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The Courts

Pay Or Else, News Site Threatens 549

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
WED Fan writes "The North Country Gazette, a news blog, says users who read beyond a single page of an article must pay up or they will be tracked down. They don't have a pay wall. If you go beyond page 1, you owe them. From the article: 'A subscription is required at North Country Gazette. We allow only one free read per visitor. We are currently gathering IPs and computer info on persistent intruders who refuse to buy subscription and are engaging in a theft of services. We have engaged an attorney who will be doing a bulk subpoena demand on each ISP involved, particularly Verizon Droids, Frontier and Road Runner, and will then pursue individual legal actions.'"
Advertising

Facebook Billionaire Gives Money To Legalize Marijuana 527

Posted by timothy
from the may-not-represent-the-views-of dept.
Aldenissin writes "Dustin Moskovitz confirmed that he has recently given (an additional) $50,000 in support of Proposition 19, which is seeking to legalize marijuana in California this November. He had previously donated $20,000 to supporters of the act, which would allow people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate or transport cannabis for personal use and would permit local governments to regulate and tax commercial production and sale of the substance. Asked for a comment as to why he's backing the legalization of marijuana, Moskovitz just sent this statement: 'More than any other initiative out there, Prop 19 will stabilize our national security and bolster our state economy. It will alleviate unnecessary overcrowding of non-violent offenders in our state jails, which in turn will help California residents.' An irony here is that about a month ago, Facebook refused to take FireDogLake's 'Just Say Now' pro-cannabis law reform ads."
Image

Star Wars Fans Look For Love In Alderaan Places 88

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-can-win-your-heart-in-less-than-twelve-parsecs dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that devoted fans at the recent Star Wars Convention V, many dressed as Jedi knights, stormtroopers, or the indomitable Princess Leia, sat opposite one another for a series of 3-minute speed dates, in hopes of finding a connection with a fellow Star Wars enthusiast. 'Over the course of the three events, due to size and time, we turned away about 600 participants,' says Ryan Glitch. 'Yesterday, this room was packed. We had to keep shoveling people along.' Meanwhile in the main exhibition hall, a chapel was set up to allow fans to profess their love and devotion to each other in the form of commitment ceremonies. 'I've been told that we've had two commitment ceremonies from people that met at my event,' says Glitch adding that he saw eight additional couples at the convention made up of people who had attended his speed dating sessions."
NASA

The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the return-fire dept.
astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."
Image

Make-A-Wish Builds A Millennium Falcon Fort For Boy 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-fast-enough-for-you-old-man dept.
Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a production crew from Little Mountain Productions, a 9-year-old is getting the best fort ever. The crew is making him a Star Wars-themed fort with a gigantic Millennium Falcon with solar-powered LED interior and exterior lighting to sit on top. No word on how fast it can make the Kessel run, but lets hope the kid gets a long trip.
Communications

The Truth About Net Neutrality Job Loss 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the watch-out-for-net-neutrality-death-panels dept.
snydeq writes "Robert X. Cringely investigates recent claims that passing net neutrality regulations will result in nearly 1.5 million lost jobs by 2020, finding the report at the center of these claims suspect. The report, put forward by The Brattle Group, conjectures that net neutrality adoption would curtail broadband growth by 16 percent, costing 342,065 jobs in that sector alone. The 'total economy-wide impact,' however, of such a policy would result in five times as many job losses by 2020, they say. The study is the latest of several weighing the economic impact of net neutrality, including those by law schools (PDF) and free-market think tanks alike. The Brattle Group report (PDF), however, should be met with skepticism, Cringely argues, in large part because the lobbying firm who paid for the report, Mobile Future, is anchored most notably by AT&T. Moreover, the report is 'based entirely on a single assumption: Regulating US telecoms in the late 1990s and early 2000s hurt them to the tune of about 15 percent per quarter, relative to the cable companies.' Yet, as he points out, regulation was not alone in causing this sector shrinkage. In fact, the Baby Bells' own bureaucratic intransigence was much to blame."
Image

Beijing Sweetens Rubbish With Giant Deodorant Guns 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the now-that's-a-good-stink dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Beijing plans to install 100 deodorant guns at a landfill site on the edge of the city in the hopes that it will dampen complaints about the capital's rubbish crisis.The giant fragrance sprayers will be put in place by May at the Asuwei dump site. From the article: 'Municipal authorities say they will also apply more plastic layers to cover the site in response to furious protests by local residents who have to put up with the stench when the wind blows in their direction. The high-pressure guns, which can spray dozens of litres of fragrance per minute over a distance of up to 50m, are produced by several Chinese firms and based on German and Italian technology. They are already in use at several landfill sites, but they are merely a temporary fix.'"

