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+ - A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest with 1,000-Foot Walls 1

Submitted by meghan elizabeth
meghan elizabeth (3689911) writes "University of Drexel physicist Rongjia Tao has a utopian proposal to build three massive, 1,000-foot high, 165-foot thick walls around the American Midwest, in order to keep the tornadoes out.

Building three unfathomably massive anti-tornado walls would count as the infrastructure project of the decade, if not the century. It would be also be exceedingly expensive. So is Tao serious? Absolutely."

+ - A Laser Message from Space->

Submitted by stephendavion
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Anyone who remembers dialup internet can sympathize with the plight of NASA mission controllers. Waiting for images to arrive from deep space, slowly downloading line by line, can be a little like the World Wide Web of the 1990s. Patience is required.

A laser on the International Space Station (ISS) could change all that. On June 5th, 2014, the ISS passed over the Table Mountain Observatory in Wrightwood, California, and beamed an HD video to researchers waiting below. Unlike normal data transmissions, which are encoded in radio waves, this one came to Earth on a beam of light.

"It was incredible to see this magnificent beam of light arriving from our tiny payload on the space station," says Matt Abrahamson, who manages the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

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+ - Slashdot Popups Make Site Unreadable

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "You may remember how when you loaded up the Slashdot main page you could scroll down and read the articles at your leisure? Well thank the FSM those days are over. Here at Slashdot we like to provide the experience of constantly taking the focus away from the page your looking at to attempt to get you to download yet another video player you don't even need to look at more advertisements you don't want to see. You Beta believe we are constantly looking for intrusive ways to improve a site that has historically been about reading and commenting on articles by getting in the way of that as much as possible to the point the page refreshes itself every 1.5 seconds in order to ensure you haven't closed any popups or read any of the articles. Oh yeah, and also fuck you, because why not? We're getting paid either way its not like we see a big picture in driving you away or anything."

Comment: But was Earth the Earth before the collision? (Score 1) 2

by fireman sam (#47175521) Attached to: Evidence of another world found on Moon

If two planets collided which resulted in the Earth and the Moon, could it be theorised that both planets would have been pretty much fscked and the resulting formations contain bits of both planets?

Scientists say that most of the Moon is made mostly from the same material the Earth is made from, perhaps this material is simply what you get when you smash two planets together and the rock found was simply a piece of Theia that had not been completely destroyed during the collision. I'm sure there are pieces of the original Earth to be found as well.

Interesting stuff.

+ - Lavabit Founder Explains Why He Was Forced To Shut It Down->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ladar Levison, founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit that shut down last year because of friction with U.S. government data requests, has an article at The Guardian where he explains the whole story. He writes, 'My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network. ... I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the U.S. government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they travelled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet. But that wasn't enough. The federal agents then claimed that their court order required me to surrender my company's private encryption keys, and I balked. What they said they needed were customer passwords – which were sent securely – so that they could access the plain-text versions of messages from customers using my company's encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".) ... What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days, ending not only my startup but also destroying, bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it – that we all have a right to personal privacy.'"
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+ - iOS Apps on Android (natively!)

Submitted by Schranz
Schranz (3646499) writes "Columbia University PhD students managed to run iOS apps natively on Android:
http://systems.cs.columbia.edu...
They built a compatibility layer (iOS-"kernel" XNU is open source) on top of Androids kernel that lets you run unmodified (no legal issues) iOS libraries and therefore iOS apps.
Apps have only little overhead, it's pretty efficient.
Paper was released in march '14 and it didn't get the attention it deserves."

+ - The upcoming Windows 8.1 apocalypse 2

Submitted by arglebargle_xiv
arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "As most people will have heard, Microsoft will end support for anyone who hasn't upgraded to Win8.1 Update 1 on May 8. What fewer people have heard is that large numbers of users can't install the 8.1 Update, with over a thousand messages in this one thread alone, and that's for tech geeks rather than home users who won't find out about this until their PC becomes orphaned on May 8. Check your Windows Update log, if you've got a "Failed" entry next to KB2919355 then your PC will also become orphaned after May 8."

+ - How Programming Is Hard->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Those of us who spend our days sitting in front of a screen trying to make computers do our bidding know how difficult programming can be. But from an outside perspective, there's not much to indicate difficulty. Most of us have heard somebody compare our job to digging ditches, or some other manual labor, meant to contrast easy (sitting around and typing) versus hard (muscle-wearying work). Now, Peter Welch has written an amusing essay to help combat that point of view, titled Programming Sucks. He compares bridge building to a big software project. Here's a small part of it: 'You start by meeting Mary, project leader for a bridge in a major metropolitan area. Mary introduces you to Fred, after you get through the fifteen security checks installed by Dave because Dave had his sweater stolen off his desk once and Never Again. Fred only works with wood, so you ask why he's involved because this bridge is supposed to allow rush-hour traffic full of cars full of mortal humans to cross a 200-foot drop over rapids. Don't worry, says Mary, Fred's going to handle the walkways. What walkways? Well Fred made a good case for walkways and they're going to add to the bridge's appeal. Of course, they'll have to be built without railings, because there's a strict no railings rule enforced by Phil, who's not an engineer. ... Would you drive across this bridge? No. If it somehow got built, everybody involved would be executed. Yet some version of this dynamic wrote every single program you have ever used, banking software, websites, and a ubiquitously used program that was supposed to protect information on the internet but didn't.' Welch goes on to gripe about all the ways in which programming is almost awesome, but ends up being annoying."
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