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Geek

Tasmania Is Now 100% Powered By Renewable Electricity

Slashdot - 1 hour 14 min ago
Tasmania consists of the 26th-largest island in the world and its surrounding 334 islands — an island state of Australia with a population around 540,000 people, according to Wikipedia. Friday the Tasmanian government "declared that it has become the first Australian state, and one of just a handful of jurisdictions worldwide, to be powered entirely by renewable electricity," according to one news report: Tasmania joins the Australian Capital Territory as the only two Australian jurisdictions sourcing all of their electricity from renewable energy sources, and places Tasmania alongside countries like Scotland, Iceland and Costa Rica which have also made the transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity. The milestone was welcomed by environmental groups, saying that it was another example of what is being achieved by state and territory governments that are stepping in to show leadership on energy policy in a vacuum left by ongoing conflict both between and within political parties at a federal level... Tasmanian energy minister Guy Barnett added that the Tasmanian government would continue to support an expansion of the state's renewable energy capabilities, as the state looks to grow its role as a supplier of zero emissions energy to both mainland Australia and of green hydrogen into international export markets. "But there is more to do, which is why we have set a target to double our renewable generation to a global-leading target of 200 per cent of our current needs by 2040 — which we recently passed into law following the passing of legislation through both Houses of Parliament," Barnett added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

For the First Time Scientists Detect Neutrinos Traced To CNO Cycle Inside the Sun

Slashdot - 2 hours 14 min ago
NBC News calls it "the ghostly signal that reveals the engine of the universe." Long-time Slashdot reader fahrbot-bot shares their report: In research published Wednesday in the journal Nature, scientists reported that they've made the first detection of almost-ethereal particles called neutrinos that can be traced to carbon-nitrogen-oxygen fusion, known as the CNO cycle, inside the sun. It's a landmark finding that confirms theoretical predictions from the 1930s, and it's being hailed as one of the greatest discoveries in physics of the new millenium. "It's really a breakthrough for solar and stellar physics," said Gioacchino Ranucci of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), one of the researchers on the project since it began in 1990. The scientists used the ultrasensitive Borexino detector at the INFN's Gran Sasso particle physics laboratory in central Italy — the largest underground research center in the world, deep beneath the Apennine Mountains, about 65 miles northeast of Rome. The detection caps off decades of study of the sun's neutrinos by the Borexino project, and reveals for the first time the main nuclear reaction that most stars use to fuse hydrogen into helium... Scientists calculate that the CNO cycle is the primary type of fusion in the universe. But it's hard to spot inside our relatively cool sun, where it accounts for only 1 percent of its energy... Ranucci said the Borexino detector has spent decades measuring neutrinos from the sun's main proton-proton chain reaction, but detecting its CNO neutrinos has been very difficult — only about seven neutrinos with the tell-tale energy of the CNO cycle are spotted in a day. The discovery required making the detector ever more sensitive over the last five years, Ranucci said, by shielding it from outside sources of radioactivity so that the inner chamber of the detector is the most radiation-free place on Earth.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Team unc0ver announces plan to launch Substitute v2.0 with speed & performance gains

iDownloadBlog - 2 hours 57 min ago

Substitute version 2.0 for the checkra1n and unc0ver jailbreaks has been announced, promising substantial speed improvements along with a smaller footprint with regard to system resources.
Categories: Geek

How Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max Experienced a Near-Crash The Day Before 2018's Fatal Crash

Slashdot - 3 hours 10 min ago
ABC News tells the story of Indonesia-based budget airline Lion Air, which had ordered over 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8s at a cost of $22 billion — and what happened on a flight the day before a fatal crash on October 29th, 2018: [A]fter its first flight in May 2017, the 737 MAX 8 went 17 months without incident. Then, on Oct. 28, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 from Bali to Jakarta experienced an in-flight emergency as the plane suddenly began to nosedive after take-off. "All of us were screaming like we are in a roller coaster," said Rakhmat Robbi, a passenger on the flight. "To be honest, I [was] think[ing] it's almost like my last flight and this is my last day." The aircraft nosedived four times as the pilots struggled to regain control, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC). A third pilot who just happened to be in the cockpit was able to help the two pilots resolve the situation and the plane landed safely in Jakarta. However, according to the NTSC, the crew left incomplete notes about the details of the emergency. "The pilot reported that he had a problem with the speed and altitude indicated on [the] captain's side," said Capt. Nurcahyo Utomo, senior safety investigator of the NTSC. Nurcahyo said the captain failed to mention the plane's trim system had suddenly activated, causing it to repeatedly nose dive. "The pilots were able to control it," said aviation attorney Steven Marks. "They knew they had a problem. But they didn't understand exactly what the nature of the problem was." Early the next morning, on Oct. 29, 2018, the same plane departed from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. Just 13 minutes after takeoff, Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea. Authorities launched a search and rescue mission immediately, but all 189 people on board died. The flight data recorder from Lion Air 610 revealed that the plane had gone out of control — it had moved up and down over 24 times before it finally dove into the sea at full speed. "I never knew... any case of the [sic] aircraft that fly down and up and up and down like this," Nurcahyo said. "I knew that the pilot was fighting with the plane." Nurcahyo said the NTSC asked Boeing about the kind of system on the 737 MAX that could have caused it to behave in such a manner. He said investigators were surprised to learn that Boeing had installed a flight control software program that could force the plane into a dive without the pilots' knowledge... MCAS was accidentally triggered on both Lion Air flights because a defective angle of attack (AOA) sensor had transmitted incorrect information about the position of the plane's nose. Although there are two AOA sensors on the 737 MAX, MCAS was only connected to one of them. "It's a lack of redundancy that appears to me to be unacceptable in airplane design," said aviation journalist Christine Negroni, author of the book "The Crash Detectives..." Boeing later told the pilots union of American Airlines it hadn't revealed the existence of MCAS in the 737 flight manual "on the grounds that it didn't want to inundate pilots with unnecessary information," according to the article. ABC also points out that a later investigation by the U.S. Congress "uncovered internal Boeing emails that showed some employees had raised concerns about the 737 MAX while it was still in development, and that they had questioned the safety culture of the company as well."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max Experienced a Near-Crash The Day Before 2018's Fatal Crash

Slashdot - 3 hours 10 min ago
ABC News tells the story of Indonesia-based budget airline Lion Air, which had ordered over 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8s at a cost of $22 billion — and what happened on a flight the day before a fatal crash on October 29th, 2018: [A]fter its first flight in May 2017, the 737 MAX 8 went 17 months without incident. Then, on Oct. 28, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 from Bali to Jakarta experienced an in-flight emergency as the plane suddenly began to nosedive after take-off. "All of us were screaming like we are in a roller coaster," said Rakhmat Robbi, a passenger on the flight. "To be honest, I [was] think[ing] it's almost like my last flight and this is my last day." The aircraft nosedived four times as the pilots struggled to regain control, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC). A third pilot who just happened to be in the cockpit was able to help the two pilots resolve the situation and the plane landed safely in Jakarta. However, according to the NTSC, the crew left incomplete notes about the details of the emergency. "The pilot reported that he had a problem with the speed and altitude indicated on [the] captain's side," said Capt. Nurcahyo Utomo, senior safety investigator of the NTSC. Nurcahyo said the captain failed to mention the plane's trim system had suddenly activated, causing it to repeatedly nose dive. "The pilots were able to control it," said aviation attorney Steven Marks. "They knew they had a problem. But they didn't understand exactly what the nature of the problem was." Early the next morning, on Oct. 29, 2018, the same plane departed from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. Just 13 minutes after takeoff, Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea. Authorities launched a search and rescue mission immediately, but all 189 people on board died. The flight data recorder from Lion Air 610 revealed that the plane had gone out of control — it had moved up and down over 24 times before it finally dove into the sea at full speed. "I never knew... any case of the [sic] aircraft that fly down and up and up and down like this," Nurcahyo said. "I knew that the pilot was fighting with the plane." Nurcahyo said the NTSC asked Boeing about the kind of system on the 737 MAX that could have caused it to behave in such a manner. He said investigators were surprised to learn that Boeing had installed a flight control software program that could force the plane into a dive without the pilots' knowledge... MCAS was accidentally triggered on both Lion Air flights because a defective angle of attack (AOA) sensor had transmitted incorrect information about the position of the plane's nose. Although there are two AOA sensors on the 737 MAX, MCAS was only connected to one of them. "It's a lack of redundancy that appears to me to be unacceptable in airplane design," said aviation journalist Christine Negroni, author of the book "The Crash Detectives..." Boeing told the pilots union of American Airlines it hadn't revealed the existence of MCAS in the 737 flight manual "on the grounds that it didn't want to inundate pilots with unnecessary information," according to the article. ABC also points out that a later investigation by the U.S. Congress "uncovered internal Boeing emails that showed some employees had raised concerns about the 737 MAX while it was still in development, and that they had questioned the safety culture of the company as well."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

