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Submission + - Reusable SpaceX rocket has implications for a return to the moon (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: While it is unclear what if any implications the recent successful landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 first stage means for the future of space travel, planetary scientist and space commentator Paul Spudis suggested that the feat and the similar one performed earlier by Blue Origin could have some benefit for a return to the moon. In the meantime, a test of the engines in the recovered first stage had mixed results. The engines fired alright, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reported, “thrust fluctuations” that might have been caused by “debris ingestion.” Does that mean the rocket could or could not have been reused? The answer is not yet forthcoming.

Submission + - Human Rights Watch Blasts TPP for "Serious Rights Concerns" (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: Freezenet is reporting that Human Rights Watch, an international human rights organization, has blasted the TPP over what they call "serious rights concerns". Among the concerns are privacy rights as well as the implications the trade deal would have on free speech. Already, some are expecting all 12 countries to sign off on the TPP next month.

Further reading: Human Rights Watch press release and TPP Q & A.

Submission + - AT&T chooses Ubuntu Linux instead of Microsoft Windows (betanews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: one of the largest cellular providers is the venerable AT&T. While it sells many Linux-powered Android devices, it is now embracing the open source kernel in a new way. You see, the company has partnered with Canonical to utilize Ubuntu for cloud, network, and enterprise applications. That's right, AT&T did not choose Microsoft's Windows when exploring options. Canonical will provide continued engineering support too.

Submission + - Fedora Linux Might Drop Incremental Upgrades

prisoninmate writes: As you might know, Fedora, and many other GNU/Linux distributions, requires users to do an Incremental upgrade when attempting to move from an older version of the operating system to the most recent one. For example, if you want to upgrade from Fedora 21 to Fedora 23, you will have first to upgrade to Fedora 22. Lately, Fedora upgrades have become more stable and reliable, mostly because of some brand-new technologies that have been introduced in the latest versions of the distribution, such as the DNF package manger. Fedora's Adam Williamson theorizes about an innovative method that might support official upgrade of the Fedora Linux operating system across two releases in the future.

Submission + - Did Apple Rip Off A Jailbreak App To Make iOS 9.3's Night Shift? (forbes.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Imagine this: You create a highly popular app that allows jailbroken iOS users to alter the lighting on their devices to potentially reduce the impact of blue light on their quality of sleep. Your app is then essentially copied by Apple, introduced as a native feature in iOS, and your requests to include the fairly basic, non-intrusive app in the official App Store are blocked by Apple itself. Seem unfair? Well, that’s pretty much what’s happened to F.lux – a very highly-regarded app that’s now only available on jailbroken devices. It was previously possible to install it using a method called side-loading without jailbreaking your device, but Apple contacted F.lux in November last year to ask it to cease and desist – quite possibly because Night Shift, a new blue light-limiting feature of the forthcoming iOS 9.3, does exactly the same thing.

Submission + - What spotlighting harassment in astronomy means

StartsWithABang writes: Geoff Marcy. Tim Slater. Christian Ott. And a great many more who are just waiting to be publicly exposed for what they've done (and in many cases, are still doing). Does it mean that astronomy has a harassment problem? Of course it does, but that's not the real story. The real story is that, for the first time, an entire academic field is recognizing a widespread problem, taking steps to change its policies, and is beginning to support the victims, rather than the senior, more famous, more prestigious perpetrators. Astronomy is the just start; hopefully physics, computer science, engineering, philosophy and economics are next.
Programming

The Swift Programming Language's Most Commonly Rejected Changes (github.com) 339

An anonymous reader writes: When Apple made its Swift programming language open source in early December, it opened the floodgates for suggestions and requests from developers. But the project's maintainers have their own ideas about how the language should evolve, so some suggestions are rejected. Now a list has been compiled of some commonly rejected proposals — it's an interesting window into the development of a language. Swift's developers don't want to replace Brace Syntax with Python-style indentation. They don't want to change boolean operators from && and || to 'and' and 'or'. They don't want to rewrite the Swift compiler in Swift. They don't want to change certain keywords like 'continue' from their C precedents. And they have no interest in removing semicolons.
Communications

Getting Started With GNU Radio (hackaday.com) 42

An anonymous reader writes: Software Defined Radio must be hard to create, right? Tools like GNU Radio and GNU Radio Companion make it much easier to build radios that can tune AM, FM, and even many digital modes. Of course, you need some kind of radio hardware, right? Not exactly. Hackaday has one of their video hands on tutorials about how to use GNU Radio with no extra hardware (or, optionally, a sound card that you probably already have). The catch? Well, you can't do real radio that way, but you can learn the basics and do audio DSP. The next installment promises to use some real SDR hardware and build an actual radio. But if you ever wanted to see if it was worth buying SDR hardware, this is a good way to see how you like working with GNU Radio before you spend any money.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Paid Posts

kaka.mala.vachva writes: Today on Slashdot I observed "Paid Posts" in brown. I don't object to them, they seem unobtrusive and I appreciate that the site needs to be ad-supported. However, in the spirit of Slashdot, I suggest that we, the Slashdot masses, be allowed to comment on the ads. What say you?

