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Comment Re:Get used to the Police State... (Score 5, Insightful) 297

It's not just too late, there was never anything we could do to prevent this. For every person who cares, there's a hundred people who don't give a shit. For every hundred people who care, there's maybe one who cares enough to do something. It's a lost cause, not because it's been too long, but because the system follows the people. The people are happy to tolerate this shit in order to feel safe.

Got a problem with the scanners? Care about civil liberties? Guess what? You're a minority that nobody gives a shit about, except much of the country finds your views suspicious. Those of us who care about civil liberties can't compete with the masses who are happy as long as they get theirs.

Hardware Hacking

Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials 238

MMBK writes "It's the ultimate salvagepunk experiment, building a telegraph out of things found in the woods. From the article: 'During the summer of 2009, artist Jamie O’Shea of the organization Substitute Materials set out to test whether or not electronic communication could have been built at any time in history with the proper knowledge, and with only tools and materials found in the wilderness of New Jersey.'"

Universal Sends DMCA Takedown On 1980 Report 189

An anonymous reader writes "For many, many years, every time some new technology has come along, the music industry has insisted that it's going to "kill" the industry. The player piano was supposed to kill live music. So was the radio. And, of course, every time this happens the press is willing to take the industry's word at face value. In 1980, the news program 20/20 posted a report all about how "home taping is killing music," with various recording industry execs insisting the industry was on its last legs unless something was done. Someone posted that 20/20 episode to YouTube a few years back, where it sat in obscurity until people noticed it a couple weeks ago. And suddenly, Universal Music issued a takedown notice for the show. Universal Music does not own 20/20, and there were only brief clips of music in the show. It appears the only reason for Universal to issue the takedown is that it doesn't want you seeing how badly it overreacted in the past."
The Military

Mystery of the Dying Bees Solved 347

jamie points out news of a study attempting to explain the decline of honeybee populations across the US. As it turns out, the fungus N. ceranae that was thought to be killing off bee colonies had a partner in crime — a DNA-based virus that worked in tandem with N. ceranae to compromise nutrition uptake. From the NY Times: "Dr. Bromenshenk's team at the University of Montana and Montana State University in Bozeman, working with the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center northeast of Baltimore, said in their jointly written paper that the virus-fungus one-two punch was found in every killed colony the group studied. Neither agent alone seems able to devastate; together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal. 'It's chicken and egg in a sense — we don't know which came first,' Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other's destructive power. 'They're co-factors, that's all we can say at the moment,' he said. 'They're both present in all these collapsed colonies.'"

Comment Begging for phishing (Score 1) 196

Comcast is creating a system where unrelated websites will notify you of problems in your computer. This is the "Virus detected click here to install antivirus 2011!", except being legitimate it tells people to trust what a random website tells them. Way to train users to trust any website popup, I expect this will result in new phishing scams.

The only upshot is that the people who are infected are often the ones who already install anything that a popup warning tells them to.


Safety Commission To Rule On Safety of Rulers In Science Kits 446

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been trying decide for weeks if science kits designed to teach children are safe enough for children to use without vigorous testing. It's not just the chemicals or sharp items in the kits that they are troubled with however. They are also concerned about the dangers of paper clips, magnets, and rulers. From the article: "Science kit makers asked for a testing exemption for the paper clips and other materials. The commission declined to grant them a blanket waiver as part of the guidance the agency approved Wednesday on a 3-2 vote." To be fair, paper clips can cause a lot of damage — just look at what Clippy did to Microsoft Office.

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover 646

An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"

Submission + - Czech Government Wants to Kill Creative Commons ( 1

Dangerous_Minds writes: Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid is pointing to a dramatic report from the Czech Republic. A Czech Republic media website managed to obtain a leaked copy of the draft copyright bill that could make its way into government (report available both in Czech and in English) The idea is to mandate all open licenses (Creative Commons, GPL/GNU, etc.) to go through a bureaucratic process in an effort to discourage people from using the licenses. EDRI and ZeroPaid both note that this is contrary to the spirit of Creative Commons and could severely constrain its usability.

The leaked draft is available, but is in Czech only.

Comment Whistleblowers deserve protection. (Score 0) 1088

Whoevever released the 'collateral murder' video was clearly trying to act as a whistle-blower and deserves some slack. The person who released the detailed names of those working with the US military is guilty of murder at the very least, and wikileaks is complicit in it. These are two very different issues and any attempt to reconcile them as "the public must know!" is disingenuous at best.

Comment Your brain can tell the difference. (Score 2, Insightful) 255

We use a more than binocular vision to see things in 3d. One way is moving our head position, though in a movie theater this isn't really a big deal. Another important way is by focus. This is one reason why 3d movies cause headaches. When they gimmick out to make things "pop out" of the screen, the image our eyes see doesn't match up with how our eye wants to focus on it.

There's nothing really wrong with 3d movies, it could potentially add something. The current state of 3d movies however is to pack the movies with distracting "HOLY SHIT IT'S 3D!" gimmicks that add nothing.


Electric Car Subsidies As Handouts For the Rich 589

Atypical Geek writes "Charles Lane, writing for Slate, argues that subsidies for electric cars are an example of 'limousine liberalism' — a lavish gift for well-off Americans to buy expensive cars for the sake of appearing green. From the article: 'How rarefied is the electric-car demographic? When Deloitte Consulting interviewed industry experts and 2,000 potential buyers, it found that from now until 2020, only "young, very high income individuals" — from households making more than $200,000 a year — would even be interested in plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars.' Lane also takes issue with the billions of dollars in subsidies offered to automakers for the manufacture of batteries, arguing that research (warning, PDF) concludes that the money will not help in jump-starting the economies of scale that will drive down prices. At least, not as much or as quickly as the President has argued."

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