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+ - Solving logic puzzles in FORTRAN

Submitted by dr_blurb
dr_blurb (676176) writes "Computational nanoscientist Surendra Jain has written solvers for Sudoku, Killer Sudoku, Samurai Sudoku, Calcudoku, Kakuro and many other logic problems.

All are elegantly coded and very fast: for example, the "World's Hardest Sudoku" is solved in 0.05 seconds (on a 5 year old PC) and his Knight's Tour solver is an order of magnitude faster than this one.

The page (called "Classical Geek") has all source (in Fortran 90) as well as compilation and running instructions."

+ - Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "In an interview with The Washington Post's Lyndsey Layton that accompanied her report on How Bill Gates Pulled Off the Swift Common Core Revolution (the Gates Foundation doled out $233 million in grants to git-r-done), Gates denied that he has too much influence in K-12 education. Despite Gates' best efforts, however, there's been more and more pushback recently from both teachers and politicians on the standards, GeekWire's Taylor Soper reports, including a protest Friday by the Badass Teacher Association, who say Gates is ruining education. “We want to get corporations out of teaching,” explained one protester. If that's the case, the "Badasses" probably won't be too pleased to see how the K-12 CS education revolution is shaping up, fueled by a deep-pocketed alliance of Gates, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others. Google alone has already committed $90 million to influence CS education. And well-connected Code.org, which has struck partnerships with school districts reaching over 2M U.S. students and is advising NSF-funded research related to the nation's CS 10K Project, will be conducting required professional development sessions for K-12 CS teachers out of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offices this summer in Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Seattle. So, could K-12 CS Education ("Common Code"?) become the next Common Core?"

+ - 9 Optimizations to make your Linux Desktop fly like a Rocket!->

Submitted by prahladyeri
prahladyeri (3717039) writes "This article is the result of notes I’ve prepared during tweaking, twisting and optimizing ubuntu variants over the last few years. In case you use any other distro, some of these settings may not be applicable to you. For best results, these changes must be done on top of a fresh installation, otherwise chances of things breaking increase a bit."
Link to Original Source

+ - TrueCrypt author claims that forking is impossible->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On a request from Matthew Green to fork the TrueCrypt code, the author answers that this is impossible. He says that this might be no good idea, because the code needs a rewrite, but he allows to use the existing code as a reference.

"I am sorry, but I think what you're asking for here is impossible. I don't feel that forking TrueCrypt would be a good idea, a complete rewrite was something we wanted to do for a while. I believe that starting from scratch wouldn't require much more work than actually learning and understanding all of truecrypts current codebase.

I have no problem with the source code being used as reference.""

Link to Original Source

+ - X Window System Turns 30 Years Old->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "One of the oldest pieces of the Linux desktop stack still widely in use today is the X Window System that today is commonly referred to as X11 or in recent years the X.Org Server. The X Window System predates the Linux kernel, the Free Software Foundation, GCC, and other key pieces of the Linux infrastructure — or most software widely-used in general. Today marks 30 years since the announcement of X at MIT when it was introduced to Project Athena."
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook has suffered a global failure ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook was unavailable this morning for half an hour. Access was restored around 10:30 am Thursday. Failures and malfunctions are rare on Facebook, even if the site had already been significant failures in October. The entire network has remained elusive, with an error message is online. For companies whose business depends partly on the social network, the opportunity to turn to other alternatives.

The social network has remained elusive for half an hour before access is restored at 10:30. With an error message on the home page, any of its functions were not available. And that globally since the blackout hit the entire network. Facebook has not yet reported on this topic and users following the blackout number on Twitter with the hashtag #facebookdown."

Link to Original Source

+ - Android Malware Poses as Google Play, Comes Pre-Installed-> 1

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "Two worrying developments in Android malware. FireEye has spotted a program which installs covertly and poses as the Google Play app store. The installation appears to fail, but carries an encrypted payload which is unpacked stealthily. Meanwhile, a Chinese phone manufacturer has a suspiciously cheap Android smartphone, which includes pre-installed malware, again pretending to be the Google Play app. Security firm G Data believes the manufacturer may be subsidising its costs using stolen data"
Link to Original Source

+ - Are the Glory Days of Analog Engineering Over?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Controversy has been swirling for years over the question of whether analog engineers are relevant in a digital world. Analog engineers themselves are lining up against management in the tussle over whether there really is a shrinking pool of engineers to do the work, or whether companies have unrealistic expectations. As one former analog engineer puts it, "The job descriptions for analog engineers today ask for expertise in all these analog areas, then they throw in 'must know VHDL' [a digital programming language]. Your head would explode if you had to carry all the information in your head!"
Link to Original Source

