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17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-it-another-30-secs dept.
New submitter Bo'Bob'O writes: The BBC reports that the scientists at the Parkes and Bleien Radio Observatories in New South Whales, Australia, have tracked down earth-based signals that had been eluding observation for 17 years. These signals, which came to be called Perytons "occurred only during office hours and predominantly on weekdays." The source, as it turned out, was located right inside the antenna's tower where impatient scientists had been opening the kitchen microwave door before its cycle had finished. As the linked paper concludes, this, and a worn magnetron caused a condition that allowed the microwaves to emit a burst of frequencies not expected by the scientists, only compounding the original mystery.
Open Source

Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded? 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the belle-of-the-ball dept.
jones_supa writes: One of the most puzzling questions about the history of free and open source software is this: Why did Linux succeed so spectacularly, whereas similar attempts to build a free or open source, Unix-like operating system kernel met with considerably less success? Christopher Tozzi has rounded up some theories, focusing specifically on kernels, not complete operating systems. These theories take a detailed look at the decentralized development structure, pragmatic approach to things, and the rich developer community, all of which worked in favor of Linux.
Biotech

Apple's Plans For Your DNA 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the download-a-parkinson's-cure-from-itunes dept.
An anonymous reader writes: MIT's Technology Review breaks news that Apple is working with scientists to create apps that collect and evaluate users' DNA. "The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting data from the devices' sensors or through surveys." A source says Apple's plan is to enable users to easily share their DNA information with medical workers and researchers performing studies. "To join one of the studies, a person would agree to have a gene test carried out—for instance, by returning a "spit kit" to a laboratory approved by Apple. The first such labs are said to be the advanced gene-sequencing centers operated by UCSF and Mount Sinai."
EU

Europe Vows To Get Rid of Geo-Blocking 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-article-only-available-at-select-latitudes dept.
AmiMoJo writes: The European Commission has adopted a new set of initiatives for digital technologies that aims to improve access to online services for everyday users. Among other things, Europe vows to end geo-blocking, which it describes as "a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons," and lift other unwarranted copyright restrictions. Consumers will have the right to access content they purchased at home in other European countries. "I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe," Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says.

+ - C Code On GitHub Has the Most 'Ugly Hacks'->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: An analysis of GitHub data shows that C developers are creating the most ugly hacks — or are at least the most willing to admit to it. To answer the question of which programming language produces the most ugly hacks, ITworld's Phil Johnson first used the search feature on GitHub, looking for code files that contained the string 'ugly hack'. In that case, C comes up first by a wide margin, with over 181,000 code files containing that string. The rest of the top ten languages were PHP (79k files), JavaScript (38k), C++ (22k), Python (19k), Text (11k), Makefile (11k), HTML, (10k), Java (7k), and Perl (4k). Even when controlling for the number of repositories, C wins the ugly-hack-athon by a landslide, Johnson found.
Link to Original Source

+ - MacKeeper May Have To Pay Millions In Class-Action Suit->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: If you use a Mac, you probably recognize MacKeeper from the omnipresent popup ads designed to look vaguely like system warnings urging you to download the product and use it to keep your computer safe. Now the Ukranian company behind the software and the ads may have to pay millions in a class action suit that accuses them of exaggerating security problems in order to convince customers to download the software.
Link to Original Source

+ - Capitol Hill's Uber caucus->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In all, some 275 federal politicians and political committees together spent more than $278,000 on at least 7,625 Uber rides during the 2013-2014 election cycle, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of campaign spending records indicates.

That’s a roughly 18-fold spending increase from the previous election cycle, when federal committees together spent about $15,000 on Uber services. It represents a veritable monopoly, too: Almost no political committee used Uber’s direct competitors, Lyft and Sidecar, according to the analysis, and traditional taxi use declined precipitously.

Bipartisan love of Uber abounds, with politicos of all stripes composing a de facto Uber caucus, voting with their money for a wildly popular but controversial company.

Link to Original Source
Government

Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the gee-that's-a-shame dept.
schwit1 writes with news that political support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership is drying up because of the secrecy involved in developing it. Members of Congress can read the bill if they want, but they need to be located in a single room within the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center, and they can't have their staff with them. They can't have a copy, they can't take notes, and they can only view one section at a time. And they're monitored while they read it. Unsurprisingly, this is souring many members of Congress on the controversial trade agreement.

"Administration aides say they can’t make the details public because the negotiations are still going on with multiple countries at once; if for example, Vietnam knew what the American bottom line was with Japan, that might drive them to change their own terms. Trade might not seem like a national security issue, they say, but it is (and foreign governments regularly try to hack their way in to American trade deliberations)."

