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Submission + - Bill Gates Says He's Sorry About Control-Alt-Delete (qz.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: At the Bloomberg Global Business Forum today, Carlyle Group co-founder and CEO David Rubenstein asked Microsoft founder Bill Gates to account for one of the most baffling questions of the digital era: Why does it take three fingers to lock or log in to a PC, and why did Gates ever think that was a good idea? Grimacing slightly, Gates deflected responsibility for the crtl-alt-delete key command, saying, “clearly, the people involved should have put another key on to make that work.” Rubenstein pressed him: does he regret the decision? “You can’t go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk,” Gates said. But: “Sure. If I could make one small edit I would make that a single key operation.”

Submission + - A Unique Type Of Object In The Solar System (scienmag.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 1058

If the price for electricity storage for cars was instantly ZERO, there is still no way that anything close to the "predictions" (really breathless hyperbole meant to secure additional research grants and headlines) from this study could be true. My guess is that, just to move around the new machines, material, and retrofitting equipment necessary for such an abrupt transition to all electric vehicles would require 8 years of using ICE vehicles in the first place. What happens to gasoline pumps that need to be removed? What about all the inventory of car parts at thousands of retail outlets in the US alone? Just physically moving all that stuff to some landfills (likely using ICE dumptrucks and earth movers) in the desert would take a huge, dedicated fleet of vehicles. Consider the momentum of the ICE system in our world. There is scarcely anything in that system that could disappear in 8 years, let alone the whole kit and caboodle.

Submission + - Fake anti-neutrality comments flooding the FCC feedback site (theverge.com) 1

nobuddy writes: Clearly bot-generated comments in support of anti-Net Neutrality are flooding the FCC feedback page. People who's name and addresses are used report they have no idea how it got there.
Search feature disabled, last count prior to that was 140,000 and rising fast. Searching for key phrases in the identical posts tracked the input.

"The comments seem to be posted by different people, with their addresses attached. But people contacted by The Verge said they did not write the comments and have no idea where the posts came from.
'That doesn’t even sound like verbiage I would use,' says Nancy Colombo of Connecticut, whose name and address appeared alongside the comment.
'I have no idea where that came from,' says Lynn Vesely, whose Indiana address also appeared, and who was surprised to hear about the comment."

Comment Re:Memory Palace (Score 1) 190

I am the same way. As a teen, trying to get to sleep, I would sometimes try to imagine a swinging pendulum, but the visualization would fall apart after just a few swings. I have a terrible visualization ability, and actually do much better when I describe things in words than in pictures. As a mechanical engineer, this makes me very much an odd duck compared to my peers who, by and large, see and manipulate 3D objects in their brains all the time. You are not alone!

Comment Re:Rockets are too expensive (Score 1) 355

Nanotubes are not yet an engineering material in the sense needed for space elevators. They only allow space elevator tethers if you can have very long tubes, with aspect ratios like a million or billion to one. Right now, nanotubes used in experiments and a few limited production materials are microns or possibly millimeters long. Space elevators need meters or kilometers-long nanotubes to capture the exceptional strength of the molecule. As the length gets shorter, you're relying more on the matrix (material surrounding and binding the nanotubes) for strength, and there's no matrix material that gets close to the nanotube performance.

Comment Re:Liberals Can't Win Elections (Score 1) 858

I know it's unpopular, but the Electoral College is an important FEATURE of our representative democracy, and should not be thrown aside just because it looks like it may be used to make Trump the next POTUS. The Electoral College is a safety valve against popularity, foreign interests, and other manipulations of the electorate.

It may come to pass that, in this election, Trump wins the EC vote. If that's the case, and some people are upset about it, it may allow for state-by-state actions that could help tune that safety valve by revising how Electors are chosen, and what actions they can and cannot legally take.

Please don't apply your unhappiness with a particular candidate to a vital feature of the US system of government. The risks of getting such a safety system removed from the process are far outweighed (IMHO) by the potential 4 or 8 years of Trump.

Comment Re:Neutrino wind (Score 1) 164

But, if you assume it's a "wind", then the projected area that the flow sees on its way to the target, the more interaction you would have. Particles have discrete positions and are affected by dimensions. You can't have a massive, small cross-section object "shielding" your other object the same as a similarly massed, large cross-section object if the thing it's shielding from is particles.

Submission + - SPAM: UK judge calls for an "online court" without lawyers

mi writes: A senior judge has called for the establishment of an online court that does not have lawyers and can deal with claims of up to £25,000.

The proposal is the centrepiece of a package of reforms to the civil justice system, drawn up by Lord Justice Briggs, a Court of Appeal judge.

Just how exactly will this court ensure no one is, in fact, a trained professional on the Internet, where no one knows, who you really are, is not explained.

We discussed the idea last year. Apparently, it is still alive.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Getty Sued For $1 Billion For Selling Publicly Donated Photos

An anonymous reader writes: Online stock media library Getty Images is facing a $1 billion lawsuit from an American photographer for illegally selling copyright for thousands of photos. The Seattle-based company has been sued by documentary photographer Carol Highsmith for ‘gross misuse’, after it sold more than 18,000 of her photos despite having already donated them for public use. Highsmith’s photos which were sold via Getty Images had been available for free via the Library of Congress. Getty has now been accused of selling unauthorised licenses of the images, not crediting the author, and for also sending threatening warnings and fines to those who had used the pictures without paying for the falsely imposed copyright.

Submission + - US Government to Pay $2 Million for Automatic Hacking System (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: At this year's DEF CON security conference, DARPA has organized a CTF match of AI systems that will attempt to hack opposing systems and automatically patch and protect their own network. The competition follows classic infosec CTF (Capture The Flag) game rules, but because we're talking about AI, it requires half the time and ten times more security vulnerabilities to fix/protect.

Three DARPA-funded teams qualified for the final round, and four self-funded teams. Each team that reached the final will receive $750,000, and the winner will receive $2 million. DEF CON organizers have invited the winning team to participate in the official DEF CON CTF the following day, marking the first ever CTF match that pits human hackers against AI systems.

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