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Comment eMailed once, never called - the way it should be! (Score 1) 232

My manager has my personal email address (I have hers). She has used it once: on the final day of a holiday last year she emailed to tell me that the office was shut to non-essential staff due to a problem with the water supply. That's the way it should be! She also has my mobile phone number, but she's never called it.

When and where are you hiring? ;-)

United States

White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care 1145

Earlier this year we discussed a petition on the White House's 'We The People' site asking the administration to adopt the metric system as the standard system of measurement in the U.S. Today, the administration issued a disappointing response. Simply put: they're not going to do anything about it. They frame their response as a matter of preserving a citizen's choice to adopt whatever measurement system he wants. Quoting Patrick D. Gallagher of the National Institute of Standards and Technology: "... contrary to what many people may think, the U.S. uses the metric system now to define all basic units used in commerce and trade. At the same time, if the metric system and U.S. customary system are languages of measurement, then the United States is truly a bilingual nation. ... Ultimately, the use of metric in this country is a choice and we would encourage Americans to continue to make the best choice for themselves and for the purpose at hand and to continue to learn how to move seamlessly between both systems. In our voluntary system, it is the consumers who have the power to make this choice. So if you like, "speak" metric at home by setting your digital scales to kilograms and your thermometers to Celsius. Cook in metric with liters and grams and set your GPS to kilometers. ... So choose to live your life in metric if you want, and thank you for signing on."
Medicine

Psychiatrists Cast Doubt On Biomedical Model of Mental Illness 329

jones_supa writes "British Psychological Society's division of clinical psychology (DCP) will on Monday issue a statement declaring that, given the lack of evidence, it is time for a 'paradigm shift' in how the issues of mental health are understood. According to their claim, there is no scientific evidence that psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are valid or useful. The statement effectively casts doubt on psychiatry's predominantly biomedical model of mental distress – the idea that people are suffering from illnesses that are treatable by doctors using drugs. The DCP said its decision to speak out 'reflects fundamental concerns about the development, personal impact and core assumptions of the (diagnosis) systems', used by psychiatry. The provocative statement by the DCP has been timed to come out shortly before the release of DSM-5, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatry Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The manual has been attacked for expanding the range of mental health issues that are classified as disorders."
Portables

Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook 181

Ars Technica reviewer Lee Hutchinson says that Dell's Ubuntu-loaded 13" Ultrabook (the product of "Project Sputnik") is "functional," "polished," and (for a Linux laptop) remarkably unremarkable. "It just works," he says. Hutchinson points out that this is a sadly low bar, but nonetheless gives Dell great credit for surpassing it. He finds the Ultrabook's keyboard to be spongy, but has praise for most elements of the hardware itself, right down to (not everyone's favorite) the glossy screen.

Comment Re:Why did Facebook limit distribution of their ap (Score 1) 124

For the same reason that European rules would plant potatoes in a "guarded garden for the king" so neighbors would want them too: ;-)
There's no better way than artificial scarcity to ensure accelerated adoption.

Plus, replacing the Home screen and interacting with the system at a lower level than probably e.g. Apple on iOS would allow, given the wide variety of Android versions (and hacks) out there that might be incompatible in unforeseen ways, Zuck probably does not want his company to go down in history as the one that (at least temporarily for Joe Avg. Users) inadvertently bricked a hundred million phones or so.

Comment Re:remove phone-home crap - Then how would it work (Score 1) 124

when he manages to remove every trace of phone-home crap in there, then it's maybe news worth mentioning

Then how would it work?

As a "leech-only client to Facebook" for the few who do actually care about their own privacy, but are nosy enough to want to read up on everybody else's every move (from the phones of all those to whom it couldn't matter less as they use an unpatched very verbose version).

United States

US Gov't Blocks Sales To Russian Supercomputer Maker 116

Nerval's Lobster writes "T-Platforms, which manufactured the fastest supercomputer in Russia (and twenty-sixth fastest in the world), has been placed on the IT equivalent of the no-fly list. In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security added T-Platforms' businesses in Germany, Russia and Taiwan to the 'Entity List,' which includes those believed to be acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. U.S. IT companies are essentially banned from doing business with T-Platforms, especially with regards to HPC hardware such as microprocessors, which could be used for what the government views as illegal purposes. The rule, discovered by HPCWire, was published in March. According to the rule, Commerce's End-User Review Committee (ERC) believes that T-Platforms may be assisting the Russian government and military conduct nuclear research — which, given historical tensions between the two countries, apparently falls outside the bounds of permitted use. An email address that T-Platforms listed for its German office bounced, and Slashdot was unable to reach executives at its Russian headquarters for comment."
Transportation

Speeding Ticket Robots — Laws As Algorithms 400

An anonymous reader writes "As the age of autonomous cars and drone surveillance draws nearer, it's reasonable to expect government to increasingly automate enforcement of traffic laws. We already deal with red light cameras, speed limit cameras, and special lane cameras. But they aren't widespread, and there are a host of problems with them. Now, Ars reports on a group of academics who are attempting to solve the problem of converting simple laws to machine-readable code. They found that when the human filter was removed from the system, results became unreasonable very quickly. For example, if you aren't shy about going 5 mph over the limit, you'll likely break the law dozens of times during an hour of city driving. On the freeway, you might break it continuously for an hour. But it's highly unlikely you'd get more than one ticket for either transgression. Not so with computers (PDF): 'An automated system, however, could maintain a continuous flow of samples based on driving behavior and thus issue tickets accordingly. This level of resolution is not possible in manual law enforcement. In our experiment, the programmers were faced with the choice of how to treat many continuous samples all showing speeding behavior. Should each instance of speeding (e.g. a single sample) be treated as a separate offense, or should all consecutive speeding samples be treated as a single offense? Should the duration of time exceeding the speed limit be considered in the severity of the offense?' One of the academics said, 'When you're talking about automated enforcement, all of the enforcement has to be put in before implementation of the law—you have to be able to predict different circumstances.'"
Science

Increased Carbon Emissions Creating Giant Crabs 203

An anonymous reader writes "A lot of things in America are supersized: our portions, our drinks and now, apparently, our crabs. New research reveals that crabs can grow much faster and larger when water is saturated with carbon.This means that as greenhouse gas emissions grow, so will these crustaceans."
IT

Raspberry Pi Goes On Sale In US, Sells Out 75

hypnosec writes "Easter has brought some good news for Raspberry Pi fans in the US as the $25 Model A of the credit card sized computer is now available in the United States. Texas based Allied Electronics is the first local retailer selling the Raspberry Pi in the U.S. and has been selling the Pi through its online store. (There were companies selling the Raspberry Pi over eBay to U.S. users for a higher price tag earlier.) The Model A has sold out completely and as of this writing there is zero availability."
Transportation

Ferrari Unveils World's Fastest (and Most Expensive) Hybrid 222

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Fred Meier reports that Ferrari has unveiled its fastest car ever, a nearly 1000 hp. gas-electric hybrid dubbed LaFerrari that does 0-62 mph in less than 3 seconds, 0-124 in less than 7 seconds, 0-186 mph in 15 seconds. "We chose to call this model LaFerrari," says Ferrari's President, Luca di Montezemolo, "because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. ...Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range." LaFerrari is the company's first hybrid and has a system that incorporates technology developed for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One race car's KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) setup. In LaFerrari, the hybrid (HY-KERS) version uses a 6.26-liter, non-turbo, V-12 gas engine rated at 800 hp coupled with a 163 hp. electric motor for a combined rating of 963 hp. A second, separate electric motor drives the power accessories."
Input Devices

Bringing Neurofeedback Gaming To the Masses 37

New submitter captioning writes "The Los Angeles Times reports on Throw Trucks With Your Mind, a multiplayer first-person 'gunless shooter' that uses an inexpensive, wireless EEG (electroencephalograph) headset to measure players' brainwaves and move virtual objects on screen. Depending on the strength of players' beta waves (emitted while concentrating), players toss small items like crates or catapult objects like trucks. Players can also draw things toward them by relaxing (and emitting alpha waves). Greater relaxation results in more power as well, so players learn quickly to be careful when attracting trucks. The success of Throw Trucks could lead to stronger demand for neural feedback games worldwide."

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