Comment: More Info (Score 2, Informative) 178

by slugo (#31460234) Attached to: NY To Replace IT Vendors With State Workers

I know of this issue first hand being a IT contractor and working for the state. Where Im at they have approximately 125 IT contractors. So far they have laid off 15 IT contractors, are trying to convert 15 or so more to government service. Next in Oct all IT companies will have to bid through a Managed Service Provider. Basically an appointed IT contractor that all the agencies will go through to source contractors. I don't believe they plan on eliminating all contractors since I don't think they can do to the fact the most people would rather be a contractor than work for the state. Also a lot of the IT contractors are from overseas and cannot become state employees without a green card. Most of us are just taking a wait and see approach to what our future actually is with the state come Oct. Who knows how many contract slots will be available at that time.

For some people taking the state job is actually good deal. Some prefer the stability that the state has offered in the past. What I can add is the converted contractors will receive a tier 5 pensions not tier 4. The state legislature enacted the tier 5 pension in Jan 2010 in coincidence with the plan to convert the 500 contractors. Here are some of the reduced benefits that they will receive.

Require most public employees to work 10 full years before vesting in the system, rather than the current five, and limit the amount of overtime that can be used in the calculation of a final average salary to 15 percent of regular annual wages.

Raises the minimum full-benefit retirement age for members of the State and Local Retirement System to 62 years from the current 55.

Certain exemptions were granted to firefighters, teachers, and police officers.

They figure they will save $48 billion over 30 years.

Here is the full article. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/statehouse_oks_deal_to_fix_hyper_p72NcP2a2IegZcBJFKuf0J

The Military

Military Helmet Design Contributes To Brain Damage 294

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the minor-oversights dept.
BuzzSkyline writes "Improvements in helmets have helped modern soldiers survive bullets and blasts that would have killed them in past wars. But increasing numbers of soldiers are suffering long lasting brain damage from explosions, partly as a result of what appears to be a flaw in helmet designs. Although the blast itself may not accelerate the brain inside a soldier's head enough to cause injury, shockwaves that make it through the space between a helmet and a soldier's head can cause the skull to flex, leading to ripples in the skull that can create damaging pressures in the brain. Simulations that relied on 'code originally designed to simulate how a detonated weapon rattles a building or tank' could lead to new helmets that reduce the traumatic brain injuries that many soldiers suffer as a result of improvised explosive devices and other moderate-sized blasts. The research is due to be published in Physical Review Letters, but a pre-print of the entire article is currently available on the Physics ArXiv."
SuSE

SUSE Studio — Linux Customization For the Masses 126

Posted by kdawson
from the rolling-your-own dept.
apokryphos writes "Novell just released the first alpha of SUSE Studio (screencast), which provides an easy way to customize your own Linux distribution with the software and configuration you want. Among other things, you can spin a Live CD, a USB image, or create a VMware image. It builds upon the already established openSUSE Build Service and KIWI imaging system."
Image

6-Year-Old Says Grand Theft Auto Taught Him To Drive 504

Posted by timothy
from the buck-beats-scapegoat dept.
nandemoari writes "A six-year-old who recently stole his parents' car and drove it into a utility pole has passed the buck onto a familiar scapegoat: the video game, Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar Games' controversial Grand Theft Auto video game has been criticized by parent groups and crusaders (or in the eyes of gamers, nincompoops) like former lawyer Jack Thompson for years (Thompson once tried to link the Virginia Tech slayings to late-night Counterstrike sessions. He's since been disbarred). However, not as of yet has anyone under the age of, oh, ten, blamed the game for a car theft."
The Almighty Buck

Phishing Is a Minimum-Wage Job 224

Posted by kdawson
from the triumph-of-the-commons dept.
rohitm918 writes "A study by Microsoft Research concludes that phishers make very little (PDF): '...low-skill jobs pay like low-skill jobs, whether the activity is legal or not.' They also find that the Gartner numbers that everyone quotes ($3.2B/year etc) are rubbish, off by a factor of 50. 'Even though it harvests "free money," phishing generates total revenue equal to the total costs incurred by the actors. Each participant earns, on average, only as much as he would have made in the opportunities he gave up elsewhere. As the total phishing effort increases the total phishing revenue declines: the harder individual phishers try the worse their collective situation gets. As a consequence, increasing effort is a sign of failure rather than of success.'"

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