"It’s not the police, but the people they stop, who can prevent a detention from turning into a tragedy." #Opinion

Former LAPD officer Sunil Dutta, a professor of homeland security at Colorado Tech University, argues on The Washington Post that it is not the police officer, but the people they stop, who are ultimately responsible for how an encounter with law enforcement turns out.

Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?

Meanwhile, Ryan Devereaux, of The Intercept, recalls his encounter with the Ferguson PD, where he was shot with rubber bullets and arrested, despite identifying himself as a journalist, with his hands raised in the air.

[…] With their high-powered lights scanning the neighborhood, the only option we had was to announce ourselves as members of the press and hope they wouldn’t shoot. We stepped out of the shadows, our hands in the air, and began yelling, “Press!” and “Journalists!” and “We’re media!” over and over. An officer on top of the vehicle turned his light on us. After a pause, he beckoned us forward. We continued walking, our hands still in the air, still shouting that we were journalists.

With rifles trained on us, we turned right on Highmunt Dr., in the direction of W. Florissant and toward another police vehicle, which had more guns pointed at us. As we made our way forward, I heard a pop and felt a stinging in my lower back. I jumped up instinctively, and realized that the officers behind us, the ones who had asked us to move forward, had shot us with what I believe were rubber bullets. I was hit once and Hermsmeier was hit twice.

The shooting left a mean bruise, but all the guns trained on us provided an ample distraction from the sting. We were frightened. […] http://dlvr.it/6gZ6cf

Less is Absorbed from Reading on a Kindle than on a Paper Book #Literature

According to researchers, it is easier to remember what one has read on a paper book than on a Kindle, due to haptic and tactile feedback that the digital reader fails to provide.

"When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right," said Mangen. "You have the tactile sense of progress, in addition to the visual … [The differences for Kindle readers] might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story, is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading. Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story."

Mangen also pointed to a paper published last year, which gave 72 Norwegian 10th-graders texts to read in print, or in PDF on a computer screen, followed by comprehension tests. She and her fellow researchers found that “students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally”. http://dlvr.it/6gYBJb

Why the Smell of Rain is So Nice #Nature

PBS’ “It’s Okay to be Smart”

On PBS’ It’s Okay to be Smart, Joe Hanson, Ph.D. biologist and science writer, explains why rain smells so nice and how important that is.

And beyond just being pleasant and nostalgic, those smells are actually useful to some living things, such as telling plants when it’s time to grow, guiding camels across the desert, and even signaling some fish when it’s time to get “romantic”. http://dlvr.it/6gPpGh

Triple-E Container Ship Leaves Spain With Record Load #Companies

gCaptain notes that the Triple-E class container ship MV Mary Maersk left Spain with a world record 17,603 containers loaded. The ship, which can carry 18,270 containers, requires modification at ports to allow for its full capacity to be utilised.

MV Mary Mearsk is the third vessel in Maersk Line’s Triple-E class, which have nominal capacity of 18,270 TEU, although port restrictions have prevented the vessels from reaching full capacity.

“Algeciras has been preparing for full utilisation of the Triple-E for more than a year,” says Carlos Arias, head of the South Europe Liner Operations Cluster. “This included the upgrading of four existing cranes and the arrival of four new Triple-E cranes.” http://dlvr.it/6gNVpG

"The Star Wars that was released in 1977 no longer exists." #Star Wars

Star Wars Despecialized Edition

Polygon introduces us to the Despecialized Edition, which quite literally takes the Star Wars of now and remasters it like it’s 1977.

The Despecialized Edition is the years-long work of a diverse group of people who have taken elements from many different sources and created the ultimate version of the first Star Wars film. It has also been upgraded to display properly on high definition screens, with high-quality sounds and a near perfect image.

The latest Blu-Ray release of the film serves as the skeleton for this edition, but elements of the 2006 bonus DVD that included the unaltered version of the film was also used to remove special effects and edits that were added by Lucas. http://dlvr.it/6gM5sc

Sand Packaging #Art

On The Tree Mag, and conceived by Alien and Monkey, comes sand packaging a packaging concept made entirely out of sand.

