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Submission + - Early explorer logbooks reveal sea ice have not changed in 100 yrs ( 3

bricko writes: Early explorer logbooks reveal Antarctic sea ice has barely changed in 100 years

Logbooks from the likes of Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton — key figures in the 'Heroic Age' of Antarctic exploration — have revealed that sea ice levels in Antarctica have barely changed over the past century, despite global temperatures hitting record highs year after year.

Submission + - Elon Musk under investigation for Solar Subsidies (

bricko writes: The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee have launched a probe into tax incentives paid to solar companies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Already grossly subsidized, Musk’s SolarCity has become an albatross of waste, fraud, and abuse of tax payer dollars. As legitimate earnings and cash become even scarcer for SolarCity, its entanglement in the Tesla empire suggests that a drastic reckoning not only is imminent, but in fact emboldening Musk to become more outlandish and reckless.

Notably, SolarCity is run by Musk’s cousins, Lyndon and Peter Rive. During his chairmanship at SolarCity, Musk’s family enterprise has taken in billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies from both the federal and local governments. But the subsidies and sweetheart deals were not enough, as losses and missed projections continued to mount.

Submission + - Did Processor Cause Samsung Note 7 Blowup? (

bricko writes: New report emerged Wednesday that the culprit might not be the lithium-ion batteries themselves, which Samsung initially suspected. Rather, the problem might reside in the underlying technology — tweaks made to the processor in the smartphone.

Attributing an unnamed source who has spoken to Samsung chiefs, the Financial Times reported, “Problems with the phone appeared to have arisen from tweaks to the processor to speed up the rate at which the phone could be charged.”

Submission + - Tesla Knows When a Crash Is Your Fault-others soon to follow (

bricko writes: Tesla Knows When a Crash Is Your Fault

trying to hide what really happened in any kind of car accident could soon become just about impossible.

That’s the lesson of an incident over the weekend in which the owner of a Tesla Model X SUV crashed into a building and claimed it had suddenly accelerated on its own. But Tesla vehicles are constantly connected to their manufacturer via the Internet and was found not to be so.

Submission + - US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations (

bricko writes: US military uses 8-inch floppy disks to coordinate nuclear force operations

The Defense Department's 1970s-era IBM Series/1 Computer and long-outdated floppy disks handle functions related to intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft, according to the new Government Accountability Office report.

Submission + - IBM layofffs hide shuffling jobs/employees to low paid areas of world (

bricko writes: Why are journalists and tech workers paying so much attention to the IBM layoffs? One reason is the strong suspicion that IBM’s secrecy about the cuts—the company is making numbers public only when local laws require, and has refused to break down its head count regionally—is designed to cover some less than admirable behavior.

Perhaps, it’s been suggested, the whole “rebalancing” effort actually means pushing jobs to low-cost regions. Writes Steve Pitcher in MC Press Online: “Leaked documents show IBM India now has more workers than IBM in the U.S. Why? Take a guess. The average IBM India employee is paid $17,000 per year.”

Or, perhaps the effort is designed to remove older, more expensive workers: Journalist and IBM watcher Robert X. Cringely is trying to determine whether IBM has violated age discrimination laws with this year’s layoffs. He’s trying to gather evidence, and suggests that soon-to-be-former employees over 40 force an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), by filing a charge of age discrimination against the company.

Submission + - The 'Human Computer' Behind the Moon Landing Was a Black Woman (

bricko writes: The ‘Human Computer’ Behind the Moon Landing Was a Black Woman

She calculated the trajectory of man’s first trip to the moon by hand, and was such an accurate mathematician that John Glenn asked her to double-check NASA’s computers. To top it off, she did it all as a black woman in the 1950s and 60s, when women at NASA were not even invited to meetings.

And you’ve probably never heard of her.

Meet Katherine Johnson, the African American woman who earned the nickname “the human computer” at NASA during its space race golden age.

Submission + - No, Gender Diversity Doesn't Boost Corporate Profits (

bricko writes: The problem, argues Northwestern University Professor Alice Eagly in a recent paper in the Journal of Social Issues, is that such claims—while usually backed by the best of intentions—simply don’t hold up under scrutiny.

They are based on a combination of substandard research, a misreading of that research by impassioned political activists, and the failure of social scientists to act as “honest brokers” when they “produce findings that are not what advocates want to hear.”

Submission + - FCC to allow Google to "scrape" all the programming running into your home (

bricko writes: FCC to allow Google to “scrape” all the programming running into your home and relay it through its own box. Why do the feds want Google to control your TV?
Promoting set-top box “competition” — as proponents of the rule claim they want to do — is merely a decoy.

How does the FCC’s proposal do that? To start, it would allow Google to “scrape” all the programming running into your home and relay it through its own box. Then Google can serve you up its own ads, track your viewing habits and bury disfavored shows in its mysterious search algorithms.

It can also gain access to valuable revenue streams like on demand, digital-rights licensing, home-shopping services and more.

And remember: Google is not paying for the privilege or competing with the people who brought you “Mr. Robot,” “Jane the Virgin” or “Broad City.” It isn’t bringing you any new programming at all. The FCC is simply giving Google the right to exploit your existing programs for free.

Google is usually more subtle. It has used control of our Internet searches to elevate favored businesses while killing off those who refuse to pay for “search priority.” We see the result in industries such as newspapers and music, where content has been similarly “scraped” and advertising dollars commandeered. But this is different. This is a naked power play in which Google is controlling a captive FCC to get the government to hand it virtually the entire TV distribution business.

Submission + - Turn your Phone into 3-D Printer (

bricko writes: This $99 box transforms any smartphone into a 3D printer using light from screen and resins.
The printer consists of three main parts — a reservoir, a special photopolymer resin that you pour into it, and a mechanized lid that contains the build plate and control electronics. At the bottom of the reservoir, there’s a piece of polarized glass which you place your phone underneath, facing upward.

Basically, once you place the lid on top and the printer starts going, the app makes your phone’s screen light up with a specific pattern. The polarized glass then takes all this light (which shines outwardly to give your phone a wider viewing angle) and redirects it so that all the photons are traveling straight upward. So as your phone’s screen beams light up into the reservoir, the directed light causes a layer of resin to harden onto the build plate

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