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Submission + - The Quest for the Ultimate Vacuum Tube (

An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports on progress in the development of vacuum tube technology, which remains surprisingly relevant in 2015. "In the six decades since vacuum tubes lost out to solid-state devices in computers, receivers, and power supplies, vacuum technology has continued to evolve and branch out into new terrain, sustaining a small but skilled corps of engineers and scientists around the world, as well as a multibillion-dollar industry. That’s because the traveling-wave tube and other vacuum devices continue to serve one purpose extremely well: as powerful sources of microwave, millimeter-wave, and submillimeter-wave radiation. And now, ongoing research into a new and potentially revolutionary kind of traveling-wave tube—the ultracompact and ultraefficient cold-cathode TWT—looks poised to deliver the first practical device by the end of this decade."

Submission + - MongooseIM 1.6: Riak, DevOps love, and so much more! (

niconico writes: MongooseIM, the massively scalable XMPP server (behind WhatsApp) written in Erlang under GPL, is released in version 1.6. It brings initial Riak support, powerful metrics, a Docker image, supported XEPs list, substantial refactoring, Erlang/OTP 18 support, better RFC & XEP conformance, and much more. MongooseIM 1.6 is a strong version, and the foundation for future releases that will bring more mobile, and cloud features.

Submission + - Will you be able to run a modern desktop environment in 2016 without systemd?

yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?

Submission + - What is the Future of the Television? (

An anonymous reader writes: Benedict Evans has an interesting post about where television hardware is headed. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the tech industry made a huge push to invade the living room, trying to make the internet mesh with traditional TV broadcasts. As we all know, their efforts failed. Now, we periodically see new waves of devices to attach to the TV, but none have been particularly ambitious. The most successful devices of the recent wave, like the Chromecast and Apple TV, are simply turning the TV into a dumb screen for streamed content. Meanwhile, consumption of all types of video content is growing on smaller screens — tablets, phones, etc. Even game consoles are starting to see their market eroded by boxes like the Steam Link, which acts as a pipe for a game being played elsewhere on a PC. It raises an intriguing question: where is the television headed? What uses and functions does one giant screen serve that can't be cleverly redistributed to smaller screens? Evans concludes, "The web's open, permissionless innovation beat the closed, top-down visions of interactive TV and the information superhighway."

Submission + - Neil degrasse Tyson causes firestorm with remarks on commercial space ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: In an interview published in The Verge, celebrity astrophysicist and media personality Neil deGrasse Tyson touched off a firestorm when he suggested that commercial space was not going to lead the way to open up the high frontier. Tyson has started a live show that he calls "Delusions of Space Enthusiasts” in which he touched on, among other things, why the Apollo program did not lead to greater things in space exploration such as going to Mars. Tyson repeats conventional wisdom about Apollo and the Cold War. In any case, it is his remarks on commercial space that has caused the most irritation.

Submission + - Another Giant XKCD Comics Experiment

Dave Knott writes: XKCD creator Randall Munroe has decided to celebrate the release of his new book, Thing Explainer, by creating a "small game" called Hoverboard. In actuality, it is a gigantic scrolling comic in the same style as his previous Click And Drag. However, this time there is a game element as one navigates the comic. Explore giant starships and volcanoes, or search for hidden lairs, all in the name of finding as many hidden gold coins as possible.

Submission + - Landfall nears for strongest hurricane in recorded history (

An anonymous reader writes: Patricia — the strongest hurricane ever recorded — barreled closer and closer Friday to Mexico's Pacific coast, where residents have been told to brace for its 200-mph sustained winds and torrential rains. The early Friday central pressure recording of 880 millibars (the barometric pressure equivalent is 25.98 inches) "is the lowest for any tropical cyclone globally for over 30 years," according to the Met Office, Britain's weather service. One other thing alarming about Patricia is its rapid rise in intensity. It rated as a tropical storm early Thursday, but 24 hours later it had become a Category 5 hurricane. Among other effects, El Niño has contributed to ocean waters off Mexico being 2 to 3 degrees warmer than usual. "That warm water from El Niño probably just pushed this slightly over the edge to be the strongest storm on record," CNN's Myers said.

Submission + - SPAM: IoT may still be a hype, but its impact to MCU already felt

Taco Cowboy writes: To many, the Internet of Things (IoT) may be nothing but pure hype, but for those who are in the Microcontroller (MCU) industry the sales volume has already risen

"What some still consider to be only hype surrounding emerging IoT trends has already begun disrupting the MCU market," said Tom Hackenberg, senior analyst for IHS. "In fact, without the influence of IoT application growth, the MCU market is predicted to stagnate by the end of the decade"

In contrast, the overall MCU market is only expected to grow at a CAGR of just 4% through 2019

"The IoT trend has a strong relationship with the MCU market, as the small nodes used for connectivity, and sensor hubs to collect and log data, are primarily based on MCU platforms," Hackenberg continued. "Most serious suppliers of MCUs are already closely following the hype around the billions of connected devices; however, the industry's challenge now is to quantify this new opportunity, since IoT is a conceptual trend, not a device, application or even a new feature"

"IoT is a sweeping term that addresses broad opportunities for hardware, software and services across many different applications," Hackenberg said. "Suppliers must therefore focus on their target markets and concentrate on the specific values they bring to these markets." The IHS Microcontroller Tracking Service now offers market size and forecast for the MCUs targeting IoT applications specifically in 25 distinct market opportunities

Link to Original Source

Submission + - "Happy Birthday To You" now public domain

Duckman5 writes: As mentioned on multiple occasions. The popular song "Happy Birthday To You" has recently been the subject of a lawsuit between a couple of documentary filmmakers and Warner/Chappell Music.
The judge in the case, George H. King, has finally issued his ruling and according to NPR and the LA Times, that song is finally in the public domain. Warner is still apparently "considering our options," so this may not be the end of it, but it seems to be a turn in the right direction.

Submission + - Happy Birthday song is public domain (

innocent_white_lamb writes: A judge has ruled that the 120-year-old Happy Birthday song is public domain and Warner Music has never held a valid copyright on it.

Warner has apparently been collecting about $2 million a year in royalties which may now need to be refunded to those who paid them.

From the article, "Mark C. Rifkin, one of Nelson's attorneys, said the plaintiffs will pursue Warner for royalties paid since "at least" 1988, and could also ask the company to repay royalties that have been collected all the way back to 1935. It's not clear how much money that could entail."

Submission + - Cassandra rewritten in C++, ten times faster 1

urdak writes: At Cassandra Summit opening today, Avi Kivity and Dor Laor (who had previously written KVM and OSv) announced ScyllaDB — an open-source C++ rewrite of Cassandra, the popular NoSQL database. ScyllaDB claims to achieve a whopping 10 times more throughput per node than the original Java code, with sub-millisecond 99%ile latency. They even measured 1 million transactions per second on a single node. The performance of the new code is attributed to writing it in Seastar — a C++ framework for writing complex asynchronous applications with optimal performance on modern hardware.

Submission + - Nintendo Joins Khronos Group

jones_supa writes: Gamasutra reports that Nintendo has quietly joined Khronos Group, the consortium managing the OpenGL and Vulkan graphics APIs. The news was brought to Gamasutra's attention by a NeoGaf post, which notes that Nintendo's name was added to the list of Khronos Group contributing members earlier this month. As a Khronos Group contributor Nintendo has full voting rights and is empowered to participate in the group's API development, but it doesn't have a seat on the Khronos Group board and can't participate in the final ratification process of new API specifications.

Submission + - QSOS opensource software methodology ( 1

Nyco writes: "QSOS is an open, collaborative, formal and practical methodology for the Qualification and Selection of Opensource Software. It is published under the GNU Free Documentation License, and hosted by Savannah. The process aims at conceiving a hierarchy of criteria for any software family, evaluating each of them for any software in that family, then graphing and comparing the results for a decision, with the help of GPL-licensed software tools. The generic section of the hierarchy is where the knowledge and richness of the opensource world resides, with criteria covering differents aspects such as durability, industrialization, packaging, exploitability, adaptability, and strategy. QSOS needs contributors, such as XUL, Perl and Java developpers, documenters, internationalizers and localizers, and of course evaluators."

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.