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Transportation

Need Directions? Might Not Want To Ask a Transit Rider 97

Posted by timothy
from the take-a-left-then-descend-into-your-first-tunnel dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "According to new research, drivers, walkers, and bicyclists will generally provide us with more useful directions than transit riders. Published in Urban Planning, 'Going Mental' shows that cognitively active travelers, regardless of commute by foot or car, tend to trump cognitively passive travelers (those who frequent public buses and trains), in perceiving distance. Questioning cognitively active, passive, and mixed travelers about distances from a survey site to LA's city hall, the research demonstrated that the passive bus and subway riders have less of a grip on distance. Actively cognitive travelers, according to the results, were more likely to integrate street names in their directions, and also exhibited a sharper understanding of distances."
Microsoft

China Prefers Sticking With Dying Windows XP To Upgrading 333

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-devil-you-know dept.
tdog17 writes "China says it wants Microsoft to extend support for Windows XP because that will help in its fight to stop proliferation of pirated Microsoft software. A state copyright official says the release of Windows 8 means a substantial increase in the selling price of a Windows operating system, especially in light of the upcoming end-of-life of Windows XP, which is still used by a large percentage of Chinese. That could drive users to buy pirated copies of a new operating system because they are cheaper, he says."
Printer

3-D Structures Built Out of Liquid Metal At Room Temperature 72

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the micro-t-1000 dept.
ph4cr writes with news that a few researchers have discovered an alloy that allows them to print 3D structures from liquid metal at room temperature. From the article: "'It's difficult to create structures out of liquids, because liquids want to bead up. But we’ve found that a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium reacts to the oxygen in the air at room temperature to form a "skin" that allows the liquid metal structures to retain their shapes,' says Dr. Michael Dickey, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the work. ... One technique involves stacking droplets of liquid metal on top of each other, much like a stack of oranges at the supermarket. The droplets adhere to one another, but retain their shape – they do not merge into a single, larger droplet. ... Another technique injects liquid metal into a polymer template, so that the metal takes on a specific shape. The template is then dissolved, leaving the bare, liquid metal in the desired shape. The researchers also developed techniques for creating liquid metal wires, which retain their shape even when held perpendicular to the substrate." The paper is available online. There's also a video of the process in action, below the fold.

Comment: And yet (Score 1) 333

by hawkeye_82 (#40861939) Attached to: 400,000 American Homes Have Dumped Pay TV This Year

And yet, NBC will not allow you to watch the Olympics online without an active cable subscription.

Are the channels really that afraid of the cable companies? Or is there a lot of revenue sharing going on?

Is it really the case that it's more profitable for the channels to screw over customers than it is for them to screw over the cable companies?

Cellphones

Connecticut Considers Digital Download Tax 244

Posted by samzenpus
from the taxing-the-tubes dept.
SonicSpike writes in with a story about the latest state contemplating raising revenues by taxing the net. "Downloading music, movies, e-books and Apps could soon cost Connecticut residents more as lawmakers consider a tax on digital downloads. The bill, proposed by the General Assembly's Finance, Review and Bonding Committee, would have consumers pay the 6.35% sales tax on any electronic transfer. Supporters say the bill would level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers in the state who are already required to charge Connecticut sales tax to consumers who purchase these products in their stores. About 25 states around the country have already begun taxing digital downloads."
Australia

Australian Gov't Claims Internet Filter Legislation Still In Play 98

Posted by timothy
from the too-slightly-good-to-be-true dept.
Dracophile writes "Contrary to yesterday's article about The Australian's report that the Australian government had put on the back burner plans to introduce Internet filter legislation before the next election, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the government rejected claims that it had abandoned such plans, and that 'a spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government remained committed to the policy.' Unless the Australian Labor Party abandons the plan altogether, will the timing make any difference to voters?"

Comment: Re:Responsible Disclosure (Score 4, Interesting) 220

by hawkeye_82 (#30727744) Attached to: Firm To Release Database, Web Server 0-Days

This is like punishment.

The irresponsible party in this case, is the software vendor. If the vendor can't clean up their act, and at least work on fixing 0-day exploits, then public disclosure/humiliation is probably a good way to get at least some vendor to sit up, take note and do the right thing the next time around.

This sounds like a good case for establishing a procedure.

1. Contact vendor about exploit, with an expiry date.
2. Release information about exploit once date has expired, irrespective of whether bug is fixed, and the fix deployed.

Is there perhaps a clearing house for such things?

Education

Open Textbooks Win Over Publishers In CA 216

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-put-them-in-a-wiki dept.
Unequivocal writes "Recently California's Governor announced a free digital textbook competition. The results of that competition were announced today. Many traditional publishers submitted textbooks in this digital textbook competition in CA as well as open publishers. An upstart nonprofit organization named CK-12 contributed a number of textbooks (all free and open source material). 'Of the 16 free digital textbooks for high school math and science reviewed, ten meet at least 90 percent of California's standards. Four meet 100 percent of standards.' Three of those recognized as 100% aligned to California standards were from CK-12 and one from H. Jerome Keisler. None of the publisher's submissions were so recognized. CK-12 has a very small staff, so this is a great proof of the power of open textbooks and open educational resources."
NASA

Endeavour's Launch Once More Delayed 65

Posted by timothy
from the shh-they're-building-suspense dept.
schleprock63 writes "NASA has delayed the launch of Endeavour due to inclement weather, mostly lightning. According to NASA, 'Cumulus clouds and lightning violated rules for launching Endeavour because of weather near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The runway would be needed in the unlikely event that Endeavour would have to make an emergency landing back at Kennedy. Endeavour's next launch attempt is 6:51 p.m. EDT Monday. NASA TV coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m.'"
X

Moblin Will Run X Server As Logged-In User, Not Root 205

Posted by timothy
from the such-a-little-thing-makes-such-a-big-difference dept.
nerdyH writes "An architect of the Moblin Project has announced that Moblin 2.0 for netbooks and nettops is the first Linux distribution to run the X server as the logged-in user, rather than SUID'd to root. The fix to this decades-old security liability comes thanks to 'NRX' (No-root X) technology reportedly developed by Intel, Red Hat, and others in the X community, and the Moblin-sponsored 'Secure X' project. Besides making Linux netbooks a lot more snoop-proof, it seems like this could lead to an X-hosting renaissance of sorts, since you wouldn't be risking the whole system just to open up a specific user's account to remote X servers."
User Journal

Journal: a**hole is Boss

Journal by hawkeye_82

When the body was first made, all the parts wanted to be Boss.

The brain said, "I should be boss because I control the whole body's responses and functions."

The feet said, "We should be Boss as we carry the brain about and get him to where he wants to go."

The hands said, "We should be the boss because we do all the work and earn all the money."

Businesses

Circuit City Closes Its Doors For Good 587

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the gonna-have-a-heart-attack-and-die-from-not-surprise dept.
bsharma is amongst the hordes of people wanting us to share the news that long beleaguered retailer Circuit City has finally decided to close for good, asking for court approval to close the remaining 567 US stores. "Whalin said management mistakes over the past few years combined with the recession brought down Circuit City. 'This company made massive mistakes,' he said, citing a decision to get rid of sales people and other mismanagement. What's more, given the credit market freeze, Whalin added that no manufacturer wants to sell to any retailer who doesn't have money to pay for the merchandise. At the same time, Whalin said there's still a very slim chance that one or more firms that have expressed an interest in buying Circuit City could still buy it out of bankruptcy over the next few days."
Security

OpenID Fan Club Is Shrinking 333

Posted by timothy
from the and-watch-that-basket-carefully dept.
A.B. VerHausen writes "Even though there's a whole new Web site devoted to understanding and using OpenID, some companies are dropping the login method altogether. OStatic is reporting that the 'free Web site network Wetpaint announced recently that it will no longer support OpenID as a login option for its wiki, citing low usage and high support costs as reasons.' Apparently, fewer than 200 registered users bothered with OpenID, and the extra QA and development time doesn't make it worthwhile to support. This can't come as welcome news on top of the internal issues the article mentions the OpenID Foundation is having now, too." I've actually been quite happy with OpenID, since I have spawned far too many username/password pairs over the last 20-plus years, but it's a major chicken-and-egg problem. Hopefully someone out there will build a better mousetrap ...

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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