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+ - Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "For the first time, scientists have found direct evidence of the expansion of the universe, a previously theoretical event that took place a fraction of a second after the Big Bang explosion nearly 14 billion years ago. The clue is encoded in the primordial cosmic microwave background radiation that continues to spread through space to this day. Scientists found and measured a key polarization, or orientation, of the microwaves caused by gravitational waves, which are miniature ripples in the fabric of space. Gravitational waves, proposed by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity nearly 100 years ago but never before proven, are believed to have originated in the Big Bang explosion and then been amplified by the universe’s inflation. “Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today,” lead researcher John Kovac, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said in a statement."
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User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Eleven 2

Journal by mcgrew

Addiction

I woke up before her for once. I took a shit... hey, you wanted everything, right? Started the coffee because the robots really suck at making coffee, and got dressed. I was just taking my first sip when the doorbell rang. It was Tammy.

"Hi, uh Destiny invited me for coffee."

"Come in. She's still asleep, I'll get you a cup."

"Thanks."

+ - Julie Ann Horvath Quits GitHub, Citing Harrassment->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "From TechCrunch: The exit of engineer Julie Ann Horvath from programming network GitHub has sparked yet another conversation concerning women in technology and startups. Her claims that she faced a sexist internal culture at GitHub came as a surprise to some, given her former defense of the startup and her internal work at the company to promote women in technology."
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+ - Aussie A-G wants enforced decryption of govt intercepted user data

Submitted by Bismillah
Bismillah (993337) writes "If Attorney-General Brandis gets his way in the process of revising Australia's Telecommunications Interception Act, users and providers of VPNs and other encrypted services will by law be required to decrypt government intercepted data. Because, "sophisticated criminals and terrorists."

Across the Tasman, New Zealand already has a similar law, the Telecommunications Interception and Computer Security Act. Apparently, large Internet service providers such as Microsoft and Facebook won't be exempt from the TICSA and must facilitate interception of traffic."

+ - Bitcoin Barron Challenges Berkshire-> 2

Submitted by MrBingoBoingo

+ - MtGox Collapse should come as no suprise->

Submitted by MrBingoBoingo
MrBingoBoingo (3481277) writes "The recent closure of the famous Bitcoin exchange MtGox has grabbed a lot of media attention lately, but people involved heavily in bitcoin have been raising alarms about business practices at MtGox for quite some time now. With the MtGox failure being Bitcoin's biggest since the collapse of the ponzi run by Trendon Shavers, also known as Pirateat40, it might be time to revisit the idea of counterparty risk in the world of irreversible cryptocurrency."
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+ - AMD Considered GDDR5 For Kaveri, Might Release Eight-Core Variant-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Of all the rumors that swirled around Kaveri before the APU debuted last week, one of the more interesting bits was that AMD might debut GDDR5 as a desktop option. GDDR5 isn't bonded in sticks for easy motherboard socketing, and motherboard OEMs were unlikely to be interested in paying to solder 4-8GB of RAM directly. Such a move would shift the RMA responsibilities for RAM failures back to the board manufacturer. It seemed unlikely that Sunnyvale would consider such an option but a deep dive into Kaveri's technical documentation shows that AMD did indeed consider a quad-channel GDDR5 interface. Future versions of the Kaveri APU could potentially also implement 2x 64-bit DDR3 channels alongside 2x 32-bit GDDR5 channels, with the latter serving as a framebuffer for graphics operations. The other document making the rounds is AMD's software optimization guide for Family 15h processors. This guide specifically shows an eight-core Kaveri-based variant attached to a multi-socket system. In fact, the guide goes so far as to say that these chips in particular contain five links for connection to I/O and other processors, whereas the older Family 15h chips (Bulldozer and Piledriver) only offer four Hypertransport links."
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+ - Will Boys Get Short Shrift Due to Spun AP CS Exam Stats?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "At first glance, the headline in The Salt Lake Tribune — Very Few Utah Girls, Minorities Take Computer Science AP Tests — appears to be pretty alarming. As does the headline No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer Science Exam in Some States over at Education Week. Not One Girl Took The AP Computer Science Test In Some States warns a Business Insider headline. And so on and so on and so on. So how could one quibble with tech-giant backed Code.org's decision to pay teachers a $250 "Female Student Bonus", or Google's declaration that 'the ultimate goal of CS First is to provide proven teaching materials, screencasts, and curricula for after-school programs that will ignite the interest and confidence of underrepresented minorities and girls in CS,' right? But the thing is, CollegeBoard AP CS exam records indicate that no Wyoming students at all took an AP CS exam (xls) in 2013, and only a total of 103 Utah students (xls) had reported scores. So, let's not forget about the girls and underrepresented minorities, but since AP CS Exam Stats are being spun as a measure of CS education participation (pdf) and equity, let's also not forget that pretty much everyone has been underrepresented if we look at the big AP CS picture. If only 29,555 AP CS scores were reported (xls) in 2013 for a HS population of about 16 million students, shouldn't the goal at this stage of the game really be CS education for all?"

+ - Translating President Obama's NSA reform promises into plain English->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger (654585) writes "The cynics at the Register have picked apart Barack Obama's NSA reform promises. As to be expected, there's some good, some deliberate vagueness, talk of 'ticking bomb scenarios' and the politician's favourite 'promises to commit to future reforms'. Basically, it's a fig-leaf to kick the can down the road so the next president has to deal with it. He's promising bulk data will go to a third party so the NSA can't see it. Okay, who is this magical third party?"
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+ - US Wary of Allowing Russian Electronic Monitoring Stations Inside US->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The New York Times reports, "... the next potential threat from Russia may not come from a nefarious cyberweapon or secrets gleaned from ... Snowden ... Instead, this menace may come in the form of a ... dome-topped antenna perched atop an electronics-packed building surrounded by a security fence somewhere in the United States. ... the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have been quietly waging a campaign to stop the State Department from allowing ... the Russian space agency, to build about half a dozen ... monitor stations, on United States soil ... These monitor stations, the Russians contend, would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of Moscow’s version of the Global Positioning System ... The Russian effort is part of a larger global race by several countries ... to perfect their own global positioning systems and challenge the dominance of the American GPS. For the State Department, permitting Russia to build the stations would help mend the Obama administration’s relationship with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin ... But the C.I.A. and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow’s satellite-steered weapons. The stations, they believe, could also give the Russians an opening to snoop on the United States within its borders. ... administration officials have delayed a final decision until the Russians provide more information and until the American agencies sort out their differences ...""
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+ - GCC 4.9 Coming with Big New Features

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "When GCC 4.9 is released in 2014 it will be coming in hot on new features with a large assortment of improvements and new functionality for the open-source compiler. Phoronix provides a recap of some of the really great features of this next major compiler release from the Free Software Foundation. For a quick list: OpenMP 4.0, Intel Cilk Plus multi-threading support, Intel Bay Trail and Silvermont support, NDS32 port, Undefined Behavior Sanitizer, Address Sanitizer, ADA and Fortran updates, improved C11 / C++11 / C++14, better x86 intrinsics, refined diagnostics output. Bubbling under are still: Bulldozer 4 / Excavator support, OpenACC, JIT compiler, disabling Java by default."

+ - Average cost per 'official' wiretap in the United States: $50,452->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Last week, in a very, very quiet release, the US Federal Court system published its annual Wiretap report to Congress.

This is something that is required by law; the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) must annually report the number of federal and state applications for court orders to “intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications.”

Note – this report only covers wiretapping orders by US courts; it does not include anything related to the NSA’s electronic surveillance, FBI ‘administrative subpoenas’ to Google / Facebook, the US Postal Service snooping people’s physical mail, or any of this top secret FISA nonsense.

In other words, these numbers add yet another dimension to how vast the US spy state has become.

The report gives a lot of eye-popping details about these official, court-ordered wiretaps, including:
  • Riverside County, California is the most spied-on county in the United States
  • Followed by Clark County, Nevada
  • 3,395 wiretaps were ordered, averaging 29.03 days each
  • The average cost of a wiretap order last year was $50,452
  • The highest cost was $872,841 for a Federal wiretap in the Eastern district of Washington
  • 87.39% of these wiretap orders were connected to drug-related charges
  • Only 18.19% of these wiretaps actually led to a conviction
"

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