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+ - Scotland independence seen as 'cataclysmic' ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Scotland is not a major high-tech employment center, but it has good universities and entrepreneurial energy. About 70,000 people work in tech out of a total workforce of about 2.5 million, or about 3%. By contrast, financial services accounts for about 15% of employment in Scotland. But passions are high. "Honest, I've never been so scared in my life," said Euan Mackenzie about the prospect of separating from the U.K. He runs a 16-employee start-up, 1partCarbon, in Edinburgh, a platform that builds medical systems. "For tech start-ups, funding will be tougher to find and more expensive, there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed," said Mackenzie. "As someone who enjoys risk and new opportunities, my company will remain in Scotland and make the best of whichever side prevails on Thursday, but the effect of independence on tech start-ups and the whole Scottish economy will be cataclysmic," he said."
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+ - Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla from Selling in Mass. 1

Submitted by curtwoodward
curtwoodward (2147628) writes "Many states have laws that prevent car manufacturers from operating their own dealerships, a throwback to the days when Detroit tried to undercut its franchise dealers by opening company-owned shops. But dealers have taken those laws to the extreme as they battle new competition from Tesla, which is selling its cars direct to the public. In some states, dealers have succeeded in limiting Tesla's direct-sales model. But not in Massachusetts: the state's Supreme Court says the dealers don't have any right to sue Tesla for unfair competition, since they're not Tesla dealers. No harm, no foul."

+ - New data center protects against solar storm and nuclear EMPs->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "In Boyers, Pa., a recently opened 2,000-sq.-ft. data center has been purpose-built to protect against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), either generated by a solar storm or a nuclear event. The company that built the facility isn't disclosing exactly how the data center was constructed or what materials were used. But broadly, it did say that the structure has an inner skin and an outer skin that use a combination of thicknesses and metals to provide EMP protection. Betting against an EMP event is a gamble. In 1859, the so-called Carrington solar storm lit the night skies and disrupted the only telegraph communications. William Murtagh, program coordinator at U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center, said there is ongoing concern that the earth may see an solar storm that could impact electronics on the ground. "We're concerned that can happen," A 2012 solar storm, that missed the earth, "was very powerful, and some have suggested it would have been on par with a Carrington-level event." One researcher put the odds of a catastrophic solar storm by 2020 as one in eight."
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+ - Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activis->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Valerie Barr was a tenured professor of computer science at Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a national reputation for her work improving computing education and attracting more women and minorities into the field. But federal investigators say that Barr lied during a routine background check about her affiliations with a domestic terrorist group that had ties to the two organizations to which she had belonged in the early 1980s. On 27 August, NSF said that her “dishonest conduct” compelled them to cancel her temporary assignment immediately, at the end of the first of what was expected to be a 2-year stint. Colleagues who decry Barr’s fate worry that the incident could make other scientists think twice about coming to work for NSF. In addition, Barr’s case offers a rare glimpse into the practices of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an obscure agency within the White House that wields vast power over the entire federal bureaucracy through its authority to vet recently hired workers."
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+ - Climate damage 'Irreversible' according leaked climate report 1

Submitted by SomeoneFromBelgium
SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) writes "According to Bloomberg a leaked climate report of the IPPC speaks of 'Irreversible Damage'.
The warnings in the report are, as such, not new but the tone of voice is more urgent and more direct than ever.

It states among other things that global warming already is affecting “all continents and across the oceans,” and that “Risks from mitigation can be substantial, but they do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change, increasing the benefits from near-term mitigation action,”"

+ - In Napa quake, power surges led to PC damage->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Sunday's 6.0 earthquake in Napa County, Calif. caused power surges that may have led to much of the damage to computers in homes and small businesses, according to computer technicians in Napa. "Things have been dramatically, physically damaged from electricity surges," Dylan Williams, general manager of Valley Tech Solutions in Napa. "That's primarily what I'm seeing all over the place." Chris Rohrer, a repair tech and software developer at Computer Engineering Group in Napa, said that 75% of the firm's computer repairs involve power surges. "The main issue has been the fact that a lot of computers weren't plugged into the proper surge protector," said Rohrer."
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+ - Getting IT talent in government will take culture change, says Google engineer->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Mikey Dickerson, a site reliability engineer at Google, who was appointed Monday by the White House as the deputy federal CIO, will lead efforts to improve U.S. Websites. Dickerson, who worked on the Healthcare.gov rescue last year, said that one issue the government needs to fix is its culture. In describing his experience on the Healtcare.gov effort, he said the workplace was "not one that is optimized to get good work out of engineers." It was a shirt-and-tie environment, and while Dickerson said cultural issues may sound superficial, they are still real. "You don't have to think that the engineers are the creative snowflakes and rock stars that they think they are, you don't have to agree with any of that," Dickerson said, a recent conference presentation posted online. "I'm just telling you that's how they think of themselves, and if you want access to more of them, finding a way to deal with that helps a lot." Engineers want to make a difference, Dickerson said, and he has collected the names of more than 140 engineers who would be willing to take unpaid leave from their jobs to work on a meaningful project."
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+ - HP gives OpenVMS new life and path to x86 port ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors. Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision. VSI plans to validate the operating system on Intel's Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015, as well as support for HP hardware running the upcoming "Kittson" chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn't specifying a timeframe. And it plans to develop new versions of OpenVMS"
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+ - French fight the death of OpenVMS-> 1

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "An OpenVMS user group in France has posted an "open letter" to Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman urging her to reconsider HP's decision to begin pulling support for the operating system. The letter, written by OpenVMS consultant Gerard Calliet on behalf of user group HP-Interex France, explains the important role OpenVMS plays in running transportation systems, health services and even nuclear power plants in France. "These software products are the result of decades of precise programming, inscribed in precise coding imperative for such functional necessities," Calliet wrote. "A majority of them use functions specific to OpenVMS and still run on OpenVMS, as these custom features are hard to find elsewhere." The user group accuses HP of being unclear about its direction and creating confusion. In 2013, HP said it would not be validating OpenVMS on its latest Itanium-based systems."
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+ - For half, STEM degrees in computers, math or stats lead to other jobs->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The Census Bureau reports that only 26% of people with any type of four-year STEM degree are working in a STEM field. For those with a degree specifically in computer, math or statistics, the figure is 49%, nearly the same for engineering degrees. What happens to the other STEM trained workers? The largest numbers are managers at non-STEM businesses (22.5%), or having careers in education (17.7%), business/finance (13.2%) and office support (11.5%). Some other data points: Among those with college degrees in computer-related occupations, men are paid more than women ($90,354 vs. $78,859 on average), and African American workers are more likely to be unemployed than white or Asian workers."
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+ - U.S. Senator blasts Microsoft's H-1B push as it lays 18,000 off workers->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "On the floor of U.S. Senate Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) delivered a scalding and sarcastic attack on the use of highly skilled foreign workers by U.S. corporations that was heavily aimed at Microsoft, a chief supporter of the practice. Sessions' speech began as a rebuttal to a recent New York Times op-ed column by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson, a casino owner that has chastised Congress for failing to take action on immigration reform. But the senator's attack on "three of our greatest masters of the universe," and "super billionaires," was clearly primed by Microsoft's announcement, also on Thursday, that it was laying off 18,000 employees. "What did we see in the newspaper today?" said Sessions, "News from Microsoft. Was it that they are having to raise wages to try to get enough good, quality engineers to do the work? Are they expanding or are they hiring? No, that is not what the news was, unfortunately. Not at all.""
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+ - Nearly 25 years ago, IBM helped save Macintosh->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Apple and IBM, which just announced partnership to bring iOS and cloud services to enterprises, have helped each other before. IBM played a key role in turning the Macintosh into a successful hardware platform at a point when it — and the company itself — were struggling. Nearly 25 years ago, IBM was a part of an alliance that gave Apple access to PowerPC chips for Macintosh systems that were competitive, if not better performing in some benchmarks, than the processors Intel was producing at the time for Windows PCs. In 1991, Apple was looking for a RISC-based processor to replace the Motorola 68K it had been using in its Macintosh line. "The PCs of the era were definitely outperforming the Macintoshes that were based on the 68K," he said. "Apple was definitely behind the power, performance curve," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. The PowerPC processor that emerged from that earlier pairing changed that. PowerPC processors were used in Macintoshes for more than a decade, until 2006, when Apple switched to Intel chips."
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+ - Microsoft backs open source for the Internet of Things->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Microsoft has joined a Linux Foundation effort to create an open platform for the Internet of Things. The AllSeen Alliance is an effort to standardize device communications. The code that it champions, called AllJoyn, was initially developed by Qualcomm but was subsequently made open source. Big vendors have been recruited to support it, and the AllSeen Alliance now includes LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Haier, among others. Its Xbox gaming platform is seen as a potential hub or control center for home devices. Microsoft's leadership in computing "and its significant Xbox business make it a potentially important contributor to the AllSeen ecosystem," said said Andy Castonguay, an analyst at Machina Research, a Reading, England-based research firm focusing on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things."
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