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Submission + - Advertising needs a "Well-Behaved" standard identifier

wolfguru writes: The web sites that are screaming about adblockers are missing a significant part of the issue. For mot users, it is not the appearance of advertising on the web sites that is the problem, but the behavior of the ads themselves. Roll-overs that cover an enture site, popups that hide the close or exit control, or put up an "are you certain you want to leave this page?" message box, auto-play video and audio ads and all of the tactics to hijack the user into the advertiser's control are for the most part what the ad blockers are being implemented to prevent. Coupled with the efforts to track every click and page access, it is the behavior of the advertisers, not the web site owners, which causes the problem. The industry needs a set of standard behaviors which govern the behavior of the ads themselves, so the web sites can agree to only accept and display those ads which comply with the defined standards for "acceptable behavior". If the ads being served on the web sites were as "well behaved" as the majority of ads on Slashdot, and web site providers could assure that whatever ads were placed on their page views, I submit that the majority of ad-blocker users would gladly "pass-list" the sites they use in exchange for the quality content without the continuous "noise".

Comment OpenDNS (Score 1) 267

We have this issue at my company, and have resolved it through the use of "bypass codes" with OpenDNS as a web site filter. We have a basic access which has blocks by category, which OpenDNS does pretty well. We have some special company-wide exceptions for some customer sites which would fall under specific categories (A few gun catalogs or swimsuit catalogs that we print for customers fall in their weapons or lingerie categories) For this that may need access to some sites outside this, we have bypass codes that can be entered which allow access to a wider set of categories, but still block the porn and hate sites, etc. Finally we have a master code which is kept in IT which we can enter to allow access to any site, but it is valid only until they close the browser, at which point they are allowed only the standard level of access again. There is one issue with OpenDNS and SSL sites, as you are essentially using them as a proxy and the SSL certificate match fails, so it is not a perfect solution, but potentially a good for for the OP's needs.

Submission + - Natural rock near Naples, Italy, may have inspired Roman concrete (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Beginning in 1982, the ground beneath the Italian port city of Pozzuoli began rising at an alarming rate. Deep beneath the surface, geothermal activity belched carbon dioxide and other gases that pressed up on the overlying rock. At one point the ground swelled 2 meters in 2 years, prompting Italian authorities to evacuate more than 40,000 people from the city over concerns of an eruption. But no eruption occurred. Now, researchers report in Science that they have a good idea why: a layer of strong, yet pliable “caprock” that has kept a lid on eruptions in the area. The material may have served as the inspiration for the creation of Roman concrete, which led to the building of Rome’s architectural wonders such as the Pantheon and the aqueducts that still stand today, the researchers say.

Submission + - Airbus first to Fly across English Channel, after dirty tricks delay rival. 1

wolfguru writes: Airbus claimed the technical coup of being the first to fly and electrically powered plane across the English Channel today, with great fanfare. Unfortunately for Airbus, even though they were able to get rival Pipistrel denied the opportunity earlier this week, by behind-the-scenes pressure on Siemans to de-certify the electric motors Pipistrel uses for flight over water, another electric plane was able to make the flight about 12 hours earlier. French pilot Hugues Duval took his two-engine, one-seat Cricri plane from Calais to Dover and back. Because he was denied authorization to take off from Calais, another fuel-driven plane towed his 100-kilogram (220-pound) Cricri for the start of the trip. He then flew back to Calais and landed safely.
So what does Airbus get to actually claim, other than to have duplicated the acheivement with more media in attendance?

Comment Wrong Solar tech being pushed (Score 2) 69

Photovoltaic is what most people think of immediately when talking about "Solar Energy", and it does hold significant promise. Government programs are overlooking a couple of really high-payback, lower cost solar technologies in the big push for electrics that deserve much more support. Passive solar design for heating and cooling has almost immediate impact in significantly reducing the energy cost of a space, not just in the extreme cases where the design is so heavily skewed into support of the solar energy that no one would want to live there, but in much more modest but effective measures to be incorporated into more conventional designs. Requiring building code standards that require all new home construction to incorporate passive technologies to provide a minimum of 25% of a building's heating and cooling load, or perhaps 30-40% in commercial structures would provide work in the design and construction technologies, as well as making a very significant reduxction in the demand on outside power generation. Solar hot water units for residential and commercial spaces can provide very significant returns, often reaching a full payback of the investment in as little as 3 to 4 years. Combined with on-demand technology for water heating drawing from a tank or reservoir of solar pre-heated water and adding only the necessary supplimental heating to achieve the desired temperature if the solar heating had not already reached the desired temperatures could supply nearly 1/3 of a household's energy demand. Putting our focus on Photovoltaic is a limited strategy that needs to be broadened to include the available, proven and effective solar energy usage that will make the difference in a timely manner.

