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Submission + - Inside the Failure of Google+->

An anonymous reader writes: An article at Mashable walks through the rise and fall of Google+, from the company's worries of being displaced by Facebook to their eventual realization that Google services don't need social hooks. They have quotes from a number of employees and insiders, who mostly agree that the company didn't have the agility to build something so different from their previous services. "Most Google projects started small and grew organically in scale and importance. Buzz, the immediate predecessor to Plus, had barely a dozen people on staff. Plus, by comparison, had upwards of 1,000, sucked up from divisions across the company." Despite early data indicating users just weren't interested in Google+, management pushed for success as the only option. One employee said, "The belief was that we were always just one weird feature away from the thing taking off." Despite a strong feature set, there was no acknowledgement that to beat Facebook, you had to overcome the fact that everybody was already on Facebook.
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Submission + - Tiny black holes could trigger collapse of universe—except that they don't->

sciencehabit writes: If you like classic two-for-one monster movies such as King Kong vs. Godzilla, then a new paper combining two bêtes noires of pseudoscientific scaremongers—mini black holes and the collapse of the vacuum—may appeal to you. Physicists working with the world's biggest atom-smasher—Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—have had to reassure the public that, even if they can make them, mini black holes, infinitesimal version of the ones that form when jumbo stars implode, won't consume the planet. They've also had to dispel fears that blasting out a particle called the Higgs boson will cause the vacuum of empty space to collapse. Now, however, three theorists calculate that in a chain reaction, a mini black hole could trigger such collapse after all.
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Submission + - Job insecurity is the new normal->

Mr.Intel writes: Last year, Hewlett-Packard eliminated 34,000 jobs, and JC Penney and Sprint announced cuts, while JP Morgan Chase has cut 20,000 from its workforce since 2011. In double-earner families, at least one parent reports feeling "insecure" about their job, and in almost half of those both think their job is insecure.

This dynamic creates a constant tension for workers, who are beset by uncertainty. It has bred what Pugh calls the "one-way honor system," in which workers are beholden to employers, but employers are not, says Pugh, author of "The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity," out earlier this year.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - The First Airplane on Mars

braindrainbahrain writes: Undergoing research by NASA, the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars, or Prandtl-M (not-so-coincidentally named after German aeronautical engineer Ludwig Prandtl) program is developing an airfoil with the ultimate goal of flying in the Martian atmosphere. The program has flown 12-ft. span models, the Prandtl-D1 and -D2, in Earth's atmosphere to prove that the flying wing design could overcome adverse yaw effects without including a tail. A larger 25 ft. model will be tested shortly and further tests call for prototypes to be balloon dropped at 85,000 feet and later at 115,000 feet to simulate Martian atmospheric density. If all goes well, it could be deployed from a cubesat container after hitching a ride to Mars with a rover in 2022.

Alternate, non-pay walled source: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ar...
NASA

Voyager's Golden Record For Aliens Now Available On SoundCloud 57

An anonymous reader writes: For years you've been able to listen to the sounds recorded on the golden records carried by the twin Voyager spacecraft online but NASA just made it a bit easier. The orginization just uploaded the recordings to SoundCloud. Now you can listen to a continuous stream of clips instead of clicking back and forth to hear the different tracks.

Comment Recruitment vs.Retention (Score 1) 473

This is only one of many efforts on going to recruit girls into tech, but these efforts fail to address the retention problem. How do you keep women in the field once they start working? Perhaps Google and other major companies should provide better salary or benefits so the women don't leave. Or is it easier to make tax deductible contributions to programs such as the one in TFA?

It's interesting that retention is one of the key problems the NCWIT calls out in their study, where they claim a 56% departure rate of women from the field, and yet they have no solutions to offer.

Submission + - Russian troops traced to Ukrainian battlefields through social media

wienerschnizzel writes: Vice News released a report on how they were able to trace a member of the regular russian army from his base near the Ukriainian border towards the battlefields in the contested territory in eastern Ukraine and back to his home in Siberia using the pictures he uploaded on his social media profile.

The methodology used is based on a report by the Atlantic Council think tank released earlier this year, that asserts that information on the movement and operations of the regular russian troops can be easily gathered from publicly available sources (such as the social media).

