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+ - Jet lag is worse on Mars 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Research and actual experience has found that adjusting to the slightly longer Martian day is not as easy as you would think.

If you’re on Mars, or at least work by a Mars clock, you have to figure out how to put up with the exhausting challenge of those extra 40 minutes. To be exact, the Martian day is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds long, a length of day that doesn’t coincide with the human body’s natural rhythms. Scientists, Mars rover drivers, and everyone else in the space community call the Martian day a “sol” to differentiate it from an Earth day. While it doesn’t seem like a big difference, that extra time adds up pretty quickly. It’s like heading west by two time zones every three days. Call it “rocket lag.”


+ - Star Wars-style 'bionic hand' fitted to first patients ->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Three Austrians have replaced injured hands with bionic ones that they can control using nerves and muscles transplanted into their arms from their legs.

The three men are the first to undergo what doctors refer to as "bionic reconstruction," which includes a voluntary amputation, the transplantation of nerves and muscles and learning to use faint signals from them to command the hand.

Previously, people with bionic hands have primarily controlled them with manual settings."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Unintended consequences (Score 3, Informative) 580

by schwit1 (#49126297) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules
This is a positive step IF the FCC is limiting this to ensuring all traffic is treated equally. But too many laws, rules and regulations have been perverted by the feds to concentrate power. The last thing we need is an obamacare version of internet regulation or regulators thinking ONLY of the children or ONLY of national security.

+ - 16,900 federal employees took home in excess of $200,000 in base salary in 2014-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "More than 16,900 federal employees took home in excess of $200,000 in base salary in 2014, according to a partial database of federal salary data.

The information, compiled by using data from the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies, shows the annual compensation for every civilian federal worker, save those at the Defense Department. The number of workers earning more than $200,000 represented about 1.6 percent of employees on the list and is up from about 15,000 who cleared that salary in 2013. It also makes up a slightly higher percentage of the employees on this list.

Most of the high earners worked as medical officers at the Veterans Affairs Department. Other agencies that require a highly specialized workforce paid several employees at least $200,000; these included the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

More than 1,600 federal employees cleared $300,000 in base salary last year. Just two—VA doctors in Palo Alto, Calif., and Pittsburgh—took in more than $400,000."

Link to Original Source

+ - The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site' ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

        Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
        Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
        Shackling for prolonged periods.
        Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
        Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15."

Link to Original Source

+ - Alaska allows recreational marijuana as campaign spreads-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Smoking, growing and owning small amounts of marijuana became legal in Alaska on Tuesday, as a growing decriminalization movement reached the United States' wild northwest frontier.

Alaska narrowly passed the measure in November. It followed Colorado and Washington state in allowing recreational use, reflecting a rapidly shifting legal landscape for the drug, which remains illegal under federal law.

Anyone aged 21 or older can now possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Alaska and can grow up to six marijuana plants, three of which can be flowering.

Smoking in public and buying and selling the drug remains illegal — though private exchanges are allowed if money is not involved.

I wonder how or if this affects the dry counties in Alaska."

Link to Original Source

+ - Pakistanis face a deadline: Surrender fingerprints or give up cellphone->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cellphones didn’t just arrive in Pakistan. But someone could be fooled into thinking otherwise, considering the tens of millions of Pakistanis pouring into mobile phone stores these days.

In one of the world’s largest — and fastest — efforts to collect biometric information, Pakistan has ordered cellphone users to verify their identities through fingerprints for a national database being compiled to curb terrorism. If they don’t, their service will be shut off, an unthinkable option for many after a dozen years of explosive growth in cellphone usage here.

Prompted by concerns about a proliferation of illegal and untraceable SIM cards, the directive is the most visible step so far in Pakistan’s efforts to restore law and order after Taliban militants killed 150 students and teachers at a school in December. Officials said the six terrorists who stormed the school in Peshawar were using cellphones registered to one woman who had no obvious connection to the attackers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Virginia animal bill could put PETA out of the shelter business

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Nothing is warm and fuzzy in the world of Virginia animal-welfare organizations this year as shelters attack each other over a seemingly slight tweak to the state code that some activists say could put a major shelter out of business.

At the heart of this fight is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and its record on euthanasia, which alarms other animal advocates. PETA operates a large shelter at its headquarters in Norfolk, where every year the vast majority of cats and dogs taken in are euthanized. The shelter came under fire last fall after it euthanized a Chihuahua that was inexplicably snatched from its owner’s porch by a PETA contractor on the Eastern Shore.

So the timing was perfect for a bill that's emerged from both houses of the Virginia state legislature and that defines a private animal shelter as “operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes.” Under the current code, that description is only one of several that can describe a shelter.

Supporters say the bill clarifies the law — but makes it harder for organizations such as PETA to euthanize animals without first trying to find them homes. In 2014, according to state reports, PETA took in 2,631 cats and dogs. All but 307 were euthanized."

+ - Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Compared to other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine."
Link to Original Source

+ - Secrecy around police surveillance equipment proves a case's undoing->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The case against Tadrae McKenzie looked like an easy win for prosecutors. He and two buddies robbed a small-time pot dealer of $130 worth of weed using BB guns. Under Florida law, that was robbery with a deadly weapon, with a sentence of at least four years in prison.

But before trial, his defense team detected investigators' use of a secret surveillance tool, one that raises significant privacy concerns. In an unprecedented move, a state judge ordered the police to show the device — a cell-tower simulator sometimes called a StingRay — to the attorneys.

Rather than show the equipment, the state offered McKenzie a plea bargain.

Today, 20-year-old McKenzie is serving six months' probation after pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor. He got, as one civil liberties advocate said, the deal of the century."

Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden Film 'Citizenfour' Wins Oscar for Best Documentary->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Citizenfour, a film chronicling the living history of Edward Snowden's unprecedented heist of U.S. government secrets, won the Academy Award for best documentary Sunday night—an unusual feat for a movie so critical of a sitting president's policies.

Directed by Laura Poitras, the political thriller captures Snowden in a claustrophobic Hong Kong hotel room in the days leading up to and after the release of the first of batch of classified documents that publicly revealed the sweeping scope of the National Security Agency's mass surveillance of phone and Internet communications."

Link to Original Source

+ - Everything About Kepler-432b is Extreme, Especially the Way it's Going to Die->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A rare planet has been discovered, and it doesn’t seem like a stop anyone would want to make on an intergalactic cruise. Found by two research teams independently of each other, Kepler-432b is extreme in its mass, density, and weather. Roughly the same size of Jupiter, the planet is also doomed — in 200 million years it will be consumed by its sun whose radius is 'quickly' increasing."
Link to Original Source

Comment: This won't end well (Score 2) 239

by schwit1 (#49105471) Attached to: Al-Shabaab Video Threat Means Heightened Security at Mall of America
The feds will start using license plate readers at the mall so they can cross check vehicle owners with potential terrorists.

All delivery vehicle drivers will have to have be fingerprinted and pass federal background checks.

The TSA will be at all entrances doing bag checks.

A man is not complete until he is married -- then he is finished.