As an answer to the increase of waste in modern society, we have developed a material using one of earth’s most abundant natural resources, sand, to create packaging for precious gifts. http://dlvr.it/6g18F1

Nuclear Batteries #Technology

TechCrunch puts the spotligt on UPower Technologies, which is planning on making available miniature nuclear power plants that would provide a decade of power at 40% less cost than competing technologies. Unlike regular reactors, this one acts like a nuclear battery: once switched on, it safely stays so without the need of human intervention. Best of all, it is “immune to Fukushima-type accidents.” When the battery is depleted, the waste fuel is simply recycled to power another battery.

The reactor generates 7 MW worth of heat, which comes out to about 2 MW worth of electricity once converted. That’s enough to power 2,000 homes in places like Alaska and others with lower demand for electricity. It’s also enough to power entire mining operations or military bases in places where constantly having fuel for large diesel generators shipped is too difficult or expensive.

Radioactive waste, while still an issue due to the nature of nuclear fission, is less of a pain than with traditional power plant designs in use today. The reactor, in addition to being fuel agnostic (it can use thorium, uranium, or recycled fuel) can actually reduce the half life of existing waste, and spent fuel from it can be reused in another reactor with some processing. http://dlvr.it/6fsnyq

Bolivia’s Subway in the Sky #Travel

Sky-gondolas as mass-transit

On The New York Times, William Neuman compares what the subway did to New York City with what a mass-transit sky-gondola has done to the Bolivian cities of La Paz and El Alto, cities built on some rugged, mountaineous terrain.

“It’s a wonder,” said Carlos Flores, 60, a printer, standing in a long line to board a cable car on a recent Sunday at La Paz’s Central Station (Estación Central in Spanish, or Taypi Uta in Aymara, the predominant indigenous language in El Alto). Referring to one of his country’s natural marvels, Mr. Flores said, “We say that Lake Titicaca is a wonder, and now we have another one.”

Much as the subway system changed New York in the early 20th century, the cable-car system has the potential to transform La Paz and El Alto, connecting distant neighborhoods to the city center, raising real estate values, slashing commute times and altering social relations. http://dlvr.it/6frYyT

Renovo Coupe: Retro-Looking All-Electric Supercar #Technology

Looking more like a car you’d expect to have raced next to a Ferrari GTO, the Renovo Coupe claims to be the fastest and most classic-looking electric supercar ever. They got the classic down pat for sure.

The Coupe offers a new and unique viewpoint on the supercar segment. “Our motivation to design and build our cars is not artificially tied to any particular propulsion technology,” notes Jason Stinson, Renovo Motors CTO. “Simply put, we can do things with electric vehicles that can’t be replicated by any other platform. Exploring these areas, reducing them to practice, and building them into our products is at the core of what we do best.”

The Coupe’s incredible performance is made possible by the patent-pending battery technology developed by the Renovo team. Multiple separate battery enclosures enable a performance-oriented weight distribution and minimize chassis volume requirements. The Renovo Motors drivetrain is less than 40% of the total weight of the car, and yet delivers the highest peak power in its class. http://dlvr.it/6fq7hL

The Most Popular iTunes App is By Tom Hanks #Telephone

Simply called the Hanx Writer, this app created by Tom Hanks is nothing more than a digital version of a typewriter, complete with ding! sound. The app is currently number one in the iTunes app store. Considering the article goes on length about Hanks love for typewriters, it leaves a bitter-sweet taste that additional options for the app have to be purchased through it.

[…]Unlike real typewriters, however, this version has a handy delete key. The app is free, though users can purchase different colors, texts and styles.

On the app’s welcome screen, Hanks explains how he became a collector of typewriters: “I write without caring about typeovers, XXXX’d out words, goofy syntax, & bad spelling because the feel & sound of a typewriter is satisfying in ways that couldn’t be matched — Until now!” http://dlvr.it/6fYbB5

What the USB Port Has Replaced #Computers

And nothing to replace it yet

You might not exactly love the USB port, but considering that it replaced two com ports (or more if you ran a BBS), a parallel port, a game port, and assorted PS/2 ports, we might excuse its imperfections. ArsTechnica looks at its history, what came before it and what’s waiting with USB Type-C.

