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The Internet

Netflix Launches To Show How Fast Your Internet Connection Really Is ( 172

Paul Sawers, writing for VentureBeat (condensed): Netflix really wants to show you how fast (or slow) your Internet connection is, and to do so it has launched a new website at that conveys the real-time speed of your connection to the Web. It's designed to give people "greater insight and control of their Internet service." Netflix said it was for: Providing a website featuring non-downloadable software for testing and analyzing the speed of a user's Internet connection, as well as downloadable computer software for testing and analyzing the speed of a user's Internet connection.Compared to, doesn't offer any details on how fast is your upload speeds, what's the ping time, and any detail on location and ISP. However, it's seemingly faster, and automatically detects your download speeds when you visit the website.

Live-Action Tetris Movie Secures $80 Million Funding, Plans To Be Part Of A Trilogy ( 122

An anonymous reader writes: In 2014, Threshold Entertainment announced it would be producing a live-action film based on the Russian stacking game Tetris. Today, Threshold Entertainment announced it had secured $80 million in funding for the project. Threshold's Larry Kasanoff has worked on the Mortal Kombat film in 1995, which grossed $70 million. Media mogul Bruno Wu, will serve as co-producer on the film ensuring that the movie will be able to sustain any unplanned budget overruns. According to Deadline, the film is planned for a 2017 release with Chinese locations and a Chinese case. However, Kasanoff notes "the goal is to make world movies for the world market." What's more is that the movie could be the basis of a trilogy, the producer says, with a plot that's "not at all what you think; it will be a cool surprise." Kasanoff told the Wall Street Journal that "this isn't a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We're not giving feet to the geometric shapes... What you [will] see in Tetris is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance."
Operating Systems

Developer Installs Windows 95 On An Apple Watch ( 98

An anonymous reader writes: Developer Nick Lee has successfully installed Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. It works, but it runs very slow. For example, it takes about an hour for the OS to boot up. In a blog post, Lee points out the Apple Watch features specs capable of running the old OS. To get Windows 95 running on the Apple Watch, Lee had to modify Apple's development software in "rather unorthodox ways" that allowed him to turn the OS into a Watch app, which also emulates an environment for the OS to run on, he tells The Verge. To deal with the fact that Apple Watch's screen is always turning itself off when not in use, he set up a motorized tube that constantly turns the Watch's crown, preventing it from falling asleep. In addition, Lee altered the Watch's software to let Windows 95 track a single fingertip, hence the constant swiping in his video.

Lasers Could Hide Us From Evil Aliens ( 218

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Post: Most of the time when we talk about silly scientific papers related to alien life, we're talking about crazy ideas for how to find aliens. But a new study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society proposes a way of hiding from aliens. Humans are so fickle. A lot of our search for Earth-like planets (and, by extension, for life as we know it) hinges on transiting planets. These are planets that pass in front of their host star in such a way that the transit is visible from our perspective. The movement of the planet in front of the host star makes the light from that star dim or flicker, and we can use that to determine all sorts of things about distant worlds -- including how suitable they may be for life. Professor David Kipping and graduate student Alex Teachey, both of Columbia University, determined how much laser light it would take to mask the dimming caused by our planet transiting the sun, or cloak the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity, [such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just 160 kW per transit]. From the report: "According to their math, it would take 10 continuous hours of shining a 30 MW laser once a year to eliminate the transit signal in visible light. Actually replicating every wavelength of light emitted by the sun would take about 250 MW of power."
The Military

US Says North Korean Submarine Missing ( 167

An anonymous reader writes: The North Korean regime lost contact with one of its submarines earlier this week, three U.S. officials familiar with the latest information told CNN. According to CNN, the U.S. military had been observing the submarine operate off North Korea's east coast when the vessel stopped, and U.S. spy satellites, aircraft and ships have been secretly watching for days as the North Korean navy searched for the missing sub. The U.S. is unsure if the missing vessel is adrift under the sea or whether it has sunk, the officials said, but believes it suffered some type of failure during an exercise. This comes after North Korea has threatened to use nuclear weapons at any time and turn its military posture to "pre-emptive attack" mode.
Classic Games (Games)

'Serious Sam 1' Engine Released As Open Source 82

jones_supa writes: id Software is well known for publicly releasing the source code of its old first-person-shooter games. Now Croteam is joining the club by releasing the source code of the engine of the very first Serious Sam game. It's the very same engine that the company used for Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter. Croteam's Vyacheslav Nikitenko, who worked on the source code and prepared Serious Engine v.1.10 for this release, had this to say: "Historically, this version of Serious Engine is very important for Croteam and for me personally. I created several mods for Serious Sam back in the day, before even starting the work on the source code, and it was a great tool for learning. And it's even better today! Obviously, Serious Engine v1.10 won't produce top-notch graphics, but the source code is very well commented, easy to modify, and there are lots of user generated mods out there. This version has everything you need to build your own game – or just experiment. If you're looking to get started, just download the files from GitHub and head over to SeriousZone, it has a great community and lots of tutorials." Happy hacking! (And here's a video with some game play that shows what this engine can do.)

