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Censorship

Dentist Who Used Copyright To Silence Her Patients Drops Out of Sight 260

According to a report at Ars Technica, a dentist named Stacy Makhnevich, who billed herself as "the Classical Singer Dentist of New York," threatened patients who wrote bad Yelp reviews with lawsuits, along the same lines as the online dental damage-control outlined in a different Ars story in 2011. This time, though, there's something even stranger than bargaining with patients to forgo criticism: when a patient defied that demand by describing his experience in negative terms on Yelp, Makhnevich followed up on the threat by seeking a takedown order based on copyright (putatively signed over to her for any criticism that patients might write, post-visit) — then disappeared entirely when lawyers for patient Robert Lee filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the validity of the agreement.
Transportation

787 Dreamliner On Fire Again 246

Antipater writes "It looks like there's more trouble afoot for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner: London's Heathrow Airport was shut down for over an hour as fire crews attended to a 'suspected fire' on a Dreamliner owned by Ethiopia Airlines. 'Aerial pictures of the scene on the U.K.'s Sky News showed the new plane — which was not carrying passengers at the time — had been sprayed by foam, but there were no signs of fire. The aircraft was not blocking either runway, but with all the airport's fire crews tackling the Boeing 787 incident, authorities were forced to suspend departures and arrivals because of safety rules.'"

Comment Indeed, something you check when you buy a house (Score 1) 375

Indeed. When you buy a house in the UK that's pre-1940s and in an urban area you check to see if there's historical bomb damage: often places got patched up quickly with available materials and 70 years later the substandard fixes can be decaying, cracks opening etc.

I often wonder if this is one of the reasons people in the USA seem so much more enthusiastic about going to war than Europeans - we can still see the evidence around us in the architecture and people are still alive who have frightening memories of how it affected them at home. Next time you're in London check the front of the Victoria and Albert museum, you can still see the shrapnel damage to the stone work.

19th century housing here is just standard for lots of people.It's waht you rent when you're a student. I prefer it to modern places: the latter are mainly wood built and thrown up quickly. I know the place I bought (late C19th, typical urban red bricker starter home) has been through two wars and hasn't moved in 130 years so it's likely to outlive me :-)

Comment yup our mates thought our 8 mile commute was crazy (Score 1) 375

Ha ha, well said both.

When I was a junior postdoc I was renting a house built in 1729 with bits from the previous build still showing, early 1500s sections of wall and doorways. And our friends thought we were insane coming in to college 8 miles each day. Me and my mates thought it beat living in the modern Victorian rubbish (houses built in 1880s) which were closer.

Comment Don't even start the geeks on Guy Fawkes (Score 1) 375

And don't even start the geeks on Guy Fawkes, him of the anonymous mask that they all wear made in Chinese state run factories, a Catholic royalist who was up for replacing one king who claimed his divine right with another just of a different religious flavour. Nothing in there about helping the poor/women's votes/ anarchism/open source data formats.

Submission + - Why are Japanese men refusing to leave their rooms?

fantomas writes: The BBC reports on the Japanese phenomenon of Hikikomori: young people, mainly men, who are holed up in rooms in their parents' houses, refusing to go out and engage with society. Why is this happening? and is it a global phenomenon or something purely due to Japanese culture? (we're all familiar with the standing slashdot joke of the geek in their mom's basement for example)
Communications

French Gov't Runs Vast Electronic Spying Operation of Its Own 214

Freshly Exhumed writes with this news (quoting The Guardian): "France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens' phone and internet activity, using similar methods to the U.S. National Security Agency's Prism programme exposed by Edward Snowden, Le Monde has reported. An investigation by the French daily [en français; Google translation] found that the DGSE, France's external intelligence agency, had spied on the French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity. The agency intercepted signals from computers and phones in France as well as between France and other countries, looking not so much at content but to create a map of 'who is talking to whom,' the paper said."
Businesses

Employers Switching From Payroll Checks To Prepaid Cards With Fees 1103

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times reports a growing number of American workers are being paid by prepaid payroll card. The cards often have fees attached to basic services like making a cash withdrawal or for inactivity. Some employees report that the employers pay by card by default, with paperwork barriers to opting out, and some report that their employers refuse to pay them by check or direct deposit. The issuing banks pitch the cards to employers as a cost-cutting payroll alternative, and sometimes even offer a financial reward for each employee they sign up."
Businesses

How I Got Fired From the Job I Invented 252

New submitter frost_knight writes "Travel blogger Turner Barr discovered that his entire brand, image, and web personality has been hijacked by a multi-billion dollar company for use in a marketing campaign. 'The video for their marketing campaign was particularly creepy for me, as even my age and personality didn’t escape the level of detail spent on creating this doppelganger (they used a paid actor of course). ... I’m no longer even the first thing that comes up when you Google my brand name. I’ve turned down work opportunities and put on hold any future travel job plans to deal with lawyers, long distance phone calls, corporate executives and other such nonsense — all along feeling misled and patronized. This situation has been extremely confusing for not only myself, but also for participants in company’s marketing campaign who message me thinking that I am am part of the company.'"

Comment Great until you fall out with the king (Score 4, Insightful) 297

Benevolent dictatorships are fine as long as you agree with the king/laird/CEO/ whatever.

Fall out with him and you'll lose your house, your job, and all those related to you might suffer. Rich people running islands is not a great long term plan. Ask the population of Eigg in Scotland, for example. All good until your nice rich person gets bored with his toy and neglects local services that people need, or sells it to a Bad Rich Person, etc.

I would have though US citizens, of all the places in the world, would have a historical perspective on what happens when uncaring kings run your country, and what the poor but honest citizens should do to resolve the lack of decision making power.

Very curious. Of course Ellison might be a lovely chap and improve the situation - it sounds like people do need improved services... but one man owning an island and having no accountability on his decision making power over people's homes and jobs, this makes me nervous... it's not like the people living here can change employers or move down the road if they are unhappy, it's an island. I'd be interested to hear his thoughts about the democratic processes, how the local people have the option to veto his decisions if they disagree, and so forth.

If he's really in it for the long term, wouldn't it make more sense to go for independence from the USA and ask the people to elect him as their President?

Oracle

Larry Ellison Rejuvenating Hawaii's Sixth-Largest Island (Which He Owns) 297

McGruber writes "In June of 2012, we discussed news that Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle, purchased the Hawaiian island Lanai for $300 million. Ellison now owns nearly everything on the island, including many of the candy-colored plantation-style homes and apartments, one of the two grocery stores, the two Four Seasons hotels and golf courses, the community center and pool, water company, movie theater, half the roads and some 88,000 acres of land. (2% of the island is owned by the government or by longtime Lanai families.) Now Ellison is attempting to win over the island's small, but wary, local population, one whose economic future is heavily dependent on his decisions. He and his team have met with experts in desalination and solar energy to change the way water and electricity are generated, collected, stored and delivered on the island. They are refurbishing residential housing intended for workers (Mr. Ellison's Lanai Resorts owns and manages 400 of the more than 1,500 housing units on the island). They've tackled infrastructure, such as lengthening airport runways and paving county roads. And to improve access to Lanai, Mr. Ellison bought Island Air earlier this year and is closing a deal to buy another airline."

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