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Submission + - The 2016 Ig Nobel prizes are here. VW wins the prize for chemistry! (

whoever57 writes: The 2016 Ig Nobel prizes were awarded yesterday, Thursday, September 22. Notable amongst the winners was VolksWagen, who won the Chemistry prize for "solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested." No one from VW attended the ceremony to collect the prize. Other notable winners included a team who won the Peace Prize for their groundbreaking work analyzing the detection of "Pseudo-Profound Bullshit."

Submission + - Ad technology company claims ad blockers are "breaking the Internet" (

whoever57 writes: London, UK based ad technology company Oriel has published a claim that ad blockers break web applications in ways other than merely not displaying ads. They show examples such as airline sites that will not allow check-in because of the effects of an ad blocker. The original report is here. The CEO of Oriel is quoted saying that he discovered this accidentally when attempting to check into a flight, which raises the question: why would the CEO of an ad technology company use an ad blocker?

Submission + - Crowdfunding is the New School Tax

theodp writes: The WSJ reports that billionaire-backed is turning to crowdfunding to fix tech's diversity problem. "Our goal this year is to train 10,000 computer science teachers, and to get 100 million students to try one Hour of Code, across all grades, worldwide. We need $5 million to do this," explains the Indiegogo project for An Hour of Code for Every Student.’s wealthy individual and corporate supporters — including Bill Gates, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Microsoft, Google, the Omidyar Network and the Foundation — have agreed to kick in $2.5 million of matching funds. According to the press release, participating companies include Atlassian, Chegg,, Disney Interactive, Dropbox, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Optimizely, Pearson, Pluralsight, Redfin,, Target, TASER, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), viagogo, Whitepages, Workday, Yelp, Zappos, Zillow, zulily, and Y Combinator. So, is crowdfunding the new school tax? And is this a good thing, or just one more way that millionaires and billionaires are ruining our schools?

Submission + - UK Government pays Microsoft £5.5M for extended support of Windows XP. (

whoever57 writes: The UK Government has signed a contract worth £5.5M (almost $9M) for extended support and security updates for Windows XP for 12 months after April 8. The deal covers XP, Exchange 2003 and Office 2003 for users in central and local government, schools and the National Health Service. The NHS is in need of this deal because it was estimated last September that 85% of the NHS's 800,000 computers were running XP.

Submission + - Craig Mundie blames Microsoft's product delays on cybercrime (

whoever57 writes: In an interview in Der Spiegel, Craig Mundie blames Microsoft's failure in mobile on cyber criminals. Noting that Microsoft had a music player before the iPod and a touch device before the iPad, he claims a failure to execute in Microsoft resulted in Microsoft losing its "leadership". The reason for the failure to execute, in his words: "During that time, Windows went through a difficult period where we had to shift a huge amount of our focus to security engineering. The criminal activity in cyberspace was growing dramatically ten years ago, and Microsoft was basically the only company that had enough volume for it to be a target. In part because of that, Windows Vista took a long time to be born."

Submission + - CEO of predicts the end of Windows ( 1

whoever57 writes: Marc Benioff, the CEO of predicts that Windows 8 will mark “the end of Windows” and that “Windows is irrelevant.” These claims were made at the Cloudforce show in Manhattan. He states that an exec-level employee at one of his customers does not plan to migrate to Windows 8. He mentions IOS and Android tables as the devices that people want to buy, not traditional computers.

Submission + - How the downfall of the Venetian republic has lessons for present-day America. (

whoever57 writes: An op-ed in the NY Times describes how the Vential republic was successful while all citizens could fully participate in the econonomy, but later, the wealthy and powerful cut off opportunities for the less wealthy to participate. There was a name for this process: "La Serrata" (The closure). Ordinary people could participate in trade expeditions though organizations called "colleganza". Eventually, these organizations were banned. The result was the eventual downfall of the economy and the destruction of the power of the Venetians.

Submission + - Student loans in America: The next big credit bubb ( 1

PolygamousRanchKid writes: IN LATE 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stood in the modest gymnasium of what had once been the tiny teaching college he attended in Texas and announced a programme to promote education. Almost a half-century later these modest steps have metastasised into a huge, federally guaranteed student-loan industry. On October 25th the Obama administration added indebted students to the list of banks, car companies, homeowners, solar manufacturers and others that have benefited from a federal handout.

In response to clever students burying their obligations in court during the 1970s, anti-default provisions were imposed to make it almost impossible to shed student loans in bankruptcy. There are increasingly loud calls for reform of the system, with demands that range from a full-fledged bail-out of borrowers to a phased curtailment of government lending. For now the bail-out is the bigger priority for politicians.

The changes announced this week are designed to ease the pressure on struggling graduates. Borrowers who qualify will get payment relief, not debt relief. The administration says these changes will have no cost to taxpayers. If there is one lesson of the past 46 years, it is to be dubious of that claim.


Submission + - Twitter reveals user details in UK libel case (

whoever57 writes: In a case that could have implications for the Ryan Giggs affair, Twitter revealed user details in response to a legal action filed in San Mateo county, CA by lawyers representing South Tyneside council. The alleged libel refers to critical comments made via Twitter. It is possible that one of the people making the critical comments is one of the counsel members.

Comment Re:May I be the first to say... (Score 2, Insightful) 408

Well, I can say that some of it comes from the fact that a group traditionally out of power (women) have been the ones who've been able to sell their bodies. But, speaking to your larger point, I agree - it's amazing to me that people will not even question (much) selling out their very selves, but cry "Ick! Unclean!" at something trivial like a sexualized encounter, in the US.

Comment Re:But Apple has solved that problem. (Score 1) 756

You can totally have background tasks. It's just that they have to come from Apple.

That's why it's a deal breaker for some people (like me). Apple's apps don't always suit everyone's needs. There are other apps that are useful that people want to run in the background. Pandora and are two examples. I don't even listen to MP3 files anymore since I am a subscriber to both of those music sites.

Comment Re:More than likely. (Score 1) 162

Morals do not pay the bills. As an individual would you (not the parent) be happy to content to contribute half your income for the rest of your life if it meant China was truly free and democratic? I doubt many would.

Some people realize there are more important things in this world than money.

Comment Re:Don't pay the fee (Score 1) 319

Depends of which is the game. If it is a service/good that you regularly buy, yes (it will be stupid for your gardener to rip you so much that you don't call him anymore). But if it is a one time buy (like buying a house, or something like that) it is in the seller best interest to ignore any ethics and just get the deal (the sales rep just wants a new contract, and knows that even if you are impressed of his works, most likely than not he'll never hear or get more bussiness from you again).

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