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United States

Al Franken Says FCC Proposed Rules Are "The Opposite of Net Neutrality" 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Senator Al Franken can be counted among the many who are at odds with the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules. From the article: 'Senator Al Franken has a pretty good idea of what the term "net neutrality" means—and that, he says, puts him head-and-shoulders above many of his colleagues in the U.S. Congress. "We literally have members of Congress—I've heard members of the House—say, 'We've had all this innovation on the Internet without net neutrality. Why do we need it now?'" he told TIME in an interview last week. "I want to say, 'Come on, just try to understand the idea. Or at least just don't give a speech if you don't know what you're saying. Please—it hurts my head."'"
Earth

US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe 627

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-it-was-cold-yesterday dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Darryl Fears reports in the Washington Post on the U.S. government's newest national assessment of climate change. It says Americans are already feeling the effects of global warming. The assessment carves the nation into sections and examines the impacts: More sea-level rise, flooding, storm surge, precipitation and heat waves in the Northeast; frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and Caribbean; more drought and wildfires in the Southwest. 'Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Insurance rates are rising in some vulnerable locations, and insurance is no longer available in others. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the spring, last later into the fall, and burn more acreage. In Arctic Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and autumn storms now cause more erosion, threatening many communities with relocation.' The report concludes that over recent decades, climate science has advanced significantly and that increased scrutiny has led to increased certainty that we are now seeing impacts associated with human-induced climate change. 'What is new over the last decade is that we know with increasing certainty that climate change is happening now. While scientists continue to refine projections of the future, observations unequivocally show that climate is changing and that the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.'"
Politics

Secession Petitions Flood White House Website 1163

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-leaving dept.
First time accepted submitter RNLockwood writes "Political.com reports that several petitions to secede from the Union have been created at the White House site, We The People, for many states; all since Obama's re-election. Texas and Louisiana lead the list with Texas needing only 7,000 more signatures to qualify for a White House response, probably less now as more Americans have become aware of the petitions. It would be interesting to see a comparison done of these petitions and the Post Election Racist Tweets Map."
Television

Remastered Star Trek: the Next Generation Blu-ray a Huge Leap Forward 470

Posted by Soulskill
from the replace-your-dvd-collection-that-replaced-your-vhs-collection dept.
MojoKid writes "There's been no new Star Trek TV series since Enterprise limped off screens in 2005, but the huge success of the 2009 Star Trek movie and the gradual growth of Blu-ray has caught CBS' attention (CBS acquired ownership of the Star Trek franchise in 2006). The broadcast company is preparing to release Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray with substantial improvements (article contains comparison image shots). The DVD boxed sets that exist today were created from the taped broadcasts that were shown in the early 90s. Rather than repackaging that material, CBS has gone back to the original film stock and started from scratch. The difference is enormous. CBS has released a preview Blu-ray titled Star Trek: The Next Generation — The Next Level with three updated episodes; the show's pilot (Encounter at Farpoint), Sins of the Father and The Inner Light."
Earth

Climate Change Driving War? 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the driving-an-suv-is-now-an-act-of-war dept.
New submitter Stirling Newberry writes "You may have heard of The Great Moderation (PDF), which argues that business cycles have become less volatile over time, and the Green Revolution, a set of initiatives that led to increased global food production. These, it has been argued, have led to a marked decrease in war across the world. But not so fast, says a study in Science. It may well be that periods of war, past and present, can be linked to changes in climate: 'The most direct way in which extreme climate shifts influence human society is through agriculture, Zhang says; a falling supply of crops will drive up the price of gold and cause inflation. Similarly, epidemics can be exacerbated by famine. And when people are miserable, they are likely to become angry with their governments and each other, resulting in war. But golden ages rise out of these dark periods, the team argues. For instance, a 100-year cold period beginning in 1560 caused shortened crop growing seasons. The researchers found a causal linkage with a decline in average human height by nearly an inch during this period, and the century was rife with disease and conflict. But the world began to warm in 1650; when Charles II was crowned king of England in 1660, the coronation sparked the Enlightenment era in Europe.'"
Censorship

NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege 624

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the silence-will-still-be-permitted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A group of four NY state senators have written a paper suggesting that free speech should be looked upon as a government granted privilege rather than a right. They're specifically concerned about cyberstalking and cyberbullying, and are introducing legislation to make both of those against the law. Among other troubling concepts, they argue that merely 'excluding' someone from a group is a form of cyberbullying."

