itwbennett writes "The young women working at Samsung's factory in Tianjin, China like their jobs about as much as factory workers anywhere. The work is boring and tiring, but it pays ok and there are perks (like air conditioning in the dorms), says 19-year-old Zhao Caixia. One 23-year-old woman, who assembles 200-300 camera lenses a day, told the IDG News Service's Michael Kan: 'You just keep doing the same thing over and over. There is nothing really to like, but nothing to really dislike either.' Labor rights group China Labor Watch tells a different story (PDF). One day after Samsung said it would audit its suppliers in China, the group reported cases of excessive overtime (exceeding 100 hours per month) and exhausting working conditions, with employees being made to stand for up to 12 hours for a single shift."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
jfruh writes "Networked cars — cars that can identify each other's location and prevent collisions — are coming soon, and will be a boon for safety, with one estimate having them cut accidents by 70 percent. But what happens to all the data the car will collect — about your location and driving behavior? It's worrisome that nobody seems to be thinking seriously about the privacy side of the equation."
1sockchuck writes "Intel has just concluded a year-long test in which it immersed servers in an oil bath, and has affirmed that the technology is highly efficient and safe for servers. The chipmaker is now working on reference designs, heat sinks and boards that are optimized for immersion cooling. 'We're evaluating how (immersion cooling) can change the way data centers are designed and operated,' said Mike Patterson, senior power and thermal architect at Intel. 'I think it will catch on. It's going to be a slow progression, but it will start in high-performance computing.' Intel's test used technology from Green Revolution Cooling, which says its design eliminates the need for raised flooring, CRAC units or chillers. Other players in immersion cooling include Iceotope and Hardcore (now LiquiCool)."
sam_handelman writes "The Gates Foundation responded to the critiques of its policies (previously discussed here) by inviting its critics at Education Week Teacher to a dialog on its own site. Edweek blogger Anthony Cody answered the challenge. The two sides negotiated a five-part series of post and counterpost, which can be viewed on both sites. Previous exchanges include Cody's question, Can Schools Defeat Poverty by Ignoring It?, and an answer from the Gates Foundation's Global Press Secretary, Chris Williams, Poverty Does Matter — But It Is Not Destiny. The final round of the dialog has begun, and is available for comment on the Gates Foundation's own blog. Slashdot readers may not know about Gates' sponsorship of specific edutech industry partners, such as Rupert Murdoch's Wireless Generation, and Pearson Education. Cody poses tough questions, including, 'Can the Gates Foundation reconsider and reexamine its own underlying assumptions, and change its agenda in response to the consequences we are seeing?' According to the agreement, the Gates Foundation will answer in the coming week, concluding the series."
RocketAcademy writes "Until recently, space policy has been a non-partisan issue. Even when politicians disagreed on space-policy issues, that disagreement rarely aligned with party lines. That has changed in the last few years. Now, one organization is throwing fuel on the political fire. The Space Frontier Foundation has called Republicans the Party of Big Government Space. SFF is upset about the GOP platform, which lacks specifics about space policy. According to the SFF, the GOP 'has nothing but hackneyed praise for NASA, and doesn't even mention the increasing role of the private sector.' The Obama campaign quickly echoed the statement. But NASA Watch points out that the Democratic platform is even less specific than the GOP's. Others express concerns that partisanship harms space policy."
An anonymous reader writes "With the launch of the Raspberry Pi, computers are becoming affordable again for the younger generations. Now what we need is kids learning about computers in greater detail, including what the hardware is inside the box, and how to create rather than just use software. Estonia looks to be the pace-setter in this regard, and has just announced that it is introducing computer programming learning for all children attending school. By all, I mean from grades 1 through to 12, meaning children as young as 6 will be writing their own code and producing software. The program is called 'ProgeTiiger' and is being introduced by the Estonian Tiger Leap Foundation as a pilot scheme to some Estonian schools this year. Next year the program will expand, adding programming groups for older kids who want to carry on activities outside of the classroom. Eventually it looks as though ProgeTiiger will become just another standard part of the curriculum, just like math and language studies are."
