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+ - FCC looks to open ranks of MVPDs to Internet-delivered services->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The FCC is looking at redefining Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) to include Internet based and non-infrastructure based video services allowing IP based services access to compulsory license that cable and satellite broadcasters currently enjoy. This would likely allow services such as Aereo to operate legally.
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Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 1051

by aczisny (#48586103) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Who's responsible if your child has a bad reaction to the vaccine and dies or is permanently disabled?

The national vaccine injury compensation fund. The US decided that vaccines were so important that if there was an injury due to a vaccine for some reason (and though rare, they do happen), it was better to create a general fund to pay for those injuries than to allow the vaccine manufactures to be sued and potentially be put out of business by an adverse legal decision. This helps ensure that there will continue to be a supply of vaccines available without having to set up nationalized manufacturing facilities (which incidentally you would not be able to sue unless the government explicitly gave you permission. How likely do you think that would be?).

+ - Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler writes: When families go to buy a new home, they're most often looking for a couple things: Good schools, a safe neighborhood, maybe something that's near public transportation. And, increasingly and undeniably, access to gigabit internet service. A study by RVA LLC Market Research and Consulting found that fiber optic internet adds roughly $5,250 to the value of a $300,000 home.
"It's getting to the point where, if my neighboring community has a gig and we're still doing satellite, the property value in that town is going to go up," Deb Socia, director of Next Century Cities, a coalition of cities trying to provide gigabit internet speeds to their citizens, said. "You're going to lose people and you're going to lose revenue without it. I'm hearing it from folks in different chambers of commerce, in real estate, in politics."

+ - Legal Tax Loophole "Double Irish" Used by US Companies to Be Closed

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Irish Finance Minister announced on Tuesday that Ireland will no longer allow companies to register in Ireland unless the companies are also tax resident. This will effectively close off the corporate tax evation scheme known as the "Double Irish" used by the likes of Google, Apple, and Facebook to route their earnings through their Irish holdings in order to garner an effect tax rate of, for instance in Google's case in 2013, 0.16%. Ireland's new policy will take effect in 2015 for new companies. "For existing companies, there will be provision for a transition period until the end of 2020."

+ - Keystone Be D-mned: Canada Finds Oil Route To Atlantic

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Bloomberg reports that Canadians have come up with an all-Canadian route to get crude oil sands from Alberta to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, that would give Canada’s oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply. The pipeline, built by Energy East, will cost $10.7 billion and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. "It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude," writes Bloomberg. "And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it." So confident is TransCanada Corp., the chief backer of both Keystone and Energy East, of success that Alex Pourbaix, the executive in charge, spoke of the cross-Canada line as virtually a done deal. “With one project,” Energy East will give Alberta’s oil sands not only an outlet to “eastern Canadian markets but to global markets,” says Pourbaix. “And we’ve done so at scale, with a 1.1 million barrel per day pipeline, which will go a long way to removing the specter of those big differentials for many years to come.”

The pipeline will also prove a blow to environmentalists who have made central to the anti-Keystone arguments the concept that if Keystone can be stopped, most of that polluting heavy crude will stay in the ground. With 168 billion proven barrels of oil, though, Canada’s oil sands represent the third-largest oil reserves in the world, and that oil is likely to find its way to shore one way or another. “It’s always been clear that denying it or slowing Keystone wasn’t going to stop the flow of Canadian oil,” says Michael Levi. What Energy East means for the Keystone XL pipeline remains to be seen. “Maybe this will be a wake up call to President Obama and U.S. policymakers to say ‘Hmmm we’re going to get shut out of not just the energy, but all those jobs that are going to go into building that pipeline. Now they are all going to go into Canada," says Aaron Task. “This is all about ‘You snooze, you lose.’”

+ - Statisticians Uncover What Makes for a Stable Marriage

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Randy Olson, a Computer Science grad student who works with data visualizations, writes about seven of the biggest factors that predict what makes for a long term stable marriage in America. Olson took the results of a study that polled thousands of recently married and divorced Americans and and asked them dozens of questions about their marriage (PDF): How long they were dating, how long they were engaged, etc. After running this data through a multivariate model, the authors were able to calculate the factors that best predicted whether a marriage would end in divorce. "What struck me about this study is that it basically laid out what makes for a stable marriage in the US," writes Olson. Here are some of the biggest factors:

How long you were dating (Couples who dated 1-2 years before their engagement were 20% less likely to end up divorced than couples who dated less than a year before getting engaged. Couples who dated 3 years or more are 39% less likely to get divorced.); How much money you make (The more money you and your partner make, the less likely you are to ultimately file for divorce. Couples who earn $125K per year are 51% less likely to divorce than couples making 0 — 25k); How often you go to church (Couples who never go to church are 2x more likely to divorce than regular churchgoers.); Your attitude toward your partner (Men are 1.5x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s looks, and women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s wealth.); How many people attended the wedding ("Crazy enough, your wedding ceremony has a huge impact on the long-term stability of your marriage. Perhaps the biggest factor is how many people attend your wedding: Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people."); How much you spent on the wedding (The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced.); Whether you had a honeymoon (Couples who had a honeymoon are 41% less likely to divorce than those who had no honeymoon).

Of course correlation is not causation. For example, expensive weddings may simply attract the kind of immature and narcissistic people who are less likely to sustain a successful marriage and such people might end up getting divorced even if they married cheaply. But "the particularly scary part here is that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is well over $30,000," says Olson, "which doesn’t bode well for the future of American marriages."

+ - What happens when gaming auteurs try to go it alone?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: As news that Cliff Bleszkinski, Epic Games' legendary former creative, sets off to found his own studio, a new article takes a look at how six other gaming auteurs have fared after leaving a major developer or publisher to go it alone. The results, surprisingly, are mixed: while some, such as Double Fine's Tim Schafer, have gone on to far greater success, it doesn't always work out that way: just look at John Romero's Daikatana. The article also makes a good point that Peter Molyneux is striking out with a start-up for the third in his career now, but it may not be third time the charm: Godus has been far less well received than Black & White or Fable. Can Cliffy B avoid making the same mistakes?
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+ - Unattended maintenance windows

Submitted by grahamsaa
grahamsaa writes: Like many others in IT, I sometimes have to do server maintenance at unfortunate times. 6AM is the norm for us, but in some cases we're expected to do it as early as 2AM, which isn't exactly optimal. I understand that critical services can't be taken down during business hours, and most of our products are used 24 hours a day, but for some things it seems like it would be possible to automate maintenance (and downtime).

I have a maintenance window at about 5AM tomorrow. It's fairly simple — upgrade CentOS, remove a package, install a package, reboot. Downtime shouldn't be more than 5 minutes. While I don't think it would be wise to automate this window, I think with sufficient testing we might be able to automate future maintenance windows so I or someone else can sleep in. Aside from the benefit of getting a bit more sleep, automating this kind of thing means that it can be written, reviewed and tested well in advance. Of course, if something goes horribly wrong having a live body keeping watch is probably helpful. That said, we do have people on call 24/7 and they could probably respond capably in an emergency. Have any of you tried to do something like this? What's your experience been like?

+ - Germany's glut of electricity causing prices to plummet

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo writes: Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010.

“The new plants will run at current prices, but they won’t cover their costs” said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet” according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer. Wind and solar’s share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%.

+ - Google admits tax laws need to change->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The managing director of Googleâ(TM)s Australia and New Zealand operations has called on governments to clarify grey areas in the global tax system and put an end to a blame game of shaming individual companies over transfer pricing practices. She said Google contributed to the economy in many areas, but the company supported the idea of changes in tax law.
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Comment: Re:intel and power efficiency (Score 1) 230

by aczisny (#47181163) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

The "ultra-low power" 2 core Haswell has a 35 w power budget.

There are many Haswell processors below 25W TDP, in fact that list is made up of most of the actual "ultra-low power" ones (U and Y branded). ARK will list every Haswell processor for you. Do they make lots of processors that draw more than 25W? Sure, but the trend has been flat or downward since the Core 2 release while providing more processing power (so regularly improving performance per watt). If they were binning to throw away anything over 25W they'd just end up with a lot of waste throwing away "bad" parts that work just fine in an environment that isn't that power constrained, like my local desktop. I know my processor is 84W because I wanted good performance when needed and for a desktop that level of power draw just isn't that relevant. When it's not working, it idles about the same as one of the better power bins.

+ - AMD, Nvidia, and developers weigh in on GameWorks controversy->

Submitted by Dputiger
Dputiger writes: Since Nvidia debuted its GameWorks libraries there's been allegations that they unfairly disadvantaged AMD users or prevented developers from optimizing code. We've taken these questions to developers themselves and asked them to weigh in on how games get optimized, why Nvidia built this program, and whether its an attempt to harm AMD customers.
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+ - QA Testing at EA and Netflix->

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes: To millions of gamers, the position of QA (quality assurance) tester at Electronic Arts must seem like a dream job. But from the company's perspective, the overhead associated with QA can look downright frightening, particularly in an era of massively multi-player games. Hence the appeal of automated QA testing, which has the potential to be faster, more cost-effective, more efficient, and more scalable than manual testing. While automation cannot mimic everything human testers can do, it can be very useful for many types of basic testing. Still, it turns out the transition to automated testing is not nearly as straightforward as it might at first appear. Joining the discussion is Jafar Husain, a lead software developer for Netflix. Previously he worked at Microsoft, where one of his tasks involved creating the test environment for the Silverlight development platform.
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+ - Ford's Bringing Adaptive Steering To The Masses

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy writes: Most automakers have made the jump from hydraulic power steering to electronic power steering to help conserve fuel. By using an electric motor instead of a hydraulic system, less energy is drawn from the engine. Many luxury automakers have also introduced adaptive steering with the electronic power steering systems, but now Ford is looking to bring this feature to the masses. Adaptive steering builds on the existing speed-sensitive function of the electronic power steering system by altering the steering ratio and effort based on driver inputs and settings. The system uses a precision-controlled actuator placed inside the steering wheel. It's an electric motor and gearing system that can essentially add or subtract from the driver's steering inputs. This will make the vehicle easier to maneuver at low speeds, and make a vehicle feel more stable at high speeds. The system will be offered on certain Ford vehicles within the next 12 months.

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