+ - Game Characters controlled by Player's Emotions->

Submitted by vrml
vrml (3027321) writes "As the player feels inner anger rising, the in-game character gets angry too and starts shouting and smashing things. Then, the player relaxes and the game character calms down and smiles. This is the kind of game control supported by a system demonstrated in a video released today by the Human-Computer Interaction Lab of the University of Udine. The system detects player's emotional state by using physiological sensors to measure player's skin conductance, facial muscles activity and cardiac parameters. It has been used to build gamified relaxation training and stress inoculation training applications."
Link to Original Source

+ - Austrian Teen at Heart of TweetDeck Mess Says it Was All a Mistake

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "The last 24 hours have been a sad, scary and frustrating time for an 19-year-old aspiring programmer in Austria who found himself smack in the middle of Wednesday’s TweetDeck mess—all because of a Unicode heart.

Twitter’s real-time account dashboard was taken down for a brief time yesterday before a cross-site scripting vulnerability in the TweetDeck Chrome plug-in was properly addressed. But not before code exploiting the bug in a benign manner spread to Twitter users worldwide.

Ground zero for the incident was the Austrian teen who identified himself only as Florian to Threatpost. The youngster said things began yesterday when he tweeted out an HTML hearts symbol (&hearts) that was graphically displayed in the message.

“TweetDeck is not supposed to display this as an image, because it’s simple text, which should be escaped to “♥,” he said.

“I didn’t know that there is such a big problem. So I experimented with this in a public environment, there was no reason not to do so,” Florian said. “And that was the point where I reported this to TweetDeck.

“TweetDeck actually did not react in any way,” Florian said. “Their next Tweet was saying that there is a security-issue and the users should log in again.”"

+ - Mozilla to sell '$25' Firefox OS smartphones in India

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox browser, has announced it will start selling low-cost smartphones in India within the "next few months". Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the firm's chief operating officer suggested the handsets, which will be manufactured by two Indian companies, would retail at $25 (£15). They will run Mozilla's HTML5 web-based mobile operating system, Firefox OS. The firm already sells Firefox-powered phones in Europe and Latin America."

+ - NSF Researcher Suspended for Mining Bitcoin->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid (1252388) writes "In the semiannual report to Congress by the NSF Office of Inspector General, the organization said it received reports of a researcher who was using NSF-funded supercomputers at two universities to mine bitcoin. The computationally intensive mining took up about $150,000 worth of NSF-supported computer use at the two universities to generate bitcoins worth about $8,000 to $10,000, according to the report. It did not name the researcher or the universities."
Link to Original Source

+ - Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influence Highway Sign Hacking 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, at least three US states reported that a hacker had broken into electronic road signs above major highways, with the hacker leaving messages for people to follow him on Twitter. The Multi-State Information Sharing an Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) produced an intelligence report blaming a Saudi Arabian hacker that the organization says likely got the idea from Watch Dogs, a new video in which game play revolves around ‘hacking,’ with a focus on hacking critical infrastructure-based electronic devices in particular. "Watch Dogs allows players to hack electronic road signs, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), street lights, cell phones and other systems. On May 27, 2014, the malicious actor posted an image of the game on his Twitter feed, demonstrating his interest in the game, and the compromise of road signs occurs during game play. CIS believes it is likely that a small percentage of Watch Dog players will experiment with compromising computers and electronic systems outside of game play, and that this activity will likely affect SSLT [state, local, tribal and territorial] government systems and Department of Transportation (DOT) systems in particular.” Nevermind that, as the report notes, the hacker likely broke in because the signs allowed telnet and were secure with weak or default passwords. The report came out on the same day that The Homeland Security Department cautioned transportation operators about a security hole in some electronic freeway billboards that could let hackers display bogus warnings to drivers."

+ - Solving logic puzzles in FORTRAN 1

Submitted by dr_blurb
dr_blurb (676176) writes "Computational nanoscientist Surendra Jain has written solvers for Sudoku, Killer Sudoku, Samurai Sudoku, Calcudoku, Kakuro and many other logic problems.

The page (called "Classical Geek") has all source (in Fortran 90) as well as compilation and running instructions. This is further proof that FORTRAN is still very much alive. Is it the most suitable language for this type of logic puzzle solver?"

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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