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Can Movies Inspire Kids To Be Future Scientists?

reporter "Star Trek" produced a generation of engineers. (298 comments)

Watching the original "Star Trek" (ST) probably inspired more kids to become engineers than visiting the local science museum. A museum tells you what has been done by humankind, but a film like ST tells you all the possibilities that remain to be achieved. They include warp drive, natural-language computers, time travel, etc. Those possibilities capture the imagination of children, who tend to have active imaginations. Just look at all the kids who contribute to Slashdot!

Many Slashdotters have admitted, in various articles over the years, that Mr. Scot (the chief engineer of the "Enterprise") motivated them to become engineers. He out-engineered all the adversaries (of the Federation) by making the "Enterprise" nearly invincible.

Indeed, some of the engineers who were inspired by Mr. Scot participated in the construction of the first, non-functional, prototype of the space shuttle and gave it the insightful name: "Enterprise". This prototype was used to test the ability of the spacecraft to glide back to earth.

more than 3 years ago
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Russia To Help NATO Build Anti-Missile Network

reporter Russian Game: Assistance but Not Participation (175 comments)

A report by an Australian news organization notes, "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed yesterday to involve technicians in development plans, but did not make a commitment if it became operational and warned that Russia might decide against joining the US-led effort if it were not treated as an equal partner." Though Russia is assisting NATO, Russia is not necessarily committing to using the system.

That response by Russia should have raised suspicions about the Kremlin's actually sabotaging the design of the missile system. After all, if the Kremlin is not committed to using the system, why would the Kremlin bother to ensure that the system can actually work?

Worse, "President" Medvedev has accused the Europeans of using the shield to neutralize Russian nuclear missiles. If the Kremlin were a true supporter of NATO, why would the Russian "president" still present Russia as an adversary of the West?

more than 3 years ago
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ARM-Based Servers Coming In 2011

reporter Fairy Tale: ARMs Race Against x86 (253 comments)

ARM is almost like a fairy tale in which the underdog triumphs. ARM was developed on a shoestring budget by a small team of brilliant anti-establishment engineers. By contrast, the x86 processor was developed on a multi-million-dollar budget by a large team of disciplined slaves across 2 continents.

ARM is David. x86 is Goliath.

Most of us inherently favor David.

more than 4 years ago
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Israel's Supreme Court Says Yes To Internet Anonymity

reporter Israel, not Turkey, deserves the European Union. (198 comments)

The Israelis, yet again, demonstrate that their nation is part of the West. Israel is a Western democracy that safeguards civil rights and, in general, human rights. Wafa Sultan, a prominent American of Syrian ancestry, correctly and firmly praises the achievements of the Israelis.

Israel, not Turkey, deserves to be a member of the European Union (EU).

The Turks have long attacked human rights. In Turkey, suppressing free speech on and off the Internet is almost a national sport. You can be arrested and imprisoned for claiming that the Turks are responsible for the Armenian genocide.

After a Congressional committee approved a resolution ascribing responsibility for the genocide to the Turks, the Turks withdrew their ambassador from the USA.

This sort of behavior is not what we Westerners want to see in the European Union. The Israelis act more like Europeans than the Turks and deserve EU membership far more than the Turks.

more than 4 years ago
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The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits

reporter The market pays what a service is worth. (344 comments)

The free market is brutally efficient. In this market, the price of a good or service is determined by what it is worth.

For example, the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) has excellent reporting and analysis. The WSJ is worth the price that its owners charge, so I willingly pay for a 1-year subscription to the WSJ.

Is "The Times" worth 1 pound per day? Only the market can say for sure.

An interesting but indirect conclusion of my observation is that if a newspaper is so rotten that only free content will attract readers, then the reporters and the editors of that rotten newspaper are being overpaid for the crappy work that they do.

more than 4 years ago
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BC Prof Suggests Young Children Need Less Formal Math, Not More

reporter We need math, but cultural differences persist. (427 comments)

One problem with this study by the professor at Boston College is that the study does not include adequate numbers of people of non-European ancestry.

Intelligence -- and the ability to absorb mathematical knowledge -- depends on 2 factors: culture and genetics. For example, Americans of Japanese ancestry have a slight advantage over other ethnic groups in comprehending mathematical concepts. Delaying the introduction of mathematics would deprive Japanese-Americans of an opportunity to learn the subject.

Americans of African ancestry are at the other extreme. They have much greater difficulty in comprehending mathematics. Delaying the introduction of mathematics in primary school may actually not impact their comprehension of the subject.

By the way, these ethnic differences are one strong argument in favor of maintaining schools that are independent of the federal government. School districts where Japanese-Americans predominate would be free to build a curriculum that is best suited for their ethnic group. The same goes for African-Americans.

The only role that Washington should play is to (1) create national tests of academic knowledge, (2) require that all students up to the 12th grade take the tests, and (3) publish the results. How to respond to the results is left to the school districts. Washington merely measures and publishes. This approach avoids the problem of certain ethnic groups's using lawyers to terminate national standards because certain ethnic groups underperform due to cultural and genetic reasons.

My idea is that Washington does not mandate any national standards. Washington merely measures and publishes.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Astronauts Call Obama NASA Plans "Catastrophic"

reporter Re:Dishonest politician breaks a campaign promise. (555 comments)

reporter (666905) wrote, "Like many politicians before him, Barack Hussein Obama broke a campaign promise. He outright lied in order to get the votes independent voters."

I apologize for the grammatical error. Those 2 sentences should be changed to the following sentences.

Like many politicians before him, Barack Hussein Obama broke a campaign promise. He outright lied in order to get the votes of independent voters.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Astronauts Call Obama NASA Plans "Catastrophic"

reporter Dishonest politician breaks a campaign promise. (555 comments)

Check out the analysis at the "Houston Chronicle". The analysis states, "President Obama 'dramatically broke' a campaign pledge when he announced plans to cancel NASA's $108 billion Bush-era Constellation program to return astronauts to the moon by 2020.

That's the conclusion of an independent fact-checking organization known as PolitiFact.

The organization's nonpartisan assessment is expected to be widely quoted by supporters of NASA who are trying to reverse Obama's decision on Capitol Hill. "

Like many politicians before him, Barack Hussein Obama broke a campaign promise. He outright lied in order to get the votes independent voters.

Many news wires are now reporting that Obama broke his presidential-campaign promise to fund Constellation. In response, his supporters (of whom many are African-American) -- e. g., Beelzebud -- are pumping messages into the blogs and online forums to defend Obama.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Astronauts Call Obama NASA Plans "Catastrophic"

reporter Politicians and Their Broken Promises (555 comments)

During the presidential campaign in 2008, Barack Hussein Obama promised generous funding for many government programs including NASA. According to a typical news report of his promises, "Sen. Barack Obama promised not to cut NASA funding and said Saturday at a town hall meeting he will rely on Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and revered astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn to help form his space policy.

'Under my watch, NASA will inspire the world once again and is going to help grow the economy right here in Brevard County,' said the presumptive Democratic nominee, speaking to a crowd of 1,400 at Brevard Community College's Titusville campus.

Obama has changed an earlier position, in which he planned to delay the Constellation program five years and use up to $5 billion from the NASA budget for education."

Like many politicians of all political parties, Obama tells the voters whatever they want to hear. After he wins election, he quickly changes course.

The principal difference between Obama and the typical dishonest politican is that Obama personally hates Western culture and Western civilization. For 20 years, he attended a church which taught that the West is solely responsible for the failure of non-Western societies.

Of course, Japan is proof that Obama (and his church) is wrong. Not coincidentally, Japan continues to aggressively pursue space exploration. According to a recent news article, "Despite the recession, the [Japanese] government budgeted ¥344.8 billion for space exploration in fiscal 2009, an increase of 10.4 percent from the previous year."

more than 4 years ago
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IBM Stops Disclosing US Headcount Data

reporter Why is IBM doing this culling? (377 comments)

IBM is clearly trying to hide its US headcount for the purpose of hiding its replacing American employees with foreign workers in other countries.

