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Submission + - SPAM: Seizures and searches INSIDE the White House

shanen writes: What would do if your boss suddenly told you to give him ALL of your phones. Your boss wants to check if you have done anything suspicious by studying EVERYONE you've spoken to. Lawyers in attendance, and obvious that refusal = instant termination of your employment.

Technology minus privacy = ?

Now imagine you're working in the White House. It's already reality.

The report in the video claims that Sean Spicer brought all of the flunkies in the press section into a room and ordered them to dump all their phones on the table for immediate examination. The report also says the supposedly nonexistent "anonymous sources" do exist and are much higher (and everywhere)...

However, I think the video mostly shows how bad the mass media is, if you regard Morning Joe as some kind of journalist. Obviously the point of the story is that the person who is MOST afraid for his job right now is Sean Spicer and he is trying to convince Herr #PresidentTweety not to fire him. In a sane scenario, he would understand that this kind of craziness guarantees his termination. Even allowing for the crazy environment, I think Spicer might be sane and has realized he's already tired of the job and WANTS to be fired.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Small Wineries Find Creative Ways to Thrive (friendbookmark.com)

QVIQysalCd22 writes: A real-life David and Goliath battle is brewing in California wine country, as smaller wineries fight to compete against behemoth wine companies--corporations and private equity funds that are changing the face of the West Coast's wine industry forever with a frenzy...A real-life David and Goliath battle is brewing in California wine country, as smaller wineries fight to compete against behemoth wine companies--corporations and private equity funds that are changing the face of the West Coast's wine industry forever with a frenzy...

Submission + - BlackBerry, Past Interest Now Drowning (techdach.com)

An anonymous reader writes: BlackBerry was once the king of smartphones in the 2000s. Who would have thought, is now the BlackBerry have almost no market share again in the world compared to Android, iOS, and a number of other smartphone operating systems.

Quoted from Business Insider in the fourth quarter 2016, more than 431 million smartphones were sold worldwide based firm Gartner published a report on Wednesday.

  In a written report, only 207 900 devices with BlackBerry OS. It then makes the BlackBerry smartphone company got the market share of less than 1 percent, exactly 0.0482 percent.

The first rank is occupied by Android OS dominate global smartphone market with a number of devices as much as 352.7 million units sold during the fourth quarter of 2016 (81.7 percent). The second position is occupied by iOS with 77 million units of the device (17.9 percent).

At the beginning of the era of smartphones, the BlackBerry is a prime choice for professionals. BlackBerry comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard as well as email and messaging functions. While other phones do not have this function.
Unfortunately, the company is losing its charm in the eyes of users after Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. Gradually, BlackBerry mobile phone sales slowed because of losing competitiveness. Then, in October 2015, BlackBerry also released their first Android phone.

Even so, it seems that the release of the Android OS for BlackBerry smartphones is not so much to make the company's condition changed. BlackBerry CEO John Chen some time ago announced that the company is only able to sell 400 thousand units of mobile phones in the second quarter, 2016.

Impact, 2016 BlackBerry announced that the company will no longer manufacture their own phones. Even so, the company opened a partnership with a third party to manufacture branded mobile phone BlackBerry.

Submission + - Bipartisan bill seeks warrants for police use of 'stingray' cell trackers (usatoday.com)

Tulsa_Time writes: A bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday requiring police agencies to get a search warrant before they can deploy powerful cellphone surveillance technology known as "stingrays" that sweep up information about the movements of innocent Americans while tracking suspected criminals.

“Owning a smartphone or fitness tracker shouldn’t give the government a blank check to track your movements," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who introduced the bill with Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and John Conyers, D-Mich. "Law enforcement should be able to use GPS data, but they need to get a warrant. This bill sets out clear rules to make sure our laws keep up with the times."

Submission + - Retired FDNY Fire Fighter To Bring Chess Teaching Tool Back To NYC Toy Fair (buzzfeed.com)

tkingbutler writes: Grandmaster Susan Polgar had her first chess lesson in her family’s apartment in Soviet-controlled Hungary at age four. The lesson was taught by her father, child psychologist Dr. Lazlo Polgar.

Dr. Polgar had a theory that any child could become a genius as long as they are taught a structured and specialized curriculum from a young age.

It worked, too. By the time Susan was 12, she won her first of four Women’s World Titles.
Even with all his success, Dr. Polgar struggled to introduce a streamlined version of the experiment into other homes and schools worldwide. Then, he met Joe Miccio.

Miccio is a retired FDNY Firefighter who became a smoke eater after a 10-year stint in the NYPD. Between shifts, Miccio had tinkered with the chessboard and eventually invented a tool known as QuickChess, a simplified version of the game that teaches players the rules and strategies through a series of mini-games.

These mini-games guide players through a progression of increasingly difficult challenges and variations, until they are fully prepared to play a traditional game of chess, which they can do on the opposite side of the board.

To Miccio, QuickChess is a teaching tool that enables children to sharpen and expand their critical thinking skills.

“The best way to get kids to learn is to trick them into having fun while doing it,” Miccio explained. “Kids respond when they’re challenged and entertained. Rather than another mindless shooting game, QuickChess teaches children ways to improve their minds.”

Miccio met Dr. Polgar in 1993 while attending a charity chess-a-thon in New York City’s Central Park. Miccio, then a rookie firefighter, was trying to find an audience for his game, which he saw as a supplemental teaching tool.

By chance, Dr. Polgar and Susan ended up watching the children in attendance play Miccio’s game.

“He just kind of kept watching the kids play as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing,” Miccio laughed. “Eventually, I just asked him if he wanted a turn.”

Dr. Polgar told Miccio that QuickChess was the streamlined curriculum that he had been searching for.

“I had no idea what he was talking about at first,” Miccio said. “I was just excited that someone above the age of ten was realizing the potential the game had.”

Now, to mark the game’s 25th anniversary, Miccio is returning to the American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where he first debuted the game in 1992.

“I’m excited to reach a new generation of children,” Miccio explains. “To be able to reach so many more kids and their parents is really thrilling experience for me and, hopefully, for them.”

Miccio, along with QuickChess, will be at the Getta 1 Games booth (#4211) on Sunday, February 19 from 12 p.m. — 2 p.m.

Submission + - SPAM: Designer Babies on the way! 5

wisebabo writes: Looks like genetically editing human germ line cells is not longer completely verboten (yes the allusion to German Nazi era eugenics by use of the word "verboten" was deliberate). A National Academy of Sciences panel has approved, under narrow (for now) circumstances, genetically modified children. Now with CRISPR-cas9, it has become easier to precisely edit the human genome.

Even if they manage to keep the circumstances "narrow" it seems obvious that other nations will not be so cautious. For example China where they've created genetically modified "super dogs" [spam URL stripped]... and you can even buy genetically modified "micro pigs" that don't grow big! [spam URL stripped].... Of course China is not the only country doing this, New Zealand is pursuing an audacious project to use genetic engineering to WIPE OUT entire species (as I submitted earlier in slashdot).

Anyway, if you're bothered by the "narrow circumstances" clause in the NAS recommendation, go to Vietnam (or another one of many countries) where there are no particular regulations regarding genetic engineering.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - India launches 104 satellites at one go (reuters.com)

William Robinson writes: India's ISRO successfully launched 104 satellites in a single mission, setting what its space agency says is a world record of launching the most satellites at one go. ISRO used its workhorse, PSLV, for this launch. The vehicle carried India's Cartosat-2 series and 103 nano satellites. Out of 103 nano satellites, 2 were from India, 96 were from the United States and one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The global space industry is US$ 300 billion and ISRO's low prices attracted international customers to launch 75 satellites last year from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh,

Submission + - Apple Will Fight 'Right To Repair' Legislation (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is planning to fight proposed electronics "Right to Repair" legislation being considered by the Nebraska state legislature, according to a source within the legislature who is familiar with the bill's path through the statehouse. The legislation would require Apple and other electronics manufacturers to sell repair parts to consumers and independent repair shops, and would require manufacturers to make diagnostic and service manuals available to the public. Nebraska is one of eight states that are considering right to repair bills; last month, Nebraska, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Wyoming introduced legislation. Last week, lawmakers in Illinois and Tennessee officially introduced similar bills. According to the source, an Apple representative, staffer, or lobbyist will testify against the bill at a hearing in Lincoln on March 9. AT&T will also argue against the bill, the source said. The source told me that at least one of the companies plans to say that consumers who repair their own phones could cause lithium batteries to catch fire. So far, Nebraska is the only state to schedule a hearing for its legislation.

Submission + - Iron-age potters accidentally recorded Earth's magnetic field strength

Solandri writes: We've only been able to measure the Earth's magnetic field strength for about 2 centuries. During this time, there has been a gradual decline in the field strength. In recent years, the rate of decline seems to be accelerating, leading to some speculation that the Earth may be losing its magnetic field — a catastrophic possibility since the magnetic field is what protects life on Earth from dangerous solar radiation. Ferromagnetic particles in rocks provide a long-term history which tells us the poles have flipped numerous times. But uncertainties in dating the rocks prevents their use in understanding decade-scale magnetic field fluctuations.

Now a group of archeologists and geophysicists have come up with a novel way to produce decade-scale temporal measurements of the Earth's magnetic field strength from before the invention of the magnetometer. When iron-age potters fired their pottery in a kiln to harden it, it loosened tiny ferromagnetic particles in the clay. As the pottery cooled and these particles hardened, it captured a snapshot of the Earth's magnetic field. Crucially, the governments of that time required pottery used to collect taxed goods (e.g. a portion of olive oil sold) to be stamped with a royal seal. These seals changed over time as new kings ascended, or governments were completely replaced after invasion. Thus by cross-referencing the magnetic particles in the pottery with the seals, researchers were able to piece together a history of the Earth's magnetic field strength spanning from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century BCE. Their findings show that large fluctuations in the magnetic field strength over a span of decades are normal.

Submission + - Study Shows Youth Flag Football May Not be Safer than Tackle (uichildrens.org)

baalcat writes: University of Iowa Health Care researchers report that the results of a study of injury rates in youth football leagues did not show that flag football is safer than tackle football.

Concerns about the rate of concussions among athletes and the long term effects of repeated head injuries lead to discussion that children under the age of 12 should not participate in contact sports such as tackle football.

The UI researchers studied three large youth football leagues with almost 3,800 participants. The research team compared the number of injuries, severe injuries, and concussions in players competing on flag football teams and tackle football squads.

The results of the study, published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that injuries were more likely to occur in youth flag football than in youth tackle football. There was no significant difference in the number of severe injuries and concussions between the leagues.

Submission + - Astronomers observe black hole producing cold, star-making fuel from hot plasma (mit.edu)

baalcat writes: The Phoenix cluster is an enormous accumulation of about 1,000 galaxies, located 5.7 billion light years from Earth. At its center lies a massive galaxy, which appears to be spitting out stars at a rate of about 1,000 per year. Most other galaxies in the universe are far less productive, squeaking out just a few stars each year, and scientists have wondered what has fueled the Phoenix cluster’s extreme stellar output.

Now scientists from MIT, the University of Cambridge, and elsewhere may have an answer. In a paper published today in the Astrophysical Journal, the team reports observing jets of hot, 10-million-degree gas blasting out from the central galaxy’s black hole and blowing large bubbles out into the surrounding plasma.

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