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Submission + - Do Female Programmers Have a Confidence Problem? 1

itwbennett writes: Social learning platform Piazza looked at over 2 million questions asked and answered during four recent semesters by almost 1 million undergraduate and graduate students at schools in the U.S. and Canada in a wide range of fields to see if they could identify a gender confidence gap (defined as the percentage difference between the average number of questions answered by male and female students). Overall, they found a noticeably greater confidence gap between the genders in computer science than in other STEM fields. Among CS students, women answered 37% fewer questions than men, as compared to 18% fewer in non-CS STEM fields. Outside of STEM, the confidence gap is much lower and sometimes reversed, where women answered just 7% fewer questions than men in humanities while actually answering more questions than the men in business and social sciences, 11% more and 5% more, respectively. But take this with a grain of salt: The most confident aren't always (or even often) the most correct.

Submission + - Linus Torvalds: Apple's HFS+ is probably the worst file-system ever (

sfcrazy writes: It’s been long since we heard a good rant from Linus Torvalds. Linux doesn't rant much, but when he does he hits the nail and he doesn't mince worlds and this time he targeted Apple's HFS+. Linus says, "The true horrors of HFS+ are not in how it’s not a great filesystem, but in how it’s actively designed to be a bad filesystem by people who thought they had good ideas."

Submission + - Mainstream Support of Windows 7 Ends ( 1

jones_supa writes: The mainstream support of Microsoft Windows 7 ends today. The operating system leaving mainstream support means no more platform updates, no new features, and end of free support. Windows 7 will now enter extended support, which means that security updates will keep coming, and support will be offered for charge. The final end of support for Windows 7 will be reached January 14, 2020.

Submission + - bentgate, a new issue Phone 6 users?

mrspoonsi writes: First, there was 'Antennagate', as iPhone 4 users found a noticeable drop in signal strength when touching the lower-left corner of their handset, leading Apple to tell its customers that they were holding the device the wrong way. Then came 'Scuffgate', as iPhone 5 users complained that it was all too easy to scratch that device's aluminium bodywork. Now, with the launch of Apple's latest handsets, comes 'Bentgate'. A handful of users — so far, at least — have complained that their iPhone 6 Plus handsets are 'bending', without significant force being exerted upon them. Several of these reports have come from users on the MacRumors forums. One user, 'hanzoh', said that his handset had been in his front trouser pocket for much of the day, which involved sitting while on a long drive and at a wedding, where he also danced. By the end of the day, when he placed his 6 Plus on his coffee table, he noticed that the device had bent slightly towards the top.

Submission + - iOS 8 Touch ID in PhoneGap/Cordova Apps - Now Open To Developers (

jcasman writes: Touch ID is the biometrics (fingerprinting) sensor implementation in iPhone 5s. Introduced in iOS 7, users utilize it for authentication and authorization. However, the API was private, and there was no way to access it for Cordova/PhoneGap developers. Now, starting from iOS 8, the Touch ID API is now open to developers. This opens up many interesting possibilities for PhoneGap/Cordova developers. Masa Tanaka, CEO of Monaca, an HTML5 hybrid app development framework based on PhoneGap/Cordova, writes about creating a Cordova Plugin to support Touch ID, and provides a sample Cordova app for demonstration.

Performance — the Achilles heel of hybrid apps — is also impacted in the new iOS 8. In an SD Times Guest View piece, Tanaka talks here about performance improvements for hybrid apps in iOS 8 and includes internal benchmarking numbers: "Why hybrid app developers should love the new iOS 8"

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations? (

Nerval's Lobster writes: If a new report in The Washington Post is accurate, the National Security Agency (NSA) has siphoned up millions of online address books and contact lists. The Post drew its information from top-secret documents provided by government whistleblower Edward Snowden, who spent the summer feeding information about the NSA to a variety of news outlets. Those documents hint at the massive size of the NSA’s operation; on a single day in 2012, for example, the agency collected 444,743 email address books from Yahoo and 22,697 from Gmail, along with tens of thousands of contact lists from other popular Web services. Snowden's documents (as outlined in The Guardian, Spiegel Online and other venues) have detailed a massive NSA program that's siphoning all sorts of personal information from a variety of sources — and yet the public seems to have greeted each new revelation with weakening outrage. Whereas the initial news reports about NSA splying in June kicked off a firestorm of controversy and discussion (aggravated by the drama of Snowden seeking asylum in pretty much any country that would have him), the unveiling of the NSA’s Great Contact-List Caper has ranked below the news stories such as the government shutdown, negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and invites for Apple’s upcoming iPad event on aggregators such as Google News; it also didn't make much of a blip on Twitter and other online forums. There’s the very real possibility that Americans, despite the assurances of government officials, are being monitored in a way that potentially violates their privacy. Surely that’s an issue that concerns a great many individuals; and yet, as time goes by, it seems as if people are choosing to focus on other things. Are we suffering from "surveillance fatigue"?

