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Submission + - Apple dismisses diversity proposal for board of directors as 'unduly burdensome' (

Mark Wilson writes: A call by shareholders to do more to increase diversity on Apple's board of directors has been soundly rejected by the company. The board is currently predominantly white and male, leading to calls for an "accelerated recruitment policy requiring Apple to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors".

But in a proxy statement, the board can be seen to have voted against the proposal, saying that it would be "unduly burdensome and not necessary because Apple has demonstrated to shareholders its commitment to inclusion and diversity". The result of the vote will come as something of a surprise as Tim Cook has admitted that the company has much to do to improve diversity.

Submission + - Diary of holocaust victim subject to copyright dispute (

Bruce66423 writes: The Diary of Ann Frank, a Jewish teenager killed by the Nazis whose writing survived in the Amsterdam building where she had hidden, is causing problems. It is 70 years since she died, but her father, who edited it for publication, died later. A French academic has made it available online. The profits from it go to charity

Submission + - Urban Raccoons Invade US Cities writes: Annie Correal reports at the NY Times that although New York City may be better known for its rat population, the city’s 311 help line received 1,581 inquiries about raccoon control in 2015 as of mid-December, up from 936 in all of 2014, according to official data. Raccoons are often thought of as forest-dwelling creatures, but raccoons can reach a very high density in cities. “They’re truly incredible in their adaptability,” says Samuel I. Zeveloff, author of “Raccoons, A Natural History." Raccoons are omnivorous and opportunistic, easily switching from eating grubs or bird eggs to devouring human and pet food, and from living in tree hollows to inhabiting attics and chimneys. This flexibility, combined with a relative lack of predators, can lead to rapid population growth. Flexible about where they den, willing to eat just about anything, raccoons transit seamlessly from forest to city. Brick walls prove as easy to climb as trees. Attics and chimneys turn out to be perfectly cozy places for sleeping and for rearing young. Compared to other wildlife species living near humans, such as coyotes and deer, raccoons are in a league of their own.

The problem is that is difficult to dispose of a raccoon. New York City law dictates that any captured raccoon must be killed in a humane fashion, because raccoons are known to carry rabies. But many trappers, as well as homeowners who do the job themselves, say they transport raccoons to parks or wilderness areas and set them free instead, because they don’t have the heart to do what is legally required. “Now, everybody is just releasing them," says one urban trapper. "They’re letting them go in any quiet place.” The problem, experts say, is that from there, the animals tend to wander into the nearest neighborhood. People see wooded areas as the animals’ natural habitat, where they belong. But these are city raccoons that tend to make a U-turn for civilization when dropped off in nature, says Stanley D. Gehrt who has studied urban raccoons for two decades. “When you take them and drop them off in a natural environment, they’re going to look for buildings,” says Gehrt. “It’s what they’re used to.”

Submission + - Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules in Wireless TV Case (

An anonymous reader writes: Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: When and how did Europe leapfrog the US for internet access?

rsanford writes: In the early and middle 90's I recall spending countless hours on IRC "Trout-slapping" people in #hottub and engaging in channel wars. The people from Europe were always complaining about how slow their internet was and there was no choice. This was odd to me, who at the time had 3 local ISPs to choose from, all offering the fastest modem connections at the time, while living in rural America 60 miles away from the nearest city with 1,000 or more people. Was that the reality back then? If so, what changed, and when?

Submission + - Microsoft launched Preview Version of Office for Android Tablets, available for (

Parneet Singh writes: Microsoft launched a beta of its free Office apps for Android tablets, bringing Word, PowerPoint and Excel to these midsize devices and announced that it would available for Android tablets in early 2015. The company has mentioned that the apps are not yet optimized for Lollipop, and that support for the latest version of the OS will be improved in future updates.
The preview program covered more than 3,000 variants of 500 separate Android devices, and native support for Intel processors is coming later in the year.

Submission + - Doctor Boards Atlanta Flight In HazMat Suit To Protest "Lying CDC" ( 1

schwit1 writes: "If they're not lying, they are grossly incompetent," said Dr. Gil Mobley, a microbiologist and emergency trauma physician from Springfield, Mo. as he checked in and cleared Atlanta airport security wearing a mask, goggles, gloves, boots and a hooded white jumpsuit emblazoned on the back with the words, "CDC is lying!" As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Mobley says the CDC is "sugar-coating" the risk of the virus spreading in the United States.

Submission + - Former Red Hat CTO now head of Google Cloud (

alphadogg writes: Brian Stevens, the former chief technology officer for Red Hat, is now managing Google Cloud. As Red Hat CTO, Stevens was instrumental in preparing the enterprise Linux software provider for the cloud, including its adoption of the OpenStack software for running cloud services. Stevens abruptly resigned from Red Hat last week.

Submission + - Ozone hole growth finally negative (

i kan reed writes: While the production and release of CFCs have been reduced for a couple decades now, the ozone hole had continued to grow through the 80s and 90s, and in the 2000s and 2010s it has been stable in size, with trends towards shrinking just beginning to show.

Some concerns do remain, as not all CFCs have shown reductions in atmospheric concentrations.

Submission + - Bioengineered Opiates Don't Require Poppy Plants

Jason Koebler writes: Opiate drugs are on their way to being fully synthesized. Drug makers will no longer have to rely on a plant, the same basic organism that's delivered narcotics to humans since the Neolithic, for the most basic raw materials of opiate painkillers.
Fields of flowering poppies are out, and bioengineered microorganisms are in, at least according to a new paper published in Nature Chemical Biology, which describes a new method of producing opiates with help from a genetically tweaked version of regular baker's yeast.

Submission + - How The Ancient Egyptians (Should Have) Built The Pyramids 2

KentuckyFC writes: The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is constructed from 2.4 million limestone blocks, most about 2.5 tonnes but some weighing in at up to 80 tonnes, mostly sourced from local limestone quarries. That raises a famous question. How did the ancient Egyptians move these huge blocks into place? There is no shortage of theories but now a team of physicists has come up with another that is remarkably simple--convert the square cross section of the blocks into dodecadrons making them easy to roll. The team has tested the idea on a 30 kg scaled block the shape of a square prism. They modified the square cross-section by strapping three wooden rods to each long face, creating a dodecahedral profile. Finally, they attached a rope to the top of the block and measured the force necessary to set it rolling. The team say a full-sized block could be modified with poles the size of ships masts and that a work crew of around 50 men could move a block with a mass of 2.5 tonnes at the speed of 0.5 metres per second. The result suggests that this kind of block modification is a serious contender for the method the Egyptians actually used to construct the pyramids, say the researchers.

Submission + - 12 Things Developers Wish the CIO Remembered

Esther Schindler writes: Every CIO wants to build a development team that’s hard-working, loyal, and devoted to creating quality software. The developers are willing! But they want CIOs to lead them and understand their needs. Andy Lester writes an open letter explaining what developers hope their CIOs keep in mind to motivate them and make them happy.

For instance:
  • We need to be protected from the rest of the organization.
  • We don’t ask for stuff just for the hell of it.
  • Be glad we spend so much time on automated tests.

Read his list, and see if there's anything you'd add, or with which you disagree. (Wait, this is slashdot. Of course you are going to disagree!)

Submission + - British and US take a dim view of BYOD for government workers (

rsmiller510 writes: We've seen private sector businesses embracing Bring Your Own Device in a big way and finding ways to balance protecting company data and employee privacy, but the US and British governments are reluctant to join their business counterparts and offer similar policies either out of timidity or security concerns. If all were more concerned with protecting from the data, to the apps and finally the device, it might change their point of view. The flaw in the government approach is to see the device as the key part of the security, when it should be the last part, not the first.

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