Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - The Web is getting its bytecode: WebAssembly->

Josiah Daniels writes: WebAssembly is a new project being worked on by people from Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and Apple, to produce a bytecode for the Web. WebAssembly, or wasm for short, is intended to be a portable bytecode that will be efficient for browsers to download and load, providing a more efficient target for compilers than plain JavaScript or even asm.js
Link to Original Source

+ - Astronomers spot first-generation stars, made from big bang->

sciencehabit writes: A team of astronomers has found the best evidence yet for the very first generation of stars, ones made only from ingredients provided directly by the big bang. Made of essentially only hydrogen and helium, these so-called population III stars are predicted to be enormous in size and to live fast and die young. Until recently, many astronomers had thought they would never be able to see such stars, because they would have all burned and died in the universe’s early history—too far for us to see. But using new instruments on the world’s top telescopes, the team found a uniquely bright galaxy that seems to bear all the hallmarks of containing population III stars.
Link to Original Source

+ - The 2014 Nebula Awards

Dave Knott writes: The winners of the 2014 Nebula awards (presented 2015) have been announced. The awards are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and (along with the Hugos) are considered to be one of the two most prestigious awards in science fiction. This year's winners are:

Best Novel: Annihilation , Jeff VanderMeer
Best Novella: Yesterday’s Kin , Nancy Kress
Best Novelette: "A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i”, Alaya Dawn Johnson
Best Short Story: “Jackalope Wives”, Ursula Vernon
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Guardians of the Galaxy , directed by James Gunn
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Love Is the Drug , Alaya Dawn Johnson
2015 Damon Knight Grand Master Award: Larry Niven
Solstice Award: Joanna Russ (posthumous), Stanley Schmidt
Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service Award: Jeffry Dwight

+ - Ask Slashdot: Mesh Networks, architecture and platforms.

Elusive_Cure writes: Since OpenMesh changed its business model to Cloudtrax selling mesh enabled Routers/APs, for a long time it supported legacy firmware (robin-mesh) on legacy APs such as Ubiquiti bullets etc. Now, as Cloudtrax has decided, on August it ends legacy support leaving networks that have been set up with third party equipment out in the cold. As a small rural network operator, i have been looking to replace Cloudtax's platform to a similar service, but everything i could find was subscription enabled and too expensive to replace equipment. So, slashdot readers, what kind of mesh architecture/platforms would you suggest for a 10 to 15 node network, considering that it has to be opensource (openwrt preferred in order to keep older equipment), low cost and with a mesh controller option?

+ - Huawei's LiteOS Internet of Things operating system is a minuscule 10KB->

Mark Wilson writes: Chinese firm Huawei today announces its IoT OS at an event in Beijing. The company predicts that within a decade there will be 100 billion connected devices and it is keen for its ultra-lightweight operating system to be at the heart of the infrastructure.

Based on Linux, LiteOS weighs in at a mere 10KB — smaller than a Word document — but manages to pack in support for zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking. The operating system will be open for developers to tinker with, and is destined for use in smart homes, wearables, and connected vehicles. LiteOS will run on Huawei's newly announced Agile Network 3.0 Architecture and the company hopes that by promoting a standard infrastructure, it will be able to push the development of internet and IoT applications

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

Comment: Less than a year (Score 1) 125 125

Europe here.. I decided to switch last year because i had some issues with my connection - few times a week the modem would just disconnect for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes while `re-syncing`. The quality of international phonecalls was very bad. And people complained my phone was often not reachable.

So i decided to swap ISP's and get an all-in-one offer. I'm anything but very happy though - Ok - this modem not disconnects. In return sometime the line just goes bad for a few seconds, breaking streaming video, games or whatever you were doing. The television works, but there's an insane 5-6 second lag switching channels. The promised speed was 20Mbs, i only got 10Mbps as the other 10 is reserved for television, and i don't get to use it even not when the TV receiver is totally switched of. The quality of phone calls is ok, but the pricing is not - it's actually more expensive to call using the DSL land line than mobile. The modem is a piece of sh1t, without any configuration options except wifi on/off and port forwarding. It has no (missed) call log or line status and quality information or anything else you'd expect from a good modem.

Being the Netherlands, with a lot of competition and a sophisticated infrastructure, you'd expect better. It may be that the cabling is bad that i suffer from a suboptimal connection, after all the last mile of copper is over 50 years old. A 4G connection would likely be of better speed and quality than my DSL (yet way overpriced).

So.. what are the options. Go back to my old ISP with good support. Or try a cable provider - just i don't hardly use TV and am unwilling to pay an extra obliged 30 euro for that, making the choice easily go to DSL again.. I know, it's a luxury issue in a country with enough competition and infrastructure - but i rather have it just works.