Submission + - Back to the Future writer reveals Biff is based on Donald Trump

An anonymous reader writes: - Back to the Future writer reveals Biff is based on Donald Trump
http://www.ew.com/article/2015...

- 'Back to the Future' Writer: Biff Tannen Is Based on Donald Trump
http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...

- 'Back to the Future' Writer: Biff Is Donald Trump
http://www.rollingstone.com/po...

- 'Back to the Future' Writer: Donald Trump Inspired Biff
https://variety.com/2015/film/...

- 1985 Version of Biff Tannen in âBack to the Future Part IIâ(TM) Based on Donald Trump [Trivia]
http://www.slashfilm.com/in-ba...
Democrats

Emails Cast Unflattering Light On Internal Politics of Healthcare.gov Rollout 392

An anonymous reader writes with this report from The Verge linking to and excerpting from a newly released report created for a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, including portions of eight "damning emails" that offer an unflattering look at the rollout of the Obamacare website. The Government Office of Accountability released a report earlier this week detailing the security flaws in the site, but a report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released yesterday is even more damning. Titled, "Behind the Curtain of the HealthCare.gov Rollout," the report fingers the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversaw the development of the site, and its parent Department of Health and Human Services. "Officials at CMS and HHS refused to admit to the public that the website was not on track to launch without significant functionality problems and substantial security risks," the report says. "There is also evidence that the Administration, to this day, is continuing its efforts to shield ongoing problems with the website from public view." Writes the submitter: "The evidence includes emails that show Obamacare officials more interested in keeping their problems from leaking to the press than working to fix them. This is both both a coverup and incompetence."

Comment Re:Maybe it's just me ... (Score 4, Informative) 131

That's not what it says in the post: "The 'Rickmote,' which is built on top of the $35 Raspberry Pi single board computer, finds a local Chromecast device, boots it off the network, and then takes over the screen with multimedia of one's choosing. ... But it gets worse for the victims: If the hacker leaves the range of the device, there's no way to regain control of the Chromecast."

So ... yeah, it's never gonna give you up.

Submission + - Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

snydeq writes: Companies are doggedly pursuing the next big thing in technology, but nothing seems to be pointing to the right way these days, claims the legendary Steve Wozniak. The reason? 'You tend to deal with the past,' replicating what you know in a new form. Consider the notion of computing eyeware like Google Glass: 'People have been marrying eyewear with TV inputs for 20 years,' Wozniak says. True innovation, Wozniak claims, becomes more human, more personal. People use technology more the less it feels like technology. 'The software gets more accepted when it works in human ways — meaning in noncomputer ways.' Here, Wozniak says, is the key to technology's role in the education system.

Submission + - Hewlett Packard Turns Buggy Software and Firmware Into a Revenue Stream!

neversleepy writes: In the face of ever declining server sales. And in a move certian to affect many readers here, Hewlett Packard decides to provide updates to firmware and critical OS drivers only to customers who pay a premium for a CarePack, extended service contract. If this affects you negatively, try telling Hewlett Packard what you think about payola for hardware bug fixes.

Or maybe, the time is right to abandon vanity servers?

Submission + - Alleged Silk Road Founder Indicted Again, This Time in New York (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Wired reports, "Federal authorities today announced a Grand Jury indictment against Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder and owner of the underground drug emporium Silk Road. The indictment, in New York, includes one count for narcotics conspiracy, one count of running a criminal enterprise, one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and one count of money laundering, according to the indictment. It’s the second indictment for the the 29-year-old, who was arrested last October in San Francisco. Ulbricht was previously charged in New York at the time of his arrest, but authorities had until December to obtain an indictment against him based on new evidence seized. They sought an extension of that time and announced the indictment today. Ulbricht had been previously indicted in Maryland on charges of conspiring to have a former administrator of Silk Road murdered in exchange for $80,000. "

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