Friday Five for May 26th, 2017

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 at 14:07

Call for Volunteers for First Fridays

We are looking for volunteers for next week's First Fridays, taking place on June the 2nd.
First Fridays is a bi-monthly tech support service for UCLA retirees and emeriti. Generally speaking, these folks need help with their smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Topics include: 
  • How do I take a picture?
  • How do I get the pictures off my phone?
  • My phone does this thing, how can I make it stop?
It's the easiest tech support you'll ever give, and they are some of the most grateful and kindest patrons you'll ever work with!! First Fridays takes place from 10a-12p in the first floor Research Commons of YRL, near the CLICC laptop lending desk. Please email if you'd like to volunteer.
Read more:
Details and testimonials.

A Chinese Company is Offering Free Training for US Coal Miners to Become Wind Farmers

If you want to truly understand what's happening in the energy industry, the best thing to do is to travel deep into the heart of American coal country, to Carbon County, Wyoming.
The state produces the most coal in the US, and Carbon County has long been known (and was named) for its extensive coal deposits. But the state's mines have been shuttering over the past few years, causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs in 2016 alone. Now, these coal miners are finding hope, offered from an unlikely place: a Chinese wind-turbine maker wants to retrain these American workers to become wind-farm technicians. It's the perfect metaphor for the massive shift happening in the global energy markets.
Read more:

Panasonic Recalls 280,000 Tablet Battery Packs Due to Fire Hazard

Panasonic this week announced a voluntary recall of batteries due to fire and burn hazards. The battery packs being recalled were used in one of its rugged tablets. In total, the company is recalled 280,000 battery packs, after over a dozen of them encountered critical failures.
Panasonic has discovered that some of the hot-swappable battery packs used in some of its rugged Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets (Mk1, M2, and M3-series) can short circuit after a prolonged use in extreme temperatures.
Read more:
Not-so-rugged batteries.

Researchers Design Moisture-Responsive Workout Suit

A team of MIT researchers has designed a breathable workout suit with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete's body heat and sweat. These flaps, which range from thumbnail- to finger-sized, are lined with live microbial cells that shrink and expand in response to changes in humidity. The cells act as tiny sensors and actuators, driving the flaps to open when an athlete works up a sweat, and pulling them closed when the body has cooled off.
Read more:

The FCC's Case Against Net Neutrality Rests on a Deliberate Misrepresentation of How the Internet Works

The FCC has just published the notice of proposed rulemaking that would roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality. Its first and primary justification for doing this is a way of defining broadband access that's so backwards it's ridiculous. It would be funny, if the future of the internet didn't depend on this incredibly disingenuous maneuvering.
After the introductory bloviation and half-told history, the "Restoring Internet Freedom" proposal begins its argument in earnest. The first point the FCC makes is regarding the text of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and how it defines "telecommunications service" (how broadband is currently defined, allowing net neutrality rules to be effected) and "information service" (how it was before the net neutrality rule).
Read more:
Bloviation is the word of the day.