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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 26 declined, 11 accepted (37 total, 29.73% accepted)

+ - How Russia Should Respond to U.S. Olympic Snub with Snowden

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "In a move that can only be interpreted as a snub against Russia's recent anti-gay laws, U.S. will be sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, without President Obama or any other high ranking government official in attendance. Score one point for USA, most of us can agree that such anti-gay laws are unjust with no place in a modern civilized society. However, Russia can score its own point in rebuttal and highlight the log in America's own eye — NSA's global internet surveillance — by inviting Edward Snowden to the opening ceremony. Bonus point for having him light the Olympic torch."
China

+ - Verizon Programmer Caught Outsourcing Own Job To China-> 1

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "In 2012 when Verizon discovered that its corporate systems were being accessed by someone in China, it launched an investigation. Initially thought to be a case of industrial espionage or a malicious hacker, it turns out that one of their own employees had contracted his programming job out to a team in China. The programmer, man in his mid 40's identified only as "Bob", would show up for work, watch cat videos and surf Reddit (among other things), while the contractors in China did the work he was supposedly doing. He paid them one-fifth of the 6-figure salary he was getting from Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building." However, Bob has been fired after his scheme was discovered."

Link to Original Source
NASA

+ - NASA To Test Bigelow Inflatable Module Aboard ISS->

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "NASA has announced that it has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to build an inflatable module for the International Space Station. Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

Seems like all the pieces for a privately-built space renaissance are starting to fall into place. When the Falcon Heavy goes operational to provide cheap launches, we could finally have the spaceflight boom that space enthusiasts have been dreaming of."

Link to Original Source
Bug

+ - HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps-> 1

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - Facebook Test Will Let You Message Strangers for $1->

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "Facebook is testing a feature that will let select users pay $1 to send messages to people with whom they have no connection on the social network.

The $1 fee will open a thread with a non-Facebook friend. If that person replies to your note, you won't have to pay again to respond to them."

Link to Original Source
Android

+ - Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android-> 1

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Link to Original Source
NASA

+ - SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th->

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission.

"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."

Link to Original Source

+ - Apple and Samsung Rake In 95% of Mobile Phone Profits-> 1

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "The race for mobile domination appears to be a two-horse race. According to a new CNET report, Apple took in a whopping 80 percent of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter — that's counting all cell phones, not just smartphones. Samsung came in second, reaping 15 percent of the profits. Everyone else was left scrambling for crumbs.

Perhaps the release of Windows 8 phones can turn the tide and prevent a Apple-Samsung duopoly from taking place."

Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Free Hotel Wi-Fi Overwhelmed by iPads->

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to iBAHN, a firm that provides Wi-Fi and computer services to hotels, free Wi-Fi networks are struggling to cope with the huge increase in traffic since the iPad was released.

"The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half," said David W. Garrison, chief executive of iBAHN.

Hotels are now facing a tough choice; keep Wi-Fi free and risk angering customers with slow internet, upgrade their internet pipe and charge customers for Wi-Fi (which also might anger customers), or upgrade their internet and eat the costs."

Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - Tearing Down iPhone 4S reveals 512MB RAM-> 2

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that tearing down the just-released iPhone 4S reveals an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

"How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E4,' denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die — for a total of 4Gb — or 512MB."

What's baffling to me — since I have yet to drink the Kool-aid and am unfamiliar with Apple hardware — is why did it take disassembling the phone and examining chip markings to deduce the amount of RAM in the system? In Linux and Windows, you type in one command and it tells you. Or simply looking at the box usually shows the processor, RAM and HDD size"

Link to Original Source

+ - Would You Vote For a Programmer President?

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "Herman Cain, one of the current front-runners in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., has a master's degree in Computer Science (and a bachelor's degree in Mathmatics). As a Slashdotter, would this fact affect your vote favorably toward him?

Contrast this with your typical politician, most of whom have a law degree and majored in something in liberal arts as an undergraduate. (Mr. Obama was a Political Science major and has a law degree)"
NASA

+ - NASA's Space Launch System: a Critical Analysis->

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "Jerry Pournelle has posted a quick analysis of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) on his website. His two main criticisms involve:

1. Usage of the Shuttle main engines. "Those were developed to be reusable, and they are expensive because of that. They are in fact magnificent engines and thoroughly reusable if operated at 90-95% of rated capacity; it’s not their fault that they had to be run at 103% and above to fly Shuttle. But they were developed to be reusable, and that adds greatly to their cost."

2. Usage of SRBs. "You don’t want recoverable solid rockets in the first place. The operations are a nightmare, and the design has to be compromised so that the impact on the water does not destroy the thing, and it has to float. All that changes the design and affects performance. There is no good reason ever to recover a solid booster, which is, after all, a big sewer pipe stuffed with guncotton and leached with nitroglycerine....

The only reason we ever came up with any notion as mad as a segmented solid booster was that the SRB had to be made in Utah because of political constraints. If you make a booster that size in Utah it has to be segmented because you can’t ship it by rail or on the highway – the curves are too sharp and the tunnels are not big enough. You would have to make it in Michoud Louisiana and ship it by barge to Canaveral. That is possible but Louisiana isn’t Utah. Apparently the new NASA design is worried about the Utah Senatorial votes to this day."


His widely read 2000 paper titled How To Get To Space provides excellent insights into the X-programs and is well worth reading."

Link to Original Source

+ - Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl->

Submitted by
Spy Handler
Spy Handler writes "In spite of the sensationalist stories on the Japan earthquake by U.S. media , which is giving the public an impression of a nuclear holocaust at the power plants and generally spreading anti-nuclear F.U.D., the reality is actually quite different... and not so dire. According to this article — which contains actual info about the reactors involved and how they function — everything worked exactly as the designers intended in a natural disaster scenario such as this, there will be no Chernobyl, and the public is not in danger of developing green skin and turning into the Hulk."
Link to Original Source

+ - Pickens Plan comes to a wimpering end->

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his "Pickens Plan" on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business.

What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardles of cost."

Link to Original Source

+ - Americans' Support for Nuclear Power Highest Ever->

Submitted by Spy Handler
Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of Americans favored nuclear power as a means for generating electricity.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

71% of Republicans supported nuclear, while 51% of Democrats did so."

Link to Original Source

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