasn't only hard on fingers, toes and heating bills. It also overpowered the ability of most people to make sound judgments about climate change, in the same way that heat waves do, according to a new study published in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers have known for some time that the acceptance of climate change depends on the day most people are asked. During unusually hot weather, people tend to accept global warming, and they swing against it during cold events."
Technology

Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper 317

Posted by samzenpus
from the recycled-helmet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Inspired by nature, a London man believes the solution to safer bike helmets is to build them out of paper. '"The animal that stood out was the woodpecker. It pecks at about ten times per second and every time it pecks it sustains the same amount of force as us crashing at 50 miles per hour," says Surabhi. "It's the only bird in the world where the skull and the beak are completely disjointed, and there's a soft corrugated cartilage in the middle that absorbs all the impact and stops it from getting a headache." In order to mimic the woodpecker's crumple zone, Anirudha turned to a cheap and easily accessible source — paper. He engineered it into a double-layer of honeycomb that could then be cut and constructed into a functioning helmet. "What you end up with is with tiny little airbags throughout the helmet," he says.'"

Comment: Re:Not the first programmer. (Score 1) 110

by J05H (#45140409) Attached to: The Curious Mind of Ada Lovelace

Almost all of that technical heritage in the logic of weaving was maintained by women across cultures. An example contemporary to the lovely Ms. Lovelace and Mr. Babbage would be the founding of the Rhode Island School of Design. That institution was funded by ship's captains to maintain their most talented daughters in programming Jacquard looms for the local textile industry and other arts. Today it is a eminent art and design school if not the best. If not the first programmer, Lovelace was the first non-inventor/nerd that programmed, ie. the first application programmer.

Comment: Upcoming Paper should be interesting (Score 1) 39

They are publishing results in Astrobiology to create a standard metric for analog space suits. Operating standardization is a great next step for this field.

On a human-factors standpoint it will be interesting to see the energetic differences between the suits. One issue is they are being tested in different place with different wearers.

Data Storage

NSA's New Utah Data Center Suffering Meltdowns 241

Posted by timothy
from the high-grade-shadenfreude dept.
linuxwrangler writes "NSA's new Utah data-center has been suffering numerous power-surges that have caused as much as $100,000 damage per event. The root cause is 'not yet sufficiently understood' but is suspected to relate to the site's 'inability to simultaneously run computers and keep them cool.' Frustrating the analysis and repair are 'incomplete information about the design of the electrical system' and the fact that "regular quality controls in design and construction were bypassed in an effort to fast track the Utah project."" Ars Technica has a short article, too, as does ITworld.
Microsoft

MS Researchers Develop Acoustic Data Transfer System For Phones 180

Posted by timothy
from the just-do-it-quietly-ok dept.
angry tapir writes "Smartphones that support NFC have been making their way onto the market, but many handsets still don't support the wireless technology. As an alternative, Microsoft researchers have prototyped a system that instead uses a phone's microphone and speaker to transmit and receive data. The P2P data transfer system uses a novel technique of 'self-jamming' to stop nefarious third parties from monitoring transfers, and the researchers believe it's more secure than standard NFC communications. No word on whether it sounds like the squeal of a 56k modem."

Comment: Logic: (Score 2) 237

by J05H (#44015895) Attached to: Draft NASA Funding Bill Cancels Asteroid Mission For Return To the Moon

Asteroid retrieval is about $1-2 Billion spread over a decade. Single moon landing is at an order of magnitude higher at $10-20 Billion with unknown duration. This is what happened with Shuttle and Station and appears to be happening with SLS: they eventually sucked cash out of other NASA programs while legislators direct even more resources into those single projects as if 10,000 people working together can't manage more than one task.

We should go back to the Moon but that should not prevent us from also snagging an asteroid. The funny thing is that the returned asteroid was planned to go into Lunar or very eccentric high orbit, either would have been a great shake-down cruise for Orion before going to the Moon.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.

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