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+ - Spider spins electrically charged silk->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In their quest to make ultrastrong yet ultrasmall fibers, the polymer industry may soon take a lesson from Uloborus spiders. Uloborids are cribellate spiders, meaning that instead of spinning wet, sticky webs to catch their prey, they produce a fluffy, charged, wool-like silk. A paper published online today in Biology Letters details the process for the first time. It all starts with the silk-producing cribellar gland. In contrast with other spiders, whose silk comes out of the gland intact, scientists were surprised to discover that uloborids’ silk is in a liquid state when it surfaces. As the spider yanks the silk from the duct, it solidifies into nanoscale filaments. This “violent hackling” has the effect of stretching and freezing the fibers into shape. It may even be responsible for increasing their strength, because filaments on the nanoscale become stronger as they are stretched. In order to endow the fibers with an electrostatic charge, the spider pulls them over a comblike plate located on its hind legs. The technique is not unlike the so-called hackling of flax stems over a metal brush in order to soften and prepare them for thread-spinning, but in the spider’s case it also gives them a charge. The electrostatic fibers are thought to attract prey to the web in the same way a towel pulled from the dryer is able to attract stray socks."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 208

I can guarantee you that if the Govt. left it up to drivers to get the proper training and instruction on how to operate vehicles safely, people wouldn't do it.

Interesting claim - since it doen't work that way for guns.

Where the government requires training, most gun purchasers take the minimum required, then stop. Where it doesn't, most people start with the course recommended by the gun stores (which is far more comprehensive - and more focussed, with less time spent on political indoctrination B-) ) and also do substantially more range time, until they feel adequately competent. (Then there are those that get interested in shooting as a hobby...)

A similar effect is the reason police normally don't shoot at private ranges simultaneously with civilians. Most police are embarrassingly HORRIBLE shots and pistol-handlers - because they do only the minimum training and practice required by the department (which has lots of other stuff for them to do while they're being paid for their time), and almost never have to actually fire their gun during their work.

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 208

Ford F150 Lariat.

For the 5 1/2 ton towing capacity (which also translates to "won't blow the engine head gasket towing a loaded trailer up CA 88 like the van did" - turns out they designed that vehicle's engine with the cylinders too close together so this one pair had a very thin piece of gasket between them,..).

(No time to get the GVR before I have to get to work...)

Comment: Re:Sort of like shitposting... (Score 0) 211

by MightyMartian (#48924087) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Oh fuck that. I can plug my Nexus into my Windows machine, create folders, copy files, view any video format I want. Or I can have an iDevice, have to use the evil that is iTunes, convert to formats that Apple has decreed as sacred, and basically give up all control of the device. IOS devices are good for people who never want to go beyond the parameters Apple sets.

Comment: Re: You probably have one, though... (Score 0) 211

by MightyMartian (#48924055) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I think you would have a hard time figuring out what Occupy WASN'T protesting about. That's why the Tea Party has succeeded to some extent, and Occupy has failed. The Tea Party, by and large, set the parameters for what it was fighting, and stuck to them. Occupy was all over the map.

Comment: Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (Score 2) 211

by MightyMartian (#48924039) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Can't speak for the iPad, because the only real interaction I had with one was a day with an iPad 2, which I found a bit heavy. Further, I really do dislike IOS and have since even abandoned my iPhone for a Nexus 5.

That all being said, I do use my Nexus 7 a lot. For me it is the perfect form factor. A 10" tablet is really too big, and my phone is on the smallish size. I pretty much do all my recreational reading, and a fairly large portion of my work-related reading on my Nexus 7, and it's small enough to be rather book-like in size, but large enough that it renders PDFs, ePubs and most web pages fairly well. I'm not going to get that readability out of a smartphone, and a 10" tablet or notebook is just too big.

+ - Opera founder unveils feature-rich Vivaldi power browser.->

Submitted by cdysthe
cdysthe (3645207) writes "Almost two years ago, the Norwegian browser firm Opera ripped out the guts of its product and adopted the more standard WebKit and Chromium technologies, essentially making it more like rivals Chrome and Safari. But it wasn’t just Opera’s innards that changed; the browser also became more streamlined and perhaps less geeky.

