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Transportation

Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-it-fly dept.
puddingebola writes with news that Toyota will be bringing its first fuel-cell car to market in Japan next March. It's expected to cost about $68,700, and Toyota plans to bring it to the U.S. and European markets later that summer. With two of Japan’s three biggest automakers going all in on fuel cells, the country’s long-term future as an automotive powerhouse could now hinge largely on the success of what they hope will be an important technology in the next few decades. ... Japan’s governing party is pushing for ample subsidies and tax breaks for consumers to bring the cost of a fuel-cell car down to about $20,000 by 2025. The government is also aiming to create 100 hydrogen fuel stations by the end of March 2016 in urban areas where the vehicles will be sold initially. ... Hydrogen vehicles can run five times longer than battery-operated electric cars, and their tanks can be filled in just a few minutes, compared with recharging times from 30 minutes up to several hours for electric cars.

Comment: There is an antisocial behavior precedent (Score 1) 183

by bradm (#45486999) Attached to: FCC To Consider Cellphone Use On Planes

In the bad old days, when there was another antisocial behavior that profoundly affected the innocent victims in adjacent seats, we divided the plane into smoking and non smoking sections. There was leakage from section to section, but at least it wasn't in your face.

Many Amtrak trains have a highly desirable "quiet car",which helps to separate those the see the trip along the east coast as a continuous sales call opportunity from those that see the trip as a continuous concentration or sleeping opportunity.

So, I'm all for allowing calls on planes, provided I can book a seat in the STFU section for no extra cost. Especially if it saves me from taking a transatlantic flight surrounded by a gaggle of teenagers that think it's a Beatles concert and not a redeye.

Comment: Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (Score 1) 674

by bradm (#45034739) Attached to: The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

That's just the tip of the iceberg:

350k telephone operators (who provided a service appreciated by the people they spoke to) in 1940 with a US pop of ~ 132m.
408k combined telemarketers and call centers (who provide a service widely reviled and high stress) in 201x with a US pop of ~ 308m.

Not more jobs, fewer. 50% fewer population adjusted.

Indy bookstores up from 1,401 in 2009 to 1,632 today. The final Border's closing wave? 399 stores. That's fewer jobs in bookstores, not more. Might be better jobs in this case.

Technology absolutely kills jobs, and kills careers. It also creates new jobs and new careers, but not necessarily for the people that lost their jobs. The fallacy comes from pretending that all jobs are equal and can be subsumed into a single total job count.

Doesn't mean I want to live like a Luddite, however. But TFAs above are rather thin on reasoning.

Censorship

Turkey's Science Research Council Stops Publication of Evolution Books 444

Posted by Soulskill
from the jesus-rode-tyrannosaurs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported. The books have long been listed as “out of stock” on TÜBTAK's website, but their further publication is now slated to be stopped permanently. Titles by Richard Dawkins, Alan Moorehead, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levontin and James Watson are all included in the list of books that will no longer be available to Turkish readers. In early 2009, a huge uproar occurred when the cover story of a publication by TÜBITAK was pulled, reportedly because it focused on Darwin’s theory of evolution."
IT

Ask Slashdot: How To Give IT Presentations That Aren't Boring? 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the napalm-can-liven-up-any-presentation dept.
Dmitri Baughman writes "I'm the IT guy at a small software development company of about 100 employees. Everyone is technically inclined, with disciplines in development, QA, and PM areas. As part of a monthly knowledge-sharing meeting, I've been asked to give a 30-minute presentation about our computing and networking infrastructure. I manage a pretty typical environment, so I'm not sure how to present the information in a fun and engaging way. I think network diagrams and bandwidth usage charts would make anyone's eyes glaze over! Any ideas for holding everyone's interest?"
Businesses

Dealing With an Overly-Restrictive Intellectual Property Policy? 467

Posted by timothy
from the they'll-take-a-mile dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am very happy with my current job, but there have always been a few ideas for things I've wanted to develop on the side. Ideally I'd keep my day job, reserving mornings, evenings and weekends to see if the side-projects could become viable. The problem is: my employer has an IP policy that states that anything I do while under their employ is theirs, even when I'm off the clock. Does anyone have suggestions about workarounds, magic loopholes, false identity for the side projects? Anything?"
Open Source

Ask Slashdot: Where Are the Open Source Jobs? 506

Posted by timothy
from the employment-wants-to-be-free dept.
stry_cat writes "My company has bought into the FUD and is going 100% Microsoft. Rather than work in this environment and be continuously at odds with upper management, I have decided to seek employment elsewhere. Where do I look for an open source job? I've started with the local paper's Sunday classifieds. I've looked on dice.com and monster.com. However almost all are Microsoft related. The few that aren't are some sort of dinky contract or temp job. So is there a place to find a job in an open source environment?"