IBM is one of the few companies that remained consistently profitable during the worst recession since the Great Depression. This profitability was accomplished by replacing high-wage Americans with low-wage foreigners in India, China, etc. Seeing the writing on the wall, IBM management has decided to accelerate the reduction of the American workforce.

The shareholders love this strategy since it maximizes their return on investment. The only problem is a political one: Washington will retaliate against IBM if IBM drastically reduces its American workforce in favor of cheap overseas labor. Hence, IBM has ceased reporting the size of the American workforce.

Dirty? Disgusting? Yes. Good business strategy? Yes.

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Black Box Data Is More Closed Than Others'

reporter East versus West (276 comments)

plover (150551) wrote, "Wouldn't it be grand if the guys who hacked Ubisoft's latest game took on this challenge instead?"

You would not need to hack the black box if Toyota -- and, for that matter, Japanese society -- put more value on openness and humanity. Though Japan is mostly a Western nation, the Japanese still retain some distinctly Asian features. They include secrecy, devaluing human life, etc.

So, the Japanese engineers at both Toyota and Honda naturally created a closed black box that only their engineers can read and decode. So, naturally, given the same kinds of defects, the Japanese government is less likely to demand a recall than the American government. So, naturally, Toyota works their engineers to death: "death by overwork" killed numerous engineers and salesmen during the 1980s and 1990s.

Yet, unlike other Asians, the Japanese do try to be Western. So, Tokyo -- following the lead of Washington -- has now toughened its language against Toyota. Tokyo, like Washington, is investigating the problems in both the braking system and the throttle system.

Closer to home for most of the techies on Slashdot is the initiative for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). RoHS is an idea that was first promoted and enforced by the European Union. RoHS is a requirement that electronics manufacturers must minimize or eliminate use of some dangerous substances like lead.

The EU did the courageous step of enhancing the value of human life. Japan followed the lead of the Europeans and now also abides by RoHS rules.

Japan is Western but still must learn from the rest of the West.

more than 4 years ago
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US Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition

reporter More Atrocities: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (630 comments)

The deliberate decision by civil servants and politicians to poison alcohol is just another example in which self-righteous people choose to play god. Another horrible atrocity sponsored and conducted by Washington is the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment (TSE). Doctors paid by Washington injected syphilis into unsuspecting indigent Americans and studied the progress of the disease. When the experiment began, there was no cure for syphilis. However, after a cure -- i. e., penicillin -- was discovered, the doctors refrained from offering the cure to the subjects of the experiment. Washington wanted to see what happened to the human body when syphilis is allowed to run its course, ultimately killing the victim.

If you are reading my words with disbelief, I suggest that you visit the Web link that I have provided. The TSE was real and was an atrocity committed by the American government against its own citizens.

President Bill Clinton ultimately apologized to the victims and their families.

more than 4 years ago
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Suspension of Disbelief

reporter Real Question: Jurisdiction of Public School (507 comments)

The issue is not really about free speech. The victim in this case is surely free to publish whatever she wants on Facebook, regardless of whether she is suspended from school.

The issue is whether the school has jurisdiction over activities that a student performs outside school. Legally, the school does not have any such jurisdiction.

For example, consider a Christian fellowship meeting. The governing council of a school district can ban the conduct of such a meeting on the premises of the school, but students wishing to attend a Christian fellowship meeting off campus are free to do so. Once you walk off the premises of the school, you are free to do whatever you want.

Consider another example. Smoking cigarettes on campus will result in a suspension. Yet, smoking cigarettes at about 1 foot outside the perimeter of a campus will result in nothing.

more than 4 years ago
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A Reflection On Sun Executive Payouts For Failure

reporter American companies are unique in this respect. (316 comments)

With regards to highly compensated senior management, American companies are relatively unique. Among Japan, Europe, and the USA, the ranking from highest relative compensation for the CEO to lowest relative compensation is the following.

1. USA

2. Europe

3. Japan

Here, "relative" means dividing (1) the annual income of the chief executive officer by (2) the average annual income of the employees who are not part of the management structure.

Table 2 on page 6 of an interesting document analyzing the financial compensation of American CEOs is instructive. For the sake of this discussion, we can reasonably assume that figure in the aformentioned category #2 is approximately the same throughout the West.

