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+ - 'Accidental' Siberian Mummies Part of Mysterious Ancient Arctic Civilization->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Russian archaeologists are trying to discover the origins of a group of 800-year-old bodies found just 29 km from the Arctic Circle, which were accidentally mummified by copper when they were buried.

The mummies were discovered at Zeleniy Yar in Siberia, in 34 shallow graves, and 11 of the bodies found in the medieval burial place had either smashed skeletons or missing and shattered skulls.

They may have been damaged by their peers deliberately to prevent spells emanating from them.

There is only one female, a child, who is buried with her face masked by copper plates, and three male infant mummies, who wear copper masks and were bound in four or five copper hoops that each measure several centimetres wide."

Link to Original Source

+ - SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon->

Submitted by storagedude
storagedude (1517243) writes "Flash storage costs have been dropping rapidly for years, but those gains are about to slow, and a number of issues will keep flash from closing the cost gap with HDDs for some time, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. As SSD density increases, reliability and performance decrease, creating a dilemma for manufacturers who must balance density, cost, reliability and performance.

'[F]lash technology and SSDs cannot yet replace HDDs as primary storage for enterprise and HPC applications due to continued high prices for capacity, bandwidth and power, as well as issues with reliability that can only be addressed by increasing overall costs. At least for the foreseeable future, the cost of flash compared to hard drive storage is not going to change.'"

Link to Original Source

+ - The science of groove->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from Universities of Oxford and Aarhus used an online survey to ask people which drum tracks made them want to move, and which gave them pleasure. The drum beats varied in complexity and syncopation. They found that a balance of predictability and complexity in the rhythm made people want to dance most – funk or hip hop is better than free jazz, for example. Could this research be used to help generate code to create new hit grooves?"
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Comment: Re:Patching.... (Score 3, Insightful) 293

by Zocalo (#46777613) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board
Blanket approvals and template documents that you can cut and paste notifications into are the way to go, especially when it's on a schedule like MS, Adobe & Oracle. If they push back, suggest a documented process (this is ITIL, right? You can avoid the need for a CAB if it's an approved and documented procedure) where you push the patches to a few test systems on Tuesday (in the case of MS) then deploy to the rest later in the week - whatever they are happy with - if there are no issues. Depending on your timezone Tuesday PM or Wednesday AM are good slots for weekly CABs to pick up this; push to the test servers on the day, then the rest at the end of the week. For *nix, i've done updates this way for anything that didn't require a reboot so only stuff like Kernel updates and major low-level libraries needed to get approval via a CAB.

For everything else, it's your call. Either the patch waits for the next regular CAB or you play the game and keep calling emergency CABs when there are justifiably critical updates, such as Heartbleed, or for the inevitable critical updates from MS every second Tuesday that impact your systems. The best tactic is to embrace ITIL and make it work for you, not allow them to make you jump through hoops and spend your time crafting unique documents for every patch. It also serves as a useful procedure check to make sure you don't mess up and have a contingency plan for when you do, and ultimately, if you get it right, you still get to dictate the schedule and make them do things in ways that you are happy to work with.

+ - System Administrator vs Change Advisory Board 1

Submitted by thundergeek
thundergeek (808819) writes "I am the sole sysadmin for nearly 50 servers (win/linux) across several contracts. Now a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is wanting to manage every patch that will be installed on the OS and approve/disapprove for testing on the development network. Once tested and verified, all changes will then need to be approved for production.

Windows servers aren't always the best for informing admin exactly what is being "patched" on the OS, and the frequency of updates will make my efficiency take a nose dive. Now I'll have to track each KB, RHSA, directives and any other 3rd party updates, submit a lengthy report outlining each patch being applied, and then sit back and wait for approval.

What should I use/do to track what I will be installing? Is there already a product out there that will make my life a little less stressful on the admin side? Does anyone else have to go toe-to-toe with a CAB? How do you handle your patch approval process?"

+ - The squishy future of robotics

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The field of soft robotics is fast growing and may be the key to allowing robots and humans to work side-by-side. 'Roboticists are prejudiced toward rigid structures, for which algorithms can be inherited from the well-established factory robot industry. Soft robots solve two huge problems with current robots, however. They don’t have to calculate their movements as precisely as hard robots, which rely on springs and joints, making them better for navigating uncontrolled environments like a house, disaster area, or hospital room. They’re naturally “cage free,” meaning they can work shoulder-to-shoulder with humans. If a soft robot tips over or malfunctions, the danger is on par with being attacked by a pillow. The robot is also less prone to hurt itself.'"

+ - Bidding at FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted for Large Carriers

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Rumors have surfaced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will restrict bidding at their TV spectrum auction in 2015 to effectively favor smaller carriers. Specifically, when 'auction bidding hits an as-of-yet unknown threshold in a given market, the FCC would set aside up to 30MHz of spectrum in that market. Companies that hold at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market then wouldn't be allowed to bid on the 30MHz of spectrum that has been set aside.' Therefore, 'in all band plans less than 70MHz, restricted bidders—specifically AT&T and Verizon (and in a small number of markets, potentially US Cellular or CSpire)—would be limited to bidding for only three blocks.' The rumors may be true since AT&T on Wednesday threatened to not participate in the auction at all as a protest against what it sees as unfair treatment."

