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+ - Gyrocopter pilot appears in court; judge bans him from D.C.-> 4

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The Florida mail carrier accused of landing a gyrocopter outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was charged in federal court Thursday and has been barred from returning to the District of Columbia or flying any aircraft, officials said.

Douglas Hughes, 61, was charged with violating aircraft registration requirements, a felony, and violating national defense airspace, a misdemeanor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison for the felony and one year in prison for the airspace violation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson also barred Hughes from the District of Columbia, except for court appearances, and said he must stay away from the Capitol, White House and nearby areas while he is there. He will also have to hand over his passport."

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Comment: Who actually pays for this? (Score 1) 1

by rwa2 (#49495823) Attached to: Why the Myers-Briggs Test is Totally Meaningless

I was introduced to this briefly in college engineering courses to help understand teams and team members. It was an interesting and useful way to understand and think about other people (compared to doing nothing at all). But never encountered it again "out in the field".

It seems like a useful tool for people managers to articulate their "team dynamic" and identify risks from not having a diverse enough team. But doesn't seem like anyone else would particularly be concerned.

(INTP, at least way back when)

+ - MakerBot lays off 20 percent of its employees

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "MakerBot fired roughly 20 percent of its staff Friday. Figures from 2014 placed the company’s ranks at 500, meaning the cuts could equate to roughly 100 employees. The orders came from new CEO Jonathan Jaglom, Motherboard was told. Employees are apparently being led out of the company’s Brooklyn office by security today.
“It’s about 20 percent of staff,” a MakerBot representative, who asked not to be identified because she had not received approval to speak to the press, told Motherboard. “Everyone suspected that something would be coming with the new CEO, and that there would be restructuring coming.”"

+ - The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket->

Submitted by mr crypto
mr crypto (229724) writes "Data providers would probably prefer you not know that most smart phones contain an FM chip that lets you listen to broadcasts for free: "But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off." The National Association of Broadcasters, National Public Radio, and American Public Media — have launched a lobbying campaign to get those radios switched on."
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+ - Enceladus Spreads Ghostly Ice Tendrils Around Saturn->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A ghostly apparition has long been known to follow Saturn moon Enceladus in its orbit around the gas giant. But until now, scientists have had a hard time tracking its source. Using images from NASA’s Cassini mission, the source of these tendrils have been tracked down and they originate from the icy moon’s famous geysers. But even better than that, scientists have been able to track the tendril shapes down to the specific geysers that produce them. “We’ve been able to show that each unique tendril structure can be reproduced by particular sets of geysers on the moon’s surface,” said Colin Mitchell, a Cassini imaging team associate at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., and lead author of a paper published int he Astrophysical Journal. The study of these features are helping scientists understand how much ice is being transported into Saturn's E ring from Enceladus as well as helping us understand the evolution of the moon's sub-surface ocean."
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+ - NASA's MESSENGER Mission to Crash into Mercury in 2 Weeks->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft is in the final days of an unprecedented and unexpectedly long-lived, close-up study of the innermost planet of the solar system, with a crashing finale expected in two weeks. Out of fuel, the robotic Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging, or MESSENGER, probe on April 30 will succumb to the gravitational pull of this strange world that has been its home since March 2011. The purpose of the mission, originally designed to last one year, is to collect detailed geochemical and other data that will help scientists piece together of how Mercury formed and evolved. Mercury is one of four versions of rocky planets in the solar system, along with cloud-shrouded Venus, life-friendly Earth and dry, cold Mars. "MESSENGER is going to create a new crater on Mercury sometime in the near future ... let's not be sad about that," NASA associate administrator John Grunsfeld said Thursday."
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+ - If Earth never had life, continents would be smaller-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "It may seem counterintuitive, but life on Earth, even with all the messy erosion it creates, keeps continents growing. Presenting here this week at the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union, researchers say it's the erosion itself that makes the difference in continental size. Plant life, for example, can root its way through rock, breaking rocks into sediment. The sediments, like milk-dunked cookies, carry liquid water in their pores, which allows more water to be recycled back into Earth’s mantle. If not enough water is present in the mantle about 100 to 200 km deep to keep things flowing, continental production decreases. The authors built a planetary evolution model to show how these processes relate and found that if continental weathering and erosion rates decreased, at first the continents would remain large. But over time, if life never evolved on Earth, not enough water would make its way to the mantle to help produce more continental crust, and whatever continents there were would then shrink. Now, continents cover 40% of the planet. Without life, that coverage would shrink to 30%. In a more extreme case, if life never existed, the continents might only cover 10% of Earth."
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+ - Video of Falcon 9 first stage landing attempt

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The footage is looped so you can watch today's landing attempt several times in a row. It is once again astonishing that the rocket hits the target, but it is coming down very fast, and not very vertical. Like the Grasshopper tests, they need to slow it down more just before landing."

