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Government

Amsterdam Using Airbnb Listings To Identify Illegal Hotels 141

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the couch-not-up-to-code dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a move that might dampen the popularity of Airbnb's site for Amsterdam, the city government is now using the accommodation listing service as a source of tips about illegal rental property. 'Airbnb is never a smoking gun,' said Jan-Jaap Eikelboom, spokesman for the city of Amsterdam, regarding use of the service. But the government does use Airbnb and its competitors to compare its own nuisance data with street listings on sites like Airbnb, and has been doing so for a while, he said. This combined information can come in handy when investigating suspicious buildings and can help with spotting illegal activity, he said."
NASA

NASA Says Asteroid Will Buzz Earth Closer Than Many Satellites 225

Posted by samzenpus
from the skin-of-your-teeth dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA says an asteroid about half the size of a football field will blow past Earth on Feb 15 closer than many man-made satellites. NASA added that while the asteroid, designated 2012 DA14, has no chance of striking Earth. Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object so big come so close to our planet."
Science

Walk or Run: Are We Built To Be Lazy? 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-it-easy dept.
sciencehabit writes "A quick visit to Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks shows just how many ways humans (or at least British comedians) can think of to travel from point A to point B. So why don't we high kick our way to the bus stop or skip to the grocery store? New research suggests that there may be a deep biomechanical reason governing the gaits we choose in different situations. In short, people consistently choose to walk when they need to travel slower than 2 m/s to reach their goal in the given time; when they needed to move about 3 m/s or faster, they ran. But in between—in 'the twilight zone between walking and running'—people tended to mix the two gaits, minimizing their energy expenditure. The findings could help scientists design better prosthetic limbs and even build more human-like robots"

Comment: Readadability (Score 1) 102

by fotoguzzi (#42737567) Attached to: NZ Copyright Tribunal Fines First File-Sharer
original: NZ Copyright Tribunal Fines First File-Sharer
readable: NZ Copyright-Tribunal Fines First File-Sharer
still readable: NZ Copyright-Tribunal Fines First File Sharer

Copyright could be a noun, adjective, or verb. Fines could be a noun or verb. My first impression was that New Zealand was copyrighting something. I'm not sure why headlines have to have each word capitalized--I'm not even going to read the summary.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 379

by fotoguzzi (#42725845) Attached to: Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere
The Learning Perl book always showed more than one way to do it but usually advised that the boss might not go for some of the clever examples and that readable code was a laudable objective. I understand that with Python there is often only one way to do something. How about Ruby? Is it somewhere in the middle? And would forum regulars eventually try to rewrite your code to nothing or would they tell you how to improve what you had which almost worked?
The Military

+ - DARPA investigating self-destructing electronics->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Modern electronics are cheap, tough and can operate for years without a hitch. That’s great for building advanced military gear, but what happens if this gear is in danger of falling into enemy hands? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program is investigating the development of special electronics designed to self-destruct on command so as to prevent classified technology being leaked."
Link to Original Source
News

+ - Machine gun fire from military helicopters flying over downtown Miami-> 1

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "Multiple police agencies and the military are currently (Monday night) conducting training exercises over Miami and elsewhere in the county. The exercise includes military helicopters firing machine-gun blanks while flying over highways and buildings.

This YouTube video shows helicopters strafing highways with blank rounds near the Adrian Arts center.

There are reports of similar actions in Houston

From the Houston article: "if you see the helicopters or hear gunfire, it's only a drill."

Not to be alarmist or anything, but, um... WTF?"

Link to Original Source

+ - UK defense contractor hacked, confidential documents leaked->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Britam, a UK defense contractor company was hacked and a collection of confidential documents were released. The documents include a passports, incident reports, contracts and also a very controversial e-mail in which Britam reveal an "approved by Washington" plan to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria and blame the Assad regime for it."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - DARPA wants electronics that can dissolve or burst apart after use-> 2

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "he Mission: Impossible TV show famously started most episodes with a tape recorded mission message that ended with: "This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds, good luck Jim." Then it melted down in a burst of smoke and flame.
DARPA researchers seem to want to take that sort of destructive notion quite a few steps further by designing electronics — particularly smart phones and other devices — that can melt or at least partially dissolve to the point that they would be useless to anyone else who came across them."

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists Unravel Mysteries to Spider Silk Strength Using Lasers

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "They may be creepy and crawly, but spiders produce some of the world's strongest material: silk. Weight for weight, spider silk is five times as strong as piano wire. Now, scientists at Arizona Statue University have announced that they have found a way to obtain a wide variety of elastic properties of the silk of several intact spiders' webs using a sophisticated laser light scattering technique."

You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing. -- The Third Law Of Thermodynamics

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