mknewman writes with an article at NASA SpaceFlight which lays out the details of a plan from SpaceX to send a craft to Mars, using an in-development engine ("Raptor") along with the company's Super Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle. "Additionally, Mr. Musk also introduced the mysterious MCT project, which he later revealed to be an acronym for Mars Colonial Transport. This system would be capable of transporting 100 colonists at a time to Mars, and would be fully reusable. Article is technically dense but he does seem to follow through on his promises!" This is an endeavor that's been on Elon Musk's mind for a while.
Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.
malachiorion writes with this report from Popular Science"Seventy-four years ago, Russia accomplished what no country had before, or has since: it sent armed ground robots into battle. These remote-controlled Teletanks took the field during one of WWII's earliest and most obscure clashes, as Soviet forces pushed into Eastern Finland for roughly three and a half months, from 1939 to 1940. The workings of those Teletanks were cool, though they were useless against Germany, and Russia proceeded to fall behind the developed world in military robotics."
kc123 writes "Earlier this week, The Linux Foundation announced that it would be working with edX, a non-profit online learning site governed by Harvard and MIT, to make its "Introduction to Linux" course free and open to all. The Linux Foundation has long offered a wide variety of training courses through its website, but those can generally cost upwards of $2,000. This introductory class, which usually costs $2,400, will be the first from the Linux Foundation to run as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)."
SternisheFan writes to note that ArsTechnica's Peter Bright has reviewed the leaked Windows 8.1 update that was temporarily available from Microsoft's own servers. Here's how the article starts: "Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week. The update wasn't a free-for-all. To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable. After news of this spread, Microsoft removed the hefty—700MB—update from its servers, but not before it had spread across all manner of file-sharing sites... Just because it was distributed by Windows Update doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, the final build, but it does present a good opportunity to see what Microsoft is actually planning to deliver."
An anonymous reader writes "Autodesk has announced that after the 2015 version of Softimage, which is scheduled for release next April, it will no longer provide software support. The publisher has confirmed the rumors last month, according to which Autodesk intends to terminate its software for 3D modeling and animation. 'We regret to inform you that the next version of Softimage 2015 will be the last,' can be read on the Autodesk website. 'This latest version will be released around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to provide support for up to 30 April 2016. '"
First time accepted submitter liquiddark writes "I was listening to a younger coworker talk to someone the other day about legacy technologies, and he mentioned .NET as a specific example. It got me thinking — what technologies are passing from the upstart and/or mainstream phases into the world of legacy technology? What tech are you working with now that you hope to retire in the next few years? What will you replace it with?"
An anonymous reader writes "Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen were [part of a] wide-ranging session at SXSW today and they revealed that Google's data is now safely protected from the prying eyes of government organizations. In the last few days Google upgraded its security measure following revelations that Britain's GCHQ had intercepted data being transmitted between Google datacenters, Schmidt said that his company's upgrades following the incident left him 'pretty sure that information within Google is now safe from any government's prying eyes.'"
theodp writes "Bring it on, suggests the video for The Amplify Tablet, an Intel device (specs) developed for Rupert Murdoch's Amplify Education, which shows kids wrestling with, dropping, and even splashing the device. So is a ruggedized 10.1" device, which appears to be Amplify's answer to earlier fragility problems, the future of high-tech education? Or is go-big-or-go-home with a 27" touch screen the way to go, perhaps in some kind of next-gen-flip-top-school-desk? Or — cost be damned — are separate classroom and home devices what are really needed?"
joe5 writes "Well, leave it the golden state. The Kings Canyon (near Squaw Valley) Unified School District recently launched the first all-electric school bus in the United States. The bus is a modified SST Trans Tech model based on a Ford E-Series van chassis — and Motiv Power Systems created the electric drive train. (The project was a collaboration between those two companies plus the California Air Resources Board.) The electric bus can carry 25 students with an estimated range of 80 to 100 miles— and while it costs more than a standard combustion engine version, is expected to save about 16 gallons of fuel per day. Thanks to a federal highway program, three more electric buses are on their way to the Kings Canyon district and similar programs are in the works in both Chicago and New York."
McGruber writes "Austin ranks number one in the nation when it comes to offering the largest tech salaries that have been adjusted for cost of living expenses, such as housing, groceries, utilities and other necessities. This is according to a study by TriNet, a company I had never heard off, that provides (buzzword alert!) cloud-based human resources services. The seven major tech hubs, ranked by cost of living adjusted average salaries: 1. Austin: $105,000; 2. Atlanta: $103,000; 3. Denver-Boulder: $98,000; 4. Boston: $79,000; 5. Silicon Valley: $78,000; 6. Los Angeles: $70,000; 7. New York: $56,000." It's true that Austin has cheaper real estate than Silicon Valley, or London, but what this kind of analysis can't capture well is the worth for an individual of living in a particular place. Some jobs are easier to do from Texas (or Timbuktu) than others, and opinions vary wildly about the importance of climate, culture, alternative job options, and other factors. New York living is expensive, Yes, but it comes with a free bonus if New York is where you want to be. Some people even like Los Angeles. Is there a place you'd rather be but forgo because of the cost of living, or a place you'd consider simply because it would amplify your salary?
Just a day after a Massachusetts court said that current state law didn't specifically address "upskirt" snapshots (and so left taking them legal in itself, however annoying or invasive), an alert Massachusetts legislature has crafted and passed a bill to fix the glitch, and gotten it signed by the governor as well. As reported by the BBC, "The bill states that anyone who 'photographs, videotapes or electronically surveils' a person's sexual or intimate parts without consent should face a misdemeanor charge. The crime becomes a felony - punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine - if the accused secretly takes indecent photographs of anyone under the age of 18." The New York Daily News points out this bill became a law without so much as a public hearing.
jones_supa writes "Valve has recently released Portal 2 on Steam for Linux and opened a GitHub entry to gather all the bugs from the community. When one of the Valve developers closed a bug related to Portal 2 recommending that the users disable a security feature, the Linux community reacted. A crash is caused by the game's interaction with SELinux, the Linux kernel subsystem that deals with access control security policies. Portal 2 uses the third-party Miles Sound System MP3 decoder which, in turn, uses execheap, a feature that is normally disabled by SELinux. Like its name suggests, execheap allows a program to map a part of the memory so that it is both writable and executable. This could be a problem if someone chose to use that particular memory section for buffer overflow attacks; that would eventually permit the hacker to gain access to the system by running code. In the end, Valve developer David W. took responsibility of the problem: 'I apologize for the mis-communication: Some underlying infrastructure our games rely on is incompatible with SELinux. We are hoping to correct this. Of course closing this bug isn't appropriate and I am re-opening it.' This is more of an upstream problem for Valve. It's not something that they can fix directly, and most likely they will have to talk with the Miles developers and try to repair the problem from that direction."
jfruh writes "What went wrong to produce the spectacular implosion of bitcoin repository Mt. Gox? Well, according to some preliminary investigation from the IDG News Service, pretty much everything. There was a lack of management oversight and 'culture,' the code running the site was a mess, and the CEO seemed more concerned about his plans for a 'Bitcoin cafe' than he was about his Japanese bank closing the company's account."
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Dick Ahlstrom reports that Irish researchers have discovered a previously unknown model of the universe written in 1931 by physicist Albert Einstein that had been misfiled and effectively "lost" until its discovery last August while researchers been searching through a collection of Einstein's papers put online by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "I was looking through drafts, but then slowly realised it was a draft of something very different," says Dr O'Raifeartaigh. "I nearly fell off my chair. It was hidden in perfect plain sight. This particular manuscript was misfiled as a draft of something else." Read more, below.
An anonymous reader writes "Hot on the heels of Google's spin-off company Calico, another major contender has emerged in the race to develop technologies for extending healthy human lifespan. Dr Craig Venter, who was first to map the entire human genetic code and the first to engineer a synthetic lifeform, has teamed up with founder of the X-Prize, Dr Peter Diamandis, to create Human Longevity Inc. 'Your age is your No. 1 risk factor for almost every disease,' said Dr. Venter. 'Using the combined power of our core areas of expertise—genomics, informatics, and stem cell therapies, we are tackling one of the greatest medical/scientific and societal challenges — aging and aging related diseases,' said Dr. Venter. 'Between 1910 and 2010 improvements in medicine and sanitation increased the human lifespan by 50 percent from 50 to 75 years.....our goal is to make 100-years-old the new 60,' said Diamandis."
It's not just graphics app Krita: user KDE Community writes "The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce the release of version 2.8 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. Major new features in this release are comments support in Author and Words, improved Pivot tables in Sheets, improved stability and the ability to open hyperlinks in Kexi. Flow introduces SVG based stencils and as usual there are many new features in Krita including touch screens support and a wraparound painting mode for the creation of textures and tiles." KDE has also just announced the first beta of its Applications and Platform 4.13.
First time accepted submitter superboj writes "Everyone wants a piece of Egypt's most famous pharaoh, including the media, the Muslim Brotherhood and even the Mormon church. But while scientists have been trying to excavate his DNA and prove who he was — Egypt's turbulent politics have been making progress hard. Will experts be able to make a major discovery? And what happens if they do?"