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Submission + - Volkwasgen turns off e-mail after work-hours (bbc.co.uk)

wired_parrot writes: Responding to complaints from employees that email outside of working hours was disrupting their lives, Volkswagen has taken the step of shutting their email servers outside work-hours. Other companies have taken similar steps, with at least one taking the extraordinary step of banning internal e-mail altogether. Is this new awareness of the disruption work email brings on employee's personal life a trend?

Comment Re:Renewable or infinite? (Score 1) 835

I think you missed the point. The article is not arguing in favour of coal, oil or any other non-renewable energy source. He is pointing out that the "renewable" energy sources have their own sets of environmental issues that need to be addressed and shouldn't be ignored. The need for water in solar-thermal installations is a valid concern, when most solar plant installations are being planned in arid desert areas, for example. These concerns shouldn't be swept aside by environmentalists for the greater good of green energy, because if they are, the oil and coal industry would be just as happy to point them out, and the debate will be defined by oilmen instead.

Comment How has technology changed acting for you? (Score 3, Interesting) 368

TV and movie productions have become more technically elaborate over the years, evolving from what were essentially filmed theatrical productions, to elaborate and technically demanding productions that require a large industry of people to support it. In your view, how has technology changed the role and experience of acting since you started?

Comment Re:Test value? (Score 1) 198

How will they actually test the viability of 'intelligent traffic systems' with no traffic?

In fact, most of those mentioned systems are about the interaction of that technology WITH PEOPLE in an urban environment. Just an empty urban environment doesn't get you much?

The point of this is that it is a controlled environment, where systems can be tested under lab-like conditions before being released into the urban "wild". Test subjects could be easily recruited to drive around in an instructed manner to replicate any given traffic pattern. This would make it much easier to debug a system before it is tested under real-life urban conditions. And given that this is a lab environment, you can also test the effect of a catastrophic system failures without any safety concerns.

Comment Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (Score 1) 142

It's a bit more complicated than that.

What people are actually paying for when selling virtual information like photographs and novels are the intellectual property rights pertaining to the work. It is unclear what intellectual property rights a third party developer retains. In many cases the developer of the virtual world will retain the intellectual property right (depending on the licensing agreements in force in the game) and the third party developer is merely selling a "presence" in the game. Without the creative rights associated with it, I'd argue the virtual land would indeed be of little value.

And as to your analogies, in most cases people do pay tens of millions of dollars for paintings for the original, physical copy. Reproductions, even masterfully done ones, are only ever worth a fraction of the piece.

Submission + - Is It Cyber War? (slate.com)

JamKot writes: When could a cyber act lead to armed conflict? Would the general public support military action after a cyber attack? Slate has a poll asking users whether certain scenarios constitute an act of war. Some are landslides one way or the other, but "Nonfatal Nuclear Hacking" is essentially split.
Transportation

Submission + - Dutch Government to Tax Drivers Based on Car Use (inhabitat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Netherlands is testing a new car use tax system that will tax drivers based upon how much they drive rather than just taxing the vehicle itself. The trials utilize a little box outfitted with GPS, wireless internet, and a complex rating system that tracks a car’s environmental impact, its distance driven, its route, and what time it is driven as a fairer way to assess the impact of the vehicle and hopefully dissuade people from driving. The proposal will be introduced slowly as a replacement for the current car and gas tax, however it is most certainly controversial and will be a real test of how far environmentally savvy Dutch citizens will be willing to go to reduce the impact of the car.
Science

Submission + - Developing Smart Cars, Roads for a Greener Drive (miller-mccune.com)

__aaqpaq9254 writes: Cool technology...here's a quote: "That’s “static” eco-driving. Now, engineers at the University of California, Riverside, are working on “dynamic” eco-driving, in which drivers get real-time feedback and advice on how to improve their fuel efficiency and cut carbon dioxide emissions. Within five years, researchers say, computer screens on the dashboard will likely tell drivers when to slow down to anticipate a red light, what the optimum fuel-efficient speed is for the stretch of freeway they’re on and whether to change lanes to maintain a consistent average speed."
Patents

Submission + - What If Tim Berners-Lee Had Patented The Web? (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Last week Slashdot had the story that the web had turned 20 years old. Of course, patents also last 20 years, which has resulted in some asking what would have happened if Tim Berners-Lee had patented the web? Thankfully, he didn't (and wouldn't). But we'd be living in a very different (and probably less interesting) world if he had.
Security

Submission + - Apathy, law complications keep cybercrime hot (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "General public apathy and collaboration with the law enforcement community assure that cybercrimes of all sorts will continue to rise.
That was one of the conclusions from a Congressional hearing this week called "Hacked Off: Helping Law Enforcement Protect Private Financial Information." A big problem we are facing in the fight against financial crimes is that the criminal complaint has almost disappeared. Even when a police report is filed, it is often "so the bank will give you your money back. Case closed," said Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham."

The Internet

Submission + - 40GB of data that costs the same as a house (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: "PC Pro has an infographic that reveals the extortionate cost of roaming data. They compared the cost of data typically bundled with a fixed-line broadband package (40GB) costing £15, with the cost of buying that data on various mobile tariffs. Buying 40GB of data on a domestic mobile internet tariff from Orange would cost the same as an iMac; buying the same quantity of data on O2's non-Europe roaming tariff would cost £240,000 — or the same as a three-bedroom house."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Forty-five mile "WiFi" for the smartgrid (technologyreview.com)

holy_calamity writes: "San Diego startup On-Ramp Wireless has put together a proprietary protocol that sends data over 2.4GHz (like WiFi) but over distances of up to forty-five miles. Links using the technology are slow, 50bps at most, but could reduce the cost of smartgrid deployments. Connecting up home energy meters today requires using cell networks or unlicensed spectrum with much shorter reach."

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