Boston Pays Out $170,000 To Man Arrested For Recording Police
At least in Massachusetts, the wiretapping laws cover both in-person and telephone conversations being recorded. The key bit is that unlike the majority of states, both parties need to consent to recording in MA.
Futuristic Biplane Design Eliminates Sonic Boom
Actually its even older than that, according to the article:
"Wang credits German engineer Adolf Busemann for the original concept. In the 1950s, Busemann came up with a biplane design that essentially eliminates shock waves at supersonic speeds."
The real breakthrough is in minor modifications to the wing design that cut down drastically in drag, reducing necessary fuel burn. While it may not be a field-able concept yet, they are gradually breaking down the barriers to a more efficient supersonic transport design.
Google Unifies Media, Apps Into Google Play
Hey, someone needs to protect American jobs with tariffs, because that worked so well in the 1930's.
MIT Moves Away From Massive Lecture Halls
Is this going towards a future where students do not need to be physical present on the campus?
Actually, the TEAL approach that replaced the large freshman physics lectures at MIT places a heavier emphasis on attendance. In a traditional lecture the professor doesn't know most of the students, and doesn't really care if 50% of them stop showing up after the first week. With TEAL there are interactive portions of the class (such as answering multiple choice questions with a personal remote) which are tracked and factored into the student's grade. In other words, if you don't show up, you can't get an A (no matter how well you have mastered the material).
Personally I don't think this is the best approach, but it certainly isn't forgiving of a student's absence from class.
As a side note, when I was a freshman, many of my classmates did not find the TEAL lectures to be terribly effective in teaching the material. Frequently they would go back into the video archive after class and watch recordings of the "traditional" lectures from years past to actually learn what was being taught. They just went to the TEAL lectures because they didn't want to loose their participation credit.
Facial Hair and Computer Languages
This reminds me of one of my third grade teachers. His class motto was "people with beards are great".
I can't help but think that he was on to something.
Actually, it also brings to mind a theme from Cryptonomicon, where programmers are referred to as Dwarves, "stout, taciturn, vaguely magical characters who spent a lot of time in the dark hammering out beautiful things." I don't think its a coincidence that beards go along with the territory.