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Submission + - BBC micro:bit specs released as open hardware (

TrixX writes: The makers of the BBC micro:bit have announced that they are releasing the full specs for the device under an open license, (Solderpad License, similar to Apache License but for hardware). This means that anyone can legally use the specs and build their own device, or fork the reference design github repo and design their derivatives.

Comment Re:Don't Worry... (Score 1) 420

I would be surprised if they cannot do exactly the same thing. The problem ITT Educational Services, Inc. currently faces is the sanctions imposed on them. A new company won't be under the same sanctions. It takes time to build up enough history to be sanctioned by DOE. Playing whack-a-mole with unethical corporate entities is a long-held tradition in the US. This is because we consistently fail to hold corporate officers accountable for their actions.

I would love to be wrong about this.

Comment Don't Worry... (Score 4, Funny) 420

Don't worry. The same people will have already started a new company, under a new name, which does exactly the same thing as the old company. Bonus points if they also have ITT Educational Services, Inc. sell all the trademarks for "ITT Technical Institutes" to the new company.

Submission + - What Every Company Gets Wrong About Developing for the Emerging World (

mirandakatz writes: It would seem obvious that, when tasked with developing a new brand for an unfamiliar demographic, researchers would actually spend time embedded in that community. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen all that often. This piece profiles two design researchers who make a point of doing exactly that, traveling to Saudi Arabia and spending hours upon hours talking to the millennial women there they were researching. The results were nothing short of fascinating. As one of the researchers profiled says, "organizations love to talk about bringing the user’s voice into the conversation, yet if it’s just to retrofit an existing growth strategy, it’s morally bankrupt, and in a connected society, a very poor strategy."

Submission + - John Cook's experiment with online science trolls

Lasrick writes: John Cook is a researcher who writes about climate change denial at SkepticalScience, and he writes here about dealing with online trolls. Not only has he turned online trolling into a source of data collection, but has also come up with a very effective way to deal with trolling. Great read: 'When I turn the spotlight around to expose the techniques of science denial, the reaction can be intense.'

Comment Re:Better vs. Perfect (Score 1) 150

So we're throwing out the "better" in search for the "perfect?" Until tokens gain the ubiquity of phones (which seems unlikely), doing away with SMS-based two-factor authentication may just force many users back to the password-only era.

Two words: Google Authenticator.

There is no excuse for using SMS for 2FA when you have TOTP with a well-documented interoperability standard in RFC 6238.

Submission + - SPAM: Scribbles reveal Leonardo da Vinci ahead of his time, again

schwit1 writes: A historian doing a detailed study of Leonardo da Vinci’s research on the nature of friction has discovered his first notes on the subject, where da Vinci outlined the laws of friction two hundred years before they were finally documented by a French scientist.

“The sketches and text show Leonardo understood the fundamentals of friction in 1493,” says Hutchings. “He knew that the force of friction acting between two sliding surfaces is proportional to the load pressing the surfaces together and that friction is independent of the apparent area of contact between the two surfaces. These are the ‘laws of friction’ that we nowadays usually credit to a French scientist, Guillaume Amontons, working 200 years later.”

It is an unfortunately thing that da Vinci lived and worked in Italy. Though this was where the Renaissance blossomed, it is also the place where some scientists at the time were persecuted for being too honest about their research. To protect himself da Vinci confined his scientific genius to his private diaries, written in a backwards script he created so that no one could easily understand them. Thus, while his brilliance as a painter was recognized in his lifetime and after, the discoveries he had made about engineering and science were lost for literally centuries.

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