Many Opera fans were deeply displeased at the loss of what they saw as key differentiating functionality. So now Jon von Tetzchner, the man who founded Opera and who would probably never have allowed those drastic feature changes, is back to serve this hard core with a new browser called Vivaldi."

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC Fines Verizon for Failing to Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Verizon agreed to a $5 million settlement after admitting that it failed to investigate whether its rural customers were able to receive long distance and wireless phone calls. The settlement is related to the FCC's efforts to address what is known as the rural call completion problem. Over an eight-month period during 2013, low call answer rates in 39 rural areas should have triggered an investigation, the FCC said. The FCC asked Verizon what steps it took, and Verizon said in April 2014 that it investigated or fixed problems in 13 of the 39 areas, but did nothing in the other 26.

"Rural call completion problems have significant and immediate public interest ramifications," the FCC said in its order on the Verizon settlement today. "They cause rural businesses to lose customers, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications." Verizon has been accused of letting its copper landline network decay while it shifts its focus to fiber and cellular service. The FCC is working a plan to protect customers as old copper networks are retired."

+ - Kim Dotcom offers up secure 'Skype Killer' voice chat->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Kim Dotcom, the controversial German expat living in New Zealand whose file-sharing site was busted by U.S. federal agents, has launched an end-to-end encrypted voice and video chat service that operates through the browser called MegaChat, which will now be available for free to the 15 million registered users of his file-sharing service Mega.

MegaChat aims to provide an alternative to the current voice and video chat services which Dotcom himself has accused of cooperating with government snooping. "No U.S.-based online service provider can be trusted with your data," Dotcom once claimed. "Skype has no choice. They must provide the U.S. government with backdoors."

However, Dotcom has also claimed that there are backdoors in Chrome and Firefox, so if you are using them to browse, how can he guarantee end-to-end encryption? And while Mega is great for file sharing, its track record for security is a little dubious. Right after its launch, there was criticism of the implementation of the site's security, from cross-site scripting flaws to poorly implemented encryption, and later it was found that Mega passwords could be extracted with basic hacking tools."

Link to Original Source

+ - Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "One thing we all remember from Windows NT, is the security feature requiring the user to press CTRL-ALT-DEL to unlock the workstation (this can still be enabled with a policy setting). The motivation was to make it impossible for other programs to mimic a lock screen, as they couldn't react to the special key combination. Martin Gräßlin from KDE team takes a look at the lock screen security on X11. On a protocol level, X11 doesn't know anything of screen lockers. Also the X server doesn't know that the screen is locked as it doesn't understand the concept. This means the screen locker can only use the core functionality available to emulate screen locking. That in turn also means that any other client can do the same and prevent the screen locker from working (for example opening a context menu on any window prevents the screen locker from activating). That's quite a bummer: any process connected to the X server can block the screen locker, and even more it could fake your screen locker."
Link to Original Source

+ - CIA source of NY Times reporter James Risen convicted on circumstial evidence-> 2

Submitted by webanish
webanish (1045264) writes "The New York Times reports:

Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, was convicted of espionage Monday on charges that he told a reporter for The New York Times about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The case revolved around a C.I.A. operation in which a former Russian scientist provided Iran with intentionally flawed nuclear component schematics. Mr. Risen revealed the operation in his 2006 book, “State of War,” describing it as a mismanaged, potentially reckless mission that may have inadvertently aided the Iranian nuclear program.

While this comes as no surprise given the Obama administration's record on going after whistleblowers releasing secrets in public interest, the ramifications of these building cases could be twofold.

  • Legitimate issues which should be discussed in public are withheld out of fear
  • Leakers might not always act so benevolently to go to reputed press institutions

To an outsider, it seems there is widespread support for Snowden and responsible whistleblowing laws. Why is there no momentum for this in the government?"
Link to Original Source

+ - The Koch brothers political network plans to spend almost $1B in 2016 elections->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "The Koch brothers revealed plans to spend $889M during the 2016 election cycle . The money would be spent on both congresisonal and presidential races. This level of spending will require commitment from both the Koch Brothers themselves and about 300 other donors. The money will put considerable pressure on Democratic supporters and candidates who will likely be at a considerable funding disadvantage in 2016."
Link to Original Source

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