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Robert Collins
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Wow. This is a fascinating discovery. When they start talking about revising the anatomy textbooks, you know it's good. 
In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. The discovery could have profound implications for diseases from autism to Alzheimer's to multiple sclerosis.
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A few weeks ago, we gave you a sneak peek of our 600kW energy kite as we moved it out into the world. Now we’re ready to test it, starting this month here in Northern California. 

We’ve already tested the 600kW energy kite’s subsystems over the past few months, and this will be the first time we see how everything works together. While we can’t wait to see our new energy kite fully in action, we’re going to start off slowly by testing things incrementally. We need to get to know our energy kite first, and have it complete individual tasks successfully before giving it more advanced tasks. This means repeatedly performing functions as basic as powering the kite’s motors on and off, or getting the kite to hover with shorter tethers before we use a full-length tether. By testing close to our Alameda headquarters, our team will be able to quickly solve any issues that come up. Our engineers and scientists may even end up rapidly redesigning and rebuilding components as needed to ensure we have the best energy kite possible before we head off to Hawaii for our pilot project.

Check out these photos of our team completing final tests of our subsystems while putting the finishing touches on our 600kW energy kite.
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Interesting [short] look at US vs UK approaches to libel.
 
"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'"

It's sometimes easy to forget that European and American notions of the rule of law aren't all that similar. For all that Cameron's quote sounds alarming, the actual laws being proposed are even more so; they would grant courts the power to "silence any group or individual they believe is undermining democracy or the British values of tolerance and mutual respect," banning them from doing things like speaking in public or forming organizations. 

The UK has always had a very different approach to speech than the US. Libel laws are perhaps the most famous illustration; in the US, truth is an affirmative defense to libel -- that is, if you can prove that what you said is true, then it's not libel. (Which is key to the operation of the press) Under UK law, libel isn't an offense of making false statements which damage someone's reputation; it's about damaging someone's reputation, period, and so "the greater the truth, the greater the libel." This has led the UK to be such a site of "libel tourism" -- that is, of powerful people suing anyone who speaks against them -- that a few years ago, the US decided it would refuse to honor or assist in any UK libel prosecutions whatsoever.

Also relevantly, the UK has its (in)famous "anti-social behavior ordinances," the template for the new proposal, which permit courts to issue injunctions banning individuals or groups from any kind of behavior they consider to be detrimental to society, without a specific law banning it. (The non-uniform application of these laws as a function of things like race and class happens about exactly as you would anticipate)

These are far from the only examples, and what they illustrate is a fundamentally different approach to the rule of law: in European law, the power of the government to rule -- that is, to establish and enforce norms -- takes precedence over any individual rights, whereas in the US, the reverse is the case. 

However, these are far from uncontroversial, even within Europe; as the article below shows, this particular law was stopped for years because the Conservative Party couldn't convince their largest coalition partner (the Lib Dems) that this was a good idea. It was last week's election that gave them the votes to do this without anyone else. The BBC reports that "there is likely to be some opposition in the new Parliament on the grounds that some of the plans could infringe people's right to free speech," but whether this opposition will actually amount to anything remains to be seen.

The main reason I'm highlighting this isn't the global significance of the law, so much as that it's important for understanding the British (and more generally, the European) approach to the law and to individuals. When we read about controversies of policy like the "right to be forgotten" between the two sides, it's worth understanding that in addition to our seeming similarities, there are extreme differences of culture and law at work, too.

Thanks to +Peter da Silva and +Steven Flaeck for the link.
David Cameron is to set out new powers aimed at tackling radicalisation, saying the UK has been a
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English libel law has historically been terrible, but the version presented here is really very inaccurate. Several commenters on the original post have pointed this out.
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Read this.
 
"Intelligence services are at least aware of the risk of losing a capability, unlike vanilla law enforcement, who once they have a tool will use it against absolutely everybody."
I'm at Princeton where Ed Snowden is due to speak by live video link in a few minutes, and have a discussion with Bart Gellmann. Yesterday he spent four hours with a group of cryptographers from industry and academia, of which I was privileged to be one. The topic was the possible and likely ...
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Feeling positive - just found out I was elected to the OpenStack Technical Committee. Will be a very interesting term, I hope.
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Well done Rob. A win for OpenStack :)
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Fun fact: setuid() and similar calls can block. Or at least the glibc wrappers can. It turns out glibc does some surprisingly complicated stuff here: it wants to make sure that the call affects all threads in the process, so it actually sends signals to all other threads ordering them to update their xids and blocks until they all respond.

Of course, if one of your threads is calling some obscure ioctl() that puts it into an uninterruptible wait state, now your process is hosed.

Solution: syscall(SYS_setresuid, ...). I didn't actually want to modify the other threads anyway.

One of these days I'm going to get fed up and ditch glibc in favor of just using syscall() for everything. I feel like the abstraction layers it introduces do me more harm than good.
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Perhaps.  but my comment still stands, regardless of implementation details.
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Have them in circles
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Incredible clouds
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Beautiful 
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How one of Google's original engineers became a self-help guru, and why thousands are on waiting lists for his course.
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I've been on a meditation apprenticeship for the past 4 years or so, and now teach something similar.

Wherever you study, don't wait... this is important work. 
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Literally an experiment, as in a proper scientific experiment with controls.

Via +Cass Edwards, who added:

The verdict: basic incomes work. They make economic sense. They reduce harm. They empower the poorest and most vulnerable.
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Originally published as part of the first volume of the Practicing Ruby newsletter on February 11, 2011. Most of these issues draw inspiration from discussions and teaching sessions at my free online school, Mendicant University. Last week's massive article on SOLID was inspired by a great talk ...
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Companies should be flexible so employees can spend time with their kids, Branson says
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Oof. Bad day to be using a web browser. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.07373v2.pdf
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Open source hacker; bzr squid cygwin toolchain stuff python testresources subunit yada yada yada (Man google is nagging about not having enough profile data. What do they want? A life history....)
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