NASA Is Already Studying What Sort of Person Is Best Suited For Mars ( 144

MarkWhittington writes: The first crew to set forth to Mars are likely in Middle School or High School, but NASA is already delving into what criteria it should use to select the interplanetary explorers. That they should be physically fit and experts in their fields are a given. But the space agency is keen that the people who will set forth to Mars in 20 years or so should be of a particular psychological type. NASA has granted Johns Hopkins money to conduct a study into the problem.

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 3, Informative) 107

If e-file is blocked you paper file. It takes several affidavits and certified mail and some phone calls, not 100s of hours and court. Though in my case they sent ME the initial "we think something's hinkey with your return" letter before I had even tried to file. I did have to wait 6 months from April to get the check in the mail.

What annoys me is that the IRS reps always give you a condescending tone about getting your taxes in early, because first-through-the-gate wins. They ignore the fact that fraudsters are making up the filing data and don't have to wait for the actual W2 to get sent out. It's February and I'm still waiting on some 1099s to finish my paperwork.

I'm a bit scared now because their PIN system was down last Nov/Dec, and when I tried to get in early January after it was back up an account had already been made and PIN accessed but I have no memory of signing up. I was able to "recover" the account. The lady on the phone with IRS insisted I just forgot I had done it already (impossible) and insisted there was no way I was hacked and recommended AGAINST voiding the PIN and getting a replacement--which is apparently a PITA for them and a huge delay to file. "Just file early" she said.....

Comment Trying mainly to get code *maintained* properly (Score 2) 173

Dear Bruce:
In your slashdot posting today you mischaracterized our efforts as attempting to "open source" all routers. (as have multiple other reporters and people)
I lost sleep for years trying to create a third not "open source" or "closed source" *option* for making society's safety critical source code *public* vs what is currently buried in inauditable binary blobs - and in this letter, tried to shift the core fcc licensing requirements to mandating that the source code at the lowest layers of the network stack be "public, maintained, and regularly updated".

What license is slapped on this "public" code I totally do not care about - it could mandate you have to sell off your first born child, or slit your throat after reading, for all I care.
I care only that the sources be public, buildable, maintained and updated.
Open source and closed source alike have been doing a terrible job of maintenance, and in the embedded market - aside from higher end devices like android and mainline OSes like redhat/ubuntu - are not being updated. That is the *real problem* here that we are trying to solve.
thx in advance for any efforts you might make to correct your messaging, particularly when talking about our efforts! I have been busting my b**ls to make these points with every reporter I've talked to.
Aside from that... I think extremely highly of your characterization of the problem's stakeholders, the quality of your letter is even better than ours overall, and your proposed solution quite possibly one that could succeed (although I would shoot for a new licensing regime that made the git committer more responsible, perhaps - it is very worthy of discussion!)
I am totally willing to discuss restrictions on "how public" things become - and how fast they become so! particularly as I am well aware dismal code quality in many mission and public safety critical pieces of software that is out there. Mandating that all that be made public all at once would induce a terrifying amount of risk to society as a whole, and a staged approach towards making the core blobby bits public would be best.
...which is why I have tried to initially limit the call to merely opening up the binary blobs going into wifi, particularly as getting the current 802.11ac trends towards doing so have failed so dismally and wifi far less safety critical than many other things.
I would dearly like, also, to fix the dsl drivers and firmware worldwide, at least in part, because I strongly suspect quite a lot of it, in light of snowden's revelations, is compromised already, and they just need 50 lines of code or so, and a firmware update, to eliminate the bufferbloat in them - and verify, it really is doing what the authors say in the tin, to the FCC.
Dave Taht
lead author, the cerowrt project's letter to the fcc

Submission + - Ask the FCC to switch to sane software engineering practices for wifi! ( 2

mtaht writes: The CeroWrt project is collecting signatures for a letter to the FCC strongly suggesting they adopt saner software engineering practices for certifying wifi devices instead of pending regulations.

You can view the letter (signed by Dave Täht, Vint Cerf and many other notables) and add your signature,

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