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Comment Re:Best Nonprofit in the US (Score 1) 236

Also, if you aren't done with your gift shopping, and have another geek in the family and friends, or a kid you want to introduce to the concept of people working because the love their work, and not necessarily for money, gift them the Humble Indie Bundle #2. Yes, that is back, and you can donate all you pay to the EFF. Linkage: http://www.humblebundle.com/

Comment Re:Unknown to Science... (Score 1) 133

This work is just a tiny part of a much larger, decades-long, global research effort by thousands of scientists (note lack of scare quotes) to try and take traditional medicine and other practices (including westerners: aspirin, for example), discover what works, how it works, and make that knowledge generally available.....

and then patent it (e.g. turmeric), so they can use it commercially. The patent then raises the specter of legal threats against the people who use it and have been using it traditionally over hundreds of years.


Submission + - Burglary Ring Uses Facebook Places To Find Targets (wmur.com)

Kilrah_il writes: A burglary ring was caught in Nashua, NH due to the vigilance of an off-duty police officer. The group is credited with 50 acts of burglaries, the targets chosen because they posted their absence from home on the Internet. "'Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites,' said Capt. Ron Dickerson. 'We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites.'"
Well, I guess the prophecies came true.

Comment Disposal (Score 1) 128

Every time I read a new material or new technology or gadget using nano-technology and nanotubes and such, I always wonder whether the inventors have thought of how they would dispose of the stuff so it doesn't harm the environment when it is EOL'ed. This, IMO, is a much neglected part of any news story which extols the virtues of nano-technology enabled foobar invention.

Submission + - Is Biometrics Covered Under the 5th Amendment? (volokh.com) 1

scottmatrix writes: Few years ago, there was a legal case where a U.S. Federal Court ruled that the accused does not have to turn over the passphrase of his encrypted laptop to prosecutors. The ruling was based on the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which protects the right of the accused to avoid self-incrimination.

If a passphrase is projected under the 5th Amendment, can it also be inferred that a finger swipe on the fingerprint reader is protected under the constitution?


Submission + - ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Baseless Border Laptop (pcworld.com)

suraj.sun writes: ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Baseless Border Laptop Searches:

ACLU and other groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) practice of searching laptops and other electronic devices at U.S. borders.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the ACLU, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Layers (NACDL), challenges a 2008 CBP policy that allows border agents to search electronic devices of any traveler, without suspicion of wrongdoing. In some cases, border agents have copied the contents of the devices or confiscated them. The lawsuit asks the court for an order prohibiting searches of electronic devices at borders without a warrant and probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

The border laptop searches violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures, the ACLU has alleged. CBP has established a "constitution-free zone at the border," Crump said in a video the ACLU released ( http://www.aclu.org/free-speech-technology-and-liberty/railroaded-unconstitutional-border-searches ).

PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/204944/aclu_other_groups_sue_us_government_over_border_laptop_searches.html

Comment Re:Euro (Score 1) 252

Dumb question - What was wrong with the old Rupee symbol?

It wasn't a symbol, but rather just two letters ("Rs"). Which isn't "cool", I guess...

It wasn't a symbol AND Pakistan , Sri Lanka and Nepal all use the name rupee for their currency, and the INR needed to be distinguished from these, since rupee, or Rs. 500, for example is equally valid for the currency of all 4 nations.

Open Source

Aquaria Goes Open Source 58

A post on the Wolfire blog yesterday announced that the source code for Aquaria has now been released. Aquaria, an action-adventure, underwater sidescroller from Bit Blot, was part of the Humble Indie Bundle, which was so successful that the developers of four games pledged to release them as open source. This marks the final release, following Lugaru, Gish, and Penumbra: Overture. The source code is available from a Mercurial repository.

Submission + - Opera Makes Fun of Chrome Speed Test Video (cnet.com)

Zerocool3001 writes: "Opera has released a low-tech parody of Google Chrome's recent slow motion ad. The recent Chrome video pitted elaborate slow motion stunts (e.g. a pirate ship hit by a bolt from a Tesla coil) against Chrome loading a popular webpage. The newest Opera video one-ups the Chrome ad by featuring Herring obsessed Scandinavians pitting Opera against the speed of potatoes boiling."

Comment Re:One word: (Score 1) 6

I face the same problem, trying to contribute to OSS and programming in general, needs me to download a few books to find out about linked lists, double linked lists and all those data structures, and quite a few algorithms (I'm a EE guy). There should be some way to write code(contribute) without having to study 80% of existing Computer Science before. Disclaimer: All statistics were randomly made up on the spot.

Submission + - How to get a game-obsessed teenager into coding 6

looseBits writes: I have a friend who's 14 year-old son spends all his time gaming like any normal teenager however she would like to find a more productive interest for him and asked me how to get him into coding. When I started coding, it was on the Apple II and one could quickly write code that was almost as interesting as commercially available software however times have changed and it would probably take years of study if starting from scratch to write anything anyone would find mildly interesting. Does anyone have any experience in getting their children into programming? How did you keep them interested if the only thing they can do after a week is make the computer count to 10 and dump it on the screen?

Submission + - Hi Tech Burglars Get Longer Sentences in Louisiana

Hugh Pickens writes: "Burglars and terrorists should be careful not to use Google maps if they plan on committing crimes in the state of Lousiana. Nola reports that a bill approved 89-0 by the Louisiana House will require that judges impose an additional minimum sentence of at least 10 years on terrorist acts if the crime is committed with the aid of an Internet-generated "virtual maps." The bill, already approved by the Lousiana Senate, defines a "virtual street-level map" as one that is available on the Internet and can generate the location or picture of a home or building by entering the address of the structure or an individual's name on a website. If the map is used in the commission of a crime like burglary the bill calls for the addition of at least one year in jail to be added to the burglary sentence. The House measure is now being sent back to the Senate for approval of clarifying amendments made by a House committee."

Submission + - Violent video games are good for you (skunkpost.com)

crimeandpunishment writes: Kids who battle their parents over the opportunity to play violent video games just got some new ammunition. Researchers say there's a benefit to the games....including improving vision and other brain functions. The study was presented at symposium on the educational uses of video games and computer games. A professor from the University of Rochester's department of brain and cognitive science told the conference she believes the games will eventually become part of school curriculums.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky