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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 8 accepted (21 total, 38.10% accepted)

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Submission + - Footprints found in British Columbia could be oldest in North America (www.cbc.ca)

MightyMartian writes: From the story:

The footprints of family members gathered around a hearth fire thousands of years ago on the central coast of B.C. may be the oldest ever found in North America. The impressions left by the feet of two adults and a child in the soft clay of Calvert Island appear to be 13,200 years old, which would make them older than any others ever found on the continent, announced the Hakai Institute, a research organization that helped support the research.

Submission + - Dice Keeps Fucking Up Slashdot (slashdot.org)

MightyMartian writes: You heard it here first. Dice is fucking over Slashdot once again, this time by replacing the handy "read story" link with some hipster doofus "share on twitter/facebook/up-my-arse" link.

Likely this indicates the sheer mental retardation of Dice's corporate overlords, people some pathetically stupid that they likely need someone to hold their phalli while they urinate.

One Dice representative was quoted as saying "Duhhhhhhhh...."

Submission + - Homeopathy Turns Out To Be Useless For Treating Medical Conditions (ctvnews.ca)

MightyMartian writes: It should prove to be no surprise for most rational people, but a group of Australian researchers have determined that homeopathy is completely useless at treating medical conditions. Researchers sifted through 1,800 research papers on homeopathy and found no reliable report that showed homeopathic remedies had any better results than placebos.

Submission + - Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, dies aged 66 (theguardian.com)

MightyMartian writes: From the article:

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series of novels who had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, has died aged 66, his publishers have announced.

He passed away in his home, with his cat sleeping on his bed surrounded by his family on Thursday.

He completed his last book, a new Discworld novel, in the summer of 2014.

Larry Finlay, MD at Transworld Publishers, said in a statement: “The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds.”

Submission + - Android Lollipop Causing Problems For Nexus 7 Users

MightyMartian writes: According to the BBC, there are numerous reports of the latest version of Android causing numerous problems for Nexus 7 users.

The Google Product Forums are filled with reports of both the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 tablet having stability problems; in particular with Chrome and the Facebook app.

On a personal note, while Lollipop works quite while on my Nexus 5, it has rendered my Nexus 7 2012 tablet all but unusable with frequent crashes and lock ups.

Submission + - Moving Away From IT

MightyMartian writes: I've been working for an organization now for over seven years, my best run yet. A couple of years ago, the company went through some major changes and I bought in as an owner and as a managing director; my responsibilities encompassing administration, finance and IT. It's a small (20 employee or so, plus nearly that many with subcontracting companies) organization so needless to say I retained my direct IT responsibilities.

My fellow board members have decided that I need to detach myself from the day to day IT operations and take over more management duties; in particular in the finance and budgeting end of things. Right now I'm in the process of interviewing a new IT system administrator who will, over time, take on most of my IT roles. However, since this has been a one-man shop for seven years; namely my shop, I confess some reservations about handing over the keys and moving permanently up to the top floor.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the level of permissions for servers, networks and infrastructure I should start with? Do I, for the moment, retain some of the critical functionality; like superuser passwords, and slowly move the new system administrator into his or her role, or do I move more quickly, give him the basics and then let him fly on his own?

Submission + - NASA Wants To Go To Europa (cnet.com)

MightyMartian writes: From the story:

"NASA and the White House are asking Congress to bankroll a new intrastellar road trip to a destination that's sort of like the extraterrestrial Atlantis of our solar system — Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa."

Since Europa seems one of the most likely worlds in the Solar System other than Earth where we have some hope of finding extant life, let's hope Congress gives the green light to this project.

Submission + - Richard Nixon Announces His Approval For Slashdot Beta 3

MightyMartian writes: Former US president (and everyone's favorite funny man) Richard M. Nixon announced his approval of the Slashdot Beta site.

"I was just telling Pat this morning as I made sweet Nixon love to her that what the web needed was a whitespace-riddled atrocity. Slashdot Beta is the Tet Offensive of discussion sites, so screw you, you stupid hippies."

Henry Kissinger was said to have been very pleased as well. Dr. Kissinger was quoted as saying "In Soviet Russia, Slashdot betas you!"

Submission + - Slashdot Starting Move To Beta Site (slashdot.org) 1

MightyMartian writes: According to Slashdot's blog, great progress is being made in the redesign. According to a notice on the Slashdot front page:

"MOVIN’ ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more."

According to many posters who are posting off topic, there seems little appetite for the upcoming changes.

Submission + - iPads banned from UK Cabinet meetings over surveillance fears (telegraph.co.uk) 1

MightyMartian writes: British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner’s knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistway have figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones, and have them transmit even when they're off. Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes, which they must place their mobiles in when having sensitive conversations.


Submission + - Saturn's largest moon undergoes crater makeover (www.cbc.ca)

MightyMartian writes: NASA scientists say Cassini has discovered that far fewer craters on Titan than on the other moons of Saturn. The craters they have discovered are far shallower than other moons' craters and appear to be filling with hydrocarbon sand. On top of being yet another reason Titan's active geology is very cool, it adds to the mystery of where all the methane on Titan is coming from.

Submission + - Pat Robertson Rejects Creationism (cnn.com)

MightyMartian writes: "From the article:

"Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.”

And further...

Before answering the question, Robertson acknowledged the statement was controversial by saying, “I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this.” “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.



Submission + - Teen Suicide Tormenter Outed By Anonymous (www.cbc.ca)

MightyMartian writes: From the story:

The tragic story of a Canadian teen suicide victim Amanda Todd has taken another bizarre twist as the internet hacking and activist group Anonymous has named a man the group says was the girl's primary tormentor. Todd, 15, of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, died last Wednesday, a month after posting a haunting video on YouTube that cited the sexualized attack that set her down a path of anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

This raises a whole nest of issues surrounding the presumption of innocence and vigilantism. Should the police and the courts be given the appropriate amount of time to determine if there is sufficient evidence, or if a crime has in fact been committed, or is Anonymous right in short-circuiting what might in fact be a lengthy process with no guarantee that anyone will face charges?

Submission + - Neanderthal-Modern Human Interbreeding Cast In Doubt (Again) (bbc.co.uk)

MightyMartian writes: It appears that the back-and-forth debate over whether modern humans and Neanderthals has been swung back into the "unlikely" category.

According to the abstract (at PNAS):

"Recent comparisons between anatomically modern humans and ancient genomes of other hominins have raised the tantalizing, and hotly debated, possibility of hybridization. Although several tests of hybridization have been devised, they all rely on the degree to which different modern populations share genetic polymorphisms with the ancient genomes of other hominins. However, spatial population structure is expected to generate genetic patterns similar to those that might be attributed to hybridization. To investigate this problem, we take Neanderthals as a case study, and build a spatially explicit model of the shared history of anatomically modern humans and this hominin. We show that the excess polymorphism shared between Eurasians and Neanderthals is compatible with scenarios in which no hybridization occurred, and is strongly linked to the strength of population structure in ancient populations. Thus, we recommend caution in inferring admixture from geographic patterns of shared polymorphisms, and argue that future attempts to investigate ancient hybridization between humans and other hominins should explicitly account for population structure."

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.