Submission + - The Curious MInd of Ada Lovelace

An anonymous reader writes: Going beyond the usual soundbites about Ada Lovelace, Amy Jollymore explores the life of the worlds first programmer: "When I heard that Ada Lovelace Day was coming, I questioned myself, "What do I actually know about Ada Lovelace?" The sum total of my knowledge: Ada was the first woman programmer and the Department of Defense honored her contributions to computation in 1979 by naming its common programming language Ada.
A few Ada biographies later, I know Augusta Ada Lovelace to be an incredibly complex woman with a painful life story, one in which math, shame, and illness were continuously resurfacing themes. Despite all, Ada tirelessly pursued her passion for mathematics, making her contributions to computing undeniable and her genius all the more clear. Her accomplishments continue to serve as an inspiration to women throughout the world."

Submission + - New GMail compose inspires user backlash 1

s13g3 writes: Yesterday, Google finally rolled out the "new compose" as a mandatory change to all users, eliminating the "old" compose option with no way to revert. The move has sparked such a significant amount of user backlash on Google's product forums that moderators are having to close hundreds of "I hate the new compose" threads as "duplicates" and are directing people to the main feedback thread, which is currently over 21 pages some 24 hours later. So far, there appears to be nothing in the way of a response or recognition from Google of the amount of hate the change has inspired, only an insistence that somehow the input of "Top Moderators" from their forums since October 2012 resulted in a number of "improvements" to the new compose in response, which supposedly makes it easier to use, but does nothing to address the laundry list of complaints and issues people have with it: simply put, no one likes the new compose, and significant numbers of users are threatening to abandon the service as a result of this forced change.

Submission + - House Democrats propose national park on the moon (

MarkWhittington writes: Two House Democrats, Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), have proposed a bill called Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, H.R. 2617, that would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park at all the Apollo lunar landing sites, according to a July 9, 2013 story in The Hill.

Submission + - Fixing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 (

sproketboy writes: Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to and effort to improve the venerable and famously hated ET game for the Atari 2600 (google ET Atari 2600 "worst game"). The author includes the HEX instructions. Can it be converted into the greatest game ever? YOU decide.

Submission + - App Developer reveals Massive Security Hole in Google Play (

CuteSteveJobs writes: The Courier Mail reports a massive security hole in Google's online app store, Google Play is revealing the names, addresses and email addresses of everyone that has ever purchased an app. Sydney app developer Dan Nolan said "Every App purchase you make on Google Play gives the developer your name, suburb and email address with no indication that this information is actually being transferred." He warned it could be used to track down and harass users who left negative reviews or refunded the app purchase, saying there is no reason for any developer to have this information at their finger tips.

Submission + - Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less than Germany because US has Less Sun (

Andy Prough writes: Apparently those wise folks at Fox have figured out America's reluctance to invest as much money in solar energy as Germany — the Germans simply have more sun! Well, as Will Oremus from Slate points out, according to the US Dept. of Energy's Solar Resource map comparison of the US and Germany, nothing could be farther from the truth — Germany receives as much sunlight as the least lit US state — Alaska.

Submission + - Cluster of 35 Ancient Pyramids and Graves Discovered in Sudan

An anonymous reader writes: About 2,000 years ago, a kingdom named Kush flourished in what is now known as Sudan. Sharing a border with Egypt, the people of Kush were highly influenced by the other civilization. The result was that they built pyramids: lots of them. At one particular site known as Sedeinga, pyramid building continued for centuries. Now archaeologists have unearthed at least 35 of these small pyramids along with graves.

Submission + - Radical new Space drive ( 2

Noctis-Kaban writes: Scientists in China have built and tested a radical new space drive. Although the thrust it produces may not be enough to lift your mobile phone, it looks like it could radically change the satellite industry. Satellites are just the start: with superconducting components, this technology could generate the thrust to drive everything from deep space probes to flying cars. And it all started with a British engineer whose invention was ignored and ridiculed in his home country.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce