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Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 4, Interesting) 576

Just because the hypothetical aliens are ahead of us in some respects (e.g. the ability to practically travel across interstellar distances) it does not necessarily follow that they would be ahead of us in all others. For instance, consider Harry Turtledove's short story The Road Not Taken which is based around a premise that humanity overlooked a blindingly simple technique for manipulating gravity that put our technological development onto a completely different track than the invaders of the story.

+ - Anime News Club

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Found a great new anime site that seems to have potential. Also looking for writers who wants to get there name out there."

+ - The bizarre and complex story of a failed Wikipedia software extension

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "Originally developed by Wikia coders, "Liquid Threads" was intended to be a better comment system for use on MediaWiki talkpages. When applied to Wikipedia, then each Wikipedia talkpage or noticeboard would become something resembling a more modernized bulletin board, hopefully easier to use.

Unfortunately, the project was renamed "Flow" and taken over by the Wikimedia Foundation's developers. And as documented in this very long Wikipediocracy post, the result was "less than optimal". After seven years and millions of dollars spent, even WMF Director Lila Tretikov admits "As such it is not ready for “prime time” for us."

Thus, like almost every other large software project undertaken by the WMF in recent years (for example), "Flow" didn't flow, it crashed and burned. Remember this story the next time Wikipedia runs more fundraising banners on its articles; now you have some idea of where the money actually goes."

+ - RMS Objects To GNU Emacs Having Support For LLVM's Debugger->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman is in a tizzy over the prospects of GNU Emac's Gud.el supporting LLVM's LLDB debugger. Stallman says it looks like there is a systematic effort to attack GNU packages and calls for the GNU to respond strategically. He wrote his concerns to the mailing list after a patch emerged that would optionally support LLDB alongside GDB as an alternative debugger for Emacs. Other Emacs developers discounted RMS' claims by saying Emacs supports Windows and OS X, so why not support a BSD-licensed compiler/debugger? The Emacs maintainer has called the statements irrelevant and won't affect their decision to merge the LLDB support."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Earth Pro Now Available Free

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Google has long offered a Pro version of Google Earth for $399 per year that includes some pretty cool extras not found in the free version. Now Rick Broida reports at Cnet that you can get Google Earth Pro absolutely free. All you have to do is download the installer, run it, then sign in using your e-mail address (as your username) and license code GEPFREE. Features include: Advanced measurements: Measure parking lots and land developments with polygon area measure, or determine affected radius with circle measure; High-resolution printing: Print images up to 4,800 x 3,200 pixel resolution; Exclusive pro data layers with Demographics and traffic count; Spreadsheet import: Ingest up to 2,500 addresses at a time, assigning place marks and style templates in bulk; and Movie-Maker: Export Windows Media and QuickTime HD movies, up to 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. If you’ve ever been involved in a property dispute, you’ll know how acrimonious they can get. Google Earth Pro includes parcel data that definitively defines property boundaries. "Do you really need this? Probably not, as Pro was created with business/enterprise users in mind," writes Broida. "Let's be honest, [Google Earth Pro has] entertainment value that's virtually impossible to measure.""

+ - Xfce Getting A New Version Soon

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "It looks like the release of Xfce 4.12 is finally about to materialize. It has been about two and half years since the last stable release. There is now a concerted effort underway to ship a new release of this lightweight GTK+2 desktop environment out around the end of February or early March. "As we have discussed the status and progress of core components with many of you individually, we feel confident that the state of Xfce is good enough to polish some final edges and push more translations until then.", wrote Simon Steinbeiß on the xfce4-dev mailing list. The official list of showstopper bugs does not look too bad either. However, looking at the long time between releases certainly makes one think if the project could have use for some extra resources."

+ - New raspberry pi 2 freezes and reboots due to a camera flash.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Unfortunately for Raspberry Pi 2 owners who are trying to photograph their devices, however, the Raspberry Pi 2 has been found to be Xenon flash sensitive. Any camera with a Xenon flash aimed at the device is causing the device to freeze for a few seconds before rebooting."
Link to Original Source

+ - The Man Squatting on Millions of Dollars Worth of Domain Names

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "For the last 21 years, Gary Millin and his colleagues at World Accelerator have been slowly accumulating a veritable treasure trove of seemingly premium generic domain names. For instance, Millin owns, has sold, or has bartered away,,,,,,, and more than 1,000 other domain names that can be yours (including, which he owns), as long as you've got the startup idea to back it up. Millin doesn't sell domain names anymore, instead, he trades them to startups in exchange for a stake in the company."

