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Space

Asteroid Mining Bill Introduced In Congress To Protect Private Property Rights 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-take-the-sky-from-me dept.
MarkWhittington writes: "Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) announced on Thursday that he was introducing a bill along with Rep, Derek Kilmer (D-WA) called the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act of 2014 (PDF). The act is designed to protect the private property rights for entities mining asteroids and to otherwise encourage asteroid mining. The bill is in apparent reaction to efforts by companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries to locate and mine Earth approaching asteroids for their resources.

The crucial part of the short piece of legislation states that the resources mined from an asteroid would be the property of the entity undertaking the operation. This language gets around the provision of the Outer Space Treaty that says states are forbidden to establish national sovereignty over celestial bodies, which would be a prerequisite to the United States allowing a private entity to own an asteroid. It rather grants mineral rights to the asteroid, something the treaty does not mention. There is no enforcement mechanism in the event of a dispute with another country, however."
Science

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles 144

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the giant-alien-particle-acceleration-experiment dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes For decades, physicists have sought the sources of the most energetic subatomic particles in the universe — cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere with as much energy as well-thrown baseballs. Now, a team working with the Telescope Array, a collection of 507 particle detectors covering 700 square kilometers of desert in Utah, has observed a broad 'hotspot' in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate. Although not definitive, the observation suggests the cosmic rays emanate from a distinct source near our galaxy and not from sources spread all over the universe.

Comment: Intellectual / Emotional? (Score 1) 121

by VorpalRodent (#47110887) Attached to: Can Cyborg Tech End Human Disability By 2064?
The summary specifically calls out physical, intellectual, and emotional. Are they suggesting that in 50 years you'll be able to get a chip implanted because you're depressed? Or stupid? Physical issues are being improved upon markedly. But seriously - fixing perceived issues in how people think seems just wrong. Fixing perceived issues with how people feel doubly so. If this were possible, we'd be squarely in sci-fi AI-controlled-human territory.

Comment: Ehh, No (Score 1) 338

by VorpalRodent (#46866753) Attached to: To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution

While I agree that there would be considerable benefit from this, I think that there's a whole mess of tinfoil hat issues here. Don't get me wrong, I fully believe that my government is spying on me (not specifically me, but in general). Giving them all the hardware means no more negotiating with service providers (at any level).

No more sneaking around what is or isn't okay. "This is my hardware, and to protect my hardware, I have to install this additional monitoring." There's the whole "If you aren't doing anything wrong..." argument, but let's not assume that giving the government the "means of distribution" is going to be all sunshine and puppy dogs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy that service providers can do whatever they want, but at least then the competition drives them to all be the best (well, we're assuming that "best" and "most profitable" are related). The government has no such goal. It's possible this would even backfire completely and the government would let it languish - they've got dial-up, so our job is done, etc.

Australia

Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients 408

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the healing-crystals-considered-harmful dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Homeopathy is a 200-year-old form of alternative medicine based on the principle that substances that produce symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has officially declared that homeopathic remedies are useless for human health. The body today released a guide for doctors (PDF) on how to talk to their patients about the lack of evidence for many such therapies. Doctors will also be told to warn patients of possible interactions between alternative and conventional medicines. On top of that, the council has produced a 300-page draft report that reviews the evidence for homoeopathy in treating 68 clinical conditions. It concludes 'there is no reliable evidence that homoeopathy is effective for treating health conditions'.

Representing the opposite viewpoint, Australian Homeopathic Association spokesman Greg Cope said he was disappointed at the narrow evidence relied on by the NHMRC in its report. 'What they have looked at is systematic trials for named conditions when that is not how homeopathy works,' he said. Homeopathy worked on the principle of improving a person's overall health and wellness, and research such as a seven-year study conducted in Switzerland was a better measure of its usefulness, he added. There are about 10,000 complementary medicine products sold in Australia but most consumers are unaware they are not evaluated by the domestic medicines safety watchdog before they are allowed on the market."

Comment: "Normal" People (Score 4, Insightful) 641

by VorpalRodent (#46692911) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

The person quoted in the summary appears to have a relatively solid grasp on how to go about being safe on the internet. By that same metric, a large percentage of Slashdot could also be just fine using XP. The problem is that everyone _else_ keeps using XP, and they _don't_ have that same skillset.

I'm happy that Microsoft finally pulled the plug. My goal is that things get bad enough for the small office that I provide support to on a volunteer basis requires them to upgrade. I've had to re-image a bunch of computers already this year because people click things, and companies are taking XP drivers away. Soon enough, I'll be able to say "Too bad, you have to upgrade this time".

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