Barence writes "Microsoft has released Windows Server 2012, letting businesses test it for 90 days on the Azure cloud platform for free. There are two versions of the main edition of Windows Server 2012: one with virtualization support and one without. The former, the Data Center version, costs $4,809, while the Standard edition will cost $882. There's also an Essentials version, which replaces Small Business Server, for $501 per server, and Windows Server 2012 Foundation, which will only be available pre-installed on hardware." Ars has a detailed look at the new edition.
dcblogs writes "Social robots — machines with the ability to do grocery shopping, fix dinner and discuss the day's news — may gain limited rights, similar to those granted to pets. Kate Darling, a research specialist at the MIT Media Lab, looks at this broad issue in a recent paper, 'Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots.' 'The Kantian philosophical argument for preventing cruelty to animals is that our actions towards non-humans reflect our morality — if we treat animals in inhumane ways, we become inhumane persons. This logically extends to the treatment of robotic companions. Granting them protection may encourage us and our children to behave in a way that we generally regard as morally correct, or at least in a way that makes our cohabitation more agreeable or efficient.' If a company can make a robot that leaves the factory with rights, the marketing potential, as Darling notes, may be significant."
rhsanborn writes "President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney have both responded to a questionnaire on the 'most important science policy questions facing the United States.' The questionnaire was created by ScienceDebate.org, a group consisting of many influential organizations in science and engineering. The questions are on many topics including research, internet regulation, and climate change."
An anonymous reader writes "It might be a ways off, but every day we get closer to the possibility of William Gibson's short story The Winter Market becoming a plausible reality. Viable consumer exoskeleton for the paralyzed? Check, finally. Quoting Reuters: 'The exoskeleton is activated by the wearer tilting their balance to indicate the desire to take a step. It supports the body's weight and also allows the person to go up or down stairs, as well as sit or stand up independently. It costs 45,000 pounds and although clinical studies are ongoing that could back a case for health authorities to fund purchases of the device, the developers argue that savings on the treatment of ailments related to inactivity could offset the cost.'"
CuteSteveJobs writes "Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon now fully backs a controversial plan to capture the online data of all Australians, despite only six weeks ago saying 'the case had yet to be made.' The Tax Office, the Federal Police and the Opposition all support it, with Liberal National Party MP Ross Vasta declaring 'the highest degree of scrutiny and diligence is called for.' With all major parties on board, web monitoring of all Australians appears to be inevitable."
redletterdave writes "Valve is reportedly interested in building hardware. The Bellevue, Wash.-based software developer added a job posting to its site on Tuesday morning for an industrial designer. We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in,' the posting said. 'Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven’t really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.'"
An anonymous reader writes "N+1 has an interview with Jacob Appelbaum (who is part of the Tor project) titled 'Leave Your Cellphone at Home.'" Jacob has a lot to say about privacy, data security, and surveillance. He ought to know. Among other things, he's had his email seized, been relieved of his phone, been the subject of a National Security Letter (video) and generally had his travel disrupted.
Zothecula writes "The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service has opened a US$1.7 million pilot plant for the production of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood by-products materials such as wood chips and sawdust. Prepared properly, CNCs are stronger and stiffer than Kevlar or carbon fibers, so that putting CNC into composite materials results in high strength, low weight products. In addition, the cost of CNCs is less than ten percent of the cost of Kevlar fiber or carbon fiber. These qualities have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass (CNCs are transparent), as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical industries."
mpol writes "The job market can be hard right now, depending on your background and location. Having a disability makes things even more interesting. Seven years ago I suffered from a psychosis, and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I have been recovering quite well, and last year I started searching for a paying job. I found one, but it didn't turn out to be the right place, so I'm back at my volunteer job as web developer. My current workplace is quite unique, as there are several people who have had a psychosis in the past, or have been diagnosed with autism. When I look at myself I know that I have some things that will always play a role: I'm very sensitive to the atmosphere in the workplace for example. I also need clear communication, more so than other people. Furthermore, a workweek of maybe 20-25 hours is the max for me. I tried self-employment, but motivation and discipline are a bit hard to come by, and it's not something that will work for me long-term. In theory it's perfect, in practice not so much. I'm not sure what my short-term future will look like, and for this year I'm quite happy where I am, but next year I might go searching for a salaried job again. I'm wondering if there are more people on Slashdot who have a job in ICT, or are seeking one, and also have disabilities. How did you land at your job, and what issues do you run into in daily practice?"