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Comment San Francisco budget 10% traffic enforcement (Score 1) 626

When it comes to cars, San Francisco is a weird place. There's a "transit first policy" where high-rise condos are allowed only if they have less parking spaces than units. There's the parking meters that in my 'hood are more than 16 hours a day, 7 days a week - with a minimum $50 fine. The meter maids also ticket for not curbing your wheels - ON FLAT STREETS.

Overall, San Francisco generates ~10% of its annual budget - more than $100M per year - from various traffic enforcements. Autonomous vehicles will put the squeeze on the budget, the police budget, and the homeless budget.

Submission + - Main U.S. Weather Satellite Fails Days Before Hurricane Season (

Rebecka writes: Just as the 2013 hurricane season is about to begin, one of the U.S.' main weather satellites failed this week. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, also known as GOES-13, reportedly ceased to operate as of Tuesday, making it impossible to predict weather patterns on the East Coast.

Submission + - SF Preps for Costly 'Summer of Larry Ellison Love'

theodp writes: An invite to an exclusive premiere of The Wind Gods — a PBS-featured movie about Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's victory in the 33rd America's Cup that was produced by Ellison's son — is a reminder that if you're going to San Francisco, you're gonna meet some yachting people there. Defending champion Oracle Team USA (with afterguard Ellison) will square off against challengers Artemis Racing (Sweden) and Emirates Team New Zealand this summer in the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. The verdict's still out on whether it'll be a Summer-of-Larry-Ellison-Love, as the city faces a possible $23.3 million hit for Cup-related expenses. Get your tickets and help reduce the deficit, kids!

Submission + - Google And Adobe Beautify Fonts On Linux, iOS (

alancronin writes: Users of Android, Chrome OS, Linux, and iOS devices may not realize it, but FreeType open source software is used to render fonts on more than a billion such devices. Not only that, but the FreeType project this week got a significant update from none other than Adobe and Google. Specifically, Google and Adobe on Wednesday released into beta the Adobe CFF engine, an advanced Compact Font Format (CFF) rasterizer that “paves the way for FreeType-based platforms to provide users with richer and more beautiful reading experiences,” as Google put it in an online announcement on the Google Open Source Blog. The new rasterizer is now included in FreeType version 2.4.12. Though it's currently off by default, the technology is “vastly superior” to the old CFF engine and will replace it in the next FreeType release, the project says.

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: Why Collecting More Data Doesn't Increase Safety ( 1

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Bruce Schneier, security expert (and rational voice in the wilderness), explains in an editorial on CNN, why "Connecting the Dots" is a "Hindsight Bias". In heeding calls to increase the amount of surveillance data gathered and shared, agencies like the FBI have impaired their ability to discover actual threats, while guaranteeing erosion of personal and civil freedom. "Piling more data onto the mix makes it harder, not easier. The best way to think of it is a needle-in-a-haystack problem; the last thing you want to do is increase the amount of hay you have to search through. The television show 'Person of Interest' is fiction, not fact."

Submission + - Extended TeX: past, present, and future ( 1

Hamburg writes: Frank Mittelbach, member of the LaTeX Project and LaTeX3 developer, reviews significant issues of TeX raised already 20 years ago. Today he evaluates which issues are solved, and which still remain open and why.
Examples issues are managing consecutive hyphens, rivers of vertical spaces and identical words across lines, grid-based design, weighed hyphenation points, and overcoming the the mouth/stomach separation. Modern engines such as pdfTeX, XeTeX and LuaTeX are considered in regard to solutions of important problems in typesetting.

Comment A Career Highlight (Score 1) 172

DEC was ten great years of my life. Ken built a company from nothing into something huge, then ran it into the ground. Technological highlights like networking (including a mobile pre-cursor to WiFi), StrongARM, and Alpha; marketing tragedies like "Unix is snake oil" and an unswerving allegiance to VMS. Let's not remember him for funding the VAX 9000.

Ken built an international engineering-driven culture of people that firmly believed in "doing right for the customer" and would go out of their way to get it done. You could pick up the phone and dial strangers for help and more often than not they would come through without politics or me-first posturing - an attitude that came straight from the top. I really miss it.

The architecture lives on at

Open Source

Submission + - Soundminder Android Trojan Hears Credit Cards (

Blacklaw writes: A team of security researchers has created a proof-of-concept Trojan for Android handsets that is capable of listening out for credit card numbers — typed or spoken — and relaying them back to the application's creator.
Once installed, Soundminder sits in the background and waits for a call to be placed — hence the access to the 'Phone calls' category. When triggered by a call, the application listens out for the user entering credit card information or a PIN and silently records the information, performing the necessary analysis to turn it from a sound recording into a number.


Submission + - OSI, FSF Collaborate Against Patent Threat To FOSS ( 1

Blacklaw writes: The Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundations — two organisations fighting for the same cause, but traditionally in very different ways — have joined forces in an attempt to prevent Novell patents falling into Microsoft's hands.
Novell, which ended months of speculation by announcing its acquisition by Attachmate in November of last year, made $450 million by selling 882 patents to a consortium known as CPTN — a group of technology companies including Apple, EMC, and Oracle, headed up by Microsoft — a move which the pair claim "represents a serious threat to the growing use of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) throughout business, government, academia, and non-profit organizations worldwide."


Submission + - Federal Judge: N.S.A.'s Wiretapping is illegal (

mdl4 writes: WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
In a 45-page opinion, Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.

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