+ - GCC 5.1 Released->

kthreadd writes: Version 5.1 of GCC, the primary free software compiler for GNU and other operating systems, has been released. Version 5 includes many changes from the 4.x series. Starting with this release the default compiler mode for C is gnu11 instead of the older gnu89. New features include new compiler warnings, support for Cilk Plus. There is a new attribute no_reorder which prevents reordering of selected symbols against other such symbols or inline assembler, enabling link-time optimization of the Linux kernel without having to use -fno-toplevel-reorder. Two new preprocessor directives have also been added, __has_include and __has_include_next, to test the availability of headers. Also, there's a new C++ ABI due to changes to libstdc++. The old ABI is however still supported and can be enabled using a macro. Other changes include full support for C++14. Also the Fortran frontend has received some improvements and users will now be able to have colorized diagnostics, and the Go frontend has been updated to the Go 1.4.2 release.
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft Relishes its Role as Accuser in Antitrust Suit Against Google

HughPickens.com writes: Danny Hakim reports at the NYT that as European antitrust regulators formally accuse Google of abusing its dominance, Microsoft is relishing playing a behind-the-scenes role of scold instead of victim. Microsoft has founded or funded a cottage industry of splinter groups to go after Google. The most prominent, the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace, or Icomp, has waged a relentless public relations campaign promoting grievances against Google. It conducted a study that suggested changes made by Google to appease regulators were largely window dressing. “Microsoft is doing its best to create problems for Google,” says Manfred Weber, the chairman of the European People’s Party, the center-right party that is the largest voting bloc in the European Parliament. “It’s interesting. Ten years ago Microsoft was a big and strong company. Now they are the underdog.”

According to Hakim, Microsoft and Google are the Cain and Abel of American technology, locked in the kind of struggle that often takes place when a new giant threatens an older one. Microsoft was frustrated after American regulators at the Federal Trade Commission didn’t act on a similar antitrust investigation against Google in 2013, calling it a “missed opportunity.” It has taken the fight to the state level, along with a number of other opponents of Google. Microsoft alleges that Google's anti-competitive practices include stopping Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube; blocking Microsoft Windows smartphones from "operating properly" with YouTube; blocking access to content owned by book publishers; and limiting the flow of ad campaign information back to advertisers, making it more expensive to run ads with rivals. "Over the past year, a growing number of advertisers, publishers, and consumers have expressed to us their concerns about the search market in Europe," says Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "They've urged us to share our knowledge of the search market with competition officials."

Comment: Diet (Score 2) 298 298

In The Netherlands it's usually thought that diet was the most influencing factor behind this effect. Over the last centuries we have had plenty dairy products, no severe food shortages, in contrary, we had a reasonable high availability of varied food. Combined with relative welfare in the golden age. There are probably many other factors too, however, to grow tall you need more food on average, and so it must be available first.

Comment: Re:ad blocker? (Score 3, Funny) 358 358

Which ethical choices you mean, the ones made by me as consumer or by them?

Spotify - 10 euro to get ad-free version
Netfix - 9 euro, ad free
HBO - 15 euro
Youtube - ? euro.
Torrents - free & ad free
National television - tax. about 50 euro / year - and still loaded with ads

So there are options, but they cost quite a bit, especially if you would want more than one. Having said that, maybe youtube will offer a really reasonable price (like $20 yearly) and i would consider it, but i doubt their pricetag will be that low.

I can't help that the 'default' state is to bombard listeners or viewers with ads. With up to 10-30% airtime spend on ads on some commercial TV but also on our national (tax payed) radio. With 30 second ads to watch a 2 minute video. And webpages with 75% ads and 25% content. And worse: the most annoying kind of ads, the ones that makes you pull your hair and actively makes you mute or switch channel.

If ads were not that obtrusive, no-one would bother to block them. However it became an arms race - where the blockers got better and the ads even more annoying.

So, i have no idea why you find it unethical that i, or any other customer, protect myself from ads. Or is it unethical to wear a safety belt, or earplugs at a rock concert, or safety glasses when using machinery, because i see very little difference between physical and mental damage (annoyance). I have the right to protect myself from unwanted influences.

I could even turn the argument and say no-one has the right to (un)consciously steer my (shopping) behaviour. Others would even make the argument that obesity and smoking addictions are largely caused by advertising. So again, who's being unethical here?

+ - Build a satellite of your own for less than $30K

schwit1 writes: An industry of new cubesat builders can now build satellites for anyone for any reason for very little money.

The miniaturisation of technology allows people to do more with less hardware, said Chad Anderson, the managing director of Space Angels Network, an investment house specialising in the space industry. That industry, he said, was worth $300bn (£200bn) last year. Constellations of smaller satellites, like those suggested as tracking devices for planes over oceans, are now a possibility. "The launch costs are coming down and people leveraging today's technology are able to do more with less and launch less mass to orbit. The price point has come down to where start-ups and entrepreneurs can really make an impact on the scene for the first time," he said.

When the first tiny satellite launch companies arrive, expect this industry to blossom at an astonishing rate ... if the government doesn't screw it up.

+ - Nanocomputers connected to the cloud will be implanted in your brain by 2030->

Brandon Butler writes: Google Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil predicts in a TED Talk that by the 2030s small bots that can connect to cloud-based servers will be implanted through the bloodstream into the brain to allow for "hybrid" brain power. The nanocomputers will aid existing brain functions
to help provide quick answers to complex problems and provide the extra juice needed to come up with creative new ideas.

Link to Original Source

Staff meeting in the conference room in %d minutes.

Working...