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Submission + - Drupal Project Banishes Long-Time Contributor Over BDSM Claims (

techsoldaten writes: Larry Garfield, a long time contributor to the Drupal project, was banished from the community over his alleged involvement in BDSM communities. Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, asked Garfield to leave the project based on his beliefs about equality. The Drupal community has an established Code of Conduct Buytaert feels Garfield violated based on holding beliefs related to gender roles. Thought crime?

Comment Re: Why do you believe that? (Score 1) 456

I hate SMS as well, but realize that many people like it. Sure it has all the problems, but many (usually older, sometimes younger) like the idea of "give me this one number, and I can contact you from it" without needing an email, or some other type of ID. They WANT to contact you via your phone number. Sure they want it secure, via the internet, etc, but they still want your phone number first for that.

So any "universal" solution must support SMS, but I also think that it shouldn't require it, which therefore makes it a non-universal solution, as some people will not want to contact anybody they can't use "a phone number" for, for whatever reason, and others will exclusively use non-phones for it, separating the two groups. But it's still a better solution to have both. Skype I guess is a bit like this, but I don't know how their SMS support is.

Honestly, the "old" Google Hangouts that would mix your SMS and "computer" accounts together when contacting people was the closest thing to universal IMO. Shame more people didn't use it. Skype may be the next alternative due to user base, and "support" of phone numbers (as I said, not sure how this works).

Submission + - NASA has proposed building an artificial magnetosphere for Mars. (

Baron_Yam writes: Apparently it is no longer necessarily science fiction to consider terraforming the red planet in a human lifetime.

  NASA scientists have proposed putting a magnetic shield at the Mars L1 Lagrange Point, diverting sufficient solar wind that the Martian atmosphere would thicken and heat the planet to the point of melting the ice caps and causing what remains of Martian water to pool on the surface. While not enough of a change to allow walking around without a space suit, this would make human exploration of the planet a much easier task.

Comment Re:We could never trust government (Score 1) 460

In a properly functioning government, independent bodies are created to gather data for use by the public and politicians. Those bodies are overseen by bi-partisan groups with representatives from multiple parties, and their mandate is independence, transparency and impartiality.

I'd say you're missing one main part there: "bi-partisan groups" is itself one of your problems. In more functional democracies, they're called "all-party committees" because we're not two-party systems.

I agree with most of what you posted, but remember to focus on one of your other major problems, that being your two-party system.

As for those knocking the submitter, at least they were self-aware enough to realize that this may always have been a problem that they were for some reason (ie: their own political bias) ignoring before.

Submission + - Abrupt product termination consequences for Google?

managerialslime writes: I wonder how many good Google products never get adopted because IT executives (like me) are now too anxious about application abandonment?

When I was the CIO at a mid-size company, I rejected adoption of Google Voice, Google Wave, and Google Hangouts after seeing them abandon Google Desktop Search.

I reasoned that if Google could not give multi-year sunsetting like Microsoft, then they were not a partner I could rely on.

At what point will Google's advantage due to the flexibility of abrupt terminations be outweighed by resistance to adopting their products?


Submission + - Meet the "Other" Mark Zuckerberg (

mirandakatz writes: What's it like sharing a name with the most famous man in tech? For the "other" Mark Zuckerberg, a lawyer in Indiana, it has some perks—prime tables at restaurants, for example—but for the most part, it's a major hassle. People try to hack his Facebook six times a day; he's had his account deactivated because Facebook thought he was trying to impersonate the "real" Mark; and his law office is constantly besieged by people calling and hoping to talk to the Mark in Menlo Park. At Backchannel, Jessi Hempel sat down with the "other" MZ to find out how living with a case of constantly mistaken identity affects his life.

Comment Re:Some mental adjustment (Score 1) 598

Of course, that doesn't change the fact that forcing everyone to switch to UTC would be the most hare-brained idea in history of timekeeping.

Oh it's bad, but I think the 28-hour day is worse: The 28 Hour Day. But we're arguing over which pile of shit is worse, which just means we both agree they're horrible. Let's leave it at that.

Comment Re:i use tor (Score 1) 126

That would actually break other things. Things like the header that you suggest are already encrypted on any "https" website, and thus TOR doesn't know what that is, and can't manipulate it. So the only way for that to work would be to ban https on TOR, which would be stupid, which they wouldn't do.

Submission + - SPAM: Court rules Obama administration can't use private email accounts to bypass law

schwit1 writes: A federal court today ruled that government officials in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) cannot use private email accounts to evade public record laws.

Throughout the case, the government argued that “[d]ocuments on a nongovernmental email server are outside the possession or control of federal agencies, and thus beyond the scope of FOIA.”

Judge David Sentelle, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, disagreed with that reasoning and ordered the lower court to reconsider the case. “If a department head can deprive the citizens of their right to know what his department is up to by the simple expedient of maintaining his departmental emails on an account in another domain, that purpose is hardly served,” Sentelle wrote. “It would make as much sense to say that the department head could deprive requestors of hard-copy documents by leaving them in a file at his daughter’s house and then claiming that they are under her control,” he said.

This absurd rulling, which says that government officials have to follow the law, will surely be overturned. We can’t have these saints oppressed by things as evil as the law.

Submission + - HP 12c, Thirty-Five Years of The Calculator that Never Dies

dkatana writes: Two revolutionary computer products were born in 1981: the IBM PC, that brought computing to the masses, now a museum piece, and the HP 12c, a financial calculator that has been one of the most successful products of our generation.

The HP 12c was designed by a team led by Dennis Harms, a former Iowa farm boy, under orders of Bill Hewlett. Now, thirty-five years later, it is still selling in its original form and is used by over 100 million people worldwide.

Submission + - Has the 'impossible' EM drive being tested by NASA finally been explained? ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: The EM drive, the so-called “impossible” space drive that uses no propellant, has roiled the aerospace world for the past several years, ever since it was proposed by British aerospace engineer Robert Shawyer. In essence, the claim advanced by Shawyer and others is that if you bounced microwaves in a truncated cone, thrust would be produced out the open end. Most scientists have snorted at the idea, noting correctly that such a thing would violate physical laws. However, organizations as prestigious as NASA have replicated the same results, that prototypes of the EM drive produces thrust. How does one reconcile the experimental results with the apparent scientific impossibility? MIT Technology Review suggested a reason why.

Submission + - Sony bought license of Russian artist's video and blocked original on YouTube

An anonymous reader writes: Last year Mitch Martinez created high-resolution stock video footage, and then licenses it to Sony Music Entertainment. They used it as background for a music video on YouTube, and his original video on YouTube was hit with a copyright claim from Sony. Now Sony is on this way again: someone bought license for using Russian artist's video Real Love Story (not exclusive rights!), made clip for singer Pedro Lima and blocked original video and videos of people, who bought the same license that Sony did. Artist (author of the video) tried to talk to VEVO and Sony, but after 30 days they didn't answer. Now he tries to attract more people to the story.

Submission + - MIT team invents efficient shockwave-based process for desalination of water. (

An anonymous reader writes: As the availability of clean, potable water becomes an increasingly urgent issue in many parts of the world, researchers are searching for new ways to treat salty, brackish or contaminated water to make it usable. Now a team at MIT has come up with an innovative approach that, unlike most traditional desalination systems, does not separate ions or water molecules with filters, which can become clogged, or boiling, which consumes great amounts of energy.

Instead, the system uses an electrically driven shockwave within a stream of flowing water, which pushes salty water to one side of the flow and fresh water to the other, allowing easy separation of the two streams.

According to the researchers, this approach is a fundamentally new and different separation system. Unlike most other approaches to desalination or water purification, this one performs a “membraneless separation” of ions and particles.

Membranes in traditional desalination systems, such as those that use reverse osmosis or electrodialysis, are “selective barriers”.

They allow molecules of water to pass through, but block the larger sodium and chlorine atoms of salt. Compared to conventional electrodialysis, “This process looks similar, but it’s fundamentally different,”

In the new process, called shock electrodialysis, water flows through a porous material —in this case, made of tiny glass particles, called a frit — with membranes or electrodes sandwiching the porous material on each side. When an electric current flows through the system, the salty water divides into regions where the salt concentration is either depleted or enriched. When that current is increased to a certain point, it generates a shockwave between these two zones, sharply dividing the streams and allowing the fresh and salty regions to be separated by a simple physical barrier at the center of the flow. Read more..

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