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+ - Carriers Won't Win the War on Netflix

Submitted by Nemo the Magnificent
Nemo the Magnificent (2786867) writes "A few days ago we talked over a post by David Raphael accusing Verizon of slowing down Netflix, by way of throttling Amazon AWS. Now Jonathan Feldman gives us reason to believe that the carriers won't win the war on Netflix, because tools for monitoring the performance of carriers will emerge nd we'll catch them if they try. I just now exercised one such tool, NetNeutralityTest.com from Speedchedker Ltd. My carrier is Verizon (FiOS), and the test showed my download speed at the moment to be 12 Mbps. It was the same to Linode in NJ but only 3 Mbps to AWS East. Hmm."

+ - Blowing up a pointless job interview

Submitted by Nemo the Magnificent
Nemo the Magnificent (2786867) writes "Ever been asked a question in a job interview that's just so abysmally stupid, you're tempted to give in to the snark and blow the whole thing up? Here are suggested interview-ending answers to 16 of the stupidest questions candidates actually got asked in interviews at tech companies in 2013, according to employment site Glassdoor. Oil to pour on the burning bridges."

+ - NSA, Obama Sued Over Domestic Surveillance Program 4

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "A group of people, including a former federal prosecutor and the parents of a Navy SEAL sniper killed in action, have filed a class-action law suit against the National Security Agency, Verizon and President Obama over the NSA’s collection of cell phone data. The suit says the order that enabled the surveillance program is “the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued” and enables indiscriminate collection of data.

The suit, filed this week in federal court in Washington, D.C., also names Roger Vinson, the judge who signed the Verizon order, as a defendant, along with Attorney General Eric Holder and NSA Director Keith Alexander. The plaintiffs say that the NSA’s surveillance program violates the Constitution and unfairly and unnecessarily infringes on citizens’ privacy. The classified order directs Verizon to hand over all of the so-called metadata for calls on its network to the NSA. The metadata includes the originating and terminating phone numbers along with details of the call, but not the contents of the call.

“The order, issued and signed by Judge Roger Vinson, violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens.”"
Science

+ - Emergent Gravity Disproved->

Submitted by
kdawson
kdawson writes "A paper up on the ArXiv claims to disprove the gravity-from-entropy theory of Erik Verlinde, which we discussed soon after he introduced the idea in a symposium late in 2009. Archil Kobakhidze says that experiments measuring the effect of gravity on quantum particles (neutrons in this case) match results expected from classical Newtonian gravity, not Verlindian entropic gravity. Here is Kobakhidze's paper (PDF)."
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Supercomputing

+ - Do Supercomputers Still Matter?->

Submitted by
Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes "The innovations that are redefining the way businesses compute today were made feasible by supercomputers, the first platforms to enable parallel processing on a scale anywhere close to that of the cloud. Supercomputing would have been a lost art had it not been for the capability of everyday PC processors to be stacked together by the thousands — a technology for the high end made possible at the low end. But now, writes Scott Fulton in an exhaustive technical essay, a looming engineering bottleneck may have already rendered it technically and financially impossible for supercomputers to continue evolving at the current rate. Can the cloud go forward if the “grid” on which it’s based grinds to a halt?"
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Programming

+ - Is Process Killing the Software Industry?->

Submitted by blackbearnh
blackbearnh (637683) writes "We all know by now that Test Driven Development is a best practice. And so is having 100% of your code reviewed. And 70% unit test coverage. And keeping your CCN complexity numbers below 20. And doing pre-sprint grooming of stories. And a hundred other industry 'best practices' that in isolation seem like a great idea. But at the end of the day, how much time does it leave for developers to be innovative and creative?

A piece on O'Reilly Radar is arguing that excessive process in software development is sucking the life out of passionate developers, all in the name of making sure that 'good code' gets written. TFA:"The underlying feedback loop making this progressively worse is that passionate programmers write great code, but process kills passion. Disaffected programmers write poor code, and poor code makes management add more process in an attempt to 'make' their programmers write good code. That just makes morale worse, and so on.""

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Security

+ - Russian Drug Cops Storm Rogue Pharmacy Party->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh (609154) writes "Brian Krebs has posted a fascinating, inside look at a battle that's been brewing between two Russian men who run a pair of the largest online rogue pharmacy programs in the world. The story focuses more on Pavel Vrublevsky, the man alleged to run Rx-Promotion — a pharmacy program that specializes in selling addictive, controlled substances like Oxycodone — and how Russian drug authorities recently raided a party in Moscow thrown for Rx-Promotion affiliates who had been competing for cash and prizes and the grand prize — a one kilogram bar of gold."
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Books

+ - "The Hidden Reality" Draws Ire from Physicists-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "Scientific American is running a piece by science journalist John Horgan attacking pop physicist Brian Greene's latest offering titled "The Hidden Reality." He's not entirely alone, Not Even Wrong backs him up and reminds us of a growing list of multiverse propaganda. The Journal of Nature ran a short piece trying to remind everyone that Greene's book is more theory than fact but apart from those three responses, the popular press seems to be gobbling up this tantalizing concept of a multiverse. NPR offers an excerpt while SFGate and The Wall Street Journal entertain us with interviews of the controversial Greene. The New York Times and Salon seem to think it's worthwhile with Salon even calling it "the science behind" the multiverse theory. The New York Times thought it worthwhile to give Greene an op-ed column. For better or for worse, Greene has certainly brought this great debate to the public's attention — similar to his exhibition of String Theory."
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Security

+ - Dancho Danchev Claimed Located->

Submitted by kdawson
kdawson (3715) writes "A Bulgarian newspaper carries a report that missing security researcher Dancho Danchev has been found — and is in a mental institution (link is a Google translation of the Bulgarian original). The article claims that 'according to reliable source of [the newspaper] Dnevnik he was placed in a Bulgarian psychiatric hospital since December 11.' I hope more will eventually be revealed as to where Danchev spent the 3 months preceding that date. During the bygone Soviet era, 'psychiatric hospital' didn't have the same connotations it might in the West."
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Science

+ - 34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive-> 1

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "A scientist has made a weird and and wonderful find:

It's a tale that has all the trappings of a cult 1960s sci-fi movie: Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the 34,000-year-old crystals and discovers, trapped inside, something strange. Something ... alive.

The Geological Society of America's current issue of GSA Today has the hard science paper."
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Power

+ - Proven Focus Fusion Could Power Civilization->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) LLC has announced that they have indisputable evidence that they have achieved 1 billion degrees via plasma confinement . With another year of experimentation followed by three years of development, they could be ready to bring to market a 5 MW plant (size of the largest wind turbines) that only costs $300,000. Slashdot reported previously that LPP had achieved billion-degree results. But critics had said that the previous set-up could not rule out the possibility that this temperature was merely a function of the beam they were creating. The new results show definitively that "confinement" is indeed happening, and is the source of the temperature, which is a key attribute needed to develop a practical commercial reactor. The reults will be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Fusion Energy describing the basic theory guiding LPP's pursuit of useful fusion energy from the dense plasma focus, as well as featuring these first experimental results from the team's Focus Fusion-1 experimental device in Middlesex, NJ."
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Space

+ - Tau Zero Takes Aim at Interstellar Propulsion->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "Could the future of interstellar space travel be in the hands of a group of volunteer scientists? According to Paul Gilster, of Centauri Dreams fame, interstellar propulsion techniques, by their design, will require an incremental approach, headed not by governments, but by private enterprise. And don't expect to reach the nearest star any time soon, that could take centuries! So you think striving toward interstellar spaceflight is a little "far out"? Not so fast. The Tau Zero Foundation is already on the case and has just completed year one of the five year Project Icarus study, just one project that will hopefully carry mankind beyond our solar system."
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