White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care
Earlier this year we discussed a petition on the White House's 'We The People' site asking the administration to adopt the metric system as the standard system of measurement in the U.S. Today, the administration issued a disappointing response. Simply put: they're not going to do anything about it. They frame their response as a matter of preserving a citizen's choice to adopt whatever measurement system he wants. Quoting Patrick D. Gallagher of the National Institute of Standards and Technology: "... contrary to what many people may think, the U.S. uses the metric system now to define all basic units used in commerce and trade. At the same time, if the metric system and U.S. customary system are languages of measurement, then the United States is truly a bilingual nation. ... Ultimately, the use of metric in this country is a choice and we would encourage Americans to continue to make the best choice for themselves and for the purpose at hand and to continue to learn how to move seamlessly ...
Of 1000 Americans Polled, Most Would Ban Home Printing of Guns
An anonymous reader writes "In results that may signal some discomfort with the enormous DIY promise of 3D printing and similar home-manufacturing technologies, a new Reason-Rupe poll finds that an otherwise gun control-weary American public thinks owners of 3D printers ought not be allowed to make their own guns or gun parts. Of course, implementing such a restrictive policy might be tad more difficult than measuring popular preferences." This poll is of only 1000 people, though; your mileage may vary.
Reps Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Legalize Mobile Device Unlocking
New submitter tomservo84 writes "It seems some people in the House of Reps have their heads screwed on straight. A bill would 'make it permanently legal for consumers to unlock their mobile devices, and consumers would not be required to obtain permission from their carrier before switching to a new carrier.' 'This bill reflects the way we use this technology in our everyday lives,' Rep. Lofgren said. 'Americans should not be subject to fines and criminal liability for merely unlocking devices and media they legally purchased. If consumers are not violating copyright or some other law, there's little reason to hold back the benefits of unlocking so people can continue using their devices.' Now, what chance does this have of actually passing?"
Zuckerberg's Lobby Can't Stay Silent On Secretive Conservative Political Ads Forever
Online backlash is growing against Mark Zuckerberg’s lobby’s secretive ads supporting conservative senators who encourage the creation of the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. “Immigration reform – fine. Oil expansion and pipelines? NOT fine. Where’s the transparency here, rich dudes? Or does FWD actually stand for Fine With Drilling?,” wrote one angry commenter on the FWD.us Facebook page. FWD.us is the latest A-list technology political interest group to come out swinging for high-skilled immigration reform. Partnering with many of Silicon Valley’s brightest luminaries, from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to Bill Gates, FWD.us made a very public debut last week, promising grassroots activism in support of knowledge-economy-friendly policymaking. FWD.us strategically splits its operation into democratic and conservative outreach, directly funding ads of senators friendly to high-skilled immigration reform. The Internet rumor machine spun an ad ...
Yahoo's Deal To Buy A $200M Stake In Dailymotion From Orange Scuppered By French Government
It looks like lightening has struck on the towers of Dailymotion. Yahoo’s bid to take a $200 million majority stake in the video site — known as the ‘YouTube of France’ — has been killed by the French government, which decided that it didn’t want a U.S. company to take a controlling stake in a French operation, TechCrunch has confirmed with a source close to the situation. Rumors of problems with the deal have been swirling around for weeks now. At first it looked like the issues were because of internal disagreements at Yahoo, according to Business Insider. But a report in the French newspaper Le Monde last week noted that Orange had suspended the deal because of opposition from the French state, which owns 27% of the telecom company. We have confirmed with someone close to the deal that the latter is indeed the case. Our source said that Arnaud Montebourg, the French Minister of Industrial Renewal, effectively told Orange that it could not go through with the deal. “Dailymotion ...