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Comment Licence Fee on the way out? (Score 2) 80

The BBC looking for ways to generate income now the Licence Fee is on the way out? For those not in the UK, if you watch live tv (either BBC or other), you have to (by law) buy an annual TV licence (approx 140GBP a year) - from which a large chunk gets paid to the BBC as the national television programme provider, and provides a good amount of their income.

This model is clearly under threat with the need to watch live tv declining. I moved into a new house 6 years ago and decided to save money by stopping paying for a tv licence and just watching on catch-up via the BBC and other tv players for other stations, you don't need a licence for that (the crucial definition is you need one if you're watching a live transmission). I suspect there are many like me. Gone are the days 99% of the country would need a TV licence. With the numbers declining and the BBC's commanding position declining (gone are the 1970s when there were only 3 tv channels, and our government is in favour of breaking up or selling off government run services): I think the BBC is working out how it generates money in the future and trying out some different approaches.


San Francisco Still Among Most Dangerous For Pedestrians 278

dkatana writes: The city of San Francisco averages 200 injuries per year and 30 deaths. This is almost double the number of Barcelona, Catalonia, which has about the same population. The city started a Vision Zero program, aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminate pedestrian deaths by 2024. But after a year-long Vision Zero education push called Safe Streets SF, whose key message is that pedestrians always have the right of way, the results have been modest. Now a series of banners on light poles in the South of Market neighborhood with the message: 'Slow down! We live here!' are trying to convince drivers to respect people on foot.

Amazon To Cease Sale of Apple TV and Chromecast 223

Mark Wilson writes: As of 29 October, shoppers will no longer be able to buy Apple TV or Chromecast devices from Amazon. Citing compatibility issues with Prime Video, Amazon emailed marketplace sellers to inform them it is not accepting new listings for the two media devices, and any existing listings will be removed at the end of October. The move indicates not only the importance Amazon places on its streaming Prime Video service, but also that it views Apple and Google as serious rivals. The two companies have yet to respond to the news, but it is unlikely to be well-received.
Linux Business

Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business 422

Julie188 writes: As you probably heard by now, Linux company Mandriva has finally, officially gone out of business. The CEO has opened up, telling his side of the story. He blames employee lawsuits after a layoff in 2013, the French labor laws and the courts. "Those court decisions forced the company to announce bankruptcy," he said.

Comment outsider question: why the USA embargo on Cuba? (Score 3, Interesting) 141

Not a flamebait question/troll even though it might seem so!

This article does indeed show how folk can be creative under a restrictive government: the Cuban authorities don't look like the victim when they are not allowing their own citizens access to the internet (anybody know what their justification is - I'd be interested to know the official reasoning).

But on the other side and in a more general sense, can somebody tell me why the USA still has an embargo against Cuba? (sensible answers only please). It's really perplexing for an outsider so reasonable answers would be welcomed. The USA doesn't have a problem with quite open trade and relations with other nominally communist states (e.g. China, Vietnam). It doesn't mind trading with other countries it was at war with 50 years ago. It doesn't mind trading with countries who had /still have nuclear missiles pointing at it. It doesn't mind embracing countries with poor human rights records.

Is it because of the proximity of Cuba, or some other reason? Really curious, feels like an odd hang over from a cold war that finished before many slashdotters were born...


Comment Maybe US space is not the only game in town? (Score 1) 39

Perhaps the EU scientists see China as being a future significant space science / engineering power and is exploring potential future relationships. Maybe EU space scientists don't see the USA and Russia as the only major players in town. Given that that Chinese are one of the two nations that are capable of launching humans successfully into space at present it would seem fair enough to take them seriously and work with them.

Comment Forget paranoia, more likely about the $$ it costs (Score 3, Insightful) 325

Let's trust Wikipedia on bird strikes and assume that small objects (under about 10kg) rarely cause a catastrophic collision, mostly it looks like bird strikes and similar are survivable for planes, they just cost lots of money. Looks like most aircraft aren't going to fall out of the sky even faced with a drone operator who successfully crashes into a plane. However the photos show it can make a pretty mess of expensive jet engines.

So I suspect that commercial interest might also be at play, it would be in the airlines' interest to claim a terrorism threat to stop idiots going to the supermarket in the morning then flying a drone near commercial airspace in the afternoon. Going to cost a lot to replace one of those jet engines from the look of the wikipedia photos showing what happens when a bird hits them.

Seems like if you want to commit an act of terror then a 5kg lump of plastic isn't likely to knock an airliner out of the sky, but it will probably cost the airlines a lot of money so I can imagine they'd quite like some regulations in place to stop idiots flying them near their planes.

Comment yes but we're a group of islands in the Atlantic (Score 1) 90

This may be so but we (the British Isles) are a group of islands in the Atlantic, we get waves rolling around our coastline 24/7, coming in a long way across open ocean, and we've got a lot of sea. We're a relatively small island and people get protective about windfarms getting built on land. So it's a reliable source of energy to explore in a place not many folk mind too much having installations on, definitely worth researching scaleable solutions here.

Comment Depends where: LHR: 191k passengers/ day (Score 1) 237

London Heathrow sees 191,000 people arrive and depart per day.

Excluding passengers in transit, that's still going to be an awful lot of people moving in and out of the airport on the edge of London. I can't see you shifting them all in 4 person cars without more traffic jams that already plague the M25 (ok, I suspect from your post you're unhappy with more than 1 to 2 people per car, but in principle car sharing and multiple car passengers is feasible).

Maybe airports can be serviced in small rural areas by cars but in major metropolitan areas mass transit systems are more efficient.

Comment Are the police involved? (regarding death threats) (Score 1) 239

I understand that cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, who made the statement that the best thing men could do to support women was to believe them when they say they are being harassed, has had a death threat made against her. Are the police involved? If somebody made an anonymous death threat against me I'd call the police and expect them to take it seriously. How is this being handled in this case (I don't know how things work in the USA).


Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton 79

gurps_npc (621217) writes "CNN has a very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy. The system is made out of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it. The exoskeleton does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carrying the heavy tool.

First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster 122

wired_parrot writes Nearly fifty years after the first spacewalk by soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, he's given a rare interview to the BBC revealing how the mission very nearly ended in disaster. Minutes after he stepped into space, Leonov realised his suit had inflated like a balloon, preventing him from getting back inside. Later on, the cosmonauts narrowly avoided being obliterated in a huge fireball when oxygen levels soared inside the craft. And on the way back to Earth, the crew was exposed to enormous G-forces, landing hundreds of kilometres off target in a remote corner of Siberia populated by wolves and bears.

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