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+ - Supporters Rally After Teacher Removed For 'Dangerous' Science Projects

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Howard Blume reports that Greg Schiller, a popular Los Angeles high school science teacher, has been suspended after students turned in projects designed to shoot small projectiles that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. One project used compressed air to propel a small object, but it was not connected to a source of air pressure, so it could not have been fired. (Fun Fact: In 2012, President Obama tried out a more powerful air-pressure device at a White House Science Fair that could launch a marshmallow 175 feet.) Another project used the power from an AA battery to charge a tube surrounded by a coil. A school employee saw the air-pressure project and raised concerns about what looked to her like a weapon and both projects were confiscated as evidence. "It is the practice of the Los Angeles Unified School District to reassign an employee to a non-classroom setting when there are allegation related to student safety," said a statement by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). "We will always err on the side of protecting students." Hundreds of students and parents have rallied around Schiller after his suspension and organized a rally on his behalf at the campus, gathered hundreds of signatures on a petition calling for his reinstatement and set up a facebook page called "Free Schiller." “As far as we can tell, he’s being punished for teaching science,” says Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles."

+ - Comcast PAC gave money to every senator examining Time Warner Cable merger->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It's no surprise that Comcast donates money to members of Congress. Political connections come in handy for a company seeking government approval of mergers, like Comcast's 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC).

But just how many politicians have accepted money from Comcast's political arm? In the case of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held the first congressional hearing on the Comcast/TWC merger yesterday, the answer is all of them."

Link to Original Source

+ - Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over The Human Brain

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Michael S. Rosenwald reports in the Washington Post that according to cognitive neuroscientists humans seem to be developing digital brains with new circuits for skimming through the torrent of information online at the expense of traditional deep reading circuitry developed over several millennia. Maryanne Wolf, one of the world’s foremost experts on the study of reading, was startled last year to discover her brain was apparently adapting, too. After a day of scrolling through the Web and hundreds of e-mails, she sat down one evening to read Hermann Hesse’s challenging novel “The Glass Bead Game.” “I’m not kidding: I couldn’t do it,” says Wolf. “It was torture getting through the first page. I couldn’t force myself to slow down so that I wasn’t skimming, picking out key words, organizing my eye movements to generate the most information at the highest speed. I was so disgusted with myself.”

The brain was not designed for reading and there are no genes for reading like there are for language or vision. But spurred by the emergence of Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Phoenician alphabet, Chinese paper and, finally, the Gutenberg press, the brain has adapted to read. For example, at the neuronal level, a person who learns to read in Chinese uses a very particular set of neuronal connections that differ in significant ways from the pathways used in reading English. Before the Internet, the brain read mostly in linear ways — one page led to the next page, and so on. The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies.

Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade our ability to deal with other mediums. “We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scrolling and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” says Andrew Dillon. Wolf points out that she’s no Luddite but she is now training her own brain to be bi-literate. She went back to the Hesse novel the next night, giving herself distance, both in time and space, from her screens. “I put everything aside. I said to myself, ‘I have to do this,’” she said. “It was really hard the second night. It was really hard the third night. It took me two weeks, but by the end of the second week I had pretty much recovered myself so I could enjoy and finish the book.”"

+ - Favorite unexpected comment/slang/denigration phrase?-> 2

Submitted by grep -v '.*' *
grep -v '.*' * (780312) writes "I just ran across a new turn-of-a-phrase: "kitten-chewing software vendor." (They were maligning a software vendor for an $8K per seat application upgrade charge from XP to W7.) Now that may or may not be justified — my point here is that the word imagery was more shocking than the upgrade charge. (Then again, maybe I'm just jaded.)

So, what's your favorite new or old phrase? Mine is still: "No good deed goes unpunished", although "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you" is looking better and better. (The "I'm from the government and here to help you" joke just seems to be a lost cause.)

Now: ID-10-T error is good too, although I've lately come to realize that there are some smart people who like things other than computers and just want their immediate problem solved so they can move on to their other fun, non-computer stuff. That's was a surprise — fine, but there also seem to be a lot of ID-#-T people too, where # seems to be their IQ, or at least their interest in anything that I can detect."

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+ - Object seen in skydiver's helmetcam unlikely to be a meteorite 3

Submitted by The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer (563217) writes "The viral video showing what looked like a meteorite falling past a skydiver made quite a splash, with many people assuming it was true. However, further analysis shows that it's also perfectly consistent with being a small (1-3 cm) rock that fell out of the parachute itself, which is a far more likely explanation."

Comment: firewall (Score 1) 2

by JohnVanVliet (#46670211) Attached to: ask slashdot: tight firewall for brand-new linux user

As a Linux user for 10+ years .
The Default settings for the firewall in almost any linux OS are good

and set up to be secure
Ubuntu dose NOT use "yum" .That is a Redhat tool
about the only thing the user might need to do is if they are using a P2P program and there isp blocks port 6881
is open ports for it

"set up a default deny rule"
unused ports on linux systems are already BLOCKED in "stealth" mode
as in there will be no "deny" answer going back

+ - 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over The Tesla Model S 3

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Did you watch the Tesla 60 Minutes segment the other night? If you did, you might have ended up on the floor rolling around laughing like I did. Since when does the Tesla Model S electric car make audible engine noises? Or downshift? Turns out, 60 Minutes dubbed engine noises and a downshift over the Model S running footage. The show claims it was an editing error. Call it what you want, it was absolutely hilarious. A little note to TV producers assigned to cover Tesla Motors in the future: Electric cars don't upshift or downshift."

+ - UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming->

Submitted by iONiUM
iONiUM (530420) writes "From the article, "The impacts of global warming are likely to be "severe, pervasive and irreversible", a major report by the UN has warned." A major document was released by the IPCC outlining the current affects on climate change, and they are not good. For specific effects on humans: "Food security is highlighted as an area of significant concern. Crop yields for maize, rice and wheat are all hit in the period up to 2050, with around a tenth of projections showing losses over 25%.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Some bad ideas for anyone still running XP-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It's been well documented that Microsoft is finally ending support for the Operating System That Wouldn't Die. Rafe Needleman at Yahoo! Tech has some options that look good, but you shouldn't really consider, like just not worrying about it to... installing Linux? From the article:

"But here’s why it’s a bad idea: It really is a platform for nerds. Few people you know — unless you know a lot of programmers — will be able to help you out. And your Windows software won’t work. If you have apps you like, you’ll have to find Linux equivalents for them. You’re better off moving to a consumer-friendly operating system."

He goes on to later recommend that folks move to a Mac, where your Windows software still won't work, but any "good apps", he explains, have Mac versions, too.

That raises a question: What would it take for Linux to be seen as viable alternative to Windows and Mac OS rather than a hobby project that only programmers could install, use, and like?"

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Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.