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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 45 declined, 9 accepted (54 total, 16.67% accepted)

+ - Toyota Paying $1.2 Billion Penalty for Safety Issues

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "Remember the safety issue with Toyota vehicles causing them to accelerate uncontrollably while not allowing the drivers to turn them off? The one caused by killer firmware? Seems they have now been dinged for $1.2 billion for lying about it. From this article on the CBC:

Under the agreement, announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the company will admit that it misled U.S. consumers by making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles. As a result, Toyota will pay a $1.2-billion financial penalty under a "deferred prosecution agreement."

The article also said, "the payments are unlikely to hurt Toyota's finances much." It seems even if the government has decided to punish Toyota, the consumer hasn't."

+ - Graphine Condom Proposed By Bill Gates

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "Well it's not exactly carbon fibre, and might not be bullet proof, but scientists at the National Graphene Institute in Manchester are working on blocking another kind of shot. According to the BBC, "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded scientists $100,000 (£60,000) to create stronger, thinner condoms from the new 'wonder material'." Perhaps they might even provide an enhancement so that you can broadcast some 'getting in the mood' music at the same time?"

+ - Putin Beats Chuck Norris

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "In a true news for nerds flash, Slashdot's favorite ass kicker Chuck Norris has just been eclipsed by Vladimir Putin in the realm of Taekwondo. It seems our man Vlad has just been granted a 9th degree black belt, one better than yesterday's news Chuck. The king is dead, long live the king. Now to start rewriting all those old Norris jokes. Let's see, Chuck Norris^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HVladimir Putin is the only person that can punch a cyclops between the eye."

+ - Elementary School Bans Students From Touching Each Other->

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "From the 'Think Of The Children' Department: OK, so this isn't a tech article. But it is about something that is so messed up I just had to post it. A school in British Columbia (the province that now even California can call flakey) has just banned elementary school students from touching each other during recess. You know, one of those times for play and more importantly learning how to socialize (which itself includes touching). CTV News reports: "A ban on touching during recess at a B.C. elementary school has shocked parents, who call the new no-touch policy "ridiculous." For most kids, recess is a chance to run around and goof-off with their friends, but a new ban on touching at a school in Aldergrove could put a damper on playtime. School administrators at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in B.C. have banned kindergarten students from touching each other during recess.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Bell Canada Will Begin Tracking All Customer Online Activity

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "A report in the Financial Post says: "A move by BCE Inc. to track its cellular customers’ every move and use that information for marketing purposes has prompted public complaints along with an investigation by Canada’s privacy regulator. ... BCE plans to change its privacy policy on Nov. 16 and begin using account and network usage information to serve up personalized advertising it says will be more relevant to users. ... BCE’s policy states it will collect network usage information including: web pages users visit from their mobile devices or home Internet, search terms used, location, app usage, television viewing and calling patterns." BCE == Bell Canada Enterprises. Granted Google and Facebook do this already, but you have a choice to use them or not. With limited competition in the mobility market, when your service provider gets in on the act, it gets increasingly hard for people to opt out of corporate bother's ever watchful eye. Is VPN (or similar mechanism) for all mobile users the answer? Or do we just have to learn to eat whatever they feed us?"

+ - CDN Gov Security Concerns - Egypt Accelero Barred from Buying CDN Telco Division->

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that:

Manitoba Telecom Services says the federal government has rejected a deal for it to sell its business unit Allstream to Egyptian investment group Accelero Capital Holdings due to "unspecified national security concerns." ...

The Winnipeg company said late Monday it is "extremely surprised and disappointed" by the decision to not approve the deal, which was announced last May. At the time, the company valued the sale at $520 million.

The company said it and Accelero, which is owned by Egyptian telecom magnate Naguib Sawiris, have offered to "take whatever actions are necessary" to address Industry Canada's concerns, but have been rejected.

Sawiris is an original investor in small wireless company Wind Mobile, which operates in Canada. ..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Gore Site Operator Arrested for Posting Video of Murder->

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "

The owner and operator of a well-known “real gore” website is charged with corrupting morals for posting a video allegedly depicting the murder of student Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta.

Magnotta, 30, is currently in custody charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 33-year-old Chinese international student, who was killed in Montreal in May 2012. The victim’s severed limbs were then mailed to political parties and elementary schools, and his torso found inside a discarded suitcase.

A news interview with the detective in charge of the case, airing on CTV as I type this, says he believes the web site hosts a lot of racist content and unimaginable violence. You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'), but there will likely be some arguments in this vein. The charge against the operator is quite rare and no-one so far remembers it ever being used before."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot - Node.js vs JEE/C/C++/.NET in the Enterprise 1

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "I'm working at a small to medium sized company that creates software for mobile devices, but came from a 'large enterprise' world before. I see node.js being used increasingly in smaller companies (including ours) or in web/mobile related software. Meanwhile we see languages like Java/JEE, C/C++, and .NET continue to be used for medium to large enterprise corporate software. Compared to the status quo in the enterprise (JEE/C/C++/.NET ... and yes, maybe even COBOL) maybe Slashdotters can chime in on how they see Node.js in this role. I'm thinking of things like complexity of business logic (dependencies, workflows, linear processes, etc), transaction support (for processes in general and database support), messaging services, etc. etc. etc. Also what is the state of Node.js in terms of paradigms like application containers, where much of the 'plumbing' is already set up for your (one of the main benefits of JEE application containers). But there is also the question of maintainability, deployment, and ongoing operations. What say you, Slashdot?"

