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+ - How To Die On Mars->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Many space-related projects are currently focusing on Mars. SpaceX wants to build a colony there, NASA is looking into base design, and Mars one is supposedly picking astronauts for a mission. Because of this, we've been reading a lot about how we could live on Mars. An article at Popular Science reminds us of all the easy ways to die there. "Barring any complications with the spacecraft’s hardware or any unintended run-ins with space debris, there’s still a big killer lurking out in space that can’t be easily avoided: radiation. ... [And] with so little atmosphere surrounding Mars, gently landing a large amount of weight on the planet will be tough. Heavy objects will pick up too much speed during the descent, making for one deep impact. ... Mars One’s plan is to grow crops indoors under artificial lighting. According to the project’s website, 80 square meters of space will be dedicated to plant growth within the habitat; the vegetation will be sustained using suspected water in Mars’ soil, as well as carbon dioxide produced by the initial four-member crew. However, analysis conducted by MIT researchers last year (PDF) shows that those numbers just don’t add up."
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+ - Mandriva goes out of business->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: After struggling for the past several years, Mandriva has finally gone out of business, and is in the process of being liquidated. The company was responsible for Mandriva Linux, itself a combination of Mandrake Linux and Conectiva Linux. When Mandriva fell upon hard times, many of the distro's developers migrated to Mageia Linux, which is still going strong and just putting the final touches on its next major version (5).
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+ - Russian Space Agency Missing $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: After a pair of high profile launch failures in the past few months, Russian space agency Roscosmos is making headlines again: this time for corruption. A public spending watchdog reported that the organization had misused 92 billion rubles ($1.8 billion) in 2014 alone. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said their space efforts have been undermined by rampant corruption. "We have uncovered acts of fraud, abuse of authority (and) document forgery. With such a level of moral decay, one should not be surprised at the high accident rate." He also said Roscosmos is to be "abolished," and replaced by a state corporation of the same name by the end of the year. "In its new, corporate identity, Roscosmos will be responsible not only for setting mission goals but managing wages for space industry workers and modernizing production facilities."
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+ - No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, we discussed reports that SSDs would lose data in a surprisingly short amount of time if left powered off. The reports were based on a presentation from Alvin Cox, a Seagate engineer, about enterprise storage practices. PCWorld spoke to him and another engineer for Seagate, and they say the whole thing was blown out of proportion. Alan Cox said, "I wouldn’t worry about (losing data). This all pertains to end of life. As a consumer, an SSD product or even a flash product is never going to get to the point where it’s temperature-dependent on retaining the data." The intent of the original presentation was to set expectations for a worst case scenario — a data center writing huge amounts of data to old SSDs and then storing them long-term at unusual temperatures. It's not a very realistic situation for businesses with responsible IT departments, and almost impossible for personal drives.
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+ - Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Greece, the country which has been in extreme financial trouble and high debt for years, cannot make debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month, unless it achieves a deal with creditors. "The four installments for the IMF in June are €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion). This money will not be given and is not there to be given," Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis told Greek Mega TV's weekend show. Shut out of bond markets and with bailout aid locked, cash-strapped Athens has been scraping state coffers to meet debt obligations and to pay wages and pensions. With its future as a member of the 19-nation eurozone potentially at stake, a second government minister accused its international lenders of subjecting it to slow and calculated torture.
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+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

Submitted by petro-tech
petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

+ - Cox HSI ends unlimited internet, introduces cap system->

Submitted by Junior J. Junior III
Junior J. Junior III writes: Today, Cox High Speed Internet customers received the following communication:

Dear [Cox HSI Customer],

We spend more time online today than ever before, streaming movies and TV shows, downloading music, sharing photographs and staying connected to friends and family. As Internet and data consumption grows, Cox continues to improve our network to ensure a quality experience for all our customers.

To better support our customers' expanding online activity, we recently increased the amount of data included in all of our Cox High Speed Internet packages. About 95% of customers are now on a data plan that is well-suited for their household. In the event you use more data than is included in your plan, beginning with bill cycles that start on June 15th, we will automatically provide additional data for $10 per 50 Gigabyte (GB) block for that usage period. Based on your last 3 months of data usage and our increased data plans, it is unlikely you will need additional data blocks unless your usage increases.

What this means for you

To help our customers get accustomed to this change, we are providing a grace period for 3 consecutive billing cycles. During this period, customers will not pay for additional data blocks for data used above their data plan. Customers who exceed their data plan will see charges and a matching credit on their bill statement. Beginning with bills dated October 15th and later, grace period credits will no longer be applied, and customers will be charged for usage above their data plan.

Understanding and managing your data usage

You are currently subscribed to the Preferred package which includes a data plan of 350 GB (Gigabytes) per month. To help you stay informed about data usage, Cox will begin to notify you via email and browser alert if you use 85% of your monthly data plan and again if you use 100% of your monthly data plan. Additional blocks of data will only be provided if you exceed your data plan. This will not change your Internet package and there will be NO change to the speed or quality of your service for data usage above your plan. To better understand your household's historical and current data usage, you will find your household's data usage meter and other helpful tools and information here.

Thank you for choosing Cox.

Sincerely,

Cox High Speed Internet Team

In the wake of FCC's ruling reaffirming Network Neutrality, is this what ISPs will be doing to squeeze more money out of its customers?
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+ - Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens And Paper Not Fair To Students

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed writes: Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom. And chalkboards? They should be banished from our schools too. That’s what Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada, told the Georgia Straight ahead of the Microsoft Summit 2015 in Vancouver, which is set to be attended by around 200 teachers. “When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?” De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked by phone from Toronto. “Kids don’t express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text.” Given the Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans story posted to Slashdot in the last 2 days it would seem that Redmond's Marketing and R&D people are at cross-purposes.

+ - Schools That Ban Mobile Phones See Better Academic Results

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Jamie Doward reports at The Guardian that according to a recent study in the UK, the effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year with the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4% after schools banned mobile phones, “We found that not only did student achievement improve, but also that low-achieving and low-income students gained the most. We found the impact of banning phones for these students was equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days." In the UK, more than 90% of teenagers own a mobile phone; in the US, just under three quarters have one. In a survey conducted in 2001, no school banned mobiles. By 2007, this had risen to 50%, and by 2012 some 98% of schools either did not allow phones on school premises or required them to be handed in at the beginning of the day. But some schools are starting to allow limited use of the devices. New York mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a 10-year ban on phones on school premises, with the city’s chancellor of schools stating that it would reduce inequality.

The research was carried out at Birmingham, London, Leicester and Manchester schools before and after bans were introduced (PDF). It factored in characteristics such as gender, eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs status and prior educational attainment. “Technological advancements are commonly viewed as increasing productivity,” write Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy. “Modern technology is used in the classroom to engage students and improve performance. There are, however, potential drawbacks as well, as they could lead to distractions.”

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