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Posts Tagged ‘ndash’

USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

January 1st, 2013 01:41 admin View Comments

United States

EagleHasLanded writes The U.S. Metric Association has been advocating for metrication since 1916 – without much success. In the mid-1970s, the U.S. government passed the Metric Conversion Act, but now it seems the time for complete conversion has come and gone. Or could U.S. educators and health & safety advocates put this issue back on Congress’ radar screen?”

Source: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

UK Milk Supply Contains New MRSA Strain

December 26th, 2012 12:49 admin View Comments

United Kingdom

Tests on milk from several different farms across the U.K. have turned up evidence for a new strain of MRSA — bacteria which have evolved resistance to common antibiotics. As long as the milk is properly pasteurized, it poses no threat to consumers, but anyone working directly with the animals bears a small risk of infection. According to The Independent, “The disclosure comes amid growing concern over the use of modern antibiotics on British farms, driven by price pressure imposed by the big supermarket chains. Intensive farming with thousands of animals raised in cramped conditions means infections spread faster and the need for antibiotics is consequently greater. Three classes of antibiotics rated as ‘critically important to human medicine’ by the World Health Organization – cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and macrolides – have increased in use in the animal population by eightfold in the last decade.”

Source: UK Milk Supply Contains New MRSA Strain

Defending the First Sale Doctrine

December 25th, 2012 12:43 admin View Comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recaps two court cases pending in the U.S. which will decide whether you’re allowed to re-sell the things you purchase. The first case deals with items bought in other countries for resale in the U.S., such as textbooks. An unfavorable decision there would mean “anything that is made in a foreign country and contains copies of copyrighted material – from the textbooks at issue in the Kirtsaeng case to shampoo bottles with copyrighted labels – could be blocked from resale, lending, or gifting without the permission of the copyright owner. That would create a nightmare for consumers and businesses, upending used goods markets and undermining what it really means to ‘buy’ and ‘own’ physical goods. The ruling also creates a perverse incentive for U.S. businesses to move their manufacturing operations abroad. It is difficult for us to imagine this is the outcome Congress intended.” The second case is about whether music purchased on services like iTunes can be resold to other people. “Not only does big content deny that first sale doctrine applies to digital goods, but they are also trying to undermine the first sale rights we do have by forcing users to license items they would rather buy. The copyright industry wants you to “license” all your music, your movies, your games — and lose your rights to sell them or modify them as you see fit.”

Source: Defending the First Sale Doctrine

Open Source Foundations Coming of Age — What Next?

December 25th, 2012 12:42 admin View Comments

Open Source

An article at The H makes the case that many open source foundations have successfully proven their worth and withstood the test of time as legitimate entities. This leads to the question: where do they go from here? The author suggests an umbrella foundation to provide consistent direction across many projects. Quoting; “As you might expect, the main aim of most foundations is to promote their own particular project and its associated programs. For the putative [Open Source Foundation Foundation], that would generalise into promoting open source foundations as a way of supporting open source activity. In practical terms, that might translate into establishing best practice, codifying what needs to be done in order to create an open source foundation in different jurisdictions with their differing legal requirements. That would make it far easier for smaller projects – such as Krita – to draw on that body of knowledge once they have decided to take this route. It might also encourage yet more projects to do the same, encouraged by the existence of support mechanisms that will help them to navigate safely the legal requirements, and to minimise costs by drawing on the experience of others. After all, this is precisely the way open source works, and what makes it so efficient: it tries to avoid re-inventing the wheel by sharing pre-existing solutions to problems or sub-problems.”

Source: Open Source Foundations Coming of Age — What Next?

Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells Created At Stanford University

December 24th, 2012 12:59 admin View Comments

Power

cylonlover writes “Traditionally, thin-film solar cells are made with rigid glass substrates, limiting their potential applications. Flexible versions do exist, although they require special production techniques and/or materials. Now, however, scientists from Stanford University have created thin, flexible solar cells that are made from standard materials – and they can applied to just about any surface, like a sticker. The cells have been successfully applied to a variety of both flat and curved surfaces – including glass, plastic and paper – without any loss of efficiency. Not only does the new process allow for solar cells to applied to things like mobile devices, helmets, dashboards or windows, but the stickers are reportedly both lighter and less costly to make than equivalent-sized traditional photovoltaic panels. There’s also no waste involved, as the silicon/silicon dioxide wafers can be reused.”

Source: Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells Created At Stanford University

Laser Prototype Improves Bomb Detection

December 10th, 2012 12:56 admin View Comments

Australia

angry tapir writes “Scientists at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia have developed a prototype laser device capable of detecting tiny traces of explosive vapor, an invention that has the potential to put bomb sniffer dogs out of a job. The prototype – a pulsed, quantum laser-based, cavity ring-down spectrometer – is being tested at the US government’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.”

Source: Laser Prototype Improves Bomb Detection

McAfee Was Not Captured

December 3rd, 2012 12:36 admin View Comments

Crime

netbuzz writes “As rumors and news reports of John McAfee’s alleged capture circulated widely yesterday – fueled by McAfee’s own blog and blogging cohorts – police and other authorities in Belize denied that they had the man in custody and, well, they should have been believed. McAfee surfaced earlier this morning and had this to say in a blog post: ‘We are not in Belize, but not quite out of the woods yet.’ He also painted a picture of his ‘escape’ that could have been taken from a bad spy novel.”

Source: McAfee Was Not Captured

Fedora Adds MATE and Cinnamon Desktops to Main Repository, Releases Beta

November 28th, 2012 11:01 admin View Comments

GUI

Already available in third party repositories, the GNOME 2 fork MATE and GNOME 3 fork Cinnamon will now be included in Fedora 18. From the H: “After almost two months’ delay, the Fedora Project has released the first and final beta of Fedora 18. The distribution, which is code-named ‘Spherical Cow,’ includes the MATE desktop – a continuation of the classic GNOME 2 interface – in its repositories for the first time. Fedora 18′s default edition uses GNOME 3.6.2 as its interface and a separate KDE Spin provides the KDE Software Collection 4.9.3; Xfce 4.10 and version 1.6.7 of Linux Mint’s Cinnamon are also available from the distribution’s repositories.”

Source: Fedora Adds MATE and Cinnamon Desktops to Main Repository, Releases Beta

Does Even Amazing Partisan Tech Deserve Applause?

November 25th, 2012 11:40 admin View Comments

The Internet

theodp writes “The press has been filled with wide-eyed articles about how Obama’s tech team pulled out the stops in their race against the Republicans. But as exciting as some of the new techniques dreamed up may be, Tom Steinberg points out it’s important to reflect on the difference between choosing to use tech skills to win a particular fight, versus trying to improve the workings of the democratic system, or helping people to self-organize and take some control of their own lives. ‘I am still filled with an excitement about the prospects for non-partisan technologies that I can’t muster for even the coolest uses of randomized control trial-driven political messaging,’ writes Steinberg. ‘The reason why all comes down to the fact that major partisan digital campaigns change the world, but they don’t do it in the way that services like eBay, TripAdvisor and Match.com do. What all these sites have in common – helping people sell stuff they own, find a hotel, or a life partner – is that they represent a positive change in the lives of millions of people that is not directly opposed by a counter-shift.’”

Source: Does Even Amazing Partisan Tech Deserve Applause?

HydroICE Project Developing a Solar-Powered Combustion Engine

November 25th, 2012 11:32 admin View Comments

Power

cylonlover writes “OK, first things first – stop picturing a car with solar panels connected to its engine. What Missouri-based inventors Matt Bellue and Ben Cooper are working on is something a little different than that. They want to take an internal combustion engine, and run it on water and solar-heated oil instead of gasoline. That engine could then be hooked up to a generator, to provide clean electricity. While that may sound a little iffy to some, Bellue and Cooper have already built a small-scale prototype.”

Source: HydroICE Project Developing a Solar-Powered Combustion Engine