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Comments

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Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

McGruber Re:...like dash cams. (65 comments)

How to let officers pee without also letting them turn off cameras at every "inconvenient" time presents a challenge...

I don't see why it would necessary to turn the camera off when using the restroom -- the camera is looking forward, not downward, so it would be recording a close-up view of the top of the urinal.

5 hours ago
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Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

McGruber Re:Accuse me a being materialistic whore but... (136 comments)

I'm not having a serious problem with this.

Did you know that Politics and Prose is the best independent bookstore in Washington and, IMHO, one of the best bookstores in the country? The Politics and Prose wikipedia page says it original co-owners "became known as literary tastemakers."

Consider that as you re-read the example I choose for the summary:

At Politics and Prose, the traditional [AMAZON BUY IT NOW] version — featuring the iconic eyes floating on a blue background — sold better than the DiCaprio [AMAZON BUY IT NOW] cover.

Do you see the problem now?

I'll end with a shout-out to the NPR program On The Media - I look forward to hearing OTM cover this issue!

(This post not edited by Brooke.)

about two weeks ago
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Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

McGruber Georgia customers billed for it since 2009 (142 comments)

Since 2009, Georgia electric customers have been paying a "Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery” fee to fund the building of the Plant Vogle reactors. This tax currently adds 7.6% to a customer's electric monthly bill.

Here is an October 2013 article about a protest against the tax: Georgia Power Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery Tariff Excites Local Protest

And here's an organization that is protesting the tax: STOPCWIP.COM, which is short for STOP Construction Work In Progress

They point out that the Nuke owners are guaranteed a 11.5% return no matter how late the plant is:

In 2009, the Georgia General Assembly passed “Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act,” making it legal for Georgia electric utilities to charge customers in advance to construct the nuclear reactors. The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) subsequently approved Georgia Power and other owners of Plant Vogtle to charge the CWIP tax which will be collected during the whole construction period, no matter how long it will take, and allow Georgia Power and the other Vogtle owners a guaranteed profit with a protected return on investment of 11.15%.

about two weeks ago
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Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office

McGruber Re:Where do I sign up? (327 comments)

Seriously? You're posting this here without telling me how I can get this job?

Sorry about that - you apply for federal jobs at USA Jobs Website

There are not any patent examiner openings posted right now, but here are some current IT openings at the Patent Office:

IT Acquisitions Specialist - DE

IT Specialist (APPSW) - Software Developer - DE

Systems Development Lead - IT Specialist (SYSANALYSIS/APPSW) - DE

about two weeks ago
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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

McGruber Re:Earthshaking (124 comments)

It's an electrical problem in a single building.

Actually, the complex is four separate builidings connected in a U-shape; the tallest is 24 stories. The complex has its own entry on skyscraperpage.com and is also described in this 6-page PDF by Trane, the air-conditioning company. That PDF includes this description of the buildings in the complex and how it is all designed for 24/7 operation:

The facility, named for the former U.S. Senator from Georgia, is one the largest federal office buildings on the East Coast. It encompasses 1.87 million square feet of space. The structure straddles a busy downtown street. The building is also located atop an underground train tunnel of the Atlanta transit system, MARTA. The building units include the remodeled 1924 department store, Rich's, which was a downtown Atlanta landmark and an Atlanta institution.

Now this renovated six-story building and its beloved clock are a visual cornerstone for the center. Other elements are a 10-story mid-rise section, an eight-story bridge, six stories over Forsyth Street and a 24-story high-rise tower. Adjacent to the building is a 10-story parking garage. Construction of the building was a joint urban redevelopment enterprise of the City of Atlanta and the Federal Government. The design architect for the facility was the California firm of Kohn, Peterson, Fox and Associates. Newcomb & Boyd, a large Atlanta firm, was chosen as the project engineer.

Designed For 24-Hour Operation Southeastern Facility Management, Inc., is contracted by GSA to operate this facility. The system was designed for 24-hour seven days a week operation to accommodate the mission of the various agencies housed in the facility. One or more of the 1,310-ton chillers were to operate, depending on the building load, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. After 6:00 p.m., the 400-ton chiller was to carry all computer rooms and miscellaneous building loads. As a consequence, the facility designers and engineers needed to plan for continuous occupancy. Atlanta has significant cooling loads for much of the year and high humidity as well. The goal of the HVAC system design was to assure complete comfort in the building around the clock, year-round. To achieve this, significant emphasis was placed on humidity control with a central chilled water plant, air handlers for each area and a zone- controlled VAV air delivery system. Building designers also recognized that an important part of the office environment is acoustic performance. For this reason, rigorous sound level standards were set for occupied areas throughout the facility. The air conditioning system efficiency was extremely important due to the 24/7 operation.

about a month ago
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Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

McGruber Re:The article "Jorge Fiasco" wants you to forget (110 comments)

Another article Jorge Carasco would like you to forget: The Seattle Times: City Light leader Jorge Carrasco fell for copper con

Last year, two men claiming to be members of the Cherokee Nation who had traveled from Oklahoma came to Seattle with a simple goal: score some scrap copper.

Dressed in beads and fringed suede, with one wearing a cap that said “Native,” they headed to the offices of Seattle City Light, where they chanced upon its superintendent, Jorge Carrasco, in the lobby. They told him they ran a nonprofit that taught disabled children how to make jewelry and needed some copper wire.

Minutes after meeting them, Carrasco authorized the men to be given some scrap.

But the two were actually con men. Once inside City Light’s secure facilities, they were able to drive off with 20 tons of copper wire and scrap metal worth $120,000.

about a month and a half ago
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Utility Wants $17,500 Refund After Failure To Scrub Negative Search Results

McGruber The article "Jorge Fiasco" wants you to forget (110 comments)

I RTFA and learned that this is the article that "Jorge Fiasco" (Jorge Carrasco" wants google and everyone else to forget about:

Short Fuse: Jorge Carrasco's Polarizing Tenure at the Top of City Light

I also see that the deal with brand.com has cost Jorge Fiasco a six figure pay raise: The Seattle Times: No pay raise for City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says he will not give City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco a pay raise, citing “judgment” issues, including a contract aimed partly at boosting Carrasco’s online image.

Murray made the comments at a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

The Seattle City Council had authorized a pay increase of up to $119,000 for Carrasco, who currently makes $245,000. Murray’s office previously had said he was considering raising Carrasco’s pay by $60,000.

about a month and a half ago
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Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

McGruber Re:A legend of OS design (136 comments)

Minix was really the first of its kind; a Unix-like OS that you could run on cheap (relatively speaking at the time) commodity hardware and that you could get the source code for. A lot of the computing we take for granted now comes from Tanenbaum's work.

Truly!

I first learned of Minix by reading about it in Byte magazine. At the time, I was an undergrad at a big US university, a member of the Association of American Universities. The only multitasking computers on the entire campus were a Unix mainframe, a VAX, and a cluster (lab) of Sun workstations that only graduate engineering students could have accounts on. The Unix and VAX machines could be accessed using VT-100 (and later) terminals in computer labs spread out all over the campus. There were also BYOF (Bring Your Own Floppies) computer labs filled with DOS (pre-windows) PCs, and a few labs filled with early Macs, but those labs were mostly used by humanities majors hunting-and-pecking their term papers out.

Booting a multitasking unix-like OS on a personal computer was a huge deal back then.

about a month and a half ago
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Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

McGruber UPDATE: 6 Fuselages involved; 5 heavily damaged (187 comments)

According to a photographer that hiked into the scene and posted his photographs, there were 6 (six) 737 fuselages on the train and 5 of those are heavily damaged:

Trainorders.com - Birds in the Water!!!!

The photographer also thinks this derailment will really screw up Boeing's 737 production:

The 737 bodies did remain firmly attached to the flatcars for the most part. The only one to show signs of weakness in mounting was the one with the huge crack around the middle. What is going to hurt Boeing is not only having 6 missing aircraft, but losing the 6 fuselage carrier car sets. I imagine both BNSF and Boeing want those cars sent to the repair shop ASAP!

about 2 months ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

McGruber Re:Seriously? (203 comments)

Why the hell do you think they didn't do this? This is par for the course for news you hear every week from American police.

It seems to me that it would be easy to convince a jury that the Atlanta police actually did this -- the FB post is timestamped, as was the record generated when Baton Bob was actually released on bond.

Back in 2006, the Atlanta police executed a 92-year-old elderly woman, during a "botched" drug raid. They fired 39 shots at her, killing her with the 5 or 6 that hit her. After the shooting, one of the Atlanta officers planted marijuana at the house. Wikipedia: Kathryn Johnston shooting

about 2 months ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

McGruber Re:News for not nerds, stuff that doesn't matter. (203 comments)

Great post McGruber, thanks for selecting it timothy.

If you don't like the stories you're reading here, then submit a better one!

about 2 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

McGruber Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

you should learn to read SCOTUS specifically said it has to be a closely knit ownership structure with a history of religious beliefs against abortion

just like aereo, this is a narrow ruling

It seems to me that companies owned by Scientology members can now opt-out of health insurance plans that include psychiatric treatments.

about 2 months ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

McGruber Convicted Criminal Yank Barry is Lying Scum (268 comments)

An April 15, 2012 National Post newspaper article by Joe O'Connor:

The world according to Yank: Montrealer with checkered past gets Nobel nod, or does he?

Mr. Barry is never far from the spotlight. He was the focus of a 4,000-word investigative report by the Montreal Gazette in October 1998.

The front page article delved into Global Village Market, a company through which he was selling VitaPro, and one he marketed to potential investors with the help of the motto: “doing well by doing good.”

Mr. Barry’s pitch, backed by some celebrity punch, reportedly sold investors on the notion that the more money the company made the more food he would distribute to the needy.

Celine Dion was one of the celebrities involved. She was led to believe that she was endorsing a humanitarian mission to Africa led by Mr. Ali, and engineered by Yank Barry. She taped a message trumpeting her support for a purely philanthropic cause. Said message, in audiotape form was then, unbeknownst to Ms. Dion, reportedly used by Mr. Barry as part of his promotional material selling investment units in Global Village Market, a for-profit business.

Cracks appeared early in the enterprise. Promises of philanthropy dried up. Investors lost everything and several lodged complaints against Mr. Barry with the Quebec Securities Commission. The securities regulator did not sanction Mr. Barry, though the entire episode lingers as a sore spot for many, including Celine Dion.

Her image still appears on the Global Village Champions Foundation website, a presence that irks Paul-Andre Martel, the Montreal lawyer representing the famous singer and husband, Rene Angelil.

“My clients have absolutely no involvement with Mr. Barry or his organization,” Mr. Martel said. “What we think is that Mr. Barry is using the name and the fame of people that have spent time with Mr. Ali over the years.”

about 2 months ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

McGruber Re:Federal Govt. outsources most of its IT (465 comments)

any system the IRS has is going to be horrendously old because they pretty much never get funding to upgrade anything.

Here's a Delivery Order (contract) that the Internal Revenue Service used to buy $12.5 million worth of Dell computers from June 23, 2004 to September 30, 2011:

http://government-contracts.fi...

On September 29, 2009, that contract was used to purchase $150,590 worth of "Desktop Replacement Notebooks".... so, back in 2010, the employees now under investigation could have all been using 1-year old Dell laptops running Windows XP or 7.

about 2 months ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

McGruber Federal Govt. outsources most of its IT (465 comments)

From the AP article:

Investigators from the House Ways and Means Committee interviewed IRS technicians Monday.

The federal IT sector is heavily outsourced -- the investigators should be looking to see which firm(s) provided IT services to the IRS in 2010 and bringing those firms in. There should have been contract documents specifying requirements about backing up email servers.

This part is also laughable:

Lerner’s computer crashed in the summer of 2011, depriving investigators of many of her prior emails. Flax’s computer crashed in December 2011, Camp and Boustany said.

Sorry, but federal government IT standards in 2011 required that PCs run XP or Win-7. Even a Linux and BSD guy like myself knows that XP was reliable enough that it is extremely unlikely that both of their computers crashed with data loss.

I can't find the specific federal IT standard that was in place during 2011, but it did require the use of Windows XP or later. Here's a September 10,2009 article titled: "Federal agencies prepare to make the leap from XP to Windows 7": http://gcn.com/articles/2009/0...

about 2 months ago
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

McGruber Re:BSES (169 comments)

Just tossing out a stray thought, but how much value would there be in having maybe one person at a Starbucks with some sort of culinary arts education/training?

That would increase healthcare costs because Starbucks employees trained in culinary arts would need to consume a lot of antidepressants.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Amazon sold fewer Fire phones than Jack White sold VINYL records

McGruber McGruber writes  |  2 days ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Marketwatch reports that Amazon likely had sold fewer than 35,000 Amazon Fire phones in the device's first 25 days on the market. In comparison, American musician Jack White sold 40,000 copies of his Lazaretto album on VINYL in the first week after its release in June.

Amazon's Fire phone made up just 0.02% of market share in July, according to online ads network Chitika, which analyzed tens of millions of smartphone-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika ad network from July 25, the day the Fire was launched, through Aug. 14. When comparing that against recent data from comScore, which put total U.S. smartphone penetration at 173 million people in June, Fire sales would not have exceeded 35,000 in its first three weeks, assuming U.S. smartphone penetration remained relatively flat month-over-month.

"While the Fire Phone was listed atop Amazon's Best Seller list for several days in early August, North American usage of the device has grown only incrementally, rather than exponentially," Chitika said in a report."

Link to Original Source
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The comfy part of long-haul jetliners that you never get to ride in

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a week ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Interior design publication Core77 has an article about Crew Rest Compartments (CRCs) (http://www.core77.com/blog/interiorexhibition_design/the_part_of_the_plane_you_never_get_to_see_what_do_cabin_crews_chillaxation_spots_look_like_27476.asp) installed in long-haul jetliners. These CRC accommodations include the 8 Best Beds on a Boeing 777, a pimpish loft space nestled above the passenger compartment on the Boeing 787, and bunkbeds stacked 3-high on the Airbus A380.

A pilot commented that the CRCs are not as glamorous as they look: "You generally enter a very dark claustrophobic space with your phone light not to disturb anyone. You're surrounded by all the most synthetic materials of the planet, overheated (25 to 30 c), very smelly (shoes, BO, bad breath etc...) and if you are in the tail noisy and shaky! Lol. But guess what you still sleep as you are exhausted!""

Link to Original Source
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Pwned by Jeff Bezos,Washington Post embeds Amazon Buy It Now buttons midsentence

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about two weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Reading a story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/what-divisive-charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-cover-says-about-books-and-readers/2014/08/15/23163b8a-219a-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html) in the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, I saw that the paper had begun embedding Amazon Buy-It-Now links in the middle of story sentences. One such sentence read:

Depp can confirm this: At Politics and Prose, the traditional [BUY IT NOW] version — featuring the iconic eyes floating on a blue background — sold better than the DiCaprio [BUY IT NOW] cover.

The change follows the July news of much larger than expected losses at Amazon and a 10-percent decline in the Amazon's stock value. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/07/24/amazon-sales-soar-but-losses-are-the-biggest-since-2012/)

In related news, the Post reports that the literary executor of George Orwell’s estate has accused Amazon.com of Doublespeak. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/orwell-rep-accuses-amazon-of-doublespeak/2014/08/14/ecda1252-23c5-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html)"
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Everyday is Goof Off at Work Day at the US Patent & Trademark Office

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about two weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "An internal investigation by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that some of its 8,300 patent examiners repeatedly lied about the hours they were putting in and many were receiving bonuses for work they did not do. While half of the USPTO's Patent Examiners work from home full time, oversight of the telework program — and of examiners based at the Alexandria headquarters — was “completely ineffective,” investigators concluded.

The internal investigation also unearthed another widespread problem. More than 70 percent of the 80 managers interviewed also told investigators that a “significant” number of examiners did not work for long periods, then rushed to get their reviews done at the end of each quarter. Supervisors told the review team that the practice “negatively affects” the quality of the work. “Our quality standards are low,” one supervisor told the investigators. “We are looking for work that meets minimal requirements.”

Patent examiners review applications and grant patents on inventions that are new and unique. They are experts in their fields, often with master’s and doctoral degrees. They earn at the top of federal pay scale, with the highest taking home $148,000 a year."

Link to Original Source
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Cringley: IBM not a viable company, propping itself up by trippling its debt

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Robert X. Cringely has a new ebook out, titled "The Decline and Fall of IBM" (http://www.cringely.com/2014/06/04/decline-fall-ibm/). Cringely believes that IBM is in deep trouble and has been since before the Great Recession of 2008. He also says that the company has probably been doomed since 2010.

On Sunday, Cringley was interviewed on the nationally syndicated talkradio program Moneytalk. Program host Bob Brinker (http://bobbrinker.com/) pointed out that Warren Buffett bought almost $11 billion worth of IBM common stock, then asked Cringley "what did he miss?" Cringley answered that IBM is in a downward spiral because it is focused on maintaining and increasing earnings per share (EPS). IBM is borrowing money to buy back shares, propping up EPS but adding debt. IBM's debt has tripled in the last 5 years.

Cringley also told Brinker that IBM has gone from hardware sales to selling services but they have poor customer retention, having lost the state of Texas and The Walt Disney Company. Their sales culture tends to bid low to win the contract and then extract more dollars by selling extra services. IBM also lost a contract with the CIA to Amazon. A person who called-in to the program pointed out that IBM lost its leadership in product development, lost sales of its core products to Fortune 500 companies, and its software business is eroding because of open source applications. Cringely concurred with the caller and told him "you made my point."(http://honeysbobbrinkerbeehivebuzz3.blogspot.com/)"

Link to Original Source
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Australia rebooting search for MH370, the missing Malaysian Airlines 777-200ER

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about three weeks ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that two months after pausing its search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is ready to reboot its search. The ATSB is poised to select among bids from the world's most-advanced deep-water specialists, including offshore oil-and-gas companies, maritime research institutions and treasure hunters eager to use their technologies and experience to solve the Flight 370 riddle—and potentially raise their own profiles in the process. The ATSB is expected to choose one or more of the bidders over the next several weeks before relaunching the search with $56 million in funding in late August.

With no hard evidence of where the plane went down, the search will test the recovery industry's abilities like nothing before. In June, Australian authorities shifted the search zone for a third time—by about 600 miles to the southwest—after reanalyzing satellite transmissions. Even then, they said it was impossible to know whether the fresh search area would prove correct."

Link to Original Source
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Bad "Buss Duct" causes week-long closure of 5,000 employee Federal Complex

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In Atlanta, an electrical problem in a "Buss Duct" has caused the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to be closed for at least a week (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/nunn-federal-building-expected-to-reopen-monday/ngnSZ/). 5,000 federal employees work at the center.

While many might view this as another example of The Infrastructure Crisis (http://www.asce.org/Content.aspx?id=25562) in the USA, it might actually be another example of mismanagement at the complex's landord, the General Service Administration (GSA). The GSA has had many scandals [http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120416/DEPARTMENTS07/204160301/GSA-scandal-Heavy-fallout-expected] and has been the subject of several Congresssional Hearings, including an August 1, 2012 hearing titled "GSA: A Review of Agency Mismanagement and Wasteful Spending — Part 2" (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg75419/html/CHRG-112hhrg75419.htm). That hearing followed an $823,000 GSA employee conference in Las Vegas and a one-day-long $250,000 GSA employee conference in Crystal City, Virginia (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/1/gsa-scandal-widens-dozens-conferences-investigated/?page=all)

The closed Atlanta complex is named for Samuel Augustus "Sam" Nunn, Jr., who served for 24 years as a United States Senator from Georgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn). His daughter is the current Democratic Party nominee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn) for a Georgia Senate seat."

Link to Original Source
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India building Highest Railway Bridge in the World

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month and a half ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Up in the Mimalayas, Indian engineers have restarted work on the world's highest railway bridge. When completed in 2016, the arch-shaped steel structure will be 359 metres (1,177 feet) high — 35 metres (115 feet) taller than the Eiffel Tower!

The bridge is part of the Jammu Udhampur Srinagar Baramulla Railway Link
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashmir_Railway), a railway line being built to connect the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country. When completed, the route will shorten the travel time from Baramulla to Jammu to six-and-a-half hours, almost half the time it currently takes."

Link to Original Source
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Uber Driver flees taxi police with passengers aboard

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month and a half ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The Washington Post has the news that a Uber driver fled from police with passenger Ryan Simonetti aboard:

As they approached their Uber car, they spotted a D.C. taxi inspector talking to the driver.

Simonetti got into the front seat, and his colleagues got into the back seat. The inspector walked away. Thinking back, Simonetti suspects the inspector was going to check the documents the Uber driver had handed to him. Then, the Uber driver started driving down the street. The inspector turned his lights on and started to follow.

“That cop’s following you. What’s going on?” Simonetti said he asked the driver. He said the driver told him not to worry. “Oh no, he’s not a real cop,” the Uber driver replied. Simonetti said the driver then told them: “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to run this red light.”

The Uber driver then headed for the 9th Street tunnel, got on I-395 and proceeded to race down the highway going “well above the speed limit,” Simonetti said.

The taxi inspector followed.“It was like an episode of ‘Cops,’” Simonetti said.

A spokesman for Uber said the driver in question is no longer with the company."
Link to Original Source

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Senator Al Franken accuses AT+T of 'skirting' net neutrality rules

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month and a half ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In a letter to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission and the Department of Justice, Senator Al Franken warned that letting AT&T acquire Direct TV could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complained that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype: "AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter" of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote."
Link to Original Source
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Senator Al Franken accuses AT&T of 'skirting' net neutrality rules

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month and a half ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In a letter to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission and the Department of Justice, Senator Al Franken warned that letting AT&T acquire Direct TV could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complained that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype: "AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter" of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote."
Link to Original Source
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Train Derailment causes two 737s airplanes to crash into Clark Fork River

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Boeing builds its 737 airplane fuselages in a Wichita, Kansas factory. The fuselages are then shipped on top of railroad flatcars (as shown in this photograph: http://www.railpictures.net/vi... ) to Boeing's Renton, Washington plant where assembly is completed.

Unfortunately, a train carrying two fuselages to Renton derailed approximately 18 miles east of Superior, Montana. The 737s slid down a steep embankment and ended up in the Clark Fork River. (http://newstalkkgvo.com/montana-rail-link-train-derails-near-superior-three-cars-in-clark-fork-river-audio/)

That'll buff right out."

Link to Original Source
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"Evolution = Satan" part of Atlanta Public Schools' Biology Curriculum

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The young journalists at The Southerner (http://thesoutherneronline.com), the student newspaper at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, recently broke the news that creationism and other Christian religious views are incorporated into the Biology curriculum used by the City of Atlanta Public Schools. As the newspaper put it (http://thesoutherneronline.com/frontpage/?p=29658):

A PowerPoint shown to a freshman biology class featured a cartoon depicting dueling castles, one labeled “Creation (Christ)” and the other labeled “Evolution (Satan).” Balloons attached to the evolution castle were labeled euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, divorce, racism and abortion...... The PowerPoint, which has more than 50 slides largely consisting of material about evolution, was downloaded from SharePoint, an APS file-sharing database for teachers. It was uploaded by Mary E. King, a project manager at APS who has also uploaded more than 2,000 other documents. Phone calls and emails to King have not been returned. Tommy Molden, science coordinator for APS, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Students were offended by the cartoon:

“[I] have gay parents, and [the cartoon] said that evolution caused homosexuality and it implied that to be negative, so I was pretty offended by it,” [freshman Seraphina Cooley] said.

Cooley said that another student emailed the administration complaining about the PowerPoint.

Freshman Griffin Ricker, who is also in Jones’ class, said [Biology class teacher Anquinette Jones] got angry with the class when she found out students had notified the administration.

“She had a 10-minute rant,” Ricker said. “She yelled and said, ‘This is on the APS website, and it was certified.’”

In case of slashdotting, the student reporting is also posted on a local newspaper's blog (http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/get-schooled/2014/jul/03/evolution-vs-creationism-why-still-issue-grady-or-/)."
Link to Original Source

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Baton Bob Strikes Back (against police that coerced Facebook post from him)

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In June 2013, Atlanta police arrested (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/baton-bob-arrested-following-run-in-with-officer/nYWtd/) costumed street performer "Baton Bob" (wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...) during the middle of a street performance after Baton Bob was allegedly involved in a verbal altercation with mall security guards.

Now, a year later, Baton Bob has filed a federal lawsuit (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional/baton-bob-strikes-back-at-atlanta-police/ngWps/) accusing Atlanta police of violating his constitutional rights, assault, discrimination, privacy violations and identify theft. The slashdot-worthy part of the story is that Atlanta Police allegedly forced Baton Bob to make a pro-police statement on his Facebook page before officers would allow Bob to be released on bond. According to the lawsuit:

At approximately 3:40 p.m., while Plaintiff sat handcuffed and without an attorney, he was told to dictate a public statement to Officer Davis, who then typed and posted the message to the Baton Bob Facebook account. The message read:

“First of all, the atl police officer that responded to the incident thru security has been very respectful and gracious to me even in handcuffs. So, the situation escalated from a complaint from a security officer in the area and for some reason she rolled up on me like she didn’t know who I was and like I had not been there before. For them to call police to come to intervene was not necessary. So, out of it, because of my fury, the Atlanta police officer did not understand the elements of the situation, so he was trying to do his job, respectfully and arrested my ass!!!!!!!!! I’ll be out tomorrow so look out for my show at 14th and Peachtree. So now I’m waiting to be transported so I can sign my own bond and get the hell out of here. I want to verify, that the Atlanta police was respectful to me considering the circumstances. See you when I see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“As promised, Plaintiff was then given a signature bond and released from jail.”

"

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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber will knock-out taxi industry

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu agree: there will a 15 round fight between Uber and the taxicab industry that currently enjoys regulatory capture, but in the end, Uber will win. Landrieu explaned:

It actually is going to be a 15 round fight. And it's going to take time to work out, hopefully sooner rather than later. But that debate will be held.....But it is a forceful fight, and our city council is full of people on Uber's side, people on the cabs' side, and it's a battle.

Mayor Reed of Atlanta also expressed how politically powerful the taxi cartels can be:

I tell you, Uber's worth more than Sony, but cab drivers can take you out. So you've got to [weigh that]. Get in a cab and they say, 'Well that mayor, he is sorry.' You come to visit Atlanta, they say, 'Well that Mayor Reed is as sorry as the day is long. Let me tell you how sorry he is while I drive you to your hotel. And I want you to know that crime is up.' This guy might knock you out.

I want you to know it can get really real. It's not as easy as it looks.

"

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Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, PART II

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about a month ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "In December 2013, Slashdot reported (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/12/29/1634239/cracking-atlanta-subways-poorly-encrypted-rfid-smart-cards-is-a-breeze) the arrest of seven metro Atlanta residents for allegedly selling counterfeit MARTA Breeze cards, stored-value smart cards that passengers use as part of an automated fare collection system on Atlanta's subway.

Now, six months later (June 2014), the seven suspects have finally been indicted (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/fraudulent-marta-breeze-card-ring-indicted/ngTdr/).
According to the indictment, the co-conspirators purchased legitimate Breeze cards for $1, then fraudulently placed unlimited or monthly rides on the cards. They then sold the fraudulent cards to MARTA riders for a discounted cash price. Distributors of the fraudulent cards were stationed at several subway stations.

The indictment claims that the ring called their organization the “Underground Railroad"."

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Will ASU Online's Starbucks Baristas Outearn Their Professors? (Yes. Duh!)

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 2 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "Following up on the recent slashdot story "Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College" (http://news.slashdot.org/story/14/06/16/1927205/starbucks-offers -workers-2-years-of-free-college), Steve Foerster commented that "This is a major PR boost for ASU as well, and considering many adjuncts make less than the baristas they'll be teaching, I doubt ASU is losing money here." (http://chronicle.com/article/In-Deal-With-Starbucks/147181/#comment-1439171567)

Mr. Foerster's comment caused the Chronicle of Higher Education to ask "Is it possible that Starbucks baristas will be better paid than their instructors? (http://chronicle.com/article/Will-ASU-Online-s-Starbucks/147239/)" While the article is behind a paywall, the answer is obvious to anyone who knows how little adjunct professors are paid."
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Kansas City Science Store Resurrects AC Gilbert Chemistry Set, the best-ever toy

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The A. C. Gilbert Company (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...) was once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It manufacturered Erector Sets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_Set), American Flyer toy trains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Flyer), and chemistry sets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemistry_set).

Chemist John Farrell Kuhns (https://www.kickstarter.com/profiles/1742632993/bio) received an AC Gilbert Chemistry set for Christmas 1959, while he was still in grade school. By the time Kuhns was twelve years old he had a home lab set up in my family's basement. Now, more than 50 years later, he still has a home lab.

As an adult, Mr. Kuhns wanted to share these experiences with his daughter, nephews and nieces, and their friends. But he soon discovered that real chemistry sets were no longer available. He wondered how, without real chemistry sets and opportunities for students to learn and explore, where would our future chemists come from?

In 2004, Kuhns and his wife opened their science store, H.M.S. Beagle (http://www.hms-beagle.com/) and last year used Kickstarter to launch a new Heirloom Chemistry set. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1742632993/heirloom-chemistry-set). Kuhns uses a CNC router to cut out his wood cases, which are then hand assembled and finished with the shiny brass hardware and exotic wood inlays. Kuhns also synthesizes, purifies and/or formulates and packages all of the chemicals.

Gary Hanington, professor of physical science at Great Basin College, was another child who was lucky enough to own a Gilbert chemistry set. Hanington wrote about his set in this article (http://elkodaily.com/lifestyles/speaking-of-science-a-c-gilbert-chemistry-sets/article_30dc31c8-c258-11e1-9dfd-001a4bcf887a.html).

Sadly, not everyone sees the educational value of real chemistry sets. The AC Gilbert chemistry sets are #3 on Cracked's "The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Toys" (http://www.cracked.com/article_19481_the-8-most-wildly-irresponsible-vintage-toys_p2.html) and #8 on Complex.com's "The 25 Worst Must-Have Christmas Toys Ever (http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/12/25-worst-must-have-christmas-toys-ever/gilbert-chemistry-set)"

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Study: Half of US jobs to be replaced by computers, robots & autonomous cars

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 3 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The answer to the "Ask Slashdot: Does Your Job Need To Exist?" (http://ask.slashdot.org/story/14/05/10/1953227/ask-slashdot-does-your-job-need-to-exist) is a big "NO!", according to a study from the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. They found that half of US jobs could be susceptible to computerisation over the next two decades. (http://www.futuretech.ox.ac.uk/news-release-oxford-martin-school-study-shows-nearly-half-us-jobs-could-be-risk-computerisation).

‘The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?’ report measured the vulnerability of 702 occupations in terms of their likelihood to be replaced by various forms of computerisation, including within robotics, sophisticated data-scanning software or autonomous vehicles. Yhe study found that jobs in transportation, logistics, as well as office and administrative support, are at “high risk” of automation. More surprisingly, occupations within the service industry are also highly susceptible, despite recent job growth in this sector.

“We identified several key bottlenecks currently preventing occupations being automated,” says co-author Dr Michael A. Osborne. “As big data helps to overcome these obstacles, a great number of jobs will be put at risk.”

The full report is available here: http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac...."

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Missing Malaysian 767:Experts unable to replicate satelite company's analysis

McGruber McGruber writes  |  about 4 months ago

McGruber (1417641) writes "The lynchpin of the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been the pings from the plane to one of Inmarsat’s satellites. The pings are the sole evidence of what happened to the plane after it slipped out of radar contact. Without them, investigators knew only that the plane had enough fuel to travel anywhere within 3,300 miles of the last radar contact—a seventh of the entire globe.

Inmarsat concluded that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, and its analysis has become the canonical text of the Flight 370 search. It’s the bit of data from which all other judgments flow—from the conclusive announcement by Malaysia’s prime minister that the plane has been lost with no survivors, to the black-box search area, to the high confidence in the acoustic signals, to the dismissal by Australian authorities of a survey company’s new claim to have detected plane wreckage.

But scientists and engineers outside of the investigation have been working to verify Inmarsat's analysis and many say that it just doesn’t hold up."

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