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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements...For Warehouse Workers

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "Amazon, perhaps historically only second to NewEgg in the IT nerdling's online shopping heart, not only has treated their warehouse workers to appalling working condtions, but they're also making them sign a non-compete agreement for the privilege. Excerpt from the agreement:
During employment and for 18 months after the Separation Date, Employee will not, directly or indirectly, whether on Employee’s own behalf or on behalf of any other entity (for example, as an employee, agent, partner, or consultant), engage in or support the development, manufacture, marketing, or sale of any product or service that competes or is intended to compete with any product or service sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon (or intended to be sold, offered, or otherwise provided by Amazon in the future)...."

+ - NY Times: "All The News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Two years ago, Politico caught Mark Zuckerberg's soon-to-be launched FWD.us PAC boasting how its wealthy tech exec backers would use their companies to 'control the avenues of distribution' for a political message in support of their efforts. Now, the NY Times is reporting that Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook, citing a source who said the Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal. Facebook declined to comment on specific discussions with publishers, but noted it had provided features to help publishers get better traction on Facebook, including tools unveiled in December that let them target their articles to specific groups of Facebook users. The new plan, notes the Times, is championed by Chris Cox, the top lieutenant to Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and a "major supporter" of FWD.us. Exploring Facebook's wooing of the media giants, the Christian Science Monitor asks if social media will control the future of news, citing concerns expressed by Fusion's Felix Salmon, who warns that as news sites sacrifice their brands to reach a wider audience, their incentives for accuracy and editorial judgment will disappear. So, will the Gray Lady's iconic slogan be changed to "All The News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"?"
EU

European Commission Proposes "Digital Single Market" and End To Geoblocking 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-big-happy-family dept.
An anonymous reader writes A new initiative from the European Commission proposes a reformed "single digital market", addressing a number of issues that it sees as obstructions to EU growth, including geoblocking — where services such as BBC's iPlayer are only available to IP addresses within the host country — and the high cost of parcel delivery and administration of disparate VAT rates across the member states. The ramifications of many of the proposals within the Digital Single Market project extend to non-EU corporations which have built their business model on the current isolationism of member state markets.

+ - A drastic drop in complaints after San Diego outfitted its PD with body cameras

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Surprise, surprise! Immediately after San Diego outfitted its police force with 600 body camera the number of complaints plunged.

The report, which took one full year into account, found that complaints against police have fallen 40.5 percent and use of “personal body” force by officers has been reduced by 46.5 percent. Use of pepper spray has decreased by 30.5 percent.

Two benefits can be seen immediately. First, the police are being harassed less from false complaints. Second, and more important, the police are finding ways to settle most disputes without the use of force, which means they are abusing their authority less.

These statistics do confirm what many on both the right and the left have begun to believe in recent years, that the police have been almost certainly using force against citizens inappropriately too often. In San Diego at least the cameras are serving to stem this misuse of authority."

+ - Did Neurons Evolve Twice?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When Leonid Moroz, a neuroscientist at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, Fla., first began studying comb jellies, he was puzzled. He knew the primitive sea creatures had nerve cells — responsible, among other things, for orchestrating the darting of their tentacles and the beat of their iridescent cilia. But those neurons appeared to be invisible. The dyes that scientists typically use to stain and study those cells simply didn’t work. The comb jellies’ neural anatomy was like nothing else he had ever encountered.

After years of study, he thinks he knows why. According to traditional evolutionary biology, neurons evolved just once, hundreds of millions of years ago, likely after sea sponges branched off the evolutionary tree. But Moroz thinks it happened twice — once in ancestors of comb jellies, which split off at around the same time as sea sponges, and once in the animals that gave rise to jellyfish and all subsequent animals, including us. He cites as evidence the fact that comb jellies have a relatively alien neural system, employing different chemicals and architecture from our own. “When we look at the genome and other information, we see not only different grammar but a different alphabet,” Moroz said."

Link to Original Source

+ - Now It's Easy To Tell Congress To Fight Patent Trolls

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Application Developers Alliance is running two campaigns to help get the message to Washington. First is the Fight Patent Trolls initiative, which includes a tool for sending a letter to Senators and Representatives.

The second campaign is Innovators Need Patent Reform, an open letter to Congress that makes the same key points along with a public list of signers.

As both letters note, there are already proposals in both the House and the Senate, plus recommendations from the President, that contain some of the all-important protections that the victims of patent trolls need. Though the future of these specific bills is uncertain, the building blocks are beginning to fall into place, and it's time to run with that momentum."

Comment: Re:Journalists being stonewalled by Apple? (Score 1) 258

by demachina (#49340881) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Hacker News has a fairly good track record causing something resembling the Slashdot effect at least on lower capacity servers. Its pretty rare you hear anyone comment that they got a traffic surge when their blog appeared on the front page of Slashdot any more, though it is quite common to hear comments about traffic surges from Hacker News.

