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+ - ISIS militant 'Jihadi John' believed to be a computer programmer from London-> 1

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd writes: The Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John," who has appeared in several videos depicting the beheadings of Western hostages, is a British man from West London.

His name is Mohammed Emwazi, according to Washington Post and Guardian reports. He was known to British security services, which chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons.

Emwazi graduated from college with a degree in computer programming, according to friends who spoke to the Washington Post. He was a quiet man in his mid-20s who was raised in a middle-class part of London, the paper reports.

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+ - DNA recovered from underwater British site may rewrite history of farming->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Hunter-gatherers may have brought agricultural products to the British Isles by trading wheat and other grains with early farmers from the European mainland. That’s the intriguing conclusion of a new study of ancient DNA from a now submerged hunter-gatherer camp off the British coast. If true, the find suggests that wheat made its way to the far edge of Western Europe 2000 years before farming was thought to have taken hold in Britain. The work confronts archaeologists “with the challenge of fitting this into our worldview,” says Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London who was not involved in the work.
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+ - The Programmers That Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A look inside the #NoEstimates movement, which wants to rid the software world of time estimates for projects. Programmers argue that estimates are wrong too often and a waste of time. Other stakeholders believe they need those estimates to plan and to keep programmers accountable. Is there a middle ground?

Software project estimates are too often wrong, and the more time we throw at making them, the more we steal from the real work of building software. Also: Managers have a habit of treating developers’ back-of-the-envelope estimates as contractual deadlines, then freaking out when they’re missed. And wait, there’s more: Developers, terrified by that prospect, put more and more energy into obsessive trips down estimation rabbit-holes. Estimation becomes a form of “yak-shaving”—a ritual enacted to put off actual work.


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+ - Obama to ban 5.56 bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

How many criminals used a 5.56 firearm?

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+ - Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation? ->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: The dreaded term “fragmentation” has been applied to Android more times than anyone can count over the past half-decade. That’s part of the reason why game developers often build for iOS before Android, even though Android offers a bigger potential customer base worldwide, and more types of gaming experiences. Fortunately, new sets of tools allow game developers to build for one platform and port their work (fairly) easily to another. “We’ve done simultaneously because it is such a simple case of swapping out the textures and also hooking up different APIs for scores and achievements,” London-based indie developer Tom Vian told Dice. “I’ve heard that iOS is a better platform to launch on first, but there’s no sense for us in waiting when we can spend half a day and get it up and running.” So is fragmentation an overhyped roadblock, or is it a genuine problem for developers who work in mobile?
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+ - Startup aims to crowdsource AI, and share revenue with the community->

Submitted by jorkin
jorkin writes: A Boston-based startup is taking an interesting approach to creating smarter applications, crowdsourcing human behavior and dialogue through games, and letting the player community share revenues from products created from their data. They are initially focusing on educational applications where communication is key, like practicing a second language, or learning how to have difficult conversations.
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+ - Top three educational apps for toddlers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Now more then ever, children have technology introduced into their lives at an early age. With the user-friendly options that iPhones, iPads and Android devices offer--we can use them as tools to educate our kids. Apps help to teach our toddlers by engaging them with educational and interactive games. Discover the top three educational apps for your toddler or preschooler here!
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+ - The state of Linux gaming in the SteamOS era->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: It's been over a year since Valve announced its Linux-based SteamOS, the biggest push yet from a huge company to bring mainstream gaming to Linux. In this article, Ars Technica takes a look at how their efforts are panning out. Game developers say making Linux ports has gotten dramatically easier: "There are great games shipping for Linux from development teams with no Linux expertise. They hit the 'export to Linux' button in the Unity editor and shipped it and it worked out alright. We didn't get flying cars, but the future is turning out OK so far." Drivers are still a problem, getting in the way of potential performance gains due to Linux's overall smaller resource footprint than Windows. And while the platform is growing, it's doing to slowly. Major publishers are still hesitant to devote time to Linux, and Valve is taking their time building for it. Their Steam Machine hardware is still in development, and some of their key features are being adopted by other gaming giants, like Microsoft. Still, Valve is sticking with it, and that's huge. It gives developers faith that they can work on supporting Linux without fear that the industry will re-fragment before their game is done.
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+ - If an 800-kiloton nuclear warhead detonated above midtown Manhattan->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick writes: Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US less than 30 minutes after being launched. Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive power of 800,000 tons of TNT. This article is a description of the consequences of the detonation of a single such warhead over midtown Manhattan, in the heart of New York City.
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+ - How Astronomers Will Take 'Image Of The Century': A Black Hole

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi writes: Researchers studying the universe are ramping up to take the "image of the century" — the first ever image of a supermassive black hole. While the evidence for the existence of black holes is compelling, Scientists will continue to argue the contrary until physical, observational evidence is provided. Now, a dedicated team of astrophysicists armed with a global fleet of powerful telescopes is out to change that. If they succeed, they will snap the first ever picture of the monstrously massive black hole thought to live at the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This ambitious project, called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), is incredibly tricky, but recent advances in their research are encouraging the team to push forward, now. The reason EHT needs to be so complex is because black holes, by nature, do not emit light and are, therefore, invisible. In fact, black holes survive by gobbling up light and any other matter — nearby dust, gas, and stars — that fall into their powerful clutches. The EHT team is going to zoom in on a miniscule spot on the sky toward the center of the Milky Way where they believe to be the event horizon of a supermassive black hole weighing in at 4 million times more massive than our sun. We can still see the material, however, right before it falls into eternal darkness. The EHT team is going to try and glimpse this ring of radiation that outlines the event horizon. Experts call this outline the "shadow" of a black hole, and it's this shadow that the EHT team is ultimately after to prove the existence of black holes.

+ - New Virus Means Deadlier Flu Season Is Possible

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Donald McNeil writes in the NYT that this year’s flu season may be deadlier than usual because this year’s flu vaccine is a relatively poor match to a new virus that is now circulating. “Flu is unpredictable, but what we’ve seen thus far is concerning,” says Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. According to the CDC, five U.S. children have died from flu-related complications so far this season. Four of them were infected with influenza A viruses, including three cases of H3N2 infections. The new H3 subtype first appeared overseas in March but because it was not found in many samples in the United States until September, it is now too late to change the vaccine. Because of the increased danger from the H3 strain — and because B influenza strains can also cause serious illness — the CDC recommends that patients with asthma, diabetes or lung or heart problems see a doctor at the first sign of a possible flu, and that doctors quickly prescribe antivirals like Tamiflu or Relenza. “H3N2 viruses tend to be associated with more severe seasons,” says Frieden. “The rate of hospitalization and death can be twice as high or more in flu seasons when H3 doesn’t predominate.”

+ - Electric eel shocks like a Taser->

Submitted by Science_afficionado
Science_afficionado writes: After a nine month study, a Vanderbilt biologist has determined that the electric eel emits series of millisecond, high-voltage pulses to paralyze its prey just before it attacks. The high-voltage pulses cause the motor neurons in its target to violently contract, leaving it temporarily immobilized in the same fashion as the high-voltage pulses produced by a Taser. He documented this effect using high-speed video. The eel, which is nocturnal and has very poor eyesight, also uses closely spaced pairs of high-voltage pulses when hunting for hidden prey. He determined that the pulses cause the prey's body to twitch which produces water movements that the eel uses to locate its position even when it's hidden from view.
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