Comment: So? Send 'em a check! (Score 1) 562

by bradm (#38525132) Attached to: Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online

Seems like the answer is pretty simple to me: Verizon customers should send them a check until they drop this policy. Note that I didn't say "drop your online payment option and send them a check." Simply send them a check, for a little bit too much, a week before your automatic billing date. They can sort out how to handle the expense of processing all of those checks, plus cancelling (or reversing, even better) the automatic payment for that cycle, deal with the trivial credit balances on the account, and generally be miserable. If they charge you automatically with the service fee, complain that the service was already paid for. If you and 10,000 of your closest friends do this, the policy will change in one month. If they refuse your alternate payment in any fashion, call your state attorney general, the BBB, enterprising consumer reporters, and the rest of the usual suspects.

Or just shrug and go along with it as most consumers do, which is why this is a smart move for Verizon. Wait until you get a "wire maintenance fee" for the charger on your cell phone.

Comment: Take a FOSS challenge - at full capability (Score 1) 240

by bradm (#35629540) Attached to: AMD Challenges NVIDIA To Graphics Throw-Down

If you're going to spend $700 on a video card, you'll probably spend on monitors too, especially since monitors tend to have a longer usable life cycle than video cards.

Show me free software/free drivers running four to six physical displays with full 3d acceleration. Let me choose whether it's a single desktop with one logical display, a single desktop with multiple logical displays, or multiple desktops. While I'd personally prefer GNU/Linux of a Debian flavor, ship it for any open environment you want, we'll take care of the rest.

Ship this software environment at the same time you release the card. Betas and patches are fine. Yes, that means collaborate in advance, and leave behind the last vestiges of pretense about competitive advantage via secrecy. Marketing, do-not-discuss-before-date NDAs are fine. Withholding the engineering data that will eventually be public anyway is counterproductive.

Comment: The question is the software and the data formats (Score 1) 1217

by bradm (#32549334) Attached to: MA High School Forces All Students To Buy MacBooks

Parent post got part way there - yes, the web and HTML is a great way to deliver content.

However, the key here is what _software_ the students will be expected to run in order to _author_ content.

For those of you Windows zealots that haven't bothered to try a Mac, please be aware that it's perfectly possible to run MS Office. But it's also possible to run Apple's iWork suite, or OpenOffice. Or Google Apps in the browser.

It's very common for IT departments in all types of organizations to choose to support a single OS platform. It's equally common for competent power-users in those organizations to opt-out and use the platform of their choice - but to take on the responsibility of self support. Those policies are usually written in draconian tones "we only support X, you must use X" - but in practice it's easier to keep the power users occupied self-supporting their unapproved platforms than have them hacking away at your standard ones.

The thing that makes or breaks this situation is the software platform chosen. I'd be a lot more concerned about requirements to submit classwork in native Pages (the iWork word processor) format than I am the choice of official supported hardware. If the software and data formats are reasonably compatible with multiple platforms, things will work out.

It's fine for them to choose a supported platform. It's not fine for them to make it gratuitously difficult for others to self-support. If a group of determined parents and students want to use Linux environments instead, it should be possible - not supported, but possible. Similarly if they want to have a Windows group, so be it. This school hasn't made the mistake of blocking this - yet, or at least according to the data available to us.

Now, for those who haven't actually laid hands on a MacBook side by side with an equivalently equipped other laptop, you really ought to do so before asserting the value for your dollar spent. Heck, run Linux on both for a week, taking the OSX out of the equation, and see what think. It's premium hardware, and sometimes that's worth it and has a lower TCO. Looking only at the initial purchase price is foolhardy.

Comment: Re:Food? (Score 3, Funny) 640

by bradm (#31897416) Attached to: Cows On Treadmills Produce Clean Power For Farms

TFA says that cows walk around 8 hours a day grazing anyway.

Let's get to the more important questions: What impact does all that captive exercise have on the tasty dairy and beef products so critical to maintaining our waistlines and thickening our arteries?

If it makes the beef even better and generates power, it's a total win.

(With unheartfelt apologies to the veg types in the crowd).

Privacy

NJ Court Upholds Privacy of Personal Emails At Work 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the easier-said-than-done dept.
chiguy sends word of a ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court which found that a company did not have the right to read emails from an employee's personal account even through the account was accessed on a company computer. This ruling is likely to set precedent for other workplace privacy cases around the country. "'The court has recognized the very legitimate and real concerns with regards to privacy. This gives some guidance to employers in terms of how explicit (e-mail) policies need to be,' [attorney Marvin Goldstein] said. The ruling stems from a harassment and discrimination lawsuit Marina Stengart of Bergen County filed three years ago against Loving Care of Ridgefield Park. Stengart, then the executive director of nursing, sent her attorney eight e-mails from her company-loaned laptop about her issues with her superiors. Stengart used her Yahoo e-mail account. 'Under all of the circumstances, we find that Stengart could reasonably expect that e-mails she exchanged with her attorney on her personal, password-protected, web-based e-mail account, accessed on a company laptop, would remain private,' Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in the decision, which upholds an appeals court’s ruling last year."

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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