+ - Shape Shifting Frog Goes From Spiky to Smooth, Poses Problems for Taxonomists

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Carrie Arnold reports at National Geographic that on a nighttime walk through Reserva Las Gralarias in Ecuador in 2009, Katherine Krynak spotted a well-camouflaged, marble-size amphibian that was covered in spines. The next day, Krynak pulled the frog from the cup and set it on a smooth white sheet of plastic for Tim to photograph. It wasn't "punk "--it was smooth-skinned. She assumed that, much to her dismay, she must have picked up the wrong frog. "I then put the frog back in the cup and added some moss," says Krynak. "The spines came back... we simply couldn't believe our eyes, our frog changed skin texture! I put the frog back on the smooth white background. Its skin became smooth."

Krynak didn't find another punk rocker frog until 2009, three years after the first sighting. The second animal was covered in thorny spines, like the first, but they had disappeared when she took a closer look. The team then took photos of the shape-shifting frog every ten seconds for several minutes, watching the spines form and then slowly disappear. It's unclear how the frog forms these spines so quickly, or what they're actually made of. The discovery of a variable species poses challenges to amphibian taxonomists and field biologists, who have traditionally used skin texture and presence/absence of tubercles as important discrete traits in diagnosing and identifying species. The discovery illustrates the importance of describing the behavior of new species, and bolsters the argument for preserving amphibian habitats, says Krynak. "Amphibians are declining so rapidly that scientists are oftentimes describing new species from museum specimens because the animals have already gone extinct in the wild, and very recently.""

Comment: Re:Countries without nuclear weapons get invaded (Score 2) 225

by demachina (#49340853) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

Iraq used chemical weapons to pretty good effect to stave off Iranian human wave attacks during the Iran Iraq war. If they hadnâ(TM)t it would have somewhat increased the likelihood that Iran would have won the war. With the help of chemical weapons Iraq fought a much larger country to a stalemate.

The Reagan administration and numerous western companies were fine with Iraq using chemical weapons against Iran during that era. They didnt want Iran to win that war.

+ - Comcast's incompetence, lack of broadband competition force homeowner to sell 1

Submitted by BUL2294
BUL2294 (1081735) writes "Consumerist has an article about a homeowner in Kitsap County, Washington who is unable to get broadband service. Due to inaccurate broadband availability websites, Comcast's corporate incompetence, CenturyLink's refusal to add new customers in his area, and Washington state's restrictions on municipal broadband, the owner may be left with no option but to sell his house 2 months after he bought it, since he works from home as a software developer.

To add insult to injury, BroadbandMaps.gov says he has 10 broadband options in his zip code, some of which are not applicable to his address, have exorbitant costs (e.g. wireless), or are for municipal providers that are prevented from doing business with him by state law. Yet, Comcast insists in filings that “the broadband marketplace is more competitive than ever,” which appear to be very carefully chosen words..."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Suggested Beginning Windows Programming resources

Submitted by BootNinja
BootNinja (743040) writes "Hello, Slashdot; I took a couple of intro c++ classes in college back around 2000 and 2001. Since then I have picked up a bit of HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and Perl. I've not done any coding in a couple of years, but I am interested in getting back in the saddle. However, everything I've ever done in past was simple text based web/console type stuff, and I'm looking to develop some skills in gui programming, preferably in C++. What books and/or websites would you recommend as a refresher for basic C++ sytax and data structures, as well as for basic windows and/or gnome programming? Also, what development tools do you find most helpful; i.e. compilers and/or IDE's?"

Comment: Comcast voted the 2014 "Worst Company In America". (Score 1) 1

It is broadbandmap.gov, without the S.

Broadbandmap.gov seems to me like a troll site that shows lots of competition that doesn't exist, so that huge abusive corporations can limit the competition.

Comcast voted the 2014 "Worst Company In America"

+ - How nuclear weapon modernization makes it more likely that nukes will be used-> 2

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "John Mecklin has an astonishingly good piece detailing exactly how nuclear weapons modernization is kick-starting a new arms race, and how modernizing these weapons to make them more accurate and stealthy puts the world at even greater risk of nuclear war: 'Their very accuracy increases the temptation to use them.' The issue is not getting very much attention, but the patience of the non-nuclear states is wearing thin, and a breakthrough in public awareness may be on the horizon: 'The disarmament debate is likely to make this spring’s NPT conference a contentious one and just might be loud enough to make the public aware that a new type of nuclear arms race is unfolding around the world.' If you read nothing else on nuclear weapons, read this."
Link to Original Source

+ - New bill would repeal Patriot Act

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Two Congressmen have introduced legislation to repeal the Patriot Act as well as end all unconstitutional domestic spying by government agencies.

The article notes that there is bi-partisan support for “doing something” about the out-of-control surveillance of federal agencies like the National Security Agency. I agree. Expect something like this to get passed. Whether Obama will veto it is another question. Despite what he says (which no one should every believe), he likes the idea of prying into the lives of private citizens."

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS

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