Submission + - Venus Colonies await!

wolfguru writes: New colonies on Venus are quickly becoming available. Be the first from your block to travel to these wonderful new communities. Pick your fresh bedding from the blanket trees and pillow trees that line the streets. Pick your dinner from the ham bushes in your own self-mowing yard, and wash anything wonderfully clean with soap root free from your garden. Letters from early colonists are filled with wonderful descriptions of the pleasant and easy living in the new colonies. Join World President Barlow and stake your claim to the new world today!

Comment Tempest shielding (Score 1) 86

Back in the late 70's to mid 80's, this was a common enough technique that the US developed a secret system known as Tempest Shielding. In simple terms it was an active radio/electronic field around a sensitive device that was designed to block such electronic snooping. Georgia Tech has successfully recreated a technique used long before any of the researches existed.

Comment After a glimmer of sanity.. (Score 5, Insightful) 378

Microsoft returns to the delusion that they can drop nearly 25 years of desktop productivity and working style with a wave of their magic wand and everyone will fall happily in line. Changes have to make sense, an offer an advantage, or they will never be adopted. Has Microsoft decided to completely concede the desktop space to Macintosh and Linux? The biggest strength of Windows for years has been that when you start a program, you know how to use it, even if you do not know what it actually does - F1 for help, File > open to get whatever you're working with as material,and other similar conventions that allowed users to go from one program to the next with a modicum of understanding of the tools, if not the functions. The Microsoft design team has gone deaf to the actual user, and it all about the science fiction interface. Funny how you never see anyone in those scifi images do anything for more than a minute at a time.

Submission + - When does Clever Advertising become E-Waste

wolfguru writes: Trend Micro is sending out a small cardboard folder with a display screen and speaker, set to play their latest advertising video when the cover is opened (some NFC or magnet/switch embedded in the cover). It even comes with a usb cable to plug into the device and recharge it. The issue is that without any way to repurpose the device, it is essentially yet another piece of e-waste. If you are in an industry that is tightly regulated for the types of waste products your process generates, there are costs and documentation requirements for assuring that e-waste is properly managed and safely/environmentally soundly disposed.
So when does a bit of clever advertising become a piece of e-waste, and what should the company sending such devices have to consider before doing this type of campaign?

Comment BMW Tech may hold an edge for a while (Score 1) 258

BMW has long been a company with superior engineering, and their efforts in the electric car market may set a standard that will require significant effort to match. While they have become more "market driven" in recent years, they still have a solid record of uncompromising engineering and design that is willing to ignore convention for a focus on effectiveness and reliability. Their motorcycle sector in particular is still in many ways years ahead of its competitors and they make some of the very few cars that can go from showroom to track/course and be competitive in their class. Looking at the design in the I series vehicles, I believe they will establish a solid place in the top of the electric vehicle market, though their pricing will undoubtedly reflect it. They are one of the few "you get what you pay for" high quality vehicles on the market.

Comment recording laws (Score 1) 798

If you take a video it is admissible, but the voice portion of it cannot be used. Unfortunately, while we all agree the kid was trying to do the right thing, the law the protects our right to speak includes rules in how our speech can be used by others. While it is hard to understand in context, the police were correct in their reaction to the recording under the law.

Comment Recording laws (Score 1) 798

Recording a conversation without the consent of the other party even for the purpose of providing evidence requires a warrant, under the first amendment and the laws governing free speech. While I understand the intentions and agree that attempting to resolve it by providing clear evidence is reasonable, the simple truth is that under US law recording conversations is prohibited without the oversight of a judge who can determine whether or not it is an appropriate exception to the right of free speech. The worst part is that even though the officer probably has a very clear understanding of the circumstances that led to the desire to record the evidence, he cannot act on it if the evidence is gathered in an illegal manner. Without that safeguard, we have no right to control the content and audience of our self-expression, and no protection for our right to speak.

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