+ - Anti-tech protests in San Francisco turn out to be underhanded ploy by union

Submitted by execthis
execthis (537150) writes "In the news over past weeks and months have been stories about protests in San Francisco in which buses for Google have been blocked by protesters. Today it is revealed that a union is behind these protests, which amount to a dirty tactic on their part to attempt to humiliate the City and County of San Francisco government into giving raises to their employees. In other words, they have been faux protests staged by the Service Employees International Union as an underhanded attempt to gain leverage and force the city to give them wage increases. Its interesting to note that there recently were other seemingly faux protests in front of Staples stores, this time by the postal workers (I say seemingly because they did not appear to openly reveal that they were in fact postal workers)."

Comment: Re:Overstating the case (Score 1) 582

by Zocalo (#46764499) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Heartbleed is a score for closed source. Those trying to spin it like this is open source working are delusional.

So, if this were to have happened in a closed source library, another company would have been looking at the code in order to discover the bug *how*, exactly? Even if the bug had been found by a white hat, the only recourse would have been to raise a bug report with the vendor and hope they actually did something about it. The failure for open source here isn't the development model, it's the fact it took two years for the vaunted "many eyes" to get around to looking at new code in a critical piece of the tool chain. As I noted, that's something that can easily be addressed by forcing commits be vetted before acceptance, and potentially other ways too, but again, you could also apply that approach in a closed source shop.

Comment: Re:Overstating the case (Score 3, Insightful) 582

by Zocalo (#46761381) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?
This, and I suspect a lot of shilling by proprietary software vendors playing up the "many eyes make bugs shallow" thing. This wasn't so much a failure of the open source model as it was a failure to properly vet commits to the code of a project before accepting them into the main tree, and that could happen just as easily on a closed source development model as an open source one. That might be OK for small hobby projects, and perhaps even major projects that don't have quite so major ramifications in the event of a major flaw, but hopefully this will serve as a wake up call for projects that aim to form some kind of critical software infrastructure. For such projects requiring that commits be reviewed and "signed off" by one or more other developers would perhaps have caught this bug, and others like it, and could perhaps work very well in conjuction with some of the bug-bounty programmes out there. Of course, "Find a flaw in our pending commits, and get paid!" only works if the code is open for inspection...

Comment: Income taxes? I'm an expat you insensitive clod! (Score 3, Interesting) 386

by Zocalo (#46756925) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?
Some countries don't even have personal income tax, and apart from the U.S. I don't know of any others that require their citizens pay income taxes on wages earned overseas. Admittedly several of the countries on the list are not the best places to live, but for non-USians it's perfectly possible to avoid paying income tax altogether.

Comment: Re:SPF.. (Score 3, Interesting) 83

by Zocalo (#46708567) Attached to: Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists
A better solution might be to move the original sender's "From" to another header ("Return-Path", "Reply-To", - whatever works best for the list software/admin) and set a new "From" to an address that would feed any replies to the list's submission/moderation queue. If the address of the person replying is on the mailing list or the list accepts any submission address, it goes into the normal queue for remailing, if not it either gets discarded as a bogus reply that is probably spam or goes into a moderation queue, depending on the list.

This is still an implementation flaw in the way DMARC and SPF work with mailing lists rather than a problem with mailing lists though, so the onus really belongs with DMARC and SPF to better provide a way to support mailing lists. Including a way to specify in the DMARC/SPF configuration for the that the sender is a mailing list and that they need to validate the original sender against a different header instead - "X-Originally-From", rather than the mailing list's domain in the current "From", perhaps?

Comment: Re:Correlation is not causation. (Score 1) 1037

by Zocalo (#46675817) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion
It's a view point in the UK that has been around for years - at least a few decades - although where it originated from and when I have no idea. Quite possibly it was the Daily Mail or a similar rag going off on one of the their diatribes about "declining standards" or whatever they had a bee in their bonnet over that month. From comparing notes though it does seem C of E schools in the UK generally force much less dogma and indoctrination upon impressionable infants compared with church schools of other faiths, and even other christian denominations. I guess you really do reap what you sow... :)

Comment: Re:Correlation is not causation. (Score 4, Interesting) 1037

by Zocalo (#46674847) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion
The graphs certainly back up the idea that the best way to raise an atheist is to send the child to a Church of England school (in my case I was an atheist by the age of nine), but I suspect that the increasingly secularisation in UK education has something to do with that as well. When the only primary school in a small rural town is a church school (usually that would be C of E, but sometimes Catholic) and you have a typical rural UK demographic representing both major christian denominations plus a scattering of other faiths that school tends to get coerced into providing a more agnostic education if it wants financial support from the local government.

Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is the best one. -- Jack Hurley