Several years ago I read a piece in The New York Times by Adam Liptak about Ryan Holle. Ryan, who had no prior record, is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole in Florida. He was convicted of pre-meditated murder, even though no one, including the prosecutor, disputes that Ryan was asleep in his bed at home at the time of the crime. This could only happen in America, because we are the only country that retains the Felony Murder Rule. What the Felony Murder Rule essentially says is if anyone has anything to do with a felony in which a murder takes place, such as a robbery, that person is as guilty as the person who has committed the murder. Every other country including England, India and Canada has gotten rid of it because of its unintended consequences. In America, Michigan, Kentucky and Hawaii no longer have the law. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled, when they discarded the Felony Murder Rule, that a person should be held responsible for his own actions not the actions of others.
Studio Roosegaarde promised the design back in 2012, and after cutting through rather a lot of government red tape we can finally see the finished product.
One Netherlands news report said, “It looks like you are driving through a fairytale,” which pretty much sums up this extraordinary project. The studio aims to bring technology and design to the real world, with practical and beautiful results.
Back in October 2012, Daan Roosegaarde, the studio’s founder and lead designer, told us: “One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave. I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”
Part of that vision included weather markings—snowdrops, for instance, would appear when the temperature reached a certain level. For now though, the stretch of the N329 highway in Oss features only the glow-in-the-dark road markings, created using a photo-luminescent powder integrated into the road paint, developed in conjunction with road construction company Heijmans.
My girl says I am the luckiest person on earth, I don’t know how she can say that. The only thing I have ever won is two tickets to the Rangers game from ESPN for being the biggest slacker at work. I sent in a stop animation video I filmed making my coffee Mug dance. After the Mega Millions ballooned to over 400 Million the other day, I thought it would be funny to Photoshop the winning numbers on to a ticket and trick her into thinking we had just become multimillionaires. I casually left the fake ticket in a pile of other legit tickets she bought. I said babe go to www.lottery.net and check the numbers, I have a great feeling about this one! The look on her face was priceless as she discovered we had won, but I soon broke the news that this was another one of my scams and lets just say I didn’t get Lucky that night. This was a great way to see if she really loved me or was just after my fake money. In light of this story listen to Daft Punk and check out a few other crazy Lottery Tales.
CPS Takes Daughter Away from Parents Because they Smoked Weed While She Was Asleep. Daughter Beaten to Death in Foster Home.
ROUND ROCK — He never thought his visit with her Thursday, July 25 would be his last.
“We got to sit down at McDonalds and have lunch and play for a while,” said Round Rock resident Joshua Hill.
“She got a little ‘Despicable Me 2′ toy in her happy meal and she loved it. She kept climbing up in my lap and she fed me french fries.”
But on Monday night, Hill’s daughter Alexandria, or Alex as they liked to call her, was rushed to a Rockdale hospital with severe head injuries, then flown to Scott and White Children’s Emergency Hospital in Temple and immediately placed on life support.
Alex was living with foster parents after DFPS removed her from her parent’s home last November for “neglectful supervision.”
My friend Benny Blanco passed away this past weekend and I would like to send my condolences to his friends and family. I met Benny attending Five Towns College a few years back, he was one of the most knowledgeable musicians I’ve met in my life. (more…)
About a month ago, Rouslan Toumaniantz, a well known and sometimes notorious Belgium-based tattoo artist (of Tattoo Box in Kortrijk), and Lesya, a designer living at the time in Saransk, a city in central Russia started talking via chat (Rouslan speaks fluent Russian) and realized they had a lot in common, and quickly began falling head over heels in love.
Intel Is Reportedly Going To Destroy The Cable Model By Offering People The Ability To Subscribe To Individual Channels
Intel is reportedly on the cusp of delivering something that consumers around the world have been wanting for a long, long time.
Kelly Clay at Forbes reports Intel is going to blow up the cable industry with its own set-top box and an unbundled cable service.
Clay says Intel is planning to deliver cable content to any device with an Internet connection. And instead of having to pay $80 a month for two hundred channels you don’t want, you’ll be able to subscribe to specific channels of your choosing.
Here’s the key paragraph:
This set-top box, said by industry insiders to be available to a limited beta of customers in March, will offer cable channels delivered “over the top” to televisions anywhere there is an Internet connection regardless of provider. (Microsoft Mediaroom, for example, requires AT&T’s service, and Xbox has limited offerings for Comcast and FiOS customers). For the first time, consumers will be able to subscribe to content per channel, unlike bundled cable services, and you may also be able to subscribe per show as well. Intel’s set-top box will also have access to Intel’s already existing app marketplace for apps, casual games, and video on demand. Leveraging the speed of current broadband, and the vast shared resources of the cloud, Intel plans to give customers the ability to use “Cloud DVR”, a feature intended to allow users to watch any past TV show at any time, without the need to record it ahead of time, pause live tv, and rewind shows in progress.
This is a holy-grail of sorts for people that subscribe to cable.
We’ve been skeptical of Intel’s ability to make a dent in the TV market. If it somehow manages to deliver this unbundled channel option, we’re more optimistic Intel could have success.
Before anyone gets too excited, Janko Roettgers at GigaOm is skeptical it happens. Roettgers knows the TV business very well.
The reason its unlikely to happen is that content companies don’t really want to see cable blown up. It’s been very good to them.
Last summer, Peter Kafka at All Things D poured cold water on the idea of Intel unbundling. Not only is going to be hard to make it happen, it’s unclear if it would even save money for cable subscribers:
Those bundles are core to today’s TV ecosystem. And the TV guys insist that consumers really don’t want “a la carte” programming, because if they do, the channels/shows they like today will end up costing much, much more.
Disney, for instance, charges TV distributors about $5 for every subscriber that gets ESPN. And, by some estimates, only about 25 percent of cable customers actually watch ESPN on a regular basis. So if you unbundled ESPN, the per-subscriber cost might shoot up to $20 or more, to account for the 75 percent drop in its customer base.
Shit just got real…
My boy Isaac Colinares aka C4 Sinistah wrote this about the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
I am looking into my heart to find a piece of relevant words that will appear to give voice to what happened in Connecticut; There is nothing to give a parent back after taking the life of there babies the life spirit is attached and sync to that Child from and before Birth; we all have confirmation of loving someone beyond measures of understanding tonight we should all as Human Beings give all we can to those families effected in Sandy Hook Elementary School. A Kindagarten Class! the environment of early innocence a place where you will never break a curse word in, a place where you hold your first shapes and learn friends and key communication skills the little ones, our angels. This is a symbiosis of human failure at it’s highest, may hands from Gods purest take them away into a world with no violence or upkeep may the drifts of time. Never forget these children of Sandy Hook and may the tears of the world go with them into the next.
In peace with harmony ~ Bornvision~
(Phys.org)—Taiwan-based Macronix has found a solution for a weakness in flash memory fadeout. A limitation of flash memory is simply that eventually it cannot be used; the more cells in the memory chips are erased, the less useful to store data. The write-erase cycles degrade insulation; eventually the cell fails. “Flash wears out after being programmed and erased about 10,000 times,” said the IEEE Spectrum. Engineers at Macronix have a solution that moves flash memory over to a new life. They propose a “self-healing” NAND flash memory solution that can survive over 100 million cycles. Ads by Google Roark Management – Computer Support & Repair Small Business Technology Solutions – www.RoarkInc.com News of their findings appears in the IEEE Spectrum, discussing flash memory’s limitations and the Taiwan company’s solution. Macronix is a manufacturer in the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) market, with a NOR Flash, NAND Flash, and ROM products. Before their solution announcement, though, many engineers inside and outside of Macronix were aware of a life-giving workaround: heat. The snag is that applying heat was not found to be practical. As the Macronix team put it, the “long baking time is impractical for real time operation.” Although subjecting the cells to high heat could return memory, the process was problematic; the entire memory chip would need heating for hours at around 250 °C. They redesigned a flash memory chip to include onboard heaters to anneal small groups of memory cells. Applying a brief jolt of heat to a very restricted area within the chip (800 degrees C) returns the cell to a “good” state. They said that the process does not have to be run all that often. According to project member Hang‑Ting Lue, the annealing can be done infrequently and on one sector at a time while the device is inactive but still connected to the power source. It would not drain a cellphone battery, he added. Macronix estimates that the flash memory cells could beat the 10,000 cycle limit by lasting for as much as for 100 million cycles but a commercial product is not imminent. Instead, Macronix will present their approach—very high temperature in a very short time— this month at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) from December 10 to 12 in San Francisco. This is the forum for presenting breakthroughs in semiconductor and electronic device technology. Lue observed that in coming up with the approach, his team would not be able to lay claim to any new physics principle. “We could have done this ten years ago.” He said it took merely a leap of imagination into a different “regime.” For their upcoming IEEE presentation, they said they propose and demonstrate a novel self-healing flash, where a high temperature (>800°C), and short time annealing are generated by a built-in heater. “We discover that a BE-SONOS charge-trapping NAND Flash device can be quickly annealed within a few milliseconds,” they said. Their presentation is titled “Radically Extending the Cycling Endurance of Flash Memory (to > 100M Cycles) by Using Built-in Thermal Annealing to Self-heal the Stress-Induced Damage.” The authors are H.-T. Lue, P.-Y. Du, C.-P. Chen, W.-C. Chen, C.-C. Hsieh, Y.-H. Hsiao, Y.-H. Shih, and C.-Y. Lu.
A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death today after falling into the African painted dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.
