Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

+ - Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of US pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorised the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practises have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases]."

+ - Google allows porn on Blogger after backlash->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "In a reversal, Google says that porn will continue to be allowed on its Blogger site.
Google said it has received a big backlash after deciding earlier in the week that bloggers will no longer be able to "publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity." The ban was to have taken place on March 23.

Instead, Google said that the company would simply double down on its crackdown of bloggers who use their sites to sell porn.
In July, Google stopped porn from appearing in its online ads that appear on Blogger. And in 2013, Google decided to remove blogs from its Blogger network that contained advertisements for online porn sites.
"We've had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities," wrote Jessica Pelegio, Google's social product support manager, in a post on Google product forums. "So rather than implement this change, we've decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Sabotage in Arizona Shuts Down Internet, Cellphone, Telephone Service Statewide->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cellphone, Internet, and telephone services across half of Arizona went dark on Wednesday after vandals sliced a sensitive fiber optic cable, according to those familiar with the situation. The incident is raising concerns about the safety of U.S. infrastructure.

“There was a cut that took place on a fiber optic cable that basically runs from Phoenix to Northern Arizona. The line, which is composed of extremely thick cable, appeared to have been cut with a hacksaw"

“The fiber optic cable was encased in metal piping which would have to have been accessed prior to reaching the optics. This indicates the use of a power tool and doesn’t look like ‘vandalism’ but rather like sabotage,”"

Link to Original Source

+ - Lenovo says goodbye to bloatware->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Lenovo today announced that it has had enough of bloatware. The world's largest PC vendor says that by the time Windows 10 comes out, it will get rid of bloatware from its computer lineups. The announcement comes a week after the company was caught for shipping Superfish adware with its computers. The Chinese PC manufacturer has since released a public apology, Superfish removal tool, and instructions to help out users.

At the sidelines, the company also announced that it is giving away 6-month free subscription to all Superfish-affected users."

Link to Original Source

+ - Most Americans see combating climate change as a moral duty->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them – and world leaders — to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/IPSOS poll has found.

        The poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. In recent months, the pope has warned about the moral consequences of failing to act on rising global temperatures, which are expected to disproportionately affect the lives of the world’s poor.

        The result of the poll suggests that appeals based on ethics could be key to shifting the debate over climate change in the United States, where those demanding action to reduce carbon emissions and those who resist it are often at loggerheads.

        Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) said that world leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72 percent said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions."

Link to Original Source

+ - Millennials distrust the government so much, they don't want to run for office->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Washington Post, millennials are so disgruntled with the current state of politics, they are not running for office and would recall all members of congress if given the option. Perception of politics grows more negative among young people who are appalled of fundraising and corruption and deterred by the lack of privacy in public service. Millennials who want to make a difference would rather do it outside of political office."
Link to Original Source

+ - Oldest Twin Remains Found in Siberia->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A team of Canadian and Russian researchers investigating an early Neolithic cemetery in Siberia have identified the world’s oldest set of human twins, buried with their young mother. The skeleton of the woman was exhumed in 1997 from a hunter-gatherer cemetery in south-eastern Siberia. Found with 15 marmot teeth — decorative accessories which were probably attached to clothing — the remains were photographed and labelled, but were not investigated by anthropologists. Now Angela Lieverse, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and colleagues Andrzej Weber from the University of Alberta, Canada, and Vladimir Bazaliiskii from Irkutsk University, Russia, have examined the skeleton and found remains of twin fetuses nestled between the pelvis and upper legs. The twins, about 36 to 40 weeks old, probably suffocated during their mother’s troubled labor nearly 8,000 years ago. “This is not only one of the oldest archaeologically documented cases of death during childbirth, but also the earliest confirmed set of human twins in the world,” Lieverse said."
Link to Original Source

+ - Starting This Week, Wireless Carriers Must Unlock Your Phone

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Andrew Moore-Crispin reports that beginning today, as result of an agreement major wireless carriers made with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in late 2013, wireless carriers in the US must unlock your phone as soon as a contract term is fulfilled if asked to do so unless a phone is connected in some way to an account that owes the carrier money. Carriers must also post unlocking policies on their websites (here are links for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile), provide notice to customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking, respond to unlock requests within two business days, and unlock devices for deployed military personnel. So why unlock your phone? Unlocking a phone allows it to be used on any compatible network, regardless of carrier which could result in significant savings. Or you could go with an MVNO, stay on the same network, and pay much less for the same cellular service."

+ - Live patching now available for Linux->

Submitted by cyranix
cyranix (933484) writes "You may never have to reboot your Linux machine ever again, even for kernel patching:

It provides a basic infrastructure for function "live patching" (i.e. code redirection), including API for kernel modules containing the actual patches, and API/ABI for userspace to be able to operate on the patches (look up what patches are applied, enable/disable them, etc). It's relatively simple and minimalistic, as it's making use of existing kernel infrastructure (namely ftrace) as much as possible. It's also self-contained, in a sense that it doesn't hook itself in any other kernel subsystem (it doesn't even touch any other code). It's now implemented for x86 only as a reference architecture, but support for powerpc, s390 and arm is already in the works (adding arch-specific support basically boils down to teaching ftrace about regs-saving).

