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Submission + - Frontier Teams With AT&T To Block Google Fiber Access To Utility Poles (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Frontier submitted a court filing last week supporting ATT's efforts to sue local governments in Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky to stop a new ordinance designed to give Google Fiber and similar companies access to utility poles. They're concerned the ordinances will spread to other states. Frontier's filing said, "the issues raised by the case may have important implications for Frontier's business and may impact the development of law in jurisdictions throughout the country where Frontier operates." The ordinance in Louisville lets companies like Google Fiber install wires even if ATT doesn't respond to requests or rejects requests to attach lines. Companies don't have to notify ATT when they want to move ATT's wires to make room for their own wires, assuming the work won't cause customer outages. ATT claims that the ordinance lets competitors "seize ATT's property." Frontier is urging the court to consider the nationwide implications of upholding Louisville's ordinance, saying Louisville's rule "is unprecedented" because "it drastically expands the rights of third parties to use privately owned utility poles, giving non-owners unfettered access to [a] utility's property without the [...] utility in some cases even having knowledge that such third-party intrusion on its facilities is occurring." Frontier said companies should be required to negotiation access with the owners if they didn't pay to install the utility poles. They urged the court to deny Louisville Metro's motion to dismiss ATT's complaint.

Submission + - Portable DVD player found in wreckage of fatal Tesla Model S crash (bgr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday, word broke that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) was looking into a Florida incident involving a Tesla Model S that crashed into a tractor-trailer this past May, tragically killing the driver of the Tesla. What prompted the NHSTA’s interest in the matter is that the Model S had Tesla’s Autopilot software activated at the time of the accident.

As a result, the agency indicated that the crash “calls for an examination of the design and performance of any driving aids in use at the time of the crash.”

In the wake of the fatal accident, there have been a number of interesting developments. Tesla, for one, issued a lengthy blogpost addressing the matter. Additionally, the driver of the tractor-trailer issued a statement to the Associated Press wherein he said that the Model S driver wasn’t paying attention to the road because he was watching a movie.

In light of that, Reuters is now reporting that the Florida Highway Patrol found a portable DVD player in the wreckage of the Model S.

“There was a portable DVD player in the vehicle,” Sergeant Kim Montes confirmed to Reuters in an interview.

Submission + - Google Searches For 'VR Porn' Increase 10,000% (vrtalk.com)

Bob768 writes: Over the last 20 months, with the rise of virtual reality technology, the number of Google searches for the phrase 'VR Porn' have soared nearly 10,000%. The leading country for these searches is Norway.

Submission + - Why Did The Stars Wars And Star Trek Worlds Turn Out So Differently?

HughPickens.com writes: In the Star Trek world there is virtual reality, personal replicators, powerful weapons, and, it seems, a very high standard of living for most of humanity while in Star Wars there is widespread slavery, lots of people seem to live at subsistence, and eventually much of the galaxy falls under the Jedi Reign of Terror. Why the difference? Tyler Cowen writes about some of the factors differentiating the world of Star Wars from that of Star Trek: 1) The armed forces in Star Trek seem broadly representative of society. Compare Uhura, Chekhov, and Sulu to the Imperial Storm troopers. 2) Captains Kirk and Picard do not descend into true power madness, unlike various Sith leaders and corrupted Jedi Knights. 3) In Star Trek, any starship can lay waste to a planet, whereas in Star Wars there is a single, centralized Death Star and no way to oppose it, implying stronger checks and balances in the world of Star Trek. 4) Star Trek embraces egalitarianism, namely that all humans consider themselves part of the same broader species. There is no special group comparable to the Jedi or the Sith, with special powers in their blood. 5) Star Trek replicators are sufficiently powerful it seems slavery is highly inefficient in that world.

Submission + - The physics and technological anatomy of fireworks

StartsWithABang writes: When gunpowder was first invented more than 1,000 years ago by mixing activated carbon (charcoal), sulfur and potassium nitrate together, its first major application was to the development of fireworks. By combining four simple elements – a launch, a fuse, a burst charge and ignitable stars – the most spectacular explosive shows could be produced. Yet the design of each stage only works with the proper understanding of the science behind it, and in particular, of the physics underlying it all. To get the right height, shape, size and color for your firework, you have to master each component of each stage. And yet, the science enables us to do exactly that!

Submission + - Stop bashing GMO food, say 109 Nobel laureates (nytimes.com) 3

ArmoredDragon writes: GMO has been somewhat of a controversial issue given that groups such as Greenpeace have lobbied hard against the technology. However a recent NY Times piece which details the opinion of 109 Nobel laureates who have offered their support of GMO:

“Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production,” the group of laureates wrote. “There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity.”

As an echo to that comment, one of the key benefits of GMO is increased crop yield, which means a reduced need for deforestation to make way for farmland. GMO food such as Golden Rice, which improves the micronutrient content of rice, and Low Acrylamide Spuds, which are potatoes engineered to have reduced carcinogen content compared to their natural counterparts, can possibly solve many health problems that are inherent with consuming non-GMO produce. And for those concerned about patent related issues, many of these patents have recently expired, which means anybody can freely grow them and sell the seeds without the need to pay any royalties.

Comment Happened in Texas too (Score 1) 187

Texas did this for many years, but got called out for it when it became clear that there were some transactions with the US Navy, using the dried blood samples for research. They were sued and had to eventually destroy 5 million samples

An article in Pediatrics from 2011, hosted at the US National Institute of Health, says that many states are still doing similar shady things with newborn blood samples, and that some don't even need to inform parents about how the samples are used after the initial testing is done.

Comment Re:MUCH easier. (Score 1) 239

Even more to the point, if the car has to take into account death vs injury, it may actually "prefer" to hit people in safer vehicles. If the safe car is hit, it's 10% likely the occupants will die, whereas if the unsafe car is hit, it's 90% likely the occupant will die. Aim for the safe car to minimize the risk of killing people...

It's like a penalty for owning a safer vehicle.

Comment Re:What "challenge of learning"?? (Score 1) 141

We mechanical engineers called those "Baby Statics" :) They actually taught a subset of sum(F)=sum(m*a) to the civil engineers that got rid of all that useless m and a business. All forces summed to zero, and that's how they liked it!

No judgement on you, though. My EE knowledge goes just about far enough to remember V=I*R, and my greatest software achievements have manifested themselves in MS Excel VBA scripts!

Congrats to you for expanding your knowledge and stepping into the messy world of physics!

Comment Re:So many questions... (Score 1) 297

You cannot possibly leave off the list HCBaily, who is, I dare say, the most prolific LP'er in the universe. He does JRPGs, and is really damned good at it. He's funny, quirky, and deeply knowledgeable about the games he plays, and the genre as a whole. He has something like 10,000 videos and 57 million video views.

As far as I know, he doesn't do advertising or paid LPs.

Comment Re:yeah. (Score 1) 195

It's easy to see how it could be torture. For the specific case of Muslim terrorists who find it spiritually objectionable to drink alcohol, imagine their forced feeding slurry including wine. Or if not wine, maybe the terrorist believes eating pork is sinful, and the liquid food comes from processed pork. Or lima beans, or whatever. The effect of knowingly, but against your will, ingesting a food could be psychologically traumatizing and cause mental pain.

A completely reasonable food, administered in a completely reasonable way could still be torture.

Comment Re:It's started... (Score 2) 302

I imagine some of it has to do with Quantum Electro Dynamics, and the fact that the electron arrangement in gold makes it naturally a very different color under white light than most other metals. Ancient people found a rock that had a color like no other rocks, and also could be shaped into trinkets. That's my best guess for how it all got started.

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