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Earth

Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing 304

Posted by samzenpus
from the In-his-plastic-house-at-R'lyeh-dead-Cthulhu-waits-dreaming dept.
sciencehabit writes Millions of tons. That's how much plastic should be floating in the world's oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study (abstract) finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it. If that's the case, "there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web," says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. "And we are part of this food web."

Comment: Other stories from site... (Score 1) 42

by s1d3track3D (#47298833) Attached to: Fresh Evidence Supports Higgs Boson Discovery
I'm not commenting on this discovery but here are the other top stories from that site...
1 Hyena escapes lions by hiding in an elephant
2 Gay bears like blow jobs
3 Indonesia bans video-sharing site Vimeo over 'porn'
4 Top 5 worst mobile phones ever made
5 Fresh evidence supports Higgs boson discovery
Crime

Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed 450

Posted by Soulskill
from the modern-crime-fighting dept.
New submitter Lew Lorton notes a NY Times story about a thief in New York City who was tracked and located using a GPS device inside a decoy pill bottle he had stolen (along with other pill bottles) from a pharmacy. When police confronted the thief, he raised a gun to shoot at an officer, and was killed "The decoy bottles were introduced last year by the police commissioner at the time, Raymond W. Kelly, who announced that the department would begin to stock pharmacy shelves with decoy bottles of painkillers containing GPS devices. The initiative was in response to a sharp increase of armed and often deadly pharmacy robberies across the state, frequently by people addicted to painkillers. ... The bottles are designed to be weighted and to rattle when shaken, so a thief does not initially realize they do not contain pills. Each of the decoy bottles sits atop a special base, and when the bottle is lifted from the base, it begins to emit a tracking signal."
Math

Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the ace-your-exam-in-one-easy-step dept.
mpicpp sends in the story of Jason Padgett, a man who developed extraordinary mathematical abilities as the result of brain trauma when he was attacked outside a bar. "Padgett, a furniture salesman from Tacoma, Wash., who had very little interest in academics, developed the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively. The injury, while devastating, seems to have unlocked part of his brain that makes everything in his world appear to have a mathematical structure 'I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life' — from the geometry of a rainbow, to the fractals in water spiraling down a drain, Padgett told Live Science." "He describes his vision as 'discrete picture frames with a line connecting them, but still at real speed.' If you think of vision as the brain taking pictures all the time and smoothing them into a video, it's as though Padgett sees the frames without the smoothing. "
Open Source

How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion? 582

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-at-least-marginally-less-unsafe dept.
jammag writes: "Heartbleed has dealt a blow to the image of free and open source software. In the self-mythology of FOSS, bugs like Heartbleed aren't supposed to happen when the source code is freely available and being worked with daily. As Eric Raymond famously said, 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.' Many users of proprietary software, tired of FOSS's continual claims of superior security, welcome the idea that Heartbleed has punctured FOSS's pretensions. But is that what has happened?"
Stats

Will Microsoft IIS Overtake Apache? 303

Posted by timothy
from the netcraft-hints-at-it dept.
First time accepted submitter jcdr writes "February's 2014 Web Server Survey by Netcraft shows a massive increase [in the share of] Microsoft's web server since 2013. Microsoft's market share is now only 5.4 percentage points lower than Apache's, which is the closest it has ever been. If recent trends continue, Microsoft could overtake Apache within the next few months, ending Apache's 17+ year reign as the most common web server."
Google

How Google Broke Itself and Fixed Itself, Automatically 125

Posted by timothy
from the arise-phoenix-arise dept.
lemur3 writes "On January 24th Google had some problems with a few of its services. Gmail users and people who used various other Google services were impacted just as the Google Reliability Team was to take part in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. Everything seemed to be resolved and back up within an hour. The Official Google Blog had a short note about what happened from Ben Treynor, a VP of Engineering. According to the blog post it appears that the outage was caused by a bug that caused a system that creates configurations to send a bad one to various 'live services.' An internal monitoring system noticed the problem a short time later and caused a new configuration to be spread around the services. Ben had this to say of it on the Google Blog, 'Engineers were still debugging 12 minutes later when the same system, having automatically cleared the original error, generated a new correct configuration at 11:14 a.m. and began sending it; errors subsided rapidly starting at this time. By 11:30 a.m. the correct configuration was live everywhere and almost all users' service was restored.'"
Software

Ask Slashdot: Events Calendar Software For Local Community? 120

Posted by timothy
from the suggestions-welcome dept.
First time accepted submitter hughbar writes "I live in a London suburb that has many activities and classes, yoga, IT [of course], running, art, assorted volunteering and many others. With the help of the local council, we'd now like to make a centralised, searchable database of these, with a number of helpful features: Easy to make submissions, otherwise the whole thing will always be out of date; Web accessible [obviously] but mobile phone friendly as well; Maybe, publish and subscribe, so people can 'subscribe' to yoga listings for example; Handles repeating events, like a classical web calendar; Maybe, can be consolidated with nearby events calendars. I'm aware of MRBS and WebCalendar, but I'm wondering whether there are other suggestions, especially as this is a useful social application. And, yes, I'd like it done with open source, then we can tailor it."

Comment: Re:GTK is trash (Score 5, Informative) 282

by s1d3track3D (#45977257) Attached to: Intel Dev: GTK's Biggest Problem, and What Qt Does Better

instead of reusing an existing toolkit

GIMP version 0.54 (January 1996) "It had a dependency on Motif for its GUI toolkit, which made efficient distribution to a lot of users impossible."

A New Toolkit - The 0.60 Series:
Peter got really fed up with Motif. So he decided to write his own. He called them gtk and gdk, for the Gimp Tool Kit, and the Gimp Drawing Kit. Peter tells us now that they never intended for it to become a general purpose toolkit - they just wanted something to use with GIMP, and it "seemed like a good idea at the time". GIMP History

Comment: Re:Accenture? (Score 1) 284

by s1d3track3D (#45920701) Attached to: White House Reportedly Dismissing Key Healthcare.gov Contractor
It seems just about everyone here agrees this is a crappy company.
How come the gov decision makers don't know this? why was accenture chosen?
What company would you all suggest as the right choice? and why can't the community (i.e. "we the people") alert them to this apparent bad decision? (I know nothing about this company or any good contractor to suggest myself)

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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