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Medicine

Researchers Claim a Few Cat Videos Per Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away 59 59

bigwophh writes: A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests that watching videos of cats may be good for your health. The study pinged nearly 7,000 people and asked them how viewing cat videos affected their moods. Of those surveyed, over a third (36 percent) described themselves as a "cat person" and nearly two-thirds (60 percent) said they have an affinity for both dogs and cats. Survey subjects noted less tendencies towards feeling anxious, sad, or annoyed after watching cat videos, including times when they viewed the videos while at work or trying to study. They also reported feeling more energetic and more positive afterwards. There may have been some guilt from putting off work or studying to watch Internet videos, but the amusement they got from seeing the antics of cats more than made up for it.
Android

Google 'Experts' To Screen Android Apps For Banned Content 139 139

An anonymous reader writes Google has announced that it will start an official human-based screening process for all of the apps featured in its Google Play store, in a bid to "better protect the community" and "improve the app catalogue." The search giant revealed yesterday that a "team of experts" would be reviewing apps and all updates offered across the Google Play platform for those which violate Google's developer policies. The team will also give direct feedback to developers on what they need to do in order to fix their apps before they can be listed on the Store. A dedicated review page will allow developers to gain further "insight into why apps were rejected or suspended," as well as offering them the opportunity to "easily fix and resubmit their apps" for those who have violated minor regulations.

Comment Re:NYPD (Score 5, Interesting) 135 135

I wouldn't dismiss the criminal aspect of this so quickly. There are plenty of laws on the books designed to prevent government agencies from using taxpayer resources on misinforming the public. If any of the edits were deliberately false, it's entirely possible it was a crime for the NYPD, even if it's not a crime for the jerk down the street.
Education

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing? 175 175

An anonymous reader writes: I volunteer at a inner-city community after school program focused K-8th grade. Right now, due to the volunteer demographic, we spend most of our activity time in arts and crafts and homework. The 5th-8th students are getting restless with those activities. I've been asked to spice it up with some electrical wizardry. What I'd like to do is introduce the students to basic jobs skills through computers. My thoughts are that I could conduct some simple hands-on experiments with circuits, and maybe some bread boards. Ultimately, we're going to take apart a computer and put it back together. How successful this project is will dictate whether or not we will go into programming. However, whatever we do, I want the kids to obtain marketable skills. Anyone know of a curriculum I can follow? What experiences have you had with various educational computing projects?
Ruby

Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam? 291 291

itwbennett writes: In a post last week, Quartz ranked the most valuable programming skills, based on job listing data from Burning Glass and the Brookings Institution. Ruby on Rails came out on top, with an average salary of $109,460. And that may have been true in the first quarter of 2013 when the data was collected, but "before you run out and buy Ruby on Rails for Dummies, you might want to consider some other data which indicate that Rails (and Ruby) usage is not trending upwards," writes Phil Johnson. He looked at recent trends in the usage of Ruby (as a proxy for Rails usage) across MS Gooroo, the TIOBE index, the PYPL index, Redmonk's language rankings, and GitHut and found that "demand by U.S. employers for engineers with Rails skills has been on the decline, at least for the last year."

Comment Re:German illegal? (Score 1) 323 323

My high school didn't offer German language classes and at the time (20 years ago) it was explained to me that the local anti-German language law was still on the books. I don't know that this was actually true, and the Supreme Court ruling certainly made such laws unenforceable, but it pushed me into three years of French instead.

Comment Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (Score 1) 127 127

Leaving out Boeing would be budget suicide for NASA.

No one should be left out because there should be no contract. Instead, NASA should be fostering a spot market for launches. They should have a separate bid for each launch: "We want X satellite in Y orbit, and insured for Z dollars." Then give the launch to the lowest bidder. That way each company can work continuously to cut costs and improve services, knowing that if they leapfrog the competition, they can win the next launch, instead of being locked out for years.

That is not feesable. It take years to be trained to fly in a spaceship - whether the lifting body like the Shuttle or Dream Chaser, or a capsule such as Soyuz, CST-100, or Dragon V2. You have to build not only the rocket, but a tower to carry the crew to the top of the rocket along with an arm to get the astronauts into the vehicle (which is not compatible/spacecraft). Escape systems need to be installed. It's very expensive, and it would never be built without assurance that the demand is there. At this time, there is no market for launches except from NASA or ESA. Cosmonauts would ride Russian spacecraft, Indians and Chinese are developing their own systems, etc. The public demand is too little at this time. Without a long-term contract, NASA is not enough for your proposal.

Comment Re:Putin actually speaks the truth (Score 1) 396 396

Indeed! Russia also requires all telcoms and ISPs, at their expense, to install monitoring equipment of the internet and telephones, This project is called SORM (wikipedia entry for SORM). The system was put into place around 1996-2000, but it has been used as recently as the Winter Olympics (source). It is explicitly a mass-surveillance system, so either Putin is lying or he is bending the truth: Russia doesn't pay for it... but by law the telcoms have to pay it. They don't do illegal wiretapping because it is explicitly legal. And you're right, they might not have the ability to store all that data for long periods of time, but you can be sure they are targeting people. And you can be sure they are targeting foreign governments too (of course). Heck, there were several diplomatic leaks at the beginning of the Crimean crises in order to strain US-EU ties. You can be sure that's due to Russia's intelligence services.

Comment Cool Story Bro Time (Score 5, Funny) 312 312

Back in the 90s, I had a job teaching MS Office to people. One class I was hired for was to teach a bunch of local judges how to use Word.

While discussing how to change fonts, one of the judges says, "Huh! Anal font, what the hell is an ANAL font!"

Maybe it is the same judge!

Comment Asterisk (Score 1) 497 497

This is a bit involved, but will work if you have the time and know how to set it up.

You can likely port your landline number to a VOIP service and then setup asterisk. Use IVR to play a message when you are called. Have a code that your friends and family know that will allow them to break out of the IVR and ring an extention.. Funnel everything else to voicemail or whatever you want.. You will only get a ring when it is someone who knows the code.

Comment Re:second hand e-smoke (Score 1) 314 314

I smoked for years, and could never quit.

Three years ago, I tried an ecig on a lark, and actually quit smoking without intending to, which to me seems like a miracle!

I went through a month or two of coughing up stuff from my lungs, but I never felt the need to smoke cigarettes.

I still have a nicotine addiction, but have been slowly weaning myself down to weaker and weaker e-juice. On day I will quit, but I feel a hell of a lot better than I did when I was smoking!

For me, the patch isn't even close !

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?

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