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Submission London Mayor Boris Johnson Condemns Random Uber Pick-Ups->

An anonymous reader writes: The mayor of London Boris Johnson has written a column in the Daily Telegraph condemning the way that Uber drivers in the UK capital can effectively circumvent black cabs' legal monopoly on being hailed by random passengers. Whilst supporting the principle of free enterprise, Johnson has no solution to the legal quandary, except to hobble Uber's business model in an absurdly Luddite move, or else level the playing field and condemn the well-outfitted but expensive black cab trade to extinction. Johnson is reluctant to ask such a thing of Parliament, noting that many people there don't 'have apps'.
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Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 1) 211

One last time, and try to pay attention this time. Corporations DO NOT pay taxes; they simply collect the $$ from us and send it to the government. WE the people pay all of the taxes.

For example, if you raise the taxes on xyz corporation, they will simply raise the prices of their products/services to keep their bottom line the same. They have to if they want to make a profit. Prices have to go up to cover the company's obligations. It has happened time after time after time, to the point where I thought everybody with half a brain would have gotten the concept by now.

Submission Humans Are More Toxic to Wildlife than Chernobyl->

derekmead writes: The Chernobyl disaster remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, with a death toll that is difficult to tally even decades later. Given the sobering reach of the resulting radiation contamination, you might expect the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone—the 4,200 square kilometers in the immediate vicinity of the explosion—to have suffered serious long-term ecological damage.

Surprisingly, though, a study published today in Current Biology shows that wildlife in the exclusion zone is actually more abundant than it was before the disaster. According to the authors, led by Portsmouth University professor of environmental science Jim Smith, the recovery is due to the removal of the single biggest pressure on wildlife—humans.

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Comment Would you buy a 300dpi printer? (Score 2) 174

How long ago did 300dpi printing become obsolete? These days I usually print drafts at 600dpi, because laser printers and LANs are fast enough that it's not annoying, and I don't usually explicitly notice jaggies at 300dpi, but you can still tell that the higher resolution looks better, if you care.

But that's black and white text printed on dead trees, not screens. Sure, it's harder to notice minor resolution differences with color photographs than with letters that have well-defined edges, and even harder to tell with moving images, but if you're using anti-aliased text on your screen, because it just looks better than non-anti-aliased, that's because you need more pixels. And yes, you've got enough GPU horsepower these days to trade the processing needed for anti-aliasing against the higher screen resolution, but you're doing it because your screen resolution isn't high enough.

I'm using a 17" 1920x1080 screen, and I'd like more pixels. This is generally good enough, with anti-aliased fonts, and the 22" 1080p screen at my office looks surprisingly good, but I'd still prefer 2560 instead of 1920, and the big advantage of 4K would be to have two readable pages side-by-side, which means more pixels vertically. (Sure, 16:9's fine for watching movies, but that's very seldom what I'm using that screen real estate for.)

Submission What non-geeks hate about the Big Bang Theory->

v3rgEz writes: There's a lot to dislike about the Big Bang Theory, from the typical geek's point of view: It plays in stereotypes of geekdom for cheap laughs, makes non-sensical gags, and has a laugh track in 2015. But what does the rest of America (well, the part of America not making it the number one show on television) think? FCC complaints recently released accuse the show of everything from animal cruelty to subliminal messaging, demanding that the sitcom be ripped from the airwaves lest it ruin America. The full complaints for your reading pleasure
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Comment Re:Who actually wants this? (Score 1) 57

Well if it means we're going from small devices with small apps and small amounts of resources to suddenly making them full on desktop machines, I just don't see the point.

And that's totally fine. The point isn't what YOU want, it's what some private company wants to do and these actions will in no way, shape, or form negatively impact your life and thus getting all up in a huff about it is a little over the top.

Comment Re:Who actually wants this? (Score 2) 57

What percentage of Android owners even remotely want any of this?

Users don't know what they want until it is provided to them and, honestly, if you don't want any part of it, that's cool but perhaps it will really help developers port their work cross-platform and bring us to a completely different level.

I would love to see Android or iOS apps come back across the divide in some cases, so there's likely a market in reverse.

No sense in getting all fired up about CodeWeavers doing this.

Submission Rush Limbaugh says the left was against space exploration before it was for it->

MarkWhittington writes: On a recent broadcast, Rush Limbaugh made his latest attempt to clarify his musings about water on Mars and its relationship to claims of global warming and the perfidy of the left. Limbaugh made an interesting observation about the attitude that liberals have toward voyages to Mars and space exploration in general. The conservative radio talker suggested that the left has been against spending money on space exploration before they were for it. As it turns out, Limbaugh was right about the first part of the statement, but on a somewhat shakier ground on the second part. The political history of space is fascinating, though somewhat more complicated than the left vs. right ideological struggle.
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Hardware Hacking

Sensor Network Makes Life Easier For Japan's Aging Rice Farmers 84

szczys writes: The average age of Japan's rice farmers is 65-70 years old. The work is difficult and even small changes to the way things are done can have a profound impact on these lives. The flooded paddies where the rice is grown must maintain a consistent water level, which means farmers must regularly traverse the terraced fields to check many different paddies. A simple sensor board is changing this, letting farmers check their fields by phone instead of in person.

This might not sound like much, but reducing the number of times someone needs to walk the fields has a big effect on the man-hours spent on each crop. The system, called TechRice, is inexpensive and the nodes recharge batteries from a solar cell. The data is aggregated on the Internet and can be presented as a webpage, a text-message interface, or any other reporting scheme imaginable by utilizing the API of the Open Source software. This is a testament to the power we have as small groups of engineers to improve the world.

Submission Humans are worse than radiation for Chernobyl animals->

sciencehabit writes: Elk, roe deer, wild boars, and other wildlife are thriving in a radiation-contaminated preserve largely off limits to people near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, researchers have found. In a study published today, scientists report “no evidence of a negative influence of radiation on mammal abundance” in the Chernobyl exclusion zone straddling the Belarus-Ukraine border. Much of the 4200-square-kilometer zone was evacuated after the nuclear plant’s unit 4 reactor exploded in 1986, sending a radioactive plume over Europe.

“When humans are removed, nature flourishes, even in the aftermath of the world's worst nuclear accident,” says co-author Jim Smith, an environmental scientist at the University of Portsmouthin the United Kingdom. But some scientists argue that the study glosses over findings showing that the radioactive contamination has damaged individual animals.

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Submission Worst Tech Recruiter 'Pickup Lines'

snydeq writes: We've all received them: Trawling emails from tech recruiters looking to lure us away from our current employer, often with a cringe-worthy line or two that makes it seem as if we are being courted by an unwanted pickup artist. From the article: 'The men and women tasked with recruiting tech talent go to great lengths to attract the attention of their targets — (often unsuspecting) tech pros viewed as valuable "gets." While some recruiters prove to be invaluable in improving your career, finding exactly the right words to pique your interest in a new gig, far more seem to stammer, stumble, and elicit exasperated sighs.' What are the best doozies you've received?

Nissan Creates the Ultimate Distracted Driving Machine 124

jfruh writes: More and more research is suggesting that it isn't safe to text or even talk on our phones hands-free while driving, but one brave car company is pushing full-speed in the other direction. Nissan has created a concept car in which every surface, including the entire dashboard and even the seats, is a display device. The car is the result of "extensive" surveys with the younger generation that came to the conclusion that, according to Nissan, young people "feel that time spent in a car should be time for connecting and sharing experiences with friends."

3 Scientists Share Nobel For Parastic Disease Breakthroughs 36

The Australian reports that a trio of scientists (hailing from from Japan, China, and Ireland) has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work in treating parasitic diseases. Irish scientist William Campbell (currently research fellow emeritus at New Jersey's Drew University), and Japanese biochemist Satoshi Omura, were awarded half of the monetary award for their work in defeating roundworm infections; the drug they developed as a result, Avermectin, has helped drastically lower two devastating diseases -- river blindness and lymphatic filariasis -- and has shown promise in treating other ailments as well. The other half of the prize has been awarded to Chinese researcher Youyou Tu, who discovered a novel antimalarial drug based on her research into traditional herbal medicines. (Also at The Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and elsewhere. The awards were live-blogged by The Guardian.)

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.