South Korea’s second Apple Store opens soon in Yeouido

9to5Mac - 4 hours 9 min ago

Apple is preparing to open its second retail store in South Korea. Located in Seoul’s main finance district, Apple Yeouido will make direct sales and support accessible to a whole new community.

more…

The post South Korea’s second Apple Store opens soon in Yeouido appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Duck! Meteor! Oh, Maybe Don't Bother - This Time...

Slashdot - 4 hours 27 min ago
RockDoctor (Slashdot reader #15,477) is a professional geologist, and asks: Did anyone feel a sudden wind through their hair at about 17:19+00:00 on Monday, particularly in the mid Pacific? No? Good. Nobody else did. Nobody noticed the asteroid whizzing past just above the Earth's atmosphere (for certain values of "above" including "not very far" and "373km above ground"). That's the closest natural body (i.e., not a spacecraft) documented in near-Earth space which hasn't actually hit the thick-enough parts of the atmosphere to glow, fragment, make sonic booms and dent automobiles. So, we dodged another bullet, and no windows were broken. This one probably wouldn't have done significant damage even if it had touched down in fire and fury — it was about half the size of the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, and so around one eighth of the energy (and potential damage). Everyone can go back to bed and sleep easy. Right? But one tiny thing to disturb your sleep : we didn't see this one coming until after it had gone past us. Nor did we see it in it's close approaches on 2014-10-26.60152 or 2017-11-06.57008. And with another 39 projected Earth approaches before the next turn-of-century, it's pretty obvious that one day this is going to hit us. For those who know what an MPEC is [a Minor Planet Electronic Circular], Bill Grey has written up one of his "pseudo-MPECs" with links to other work on this object here, while the actual discovery record is here. The object has been given a formal name of 2020 VT4 unless the discoverers at the ATLAS Mauna Loa Observatory choose to give it a name ("COVID", or "hair-parter", or "hats-off", perhaps. Or just "Rupert".) Wikipedia has caught up too. There will be another close-pass, and an impact, one day. This doesn't change the odds of that happening (probability 1), but it might make it feel a little more immediate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Microsoft Also Patented Tech to Score Meetings Using Filmed Body Language, Facial Expressions

Slashdot - 5 hours 27 min ago
Remember when Microsoft was criticized for enabling "workplace surveillance" over "productivity scores" in its Microsoft 365 office software which gave managers highly detailed profiles of each individual employee's activity. Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: The Microsoft 365 Productivity Score apparently has roots in another Microsoft patent application for Systems, Methods, and Software for Implementing a Behavior Change Management Program, which also lays out plans for as yet unimplemented features to automatically schedule hundreds of employees for months of productivity re-education, including preventing employees from scheduling meetings with others if the service deems it counter-productive. So, could the HAL 9000's "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" be considered prior art? But Microsoft "has even bigger ideas for using technology to monitor workers in the interest of maximizing organizational productivity," reports GeekWire: Newly surfaced Microsoft patent filings describe a system for deriving and predicting "overall quality scores" for meetings using data such as body language, facial expressions, room temperature, time of day, and number of people in the meeting. The system uses cameras, sensors, and software tools to determine, for example, "how much a participant contributes to a meeting vs performing other tasks (e.g., texting, checking email, browsing the Internet)." The "meeting insight computing system" would then predict the likelihood that a group will hold a high-quality meeting. It would flag potential challenges when an organizer is setting the meeting up, and recommend alternative venues, times, or people to include in the meeting, for example... A patent application made public Nov. 12 notes, "many organizations are plagued by overly long, poorly attended, and recurring meetings that could be modified and/or avoided if more information regarding meeting quality was available." The approach would apply to in-person and virtual meetings, and hybrids of the two... The filings do not detail any potential privacy safeguards. A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on the patent filings in response to GeekWire's inquiry. To be sure, patents are not products, and there's no sign yet that Microsoft plans to roll out this hypothetical system. Microsoft has established an internal artificial intelligence ethics office and a companywide committee to ensure that its AI products live by its principles of responsible AI, including transparency and privacy. However, the filings are a window into the ideas floating around inside Microsoft, and they're consistent with the direction the company is already heading.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

That Mysterious Silver Monolith In the Utah Desert Has Disappeared

Slashdot - 6 hours 28 min ago
Slashdot reader Iwastheone quotes CNN: A tall, silver, shining metal monolith discovered in the desert in southeastern Utah — which prompted theories of alien placement and drew determined hikers to its secret location — has now disappeared, the state's Bureau of Land Management said Saturday. The monolith was removed by an "unknown party" sometime Friday night, the agency said in a Facebook post. "We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the 'monolith,' has been removed" from BLM public lands, the post said. "The BLM did not remove the structure, which is considered private property." The monolith was first discovered November 18 by officers from the Utah Department of Public Safety's Aero Bureau. They were flying by helicopter, helping the Division of Wildlife Resources count bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, when they spotted something that seemed right out of "2001: A Space Odyssey..." Pilot Bret Hutchings guessed it was "between 10 and 12 feet high..." In an official statement, the Utah Department of Public Safety emphasized that it's still illegal to install structures or art on public lands, "no matter what planet you're from."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Darth Vader Actor From Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Dies at Age 85

Slashdot - 7 hours 36 min ago
Reuters reports: David Prowse, the English actor who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films, has died aged 85, his management company said on Sunday... The champion weightlifter-turned-actor starred as the body, but not the voice, of one of cinema's best-known villains. Director George Lucas opted to dub another voice onto Prowse's portrayal of the towering, masked antagonist Darth Vader in "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi". More from the Los Angeles Times: Born in Bristol, southwest England, in 1935, Prowse represented England in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games in the 1950s before breaking into movies with roles that emphasized his commanding size, including Frankenstein's monster in a pair of horror films [and also in the 1967 comedy Casino Royale]. Director George Lucas saw Prowse in a small part in "A Clockwork Orange" and asked the 6-foot-6-inch actor to audition for the villainous Vader or the Wookiee Chewbacca in "Star Wars." Prowse later told the BBC he chose Darth Vader because "you always remember the bad guys." Physically, Prowse was perfect for the part. His lilting English West Country accent was considered less ideal, and his lines were dubbed by actor James Earl Jones. Prowse was also known to a generation of British children as the Green Cross Code Man, a superhero in a series of road safety advertisements. An anonymous reader writes: In 2011 he authored an autobiography titled Straight from the Force's Mouth (with a foreword by bodybuilder/Incredible Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno), and his differences with Lucasfilm are chronicled in a 2015 documentary about his career titled I Am Your Father. (You can watch its trailer on its page on Amazon Prime, though the full documentary is currently listed as "unavailable.") Wikipedia lists some of Prose's other roles, including: A Minotaur in the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster The Black Knight in the Terry Gilliam film JabberwockyA small role as Hotblack Desiato's bodyguard in the 1981 BBC TV adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

What Hunting Bigfoot Taught a Republican Congressman about Misinformation, Political Extremists, and Grift

Slashdot - 8 hours 41 min ago
Republican congressman Denver Riggleman was once a defense contractor for America's National Security Agency. But in 2004, he paid more than $5,000 to join an amateur expedition searching for Bigfoot. Not because he believed in the mythical ape-like creature said to live in the woods, according to the Washington Post, but "to indulge a lifelong fascination: Why do people — what kind of people — believe in Bigfoot?" "Now in one of his last acts as a Republican congressman from Virginia, Riggleman is asking the same questions of QAnon supporters and President-elect Joe Biden deniers." Months after his ouster by Rep.-elect Bob Good (R) in a contentious GOP convention, Riggleman has become one of the loudest voices in Congress warning of the infiltration of conspiracy theories into political discourse... To Riggleman, the book, "Bigfoot... It's Complicated," mirrors the way pockets of the country are falling into conspiracy wormholes — everything from extremist fringe groups such as QAnon and the "boogaloo" movement to President Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. Like the Bigfoot hunters in the Olympic National Forest, they see what they want to see... Bigfoot believers have plenty in common with political extremists on both the far right and the far left, Riggleman said, lambasting a political ecosystem where, oftentimes, "facts don't matter." "They're all bat---- crazy. Right?" he said, not really joking. "All of them ascribe to a team mythology that might or might not be true. And they stay on that team regardless. And that is what's so dangerous about politics today. That's what I've been trying to say." Riggleman also criticized political operatives "asking for donations to help in a mythological quest of things that can't be proven," arguing this shared mythology can turn into a grift. "I saw it with Bigfoot. I'm seeing it with QAnon. It's about money. And sometimes crazy and money live in the same space."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Will Tesla Update Bring Remote Access To Car Cameras?

Slashdot - 9 hours 41 min ago
"Tesla's Sentry Mode is about to bring things to a whole new level by enabling Tesla owners to remotely see what their cars can see through Autopilot cameras," claims Electrek — citing a Twitter user named green "who has been revealing new Tesla features found in software updates." "It's not certain when the live camera update would arrive, provided it's not scrapped," writes Engadget, adding "Elon Musk has been teasing a 'hot' holiday software release, but 'green' warned that it might not make that release..." Some background from Electrek: For a while now, Tesla has been talking about better integrating its Tesla Sentry Mode feature into its mobile app. Sentry Mode is an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla's vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car and it has been changing the game when it comes to vandalizing parked cars. On several occasions, Sentry Mode videos went viral, and the vandals turned themselves in after online pressure. In other cases, video evidence helped police identify and find the vandals. The feature was built on top of "TeslaCam," a previously released integrated dashcam system with similar capability as Sentry mode, but used when someone is inside the car. TeslaCam helped several Tesla owners with insurance claims by proving that they weren't at fault in some accidents captured by the integrated dashcam system. In order to activate the TeslaCam and Sentry Mode features, owners have to plug a storage device, thumb drive, or SSD inside their Tesla and activate the features in the settings... Tesla owners can already have an extensive look at the status of their vehicles, including the doors open or close, same for windows, charge port, and more. Now they are going to be able to see around their vehicles even if no Sentry Mode event has been activated. That's only if the update is actually released. How do Slashdot's readers feel about the possibility of this feature? Does the world change when Tesla owners can remotely access their cars' cameras?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Snow wallpapers for iPhone and iPad

iDownloadBlog - 9 hours 45 min ago

This snow wallpapers pack is full of frosty goodness and sized for iPad or iPhone. The whites, silvers, and red make great Home or Lock Screen wallpapers.
Categories: Geek

This week’s top stories: More Apple Silicon tidbits, Apple Watch redesign rumors, iOS 15, more

9to5Mac - 9 hours 59 min ago

In this week’s top stories: iOS 15 device compatibility rumors, Apple Silicon Macs still to come, Apple Watch redesign rumors, and more. Read on for all of this week’s top stories.

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The post This week’s top stories: More Apple Silicon tidbits, Apple Watch redesign rumors, iOS 15, more appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Researchers Calculate Earth is 2,000 Light-years Closer to the Milky Way's Black Hole

Slashdot - 10 hours 41 min ago
"Earth just got 7 km/s faster and about 2000 light-years closer to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy," reports Phys.org: But don't worry, this doesn't mean that our planet is plunging towards the black hole. Instead the changes are results of a better model of the Milky Way Galaxy based on new observation data, including a catalog of objects observed over the course of more than 15 years by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA. CNET explains: Over the last 15 years, a Japanese radio astronomy project, VERA, has been gathering data. Using a technique called interferometry, VERA gathered data from telescopes across Japan and combined them with data from other existing projects to create what is essentially the most accurate map of the Milky Way yet. By pinpointing the location and velocity of around 99 specific points in our galaxy, VERA has concluded that the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A, at the center of our galaxy, is actually 25,800 light-years from Earth — almost 2,000 light-years closer than what we previously believed. In addition, the new model calculates Earth is moving faster than we believed. Older models clocked Earth's speed at 220 kilometers (136 miles) per second, orbiting around the galaxy's centre. VERA's new model has us moving at 227 kilometers (141 miles) per second.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Jailbreak tweaks of the week: Boardy, iPadSwitcher, JBStatusNotifier, & more…

iDownloadBlog - 10 hours 45 min ago

In this roundup, we discuss all the latest jailbreak tweaks released between Monday, November 23rd and Sunday, November 29th.
Categories: Geek

9to5Mac Gift Guide: The best HomeKit gifts in 2020 for safety and security

9to5Mac - 11 hours 15 min ago

The holidays are upon us, and as usual, improving my home with HomeKit is always on my mind. One of the things I love about HomeKit is that it’s not just about making your life more comfortable to use or more fun, it can undoubtedly improve security as well. As you think about the best HomeKit gifts for 2020, here are some essential items to keep your home secure before and after the holiday season.

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The post 9to5Mac Gift Guide: The best HomeKit gifts in 2020 for safety and security appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Apple Fitness+ instructors tease upcoming service as ‘late 2020’ launch nears

9to5Mac - 11 hours 34 min ago

Apple Fitness+ is slated to launch sometime before the end of 2020, though no exact date has yet been announced. Ahead of the launch, Fitness+ instructors are taking to Instagram to tease that the service is launching “soon” and that they are in the process of recording workouts.

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The post Apple Fitness+ instructors tease upcoming service as ‘late 2020’ launch nears appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Uri Geller Finally Apologizes for Suing Pokemon 20 Years Ago

Slashdot - 12 hours 41 min ago
In January of the year 2000, Pokémon was sued by stage magician Uri Geller for $97 million (over a Pokémon card with a similar name that carried the magician's trademark bent spoon). 20 years later, Kotaku reports... Spoon-bending magician Uri Geller gave Nintendo permission to use the character Kadabra on Pokémon cards today, after a 20 year legal dispute in which Geller claimed the Pokémon's Japanese name and image were too close to his own. "I am truly sorry for what I did 20 years ago," Geller tweeted today. "Kids and grownups I am releasing the ban. It's now all up to #Nintendo to bring my #kadabra #pokemon card back. It will probably be one of the rarest cards now! Much energy and love to all!" As Screenrant explains, while Kadabra is a word associated with magic, the Pokémon's Japanese name — variously written as Yungerer, Yungeller, and Yun Geller — seems to be a reference to Geller... Geller sued Nintendo over Kadabra in 2000, seeking damages and insisting the card stop being used in sets. "Nintendo turned me into an evil, occult Pokémon character. Nintendo stole my identity by using my name and my signature image," Geller said at the time.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

What Happened After Silicon Valley Tried to Make Telecommuting Permanent

Slashdot - 16 hours 41 min ago
California's state air quality mandates require each region to have a feasible plan for a 19% reduction in emissions by 2035. But "after a barrage of criticism from Silicon Valley businesses and Bay Area mayors, Metropolitan Transportation Commission planners have backed off a requirement to have employees from big companies work from home three days a week," reports the Bay Area News Group. Instead a compromise plan approved unanimously by commissioners last week "calls for big companies to have 60% of their employees take sustainable commutes — by transit, bike or carpooling — by 2035." Lawmakers, mayors and the business community railed against the remote work mandate, saying it would undercut the Bay Area's economy and encourage large companies to re-locate to cheaper regions. Transit supporters said work-from-home requirements would cut train and bus use without clear proof it would reduce the mileage of vehicle trips and emissions. The new proposal calls for no more than 40 percent of a company's workforce to commute by auto on an average workday by 2035. Farms and employers with fewer than 50 workers would be exempt. The plan encourages companies to subsidize transit passes, bikes, on-site employee housing, and commuter shuttles, as well as helping workers afford housing in walkable, transit-rich communities. Many large tech companies like Google and Facebook already provide shuttles and subsidize transit for their workers. It also suggests companies discourage workers from single-vehicle commutes by reducing parking spaces and raising parking fees, compressing work schedules and eliminating personal desks in favor of shared work spaces. The new proposal was designed with input from state lawmakers, the mayors of San Francisco and San Jose, county supervisors, and officials from the tech industry and transit groups, MTC commissioner Nick Josefowitz said. "This is a much more effective policy," said Josefowitz, chief of policy at the regional think tank SPUR. "This is figuring out how to do it better with everybody at the table." Gwen Litvak of the business coalition Bay Area Council said the work-from-home mandate would have hurt urban centers and businesses. "The compromise will help revitalize downtowns, and gives business critical flexibility to have workers carpool, use public transit, ride bikes or walk, or even work remotely, but by their own choice," she said. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said the revisions better reflect how his city is evolving — from a suburban, car-centric culture to a city focused on developing a dense commercial and residential core supported by a robust transit network... Liccardo said part of Silicon Valley's success springs from having talented employees working side-by-side, exchanging ideas and innovations. Remote work reduces some creative energy. "We cannot impose mandates that contradict the laws of human nature and the laws of creative industry," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

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