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All Things iPhone

gollum123 what was i thinking (380 comments)

That i would get through the day without seeing a story about the iPhone on slashdot. I hope god forgives me for my blasphemous thoughts.

more than 7 years ago

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The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 5 months ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true."
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Physicists probe urination 'splashback' problem

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 10 months ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "US physicists have studied the fluid dynamics of urine "splashback" — and found tips to help men and women with their accuracy and hygiene. Splashback was low when the jets were used close up with a narrow "angle of attack", said the Brigham Young University team. micturation is still a messier business than it needs to be, according to the research. The team fired coloured water at various target "toilets" at the velocity and pressure of average human urination. Then, using a high-speed camera, they captured the moment of impact in remarkable visual detail. the biggest thing you can do to reduce splashback — sitting or standing — is to alter the "angle of attack"."
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Processed meat 'early death' link

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health. One in every 17 people followed in the study died. However, those eating more than 160g of processed meat a day — roughly two sausages and a slice of bacon — were 44% more likely to die over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g."
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Swiss referendum backs executive pay curbs

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Swiss voters have overwhelmingly backed proposals to impose some of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, final referendum results show. Nearly 68% of the voters supported plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts for new and departing managers. The new measures will give Switzerland some of the world's strictest corporate rules Shareholders will have a veto over salaries, golden handshakes will be forbidden, and managers of companies who flout the rules could face prison.The "fat cat initiative", as it has been called, will be written into the Swiss constitution and apply to all Swiss companies listed on Switzerland's stock exchange. Support for the plans — brain child of Swiss businessman turned politician Thomas Minder — has been fuelled by a series of perceived disasters for major Swiss companies, coupled with salaries and bonuses staying high"
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Brutal July heat a new U.S. record

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The July heat wave that wilted crops, shriveled rivers and fueled wildfires officially went into the books Wednesday as the hottest single month on record for the continental United States. The average temperature across the Lower 48 was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.3 degrees above the 20th-century average, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported. That edged out the previous high mark, set in 1936, by two-tenths of a degree, NOAA said. n addition, the seven months of 2012 to date are the warmest of any year on record and were drier than average as well, NOAA said. U.S. forecasters started keeping records in 1895. And the past 12 months have been the warmest of any such period on record, topping a mark set between July 2011 and this past June. Every U.S. state except Washington experienced warmer-than-average temperatures, NOAA reported."
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Hollywood Acts Warily at Comics Convention

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Peter Jacksonwowed the crowd with 13 minutes of highly anticipated footage from the first of his two ultraexpensive “Hobbit” movies. But he also played it safe — very safe — by not so much as mentioning, much less demonstrating, the filmmaking wizardry at the heart of the project. That left big questions about the movie industry’s future unanswered and added to a theme of this year’s Comic-Con: Hollywood has come to fear this place. Mr. Jackson is shooting his two “Hobbit” movies, the first of which is to arrive in theaters in December, at an unusually fast 48 frames a second, twice the standard rate. But an estimated 6,500 fans did not have that experience when they gathered in Comic-Con’s cavernous Hall H moments earlier to see the new footage.Still, Mr. Jackson, one of Hollywood’s boldest directors, made the unexpectedly timid decision to present “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in a standard format here — it was not even in 3-D — because he feared an online outcry that could hurt box-office results."
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Past 12 months warmest ever recorded in United States

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The mainland United States, which was largely recovering Monday from a near-nationwide heat wave, has experienced the warmest 12 months since record-keeping began in 1895, a top government science and weather agency announced Monday. The report from the National Climatic Data Center, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, does not take into account blistering heat from this month, with 2,116 high temperature marks either broken or tied between July 2 and July 8 in communities nationwide. But it does incorporate the warmest March recorded as well as extreme heat in June, which also helped make the first six months of 2012 the warmest recorded of any January-June stretch."
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Immigrants Are Crucial to Innovation, Study Says

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation’s top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. the study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems."
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Asian-Americans, more than Latinos, are largest group of new arrivals in U.S.

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Asians have now taken over Latinos as the largest group of new arrivals every year. In 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asians compared to 31% for Hispanics, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Pew's exhaustive new report on Asian-Americans found important differences between Asian-Americans and other population groups in America. The Pew survey showed that across the board, Asian-Americans are more satisfied than any other Americans with their lives, finances and direction of the country. They also place more value on traditional marriage, family and parenthood and usually possess a strong work ethic. Nearly seven in 10 respondents said people could get ahead if they are willing to work hard. And 93% of Asian-Americans describe people of their origin as "very hard-working," whereas only 57% said the same about Americans as a whole. Asian-Americans also attain college degrees (61%) at about double the rate of recent non-Asian immigrants (30%), Pew found."
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Approval Rating for Justices Hits Just 44% in New Poll

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News. Those findings are a fresh indication that the court’s standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century, according to surveys conducted by several polling organizations. Approval was as high as 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 approached 50 percent. The decline in the court’s standing may stem in part from Americans’ growing distrust in recent years of major institutions in general and the government in particular. But it also could reflect a sense that the court is more political, after the ideologically divided 5-to-4 decisions in Bush v. Gore, which determined the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United, the 2010 decision allowing unlimited campaign spending by corporations and unions."
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Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — cereals, snack foods, salad dressings — have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. But as Americans ask more pointed questions about what they are eating, popular suspicions about the health and environmental effects of biotechnology are fueling a movement to require that food from genetically modified crops be labeled, if not eliminated. The most closely watched labeling effort is a proposed ballot initiative in California that cleared a crucial hurdle this month, setting the stage for a probable November vote that could influence not just food packaging but the future of American agriculture. Tens of millions of dollars are expected to be spent on the election showdown. It pits consumer groups and the organic food industry, both of which support mandatory labeling, against more conventional farmers, agricultural biotechnology companies like Monsanto and many of the nation’s best-known food brands like Kellogg’s and Kraft."
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A DVR Ad-Eraser Causes Tremors at TV Upfronts

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "As with past technological threats, network executives are closing ranks against a Dish Network device that undermines the broadcast business model. The disruptive technology at hand is an ad-eraser, embedded in new digital video recorders sold by Charles W. Ergen’s Dish Network, one of the nation’s top distributors of TV programming. Turn it on, and all the ads recorded on most prime-time network shows are automatically skipped, no channel-flipping or fast-forwarding necessary. Some reviewers have already called the feature, called the Auto Hop, a dream come true for consumers. But for broadcasters and advertisers, it is an attack on an entrenched television business model, and it must be strangled, lest it spread elsewhere."
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In the (very) long run, we are all equal

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "In a paper, by the US-based economic historian Gregory Clark, finds that, eventually, the descendants of today's England's elite families will stop having an in-built social advantage, and the descendants of poor families will lose their social handicap. That is the good news. The bad news is that it's likely to take about 350 years, and there's not much the government can do to speed the process up. Depressingly, perhaps, the rate of mobility does not seem to have been any higher in the 20th century than it was in the 1300s. Indeed, by some measures, children from poor backgrounds had a better chance of advancing in society in Medieval England than they do now. In fact, the research implies that the only reliable way to increase social mobility in this country would be for the government to force people to marry people from a different social class ."
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Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough?

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "THE numbers keep rising, the superlatives keep glowing. Each year, selective colleges promote their application totals, along with the virtues of their applicants. For this fall’s freshman class, the statistics reached remarkable levels. Stanford received a record 32,022 applications from students it called “simply amazing,” and accepted 7 percent of them. Brown saw an unprecedented 30,135 applicants, who left the admissions staff “deeply impressed and at times awed.” Nine percent were admitted. Such announcements tell a story in which colleges get better — and students get more amazing — every year. In reality, the narrative is far more complex, and the implications far less sunny for students as well as colleges caught up in the cruel cycle of selectivity. To some degree, the increases are inevitable: the college-bound population has grown, and so, too, has the number of applications students file, thanks in part to online technology. But wherever it is raining applications, colleges have helped seed the clouds — by recruiting widely and aggressively for ever more applicants. any colleges have made applying as simple as updating a Facebook page. Some deans and guidance counselors complain that it’s too easy. They question the ethics of intense recruitment by colleges that reject the overwhelming majority of applicants. Today’s application inflation is a cause and symptom of the uncertainty in admissions. As application totals soar, colleges struggle to predict yield — the number of admitted students who actually attend — leading to longer wait lists and other competitive enrollment tactics. Students hedge against the plummeting admissions rates by flooding the system with even more applications."
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Officials Push to Bolster Law on Wiretapping

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say. The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps. An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law that says telephone and broadband companies must design their services so that they can begin conducting surveillance of a target immediately after being presented with a court order. The push to expand and the 1994 law is the latest example of a dilemma over how to balance Internet freedom with security needs in an era of rapidly evolving — and globalized — technology. The issue has added importance because the surveillance technologies developed by the United States to hunt for terrorists and drug traffickers can be also used by repressive regimes to hunt for political dissidents."
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Background noise affects taste of foods

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The level of background noise affects both the intensity of flavour and the perceived crunchiness of foods, researchers have found. Blindfolded diners assessed the sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness, as well as overall flavour, of foods as they were played white noise. While louder noise reduced the reported sweetness or saltiness, it increased the measure of crunch. It may go some way to explaining why airline food is notoriously bland — a phenomenon that drives airline catering companies to heavily season their foods. In a comparatively small study, 48 participants were fed sweet foods such as biscuits or salty ones such as crisps, while listening to silence or noise through headphones. Also in the group's findings there is the suggestion that the overall satisfaction with the food aligned with the degree to which diners liked what they were hearing — a finding the researchers are pursuing in further experiments."
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Texas to rid schools of 'pro-Islam' books

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The Texas school board is set to vote on a resolution urging publishers to keep "pro-Islamic/anti-Christian" language out of textbooks in the state. Among other complaints, the non-binding decree says some textbooks devote more lines to Islam than to Christianity and print "whitewashes" of Islamic culture. Critics say it relies on a flawed reading of books that are out of use. Supporters say the resolution is needed to warn textbook publishers not to print "anti-Christian" books if they want to sell them to Texas schools. The measure, on which the Texas Board of Education will vote on Friday in the state capital of Austin, is drafted by Randy Rives, a businessman and former school official in the Texas city of Odessa. "We're teaching double the beliefs and specifics about another religion than we are about Christianity, which is the foundation of our country.""
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French senate approves burqa ban

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 4 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The French senate approved Tuesday a law banning any veils that cover the face — including the burqa, the full-body covering worn by some Muslim women — making France the first European country to plan such a measure. The law passed by a vote of 246 to 1, with about 100 abstentions coming essentially from left-leaning politicians. The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the lower house of parliament in July and will go into effect next spring. A panel of French lawmakers recommended a ban last year, and lawmakers unanimously passed a non-binding resolution in May calling the full-face veil contrary to the laws of the nation. The law imposes a fine of 150 euros ($190) and/or a citizenship course as punishment for wearing a face-covering veil. The French Council of State has warned that the ban could be incompatible with international human rights laws and the country's own constitution."
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Government Aid Puts China Ahead in Clean Energy

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 4 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "The booming Chinese clean energy sector, now more than a million jobs strong, is quickly coming to dominate the production of technologies essential to slowing global warming and other forms of air pollution. But much of China’s clean energy success lies in aggressive government policies that help this crucial export industry in ways most other governments do not. These measures risk breaking international rules to which China and almost all other nations subscribe, according to some trade experts interviewed by The New York Times. Barely a player in the solar industry five years ago, China is on track to produce more than half the world’s solar panels this year. More than 95 percent of them will be exported to countries like the United States and Germany that offer generous subsidies for consumers who buy solar panels. China is also on track to make nearly half of the world’s wind turbines this year. China offers financial incentives for utilities to use wind power, which is less costly than solar power, and the country passed the United States last year as the world’s largest wind turbine market. Meanwhile, China itself imports virtually no wind turbines or solar panels, instead protecting those developing industries. China’s expansion has been traumatic for American and European solar power manufacturers, and Western wind turbine makers are now bracing to compete with low-cost Chinese exports."
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Once a Dynamo, the Tech Sector Is Slow to Hire

gollum123 gollum123 writes  |  about 4 years ago

gollum123 (810489) writes "For years the technology sector has been considered the most dynamic, promising and globally envied industry in the United States. It escaped the recession relatively unscathed, and profits this year have been soaring. But as the nation struggles to put people back to work, even high-tech companies have been slow to hire, a sign of just how difficult it will be to address persistently high joblessness. The disappointing hiring trend raises questions about whether the tech industry can help power a recovery and sustain American job growth in the next decade and beyond The chief hurdles to more robust technology hiring appear to be increasing automation and the addition of highly skilled labor overseas. The result is a mismatch of skill levels here at home: not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms, and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost. In the past, the American jobs most susceptible to being shipped abroad were lower-skilled positions. But now emerging economies have been harvesting their long-term investments in math and science education and attracting high-tech firms — and not just textile factories or call centers — to their shores. In addition to lower wages, developing countries offer significant consumer growth, giving businesses a reason to make more products closer to the buyer, and hire locally. And increasingly, these new, lower-cost research centers, while perhaps initially intended to adapt products for local use, are becoming sources of innovation themselves."
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