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+ - The first suspension bridge connecting mountain peaks

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Switzerland is about to open the first suspension bridge ever built between two mountain peaks.

The bridge, suspended 9,700ft in the air, will also have a partial glass floor to allow visitors a once in a lifetime view of the 6,500ft drop between the Glacier 3000 and Scex Rouge.

It is scheduled to open in November, and is being built in an effort to attract more tourists to the Swiss Alps."

+ - Samsung is working with Oculus on a media-focused VR headset->

Submitted by Kenseilon
Kenseilon (3462441) writes ""Last week we told you about Samsung's unannounced virtual reality headset: a peripheral that enables VR interaction for flagship phones from the world's largest phone manufacturer. This week we've got far more details. First things first, Samsung's headset is the fruit of a collaboration with Oculus VR, the Facebook-owned virtual reality startup that both literally and figuratively kickstarted the current wave of VR products.

Oculus is handling the software side of the product, while Samsung handles the hardware. The deal is a swap: Oculus gives Samsung early access to its mobile software development kit and helps develop user interface software, while Samsung gives Oculus early access to its next-gen OLED screens. And yes, Oculus is still making its own, gaming-focused, PC-based virtual reality headset; that's why it needs next-gen, high-pixel-density OLED screens from Samsung""

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+ - Porn shrinks your brain->

Submitted by Bodhammer
Bodhammer (559311) writes ""German researchers looked at the brains of 64 men between the ages of 21 and 45 and found that one brain region (the striatum, linked to reward processing), was smaller in the brains of porn watchers, and that a specific part of the same region is also less activated when exposed to more pornography."

Real Genius Quote
"[Mitch Taylor speaking through the microphone so that Kent hears voices in his head]
Mitch: And from now on, stop playing with yourself.
Kent: It *is* God.""

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+ - Bullied Student Records Bullies, Gets Hit With Felony Charges For Violation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Here comes another story highlighting the danger of schools "outsourcing" their disciplinary problems to law enforcement. As we've stated before, this does nothing more than turn routine misconduct into criminal behavior, which is a great way to derail a student's future.

A Pennsylvania teen, who claimed to have been bullied constantly (and ignored by school administration), made an audio recording of his tormentors using a school-supplied iPad. He brought this to the school's attention, which duly responded by calling the cops to have him arrested for violating Pennsylvania's wiretapping law. (h/t to Techdirt reader btr1701)

Maybe the future holds better outcomes, but for right now, everyone involved had a chance to stop this from reaching this illogical conclusion, but no one — from the administrators to their legal team to local law enforcement to the presiding judge — was interested in reining this in. In the end, it looks as though an innate desire to punish someone was satisfied every step of the way."

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+ - Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked at Age 24->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "StarCraft II is popular among competitive gamers for having the depth necessary to reward differences in skill. A new study has found that your ability keep up with the game's frantic pace starts to decline at age 24. This is relevant to more than just StarCraft II players: 'While many high-performance athletes start to show age-related declines at a young age, those are often attributed to physical as opposed to brain aging. ... While previous lab tests have shown faster reaction times for simple individual tasks, it was never clear how much relevance those had to complex, real-world tasks such as driving. Thompson noted that Starcraft is complex and quite similar to real-life tasks such as managing 911 calls at an emergency dispatch centre, so the findings may be directly relevant. However, game performance was much easier to analyze than many real-life situations because the game generates detailed logs of every move. In a way, Thompson said, the study is a good demonstration of what kinds of insights can be gleaned from the "cool data sets" generated by our digital lives.'"
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News

Judge (Tech) Advice By Results 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
Bennett Haselton writes "What advice would you give someone who just bought a new laptop? What would you tell someone about how to secure their webserver against attacks? For that matter, how would you tell someone to prepare for their first year at Burning Man? I submit that the metric by which we usually judge tech advice, and advice in general, is fundamentally flawed, and has bred much of the unhelpful tech advice out there." Read below to see what Bennett has to say.
Microsoft

Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office? 226

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Over at Microsoft on the Issues, Microsoft continues to lament the computer programming skills gap of American kids, while simultaneously lobbying for more H-1B visas to fill that gap. Saying that states must do more to 'help students gain critical 21st century skills,' Microsoft credits itself and partner Code.org for getting 30,606,732 students to experience coding through the Hour of Code, claiming that K-12 kids have 'written 1,332,784,839 lines of code' (i.e., dragged-and-dropped puzzle pieces), So, if it's concerned about helping students gain programming skills, shouldn't Microsoft be donating fully-functional desktop versions of MS-Office to schools, which would allow kids to use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)? While Microsoft's pledge to give 12 million copies of its Office software to schools was heralded by the White House and the press, a review of the 'fine print' at Microsoft suggests it's actually the online VBA-free version of Office 365 Education that the kids will be getting, unless their schools qualify for the Student Advantage program by purchasing Office for the faculty and staff. Since Microsoft supported President Obama's call for kids to 'Don't Just Play on Your Phone, Program It', shouldn't it give kids the chance to program MS-Office, too?"

+ - Linux Developers Look At Using QR Codes For Kernel Panics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Linux kernel developers are currently evaluating the possibility of using QR codes to display kernel oops/panic messages. Right now a lot of text is dumped to the screen when a kernel oops occurs, most of which isn't easily archivable by normal Linux end-users. With QR codes as Linux oops messages, a smart-phone could capture the display and either report the error string or redirect them to an error page on Kernel.org. The idea of using QR codes within the Linux kernel is still being discussed by upstream developers."
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+ - Kickstarted Veronica Mars promised digital download. Pirate bay delivers.->

Submitted by ConfusedVorlon
ConfusedVorlon (657247) writes "Backers were promised 'You will receive a digital version of the movie within a few days of the movie’s theatrical debut'.

Warner Bros are providing a non-downloadable ultra-violet coupon (although Veronica Mars is available for download through other stores).

The download is already available on the Pirate Bay. The download is even available on commercial stores. The users have already passed over their $35+
But rather than meet the demand for a DRM-free download, Warner Bros would prefer to return the original pledge to backers who complain (no doubt pissing them off even more).

What does this tell us about how movie studios view the world? There can't be a better indication of willingness to pay than 'they have already paid' — are these the pirates WB fears?"

Link to Original Source

+ - FiveThirtyEight Relaunches As Data Journalism Website

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "After a parting of ways with the New York Times after calling 50 out of 50 states right in the 2012 elections, Nate Silver has relaunched FiveThirtyEight as a website dedicated to data journalism under the auspices of ESPN. Silver has expanded his staff from two full-time journalists to 20 and instead of focusing on politics exclusively FiveThirtyEight's coverage will span five major subject areas — politics, economics, science, life and sports. According to Silver, his team has a broad set of skills and experience in methods that fall under the rubric of data journalism including statistical analysis, data visualization, computer programming and data-literate reporting. "One of our roles will be to critique incautious uses of statistics when they arise elsewhere in news coverage. At other times, we’ll explore ways that consumers can use data to their advantage and level the playing field against corporations and governments." The site has launched with a variety of stories including "Many Signs Pointed to Crimea Independence Vote — But Polls Didn’t," "Building a Bracket Is Hard This Year, But We’ll Help You Play the Odds," "Toilet Seat Covers: To Use or Not to Use," and "Three Rules to Make Sure Economic Data Aren’t Bunk".

The story that caught my eye was "This Winter Wasn’t the Coldest, But It Was One of the Most Miserable" with some good data visulatization that showed that although average temperature may not have set records in the Northeast Corridor this winter, the intensity of the cold when it did hit was impressive. According to Matt Lanza although most statistics cite the winter of 1978-79 as the coldest in U.S. history, the winter of 2013-14 brought a rare combination of miseries that many of us hadn’t seen in years, and some had never seen. It was colder than usual, it was extremely cold more often than usual, and it snowed more than usual in more places than usual. Traditionally, big snow winters occur in a couple regions. The East Coast might have great snows, while the Midwest is quiet. Snowfall this winter didn’t discriminate; it blanketed just about everybody (outside the dry West and icier Mid-South). Look how many cities had not just a little more, but way more, than their normal snowfall."

+ - Chelsea Manning awarded 2014 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Former US Army solider Chelsea Manning received the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence from ex-intelligence officials for providing WikiLeaks with classified documents chronicling the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, in a ceremony held at the Oxford Union on Wednesday evening.

Manning, currently serving a 35-year jail sentence, wrote a compelling acceptance speech that was read at the event by her British school friend Aaron Kirkhouse. Edward Snowden, the recipient of the Sam Adams Award in 2013 for his whistleblowing on secret NSA and transnational surveillance programs, sent a four-minute video message to address the ceremony and pay homage to what he called Manning’s “extraordinary act of public service.”"

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+ - Animal Drug Investigation Reveals Pet Medication Doesn't Work -> 1

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Americans spent $14.2 billion on veterinary care for their pets in 2013—and that doesn’t even include proprietary health diets and food supplements. Put another way, pet owners pay about $850 annually in veterinary expenses per dog, and about $575 per cat. Factor in the emotional energy we invest in keeping our companion animals healthy, and you’d hope for high confidence in the end results. But when one journalist investigated the science behind the meds being used to treat his aging dog's osteoarthritis, he was in for a nasty surprise. Glucosamine and chondroitin food supplements? Next to useless. Tramadol to kill pain? It's probably just getting dogs high. The one treatment that's been proven to help, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called carprofen, is often left on the shelf because of fears—likely overblown—that it might damage dogs' kidneys. In part, you can blame this sorry state of affairs on a lack of financial incentives for drug companies to run clinical trials on animals. But often, vets aren't paying attention to the studies that have been done. If we want our dogs and cats to receive the best possible medical care, we need to ask our vets some tougher questions about why they think the drugs will work."
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+ - NDAA, more legal ability to spy on US citizens -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While the main news media were focused on some fool in Louisiana. Congress passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, NDAA. In section 1071, the language infers that they can analyze records from individuals who are now or were once hostile to the United States and provides no exception based on citizenship or nationality. If a US citizen is angry with the lies of the US government and loss of freedom and privacy, they are hostile to the government, so by law the can be spied upon.
Sections 931 through 942 deal with cyber warfare. Section 940 allows controls of cyber weapons. Cryptography, bit torrent, and bitcoin could all be deemed, cyber weapons, and thus be controlled or illegal.
I am posting this anonymously, I do not want to be deemed "hostile to the U.S.""

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+ - Google: Tax Loopholes Good, SEO Loopholes Evil

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required," quipped Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in a blame-the-victim-defense after Google came under fire for exploiting loopholes that allowed it to pay a mere £6m in UK tax on sales of £2.6bn. "If the British system changes the tax laws then we will comply." But don't try to get away with exploiting loopholes in Google's rules with your stupid Search Engine Optimization tricks, kids, or your site may end up sleeping with the fishes like Rap Genius. Google, you see, makes it crystal clear in its Webmaster Guidelines that it won't tolerate any BS letter-of-the-rules defenses: "These quality guidelines cover the most common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior, but Google may respond negatively to other misleading practices not listed here. It's not safe to assume that just because a specific deceptive technique isn't included on this page, Google approves of it. Webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of the basic principles will provide a much better user experience and subsequently enjoy better ranking than those who spend their time looking for loopholes they can exploit.""

+ - NuScale Power awarded $226 million to deploy small nuclear reactor design->

Submitted by ghack
ghack (454608) writes "NuScale power, a small nuclear power company in Corvallis Oregon, has won a Department of Energy grant of up to $226 million dollars to enable deployment of their small modular reactor. The units would be factory built in the United States, and their small size enables a number of potential niche applications. NuScale argues that their design includes a number of unique passive safety features.

This was the second of two DOE small modular reactor grants; the first was awarded to Babcock and Wilcox, a stalwart in the nuclear industry."

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16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

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