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Submission + - White House urges ban on non-compete agreements for many workers (

schwit1 writes: The Obama administration on Tuesday called on U.S. states to ban agreements prohibiting many workers from moving to their employers' rivals, saying it would lead to a more competitive labor market and faster wage growth.

The administration said so-called non-compete agreements interfere with worker mobility and states should consider barring companies from requiring low-wage workers and other employees who are not privy to trade secrets or other special circumstances to sign them.

Nearly every state allows non-compete agreements, and legal battles over their validity are common. Courts in determining whether the agreements are lawful generally focus on the length of time they are in effect, their geographical limits and whether employees had access to trade secrets.

The Obama administration on Tuesday also urged states to ban non-compete agreements that are not proposed before a job offer or promotion is accepted and said employers should not be able to enforce the agreements when workers are laid off.

Submission + - The Future of Sustainable Farming Might Be Bugs (

gthuang88 writes: The idea of insects as a protein source to feed the world isn’t new. But the U.S. agtech industry may be warming up to it. Now a Seattle startup called Beta Hatch is growing and harvesting mealworms and their waste, about 600 pounds a week, and packaging them as chicken feed and fertilizer. The goal is to be healthier and more eco-friendly than traditional feed, which uses soy. Together with companies like Tiny Farms, Exo, and Six Foods, this represents a new wave of efforts to commercialize insects for sustainable food and farming.

Submission + - Maker of app-controlled dildo sued for invasion of privacy (

BarbaraHudson writes: In what seems to be a case of "not quite clear on the concept" of how Internet-connected devices work, the purchaser of a "high-end vibrator" ($130 We-Vibe) is suing the manufacturer for invasion of privacy because the device "transmits highly sensitive" information."

The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this month in an Illinois court, explains that to fully operate the device, users download the We-Connect app on a smartphone, allowing them and their partners remote control over the Bluetooth-equipped vibrator's settings.

n particular, the app's "connect lover" feature — which promises a secure connection — allows partners to exchange text messages, conduct video chats and control a paired We-Vibe device, the woman's statement of claim said. The woman at the centre of the suit bought her vibrator in May for US$130, downloaded the app that connects to it and used it on several occasions.

"(N.P.) would never have purchased a We-Vibe had she known that in order to use its full functionality, (Standard Innovation) would monitor, collect and transmit her usage information through We-Connect," the statement of claim said.

It kind of has to share that information if it's going to be remotely controlled by someone else. What a dildo! (the woman, not the sex toy).

Submission + - FBI urges ransomware victims to step forward (

alphadogg writes: The FBI has issued a plea for those who have been hit by ransomware to report this to federal law enforcement so that the country can get a better sense of just how bad this problem really is. The FBI does not encourage people paying ransom, but encourages victims to reach out to their local FBI office and/or file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center regardless of whether they did pay.

Submission + - Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests (

Jeffrey_Walsh VA writes: Hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the United States are using voting machines or vote tabulators that have flunked security tests. Those jurisdictions by and large are where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is substantially outperforming the first full wave of exit polling in her contest against Senator Bernie Sanders.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Neighbours pooling to build an ISP

An anonymous reader writes: Background:
1. Neighborhood of about 500 homes. Assume 100 will sign up initially.
2. Running optical fiber over the existing electric poles adds up to 10km or so. Let's say 10 independent 'loops' that converge to a central location that has space for a full-size rack + supporting power equipment.

Let's assume that there are no regulatory impediments. What we are thinking of is laying down a full optical fiber network with splices for each subscriber. We'll get a leased-line connection from a Tier-1 BW supplier for 10+Gbps, and share it out evenly as per the total load on the switch in real-time (i.e., no artificial upper limit. If only 10 homes are 'active' at a time, they all get 1Gbps at that time, etc.).

My questions are:
1. Has something like this been done before? Online references much appreciated; especially the kind that goes into technical details like what kind of gear, terminology, etc were utilized.
2. What kind of Bill of Material should we expect? Rough estimates in USD are acceptable.
3. One alternative idea is to not buy bulk bandwidth on our own and just leave the central switch open to external ISPs to supply their plans to our residents. This way we foster competition and minimize a whole universe of headaches. How easy is this technically speaking?
4. Can it be run in a plug-n-forget manner, with minimal running maintenance? We assume that the contractors we use for laying the fiber and equipment will provide support for fixed annual payment.

Submission + - Bacteria-Powered Solar Cells Generate Clean Energy (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have created a biosolar panel that continuously generated electricity from bacterial activities. Miniature bio-solar cells were installed in an array and generated 5.59 microwatts of clean energy, and sustained that energy output over 60 hours.

This represents a step forward in the use of cyanobacteria as a sustainable clean energy source. While 5.59 microwatts is a small amount, this research represents a significant improvement in biosolar performance. The researchers arranged solar cells in a 3×3 array, creating a nine-cell biosolar panel. The panel concept, and the successful functioning of sustained clean output, will contribute to the growing store of knowledge on how microorganisms use photosynthesis to transfer electrons, providing a foundation for the study of biosolar cellular activities.

Comment Re:Am I the only one who actually likes Gnome 3? (Score 1) 835

I have been using Linux since 1996, and I am finding Gnome 3 to be very usable. I upgraded to Fedora 15 on a four year old Dell D520, and it has been a really good experience. I admit that it was a huge change at first, but I haven't found much to complain about. I missed the ability to shade my windows, but now I'm used to rotating them out on the fly. On thing I have learned in 15+ years of being a sysadmin is to approach changes with an open mind. Sometimes changes do flat out suck, but for me, Gnome 3 is a success.
The Internet

US Says Canadian Copyright As Bad As China's, Russia's 323

An anonymous reader writes "The US is blaming Canada in a new report that claims that Canadian copyright and intellectual property laws are as bad as those found in China and Russia. Michael Geist notes that Canadian officials have dismissed these findings in the past, arguing it 'does not recognize the Special 301 process due to its lacking of reliable and objective analysis.'" (Read more about the annual Special 301 report.)

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