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Submission + - Where are all the legal drones based in America? (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: Leading unmanned aviation blog, sUAS News today released a map showing more than 600 drone operators that the FAA has granted permission to fly commercially.

Not only does Canada have an applicant but Switzerland and the UK as well.

The drones are used for a wide range of tasks from mapping farms to search and rescue. The majority are multirotors.

Submission + - Soviet movies are available in HD quality for free (mosfilm.ru)

Prokur writes: Despite very agressive fight with copyright violators for the most-recent Russian movies and even threats to shutdown YouTube by Russian Government, the largest government-owned Russian film Studio Mosfilm is re-mastering all their movies produced during Soviet times in full HD quality and make them available online absolutely for free.
More than 500 movies, including all three Soviet winners of Academy Award, are available via youtube channel and similar services.

Submission + - A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect at Fighting Wildfires (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Friday night in Southern California's Silverado Valley, relief flew in on an old airliner. In this summer of drought and fire the DC-10, an airplane phased out of passenger service in February, has been spotted from Idaho to Arizona delivering up to 12,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single acrobatic swoop.

The three-engine DC-10 entered service in 1970 as a passenger jet, and the last airplane working in that capacity, operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, made its final flight on February 24. But some designs defy obsolescence. The DC-10 had already been converted to function as a mid-air refueling airplane for the Air Force, and in 2006, the first fire-fighting DC-10 was unleashed on the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County, California.

Submission + - Google Fit to curate steps, calories, heart rate, other biometric data (arstechnica.com)

mpicpp writes: Google is planning to release a new product called Google Fit that will aggregate health data from various devices and apps, according to a report Thursday from Forbes. Fit will use available APIs to pull biometric information together into one place, but it's unclear whether it will be a standalone app or part of the Android OS.

Reports of Fit come on the heels of Apple's announcement of HealthKit in iOS 8, a system that also interacts with apps and APIs to curate and present health data like steps walked, calories consumed, and heart rates logged. Fit also follows the announcement of Sami, Samsung's health platform for culling health-related info.

Submission + - Man arrested for parodying mayor on Twitter files civil rights lawsuit (arstechnica.com)

mpicpp writes: The Illinois man who made headlines when he was detained for parodying the town's mayor on Twitter sued the Peoria politician and local police, claiming on Thursday that his civil rights were violated.

As part of the April raid, the authorities seized the mobile phone and laptop of the 29-year-old prankster, Jonathan Daniel, and reviewed their contents, which he says was in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Daniel, the operator of the @peoriamayor handle shut down by Twitter after the city threatened a lawsuit, was initially accused of impersonating a public official in violation of Illinois law. The authorities never lodged charges, however.

Submission + - Navy database tracks civilians' parking tickets, fender-benders (washingtonexaminer.com) 1

schwit1 writes: A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person's name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.

The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred.

Submission + - Mercury Has Shrunk More than Thought (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Measuring just 4880 kilometers across, Mercury is a small world. The planet became slightly smaller as its interior cooled, which caused Mercury to shrink, buckling its surface and creating numerous cliffs and ridges. Now, after studying 5934 of these features, researchers report online today in Nature Geoscience that Mercury's contraction was much greater than previously thought: During the past 4 billion years, the planet's diameter decreased by 7 to 14 kilometers. The greater estimate of shrinkage accords with models that predict how much a rocky planet should contract as its interior cools; the new work may also lend insight into the evolution of extrasolar planets that, like Mercury and unlike Earth, lack any moving continents.

Submission + - The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

theodp writes: "Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore," explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, "have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year 'National Talent Development Plan' to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields." It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, "we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student" and "risk shortchanging the country in a different way." The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to "find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality." And address it we must. "How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?" asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital."

Submission + - Google Pushes Back Against Data Localization (nytimes.com)

Boweravid writes: The big tech companies have put forth a united front when it comes to pushing back against the government after revelations of mass surveillance. But their cooperation goes only so far.

Microsoft this week suggested that it would deepen its existing efforts to allow customers to store their data near them and outside the United States. Google, for its part, has been fighting this notion of so-called data localization.

“If data localization and other efforts are successful, then what we will face is the effective Balkanization of the Internet and the creation of a ‘splinternet’ broken up into smaller national and regional pieces, with barriers around each of the splintered Internets to replace the global Internet we know today,” Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security, told a congressional panel in November.

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.