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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Surge Protection for International Travel?

gaiageek writes: As someone who has lost a laptop power supply (and thus use of the laptop) due to a late-night power surge while traveling in a developing country, I'm acutely aware of the need for surge protection when traveling abroad. While practically all laptop and phone power adapters these days are voltage auto-sensing 100V-240V compatible, most so-called "travel" surge protectors are restricted to either 110V or 220V. Given the space and weight constraints of carry-on only travel, I'd like to avoid having to carry two separate surge protectors knowing I may go from Central America (110V) to Southeast Asia (220V). Strangely, laptop specific surge protectors typically are 100V-240V compatible, but this doesn't provide protection for a phone or tablet that requires the original power supply (can't be charged from a notebook USB port).

Is there really no solution out there short using a 110V-240V notebook surge protector with an adapter to go from a "cloverleaf" notebook plug to a 5-15R (standard US) plug receptacle?

Submission + - Drag-and-Drop "CS" Tutorials: The Emperor's New Code?

theodp writes: "Teaching kids computer science is a great movement," writes HS senior David Yue, "however, to overly dilute the magnitude of the difficulty in regards to the subject area of coding and to create the illusion of mastering a 'superpower' (Code.org) is a huge mistake. There are many videos and articles on the Internet these days that have demonstrated positive support towards computer science education. Below these articles, one can find many comments, left mostly by parents and supporters. These people usually express how proud they are that their children have an opportunity to learn computer science or how proud they are that computer science is being integrated at a more substantial level into the education system." But Drag and Drop Doesn't = Coding, argues Yue. "Parents and teachers today who aren’t technical need to be aware that the drag and drop code or the candy-coated learning process does not effectively teach children programming but eventually causes a huge amount of shock once they are immersed in real code." Yue's Emperor's-New-Code warning comes days before President Obama — a graduate of Code.org's drag-and-drop Disney Princess coding tutorial — asks Congress for $4-billion-and-change in the upcoming budget to fund his "Computer Science for All" K-12 initiative.

Submission + - Fewer Degrees Of Separation With Facebook (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Six degrees of separation is the, already well established, idea that any individual is connected to any other via six network nodes. New research — Three and a half degrees of separation has discovered that the average between Facebook users is just three and a half.

We know that people are more connected today than ever before. Over the past five years, the global Facebook community has more than doubled in size. Today we’re announcing that during that same time period, the degrees of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users has continued to decrease to 3.57 degrees, down from 3.74 degrees in 2011. This is a significant reflection of how closely connected the world has become.

This may all be true and Facebook makes us better connected, but it leaves the question of the quality of the connections open. Are Facebook friends anything like real friends?

Submission + - GitHub is undergoing a full-blown overhaul as execs and employees depart (businessinsider.com)

mattydread23 writes: This is what happens when hot startups grow up. CEO Chris Wanstrath is imposing management structure where there wasn't much before, and execs are departing, partly because the company is cracking down on remote work. It's a lot like Facebook in 2009. Business Insider has the full inside story based on multiple sources in and close to the company.

Submission + - Listen to a Hawking lecture on Black Holes! (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has now put the second of Stephen Hawking's Reith Lectures up on their web site, with accompanying illustrations. It's not 'All you ever wanted to know about Black Holes', but it's an easy introduction to some of the latest thinking on them...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie... refers...

Submission + - Twitter tackles terrorists in targeted takedown (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Having previously battled trolls, Twitter has now turned its attention to terrorists and their supporters. The site has closed down more than 125,000 accounts associated with terrorism since the middle of 2015, it announced in a statement.

Although a full breakdown of figures is not provided, Twitter says most of these accounts were related to ISIS. Having increased the size of its account review team, the site has reduced the time it takes to investigate accounts that are reported, and has also started to investigate 'accounts similar to those reported'.

Submission + - Facebook activists the placebos of democracy?

An anonymous reader writes: Tie-shunning, motorbike-riding former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is promoting a forum aiming to "democratize" Europe again by 2025. Free software activist Daniel Pocock asks the tough questions about just how effective any such effort can be when it appears to be organized through Facebook and Twitter: rather than shifting the power from Brussels back to the citizen, is Varoufakis' DiEM 25 movement just shifting a little more power to Silicon Valley overlords? Whatever your political stance, how do you feel relying on such platforms and what are the best alternatives?

Submission + - Researchers develop a mental type writer based on pupil-size changes

s.mathot writes: Researchers from France and the Netherlands have developed a way to—literally—write text by thinking of letters. (Academic paper [open access], non-technical blog, YouTube video) This technique relies on small changes in pupil size that occur when you covertly (from the corner of your eye; without moving your eyes or body) attend to bright or dark objects. By presenting a virtual keyboard on which the 'keys' alternate in brightness, and simultaneously measuring the size of the eye's pupil, the technique automatically determines which letter you want to write; as a result, you can write letters by merely attending to them, without moving any part of your body, including the eyes.

Submission + - Even with Telemetry Disabled, Windows 10 Talks to Dozens of Microsoft Servers (voat.co) 1

Motherfucking Shit writes: Curious about the various telemetry and personal information being collected by Windows 10, one user installed Windows 10 Enterprise and disabled all of the telemetry and reporting options. Then he configured his router to log all the connections that happened anyway. Even after opting out wherever possible, his firewall captured Windows making around 4,000 connection attempts to 93 different IP addresses during an 8 hour period, with most of those IPs controlled by Microsoft. Even the enterprise version of Windows 10 is checking in with Redmond when you tell it not to — and it's doing so frequently.

Submission + - Docker Images To Be Based On Alpine Linux (brianchristner.io)

Tenebrousedge writes: Docker container sizes continue a race to the bottom with a couple of environments weighing in at less than 10MB. Following on the heels of this week's story regarding small images based on Alpine Linux, it appears that the official Docker images will be moving from Debian/Ubuntu to Alpine Linux in the near future. How low will they go?

Submission + - Verizon's mobile video won't count against data caps—but Netflix does (arstechnica.com) 1

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Ars Technica has a story about how Verizon Wireless is testing the limits of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, which has announced that it will exempt its own video service from mobile data caps—while counting data from competitors such as YouTube and Netflix against customers' caps.

Submission + - Giant Magellan Telescope set to revolutionize ground-based astronomy

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to see farther, deeper and at higher resolution than ever before into the Universe, you need four things: the largest aperture possible, the best-quality optical systems and cameras/CCDs, the least interference from the atmosphere, and the analytical techniques and power to make the most of every photon. While the last three have improved tremendously over the past 25 years, telescope size hasn’t increased at all. That’s all about to change over the next decade, as three telescopes — the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope — are set to take us from 8-10 meter class astronomy to 25-40 meter class. While the latter two are fighting over funding, construction rights and other political concerns, the Giant Magellan Telescope is already under construction, and is poised to be the first in line to begin the future of ground-based astronomy.

Submission + - The Pirate Bay Now Let You Stream All Its Movies And TV Shows

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, a new simple solution for streaming torrents directly in your browser showed up on the Web. By Friday, infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay had already adopted it. The Pirate Bay now features “Stream It!” links next to all its video torrents. As a result, you can play movies, TV shows, and any other video content directly in the same window you use to browse the torrent site.

Submission + - Another Cop Treats Sexting Teens Like Child Pornographers (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: More sexting stupidity, this time in Michigan.

        A Three Rivers, Michigan, teenager is both the victim and perpetrator of a sex crime. He might land on the sex offender registry, and face criminal charges, all because he took an inappropriate photo—of himself.

        The boy is unnamed in local news reporters, which note that he is under 15 years of age. He allegedly took a nude photo of himself on a girl’s cell phone. That girl sent the picture to another girl, who sent it to another. Preliminary charges are pending for all three—the boy was charged with manufacturing child porn, and the girls with distributing it. A prosecutor is still weighing whether to pursue the charges.

Hopefully, the prosecutor will realize that pursuing the suggested charges could ruin a few teens' lives. The police detective working the case seems to want to destroy these kids' lives for the good of other teens, or something.

Submission + - Neutrino Exploit Kit Has A New Way To Detect Security Researchers (csoonline.com) 1

itwbennett writes: Neutrino is using passive OS fingerprinting to detect visiting Linux machines, according to Trustwave researchers who found that computers they were using for research couldn't make a connection with servers that delivered Neutrino. Daniel Chechik, senior security researcher at Trustwave's SpiderLabs division wrote that they tried changing IP addresses and Web browsers to avoid whatever was causing the Neutrino server to not respond, but it didn't work. But by fiddling with some data traffic that Trustwave's computers were sending to the Neutrino server, they figured out what was going on.

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