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Google to Ban Ads for Legal Gun Accessories & "Dangerous" Knives: Threatens

Mark Sauter (3692653) writes | about 2 months ago

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Mark Sauter (3692653) writes "This morning we received an email from Google with the following title: "Google AdWords Policy Update — Weapons policy restriction."

The email, from the "Google AdWords Team," announces a new policy starting in September for those who advertise on Google Adwords, a service used to attract traffic to Web sites. It bans Adwords advertising for products such as knives "that can be used to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense, or combat" plus "Any part or component that's necessary to the function of a gun or intended for attachment to a gun
Examples: Gun scopes, ammunition, ammunition clips or belts" [and even bb guns!]
We certainly have no problem with Google prohibiting ads involving weapons such as nail bombs and grenades, as it does. But we see a big difference in banning ads for legal products used by many millions of Americans. The ban specifically includes sport and recreational guns and their components.

And it's not just ads that are being threatened. The email (see excepts below) includes the following: "When we make this change, any ads or sites that are identified as violating our revised policy won't be able to run."

In other words, Google is not just threatening to shut down advertising accounts, but also to disable Web sites with content about legal products (or topics?) that it finds politically incorrect. The email did not provide additional detail on the issue of the Web sites. Presumably, Google would shut down sites running on Google's Blogger service, but one could certainly worry the company might use its dominant search engine to make offending sites "disappear" from search results."

Link to Original Source

CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to kidnap Snowden

Frosty Piss (770223) writes | about 2 months ago

5

Frosty Piss (770223) writes "As Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet previously employed in CIA 'rendition' flights on which terror suspects disappeared into 'black' imprisonment flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to the United States. On the evening of 24 June 2013, an unmarked Gulfstream V business jet took off from a quiet commercial airport 30 miles from a Washington DC. regional airport discreetly offers its clients 'the personal accommodations and amenities you can't find at commercial airports'. On its best-known mission, the jet flew a U.S. marshals into the UK on to collect radical cleric Abu Hamza after the United States won an extradition order against him. Only Vladimir Putin's intransigence saved Snowden from a similar travel package. The jet's activities can be followed on many flight tracking websites such as FlightAware"

Microsoft releases early IE12 preview as part of its new Developer Channel

DroidJason1 (3589319) writes | about 2 months ago

0

DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft is looking to create a more open dialog between the Internet Explorer team and the Web development community by announcing Internet Explorer Developer Channel. IE Dev Channel allows you to preview the next version of Internet Explorer (IE12) alongside and independently of IE11. Web developers can download and test drive the latest IE platform features, something developers were already able to do with Firefox and Chrome. This preview release even offers support of the emerging Gamepad API, allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE!"

Microsoft to launch machine learning service

angry tapir (1463043) writes | about 2 months ago

0

angry tapir (1463043) writes "Microsoft will soon offer a service aimed at making machine-learning technology more widely usable. "We want to bring machine learning to many more people," Eron Kelly, Microsoft corporate vice president and director SQL Server marketing, said of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, due to be launched in beta form in July. "The line of business owners and the marketing teams really want to use data to get ahead, but data volumes are getting so large that it is difficult for businesses to sift through it all," Kelly said."
Link to Original Source

Endurance experiment writes one petabyte to six consumer SSDs

crookedvulture (1866146) writes | about 2 months ago

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crookedvulture (1866146) writes "Last year, we kicked off an SSD endurance experiment to see how much data could be written to six consumer drives. One petabyte later, half of them are still going. Their performance hasn't really suffered, either. The casualties slowed down a little toward the very end, and they died in different ways. The Intel 335 Series and Kingston HyperX 3K provided plenty of warning of their imminent demise, though both still ended up completely unresponsive at the very end. The Samsung 840 Series, which uses more fragile TLC NAND, perished unexpectedly. It also suffered a rash of cell failures and multiple bouts of uncorrectable errors during its life. While the sample size is far too small to draw any definitive conclusions, all six SSDs exceeded their rated lifespans by hundreds of terabytes. The fact that all of them wrote over 700TB is a testament to the endurance of modern SSDs."

Unicode 7.0 released, supporting 23 new scripts

Anonymous Coward writes | about 2 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "The newest major version of the Unicode Standard was released today, adding 2,834 new characters, including two new currency symbols and 250 emoji. The inclusion of 23 new scripts is the largest addition of writing systems to Unicode since version 1.0 was published with Unicode's original 24 scripts. Among the new scripts are Linear A, Grantha, Siddham, Mende Kikakui, and the first shorthand encoded in Unicode, Duployan."
Link to Original Source

Humans not solely to blame for passenger pigeon extinction

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | about 2 months ago

0

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When the last passenger pigeon died at a zoo in 1914, the species became a cautionary tale of the dramatic impact humans can have on the world. But a new study finds that the bird experienced multiple population booms and crashes over the million years before its final demise. The sensitivity of the population to natural fluctuations, the authors argue, could have been what made it so vulnerable to extinction."
Link to Original Source

Starbucks offers workers 2 years of free college

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about 2 months ago

0

mpicpp (3454017) writes "Starbucks baristas working through college are about to get an extra boost from their employer.
The company announced it will offer both full- and part-time employees a generous tuition reimbursement benefit that covers two full years of classes.

