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Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 263

all you do is negotiate terms of your own contract.

oh ffs,
even if everyone on the planet had the best posible education and skills training that their brains and bodies could attain, the enormous majority would still be 'wage slaves' unable to negotiate the terms of a contract because the jobs where that would be possible would be so few compared to the number of job seekers, capitalism requires that there are winners, and winners are defined by the prescence of 'losers', and there need to be many more of the latter than the former.
note, this is not a call for communism, merely an observation that humanity is far from developing a sane way of ordering its affairs

+ - Flexible, Long-Lasting Batteries Aim to Revolutionise Wearable Tech

Submitted by rofkool
rofkool (3603105) writes "The International Business Times reports: "A California-based startup has developed a flexible, long-lasting and rechargeable battery that could have wide-reaching applications within medical devices, wearable sensors and even on-body electronics. Imprint Energy aims to overcome what it sees as the longstanding limitations of currently available battery technologies which hamper the advancement of portable electronics.The zinc-based batteries have since been tested on wrist-worn devices and Imprint Energy co-founder Christine Ho claims that they could potentially be used even on "weird parts of your body like your eye"."

+ - UK definition of terrorism 'could catch political journalists and bloggers'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The current British definition of terrorism is so broadly drawn that it could even catch political journalists and bloggers who publish material that the authorities consider dangerous to public safety, said the official counter-terrorism watchdog.

The watchdog said: "This means political journalists and bloggers are subject to the full range of anti-terrorism powers if they threaten to publish, prepare to publish something that the authorities think may be dangerous to life, public health or public safety."

He warned that they could be branded as terrorists even if they had no intention to spread fear or intimidate, and those who employed or supported them would also qualify as terrorists.

The definition was so broad it would even catch a campaigner who voiced religious objections to a vaccination campaign on the grounds that they were a danger to public health."

Link to Original Source

+ - UK Government Faces Lawsuit Over emergency Surveillance Bill->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "The British Government has had to produce an emergency surveillance Bill after the European Court of Justice ruled that European rules on retaining metadata were illegal. That Bill has now been passed by the House of Commons with almost no debate, and will become law if approved by the House of Lords. But the so-called DRIP (Data retenteion and Investigatory Powers) Bill could face a legal challenge: the Open Rights Group (ORG) is fund-raising to bring a suit which would argue that blanket data retention is unlawful, so these emergency measures would be no more legal than the ones they replaced."
Link to Original Source

+ - British researchers create new black hole 'like' material->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "How black can a black get? The ‘new black’ of the science world is so dark that it makes it almost impossible for the human eye to see it. British researchers have created a “strange, alien” radiation-absorbing material that absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of light. Setting a new world record, Vantablack is so dark the human eye finds it difficult to determine its shape and dimension.

It is also said to conduct heat seven and half times more effectively than copper, and is ten times stronger than steel."

Link to Original Source

+ - How the NSA is destroying open source

Submitted by petrus4
petrus4 (213815) writes "I've had a while to think about this, but my recent experiences over the last several hours with FreeBSD's disastrous new package management system, pkgng, has finally convinced me that I'm not just being paranoid.

At this point, I believe that a systematic campaign is being waged against FOSS UNIX by the trans-Atlantic intelligence community; and I have seen sufficient instances of it at this point, that I've been able to identify the strategy that is being used. The fact that FreeBSD has had some radical, systemic changes only a few years after the systemd debacle with Linux, is just a little too coincidental to my mind.

The plan goes like this:-

Phase 1. Get a corporate stool pigeon to write an extremely disruptive piece of software for the system that you are attempting to destroy. Said software needs to have a sufficient number of superficially cool/flashy features that it will seduce less intelligent/discerning users; but the main thing which said software needs to do, is radically disrupt and compromise the operating system's level of transparency, discoverability, and openness. In Linux's case this was systemd, and in FreeBSD's it has been pkgng. Both of these pieces of software share a few different characteristics.

a} They are opaque, undiscoverable, and almost completely impervious to user control. It's hard for the average user to figure out what said software is doing. With the earlier form of FreeBSD's package management, I could see the URL where the package was being downloaded from, and it was also entirely possible to change said URL in plain text. Now, pkgng uses bit torrent, and I can't see where the torrent file has originated from, or which process is being called as a bit torrent client. I can't choose which bit torrent program I want to use, either. What configuration there is, is also written in YAML, rather than plain text; which is another strike against it for me.

b} They incorporate a sufficient amount of automation, and apparent advancement, that it is possible to make a superficially plausible argument that anyone who objects to said software is simply a Luddite, who is supposedly opposed to technological progress in general. Of course, this is a disingenuous claim, because it is entirely possible to write advanced, well-automated software that is not opaque, and does not compromise the ability of a user to control it. The ability to make this argument, however, is of vital importance for Phase 2, which I will get to in a moment.

c} They are extremely tightly integrated and coupled into the rest of the system. Systemd is like an octopus, and pkgng isn't much better. I was horrified when I discovered that pkg has actually been added to the base system. Ports always used to be completely detachable from base; the choice of whether to install it at all was given to you at the end of sysinstall.

