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Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.
Medicine

Americans Less Healthy, But Outlive Brits 521

Posted by timothy
from the cross-cultural-croaking-comparison dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this intriguing snippet: "Older Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts, but they live as long or even longer than their English peers, according to a new study by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. Researchers found that while Americans aged 55 to 64 have higher rates of chronic diseases than their peers in England, they died at about the same rate. And Americans age 65 and older — while still sicker than their English peers — had a lower death rate than similar people in England, according to findings published in the journal Demography."
Canada

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

Posted by samzenpus
from the balance-the-humors dept.
St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."
Idle

Study Finds Most Would Become Supervillians If Given Powers 419

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-power-corrupts dept.
It probably comes as no surprise, but researchers have found that most of us would gladly put on a mask and fight do-gooders if given super powers. From the article: "But power also acts like strong cologne that affects both the wearer and those within smelling distance, Galinsky noted. The person gains an enhanced sense of their importance, and other people may regard them with greater respect as well as extend leniency toward their actions. That combination makes for an easy slide into corruption."
Science

Zombie Ants and Killer Fungus 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the level-1-random-encounter dept.
nibbles2004 writes "An article in the Guardian newspaper shows how parasitic fungi evolved the ability to control ants they infect, ultimately leading the ant to its death. The fungus controls the ant's movements to a suitable leaf and causes the ant to grip onto the leaf's central stem, allowing the fungus to spore, which will allow more ants to become infected."
XBox (Games)

Anatomy of an Achievement 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-don't-get-an-achievement-for-commenting-on-this-one dept.
Whether they annoy you or fulfill your nerdy collection habit, achievements have spread across the gaming landscape and are here to stay. The Xbox Engineering blog recently posted a glimpse into the creation of the Xbox 360 achievement system, discussing how achievements work at a software level, and even showing a brief snippet of code. They also mention some of the decisions they struggled with while creating them: "We are proud of the consistency you find across all games. You have one friends list, every game supports voice chat, etc. But we also like to give game designers room to come up with new and interesting ways to entertain. That trade-off was at the heart of the original decision we made to not give any indication that a new achievement had been awarded. Some people argued that gamers wouldn't want toast popping up in the heat of battle and that game designers would want to use their own visual style to present achievements. Others argued for consistency and for reducing the work required of game developers. In the end we added the notification popup and its happy beep, which turned out to be the right decision, but for a long time it was anything but obvious."
Social Networks

"David After Dentist" Made $150k For Family 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-this-real-life? dept.
It turns out recording your drugged child pays pretty well. 7-year-old David DeVore became an overnight sensation when his father posted a video of his ramblings after dental surgery. To date that video has made the DeVore family around $150,000. Most of the money came from YouTube, but the family has made $50k from licensing and merchandise. From the article: "The one seemingly minor decision to make the video available all over the Internet set off a whirlwind of changes for the DeVore family. Within just four days, 'David After Dentist' received 3 million views on YouTube and the younger David quickly became an Internet celebrity. His father quit his job in residential real estate (did we mention they live in Florida?), and the family started selling T-shirts featuring cartoon drawings of their son post-dental surgery."
Image

Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-bought-the-law dept.
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."
Science

Antarctic's First Plane, Found In Ice 110

Posted by timothy
from the ice-tractor-cometh dept.
Arvisp writes "In 1912 Australian explorer Douglas Mawson planned to fly over the southern pole. His lost plane has now been found. The plane – the first off the Vickers production line in Britain – was built in 1911, only eight years after the Wright brothers executed the first powered flight. For the past three years, a team of Australian explorers has been engaged in a fruitless search for the aircraft, last seen in 1975. Then on Friday, a carpenter with the team, Mark Farrell, struck gold: wandering along the icy shore near the team's camp, he noticed large fragments of metal sitting among the rocks, just a few inches beneath the water."
Privacy

Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Posted by timothy
from the not-just-register-their-displeasure dept.
Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"
Idle

Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the type-A-negative-personality dept.
trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency Canadian Blood Services has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata, which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed 'science-based' organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."
Image

Garlic Farmer Wards Off High-Speed Internet 475

Posted by samzenpus
from the attack-of-the-killer-garlic dept.
DocVM writes "A Nova Scotia farmer is opposing the construction of a microwave tower for fear it will eventually mutate his organic garlic crop. Lenny Levine, who has been planting and harvesting garlic by hand on his Annapolis Valley land since the 1970s, is afraid his organic crop could be irradiated if EastLink builds a microwave tower for wireless high-speed internet access a few hundred meters from his farm."
Government

Could the Cloud Derail a $300 Million Data Center? 109

Posted by timothy
from the follow-the-electrons dept.
1sockchuck writes "The cloud computing debate has come into focus for taxpayers in Washington state, where a proposed $300 million project to build a data center in Olympia for the state's IT operations is coming under scrutiny. Two legislators are urging the state to shift applications to the cloud instead, noting that two of the largest cloud computing providers (Microsoft and Amazon) are based in the state. The critics say the data center project is driven by an interest in local construction and 'fails to seriously explore the larger strategic question facing government technology today.'"
Image

Sperm Travels Faster Toward Attractive Females 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-father-like-gamete dept.
A new study has shown that even sperm can be superficial. Researchers found that males of many animal species, including humans, can adjust the speed and effectiveness of their sperm by regulating the amount of seminal fluid they produce during copulation. The determining factor on that amount of fluid seems to be whether the male finds the female attractive.

Comment: two-breakers and safe, legal backfeeding (Score 1) 695

by mdpowell (#26283909) Attached to: Home Generators (or How DTE Energy Ruined My Holidays)

if you can handle hands-on, avoid the "use two breaker panels" nonsense, it's not possible to do that and meet electrical and criminal code requirements that you be unable to back-feed the power line and kill the guys working to restore power.

Actually the "use two breakers" method can be completely safe, legal, and up to code if you use a generator interlock kit according to http://www.interlockkit.com/. I've done a little research and so far it seems legitimate.

Essentially it's a piece of metal that creates a mechanical interlock so that your main breaker and generator breaker can physically never both be on at the same time. You have the main and generator breaker in the same panel and now can safely backfeed into your panel. To keep it legal, you hook the generator breaker up to a 240/120V locking outlet (i.e., no male-male suicide cords).

It seems kind of silly that they charge $150 for a piece of metal, but this solution allows you to hook up your entire panel (instead of choosing 6 circuits available on a typical manual transfer switch) and seems much cheaper than a full transfer-switch panel/setup.

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