As reported by The Daily Beast, news on the ongoing terror attack (or attacks) in Paris. Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, who are accused of slaughtering 12 in an attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, have been cornered by hundreds of security officials close to Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris. Officials say they believe the heavily armed brothers are holding one hostage. Twenty miles south, in the east of the city, at least one gunman is believed to have taken six hostages at a Jewish store. Police suspect that the third gunman is the same man who shot and killed a policewoman on Thursday morning before escaping in a bulletproof vest. Update: 01/09 17:44 GMT by T : And now all three of the gunmen involved in today's hostage taking are dead. Watch this space for updates. Update: 01/09 17:15 GMT by T : CNN's story features a stream of updates (and an autoplaying video ad to beware), as does The Telegraph. Latest news is that brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi have been killed by police, but it's unclear whether the same is true of the third hostage-taker.
With the holidays coming up, Bennett Haselton has updated his geek-oriented gift guide for 2014. He says: Some of my favorite gifts to give are still the ones that were listed in several different previously written posts, while a few new cool gift ideas emerged in 2014. Here are all my current best recommendations, listed in one place. Read on for the list, or to share any suggestions of your own.
schwit1 writes The new rules would allow garbage collectors to inspect trash cans and ticket offending parties if food and compostable material makes up 10 percent or more of the trash. The fines will begin at $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings. "SPU doesn’t expect to collect many fines, says Tim Croll, the agency’s solid-waste director. The city outlawed recyclable items from the trash nine years ago, but SPU has collected less than $2,000 in fines since then, Croll says. 'The point isn’t to raise revenue,' he said. 'We care more about reminding people to separate their materials.'"
An anonymous reader writes "India is planning a mission to probe the Sun before 2020. The nation launched a Moon mission a few years ago and sent a Mars mission late last year. From the article: 'Indian Space Research Organization has lined up over a dozen missions, including its first probe on the Sun, Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said on Friday. Though, the mission to probe the Sun was already on the cards, the agency now has a clear picture of its plan and had put a timeframe within which it hoped to undertake it, Radhakrishnan said, while addressing students at a private University here. He said the "Aditya" mission to the Sun had been planned between 2017 and 2020.'"
smaxp writes "A cross-country trip by two Model S sedans 'recorded the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country – a feat that is now being assessed for recognition as a Guinness World Records achievement,' according to a Tesla blog post. 'The 3464.5-mile jaunt is yet another attempt to ease range anxiety among many consumers who worry about being stranded in a car with a depleted battery pack and nowhere near a charging station. While Tesla’s Model S is too expensive for average consumers, the company plans to roll out cheaper models at some point and needs to address the fear that has stopped many people from buying electric cars, even cheaper ones such as the Nissan Leaf...'"
mattydread23 writes "Amazon is getting into the desktop virtualization space. This is potentially huge news for providers like Citrix, but as writer Nancy Gohring points out, the company is starting small. Very small: 'The administrator console only allows managers to provision five WorkSpaces at a time. It's possible that will change when the service becomes generally available. For now, Amazon is accepting sign ups for a limited preview of the service. '"
mattydread23 writes: Amazon is getting into the desktop virtualization space. This is ponentially huge news for providers like Citrix, but as writer Nancy Gohring points out, the company is starting small. Very small: "The administrator console only allows managers to provision five WorkSpaces at a time. It’s possible that will change when the service becomes generally available. For now, Amazon is accepting sign ups for a limited preview of the service. "
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
Funksaw writes "Here's an op-ed by first-time politician, long-time Slashdotter Brian Boyko, where he talks about his experiences testifying at the Texas Board of Education in favor of having real science in science textbooks. But beyond that, he also tries to examine, philosophically, why there is such hardened resistance to the idea of evolution in Texas. From the article: '[W]hat is true is that evolution tests faith. The fact of evolution is incontrovertible and supported by mounds of empirical evidence. Faith, on the other hand, is fragile. It is supported only by the strength of human will. And this is where it gets tricky. Because to many believers, faith, not works, is the only guarantee that one can pass God's litmus test and gain access to His divine kingdom. To lose one's faith is to literally damn oneself. So tests to that faith must be avoided at all costs. Better to be a philosophical coward than a theological failure.'"
cold fjord writes "From the Examiner: '...the second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a temporary work provider. ... part-time jobs are at an all-time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. ... There are now a record number of Americans with temporary jobs. Approximately 2.7 million, in fact. And the trend has been growing. ... Temp jobs made up about 10 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but now make up a tenth of the jobs in the United States. In fact, nearly one-fifth of all jobs gained since the recession ended have been temporary.' The NYT has a chart detailing the problem."
Shipwack sends this quote from the Guardian: "The Iranian authorities have long accused Google Earth of being a tool for western spy agencies, but now they have taken their attacks on the 3D mapping service one step further — by planning the launch of an 'Islamic' competitor. ... The minister, however, gave little information on what he meant by an Islamic 3D map. 'We are developing this service with the Islamic views we have in Iran and we will put a kind of information on our website that would take people of the world towards reality Our values in Iran are the values of God and this would be the difference between Basir and the Google Earth, which belongs to the ominous triangle of the U.S., England and the Zionists [a reference to Israel].' Experts, however, have serious doubts about the project. An IT consultant who has worked on Iran's national internet project in the past said the announcement was merely an excuse to obtain funds and secure working contracts for the future. 'They have claimed to run their service in four months and said their data centre capacity will reach Google's size in three years,' he said. 'Three-year project, no business model and only relying on government funding, a piece of cake indeed. To have a data centre with such capacity and security level they need power stations, cooler systems, bandwidth, etc, which will require billions of dollars of investment that doesn't fit with Iran's sanctions-hit economy.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Days after the killing of leftist blogger Thaba Baba, mosques throughout Bangladesh called for a popular uprising to demand the killing of other bloggers who had held a rally calling for the death of Jama'at-e-Islami leaders convicted of war crimes. This happens in an atmosphere of ongoing tension between Left and Right, with the leftist government threatening to outlaw rightist parties while the right uses violence to quiet selected enemies."
Bennett Haselton writes "Here are three hacks that I adopted in the last few weeks, each of which solved a minor problem that I had lived with for so long that I no longer thought of it as a problem — until a solution came along, which was like a small weight off my shoulders. None of these hacks will help impress anyone with your technical prowess; I'm just putting them here because they made my life easier." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.
An anonymous reader writes "It may be hard for Facebook HR infrastructure to keep up with the rapid growth of the company, so scheduling and performing Skype screening interviews with the prospective new developers appears deteriorating into disorderly jumble. In a blog post, a recent candidate for a development job at Facebook has shared his excruciation at coordinating and then having this preliminary interview, pointing out the unhelpfulness of HR staff at Facebook during all stages of the process."
call -151 writes "Many years ago, a human-generated intentionally nonsense paper was accepted by the (prominent) literary culture journal Social Text. In August, a randomly-generated nonsense mathematics paper was accepted by one of the many low-tier 'open-access' research mathematics journals. The software Mathgen, which generated the accepted submission, takes as inputs author names (or those can be randomly selected also) and generates nicely TeX'd and impressive-sounding sentences which are grammatically correct but mathematically disconnected nonsense. This was reviewed by a human, (quickly, for math, in 12 days) and the reviewers' comments mention superficial problems with the submission (PDF). The references are also randomly-generated and rather hilarious. For those with concerns about submitting to lower-tier journals in an effort to promote open access, this is not a good sign!"
An anonymous reader writes "During the 12th Annual Global LambdaGrid Workshop in Chicago, researchers have demonstrated interactive multi-point streaming of 8K/UHDTV (i.e., 16x Full HD resolution) using commodity PC hardware running Linux and open-source UltraGrid software. The transmissions featured GPU-accelerated JPEG and DXT compressions implemented using the NVIDIA CUDA platform, which are also available as open-source software. The streams were distributed from the source to one location in the USA and to another location in the Czech Republic over 10Gbps GLIF network infrastructure."