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Submission + - Sci-Hub, a site with open and pirated scientific papers

lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. It was established in 2011 by Russian neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who could not afford papers she needed for her research and it now claims to have links to 48 million pirated and open papers. I tried it out and found some papers and not others, but it provides an alternative for researchers who cannot afford access to paid journals. After visiting this site, one cannot help thinking of the case of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature.

Submission + - The graffiti inside Apollo 11

schwit1 writes: An effort to create a 3D model of the inside of the Apollo 11 capsule on display at the National Air & Space Museum has revealed previously undocumented notes and scribbles that the astronauts put on the capsule's walls.

Needell and his team also decided that they would provide access to the lower equipment bay, the area located below the astronauts' seats, which housed the ship's navigation sextant, telescope and computer. "No one from the Smithsonian, as far I knew — not as long as I've been the curator for 20 years, has ever been below there to document the conditions or any of the aspects of the lower equipment bay," said Needell. "We've been able to sort of see above the seats, but that's about all."

So, for the first time, the curators removed from the lower bay the large bag that held the Apollo 11 crew's pressure garment assemblies — in other words, their spacesuits — as well as several helmet bags and a checklist pocket that command module pilot Michael Collins used while orbiting the moon alone.

And then they saw it, the literal writing on the wall.

They have located at least one post-landing image that shows some of the writing, which indicates that in 1969 no one considered this important enough to note. Then the capsule was put on display, and no one was allowed in it for decades.

Social Networks

LinkedIn Is Open Sourcing Their Testing Frameworks (github.io) 17

destinyland writes: LinkedIn is open sourcing their testing frameworks, and sharing details of their revamped development process after their latest app required a year and over 250 engineers. Their new paradigm? "Release three times per day, with no more than three hours between when code is committed and when that code is available to members," according to a senior engineer on LinkedIn's blog. This requires a three-hour pipeline where everything is automated, from committing code to releasing it into production, along with automated analyses and testing. "Holding ourselves to this constraint ensures we won't revert to using manual validation to certify our releases."

Submission + - First Time Ever: Ransomware Hits Website, Defaces Homepage

An anonymous reader writes: The website of the British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy (bacp.co.uk) has been hit by a variant of the CTB-Locker ransomware. While the ransomware proclaims to be CTB-Locker, there are a ton of clues that reveal this may be a fake and this is actually the first ever ransomware family created to target websites and not computers.
Graphics

Ubisoft Talks Splitscreen and the Division 18

SlappingOysters writes: Ubisoft's next entry in the Tom Clancy series is pushing at the boundaries of three genres, mixing the RPG, the squad-based shooter and the MMO into The Division. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op in a near-future, post-pandemic New York that seamlessly allows players to transition from PvE to PvP environments without any menus or lobbies. However, despite its co-op gameplay, The Division does not support splitscreen. Finder.com.au recently ran an extensive hands-on with the game, as well as an interview with Ubisoft Massive's creative director Magnus Jansén regarding the decision to forgo splitscreen co-op.

Submission + - A Practitioner's Guide to Verifying a Distributed System (acm.org)

ChelleChelle2 writes: As Leslie Lamport once famously stated, "A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable." Given the complexity of distributed systems and the large set of possible failures, testing and verifying the systems you build is both difficult, yet incredibly important. Luckily Caitie McCaffrey, tech lead for observability at Twitter, has provided a useful practitioner’s guide to verifying a distributed system.

Submission + - Ubisoft Talks Splitscreen and The Division

SlappingOysters writes: Ubisoft's next entry in the Tom Clancy series is pushing at the boundaries of three genres, mixing the RPG, the squad-based shooter and the MMO into The Division. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op in a near-future, post-pandemic New York that seamlessly allows players to transition from PvE to PvP environments without any menus or lobbies. However, despite its co-op gameplay, The Division does not support splitscreen. Finder.com.au recently ran an extensive hands-on with the game, as well as an interview with Ubisoft Massive's creative director Magnus Jansén regarding the decision to forgo splitscreen co-op.
Education

US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia To Remove the Diary of Anne Frank (wikimedia.org) 111

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation announced its removal of The Diary of Anne Frank from Wikisource, a digital library of free texts. According to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act, works are protected for 95 years from the date of publication, meaning Wikimedia is not allowed to host a copy of the book before 2042. Rogers, the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says this is just one of the many examples of the overreach of the United States' current copyright law. He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms."

Submission + - LinkedIn is Open Sourcing Their Testing Frameworks (github.io)

destinyland writes: LinkedIn is open sourcing their testing frameworks, and sharing details of their revamped development process after their latest app required a year and over 250 engineers. Their new paradigm? "Release three times per day, with no more than three hours between when code is committed and when that code is available to members," according to a senior engineer on LinkedIn's blog. This requires a three-hour pipeline where everything is automated, from committing code to releasing it into production, along with automated analyses and testing. "Holding ourselves to this constraint ensures we won’t revert to using manual validation to certify our releases."

Submission + - A Dog Symphony helps you understand Direct Digital Synthesis (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: Direct Digital Synthesis is a method of generating audio from stored values. It's the basis of digital audio playback and learning to implement it on a microcontroller will give you a great understanding of audio generation and manipulation. But the topic can be a bit dry. That's why Elliot Williams chose to create a barking dog symphony as the vehicle for his DDS explanation. Using one sample, and an 8-bit microcontroller, he walks through issues like combining playback of multiple voices at one time, and how to reconcile a changing sample rate with a fixed clock rate.

Submission + - New metallic glass creates potential for smart windows

frank249 writes: A B.C. engineering lab has created metal-coated glass that transmits up to 10 per cent more light than conventional glass and opens the door to windows that function as electronics. The most immediate use of the technology is to create windows that can be programmed to absorb or reflect heat, depending on the needs of a building’s occupants. Adding electronic control to windows will allow you to change the amount of light and heat passing through to more effectively use the energy provided by the sun naturally,

Lead investigator Kenneth Chau credit films like Iron Man or Star Trek with providing them inspiration. “There is a dream that we can make glass smarter,” he said. “These films give us concepts to strive for; the hard work is uncovering the science to make it happen.” All those hours spent watching Star Trek are now starting to look like a “pretty good investment,” he said.

The results were published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

Submission + - Smartphones may soon provide earthquake warnings (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: When it comes to an earthquake, just a few seconds’ warning could make the difference between life and death. But many earthquake-prone countries lack the seismic networks that would give their citizens the lead time to find cover or shut down critical utilities. Now, a group of enterprising engineers is looking at a substitute network: smartphones. Using smartphones’ built-in accelerometers, researchers have invented an app—released today—that they say can detect strong earthquakes seconds before the damaging seismic waves arrive. MyShake, as the app is called, could become the basis for an earthquake warning system for the world’s most vulnerable regions.
GUI

Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 74

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?

Submission + - Greenhouse Gases Could Eventually Heat the Earth Enough to Boil its Oceans Away

merbs writes: In 2013, NASA’s former chief climate scientist James Hansen published a short white paper that described the “Venus Syndrome”—a situation that could unfold far in the future, in which so much carbon dioxide is loaded into the atmosphere that Earth is rendered a replica of the scorching second planet from the sun. Hansen concluded that though it would take millions of years, “Earth can ‘achieve’ Venus-like conditions, in the sense of ~90 bar surface pressure, only after first getting rid of its ocean via escape of hydrogen to space.”

We would, in other words, have to heat the Earth up enough to boil away the oceans—a feat that another scientist, Max Popp, of Princeton and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, has now confirmed is entirely within the realm of possibility.

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