+ - Electrolyzer Discovery Could Boost Use of Fuel Cells

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "(Despite the misleading headline in the article) Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada have discovered how to make highly efficient electrolyzers using common metals instead of rare earth metals. I think the key quote from the article is this:

Electrolyzers depend on rare, difficult-to-work-with and sometimes toxic metals, but the method developed by Chris Berlinguette and Simon Trudel uses metals as common as rust. It delivers results comparable to current techniques but costs about 1,000 times less.

This seems like it could make the use of fuel cells common place with an economical fuel source. If this pans out, what other hurdles might need addressing to get a fuel cell into every home?"


+ - Island's Historic Hotsprings Dry Up After Earthquake

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "The National Post newspaper in Canada reports: "Days after the remote B.C. archipelago of Haida Gwaii emerged virtually unscathed from Canada’s second-strongest earthquake, locals discovered that the shifting earth had mysteriously switched off a centuries-old hot spring considered sacred by the Haida. ... A Parks Canada inspection party set out to investigate and stepped ashore to find that the island’s three main hot spring pools, which once bubbled with water as warm as 77 Celsius, were bone dry. “Not even a small puddle,” said Mr. Gladstone. Surrounding rocks, once warm to the touch, were cold." The earthquake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale."

+ - Toronto City Council Bans Plastic Bags

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "A CBC radio news item just in reports that at the end of council debate today, the council rather than passing a resolution to discontinue the current 5 cent tax per plastic bag imposed on shoppers a couple of years ago, instead the council imposed a complete ban on plastic bags. The mayor had initiated the debate in order to have the tax rescinded. However, at the end of the day, the council of the city of 2.5 million people voted for a complete ban on plastic bags from stores. It was close, 24 to 20 voting in favour of the ban. It comes into effect January 1rst, 2013. Along with an earlier rebuff to his effort to add subways to a system that sorely needs them (they voted for surface transport), this latest push back from city council might make Mayor Ford reconsider what he wishes for. The mayor is politically right wing, the majority of councillors are on the left. The metro area has 5.5 million people but the ban applies only to the city itself. If this carries through, we will see a strangely retro look in supermarkets and stores next year, baggers with paper bags. What's next, government imposed bell bottoms?"

+ - Text Messages Suspected of Leading to Accident Death Released

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "From TFA: "A series of heartwrenching text messages is being used by the boyfriend of a car accident victim to warn people to pay attention when driving. Mathieu Fortin has created a Facebook page (fr-ca) to get the word out in memory of Emy Brochu, who died Jan. 18 when her car slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer truck as it merged with traffic near Victoriaville, Que...." Hopefully getting the word out will help... hopefully. Too bad humans aren't as well programmed for pro-action as we are for re-action."

+ - Ohio Quakes Caused By Fracking Waste H2O

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "A series of small earthquakes in Ohio (largest Saturday Dec 31, 2011, Magnitude 4.0) may have been caused by briny fracking waste water being injected into the ground close to a fault line. The waste water comes from one of the processes used in fracking natural gas. The company involved agreed to stop pumping the waste water in that location (but the activity is still ongoing elsewhere, further from the fault)."

+ - No Security At Russian Rocket Plant 3

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "Reuters reports that there is little or no security at one of the main factories in Russia responsible for military and Soyuz rocket manufacture. Blogger Lana Sator was able to walk right into the empty (off hours) facility through huge gaps in the fences that no-one bothered to repair, and there was no security to stop them aside from some dogs that didn't bother them either. In fact Lana even has one picture of herself posing next to an apparently non-functional security camera, another of her sitting on what looks like to be possibly a partially assembled rocket motor (someone who knows better can fill us in), and has about 100 photos of the escapade all told on her blog about this (it's in Russian... which I don't speak... any translators out there?). Russian officials are said to be deeply concerned. I wonder if this has any bearing on why Russian rockets haven't been making it into space successfully, or whether it and the launch failures are all part of some general industrial malaise that is taking place."

+ - Mythbusters Shoot Up Someone's Home With Cannon...

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes "The Mythbusters ran into some "issues" while using the trusty cannon they built a while ago on another mythbusting event at the bomb range yesterday (Dec 6, 2011). Seems they were firing at a bunch of drums full of water parked in front of a concrete wall. Trouble was that they got the powder charge and elevation a little high on both counts and the cannon ball missed the water, punched through a cinderblock wall, sailed on over the berms for 700 yards, bounced on the ground, punched through the front door of someone's house (pictures), up the stairs, through an occupied bedroom (they only woke up because of the plaster dust) and through the back wall on the second floor, across a six lane road, and took out a minivan (well broke through the passenger window and demolished its dashboard). Maybe they need a little more room for that thing, or at least somewhere that doesn't have housing developments on the other side of the berm... or at least knock a little less forcefully next time."

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes