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Businesses

Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the corporations-behaving-badly dept.
An anonymous reader writes: According to customer bills and screenshots submitted to and reported by blogger Chris Elliot at BoardingArea, Comcast employees have repeatedly changed the names of customers to insults like "dummy," "w***e," "a*****e," and "b***h." Elliott notes although reasons and consequences for this behavior are unknown, "one thing is clear: At least one person, and maybe more than one person, really doesn't like Comcast's customers. Enough to put it in writing. Repeatedly." Comcast has apologized and is looking at ways to prevent it from happening in the future.
Medicine

Scientists Float Soap Bubbles As a More Effective Drug Delivery Method 15

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-if-you-enjoy-getting-stabbed-by-sharp-objects dept.
Zothecula writes: As if soap bubbles don't spread enough happiness on their own, scientists have discovered a way of coating them in biomolecules with a view to treating viruses, cancer and other diseases. The technology has been developed at the University of Maryland, where researchers devised a method of tricking the body into mistaking the bubbles for harmful cells, triggering an immune response and opening up new possibilities in the delivery of drugs and vaccines.
Earth

Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change 406

Posted by Soulskill
from the politics-of-science dept.
mdsolar points out this report in the NY Times: An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science of human-caused global warming.

Among Republicans, 48 percent said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called "the most powerful finding" in the poll. Many Republican candidates either question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue.
Biotech

Scientists Determine New Way To Untangle Proteins By Unboiling an Egg 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-would-like-my-eggs-undone-please dept.
An anonymous reader sends word of this biotech breakthrough. "Univ. of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) and Australian chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites—an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to findings published in ChemBioChem. 'Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,' said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology & biochemistry. 'In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 min at 90 C and return a key protein in the egg to working order.'"
Earth

US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax 666

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
sciencehabit writes The U.S. Senate's simmering debate over climate science has come to a full boil today, as lawmakers prepare to vote on measures offered by Democrats that affirm that climate change is real—with one also noting that global warming is not "a hoax." In an effort to highlight their differences with some Republicans on climate policy, several Democrats have filed largely symbolic amendments to a bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. They are designed to put senators on the record on whether climate change is real and human-caused.
Input Devices

Nintendo Power Glove Used To Create 'Robot Chicken' 40

Posted by timothy
from the show-not-animatronic-poultry dept.
dotarray (1747900) writes "Despite its glorious introduction in The Wizard, the Nintendo Power Glove was, from all accounts, a bit of a failure. However, Dillon Markey has given the doomed peripheral a new lease of life — it's a crucial part of making stop-motion animation for Robot Chicken." The linked article doesn't have many more words, but the video it features is worthwhile to see how Markey has modified the glove to make the tedious work of stop-motion a little bit less tedious.
News

Bill Gates Endorses Water From Human Waste 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the bottoms-up dept.
theodp writes: GeekWire reports that Bill gates is certainly leading by example, appearing in a video in which he sips "a glass of delicious drinking water" produced from human waste processed by Janicki Bioenergy's OmniProcessor, which can take sewer sludge and turn it into clean drinking water, electricity and clean ash. So how was it? "The water tasted as good as any I've had out of a bottle," said Bill. "And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It's that safe."
Australia

Extreme Heat Knocks Out Internet In Australia 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the some-really-don't-like-it-hot dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that bad weather caused internet connectivity problems for users in Perth, Western Australia on Monday. But it wasn't raging storms or lightning that caused this outage — it was extreme heat. Monday was the 6th hottest day on record for Perth, peaking around 44.4 C (111.9 F). Thousands of iiNet customers across Australia found themselves offline for about six and a half hours after the company shut down some of its systems at its Perth data center at about 4.30pm AEDST because of record breaking-temperatures. ... "[W]e shut down our servers as a precautionary measure," an iiNet spokesman said late Monday night. "Although redundancy plans ensured over 98 per cent of customers remained unaffected, some customers experienced issues reconnecting to the internet." ... Users in Western Australia, NSW, Victoria and South Australia took to Twitter, Facebook and broadband forum Whirlpool to post their frustrations to the country's second largest DSL internet service provider.
Earth

2014: Hottest Year On Record 560

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
Layzej writes Data from three major climate-tracking groups agree: The combined land and ocean surface temperatures hit new highs this year, according to the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United Kingdom's Met Office and the World Meteorological Association. If December's figures are at least 0.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.42 degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th century average, 2014 will beat the warmest years on record, NOAA said this month. The January-through-November period has already been noted as the warmest 11-month period in the past 135 years, according to NOAA's November Global Climate Report. Scientific American reports on five places that will help push 2014 into the global warming record books.
Earth

Pope Francis To Issue Encyclical On Global Warming 341

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
HughPickens.com writes The Guardian reports that following a visit in March to Tacloban, the Philippine city devastated in 2012 by typhoon Haiyan, Pope Francis plans to publish a rare encyclical on climate change and human ecology urging all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds. "A papal encyclical is rare," says Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences who revealed the pope's plans when he delivered Cafod's annual Pope Paul VI lecture. "It is among the highest levels of a pope's authority. It will be 50 to 60 pages long; it's a big deal." The encyclical will be sent to the world's 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will distribute it to parishioners. Within Catholicism in recent times, an encyclical is generally used for significant issues, and is second in importance only to the highest ranking document now issued by popes, an Apostolic Constitution. "Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialization, today we have changed the natural environment so much," says Sorondo. "If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences."

Francis's environmental radicalism is likely to attract resistance from Vatican conservatives and in rightwing church circles, particularly in the US – where Catholic climate sceptics also include John Boehner, Republican leader of the House of Representatives and Rick Santorum, the former Republican presidential candidate. "There will always be 5-10% of people who will take offence. They are very vocal and have political clout," says Dan Misleh, director of the Catholic climate covenant. "This encyclical will threaten some people and bring joy to others. The arguments are around economics and science rather than morality." Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, says Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be "un-biblical" and a false religion. "The pope should back off," says Beisner. "The Catholic church is correct on the ethical principles but has been misled on the science. It follows that the policies the Vatican is promoting are incorrect. Our position reflects the views of millions of evangelical Christians in the US."
Programming

MIT Unifies Web Development In Single, Speedy New Language 194

Posted by Soulskill
from the write-once-run-somewhere dept.
itwbennett writes: A new programming language out of MIT, called Ur/Web, provides a way for developers to write pages as self-contained programs. It incorporates many of the most widely-used web technologies, freeing developers from working with each language individually. Ur/Web's author, Adam Chlipala, an MIT computer science assistant professor, will present his work next month at the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages. He says, "In Ur/Web, everything is based on transactions, where a single client request is handled by what looks like an uninterrupted execution of a single function. The language implementation has optimizations in it to support running many requests in parallel, on real servers. But the programmer can pretend everything is a transaction and think in a simpler concurrency model."

Comment: Re:Cataloging write-only archives (Score 1) 259

by juancnuno (#48596877) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Image Organization?

Many of them are crap. Another chunk are essentially duplicates where I have taken 20 photos to capture a moment.

Why keep the crap? Why keep the duplicates? When I organize pictures from a trip or whatever into an album my tools are a file manager, an image viewer, and a couple of really simple Java programs I wrote to rename files in bulk. As part of the process I delete the crap and the duplicates. I pick the one out of twenty pictures that best captures the moment and delete the rest.

Space

Why Pluto Still Matters 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-the-mi-go-and-the-terran-federation-play dept.
StartsWithABang writes Nearly a century ago, Pluto was discovered, and for 48 years it remained the only known object whose orbit takes it beyond the gravitational pull of Neptune. In a single generation, we've now discovered more than 1,000 additional objects in the Kuiper Belt, but does that make Pluto any less special? Here's a strong argument for why Pluto might matter now more than ever.
Businesses

Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the mea-culpa dept.
BarbaraHudson writes in with the latest in the Assassin's Creed Unity debacle. This time it's good news. "As an acknowledgment of the botched launch of Assassin's Creed Unity, Ubisoft has offered free additional content to everyone who purchased the title, cancelled the game's season pass and offered a free game to users who purchased the pass. The anticipation for Assassin's Creed Unity was such that the myriad of bugs and technical issues experienced at launch felt like an even greater slap in the face for gamers. In a blog posted yesterday, Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Montreal & Toronto said: 'Unfortunately, at launch, the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues. I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team. These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential.'"

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