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Submission + - Young grads in India aim to land a robot on the moon. (thehindu.com)

GillBates0 writes: Team Indus (http://www.teamindus.in/) is one of the 16 remaining from the 29 that had entered the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize (GLXP: http://lunar.xprize.org/) competition. It plans to use ISRO’s (http://www.isro.gov.in/) workhorse — the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) to send the spacecraft to the moon. Among it's rivals are – Israeli non-profit organisation SpaceIL and US-based start-up Moon Express. An official designated as ‘Skywalker’, said that such space missions used to be limited to extremely elite people and PhDs in the past. That stereotype is now breaking. “I was just a college student a couple of years ago and now I am working on an actual space mission, how cool is that,” said Karan Vaish, 23, who is helping the team to design the lunar rover. Eighty per cent of the team is reported to be less than five years out of college (http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/young-grads-aim-to-land-a-robot-on-the-moon/article9043063.ece?w=alauto).

Comment Meanwhile Muslims continue to blow exponentially.. (Score 1) 643

From the Pew Research Center, slightly tangential, but relevant:
http://www.pewforum.org/2015/0...

The Future of World Religions: Estimated Change in Population Size 2010-2050:
Muslims: 73%
Christians: 35%
Hindus: 34%
Jews: 16%
Folks Religions: 11%
.
.
Buddhists: -0.3%

Full report here: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/0...

Submission + - Tennis balls banned from RNC 'event zone' at Cleveland but not Guns

GillBates0 writes: Tennis balls bounced from Cleveland 'event zone', but not guns. Here's a handy graphic of other banned versus allowed items. Ohio is an open-carry state, so local officials said they cannot prevent licensed gun owners from carrying their weapons around the external security perimeter. Dan Williams, a spokesman for Jackson, told CNN about open carry guns: "Bottom line, we're going to follow the law. It's state law. There's no state law on tennis balls."

Comment Re:REAL safety requires a different approach. (Score 0) 307

To bring down a murderous nut-cult, you have to do what the Brits did to the Thuggee. You have to infiltrate them, identify their leaders, and kill them. If the Brits had been worried about offending the peaceful worshippers of Kali, India would STILL be plagued by ritual murders today.

-jcr

Wow, I hope to God (or Goddess) that you know that what you're referring to is fiction: http://indianajones.wikia.com/... .

Kali continues to be (peacefully) worshiped as a very popular form of the Goddess or the Mother of the Universe in Hinduism in India, Nepal and even in Tibet and some forms of Buddhism but I'm not entirely sure about the latter.

Submission + - Indian capital to allow odd numbered vehicles on roads on alternate days (thehindu.com)

GillBates0 writes: In a desperate bid to halve the teeming vehicular population of the National Capital , the government on Friday decided that vehicles with odd and even number plates would be allowed on alternate days only from January 1, 2016. Emergency and public vehicles along with carpools will be exempt from the restrictions. The emergency meeting where the decision was taken after a Delhi High Court observation that living in Delhi was akin to living in a gas chamber.

Comment Re:Or not (Score 1) 239

I have trouble listening to music with words because I sing along in my head, and I have a trouble listening to classical music because I play along in my head (I'm a violinist).

I think whether you feel relaxed listening to 'worded' music is highly dependent on what the lyrics convey. For example, if you were to listen to Meditative chants (Vedic/Hindu/Buddhist/Sanskrit Peace chants as an example), whose sole purpose is to invoke Peace in the mind, you'd find them relaxing. Here's one such example of a 'Shanti Mantra' (Peace chant): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdlxIIKiU4 .

On the other hand, if you listen to hardcore Heavy Metal, or violent Hip-Hop lyrics, you'll find it has the opposite effect, and gets you all worked up.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Verizon Privacy Policy Changes = Privacy WTFAGE 2

Dear Valued Customer, en español

Your privacy is an important priority at Verizon. We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participate in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address. The goal is to provide online ads that may be more relevant to you.

Privacy

Submission + - Verizon Privacy Policy Changes (slashdot.org) 1

GillBates0 writes: "Dear Valued Customer,
  Your privacy is an important priority at Verizon. We want to let you know that Verizon will soon participate in a program that will improve the ability of advertisers to reach our Verizon Online customers based on your physical address. The goal is to provide online ads that may be more relevant to you.

This program uses your address to determine whether you reside in a local area an advertiser is trying to reach. However, Verizon won’t share your address with advertisers as part of this process. Advertisers won’t know it’s you specifically or where you actually live. If you do not want us to allow advertisers to send you ads based on your geographic area you can let us know by selecting here.

What does this mean for you?

Certain ads you’ll see while browsing the Internet may be directed to you and other Verizon Online customers in your area, so these ads may be of more interest to you. For example, a pizza chain may want to deliver their ad to give a special offer to people living in a particular area. Using this program, national brands and local businesses can tailor their offers, coupons, and incentives to your local area.

Protection of Your Personal Information

Verizon protects your personal information as described in our privacy policy. You can learn about Verizon’s ad practices or let us know that you do not want to participate by selecting here. If you don’t want to participate, you will need your User ID and Password to access the opt-out page. Please note that declining to participate won’t impact the number of ads you see, just their potential relevance to you.

For answers to your frequently asked questions, select here.

Sincerely,

Verizon"

Comment This reminds me of the Star Trek episode(TheApple) (Score 1) 106

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apple_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series)

On stardate 3715.3, the starship USS Enterprise arrives at Gamma Trianguli VI, a planet that appears to be a tropical paradise with very rich natural resources. Captain James T. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Ensign Chekov, and Mr. Spock, along with five other survey personnel (Hendorff, Kaplan, Landon, Mallory, and Marple, all of whom are killed except Landon), beam down to the surface to have a look and to make contact with the natives.

They discover a world of poison dart-shooting plants, unstable explosive rocks, and bizarre lightning storms that appear out of cloudless skies. Hendorff is shot by a plant and is killed, and then Spock is hit by another plant's darts when he steps to block them from hitting the Captain. Spock is stunned, and McCoy rushes over to assist, injecting him with Masiform-D serum to counteract the poison. Spock is more resilient to the poison and later recovers on his own.

Realizing there is too much danger, Kirk orders an immediate beam-out, however Mr. Scott reports that the ship's power systems are being drained by an unknown energy field emanating from the planet – they're losing potency in the anti-matter. The Enterprise's transporters don't have enough power to beam anyone back. As if this weren't enough, Spock reports that someone is hiding in the bushes, watching them.

A few minutes later, the sky clouds up and a bolt of lightning snakes down and hits Kaplan, killing him. Shortly thereafter, Mallory calls in on his communicator. He's near the village and says it's "primitive, strictly tribal," but that there's something else of great interest. His communicator fails and he runs back to the landing party to report, but trips over an explosive rock and is killed.

Spock notices they are being watched again. Kirk arranges to decoy and ambush their "observer", finding it to be a shy and frightened primitive humanoid who wears glitter and colorful paints on his skin. Kirk promises not to hurt the curious man and holds him for questioning. The man calms down and identifies himself as Akuta (Keith Andes), chief of the people known as the "Feeders of Vaal". Spock notices that Akuta appears to be in some kind of communication with someone, and points out the small antennae on Akuta's head. Akuta explains that those are his "ears for Vaal", enabling him to interpret Vaal's commands for the people, and that he is "the eyes and the ears of Vaal", who is their god.

Meanwhile, Mr. Scott calls down to inform Kirk that the Enterprise is being pulled down from orbit around the planet by some kind of tractor beam and is unable to break away. Kirk asks Akuta about "Vaal", and requests to be taken to meet him. Akuta agrees and leads the landing team to a large stone dragon head carved into the side of a hill. Akuta points to the structure and indicates that it is Vaal.

The dragon's mouth, with steps cut into a tongue, appears as a kind of doorway. Spock's tricorder indicates that it leads underground. The structure is also protected by a powerful force field. The temple appears to be some type of sophisticated computer, possibly built by an ancient civilization, with a rudimentary artificial intelligence, a thirty-foot force field, and emanating great power. Spock also concludes that it may be the source of the energy draining field that is affecting the Enterprise.

Akuta says Vaal is "sleeping", but will awake "hungry" and might speak to the landing party at that time. He then leads the party to meet his people. They appear as young men and women, but all have a curious, childlike mentality. Kirk points out that the tribe doesn't seem to have any children and asks Akuta why. Akuta doesn't know what a child is, saying that Vaal has forbidden love and copulation, and provides them with "replacements" as they are needed. McCoy scans the tribe and is shocked when he discovers they are ageless and all in perfect health. The party later observes them as they perform a ritualistic "feeding" of Vaal, carrying loads of the explosive rocks down into the underground tunnel. The picture is now clear; the people live only to service Vaal, to dance, and to gather food. They don't even do their own agriculture, since Vaal controls the environment right down to "putting the fruit on the trees".

Mr. Spock observes the symbiosis between the Feeders and Vaal as an "excellent example of reciprocity", but McCoy vehemently disagrees and says the Feeders are not really alive, but stagnating, all their needs and wants provided for by a "hunk of tin". He insists that because they are humanoid, certain "universal standards" apply to them, "the right of humanoids to a free and unchained environment, the right to have conditions which permit growth." Kirk says it's more important to get the Enterprise out of danger.

Throughout their time on the planet, Chekov and Yeoman Martha Landon (Celeste Yarnall) have been showing interest in one another, and during a lull in the action slip away to be alone together. A tribal couple observe the pair and try to imitate their kissing. Vaal is instantly aware of this and radios instructions to Akuta, telling him to gather his people and kill the strangers who have trespassed here. Akuta rounds some of his men and instructs them to kill the landing party by bashing their skulls with clubs.

The landing party goes to Vaal to investigate the structure. Vaal defends itself by striking Spock with a lightning bolt. The Feeders then attack, surrounding the landing party and killing Marple. The landing party fights them off and then detains the Feeders.

Under Scott's command, the Enterprise crew have been switching all systems over to generate a thrust and now, with 15 minutes left, begins its effort to break free. All seems to be working, then the effort fails. Scott says they gained maybe an hour, but they blew nearly every system doing it. Just then, Vaal, perhaps weakened by the starship's efforts, calls for the villagers. Chekov tells the people to stay in the hut, preventing them from feeding Vaal.

Kirk orders the ship's weapons to target the structure and fire on the forcefield, intending to force Vaal to use its reserves. The ship blasts the dragon head with phasers and Vaal uses the reserves to reinforce the forcefield, but cannot hold out: Vaal's glowing eyes go dark; Kirk orders ceasefire; Vaal lights again only briefly.

Scott reports that the tractor beam is no longer pulling the ship, potency is returning to the anti-matter pods, and repairs are under way, so Kirk rehires Scott and orders a scientific and engineering detail down to investigate Vaal's remains.

Akuta and his people are devastated, but are told by Kirk that they are finally free and will soon discover work, birth, death, and the normal everyday ways of life.

Back aboard ship, Spock compares what the Captain has done to giving the primitive people the equivalent of the apple of knowledge and driving them from their Garden of Eden, but Kirk insinuates that Spock's resemblance to the Devil is much more apparent than his own.

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