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Submission + - NTT, Japan's largest fixed telecom provider, begins phasing out ADSL

AmiMoJo writes: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), the third largest telecoms provider in the world, is beginning to phase out ADSL for broadband internet access. NTT is no longer accepting new registrations, and no longer manufacturing the equipment required. Instead they recommend users opt for their FLET'S HIKARI fibre optic service. Their "Giga Mansion Smart Type" services offers 1Gb/sec for around $40/month.

Comment Re: society of fear (Score 1) 157 157

It is illogical; but these are well documented biases in human risk perception(individual and, alas, institutional): We fear risk more if we perceive ourselves as having no control over the situation(so, would rather risk a crash themselves than be at the mercy of even an expert other driver). We also fear risks imposed by other people more than those imposed by 'natural' or 'chance' causes, hence the fear of 'criminals' being greater than that of burning to death.

Comment Re: Food Allergies (Score 1) 157 157

Amphetamine Deficiency Disorder is a very real and tragically under treated condition. Do you think those poor bastards paying black market prices for God-knows-what crap cooked up in somebody's trailer would be doing so if they could just get a nice, cheap, legal bottle of pep pills at their local pharmacy?

Comment Re:some, at least, are already in widespread use (Score 1) 157 157

Unfortunately, the 'standardization' part is where this proposal seems most challenged(though, in principle it seems like a good idea). Section C-2) of the proposal form is:

"2. Has contact been made to members of the user community (for example: National Body, user groups of the script or characters, other experts, etc.)? "

The submitter answers 'No'. That's a problem. The Unicode Consortium standardizes the codepoint representation of glyphs across systems; but they have zero power(and aren't supposed to be the go-to) for designing or standardizing symbols, much less symbols that really need to be legally mandated to be useful(eg. all the 'gluten-free' as in 'we cater to fad diets' vs. 'gluten free' as in 'we maintain the same rigorous standards that a celiac disease patient's immune system does.' can be a nasty one).

As long as the 'peanut' emoji can mean anything from 'processed on equipment also used to process peanuts' to 'yup, this is the pad thai with peanut chunks on top'; it just isn't much good. If even a regional body(US, EU, one of the BRICs, somebody) or a standards entity promulgated symbols(like the well standardized and often legally binding ones used for marking hazardous goods in shipping and transport); then hell yeah, give them Unicode representations. Until then, though, this is just a proposal to add pictures of food objects, a less-than-helpful and nigh unlimited project.

Submission + - Nokia's HERE maps sold for $3 billion to Audi, BMW and Mercedes

vivaoporto writes: Nokia announced an agreement to sell its HERE digital mapping and location services business to a consortium of leading automotive companies, comprising AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG (Mercedes brand owner).

The transaction values HERE at an enterprise value of EUR 2.8 billion with a normalized level of working capital and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Upon closing, Nokia estimates that it will receive net proceeds of slightly above EUR 2.5 billion, as the purchaser would be compensated for certain defined liabilities of HERE currently expected to be slightly below EUR 300 million as part of the transaction. Nokia expects to book a gain on the sale and a related release of cumulative foreign exchange translation differences totaling approximately EUR 1 billion as a result of the transaction.

Once the mapping unit is sold, Nokia will consist of two businesses: Nokia Networks and Nokia Technologies. The first will continue to provide broadband services and infrastructure while the second will work on “advanced technology development and licensing.”

Comment Re:because Gamers are really Graphics Snobs (Score 2) 43 43

"HD" is an unfortunate bullshit marketing term that should be taken out and beaten to death with the same shovel used to dig its shallow grave; but that doesn't change the fact that there are 'textures that look really atrocious on a contemporary high-ish resolution LCD; despite having looked OK in my memories of the game as played on by a CRT TV being fed a composite video signal'. And, because Capcom are just that lazy, Resident Evil 4 HD apparently has them.

The fact that "HD" carefully avoids meaning anything specific, while vaguely suggesting better sensory experiences worth paying more for, is obnoxious; but that doesn't change the fact that time has not been kind to some games; and some of the sins that phosphor dots and analog video used to smear into a warm glow just turn into a swarm of razor-sharp jagged pixels and offend your eyes mercilessly on newer hardware. Low resolution textures are one of those sins, probably among the worst(low-poly models don't look very realistic; but they don't grate on you), and one that doesn't get fixed as often because redoing a big chunk of art assets is a lot of trouble.

Submission + - How three enterprising Chechen ladies took ISIS for $3,300->

MarkWhittington writes: Yahoo Travel reported that three women in Chechnya took ISIS for $3,300 before getting caught. They are now under investigation for Internet fraud, which seems to be illegal even when committed against the most fearsome terrorist army in modern times. The scam seems to be a combination of the Nigerian Prince con, in which a mark is fooled into giving the con artist large sums of money and catfishing, in which the mark strikes up an online romance with someone he thinks is an attractive woman (or man depending on the gender and preference of the mark.)
Link to Original Source

Comment Shouldn't this work the other way? (Score 5, Insightful) 157 157

This doesn't seem like an intrinsically bad idea; things like the GHS hazard pictograms, DIN 4844-2, ISO 3864, TSCA marks, and similar such things seem like perfectly reasonable additions to Unicode(some of them are already there).

