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Communications

The Verge's Deputy Editor Chris Ziegler Was Secretly Working For Apple For Two Months (gizmodo.com) 66

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Late this afternoon, Nilay Patel, the editor-in-chief of The Verge, published a post detailing the circumstances around the departure of Chris Ziegler, a founding member of the site. As it turns out, according to Patel, Ziegler had been pulling double duty as an employee of both The Verge and Apple. "The circumstances of Chris' departure from The Verge raised ethical issues which are worth disclosing in the interests of transparency and respect for our audience," Patel wrote. "We're confident that there wasn't any material impact on our journalism from these issues, but they are still serious enough to merit disclosure." According to Patel, Ziegler, whose most recent post was published in July, began working for Apple in July but didn't disclose his new job; The Verge apparently didn't discover he'd been working there until early September. Patel noted that Ziegler continued to work for The Verge in July, but "was not in contact with us through most of August and into September." What's not clear is how The Verge leadership went six weeks without hearing from their deputy editor or taking serious action (like filing a missing person's report) to try to find him. Patel says they "made every effort to contact him and to offer him help if needed." Patel noted the obvious conflict of interest, and added that Ziegler was fired the same day they verified his employment at Apple. "Chris did not attempt to steer any coverage towards or away from Apple, and any particular decisions he helped make had the same outcomes they would have had absent his involvement," Patel wrote. However, it's still unclear how exactly the team at Vox Media, The Verge's parent company, ascertained there was no editorial consequences from the dual-employment. You can read Patel's full statement here. Vox Media's Fay Sliger followed up with a statement to Gizmodo: "Chris is no longer an employee of The Verge or Vox Media. Chris accepted a position with Apple, stopped communicating with The Verge's leadership, and his employment at The Verge was terminated. Vox Media's editorial director Lockhart Steele conducted an internal review of this conflict of interest, and after a thorough investigation, it was determined that there was no impact on editorial decisions or journalism produced at The Verge or elsewhere in Vox Media. We've shared details about this situation with The Verge's audience and will continue to be transparent should any new information come to light."

Comment Re:"Shitposting" is fraud, not speech (Score 1) 516

As ridiculous as it is, I don't think anyone really cares. People have largely made their decisions long ago and there's little opinion to sway. There was a study pretty much demonstrating this just recently.

However, I'm just a Canadian eating my popcorn, watching the shit show ensue.

Comment Re:What sort of morons work in the patent office? (Score 1) 201

No. But I am capable of reading

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/282

A patent shall be presumed valid. Each claim of a patent (whether in independent, dependent, or multiple dependent form) shall be presumed valid independently of the validity of other claims; dependent or multiple dependent claims shall be presumed valid even though dependent upon an invalid claim.

Comment Re:What sort of morons work in the patent office? (Score 1) 201

The claims narrow the scope. Claim 1 is "A retail paper bag, comprising: a bag container formed of white paper with at least 60% post-consumer content".

Claim 4 is the narrower claim of "A retail paper bag, comprising: a bag container formed of white paper with at least 60% post-consumer content comprising a reinforcement insert adhered to an interior of the bag container"

Claim 5 is the even narrower claim of "A retail paper bag, comprising: a bag container formed of white paper with at least 60% post-consumer content comprising a reinforcement insert adhered to an interior of the bag container, wherein the reinforcement insert is adhered across a fold of the bag container"

So while the broad claim may not be valid, a dependant claim of narrower scope may well be. This is not about whether a product infringes. In this case, a product can't infringe claim 5 without also infringing claims 4 and 1. But if claims 1 and 4 are shown to be invalid due to obviousness, 5 is not.

Comment Re:What happens when the train craches? (Score 1) 197

Why would they add an oxygen tank? There's oxygen in the air!

A hydrogen fuel tank exploding will be quite a fireball, for sure, but hydrogen tanks are pretty tough. And even if they do explode, there's only so much energy stored. Not enough to affect anything that hasn't already been affected by a train barelling into it.

Comment Re:Hydrogen is a stupid fuel to use (Score 1) 197

It does strike me as inconvenient. Per MJ, methane at 250 bar takes up as much space as hydrogen at 700 bar, and many other hydrocarbons are liquid at room temperature. Plus natural gas already has a distribution network installed. Plus it already exists as a chemical in nature; so that's zero reactions.

I guess the inherent efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells makes up for all the other costs. Fuel cells do have excellent efficiency.

Comment Re:It's missing the full picture (Score 1) 197

Very little commercial hydrogen comes from water. It's cheaper to get it from natural gas. Problem remains (You'll be better off using the methane to power a power station), but I think it's important to be aware of this if we're discussing the relative benefits. .

These trains are designed for low volume routes where catenary would be expensive. Still, I'd have thought there are more convenient fuel sources. Hydrogen has excellent energy density by mass, but it's terrible by volume. Presumably hydrogen is just best for fuel cells.
Crime

Cops Are Raiding Homes of Innocent People Based Only On IP Addresses (fusion.net) 236

Kashmir Hill has a fascinating story today on what can go wrong when you solely rely on IP address in a crime investigation -- also highlighting how often police resort to IP addresses. In the story she follows a crime investigation that led police to raid a couple's house at 6am in the morning, because their IP address had been associated with the publication of child porn on notorious 4chan porn. The problem was, Hill writes: the couple -- David Robinson and Jan Bultmann -- weren't the ones who had uploaded the child porn. All they did was voluntarily use one of their old laptops as a Tor exit relay, a software used by activists, dissidents, privacy enthusiasts as well as criminals, so that people who want to stay anonymous when surfing the web could do so. Hill writes: Robinson and Bultmann had [...] specifically operated the riskiest node in the chain: the exit relay which provides the IP address ultimately associated with a user's activity. In this case, someone used Tor to make the porn post, and his or her traffic had been routed through the computer in Robinson and Bultmann's house. The couple wasn't pleased to have helped someone post child porn to the internet, but that's the thing about privacy-protective tools: They're going to be used for good and bad purposes, and to support one, you might have to support the other.Robinson added that he was a little let down because police didn't bother to look at the public list which details the IP addresses associated with Tor exit relays. Hill adds: The police asked Robinson to unlock one MacBook Air, and then seemed satisfied these weren't the criminals they were looking for and left. But months later, the case remains open with Robinson and Bultmann's names on police documents linking them to child pornography. "I haven't run an exit relay since. The police told me they'd be back if it happened again," Robinson said; he's still running a Tor node, just not the end point anymore. "I have to take the threat seriously because I don't want my wife or I to wake up with guns in our faces."Technologist Seth Schoen, and EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn in a white paper aimed at courts and cops. "For many reasons, connecting an individual to a crime linked to an IP address, without any additional investigation, is irresponsible and threatens the civil liberties of innocent people."
Hardware

At Least 26 Claimed Galaxy Note 7 Fire Reports Were Untrue, Samsung Says (zdnet.com) 106

Lately, a lot of behind the scene conversations have been suggesting that perhaps the Note 7 battery explosion fiasco has been blown out of the proportion. There's no evidence of any of that, so we won't discuss it any further, but amid all of this, Samsung has confirmed that at least 26 explosion reports that circulated everywhere were hoaxes. From a ZDNet report:Out of the 26 reports, the South Korean tech giant said that in 12 cases they found no fault with the devices. In seven cases, the reported victim could not be reached and in another seven incidents, the consumer cancelled the report or alleged that they threw away the device. In the US, where 1 million devices were recalled, nine such cases were reported. There were three in South Korea, two in France, and one each from the UK, Canada, Singapore, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam, Croatia, Romania, Iraq, Lebanon, the UAE, and Czech Republic. In Korea, a worker at a convenience store alleged online that their phone exploded but Samsung said the person was currently unreachable. The user in Canada used a picture they found of the Note 7 catching fire and posed it as their own, the company said, and in Singapore, a user claimed they threw the handset out of their car when it caught fire but could not show proof.Makes you think doesn't it?

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