An anonymous reader writes "In a highly political message, the White House announced that they would decline to respond to a petition with more than a quarter of a million signatures on its We the people website asking the United States to deport Justin Bieber. This was prompted by his alcohol-fueled drag race in Florida in January.
While this story is not particularly noteworthy from a technology perspective, what does it say about government attempting to be more open? The White House says they will respond to any petition with more than 100,000 signatures, but only in the fine-print does it say that their response might not be a response to the issue at all."
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netdicted (2883657) writes "At the very outset of my career the importance of keeping a daily journal of activities and notes was clearly evident. Over the years I’ve always had a college ruled composition notebook nearby to jot down important ideas, instructions, tasks, etc. Putting away the rock and chisel was not optional when the volumes grew beyond my mental capacity to successfully index the contents. Over the years I’ve tried countless apps to keep a digital journal and failed miserably.
In my mind the ideal app or solution is a single file or cloud app where I can organize personal notes on projects, configurations, insights, ideas, etc.. as well as noting major activities or occurrences of the day. My original journals saved me on a number of occasions. Unfortunately my tenacity for keeping one has suffered from a fruitless search for a suitable solution. Currently I’m experimenting with Evernote [http://evernote.com/] and Tiddlywiki [http://.tiddlywiki.com/]. They approach the problem from two different angles.
What do you use?"
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "According to the National Golf Foundation, golf has lost five million players in the last decade with 20 percent of the existing 25 million golfers apt to quit in the next few years. Now Bill Pennington writes that golf courses across the country are experimenting with 15 inch golf holes the size of pizzas to stop people from quitting the game. “We’ve got to stop scaring people away from golf by telling them that there is only one way to play the game and it includes these specific guidelines,” says Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America. “We’ve got to offer more forms of golf for people to try. We have to do something to get them into the fold, and then maybe they’ll have this idea it’s supposed to be fun.” A 15-inch-hole event was held at the Reynolds Plantation resort last week featuring top professional golfers Sergio García and Justin Rose, the defending United States Open champion. “A 15-inch hole could help junior golfers, beginning golfers and older golfers score better, play faster and like golf more,” says García, who shot a six-under-par 30 for nine holes in the exhibition. Another alternative is foot golf, in which players kick a soccer ball from the tee to an oversize hole, counting their kicks. Still it is no surprise that not everyone agrees with the burgeoning alternative movement to make golf more user-friendly. “I don’t want to rig the game and cheapen it,” says Curtis Strange, a two-time United States Open champion and an analyst for ESPN. “I don’t like any of that stuff. And it’s not going to happen either. It’s all talk.”"
jones_supa (887896) writes "'All you need is talent or facial hair.' Adding to that a new study suggests that a lot of attractiveness of facial hair comes from its rarity. Female guppies prefer male guppies that look unusual compared to others, rather than guppies that share common features. This helps keep looks and genes variable, a distinct advantage for the species. Zinnia Janif and colleagues at UNSW wanted to see if humans displayed similar negative frequency-dependent selection. The researchers recruited over 1,400 heterosexual women and 200 heterosexual men for their study. Participants viewed 24 average male faces with varying degrees of growth. In some conditions, the four beard lengths were evenly distributed among the photos. In some, either the clean-shaven condition or the fully bearded condition was rare. The participants rated the attractiveness of the faces. The scientists found that neither the clean-shaven nor the fully bearded faces were very attractive when the facial hair types were evenly distributed. But when the clean-shaven faces or the bearded faces were the rare beards in the bunch, the participants, both men and women, rated them as significantly more attractive. The results suggest that humans do indeed use negative frequency-dependent selection when judging the attractiveness of facial hair, with a rarer look becoming slightly more attractive merely because it is rare."
Hodejo1 (1252120) writes "Tesla has already put over 25,000 cars on the road with more to come and, presumably, most will still be running well past the 8-year battery warranty. What would happen if it is time to replace the battery pack on an old Model S or X and the cost is $25K? Simple, it would destroy the resale value of said cars, which would negatively affect the lease value of new Tesla automobiles. That’s a big part of the real reason why Tesla is building its own battery factory. They not only need to ensure enough supply for new cars, but they have to dramatically bring down the price of the replacement batteries low enough so owners of otherwise perfectly running old Teslas don’t just junk them. The Tesla Roadster was not a mass produced vehicle, so the cost of replacing its battery is $40K. The economies of scale of a gigafactory alone will drop battery costs dramatically. Heavy research could drop it further over the next decade or so. The good news is that if they do it right Tesla will have the replacement battery business to itself — without a gigafactory of their own non-OEM battery suppliers won’t be able to compete — which will bring more profits rather than headaches."
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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that once again, the Obama administration has pushed back a final decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline possibly delaying the final determination until after the November midterm elections. In announcing the delay, the State Department cited a Nebraska Supreme Court case that could affect the route of the pipeline that may not be decided until next year, as well as additional time needed to review 2.5 million public comments on the project. Both supporters and opponents of the pipeline criticized the delay as a political ploy. Democratic incumbents from oil-rich states have urged President Obama to approve the pipeline but approving the pipeline before the election could staunch the flow of money from liberal donors and fund-raisers who oppose the project. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell said in a statement that “at a time of high unemployment in the Obama economy, it’s a shame that the administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for years.” Activists say its construction could devastate the environment, but several State Department reviews have concluded that the pipeline would be safe and was unlikely to significantly increase the rate of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. Even if the pipeline was canceled, it said, the oil sands crude was likely to be extracted and brought to market by other means, such as rail, and then processed and burned."
CrAlt (3208) writes "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls.
Then Jonathan Grey (jsg@) and Reyk Flöter (reyk@) come next, followed by a group of late starters. Also, an honorable mention for Christian Weisgerber (naddy@), who has been fixing issues in ports related to this work.
All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week. Some of these are simple or small changes, while other commits carry more weight. Of course, occasionally mistakes get made but these are also quickly fixed again, but the general direction is clear: move the tree forward towards a better, more readable, less buggy crypto library.
Check them out at http://anoncvs.estpak.ee/cgi-b..."
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theodp (442580) writes ""The government is not the only American power whose motivations need to be rigourously examined," writes The Telegraph's Katherine Rushton. "Some 2,400 miles away from Washington, in Silicon Valley, Google is aggressively gaining power with little to keep it in check. It has cosied up to governments around the world so effectively that its chairman, Eric Schmidt, is a White House advisor. In Britain, its executives meet with ministers more than almost any other corporation. Google can't be blamed for this: one of its jobs is to lobby for laws that benefit its shareholders, but it is up to governments to push back. As things stand, Google — and to a lesser extent, Facebook — are in danger of becoming the architects of the law." Schmidt, by the way, is apparently interested in influencing at least two current hot-button White House issues. Joined by execs from Apple, Oracle, and Facebook, the Google Chairman asserted in a March letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is not in the economic interests of the U.S.; the Obama administration on Friday extended the review period on the pipeline, perhaps until after the Nov. 4 congressional elections. And as a "Major Contributor" to Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, Schmidt is also helping to shape public opinion on the White House's call for immigration reform; FWD.us just launched new attack ads (videos) and a petition aimed at immigration reform opponent Rep. Steve King. In Dave Eggers' The Circle, politicians who impede the company execs' agenda are immediately brought down. But that's fiction, right?"
BiancaM (3582365) writes "A group of chemists has shown the power of nanoparticles for closing and healing surgical wounds. Using no more than a paintbrush they are able to close surgical openings as well as classical techniques such as sutures. However in fragile deap tissues such as liver even more remarkable results were found- normally fatal damage to internal organs is repaired in seconds using a nanopartilce glue. The results show that closing after surgery can be faster and simpler using nanomaterials to glue wounds shut.
turkeydance (1266624) writes "The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online.
Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site."
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Gud (78635) writes "Opening the newspaper this morning this story hit me like bricks, as I recalled a number of these experiences from my time as grad student. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc. Me and my fellow students still refer to ourself as the "starving grad students." Today we laugh about these experiences because we all got good jobs that lifted us out of poverty, but not everyone is that fortunate.
I wonder how many students are having hard time concentrating on their studies due to worrying where the next meal comes from. In the article I found the attitude of collage admins to the idea of meal plan point sharing, telling as how little they care about anything else but soak students & parents for fees and pester them later on with requests for donations.
Last year I did the college tour for my first child, after reading the article, some of the comments I heard on that tour started making more sense. Like "During exams you go to the dining hall in the morning, eat and study all day for one swipe" or "One student is doing study on what happens when you live only on Ramen noodles!"
How common is "food insecurity in college or high school" ?
What tricks can you share with current students?"
An anonymous reader writes "[James thought] he'd try his luck at some guerilla PR tactics and crash PAX East with his trusty Oculus Rift and demo rig in tow. After many laps of the PAX East Show floor, James was about ready to give up and go home, but on his final round he spotted a demo station with one lone occupant and his Oculus Rift. This was his chance."
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katiewilliam (3621675) writes "The Google Research Blog revealed that there's quite a fair bit of algorithms running to achieve this effect; to put it in a nutshell, computer vision algorithms create a 3D model of the world based on the shots you have taken, and estimate the depth to every point in the scene."
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Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The aficionados of beer and distilled spirits could be in for a major price-shock, if proposals by the Food and Drug Administration come to pass. Currently, breweries are allowed to sell unprocessed brewing by-products to feed farm animals. Farmers prize the nutritious, low-cost feed. But, new rules proposed by the FDA could force brewers to implement costly processing facilities or dump the by-products as waste. As one brewer put it, "Beer prices would go up for everybody to cover the cost of the equipment and installation.”"