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Open Source

AirBNB Opensources Chronos, a Cron Replacement 72

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the end-of-time dept.
First time accepted submitter victorhooi writes "AirBNB has open-sourced Chronos- a scheduler built around Apache Mesos (a cluster manager). The scheduler is distributed and fault-tolerant, and allows specifying jobs in ISO8601 repeating notation, as well as creating dependent jobs. There's also a snazzy web interface to track and manage jobs, as well as a RESTful API." It's under the Apache License as seems to be the fashion with businesses releasing software nowadays. It looks like it might be useful if you have to manage a lot of machines with interconnected recurring processes; I know I wish this had existed a few years ago.
Science

Roadkill Forcing Cliff Swallows To Evolve 387

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the also-evolved-laser-eyes dept.
sciencehabit writes "Cliff swallows that build nests that dangle precariously from highway overpasses have a lower chance of becoming roadkill than in years past thanks to a shorter wingspan that lets them dodge oncoming traffic. That's the conclusion of a new study based on 3 decades of data collected on one population of the birds. The results suggest that shorter wingspan has been selected for over this time period because of the evolutionary pressure put on the population by cars."
Games

Oculus Rift Loses Doom 3 BFG Edition From Launch Package, But Gains TF2 69

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the still-get-to-shoot-virtual-people dept.
skade88 writes "Neoseeker and the Verge are reporting that the Oculus Rift launch will no longer have Doom 3 BFG support. But in some good news to offset the bad, Valve will be releasing an Oculus ready version of TF2 when the Dev kits ship. For those backers who are upset about not having Doom 3 BFG edition support on launch of the Oculus Rift, they are offering the following options: '$20 Steam Wallet credit ... $25 Oculus Store credit ... or a full refund for your pledge.'"
Music

Jammie Thomas Denied Supreme Court Appeal 347

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the freedom-for-none dept.
sarysa writes "The Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest appeal of the 7 year old Jammie Thomas case, regarding a single mother who was fined $222,000 in her most recent appeal for illegally sharing 24 songs. Those of us hoping for an Eighth Amendment battle over this issue will not be seeing it anytime soon. In spite of the harsh penalties, the journalist suggests that: 'Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks if they impoverish a woman of modest means. Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000.'"
DRM

Electronics Arts CEO Ousted In Wake of SimCity Launch Disaster 427

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the onward-to-ruin-the-next-company dept.
mozumder writes "The disastrous launch of SimCity took its first major toll, with EA CEO John Riccitiello being fired from his position and removed from the Board of Directors. It is unknown what effect this may have on the SimCity franchise or any future DRM of EA games, but clearly someone didn't think their cunning plan all the way through when they decided to implement always-on connections for single-player gaming."
Role Playing (Games)

Villians & Vigilantes Creators Win Lawsuit, Rights To Game 30

Posted by timothy
from the remember-my-brother-playing-this dept.
rcade writes "Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, the creators of the old-school super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes, have won a copyright and trademark lawsuit over the game's publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey of the U.S. District Court of Arizona ruled that Jeff Dee and Jack Herman own the rights to the game based on the 1979 contract they reached with Bizar. The court also found that Bizar never had the right to sell derivative products or ebook PDF editions, which are a big deal to tabletop publishers these days. Too bad this judge didn't hear Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's case."
The Almighty Buck

How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia 523

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-be-for-everyone dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you can make $10 and hour doing remote work, you can afford to live in Malysia. Make it $15 or $20, you can work 30 hours a week. Real money? Make it ten. This article talks about how John Hunter did it." Malaysia's not the only destination for self-motivated ex-pat programmers, of course. If you've considered doing this kind of sabbatical, or actually have, please explain in the comments the from-where-to-where details and reasons.
Intel

Next-Gen Intel Chip Brings Big Gains For Floating-Point Apps 176

Posted by timothy
from the code-slower dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tom's Hardware has published a lengthy article and a set of benchmarks on the new "Haswell" CPUs from Intel. It's just a performance preview, but it isn't just more of the same. While it's got the expected 10-15% faster for the same clock speed for integer applications, floating point applications are almost twice as a fast which might be important for digital imaging applications and scientific computing." The serious performance increase has a few caveats: you have to use either AVX2 or FMA3, and then only in code that takes advantage of vectorization. Floating point operations using AVX or plain old SSE3 see more modest increases in performance (in line with integer performance increases).
Businesses

How To Bet Money On Your Future Success 188

Posted by timothy
from the show-your-work dept.
waderoush writes "Say you're in your early 20s, you're finishing college or graduate school, and you're smart but poor — and you've got some big student loans hanging over you. You're pretty sure that within 10 years you'll be selling your first startup or earning a high-six-figure salary. But you need some money *now* so that you can actually start the company, and avoid taking a corporate job. Shouldn't there be a way to calculate how much you'll be worth, and borrow against that promise of future success? Upstart, a new Palo Alto investing operation founded by a group of ex-Google employees, thinks the answer is yes. In a new spin on the crowdfunding model, the organization gathers data from recent graduates such as schools attended, academic transcripts, job offers, and credit scores. Its 'pricing engine,' based partly on techniques developed to assess job applicants at Google, determines how much each aspiring 'upstart' should be allowed to raise from investors per each percentage point of their future income. Upstart has already helped 35 young people raise amounts varying from $10,000 to $170,000; the upstarts, who must pay the money back over a 10-year period, say they're using the funds mainly to retire student debt or bootstrap startups. 'We can look at a 25-year-old and very quickly assess whether he or she would be successful at Google,' says Upstart founder Dave Girouard, formerly the head of Googles $1 billion enterprise apps division. 'My whole thesis was, if you could use the same algorithms to predict whether he or she would be successful beyond that, in the business world, that would be pretty useful.'"
Transportation

A High-Tech Pedicab Dispatch System at SXSW in Austin (Video) 66

Posted by Roblimo
from the old-fashioned-muscle-power-combined-with-modern-technology dept.
It's Austin, where people are proud to be weird -- and are more environmentally aware and more concerned about energy use than in the rest of Texas. Add SXSW, with its combination of techies, musicians, film people, and general hipsters. What could be more natural at SXSW than combining a pedicab (called a bicycle rickshaw in Old Delhi and other Indian cities) with Uber's smartphone-based dispatch system? Hook Uber up with local pedicab company Easy Rider, get Samsung to sponsor it all, and you are environmentally conscious, high tech, and (possibly) hip all at once. Totally Austin. Totally SXSW. And totally promotional for all three companies involved.
Security

Researcher: Hackers Can Jam Traffic By Manipulating Real-Time Traffic Data 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the ddos-attacks-on-meatspace dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Hackers can influence real-time traffic-flow-analysis systems to make people drive into traffic jams or to keep roads clear in areas where a lot of people use Google or Waze navigation systems, a German researcher demonstrated at BlackHat Europe. 'If, for example, an attacker drives a route and collects the data packets sent to Google, the hacker can replay them later with a modified cookie, platform key and time stamps, Jeske explained in his research paper (PDF). The attack can be intensified by sending several delayed transmissions with different cookies and platform keys, simulating multiple cars, Jeske added. An attacker does not have to drive a route to manipulate data, because Google also accepts data from phones without information from surrounding access points, thus enabling an attacker to influence traffic data worldwide, he added.' 'You don't need special equipment for this and you can manipulate traffic data worldwide,' Jeske said."
Earth

Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy 466

Posted by Soulskill
from the 'like'-this-if-you-want-to-seem-like-you-care-but-are-too-lazy-to-do-anything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Next Saturday from 8:30PM to 9:30PM EST is 'Earth Hour' (0:30 to 1:30 UTC on Sunday). Millions of people will be participating by shutting off their lights for an hour to show they care about the environment. However, according to this article in Slate, Earth Hour is simply 'vain symbolism,' and it won't actually save any energy — quite the opposite. Quoting: 'Notice that you have not been asked to switch off anything really inconvenient, like your heating or air-conditioning, television, computer, mobile phone, or any of the myriad technologies that depend on affordable, plentiful energy electricity and make modern life possible. If switching off the lights for one hour per year really were beneficial, why would we not do it for the other 8,759? Hypothetically, switching off the lights for an hour would cut CO2 emissions from power plants around the world. But, even if everyone in the entire world cut all residential lighting, and this translated entirely into CO2 reduction, it would be the equivalent of China pausing its CO2 emissions for less than four minutes. In fact, Earth Hour will cause emissions to increase. As the United Kingdom's National Grid operators have found, a small decline in electricity consumption does not translate into less energy being pumped into the grid, and therefore will not reduce emissions. Moreover, during Earth Hour, any significant drop in electricity demand will entail a reduction in CO2 emissions during the hour, but it will be offset by the surge from firing up coal or gas stations to restore electricity supplies afterward.'"
AT&T

