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Chrome

Chrome For Android Is Now Almost Entirely Open Source 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the strong-work dept.
jones_supa writes: After lots of work by Chrome for Android team and a huge change, Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source, a Google engineer announced in Reddit. Over 100,000 lines of code, including Chrome's entire user interface layer, has been made public, allowing anyone with the inclination to do so to look at, modify, and build the browser from source. Licensing restrictions prevent certain media codecs, plugins and Google service features form being included, hence the "almost." This is on par with the open source Chromium browser that is available on the desktop.
Government

The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the watching-the-watchers dept.
New submitter Cuillere writes: In the fall of 2014, a hacker demanded the Seattle Police Department release all of their body and dash cam video footage, prompting chaos within the institution. Although it was a legal request per Washington state's disclosure laws, Seattle's PD wasn't prepared to handle the repercussions of divulging such sensitive material — and so much of it. The request involved 360 TB of data spread across 1.6 million recordings over 6 years. All recordings had to be manually reviewed and redacted to cut out "children, medical or mental health incidents, confidential informants, or victims or bystanders who did not want to be recorded," so fulfilling the request was simply not within the department's capabilities. Thus, they took a different strategy: they hired the hacker and put him to work on developing an automated redaction system. "Their vision is of an officer simply docking her body cam at the end of a shift. The footage would then be automatically uploaded to storage, either locally or in the cloud, over-redacted for privacy and posted online for everyone to see within a day."
Space

Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-my-asteroid-insurance-business-is-thriving dept.
StartsWithABang writes: When it comes to risk assessment, there's one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards. It's why so many of us are so eager to play the lottery, and simultaneously why we're catastrophically afraid of ebola and plane crashes, when we're far more likely to die from something mundane, like getting hit by a truck. One of the examples where science and this type of fear-based fallacy intersect is the science of asteroid strikes. With all we know about asteroids today, here's the actual risk to humanity, and it's much lower than anyone cares to admit.

Comment: A large load of sheets from BB&B (Score 1) 150

by sphealey (#49707975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Payloads For Asteroid Diverter/Killer Mission?

NASA's current plan it to cover a sufficient amount of the object with a different colored cloth (white or black as the case may be) and let the solar sail effect do the work. So a 30% off coupon to Bed Bath & Beyond would do the trick; even with the discount the manager and staff should get a nice bonus for selling 250,000 white sheets in one day.

sPh

+ - Biologist creates self-healing concrete->

Submitted by Mr.Intel
Mr.Intel writes: No matter how carefully it is mixed or reinforced, all concrete eventually cracks, and under some conditions, those cracks can lead to collapse. "The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage," explains professor Henk Jonkers, of Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. "If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements — in concrete we have all these steel rebars — if they corrode, the structure collapses."

But Jonkers has come up with an entirely new way of giving concrete a longer life. "We have invented bioconcrete — that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria," he says.

Link to Original Source

Comment: A few points (Score 2) 509

by singularity (#49638997) Attached to: What To Say When the Police Tell You To Stop Filming Them

1) The problem I see with the "Am I free to go?" question is that in all of the recorded interactions I have seen, the police officer more often than not just ignores the question.

Police: "Sir, can you tell me your address?"
Citizen: "Am I free to go?"
Police: "Sir, I need your address so I know if you should be on this street."
Citizen: "Am I free to go?"
Police: "Sir, do you live on this street or not?" ...and so on. Eventually the police officer will either concede the person is free to go, or will call for assistance.

2) For all of the talk about "99.6% of officers do not abuse their power", I have a problem when 99.6% of officers willingly choose to cover for the 0.4% that abuse their power. In my mind, that means that the 99.6% are also guilty of abusing their power, this time by not investigating and arresting criminals - in this case their coworkers.

If a big city police department was found to completely ignore the crimes of another subset of the population, that would be described as a corrupt police department. The fact that the subset in this question is the very same police department should not make a difference.

3) I am always confused by the "Let the investigation run its course, do not give in to the demands for immediate justice" calls that follow incidents of police brutality caught on tape. If someone records me shooting someone as they are running away from me, you had better believe I would be arrested as soon as the police located me. Putting me on paid leave for a few weeks while they "investigate"?

4) As was seen in the Baltimore riots and countless other major protests before, the police, as a department-wide policy, have no problem locking people up for 24-48 hours and then releasing them without charging them with anything.

The few people that are charged are caught in the catch-22 of being charged with resisting arrest, but no other crime. Their only crime was verbally and/or physically trying to prevent an officer from handcuffing them when the protestor was not doing anything illegal in the first place.

5) At what point do we start holding North Carolina officers responsible when they unconstitutionally pull people over for a burned-out rear tail light? NC law only requires a single "stop lamp" on the rear of a car. The Walter Scott incident should have never happened, as it is reasonable for NC officers to know by now that NC law has held being pulled over for only a failed brake light is unconstitutional.

Comment: Re:Very unlikely to be triggered in the field (Score 1) 250

by sphealey (#49600345) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

The entire world isn't the US/Japan/EU. While most airlines outside that region who operate 787s run tight operations (Ethiopian for example is often mentioned as very well-run with a strong safety culture), there are a few who do not.

That said, in the few instances where less organized airlines have managed to acquired 787s they are probably being shut down 2-3 times/week much less every 9 months.

sPh

Comment: Re:This is great! (Score 3) 353

by sphealey (#49367951) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democrat_Party_%28epithet%29
Use of the term has been a point of contention within the Republican Party. In 1984, when a delegate of the Republican platform committee asked unanimous consent to change a platform amendment to read the Democrat Party instead of Democratic Party, New York Representative Jack Kemp objected, saying that would be "an insult to our Democratic friends" and the committee dropped the proposal.[2] In 1996, the wording throughout the Republican party platform was changed from "Democratic Party" to "Democrat Party": Republican leaders "explained they wanted to make the subtle point that the Democratic Party had become elitist".[19] A proposal to use the term again in the August 2008 Republican Platform for similar reasons was voted down with leaders choosing to use "Democratic Party". "We probably should use what the actual name is," said Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the panel's chairman. "At least in writing."

Yeah, Jack Kemp and Haley Barbour, flaming libruls both. Got it. Nice try though.

Comment: Re:This is great! (Score 1, Informative) 353

by sphealey (#49366577) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

"Democrat Party" is a slur, originally developed by Jesse Helms and later picked up and expanded upon by Karl Rove, intended to take away from Democrats - that is, members of the Democratic Party, the right to choose their own name.

As Theon can tell you having an entity that is attempting to obtain dominance over you impose a name not of your choosing is not a good thing. Members of the Democratic Party have been pretty vigilant about this since George W. Bush started doing it regularly. Hard right wing radicals don't like to be called out on their attempts though for some weird reason.

sPh

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir

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