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Submission + - SPAM: Texting While Driving Ban Faces Challenges

InsureDirect writes: "Many police departments in Pennsylvania have stated the ban on texting while driving is too difficult, if not virtually impossible to enforce. Even if a police officer is successful in ticketing a driver for texting while driving, proving it in court is very hard to prove. Texting while driving bans are being imposed to prevent drivers from additional distractions while they are driving."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Only Way to Stop Phonebook Deliveries in Seattle is to Give Up Your Privacy (

newscloud writes: "Seattle will soon shut down its popular phonebook opt-out website as a result of a costly settlement with Yellow Pages publishers. Going forward, the only way to stop unwanted phonebook deliveries will be to visit the industry's opt out site and provide them with your personal information. They will share it with their clients, most of whom are direct marketing agencies, who in turn commit not to use it improperly. The Federal Court of Appeals ruled in October that The Yellow Pages represent protected free speech of corporations (including Canada's Yellow Media Inc.); defending and settling the lawsuit cost Seattle taxpayers $781,503. The city said the program's popularity led to a reduction of 2 million pounds of paper waste annually."

Submission + - Canon Shows the Most Sensitive Camera Sensor in the World (

An anonymous reader writes: Canon announced today that it successfully developed a super high-sensitivity full-frame CMOS sensor developed exclusively for video recording. The new Full HD sensor can capture light no other comparable sensor can see and it uses pixels 7.5 lager than the best commercial professional cameras in existence today.

Submission + - English heritage claiming copyright on stonehenge. (

EilidhsDad writes: Fotolibra have a blog post containing an email they have received from English Heritage stating that Fotolibra are breaking the law by selling pictures of Stonehenge.
From the blog post:"We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your fotoLibra website. Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage."
So why do English Heritage think they have sole rights to images of a publicly viewable, ancient monument? Are they just trying to issue vain threats in the hope that people will really buy this so called 'right' ?


Submission + - Hacker Business Models (

wiredmikey writes: The industrialized hackers are intent on one goal--making money. They also know the basic rules of the business of increasing revenues while cutting costs. As hackers started making money, the field became full of “professionals” that inspired organized cyber crime. Similar to industrial corporations, hackers have developed their own business models in order to operate as a profitable organization. What do these business models look like? Data has become the hacker’s currency. More data, more money. So the attack logic is simple: the more attacks, the more likely victim—so you automate...
Classic Games (Games)

Nostalgic Elation — the Super Mario Crossover 67

eldavojohn writes "Sure, they're stepping all over proprietary rights and copyright, but something must be said about the amount of bliss-filled nostalgia inside Exploding Rabbit's Super Mario Crossover. If the plumbers never really did it for you, you can now kill those goombas as Link, Mega Man, Samus, Simon Belmont, or Contra's Bill. Goodbye jumping and spitting; hello slicing, whipping, and shooting. Is this one of the early firsts in the new genre of video game mashups?"

Submission + - 6 hottest IT skills for 2010 (

Lucas123 writes: With signs pointing to recovery and even job growth in 2010, companies are planning to hire only in key areas, and they will favor people with skills that span multiple disciplines, including programming/application development, help desk/technical support, networking and security. 'According to Computerworld's 2010 Forecast survey, this year's hiring plans certainly aren't at 2009 levels. Less than 20% of the 312 IT executives polled said they plan to increase IT head count in the next 12 months, compared with 26% in the previous year. And nearly 20% said they plan to decrease their IT head count.'

Submission + - Uniforms for the Help Desk 5

An anonymous reader writes: I am an IT worker in a mid sized company with approximately 500 employees. There are 30 people on the IT staff, 6 of which are on the help desk. Our help desk does have significant visibility in the company, and most people know us by face (some by name). Recently the idea has been floated up the management chain to have these help desk workers wear IT department branded shirts. The idea is to promote visibility and unity. Wearing of these shirts would be mandatory Monday through Thursday. The shirts would not be identical (there would be several styles offered). We would be the only department with specific garments outside of the normal business casual dress code.

Is management out of line with the industry in promoting this sort of policy change? Is the singling out of 6 employees as "the IT guys" a step in the right direction, or does it detract from the professionalism that we are trying to display as a department?

Submission + - Photovoltaic Eye Implant Gives Sight to the Blind (

MikeChino writes: Researchers at Stanford University recently announced that they have developed a new artificial retina implant that uses photovoltaic power and could help the blind see. The problem with previous implants was that there was no way send power to the chip in order to process light and data inside the eye, so the new device uses miniature photovoltaic cells to provide power the chip as well as to transmit data through the eye to the brain. The new device has great promise to help people afflicted by the loss of photoreceptor cells by using the power of the sun.

Caltech Scientists Film Photons With Electrons 46

al0ha writes "Techniques recently invented by researchers at the California Institute of Technology which allow the real-time, real-space visualization of fleeting changes in the structure of nanoscale matter have been used to image the evanescent electrical fields produced by the interaction of electrons and photons, and to track changes in atomic-scale structures."

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

Comment Re:this is true (Score 1) 419

I’m similar, though not employed in that sort of field.

My code has to be bullet-proof, or I’m not satisfied with it. I basically ask at every step, “what could possibly happen here” (particularly when it comes to user interaction with the program). My answer to that question is as exhaustive as practical.

In fact, one of the first programs I ever played with was a BASIC program which started off by asking for a number. If you entered a non-number, the program crashed. The first thing I did to it was get the BASIC reference manual and figure out how to keep it from crashing, and have it repeat its query if you answered with a non-number.

Something along the lines of this, IIRC:

10 INPUT "Enter an integer: ", A$ : A = INT(VAL(A$))
20 B$ = STR$(A) : IF LEFT$(B$, 1) = " " THEN B$ = MID$(B$, 2)
30 IF A$ <> B$ THEN PRINT "That is not an integer." : GOTO 10

The VAL function finds as much as it can before giving up, but never crashes the program... VAL("A") = 0, VAL("1b") = 1, VAL("3.2 inches") = 3.2, etc. The STR$ function uses a space character in place of the plus sign, which is why I stripped it.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.