The russian government still denies any involvement of russian troops in the fights in Ukraine.

Submission + - Jeb Bush Skeptical Of Reports That The H-1B Program Affects US Workers 1

theodp writes: ComputerWorld's Patrick Thibodeau reports that Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush does not exactly come across as supportive or sympathetic to displaced U.S. IT workers. Asked to respond to recent stories about companies using H-1B visas to displace American workers with foreign tech labor, Bush said, "I’ve actually seen it on Fox, three or four times, this subject. I’ve been curious to know what the full story is. ... Sometimes you see things in the news reports, you don’t get the full picture. Maybe that’s the case here." Perhaps Jeb has gotten too close to the reality distortion field of Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, whose backers include Zuck Pal Joe Green (who nixed the idea of giving jobs to "just sort of okay" U.S. workers), Lars Dalgaard (whose message to laid-off IT workers was "you don't deserve the job"), and Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi (who informed journalists that "H-1Bs in CS rarely displace [American tech workers]").

Comment Re:I know a lot of this is cutting edge... (Score 3, Interesting) 41

FAA Licensed Parachute Rigger here ("License to kill", lol).

Parachutes don't just unfold, they actually deploy in a very controlled fashion. All it takes is something to initiate the sequence. In human parachutes, a pilot chute is released, which pulls out a deployment bag. The bag in turn does not open until suspension lines are stretched, and once the canopy is released from the bag, it inflates due to the difference in static air pressure within. vs dynamic air pressure outside (Bernoulli's principle). There are further mechanisms to slow down deployment in order to control the deceleration and opening shock (important for human well being). Problems occur if things happen out of sequence, or if the parachute is structurally unsound.

I can't speak for the system NASA is using, but I expect there already is a unit to "unfold" the parachute, and it is all part of the parachute system already.

Submission + - Slashdot goes to shit

methano writes: Long time reader Methano is sick and tired of the stupid pop under ads screaming at him and the endless CPU churning flash ads that have come to characterize the experience of being a loyal Slashdot follower. He's seriously thinking of saying goodbye to a once enjoyable but now more often annoying web site.

Submission + - Teen hires hacker to take down school district IT systems->

An anonymous reader writes: A 17-year old boy from Idaho has been accused of paying a hacker to launch DDoS attacks against his school district. The teen reportedly hired a third party to organize a week’s worth of distributed denial-of-service campaigns this month against the West Ada school district – the largest educational district in the state. The cyberattacks affected networks at all 52 schools including payroll, online textbooks, virtual teaching and standardized testing. At the time of the hacking many students were undertaking Idaho Standard Achievement Testing online. The DDoS attacks caused the school systems to lose the test and results data and students were required to re-sit their exams multiple times. According to a report by KTVB-TV News, the teen has been arrested and may face State and Federal computer crime felony charges. If the unnamed student is found guilty he is likely to have to serve up to 180 days in juvenile prison. The suspect has also been suspended from Eagle High and risks potential expulsion. The minor’s parents are being held financially responsible for the damage caused by the attacks.
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Submission + - SPAM: 5 Intelligent Video Games For Grown-Ups

sepa2000 writes: The “video games” may still evoke the image of a boy or teenager playing alone with his concole, but there’s a lot more out there aside. Bioshock nad Limbo showed that the games it’s possible to take the first-person shooter and add character development, player agency and a well-written story. More recently, a new generation of talent has entered the industry, making games about social issues such as immigration in Papers. If you’re looking for some grown-up games to play, here are sijutech top list.
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Submission + - Arduino announces NYC, USA based Adafruit will manufacture Arduino

ptorrone writes: At Maker Faire Bay Area on Saturday it was announced that Limor Fried "Ladyada" and Adafruit, who have appeared on /. many times over the last 10 years are now going to be the USA manufacturer of the open-source Arduino. Adafruit has grown from a 1 person company out Ladyada's apartment to over 50+ employees and a 50,000 sq. foot factory in Manhattan. Adafruit is currently shipping the Arduino GEMMA, a wearable open-source micro-controller platform.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.

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