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Chances of being killed by police in the USA

Space cowboy (13680) writes | 17 minutes ago

User Journal

So 104 people were killed by police in the USA during August, 2014. To my eyes, that's an absolutely enormous figure. As a Brit, I compare it to the 1 person killed over 3 years by the UK police. Yes, they're two different countries, yes there's a lot more people in the US, yes they have different cultures, yadda yadda yadda; people are dying here.

Let's do some maths:

Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes | about half an hour ago

1

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Medium reports that although many startups want to design something that mimics the fit and finish of an Apple product, it's a good way to go out of business.

What happened when Apple wanted to CNC machine a million MacBook bodies a year? They bought 10k CNC machines to do it. How about when they wanted to laser drill holes in MacBook Pros for the sleep light but only one company made a machine that could drill those 20 m holes in aluminum? It bought the company that made the machines and took all the inventory. And that time when they needed batteries to fit into a tiny machined housing but no manufacturer was willing to make batteries so thin? Apple made their own battery cells. From scratch.

Other things that Apple often does that can cause problems for a startup include white plastic (which is the most difficult color to mold), CNC machining at scale (too expensive), Laser drilled holes (far more difficult than it may seem), molded plastic packaging (recycled cardboard is your friend), and 4-color, double-walled, matte boxes + HD foam inserts (It’s not unusual for them to cost upwards of $12/unit at scale. And then they get thrown away.). "If you see a feature on an Apple device you want to copy, try to find it on another company’s product. If you do, it’s probably okay to design into your product. Otherwise, lower your expectations. I assure you it’ll be better for your startup.""

Who Should Pay Costs to Attend Conferences?

Anonymous Coward writes | about half an hour ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "In the spirit of an Ask Slashdot, I wanted to get your opinion on who should pay the costs associated with attending conferences. In the past, I've covered costs associated with attending some local (in town) conferences, but despite claims to be willing to cover some costs associated with conferences, training, and certifications, my requests have been denied.

The short version is I would like to attend a national conference, hosted in Las Vegas, and that while specific to a technology, it is what 90% of my day is related to so its directly work related.

My employer has declined to pay some of the costs associated with the conference, but has said if I pay my way, they will pay for the training associated with it. Since this is a pretty hot technology, I'm very interested in getting certified and appreciate their offer.

I should add that I work for a public entity and due to some fairly public issues, we have enjoyed record levels of funding the past couple of years. We know that they cannot afford to continue so we're about to start a multi-year decrease in our budget.

My current thoughts are: First, I was working for a company where we faced potential layoffs, getting as close as to within 24 hours of one. Even just having some job security is extremely appreciated. Second, I work in a WONDERFUL environment. They aren't clock punchers, its about getting the job done. We're not micromanaged and have freedom to try new things. For the public sector, I know those are rare things and I appreciate them. Third, I work on a very talented team. I am probably the weakest member, so for me its a perfect learning/growth opportunity. Finally, its not my employer saying the conference isn't important, its looking at the bottom line and that we are a public entity so its not like we can easily raise more money. Tough decisions must be made.

For this particular conference, I decided to try and save up my own money. Unfortunately, my personal life has gotten in the way, so I've resorted to begging. (http://shar.es/1asGyk — come on even donations of $5 or $10 will quickly add up!). My problem with this is I hate begging, but what am I going to do for future conferences? So should I re-think my acceptance of my employers policy and start looking for a new job? Obviously, it is a personal decision, but I don't have a mentor or close friends to act as sounding boards, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Finally, apologize for the link (http://shar.es/1asGyk) but you know if I didn't, there would be people calling me an idiot because I missed the perfect opportunity for a shameless plug."

Link to Original Source

The Rise of Wagnerian Science [corr]

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes | about half an hour ago

0

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes "Just encountered Negative Results are Disappearing from Most Disciplines and Countries [2011] from master lexicographer Daniele Fanelli, whose 2009 work on scientific misconduct was covered on Slashdot. He finds "the proportion of papers that, having declared to have tested a hypothesis, reported a full or partial support has grown by more than 20% between 1990 and 2007." Does this mean that as a species, we are becoming better at guessing — or are there other forces at work?

