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Education

Is Software Driving a Falling Demand For Brains? 622

Posted by timothy
from the tell-me-when-neo-takes-his-pill dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Paul Krugman writes in the NY Times that information technology seems to be reducing, not increasing, the demand for highly educated workers (reg. may be required), because a lot of what highly educated workers do could actually be replaced by sophisticated information processing. One good recent example is how software is replacing the teams of lawyers who used to do document research. 'From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,' says Bill Herr, a lawyer at a major chemical company who used to muster auditoriums of lawyers to read documents for weeks on end. 'People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don't.' If true this raises a number of interesting questions. 'One is whether emphasizing education — even aside from the fact that the big rise in inequality has taken place among the highly educated — is, in effect, fighting the last war,' writes Krugman. 'Another is how we [can] have a decent society if and when even highly educated workers can't command a middle-class income.' Remember the Luddites weren't the poorest of the poor, they were skilled artisans whose skills had suddenly been devalued by new technology."
Security

National Security Jobs To Rival Silicon Valley Over the Next 10 Years? 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the government's-digital-transition dept.
AHuxley writes "The Capital reports on a new cyber curriculum at a Maryland high school to feed the ever growing needs of the NSA and Cyber Command. A quote from Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) about job growth in the local national security sector stands out: '... in 10 years, there are going to be more tech jobs than Silicon Valley.' Could the new funding for the expansion of the National Security Agency and the Army's new Cyber Command be the next big growth area for the US?"
Censorship

US Gov't Mistakenly Shuts Down 84,000 Sites 296

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
Chaonici writes "Last Friday, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seized ten websites accused of selling counterfeit goods or trafficking in child pornography. However, in the process, about 84,000 unrelated websites were taken offline when the government mistakenly seized the domain of a large DNS provider, FreeDNS. By now, the mistake has been corrected and most of the websites' domains again point to the sites themselves, rather than an intimidating domain seizure image. In a press release, the DHS praised themselves for taking down those ten websites, but completely failed to acknowledge their massive blunder."
Australia

Virus Shuts Down Australian Ambulance Dispatch Service 222

Posted by timothy
from the severe-spankings-called-for-in-certain-basements dept.
angry tapir writes "Computers which co-ordinate ambulances in NSW, Australia, are back online in three of the state's regions after a major virus forced staff to shut them down for more than 24 hours. The virus crept into the Ambulance Service of NSW's dispatch system, prompting staff to co-ordinate paramedics by telephone and handwritten notes. The cause and source of the virus are not yet known."
Facebook

Facebook To Own the Word "Face" 311

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-in-a-word dept.
Dthief writes "The US Patent And Trademark Office has sent Facebook a Notice of Allowance, which means it will grant the 'Face' trademark to the popular social networking site. Facebook now has three months to pay an issue fee before they officially own the word. From the article: 'For all intents and purposes today's status update bodes well for Facebook's hold over 'face' usages in 'Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.''"

Comment: Re:Maybe they're misinterpreting the results (Score 1) 175

by ericferris (#33995808) Attached to: Hard-to-Read Fonts Improve Learning

I think you are up on to something here. The conclusions are based on the assumption that Arial is the easier to read font.

Well, it's bunk. Arial sucks dead rabbit eyes. It is a poor derivative of the universally derided Helvetica, itself designed only for short signs and since there overabused. Arial is NOT easy to read. Capital i and lowercase L look the same (lI), not to mention a few other glyphs.

Bodoni is much easier to read. It has been selected by a few companies (IBM notably) as the official communication font because it was shown as... wait for it... easier to read than many others.

So Bodoni _is_ considered by many as one of the most readable fonts. This invalidates the whole premises of the conclusion.

Lord of the Rings

Unions Urging Actors Not To Work On Hobbit Movie 576

Posted by timothy
from the mordor-is-more-of-a-union-shop dept.
lbalbalba writes "Last we heard about The Hobbit, Guillermo Del Toro dropped out, Peter Jackson was unofficially directing and secretly auditioning actors, the movie had yet to be green-lit, and Ian McKellen was getting super-antsy about the whole thing and threatening not to play Gandalf. This shouldn't help the long-gestating movie happen any quicker: Actors guilds including SAG issued actual alerts yesterday against working on any of the Hobbit films, advising their members not to take parts in the non-union production, should they be offered them."
Image

Woman Trademarks Name and Threatens Sites Using It 273 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-my-name-out-of-your-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Be careful mentioning Dr. Ann De Wees Allen. She's made it clear that she's trademarked her name and using it is 'illegal... without prior written permission.' She even lists out the names of offenders and shows you the cease-and-desist letter she sends them. And, especially don't copy any of the text on her website, because she's using a bit of javascript that will warn you 'Copyright Protect!' if you right click on a link."
Crime

Geologists Might Be Charged For Not Predicting Quake 375

Posted by timothy
from the google-will-no-doubt-be-found-at-fault dept.
mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."

Comment: Re:Bad efficiency, bad idea (Score 1) 132

by ericferris (#31967960) Attached to: Re-Purposing the Netherlands' Dike System For Power Generation

Believe me, the next guy who invents a better turbine is going to make a name for himself. It's not like nobody is looking for improvements. It's just that the physics is tough.

You can look online for "ceramic turbine" and "diamond coating" to get an idea of the current state of material science.

Comment: Bad efficiency, bad idea (Score 1) 132

by ericferris (#31967306) Attached to: Re-Purposing the Netherlands' Dike System For Power Generation

Tidal power plants are not new. See La Rance in France, an old project that stayed experimental because of numerous problems.

Basically, you get a very low efficiency because you have to generate power with low-pressure water due tu a small height difference; Also, salt water is not easy on turbines. This means you have a sizable investment and high maintenance costs that have to be amortized on a pitiful amount of power. A bad idea.

This is a bounty for whoever sold this pie-in-the-sky idea to the Dutch. For every one else, a disaster. It'll end up with the taxpayers sponging off the red ink, as usual.

Comment: Even the article photo is a scam! (Score 1) 114

by ericferris (#31018472) Attached to: Huge Phishing Attack On Emissions Trade In Europe

The photo illustrating the article has a caption saying "Trading in CO2 emissions allowances has been hampered in several European countries as a result of a phishing scam." The image shows cooling towers that reject nothing but water vapor. Unfortunately, 99% or the population will conclude that cooling towers reject horrible, polluting CO2.

Scamminess seems highly contagious. Or maybe it's the natural state of most journalists these days.

Businesses

Google To End Support For IE6 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the enough-is-enough dept.
itwbennett writes "Google announced Friday that it will be phasing out support for Internet Explorer 6, more than two weeks after the attacks on Google's servers that targeted a vulnerability in IE6. In a blog post, Rajen Sheth, Google Apps senior product manager, said that support for IE6 in Google Docs and Google Sites will end March 1. At that point, IE6 users who try to access Docs or Sites may find that 'key functionality' won't work properly. Sheth suggested that customers upgrade their browsers to pretty much anything else."
Intel

Fertilizer Dump Spoils Intel's Pure Water 211

Posted by timothy
from the what-if-they-were-making-whiskey dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Intel had to shut down part of its Irish plant for a while because of the extreme cold and the fact the local council polluted the water supply with fertilizer. Apparently it got down to -12 degrees C at the Intel plant in Leixlip, County Kildare. But to make matters worse, the local council ran out of rock salt to grit the roads and opted for fertilizer instead. There were fears that ammonia and nitrates in the fertilizer might have contaminated the local water supply. The problem for the chipmaker is that it needs extremely pure water for its manufacturing processes."

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