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+ - Ask Slashdot: Is it true that software performance is not important anymore?-> 6 6

DidgetMaster writes: Naturally, everyone wants faster hardware and software; but if you had to choose between two software packages, how much emphasis do you place on speed?

I am building a new kind of general-purpose data management system that uses new data objects that I invented. It has some cool new features that other systems lack, but speed is one of its primary selling points. It was originally designed to replace file systems for managing unstructured data; but it handles structured data so well that I think it can replace relational databases and NoSQL solutions too. It also has distributed architecture to compete with Hadoop and other distributed systems. It is able to find things thousands of times faster than a file system and is more than twice as fast as MySQL at basic table operations in my testing without needing an index. (See http://youtu.be/2uUvGMUyFhY for a demo video)

As I approach potential investors for funding, I have had more than one person say "speed is no longer important". They seem to think that everything can be solved with faster hardware or distributed processing. I am "old school" and think that speed is VERY important. Not only is time important, but better algorithms require less hardware (and thus less power and cooling) too. Am I the only one who still thinks this way?

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+ - Google apologizes for labeling black people 'gorillas'->

Mark Wilson writes: Google has issued an apology after the automatic tagging feature of its Photos apps labeled a black couple as 'gorillas'. This is not the first time an algorithm has been found to have caused racial upset. Earlier in the year Flickr came under fire after its system tagged images of concentration camps as sports venues and black people as apes.

The company was criticized on social networks after a New York software developer questioned the efficacy of Google's algorithm. Accused of racism, Google said that it was "appalled" by what had happened, branding it as "100% not OK".

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+ - How the next US nuclear accident will happen->

Lasrick writes: Anthropologist Hugh Gusterson analyzes safety at US nuclear facilities and finds a disaster waiting to happen due to an over-reliance on automated security technology and private contractors cutting corners to increase profits. Gusterson follows on the work of Eric Schlosser, Frank Munger, and Dan Zak in warning us of the serious problems at US nuclear facilities, both in the energy industry and in the nuclear security complex.
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+ - Depression: The secret struggle startup founders won't talk about->

mattydread23 writes: In May, Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz committed suicide. The news stunned friends and family, and sparked a conversation about the growing problem of depression among startup founders. Some estimates say 30% of startup founders suffer from depression, but many are reluctant to talk about their struggle for fear of alienating investors and employees. This feature by Business Insider includes conversations with a friend of Heinz, plus many investors and other startup founders who are starting to talk about the problem and figure out how to make things better.
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+ - NASA to waste $150 million on SLS engine that will be used once.

schwit1 writes: NASA's safety panel has noticed that NASA's SLS program either plans to spend $150 million man-rating a rocket engine it will only use once, or will fly a manned mission without man-rating that engine.

The Block 1 SLS is the "basic model", sporting a Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS), renamed the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System (ICPS) for SLS. The current plan calls for this [interim] stage to be used on [the unmanned] Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1) and [manned] Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2), prior to moving to the [Exploration Upper Stage] — also to be built by Boeing — that will become the workhorse for SLS.

However, using the [interim upper stage] on a crewed mission will require it to be human rated. It is likely NASA will also need to fly the [Exploration Upper Stage] on an unmanned mission to validate the new stage ahead of human missions. This has been presenting NASA with a headache for some time, although it took the recent ASAP meeting to finally confirm those concerns to the public.

Up until now, no one at NASA would admit that their SLS plans called for flying humans with an upper stage that has not been man-rated. They don't have the funds to man-rate it, and even if they get those funds, man-rating it will likely cause SLS's schedule to slip even more, something NASA fears because they expect the commercial manned ships to be flying sooner and with increasing capability. The contrast — a delayed and unflown and very expensive SLS vs a flying and inexpensive commercial effort — will not do SLS good politically.

However, if they are going to insist (properly I think) that SpaceX and Boeing man-rate their capsules and rockets, then NASA is going to have to man-rate its SLS systems as well. The result: more problems for SLS, contributing to what I believe will be its inevitable cancellation.

Government marches on!

+ - Apple Loses Ebook Price Fixing Appeal, Must Pay $450 Million->

An anonymous reader writes: A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 today that Apple indeed conspired to with publishers to increase ebook prices. The ruling puts Apple on the hook for the $450 million settlement reached in 2014 with lawyers and attorneys general from 33 states. The Justice Dept. contended that the price-fixing conspiracy raised the price of some e-books from the $10 standard set by Amazon to $13-$15. The one dissenting judge argued that Apple's efforts weren't anti-competitive because Amazon held 90% of the market at the time. Apple is unhappy with the ruling, but they haven't announced plans to take the case further. They said, "While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values. We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps."
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+ - Tech Vendors Say They Can Stop Hackers->

storagedude writes: A group of eleven tech vendors say they've developed a data infrastructure that can stop hackers in their tracks.

At the heart of the Multilevel Secure System (MLS) is a modified version of SELinux, with role-based access control with a policy for each role, so no one can get to the system root and the root can’t see user data. Policies are based on roles such as security admin, audit admin and sysadmin, and each file is tagged with a security level so some users can see it while others can’t.

Lockheed Martin, Seagate and Red Hat are among the vendors who developed the system, which was unveiled at last week's Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) conference in DC.

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+ - Popular VPNs Leak Data, Don't Offer Promised Privacy And Anonymity

An anonymous reader writes: VPN services can be used for circumventing Internet censorship and accessing blocked content, but researchers warn that you shouldn't believe the companies' claims that they offer privacy and anonymity. A group of researchers from the Sapienza University (Rome) and Queen Mary University (London) have recently tested 14 of the most popular commercial VPN services: Hide My Ass, IPVanish, Astrill, ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, PureVPN, TorGuard, AirVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, VyprVPN, Tunnelbear, proXPN, Mullvad, and Hotspot Shield Elite. They found that ten of them leak IP data, and all except one are vulnerable to IPv6 DNS hijacking attacks.

+ - NSA denies engaging in economic espionage-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Anyway, with all that it should be obvious that of course the NSA engages in economic espionage — but as if to highlight this even more strongly, Wikileaks has now released more documents showing pretty clear economic espionage in the form of snooping on French finance ministers, looking to get information on "French export contracts, trade and budget talks."
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+ - Lawsuit Filed Over Domain Name Registered 16 Years Before Plaintiff's Use

HughPickens.com writes: Cybersquatting is registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's trademark. It generally refers to the practice of buying up domain names that use the names of existing businesses with the intent to sell the names for a profit to those businesses. Now Andrew Allmann writes at Domain Name Wire that New York company Office Space Solutions, Inc. has filed a cybersquatting lawsuit against Jason Kneen over the domain name WorkBetter.com that Kneen registered in 1999 although Office Space Solutions didn't use the term “Work Better” in commerce until 2015. "Workbetter.com is virtually identical to, and/or confusingly similar to the WORK BETTER Service Mark, which was distinctive at the time that the Defendant renewed and/or updated the registration of workbetter.com," says the lawsuit. But according to an Office Space Solutions’ filing with the USPTO, it didn’t use the term “Work Better” in commerce until 2015. Office Space Solutions is making the argument that the domain name was renewed in bad faith. According to Kneen, Office Space previously tried to purchase the domain name from him and after it failed to acquire the domain name, is now trying to take it via a lawsuit.

+ - Creating bacterial 'fight clubs' to discover new drugs->

Science_afficionado writes: Vanderbilt chemists have shown that creating bacterial "fight clubs" is an effective way to discover natural biomolecules with the properties required for new drugs. They have demonstrated the method by using it to discover a new class of antibiotic with anti-cancer properties.
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+ - Open Source Mashup

NicknamesAreStupid writes: I need to choose an open source license.

I am developing an open source iOS application that use a significant number of other open source projects which, in turn, use a number of different open source licenses such as MPL/GPL, MIT, and BSD. I am also using sample code from Apple's developer site, which has their own terms of use. The code dependencies are such that my code would not be of much use without theirs.

If this project is used, then it would be nice to pick a license that best fits in with this mashup. I am interested in maintaining the freedom of my code but do not want to create a catch-22 or make life hard for people who need to use this project for personal use or profit.

My inclination is to use MIT's, as I have done so before. I asked an IP lawyer about this matter, and she replied (pro bono), "it probably doesn't matter." Of course, that advice was worth every penny.

Moving away from legal issues and looking at this from a social perspective, which license would appeal most and offend least? I thought about no license but was warned (pro bono), "If you do not, then someone else may." That one might have been worth paying for but please do not tell her ;-/.

Any suggestions?

+ - Avira wins case upholding its right to block adware->

Mark Wilson writes: Security firm Avira has won a court case that can not only be chalked up as a win for consumer rights, but could also set something of a precedent. Germany company Freemium.com took Avira to court for warning users about 'potentially unwanted applications' that could be bundled along with a number of popular games and applications.

Freemium.com downloads included a number of unwanted extras in the form of browser toolbars, free trial applications, adware, and other crapware. Avira's antivirus software warned users installing such applications; Freemium took objection to this and filed a cease and desist letter, claiming anti-competitive practices. But the court ruled in Avira favor, saying it could continue to flag up and block questionable software.

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+ - Steve Wozniak Projects AI Will Become Smarter Than Humans, Keep Us As Pets->

MojoKid writes: No matter what your opinion is of Steve Wozniak, there is little doubt he's one of the most influential people in the history of Personal Computing. Often times noted for making bold enthusiastic claims, especially when it comes to the advancement of technology in every day life, Woz may have stepped slightly off the deep end in a recent interview where he projected the advancement of AI (Artificial Intelligence) so capable that it would be smarter than humans and eventually turn us into pets of the Internet of Things. Woz also joked, "I got this idea a few years ago and so I started feeding my dog filet steak and chicken every night because, do unto others." The projection was made for hundreds of years in the future and Woz doesn't necessarily view it as a bad thing because he feels AI would want to take care of us and "make things nice for humans."
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