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+ - New Microsoft Garage Site Invites Public To Test A Wide Range Of App Ideas

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft today launched a new sectionon its website: The Microsoft Garage is designed to give the public early access to various projects the company is testing right now. The team is kicking off with a total of 16 free consumer-facing apps, spanning Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, and even the Xbox One. Microsoft Garage is still going to be everything it has been so far, but Microsoft has simply decided it’s time for the public to get involved too: You can now test the wild projects the company’s employees dream up."

+ - Fiber-to-the-Home Creates New Digital Divide

Submitted by dkatana
dkatana (2761029) writes "Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream.

Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber."

+ - Glaciers in the Karakoram mountains do not melt - reason found-> 2

Submitted by Chipmunk100
Chipmunk100 (3619141) writes "In a phenomenon known as the "Karakoram anomaly," glaciers in the Karakoram mountains, a range within the Himalayas, have remained stable and even increased in mass while many glaciers nearby — and worldwide — have receded during the past 150 years, particularly in recent decades. Researchers report in the journal Nature Geoscience that the ice is sustained by a unique and localized seasonal pattern that keeps the mountain range relatively cold and dry during the summer."
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+ - The Classic Control Panel in Windows May Be Gone 1

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "In Windows 8, there was an arrangement of two settings applications: the Control Panel for the desktop and the PC Settings app in the Modern UI side. With Windows 10, having the two different applications has started to look even more awkward, which has been voiced loud and clear in the feedback too. Thus, the work at Microsoft to unify the settings programs has begun. The traditional Control Panel is being transformed to something temporarily called "zPC Settings" (sic), which is a Modern UI app that melts together the current two settings applications."

+ - 6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed in Ukraine

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."
Maybe this is what Putin has been after."

+ - Astronomers Find Brightest Pulsar Ever Observed->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NuSTAR satellite have discovered a pulsar so bright that it challenges how scientists think pulsars work. While observing galaxy M82 in hopes of catching supernova, the researchers found an unexpected source of X-rays very close to the galaxy's core. It was near another source, thought to be a black hole. But the new one was pulsing, which black holes don't do. The trouble is that according to known pulsar models, it's about 100 times brighter than the calculated limits to its luminosity (abstract). researchers used a different method to figure out its mass, and the gap shrank, but it's still too bright to fit their theories."
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+ - A whole town for testing self-driving cars and package-delivering drones->

Submitted by mlamonica
mlamonica (3770375) writes "Robotics companies and state officials in Massachusetts are hoping to create a real-world test bed in Devens, Massachusetts, a former military base now run by the state. The idea is to put cutting edge robotic technologies, such as self-driving cars and drones, to the test in real-world conditions — town center, industrial areas, etc."
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+ - FTDI updates windows driver, causes fake chips to be bricked->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the latest windows update from FTDI (maker of usb/serial converter chips, very often used in arduinos and their download cables), the driver will look for 'fake' chips and overwrite their USB product id (PID), making them useless (unless you work-around it and re-flash the chip with the proper PID). The linux driver is still safe, but the binary blob from windows update is now something that we should all blacklist and uninstall, for our own safety."
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+ - What It Took for SpaceX to Become a Serious Space Company->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has a nice profile of SpaceX's rise to prominence — how a private startup managed to successfully compete with industry giants like Boeing in just a decade of existence. "Regardless of its inspirations, the company was forced to adopt a prosaic initial goal: Make a rocket at least 10 times cheaper than is possible today. Until it can do that, neither flowers nor people can go to Mars with any economy. With rocket technology, Musk has said, "you’re really left with one key parameter against which technology improvements must be judged, and that’s cost." SpaceX currently charges $61.2 million per launch. Its cost-per-kilogram of cargo to low-earth orbit, $4,653, is far less than the $14,000 to $39,000 offered by its chief American competitor, the United Launch Alliance. Other providers often charge $250 to $400 million per launch; NASA pays Russia $70 million per astronaut to hitch a ride on its three-person Soyuz spacecraft. SpaceX’s costs are still nowhere near low enough to change the economics of space as Musk and his investors envision, but they have a plan to do so (of which more later).""
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+ - Xerox Alto Source Code Released To Public-> 1

Submitted by zonker
zonker (1158) writes "In 1970 the Xerox Corporation established the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) with the goal to develop an “architecture of information” and lay the groundwork for future electronic office products. The pioneering Alto project that began in 1972 invented or refined many of the fundamental hardware and software ideas upon which our modern devices are based, including raster displays, mouse pointing devices, direct-manipulation user interfaces, windows and menus, the first WYSIWYG word processor, and Ethernet.

The first Altos were built as research prototypes. By the fall of 1976 PARC’s research was far enough along that a Xerox product group started to design products based on their prototypes. Ultimately ~1500 were built and deployed throughout the Xerox Corporation, as well as at universities and other sites. The Alto was never sold as a product but its legacy served as inspiration for the future.

With the permission of the Palo Alto Research Center, the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use only, snapshots of Alto source code, executables, documentation, font files, and other files from 1975 to 1987. The files are organized by the original server on which they resided at PARC that correspond to files that were restored from archive tapes. An interesting look at retro-future."

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+ - Facebook articulates the value of open source for employees->

Submitted by jenwike
jenwike (2888285) writes "Facebook asked their employees: "Were you aware of the open source software program at Facebook?" 2/3 said Yes. 1/2 said that the program positively contributed to their decision to work for the company, and a large number of those people said their experience using Facebook projects in the open helped them get ramped up prior to being hired. James Pearce, Head of Open Source at Facebook, says that's a huge win."
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In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.