+ - The extreme lengths console gamers go to mod Pro Evo->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has always been the losing side in the match against EA Sports' FIFA for football league and team licensing, but that hasn't stopped dedicated modders. While PES' editing tools make uploading accurate team data and player appearances on PC relatively trivial, as a new feature reveals, there's just as much demand for the real thing from console PES gamers — but doing the same on restricted hardware is much more taxing.

"Microsoft's DRM management policies cause problems (on Xbox 360) because it means they have never enabled the console to copy music, film, or PGN images onto the hard drive like you could with the PS3. If I edited on the PS3 it would take 20-seconds to import a kit design I created in Photoshop into PES. To make the same design on Xbox would take me hours to hand draw the same thing," says Damien Winter, who has been creating console option files for Pro since 2008. Unfortunately, things are even tougher on Xbox One and PS4. "They both adopted Microsoft's Xbox 360 policies and they won't allow anyone to import images into the console memory," he says. "This, combined with no in game pixel editor, means the team kits have no logos. They can only have the correct kit colours and patterns. On top of that, both Sony and Microsoft have blocked the ability for anyone to share their work."

Link to Original Source

+ - No Justice for Victims of Identity Theft->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy writes: The Christian Science Monitor's Passcode features a harrowing account of one individual's experience of identity theft.(http://passcode.csmonitor.com/identity-stolen) CSM reporter Sara Sorcher recounts the story of "Jonathan Franklin" (not his real name) a New Jersey business executive who woke up to find thieves had stolen his identity and racked up $30,000 in a shopping spree at luxury stores including Versace and the Apple Store. The thieves even went so far as to use personal info stolen from Franklin to have the phone company redirect calls to his home number, which meant that calls from the credit card company about the unusual spending went unanswered.

Despite the heinousness of the crime and the financial cost, Sorcher notes that credit card companies and merchants both look on this kind of theft as a "victimless crime" and are more interested in getting reimbursed for their losses than trying to pursue the thieves. Police departments, also, are unable to investigate these crimes, lacking both the technical expertise and resources to do so. Franklin notes that he wasn't even required to file a police report to get reimbursed for the crime.
“As long as their loss is covered they move on to [handling] tomorrow’s fraud,” Franklin observes. And that makes it harder for victims like Franklin to move on, “In some way, I’m seeking some sense of justice,” Franklin said. “But it’s likely not going to happen.”

Link to Original Source
Businesses

Uber Forced Out of Kansas 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the click-your-heels dept.
mpicpp sends news that Uber has been forced to leave Kansas. The company says a bill pushed through the state legislature (SB117) makes it impossible for the company to operate there. The bill had been vetoed by Kansas governor Sam Brownback, but lawmakers secured enough votes to override it. "The measure requires drivers for ride-hailing companies to undergo background checks through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and hold additional auto insurance coverage for the period in which they have turned on the mobile app that connects them to riders."

+ - Hostage Saves Herself Via Pizza Hut App->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: A Florida woman had been arguing most of the day with her boyfriend, who carried "a large knife". When she attempted to leave the residence to pick up the children from school, the boyfriend grabbed her and took her cell phone. He then accompanied her to pick up the children. Upon returning home, the boyfriend held the rest of the family as hostages. She eventually convinced him to let her use the cell phone to order a pizza which is when she sent the message to Pizza Hut. Being clever, she exploited the comment feature of the app to alert the authorities that she was in trouble. Officers were dispatched both to the Pizza Hut location and to the woman's home, where she and her children were quickly released, unharmed, and the kidnapper was arrested.
Link to Original Source

+ - Visualizations of Rebel Alliances in the UK Government->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I just published this article and thought it might be of interest to Slashdot readers.

It's about a collection visualizations I created based on public voting data from The Public Whip project, which collects and normalizes voting data from the UK House of Commons. The visualizations show relationships between MPs, with a focus on agreement rates, and more interestingly — rebellion.

Link to Original Source
Earth

The World's Most Wasteful Megacity 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-new-york dept.
merbs writes: The world's most wasteful megacity is a densely populated, steadily aging, consumerist utopia where we buy, and throw away, a staggering amount of stuff (abstract). Where some faucet, toilet, or pipe, is constantly leaking in our apartments. Where an armada of commerce-beckoning lights are always on. Where a fleet of gas-guzzling cars still clog the roadways. I, along with my twenty million or so neighbors, help New York City use more energy, suck down more water, and spew out more solid waste than any other mega-metropolitan area.

+ - The World's Most Wasteful Megacity

Submitted by merbs
merbs writes: The world’s most wasteful megacity is a densely populated, steadily aging, consumerist utopia where we buy, and throw away, a staggering amount of stuff. Where some faucet, toilet, or pipe, is constantly leaking in our apartments. Where an armada of commerce-beckoning lights are always on. Where a fleet of gas-guzzling cars still clog the roadways. I, along with my twenty million or so neighbors, help New York City use more energy, suck down more water, and spew out more solid waste than any other mega-metropolitan area.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon

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