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Submission + - Man Gets 30 Days In Jail For Drone Crash That Knocked Woman Unconscious (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The operator of a drone that knocked a woman unconscious was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail, Seattle prosecutors said. The woman was attending a local parade when the drone crashed and struck her. Paul Skinner, a 38-year-old man from Washington state, was charged with reckless endangerment in connection to the 2015 incident, in which an 18-inch-by-18-inch drone collided into a building before falling into a crowd. The authorities said the 2-pound drone struck the 25-year-old in the head and gave her a concussion. Her boyfriend caught her before she fell to the ground. Another man suffered a minor bruise. The accident took place during during the city's Pride Parade. Skinner, who had turned himself in, plans to appeal the sentence. His attorney, Jeffrey Kradel, said the punishment was "too severe." His client remains free pending the appeal's outcome. A misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge—one that poses "substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person"—carries a penalty of up to a year in jail.

Submission + - Lessons from Canada's scientific resistance (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: Andrew Nikiforuk, a contributing editor of The Tyee and author of Slick Water, has a smart piece outlining what the United States science community can do to combat expected attacks from the Trump administration on federal funding for research projects that examine the environmental impacts of industries such as mining and oil drilling. Nikiforuk seeks lessons from the years when the Canadian government, led by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, systematically reduced the capacity of publicly funded federal science to monitor the impacts of air, water, and carbon pollution from the country’s aggressive resource industries—by cutting budgets and firing staff. Great read.

Submission + - Scientists Crack Why Eating Sounds Can Make People Angry (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Why some people become enraged by sounds such as eating or breathing has been explained by brain scan studies. The condition, misophonia, is far more than simply disliking noises such as nails being scraped down a blackboard. UK scientists have shown some people's brains become hardwired to produce an "excessive" emotional response. Olana developed the condition when she was eight years old. Her trigger sounds include breathing, eating and rustling noises. Scientists, including Olana, at multiple centres in the UK scanned the brains of 20 misophonic people and 22 people without the condition. They were played a range of noises while they were in the MRI machine, including: neutral sounds such as rain; generally unpleasant sounds such as screaming; people's trigger sounds. The results, published in the journal Current Biology, revealed the part of the brain that joins our senses with our emotions — the anterior insular cortex — was overly active in misophonia. And it was wired up and connected to other parts of the brain differently in those with misophonia. Dr Sukhbinder Kumar, from Newcastle University, told BBC News: "They are going into overdrive when they hear these sounds, but the activity was specific to the trigger sounds not the other two sounds. The reaction is anger mostly, it's not disgust, the dominating emotion is the anger — it looks like a normal response, but then it is going into overdrive." There are no treatments, but Olana has developed coping mechanisms such as using ear plugs. It is still not clear how common the disorder is, as there is no clear way of diagnosing it and it was only recently discovered. Ultimately, the researchers hope, understanding the difference in the misophonic brain will lead to new treatments. One idea is that low levels of targeted electricity passed through the skull, which is known to adjust brain function, could help.

Submission + - 4 Forgotten Code Constructs: Time to Revisit the Past?

mikeatTB writes: Some things in the programming world are so easy to misuse that most people prefer to never use them at all. These are the programming equivalent of a flamethrower: You might rarely be in the position to really need one, but every once in a while it turns out that you need to take down a forest. In that case, there’s no easier way than going Rambo on your codebase. That's where a few of the old, forgotten code constructs come into play. Creative use of features such as goto, multiple inheritance, eval, and recursion may be just the right solution for experienced developers when used in the right situation. Is it time to resurrect these four forgotten code constructs?

Submission + - California To Decide Whether Personal Device Communication Is Public Record

An anonymous reader writes: California’s Supreme Court is due to make the call whether emails, text messages and other communications sent by government officials on private devices are public records. The decision, set for early March, will mark the latest development in an eight-year-old case which saw the former lawyer and activist Ted Smith suspect backroom dealings between a developer and the San Jose City Hall, and file a public records request for all related communications. Smith was denied access to some emails and texts sent by employees which were not covered by the state’s Public Records Act. If the Court now rules that theses are in fact public records, it would mean that government business communicated via private phones and computers are available for investigation.

Submission + - SPAM: 2017 Tutorials to Remove Vault Password Manager for Mac OS X

macutility writes: How many Mac users who failed to remove Vault Password Manager from Mac OS X all over the world? According to the recent surgery, nearly ten thousands of the Mac users have troubles in removing Vault Password Manager on their Macs. If you are one of them it is strongly suggested you read this Vault Password Manager removal tutorials of 2017 and follow the detailed instructions introduced by the expert from macutility.com who has rich experiences of resolving Mac problems including the Mac apps removing skills. This article is going to show you how to uninstall Vault Password Manager from Mac OS X entirely and easily.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Possibly fatal blow against a patent trolls. (computerworld.com)

whoever57 writes: Patent trolls rely on the fact that they have no assets and, if they lose a case, they can fold the company that owned the patent and sued, thus avoiding paying any the defendant's legal bills. However, in a recent case, the judge has told the winning defendant that it can claim its legal bills from the law firm. The decision is based on the plaintiff's law firm using a contract under which it would take a portion of any judgment, making it more than just counsel, but instead a partner with the plaintiff. This will likely result in law firms wanting to be paid up front, instead of offering a contingency-based fee.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Dealing with gaslighting colleague 3

An anonymous reader writes: What's the best unofficial way to deal with a gaslighting colleague? For those not familiar, I mean the definition from this link:

Gaslighting occurs at the workplace in the form of bullies unscheduling things you’ve scheduled, misplacing files and other items that you are working on and co-workers micro-managing you and being particularly critical of what you do and keeping it under their surveillance. They are watching you too much, implying or blatantly saying that you are doing things wrong when, in fact, you are not. As you can see, this is a competitive maneuver, a way of making you look bad so that they look good;

In addition to above, I'd add Poring over every source-code commit, and then criticising it even if the criticism is contradictory to what he previously said.

Raising things through the official channels is out of the question, as is confronting the colleague in question directly as he is considered something of a superstar engineer who has been in the company for decades and has much more influence than any ordinary engineer.

So, what do slashdotters recommend (other than leaving or escalating via the official channels)?

Submission + - 700 Employee, 7 Story India Tech Raided for Telemarketing Fraud (nytimes.com)

retroworks writes: NYT has an interesting blow-by-blow story on two India Tech Center employees who informed on their call center fraud operation, which targeted Americans (especially recent immigrants) with fraudulent IRS calls and other scams. The building was surrounded by police, phone lines cut. Eventually 630 of the employees were released, and charges were brought against 70 managers and executives of the call center.

The article concludes that while the number of such scam calls fell by 95% following the raid, that even if 400 such centers were raided, that the business was too easy and too lucrative to successfully destroy.

Submission + - Trump's Treasury pick appears to be part of a federal investigation (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Trump's transition strategy of picking some of the shadiest people on earth is still going strong. The latest: According to the FBI, his Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin is involved with an "ongoing investigation", as reported by Mike Best over at the FOIA site MuckRock. Best requested Mnuchin's FBI files, but the request was rejected under the grounds of an open investigation, likely related to Mnuchin's superbly-timed exit from Relativity Media — right before it cratered.

Submission + - Researchers Send Information Using a Single Particle of Light (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to research published Thursday in Science, physicists at Princeton University have designed a device that allows a single electron to pass its quantum information to a photon in what could be a big breakthrough for silicon-based quantum computers. The device designed by the Princeton researchers is the result of five years of research and works by trapping an electron and a photon within a device built by HRL laboratories, which is owned by Boeing and General Motors. It is a semi-conductor chip made from layers of silicon and silicon-germanium, materials that are inexpensive and already widely deployed in consumer electronics. Across the top of this wafer of silicon layers were laid a number of nanowires, each smaller than the width of a human hair, which were used to deliver energy to the chip. This energy allowed the researchers to trap an electron in between the silicon layers of the chip in microstructures known as quantum dots. The researchers settled on photons as the medium of exchange between electrons since they are less sensitive to disruption from their environment and could potentially be used to carry quantum information between quantum chips, rather than within the circuits on a single quantum chip. The ability to scale up this device would mean that photons could be used to pass quantum information from electron to electron in order to form the circuits for a quantum computer.
The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia blocks Overstock.com from editing 1

thefickler writes: Known for having a media director that obsessively stalks critics, Overstock.com's IP address range has now been banned from editing on Wikipedia. Longtime Wikipedia staffer, David Gerard, posted this on the Administrators' Noticeboard Tuesday afternoon: "I've just blocked 65.116.112.0/21, which is an IP range (a) owned by Overstock.com (b) widely used by them for spamming, COI editing and attempted intimidation of administrators dealing with them. I strongly suggest against unblocking this range under any circumstances"
Security

Submission + - Hackers using YouTube to spread latest Trojan

thefickler writes: Social engineering attacks are showing a strong rise this Summer. The latest trick is manipulating YouTube users to infect their PCs with a Trojan known as the Fake Codec. For most media, a certain codec is required to encode and decode a digital stream such as audio or video. When a user tries to view a video that requires a specific codec, they'll usually get the message, "Codec not found" or "The proper codec to play this media is not installed." Some sites will usually direct you to another website to download the codec; however, an increasing trend in late August is for hackers to direct users to download a fake codec, which will in turn install malicious software on the user's machine.
Space

Submission + - Northrup Grumman Buys Scaled Composites

Sam Allen writes: It appears that Scaled Composites' new SpaceShipTwo design is so well regarded by Northrop Grumman that it decided to buy 100 percent of the company. Does this mean that Northrop Grumman will put more capital behind the venture to make public space flight happen sooner, or is it merely performing a CYA maneuveur? Burt Rutan has a vision and I doubt that he would sell out unless it would make that vision happen quicker.

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