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Submission + - Fenno-German "Sea Lion" Telecom Cable Laying Begins

jones_supa writes: Couple of years ago details began to unfold of a government-backed high capacity data cable between Germany and Finland, which would be routed through the Baltic Sea. The cable has now been nicknamed "Sea Lion" and the work started Monday in Santahamina coastal area, outside Helsinki. The cable was built by Alcatel Lucent and is operated by the Finnish firm Cinia Group. The Finnish government, along with the banking and insurance sector, have together invested €100M into the project. That investment is expected to pay for itself many times over once the business sector gets a boost from the new telecom jump. The new cable also makes Finland independent of the Øresund Bridge, through which all of the country's Internet traffic is currently routed, via Denmark and Sweden. Eventually the new link can reach Asia as well, via the Northeast Passage shipping route.

Submission + - Electoral system that Lessig hopes to reform is keeping him out of the debate (

schwit1 writes: Lessig has raised a million dollars, which is nothing to sneeze at, but he's being given the cold shoulder by the Democrats when it comes to participating in the debates. I think he's got a good argument for being included — he's certainly as serious a candidate as those sad sacks Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee, and I'm hearing a lot more about his campaign than about the curiously somnolent campaign of Jim Webb.

Why are they keeping Lessig out? According to Lessig, it's for the same reason he wants in: "My view is that if we can get this message [of reform] into the debate it would change the dynamics of this Democratic primary entirely. This issue framed in this way totally blows up the Democratic primary."

Hillary and Bernie, he says, are promising the moon to voters, but can't deliver. Lessig told me, "If I can get on that stage and say the rocket can't get off the ground, and we have to change this dynamic first," the narrative shifts in a way that the leading candidates can't address.

Submission + - The Payments World Really Wants to Know Who You Are (

jhigh writes: The generation that brought the obsession of snapping facial photos, uploading to social media channels and terming it “selfies” has unknowingly launched a new platform of cyber security for the world, a kind of biometric termed, “pay with your face.” This is a fitting legacy for millennials, who impart knowledge one click at a time.

Submission + - Dell to buy EMC for $65 Billion (

im_thatoneguy writes: After days of rumors, the New York Times is reporting that Dell will in fact be acquiring storage (and VMWare parent) company EMC in a record $65B deal being financed by a consortium of banks.

Under the deal Dell will pay $33.15 a share which represents a premium even on top of EMC's current value which had already jumped on initials rumors of a $50 acquistion last week. However, insiders say the deal won't be a straight forward cash buy-out of stock holders. Instead, EMC investors will receive about 70% in cash and the remainder in what's called a Tracking Stock which will track the performance of just the VMWare Division within the new organization.

Submission + - Chinese' space program worries India (

An anonymous reader writes: According to Indian armed forces, China's establishment of a 50,000 strong Space Force under the Central Military Commission as a part of the China’s latest military modernisation plan is very worrisome

The Space Force would not only have anti-satellite and anti-missile capability, but also would have military astronauts. Space and Navy are the two areas where Beijing is putting more emphasis in its military reorganisation plan as compared to other areas

Submission + - What non-lethal technology has the best chance of replacing the gun? 1

Wycliffe writes: Most cops are not out to kill someone but when someone reaches for a cellphone or their glovebox, the cop assumes the worst and goes to protect themself from dying. Guns are used to immobilize the target and are not really even that good at it when that person is charging. What other potential devices could be used to protect a cop so that guns are unnecessary? Foam? Lightweight body armour? Nets? Robots? "Mantis" paralysingly gas? Force field? What non-lethal technology out there has the best potential to be MORE effective at immobilizing a target and/or protecting a cop than a gun?

Submission + - NASA's 'Journey to Mars' plan lacks specifics and a budget ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: NASA released a document purported to describe the steps involved in its Journey to Mars program. But, as the Wall Street Journal suggests, the “plan” has a conspicuous lack of specifics, especially how much the program will cost and what are some of the intermediate steps that have to be taken before human beings set foot on Mars, sometime in the 2030s. The lack is likely informed by the fact that, with the change of administrations, the space agency’s deep space exploration goals are likely to get a reevaluation. The plan serves as a public relations document more than anything else.

Submission + - China Arrests Hackers At Behest of US Government (

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time, the Chinese government has arrested a group of hackers at the request of the United States. The hackers are suspected of having "stolen commercial secrets" from companies in the U.S., which were then passed on to Chinese competitors. "The arrests come amid signs of a potential change in the power balance between the U.S. and Chinese governments on commercial cyberespionage, one of the most fraught issues between the two countries. For years, U.S. firms and officials have said Beijing hasn't done enough to crack down on digital larceny." It's a big first step in establishing a functional cybersecurity relationship between the two nations. Now, everyone will be watching to see if China follows up the arrests with prosecution. "A public trial is important not only because that would be consistent with established principles of criminal justice, but because it could discourage other would-be hackers and show that the arrests were not an empty gesture."

Submission + - Single RX queue kernel bypass in Netmap for high packet rate networking (

An anonymous reader writes: CloudFlare's content delivery network relies on their ability to shuffle data around. As they've scaled up, they're run into some interesting technical limits on how fast they can manage this. Last month they explained how the unmodified Linux kernel can only handle about 1 million packets per second, when easily-available NICs can managed 10 times that. So, they did what you're supposed to do when you encounter a problem with open source software: they developed a patch for the Netmap project to increase throughput. "Usually, when a network card goes into the Netmap mode, all the RX queues get disconnected from the kernel and are available to the Netmap applications. We don't want that. We want to keep most of the RX queues back in the kernel mode, and enable Netmap mode only on selected RX queues. We call this functionality: 'single RX queue mode.'" With their changes, Netmap was able to receive about 5.8 million packets per second. Their patch is currently awaiting review.

Submission + - The rise and fall of NASA's Shuttle-Centaur (

An anonymous reader writes: An article at Ars Technica tells the story of Shuttle-Centaur, a NASA project in the mid-80s to carry a Centaur rocket to orbit within the cargo bay of a space shuttle. As you might expect, shuttle launches became vastly more complex with such heavy yet delicate cargo. Still, officials saw it as the easiest way to send probes further into the solar system. They developed a plan to launch Challenger and Atlantis within 5 days of each other in mid-1986 to bring the Ulysses and Galileo probes to orbit, each with its own Shuttle-Centaur. Though popular opinion at the time was that the shuttle program was "unstoppable," individuals within NASA were beginning to push back against slipping safety standards. "While a host of unknowns remained concerning launching a volatile, liquid-fueled rocket stage on the back of a space shuttle armed with a liquid-filled tank and two solid rocket boosters, NASA and its contractors galloped full speed toward a May 1986 launch deadline for both spacecraft." The destruction of Challenger in January, 1986 put Shuttle-Centaur on hold. The safety investigation that ensued quickly came to the conclusion that it presented unacceptable risks, and the project was canceled that June.

Submission + - Twitter to Begin Layoffs (

An anonymous reader writes: Just a few days ago, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company and took over the role of CEO. Now, the NY Times reports that the company will be facing layoffs as he cuts the company's costs. Twitter somehow manages to employ over 4,100 people across 35+ offices, so many investors are thrilled with the news. "Twitter’s spending has been rising. In the last quarter for which Twitter reported financial results, costs and expenses totaled $633 million, up 37 percent from a year earlier. The layoffs will most likely affect multiple areas of the company, including the engineering and media teams, according to the people with knowledge of the plans." The company is also dropping plans to build a 100,000 square-foot expansion to its headquarters.

Submission + - Study Finds Higher Rates of Premature Birth Near Fracking Sites (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have published a study (abstract noting that pregnant women are more likely to give birth prematurely if they live close to fracking sites. The researchers used data from 40 counties in Pennsylvania, in which 10,946 babies were born between January 2009 and January 2013. They compared the data with the fast spread of fracking sites across the state — thousands have been built since 2006.

"The researchers found that living in the most active quartile of drilling and production activity was associated with a 40 percent increase in the likelihood of a woman giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation (considered pre-term) and a 30 percent increase in the chance that an obstetrician had labeled their pregnancy “high-risk,” a designation that can include factors such as elevated blood pressure or excessive weight gain during pregnancy. When looking at all of the pregnancies in the study, 11 percent of babies were born preterm, with the majority (79 percent) born between 32 and 36 weeks."

Submission + - BBC optimising UHD video streaming over IP

johnslater writes: A friend at the BBC has written a short description of his project to deliver UHD video over IP networks. The application bypasses the OS network stack, and constructs network packets directly in a buffer shared with the network hardware, achieving a ten-fold throughput improvement. He writes: "Using this technique, we can send or receive uncompressed UHD 2160p50 video (more than 8 Gbps) using a single CPU core, leaving all the rest of the server's cores free for video processing." This is part of a broader BBC project to develop an end-to-end IP-based studio system.

Submission + - Amazon: A Single Disaster Made Us Rethink Our Cloud Supply Chain (

1sockchuck writes: At this week's AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services introduced new features and looked ahead to a future in which enterprise compouting shifts to the cloud. But AWS also looked back at how a disaster reshaped its supply chain. In 2011, an unusually heavy monsoon season led to massive flooding in Thailand, which at the time manufactured nearly half of the world’s supply of hard disk drives (HDDs). Prices soared and shortages developed, and Amazon’s usual vendors were unable to deliver the volume the company sought to support its fast-growing cloud computing platform. “When a single flood hits half the manufacturing supply, and you don’t have a direct relationship with suppliers, it turns out to be hard to get what you need,” said AWS executive Jerry Hunter. So AWS executives jumped on a plane, flew to Thailand, and began building direct relationships that would support their shift to company-built hardware.

Submission + - NetBSD 7.0 released (

An anonymous reader writes: After three years of development and over a year in release engineering, NetBSD 7.0 was just released. Its improvements include added support for many new ARM boards including the Raspberry Pi 2, major improvements to its multiprocessor-compatible firewall NPF, kernel scripting in Lua, kernel mode-setting for Intel and Radeon graphics chips, and a daemon called blacklistd(8) which integrates with numerous network daemons and shields them from flood attempts.

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed -- it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer. -- A.J. Perlis