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Education

Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design? 1293

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-the-facts-mam dept.
Funksaw writes "Here's an op-ed by first-time politician, long-time Slashdotter Brian Boyko, where he talks about his experiences testifying at the Texas Board of Education in favor of having real science in science textbooks. But beyond that, he also tries to examine, philosophically, why there is such hardened resistance to the idea of evolution in Texas. From the article: '[W]hat is true is that evolution tests faith. The fact of evolution is incontrovertible and supported by mounds of empirical evidence. Faith, on the other hand, is fragile. It is supported only by the strength of human will. And this is where it gets tricky. Because to many believers, faith, not works, is the only guarantee that one can pass God's litmus test and gain access to His divine kingdom. To lose one's faith is to literally damn oneself. So tests to that faith must be avoided at all costs. Better to be a philosophical coward than a theological failure.'"
The Military

US, Russia Agree On Plan To Dispose of Syria's Chemical Weapons 256

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-back-to-killing-people-with-regular-weapons dept.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced an agreement between the U.S. and Russia on a plan for removing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons. "Damascus will be given one week from now to give an inventory of its chemical arsenal and will have to allow international inspectors into Syria 'no later than November,' Kerry said after a third day of intense negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva." The weapons must all be eliminated by mid-2014. "If Syrian President Bashar Assad fails to meet the demands, then a resolution to enforce compliance would be sought at the U.N. Security Council, Kerry said. The action could include sanctions, and Kerry said that the U.S. would reserve the right to use military force, but Russia remains opposed to any armed intervention." President Obama said, "The use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world is an affront to human dignity and a threat to the security of people everywhere. We have a duty to preserve a world free from the fear of chemical weapons for our children."
Google

Google Releases Glass Factory System Image, Rooted Bootloader 74

Posted by timothy
from the wait-till-the-glass-morphs-to-your-prescription dept.
Krystalo writes "In a nod towards the modding community and hackers in general, Google has released the first factory system image and rooted bootloader for the latest version, XE5, of Google Glass. Nevertheless, the company is at the same time warning that using these downloads will result in a voided warranty for the experimental device."
NASA

3-D Printable Food Gets Funding From NASA 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-a-tasty-extrudel dept.
cervesaebraciator writes "According to Quartz, '[Anjan Contractor's] Systems & Materials Research Corporation just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer. But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3-D printing, envisions a much more mundane — and ultimately more important — use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3-D printer, and the earth's 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor's vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.' No word yet on whether anyone other than the guy trying to sell the technology thinks it'll make palatable food."
Government

Florida Activates System For Citizens To Call Each Other Terrorists 501

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-ever-be-misused-ever dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sheriffs in 13 Northeast Florida counties announced an online system Thursday for residents to report suspicious activity they think may be terrorism-related. The site provides examples of red flags to watch for, such as people with an unusual interest in building plans or who are purchasing materials useful in bomb making. Important places to watch include hobby stores and dive shops."
Google

Google Betting Its Google+ Systems Know What's Best For You 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-the-machine dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "But at this year's Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google announced that it has a plan to make Google Plus users more engaged, courtesy of new features backed by a handful of data-analytics tricks. Google Plus postings now feature Google-generated hashtags that, when clicked, direct the user to related content from across their network. From a backend-infrastructure perspective, that sort of thing leans heavily on Google's semantic analysis and the ability to make the right connections between various pieces of data. Google Plus will also automatically highlight certain photos out of dozens or even hundreds of shots. Say you went on vacation to India and took some photos of your significant other in front of the Taj Mahal; Google Plus will leverage its database of information to recognize that as a prominent landmark and pluck those photos out of the pile as 'special.' In the words of that posting on the Google+ Blog: 'Your darkroom is now a Google data center.' Are all these nifty, analytics-intensive features enough to change the larger fortunes of Google Plus? That's the big question. Google has a handsome-looking platform, one that performs certain activities with a high degree of polish and zip—but is that enough to counter Facebook?"
Transportation

Florida DOT Cuts Yellow Light Delay Ignoring Federal Guidelines, Citations Soar 507

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the safety-is-our-last-concern dept.
New submitter zlives writes in with news that Florida's DOT changed some language in their yellow light timing regulations, leading to a decrease in the yellow delay. Especially at lights with red light cameras. "From the article: 'Red light cameras generated more than $100 million in revenue last year in approximately 70 Florida communities, with 52.5 percent of the revenue going to the state. The rest is divided by cities, counties, and the camera companies. In 2013, the cameras are on pace to generate $120 million.' I wonder what the camera company cut is?" At least one area has promised to undo the reduction now that they have been caught.
Mars

Dust Devils Scour Surface of Mars 14

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the coverup-for-existence-of-martians dept.
astroengine writes "Dust devils are a well-known atmospheric phenomena on Mars, and as these new HiRISE observations show, the devilish vorticies can carve beautiful patterns in the Martian dust. What's more — in side-by-side comparisons of observations of the same Mars region years apart — it appears that the active Mars atmosphere acts like an Etch A Sketch, rubbing out the dust devils' tracks, only for the dust devils to make brand new tracks years later."

+ - Electrical Brain Stimulation Improves Math Skills->

Submitted by ewolfson
ewolfson (2876545) writes "Dinner is over, and the waiter is handing over the bills to everyone when the collective tension sets in... how much do we tip? Math can trigger anxiety in adults and kids, but now scientists at Oxford University have developed a way to flip a switch and turn a normal person's brain into a math machine. They found painless, electrical brain stimulation in combination with easy number exercises can significantly improve math ability."
Link to Original Source
Crime

LulzSec Hackers Sentenced To Short Prison Terms 104

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the off-to-the-gulag dept.
mask.of.sanity writes with news of the jail sentences for three members of LulzSec. From the article: "Three members of the hacktivist group LulzSec have been sentenced to a total of six years in prison. Ryan Ackroyd, Jake Davis and Mustafa al-Bassam were charged with attacks on the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Sony, Nintendo, 20th Century Fox and governments and police forces in a 50-day spree in the summer of 2011. Davis was sentenced to 24 months in a young offender's institution and he will serve half of the sentence. Al-Bassam received a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years and 300 hours unpaid work. Ackroyd was given a 30-month sentence; he will serve half. Cleary also pleaded guilty to possession of child abuse images following a second arrest on October 4, 2012. He will be sentenced at separate hearing." The Guardian has a short article on the remaining loose ends in the story of LulzSec.

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