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+ - This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Peter Richie spent eight months planning and building a megacity in vanilla SimCity 4, and the end result is mind-boggling: 107.7 million people living in one massive, sprawling region.
"Traffic is a nightmare, both above ground and under," Richie said. "The massive amount of subway lines and subway stations are still congested during all times of the day in all neighborhoods of each and every mega-city in the region. The roadways are clogged at all times, but people still persist in trying to use them.""

+ - Robot printer 'comes to your desk' with documents

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Fuji Xerox has developed a new robotic printer that can move around a lounge or office to bring documents to the person who printed them. The printer is designed to be used primarily in public places as a way to keep sensitive documents secure. Sensors on the machine prevent it from bumping into people on the way. However, some analysts argued that the idea was not cost effective when compared with other secure printing methods. Fuji Xerox — a joint venture between the two firms — has been testing the printer this month at a business lounge in Tokyo. Each desk in the lounge is given a unique web address from which to print. Users access the address and upload documents to be printed. Once the printer receives the job, it moves to the intended recipient who then has to display a smart card to activate printing."

+ - Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee or Naps Alone->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Caffeine is a staple of most workplaces — it's rare to find an office without a coffee pot or a fridge full of soda. It's necessary (or at least feels like it's necessary) because it's sometimes hard to stay awake sitting at a desk for hours at a time, and the alternative — naps — aren't usually allowed. But new research shows it might be more efficient for employers to encourage brief "coffee naps," which are more effective at returning people to an alert state than either caffeine or naps by themselves. A "coffee nap" is when you drink a cup of coffee, and then take a sub-20-minute nap immediately afterward. This works because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to get into your bloodstream, and a 20-minute nap clears adenosine from your brain without entering deeper stages of sleep. In multiple studies, tired participants who took coffee naps made fewer mistakes in a driving simulator after they awoke than the people who drank coffee without a nap or slept without ingesting caffeine."
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+ - Japanese Publishers Lash Out at Amazon's Policies->

Submitted by Nate the greatest
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Amazon is in a bitter contract fight Hachette in the US and Bonnier in Germany, and now it seems the retail giant is also in conflict with publishers in the land of the rising sun. Amazon has launched a new rating system in Japan which gives publishers with larger ebook catalogs (and publishers that pay higher fees) preference, leading some to complain that Amazon is using its market power to blackmail publishers. Where have we heard that complaint before?

The retailer is also being boycotted by a handful of Japanese publishers which disagree with Amazon offering a rewards program to students. The retailer gives students 10 percent of a book's price as points which can be used to buy more books. This skirts Japanese fixed price book laws, and so several smaller publishers pulled their books from Amazon in protest in May.

I know that businesses are out to make money and not friends, but Amazon sure is a lightning rod for conflicts, isn't it?"

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+ - IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "The IEEE's Center for Secure Design debuted its first report this week, a guidance for software architects called "Avoiding the Top 10 Software Security Design Flaws." Developing guidance for architects rather than developers was a conscious effort the group made in order to steer the conversation around software security away from exclusively talking about finding bugs toward design-level failures that lead to exploitable security vulnerabilities.
The document spells out the 10 common design flaws in a straightforward manner, each with a lengthy explainer of inherent weaknesses in each area and how software designers and architects should take these potential pitfalls into consideration."

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+ - US Government Fights to Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In August 6, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the federal government "to explain why the government places U.S. citizens who haven't been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database". Unsurprisingly, the federal government objects to the order, once more claiming that to divulge their no-fly list criteria would expose state secrets and thus pose a national security threat. When the judge said that he would read the material privately, the government insisted that reading the material "would not assist the Court in deciding the pending Motion to Dismiss (PDF) because it is not an appropriate means to test the scope of the assertion of the State Secrets privilege". The federal government has until September 7 to comply with the judge's order unless the judge is swayed by the government's objection."

+ - The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Feds call it “twelve triple three”; whistleblowers says it's the heart of the problem.
One thing sits at the heart of what many consider a surveillance state within the US today.

The problem does not begin with political systems that discourage transparency or technologies that can intercept everyday communications without notice. Like everything else in Washington, there’s a legal basis for what many believe is extreme government overreach—in this case, it's Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981."

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+ - How Big Telecom Smothers Municipal Broadband

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "The Center for Public Integrity has a comprehensive article showing how Big Telecom (aka, AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner) use lobbyists, paid-for politicians, and lawsuits (both actual and the threat thereof) in their efforts to kill municipal broadband. From the article: "The companies have also used traditional campaign tactics such as newspaper ads, push polls, direct mail and door-to-door canvassing to block municipal networks. And they’ve tried to undermine the appetite for municipal broadband by paying for research from think tanks and front groups to portray the networks as unreliable and costly. " Unfortunately, those think tanks and front groups are also paid for by the companies."

+ - Comcast allegedly trying to block CenturyLink from entering its territory->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "CenturyLink has accused Comcast of trying to prevent competition in cities and towns by making it difficult for the company to obtain reasonable franchise agreements from local authorities.

CenturyLink made the claim yesterday in a filing that asks the Federal Communications Commission to block Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) or impose conditions that prevent Comcast from using its market power to harm competitors.

Comcast has a different view on the matter, saying that CenturyLink shouldn’t be able to enter Comcast cities unless CenturyLink promises to build out its network to all residents. Without such conditions, poor people might not be offered service, Comcast argues."

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+ - Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "How does microgravity affect your health? One of the chief concerns of NASA astronauts these days is changes to eyesight. Some people come back from long-duration stays in space with what appears to be permanent changes, such as requiring glasses when previously they did not.

And the numbers are interesting. A few months after NASA told Universe Today that 20% of astronauts may face this problem, a new study points out that 21 U.S. astronauts that have flown on the International Space Station for long flights (which tend to be five to six months) face visual problems. These include “hyperopic shift, scotoma and choroidal folds to cotton wool spots, optic nerve sheath distension, globe flattening and edema of the optic nerve,” states the University of Houston, which is collaborating with NASA on a long-term study of astronauts while they’re in orbit.

Primary original source: http://www.uh.edu/news-events/..."

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+ - How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Developers are embracing a range of open source technologies, writes Matt Asay, virtually none of which are supported or sold by Red Hat, the purported open source leader. 'Ask a CIO her choice to run mission-critical workloads, and her answer is a near immediate "Red Hat." Ask her developers what they prefer, however, and it's Ubuntu. Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat. Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications. Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two.'"

+ - gcc LTO reduces firefox package size by 50%-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Link Time Optimization used to be a lot of promise for little gain, and typically unable to deal with packages in the MSLOC range. Seemingly no longer. Reported in gcc's bugzilla is an impressive result for firefox:
'Firefox since version 30 as well as Thunderbird since version 31 both compile fine with LTO enabled without the need of any additional patches. The package size was reduced by 51% (firefox ~420MB -> ~207MB) and 59% (thunderbird ~480MB -> ~200MB). Both programs work as intended, no crashes or unexpected behaviour so far.'
Has time come to rebuild the world using LTO ?"

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+ - U.S. University Restricts Network Access to Social Media, Political Content 1

Submitted by onproton
onproton (3434437) writes "Northern Illinois University recently began restricting student access to webpages that contain "illegal or unethical" content which, according to University policy, includes resources used for "political activities...and the organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations." A student raised concerns after attempting to access the Wikipedia page for Westboro Baptist Church, and receiving a filter message informing him that his access of this page would likely violate the University's Acceptable Use Policy, along with a warning that "all violations would be reviewed." This has lead to questions about whether some policies that restrict student access to information are in the best interest of the primary goal of education."

+ - Apple CarPlay Rollout Delayed By Some Carmakers ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Some car makers are delaying the implementation of Apple's CarPlay iPhone interface for vehicle infotainment systems. The delays, which are prompting manufacturers such as Mercedes, Volvo and Honda to push their announcement from 2014 to 2015, appear to be related to a few snags in the integration process or in choosing which model cars should have the middleware. At the same time, many of the automakers rolling out CarPlay are also implementing Android Auto, which will provide a vehicle head unit user interface for Android smartphones. Analysts believe the addition of Android Auto earlier this year may also be adding delays because manufacturers want to be able to announce availability of both platforms in their new model vehicles. According to IHS, adoption of Android Auto is expected to slightly outpace CarPlay with an annual growth rate of 179% compared to 165%. In 2020, for example, 40 million cars will roll off assembly lines with Android Auto versus 37 million with CarPlay."
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