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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 67 declined, 20 accepted (87 total, 22.99% accepted)

+ - West Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse has Begun, Irreversible and Unstoppable Now->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Two new papers, of which one in Geophysical Research Letters and the other in Science come with rather conclusive evidence that the retreat of all West Antarctica glaciers is going faster than thought until now. The Guardian has an article on it. Eric Rignot, one of the NASA researchers who participated to the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, is quoted: "‘A large sector of the western Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat. It has passed the point of no return. This retreat will have major consequences for sea level rise worldwide.’". Ian Joughin, principal author of the Science paper, is rather pessimistic about what is happening here: "‘The thinning we are seeing is not just some temporary trend. It is really the beginning of a larger scale collapse that is likely to play out over a two to 10-century range.’"

A very graphical and short simulation film on youtube, titled "Runaway Glaciers in West Antartica", explains what is going on.

The investigated glaciers play a major role in pinning the much larger and much thicker West Antarctic ice shelf down to where it is now. If this ice shelf melts, we'll be in deeper trouble. For this to happen, the already-cited Joughin put the most likely timeframe at between 200 and 500 years, according to the Guardian."

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+ - Dutch Railways set to facilitate suicide, Re-use of Old Locomotives->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "The Dutch Railways ( NS ), national & state railway provider of a country already (ill-)famed for its liberal-mindedness, have come up with an audacious plan to facilitate suicide. The initiative, under the moniker "Terminal:Rail", will be signposted on all major stations, where a track #13 will be reserved for the new initiative. Railway spokesman Duisenbuik was quoted as saying: "Terminal:Rail will re-commission older locomotives, as those are heavier and sport more sharp-angled parts, which comes in handy under such circumstances"."
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+ - Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class-> 4

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Al Qaeda had already disavowedd the group, although it is not known whether this was due to....um.... "lack of terrorist professionality"."

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+ - Heat Waves in Australia are Getting More Frequent - and Hotter->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "In a landmark report on bushfires and climate change, the Australian Climate Council concludes that heat waves in Australia, as driven by climate change, are becoming more frequent — and that they get hotter. "It is crucial that communities, emergency services, health services and other authorities prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme fire conditions.", says the Council in the report. Sarah Perkins, one of the report's co-authors, was interviewed by The Guardian Australia. "“While we can’t blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint. This is another link in the chain.” Perkins said her latest work had analysed heatwave trends up to 2013. She said the trend “just gets worse – it’s a bit scary really”." Already back in 2009, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization signaled that a Southeast Australian heatwave was the hottest in 100 years."
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+ - Increasing Number of Books Banned in the USA->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.

What do all these titles have in common with each other ? Exactly, they are banned somewhere, on some school, in the USA. . Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids' Right to Read ( by the National Coalition Against Censorship ) investigated three times the average number of incidents, adding to an overall rise in cases for the entire year, according to KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor. To date, KRRP has confronted 49 incidents in 29 states this year, a 53% increase in activity from 2012. During the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year.

"It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," O'Connor said. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block."

The NCAC also offers a Book Censorship Toolkit on its website. If such a toolkit is needed at all, does this indicate that intellectual freedom and free speech are ( slowly ) eroding in the USA ?"

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+ - Hilarious: MSDN pages vor Visual J++ are STILL Online-> 1

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "But of course: Visual J++! And of course: "When you have finished modifying and debugging your application, you can http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa265470(v=vs.60).aspx it to into an .exe or .cab file and deploy it to the Web." [ literal text, the link appears exactly as it appears on the MSDN site ] How could we ever forget this ? And how can this still be online ?"
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+ - Snowden Document Proves that Dutch Secret Service AIVD Hacks Internet Forums->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "In the ever-longer wake of the NSA scandal, much-respected Dutch newspaper NRC today reveals, in English, as mandated by the gravity of the occasion, that the Dutch secret service, the AIVD, hacks internet forums. And yes, that is gross misconduct against Dutch law. The service, whose headquarters are in Zoetermeer, did not yet comment upon the divulgation of the document from Edward Snowden's collection. Incensed Dutch parliamentaries are calling for an enquiry."
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+ - Julian Assange "Unlikely to be Prosecuted in US", according to Washington Post-> 1

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials. Read the rest of the article in today's online edition of the WP."
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+ - New Alternative to WiFi has a Range of Nearly a Mile->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.

It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a light bulb or your car).

The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter."

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+ - After Lavabit, Groklaw is Going Down->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Pamela Jones tells us Groklaw is going down. Forever."The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.
There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum. ( ... ) I can't continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. ( ... ) So this is the last Groklaw article. I won't turn on comments.""

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+ - NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times per Year, Audit Finds->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Here is a full executive summary of a classified internal NSA report on breaches of NSA privacy rules and legal restrictions.The report covers the period from January through March 2012 and includes comparative data for the full preceding year. Its author is director of oversight and compliance for the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, but the scope of the report is narrower. Incidents are counted only if they took place within “NSA-Washington,” a term encompassing the Ft. Meade headquarters and nearby facilities. The NSA declined to provide comparable figures for its operations as a whole. A senior intelligence official said only that if all offices and directorates were included, the number of violations would “not double.” A main article in today's Washington Post covers the scoop. US District Judge Reggie B. Walton, leader of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and interviewed in a related article, says " ( ... ) the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes ( ... ) ""
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+ - Blackberry Probably for Sale->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Today, Blackberry ( fomerly Research In Motion or RIM ) announced, in corporate-speak, basically that the company is for sale. In 5 years time, Blackberry stock market capitalisation plunged from $ 84 billion to less than $ 5 billion. The fact that Blackberry is basically going up for sale is further supported by unconfirmed rumours that Prem Watsa, who is on majority stock holder Fairfax Financial's board of directors, is stepping down from the Blackberry board."
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+ - First-ever Public Tasting of Lab-Grown Cultured Beef burger->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Today, at 14h Western European Time, Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University ( the Netherlands ) will present a world first: he will cook and serve a burger made from Cultured Beef in front of an invited audience in London. The event will include a brief explanation of the science behind the burger. You can witch the event live, online. The project's fact sheet is to be found here."
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+ - Creator of xkcd Reveals Secret Backstory of His Epic 3,099-Panel "Time" Comic->

Submitted by vikingpower
vikingpower (768921) writes "Randall Munroe, the comic author best known as the author of the xkcd webcomic, reveals the secret backstory of his epic, 3099-panel "Time" comic in an interesting interview with Wired.
The comic can be seen as an animation on youtube. There is also a complete click-through version available on geekwagon, of this comic that inspired a dedicated wiki and has its own glossary."

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