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Submission + - Zuckerberg to Take 2 Months Paternity Leave to Give His Kid a Better Outcome

theodp writes: TechCrunch reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take two months off from Facebook for paternity leave. Why? "Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families," Zuckerberg explained in a FB post on Friday. "At Facebook we offer our U.S. employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year." No word on why Baby Zuck will only get 50% of that time — maybe that's what the gains chart suggested as a good tradeoff — or if expectant parents who apply to send their children to Zuckerberg's new Primary School, which aims to "help children from underserved communities reach their full potential," will be expected to make a similar commitment.

Submission + - Now We Know Why the Hobbit Movies Were So Awful writes: Everyone seems to agree that the key to the success of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy was years of careful planning before production ever began. Now Bryan Bishop writes at The Verge that in what can only be described as the most honest promotional video of all time, we find out why the Hobbit trilogy turned out to be such a boring mess. In the clip Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, and other production personnel confess that due to the director changeover — del Toro left the project after nearly two years of pre-production — Jackson hit the ground running but was never able to hit the reset button to get time to establish his own vision. Once the new director was hired, the harried crew members had to scramble to redesign everything to suit Jackson’s vision, but they could barely even keep up with the production schedule, let alone prepare anything in advance. At some junctures in the process, Jackson found himself essentially having to improvise on set because there was nothing really prepared for his actors to do. “You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot," said Jackson. "I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it ][] even from a script point of view Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.”

But wait, "Peter has never made a secret of the fact that he took over the Hobbit directing job with very little preparation time remaining before shooting had to begin. It was a challenge he willingly took on. His comments are an honest reflection of his own personal feelings at times during the movie's production." says a spokeman for Jackson. "Somebody has decided to create this cut-down, using only the sections of The Gathering Clouds that discuss the difficulties faced, not the positive ways they were addressed and overcome – which are also covered in this and other featurettes."

Submission + - The Xbox One Turns 2 Today – Here's 13 Unusual Stats

SlappingOysters writes: November 22 is the day the Xbox One turns two and to celebrate, Grab It has put together an article with 13 unusual stats about its journey so far. This includes the average install size of games, the number of indies on the format, the number of days between exclusives and how many terabytes of storage space you would need to house every game at once .

Submission + - Yahoo Blocking Email Access For Some AdBlock Users (

kheldan writes: In the wake of the online advertising commission's recent admission that it's been overzealous with online advertising in the last decade, Yahoo has nevertheless gone ahead with a test of blocking AdBlock users from using their email services.

"At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences," a company spokesperson stated. "This is a test we're running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the US."

It's likely a test that a company that has been hemorrhaging users for several years likely can't afford, as Twitter quickly lit up with users stating they'd be taking their "business" elsewhere.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 387

This. I love the delightful irony of him blasting NASCAR for being wasteful, considering how much fuel the average rocket launch burns. Not to mention the fact that at least NASCAR doesn't add to the national debt that our grandkids will be stuck with.

And, let's face it, a NASCAR race is no more useless to science than another trip to the ISS. And just imagine the resources that Mr. Nye wants to burn just to send a man to Mars so he can stand there and say "Yep, it's a rust desert alright."


Chinese Researchers Reveal Active Stealthy Material ( 138

hackingbear writes: Even after billions and billions of dollars spent on the stealthy skin used on F-22, F-35 and B-2, the material has weaknesses, and one of those is ultra-high-frequency (UHF) radar, which can pick up traces of the plane that other radar misses. Chinese researchers came to the rescue and created a material just 5/16 of an inch thick that can safeguard stealth planes against UHF detection. The material tunes itself to a range of detection frequencies, protecting against a large swath of radar scans. What's even more amazing? They published this seemingly top secret invention wide open in the Journal of Applied Physics .

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Any good tech towns that aren't huge clusterf*cks? 4

An anonymous reader writes: I've been working in tech as a software developer for about 15 years. As I've gotten older I'm starting to see the appeal of living in a city that's not crazily blown out and expensive like most established tech markets (think San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc.). Are there are any good tech job markets that are normal, affordable, livable, American cities, or am I forever doomed to be subjected to the rat race found in these overheated and overcrowded markets?

Comment Re:Mixed (Score 3, Interesting) 350

While I also hate tailgaters, as a European who spends many months each year in the U.S. I have to say average American driving habits sometimes make me pull my hair out. I know driving rules and habits are different, still, if most drivers would at least try to keep to the right, to at least try to drive fast enough to be close to the speed limit on highways (not forcing 65-goers to constantly change lanes), to signal lane changes (left and right, yes, both), and not to break randomly on the open road (i.e., even when there's nobody ahead for hundreds of yards), well then maybe I wouldn't curse so much while driving. Oh, and for f* sake, if you enter the freeway and don't plan to leave at the next exit then you might sometimes consider shifting left 1-2 lanes.

You know, it's interesting--I would say there are even huge changes in driving habits between different parts of the country. This is obviously all anecdotal, but my experiences in parts of the midwest have been that people are very good about staying out of the left lane and allowing people to pass them as necessary. OTOH, in North Carolina, people are very bad about that. There are big differences in tailgating, use of the horn, passing on the right, etc. It seems to b e a fairly "southern" driving trait (I've heard northeasterners comment about this) to swing widely in the opposite direction before turning.

I just wish people would freaking pay attention at stop lights and watch for the light to change to green. It's almost always this excruciating ballet of watching the cars ahead of me "Oh, the light changed? *2 seconds to process before starting to accelerate" followed by the car behind them seeming to only realize it's time to go after their own two second pause. I'm hoping for network aware (or just aware!) autonomous cars that can all start rolling at the same time after a light change.

Submission + - MST3K is kickstarting back to life!

kevin lyda writes: The creator of MST3K is bringing it back. Anywhere from just three episodes up to a full season! And he includes options to make it DRM-free!

Let's get it back!

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham