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Comment New norm?? (Score 4, Interesting) 284 284

I arrived at America in the 1970's, and immediately plunged into the job market (Chinatown) because I practically had no money with me

After schooling and so on (paid for with the slave wages I got from working in Chinatown and other places) I 'upgraded' my career into research institutions

After that I was (repeatedly) head-hunted and ended up working in a string of tech companies

None of the places I worked had any of the 'job security' clause in the agreement - and in fact, more than one time I've seen long-time employees being escorted by security guards out of the building, with only an envelop with the pink-slip inside and a cardboard carton of personal belongings cleansed out of the cubicle of that employee

I do not know where the that 'sociologist' got his 'new norm" from, but in the good ol' U. S. of A., I never had any sense of 'job security' since 1970's, at least not until I started my own businesses

Unlike research papers dealing with real science, many of the 'research reports' from those 'sociologists' make no freaking sense whatsoever

Comment Uber will succeed in India (Score 3, Interesting) 44 44

The 'call taxi' market, as it is called here in India, is fractured and ripe for disruption. Unions in taxis are very weak. People here do not value privacy over saving a few rupees. RedBus and TicketGoose have made it big in bus reservations. Uber will tie up with Microsoft and Google to plunder the call taxi market.

I helped write taxi dispatch s/w for 3 firms, and I feel Uber will drive out Ola, TaxiForSure and other fringe players...

Comment Simple answer: No. MS is not a fool... (Score 1) 428 428

The editions for which "Free" upgrade options have been provided, Microsoft makes money by seling your data, and ensuring you don't run away to Linux. If you want all these controls and fancy stuff, you must pay about $800 for a copy., and get Enterprise edition.

Malware has given a very bad name to Microsoft. This is because of the immense, needless complexity in the so-called OS which contains linkages to non-essential things for an OS. Like the browser, Office, Email client, device drivers, etc. Even Enterprise users are afraid to apply latest patches due to stability issues.

But Enterprise users usually have firewalls in place, so atleast for them, MS provides complicated round-about methods to bypass snooping. To fix the malware problem permanently, Microsoft will have to reveal source code and truly give full vontrol to the users of their software. Neither of these will happen. So the control is with hardware vendors who have to write device drivers, and malware writers who have figured out the chinks anyway.

Thus MS is now in a race of continuously patching their shoddy OS, at your expense, your bandwaidth and your privacy. Live with it. Or go to another OS that runs on PC hardware, aka Linux. Or get a Mac for twice the price and half the funstionality and features. Or shut up and put up with Microsoft.

Comment Re:Well, now we actually know several things (Score 1) 89 89

In the situation where you have no power and the RAT is deployed, even an Airbus would no longer be in "normal law" - its well beyond that at that point.

If the auto pilot is disconnected, the aircraft will not do anything itself to maintain speed, altitude, attitude or heading, unless it reaches one of the flight envelope limits and then it will attempt to adjust factors to accommodate the limit being reached, but in general the aircraft will leisurely roll and yaw based on external factors such as wind, turbulence etc.

If the aircraft is in an abnormal law situation, with no power other than the RAT, the FBW system does nothing other than direct connection between input and control surfaces - so the aircraft will yaw and roll at will with no limit . It won't even attempt to accommodate any flight envelope limits being reached.

Submission + - Robot which can walk and jump on water->

Taco Cowboy writes: Look at this pix:

this pix

and this vid:

Researchers from Seoul University and Harvard University built an insect-sized robot that mimics the way that the insect water striders, jump on the surface of a body of water after studying how the pond-skimmer insects push off the water’s surface without sinking

It isn’t difficult to make robots jump. Spring-bots do it. Robo-Cheetas do it. Even educated Robo-Fleas do it. But building a robot that can jump on the surface of the water is far more complicated

In general, you can’t jump without first pushing off of a surface. When that surface is water, pushing off usually means pushing down—or sinking fast

The team collected water striders from a local pond, and used high-speed cameras to record the insects jumping on water in buckets in the laboratory. They noticed that the insects don’t simply push down on the water. It generates a small amount of movement initially, and then gradually accelerate their legs so as not to break the surface tension tension force of water
The striders also sweep their legs inward before each jump, to maximize the amount of time they touch the surface, which boost the overall force of their pushes

Using a theoretical model of a flexible cylinder floating on liquid, they found the maximum force exerted by the insect's legs is always just below below the maximum force that water surface tension can withstand

Using these principles, the researchers developed an ultra light robot made out of nickel titanium with a 2 centimeter long body inspired by origami. Its 5 centimeter long wire legs are curved at the tips like a real water strider's and coated with a material that repels water. To recreate the same controlled acceleration in the robot as in the real insect, they used a mechanism called a torque reversal catapult (TRC), inspired by a flea's jumping leg to launch the robot from the surface of the water up to 14.2 centimeters in the air, which is similar to water striders. At the moment, the strider-bot can only jump once, and can’t land upright. But it's still quite impressive>br>
Je-sung Koh, co-lead author of the study, and his team were driven by the mere challenge of successfully building a robot that can jump on water, he said that they would like to build upon this design to develop a robot that can not only jump on the water, but that could also swim and perform other complex tasks. A future strider-bot might be used in swarms for environmental monitoring on rivers or oceans, for search and rescue in disaster areas, or even military surveillance

This isn’t the first robot to mimic the water strider’s movements.

