SkyLeach writes: phys.org is running a story on a new nanomaterial that breaks down in the body after a few months, but until then it chemically binds to the cell walls of target cells and can then generate direct electrical current based on IR light stimulation. In essence, it can simulate neural impulses using IR lasers on a per-cell basis without invasive surgery.
The possible applications for this are just limitless.
SkyLeach writes: We've all been there. Forced to make bad decisions due to time restraints or need to push product out. For contractors, it is far far worse.
I got into contracting years ago due to the fact that an employer attempted to legally break an agreement with a private contractor. Lawyers got involved, evidence was shown, the corporation lost and the contract holder won. I also lost. I lost respect most of all. It was a dirty move by a greedy man, and I have seen it time and again.
Outsourced work, NDAs issued, NOCOMPs signed and then ethics violated. I have been privy to entire subcontracting businesses purchased in order to have them do work that the company could sell and blame defects on the company they bought when they knew full well that the issues were their own decision and made in order to generate false value in a foggy-mirror presentation of false capabilities.
We (developers, architects, software engineers) are given an interesting role in the corporate world. We are brought into strategy meetings of the highest level and then asked if we can solve a problem. The more questions we ask, the more apparent it becomes when what we are being asked to do is a social hack... especially when we aren't writing software for a small group or a team, but rather for large industry.
At what point did KISS become something turned against us to prevent us from telling the truth about what we are being asked to do? At what point does keeping our jobs outweigh our responsibility?
Everyone knows that when a fault is created intentionally to save time and money someone, somewhere will have to pay the price. What does one say when we see maneuvering to make that someone be the investors in another corporation? What do we say when we know that someone's reputation and livelihood will suffer direct blame for a corporate decision made out of greed?
I've been writing software for 22 years now, and I don't know how much more BS I can swallow.
SkyLeach writes: "Google wallet, the payment utility behind all android and Google account purchases, is in the business of strong-arming customers for their merchants.
For more than a year, ever since getting my first Android phone, I have been working to get my Google wallet account unlocked. Unfortunately it seems that the only way Google will unlock my account is if I reverse my claims against one of their merchants and I don't even know which one.
In September of 2010 I was surprised to find my checking account missing $500. I was quite surprised to discover that the charge had come from Google. At this time I had no type of Google services. I didn't own an Android phone and I had never purchased any services from Google or from any of their affiliates.
As any credit card or debit card user would have done, I went to my financial institution and had the charges reversed. I then proceeded to have a new card issued since it was clear that my credit card must have been stolen and used without my consent.
Almost a year later I purchased my very first Android smart phone, an HTC Evo 3D with Sprint. After a few weeks of use my wife wanted to purchase an app. I, of course, proceeded to set up my payment method in the Google app store (this was before it was called Google Play). Much to my surprise I found that all of my transactions were refused. I contacted Google payment services (not yet called Google Wallet) and, after being asked to prove my identity, was greeted for the first time with my first copy of their policy concerning charge reversals.
To my great astonishment and anger, Google has a policy that if at any time any person with a Google account reverses a charge for any reason that person's account, linked to their email address, is locked down forever. You cannot get a new account. You cannot choose a new payment method, you cannot do anything at all. In spite of the fact that my Google email has been my primary email since 1998 (more than 14 years) and is linked to hundreds, perhaps even thousands of online accounts and is practically essential to my online identity I am barred forever from using it for any kind of financial transaction... including redeeming gift cards.
Now understand that if there had been some kind of abuse or fraud I may be able to understand this, but that is not the case. Google will not reveal the name of the merchant who attempted to charge me $500. In spite of a few dozen attempts to get information, they refuse to take any action whatever to resolve the situation. I am only given an email to discuss the matter, no phone number. I have not been given any kind of information on the transaction or any way to resolve the situation other than to go back and pay the original charge.
This is blatant abuse of power. They are holding my entire account hostage in an attempt to force me to agree to charges about which I am denied any knowledge.
They provide no customer service other than email, and all responses are little better than form letters. It is blatantly obvious that whoever reads these emails barely skims them before simply cutting and pasting a pre-written response.
In the end, it seems that Google's policy is that the customer is always wrong and that the merchant is always right."