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Submission + - How to game Google's Call Phone (

teh_tecchie writes: It's come to light that it's breathtakingly easy for non US residents to game Gmail and get access to Google's new 'Call Phone' feature (with free calls to the US and Canada for the rest of the year) simply by changing default language settings to English (US) ... and presto, it appears in the navigation! Great way to save some money on calls, but I doubt regulators will be as happy with it.

Submission + - Iraq 'independent' as US combat operations end (

suraj.sun writes: Iraq's prime minister Nouri Maliki has said the country is "independent" as the US formally ends combat operations and the Iraqi security forces will take the lead in ensuring security and safeguarding the country and removing all threats that the country has to weather, internally or externally

US Vice-President Joe Biden is in Iraq on an unannounced visit ahead of the official end of the mission. In the US, President Barack Obama is due to deliver a televised address about Iraq to the American people.

The last US combat brigade left Iraq nearly two weeks ago. Around 50,000 US troops will remain in Iraq and will focus on supporting Iraqi forces. They will not participate in combat missions without a request from Iraqi authorities.

BBC News:

Submission + - Flight Data Recorders, decades out of date (

Tisha_AH writes: "For the past fifty years the technology behind aircraft flight data recorders has remained stagnant. Some of the advances of cloud computing, mesh radio networks, real-time position reporting and satellite communications are held back by a combination of aircraft manufacturers, pilots unions and the slow gears of government bureaucracy. Many recent aircraft loss incidents remain unexplained with black boxes lost on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, buried under the wreckage of the World Trade Centers or with critical information suppressed by government secrecy or aircraft manufacturers.

Many recorders still rely upon tape recorders for voice and data that only record a very small sampling of aircraft dynamics, flight and engine systems or crew behaviors. For many aircraft the recorders can only log a hour or two of data before overwriting the tape. All recording stops if the main electrical system fails and there is the ever present circuit breaker in the cockpit that can shut the system down.

Technologically simple solutions like battery backup, continual telemetry feeds by satellite and hundreds of I/O points, monitoring many systems should be within easy reach. An example of an extensive (but still primitive) recording system was during the loss of the NASA Columbia space shuttle. This vessel was equipped with a much larger assortment of monitoring points as it was used as a test-bed during shuttle development. Without the extensive forensic analysis of the telemetry data it would have been nearly impossible to reconstruct the accident in such detail.

Pilots unions have objected to the collection and sharing of detailed accident data, citing privacy concerns of the flight crew. Accidents may be due to human errror, process problems or design flaws. Unless we can fully evaluate all factors involved in transportation accidents (aircraft, maritime, rail, transit) it will be difficult to improve the safety record. Recommendations by the NTSB to the FAA have gone unheeded for many years.

With all of the technological advancements that we work with in the IT field what sort of best practices could be brought forward in transit safety?"


CTRC Orders Big ISPs To Provide Matching Speeds For Resellers 91

Meshach writes "In Canada there has been a regulatory decision rendered by the CRTC ordering ISPs to provide the same speed to resellers as they do for their own customers. 'Smaller internet providers such as Teksavvy and Execulink had argued that without requirements to offer matching speeds, the big companies would put them out of business. Bell and Telus are selling internet connections of up to 25 and 15 megabits per second respectively over newer fibre-based networks, but smaller providers can typically offer speeds of no more than five megabits per second over older copper-based infrastructure. After holding a public hearing earlier this year, the CRTC now says it will allow phone companies to charge smaller providers an extra 10-per-cent mark-up to use their newer infrastructure in order to recoup the costs of their investments. The regulator also said it would require cable companies to modify their existing internet access services to make it easier for smaller, "alternative" providers to connect to them.'"

Submission + - It's official: AMD will retire the ATI brand (

J. Dzhugashvili writes: A little over four years have passed since AMD purchased ATI. In May of last year, AMD took the remains of the Canadian graphics company and melded them into a monolithic products group, which combined processors, graphics, and platforms. Now, AMD is about to take the next step: kill the ATI brand altogether. The company has officially announced the move, saying it plans to label its next generation of graphics cards 'AMD Radeon' and 'AMD FirePro,' with new logos to match. The move has a lot to do with the incoming arrival of products like Ontario and Llano, which will combine AMD processing and graphics in single slabs of silicon.

Submission + - Hydrogen fire and explosion renewable fuel station (

RossR writes: There was a Hydrogen fire and explosion renewable fuel station used by government vehicles. The nearby freeway and airport was closed resulting in diverted flights. This may the first major incident at a Hydrogen vehicle refueling station. GM has their major fuel cell development center nearby in the town of Honeoye Falls. The fire occurred when the 18-wheeler tractor truck was transferring Hydrogen to the station. The airport press conference reported that airport firefighters responded first and initially waited on the scene deciding how to respond. No news yet if the hard to see flames of Hydrogen combustion contributed to this delay. The fueling station is also adjacent to a NY State Troopers station and a firefighting training facility is a few blocks away. It will be interesting to see how this incident affects the future of Hydrogen cars.

So far this is has been only covered by local news:

Police/FD Radio transcript:




Comment Re:Misleading title (Score 1) 148

i think they are called "pilots" actually.

Actually, as a tongue in cheek thing, most pilots refer to other pilots as "drivers", as in "What equipment do you drive?"

(Equipment is an informal industry term for the type of aircraft. (Type is a formal industry term for the make and model of aircraft (Type is based on certificate, not marketing make & model. (I always get lost with nested brackets.))))

Comment Re:I don't blame them. I ditched the industry too. (Score 3, Interesting) 137

(I'd rather reply to this than spend my mod points.)

Yes, long-haul commercial pilots are well paid. The problem is getting one of those jobs. There's a huge over supply of pilots. I'm a pilot myself and I'm very glad I never tried to make a living out of it.

Once you are in the company, your position is based not on skill or ability or how hard you work. It's based entirely on how senior you are. That in turn decides how much you get paid. Typically you start off in the right seat of turbo-prop commuters getting paid almost nothing. In fact, "self-sponsored" positions aren't unheard of. If you manage to stay with one company long enough that you're no longer part of the "last in, first out" cuts, then your job is safe but your salary still isn't that great. It's only when you start edging towards retirement that the pay starts to reflect the amount of training and seat-time you've put in while earning peanuts. If your company goes bankrupt or you switch companies, you may find yourself at the bottom again.


Submission + - North Korea Linux (Red Star OS) Review (

JimLynch writes: There was an announcement a while back that North Korea had come out with its own version of Linux (called Red Star OS). I dropped by the official North Korean site, and found their contact information. I sent a polite email asking for a download link for their distro, but I never heard back from anybody. This was rather rude on their part, or perhaps they just don’t have people who can read English answering their email. Anyway, I wasn’t able to get a download link until today.

Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts 487

In addition to helping decipher their Lil Wayne albums, the Justice Department is seeking Ebonics experts to help monitor, translate and transcribe wire tapped conversations. The DEA wants to fill nine full time positions. From the article: "A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a 'DEA Sensitive' security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of 'telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media.'”

Submission + - Look-Alike Tubes Are Killing Hospital Patients ( 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that in hospitals around the country nurses connect and disconnect interchangeable clear plastic tubing sticking out of patients' bodies to deliver or extract medicine, nutrition, fluids, gases or blood — sometimes with deadly consequences. Tubes intended to inflate blood-pressure cuffs have been connected to intravenous lines leading to deadly air embolisms., intravenous fluids have been connected to tubes intended to deliver oxygen leading to suffocation, and in 2006 a nurse at in Wisconsin mistakenly put a spinal anesthetic into a vein, killing 16-year-old who was giving birth. "Nurses should not have to work in an environment where it is even possible to make that kind of mistake," says Nancy Pratt, a vocal advocate for changing the system. Critics say the tubing problem, which has gone on for decades, is an example of how the FDA fails to protect the public. "FDA could fix this tubing problem tomorrow, but because the agency is so worried about making industry happy, people continue to die," says Dr. Robert Smith."

Submission + - Voting Researcher Arrested Over Anonymous Source (

An anonymous reader writes: Alex Halderman writes on Freedom-to-Tinker:

About four months ago, Ed Felten blogged about a research paper in which Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp, and I detailed serious security flaws in India's electronic voting machines. Indian election authorities have repeatedly claimed that the machines are "tamperproof," but we demonstrated important vulnerabilities by studying a machine provided by an anonymous source. The story took a disturbing turn a little over 24 hours ago, when my coauthor Hari Prasad was arrested by Indian authorities demanding to know the identity of that source. At 5:30 Saturday morning, about ten police officers arrived at Hari's home in Hyderabad. They questioned him about where he got the machine we studied, and at around 8 a.m. they placed him under arrest and proceeded to drive him to Mumbai, a 14 hour journey. The police did not state a specific charge at the time of the arrest, but it appears to be a politically motivated attempt to uncover our anonymous source. The arresting officers told Hari that they were under "pressure [from] the top," and that he would be left alone if he would reveal the source's identity. Hari was allowed to use his cell phone for a time, and I spoke with him as he was being driven by the police to Mumbai.

The whole story and audio of that phone call with Hari in the police car are at


Submission + - Zionists organize to edit Wikipedia ( 4

djconrad writes: NYTime's The Lede has a piece (and video interview) on an "instruction day for Wiki editors," whose goal is to present a Zionist perspective. From the article: At the opening seminar, attended by about 80 activists, one of the organizers, Naftali Bennett, said that the aim of the course is to make sure that information in the online encyclopedia reflects the worldview of Zionist groups. For example, he said, “if someone searches [for] ‘the Gaza flotilla,’ we want to be there; to influence what is written there, how it’s written and to ensure that it is balanced and Zionist in nature.”

Comment Re:Cheap microscope (Score 2, Interesting) 216

I like the way you think. I like the idea of going after the protein capsid in a catalytic manner. The problem is prions are very odd and rare things in themselves.

Technically speaking, a prion protein has to have a diseased-conformation with a lower thermodynamic energy minima than the the healthy version, otherwise it would require energy input, and thus be non-catalytic. Since most proteins are already folded to minimum energy, it's unlikely you can find a lower energy conformation that has catalytic activity for a HIV protein such as GP120 (or any other protein for that matter).

BTW, some researchers don't believe prions are really prions. They believe a small amount of genetic material may lay hidden. These researchers aren't crackpots and demonstrating the presence of DNA/RNA inside would explain a lot of weird stuff that can't be explained when it comes to prions.

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