Table 2 then, in effect, gives us the relative compensation of the CEOs in the West. The typical American CEO in 2003 received annual compensation that is worth $2.2 million. The typical European CEO received $700,000. The typical Japanese CEO received $460,000.

Was the American CEO worth his pay? American neoconservatives answer, "Yes." They say that such compensation enables American companies to be top-notch competitors in high-technology.

On 2009 November 5, "The Economist" issued a startling report. It asserts, with plenty of evidence, that Japanese companies are the sole manufacturers of numerous components that are critical to the operation of high-technology devices ranging from tiny disk drives to huge nuclear reactors.

So, who is telling the truth? American neoconservatives or the "The Economist"?

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics

reporter Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Clears Regulators (913 comments)

According to a report just issued by the "Wall Street Journal", the engineers at Toyota have developed an improved pedal that supposedly fixes the problem causing Toyota cars to accelerate out of control. American regulators have approved the fix, and Toyota will send it to dealers by February 8. This fix allows the dealers to resume selling the 8 models of vehicles affected by the recall.

However, a new angle to the problem recently surfaced, according to a report just issued by the "New York Times" on its blog. CTS, which manufactures the throttle pedal for Toyota, claims that "the slow-return pedal phenomenon, which may occur in extreme environmental conditions, should absolutely not be linked with any sudden, unintended acceleration incidents". In other words, though the pedal is defective, the defect did not cause the unintended acceleration. CTS claims that it did not manufacture the pedals in older Toyota vehicles that exhibited the same acceleration problem.

If CTS is telling the truth, then the actual problem may be the electronic throttle control, the so-called drive-by-wire system.

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics

reporter Defect scandal at Toyota grows -- without bound (913 comments)

The latest defect in Toyota cars is quickly developing into the scandal of the 21st century. The problem started when customers of Toyota vehicles began experiencing sudden unexplained acceleration; these incidents began appearing in 2002. Over time, Toyota management claimed that the problem is the floor mat. So, the management issued a recall to replace all the floor mats.

Then, after further studying the problem, the management claimed that the throttle's pedal sometimes becomes stuck due to weather conditions. This new claim lead to the massive global recall of many vehicles sold over the past 3 years.

However, none of these explanations for the sudden acceleration has been satisfactory. Independent investigations leading to an explosion of lawsuits have determined that the problem is the electronic throttle control (ETC) — the so-called drive-by-wire mechanism that links the pedal via some cables to the fuel controller. According to a report by "Businessweek" and another report by the "Wall Street Journal", Toyota is now the defendant in 3 separate class-action lawsuits. The plaintiffs claim that the ETC is defective.

According to a report by the "New York Times" (NYT), "a few years ago, the company sent out a technical bulletin saying some cars accelerate on their own between 38 and 42 mph, and it reprogrammed the electronics with new software codes".

The NYT notes, "John Heywood, director of the Sloan Automotive Lab at MIT, said because Toyota is the only automaker having this problem, it could be something specific to its design, such as the location and integration of the electronics relay sensor."

Further, the Toyota ETC lacks an important safety mechanism: if the customer presses both the throttle pedal and the brake pedal, then the ETC should give priority to the brake. The Toyota ETC gives priority to the throttle. How can Toyota engineers commit such a gross design mistake? Common sense tells us that the brake should receive priority.

more than 4 years ago
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Russian Whistleblower Cop Arrested

reporter Do not just type. Do something to help him! (199 comments)

The bravery of the policeman who risked his life by publicizing the corruption in his police department is remarkable proof that good people who think and act like Westerners still live in Russia. That he has been arrested and imprisoned is something that everyone on Slashdot knew would happen.

Please. We should not merely talk and type about this tragedy. We should actually do something to help this victim of the Kremlin.

For example, we could start a fund for his legal defense and possible eventual escape from Russia to the West. For the sake of humanity, we must not allow the Kremlin to kill him. The Kremlin has already killed too many innocent people.