The benefit is through a partnership with Arizona State University's online studies program. Employees can choose any of more than 40 undergraduate degrees, and aren't limited to only business classes."

Link to Original Source

Time Warner Parting Itself Out

gavron (1300111) writes | about 2 months ago

0

gavron (1300111) writes "We all know about TW Cable being acquired by Comcast (subject to regulatory approval) http://corporate.comcast.com/t... but news from today is that their non-cable business is being purchased by Level3 for almost 6 BILLION dollars. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/20... .

What used to be the former "largest media and distribution company ever" (AOL Time Waner) is now nothing more than a garage of pieces being parceled off to the first available bidder. This might be good for consumers, but recently Time Warner (and Comcast) won awards for consumer hatred. http://time.com/106016/comcast..."

France cries foul at World Cup "spy drone"

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about 2 months ago

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mpicpp (3454017) writes "France’s World Cup soccer team has filed a complaint with FIFA, claiming that someone used a small unmanned aircraft to spy on the team’s training camp near São Paulo, Brazil as players prepared for their match against Honduras Sunday, the BBC reports. The quadrocopter appears from video to be a Phantom II autonomous micro-drone with a video camera.

“Apparently, drones are being used more and more,” France’s manager Didier Deschamps told the BBC. “We don’t want intrusion into our privacy. It’s hard to fight.” Deschamps did not comment on who might be behind the surveillance but said in an interview with Football Italia that he believed the drone was operated by one of France’s potential opponents or by a French news agency."

Link to Original Source

Help Crowd-FOIA Stingray usage across America

v3rgEz (125380) writes | about 2 months ago

0

v3rgEz (125380) writes "Collaborative investigative news site MuckRock is trying to take a national look at Stingray usage across America, and is looking for people to submit contact information for their local police departments and other law enforcement groups for a mass FOIA campaign. The submissions are free, but the site is also running a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of stamps, etc. on Beacon Reader."

Are U.S. Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

cartechboy (2660665) writes | about 2 months ago

0

cartechboy (2660665) writes "The Toyota Prius is pretty darn popular, especially in California. One might think that hybrid sales are on the rise as gas prices continue to fluctuate, but it seems hybrid sales in the U.S. might be peaking. Researchers at IHS Automotive found that U.S. hybrid sales haven't kept pace with the rest of the market. In the automotive world, conventional wisdom states that adding a model to a brand or segment will increase sales--but that hasn't happened with hybrids. The number of hybrid offerings has almost doubled from 24 in 2009 to 47 in 2014--but U.S. hybrid sales haven't dramatically increased. In fact, hybrid market share actually declined from 2009 to 2010, and then again from 2013 to 2014. So if consumers aren't buying hybrids, what are they buying? It seems some hybrid early adopters are now switching to plug-in hybrids or electric cars stating that these models are just nicer to drive. Is this already the beginning of the end in some way for hybrids, or is it merely a blip on the sales chart?"

Watch celestial mechanics in (almost) real time!

wisebabo (638845) writes | about 2 months ago

0

wisebabo (638845) writes "If Sir Isaac Newton weren't already dead and in Heaven, I'm sure this would make him die and go there.

Here (scroll down to the GIF, please) is a time-lapse sequence taken by Cassini at Saturn of a small (okay tiny) moon "Prometheus" pulling out streamers of dust from the nearby ring over and over again. For eternity. (Or at least tens of millions of years). While the sequence only shows one such event, a quick glance at a larger scale (scroll to the top, please) shows that it is doing so repeatedly. L i k e c l o c k w o r k.

Despite all the troubles in the world (although the number of deaths due to war DO seem to be decreasing which is a minor problem in itself http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06...) these kind of things make me realize that I am living in an incredible age."

Link to Original Source

This Is How Formula 1 Brakes Work

cartechboy (2660665) writes | about 2 months ago

0

cartechboy (2660665) writes "For the most part, you probably have a simple understanding of how your car's brakes work. But a race car, that's a whole different beast. Brembo's the biggest name in the brake industry, and it just released a video explaining the technology that goes into the brakes on a Formula 1 race car from pedal to caliper. Obviously it starts with every component being beefed up from a normal braking system, but there's also aluminum monoblock calipers, carbon rotors and pads, a brake-by-wire system with a redundancy in case of an electronic failure, and a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS). Of course, KERS is the most interesting bit as the it allows for smaller rear calipers than before which of course reduces mass. Believe it or not, all of this stuff ends up trickling down to mass-market cars eventually, it's just a matter of time. So the next time you tap your brakes, remember, that technology was likely proven on a race car at some point."

