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Submission + - Abuses Hide in the Silence of Nondisparagement Agreements (nytimes.com)

cdreimer writes: According to a report in The New York Times, "nondisparagement agreements are increasingly included in employment contracts and legal settlements" to hide abuses that would otherwise be made public: "Last October, AngelList, a company that helps tech start-ups raise money and hire employees, held an office retreat. In the Hollywood Hills, far from Silicon Valley, the firm’s mostly male staff mingled poolside with bikini-clad women who had been invited to the event. Before the afternoon was over, Babak Nivi, a founder and board member at AngelList, said things that made Julie Ruvolo, a contractor, uncomfortable about working at the company. His comments included a suggestion that the women, who were not employees, warm up the pool by jumping in and rubbing their bodies together. The incident was described by two entrepreneurs who were told about it in the weeks after it occurred but were not authorized to speak about it. Precisely what occurred at the Hollywood Hills event is not publicly known. Several weeks after the party, each side signed a nondisparagement clause as part of a settlement, the two people said, and its details are not public. And neither Ms. Ruvolo nor AngelList is permitted to talk about what happened that day. As more harassment allegations come to light, employment lawyers say nondisparagement agreements have helped enable a culture of secrecy. In particular, the tech start-up world has been roiled by accounts of workplace sexual harassment, and nondisparagement clauses have played a significant role in keeping those accusations secret. Harassers move on and harass again. Women have no way of knowing their history. Nor do future employers or business partners."

Submission + - Unsinkable aluminum foam (nextbigfuture.com)

schwit1 writes: Aluminum foam is produced by adding foaming gas into liquid metal during re-melting of the aluminum material. The porous materials can be used for increase of structures stiffness and sound and heat insulating proprieties, said the SPbPU’s Media-center.

“High porosity level can be used to decrease the density of structural elements, e.g. sheets. The density can be decreased even lower than the density of water. Such structural elements will be unsinkable. And its usage in shipbuilding will ensure unsinkability even with the leak in the hull”, says Oleg Panchenko, deputy head of the Laboratory of Light Materials and Structures SPbPU, one of the inventors.

Submission + - Millennials only have a 5 to 6-second attention span for ads (cnbc.com)

schwit1 writes: If you're an advertiser who wants to market a product to millennials, you're going to have to make it quick.

A new study by comScore revealed online ads targeted toward millennials have to be around 5 to 6 seconds to be effective, a sharp contrast from the traditional 30-second commercial seen on TV.

"The length of time of an episode or a viewing period is really important and has got to be short, otherwise you just won't keep the attention of millennials," comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

The format of advertising may have to be radically changed to reach millennials, he suggested.

"You're going to have to make your case literally in a matter of seconds and make sure you grab somebody's attention, Fulgoni said.

Submission + - Verizon throttles video in a net-neutrality-compatible way

dgatwood writes: According to an Ars Technica article, Verizon recently began experimenting with throttling of video traffic. The remarkable part of this story is not that a wireless ISP would throttle video traffic, but rather that Verizon's own Go90 video platform is also affected by the throttling.

If even Verizon can get on board with throttling sans paid prioritization, why is Comcast so scared of the new laws that are about to go into effect banning it?

[From the cold feet dept.]

Submission + - Is Gen. Selva Right About the Dangers of Killer Robots Unleashed on Humanity? (cnn.com)

schwit1 writes: During testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Air Force General Paul Selva, the second-highest ranking officer in the U.S. military, expressed his concern about the use of automated weaponry that relies on artificial intelligence to determine when to discharge and what and whom to destroy.

When Senator Gary Peters, D-Mich., asked the general about a Department of Defense directive that keeps humans in control of autonomous weapons systems, Selva warned of "keeping the ethical rules of war in place lest we unleash on humanity a set of robots that we don't know how to control."

"I don't think it's reasonable for us to put robots in charge of whether or not we take a human life," Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing for his reappointment as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during which a wide range of topics were covered, including North Korea, Iran and defense budget issues.

He predicted that "there will be a raucous debate in the department about whether or not we take humans out of the decision to take lethal action," but added that he was "an advocate for keeping that restriction."

Selva said humans needed to remain in the decision making process "because we take our values to war." He pointed to the laws of war and the need to consider issues like proportional and discriminate action against an enemy, something he suggested could only be done by a human.

It sounds dire, and the warning from Gen. Selva, coupled with CNN's headline describing "out-of-control killer robots," has invited a certain amount of ridicule in the Twittersphere.

Comment For me... (Score 1) 248

... I got Office 2007 Pro. from an estate sale almost a couple months ago. Before it and in the past, I was still using the very old 2K SR3 and 2003 from others who didn't use them anymore. They worked fine for my basic needs (Word and Excel) with their 2007 converter packs and updates. I also use the updated LibreOffice when needed too which is rare.

I hate the online cloud stuff especially when my Internet isn't reliable. Frak the online clouds and services. I still prefer to do stuff offline and locally!

Submission + - Drupal developers still rebelling against Drupal leadership

cornholed writes: In an update to previous posts on Slashdot, prominent Drupal and PHP Developer Larry Garfield is still defending his reputation against allegations by Drupal leadership against sexual misconduct. As previously reported by a variety of news organizations, Larry was exiled from the Drupal project for adherence to the Gor sci-fi lifestyle.

In the latest round of allegations, Garfield was reportedly asked to resign because an autistic "woman who attended Drupal community events ... was allowed to contribute by him". While some have accused Dries Buytart and the Drupal Association of "Autism Shaming", the leader of the Drupal project claims "this person could be vulnerable and may have been subject to exploitation", hence raising the risk of legal damage to the Drupal project. Larry refutes these allegations, saying these claims are post-hoc and has shared police reports purporting his innocence.

There is still much debate in the Drupal community around why Larry was ejected from his leadership positions. While there's much speculation over Larry's ouster, there is one thing for certain: become a leader in the OSS community and a dossier on your public statements just might be made about you.

Submission + - Kickstarter to save NASA Mission Control (chron.com)

yzf750 writes: Mission Control at Johnson Space Center is a wreck and this Kickstarter project is trying to save it. The nearby city of Webster, TX has promised to match Kickstarter funding up to $400,000.00. The goal is to raise $250,000.00 to add to the $3.5 million already budgeted to restore Mission Control.

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