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Submission + - US Government Employees Banned from Sharing Publicly Funded Science (popsci.com) 1

Layzej writes: Popular Science reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now barred from communicating with the public and The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees from sharing the results of its taxpayer-funded research with the broader public.
The memo outlining these new rules has not been made public, but the ban reportedly includes everything from summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets. Scientists are still able to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals, but they are unable to talk about that research without prior consent from their agency.
This is not the first time that public science has been hamstrung by a gag order. To this day, the quantity of oil spewed into the ocean during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill remains something of a mystery. Many of the scientists who worked on the spill were hired by BP and barred from speaking on it. But gag orders—while always troublesome—have usually been limited to one specific issue. Right now, the EPA and USDA have been forbidden to speak about all of their scientific research. It means that many of the kinds of stories we now cover will never see the light of day.

Submission + - SPAM: Trump lie tracker

dkegel writes: There are several fact-checkers out there, but there wasn't a site that listed the Trump administration's lies chronologically... so I started one:

[spam URL stripped]

Comment Oracle "gouging their clients" (Score 0) 164

"Oracle ... gouging their clients."

One example of Oracle's gouging, two stories:

Oregon settles bitter legal fight with Oracle for $100 million

Oregon Reaches $100 Million Settlement With Oracle

How it happens: Managers with no technical knowledge believe they can buy contracts for technology development. Technology companies know they can say anything and it will usually be accepted.

Another example of an ignorant manager assuming it is possible to manage technology without knowing anything about technology: Price for Failed Obamacare Website: $394 Million and Counting.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama often acts like a knowledgeable leader even when the depth of his knowledge is extremely shallow.

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Faults Caused by Two Separate Battery Faults

Mickeycaskill writes: Samsung's investigation into what caused Galaxy Note 7 devices to overheat and catch fire has concluded two distinct battery faults were the cause — not the handsets themselves.

The company said all the devices it's planning to release this year were designed and manufactured after the Note 7 recall and have been tested according to new measures put into place since then.

That includes the Galaxy S8 expected to be released this spring. Samsung mobile communications president DJ Koh said at a press conference in Seoul the S8's release schedule was not "meaningfully" affected by the Note 7 issues.

Samsung used two separate battery suppliers for the device, and the initial problems were caused by a design flaw found in only one of those batteries, which it called Battery A.

Following the first recall Samsung stopped using Battery A and instead increased its order from the second supplier. But in its efforts to vastly expand production that supplier introduced a separate flaw into Battery B that also caused the batteries to overheat.

The design flaw in Battery A was an external casing that was too small and didn't allow the battery to expand and contract during charge and discharge cycles. As a result the positive and negative electrodes came into contact, causing a short-circuit, Samsung said.

The initial samples of Battery B were not flawed, but after Samsung ordered about 10 million new units, the battery maker introduced errors including protrusions that were left over from the ultrasonic welding process.

Those errors also caused a short-circuit.

Submission + - Samsung: two battery defects caused Note7 problems and could delay Galaxy S8 (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Samsung has finally revealed the long-awaited results of its investigation into the problematic Galaxy Note7. Having issued an apology and pushed out OTA updates to disable phones which had been banned from flights because of the risk of them catching fire, the South Korean company says that two separate battery problems were to blame.

The first problem stemmed from the fact that the battery was physically too small for the Note7 leading to a short-circuit. Replacement batteries suffered from a combination of insulation problems and an issue that cause positive and negative electrodes to touch. Samsung also indicated that the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which, In Your Opinion, Are The BEST Tech Companies? 1

dryriver writes: Everybody knows who "the biggest tech companies" are — Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Intel and so forth. It is no big mystery who makes the most annual revenue/profits or employs the most people or files the most patents every year or has the highest stock price. But this is a different question entirely: Which tech companies, in your opinion, are the BEST at what they do? Who makes the best products in tech? Whose tech products or services would you not want to live without? Whose products would you take on a deserted island with you? If you could pick just 5 — 10 tech companies that are absolutely essential to you as a tech nerd, tech enthusiast or other, which companies would those be? And why?

Submission + - The Clinton Foundation is downsizing (ny.gov)

mi writes: You would think, the end of a political career would allow a genuinely charitable family to concentrate on their charity. Instead, the Clinton Foundation is closing shop (or, at least, downsizing) after their champion's electoral loss. According to the paperwork they filed with New York Department of labor, the reason is "Discontinutation [sic] of the Clinton Global Initative [sic]".

Submission + - Scientists archiving government data to protect it from Trump (businessinsider.com)

Cludge writes: And they better hurry: links to climate change began disappearing from gov websites even before Trump's inauguration was over. The activist group "has about 50 members, and it is rapidly working to download and store the government's scientific data. The members are interviewing scientists, policymakers, and current and former agency employees to prioritize which websites and data to protect for the scientific community."

Submission + - Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna (phys.org)

schwit1 writes: New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change.

Led by Monash University in Victoria, Australia and the University of Colorado Boulder, the team used information from a sediment core drilled in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southwest Australia to help reconstruct past climate and ecosystems on the continent. The core contains chronological layers of material blown and washed into the ocean, including dust, pollen, ash and spores from a fungus called Sporormiella that thrived on the dung of plant-eating mammals, said CU Boulder Professor Gifford Miller.

Miller, who participated in the study led by Sander van der Kaars of Monash University, said the sediment core allowed scientists to look back in time, in this case more than 150,000 years, spanning Earth's last full glacial cycle. Fungal spores from plant-eating mammal dung were abundant in the sediment core layers from 150,000 years ago to about 45,000 years ago, when they went into a nosedive, said Miller, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

"The abundance of these spores is good evidence for a lot of large mammals on the southwestern Australian landscape up until about 45,000 years ago," he said. "Then, in a window of time lasting just a few thousand years, the megafauna population collapsed."

Submission + - France to review food whitener additive, titanium dioxide, for health risks (reuters.com)

Eloking writes: The French government has ordered a review of the safety of titanium dioxide as a food additive after a scientific study released on Friday found health effects in animals that consumed the substance.

Titanium dioxide is widely used in industry as a whitener, notably for paint. It is an ingredient in some foods such as sweets and known as additive E171.

France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and partners in a study on oral exposure to titanium dioxide had shown for the first time that E171 crosses the intestine wall in animals to reach other parts of the body, INRA said.

Comment Microsoft's effective negative advertising (Score 5, Insightful) 168

Microsoft top managers decided to try to force everyone who isn't technically knowledgeable to move to the Windows 10 operating system so that Microsoft could offer "Apps", like the Android and Apple cell phone systems.

Microsoft ignored the fact that trying to sell "Apps" when people have work to do on their computers is not appropriate.

Windows 10 tries to force Microsoft's control, imitating the cell phone companies that, more and more, take control away from the customer and user.

That acted as extremely effective negative advertising. Almost every technically knowledgeable person is now aware of what they consider extreme abuse.

In my opinion, the negative advertising damages Microsoft and indicates that Microsoft top managers are not competent.

Submission + - What issues do you have with Slashdot functionality? 8

hackwrench writes: We know about Slashdot's Unicode, nonspecific issues with features around what was Slashdot beta, Slashdot launching you some arbitrary distance down the page, the mobile site missing features and hiding posts without the option to turn it off and apparently I and others have been banned from moderating. What features do you find problematic with the Slashdot interface and what would you like to have added?

Comment Re: In the interest of infringing further: (Score 1) 146

Really? I've heard the last few Trek outings were absolute shit. I've been too busy to see many movies, but after Paramount's shenanigans began I couldn't see making time to give them any of my money. The fans made Trek - if they want to shit on the fans, then the fans can u make Trek. Except that most of them are p'tak.

Submission + - AM Radio transmission of music from an unmodified laptop (github.com)

anfractuosus writes: I developed a simple program to enable the transmission of music from a .wav file
as RF AM emissions from an unmodified laptop, by making use of RF leakage from the computer, by
twiddling with data on the system bus. I made use of Pulse Density Modulation to emit the .wav file.

You can see the code at https://github.com/anfractuosi...

And a video of the audio received by a radio at https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

This is based on the awesome work at https://github.com/fulldecent/...

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