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Comment: Re:Fedora fork too (Score 1) 545

by jtnix (#48201451) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

That short init config sure looks nice, but right away I notice something wrong about it. wtf is it doing in /usr/lib? Configurations for system software belong in /etc.

This is the problem with systemd, on the surface it looks great, but underneath its ugly as hell. Not what I am accustomed to when dealing with unix systems. Nor something I can adapt to when I have hundreds to look after.

+ - Washington Post Says Marijuana Legalization is Making the World a Better Place 3

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Christopher Ingraham writes in the Washington Post that many countries are taking a close look at what's happening in Colorado and Washington state to learn lessons that can be applied to their own situations and so far, the news coming out of Colorado and Washington is overwhelmingly positive. Dire consequences predicted by reform opponents have failed to materialize. If anything, societal and economic indicators are moving in a positive direction post-legalization. Colorado marijuana tax revenues for fiscal year 2014-2015 are on track to surpass projections.

Lisa Sanchez, a program manager at México Unido Contra la Delincuencia, a Mexican non-profit devoted to promoting "security, legality and justice," underscored how legalization efforts in the U.S. are having powerful ripple effects across the globe: events in Colorado and Washington have "created political space for Latin American countries to have a real debate [about drug policy]." She noted that motivations for reform in Latin America are somewhat different than U.S. motivations — one main driver is a need to address the epidemic of violence on those countries that is fueled directly by prohibitionist drug war policies. Mexico's president has given signs he's open to changes in that country's marijuana laws to help combat cartel violence. Sandeep Chawla, former deputy director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, notes that one of the main obstacles to meaningful reform is layers of entrenched drug control bureaucracies at the international and national levels — just in the U.S., think of the DEA, ONDCP and NIDA, among others — for whom a relaxation of drug control laws represents an undermining of their reason for existence: "if you create a bureaucracy to solve a particular problem, when the problem is solved that bureaucracy is out of a job.""
Movies

Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the followed-by-tetris-2:-revenge-of-the-tetrominoes dept.
SchrodingerZ writes: Threshold Entertainment has announced that it will be producing a live action film based on the Russian stacking game Tetris. Designed in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, Tetris has sold over 35 million copies worldwide. Threshold CEO Larry Kasanoff promises "a very big, epic sci-fi movie," explaining, "this isn't a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We're not giving feet to the geometric shapes." Kasanoff is known for his work with the video game films Mortal Kombat, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, collectively grossing $105 million in revenue. The studio is planning "a story behind Tetris which makes it a much more imaginative thing," though no directors nor cast have been connected to the film. Threshold Entertainment teased the idea, saying "What you [will] see in Tetris is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance."

Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 1) 323

by jtnix (#47934047) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

So it could have been distributed as a Gift, right?
Is there a gifting option for iTunes?
Can I buy an album for someone else and do they have to opt in on the 'gift' or is it just an automatic purchase for their delivery preference?

Ahh, the mysteries of this mostly unused service I have at my beck and call!

Comment: Stand-up workstations are better than caffeine (Score 2) 133

by jtnix (#47785849) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

I would argue that employers are definitely interested in increased productivity from employees, but they will certainly settle for the appearance of productivity.

At the risk of going off-topic, a twice-a-day caffeine nap at work is not going to improve productivity nearly as much as a stand-up work station will. Not to mention that staying in a sedentary, sitting position 8+ hours a day is incredibly unhealthy and unnatural. Blast from the past from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2011/05/09...

Businesses

Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-aren't-part-of-the-solution,-you're-part-of-the-preciptate dept.
An anonymous reader writes Following up on a recent experiment into the status of software engineers versus managers, Jon Evans writes that the easiest way to find out which companies don't respect their engineers is to learn which companies simply don't understand them. "Engineers are treated as less-than-equal because we are often viewed as idiot savants. We may speak the magic language of machines, the thinking goes, but we aren't business people, so we aren't qualified to make the most important decisions. ... Whereas in fact any engineer worth her salt will tell you that she makes business decisions daily–albeit on the micro not macro level–because she has to in order to get the job done. Exactly how long should this database field be? And of what datatype? How and where should it be validated? How do we handle all of the edge cases? These are in fact business decisions, and we make them, because we're at the proverbial coal face, and it would take forever to run every single one of them by the product people and sometimes they wouldn't even understand the technical factors involved. ... It might have made some sense to treat them as separate-but-slightly-inferior when technology was not at the heart of almost every business, but not any more."

+ - Last universal ancestor (LUA) may have a 'leaky' membrane->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Around four billion years ago the Last Universal Ancestor (LUA), most probably a single cell organism, appeared on Planet Earth. In order to be alive that single cell organism must be able to harness energy from its surrounding, and in order to do that, according to researchers at University College London (UCL), that single cell organism had a 'leaky' membrane which allowed protons to enter and exit at the same time

The UCL researchers came to the conclusion using mathematical modeling, in which the findings were published on August 13, 2014, in PLOS Biology

Illustrated picture at http://cdn.phys.org/newman/gfx...

