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Comment: Terrible terrible terrible... (Score 1) 441

by iwaki007 (#47807241) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

This is terrible. All across the country it seems that local government's are becoming more aggressive. This poor guy wrote a fictional book, set in the future and is now being severely punished for it. What will come next? Will we /.ers become targets? I remember in the past thinking "nope, that can never happen in the States", now I see that it is happening. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Comment: We need more competent people, not smart guns (Score 1) 1013

by iwaki007 (#42347495) Attached to: Using Technology To Make Guns Safer

A serious flaw exists whether or not we have smart guns. The individual who is contemplating a crime with a gun as their tool doesn't care if they know that a bullet is in the chamber, or of the magazine is in. Their goal is to commit a crime. Hell, someone could be killed with a #2 pencil. Where are the smart pencils? What about smart kitchen knives that automatically dull themselves when the user is about to cut their finger? Smart guns just will not work as long as there are crazed idiots out there who somehow manage to obtain a gun.

Idle

+ - Did You See That Woman...Wait...She's A Robot!-> 4

Submitted by
Singularity Hub
Singularity Hub writes "Check out the HRP-4C robot, one of the first humanoid robots to boldly sidestep the typical transformer look, instead posing as an attractive manga style woman. Is anyone else having flashbacks of the movie Blade Runner where robots are indistinguishable from humans? The HRP-4c robot is slated to strut down the catwalk March 23 (tomorrow) as a model in a Tokyo fashion show."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Supreme Court Holds Right to Bear Arms Applies to Individuals 2221

Posted by timothy
from the founders'-rolling-speed-reduced-slightly dept.
Now.Imperfect writes "In its last day of session, the Supreme Court has definitively clarified the meaning of the Second Amendment. The confusion is whether the Second Amendment allows merely for the existence of a state militia, or the private ownership of guns. This ruling is in response to a case regarding the 32-year-old Washington DC ban on guns." This is one of the most-watched Supreme Court cases in a long time, and Wikipedia's page on the case gives a good overview; the actual text of the decision (PDF) runs to 157 pages, but the holding is summarized in the first three. There are certainly other aspects of the Second Amendment left unaddressed, however, so you can't go straight to the store for a recently made automatic rifle.
Java

Does an Open Java Really Matter? 766

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-finally-an-easy-question dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister questions the relevance of the recent opening of Java given the wealth of options open source developers enjoy today. Sure, as the first full-blooded Java implementation available under a 100 percent Free Software license, RedHat's IcedTea pushes aside open source objections to developing in Java. Yet, McAllister asks, if Java really were released today, brand-new, would it be a tool you'd choose? 'The problem, as I see it, is twofold,' he writes. 'First, as the Java platform has matured, it has become incredibly complex. Today it's possible to do anything with Java, but no one developer can do everything — there simply aren't enough hours in the day to learn it all. Second, and most important, even as Java has stretched outward to embrace more concepts and technologies — adding APIs and language features as it goes — newer, more lightweight tools have appeared that do most of what Java aims to do. And they often do it better.'" Since Java itself never mattered except to sell books, I still don't see why opening it matters.
Space

Mars Had an Ancient Impact Like Earth 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the hit-it-hard dept.
quixote9 writes "The BBC reports on a set of Nature articles showing that Mars had an impact about four billion years ago by a huge asteroid. This was about the same time that a much bigger object slammed into the Earth, throwing material into orbit around our infant planet. This material is thought to have coalesced to form the Moon. 'It happened probably right at the end of the formation of the four terrestrial planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars,' said Craig Agnor, a co-author on the Francis Nimmo study. 'In terms of the process of the planets sweeping up the last bits of debris, this could have been one of the last big bits of debris.' There's a theory that having a big moon is important to the development of life, because the much bigger tides create a bigger intertidal zone, but people used to think having a huge Moon like ours was a once-in-a-universe event."
Education

IT Students Contract Out Coursework To India 642

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Students studying computing in the UK and US are outsourcing their university coursework to graduates in India and Romania. Work is being contracted out for as little as £5 on contract coding websites usually used by businesses. Students are outsourcing everything from simple coursework to full blown final year dissertations. It's causing a major headache for lecturers who say it is almost impossible to detect." The irony, of course, is that if they actually get jobs in the sector, this will be how they actually work anyway.
Robotics

Scandinavian Scientists Designing Robotic Snakes 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-a-robot-plane dept.
Cowards Anonymous writes "The Sintef Group, a research company based in Trondheim, Norway, announced that it's designing a robot based on snakes. The 1.5-meter long robots, which are made of aluminum, are being designed to inspect and clean complicated industrial pipe systems that are typically narrow and inaccessible to humans. The intelligent robots have multiple joints to enable them to twist vertically and climb up through pipe systems to locate leaks in water systems, inspect oil and gas pipelines and clean ventilation systems."
Earth

The World's 10 Dirtiest Cities 286

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-dirty dept.
neever writes "You may already know about the pollution plight of Linfen, China. But how about the heavy metals Pittsburghers breathe in on a daily basis? Or the incomparable smog Milanesi put up with? PopSci has culled an eye-opening selection of some of the world's most problematic cities. From the painfully high cancer rates in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan to the acid rain destroying La Oroya, Peru, writer Jason Daley walks readers through the lowest of the low; and explains why, despite it all, there's still hope for these places."
The Almighty Buck

Surprisingly Few People Collect On GTA Hot Coffee 343

Posted by samzenpus
from the simulated-murder-is-fine-but-simulated-boobs-will-warp-you dept.
Relin writes "Out of the millions eligible, less than 3,000 have come forward to collect their money in the 'Hot Coffee' settlement. While the plaintiffs' lawyer is surprised by the development, Theodore Frank of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was 'meritless' and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two."
Displays

Power Consumption of a Typical PC While Gaming 211

Posted by timothy
from the slurping-it-up dept.
cliffski writes "How much does your PC really draw in terms of power when idle, when in sleep, and when playing a demanding game? I don't trust everything the manufacturers of hardware say, so I thought I'd get myself a watt measuring device and run a few tests on some of the gear I leave on all the time, and the gear I go to the trouble of turning off. The Linksys router drew 8 watts, the monitor drew a fairly noticeable 30-31, but what surprised me was how little power the base unit drew, even when playing Company of Heroes. Also, the variance of power draw for Vista seemed minimal, regardless of what you got the machine to do."

Storm and the Future of Social Engineering 77

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the worming-around-under-my-skin dept.
Albert writes "Storm shows several key characteristics, some new and advanced. It uses cunning social engineering techniques — such as tying spam campaigns to a current event or site of interest — as well as a blend of email and the Web to spread. It is highly coordinated, yet decentralized — and with Storm using the latest generation of P2P technology, it cannot be disabled by simply 'cutting off its head.' In addition, Storm is self-propagating — once infected, computers send out massive amounts of Storm spam to keep recruiting new nodes."

Interchangeable parts won't.

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