If this policeman dies mysteriously in prison, then I hope that someone -- anyone -- assassinates dictator Vladimir Putin.

more than 4 years ago
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France Tells Its Citizens To Abandon IE, Others Disagree

reporter Importance of Competitive Choices (406 comments)

This incident underscores the importance of fighting monopolies and ensuring the availability of competitive choices. If Microsoft had succeeded in driving all other browsers out of the market in 2000, then today, we would not have any other choice and would be forced to use a browser with a dangerous security risk.

We should applaud the recent work by the European Commission in demanding that Microsoft design their European version of Windows to allow users to choose the browser that they want -- thus, allowing them to never install Internet Explorer. The European Commission has been better advocate of free-market competition than the American Federal Trade Commission.

Therein lies a bit of irony. Washington often claims that the USA is a freer free market than the European Union. Yet, the Union is the political body which hit -- hard -- Microsoft's anticompetitive behavior.

more than 4 years ago
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NY Times To Charge For Online Content

reporter Free-Market Principle: Quality commands a price. (488 comments)

The reason that the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ) can succeed at charging for content is that the news reports and editorial opinions published by the WSJ are worth what you pay. The quality is outstanding, regardless of your political bent.

The "New York Times" (NYT) also publishes content that is quite good (but is not as good as the content from the WSJ). The NYT will also succeed at charging for its content.

The good things in life are not free. Reporters, columnists, and editors work hard day and night to produce the high-quality content at the WSJ and the NYT. We Slashdotters should not expect that they work for free. Certainly, most Slashdotters will not work for free.

On a side note, a newspaper like the "Sacramento Bee" will not succeed at charging for content. It is mediocre and is not worth any price.

more than 4 years ago
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Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register

reporter Re:Belarus is a predictive signal for Russia. (89 comments)

In the immediately preceding article, the following statement

The imminent suppression of free speech on the Internet likely foreshadows the same sort of suppression in Russia.

should be updated to the following statement.

The imminent suppression of free speech on the Internet in Belarus likely foreshadows the same sort of suppression in Russia.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Western Governments Condemn Russian Courts

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by "The Washington Post", "The White House and foreign ministries across Europe had decried Monday's [court] verdict [against Mikhail Khodorkovsky] as raising questions about the Kremlin's commitment to boosting the rule of law and judicial independence and said it was an example of selective justice." Upon direct orders from dictator Vladimir Putin, the Russian "legal" system is brutalizing Khodorkovsky. In 2003, Khodorkovsky dared to use his wealth and his influence to support the democratic political forces in Russia. The ruling elite, including Putin, reacted violently; they arrested Khodorkovsky and threw him into prison for 8 hears. He was due to be released in 2011, but the latest verdict by a Russian court may have extended the period of his incarceration to 2017.

The report just published by the "Christian Science Monitor" offers another view of this travesty of justice."

Link to Original Source
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Russian Court Decides Against Political Prisoner

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", "A Moscow court Monday found tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of embezzling and laundering billions of dollars worth of oil from OAO Yukos, the company he once controlled, confirming widely held expectations of a conviction in a case that has come to define the rule of Vladimir Putin.". This "legal" judgment is the latest attempt by the Kremlin to silence Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

His legal troubles began when he used his wealth and influence to support the liberal political forces in Russia. Putin warned him to back off from politics, but Khodorkovsky ignored the warning. So, in 2003, the Kremlin arrested his partner, Platon Lebedev. Still, Khodorkovsky continued to dabble in politics. The Kremlin responded by arresting Khodorkovsky himself, and a Russian court then sentenced him to 8 years in prison. Before today's court ruling against him, he would have been released from prison in 2011. Today's ruling means that he will likely stay in prison until 2017.

The report just published by the BBC offers another view of this matter."

Link to Original Source
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Fatal Online & Offline Journalism in Russia

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "With the recent attempted murder of Oleg Kashin, we should examine the recent history of fatal journalism in and around Russia. A summary of the recent bloody history of Russian journalism appears at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and was written by Fatima Tlisova.

Freedom of the press and the safety of journalists should have special meaning for Slashdot and its many readers, for freedom of the press is the very reason that Slashdot can exist in the West. What can Slashdotters do to help journalists in and around Russia?"

Link to Original Source
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Criminals Attempt to Kill Reporter in Russia

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 3 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "Russia is one of the most dangerous countries in which a journalist can work. Consider the case of Oleg Kashin. According to a report just published by "Foreign Policy", " the paramedics reached 30-year-old journalist Oleg Kashin Saturday morning at 12:40 a.m. He was lying outside the door to his apartment building in central Moscow, his face bloodied, his legs mangled, the ground covered in blood. 'He showed his hand to the doctor so he could see it was all broken,' a neighbor told TV reporters. The toll, tallied by various news sources, was chilling: two broken jaws, one broken leg, a fractured skull at the temple and a heavy concussion, blood in the lungs, fingers partially torn off at the joints, one of them later amputated. By the time Moscow woke up to the news on Saturday, Kashin was already in an artificially induced coma.

At Kommersant, the newspaper where Kashin works, no one doubted that the attack was related to his journalism. 'The thing that bothers me is that at the moment of the beating, they broke his fingers,' the editor in chief said in a radio interview. 'It is completely obvious that the people who did this did not like what he was saying and what he was writing.' Kashin's iPhone, wallet, and other personal belongings remained on his person, untouched.
"

The "New York Times" has also published a report of this horrific crime.

Dmitri A. Medvedev has ordered Russia’s general prosecutor and interior minister to supervise the investigation of this crime.

How can Slashdot help to bring the criminals to justice? Buddha be with Oleg Kashin as he barely hangs onto life."
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Hi-Tech Manufacturer Drives 11 Workers to Suicide

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report by the "Wall Street Journal", a report by "guardian.co.uk", and a report by "Times Online", Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (HHPIC) is the dominant player in the market for contract manufacturing. HHPIC's customers include numerous tech giants: Apple, Dell, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard (HP), Dell, etc.

Part of the reason for this success is the tremendous pressure that management places on its employees. They typically work more than 10 hours per day for six days per week and for low wages.

This brutal environment eventually drove 11 workers to attempt suicide by jumping off the upper floors of an office building. Of the 11 attempts, 9 succeeded.

The only silver lining in these grim facts is that Western companies like Apple, Dell, and HP have begun to investigate the ill treatment of employees at HHPIC. These Western companies are driven by Western values and have signed pledges to discontinue using any supplier who violates Western ethical standards.

By contrast, the companies which are headquartered in Asia and which use HHPIC as a contractor have not made any attempt to ensure that HHPIC treats its employees with compassion. Asian companies do not give a damn about either workers' rights or, in general, human rights."

Link to Original Source
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Suicide Bombers Wreak Havoc in Moscow

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "About four hours ago, two women wearing belts loaded with explosives walked into two subway stations — the Lubyanka station and the Park Kultury station — in Moscow and detonated the belts. Twenty-two people died at the former station, and 12 died at the latter. Both stations are near the heardquarters of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the K.G.B. "Moscow's red Sokolnicheskaya line, where the first explosion occurred, is used by members of Russia's security service to get to work."

The news wires are lighting up with this story. See the reports at "Times Online", "The New York Times", "Telegraph.co.uk", and "guardian.co.uk""

Link to Original Source
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USA and Russia have concluded arms-control treaty.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a news article just published by the "New York Times" (NYT), Washington and the Kremlin have finalized an agreement on limiting nuclear weapons and related hardware. Notably, the agreement does not restrict American development of an anti-missile shield.

The NYT reports, "The new treaty will reduce the binding limit on deployed strategic nuclear warheads by more than one-quarter, and on launchers by half. It will reestablish an inspection and verification regime, replacing one that expired in December. But while the pact recognizes the dispute between the two countries over American plans for missile defense based in Europe, it will not restrict the United States from building such a shield. ... The specific arms reductions embedded in the new treaty amount to a continuing evolution rather than a radical shift in the nuclear postures of both countries. According to people in Washington and Moscow who were briefed on the new treaty, it will lower the legal limit on deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 each, from the 2,200 allowed as of 2012 under the previous treaty. It would lower the limit on launchers to 800 from the 1,600 now permitted. Nuclear-armed missiles and heavy bombers would be capped at 700 each.""

Link to Original Source
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Can Slashdotters fix the problem in Toyota cars?

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "As the problem of unintended acceleration in Toyota cars continues without end, I have a thought: "Can Slashdotters diagnose and propose a solution to the problem?" The readership of Slashdot includes experts in technical fields like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, psychology, etc. Surely, Slashdotters have a better chance of fixing the problem than the general public.

My opinion on this matter is that the problem exists in the electronic throttle control and that the problem is either (1) an obscure bug in the software or (2) a radiation-induced glitch (RIG) in the hardware. As for the software bug, the infrequency of the problem suggests something like using an uninitialized variable or using a pointer to a structure that has already been deallocated. As for the RIG, an alpha particle may, on rare occasions, flip the bit in a byte of on-board dynamic random-access memory. Both the software bug and the RIG, by their very nature, rarely produce an observable problem. However, after they do produce a problem, they are hard to reproduce."

Link to Original Source
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Girl starved while parents raised virtual child.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a disturbing report just published by guardian.co.uk, "South Korean police have arrested a couple for starving their three-month-old daughter to death while they devoted hours to playing a computer game that involved raising a virtual character of a young girl. The 41-year-old man and 25-year-old woman, who met through a chat website, reportedly left their infant unattended while they went to internet cafes. They only occasionally dropped by to feed her powdered milk.""
Link to Original Source
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New Wave of Antibiotic-resistant Bugs

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "New York Times", although methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the most well-known antibiotic-resistant germ, it is less dangerous than a new class of gram-negative bacteria which have become resistant to all safe antibiotics. "The bacteria, classified as Gram-negative because of their reaction to the so-called Gram stain test, can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body. Their cell structure makes them more difficult to attack with antibiotics than Gram-positive organisms like MRSA."

The only anbtibiotics — colistin and polymyxin B — that still have efficacy against gram-negative bacteria produce dangerous side effects: kidney damage and nerve damage. Patients who are infected with gram-negative bacteria must make the unsavory choice between life with kidney damage or death with intact kidneys.

Recently, some new strains of Gram-negative bacteria have shown resistance against even colistin and polymyxin B. Infection with these new strains typically means death for the patient."

Link to Original Source
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Apple enforces "Supplier Code of Conduct".

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", since 2006, Apple regularly audits its manufacturing partners to ensure that they conform to Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct (ASCC), which essentially codfies Western ethical standards with regards to the environment, labor, business conduct, etc. Core violations of ASCC "include abuse, underage employment, involuntary labor, falsification of audit materials, threats to worker safety, intimidation or retaliation against workers in the audit and serious threats to the environment. Apple said it requires facilities it has found to have a core violation to address the situation immediately and institute a system that insures compliance. Additionally, the facility is placed on probation and later re-audited."

Apple checks 102 facilities, of which most is located in Asia, and these facilities employ 133,000 workers. The most recent audit of Apple's partners revealed 17 violations of ASCC. The violations include hiring workers who were as young as 15 years of age, incorrectly disposing hazardous waste, and falsifing records."

Link to Original Source
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Alexander Haig (1981): "I am in control here."

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "The first decade of the 21st century marks the passing of the last generation of political leaders in the "Cold War" era. They include Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan, and now Alexander Haig. According to a report just published by "The Washington Post", General Alexander Haig has died. He enjoyed a long political career that began with working for President Richard Nixon. Haig later served as Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan. After the attempted presidential assassination in 1981, Haig told reporters, "I am in control here." His critics scoffed at his assertion since the Secretary of State is fourth in line to the presidency. According to American law, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate precede the Secretary of State."
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1981: "I am in control here."

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "The first decade of the 21st century marks the passing of the last generation of political leaders in the "Cold War" era. They include Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan, and now Alexander Haig. According to a report just published by "The Washington Post", General Alexander Haig has died. He enjoyed a long political career that began with working for President Richard Nixon. Haig later served as Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan. After the attempted presidential assassination in 1981, Haig told reporters, "I am in control here." His critics scoffed at his assertion since the Secretary of State is fourth in line to the presidency. According to American law, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate precede the Secretary of State."
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Adultery is punishable by caning in Malaysia.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report from the BBC, the Islamic government of Malaysia has just caned 3 women whom an Islamic court determined to be "guilty" of adultery. Also, an Islamic court has determined that a 4th woman is "guilty" of drinking beer and has sentenced her to caning."
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Exponent concludes that Toyota cars are safe.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", "Toyota and Lexus owners have reported 2,262 incidents of sudden acceleration since 1999 resulting in 815 crashes, 341 injuries and 19 deaths." The gravity of the situation persuaded the management at Toyota to pay an unlimited amount of money to Exponent, an engineering research firm, to thoroughly test the electronic throttle-control system (ETCS). The engineers at Exponent purchased 6 Toyota vehicles and examined how the ETCS responded to various kinds of stress that the engineers inflicted on the vehicles. In each test, the ETCS responded correctly. In a written report, the engineers at Exponent concluded that "there is no evidence of problems in the electronics in Toyota and Lexus products.""
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Professor kills 3 peers at University of Alabama.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", Amy Bishop, an assistant professor in the department of biology at the University of Alabama, learned that she would not receive tenure and allegedly retaliated by killing 3 other members of the faculty. Bishop was trained as a neuroscientist at Harvard University. Collaborating with her husband, she had invented a novel cell-growth incubator."
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IBM commands 39% of the Unix market.

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal" (WSJ), IBM has begun selling Unix servers based on the Power7. It has 8 cores, each running 4 threads. The performance of the Power7 is 4 times the performance of the Power6.

The technological might of IBM has helped it to expand its share of the Unix market from 25% in 2003 to 39% in 2009. IBM servers are now the preferred computing platform at research institutes like Rice University.

In 2000, at the height of the dotcom craze, who could have guessed that IBM with its "boring" mainframes would eventually vanquish all its competitors? Compaq, DEC, SGI, Sun Microsystems, etc. have disappeared into the sunset."

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Electromagnetic radiation is problem in Toyota car

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just issued by the "New York Times" on its blog, "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun what it calls a 'fresh look' at electromagnetic interference in modern auto throttle systems as a possible cause of the unintended acceleration problem that promoted the recall of millions of Toyotas." In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted tests on a Lexus ES 350 to determine whether electromagnetic (EM) interference can cause unintended acceleration. NHTSA engineers claim that they bombarded the electronic throttle control (ETC) with EM radiation but that it caused the engine to rev up only slightly.

This interesting result has one huge caveat: the engineers never documented their test procedure. The lack of documentation came to light when Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, used the Freedom of Information Act to demand access to the documentation.

So, the NHTSA will re-test the Toyota vehicles to determine whether its ETC malfunctions under high EM interference. It just might be the culprit and is something that would have been caught if Toyota management had spent more time and money on building physical protoypes of new vehicles instead of just building a virtual model inside a computer-aided-design (CAD) environment. The dangerous interaction between quite different components in the vehicle is something that CAD software does not model.

CAD software tends to be specific to a domain. There are CAD tools for designing the mechanical components like a throttle pedal. There are CAD tools for designing the electronic components like the ETC. However, CAD tools do not model how the EM emanating from the engine will impact the ETC. In order to assess that situation, you need a physical prototype and millions of man-hours of testing."

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Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Clears Regulators

reporter reporter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

reporter (666905) writes "According to a report just issued by the "Wall Street Journal", the engineers at Toyota have developed an improved pedal that supposedly fixes the problem causing Toyota cars to accelerate out of control. American regulators have approved the fix, and Toyota will send it to dealers by February 8. This fix allows the dealers to resume selling the 8 models of vehicles affected by the recall.

However, a new angle to the problem recently surfaced, according to a report just issued by the "New York Times" on its blog. CTS, which manufactures the throttle pedal for Toyota, claims that "the slow-return pedal phenomenon, which may occur in extreme environmental conditions, should absolutely not be linked with any sudden, unintended acceleration incidents". In other words, though the pedal is defective, the defect did not cause the unintended acceleration. CTS claims that it did not manufacture the pedals in older Toyota vehicles that exhibited the same acceleration problem.

If CTS is telling the truth, then the actual problem may be the electronic throttle control, the so-called drive-by-wire system."

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