The study claims this membrane may explain why all cells use the same complex mechanism to harvest energy, and it may also explain why two types of fundamental single-celled organisms — bacteria and archaea — have different cell membranes

The leakiness of the membrane allowed LUA to be powered by energy in its surroundings, most likely vents deep on the ocean floor, while holding in all the other components necessary for life. The team modeled how the membrane changed, enabling LUA’s descendants to move to new, more challenging environments and evolve into two distinct types of single-celled organism, bacteria and archaea, creating the deepest branch of the tree of life

Bacteria and archaea share many common features such as genes, proteins and mechanisms of reading DNA, initially leading scientists to believe they were just different types of bacteria. Their classification changed in the 1970s after extreme differences were found in the way they replicate DNA and in the structure of their cell membrane. As they both stemmed from LUA, scientists set out to find answers in the structure and function of LUA’s membrane

Data from the study strongly suggest that LUA lived in the area where ancient seawater, dense with positively charged particles called protons, mixed with warm alkaline vent fluid, which contained few protons. The difference in the concentration of protons across these two environments enabled protons to flow into the cell, driving the production of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which powered the growth of cells, just as it does today. However, unlike modern cells the scientists believe this could only happen if the membrane was 'leaky', enabling protons to leave the cell spontaneously so more protons could enter to power growth

From a single basic idea, the model can explain the fundamental differences between bacteria and archaea. In these deep sea vents, there is a continuous flow of alkaline fluids, which mix with the ocean waters. When they mix, the fluids neutralize each other, and that stops any build-up of charge which would otherwise prevent protons flowing into the cell

If the first cells had leaky membranes, then protons could enter and then be neutralized, or leave again, almost as if there was no barrier at all

The mathematical modeling shows that the rate at which protons enter and leave was high enough to power the growth of cells via proteins embedded in the membrane. LUA could have been powered by natural proton gradients in vents, but only if it had a really leaky membrane, completely unlike today’s cells"

Link to Original Source

+ - Designers & Dragons is the complete history of role-playing game publishers

Submitted by Robotech_Master
Robotech_Master (14247) writes "Evil Hat Productions is Kickstarting a four-volume history of the RPG industry that's already met its funding goal almost seven times over. Comprising half a million words altogether, it tells the story of pencil-and-paper role-playing games from their very beginnings, and you can read the e-book of the first volume for kicking in just one buck. $1 for the first e-book, $15 for all four, print volumes starting at $25 and up.

I've reviewed the first volume of it here. I found it extremely thorough and well-written."

+ - Best PDF handling library, for our own definition of "best" ;-)->

Submitted by Fotis Georgatos
Fotis Georgatos (3006465) writes "I got recently engaged in a conversation about handling PDF texts for a range of needs, such as creation, manipulation, merging, text extraction and searching, digital signing etc etc. A couple of potential picks popped up (PDFBox, itext), given some Java experience of the other fellows. And then comes the reality of choosing software as a long term knowledge investment! ideally, we would like to combine these features:
  • open source, with a community following ; the kind of stuff slashdotters would prefer
  • tidy software architecture; simple things should remain simple
  • allow open API allowing usage across many languages (say: Python & Java)
  • clear licensing status, not estranging future commercial use
  • serious multilingual & font support
  • PDF-handling rich features, not limiting usage for invoicing, e-commerce, reports & data mining
  • digital signing should not go against other features

I'd like to poll the collective slashdot crowd wisdom about if/which PDF related libraries, they have written software with, keeps them happy for *all* the above reasons. And if not happy with that all, what do they thing is the best bet for learning one piece of software in the area, with great reusability across different circumstances and little need for extra hacks?

ROTG is not at all a good answer; I'd really like to hear the smoked out war stories. It is easy to obtain a list of such libraries, yet tricky to understand how many obtained success with them!"

Link to Original Source

Verizon

Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
An anonymous reader writes Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, greatly shortening the time it takes to send videos and back up files online. All new subscribers will get "symmetrical" connections. If you previously were getting 15 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up, you'll be automatically upgraded for no extra cost to 15/15. Same goes if you were on their 50/25 plan: You'll now be upgraded to 50/50. And if you had 75/35? You guessed it: Now it'll be 75 down, and 75 up.
Sony

Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the turning-the-lights-back-on dept.
First time accepted submitter Dragoness Eclectic writes Early Tuesday, gamers woke up to find out that they couldn't log in to any Sony Online Entertainment games--no Everquest, no Planetside 2, none of them. Oddly, the forums where company reps might have posted some explanation weren't reachable, either. A bit of journalistic investigation by EQ2Wire came across the explanation: SOE forgot to renew the domain registration on SonyOnline.net, the hidden domain that holds all their nameservers. After 7 weeks of non-payment post-expiration, NetworkSolutions reclaimed the domain, sending all access to Sony's games into an internet black hole. Sony has since paid up. SOE's president, John Smedley, has admitted that the expiration notices were being sent to an "unread email" address.

+ - Scotland to get spaceport by 2018->

Submitted by nk497
nk497 (1345219) writes "The UK will build a spaceport by 2018, with eight locations under consideration — the majority of which are in Scotland. The Department of Transport is evaluating existing airfields for suitability to become a spaceport, examining factors such as the weather — strong winds are a problem — and how it will affect the local environment and economy.In its report, the government noted that commercial sub-orbital spaceflights for paying passengers will kick off by the end of this year in the US via Virgin Galactic. It wants the UK to get in on the space tourist action, becoming the centre for such activity in Europe.

"In the longer term, it is possible that spaceplanes will enable intercontinental travel at very high speeds," the report added. "There have been suggestions that by travelling on a sub-orbital trajectory, journey times from the UK to Australia could be cut from the current duration of around 20 hours to as little as two hours." Aside from space tourism and weekend getaways to Brisbane, the spaceport will also allow satellite launches plus delivery of cargo and scientific payloads into orbit. If all goes well, the government predicted the first sub-orbital flights by 2018, followed by satellite launches in 2020, and orbital flights by 2030."

Link to Original Source

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