Chinese gov't reveals Microsoft's secret list of Android-killer patents

walterbyrd (182728) writes | about 2 months ago

0

walterbyrd (182728) writes "A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.

The patents Microsoft plans to wield against Android describe a range of technologies. They include lots of technologies developed at Microsoft, as well as patents that Microsoft acquired by participating in the Rockstar Consortium, which spent $4.5 billion on patents that were auctioned off after the Nortel bankruptcy."

Link to Original Source

Crowd-control drones reveal the technology's dark side

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes | about 2 months ago

0

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "The Skunk, built by Desert Wolf, is designed to "control unruly crowds without endangering the lives of security staff," and is reportedly already being adopted by South African mine owners. Equipped with a 4,000-strong clip and four paintball gun barrels, the Skunk can fire up to 80 projectiles in a single second. It can carry dye markers, pepper spray bullets or even solid plastic balls, which somewhat stretches the definition of "non lethal." The hardware also carries strobe lights and on-board speakers to disorientate and warn the crowd, as well as a FLIR thermal camera for night vision operations."

New Sensor to Detect Food-Borne Bacteria on Site

Zothecula (1870348) writes | about 2 months ago

0

Zothecula (1870348) writes "According to the CDC, around 48 million people in the US get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die as a result of foodborne illnesses every year. One of the main culprits is listeriosis (or listeria), which is responsible for approximately 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths. Now researchers at the University of Southampton are trialling a device designed to detect the most common cause of listeriosis directly on food preparation surfaces, without the need to send samples away for laboratory testing."
Link to Original Source

Interviews: Ask "The King of Kong" Billy Mitchell About Classic Video Games

samzenpus (5) writes | about 2 months ago

0

samzenpus (5) writes "Billy Mitchell owns the Rickey's World Famous Restaurant chain, sells his own line of hot sauces, and was called, "probably the greatest arcade-video-game player of all time". His was the first to achieve a perfect score in Pac-Man, and held many record scores in other arcade games. He is probably most famous for the 2007 documentary,"The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters". The film follows a challenger on his quest to surpass Billy's high score in Donkey Kong, which Mitchell had set in 1982. Since the film was made, the Kong crown has been held by a number people including twice by Mitchell. Billy has agreed to put down the quarters and answer any questions you might have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post."

Bill Gates To Stanford Grads: Don't (Only) Focus On Profit

jfruh (300774) writes | about 2 months ago

0

jfruh (300774) writes "The scene was a little surreal. Bill Gates, who became one of the world's richest men by ruthlessly making Microsoft one of the word's most profitable companies, was giving a commencement address at Stanford, the elite university at the heart of Silicon Valley whose graduates go on to the endless tech startups bubbling up looking for Facebook-style riches. But the theme of Gates's speech was that the pursuit of profit cannot solve the world's problems."
Link to Original Source

'Super bananas' may save millions of lives in Africa

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 2 months ago

0

schwit1 (797399) writes "A super-enriched banana genetically engineered to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa will soon have its first human trial, which will test its effect on vitamin A levels, Australian researchers said Monday.

The project plans to have the special banana varieties — enriched with alpha and beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A — growing in Uganda by 2020.

The bananas are now being sent to the United States, and it is expected that the six-week trial measuring how well they lift vitamin A levels in humans will begin soon."

Link to Original Source

NASA's Horizons spacecraft to probe Pluto moon for underground ocean

Anonymous Coward writes | about 2 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is moving towards Pluto to explore Charon, one of Pluto's moons. The aim of the mission is to search of evidence of an ancient underground ocean on the moon. "Our model predicts different fracture patterns on the surface of Charon depending on the thickness of its surface ice, the structure of the moon's interior and how easily it deforms, and how its orbit evolved," said Alyssa Rhoden of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "By comparing the actual New Horizons observations of Charon to the various predictions, we can see what fits best and discover if Charon could have had a subsurface ocean in its past, driven by high eccentricity.""

Google Fiber is officially making it's way to Portland

Anonymous Coward writes | about 2 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "This week the Portland City Council has approved a franchise agreement with Google to bring its fiber service to Portland. "As a result of the unanimous vote, Google will be subject to a five percent 'franchise fee' on its video revenues. It won't have to pay a three percent 'PEG' fee that Portland otherwise charges rival Comcast, but it will offer free Internet service for Portland residents for a $300, one-time fee. It'll also provide free Internet service to some to-be-determined nonprofits, in addition to providing a total of three free Wi-Fi networks in various parts of the city.""

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