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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care 634

An anonymous reader writes "Coinciding with challenges in the rollout of the U.S. Affordable Care Act are challenges for NHS. The Independent reports, 'A National Health Service free at the point of use will soon be "unsustainable," if the political parties do not come forward with radical plans for change before the 2015 election, top health officials have warned. Stagnant health spending combined with ever rising costs and demand mean the NHS is facing "the most challenging period in its 65-year existence," the NHS Confederation said ... In a frank assessment of the dangers faced by the health service, senior officials at the confederation say that the two years following the next general election will be pivotal in deciding whether the NHS can continue to provide free health care for all patients. "Treasury funding for the service will be at best level in real terms," they write. "Given that demand continues to rise, drugs cost more, and NHS inflation is higher than general inflation, the NHS is facing a funding gap estimated at up to £30bn by 2020."' From The Guardian: 'Our rose-tinted view of the NHS has to change.' More at the Independent, Mirror, and Telegraph."

Submission + - Scientology's fraud conviction upheld in France (

schwit1 writes: France's top appeals court has upheld a fraud conviction and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology, for taking advantage of vulnerable followers.

France regards Scientology as a cult, not a religion, and had prosecuted individual Scientologists before, but the 2009 trial marked the first time the organisation as a whole had been convicted.

Comment Re:LOL (Score 1) 8

Oh, and that five hours is probably accounting for unexpected shit, because shit happens. They may only be down for half an hour.

I mean, how long does it take those NSA guys to install shit in Dice's infrastructure?

Or maybe it's just a couple of bad routers they can't find that's screwing it up somehow, who knows?

I hope it's some "bad routers" being replaced that have been causing Slashdot's:

        * rejection of all but one HTTPS connections, site-wide, per user session;
        * banning of connections from Tor, within 1-5 minutes, even from logged-in registered users;
        * continuing lack of support for Unicode in... what is it now... [checks clock] twenty-fucking-thirteen? Wow, man.

Otherwise, I hope it's some bad admins being replaced.

Of all of the sites I frequent, this is the only one with more than one of the above issues — most have none of them.

I think many of us would agree that we come here for the comments, in which case Dice Holdings, Inc. is making money off of what we write here. I'm considering to attempt rallying up a temporary boycott of Slashdot in order for some users' grievances to possibly be addressed. Someone in charge knows about these problems, knows that many of us want (at least one of) them fixed, and know that they personally don't give a shit as long as those Benjamins keep flowing their way.

Submission + - Former Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson nominated as next secretary of DHS (

schwit1 writes: Upside:
During a speech at Britain's Oxford University last year, Johnson said that the nation's war on terrorism should not be endless, and the focus should shift to law enforcement and intelligence operations. "War must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs," Johnson said. "In its 12th year, we must not accept the current conflict, and all that it entails, as the new normal."

He is another political insider who has no track record of successfully managing a large department let alone one as big, unpopular and dysfunctional as the DHS.

Submission + - Bushfires ravage communities in SE Australia (

justinpelensky writes: Residents faced scenes of devastation Friday after bushfires ravaged communities and destroyed "hundreds" of homes in southeastern Australia with dozens of blazes still burning out of control.

Printable Smart Labels Tell You When the Milk's Gone Bad 68

chicksdaddy writes "Security Ledger brings news that the Norwegian firm, ThinFilm has successfully tested a printable electronics component that it claims is the first, fully-functional 'smart' label. The company claims its disposable Smart Sensor Label can track the temperature of perishable goods and is a 'complete closed system built from printed and organic electronics.' Smart Sensor is being marketed to pharmaceutical makers as a way to keep temperature-sensitive drugs and to food wholesalers, which can track the temperature their product is kept at throughout the supply chain. When 'critical temperature thresholds are reached, the Smart Sensor label will change to indicate that using an integrated display driver. Such labels could make it possible to easily monitor the condition of large quantities of product, keeping it safe and effective and preventing perfectly usable products from being destroyed. But the possible applications of printable electronics are huge: they can be produced for a fraction of the cost of comparable technologies because they don't need to be assembled. And, because they're flexible and paper-like, they can be deployed pretty much anywhere you can stick a label — something ThinFilm's CEO says could provide an extensible platform for the much-ballyhooed 'Internet of Things.'"

Submission + - Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia ( 1

mspohr writes: Interesting interview with Edward Snowden in the NYTimes where he talks freely about his decision to start collecting documents. His experience in reporting problems and abuse convinced him he would be discredited. He also states he didn't take any of the documents to Russia and that the Chinese don't have them either. He turned them all over to the journalists. He also corrects last week's NYTimes story about the derogatory comment in his personnel file... it was due to him discovering and trying to report a vulnerability in the CIA's internal software. Interesting read.