Comment: Re:Graph theory (Score 2) 228

by snorb (#37107366) Attached to: Yahoo, Facebook Test "Six Degrees of Separation"

Yes, if you have 1,000,000 nodes and there are at least 499,994,500,020 edges out of a possible 499,999,500,000 (ie. a bit more than 99.999% of them), then yes you can conclude the diameter of the graph is no more than 6. But no, simply counting the number of edges is not particularly useful. You need to make further assumptions about the graph to get a useful bound.

The Military

Iran Unveils Its First UAV Bomber 574

Posted by samzenpus
from the hands-free-destruction dept.
ms_gen writes "Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled today the first UAV bomber produced by Iran. The drone, named Karrar (farsi for Striker) can carry various types of bombs. It can reach up to 900 km/h in speed and has a range of 1000 kilometers (620 miles). The Iranian president mentions that 'Karrar is a symbol of the progress of defence technology in Iran.'"

Comment: Re:Summary is wrong, as usual (Score 3, Insightful) 141

by snorb (#33229218) Attached to: Valve Trademarks 'DOTA'

Been getting into LoL recently, and while I agree it's very polished (I really like the character designs and the free-to-play model is a good one), the one area that Valve could improve on is making it more newbie-friendly. While LoL may be more newbie-friendly than DoTA, that's like saying Venus is less hot than the sun. It's still not a very hospitable place. It's basically a full-time job to get up to speed with all the acronyms, jargon, and conventions. You join your first match of LoL and your teammate says something like: "I'm going jungle Amumu with an AP Sunfire build so I can tank the carry in the lane with my ult when they ping." and then they get mad at you when you have no idea what they're saying. Don't get me wrong, I do like the game, it's just really hard for beginners like me.

Compare the steep learning curve of TFC where you have to master grenade jumping with every class just to compete with how easy it is to pick up TF2. So hopefully Valve will do something similar with DoTA, and make it accessible.

Piracy

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

Posted by kdawson
from the single-point-of-well-you-know dept.
ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."
Image

California Legislature Declares "Cuss-Free" Week 262 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the f#*k-those-f@^king-f%&kers dept.
shewfig writes "The California legislature, which previously tried to ban incandescent light bulbs, just added to the list of banned things ... swear words! Fortunately, the measure only applies for the first week of March, and compliance is voluntary — although, apparently, there will be a 'swear jar' in the Assembly and the Governor's mansion. No word yet on whether the Governator intends to comply."
Image

Bark Beetles Hate Rush Limbaugh and Heavy Metal 220 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the tiniest-minds dept.
Aryabhata writes "According to scientists, climate change and human activity have allowed bark beetle populations to soar. They decided to fight the beetles by using the 'nastiest, most offensive sounds' that they could think of. These sounds included recordings of Guns & Roses, Queen, Rush Limbaugh and manipulated versions of the insects' own sounds. The research project titled 'Beetle Mania' has concluded that acoustic stress can disrupt their feeding and even cause the beetles to kill each other."
Image

Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance 262 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-it-looks-like-a-liberal-and-quacks-like-a-liberal dept.
quaith writes "It's not the way they dress, but the appearance of their face. A study published in PLoS One by Nicholas O. Rule and Nalini Ambady of Tufts University used closely cropped greyscale photos of people's faces, standardized for size. Undergrads were asked to categorize each person as either a Democrat or Republican. In the first study, students were able to differentiate Republican from Democrat senate candidates. In the second, students were able to differentiate the political affiliation of other college students. Accuracy in both studies was about 60% — not perfect, but way better than chance."
Image

Living In Tokyo's Capsule Hotels 269 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the living-in-the-hive dept.
afabbro writes "Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 once offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home. Now with Japan enduring its worst recession since World War II, it is becoming an affordable option for people with nowhere else to go. The Hotel 510’s capsules are only 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide. Guests must keep possessions, like shirts and shaving cream, in lockers outside of the capsules. Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas says, 'It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep. You get used to it.'”

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