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Submission + - Universities and companies using them not subject to H1B visa caps ( 1

KindMind writes: A Breitbart article documents that universities (and companies working with them) are not subject to the H1B visa caps. From the article: "... universities and many allied name-brand companies have quietly imported an extra workforce of at least 100,000 lower-wage foreign professionals in place of higher-wage American graduates, above the supposed annual cap of 85,000 new H-1Bs. Less than one-sixth of these extra 100,000 outsourced hires are the so-called high-tech computer experts that dominate media coverage of the contentious H-1B private-sector outsourcing debate."

Submission + - Elon Musk's latest idea: Let's nuke Mars (

KindMind writes: The Register reports that Elon Musk, in an appearance on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, said that to begin with, human residents on the red planet would need to live in "transparent domes". Before a move to more hospitable habitats one needs only "to warm it up" and Musk thinks there's a fast way and a slow way to do that. The fast way "is drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles" and the slow way "is to release greenhouse gases, like we are doing on Earth."

Submission + - Spoofing driverless cars with a laser pointer and a Raspberry PI (

KindMind writes: The Register writes: Jonathan Petit, of Security Innovation, says $60 worth of laser with a bit of smarts makes cars sense phantom obstacles and hit the brakes, by interfering with the LIDAR (light-radar) sensors they use to detect and avoid objects around them. Petit says his laser pointer system could target cars from up to 100 metres away, emulating a wall or pedestrian to force vehicles to slam on brakes or swerve.

Comment Re:The title is terrible (Score 1) 231

... and I question the premise

And I would agree with that. As you point out, the situation is not analogous. My own thought is the OP is kind of getting ahead of him/herself. For autonomous cars to make an impact on insurance rates, you would have to have a significant portion of the vehicles be autonomous. Frankly, I can't see that happening for many years, as only a small portion of drivers can afford to go out and buy a brand new car. For buyers of used cars, it will be a long time before they can get their hands on an autonomous car. Doing a quick google for just the US, 2014 new car sales were on the order of 16 million cars. Used car sales were on the order of 41 million, about 2.5 times as many a year. Say new car owners kept their cars three years (arbitrary number) - it would be almost six years before enough cars were traded in for one year of used car sales. According to google, there are 254 million used cars in the US. Assuming six years before used cars start getting replaced, six years of new cars would be 96 million cars replaced, leaving 158 million to be replaced still. From that point figure 57 million get replaced every year, it would be another almost 5 years until all the cars are replaced. That's 9 years for what I would call a best case. I think it will likely be much longer than that, since a large number of used car buyers are buying cars more than three years old (so they'd have to wait that much longer before getting their hands on an autonomous car).

Comment Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 643

1. Dash cams are fixed and (usually) only see what is happening in front of the police car, which is normally on a public right-of-way and therefore where the public could also observe and record*. What happens elsewhere, like when an officer goes inside a private residence, isn't captured by dash cams. A body cam on the other hand would frequently be recording events that are not occurring where the public can see, and this is a significant difference for accountability. ...

This is the aspect that worries me. Privacy goes out the window with body cams. Anyone close to the "suspect" can get caught up in the same video, whether they have anything to do with it or not. As the parent points out, dash cams are used in public places; but body cams would be able to go into private places.

We know how well governmental bodies do with protecting private data (that is to say: poorly); imagine someone stealing a video about a controversial event, and there's your face in the video. You can get implicated by association, even though you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you think your boss would be happy? Or your spouse?

This is even worse if you are a public person, where there would be even more of an incentive to steal the videos.

Submission + - Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings on Net Neutrality, Blames Large ISPs For Problem ( 2

KindMind writes: On Wired, Reed Hastings (Netflix's CEO) has his take on net neutrality. He lays the problem at the feet of the large ISPs. He says "It's worth noting that Netflix connects directly with hundreds of ISPs globally, and 99 percent of those agreements don't involve access fees. It is only a handful of the largest U.S. ISPs, which control the majority of consumer connections, demanding this toll. Why would more profitable, larger companies charge for connections and capacity that smaller companies provide for free? Because they can."

Submission + - Is the Pentagon's climate report slanted because of conflicts of interests? ( 1

KindMind writes: The Washington Times writes: Retired military officers deeply involved in the climate change movement — and some in companies positioned to profit from it — spearheaded an alarmist global warming report this month that calls on the Defense Department to ramp up spending on what it calls a man-made problem.

The report, which the Obama administration immediately hailed as a call to action, was issued not by a private advocacy group but by a Pentagon-financed think tank that trumpets “absolute objectivity.” The research was funded by a climate change group that is also one of the think tank’s main customers.

Submission + - Group contacts old International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) probe (

KindMind writes: The Register writes: A team of space enthusiasts has picked up the first new contact with International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) probe and is preparing to fire its boosters for the first time since 1987, after a team of privateers crowdsourced over $125,000 for the project.

ISEE-3 was launched in 1978 and was originally designated to study the Sun's magnetosphere and provide an early warning for solar storms. But in 1983 the spacecraft was repurposed as a comet chaser, going after Halley's Comet and becoming the first man-made object to pass through a comet's tail.

Since then it has been on a long and rambling orbital path and is currently slowly catching up to Earth. Some of the original engineering team got together with spacecraft designers SkyCorp to get back in contact with the probe and return it to its original mission.

Submission + - Can Google influence elections? (

KindMind writes: From the Washington Post: Psychologist Robert Epstein has been researching this question and says he is alarmed at what he has discovered. His most recent experiment, whose findings were released Monday, found that search engines have the potential to profoundly influence voters without them noticing the impact ... Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today and a vocal critic of Google, has not produced evidence that this or any other search engine has intentionally deployed this power. But the new experiment builds on his earlier work by measuring SEME (Search Engine Manipulation Effect) in the concrete setting of India’s national election, whose voting concludes Monday.

Comment Re:For what purpose? (Score 1) 143

Actually my granddaughter loves legos, and includes things she builds out of legos in her plays. But legos can be clunky and time consuming to put together (especially if you are trying to follow a complicated layout).

I think she would prefer to build it virtually first, and hit a key and have what she built come out.

You are right however - I have no idea about the general public. I do think that if a kid is already into minecraft (and it is pretty popular among my granddaughter's friends), they would be a good candidate for 3d printing from that kind of approach.

Comment Re:For what purpose? (Score 2) 143

I think this is a key question for any 3d printer / software setup. Most of the posts on Slashdot seem to center around "designing something for real" (prototyping, replacing a part, etc.)

But I think a recreational version would take off if done right. For example, my 7 year old granddaughter loves minecraft, and spends hours building things there. I think she would love the ability to print out stuff she has built there. She also likes to make her own videos. She will arrange her dollhouses and stuff animals and make up a story involving them, and record it. I think she would love the ability to design her own dollhouses, sets, etc.

For her, a minecraft approach of dropping and destroying pre-made blocks, etc., would work very well. Especially if she can paint and color her model of whatever after it is printed. She won't care about the exact dimensions, etc., as long as it fits together. Let the software handle that.

So the problem becomes, I think, "know the audience" and design appropriately for that audience.

Submission + - Exosuit lets divers go 1,000 feet deep (

KindMind writes: A new type of diving suit allows divers to go to 1,000 feet deep (at 30 times atmospheric pressure). A picture gallery at CNET has some neat pictures of the so-called Exosuit. According to the blog for the suit: "The first scientific exploration mission utilizing the Exosuit ADS is taking place this summer (2014), approximately 100 miles off of the Rhode Island Coast at a location called the Canyons, while working in the mesopelagic environment (depths of 200 to 1000 feet) ... The expedition's mission is to evaluate methods for improved human presence and scientific interaction at the edge of the mesopelagic realm as applied to the discovery, collection, and imaging of bioluminescent and biofluorescent organisms ..."

Comment Re: NOT posted as AC. (Score 1) 603

... I am sick and tired of the overreaction to these random events whether it be aircraft crashing into a building, a workplace shooting, a bomb detonation at a public event, etc...

Yeah, me too. To tell the honest truth, when I heard about the shooting at the LA airport my thought was "Oh, this is California, where they shoot at each other on the highway. Sounds like one of those people made it into the airport". While that was probably unjust (sorry, California), the point remains. We have plenty of nuts in America that will do stupid things. Let's not overreact and swat a fly with a Buick, so to speak.

... I do not feel safe with roaming machine-gun-toting police officers or military in any venue ...

Me either, but that's a little extreme. I'm perfectly fine with armed police officers doing crowd control at events, etc. I guess it's a matter of degree of arming for me. When police officers, etc. start carrying RPGs or the like, that's when I start staying home :)

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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire