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Submission + - Obama calls for $4B 'Computer Science for All' Program for K-12 schools (washingtonpost.com)

Etherwalk writes: President Obama plans to announce a four billion dollar computer science initiative for K-12 schools, where fewer than 15 percent of American high schools offer Advanced Placement (i.e. college 101) Computer Science courses. This is still very much open to negotiation with Congress, because it is part of a budget request from the President. So write your Congressman if you support it. The $4 billion would be doled out over a period of three years to any state that applies for the funds and has a well-designed plan to expand access to computer science courses, especially for girls and minorities.

Submission + - Error filled "No Fly list" to be used for gun confiscation. (theday.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "HARTFORD — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed Thursday to use an executive order to ban gun sales to those on federal no-fly watch lists.

The Democratic governor said that his order would make Connecticut the first state to do so and that state officials are working with the federal government to get access to the lists."
"State Police now perform background checks on those seeking permits to purchase guns in Connecticut. Pending federal approval, Malloy's order will require State Police to cross-reference the names of those seeking firearm permits with government watch lists.

Permits would be revoked for those who already have them but are found on watch lists.

Malloy said those denied a gun permit may be appeal to a firearm review board."

"State officials will determine the "appropriate lists" to be included, whether they are no-fly lists or "some kind of combination of those who should not have weapons," Malloy said."

"Now go google erroneous no fly list and read the horror stories....the no fly list has no due process."

Submission + - Volkswagen ordered to recall 500K vehicles over its own malicious programming (nytimes.com)

Etherwalk writes: The Obama Administration today ordered Volkswagen to recall 500,000 4-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009-15. They were programmed to turn on more thorough emissions control and generate cleaner readings when tested for emissions than they did when in ordinary operation. In effect, the software made everything operate normally when you looked at it, just like any good malware.

Submission + - Hundreds arrested for cheating

Etherwalk writes: Sources conflict, but it looks like as many as 300 people have been arrested for cheating in the Indian state of Bidar after the Hindustan Times published images of dozens of men climbing the walls of a test center to pass answers inside. 500-700+ students were expelled and police had been bribed to look the other way. Xinhau's version of the story omits any reference to police bribery, while The ABC's omits the fact that police fired guns into the air.

Submission + - China Criticizes US For Making Weapons Plans Stealable, Alleges Attacks. (reuters.com)

Etherwalk writes: Huang Chengqing, director of the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China, alleged that United States cyber-attacks on China have been as serious as those on the United States. In response to the recent hacks of United States military designs, he replied with an observation whose obviousness is worthy of Captain Hammer: "Even following the general principle of secret-keeping, it should not have been linked to the Internet."

Submission + - Diesel Powere Flight (economist.com)

MechEMark writes: "The Economist recently published an overview of intentions to improve helicopter fuel efficiency by switching from using turbines to Diesel engines for power. The increased weight of the Diesel engine would be offset on longer missions by the savings in fuel mass to be carried and in overall consumption. To quantify that, from the article, "Diamond Aircraft, an Austrian company, is making a diesel-powered light aircraft which it says uses just 17 litres of fuel an hour instead of the 35 litres that a similarly sized plane with a traditional piston engine would consume." Eurocopter expects to have a prototype Diesel 'copter out by 2012. See http://www.economist.com/daily/news/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11779859 for more."
United States

Submission + - Justice Dept to investigate Google-Yahoo Deal (washingtonpost.com)

Anonymous Oddity writes: "The Washington Post is reporting that the Justice Department's investigating the Yahoo-Google advertising deal. Obviously the deal controls a massive portion of the internet advertising market. US Antitrust law isn't entirely intuitive, but it does tend to frown on large deals between companies that operate on the same level if those deals can be interpreted as restrictive of trade."

Submission + - A Nerd's dream: A Good Book to Change the World (riverofinnocents.com)

An anonymous reader writes: If there's one lesson the best sci-fi and fantasy has given us over the years (jokes about no normal days or long-term plots on the Enterprise aside), it's the hopeful promise for the future. Obviously that's not restricted to SF/F, but it's a central theme among many of the giants of the field: from Gene Roddenberry's hope for a twenty-third century where no one will care if Picard is bald to Tolkien's Scouring of the Shire with its message for standing against evil and greed in our homes and in our world, many of us have taken those ideals to heart growing up. So what can one person do to help realize that dream of a world where the potential for the nobility of man flourishes as wonderfully and nobly it does in our favorite stories?

The evils we face in our world are not powerful enemies led by dark sorcerer-kings: they are murder, abuse, rape, ignorance, starvation, and more. Learning is the first step to combat them: it's not enough to learn, but it's the most important beginning, because we cannot fix these troubles if we do not know about them.

River of Innocents explores one of those evils in the same way Uncle Tom's Cabin did 150 years ago: slavery did not end in the American Civil War. With thousands of slaves in the US and millions around the world, how can we — we who would walk with Aragorn on the paths of the dead to save a world in our minds, we who would have stayed in Falme to free Egwene from the Seanchan, we who felt the danger and shining hope when John Sheridan declared independence — How can we live up to the hope that our heroes embody? How can we make a difference in the very real fight against slavery?

To some, the question will seem silly, because they consider Fantasy and Science Fiction to be escapist only. But for others, we know that our love of good SF/F may label us nerds or geeks for those who care about labels — but the much more important thing it does is encourage the hero in each of us to make a difference in the world.

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