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Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

jenningsthecat Re:Ah, good, progress. (27 comments)

A search engine is a web page. Google (without the auto-suggestions) is my home page. The first thing I do after installing a browser is remove the useless "search box", leaving nothing but the actual address bar.

Yup, me too. I go one step farther - I turn off search from the address bar. If there's text in the address bar, and the text isn't a URL, the browser should do nothing. It's called an address bar for a reason.

1 hour ago
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Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

jenningsthecat So what? (27 comments)

FF finally managed to totally jump the shark when they introduced the Australis interface. Since then I've used Pale Moon - same code base, same plugins, without all the nonsense. If all this ugly bling ensures their survival, (and their deal with Yahoo certainly counts as 'ugly bling'), then more power to them - but as long as Pale Moon keeps going strong, it really doesn't matter to me any more.

1 hour ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

jenningsthecat Re:Deliberate (461 comments)

...nuclear is still completely unaffordable and only gets built with massive, and I really do mean massive subsidy.

It's a case of paying now or paying later, and with the latter option we'll be paying a ruinous rate of interest that keeps climbing. The economic consequences of AGW are already devastating in some areas of the world - as time goes on it will only get worse. As much as I dislike the nuclear option for a whole host of reasons, it may be the only thing that can save us from ourselves. So yes, I think masive subsidies are in order, if that's what it takes to get the job done.

7 hours ago
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

jenningsthecat Cognitive Dissonance (147 comments)

On the one hand, I despise extortionists, and the perpetrators ought to be hung out to dry. On the other hand, the folks at Sony arguably have engaged in extortion and fraud on a few occasions in the past, so part of me feels this is simply their just desserts. If it wasn't for the inevitable collateral damage I'd be tempted to say "let 'em all kill each other and God will sort them out".

It does seem kind of unfair that nobody at Sony was ever imprisoned for the Rootkit scandal or the OtherOS clusterfuck, whereas people behind #GOP will likely serve time in jail if they are ever caught. I guess "Corporate Immunity" is just as real in law as "Diplomatic Immunity" - 'the law' just won't openly admit it.

12 hours ago
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Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

jenningsthecat Re:It's all bullshit (156 comments)

government malfunction can be blamed on people who do not vote, and are then dissatisfied with the outcome

Funny, I was just about to say that government malfunction can be blamed on people who DO vote. Don't get me wrong - I vote. But I'm starting to feel like a sucker for doing so, 'cause the new boss is always the same as the old boss, and nothing ever changes except the facade and the window dressing.

Voting only works so long as there are truly, fundamentally, meaningfully different choices to vote for, and currently there aren't any to speak of. Sure, there are independent candidates nibbling at the frozen fringes of the political landscape. But they don't have organizations nearly big enough to take on the Repubmocrats, and they are pretty well starved right out of contention by the incumbents, who entirely control the media.

Right now, voting with our feet is the only vote that will have any impact. We need to walk away from playing the game, from the bread and circuses, from the latest piece of shiny being purveyed by the corporations who rule the world with the money and the hard work which we freely give to them. It's time to turn off the tap.

But who wants to be first? Snowden tried, and although I consider him a hero, I wouldn't want to be in his shoes right now. And really, how much support has he gotten, other than cheering from the sidelines from people like us on sites like Slashdot? Even at that, a very large percentage of Slashdot comments that are at odds with the current regime's rhetoric are posted AC. If we won't openly even speak our minds, never mind act on what we believe, what chance do we have?

As far as I'm concerned, voting is an opportunity to claim "I did my part", not a chance to actually do anything substantial. Elections are just one of the acts in the three-ring circus that governments and corporations employ to keep us distracted and divided. Other acts in that circus? The war on drugs. The war on terror. The Kardashians. The economy. Facebook. Twitter. Slashdot. And on and on and on. We are being distracted and amused unto the death of our essential freedoms and of any claim to autonomy.

