Submission + - Bill Gates Says He's Sorry About Control-Alt-Delete (qz.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: At the Bloomberg Global Business Forum today, Carlyle Group co-founder and CEO David Rubenstein asked Microsoft founder Bill Gates to account for one of the most baffling questions of the digital era: Why does it take three fingers to lock or log in to a PC, and why did Gates ever think that was a good idea? Grimacing slightly, Gates deflected responsibility for the crtl-alt-delete key command, saying, “clearly, the people involved should have put another key on to make that work.” Rubenstein pressed him: does he regret the decision? “You can’t go back and change the small things in your life without putting the other things at risk,” Gates said. But: “Sure. If I could make one small edit I would make that a single key operation.”

Submission + - How Flying Seriously Messes With Your Mind - And Your Body (bbc.com) 1

dryriver writes: BBC Future has an interesting piece about how traveling in an airliner does strange things to people's minds and bodies — such as far more people starting to cry while watching even mildly emotional movies on airplanes than is normal, some passengers experiencing decreases in acuity of sight, taste and smell (airline meals are over-seasoned to compensate for this), unusual tiredness or desire to sleep, your skin drying out by up to 37% percent and possibly becoming itchy, and some people breaking wind far more often than they normally would. An excerpt: "There can be no doubt that aircraft cabins are peculiar places for humans to be. They are a weird environment where the air pressure is similar to that atop an 8,000ft-high (2.4km) mountain. The humidity is lower than in some of the world's driest deserts while the air pumped into the cabin is cooled as low as 10C (50F) to whisk away the excess heat generated by all the bodies and electronics onboard. The reduced air pressure on airline flights can reduce the amount of oxygen in passengers’ blood between 6 and 25%, a drop that in hospital would lead many doctors to administer supplementary oxygen. There are some studies, however, that show even relatively mild levels of hypoxia (deficiency in oxygen) can alter our ability to think clearly. At oxygen levels equivalent to altitudes above 12,000ft (3.6km), healthy adults can start to show measurable changes in their memory, their ability to perform calculations and make decisions. This is why the aviation regulations insist that pilots must wear supplementary oxygen if the cabin air pressure is greater than 12,500ft. A study in 2007 showed that after about three hours at the altitudes found in airline cabins, people start to complain about feeling uncomfortable."

Submission + - Tetris as a Conway's Life Pattern

dvgrn writes: A four-year-old Stack Exchange code golf challenge has been completed recently, with awe-inspring results. Playing Tetris using the actual Conway's Life pattern is difficult to say the least — not too surprising, given that Life is nominally a zero-player game anyway. A couple of levels of abstraction up from the lowest-level cells, the Tetris computer can be run in real time using an online simulator that the team developed.

Submission + - GNOME Backs Purism's Efforts to Create World's First Truly Free Smartphone

prisoninmate writes: From a Softpedia report:

GNOME Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the popular GNOME desktop environment designed for Linux-based operating systems, announced on Wednesday that they plan on supporting Purism's Librem 5 smartphone. The announcement comes only a week after KDE unveiled their plans to work with Purism on an implementation of their Plasma Mobile interface into the security- and privacy-focused Librem 5 Linux smartphone, and now GNOME is interested in advancing the Librem 5 hardware platform as a GNOME/GTK+ phone device. Currently under a crowdfunding campaign, Librem 5 needs to raise about one million more dollars in a month (33 days at the moment of writing) to become a reality, to become world’s first free and open source Linux smartphone that comes built-in with enhanced user protections and end-to-end encryption.

Submission + - Chrome Extension Embeds In-Browser Cryptocurrency Miner That Drains Your CPU (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The authors of SafeBrowse, a Chrome extension with more than 140,000 users, have embedded a JavaScript library in the extension's code that mines for the Monero cryptocurrency using users' computers and without getting their consent. The additional code drives CPU usage through the roof, making users computers sluggish and hard to use.

Looking at the SafeBrowse extension's source code, anyone can easily spot that its authors embedded the Coinhive JavaScript Miner, an in-browser implementation of the CryptoNight mining algorithm used by CryptoNote-based currencies, such as Monero, Dashcoin, DarkNetCoin, and others. This is the same technology that The Pirate Bay experimented as an alternative to showing ads on its site.

The extension's author claims he was "hacked" and the code added without his knowledge. Because of the attention the Coinhive JavaScript Miner got over the weekend, many expect it to become a favorite tool for all shady extension developers looking to make a quick buck off their users.

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