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Comment Re:Being prepared (Score 1) 230

Nice to know you've been so sheltered until now.

There doesn't need to be anywhere near a total collapse (interesting that you hedge with a rather extreme definition of "collapse") for public services and safety to degrade to a level that adversely affects the health and safety of ordinary citizens for a period of days to months. One only need to look to Latin America's last big economic collapse, the Syrian War or the roughest periods of post-Communist Eastern Europe to witness a massive drop in police protection, civil service resources and public utilities.

By the way, hundreds of thousands families in World War II were instantly displaced or caught in harrowing deadly situations by army movements, massive bombings, deliberate targeting of civilians and frequent rounds of genocide. In many major cities services were disrupted for weeks, months, even years. A Jewish family, much less *any* family in Europe in 1939 would have been well served by some survival training, spare supplies, escape plans, safety plans and a even a serviceable, concealable weapon in many cases.

Comment Re:The Job Creators (Score 2) 333

It's long past time to reclaim parts of the internet for public use. I propose a movement where various internet service providers (across the stack) pledge or contractually bind themselves to:

- Never assist third parties in tracking users or acquiring user information. This means no XSS, web bugs, cookies, or other trade of user tracking data
- Destroy personally identifying information on a regular basis
- Never allow the government to acquire or seize information without a public warrant
- Never sell-out to entities that break any of the above rules

Comment Editorialized Rubbish From Dead Tree Flakes (Score 1) 418

The NY Times reports that people who read ebooks on tablets like the iPad are beginning to realize that while a book in print is straightforward and immersive, a tablet is more like a 21st-century cacophony than a traditional solitary activity

This article presents no sales figures, no trend graphs, and no statistics from actual book buyers. The only citation in the article that supports this assertion are the opinions of unspecified random publishers, an opinion survey - of publishers, and one random reader much perfers her tablet over paper books.

The entire article is yet another example of poorly supported screed from out-of-touch haters in the tree killing industry pining for the past where publishers, rather than e-book authors, controlled publishing.


Submission + - New interface could wire prosthetics directly into amputees' nervous systems (gizmag.com) 1

cylonlover writes: Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough in prosthetics that may one day allow artificial limbs to be controlled by their wearers as naturally as organic ones, as well as providing sensations of touch and feeling. The scientists have developed a new interface consisting of a porous, flexible, conductive, biocompatible material through which nerve fibers can grow and act as a sort of junction through which nerve impulses can pass to the prosthesis and data from the prosthesis back to the nerve. If this new interface is successful, it has the potential to one day allow nerves to be connected directly to artificial limbs.

Submission + - Saturn's Moon Dine has an Oxygen Atmosphere (fellowgeek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dione, one of Saturn’s moons, has oxygen in its upper atmosphere. An international team of researchers revealed that the Cassini space craft, originally launched in 1997, made the discovery with its on-board atmospheric sensors as it passed close to the moon.

Dione is a mere 700 miles across. The Earth, by comparison, is 7926 miles across. Despite this, one scientists said of the moon:

"The concentration of oxygen in Dione's atmosphere is roughly similar to what you would find in Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 300 miles. It's not enough to sustain life, but — together with similar observations of other moons around Saturn and Jupiter — these are definitive examples of a process by which a lot of oxygen can be produced in icy celestial bodies that are bombarded by charged particles or photons from the Sun or whatever light source happens to be nearby."


Submission + - Tajikistan Blocks Facebook, News Sites (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Tajikistan government on Saturday ordered Internet service providers (ISPs) to block Facebook, along with several independent news websites. The shutdown was ordered by the state-run communications service because the websites were critical to the president Emomali Rakhmon, according to the Tajik news agency Asia Plus.

Submission + - The ebook Backlash 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that people who read ebooks on tablets like the iPad are beginning to realize that while a book in print is straightforward and immersive, a tablet is more like a 21st-century cacophony than a traditional solitary activity offering a menu of distractions that can fragment the reading experience, or stop it in its tracks. “The tablet is like a temptress,” says James McQuivey. “It’s constantly saying, ‘You could be on YouTube now.’ Or it’s sending constant alerts that pop up, saying you just got an e-mail. Reading itself is trying to compete.” There are also signs that publishers are cooling on tablets for e-reading. A recent survey by Forrester Research showed that 31 percent of publishers believed iPads and similar tablets were the ideal e-reading platform; one year ago, 46 percent thought so. Then there's Jonathan Franzen, regarded as one of America’s greatest living novelists, who says consumers have been conned into thinking that they need the latest technology and that that e-books can never have the magic of the printed page. “I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change.""

Submission + - Human rights in the Apple "Foxconn" plant in China under scruitiny (private-eye.co.uk)

Kittenman writes: Private Eye (an English satirical/political watchdog magazine) have an abbreviated article on-line about HR abuses and investigative work at the Chinese 'Foxconn' plant. Apple picked the Fair Labor Association (FLA) over better-qualified labour review organizations for a critical review of the plant. Private Eye suspects this to be a political move by Apple, as the FLA "tends to like what it sees". Foxconn has seen multiple suicides by workers, a fatal explosion and 'slave-like' conditions — and yet the FLA president has said that the plant is "first class"

Submission + - Apple claims to have created over 500,000 US jobs (neowin.net)

butilikethecookie writes: There's been a lot of criticism of Apple in the past several weeks about how the company seems to tolerate poor working conditions at the third party factories where devices like the iPhone and iPad are made. Apple has since announced that it is working to hold special audits at those plants to help change and improve the workers' life at those plants. However, those plants are located in overseas locations, mainly in Asia, and some have asked that Apple make more of their products in its home country of the US.

Now, in perhaps in an attempt to do more spin control, Apple has posted up a new page on its official web site that claims the company has been directly or indirectly responsible for creating 514,000 jobs in the US. It cites one study by Analysis Group that claims the company has 47,000 employees in the US. That same study also claims Apple is responsible for creating 257,000 jobs at third party companies, including those that make Apple-based device components, transportation workers, sales jobs and other positions.

In addition, Apple claims that 210,000 jobs have been made in the US as part of the iOS app economy that began with the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Apple adds that it has generated over $4 billion in in royalties to App Store developers (although its likely that some of that money went to developers working outside the US). Apple also claims that the job search web site indeed.com now lists over 5,000 iOS app developer jobs openings.

Open Source

Submission + - FRPAA introduced to mandate open-access for federally funded research (whitehouse.gov)

asymptoticdesign writes: The Federal Research Public Access Act would require that 11 U.S. Government agencies mandate that manuscripts from journals articles funded by their research grants be made publicly available, free of charge, within six months of publication.

There is currently a petition run by the white house to have President Obama review the legislation, available here — http://bit.ly/xxC2Br

The Harvard Open Access Project has notes on the legislation available here: http://bit.ly/hoap-frpaa

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