The first robot that was able to jump on water was built in 2012 by engineers at Harbin Institute of Technology in China. However, unlike the new tiny strider-bot, the older robot is six inches long and about 1,000 times as heavy. The older jumping robot also has a different design. It uses six paddle-like feet made out of water repellant nickel foam, which allows it to balance and float on the water, as well as hop 14 centimeters high and 14 inches forward

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have already made a small robot that can walk on water. And three years ago, scientists at the University of Waterloo designed a robot that could leap 5.5 inches in the air and 14 inches forward from the water's surface. But previous robots weren’t quite as faithful to the water striders that they were modeled after; the Waterloo robot used wide paddles for its jumps and weighed about a thousand times more than a water strider. Today’s robo-insect is only seven times heavier (68 milligram) than a strider and replicates its long, thin legs

The results suggest an understanding of the hydrodynamic phenomena used by semi aquatic arthropods during water jumping and prescribe a method for reproducing these capabilities in artificial systems

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cameron tells pornography websites to block access by children or face closure->

An anonymous reader writes: David Cameron is to give pornography websites one last chance to produce an effective voluntary scheme for age-restricted controls on their sites or he will introduce legislation that could see them shut down.

At the election the then culture secretary, Sajid Javid, said the party would act to ensure under-18s were locked out of adult content and the Conservative election Facebook page in April promised legislation to achieve this.

It followed a Childline poll that found nearly one in 10 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting images.

In a consultation to be launched in the autumn, the government will seek views on how best to introduce measures to further restrict under-18s’ access to pornographic websites.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Gene Hackers Resurrect Ancient Virus, Create Powerful Gene Therapy Vector->

giulioprisco writes: Scientists have resurrected an ancient virus, and found that the virus is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina. This discovery could potentially be used to design gene therapies that are safer and more potent, and have a wider reach, than therapies currently available.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Littering (Score 1) 89 89

Depends on the routes you fly - I fly regularly Amsterdam-Uganda and then Uganda-Kenya-Amsterdam as the return trip. The outbound leg is always 100% full. The flight back from Kenya to Amsterdam has always been a 777, and has always had less than 50 passengers on board for the entire aircraft. Its not so much having empty seats next to you but rather being the only person in 4 or 5 entire rows.

Comment Re:Well, now we actually know several things (Score 3, Informative) 89 89

Auto pilot wouldn't have been able to detect the water level and who knows what it would have been trying to do with no power and a glide decent.

In that situation, with no power, the autopilot would have automatically disconnected, there is no way the aircraft would have been under autopilot control after the fuel ran out and the RAT (ram air turbine, the emergency power system) deployed.

Submission + - Germany won't prosecute NSA, but bloggers->

tmk writes: After countless evidence the on German top government officials German Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range has declined to investigate any wrongdoings of the secret services of allied nations like NSA or the British GCHQ. But after plans of the German secret service "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz" to gain some cyper spy capabilities like the NSA were revealed by the blog netzpolitik.org, Hange started an official investigation against the bloggers and their sources. The charge: treason.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Getting intense color without the use of toxic dyes->

Taco Cowboy writes: Some of the brightest and most colourful materials in nature – such as peacock feathers, butterfly wings and opals – get their colour not from pigments, but from their internal structure alone

Brightly-coloured, iridescent films, made from the same wood pulp that is used to make paper, could potentially substitute traditional toxic pigments in the textile and security industries. The films use the same principle as can be seen in some of the most vivid colours in nature, resulting in colours which do not fade, even after a century

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have recreated a similar structure in the lab, resulting in brightly-coloured films which could be used for textile or security applications

Cellulose is made up of long chains of sugar molecules, and is the most abundant biomass material in nature. It can be found in the cells of every plant and is the main compound that gives cell walls their strength

In plants such as Pollia condensata, striking iridescent and metallic colours are the result of cellulose fibres arranged in spiral stacks, which reflect light at specific wavelengths

The researchers used wood pulp, the same material that is used for producing paper, as their starting material. To make the films, the researchers extracted cellulose nanocrystals from the wood pulp. When suspended in water, the rod-like nanocrystals spontaneously assemble into nanostructured layers that selectively reflect light of a specific colour

The colour reflected depends on the dimensions of the layers. By varying humidity conditions during the film fabrication, the researchers were able to change the reflected colour and capture the different phases of the colour formation

“Nature is a great source of inspiration: we can use biocompatible, cheap and abundant materials for making materials that have applications in everyday life,” said Dr Silvia Vignolini from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research. “The materials that we produce can be used as substitutes for toxic dyes and colorants in fabric, security labelling and also cosmetics”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Undergraduates Discover Densest Ultracompact Dwarf Galaxies->

Applehu Akbar writes: This discovery, using imaging data from several large telescopes, identifies two new ultracompact dwarf galaxies (UCD), M59-UCD3 and M85-HCC1.

UCDs are small galaxies that have stellar densities of, in the case of M85-HCC1, up a million times higher than Earth's stellar neighborhood. That would mean stars averaging one twentieth of a light year apart. In such a place our own Oort cloud would contain other stars.

Furthermore, these galaxies are considerably older than our own and contain an abundance of heavy elements.

Link to Original Source

1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!