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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 69 declined, 21 accepted (90 total, 23.33% accepted)

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Submission + - Poll Idea

vikingpower writes: Title: This Poll is Superfluous and Might as well be Abolished
1) Agree, nobody knows what this poll is about
2) Don't agree, through this poll we can indirectly choose another poll
3) This poll may be somewhat invisible, but deals with Important Stuff
4) It is your Democratic Duty to vote for this Poll

Submission + - How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again-> 1

vikingpower writes: For us developers, 2015 got kick-started, mentally, by a Linus Torvald rant about parallel computing being a bunch of crock. Although Linus' rants are deservedly famous for the political incorrectness and ( often ) for their insight, it may be that Linus has overseen Gustafson's Law, which states that parallelization becomes more efficient with larger problem sizes viz. with larger data sets. Back in 2012, the High Scalability blog already ran a post pointing towards new ways to think about parallel computing, especially the ideas of David Ungar, who thinks in the direction of lock-less computing of intermediary, possibly faulty results that are updated often. At the end of this year, we may be thinking differently about parallel server-side computing than we do today.
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Submission + - Aeron - or: How to Take Distributed Logging to Extreme Perfs->

vikingpower writes: After having been a contributor to the LMAX Disruptor, an extremely fast RingBuffer pattern, Martin Thompson is at it again,together with two other guys from the London High-Performance Computing scene. This time with an open-source library named Aeron, after a Celtic god. Aeron does message-passing over ( mostly ) UDP, that is: on level 4 of the OSI stack, and does it extremely well. Aeron is written in pure Java 8, and exploits that version's newly introduced lambda expressions. The ideas at the core of Aeron and of the somewhat older Disruptor pattern hail from Mechanical Sympathy, a way of designing and coding aiming to exploit the multiple caches of modern processors as much as possible. Mechanical Sympathy on Google Groups shows, by the questions and comments alone, what extreme perfs can be reached on COTS hardware, in pure Java.

Disclaimer: the author of this submission is in no way a direct stakeholder in Aeron or LMAX, just an interested user.

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Submission + - West Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse has Begun, Irreversible and Unstoppable Now->

vikingpower writes: Two new papers, of which one in Geophysical Research Letters and the other in Science come with rather conclusive evidence that the retreat of all West Antarctica glaciers is going faster than thought until now. The Guardian has an article on it. Eric Rignot, one of the NASA researchers who participated to the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, is quoted: "‘A large sector of the western Antarctic ice sheet has gone into a state of irreversible retreat. It has passed the point of no return. This retreat will have major consequences for sea level rise worldwide.’". Ian Joughin, principal author of the Science paper, is rather pessimistic about what is happening here: "‘The thinning we are seeing is not just some temporary trend. It is really the beginning of a larger scale collapse that is likely to play out over a two to 10-century range.’"

A very graphical and short simulation film on youtube, titled "Runaway Glaciers in West Antartica", explains what is going on.

The investigated glaciers play a major role in pinning the much larger and much thicker West Antarctic ice shelf down to where it is now. If this ice shelf melts, we'll be in deeper trouble. For this to happen, the already-cited Joughin put the most likely timeframe at between 200 and 500 years, according to the Guardian.

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Submission + - Dutch Railways set to facilitate suicide, Re-use of Old Locomotives->

vikingpower writes: The Dutch Railways ( NS ), national & state railway provider of a country already (ill-)famed for its liberal-mindedness, have come up with an audacious plan to facilitate suicide. The initiative, under the moniker "Terminal:Rail", will be signposted on all major stations, where a track #13 will be reserved for the new initiative. Railway spokesman Duisenbuik was quoted as saying: "Terminal:Rail will re-commission older locomotives, as those are heavier and sport more sharp-angled parts, which comes in handy under such circumstances".
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Submission + - Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class-> 4

vikingpower writes: If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Al Qaeda had already disavowedd the group, although it is not known whether this was due "lack of terrorist professionality".

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Submission + - Heat Waves in Australia are Getting More Frequent - and Hotter->

vikingpower writes: In a landmark report on bushfires and climate change, the Australian Climate Council concludes that heat waves in Australia, as driven by climate change, are becoming more frequent — and that they get hotter. "It is crucial that communities, emergency services, health services and other authorities prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme fire conditions.", says the Council in the report. Sarah Perkins, one of the report's co-authors, was interviewed by The Guardian Australia. "“While we can’t blame climate change for any one event, we can certainly see its fingerprint. This is another link in the chain.” Perkins said her latest work had analysed heatwave trends up to 2013. She said the trend “just gets worse – it’s a bit scary really”." Already back in 2009, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization signaled that a Southeast Australian heatwave was the hottest in 100 years.
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Submission + - Increasing Number of Books Banned in the USA->

vikingpower writes: Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.

What do all these titles have in common with each other ? Exactly, they are banned somewhere, on some school, in the USA. . Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids' Right to Read ( by the National Coalition Against Censorship ) investigated three times the average number of incidents, adding to an overall rise in cases for the entire year, according to KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor. To date, KRRP has confronted 49 incidents in 29 states this year, a 53% increase in activity from 2012. During the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year.

"It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year," O'Connor said. "We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block."

The NCAC also offers a Book Censorship Toolkit on its website. If such a toolkit is needed at all, does this indicate that intellectual freedom and free speech are ( slowly ) eroding in the USA ?

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Submission + - Hilarious: MSDN pages vor Visual J++ are STILL Online-> 1

vikingpower writes: But of course: Visual J++! And of course: "When you have finished modifying and debugging your application, you can it to into an .exe or .cab file and deploy it to the Web." [ literal text, the link appears exactly as it appears on the MSDN site ] How could we ever forget this ? And how can this still be online ?
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Submission + - Snowden Document Proves that Dutch Secret Service AIVD Hacks Internet Forums->

vikingpower writes: In the ever-longer wake of the NSA scandal, much-respected Dutch newspaper NRC today reveals, in English, as mandated by the gravity of the occasion, that the Dutch secret service, the AIVD, hacks internet forums. And yes, that is gross misconduct against Dutch law. The service, whose headquarters are in Zoetermeer, did not yet comment upon the divulgation of the document from Edward Snowden's collection. Incensed Dutch parliamentaries are calling for an enquiry.
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Submission + - Julian Assange "Unlikely to be Prosecuted in US", according to Washington Post-> 1

vikingpower writes: The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents because government lawyers said they could not do so without also prosecuting U.S. news organizations and journalists, according to U.S. officials. Read the rest of the article in today's online edition of the WP.
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Submission + - New Alternative to WiFi has a Range of Nearly a Mile->

vikingpower writes: Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee.

It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. And that’s when he realized that the solution to his problem would also unlock the potential of what’s known as the “internet of things” (the idea that every object we own, no matter how mundane, is connected to the internet and can be monitored and manipulated via the internet, whether it’s a toaster, a light bulb or your car).

The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter.

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Submission + - After Lavabit, Groklaw is Going Down->

vikingpower writes: Pamela Jones tells us Groklaw is going down. Forever."The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.
There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum. ( ... ) I can't continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. ( ... ) So this is the last Groklaw article. I won't turn on comments."

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Submission + - NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times per Year, Audit Finds->

vikingpower writes: Here is a full executive summary of a classified internal NSA report on breaches of NSA privacy rules and legal restrictions.The report covers the period from January through March 2012 and includes comparative data for the full preceding year. Its author is director of oversight and compliance for the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, but the scope of the report is narrower. Incidents are counted only if they took place within “NSA-Washington,” a term encompassing the Ft. Meade headquarters and nearby facilities. The NSA declined to provide comparable figures for its operations as a whole. A senior intelligence official said only that if all offices and directorates were included, the number of violations would “not double.” A main article in today's Washington Post covers the scoop. US District Judge Reggie B. Walton, leader of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and interviewed in a related article, says " ( ... ) the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes ( ... ) "
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"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll