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Programming

Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language? 243

Posted by timothy
from the worth-it-to-whom? dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: Ask a group of developers to rattle off the world's most popular programming languages, and they'll likely name the usual suspects: JavaScript, Java, Python, Ruby, C++, PHP, and so on. Ask which programming languages pay the best, and they'll probably list the same ones, which makes sense. But what about the little-known languages and skill sets (Dice link) that don't leap immediately to mind but nonetheless support some vital IT infrastructure (and sometimes, as a result, pay absurdly well)? is it worth learning a relatively obscure language or skill set, on the hope that you can score one of a handful of well-paying jobs that require it? The answer is a qualified yes—so long as the language or skill set in question is clearly on the rise. Go, Swift, Rust, Julia and CoffeeScript have all enjoyed rising popularity, for example, which increases the odds that they'll remain relevant for at least the next few years. But a language without momentum behind it probably isn't worth your time, unless you want to learn it simply for the pleasure of learning something new.
Medicine

Space Radiation May Alter Astronauts' Neurons 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-saw-that-episode-of-star-trek dept.
sciencehabit writes: NASA hopes to send the first round-trip, manned spaceflight to Mars by the 2030s. If the mission succeeds, astronauts could spend several years potentially being bombarded with cosmic rays—high-energy particles launched across space by supernovae and other galactic explosions. Now, a study in mice suggests these particles could alter the shape of neurons, impairing astronauts' memories and other cognitive abilities. In the prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with executive function, a range of high-level cognitive tasks such as reasoning, short-term memory, and problem-solving, neurons had 30% to 40% fewer branches, called dendrites, which receive electrical input from other cells.

Comment: Re:They forgot the best feature.... (Score 2) 80

by Etcetera (#49596451) Attached to: OpenBSD 5.7 Released

BSD is a major commodity ecosystem for end-consumer products. I'd wager that there are more MacBooks and iPods out there running OSX and iOS flavors of BSD than there are Linux ones. They just suck in the server space, though, and that's where Linux cannot at the moment be questioned, let alone defeated.

Ironically, systemd is quite well suited for system designers creating embedded products, or those where there's effectively no "middle layer" between the naive "true end user" and the original builder/vendor -- a locked down iOS or an OS X system where the terminal-level control isn't needed.

The folks most objecting to systemd are in the server space -- true OS system admins who design and integrate the architecture, and are responsible for keeping things up and running.

Yeah, systemd+busybox might be perfect for the next OpenWRT embedded IoS device -- but it's not what I'll want on the next massive Dell server I'm responsible for at work.

Comment: They forgot the best feature.... (Score 5, Insightful) 80

by Etcetera (#49594457) Attached to: OpenBSD 5.7 Released

No systemd ;)

Seriously, though. Although I can't see myself switching wholesale back to BSD, and the long term *nix-esque commodity (non-specialized) ecosystem will revolve around Linux for the foreseeable future, there are enough people frustrated by the OS vendor directions that it's good to have a backup.

Think of BSD as a third party, to keep the primary two enterprise Linux vendors in check should they decide to ignore their constitu^H^H^H^H^H^H^H users too much.

Open Source

OpenBSD 5.7 Released 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Right on schedule, OpenBSD 5.7 was released today, May 1, 2015. The theme of the 5.7 release is "Source Fish." There are some big changes in OpenBSD 5.7. The nginx httpd server was removed from base in favor of an internally developed httpd server in 5.7. BIND (named) was retired from base in 5.7 in favor of nsd(8) (authoritative DNS) and unbound(8) (recursive resolver). Packages will exist for BIND and nginx. This version includes a new control utility, rcctl(8), for managing daemons/services, USB 3 support and more. See a detailed log of changes between the 5.6 and 5.7 releases for more information. If you already have an OpenBSD 5.6 system, and do not want to reinstall, upgrade instructions and advice can be found in the Upgrade Guide. You can order the 5.7 CD set from the new OpenBSD Store and support the project.
Google

Google Announces "Password Alert" To Protect Against Phishing Attacks 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Google has announced Password Alert, a free, open-source Chrome extension that protects your Google Accounts from phishing attacks. Once you've installed it, Password Alert will show a warning if you type your Google password into a site that isn't a Google sign-in page. This protects you from phishing attacks and also encourages you to use different passwords for different sites, a security best practice. Once you've installed and initialized Password Alert, Chrome will remember a "scrambled" version of your Google Account password. It only remembers this information for security purposes and doesn't share it with anyone. If you type your password into a site that isn't a Google sign-in page, an alert will tell you that you're at risk of being phished so you can update your password and protect yourself.

Comment: Re:Don't single out EPA (Score 2) 353

Medical studies in particular: you really don't want the public to have access to the private medical data which is used in medical studies.

I can not see how this is a valid argument -- of course such data should be anonymized and not traceable to an *individual* patient (this is where privacy kicks in), but it is done in publicly published medical research anyway ("Patient A [not Sam Smith!] was responding to treatment... ").

As to temperature data -- if there is suspicion that it is tainted by "local political concerns" -- should we even consider it to be valid *scientific* data?

Paul B.

Comment: The alternative is... What, exactly? (Score 4, Interesting) 216

by Etcetera (#49575241) Attached to: How Google Searches Are Promoting Genocide Denial

Ban people with an opposing point of view? Google deciding intentionally what's "true" and "not true"? Only people with approved viewpoints get a chance to place ideas out there?

Perhaps he author might want to take some time to Google "epistemically closure," followed a little later for some basic overviews of the history of mankind.

Open Source

When Enthusiasm For Free Software Turns Ugly 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Bruce Byfield writes for Linux Magazine about the unfortunate side-effect of people being passionate about open source software: discussions about rival projects can get heated and turn ugly. "Why, for example, would I possibly to see OpenOffice humiliated? I prefer LibreOffice's releases, and — with some misgivings — the Free Software Foundation's philosophy and licensing over that of the Apache Foundation. I also question the efficiency of having two office suites so closely related to each other. Yet while exploring such issues may be news, I don't forget that, despite these differences, OpenOffice and the Apache Foundation still have the same general goals as LibreOffice or the Free Software Foundation. The same is true of other famous feuds. Why, because I have a personal preference for KDE, am I supposed to ignore GNOME's outstanding interface designs? Similarly, because I value Debian's stability and efforts at democracy, am I supposed to have a strong distaste for Ubuntu?"

Comment: Re:Wounded Not Dead (Score 1) 232

by Etcetera (#49562985) Attached to: Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS

Because systemD is being pushed by red-hat. And red-hat makes money, no their 'entire' business model is selling support.
So would they want a piece of software that you can use yourself correctly? No, they want a piece of software that is so arcane and labyrinth ridden that you have to pay them to tell you how to use it.

I can't say this is fair. Was RH's support level going down? They were doing fine with init processes that were composed of shell scripts too.

From what I've heard, there's serious debate *within* RH about systemd as well; not everyone's been on-board with it internally.

I think a lot of this can be blamed squarely on Fedora leadership... Over the course of about 3 years between Fedora 14 and Fedora 19, it feels like all the sysadmins looking product stability in the project got replaced with developers looking for new/shiny problems to solve with some new Big Idea. Hence systemd, RPM spec file churn, UsrTmpfs, and other monstrosities.

Input Devices

Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the latest-and-greatest dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The first release candidate of Linux 4.1 is now available. Linus noted, "The merge window is pretty normal in terms of what got merged too. Just eyeballing the size, it looks like this is going to fit right in — while 4.0 was a bit smaller than usual, 4.1 seems to be smack dab in the middle of the normal range for the last couple of years." There are numerous new features in Linux 4.1, like Xbox One controller force feedback support, better Wacom tablet support, Intel Atom SoC performance improvements, Radeon DisplayPort MST support, EXT4 file-system encryption, ChromeOS Lightbar support, and ACPI for 64-bit ARM, among other additions. However, KDBUS wasn't accepted for Linux 4.1.
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd 494

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
jones_supa writes: The final release of Ubuntu 15.04 is now available. A modest set of improvements are rolling out with this spring's Ubuntu. While this means the OS can't rival the heavy changelogs of releases past, the adage "don't fix what isn't broken" is clearly one 15.04 plays to. The headline change is systemd being featured first time in a stable Ubuntu release, which replaces the inhouse UpStart init system. The Unity desktop version 7.3 receives a handful of small refinements, most of which aim to either fix bugs or correct earlier missteps (for example, application menus can now be set to be always visible). The Linux version is 3.19.3 further patched by Canonical. As usual, the distro comes with fresh versions of various familiar applications.
Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized 152

Posted by timothy
from the I-know-some-people-who-should-vacation-there dept.
The Washington Post reports that the "supervolcano" beneath Yellowstone National Park (which, thankfully, did not kill us all in 2004, or in 2008 ) may be more dangerous when it does erupt than anyone realized until recently. Scientists have today published a paper documenting their discovery of an even larger, deeper pool of magma below the already huge reservoir near the surface. From the article: On Thursday, a team from the University of Utah published a study, in the journal Science, that for the first time offers a complete diagram of the plumbing of the Yellowstone volcanic system. The new report fills in a missing link of the system. It describes a large reservoir of hot rock, mostly solid but with some melted rock in the mix, that lies beneath a shallow, already-documented magma chamber. The newly discovered reservoir is 4.5 times larger than the chamber above it. There's enough magma there to fill the Grand Canyon. The reservoir is on top of a long plume of magma that emerges from deep within the Earth's mantle. ... “This is like a giant conduit. It starts down at 1,000 kilometers. It's a pipe that starts down in the Earth," said Robert Smith, emeritus professor of geophysics at the University of Utah and a co-author of the new paper. ... The next major, calderic eruption could be within the boundaries of the park, northeast of the old caldera. “If you have this crustal magma system that is beneath the pre-Cambrian rocks, eventually if you get enough fluid in that system, enough magma, you can create another caldera, another set of giant explosions," Smith said. "There’s no reason to think it couldn’t continue that same process and repeat that process to the northeast.”

Comment: Why not a background process requesting ads? (Score 5, Insightful) 282

by nightfire-unique (#49527669) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

One thing I never understood is why no one's come up with an ad blocker that still requests ads in the background, but doesn't display them (as an option).

Quite literally, everyone wins in that scenario. Advertisers get to feel like they're changing the world. Web sites are funded. We don't have to deal with advertisements.

And manufacturers/service providers are less likely to deal with the wrath of people like me who go out of our way to avoid products with offensive advertising. We won't know any better.

Communications

Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017 293

Posted by timothy
from the video-sought-by-police-for-questioning dept.
New submitter titten writes The Norwegian Ministry of Culture has announced that the transition to DAB will be completed in 2017. This means that Norway, as the first country in the world to do so, has decided to switch off the FM network. Norway began the transition to DAB in 1995. In recent years two national and several local DAB-networks has been established. 56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio every day. 55 per cent of households have at least one DAB radio, according to Digitalradio survey by TNS Gallup, continuously measuring the Norwegian`s digital radio habits.

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