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Comment For me... (Score 1) 245

... I got Office 2007 Pro. from an estate sale almost a couple months ago. Before it and in the past, I was still using the very old 2K SR3 and 2003 from others who didn't use them anymore. They worked fine for my basic needs (Word and Excel) with their 2007 converter packs and updates. I also use the updated LibreOffice when needed too which is rare.

I hate the online cloud stuff especially when my Internet isn't reliable. Frak the online clouds and services. I still prefer to do stuff offline and locally!

Submission + - Drupal developers still rebelling against Drupal leadership

cornholed writes: In an update to previous posts on Slashdot, prominent Drupal and PHP Developer Larry Garfield is still defending his reputation against allegations by Drupal leadership against sexual misconduct. As previously reported by a variety of news organizations, Larry was exiled from the Drupal project for adherence to the Gor sci-fi lifestyle.

In the latest round of allegations, Garfield was reportedly asked to resign because an autistic "woman who attended Drupal community events ... was allowed to contribute by him". While some have accused Dries Buytart and the Drupal Association of "Autism Shaming", the leader of the Drupal project claims "this person could be vulnerable and may have been subject to exploitation", hence raising the risk of legal damage to the Drupal project. Larry refutes these allegations, saying these claims are post-hoc and has shared police reports purporting his innocence.

There is still much debate in the Drupal community around why Larry was ejected from his leadership positions. While there's much speculation over Larry's ouster, there is one thing for certain: become a leader in the OSS community and a dossier on your public statements just might be made about you.

Submission + - Kickstarter to save NASA Mission Control (chron.com)

yzf750 writes: Mission Control at Johnson Space Center is a wreck and this Kickstarter project is trying to save it. The nearby city of Webster, TX has promised to match Kickstarter funding up to $400,000.00. The goal is to raise $250,000.00 to add to the $3.5 million already budgeted to restore Mission Control.

Submission + - Why the new 18:9 aspect ratio? (thestar.com.my) 1

wasteoid writes: After years of migrating most electronic displays to the 16:9 aspect ratio, what benefit does the consumer gain from the new 18:9 ratio? Viewing most of the existing content would result in the letterbox bars from the early days of 16:9, and not much content exists in the new ratio. Aside from trying to force everyone to rebuy electronics in a new ratio, which only helps manufacturers make more money, what is the reasoning for this move?

Submission + - Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion (vanderbilt.edu)

Science_afficionado writes: Imagine slipping into a jacket, shirt or skirt that powers your cell phone, fitness tracker and other personal electronic devices as you walk, wave and even when you are sitting down. A new, ultrathin energy harvesting system developed at Vanderbilt University’s Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory has the potential to do just that. Based on battery technology and made from layers of black phosphorus that are only a few atoms thick, the new device generates small amounts of electricity when it is bent or pressed even at the extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion.

Submission + - Another Google Accessibility Failure: Chrome Remote Desktop (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: But Chrome Remote Desktop also has a horrible, gaping accessibility problem — that has persisted and generated bug threads that in some instances now stretch back unresolved for years, that seriously limits its usefulness for those very users who could most benefit from its use.

And this flaw is unfortunately representative of a rapidly growing class of accessibility failures at Google — in terms of readability, user interface deficiencies, and other related problems — which have been spreading across their entire ecosystem to the dismay of myself and many other observers.

Submission + - For First Time, On-Chip Nanoantennas Enable High-Bit-Rate Transmission (ieee.org)

schwit1 writes: An international team of researchers led by a group at the Australian National University (ANU) is the first to demonstrate ultra-fast transmission of information through an optical nanoantenna that has been imprinted onto an optical waveguide. These results could have significant implications for telecommunication applications, enabling high-speed data transmission through these devices.

Prior to this work, which is described in the journal Science Advances , there were very few examples in which an optical nanoantenna had been imprinted onto an optical waveguide. Additionally, those earlier examples had very limited functionalities, such as coupling light to a waveguide mode.

“What we showed is that such an antenna of sub-micron size can sort and route different streams of information (encoded into the different polarizations of light) into different directions of the waveguide,” said Dragomir Neshev, a professor at ANU, who led the research, in an e-mail interview with IEEE Spectrum. “This is a very important operation used in coherent receivers for any communication link.”

But what may be even more exciting is that Neshev and his colleagues were able to shrink the size of the optical component that performs the polarization sorting to an antenna of sub-micrometer size. This could potentially enable high-density integration of photonics components on a silicon chip.

Submission + - Slackware, Oldest Linux Distro Still in Active Development, turns 24

sombragris writes: July 17 marked the 24th anniversary of Slackware Linux, the oldest GNU/Linux still in active development, being created in 1993 by Patrick Volkerding, who still serves as its BDFL. Version 14.2 was launched last year, and the development version (Slackware-current) currently offers kernel 4.9.38, gcc 7.1, glibc 2.25, mesa 17.1.5, and KDE and Xfce as official desktops, with many others available as 3rd party packages. Slackware is also among the Linux distributions which have not adopted systemd as its init system; instead, it uses a modified BSD init which is quite simple and effective. Slackware is known to be a solid, stable and fast setup, with easy defaults which is appreciated by many Linux users worldwide. Phoronix has a small writeup noting the anniversary and there's also a nice reddit thread.

Submission + - Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030 (nytimes.com)

cdreimer writes: According to a report on The New York Times (may be paywalled, alternative story here): "If Beijing has its way, the future of artificial intelligence will be made in China. The country laid out a development plan on Thursday to become the world leader in A.I. by 2030, aiming to surpass its rivals technologically and build a domestic industry worth almost $150 billion. Released by the State Council, the policy is a statement of intent from the top rungs of China’s government: The world’s second-largest economy will be investing heavily to ensure its companies, government and military leap to the front of the pack in a technology many think will one day form the basis of computing. The plan comes with China preparing a multibillion-dollar national investment initiative to support “moonshot” projects, start-ups and academic research in A.I., according to two professors who consulted with the government about the effort."

Submission + - Capturing data on New Horizons' next flyby target

necro81 writes: After its successful flyby of Pluto in July 2015, the New Horizons probe received a mission extension to fly past a Kuiper Belt object — named 2014 MU69 — in January 2019. However, we know few details about the object — its size, shape, albedo, whether it has any companions — which are crucial for planning the flyby. Based on observations from Hubble, the New Horizons team knew that the object would pass in front of a star — an occultation — on July 17th, which could provide some of this data. But the occultation would last for less than a second, would only be visible in Patagonia, and the star itself is quite dim. NASA set up 24 telescopes near one community to capture the event, and received lots of cooperation from locals: turning off streetlights, shutting down a nearby highway, and setting up trucks as windbreaks. At least five of those telescopes captured the occultation. This was the latest in a series of observations ahead of the flyby.

Submission + - A Third of Dementia Cases Are Preventable (psychcentral.com)

walterbyrd writes: The commission’s report identifies nine risk factors in early, mid- and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. About 35 percent of dementia — one in three cases — is attributable to these risk factors, the report says.

By increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity in midlife, the incidence of dementia could be reduced by as much as 20 percent, combined.

In late life, stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social contact, and managing diabetes could reduce the incidence of dementia by another 15 percent.

“The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have,” Schneider says.

“Mitigating risk factors provides us a powerful way to reduce the global burden of dementia.”

Submission + - Users of React.JS software petition to change the license 1

mpol writes: The Apache Software Foundation issued a notice last weekend, indicating that it has added Facebook’s BSD+Patents license to its Category X list of disallowed licenses for Apache PMC members. This is the license that Facebook uses for most of its open source projects.

The RocksDB software project from Facebook already changed its license to a dual Apache 2 and GPL 2. Users are now petitioning on GitHub to have Facebook change the license of React.JS as well.

React.JS is a well-known and often used JavaScript Framework for frontend development. It is licensed as BSD + Patents. If you use React.JS and agreed to its license, and you decide to sue Facebook for patent issues, you are no longer allowed to use React.JS or any Facebook software released under this license.

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