Until we can get our shit together well enough to take action en masse, (or even directed inaction), we'll get more of the same crap from our 'governorations'. And arguably, we'll deserve it.

4 days ago
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Blowing On Money To Tell If It Is Counterfeit

jenningsthecat A boost to the economy? (112 comments)

This will inevitably result in more people blowing their hard-earned money...

5 days ago
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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

jenningsthecat Re:Migration away from Google? (394 comments)

It works very well for most people. Google is popular precisely because that mode works well for most people. And virtually everyone I'm talking to right now, geek and non-geek alike, agrees Google's new search mode is shit.

Google search has been very obviously moving towards shit for several years now - the latest round of 'enhancements' is just the coliform-filled icing on a crappy cake. But what I fail to see is why they have to cripple the damn thing for people who DO have some search savvy. It seems to me they could just as easily have a default brain-dead mode for all those people searching for Kardashian gossip, AND a 'strict mode' for people who actually have a clue. It's gotten really hard to get useful results, especially with Google insisting that I must want what it thinks are synonyms for my search terms. I have to put quotes around every fucking term now - and that has its own associated problems. Plus, an 'allintext' search often produces WAY more hits than the same search without allintext. WTF?

Google search has gotten so ugly that it makes me long for Alta Vista. Even so, Yahoo search is a bad joke by comparison.

5 days ago
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European Parliament Considers Sharing Passenger Information By Default

jenningsthecat Re:Fear (58 comments)

And the reason for this all: fear... Every day we do things that are more dangerous than the things we fear most... Respond to it with logic and common sense and not with fear and emotion.

Your sane, logical argument almost tempts me to forget my belief that the source of all these silly, over-the-top 'precautions' is not fear - it's greed, and lust for power. The fear you speak of does exist among the people, but it is a fear that has been purposely manufactured and is carefully nourished. Entire industries have sprung up around 'terrorism'; millions of (entirely parasitic) jobs are on the line, as well as minor and not-so-minor financial empires. Creating and fuelling paranoia is big business - hell, it's a growth industry, and a saviour to the military-industrial complex once threatened by the end of the Cold War.

The question to ask, always, is "cui bono?" Governments, (i.e. the executive branches of trans-national corporations), use propaganda as advertising, to sell fear and to promote compliance with authority.

about two weeks ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

jenningsthecat Re:So, does water cost more? (377 comments)

...It's plain old organized crime in every aspect. That is the cause of most of the world's poverty today.

You're right - corporations are among the most organized criminals the world has ever known.

about two weeks ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

jenningsthecat Re:global exchange rate (107 comments)

How long until number of Starbucks coffees becomes the global cost basis across currencies?

Never mind cost basis, how about making it the global reserve currency? It probably has better future prospects for that role than the US dollar has...

about two weeks ago
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Eben Upton Explains the Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

jenningsthecat Re:More RAM is easy for A/A+, Faster is Hard (107 comments)

That's fine if you plan on personal/small-scale use only. The BeagleBone folks expressly do not want people using their products as a part of other products-for-sale without discussing it with them first and, (presumably), getting their permission. So if you were to start ordering in production quantities you might find yourself suddenly without a supply of BBBs.

The RPi has no such restriction.

about two weeks ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

jenningsthecat Paper lunch bags (696 comments)

1) Inflate bag with a lungful or two of air
2) Hold firmly in one hand, smack hard with other hand
3) Repeat with additional bags
4) Watch SWAT team disrupt the entire school
5) Get arrested for blowing up lunch bags

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Demonstrate Electrically Activated Micro-Muscles

jenningsthecat Re:Not particularly useful (19 comments)

The field of artificial muscles already has multiple competing technologies which are superior to this.

Superior to this, for now. The techniques described may be refined to increase the strength-to-area ratio. The new technology described may also be superior with regard to granularity of control, repeatability/consistency of motion, power efficiency, or other factors not immediately evident.

about two weeks ago
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German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks

jenningsthecat At Last! (59 comments)

A nation that's focusing its cyber-spying efforts outside its own country! We'll finally have a country that honours the privacy of its own citizens!

Yeah, right. From the country whose formerly Communist half gave us the Stasi. Still, it's kinda hard to blame them for ramping up their spying efforts - sometimes "do unto others as they insist on doing unto you" is necessary for survival.

Any chance we humans will ever come to terms with our animal origins in a way that doesn't involve dominating each other and pissing on each other's territory?

about two weeks ago
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Big Data Knows When You Are About To Quit Your Job

jenningsthecat Re:Does it know if I've been bad or good? (185 comments)

...Given the trajectory of technology and how ubiquitous it becomes over time, what starts out as optional turns into mandatory. Same thing with all these health monitoring devices. Somehow they will be used to fuck you over for engaging in bad behavior...

We can only hope that, as has largely happened with DRM, technology will help to address the problems it's being used to create. I can imagine a whole industry, (much of it underground), devoted to taking back the privacy that is being stolen. Of course, for that to happen, an awful lot of sheeple out there are going to have to stop bleating and start shouting. I'm not holding my breath though....

about three weeks ago
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British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

jenningsthecat Re:There can be no defense of this. (184 comments)

...I don't see why, if you were trying to stop a serious threat, spies shouldn't be able to monitor these communications in principle, with some clear restrictions:
1/ If the information gathered by spying was specifically barred from being used in court

This would still allow for 'fruits of the poison tree' attacks in court, assumin the Brit system has this concept.

2/ If additional authority had to be granted by the judiciary for the act
3/ If there were clear checks and balances in place to deal with abuse.

I have absolutely NO trust in a governent and judiciary that would allow such eavesdropping in the first place, to use "additional authority" wisely and fairly, nor to put in plae and maintain "checks and balances" with any integrity. Once exceptions like this are allowed, it's a steep slippery slope towards totalitarianism.

Totally off topic for a moment, is it just me, or is Dice finally starting to slip Beta crap into the interface in an attempted 'stealth attack'? All of a sudden commenting seems a lot more awkward than it used to.

about three weeks ago
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Government Data Requests To Facebook Up By 24%

jenningsthecat Digital Landlord? (42 comments)

FTA

The ruling defined Facebook as a "digital landlord".

Last time I checked, landlords charge tenants money. Since Facebook users don't pay for the service in any recognized currency, (and somehow I doubt privacy is recognized as a barterable thing), how can Facebook be a landlord?

The attempt to treat Facebook servers as the equivalent of physical premises is disturbing. Judicial over-reach, much?

about three weeks ago
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New GCHQ Chief Says Social Media Aids Terrorists

jenningsthecat Pot meets Kettle (228 comments)

However much they [tech companies] may dislike it, they have become the command and control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals, who find their services as transformational as the rest of us... Mr. Hannigan said that smartphone and other mobile technologies increased the opportunities for terrorist activity to be concealed...

I agree fully. Things such as social media and cell phones are priceless boons to those governments which aggressively meddle in the affairs of other nations while persistently spying on their own citizens. It's good to see Mr. Hannigan admitting on behalf of his country how "transformational" the latest technology has been for him and his masters.

People and countries that complain about the sword cutting both ways, should just stop living by the sword.

about three weeks ago
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Scotland Builds Power Farms of the Future Under the Sea

jenningsthecat Re:Underwater will face the same challenges as Tid (216 comments)

Stray electrical current... Metal parts... Salt water... What could go wrong? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... Oh, yeah...

As per the Wikipedia article you linked to, ensuring the metals that are in contact with or close proximity to each other have the same or similar anodic indices will largely address that problem. (That's why copper plumbing pipes are secured to joists by copper clamps; if they wer steel the pipes might eventually develop holes at the contact points).

I proposed either gold or platinum electrodes because they are the metals most resistant to corrosion. And I proposed Alternating Current because the periodic reversal negates any stripping / deposition effects of current flow. That's why electroplating, (and hydrolysis), use Direct Currrent - AC simply won't work for those purposes.

(In fact, some vaporizers available at the drug store don't have heating elements per se - just two strips of metal connected to the mains voltage and immersed in the water. They won't even work with distilled water, as it doesn't conduct electricity).

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Is Zoosk really so desperate for clients?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  yesterday

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "A happily married Ontario woman was shocked and dismayed last January to discover that she had an active account with dating site Zoosk.com. Mari Sherkin saw a pop-up ad on Facebook for Zoosk, but wasn't interested, so she "clicked on the X to close it. At least I thought I did."

She immediately began to receive messages from would-be Zoosk suitors in her Facebook mailbox. When she had a look on Zoosk she was horrified to find a dating profile with her Facebook picture, name, and postal code. Zoosk denies ever setting up profiles in this way, yet their terms of service explicitly allow them to do it, and there are apparently several Facebook pages with complaints of similar occurrences.

When will people ever learn to practise ''safeWeb"? I guess maybe the answer is 'never', given that it seems at least some of Zoosk's victims are still active on Facebook. Or should we just start calling it 'Faceplant'?"
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Ft. Lauderdale Men Charged for Feeding the Homeless

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about three weeks ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "90-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident Arnold Abbott and two local pastors were charged on Sunday with "feeding the homeless in public". Abbott was told by police to "drop that plate right now" when he was attempting to distribute food. The three men were charged under a new city ordinance banning public food sharing, and face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The ordinance "limits where outdoor feeding sites can be located, requires the permission of property owners and says the groups have to provide portable toilets".

Mayor Jack Seiler was quoted as saying "Just because of media attention we don't stop enforcing the law. We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale". He believes that "Providing them with a meal and keeping them in that cycle on the street is not productive."

Really, I have no words for this other than "heartless jackbooted fuckwits"."
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Integrated Circuit Amplifier Breaches Terahertz barrier

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about three weeks ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "DARPA's Terahertz Electronics program has created "the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit ever measured". The TMIC, (Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit), boasts a gain of 9dB — previously unheard of for a monolithic device in this frequency range. Plus, the status of "fastest" has been certified by Guinness — seriously! ('Cause you might not trust DARPA, but you gotta trust Guinness — right?).

In related news, DARPA has also created a micro-machined vacuum power amplifer operating at 850 GHz, or 0.85 THz."
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Another Silicon Valley Supercar

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 3 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Four-and-a-half years in the making, The Coupe, billed as "the first all-electric American supercar", was revealed on August 17 of this year at the Pebble Beach Concours by Silicon Valley firm Renovo Motors. Slated for availability in late 2015, the $500K-plus car does 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, and is spec'd at 500 brake horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is said to be 120 mph. The fast-charge time is 30 minutes — not surprising given the rather small 100-mile range. The car is modelled on the '64 Daytona coupe and has a Shelby chassis.

Lots of cool factor there, and lots of grunt off the line. But if you had enough money for only one supercar, would you pay more than $500K for something that only gets 100 miles per charge?"
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Overzealous Management Corp Removes, Impounds Bicycles Parked on Public Property

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 3 months ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an instance of apparent corporate over-reaching, $50-billion Brookfield Office Properties has been cutting locks and removing bicycles from what appears to be public property in Toronto Canada.

A bicycle owner who had locked her bike to a Toronto Transit Commission sign pole just outside the city's Hudson's Bay Centre, returned 90 minutes later only to discover that it was missing, and that it had been removed by a security guard. Brookfield Properties says that the pole is on its property, while City Manager Andre Filippetti confirms that the pole is in fact on public property.

In an email statement Brookfield says:
“As adjacent property owner, we have the right to remove a bike or otherwise affixed object to property and the TTC pole on the sidewalk outside of our building if it poses a perceived risk to pedestrians. It is our first and foremost responsibility to protect the health and safety of our tenants and all those that visit the building. There have been numerous instances at this location where pedestrians have tripped over or have otherwise been injured by bicycles affixed to the pole.”

It's unclear how many bicycles in total have been removed by the company, but three had been removed on the day in question, and a security guard working for Brookfield is reported to have said that they "get several angry cyclists a day complaining about bikes being taken". It is believed that many cyclists simply assume that their bikes have been stolen — which, arguably, they have.

It will be interesting to see if Brookfield receives anything like the legal punishment that a private citizen could expect for exactly the same actions; I suspect they won't be charged, or even very much inconvenienced."
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Dying Veteran blasts Cheney, Bush in 'Last Letter'

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a public letter, Iraq war veteran Tomas Young lambastes former US Vice President Dick Cheney and former US president George W. Bush for sending "hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage". Mr. Young further accuses Bush and Cheney of "egregious war crimes" and of "cowardice and selfishness".

Mr. Young, who joined the Army two days after 9/11, was critically wounded in 2004, five days into his first tour of duty in Iraq. He then suffered Anoxic Brain Injury in 2008 as a complication of his earlier injuries. After almost ten years of what sounds like a living hell, Mr. Young is now receiving hospice care in his home while he starves himself to death.

You can read an interview with Tomas Young here"
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Is it time to commit to ongoing payphone availability?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  about 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Public payphones seem headed the way of the dinosaur, as noted here on Slashdot 10 years ago, and again by the CBC earlier this year. Reasons typically cited for their demise are falling usage, (thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone), and rising maintenance costs.

But during the recent disaster in NYC caused by Hurricane Sandy public payphones proved their worth, allowing people to stay in contact in spite of the widespread loss of both cellular service and the electricity required to charge mobile devices. In light of this news, at least one Canadian news outlet is questioning the wisdom of scrapping payphones.

Should we in North America make sure that public pay phones will always be widely available? (After all, it's not as though they don't have additional value-added uses). And, should their continued existence be dependent on corporations whose primary duty is to their shareholders, rather than to the average citizen?"
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One more step towards loss of Canadian sovereignty

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "The latest step in implementing the Canada — US Perimeter Security Initiative will have FBI and DEA agents pursuing suspects onto Canadian soil .

The RCMP recognizes that "this approach would raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of Canadians", so they'll "take baby steps, let's start with two agencies to test the concept, let's demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an approach might work".

In related news, a discovery that if a frog is put into a pot of water and the temperature is raised slowly enough, the frog won't hop out — he'll just boil to death."
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Why Monsanto didn't expect Roundup-resistant weeds

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From NPR comes the story of how Monsanto thought Roundup was "a herbicide with low risk for weed resistance." The explanation seems to pretty much boil down to "we had a hell of a time creating Roundup-resistant crops, so we figured Mother Nature had little or no chance".

In the face of Monsanto's hubris, Mother Nature went ahead and made 20 strains of weeds, (so far), tolerant to glyphosate. Good for her!"
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ICE Propaganda: Your Tax Dollars at Work

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From a story on Techdirt comes this link to aa propaganda video on YouTube, starring ICE Director John Morton

Of course, the video makes no mention of the 84,000 subdomains wrongfully seized by ICE last year as part of Operation In our Sites. Equally predictably, it self-servingly equates counterfeiting with copyright violation. Don't you just love it when the government spends your money to trample on your rights, and then wastes more of it to tell you what a great job it's doing violating them?"

Link to Original Source
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Anaheim schools using GPS to fight truancy

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an effort to help chronically truant students, the Anaheim Union High School District is using GPS as part of a program to make sure that students are where they're supposed to be, and on time. (A similar scenario in Texas was discussed on Slashdot in 2008 — http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=truancy). In addition to tracking students' whereabouts, this latest initiative also assigns them an adult coach who calls them three times each week to help keep them on track.

Indications are that such programs actually work, and that at least some students are grateful for the help. But I can't help thinking that there is something really wrong, with the educational system and/or with society itself, when we have to go to such great lengths to keep students motivated and committed to their own education."

Link to Original Source
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"Money for Nothing" not fit for Canadian radio

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In a move that echoes the recent sanitization of Mark Twain's works, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that the Dire Straits song 'Money for Nothing' "contravenes the human rights clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code". Twenty-five years after the song's release, it seems that a listener in St. John's, Newfoundland objected to the use of the word 'faggot' in the song's lyrics."
Link to Original Source
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Your Brain on Magnets

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "An Australian scientist at the University of Sidney has been experimenting with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to temporarily induce savant-like capabilities and autistic attributes in test subjects. The research has implications for intelligence enhancement, and may hold improtant clues for understanding autism."
Link to Original Source
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CRTC fines Bell Canada $1.3M

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Bell Canada has just received a fine of 1.3 million dollars from the CRTC. The fine was levied after the CRTC determined that Bell violated the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Bell's third-party telemarketers placed calls to people listed on Canada's Do Not Call List. Apparently, Bell also directly violated the legislation by placing automated telemarketing calls to prepaid cellular users.

As a victim of many unwanted Bell marketing calls, I applaud the CRTC's hard line stance. Now if we can only talk them into revoking Bell's recently granted right to apply Usage Based Billing to third-party ISP's..."

Link to Original Source
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Meta-research debunks medical study findings

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From 'the Atlantic' comes the story of John Ioannidis and his team of meta-researchers, who have studied the overall state of medical research and found it dangerously and widely lacking in trustworthiness.. Even after filtering out the journalistic frippery and hyperbole, the story is pretty disturbing. Some points made in the article:

- Even the most respected, widely accepted, peer-reviewed medical studies are all-too-often deeply flawed or outright wrong
- When an error IS brought to light and the conclusions publicly refuted, the erroneous conclusions often persist and are cited as valid for years, or even decades
- Your doctor is probably prescribing drugs, treatment, and lifestyle changes that may range from ineffectual to outright harmful
- Scientists and researchers themselves regard peer review as providing "only a minimal assurance of quality"
- These shortcomings apply to medical research across the board, not just to blatantly self-serving pharmaceutical industry studies

The article concludes by saying "Science is a noble endeavor, but it's also a low-yield endeavor...I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life."

I've always been somewhat suspicious of research findings, but before this article I had no idea just how prevalent untrustworthy results were. From now on I'll take my doctor's advice with a grain of salt — or is that a questionable prescription too?"

Link to Original Source
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Google proposes music store, music locker

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "From Billboard comes news of a Google proposal for a music download and storage locker service.

Apparently the music store would "operate like a conventional digital retailer". But in addition, (and for $25 a year), it would provide users with both the ability to have their purchases transferred directly to their lockers, and the option to let Google scan their drives for tracks that it "recognizes as music that it has licensed" to be "listed by Google as being accessible to the user from their cloud-based account". The service would also provide some social networking features, including providing playlists to other subscribers.

In the proposal, the yearly fee would be split 50/50 between Google and rights holders. 10.5% would go to music publishers, but it's not yet clear whose half of the pie this slice would be taken from.

It seems pretty clear that the recording industry won't go for this proposal as it stands. But the writing's been on the wall for long enough now, that even some industry execs may know they've been fighting an unwinnable war. And Google has already shown remarkable talent as a well-paid middle man. What do you think, Slashdotters — could Google be the next big conduit between the recording industry and the music-buying public? Or is this proposal doomed to die on the vine?"
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Ghostery acquired by Better Advertising

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In an under-reported tech story from the beginning of 2010, David Cancel, creator of the Ghostery plugin for Firefox, announced that he has sold Ghostery to a company called Better Advertising. The company bills itself as "a new type of company that helps to build trust between consumers and brands that advertise online".

Whether this is simply a pre-emptive strike in the online advertising privacy regulation battle,, or a real attempt to deal with consumers' increasing privacy concerns, it seems that Better Advertising has made a smart move in acquiring Ghostery. Now all they have to do is convince us that they aren't Evil, and won't be Evil in the future. (Google, anyone?)"
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Organ damage in rats from Monsanto GMO Corn

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "A study published in December 2009 in the International Journal of Biological Sciences found that three varieties of Monsanto genetically-modified corn caused damage to the liver, kidneys, and other organs of rats:

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

One of the corn varieties was designed to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides, (so-called "Roundup-ready" corn), while the other two contain bacteria-derived proteins that have insecticide properties. The study made use of Monsanto's own raw data.

Quoting from the study's 'Conclusions' section:

"Our analysis highlights that the kidneys and liver as particularly important on which to focus such research as there was a clear negative impact on the function of these organs in rats consuming GM maize varieties for just 90 days."

Given the very high prevalence of corn in processed foods, this could be a real ticking time-bomb. And with food manufacturers not being required by law to declare GMO content, I think I'll do my best to avoid corn altogether. Pass the puffed rice and pour me a glass of fizzy water!"
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How much can Google search results be trusted?

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "Earlier this evening I did a Google search, using Firefox (aka Iceweasel), on my Debian box. I then performed an identical Google search on my Win2K computer, also using Firefox. Google preferences were set the same on both computers, and Personalized Search was disabled on both. Yet on the Linux computer there were only 20 results, whereas on the Windows computer there were 71! I cleared the cache on both, restarted the browsers, and re-entered the search criteria. Same results. I called a friend, who did the same search on his Windows and Linux boxes. Both of his computers came up with 152 results. Then a second friend did the same test, and also received 152 results. So thats 20 hits on one computer, 71 on another computer, and 158 on each of three other computers, all using identical search criteria and preferences. WTF?

A little Google searching, (oh, the irony!), turned up the following links (among many others):

http://www.4psmarketing.com/googles-results-vary.html

http://www.askdavetaylor.com/google_search_results_vary_based_on_which_computer_i_use.html

http://www.windmeadow.com/node/36

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1162050

I wouldn't have been too surprised at seeing some minor variations, and the first link above explains why this is to be expected. But a factor-of-three difference between two computers on the same Internet feed, and a factor-of-seven difference on two computers separated by only 40 miles, seems a bit much. I wonder how much I'm missing in my daily Google searches?

(Additional info for the curious: the search that got me started on this was ' firefox linux "missing font" tahoma ', and my Linux computer supplies a user-agent string that makes it look like a W2K machine, to get around Yahoo mail's insistence that their 'new' mail system 'has not been tested on my operating system')"
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Canadian TV Networks, Carriers duke it out

jenningsthecat jenningsthecat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jenningsthecat (1525947) writes "In Canada, the war is visibly heating up between television networks, and the telcos and cablecos that provide TV signals to more than 90% of Canadian TV-watchers. Both sides of the debate are airing TV commercials reminiscent of a political campaign, and of course each side has its own website:

http://localtvmatters.ca/

http://www.stopthetvtax.ca/

TV networks, hit hard by declining advertising revenues, are scrambling to make ends meet. They claim that cable and satellite carriers, (who currently don't pay TV stations for the use of their signals), are getting an undeserved free ride; so they're petitioning the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission for new legislation that would require carriers to pony up. On the other side, the carriers point out that the TV networks already receive government funding, and are spinning the networks' pitch as a "TV tax". The cable and satellite carriers have stated that they will pass any such fees on to subscribers.

Networks have been down this road with the CRTC twice before, and have met with no success; this time they're doing their best to get public opinion behind them."

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