With these programs, you only get to make the choice once as to whether or not you use them, and if you decide to do so, then after that, you are owned. They can no longer be removed; you are stuck with them whether you like them or not. Fortunately, FreeBSD is still sufficiently modular that I was able to delete /usr/local and /var/db/pkg. I have since tried to install NetBSD's pkgsrc and have been unable to get it to function, so I have had to resort to manual compilation of source at the moment. For most things, I am prepared to tolerate that; although I haven't tried to install X yet. I am anticipating that that will be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.

Phase 2. Once you have your disruptive program written, you now have to make sure that acceptance of it is universal, and anyone who resists must be bludgeoned into compliance. This is effectively achieved by hiring lots of sock puppets and trolls, and sending them into distribution development/core team mailing lists.

If you think I'm just being paranoid about my description of this step, I would invite you to go and read Debian's mailing list archives, during the period when they were debating whether or not to add systemd. Anyone who attempted to resist or offer counter-arguments to the inclusion of systemd was shouted down and abused into silence; and I can still remember how savage a response I got in /r/FreeBSD when I expressed doubts about pkgng several months ago, as well.

In addition to this, I've also been reading about how broken GTK theming has become for GNOME/GTK 3.

I've never liked GNOME. I don't think it is well designed, and I also don't think the GNOME developers have ever done an adequate job of really listening to their users; but since the release of GNOME 3, that has become a lot worse. Breakage has been reported in bug trackers, only to receive snide responses from developers about how said features are being retired, because said developers feel that they would "dilute the GNOME brand," as if GNOME were some sort of corporate product. I can't think where I would have got that idea from.

I was honestly in something close to a state of shock in response to pkgng earlier, though. I've been using Linux (and to a slightly lesser extent, FreeBSD) for 20 years now; and I have never seen anything like pkgng and systemd, and both have originated within the last five years. UNIX is one of the few things that I have ever been truly passionate about, and to read the degree of open contempt that has been expressed towards it by Lennart Poettering, has been genuinely heartbreaking.

We need to start recognising what is being done to us; and quickly, before it gets worse. Given how undiscriminating Linux's userbase is, I wasn't really surprised that Poettering's software has become as popular as it has, but for something like pkgng to be accepted into FreeBSD is both inexplicable and downright terrifying. I can't believe that nobody in the core team knew better.

I am asking everyone who reads this, and who cares about the operating system that has given us a stable, open, discoverable, and empowering computing environment over the last 45 years, to join me in taking the following actions.

a} Boycott all use of systemd, pkgng, GNOME, KDE, and any other software which has known corporate influence or sponsorship, or which is also written with blatant disregard for UNIX development philosophy.

b} If a} is not possible while using Linux, to then join me in migrating to either Open or NetBSD, where we can use software that will not contribute to the strangulation of our operating systems, which the NSA and GCHQ are attempting to bring about through corporate proxies.

Above all, remember that you have a choice. You can keep choosing to use the supposedly new, shiny, but ultimately opaque, disempowering, and enslaving corporate sponsored desktop environments, or you can choose to defend and retain your autonomy and freedom. This is a choice which must be made with the utmost urgency, before they take our remaining autonomy away from us.

I am asking for nothing less than a full scale revolt against, and migration away from, Red Hat in particular; and I need your help. Ultimately this will be as much for your own benefit, as for mine."

+ - How deep does the multiverse go?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Our observable Universe is a pretty impressive entity: extending 46 billion light-years in all directions, filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies and having been around for nearly 14 billion years since the Big Bang. But what lies beyond it? Sure, there's probably more Universe just like ours that's unobservable, but what about the multiverse? Finally, a treatment that delineates the difference between the ideas that are thrown around and explains what's accepted as valid, what's treated as speculative, and what's completely unrelated to anything that could conceivably ever be observed from within our Universe."

+ - NSA Admits Retaining Snowden Emails, no FOIA for US press->

Submitted by AHuxley
AHuxley (892839) writes "The reports on a FOIA request covering "... all e-mails sent by Edward Snowden"
Remember how Snowden should have raised his concerns with his superiors within the NSA?
Remember how no such communication could be found?
Remember how one such communication was released but did not seem to be raising direct concerns?
Well some record of e-mail communications seems to exist but they are exempt from public disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act."

Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX Wins FAA Permission to Build a Spaceport in Texas

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "SpaceX just got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a 56.5-acre spaceport along the Gulf of Mexico on the Texas-Mexico border—a huge step toward actually making the spaceport a reality.
Wednesday, the FAA, which handles all commercial space launch permitting in the United States, issued what's known as a "Record of Decision" that suggests the agency would allow the company to launch 10 Falcon 9 rockets and two Falcon Heavy rockets per year out of the spaceport, through at least 2025."

+ - DARPA social media research stirs a murky, controversial pot->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "DARPA’s two-year old program to better understand and perhaps ultimately influence social media has begun to bear fruit but some of that harvest is raising a stink. DARPA said when rolling out its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program was to develop a social networks science that will develop automated and semiautomated operator support tools and techniques for the systematic and methodical use of social media at data scale and in a timely fashion. But in building that science the agency says it has funded myriad social media/Twitter research (including a study that looked at Lady Gaga’s Twitter following—a model of social media popularity, DARPA stated) as well as a look into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Kickstarter."
Link to Original Source

+ - Common Fuel Cell Myths Debunked->

Submitted by thejman78
thejman78 (1330135) writes "Most fuel cell vehicle myths and misconceptions stem from a single seven year old article in The New Atlantis magazine. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE, fuel cells will cost $30-$50 per kw-hr of output by 2017, depending on production volume. To put this number in perspective, Tesla battery packs are estimated to cost over $200 per kw-hr of output today and may fall to $140-175 per kw-hr by 2017. In all likelihood, fuel cell vehicles will cost less than battery electric vehicles by the end of the decade (barring some major decrease in battery costs, of course)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Cosmic Mystery Solved by Supersized Supernova Dust->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "How cosmic dust is created has been a mystery for some time. Although the textbooks tell us that the dusty stuff that builds the planets — and, ultimately, the complex chemistry that forms life (we are, after all, made of ‘star stuff’) — comes from supernova explosions, astronomers have been puzzled as to how delicate grains of dust condense from stellar material and how they can possibly survive the violent shock waves of the cataclysmic booms. But now, with the help of a powerful ground-based telescope, astronomers have not only watched one of these supernova ‘dust factories’ in action, they’ve also discovered how the grains can withstand the violent supernova shock. “When the star explodes, the shockwave hits the dense gas cloud like a brick wall,” said lead author Christa Gall, of Aarhus University, Denmark. “It is all in gas form and incredibly hot, but when the eruption hits the ‘wall’ the gas gets compressed and cools down to about 2,000 degrees. At this temperature and density elements can nucleate and form solid particles. We measured dust grains as large as around one micron (a thousandth of a millimeter), which is large for cosmic dust grains. They are so large that they can survive their onward journey out into the galaxy.” The surprising size of the measured dust particles means they can better survive the supernova's shockwave. This research has been published in the journal Nature."
Link to Original Source

+ - Are tethers the answer to the safety issues of follow-me drone technology? ->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2973169) writes "Camera-equipped follow-me drone technology is hitting the scene in spades, promising extreme sports enthusiasts and others amazing aerial shots. Imagine, your own dynamic tripod that follows you on command. But what about the safety issue of having follow-me drones crowding the ski slopes? The tethered Fotokite addresses these concerns while sidestepping FAA regulations."
Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: NASA approves Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever, for deep ... --> 1

From feed by feedfeeder

Sydney Morning Herald

NASA approves Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket ever, for deep ...
Sydney Morning Herald
NASA gave the go-ahead to start full production on the most powerful rocket ever. The rocket, known as Space Launch System, is set to blast beyond low-Earth orbit this decade to explore the deep reaches of space, including near-Earth asteroids, the moon...
NASA And Boeing Finalize $2.8 Billion Contract For SLS RocketDesign & Trend
NASA, Boeing finalize deal to build most powerful rocket in
NASA, Boeing to Build Most Powerful RocketUpstart Magazine
Space Fellowship-iTWire-9&10 News
all 72 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - After Ubuntu, Windows will also follow KDE's convergence story-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "The KDE Community introduced the concept of convergence way back in 2008 with the arrival of KDE 4.x (back then it was still KDE Desktop). If you ever tried KDE on your netbook you would have noticed that the desktop that got installed was different from that you would get when you install the same iso on your desktop. Far forward to 2013 and we hear Canonical introducing a brand new concept – called convergence – where one code-base will run across different devices. It was heavily marketed by Canonical, thanks to star community managers like Jono Bacon on-board. Now Microsoft is also following a suite and according to reports the next version of Windows (which may not be called Windows 9 for obvious reasons) will have convergence. One of the most trusted Microsoft journalist Mary Jo Foley reports that the company is working on the next version of their operating system code-named ‘Threshold’ which will have convergence."
Link to Original Source

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.