Some of these ports required their own dedicated expansion cards, they all took up a bunch of space, and they were often fussy when it came time to configure or troubleshoot them. By the late 90s, computers were starting to come with a couple of USB ports, usually a couple of them on the back of the system—these were usually USB 1.1 ports, capable of speeds up to 12Mbps (or 1.5Mbps for peripherals like keyboards and mice). Accessory makers didn’t all make the switch to USB right away, but keyboards, mice, printers, and other accessories began to include USB ports and connectors as an option, then as the primary interface. http://dlvr.it/6fTsx5

Solid: 3D-Printed Titanium Bike #Products

Conceived by Portland-based Industry and Ti Cycles, this commuter bike by the name of Solid has a 3D-printed titanium frame, making for a remarkably durable yet light body.

Leveraging Ti Cycles’ 25 years of working with titanium, Industry utilized their signature ‘Super Commuter’ platform. The criteria for this platform is a titanium frame and sub-assemblies for its light weight and strong properties, belt drive for high durability, internal geared hub for effortless shifting, disc brakes, Dynamo for electronics, fenders, and internal wiring. Industry redefined the bike gesture by pushing the boundaries of the material and frame design. In order to make it truly seamless they 3D-printed key parts in collaboration with i3DMFG, and brought together old and new techniques. This is the bike redefined. http://dlvr.it/6fKJ42

"Many countries now routinely use computer attacks for intelligence and military purposes." #War

Researchers note spike in malware attacks prior to traditional warfare

The MIT Technology Review brings to attention research done by security company FireEye which, by monitoring “millions of malware messages sent over the past 18 months,” discovered spikes in malware activity prior to the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas conflicts.

The FireEye study drew on data collected from more than 5,000 corporate and government clients around the world. FireEye’s software captures “callback” messages sent by malware inside a network—either reporting its status to its operators or picking up new commands. Those messages were used to determine the location of the computer controlling the malware.

The patterns were most likely caused by government agencies ramping up efforts to gather intelligence or attack their adversaries, says Kenneth Geers, who worked on the project. “In the run-up to the Crimea crisis, you saw a rise of malware callbacks in both Russia and Ukraine,” he said at the Black Hat computer security conference Thursday. http://dlvr.it/6fHzX4

How Cities Die #Travel

The Guardian introduces us to the city of Yubari, Japan, a place where 90% of the population left once the last colliery closed. With a median age of 57 in 2010, the remaining population is rapidly decreasing"– about a dozen people die in Yubari for every child born." And yet, despite it’s imminent demise, the city is still run in that mythical Japanese style.

Yubari has other lessons for the rust-belts of the west, too, although the lessons may be unlearnable. There’s no graffiti, no vandalism and scarcely any crime. Whole years can elapse without a single felony. In 2013 there was less than a single crime of any description per week. Best of all, the state has not abdicated or shirked its responsibilities: there are still at least a dozen post offices, the fire engines are spit-polished and ready to respond to the monthly fire, and the public payphones, should you need one, are immaculate. Nor is the state rapacious: if you qualify, two-bedroom apartments in newish public blocks rent for around £150 a month, there are 40 sheltered housing units for the elderly that rent for less than £30 a month, and if you’re old and poor enough, someone will come and shovel your snow away for nothing. http://dlvr.it/6fGbtR

"In many American cities, you can now get just about anything delivered, at the touch of a smartphone button, within an hour." #Workplace

In her series about the instant gratification economy, ReCode’s Liz Gannes looks at the variety of delivery services accessible via smartphone that are emerging and the people that work for them. Among her examples, Instacart, which provides personalised grocery shopping on your behalf, or Munchery which promises to deliver meals created by the best chefs in town.

it can be too easy to forget that people make “instant” happen. And, generally, these people are not a traditionally stable workforce. They are instead a flexible and scalable network of workers — “fractional employees” — that tap in and tap out as needed, and as suits them.

It’s estimated that more than 100,000 of these jobs have been created, especially due to the largest on-demand mobile services: The ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, whose drivers provide alternatives to taxis and other forms of transportation. http://dlvr.it/6dyg92