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+ - Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon to Local Law Enforcement?->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "To this day, Russian authorities refuse to disclose the incapacitating chemical agent (ICA) they employed in their attempt, 12 years ago, to save 900 hostages held in a theater by Chechen fighters. Malcom Dando elaborates on a new report that Russia, China, Israel, and a slew of other countries are continuing research into ICAs, and the apparent indifference of the international community into such research. Proponenets of ICAs have long promoted their use in a variety of scenarios, including that of law enforcement, because in theory these chemicals incapacitate without permanent disability. Critics, however, point out that these weapons rely on exact dosage to prevent fatality, and that the ability to 'deliver the right agent to the right people in the right dose without exposing the wrong people, or delivering the wrong dose' is a near-impossible expectation. ICAs represent the further misuse and militarization of the life sciences and a weakening of the taboo against the weaponization of toxic substances, and the idea that they could be used in law enforcement situations is a disturbing one."
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+ - Tech firm fined USD 3500 for paying workers $1.21 per hour-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""FREMONT — Electronics for Imaging paid several employees from India as little as $1.21 an hour to help install computer systems at the company's Fremont headquarters, federal labor officials said Wednesday.

"We are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior from employers," said Susana Blanco, district director of the U.S. Labor Department's wage and hour division in San Francisco.""

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+ - Ask Slashdot: Easy Programming Environment For Processing Video And Audio?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear Slashdotters: Me and a couple of pals want to test out a few ideas we have for processing video and audio files using code. We are looking for a programming language that is a) uncomplicated to learn b) runs reasonably fast (compiled, not interpreted please) and c) can read and write video and audio files with relative ease. Read/write support for common file formats like AVI, Video For Windows, Quicktime, MP3, WAV would make our job much easier. The icing on the cake would be if the IDE/language/compiler used is free and runs on Windows as well as MacOS (we may try Linux further down the line as well). Any suggestions? Please note that we are looking for a rapid prototyping language that is quick to setup, makes it easy to throw some working video/audio code together, and test it against an array of digital test footage/audio, rather than a language for creating a final consumer release (which would likely be C++, Assembly or similar). The ability to build a basic user interface for our experimental video/audio algos — sliders, buttons, data entry fields — would also be a plus, although we wouldn't be building hugely complex UIs at this stage. And one more bonus question — are some of the visual/node-based audio & video processing environments available, like any good for this kind of algorithm prototyping? (We want the final algos resulting from the effort available in code or flowchart form). Thanks for any help — Five Anonymous Video/Audio Processing Freaks =)"

+ - Contact between Native Americans and Easter Islanders before 1500 C.E->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Polynesians from Easter Island and natives of South America met and mingled long before Europeans voyaged the Pacific, according to a new genetic study of living Easter Islanders. In this week’s issue of Current Biology, researchers argue that the genes point to contact between Native Americans and Easter Islanders before 1500 C.E., 3 centuries after Polynesians settled the island also known as Rapa Nui, famous for its massive stone statues. Although circumstantial evidence had hinted at such contact, this is the first direct human genetic evidence for it."
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+ - First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Earth's closest white dwarf is called van Maanen 2 and sits 14 light years from here. It was discovered by the Dutch astronomer Adriaan van Maanen in 1917, but it was initially hard to classify. That's because its spectra contains lots of heavy elements alongside hydrogen and helium, the usual components of a white dwarf photosphere. In recent years, astronomers have discovered many white dwarfs with similar spectra and shown that the heavy elements come from asteroids raining down onto the surface of the stars. It turns out that all these white dwarfs are orbited by a large planet and an asteroid belt. As the planet orbits, it perturbs the rocky belt causing asteroids to collide and spiral in towards their parent star. This process is so common that astronomers now use the heavy element spectra as a marker for the presence of extrasolar planets. And a re-analysis of van Maanen's work shows that, in hindsight, he was the first to discover the tell-tale signature of extrasolar planets almost a century ago."

+ - High-altitude drones are the future of Internet broadband->

Submitted by mwagner
mwagner (413143) writes "Skynet is coming. But not like in the movie: The future of communications is high-altitude solar-powered drones, flying 13 miles above the ground, running microwave wireless equipment, delivering broadband to the whole planet. This technology will replace satellites, fiber, and copper, and fundamentally change the broadband industry. Call it Skynet, after the antagonist in the Terminator movies. It's coming in about 20 years — the same amount of time between Arthur C. Clarke's predicting the geosynchronous satellite and their reality as a commercial business. "Several important technology milestones need to be reached along the way. The drones that will make up Skynet have a lot more in common with satellites than the flippy-flappy helicopter drone thingies that the popular press is fixated on right now. They’re really effing BIG, for one thing. And, like satellites, they go up, and stay up, pretty much indefinitely. For that to happen, we need two things: lighter, higher-capacity wireless gear; and reliable, hyper-efficient solar tech.""
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+ - Broadband boost: testing lab, consortium to foster 1G over copper->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "(Sorry, earlier sub mistakenly said 100G, not 1G, which is correct)

"The emerging standards for boosting last-mile broadband connections took a step forward this week with the establishment of a formal testing lab, plans for interoperability tests and the formation of an industry consortium at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab. could give service providers a cheaper alternative to fiber for connecting to homes and businesses. The news about the 1Gbps technology was revealed at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam.""

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+ - Programming-Language Innovation Is Dead: Witness the rebirth with... Java?

Submitted by Peter Joh
Peter Joh (3886347) writes "Yes, there’s been a lot of stealing of features between languages (for example, closures), but for the past 15 years, programming-language development now moves in baby steps rather than the man-sized leaps of the days of yore. One ambitious, open-source organization called Project Hierarchy is trying to push things forward with a simple idea: take what we developers work with the most, data, and add it directly into a language (in this case, Java). Hierarchy is not just some JSON ripoff, the Java language has actually been fused with the database (called a NoDB, the successor to NoSQL). They believe it’s the final evolution of the database, and are reaching out to the dev community to donate to their recently launched Kickstarter campaign to help them continue what they started."

Comment: I've Never Understood The Appeal (Score 1) 304

by jdschulteis (#48097723) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

I despise the clicky, springy sound and the activation force is higher than I like.

In college, there were some terminals with Hall-effect keyboards that I liked, wish I could remember the model.

The Amiga 1000 keyboard was pretty good but the action was a little too light.

I'd take a Sun Type 5 over a Model M any day.

Comment: Re:And Java fail again (Score 1) 349

by jdschulteis (#48060963) Attached to: Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

Because only Java attracts bad programmers? Or is it simply observation bias? Certainly Java is not the only language which can give you the OS name.

Probably one bad programmer made the mistake of checking against "Windows 9" and assuming a match meant Windows 95 or 98, published the code, and then a bunch of other bad programmers copied the mistake.

Comment: Re:Surprisingly (Score 1) 142

by jdschulteis (#48043489) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

Where? Common sense dictates not forcing the airlines to replace screens on 1,300 aircraft just because someone can't go without internet for any meaningful amount of time.

Think about how easy it would be for someone with malicious intent to bring aboard a jammer disguised as a legit electronic device. Cockpit electronics need to be hardened against interference regardless.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.