41 Months In Prison For Man Who Leaked AT&T iPad Email Addresses 459

Posted by Soulskill
from the looked-at-a-poster-and-told-somebody-about-it dept.
In 2010, querying a public AT&T database yielded over 114,000 email address for iPad owners who were subscribed to the carrier. One of the people who found these emails, Andrew 'weev' Auernheimer, sent them to a news site to publicize AT&T's security flaw. He later ended up in court for his actions. Auernheimer was found guilty, and today he was sentenced to 41 months in prison. 'Following his release from prison, Auernheimer will be subject to three years of supervised release. Auernheimer and co-defendant Daniel Spitler were also ordered to pay $73,000 in restitution to AT&T. (Spitler pled guilty in 2011.) The pre-sentencing report prepared by prosecutors recommended four years in federal prison for Auernheimer.' A journalist watching the sentencing said, 'I felt like I was watching a witch trial as prosecutors admitted they didn't understand computers.'
Cellphones

We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-our-minds dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When cell phone unlocking became illegal last month, it set off a firestorm of debate over what rights people should have for phones they have legally purchased. But this is really just one facet of a much larger problem with property rights in general. 'Silicon permeates and powers almost everything we own. This is a property rights issue, and current copyright law gets it backwards, turning regular people — like students, researchers, and small business owners — into criminals. Fortune 500 telecom manufacturer Avaya, for example, is known for suing service companies, accusing them of violating copyright for simply using a password to log in to their phone systems. That's right: typing in a password is considered "reproducing copyrighted material." Manufacturers have systematically used copyright in this manner over the past 20 years to limit our access to information. Technology has moved too fast for copyright laws to keep pace, so corporations have been exploiting the lag to create information monopolies at our expense and for their profit. After years of extensions and so-called improvements, copyright has turned Mickey Mouse into a monster who can never die.' We need to win the fight for unlocking phones, and then keep pushing until we actually own the objects we own again."
Technology

Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit 74

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-it-works dept.
XWWT writes "A few weeks ago Make offered to send us a sample of its Raspberry Pi Starter Kit to see if we would do a review of the product. Samzenpus asked around the engineering team to see if there was someone who would be willing to do an on-camera review of the device. With all of the buzz about Raspberry Pi, I was very excited to get hands-on time with the device so I could more closely examine the platform. At first we wanted to do this piece as a video but quickly realized that a) it would probably be boring to see some blinky lights and push buttons working on a sample project, and b) the amount of audio that would need to be bleeped to cover my frustration with parts of the kit would be annoying. On a personal note, I also wanted to document all of my experience here as I thought it would be beneficial for newcomers to the maker technology and sometimes having someone else’s experience documented can help you avoid pitfalls and mistakes. (Full Disclosure: I am the Director of Engineering for Slashdot Media. We were given a review copy of the Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit. We were not paid for this review but had fun doing it.)" Keep reading for the rest of Wes's review.
Google

Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die? 383

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-soon dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "When Google announced the shutdown of Google Reader, its popular RSS reader, it sparked significant outrage across the Web. While one could argue that RSS readers have declined in popularity over the past few years (in fact, that was Google's stated reason for killing it), they remain a useful tool for many people who want to collect their Web content—articles, blog postings, and the like—in one convenient place. (Fortunately for them, there exist any number of alternative RSS readers, some of which offer even more features than Google Reader.) This wasn't the first time that Google announced a project's imminent demise, and it certainly won't be the last: Google Buzz, Google Health, Google Wave, Google Labs, and other software platforms all ended up in the dustbin of tech history. So here's the question: of all those projects, which didn't deserve the axe? If you had a choice, which would you bring back?"
Moon

A Moon Base Made From Lunar Dust 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the using-what-you-got dept.
Zothecula writes "The race to build a manned research station on the moon has been slowly picking up steam in recent years, with several developed nations actively studying a variety of construction methods. In just the past few months, the European Space Agency revealed a design involving 3D-printed structures and the Russian Federal Space Agency announced plans for a moon base by 2037. Now international design agency, Architecture Et Cetera (A-ETC), has thrown its hat into the ring with a proposal for SinterHab, a moon base consisting of bubble-like compartments coated in a protective layer of melted lunar dust."
Earth

Earthquakes Deposit Gold In Fault Zones 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the shake-rattle-and-gold dept.
sciencehabit writes "Gold deposits may be created in a flash—literally. Along fault zones deep within Earth's crust, small cavities filled with fluids rich in dissolved substances such as gold and silicate minerals can expand suddenly to as much as 130,000 times their former size during a major earthquake, a new analysis suggests. In such circumstances, pressure drops accordingly, driving a process the scientists call flash evaporation. And when the pressure in the cavity suddenly drops, so does the solubility of minerals in the water there. Along with substantial quantities of quartz, large earthquakes could deposit as much as 0.1 milligrams of gold along each square meter of a fault zone's surface in just a fraction of a second Typical rates of seismicity along a fault, such as the San Andreas fault zone shown in the main image, could generate a 100-metric-ton deposit of gold in less than 100,000 years."
Biotech

"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog 154

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-back dept.
cylonlover writes "Australian scientists have successfully revived and reactivated the genome of an extinct frog. The 'Lazarus Project' team implanted cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept in a conventional deep freezer for 40 years into donor eggs from a distantly-related frog. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage with tests confirming the dividing cells contained genetic material from the extinct frog. The extinct frog in question is the Rheobatrachus silus, one of only two species of gastric-brooding frogs, or Platypus frogs, native to Queensland, Australia. Both species became extinct in the mid-1980s and were unique amongst frog species for the way in which they incubated their offspring."
Earth

As US Cleans Its Energy Mix, It Ships Coal Problems Overseas 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-my-problem dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Thomas K. Grose reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that greenhouse gas emissions in the US have fallen 8 percent from their 2007 peak to 6,703 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, due largely to the drop in coal-fired electricity which in 2012 generated 37.4 percent of US electricity, down from 50 percent in 2005. But don't celebrate just yet. A major side effect of that cleaner air in the US has been the further darkening of skies over Europe and Asia as US coal producers have been shipping the most carbon-intensive fuel to energy-hungry markets overseas. US coal exports to China were on track to double last year and demand for US metallurgical coal, the high-heat content coking coal that is used for steelmaking, is so great in Asia that shipments make a round-the-world journey from Appalachia as they are sent by train to the port of Baltimore, where they steam to sea through the Chesapeake Bay, then south across the Atlantic Ocean and around Africa's Cape of Good Hope to reach Asian ports. The Tyndall Center study estimates that the burning of all that exported coal could erase fully half the gains the United States has made in reducing carbon emissions and if the trend continues, the dramatic changes in energy use in the United States — in particular, the switch from coal to newly abundant natural gas for generating electricity — will have only a modest impact on global warming, observers warn. 'Without a meaningful cap on global carbon emissions, the exploitation of shale gas reserves is likely to increase total emissions,' write Dr John Broderick and Prof Kevin Anderson. 'For this not to be the case, consumption of displaced fuels must be reduced globally and remain suppressed indefinitely; in effect displaced coal must stay in the ground (PDF).'"
ISS

Sarah Brightman's ISS Trip In Peril 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-space-for-you dept.
RocketAcademy writes "Actress/singer Sarah Brightman's trip to the International Space Station may not happen in 2015 as scheduled. Space Adventures works with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) to fly private citizens like Brightman on Soyuz taxi flights. Those taxi missions normally last eight days, but NASA and Roscosmos are considering a plan to extend the 2015 taxi flight to one month, so it can carry a scientist to perform some additional research aboard ISS. If that happens, Brightman will lose her seat. This situation points to the need for more flexible transportation options and new orbital facilities which are not subject to the same operational restrictions as ISS. SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada are working on the transportation problem, while Bigelow Aerospace expects to begin launching its Space Station Alpha in 2015. So, the era of citizen astronauts visiting ISS may be drawing to a close."
Science

Did Large Eyes Lead To Neanderthals' Demise? 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bigger eyes and a corresponding greater allocation of the brain to process visual information is the most recent theory about the reasons that led to the extinction of Neanderthals, our closest relatives. Neanderthals split from the primate line that gave rise to modern humans about 400,000 years ago. This group then moved to Eurasia and completely disappeared from the world about 30,000 years back. Other studies have shown that Neanderthals might have lived near the Arctic Circle around 31,000 to 34,000 years ago."
GNU is Not Unix

The Pirate Bay's Oldest Torrent Is Revolution OS 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-in-the-day dept.
jrepin writes "After nearly 9 years of seeding The Pirate Bay's oldest working torrent is still very much alive. Interestingly, the torrent is not a Hollywood classic nor is it an evergreen music album. The honor goes to a pirated copy of Revolution OS, a documentary covering the history of Linux, GNU and the free software movement."

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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