Submission + - Ed Snowden replies to allegations regarding his activities (

An anonymous reader writes: After a series of interviews with Ed Snowden by the NY Times, they report on allegations made against Ed Snowden by the CIA and NSA agencies and past/present personnel. The article discusses how Snowden came to the decision to disclose the spying activities of the US and allies by determining that the public deserved to know, and that the activities were illegal. He rebuts allegations of releasing information to Chinese or Russian officials by stating he released all copies that he had to journalists in Hong Kong before fleeing to Russia. He also addresses the personnel file entry recently disclosed by the CIA and says it was the result of retribution for his disclosing weaknesses in the personnel filing system itself.

Submission + - Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze in More Passengers

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: AP reports that US airlines are taking out old, bulky seats in favor of so-called slimline models that take up less space from front to back, allowing for five or six more seats on each plane giving airlines two of their favorite things: More paying passengers, and a smaller fuel bill because the seats are slightly lighter. Whether the new seats are really closer together depends on how you measure. By the usual measure, called "pitch," the new ones are generally an inch closer together from front to back as measured at the armrest. Southwest has put on nearly its entire fleet are 31 inches apart, about an inch less than before allowing them to to add an extra row of six seats to each plane. International passengers are feeling crowded, too. As recently as 2010, most airlines buying Boeing's big 777 opted for nine seats across. Now it's 10 across on 70 percent of newly-built 777s, Boeing says. American's newest 777s are set up 10-across in coach, with slightly narrower seats than on its older 777s. Airlines say you won't notice. And the new seats are designed to minimize this problem. Airplane seats from 30 years ago looked like your grandmother's BarcaLounger, says Jami Counter, senior director at, which tracks airline seats and amenities. "All that foam cushion and padding probably didn't add all that much comfort. All that's been taken out," he said. "You haven't really lost all that much if the airline does it right."

Submission + - Eureka! An Unexpected Ray Of Hope For Americans And Scientific Literacy! ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Politico reports, "A finding in a study on the relationship between science literacy and political ideology surprised the Yale professor behind it: Tea party members know more science than non-tea partiers. Yale law professor Dan Kahan posted on his blog this week that he analyzed the responses of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for another study and found that, on average, people who leaned liberal were more science literate than those who leaned conservative. However, those who identified as part of the tea party movement were actually better versed in science than those who didn’t, Kahan found. The findings met the conventional threshold of statistical significance, the professor said. Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him. “I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued." — More at the Independent Journal Review.

Sleep Is the Ultimate Brainwasher 210

sciencehabit writes "Every night since humans first evolved, we have made what might be considered a baffling, dangerous mistake. Despite the once-prevalent threat of being eaten by predators, and the loss of valuable time for gathering food, accumulating wealth, or having sex, we go to sleep. Scientists have long speculated and argued about why we devote roughly a third of our lives to sleep, but with little concrete data to support any particular theory. Now, new evidence (abstract, full text paywalled) has refreshed a long-held hypothesis: During sleep, the brain cleans itself." During sleep, the Cerebrospinal fluid fills channels in the brain, collecting waste products. It uses a lot of energy, leading to the hypothesis that the brain can't clean up waste while also processing sensory input.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Carbyne Suited For Space Elevator Cable? (

LeadSongDog writes: Somebody check my numbers, this sounds too good to be true... A new ACS paper on the theoretical structure of carbyne gives its breaking strength at 10nN for a single atomic chain of carbon. A single C12 atom weighs (at 1g) 2e-25 N, so the chain could support 5e24 atoms at that acceleration. If the atoms repeat 17 times for every 2.2 nm along the chain, the self-supporting chain could be 6e14 m long. This seems to be way longer than the space elevator would need, so I'm inclined to think I've missed something basic. What am I overlooking?
The Almighty Buck

Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion 767

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Time Magazine reports that according to an estimate from Standard & Poor's, the government shutdown, which ended with a deal late Wednesday night after 16 days, took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. The breakdown includes about $3.1 billion in lost government services, $152 million per day in lost travel spending, $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, and $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers bore the economic brunt of the shutdown but small businesses also suffered from frozen government contracts and stalled business loans. With the deal only guaranteeing government funding through January 15, the situation could grow worse. 'This is a real corrosion on the economy,' says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. 'If we have to go down a similar road in the near future, the costs are going to continue to add up.'"

Submission + - Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software (

bricko writes: Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software

The latest indication of the haphazard way in which was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data. DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement. A note at the bottom of the website says: "DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013." The company explains the license for using the software on that website

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