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Censorship

Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-his-e-toys-and-going-home dept.
New submitter GlowingCat writes: Russian President Vladimir Putin and several high-ranking officials will discuss the security of the Russian segment of the Internet at the meeting of the Russian Security Council next week. According to various reports, the officials will make a number of decisions about regulating the use of the Internet in Russia. This includes the ability to cut off the Russian Internet, known as Runet, from the outside world, in case of emergency.
Math

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100 323

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-only-one-of-me dept.
vinces99 (2792707) writes Using modern statistical tools, a new study led by the University of Washington and the United Nations finds that world population is likely to keep growing throughout the 21st century. The number of people on Earth is likely to reach 11 billion by 2100, the study concludes, about 2 billion higher than widely cited previous estimates. The paper published online Sept. 18 in the journal Science includes the most up-to-date numbers for future world population, and describes a new method for creating such estimates. "The consensus over the past 20 years or so was that world population, which is currently around 7 billion, would go up to 9 billion and level off or probably decline," said corresponding author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics and of sociology. ... The paper explains the most recent United Nations population data released in July. This is the first U.N. population report to use modern statistics, known as Bayesian statistics, that combines all available information to generate better predictions.

Most of the anticipated growth is in Africa, where population is projected to quadruple from around 1 billion today to 4 billion by the end of the century. The main reason is that birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa have not been going down as fast as had been expected. There is an 80 percent chance that the population in Africa at the end of the century will be between 3.5 billion and 5.1 billion people.
Space

Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the would-you-like-to-try-another-alkali-metal? dept.
An anonymous reader writes New observations of the star cluster Messier 54 show that it is just as deficient in lithium as our own galaxy, furthering a mystery about the element's big bang origins. "Most of the light chemical element lithium now present in the Universe was produced during the Big Bang, along with hydrogen and helium, but in much smaller quantities. Astronomers can calculate quite accurately how much lithium they expect to find in the early Universe, and from this work out how much they should see in old stars. But the numbers don't match — there is about three times less lithium in stars than expected. This mystery remains unsolved, despite several decades of work."

Comment: Re:Python is eating Perls lunch (Score 1) 385

by rjmx (#47873587) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

> Python 3 is the first break in backward compatibility this century!

Yep. And why is that not backward compatible too? Why don't they aim to get it right the first time? And if they don't get it right, why change it when that breaks previous uses?
I'd also remind you that we're not very far into this century yet. If that was supposed to be sarcasm, it fell short.

> Python 2.x up to 2.9 is and will be backwardly compatible with python 1.6

Then how come my Debian system needed 2.6, 2.7 _and_ 2.8 all installed at one point? Why do Pythin apps and libraries keep breaking because somebody introduced a subtle change somewhere?

Whatever Python is, it's not very robust.

I still say it's the new shiny-shiny. Nothing more.

Comment: Re:Python is eating Perls lunch (Score 3, Insightful) 385

by rjmx (#47862539) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

Uh-huh. And when the Python people learn something about backward compatibility and make up their minds (so we all don't have to keep half-a-dozen different versions of it lying around), then it might actually get somewhere. Until then, it's just the new shiny-shiny.

United States

Every Day Is Goof-Off-At-Work Day At the US Patent and Trademark Office 327

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'll-do-it-later dept.
McGruber writes An internal investigation by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that some of its 8,300 patent examiners repeatedly lied about the hours they were putting in and many were receiving bonuses for work they did not do. While half of the USPTO's Patent Examiners work from home full time, oversight of the telework program — and of examiners based at the Alexandria headquarters — was "completely ineffective," investigators concluded. The internal investigation also unearthed another widespread problem. More than 70 percent of the 80 managers interviewed told investigators that a "significant" number of examiners did not work for long periods, then rushed to get their reviews done at the end of each quarter. Supervisors told the review team that the practice "negatively affects" the quality of the work. "Our quality standards are low," one supervisor told the investigators. "We are looking for work that meets minimal requirements." Patent examiners review applications and grant patents on inventions that are new and unique. They are experts in their fields, often with master's and doctoral degrees. They earn at the top of federal pay scale, with the highest taking home $148,000 a year.

+ - Buzz Aldrin wants President Obama to announce new space exploration initiative->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "While he has initiated the social media campaign, #Apollo45, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin is also using the occasion to campaign for an expansion of American space exploration. According to a Tuesday story in the Washington Post, Aldrin has expressed the wish that President Obama make some sort of announcement along those lines this July 20. The idea has a certain aspect of déjà vu.

Aldrin believes that the American civil space program is adrift and that some new space exploration, he prefers to Mars, would be just the thing to set it back on course. There is only one problem, however. President Obama has already made the big space exploration announcement. Aldrin knows this because he was there.

President Obama flew to the Kennedy Space Center on April 15, 2010, with Aldrin accompanying as a photo op prop, and made the announcement that America would no longer be headed back to the moon, as was the plan under his predecessor George W. Bush. Instead American astronauts would visit an Earth approaching asteroid and then, decades hence, would land on Mars."

Link to Original Source

+ - Japan's Missing Plutonium: How dangerous material falls through the cracks-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Japan's missing plutonium has been found, but the larger point of this article remains: 'Most people would agree that keeping track of dangerous material is generally a good idea. So it may come as a surprise to some that the arrangements that are supposed to account for weapon-grade fissile materials—plutonium and highly enriched uranium—are sketchy at best. The most recent example involves several hundreds kilograms of plutonium that appear to have fallen through the cracks in various reporting arrangements.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - President of UT Austin declines chancellor's request to resign-> 2

Submitted by lfp98
lfp98 (740073) writes "President Bill Powers has long been in conflict with Governor Rick Perry over the direction and goals of the University of Texas' flagship Austin campus. This week, news leaked that the Chancellor requested Powers' resignation before this Thursday's meeting of the Regents (who are all Perry appointees), under threat of being fired at that meeting if he did not resign. So far Powers has refused, while expressing an openness to leaving after the end of the current academic year [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/06/bill-powers-ut-resign_n_5562317.html]. Powers is highly regarded by UT students, faculty, alumni [http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/texas-longhorns/20140706-alumni-letter-calls-university-of-texas-president-s-forced-resignation-a-travesty.ece] and the larger academic community, but has been criticized by Perry and other conservatives for not being sufficiently focused on providing educational services at the lowest possible cost. Powers' supporters view the forced dismissal as brazen political interference with University governance, primarily for the purpose of allowing Perry to influence the choice of a new president before he leaves office in December [http://chronicle.com/article/As-Fight-Over-U-of-Texas/147535/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en]."
Link to Original Source

+ - Website Pays Dearly for Fighting Negative Review->

Submitted by WubbaDucki
WubbaDucki (548885) writes "An online retailer that threatened to "fine" a couple $3,500 for leaving a negative review online a website has now been ordered to pay $306,750 in compensation and legal fees. John and Jennifer Palmer won the verdict as compensation for KlearGear damaging their credit record with a bogus debt claim.

Back in 2009, Jennifer Palmer left a negative review of the company after it failed to deliver two desk toys ordered by her husband. Three years later, KlearGear demanded that the couple withdraw the review within 72 hours or face a fine of $3,500. The fine is for violating a non-disparagement clause in the company's terms of sale, which says that customers cannot write negative reviews about their products or purchases."

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft's No-IP.com Domain Seizure Causing Outages For SonicWall Customers->

Submitted by cgriffin21
cgriffin21 (1880716) writes "Microsoft's recent seizure of 23 domains from No-IP.com, a Reno, Nev.-based company that provides a popular free dynamic DNS service, is causing outages for millions of legitimate users of the service — and apparently, at least one security vendor. The No-IP.com outages are having an impact on some customers of SonicWall, a vendor of network security and content control hardware appliances, Marc Harrison, president of Silicon East, a Manalapan, N.J.-based SonicWall partner, told CRN Tuesday."
Link to Original Source

+ - IEEE launches anti-malware services to improve security

Submitted by Aryeh Goretsky
Aryeh Goretsky (129230) writes "The IEEE Standards Assocation has launched an Anti-Malware Support Service (AMSS) to help the computer security industry respond more quickly to malware.

The first two services available are a Clean file Metadata Exchange [PDF], to help prevent false positives in anti-malware software, and a Taggant System [PDF] to help prevent software packers from being abused.

Official announcement is here."

+ - More lack of accountability from Congress->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Who says they’re conservatives? The House Ethics committee, run by Republicans, has quietly eliminated the requirement that elected officials list any privately sponsored travel they receive in their annual financial-disclosure forms.

The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings. “This is such an obvious effort to avoid accountability,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s no legitimate reason. There’s no good reason for it.”

Once again more evidence that we the voters must replace as many of these crooks, from both parties, as we can."
Link to Original Source

+ - SONY EXITING PC BUSINESS WITH A BANG AS VAIO FLIP LAPTOPS GET RECALLED DUE TO FI->

Submitted by xerxes2044
xerxes2044 (2918175) writes "If you use or own a Sony VAIO Flip PC laptop, you should stop right now, because a recall of these computers has just been announced by a U.S. government agency.

The problem with the Sony VAIO Flip PC stems from their lithium-ion batteries, which pose fire and burn hazards, according to this recall advisory notice published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The batteries were manufactured by Panasonic, according to the CPSC document. Here’s how the agency describes the problem."

Link to Original Source

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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