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Submission + - Microsoft's Gates, Allen and Ballmer Funding Takedown of Supreme Court Justice (kiro7.com)

reifman writes: Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen and former CEO Steve Ballmer are funding a takedown of Washington State Supreme Court Charles Wiggins who voted with the 6-3 majority to overturn their 2015 charter school initiative. This billionaire-driven 'democracy' is consistent with Gates' recent hypocritical call for taxpayers to fund government innovation while dodging taxes himself.

Submission + - Tax Dodger Bill Gates Calls for Taxpayers to Fund More Innovation (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Recently, Bill Gates launched a call for political leaders and taxpayers to accelerate funding of public sector innovation. '...innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights that entrepreneurs can turn into companies that change the world,' says Gates, which in turn helps 'unlock the private sector’s ingenuity.' There's just one problem. Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world but he's also one of its biggest tax avoiders. While Microsoft's historical earnings surpassed $1 trillion earlier this year, its held more than $108 billion offshore to avoid taxation. And in its home state of Washington, it's dodged so much tax that the courts have held the legislature in contempt for two years to find sufficient funding for education.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Internet Dysphoria - if you don't have it, it's likely you know someone who does 5

Yesterday we read about how smartphones are contaminating family life. People are getting to the point where they feel anger or resentment towards the place the internet takes in so many people's lives, including their own. Here I propose both a formal diagnosis and criteria as a first step in helping those so affected.

Submission + - Bill Gates Hypocritical Call for Accelerated Innovation (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Last week, Bill Gates called on political leaders to accelerate innovation. '...innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights.' But that requires taxes, funds that he's systematically avoiding paying the government for two decades; Microsoft currently has more than $108 billion offshore. Is Gates a hypocrite or is it just that his privileged billions keep him from understanding how the world works?

Submission + - You Can Control a BB-8 Droid with Your Thoughts (tutsplus.com)

reifman writes: Using the Emotiv Insight headset, you can control a Sphero BB-8 droid with your thoughts by training it to recognize your EEG signals as commands. Normally I wouldn't submit a sponsored post (who isn't mentioned here) but I was pretty amazed by this video demo and thought that Slashdot readers may not be aware of it. There's also a follow up post using a Myo Armband to control BB-8 with gestures. There's also a TED talk by the inventor of the Emotiv talking about how the headset works.

Submission + - Blind Apple Store Employee Guides my iPhone 7 Upgrade (jeffreifman.com) 2

reifman writes: Amidst the crowds and the noise, a blind Apple store employee named Stan led my iPhone 7 upgrade this past weekend. I was touched not only that he and his service dog Eclaire were on the front lines of retail but also by the camaraderie and mutual regard of his coworkers, helping him be successful. This isn't typical — the unemployment rate for blind people is estimated at 70 percent.

Submission + - Making Fun of the "Advanced Technology" in Amtrak's Security Gap (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: After traveling the Northwest via Amtrak, the lack of traditional TSA style security was both a refreshing pleasure and a bit unnerving — and I'm not referring to its unsecured WiFi network. I decided to modify Amtrak's branding campaign to poke fun at the invisibility of its security theater, or as security guru Bruce Schneier calls it, "the security mirage."

Submission + - Controversial canal could stop thousands of sinkholes around Dead Sea (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: On the edge of the Dead Sea, the ground is caving in. Trucks and small buildings in Israel and Jordan have fallen into pits, beaches and plantations have closed, and roads been rerouted to avoid the more than 5500 sinkholes that pockmark the region. Now, by building a physical model of the Dead Sea in a laboratory, scientists have figured out what's causing the sinkholes in the first place, and whether a proposed controversial canal can stop them.

Submission + - Research finds normal matter distribution determines galaxy rotation (sciencedaily.com)

Burz writes: "Galaxy rotation curves have traditionally been explained via an ad hoc hypothesis: that galaxies are surrounded by dark matter," said David Merritt, professor of physics and astronomy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the research. "The relation discovered by McGaugh et al. is a serious, and possibly fatal, challenge to this hypothesis, since it shows that rotation curves are precisely determined by the distribution of the normal matter alone. Nothing in the standard cosmological model predicts this, and it is almost impossible to imagine how that model could be modified to explain it, without discarding the dark matter hypothesis completely."

The researchers plotted the radial acceleration observed in rotation curves published by a host of astronomers over the last 30 years against the acceleration predicted from the observed distribution of ordinary matter now in the Spitzer Photometry & Accurate Rotation Curves database McGaugh's team created. The two measurements showed a single, extremely tight correlation, even when dark matter is supposed to dominate the gravity.

Submission + - Amtrak Experimenting with Advanced Security on Northwest Trains (schneier.com)

reifman writes: While security expert Bruce Schneier has regularly written about Amtrak's efforts to close the air travel security theater gap, he's impressed by its advanced security experiments making security theater essentially invisible to passengers. Breast milk, nipple piercings and growlers are now deemed safe. While not mentioned in its new branding effort, even WiFi passwords are unnecessary...complete with all the inherent protections TSA is known for.

Submission + - 19-Year-Old Jailbreaks iPhone 7 in 24 Hours (vice.com)

An anonymous reader writes: 19-year-old hacker qwertyoruiop, aka Luca Todesco, jailbroke the new iPhone 7 just 24 hours after he got it, in what's the first known iPhone 7 jailbreak.

Submission + - Apple.com Misleads T-Mobile Customers to Visit Stores for No Reason (jeffreifman.com)

reifman writes: Apple's website tells T-Mobile customers to visit stores to sign up for the upgrade program but store staff tell them they must order online. It's a good example of the ridiculously poor customer facing side of the company's upgrade program and its iPhone7 launch. Attorneys are jumping in with a class action lawsuit, something most cellular contracts do not allow any longer.

Submission + - Trump's Tweets Reveal He Writes Only Angry Half (varianceexplained.org)

reifman writes: In an excellent forensic text analysis of Trump's tweets with the Twitter API, data geek David Robinson demonstrates Trump authors his angriest, pictureless, hashtag-less Android tweets often in the morning, while staff tweet from an iPhone with pictures, hashtags and greater joy mostly in the middle of the day. Robinson's report was inspired by a tweet by artist Todd Vaziri. Via Daring Fireball.

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