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+ - Criminals use drones to find cannabis farms and then steal from growers->

Submitted by garymortimer
garymortimer (1882326) writes "One such man, an unnamed 33-year-old, told the Halesowen News that after finding a property with a cannabis farm he and his crew either burgle or “tax” the victim.

“They are fair game,” he said. “It is not like I’m using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world.

“Half the time we don’t even need to use violence to get the crop. Growing cannabis has gone mainstream and the people growing it are not gangsters, especially in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - Americans Wary of Some Futuristic Technology

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Doug Gross reports at CNN that Americans are generally excited about the new technology they expect to see in their lifetimes but when confronted with some advances that already appear possible — from skies filled with drones to meat made in a lab — they get nervous. Overall, respondents to a survey by the Pew Research Center were upbeat about how technology will shape the near future. In the report, 59% of Americans think tech developments will make life in the next half-century better, while only 30% said they will make life worse. More than eight out of 10 respondents (81%) said they think that in the next 50 years, people who need transplants will be able to get them with organs grown in labs. More than half (51%) think computers will be able to create art as skillfully as humans do. But Americans are a little less optimistic about some science-fiction staples. Only 39% think it's likely scientists will have figured out how to teleport things (or, presumably, people), 33% say we'll have long-term space colonies by 2064 and a mere 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather.

But some of the advances that may be closest to becoming reality are the ones survey respondents were most worried about (PDF). Nearly two out of three Americans think it would make things worse if U.S. airspace is opened up to personal drones. A similar number dislike the idea of robots being used to care for the sick and elderly, and of parents being able to alter the DNA of their unborn children. Only 37% of respondents think it will be good if wearable devices or implants allow us to be digitally connected all the time. People were split almost evenly (48%-50%) on whether they would ride in a driverless car. But only 26% said they'd get a brain implant to improve their memory or intelligence, and a mere 20% said they'd try eating meat made in a lab. Some 9% said they'd like to be able to time travel. A similar number said they'd like something that would keep them healthy or extend their lives, 6% said they wanted a flying car (or bike), 3% said they'd take a teleportation device and a mere 1% said they want their own jetpack.

Asked to describe in their own words the futuristic inventions they themselves would like to own, the public offered three common themes: 1) travel improvements like flying cars and bikes, or even personal space crafts; 2) time travel; and 3) health improvements that extend human longevity or cure major diseases. "In the long run, Americans are optimistic about the impact that scientific developments will have on their lives and the lives of their children — but they definitely expect to encounter some bumps along the way," says Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at Pew and the author of the report. "They are especially concerned about developments that have the potential to upend long-standing social norms around things like personal privacy, surveillance, and the nature of social relationships.""

+ - Switching from Sitting to Standing at Your Desk

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Chris Bowlby reports at BBC that medical research has been building up for a while now, suggesting constant sitting is harming our health — potentially causing cardiovascular problems or vulnerability to diabetes. Advocates of sit-stand desks say more standing would benefit not only health, but also workers' energy and creativity. Some big organizations and companies are beginning to look seriously at reducing “prolonged sitting” among office workers. "It's becoming more well known that long periods of sedentary behavior has an adverse effect on health," says GE engineer Jonathan McGregor, "so we're looking at bringing in standing desks." The whole concept of sitting as the norm in workplaces is a recent innovation, points out Jeremy Myerson, professor of design at the Royal College of Art. "If you look at the late 19th Century," he says, Victorian clerks could stand at their desks and "moved around a lot more". "It's possible to look back at the industrial office of the past 100 years or so as some kind of weird aberration in a 1,000-year continuum of work where we've always moved around." What changed things in the 20th Century was "Taylorism" — time and motion studies applied to office work. "It's much easier to supervise and control people when they're sitting down," says Myerson. What might finally change things is if the evidence becomes overwhelming, the health costs rise, and stopping employees from sitting too much becomes part of an employer's legal duty of care "If what we are creating are environments where people are not going to be terribly healthy and are suffering from diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes," says Prof Alexi Marmot, a specialist on workplace design, "it's highly unlikely the organization benefits in any way.""

+ - Problems with Windows XP caused by Microsoft.

Submitted by Futurepower(R)
Futurepower(R) (558542) writes "We are seeing 4 kinds of problems with Windows XP today at 2 remote locations:

1) One kind of problem is similar to the one in this April 7, 2014 story about computers in Australia: Pop-ups irritate Windows XP's remaining users. Microsoft Security Essentials on computers in the United States give pop-up messages about the MSE service being stopped.

2) Computers are requiring far longer to start, perhaps 12 to 15 minutes. Then the MSE pop-up appears.

3) Microsoft Security Essentials now calls into question whether XP is genuine. These are all computers that have run without issues for several years. The customer bought licenses when Windows XP was first released.

4) We have seen problems with the Windows XP operating system detecting a key stuck down when no keys were pressed on the keyboard. That is a software problem, not a keyboard hardware problem. It causes the system to be un-responsive because the key being detected is not one actually pressed, but is actually a key combination. Again, that is happening on computers that have been trouble-free for years. That problem began happening after a Windows update.

Microsoft said it would support MSE on Windows XP for another year. See the Microsoft article, Microsoft antimalware support for Windows XP. Apparently that support is not happening in the normal way."

+ - Deep Brain Stimulation Triggers Hallucinations->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A new study has found the area in the brain responsible for hallucinations. Brain scans of an epilepsy patient revealed a shrunken spot near his hippocampus—the brain’s memory center. Studies had shown that this region—known as the parahippocampal place area (PPA)—was involved with recognizing of scenes and places. Doctors reconfirmed this by showing the patient pictures of a house and seeing the PPA light up on brain scans with functional magnetic resonance imaging. To assess if the PPA was ground zero for seizures, the doctors used a routine procedure that involves shooting soft jolts of electricity into the region and seeing if the patient senses an oncoming seizure. Rather than have déjà vu, the patient’s surroundings suddenly changed as he hallucinated places familiar to him. In one instance, the doctors morphed into the Italians from his local pizza place."
Link to Original Source

+ - Astronomers Solve Puzzle of the Mountains That Fell From Space 1

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Iapetus, Saturn’s third largest moon, was first photographed by the Cassini spacecraft on 31 December 2004. The images created something of a stir. Clearly visible was a narrow, steep ridge of mountains that stretch almost halfway around the moon’s equator. The question that has since puzzled astronomers is how this mountain range got there. Now evidence is mounting that this mountain range is not the result of tectonic or volcanic activity, like mountain ranges on other planets. Instead, astronomers are increasingly convinced that this mountain range fell from space. The latest evidence is a study of the shape of the mountains using 3-D images generated from Cassini data. They show that the angle of the mountainsides is close to the angle of repose, that’s the greatest angle that a granular material can form before it landslides. That’s not proof but it certainly consistent with this exotic formation theory. So how might this have happened? Astronomers think that early in its life, Iapetus must have been hit by another moon, sending huge volumes of ejecta into orbit. Some of this condensed into a new moon that escaped into space. However, the rest formed an unstable ring that gradually spiralled in towards the moon, eventually depositing the material in a narrow ridge around the equator. Cassini’s next encounter with Iapetus will be in 2015 which should give astronomers another chance to study the strangest mountain range in the Solar System."

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 0) 793

> So we need to shift the blame on movies, computer games, music, you name it.

This has been going for on for at least the past 100 years. Americans historically love to play the blame game. Some made up bullshit excuse instead of finding & treating the root problem. One small set (or sect/group/cult) of society tries to blame an inanimate object for all of society's woes and spreads their propaganda to anyone who will listen.

Every "next technology" is always scapegoated.

1900 Film
1910 ???
1920 Prohibition (Alcohol), Phonographs
1930 Jazz, Movies
1940 Radio
1950 Dancing
1960 Psychedelic Drugs, Sex
1970 Rock n Roll, Movies (again)
1980 MTV, DnD, Heavy Metal
1990 Computer Games
2000 ???
2010 Guns

As they say in Japan/China:

    "The nail that sticks up gets pounded down"

Shoot the messenger instead of listening to the message! Sarcasm: Yeah let's ignore the problem hoping it will go away!

What a sad, dysfunctional, and completely fucked up society we live in.

--
First Contact is coming 2024

+ - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment-> 1

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Subtle attack against C/C++ (Score 0) 188

by UnknownSoldier (#46763633) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

> C++11 is awesome and has brought it back to modern day relevancy. I

There is that old joke ...

There are 2 problems with C++

1. Its design
2. Its implementation

C++ started out as an awesome C with classes extension! Every C++ programmer should read these 2 classics:

* The Design and Evolution of C++
* Modern C++ Design

Today C++ is an over-engineered design-by-committee that unnecessary includes everything and the kitchen sink (translation: clusterfuck). Basic problems of idiotic archaic baggage such as "long long", lack of a proper binary literal (which took years; over-engineered user literals*), macros that aren't type safe, no standardized name mangling nor run-time functionality to query a mangled function name, etc.

C++ when used sparingly can be a great tool. A balance between the simplicity of C and the power of C++ abstraction is ideal.

* http://stackoverflow.com/quest...

+ - Who is the new Steve McConnell?

Submitted by andrewa
andrewa (18630) writes "Steve McConnell is the renowned author of several classic software engineering texts. Several of his tomes occupy a space on my bookshelf and, while wiping the dust off them today, I wondered if he had written any new material. It seems, short of some updates to Code Complete, his most recent work is Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art.
While his texts are still mostly relevant today, I wondered if anybody else had risen to take his place. Admittedly I've not kept as current on software engineering texts, so would be interested in the experiences of Slashdot users...."

+ - US Government confiscates passport of citizen while overseas, doesn't say why-> 1

Submitted by Faizdog
Faizdog (243703) writes "The US State Department has confiscated the passport of a US citizen who is overseas. Due to that, he is in a precarious situation regarding his legal status.

The State Dept. has given no explanation for their actions.

Federal law requires that US citizens be granted a hearing before their passports are revoked. According to the man’s attorneys: “Having a passport is part of a citizen’s right to international travel, because without a passport you’re not able to move about or return to the US they can revoke it if they believe it has been obtained fraudulently. But here, there isn’t any allegation of wrongdoing.”

How does one answer the question “papers please?” when they government has taken your papers?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Saracasm is one of the best ways to poke fun (Score 1) 2

by UnknownSoldier (#46729961) Attached to: Ideas for protesting Ballmer's graduation speech?

Make fun of Ballmer's lack of intelligence:

i.e.

"if 'Linux is a cancer' then it is funny that Android is a "failure" by it being on 1 billion devices"

"As of September 2013, one billion Android devices have been activated."

References:

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

--
Microsoft doesn't know what the fuck they are doing with UI. Who the hell puts a Menu in all UPPERCASE ?? Apparently they never got the memo that we stopped reading books in all uppercase ...

+ - Can You Buy A License to Speed in California?

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Alex Mayyasi writes that in the parking lots of Silicon Valley’s venture capital firms, expensive cars gleam in the California sun and a closer look reveals that the cars share a mysterious detail: they nearly all have a custom license plate frame that reads, “Member. 11-99 Foundation.” Are the Bay Area’s wealthy all part of some sort of illuminati group that identifies each other by license plate instead of secret handshakes? The answer is the state highway patrol — the men and women that most people interact with only when getting ticketed for speeding. A number of the frames read “CHP 11-99 Foundation,” which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Donors receive one license plate as part of a $2,500 “Classic” level donation, or two as part of a bronze, silver, or gold level donation of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. Rumor has it, according to Mayyasi, that the license plate frames come with a lucrative return on investment. As one member of a Mercedes-Benz owners community wrote online back in 2002: “I have the ultimate speeding ticket solution. I paid $1800 for a lifetime membership into the 11-99 foundation. My only goal was to get the infamous ‘get out of jail’ free license plate frame.”

The 11-99 Foundation has sold license plate frames for most of its 32 year existence, and drivers have been aware of the potential benefits since at least the late 1990s. But attention to the issue in 2006-2008 led the foundation to stop giving out the frames. An article in the LA Times asked “Can Drivers Buy CHP Leniency?” and began by describing a young man zipping around traffic — including a police cruiser — and telling the Times that he believed his 11-99 frames kept him from receiving a ticket. But the decision was almost irrelevant to another thriving market: the production and sale of fake 11-99 license plate frames. But wait — the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. “Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you," says one cop, "no love will be shown.”"

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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