What seems like more of a problem is the idea that the Unicode Consortium is out there fishing for ideas. A project of that scope has more than enough backlog to work through; what possible benefit could there be in putzing around internally with ideas for stuff that hasn't been codified by any relevant user groups, standards bodies, experts, national standards, etc? If they think that they have free time for that, they probably aren't looking hard enough at the stew of natural languages and commonly used symbols out there.

The original round of unicode-ified emoji, while puerile and obnoxious, were at least a solid instance of one of the Consortium's functions: the symbols were in wide use; but saddled with a horrible mess of legacy encoding schemes and general awfulness, so the only thing to do was wade in, hand out code points, and hope that the legacy systems could be burned to the ground as soon as possible. Same reason why parts of Unicode have substantial amounts of duplication, single characters that should be represented as composites, and so on; because various legacy standards had to die.

Here, though, there is no obvious existing standard being modeled on, nor any interoperability issue being solved. If somebody wants Unicode to have a picture of absolutely everything; maybe they should go work on graphics format standards.

Submission + - Unicode consortium looks at symbols for allergies

AmiMoJo writes: A new preliminary proposal submitted to the Unicode Consortium suggests that specific emoji for food allergies should be added to the standard. The proposal (PDF), submitted by a Google engineer, is under discussion and may not be added to the standard at all but offers a peek into some useful new emoji. It suggests the addition of peanuts, soybeans, buckwheat, sesame seeds, kiwi fruit, celery, lupin beans, mustard, tree nuts, eggs, milk products and gluten to help those with allergies express them in shorthand.

Submission + - Non-invasive spinal cord stimulation gets paralyzed legs moving again->

schwit1 writes: Five men with complete motor paralysis have regained the ability to move their legs voluntarily and produce step-like movements after being treated with a non-invasive form of spinal cord stimulation. The new treatment builds on prior work to generate voluntary movements in paralyzed people through electrical stimulation â" in particular, two studies (one completed in 2011, the other in 2014) that involved surgically implanting an electrode array on the spinal cord. This time, however, the researchers found success without performing any invasive surgery.

The new treatment uses a technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which involves strategically placing electrodes on the skin of the lower back. While receiving stimulation, the men's legs were supported by braces that hung from the ceiling. At first their legs only moved involuntarily, if at all. But they soon found they could voluntarily extend the distance their legs moved during stimulation. They doubled their range of voluntary motion after four treatment sessions.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - New telemetry suggests shot-down drone was higher than alleged

AmiMoJo writes: The pilot of the drone shot down Sunday evening over a Kentucky property has now come forward with video seemingly showing that the drone wasn't nearly as close as the property owner made it out to be. The data also shows that it was well over 200 feet above the ground before the fatal shots fired. The shooter, meanwhile, continues to maintain that the drone flew 20 feet over a neighbour's house before ascending to "60 to 80 [feet] above me."
Medicine

Death Toll at 4 In NYC Legionnaire's Outbreak 13 13

Reuters reports that four people have died of Legionnaire's Disease in an outbreak in the Bronx, and 65 more have exhibited symptoms of the disease. The Bronx was also home to the most recent flare-up of the disease, in December of last year. Says the article, In response to the outbreak, the city's health department has inspected 22 buildings in the Bronx, 17 of which have cooling towers. Five buildings, including the historic Opera House Hotel, Lincoln Medical Center and the Concourse Plaza mall and movie complex, tested positive for Legionella. Disinfection efforts are ongoing or have already been completed at all five sites. ... The people who died from the disease were older adults with underlying medical problems, according to a city press release. The department said the city's drinking water supply, fountains and pools have not been affected.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Hitchhiking robot's cross-country trip in US ends in Philly - Grand Island Independent->


Grand Island Independent

Hitchhiking robot's cross-country trip in US ends in Philly
Grand Island Independent
FILE- In this July 17, 2015, file photo, a car drives by HitchBOT, a hitchhiking robot in Marblehead, Mass. The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment say someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair on Saturday,...
Vandals end hitchhiking robot hitchBOT's US cross-country trekDispatch Times
The Last Journey of hitchBOT: The Photos You Need to SeeHeavy.com
Hitchhiking Robot Destroyed After Just 2 Weeks Travelling in USYibada (English Edition)

all 94 news articles

Link to Original Source
Biotech

Want To Fight Climate Change? Stop Cows From Burping 249 249

sciencehabit writes: A simple supplement to a cow's feed could substantially decrease a major source of methane, a planet-warming greenhouse gas, a new study suggests. Each year worldwide, the methane produced by cud-chewing livestock warms Earth's climate by the same amount as 2.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide, a little more than 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity. That makes cows tempting targets for methane reduction efforts. In a new study, researchers added the chemical 3-nitrooxypropanol, also known as 3NOP, to the corn-and-alfalfa-based feed of 84 milk-producing Holsteins and monitored their methane production for 12 weeks—the largest and longest such trial of its type in lactating cows, the scientists say. For cows whose feed included 3NOP, methane emissions dropped, on average, by 30%.

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