One thing that jumped at me in Fanelli's paper [Fig 3, p7] was the smoothness of this progression for the US authors, as compared with other countries. Richard Feynman noted "The thing that doesn't fit is the thing that's most interesting." Are we seeking those things? Newton was almost right. Bereft of rigorous testing to invalidate popular hypotheses, would we be likely to notice "negative results" such as the disparities that led into quantum mechanics, today? Or would they be swept under the rug of selective funding and implied consensus?

Years ago when listening to The Ring I found myself switching the turntable to 78rpm to complete the Cycle in a few hours — its musical sentiment was soo obvious and I "see" where it was going. Science should embody more Contrapunctus, a fugue where negative and positive entwine in a thoughtful dance. Writing this summary I must endeavor not to relate this to climate science. Oops."

Link to Original Source

Verizon FiOS is now symmetrical

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Verizon just announced their SpeedMatch campaign for all their FiOS customers. From their site: "NOW YOU CAN UPLOAD AS FAST AS YOU DOWNLOAD. .... And to get the most from your Internet, your upload and download speeds should be equal.""

Star Wars Ordered a 'DroneShield' to Prevent Leaks On Set

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes | 2 hours ago

0

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Over the last couple of weeks, people have been flying drones over Pinewood Studios, where Star Wars Episode VII is being filmed. That made waves last week, but, perhaps most interestingly, the studio ordered a "DroneShield" back in June anticipating the drone problem.
According to the company, a DroneShield can provide email and SMS warnings if it detects a helicopters or drone. In any case, the folks over at DroneShield say that Pinewood Studios never actually got the product: The State Department keeps close tabs on products like these that are shipped overseas, and the company's export application still hasn't gone through."

The Rise of Wagnerian Science

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes | 2 hours ago

0

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) writes "Just encountered Negative Results are Disappearing from Most Disciplines and Countries [2011] from master lexicographer Daniele Fanelli, whose 2009 work on scientific misconduct was covered on Slashdot. She finds "the proportion of papers that, having declared to have tested a hypothesis, reported a full or partial support has grown by more than 20% between 1990 and 2007." Does this mean that as a species, we are becoming better at guessing — or are there other forces at work?

One thing that jumped at me in Fanelli's paper [Fig 3, p7] was the smoothness of this progression for the US authors, as compared with other countries. Richard Feynman noted "The thing that doesn't fit is the thing that's most interesting." Are we seeking those things? Newton was almost right. Bereft of rigorous testing to invalidate popular hypotheses, would we be likely to notice "negative results" such as the disparities that led into quantum mechanics, today? Or would they be swept under the rug of selective funding and implied consensus?

Years ago when listening to The Ring I found myself switching the turntable to 78rpm to complete the Cycle in a few hours — its musical sentiment was soo obvious and I "see" where it was going. Science should embody more Contrapunctus, a fugue where negative and positive entwine in a thoughtful dance. Writing this summary I must endeavor not to relate this to climate science. Oops."

Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: Alternate software for use on smartboards?

SmarterThanMe (1679358) writes | 3 days ago

0

SmarterThanMe (1679358) writes "Teacher here, you can call me Mr. SmarterThanMe. I have a fancy smartboard installed in my room. Smartboards allow me to show students a whole range of other stuff other than just whatever I'm writing. I can prepare instructions and activities before the lesson and just move through the boards. I can pull up some students' work and display it through the projector. I can bring up some stimulus for use in a writing task. So much better than blackboards.

Except the software that comes bundled with this particular brand of smartboard is ridiculously clunky. Without naming this particular piece of software, and highlighting it's shortfalls, has anyone got any suggestions on alternatives (open source or otherwise)?

The main features that I'd like are:

  • Handwriting recognition
  • The ability to make and use templates
  • Grids or guides or *something* to be able to teach measurement

I have gold star stickers for any good suggestions. Thanks in advance."

Android Apps Now Unofficially Able to Run on Any Major Desktop OS

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

0

An anonymous reader writes "A developer, who goes by the handle Vladikoff, has tweaked Google's App Runtime for Chrome (ARC) to allow any Android app to run on any major desktop operating system, not just the handful announced last week which were also limited to Chrome OS. His tweaked version of ARC is re-packaged as ARChon. The install isn't very straightforward, and you have to be in developer mode on Chrome. But there's a support forum on reddit. The extension will work on any OS running the desktop version of Chrome 37 and up as long as the user also installs chromeos-apk, which converts raw Android app packages (APKs) to a Chrome extension. Ars Technica reports that apps run this way are buggy, fast, and crash often but expresses optimism for when Google officially "opens the floodgates on the Play Store, putting 1.3 million Android apps onto nearly every platform"."

Data archiving standards need to be future-proofed

storagedude (1517243) writes | yesterday

0

storagedude (1517243) writes "Imagine in the not-too-distant future, your entire genome is on archival storage and accessed by your doctors for critical medical decisions. You'd want that data to be safe from hackers and data corruption, wouldn't you? Oh, and it would need to be error-free and accessible for about a hundred years too. The problem is, we currently don't have the data integrity, security and format migration standards to ensure that, according to Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. Newman calls for standards groups to add new features like collision-proof hash to archive interfaces and software.

'It will not be long until your genome is tracked from birth to death. I am sure we do not want to have genome objects hacked or changed via silent corruption, yet this data will need to be kept maybe a hundred or more years through a huge number of technology changes. The big problem with archiving data today is not really the media, though that too is a problem. The big problem is the software that is needed and the standards that do not yet exist to manage and control long-term data,' writes Newman."

Link to Original Source

Mark Zuckerberg Ousts His Pal, FWD.us's Apparently Just-Sort-of-OK President

theodp (442580) writes | 11 hours ago

0

theodp (442580) writes "Two weeks after arguing that Executive Action by President Obama on tech immigration was needed lest Mark Zuckerberg and his FWD.us PAC pals have to deal with 'just sort of OK' U.S. workers, it appears Joe Green's words have come back to bite him. Re/Code's Kara Swisher reports that Green has been pushed out of his role as President of FWD.us. "Today, we wanted to share an important change with you," begins 'Leadership Change', the announcement from the FWD.us Board that Green is out and Todd Schulte is in. So what convinced FWD.us that Schulte merited the job more than Zuck's apparently just-sort-of-OK close friend and college roommate? "His [Schulte's] prior experience as Chief of Staff at Priorities USA, the Super PAC supporting President Obama's re-election," explains Zuckerberg & Co., "will ensure FWD.us continues its momentum for reform.""

Boeing to take space tourists on its CST-100 spacecraft to the ISS

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes | 12 hours ago

0

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "According to a Thursday story in Investment Business Daily, Boeing, whose CST-100 spacecraft was one of the two winners of NASA’s commercial crew competition, will reserve one seat per flight for a paying tourist. For a price comparable to what space tourists now pay for trips on the Russian Soyuz, anyone will be able to take a jaunt to the International Space Station. The move places Boeing in direct competition with the Russians, who are working through a company called Space Adventures for their tourist space jaunts."
Link to Original Source

KDE Software UI to become simpler in future

sfcrazy (1542989) writes | 13 hours ago

0

sfcrazy (1542989) writes "KDE Software is often criticized for being too complicated for an average user to use. Try setting up Kmail and you would know what I mean. The KDE developers are aware of it and now they are working on making KDE UI simpler. KDE usability team lead Thomas Pfeiffer Thomas prefers a layered feature exposure so that users can enjoy certain advanced features at a later stage after they get accustomed to the basic functionality of the application. He quotes the earlier (pre-Plasma era) vision of KDE 4 – “Anything that makes Linux interesting for technical users (shells, compilation, drivers, minute user settings) will be available; not as the default way of doing things, but at the user’s discretion.” And he goes ahead to remind the simplified form in KDE HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) – “Simple by default, powerful when needed.”"
Link to Original Source

Video Released from The World First Open Source Cinematic Videocam

atagunov (3835625) writes | yesterday

0

atagunov (3835625) writes "Video clips have been released as crowdfunding starts for the world first open source cinematic videocam.

"I am a filmmaker myself ... I would like to have powerful tools that I know to have full control over and that I can tune and tweak"

says Sebastian Pichelhofer of Apertus association. He is working on Axiom Beta the 2nd generation Apertus videocam fully open sourced under GPL and OHL.

This cool little project may need a bit of help with crowdfunding least they have diffculty reaching from current EUR 56k to the target amount of EUR 100k."

Link to Original Source

Why a Chinese Company is the Biggest IPO Ever in the US

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

0

An anonymous reader writes "The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has made headlines lately in US financial news. At the closing of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Friday, it had raised $21.8 billion on the New York Stock Exchange, larger even than Visa's ($17.9 billion), Facebook's ($16 billion), and General Motors ($15.8 billion) IPOs. Some critics do say that Alibaba's share price will plummet from its current value of $93.60 in the same way that Facebook's and Twitter's plummeted dramatically after initial offerings. Before we speculate, however, we should take note of what Alibaba is exactly. Beyond the likes of Amazon and eBay, Alibaba apparently links average consumers directly to manufacturers, which is handy for an economy ripe for change. Approximately half of Alibaba's shares "were sold to 25 investment firms", and "most of the shares went to US investors"."

US Law Proposed to Limit US Search Warrants for Data Stored Abroad

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

0

An anonymous reader writes "On Thursday, a bipartisan law was introduced in the Senate that would limit US law enforcement's ability to obtain user data from US companies with servers physically located abroad. Law enforcement would still be able to gain access to those servers with a US warrant, but the warrant would be limited to data belonging to US citizens. This bill, called the LEADS Act (PDF), addresses concerns by the likes of Microsoft and other tech giants that worry about the impact law enforcement over-reach will have on their global businesses. Critics remain skeptical: "we are concerned about how the provision authorizing long-arm warrants for the accounts of US persons would be administered, and whether we could reasonably expect reciprocity from other nations on such an approach.""

NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Server Via Facebook

Wylde Stile (731120) writes | yesterday

0

Wylde Stile (731120) writes "A Staten Island, NY family court support magistrate allowed a man to serve his ex-wife via Facebook. The man tried to serve the woman in person and via mail, but the woman moved with no forwarding address. The children would not return his calls so he has no way to get the address. The magistrate decided that in-person and mail would not work

The ex-wife maintains an active Facebook account. She even liked some photos on the current wife Facebook page days before the ruling. The magistrate conclude that the ex-wife could be served through Facebook."

Link to Original Source

PACER Finally Agrees To Put Back Court Documents That Were Deleted

feedfeeder (1749978) writes | yesterday

0

Sooner or later this had to happen. Back in August, with no warning, the PACER electronic court document system, overseen by the Administrative Office of the judicial system, announced that as part of an "upgrade" it had deleted a bunch of cases. Once this started getting some attention, officials gave a weak, nonsensical "explanation" for why no one could figure out how to take some PDFs and move them to the new system. As for why it couldn't work with many, many public-service oriented archivers -- who all offered to host the deleted works -- no answer was ever given. Recently, however, Congress started to ask questions, and then all of a sudden the Administrative Office decided to wake up to the fact that this was a bad idea. The missing documents will soon be back.

"The Administrative Office is working to restore electronic access to these cases by converting the docket sheets in these cases to PDF format which will allow us to make them available in PACER," said David Sellers, assistant director for public affairs at the AO, in a statement to the Washington Post. "This process will be completed in the four appellate courts by the end of October. We are also working to provide a similar solution for the dockets on the legacy system in the California Central bankruptcy court."
Of course, still nothing is being done to actually make the PACER system more accessible to the public and dumping the ridiculous 10 cents/per page fee the system charges (which almost certainly breaks the law). Maybe if Congress started asking questions about that travesty as well, we'd finally start to see some real improvements.

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