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Submission + - A comment moderation system that needs help

wassomeyob writes: The Canadian CBC news website has closed the comment sections on any stories related to indigenous peoples due to the inordinate numbers of comments that fail to meet their submission guidelines. The closure is expected to be temporary until the CBC completes its review of their moderation system. Read:
Maybe a slashdot-style system would help?

Submission + - Why We Might Want Robots To Take LSD (

tedlistens writes: If, asks scientist Andrew Smart, we expect that AI will eventually become "superintelligent," should we also want these machines to be not zombie-like but conscious and emotionally intelligent too? And if so, how would we achieve that? Smart argues that achieving benevolent and even spiritual AI may require giving machines psychedelic experiences. We have seen how Google’s neural networks can generate trippy pictures that are reminiscent of the altered visual experiences that humans have on hallucinogens. Google calls this inceptionism. On a deeper level, some sort of digital LSD would mimic other effects LSD has on humans: allowing us direct conscious access to the low-level and abstraction layers of our own neural networks. However and whenever this sort of artificial psychedelia becomes capable, Smart argues that we should start thinking about the concept now.

Submission + - Mozilla May Separate Itself From Thunderbird Email Client (

An anonymous reader writes: A company-wide memo distributed around the Mozilla Foundation by its chairperson Mitchell Baker argues that the organization should disentangle itself from the Thunderbird email client in order to focus on Firefox. She said, "Today Thunderbird developers spend much of their time responding to changes made in core Mozilla systems and technologies. At the same time, build, Firefox, and platform engineers continue to pay a
tax to support Thunderbird." Both projects are wasting time helping each other, and those demands are only going to get worse. She says many within Mozilla want to see it support community-managed projects without doing the bulk of the work on it, and perhaps Thunderbird could be one of these. Baker stresses that no decisions have been made yet — they're starting the conversation early to keep the community involved in what happens to Thunderbird.

Submission + - DHS Offering Free Vulnerability Scans, Penetration Tests (

tsu doh nimh writes: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been quietly launching stealthy cyber attacks against a range of private U.S. companies â" mostly banks and energy firms. These digital intrusion attempts, commissioned in advance by the private sector targets themselves, are part of a little-known program at DHS designed to help âoecritical infrastructureâ companies shore up their computer and network defenses against real-world adversaries. And itâ(TM)s all free of charge (well, on the U.S. taxpayerâ(TM)s dime). Brian Krebs examines some of the pros and cons, and the story has some interesting feedback from some banks and others who have apparently taken DHS up on its offer.

Submission + - Researchers Find New Phase of Carbon, Make Diamond at Room Temperature ( writes: Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond. They have also developed a technique for using Q-carbon to make diamond-related structures at room temperature and at ambient atmospheric pressure in air.

Submission + - Xbox Kinect Technology Helps Create Higher-Quality X-Rays (

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, has adapted a gaming system to help radiographers improve the quality of X-rays. The technology, originally developed for Microsoft Kinect, has been amended to provide a useful tool for measuring the thickness of body parts and monitor movement and positioning in the X-ray field of vision before imaging. The goal of the technology is to aid in the production of high-quality X-rays at low radiation, without the need to repeat the image. Although the technology is expected to benefit all patients, the researchers believe it could be particularly practical for use in children – who are much more sensitive to radiation and vary in body size, from premature babies through to teens.

Submission + - NSF Antes Up $200K for Spin-off of Microsoft-Funded 'Code Trip' TV Show

theodp writes: The Microsoft-sponsored PBS 'reality' show Code Trip, in which Roadtrip Nation and Microsoft YouthSpark partnered to send three students across the U.S. on a "transformative journey into computer science" is getting a spin-off. According to the National Science Foundation Award Abstract for a Computer Science Roadtrip (CS Roadtrip), $199,866.00 in funding has been awarded for a pilot project that began in October "to design and develop pilot materials for a Computer Science Roadtrip (CS Roadtrip)." From the abstract: "Through this pilot project, Roadtrip Nation will lay the groundwork and provide proof-of-concept for a CS Roadtrip, leveraging a combination of multimedia deliverables, an evidence-based educational curriculum, and dynamic engagement strategies that will provide critical connections between students' natural interests, positive role models who align with those interests, and corresponding CS educational and career pathways. To that end, the CS Roadtrip Pilot will develop up to four student-facing videos that feature the stories of diverse computing professionals, appropriate for on-air, online, and classroom purposes, along with the appropriate Learning Guides." The NSF study's Principal Investigator is Roadtrip Nation co-founder Mike Marriner, who explained his company's relationship with Microsoft in a July 30th press release, "Roadtrip Nation is proud to partner with Microsoft's YouthSpark initiative not only to inform others of the many career routes one can take with a computer science background, but also to engage in the much-needed conversation of diversifying the tech field with more pluralistic perspectives."

Submission + - Richard Stallman: "I'm not the father of Open Source", and "Ubuntu is malware" (

dkatana writes: Stallman walked barefoot to the podium last month during Fossetcon 2015 and said "I'm not the father of open source. If I'm the father of open source, it was conceived by artificial insemination without my knowledge or consent."

For Stallman, "free" isn't about price but about the lack of restrictions. "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer."

"Ubuntu is malware because it uses a desktop that spies on users. Even if that is fixed, they still install non-free software as part of the system," Stallman said

Submission + - Three co-founders of XCOR bolt the company to form new firm Agile Aero (

MarkWhittington writes: The XCOR Lynx, a suborbital rocket plane that has been under development over the past seven years, has never flown. However, as three of the co-founders of the company have left to form a new company called Agile Aero, according to a story in Space News. The goal of the new company is to develop ways to “to rapidly develop and test vehicles, be they high-speed aircraft or launch vehicles.” The three now former XCOR executives are “Jeff Greason and Dan DeLong, the chief technology officer and chief engineer of the company, respectively” and a third cofounder, Aleta Jackson.

Submission + - SPAM: 10,000 Global Variables: How Tokyo Makes Spaghetti (Code)

An anonymous reader writes: Last month, Toyota hastily settled an Unintended Acceleration lawsuit – hours after an Oklahoma jury determined that the automaker acted with “reckless disregard,” and delivered a $3 million verdict to the plaintiffs – but before the jury could determine punitive damages.

What did the jury hear that constituted such a gross neglect of Toyota’s due care obligations? The testimony of two plaintiff’s experts in software design and the design process gives some eye-popping clues. After reviewing Toyota’s software engineering process and the source code for the 2005 Toyota Camry, both concluded that the system was defective and dangerous, riddled with bugs and gaps in its failsafes that led to the root cause of the crash. ...
Other egregious deviations from standard practice were the number of global variables in the system. (A variable is a location in memory that has a number in it. A global variable is any piece of software anywhere in the system can get to that number and read it or write it.) The academic standard is zero. Toyota had more than 10,000 global variables.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - What Scares Away New-Graduate Hires? ( 1

itwbennett writes: An article (fair warning, it's in multipage 'slideshow' format) on looks at a handful of things hiring managers do that scare away recent graduates. Among them: overly long, overly challenging, and potentially pointless interview processes, too short interviews that aren't challenging enough, and presenting your company as something other than what the candidates can see for themselves on social media. Are there any recent graduates out there in Slashdot land who have turned down a job because the interview process was too short and easy?

Submission + - New Process Produces Hydrogen From Methane, Without Emitting CO2 (

Zothecula writes: Natural gas accounts for over 28 percent of US energy consumption. Its main component, methane, is a widely-used fossil fuel but also a major contributor to rising CO2 levels, and thus climate change. To address this issue, researchers from the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a process that extracts the energy content of methane, in the form hydrogen, without producing carbon dioxide.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long