+ - NASA confirms results for 'impossible' space drive that uses no rocket fuel-> 1

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Last August, NASA’s Eagleworks, an advanced space propulsion lab located at the Johnson Spaceflight Center south of Houston, created a great deal of excitement when it announced that it had tested a prototype of something called a Cannae Drive. Using microwaves, the device seemed to exert a minute but measurable degree of thrust when mounted on a pendulum in a vacuum chamber. NextBigFuture provided an update on the experiments on an engine that uses no fuel and seems to violate Newtonian physics.

In essence, the team at Eagleworks has been able to replicate the results of the original experiment, exerting a thrust in the area of 50 micro-Newtons. The team has been hampered by a lack of funding to fight through equipment failures. Nevertheless, they are working, very slowly, to scale up the thrust to 100 micro-Newtons. At that point, they intend to take the device to the Glenn Research Center for another replication effort."

Link to Original Source

+ - Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 Will Be Rolling-Release

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Following the trend of rolling-release Linux distributions, Linux Mint brings you some news and information about Linux Mint Debian Edition 2, aka. "Betsy". As you might know, the Linux Mint team maintains two distributions: Linux Mint and LMDE. LMDE was a rolling distro for a while and eventually turned into a semi-rolling one. This was good at the time but it also presented challenges: the biggest issue in LMDE was the fact that it required a lot more maintenance than Linux Mint but that it had far less users. This hurt the frequency of updates it received but also the quality of the distribution. Now, LMDE 2 is going back to be continuously upgraded and to occasionally just receive media refresh ISO images. You can check the Roadmap to see the remaining issues. As the quality of Betsy is getting higher and higher, the project is getting closer to QA stage to iron out the bugs and perform proper testing."

+ - Google-Advised Disney Cartoon Aims to Convince Preschool Girls Coding's Cool

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Cereal and fast food companies found cartoons an effective way to market to children. Google is apparently hoping to find the same as it teams with Disney Junior on a cartoon to help solve its computer science "pipeline" problem. The LA Times reports the tech giant worked with the children's channel on the new animated preschool series Miles From Tomorrowland, in an effort to get kids — particularly girls — interested in computer science. The program, which premieres Friday, introduces the preschool crowd to Miles Callisto, a young space adventurer, and his family — big sister (and coder extraordinaire) Loretta and their scientist parents Phoebe and Leo. Google engineers served as consultants (YouTube) on the show. "When we did our computer science research, we found the No. 2 reason why girls in particular are not pursuing it as a career is because their perception was fairly negative and they associated it as a field for boys," said Julie Ann Crommett, Google's program manager for computer science in media. Can't wait for the episode where Google and Disney conspire to suppress Loretta's wages!"

+ - UK's most secretive court rules GCHQ mass internet surveillance was unlawful

Submitted by Hammeh
Hammeh (2481572) writes "Today marks the first time in it's history since it's creation that the Investigative Powers Tribunal (IPT), who are responsible for oversight and complaints relating to all of the UK Intelligence agencies, upheld a complaint against GCHQ, stating that accessing data provided to them by the NSA was in breach of human rights. The ruling comes as the saga into online privacy continues to unfold. Last year, the same court ruled that internal surveillance of British citizens did not breach human rights, the difference: NSA data is claimed to have side stepped the protections provided by the UK legal system. It was also noted during the tribunal, that although the UK government where willing to admit that Prism and Upstream, both NSA programs outed by Edward Snowdon, existed they would not comment on the existence or non-existence of the Tempora program."

+ - Sony plan to pull out of MPAA revealed->

Submitted by Earthquake Retrofit
Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes "The New York Times is reporting: "... Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton last month told industry colleagues of a plan to withdraw from the movie trade organization, according to people who have been briefed on the discussions. He cited the organization's slow response and lack of public support in the aftermath of the attack on Sony and its film “The Interview,” as well as longstanding concerns about the cost and efficacy of the group.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Navy: More railguns and lasers, less gunpowder->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "“Number one, you’ve got to get us off gunpowder,” said Greenert, noting that Office of Naval Research-supported weapon programs like Laser Weapon System (LaWS) and the electromagnetic railgun are vital to the future force. “Probably the biggest vulnerability of a ship is its magazine—because that’s where all the explosives are.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - IBM building $70m research lab in South Africa->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Despite the fact IBM is laying off 100,000 people from its workforce, it's announced today that it will be funding a $70m research centre in Johannesburg.The investment will be used to sponsor an academic program in partnership with the University of the Witswatersrand through a new tech hub being built in the city centre."
Link to Original Source

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.