jones_supa writes "At the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January, it is expected that multiple computer makers will unveil systems that simultaneously run two different operating systems, both Windows and Android, two different analysts said recently. The new devices will introduce a new marketing buzzword called PC Plus, explained Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. 'A PC Plus machine will run Windows 8.1 but will also run Android apps as well', Bajarin wrote recently for Time. 'They are doing this through software emulation. I'm not sure what kind of performance you can expect, but this is their way to try and bring more touch-based apps to the Windows ecosystem.' Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, suggests that PC Plus could get millions of consumers more comfortable with Android on PCs. 'Just imagine for a second what happens when Android gets an improved large-screen experience. This should scare the heck out of Microsoft.'"
The Space Reporter has this to say about a fireball witnessed by many midwesterners on Thursday night: "The massive fireball was seen in the early morning hours in Iowa on Thursday night. At least 700 people have reported a sighting and the fireball was reported by people across the Midwest, including Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska. However, astronomers say they are still unsure whether the fireball was the result of space debris or a meteor. Officials at the National Weather Service say they are working to determine the source of the fireball, although the leading theory seems to support a meteor was the source." CCTV footage of the fireball is great, though it doesn't stack up to the world of Russian dashcams.
CowboyRobot writes "Andrew Koenig at Dr. Dobb's argues that by looking at a program's structure — as opposed to only looking at output — we can sometimes predict circumstances in which it is particularly likely to fail. 'For example, any time a program decides to use one or two (or more) algorithms depending on an aspect of its input such as size, we should verify that it works properly as close as possible to the decision boundary on both sides. I've seen quite a few programs that impose arbitrary length limits on, say, the size of an input line or the length of a name. I've also seen far too many such programs that fail when they are presented with input that fits the limit exactly, or is one greater (or less) than the limit. If you know by inspecting the code what those limits are, it is much easier to test for cases near the limits.'"
The shipload of researchers and tourists stuck in the Antarctic ice are still stuck. A Chinese icebreaker, the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, has gotten tantalizingly close but was hampered by "unusually thick ice." Now, an Australian vessel, the Aurora Australis, will attempt to rescue the 74 people aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
An anonymous reader writes "Red Hat developers doing some holiday hacking have managed to get a bootable system with systemd + KDBUS on Fedora 20. KDBUS is a new DBus implementation for the Linux kernel that provides greater security and better performance than the DBus daemon in user-space. Systemd in turn interfaces with KDBUS for user-space interaction. Testing was done on Fedora 20 but the systemd + KDBUS configuration should work on any modern distribution when using the newest code."
Chromebooks, and ChromeOS have come a long way, and this year two of the best selling laptops at Amazon are Chromebooks. Computerworld calls it a punch in the gut for Microsoft. "As of late Thursday, the trio retained their lock on the top three places on Amazon's best-selling-laptop list in the order of Acer, Samsung and Asus. Another Acer Chromebook, one that sports 32GB of on-board storage space -- double the 16GB of Acer's lower-priced model -- held the No. 7 spot on the retailer's top 10. Chromebooks' holiday success at Amazon was duplicated elsewhere during the year, according to the NPD Group, which tracked U.S. PC sales to commercial buyers such as businesses, schools, government and other organizations. ... By NPD's tallies, Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all U.S. commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012; last year, Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales."
First time accepted submitter zeigerpuppy writes "It's time to revisit Wave, or is it? I have been looking to implement a Wave installation on my server for private group collaboration. However, all evolutions of Wave seem to be closed-source or experiencing minimal development. I was excited about Kune, but its development looks stalled and despite Rizzoma claiming to be Open-Source, their code is nowhere to be found! Wave-in-a-box looks dead. So Slashdotters, do any of you have a working self-hosted Wave implementation?"
McGruber writes "Seven metro Atlanta residents are facing theft, fraud, and racketeering charges for allegedly selling counterfeit MARTA Breeze cards. Breeze cards are stored-value smart cards that passengers use as part of an automated fare collection system which the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority introduced to the general public in October 2006. Breeze cards are supplied by Cubic Transportation Systems, an American company that provides automated fare collection equipment and services to the mass transit industry. At the time of this slashdot submission, the Wikipedia page for the Breeze Card (last modified on 2 August 2013 at 14:52) says: 'The Breeze Card uses the MIFARE smart-card system from Dutch company NXP Semiconductors, a spin-off from Philips. The disposable, single-use, cards are using on the MIFARE Ultralight while the multiple-use plastic cards are the MIFARE Classic cards. There have been many concerns about the security of the system, mainly caused by the poor encryption method used for the cards.'"
braindrainbahrain writes "Slate magazine has written a story about the only work of art placed on the Moon: the Fallen Astronaut sculpture. It was placed on the Moon during the Apollo 15 mission to commemorate both American and Soviet deceased astronauts. The little statue, rather than bringing fame and fortune, ended up being nearly forgotten, and got both Apollo astronaut David Scott and Belgian sculptor Van Hoeydonck in hot water with the U.S. government."
An anonymous reader writes with a link to Der Spiegel, which describes a Top-Secret spy-agency catalog which reveals that the NSA "has been secretly back dooring equipment from US companies including Dell, Cisco, Juniper, IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and more, risking enormous damage to US tech sector." Der Spiegel also has a wider ranging article about the agency's Tailored Access Operations unit.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Paul Szoldra reports at Business Insider that Joel Gascoigne, CEO of social media startup Buffer, reveals his salary along with the salary of every single employee in the company, and includes the formula the company uses to get to each one. "One of the highest values we have at Buffer is transparency," says Gascoigne. "We do quite a number of things internally and externally in line with this value. Transparency breeds trust, and that's one of the key reasons for us to place such a high importance on it." Gascoigne, who has a salary of $158,800, revealed the exact formula Buffer uses to get to each employee's number: Salary = job type X seniority X experience + location (+ $10K if salary choice). Gascoigne says his open salary system is part of Buffer's "Default to Transparency" and says Buffer is willing to update the formula as the company grows but hopes that its focus on work/life balance fosters employees that are in it for the long haul. "In Silicon Valley, there's a culture of people jumping from one place to the next," says Gascoigne. "That's why we focus on culture. Doing it this way means we can grow just as fast—if not faster—than doing it the 'normal' cutthroat way. We're putting oil into the engine to make sure everything can work smoothly so we can just shoot ahead and that's what we're starting to see.""
theodp writes "'With countless lives depending on their work,' writes Brett Smith, 'it seems unthinkable that AIDS researchers might falsify their work. However, that's just what Iowa State University assistant professor Dong-Pyou Han has admitted to, according to federal documents.' Han resigned from the project in October after admitting to tampering with samples to give the appearance that an experimental vaccine was causing lab animals to build up protections against HIV. According to the NIH, Han apparently spiked rabbit blood with human blood components from people whose bodies had produced antibodies to HIV. 'This positive result was striking, and it caught everybody's attention,' said the NIH. However, researchers at other institutions became suspicious after they were unsuccessful in duplicating the ISU results. The Iowa State AIDS research project had been awarded $19 million in federal grants over the past several years. Han has agreed to be banned from participating in any federally-financed research for three years."
An anonymous reader writes "A belated holiday gift for Linux users is the X.Org Server 1.15 'Egg Nog' release. X.Org Server 1.15 presents new features including DRI3 — a big update to their rendering model — a rewrite of the GLX windowing system code, support for Mesa Mega Drivers, and many bug fixes plus polishing. The release, though, goes without any mainline support for XWayland to ease the adoption of the Wayland Display Server while maintaining legacy X11 application support."
JoeyRox writes "The recent decline in Facebook's popularity with teenagers appears to be worsening. A Global Social Media Impact study of 16 to 18 year olds found that many considered the site 'uncool' and keep their profiles alive only to keep in touch with older relatives, for whom the site remains popular. Researches say teens have switched to using WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Twitter in place of Facebook."
Lasrick writes "Interesting piece about April's physical attack on a power station near San Jose, California, that now looks like a dress rehearsal for future attacks: Quote: 'When U.S. officials warn about "attacks" on electric power facilities these days, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a computer hacker trying to shut the lights off in a city with malware. But a more traditional attack on a power station in California has U.S. officials puzzled and worried about the physical security of the the electrical grid--from attackers who come in with guns blazing.'"