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Russia seeking to ban Tor, VPNs and other anonymising tools-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Three separate Russian authorities have spoken out in favour of banning online anonymising tools since February 5th, with particular emphasis on Tor, which — despite its popularity with whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden and with online activists — Russia's Safe Internet League describes as an 'Anonymous network used primarily to commit crimes'. The three authorities involved are the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, powerful Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Safe Internet League, comprising the country's top three network providers, including state telecoms provider Rostelecom. Roskomnadzor's press secretary Vadim Roskomnadzora Ampelonsky describes the obstacles to identifying and blocking Tor and VPN traffic as 'difficult, but solvable'."
Link to Original Source

+ - Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis in Science

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Carolyn Johnson reports in the Boston Globe that in recent years, the position of postdoctoral researcher has become less a stepping stone and more of a holding tank as postdocs are caught up in an all-but-invisible crisis, mired in a underclass as federal funding for research has leveled off, leaving the supply of well-trained scientists outstripping demand. “It’s sunk in that it’s by no means guaranteed — for anyone, really — that an academic position is possible,” says Gary McDowell, a 29-year old biologist doing his second postdoc. “There’s this huge labor force here to do the bench work, the grunt work of science. But then there’s nowhere for them to go; this massive pool of postdocs that accumulates and keeps growing.” The problem is that any researcher running a lab today is training far more people than there will ever be labs to run. Often these supremely well-educated trainees are simply cheap laborers, not learning skills for the careers where they are more likely to find jobs. This wasn’t such an issue decades ago, but universities have expanded the number of PhD students they train from about 30,000 biomedical graduate students in 1979 to 56,800 in 2009, flooding the system with trainees and drawing out the training period.

Possible solutions span a wide gamut, from halving the number of postdocs over time, to creating a new tier of staff scientists that would be better paid but one thing people seem to agree on is that simply adding more money to the pot will not by itself solve the oversupply. Facing these stark statistics, postdocs are taking matters into their own hands recently organizing a Future of Research conference in Boston that they hoped would give voice to their frustrations and hopes and help shape change. “How can we, as the next generation, run the system?” said Kristin Krukenberg, 34, a lead organizer of the conference and a biologist in her sixth year as a postdoc at Harvard Medical School after six years in graduate school. “Some of the models we see don’t seem tenable in the long run.""

+ - Romans Used Nanotechnology to Turn Lycurgus Cup From Green to Red 1,600 Years Ag->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Cambridge University researchers have succeeded in mimicking nanotechnology used by ancient Romans to make a 4th century AD glass cage chalice change colour in different lights. Using the same process, they have made a breakthrough that could greatly increase the storage capabilities of today's optical devices.

In order to produce the dichroic effect on the Lycurgus Cup, Roman artisans are believed to have ground down particles of gold and silver to 50 nanometres in diameter, which is less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt, and then laid these nanoparticles within the glass before it set. No one has been able to replicate the effect, until now.

The researchers created nanoscale metallic nanoparticle arrays from a thin layer of silver that mimic the dichroic colour effect of the Roman chalice to create multicoloured holograms containing 16 million nanoparticles per square millimetre.

Each nanoparticle scatters light into numerous colours depending on its size and shape, and the light, when put together, produces an image."

Link to Original Source

+ - LLVM 3.5 Brings C++1y Improvements, Unified 64-bit ARM Backend->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "LLVM 3.5 along with Clang 3.5 are now available for download. LLVM 3.5 offers many compiler advancements including a unified 64-bit ARM back-end from the merging of the Apple and community AArch64 back-ends, C++1y/C++1z language additions, self-hosting support of Clang on SPARC64, and various other compiler improvements."
Link to Original Source

+ - Regulations.gov: Software flaw discourages commenting on proposed regulations.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Regulations.gov has a software flaw that discourages the uninformed user from commenting on proposed regulations. If there are multiple "comment periods" existing for a docket, the website uses the "oldest" comment period when displaying individual comments. For example, docket contains two comment periods — one of which expired on the 25 of July, the other which extends the comment period to expire on the 25 of September. If you go to look at the comments from the 25th of September, you are shown Comment Period Closed over all comments, with the older expiry date. This "could" lead the reader into thinking that they cannot comment on this docket. I believe this may be intentional."

+ - A Drone Saved an Elderly Man Who Had Been Missing for Three Days

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "A drone was just used to save a life: Earlier this week, an elderly man who was missing for three days was found with the help of a drone in Wisconsin.
82-year-old Guillermo DeVenecia had been missing for three days. Search dogs, a helicopter, and hundreds of volunteers had spent days looking for him. David Lesh, a Colorado-based skier and drone pilot decided to look for him using his drone—and found him within 20 minutes."

"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen

Working...