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+ - Law and Governance as a "Social Technology"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Virgin’s Entrepreneur blog has an article on an idea called "Startup Cities” which argues that governments should adopt the trial-and-error processes of tech startups. By giving municipalities strong autonomy, the article argues, reforms can be piloted on a smaller scale as different municipalities try different political solutions. From the article: "The biggest paradox of today’s world is that we have rapid, constant progress in physical technologies like phones and computers, but billions of people have no access at all to good law and governance, or what you might call ‘social technologies’. If we can treat law and governance as tech – then perhaps we can innovate in it.” The idea brings to mind Nassim Taleb’s argument that political risk should be spread over small, local jurisdictions so that policies don’t bring down entire countries if they fail."

+ - Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill that would ban bulk collection of telephone records and internet data for U.S. citizens. This is a stronger version of the legislation that passed the U.S. House in May, and it has support from the executive branch as well. "The bill, called the USA Freedom Act, would prohibit the government from collecting all information from a particular service provider or a broad geographic area, such as a city or area code, according to a release from Leahy's office. It would expand government and company reporting to the public and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews NSA intelligence activities. Both House and Senate measures would keep information out of NSA computers, but the Senate bill would impose stricter limits on how much data the spy agency could seek.""
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Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 4, Informative) 329

by RavenLrD20k (#47558953) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States
Hell, at the retail outlet I used to work at, manager made a blanket policy that if the POS returned a request for an Auth code we just outright declined the transaction, handed the customer an Experian business card and asked if they had another form of payment. If the customer asked if he could call his bank to get an Auth code (Red Flag) we would say that our business system did not allow for manual authorizations (which was true. The system the manager put in place didn't allow for ManAuths, even if the POS did).

+ - Tiny glass pyramids used to create self-cooling solar cells->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Solar panels need to be placed in direct sunlight in order to function, but that means they get hot, become less efficient, and age quickly. For every 1 degree Celsius the temperature increases, solar cell efficiency decreases by 0.5%. So at a typical peak temperature of 55 degrees a 30% efficient solar panel is only converting around 21% of the solar energy.

What we need is passive cooling, and a team at Standford Uni has solved the problem using tiny glass pyramids to manipulate the properties of light."

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+ - Developing Desktop Applications with PHP using wxPHP

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Unlike other general purpose scripting languages like Python, Perl or Lua, PHP usage has been mostly limited to web applications. wxPHP is a wrapper of wxWidigets that lets you develop cross-platform desktop applications using PHP, which revives a usage scenario for the language. The authors of the project believe that developing with wxPHP leads to decreased development time and easier interpolation with web applications. In contrast to its older brother PHP-GTK, wxPHP applications look native in all platforms, the extension is easier to build and more up to date. Binary builds for various platforms that use latest PHP versions are available, also the GUI designer wxFormBuilder has PHP support."

+ - Better Living Through Data->

Submitted by jradavenport
jradavenport (3020071) writes "Using 2 years of continuous (every 1 minute) monitoring of my MacBook Air battery usage, I have been able to study my own computer use patterns in amazing detail. This dataset includes 293k measurements, or more than 204 days of use over 2 years. I use the laptop more than 50hours per week on average, and my most productive day is Tuesday. Changes in my work/life balance have begun to appear over the 2 year span, and I am curious if such data can help inform how much computer use is healthy/effective."
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+ - It's now possible to print computer memory on paper->

Submitted by Caleb Garling
Caleb Garling (3651989) writes "Paper is cheap, flexible, and widespread, making it a good candidate as a substrate, but one of the issues with printing conductive materials to paper is one of the reasons paper works so well for ink: absorption. Being porous and uneven is an unwanted quality when trying to lay down the very precise structures necessary for electronics.

To get around this, principal researcher Der-Hsien Lien and team first coated the paper in a layer of carbon. Their aim was to make a type of resistive random access memory (RRAM), where a voltage is applied across a layer of insulator via an electrode. Each "bit" on the paper would be an insulator sandwiched by two electrodes with a state of 1 or 0."

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+ - Silicon Valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage->

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages."
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Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

The glow plug is not even close to similar to a spark plug as it does not go inside the compression chamber and it is not absolutely required for the facilitation of ignition; even on a stone cold engine in Canada in the depths of winter (provided there's at least a block warmer of some kind). It's a wire that preheats the fuel in the injector to ensure that it's of a temperature that when it is injected into the cylinder that the pressure and heat within the compression chamber will cause the ignition. Once an engine is to operating temp, the glow plug isn't needed any longer as the engine itself is generating the heat necessary. Before glow plugs, engines were warmed up by building a fire underneath them to bake them to a point where the internal temperature would be at a level to self ignite. The only thing glow plugs did was to give the process more efficiency and even modern cars with Diesel engines can still be warmed up by baking... provided their bodies are designed to allow for the open flame underneath them without burning parts critical to the other operations of the vehicle.

Comment: Re:Confused. (Score 2) 752

by RavenLrD20k (#47476199) Attached to: Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Karma to burn so at the risk of being offtopic to the article, but ontopic to you: We're antiquated relics from a time when the slogan still applied. The beginning of the end can be traced back to the fall of the WTC buildings, but the /. editors still tried their hardest to keep stories to the theme of the slogan for years after. However, ever since that event, Slashdot has slowly moved away from focusing solely on stories that fit the slogan and bringing in stories that have a possible historic and/or "climate" (whether this be political or otherwise) changing significance. The acquisition of /. by Dice just sped up this process. While it is still a large focus of the site you'll probably notice that the slogan "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters" has been removed from the main page*.

*Note: I just checked Beta, and noticed that the "News for Nerds" part of the slogan is part of the logo there... but who visits beta anyway?

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz