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Submission + - Slashdot creates beta site users express theirs dislike (slashdot.org) 4

who_stole_my_kidneys writes: Slashdot started redirecting users in February to its newly revamped webpage and received a huge backlash from users. The majority of comments dislike the new site while some do offer solutions to make it better. The question is will Slashdot force the unwanted change on its users that clearly do not want change?

Submission + - New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The latest news in this: GCSB appears to have deleted key evidence in the case in a hamfisted attempt to cover up its illegal activities. Even more ridiculous, GCSB is trying to cover this up by claiming that the material had "aged off" — implying that it was deleted automatically. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key claims that they had to delete the information under the law.

Of course, there are a few problems with that. The first is that under New Zealand law, like most countries these days, parties have an obligation to preserve documents likely to be necessary in a legal case. But, even more damning is that there's video of John Key in the New Zealand Parliament trying to defend against an earlier claim that GCSB had deleted some evidence by insisting that GCSB does not delete anything ever:

Submission + - Slashdot beta sucks 9

An anonymous reader writes: Maybe some of the slashdot team should start listening to its users, most of which hate the new user interface. Thanks for ruining something that wasn't broken.

Submission + - Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

cagraham writes: A fire at Iron Mountain's data warehouse in Buenos Aires left the facility "ruined," and killed nine first-responders according to the Washington Post. The origin of the fire is unknown, although the facility was supposedly equipped with sprinkler systems, fire control systems, and had a private emergency team on standby. Among the records lost include corporate data and Argentina's bank archives, which could have some surprisingly far reaching implications.

Submission + - Ballistic Transport in Graphene Suggests New Type of Electronic Device (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Georgia Tech have created graphene nanoribbons through selective epitaxial growth on silicon carbide. Their most recent work shows that these ribbons support single channel ballistic conduction. This discovery could result in a new class of coherent electronic devices based on room temperature ballistic transport in graphene. Such devices would be very different from what we make today in silicon, relying on quantum interference of electron waves rather than semiconductor energy gaps.

Submission + - Physics Teacher Fired After Accidentally Shooting Student During Experiment

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The Daily Mail reports that physics teacher Richard West has been fired after accidentally shooting a 17-year-old pupil in the leg with a pellet gun during a classroom experiment meant to demonstrate how a bullet would decelerate when fired through cardboard. West, whose success in promoting science education has previously been recognized in the national press, says the airgun discharged accidentally and the pellet ricocheted off a table hitting schoolboy Ben Barlow. One furious parent, whose son goes to the school, called West irresponsible for bringing the weapon into the school. 'I can't believe a teacher thought it was appropriate to take a gun into a school, I don't know what he could have been thinking,' said the father. However Barlow says he barely had a scratch after the incident and has written to school governors describing the teacher's firing as a complete disgrace and praising West's teaching methods while dozens of pupils past and present left comments on a Facebook page, called Bring Back Westy 2014, calling him a "true inspiration", the "best teacher ever" and "the king of St Peter's". "The reason he's such a good teacher is because he is unconventional — and he makes everything so interesting and fun," says Barlow. "Mr West is one of our best teachers and I chose to do physics because of him."

Submission + - Through a Face Scanner Darkly (newyorker.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "NameTag, an app built for Google Glass by a company called FacialNetwork.com, offers a face scanner for encounters with strangers. You see somebody on the sidewalk and, slipping on your high-tech spectacles, select the app. Snap a photo of a passerby, then wait a minute as the image is sent up to the companyâ(TM)s database and a match is hunted down. The results load in front of your left eye, a selection of personal details that might include someoneâ(TM)s name, occupation, Facebook and/or Twitter profile, and, conveniently, whether thereâ(TM)s a corresponding entry in the national sex-offender registry."

Submission + - Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident explained by modern science? (failuremag.com)

swellconvivialguy writes: Fifty-five years ago today, nine young Russians died under suspicious circumstances during a winter hiking trip in the Ural mountains. Despite an exhaustive investigation and the recovery of the group’s journals and photographs, the deaths remained unexplained, blamed on “an unknown compelling force.” Now American film and television producer Donnie Eichar believes he has solved the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Working in conjunction with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, CO, Eichar developed a theory that the hikers died because they panicked in the face of infrasound produced by a Kármán vortex street.

Submission + - Senator Makes NASA Complete $350 Million Testing Tower That it Will Never Use

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Phillip Swarts reports in the Washington Times that NASA is completing a $350 million rocket-engine testing tower at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi that NASA doesn’t want it and will never use. “Because the Constellation Program was canceled in 2010 the A-3’s unique testing capabilities will not be needed and the stand will be mothballed upon completion (PDF),” said NASA’s inspector general. The A-3 testing tower will stand 300 feet and be able to withstand 1 million pounds of thrust (PDF). The massive steel structure is designed to test how rocket engines operate at altitudes of up to 100,000 feet by creating a vacuum within the testing chamber to simulate the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Although NASA does not expect to use the tower after construction it is compelled by legislation from Sen. Roger F. Wicker, Mississippi Republican, who says the testing tower will help maintain the research center’s place at the forefront of U.S. space exploration. “Stennis Space Center is the nation’s premier rocket engine testing facility,” says Wicker. “It is a magnet for public and private research investment because of infrastructure projects like the A-3 test stand. In 2010, I authored an amendment to require the completion of that particular project, ensuring the Stennis facility is prepared for ever-changing technologies and demands.” Others disagree calling the project the "Tower of Pork" and noting that the unused structure will cost taxpayers $840,000 a year to maintain. “Current federal spending trends are not sustainable, and if NASA can make a relatively painless contribution to deficit reduction by shutting down an unwanted program, why not let it happen?” says Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union. “It’s not rocket science, at least fiscally.”

Submission + - Mysterious Underwater Circles Explained (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The truth behind the mysterious underwater circles that periodically appear off the coast of Denmark has been discovered, and sadly it doesn’t involve aliens, fairies, or the fabled lost city of Atlantis. In 2008, a tourist snapped photos of several large dark rings that appeared near the white cliffs of Denmark’s island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. The circles, several as large as a tennis courts, sparked numerous theories of their origin—some more outlandish than others. In 2011, when the formations reappeared, scientists discovered they were actually round bands of marine eelgrass, similar to rings of mushrooms known as fairy rings. Because eelgrass usually grows as continuous underwater meadows, scientists were still baffled by the rims of lush eelgrass with barren cores. Now, researchers say they at last know the rings’ true cause. .

Submission + - Guess Which State Has The Highest Percentage Of Electric Cars 6

cartechboy writes: Bet you read that and instantly just blurted out California. Nope! You're wrong my friend. Yes, California makes headlines constantly for its going green initiatives, plug-in hybrids, and the stickers for the fast lane in on the highway. Surprise! It turns out the state of Washington has the largest percentage of electric vehicle sales. In fact, California isn't even in second place, that honor goes to Hawaii which pushes the electric-car friendly state of California to third place. The former two states had a 1.6 percent share of new car registrations from January through November 2013, with California on 1.4 percent. Of course, Oregon and Georgia also make the list with a 1.1 percent share. Rounding out the list we have District of Columbia, Utah, Colorado, Tennesse, and Illinois. It's worth mentioning that Tesla has now sold a car in all 50 states, though, California has been the largest market for the Tesla Model S to date. It'll likely take a while before another state catches up in that department.

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