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Submission + - Allstate patents physiological data collection 1

TigerPlish writes: According to the Chicago Tribune, Allstate has been granted a patent — no. US 20140080100 A1 — that covers a "driving-behavior database that it said might be useful for health insurers, lenders, credit-rating agencies, marketers and potential employers."

The article continues, "...the invention has the potential to evaluate drivers' physiological data, including heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram signals, which could be recorded from steering wheel sensors."

Imagine a world where you are denied employment or credit based on the information obtained from your car and sold by your insurer. Imagine a world where your insurer predicts how you may act or react in the future. Imagine your personal physiological information in Allstate's hands.

Good hands, indeed, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Submission + - The Sun only shines because of quantum mechanics

StartsWithABang writes: The Sun consists of some 10^57 particles, nearly 10% of which are in the core, which ranges from 4-15 million K, hot enough for nuclear fusion to occur. A whopping 4 × 10^38 protons fuse into helium-4 every second, and due to the temperatures and densities inside, the raw protons undergo billions of collisions during that time. Yet none of those collisions have a sufficient energy to overcome the Coulomb barrier; it's only through the power of quantum mechanics that any fusion occurs. Without this inherent indeterminism, the Sun and practically every star in the night sky would be eternally dark.

Comment Re:Except of course... (Score 2) 500

Agreed. I trust no on in these positions to stop just because it is unlawful to continue. Especially with all the whining about how "useful" (i.e., no proof that they helped in anyway) they have been. Perhaps I've been jaundiced by all 24 and all those other programs but since when does the expiration of a law mean anything? It's not like enforcers can seal off a room or disconnect servers from the Intertubes.

Submission + - Bowling balls and feathers (

macbass writes: We intuitively know that bowling balls fall faster than feathers on our little rock in space when dropped from a height. And that in a vacuum they should fall at the same speed. Well, Dave Marks at Loopinsight found a wonderful video to bring that abstract insight into life. Absolutely beautiful and well worth a viewing!

Comment "Deanonymizes"? (Score 1) 151

Old curmudgeon here, but WTH is "deanonymizes"? Sounds like a sci-fi weapon - "Starbuck, what do you have left in your deanonymizer?" But I take from the article and discussion that it's about identifying folks who make anonymous comments. Jeez, ain't they no editors aroun' here anymo'?
Data Storage

ZFS Hits an Important Milestone, Version 0.6.1 Released 99

sfcrazy writes "ZFS on Linux has reached what Brian Behlendorf calls an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release. Version 0.6.1 not only brings the usual bug fixes but also introduces a new property called 'snapdev.' Brian explains, 'The snapdev property was introduced to control the visibility of zvol snapshot devices and may be set to either visible or hidden. When set to hidden, which is the default, zvol snapshot devices will not be created under /dev/. To gain access to these devices the property must be set to visible. This behavior is analogous to the existing snapdir property.'"

Comment Re:Well... (Score 3, Insightful) 199

Except that my online company includes friends at locations thousands of miles away, kind of hard to keep up with them like the friends closer by. Additionally, while I haven't RTFA this appears to allow no room for error and assumes my friends are (mostly) mindless clones who automatically repeat or repost what I do. I don't know about you all, but I find this one step closer to welcoming our evil overlords. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Have I not lost my wide-eyed innocence yet?

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