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+ - Cuba calculates cost of 54yr US embargo at $1.1tn

Submitted by ltorvalds11
ltorvalds11 (3774511) writes "Cuba says its economy is suffering a “systematic worsening” due to a US embargo, the consequences of which Havana places at $1.1 trillion since Washington imposed the sanctions in 1960, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against gold.
“There is not, and there has not been in the world, such a terrorizing and vile violation of human rights of an entire people than the blockade that the US government has been leading against Cuba for 55 years,” Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno told reporters.
He also blamed the embargo for the difficulties in accessing internet on the island, saying that the United States creates an obstacle for companies providing broadband services in Cuba. Additionally, he said that the area is one of the "most sensitive" to the embargo, with economic losses estimated at $34.2 million. It is also the sector that has fallen "victim of all kinds of attacks" by the US, as violations of the Cuban radio or electronic space “promote destabilization" of Cuban society, the report notes.
The damage to Cuban foreign trade between April 2013 and June 2014 amounted to $3.9 billion, the report said. Without the embargo, Cuba could have earned $205.8 million selling products such as rum and cigars to US consumers.
Barack Obama last week signed the one-year extension of the embargo on Cuba, based on the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, created to restrict trade with countries hostile to the US."

+ - Who is buried in the largest tomb ever found in northern Greece?

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Excitement continues to build as archeologists dig deeper into a massive tomb discovered two years ago in northern Greece.

This past weekend the excavation team, led by Greek archaeologist Katerina Peristeri, announced the discovery of two elegant caryatids—large marble columns sculpted in the shape of women with outstretched arms—that may have been intended to bar intruders from entering the tomb’s main room. “I don’t know of anything quite like them,” says Philip Freeman, a professor of classics at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

The curly-haired caryatids are just part of the tomb’s remarkable furnishings. Guarding the door as sentinels were a pair of carved stone sphinxes, mythological creatures with the body of a lion and the head of a human. And when archaeologists finally entered the antechamber, they discovered faded remnants of frescoes as well as a mosaic floor made of white marble pieces inlaid in a red background.

Archeologists believe this tomb is connected somehow to Alexander the Great and could very well be the burial site of one of his relatives or close allies. They will not know more until they actually enter the tomb."

+ - Laid off from job, man builds tweeting toilet->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "With parts from an electric motor, a few household items, an open-source hardware board running Linux, and some coding, Thomas Ruecker, built a connected toilet that Tweets with each flush. The first reaction to the Twitter feed at @iotoilets may be a chuckle. But the idea behind this and what it illustrates is serious. It tracks water usage, offers a warning about the future of privacy in the Internet of Things, and may say something about the modern job hunt. Ruecker built his device on a recent long weekend after he was laid off as an open source evangelist at a technology firm undergoing "rightsizing," as he put it. He lives in Finland."
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+ - Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activis->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Valerie Barr was a tenured professor of computer science at Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a national reputation for her work improving computing education and attracting more women and minorities into the field. But federal investigators say that Barr lied during a routine background check about her affiliations with a domestic terrorist group that had ties to the two organizations to which she had belonged in the early 1980s. On 27 August, NSF said that her “dishonest conduct” compelled them to cancel her temporary assignment immediately, at the end of the first of what was expected to be a 2-year stint. Colleagues who decry Barr’s fate worry that the incident could make other scientists think twice about coming to work for NSF. In addition, Barr’s case offers a rare glimpse into the practices of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an obscure agency within the White House that wields vast power over the entire federal bureaucracy through its authority to vet recently hired workers."
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+ - California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews->

Submitted by ericgoldman
ericgoldman (1250206) writes "Some businesses are so paranoid about negative consumer reviews that they have contractually banned their customers from writing reviews or imposed fines on consumers who bash them. California has told businesses to stop it. AB 2365--signed by Governor Brown yesterday, and the first law of its kind in the nation--says any contract provisions restricting consumer reviews are void, and simply including an anti-review clause in the contract can trigger penalties of $2,500."
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+ - Using Wearables to Track Firearm Use->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A debate has been raging recently over whether or not to equip police with body cameras. It's an important discussion to have, but we should also look at other technologies that could help provide hard data on gun incidents. A new paper was recently published in PLOS ONE about the use of wristband accelerometers to detect when the wearer has fired a gun. Study author and criminology professor Charles Loeffler said, "A gunshot is pretty distinctive. You're typically at rest because you’re trying to aim, and in a split second, your hand, wrist, and arm experience an impulsive transfer of energy." Loeffler suggests a suite of sensors including GPS and the wristband accelerometer could be given to convicts as a requirement for their parole. Not only would this help with police response in case of recidivism, but it could provide additional deterrent to further crimes. Loeffler says it could also be helpful to police departments, both for accountability and for integration between the police and the courts."
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+ - Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Most research into the origin of life focuses on the messy business of chemistry, on the nature of self-replicating molecules and on the behaviour autocatalytic reactions. Now one theorist says that the properties of information also place important limits on how life must have evolved, without getting bogged down in the biochemical details. The new approach uses information theory to highlight a key property that distinguishes living from non-living systems: their ability to store information and replicate it almost indefinitely. A measure of this is by how much these systems differ from a state of maximum entropy or thermodynamic equilibrium. The new approach is to create a mathematical model of these informational differences and to use it make predictions about how likely it is to find self-replicating molecules in an artificial life system called Avida used to study evolutionary biology. And interestingly, the predictions closely match what researchers have found in practice. The bottom line is that according to information theory, environments favourable to life are unlikely to be unusual."

+ - Reddit Moderator Outs Reddit Admins-> 8

Submitted by Khyber
Khyber (864651) writes "While the censorship is strong over at Reddit, details from a (former) moderator of one of the largest subreddits on the site have been leaked in the form of an an audio recording of a Skype conversation between an unidentified journalist and the moderator himself. User posts are being deleted rapidly from Reddit over in the /r/gaming subreddit, users are being shadowbanned, or hard-banned. (I've had my account dropped.) Really interesting parts of the 50-minute long audio sit around ~10:30 and ~26 minute marks, where the moderator details threats made against him and other moderators, and also a bit near the end regarding their censorship/spam control tools, and how anyone can effectively be banned for any made up reason, commonly-used ones being vote manipulation, brigading, and alt account creation. There is also talk about how subreddits for encryption get monitored much more closely and censored much more often than larger subreddits, such as /r/gaming.

As someone I know has put it, "...given that Reddit says that it views itself as a government for a new type of community, this is disturbing.""

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+ - Female Pedophila Far More Prevalent Than Commonly Thought->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The National Post reports, "Eight to 16% of the male population has been abused sexually in youth. Most at risk are poor, fatherless boys 13 and younger. A significant number of child sex abusers – estimates range between five and twenty percent – are women. ... But many people – even professional therapists – resist the very notion that women can harbor such instincts. A 1984 study reported that “pedophilia ... does not exist at all in women.” ... The instinctive discomfort people feel regarding female pedophilia can be located in two sources. One is the universal image of the female as the “nurturing” sex. But even harder to combat is an ideology, currently dominant in our culture, in which men are associated with violence and women with victimhood. Any suggestion that women are as capable of predatory sexual behavior as men is viewed as social heresy. The ramifications of this sex-specific dogma can be seen in the double standards for men and women – notably in cases of domestic violence, but also in cases of child abuse – routinely applied by law enforcement and social services in assessing the veracity of victims.""
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Google News Sci Tech: NASA review panel criticizes Mars Curiosity rover, says it lacks 'scientific foc->

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WallStreet OTC

NASA review panel criticizes Mars Curiosity rover, says it lacks 'scientific focus'
WallStreet OTC
Troubles seem to be far from over for the Mars rover Curiosity which is exploring the Martian surface in search of life. A review panel for the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has condemned the Rover Curiosity mission...
Mars Rover Curiosity Spots Cloud Formations in Martian SkyViral Global News
Curiosity finally succeeds in spotting clouds on MarsDelhi Daily News
Mars Curiosity finally succeeds in spotting cloudsNorthern Voices Online
Tech Times-iStreet Research-Florida Today
all 72 news articles

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+ - The lies about the nessecity of a Big Rewrite ->

Submitted by Maurits van der Schee
Maurits van der Schee (2943109) writes "When a developer suggests a "complete rewrite" this should be a red flag to you. The developer is most probably lying about the justification. The real reasons the developer is suggesting Big Rewrite or "build from scratch" are:
  1. Hard-to-solve bugs (which are not fun working on)
  2. Technical depth, including depth caused by missing tests and documentation (which are not fun working on)
  3. The developer wants to work on a different technology (which is more fun working on)
"

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+ - Stallman does slides and brevity for TEDx->

Submitted by ciaran2014
ciaran2014 (3815793) writes "Richard Stallman's long-format talks are well-known — there are videos going back to 2001 and transcripts dating back to 1986 — but he recently condensed his free software talk down to 14 minutes and set it to hand-drawn slides for TEDxGeneva (video link). He introduces with the four freedoms, as always, and then moves on to spyware, surveillance, non-free drivers, free software in schools, non-free javascript, Service as a Software Substitute and how free software is today necessary for a strong democracy. As usual, the talk is suitable for non-techical audiences."
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+ - Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Dodging-> 2

Submitted by reifman
reifman (786887) writes "A thousand unionized healthcare workers protested outside Microsoft's Seattle offices over its Nevada tax dodge on Friday. Microsoft shareholders have pocketed more than $5.34 billion in tax savings as Washington State social services and schools have taken huge cuts. In a hearing Wednesday, the Supreme Court suggested it may hold the Legislature in contempt and order it to repeal all tax breaks to restore proper funding to K-12 schools and universities."
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+ - Core i7 5960X + X99 Motherboards Start Mysteriously Burning Up->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Intel's Haswell-E Eight-Core CPU and X99 motherboards just debuted but it looks like there may be some early adoption troubles leading to the new, ultra-expensive X99 motherboards and processors burning up. Phoronix first ran a story about their X99 motherboard having a small flame and smoke when powering up for the first time and then Legit Reviews also ran an article about their motherboard going up in smoke for reasons unknown. The RAM, X99 motherboards, and power supplies were different in these two cases. Manufacturers are now investigating and in at least the case of LR their Core i7-5960X also fried in the process."
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+ - FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The FAA has released a set of cease and desist letters sent in 2012 and 2013 to people operating drone vehicles for a variety of purposes including: tornado research, inspecting gas well stacks, aerial photography, journalism education, and other purposes. Drone cease and desist letters sent during 2014 are available from the FAA upon request."
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