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+ - Eben Upton Explains The Raspberry Pi Model A+'s Redesign

Submitted by M-Saunders
M-Saunders (706738) writes "It's cheaper, it's smaller, and it's curvier: the new Raspberry Pi Model A+ is quite a change from its predecessor. But with Model Bs selling more in a month than Model As have done in the lifetime of the Pi, what's the point in releasing a new model? Eben Upton, a founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, explains all. “It gives people a really low-cost way to come and play with Linux and it gives people a low-cost way to get a Raspberry Pi. We still think most people are still going to buy B+s, but it gives people a way to come and join in for the cost of 4 Starbucks coffees.”"

+ - Rich Geldreich is Worried About Some Aspects of Linux Gaming

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Former Valve engineer Rich Geldreich has written up a blog post about the state of Linux Gaming. It's an interesting read, that's for sure. When talking about recent bigger game ports, his take is that the developers doing these ports just aren't doing their best to optimize these releases for Linux and/or OpenGL. He points out how it took significant resources from Valve to properly optimize Source engine for Linux, but that other game studios are not walking the last mile. About drivers, he asks "Valve is still paying LunarG to find and fix silly perf bugs in Intel's slow open source driver. Surely this can't be a sustainable way of developing a working driver?" He ends his post by agreeing with a Slashdot comment where someone is basically saying that SteamOS is done, and that we will never get our hands on the Steam Controller."

+ - Peter Sunde Is a Free Man Again

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde was released from prison this morning. Peter is expected to take some time off to spend with family and loved ones before returning to normal grind. He was arrested in late May this year. Despite being accused of non-violent crimes, Peter was transferred to a high-security unit. His time in prison is described being tough. There was no concern for high values such as vegan diet or even proper treatment of depression. Peter also lost 15 kg of weight. After the experience he tweeted "My body just got re-united with my soul and mind, the parts of me that matters and that never can be held hostage.""

Comment: Gas heating (Score 1) 250

It depends on the amount of space you want to heat and how strong your roof is, but large gas bottles (200-500kg) can be bought in my neck of the woods, and there are multiple services that travel to my place to fill them. If access is an issue then multiple smaller bottles may do the trick - it all depends on how long you will be without gas.

Oh, and insulate your place. Walls, ceiling, windows, even consider the floor.

+ - As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "After rising rapidly for decades, the number of people behind bars peaked at 1.62 Million in 2009, has been mostly falling ever since down, and many justice experts believe the incarceration rate will continue on a downward trajectory for many years. New York, for example, saw an 8.8% decline in federal and state inmates, and California, saw a 20.6% drop. Now the WSJ reports on an awkward byproduct of the declining U.S. inmate population: empty or under-utilized prisons and jails that must be cared for but can’t be easily sold or repurposed. New York state has closed 17 prisons and juvenile-justice facilities since 2011, following the rollback of the 1970s-era Rockefeller drug laws, which mandated lengthy sentences for low-level offenders. So far, the state has found buyers for 10 of them, at prices that range from less than $250,000 to about $8 million for a facility in Staten Island, often a fraction of what they cost to build. “There’s a prisoner shortage,” says Mike Arismendez, city manager for Littlefield, Texas, home of an empty five-building complex that sleeps 383 inmates and comes with a gym, maintenence shed, armory, and parking lot . “Everybody finds it hard to believe.”

The incarceration rate is declining largely because crime has fallen significantly in the past generation. In addition, many states have relaxed harsh sentencing laws passed during the tough-on-crime 1980s and 1990s, and have backed rehabilitation programs, resulting in fewer low-level offenders being locked up. States from Michigan to New Jersey have changed parole processes, leading more prisoners to leave earlier. On a federal level, the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed to reduce sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Before 2010, the U.S. prison population increased every year for 30 years, from 307,276 in 1978 to a high of 1,615,487 in 2009. “This is the beginning of the end of mass incarceration,” says Natasha Frost. "People don’t care so much about crime, and it’s less of a political focus.""

+ - Does "Scientific Consensus" deserve a bad reputation?->

Submitted by nerdyalien
nerdyalien (1182659) writes "From the article: Fiction author Michael Crichton probably started the backlash against the idea of consensus in science. Crichton was rather notable for doubting the conclusions of climate scientists—he wrote an entire book in which they were the villains—so it's fair to say he wasn't thrilled when the field reached a consensus. Still, it's worth looking at what he said, if only because it's so painfully misguided:

As a STEM major, I am somewhat bias towards "strong" evidence side of the argument. However, the more I read literature from other somewhat related fields i.e. psychology, economics and climate science; the more I felt that they have little opportunity in repeating experiments, similar to counterparts in traditional hard science fields. Their accepted theories are based on limited historical occurrences and consensus among the scholars. Given the situation, should we consider "consensus" as accepted scientific facts ?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden reveals scale of US aid to Israel which explains turmoil in Middle East

Submitted by ltorvalds11
ltorvalds11 (3774511) writes "The turmoil gripping the Middle East is a direct result of the provision of cash, weapons and surveillance to Israel by the US, the latest Snowden leak illustrates. In a bold examination, the former Guardian journalist reveals the amazing contrast between what the United States says publicly, and what it does behind the curtain.
In fact, "the single largest exchange between NSA and ISNU (Israeli SIGINT National Unit) is on targets in the Middle East which constitute strategic threats to US and Israeli interests," the leaked paper reveals. One of the "key priorities" of this cooperation is "the Iranian nuclear development program, followed by Syrian nuclear efforts, Lebanese Hizbullah plans and intentions, Palestinian terrorism, and Global Jihad." The paper talks about "targeting and exploiting" these. Greenwald goes on to list the occasions on which the US has been exposed as supplying arms to Israel;
the last such occasion was just before the start of the operation in Gaza, wherein a $1 billion stockpile of ammunition the US stored in Israel specifically for situations like these was used."

Comment: Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (Score 1) 379

by JabrTheHut (#47442311) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Regarding Hamas bringing children to the buildings designated for destruction: you should realize that their values are different than yours and mine. We value life, they value heaven.

So you actually believe you are doing them a favour by killing their children? That's why you do it?

I've heard some low-grade racism in my time, but this takes the cake. I'd like to see you offer a source for this "Palestinians bringing children into buildings designated for destruction" that doesn't come from the IDF's propaganda division.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 379

by JabrTheHut (#47442209) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

But regardless of your personal motivation, why would you want to traumatize your children by having them grow up in the midst of such fear and violence?

Because there is actually very little violence directed at them, as the vast majority is directed at the Palestinians. And they want the Palestinians gone. They get upset when the Palestinians fight back, but it happens so rarely that they don't leave Israel over it.

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?

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