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action is not the same as sexism (Score 1) 498

Not all that many more. NPR misrepresents the situation. For as long as the US Department of Labor has kept records, men have been prevalent in computing.

Engineering has been male dominated throughout history.

The whole "men pushed women out" narrative doesn't hold water.

It may surprise you that in the days before the electronic computer, the word "computer" often referred to a human operator that performed calculations. Most of them were women.

The workforce has always been pretty hostile to women, but it wasn't always that way. China and Russia have plenty of women engineers. My Soviet-raised wife always scoffs at these SJW threads because it simply wasn't a problem where she grew up. But for some reason, it's a thing that happens in Western countries.

There are probably several societal and cultural factors that have been discouraging women from tech fields, but guys being insufferable dicks is the only one I really have personally witnessed. For my part, I just find smart chicks hawt and would prefer working with more women instead of hanging out with a gaggle of dudes all day long.

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action is not the same as sexism (Score 1) 498

The best explanation I've heard is that Affirmative Action is how to take the world you live in and turn it into the world you want to live in. A world where the politicians, doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc. were actually representative of the population they served.

Yes, Affirmative Action is racist / sexist, because people are racist / sexist. It's ingrained into the human psyche. It can have evolutionary advantages at a certain scale that we've long ago exceeded in civilized society. We'll have more success as a species if we start actively managing our racist / sexist tendencies, and the only way to do that is to acknowledge them and actively counteract them to achieve balance and healthy diversity in the ecosystem.

That's what Affirmative Action is. An acknowledgement that racism / sexism exists, and we need to do something about it to achieve true balance. Anyone who says they are completely neutral to racism / sexism are probably lying to themselves and will find that they do poorly in actual tests like :

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action is not the same as sexism (Score 1) 498

Yes, this. At some point in the past, women were better represented in the math and sciences. Decades ago, more women were doing technical stuff

And then at some point engineering and technology became a "bro" field and pushed a lot of women out, perhaps because of insecurity with their male dominancy hierarchy or whatever, or increased competition from not so many men going off to die in wars, or whatever.

Women are very useful to have in organizations, though. It's not just an equality thing. There are tangible benefits. Teams with women have better communication.
Product teams with women on them can develop better products that appeal to women and serve a wider customer base.

These kinds of things explain why a lot of large successful businesses are working hard to put more girls through STEM education to bring things back up from the 10 - 20% gender ratio where they are now. There aren't that many things you can do to effectively double your customer base. But appealing to women is a pretty big one. So yes, women are more highly sought-after than men in the tech industry. It's nothing to be concerned or ashamed of, it's just a real problem that exists and people are trying to address the issue.

Everyone else can stay and whine in silent desperation on your little male-dominated lonely island if you want. Evolution and the free market will take good care of you! :D

Comment: Re:Heavily encrypted and offsite (Score 1) 443

Yep, this! Buy a hard disk for a trusted friend or relative, and rsync your stuff to their server periodically.

I've also started using AWS Glacier for backups of my raw photo archives. (Only the "good" processed photos get published to Google+, where no one really sees them, and maybe cross-posted to Facebook occasionally after some public event like a wedding or something).

Anyway, to upload stuff to Glacier I use the SAGU java client, which is relatively straightforward. It's something like 10 cents per GB per month, so I currently get a bill for 42 cents per month. I can live with that.

Every year or so I tar up the previous year's photos and upload them. Then I copy the manifest to Google Drive or some other thing. I gpg encrypt the sensitive stuff. The private key is on a USB drive in the fire safe, at some point I should get around to writing down the passphrase and tossing it in there too. I joke with my wife that if I get run over by a bus, I'll scrawl the passphrase next to my body in blood. She might be contacting some of y'all to help decipher the 133+5p34k characters, though.

+ - Google let root certificate for Gmail expire->

Submitted by Gr8Apes
Gr8Apes (679165) writes "The certificate for Google's intermediate certificate authority expired Saturday The certificate was used to issue Gmail's certificate for SMTP, and the expiration at 11:55am EDT caused many e-mail clients to stop receiving Gmail messages. While the problem affected most Gmail users using PC and mobile mail clients, Web access to Gmail was unaffected. Guess Google Calendar failed to notify someone."
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If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?