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Submission + - First color images produced by an electron microscope (

sciencehabit writes: Imagine spending your whole life seeing the world in black and white, and then seeing a vase of roses in full color for the first time. That’s kind of what it was like for the scientists who have taken the first multicolor images of cells using an electron microscope. Electron microscopes can magnify an object up to 10 million times, allowing researchers to peer into the inner workings of, say, a cell or a fly’s eye, but until now they’ve only been able to see in black and white. The new advance—15 years in the making—uses three different kinds of rare earth metals called lanthanides (think top row of that extra block below the periodic table) layered one-by-one over cells on a microscope slide. The microscope detects when each metal loses electrons and records each unique loss as an artificial color.

Submission + - Federal Circuit Finds Three Intellectual Venture's Patents Invalid under the May (

MikeDandan writes: The Federal Circuit recently decided a case concerning three patents owned by Intellectual Ventures I LLC (“IV”). Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., Case Nos. 2015-1769, 2015-1770, 2015-1771 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 30, 2016). The district court had invalidated U.S. Patent Nos. 6,460,050 (‘050) and 6,073,142 (‘142) and found that Claim 7 of U.S. Patent No. 5,987,610 (‘610) was patent eligible. The district court had also found that Symantec Corp. (“Symantec”) infringed Claim 7 of the ‘610 patent, leading to an $8 million judgment. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that all three patents were patent-ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. Read more:

Submission + - CEO's message jolts IT workers facing layoffs (

dcblogs writes: IT workers in the infrastructure team at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) were notified recently of their layoff. They expect to be training replacements from India-based contractor HCL. The layoff affects more than 500 IT workers. But this familiar IT story begins a little differently. A few days before employees were notified in mid-October of their layoff, HCSC CEO Paula Steiner talked about future goals in an internal, company-wide video. Steiner's comments weren't IT-department-specific, but the takeaway quote by one IT employee was this: "As full-time retiring baby boomers move on to their next chapter, the makeup of our organization will consist more of young and non-traditional workers, such as part-time workers or contractors," said Steiner in the video. What Steiner didn't say in the employee broadcast is that some of the baby boomers moving "on to the next chapter" are being pushed out the door. "Obviously not all of us are 'retiring' — a bunch of us are being thrown under the bus," said one older employee.

Submission + - Laid-Off Americans, Required to Zip Lips on Way Out, Grow Bolder (

Indigo writes: New York Times: American corporations are under new scrutiny from federal lawmakers after well-publicized episodes in which the companies laid off American workers and gave the jobs to foreigners on temporary visas.

But while corporate executives have been outspoken in defending their labor practices before Congress and the public, the American workers who lost jobs to global outsourcing companies have been largely silent.

Until recently. Now some of the workers who were displaced are starting to speak out, despite severance agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers.

Comment A short list (Score 2) 178

Software development can be a grind. Perspective is valuable.

Geoffrey James, The Tao of Programming

Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning Was the Command Line

Vernor Vinge, True Names

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Submission + - FBI Wants to Exempt Its Massive Biometric Database from Federal Privacy Rules (

schwit1 writes: The FBI wants to block individuals from knowing if their information is in a massive repository of biometric records, which includes fingerprints and facial scans, if the release of information would "compromise" a law enforcement investigation.

The FBI’s biometric database, known as the “Next Generation Identification System,” gathers a wide scope of information, including palm prints, fingerprints, iris scans, facial and tattoo photographs, and biographies for millions of people.

On Thursday, the Justice Department agency plans to propose the database be exempt from several provisions of the Privacy Act — legislation that requires federal agencies to share information about the records they collect with the individual subject of those records, allowing them to verify and correct them if needed.

Aside from criminals, suspects and detainees, the system includes data from people fingerprinted for jobs, licenses, military or volunteer service, background checks, security clearances, and naturalization, among other government processes.

Comment Yeah (Score 2, Funny) 226

I've been a little worried about the Unicode Consortium ever since 'PILE OF POO' (U+1F4A9) received its own codepoint. Don't know what's going on with those folks, but it doesn't seem healthy. Given that Unicode is an important and widely used standard, it seems like perhaps they should take their work a little more seriously. Or have they already 'JUMP THE SHARK'ed?

Comment Sheesh (Score 1) 205

Slashdot posts have had their ups and downs over the years, but this kind of information-free, foaming-at-the-mouth crap is really beyond the pale. The article submissions should include at least some informative content - if any dead strawmen need further beatings, why, that's what the readers are here for.

As to the topic at hand. Love the SLS or hate it, whoever thought NASA should have used off-the-shelf software for SLS launch control should be punished by 5 years working SAP ERP's support desk. Well, maybe that's a bit harsh. But at that level of scale, complexity, and criticality, off-the-shelf should not be your go-to option.

Comment Re:Where the researchers slaves? (Score 3, Insightful) 51

Sure, it's perfectly legal. As you said, the researchers aren't slaves. But it's still a huge fuck job. As a result of the "partnership", CMU is now down 40 top staff members, which was probably not mentioned in the original CMU / Uber partnership discussions, and affects them materially. For instance, in their ability continue providing quality education to current students, and their ability to recruit new students who aren't interested in doing research for Uber. I'd doubt that $5 million even begins to cover the damage.

Comment That's it, I'm done (Score 1) 471

This is where I get off the bus. I've used Firefox for years, Netscape before that - gladly so. But the Firefox people have gone from great developers making a useful product, to pretty good but a little squirrelly, to UX weenies and marketing assholes, to evil sellouts actively trying to screw me over. Fuck 'em.

On a completely unrelated note, if you use Linux, chattr +i is your friend. Works on directories as well as files too. Just sayin'.

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