Pittsburgh police Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said the boy’s 34-year-old mother placed the child in a standing position on a wooden railing overlooking the enclosure.
“Almost immediately after that he lost his balance, fell down off the railing into the actual pit and he was immediately attacked by 11 dogs,” Lt. Kraus said.
The incident occurred at 11:48 a.m. at the Highland Park complex, according to an emergency dispatch supervisor. The zoo was shut down within a half-hour of the incident and will remain closed indefinitely.
Zoo President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Baker said at a news conference shortly after the incident that the child fell over the wooden railing and off of a mesh barrier where the painted dogs were on display. A zoo spokeswoman and police said the wooden railing is 4 feet in height and the lower mesh barrier is 11 feet 4 inches above the open exhibit space.
“The screams just kept coming and coming: ‘Someone help. Someone has to do something,’” recounted Angela Cinti, 20, of Bethel Park, who was visiting the zoo today with her boyfriend Nick Kramer, 16, of Bethel Park.
Lt. Kraus said zoo personnel responded within minutes. The first personnel on scene were able to lure seven of the dogs away from the victim and into a secure and separated area. A second set of personnel began “throwing objects and some other techniques that they use” to secure three more dogs.
He said the final dog, which was acting very aggressively toward the victim and zoo personnel, was shot multiple times by two Pittsburgh police officers and died.
Lt. Kraus said none of the people who observed the child fall into the enclosure made an attempt to go after him. The news release from zoo officials noted that keepers attempted to enter the yard but were unable to reach the child.
One ineffective technique used by zoo personnel to lure the animals away from the child was to fire “dummy tranquilizer rounds,” Lt. Kraus said.
Information released from the zoo indicated that “unfortunately, the dogs were in pack mentality and not responding.”
The child was pronounced dead at the scene 12 p.m.
The incident is under investigation by police and the zoo. Lt. Kraus said it would be inappropriate to speculate on potential charges at this time and the bureau will continue to investigate to determine if anything could have been prevented.
Police said the boy and his mother are from Pleasant Hills and were visiting the zoo with relatives, an adult and another child, at the time of the incident.
Ms. Cinti described a horrifying scene that lasted a little more than 5 minutes but seemed like hours.
“We were on our way to the polar bear exhibit when we heard the most horrible piercing screams. … Someone was begging for help, asking someone to do something,” she said. The couple ran back in the direction they came from, passing the bear exhibits. The screams continued.
As they reached the painted dog exhibit, she saw a small crowd of distressed onlookers. “One woman with a baby in the stroller was screaming that someone needed to do something,” Ms. Cinti said. She said she could see the little boy’s apparently lifeless body lying on the hill inside the exhibit. “There were three dogs: one at his head, one on the left side of his neck and another one down by his leg. … A [zoo employee] got there and hopped over a fence with a rake and he was banging … trying to distract the dogs but they wouldn’t move,” she said.
Ms. Cinti, a student at Community College of Allegheny County, tracked the time frame with her cell phone, saying she made a call at 11:49 a.m. when she and her boyfriend first headed toward the commotion. She said her cell phone shows that the call was ended five minutes and five seconds later, when a half-dozen zoo employees arrived and dispersed the crowd.
Bart DePasquale, who was at the zoo today with his two children for a birthday party, was near the tiger exhibit when he heard screams coming from the direction of the African painted dogs exhibit.
“People were yelling ‘Get away,’ and ‘Stay away,’ and it wasn’t just one person, it was an entire group of people,” said Mr. DePasquale, 29, of Fox Chapel. “The screams sounded heavily distressed and the people were using profanity. They were shouting to zoo employees.”
Mr. DePasquale and Ms. Cinti said they were told to go inside the nearest buildings where they were kept there for about a half hour.
“We were locked down in the building and told to stay inside. … We thought it was a problem with one of the animals that got loose. Then we were told it was an incident with the wild dogs and that a child had been hurt.”
When patrons were told the zoo was closed and they needed to leave, Mr. DePasquale said, “On the way out, I saw a mother who was distressed and crying and other people who couldn’t even talk about it. … People and anyone who had been close were almost in tears, were walking out glassy-eyed. That’s when multiple people told me the dogs attacked a young child.”
Ms. Baker said the zoo initially declared a “code blue,” meaning an accident involving a human had occurred. That was followed with a “code red,” meaning that there was a serious human emergency.
Ms. Baker said no decision has been made about the future of the exhibit.
The African painted dog exhibit debuted after the October 2009 birth of the pups. A surrogate mutt was drafted into service for the nine pups after their natural mother died of a ruptured uterus. In the spring of this year, nine of the 11 painted dogs escaped a section of their enclosure causing a brief shutdown of the zoo.
Ms. Baker said at that time on May 5 that the dogs got into a 1.5-acre “backup yard” not visible to the public, but the dogs were not out of their exhibit.
African painted dogs are an endangered species.
In September, the zoo announced that it had again been accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums after a review of its animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety.
AZA is a nonprofit organization with a team of professionals that inspect and review each zoo or aquarium seeking accreditation. Currently 224 facilities have been recognized and approved by the organization, including eight in Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh zoo has been recognized by AZA since 1986.The accreditation commission evaluates every zoo and aquarium to determine if they meet accepted standards for safety policies and procedures, security, physical facilities, animal management and care, health and nutrition, veterinary programs, involvement in conservation and research and education programs.
Read more: http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12309/1274415-53.stm#ixzz2BItIqZcU
The young couple had been planning on getting married in the future, but unfortunately, Anne unexpectedly died on January 3rd in a car accident before the couple could set a date.
During the unusual ceremony, which was recorded and photographed, Deffy, dressed in an all black tuxedo, can be seen kissing his late girlfriend and putting a ring on her finger.
Touching and creepy all at the same time.
The term “Crackberry” seems silly today — and not just because consumers OD’ed on Blackberry and moved on to iDealers. The term arose in an earlier “aughts” time when Blackberry dominated the smartphone market and lawyers and execs were nearly the only ones who had them, due to their need to be able to respond to email immediately. Things have changed. Now we all need to be able to respond to email immediately. And to tweet. And to instantly share our photos on Facebook. We’re all addicted to technology now, and not just to the Blackberry. We’re “addicted” to our iPhones, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Android, and Pinterest, and iPads, and Word with Friends, and fill-in-the-blank-with-your-digital-dope-of-choice.
The sudden and dramatic advent of social-media-enabling technologies into our lives seems to be causing some mid-digital-life crises. Not only has Silicon Valley developed a guilty conscience about addicting us to screens, we the users are starting to question how technology is changing us: making us fat, making us unhealthy, making us depressed, making us lonely, making us narcissistic, and making us waste time worrying about whether it’s making us fat, unhealthy, depressed, narcissistic and/or lonely. That’s leading some users to consider abandoning the whole enterprise. My colleague Haydn Shaughnessy gave up his smartphone last year. Now, inspired by the example of former Facebooker Katherine Losse, he’s considering giving up Facebook.
I am writing with some words of caution. I used to say that “if you’re not on Facebook, it’s possible you don’t actually exist.” I think it’s time to update that, courtesy of Slashdot: Facebook abstainers will be labeled suspicious.
Is Facebook Making You Lonely? Don’t Be Stupid.
Sitting is Killing You
Facebook, Twitter? Can The Decline of Social Media Come Fast Enough?
We’re All Internet Addicts, And We’re All Screwed, Says Newsweek
Slashdot flagged a German news story in which an expert noted that mass murderers Anders Breivik and James Holmes both lacked much of a social media presence, leading to the conclusion, in Slashdot’s phrasing, that “not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.”
That’s a tad extreme, but I’m seeing the suggestion more and more often that a missing Facebook account raises red flags. After a woman found out via Facebook that a man who’d ‘poked’ her in real life had a long term girlfriend, she turned to digital manners advice givers Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe of Slate to ask whether she should tell the girlfriend. They said she should and then went on a digression about transparent romances in the age of Facebook:
Farhad: I think we’ve mentioned it before that if you are going out with someone and they don’t have a Facebook profile, you should be suspicious.
Emily: Wait a minute. You may have mentioned that.
Farhad: I think I’ve recommended that. You know why, though? Imagine if this guy didn’t have a Facebook profile. That’s why. You should be suspicious of someone who is not making your relationship known publicly on a site like Facebook. I’m going to go on record with that.
Emily: I’m fine with people not having a Facebook page if they don’t want one. However, I think you’re right. If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag.
via Transcript: Facebook stalker: Should I tell a cheating guy’s girlfriend that we hooked up? – Slate Magazine.
It’s not just love seekers who worry about what the lack of a Facebook account means. Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?
The idea that a Facebook resister is a potential mass murderer, flaky employee, and/or person who struggles with fidelity is obviously flawed. There are people who choose not to be Facebookers for myriad non-psychopathic reasons: because they find it too addictive, or because they hold their privacy dear, or because they don’t actually want to know what their old high school buddies are up to. My own boyfriend isn’t on Facebook and I don’t hold it against him (too much).
But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.
Case in point: Katherine Losse, the ex-Facebook employee that quit the company and the social network after cashing in her stock options, and who inspired my colleague to consider UnFacebooking, couldn’t stay off Facebook for long. She wound up opening a new account.
“You can’t get away from it. It’s everything. It’s everywhere,” she told the Washington Post. “The moment we’re in now is about trying to deal with all this technology rather than rejecting it, because obviously we can’t reject it entirely.”
Well, you can, but it might lead to your being rejected down the line too.