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A snack of classical mechanics

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 21:19 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

What is the Dzhanibekov effect? Known as the Tennis Racket theorem in English and documented by Vladimir Dzhanibekov in 1985 space, it is the result of unstable rotation about a principle axis.


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  1. Very kewl! I’m going to have to get one of my Russian colleagues at work to translate this for me next week – it looks/sounds intriguing! Are they saying that this is what causes the earth’s poles to precess over time? We know that happens, but it would be interesting to know if this is a possible proof of the physics involved with that.

High Finance

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 21:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

It’s probably not what most bankers have in mind when they talk about high finance.

But this six foot high ATM outside a bank in Timisoara, Romania, has baffled customers who have to bring their own step ladder if they want to get at their money.

And at the other end of the scale, just across the road is another ATM so low that people have to get on their knees to get their cash out.

[..]

“The high one was supposed to have a staircase leading to it but the bank forgot to get planning permission. And the bank with the low ATM say it had to go there because they are in a listed building and the only access point was a basement window.


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  1. What would Mitt Romney do?

John Kiriakou

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 21:09 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

An ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou has been indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists.
John Kiriakou was the first U.S. government official to publicly confirm that the Bush administration’s used torture while interrogating al-Qaeda suspects.


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The of course principle of design

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 21:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Most companies (including web startups), he said, are looking to “wow” with their products, when in reality what they should be looking for is an “‘of course’ reaction from their users.”


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“Go ahead, warning shots.”

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 17:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Poland to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified maize

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 16:51 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

WARSAW — Poland will impose a complete ban on growing the MON810 genetically modified strain of maize made by US company Monsanto on its territory, Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said Wednesday.

“The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki told reporters, adding that pollen of this strain could have a harmful effect on bees.

On March 9, seven European countries — Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland and Slovakia — blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency to allow the cultivation of genetically-modified plants on the continent.

Seven days after that, France imposed a temporary ban on the MON810 strain.

Talks on allowing the growing of genetically-modified plants on EU soil are now deadlocked as no majority has emerged among the 27 member states.


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  1. This is a completely logical decision for any country that doesn’t want to deal with Monsanto’s ridiculous patent claims.

Chris Dodd Suggests Backroom Negotiations On New SOPA Are Well Underway

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 11:13 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

Ah, Chris Dodd. It seems like every time he opens his mouth, he makes things worse. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he responds to a series of questions about SOPA by trying to tiptoe around the issue, but basically admits that there are backroom conversations going on between a small number of people, and that “between now and sometime next year,” Hollywood and the tech industry will “come to an understanding.” He’s asked specifically if there are conversations going on now, and if the White House is pressuring folks to come to such “an understanding.”


THR: Are there conversations going on now?

Dodd: I’m confident that’s the case, but I’m not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive.

THR: Did you feel personally blindsided by Obama over SOPA?

Dodd: I’m not going to revisit the events of last winter. I’ll only say to you that I’m confident he’s using his good relationships in both communities to do exactly what you and I have been talking about.

Yes, you know why it would be “counterproductive” to go into more detail? Because he knows damn well that the problem with SOPA was that it was negotiated in the backrooms with private parties and no participation from the actual stakeholders: the public.

So, yes, admitting that you’re doing the same thing all over again would be counterproductive. You know what would be productive? Stopping this political backroom dealing crap, and finally coming out and having a public discussion. But he won’t do it, because Dodd is a coward and a DC-insider who only knows how to cut deals, not how to actually respond to the public’s best interests.


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5000+ Artists Line Up For a Pirate Bay Promotion

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

Record labels and Hollywood have described The Pirate Bay as one of the biggest threats to their business, but thousands of artists clearly disagree with this view. In recent weeks more than 5000 independent artists have signed up to be promoted by the world’s largest torrent site. Those who were lucky enough to be featured are overwhelmed by the career boost and the positive responses from the public.


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  1. You could also write that sentence as “Tech mavens and digital freedom advocates have described Hollywood as one of the biggest threats to liberty and privacy and as having a completely broken business, but thousands of artists clearly disagree with this view (and continue to line up for record contracts).”

    In other words, “Duh!”

Hotel Wifi JavaScript Injection

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 10:13 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself, What were they thinking?

[Quote]:

In short, Marriott is injecting JavaScript into the HTML of every webpage its hotel customers view for the purpose of injecting ads (and in the meantime, breaking YouTube). Marriott’s wireless internet service provider is a third-party company called Hotel Internet Services, so it is possible, though unlikely, that Marriott doesn’t know what’s going on. But it’s crazy to me that I’m paying $368 a night for a hotel room, and this is how I get treated.


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  1. I think for the first time ever I’m seriously in the market for a (paid but affordable) VPN service.

ADmented Reality

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 8:50 by John Sinteur in category: Google


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Catholic Fund Heightens Scrutiny of Recipients’ Ties

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 8:45 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

For three years now, Compañeros, a small nonprofit organization in rural southwestern Colorado, has received thousands of dollars from the Roman Catholic Church to help poor Hispanic immigrants with basic needs including access to health care and guidance on local laws.

But in February, the group was informed by a representative from the Diocese of Pueblo that its financing from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops devoted to ending poverty, was in danger.

The problem, the diocesan liaison explained, was Compañeros’s membership in an immigrant rights coalition that had joined forces with a statewide gay and lesbian advocacy group, recounted Nicole Mosher, Compañeros’s executive director.

[..]

Compañeros’s board recently voted to remain a member of the immigrant coalition, despite the prospect of losing $30,000 in annual financing, which comprises about half its budget.

Said Ms. Mosher: “We can’t go against our core principles by taking money that we think will ultimately result in the division of this community.”


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