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Businesses

Uber Drivers Are Subject To Individual Arbitration, Says Court (cnet.com) 104

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Uber won a courtroom victory on Wednesday when an appeals court ruled that drivers are subject to individual arbitration in a lawsuit over background checks, a ruling that might help the ride-hailing company fend off another costly class action lawsuit filed by its drivers. While the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that agreements signed by two former drivers for the service over background checks "clearly and unmistakably" require legal disputes be settled by a private arbiter, the reasoning may be applied to another class action lawsuit filed by drivers over the company's employment classifications. Uber agreed to settle that lawsuit earlier this year -- an agreement that was rejected by a federal judge last month. Arbitration is a method frequently used by companies for resolving legal conflicts outside of the court system. However, critics say that binding arbitration clauses give corporations an unfair advantage over employees and consumers who do not have the resources to challenge companies individually.
China

Didi Launches Car Rental Service In China 10

An anonymous reader writes: Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is adding a car rental service for customers in several cities, to take advantage of the enormous domestic tourism market in China. Users can reserve a car through the Didi app and have it delivered to their door within two hours. The service, which is currently in beta testing in Shanghai, is expected to expand to several more cities in China over the next year. In a statement the company said, "Didi car rental is launched in response to the boom in China's short-term and tourist car rental market as the population goes through a lifestyle revolution." In 2015, 2.34 billion cars were rented for domestic tourists in China. That number is expected to more than double, reaching 5.8 billion by 2020.The move comes weeks after Uber announced it was selling its Chinese operation to Didi.
Education

Seymour Papert, Creator of the Logo Language, Dies At 88 (mit.edu) 68

New submitter gwolf writes: The great educator, creator of the Logo programming language, and the enabler for computer education in the 1980s has passed away. Listing his contributions is impossible in an article summary, but the ACM has published a short in-memoriam note for him. Papert is, without exaggeration, one of the people I owe my career and life choices to.
Programming

Use Code From Stack Overflow? You Must Provide Attribution (stackexchange.com) 303

An anonymous reader writes: Have you ever used Stack Overflow to answer a question about some code you're working on? Most people who write code on a regular basis have done so, and this sometimes involves copying code snippets. Well, starting on March 1, copying code from Stack Overflow will require you to attribute that code. Code published by contributors to SO will be covered by the MIT license. Users copying that code don't have to include the full license in their code, as it usually requires, but they do have to provide a URL as a comment in their code, or some similar level of attribution. This change applies to other sites in the Stack Exchange network, as well.

The SO community is widely criticizing the change, citing problems with the decision-making process that led to it and complications that may arise from mandating attribution. Why did SO make the change in the first place? They say "it's always been a little ambiguous how CC-BY-SA covers code. This has led to uncertainty among conscientious developers as they've struggled to understand what (if anything) the license requires of them when grabbing a few lines of code from a post on Stack Exchange. Uncertainty is a drag on productivity, for you and for us, and we feel obligated to make code use more clear."

Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule? 169

New submitter dwywit, anticipating World Backup Day, writes I've been asked to film this year's ANZAC services in my town. This is a big one, as it's the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, and dear to our hearts here in Oz. The organisers have asked me to provide a camera-to-projector setup for remote viewing (they're expecting big crowds this year), and a recording of the parade and various services throughout the morning. Copies will go to the local and state library as a record of the day, but they would also like a copy to go into a time capsule. I have two issues to solve: 1. a storage medium capable of lasting 50 or 100 years and still be readable, and 2. a wrapper/codec that will be available and usable when the capsule is opened. I have the feeling that a conversion to film might be the only way to satisfy both requirements — it's easy enough to build a projector, or even re-scan the images for viewing. Has anyone got a viable alternative? Cloud storage isn't an option — this is going underground in a stainless steel container. See also this similar question from 2008; how have the options changed in the meantime?
Transportation

Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order 92

Forbes reports that Lyft's planned expansion into the New York market has been delayed by a restraining order. The article explains that State officials had asked Lyft to delay its launch. When Lyft refused, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office filed a temporary restraining order against the startup Friday morning to prevent its launch. Other statements said that the restraining order had been granted, though Simpson said that was untrue. Lyft and officials will reconvene in court Monday for a hearing. Lyft will not launch until it has reached an agreement with the city, Simpson said. Since Monday, when Lyft announced it was planning to launch in the two boroughs [of Queens and Brooklyn], the app has faced criticism from city officials. The taxi and limousine commission declared the app 'unauthorized' and said its riders were at risk and its drivers could be cited and fined if they were caught using it. Lyft seems to have left riders mostly unscathed in Boston, where it's been operating since early last year, and in numerous other cities. Also at Ars Technica.
Technology

Robotic Exoskeletons Could Help Nuclear Plant Workers 29

itwbennett (1594911) writes "ActiveLink, which is 80% owned by Panasonic, is building heavy-duty strength-boosting suits that the company says can help workers shoulder the burden of heavy gear and protective clothing and could be useful at nuclear plants. 'Our powered suits could be used to assist and support remote-controlled robots in emergencies,' ActiveLink President Hiromichi Fujimoto said in an interview. 'Workers could wear the suits to carry PackBots to their deployment point and to work in low-radiation areas.'"
Movies

Buy the WarGames IMSAI 8080 and Possibly Impress Ally Sheedy 103

ilikenwf writes "Todd Fischer, the man behind this iconic prop from WarGames, the movie that spawned countless hackers, has come forward recently to announce its sale in the near future. Interestingly enough, the IMSAI 8080 still works, although the disk drive was damaged in shipping after the movie's conclusion, and was trashed."

Comment Commodore computers (Score 1) 623

First a VIC20, where coding a loop to print "Asshole" was the pinnacle of achievement :) Then moved on to C64, where I became more proficient in Basic and some of the graphics and sound stuff. But it was the Amiga (first 500, then later 3000 and 4000) where I taught myself C and later C++. From there about a year using Windows, and then to Linux.

As I look back, I now notice that almost every system I was ever drawn to was programmer-centric. I never realized it back then, and even into post-secondary education it took a while to realize that CS was my destiny.

Comment Re:Enjoy each day (Score 1) 931

But it sort of does make sense. You spend your whole life worrying about the unknown. Saving for retirement, dreading what may potentially happen wrt your health. Will I still have a job next year, will I be healthy enough to provide for myself in old age, etc?

In some ways, you're living in a constant state of 'fight or flight', with adrenaline levels at maximum all the time. IOW, you're always stressing about something. When you eventually hear that you're dying, you can basically stop worrying about the future. You only have to think about things from day to day, and hence you can enjoy those days.

I've had that happen with relatives, where in one case they were extremely frugal their whole lives, and never spent money on themselves. When they found out they had a year to live, they went out a spent $20000 on credit cards, and died in debt. But they died (relatively) happy.

And another relative, who was exactly like your anecdote, that became happy once they knew they were dying. It makes sense if you consider that some peoples lives are a constant source of stress, and you can never relax for any reason. In some sense (and this will seem extremely ironic), being told you're going to die is a huge weight off your shoulders. I have to admit that I sometimes feel the same way at only 40 years of age. Perhaps that's not a good sign ...

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