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Submission + - Atomic clocks on 9 of 72 European GPS satellites have failed (

schwit1 writes: The atomic clocks on 9 of the 72 European Galileo GPS satellites, designed to compete with the American, Russian, and Chinese GPS satellites, have failed.

No satellite has been declared “out” as a result of the glitch. “However, we are not blind If this failure has some systematic reason we have to be careful” not to place more flawed clocks in space, [ESA director general Jan Woerner] said.

Each Galileo satellite has four ultra-accurate atomic timekeepers — two that use rubidium and two hydrogen maser. Three rubidium and six hydrogen maser clocks are not working, with one satellite sporting two failed timekeepers. Each orbiter needs just one working clock for the satnav to work — the rest are spares.

The question now, Woerner said, is “should we postpone the next launch until we find the root cause?”

That they are even considering further launches with so many failures of the same units seems absurd. They have a systemic problem, and should fix it before risking further launches.

Submission + - Scottish Government Targets 66% Emissions Cut By 2032 (

An anonymous reader writes: The Scottish government has outlined a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032. Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham set out the government's draft climate change plan for the next 15 years at Holyrood. She also targeted a fully-decarbonized electricity sector and 80% of domestic heat coming from low-carbon sources. Ministers committed last year to cut harmful CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, with a new interim target of 50% by 2020. The previous interim target of 42% was met in 2014 — six years early. However, the independent Committee on Climate Change said the decrease was largely down to a warmer than average winter reducing the demand for heating. Ms Cunningham said the new targets demonstrated "a new level of ambition" to build a low-carbon economy and a healthier Scotland. Goals to be achieved by 2032 include: Cutting greenhouse emissions by 66%; A fully-decarbonised electricity sector; 80% of domestic heat to come from low-carbon heat technologies; Proportion of ultra-low emission new cars and vans registered in Scotland annually to hit 40%; 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands restored; Annual woodland creation target increased to at least 15,000 hectares per year. The 172-page document sets a road map for decarbonising Scotland. The aim — although not new — is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2032. Among the policies are making half of Scotland's buses low-carbon, fully-decarbonising the electricity sector and making 80% of homes heated by low-carbon technologies.

Submission + - Linux 4.9 Confirmed as Next LTS Kernel Series, Supported Until 2019

An anonymous reader writes: From a Softpedia report:

"The story behind Linux kernel 4.9 becoming the next long-term supported series dates from way before it's launch last month, on December 11, when Linus Torvalds officially announced the new branch. It all started back on August 12, 2016, when Greg Kroah-Hartman dropped a quick Google+ post to say "4.9 == next LTS kernel." Immediately after, the media reporting began, informing the Linux community that Linux kernel 4.9 will become the next long-term supported branch, but it didn't happen because Kroah-Hartman changed his mind a month later, on September 6, when he reserved his right to mark Linux 4.9 as "longterm" on the website. Fast forward to present day, and after Linux kernel 4.9 already received four point releases, the latest being Linux 4.9.4, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced that Linux 4.9 is ready to be marked as "longterm" by saying "Yes, 4.9 is the next longterm kernel. I've been saying that for a while, but somehow if it wasn't on the website, no one believed me.""

Comment Re:Bashing Windows 10 (Score 1) 503

Debian Linux has been doing telemetry since, uh, well since I started using it, in 1999 or 2000. True, it's completely optional and it asks you during installation if you'd like to participate. But somehow, because you can optout easily, its ok that Linux does Telemetry. Talk about double standard.

Way to miss the point. That's not a double standard: "completely optional" and "asks you during installation if you'd like to participate," completely changes the situation. Firstly because you can easilly not participate if your want and secondly because they are not trying to force you to participate, you are more likely to trust that they don't want the information for dubious reasons.

Comment Re:Burn in... Improvements? (Score 1) 238

No. Pulldown is how TV networks that have chosen to broadcast in 1080i60 broadcast 1080p24 content. It's the only method available to them.

Assuming you are correct, how does the TV know the content was originally 1080p24? If you do inverse telecine on stuff which was originally recorded live interlaced you won't get very good results.

Comment Re:systemd is objectionable because: (Score 1) 385

Not really 40 years that would be about edition 5 and the Bourne shell was not even invented yet. The SysV init, especially the link farm aspect, is quite different to edition 7 init or even BSD 4.3 init. Once /etc/rc was pretty much a hand crafted script with some boiler plate. Even now, although the link farm to /etc/init.d/ is common to SysV derived unix variants, distros tend to have different library functions for starting/stopping deamons etc, so service scripts are not really portable. And how you maintain the link farm (ie enable or disable a service) varies. chkconfig is an import from IRIX and not universal. The way (if any) of specifying which services by default run at which runlevel and what their priority and is by no means standardised.

inetd used to be configured by a single file not a collection of files in /etc/xinetd.d. A sysadmin from BSD 4.2/3 experience say 30 years ago, wouldn't even think to look in /etc/xinetd.d if rsh didn't work and if the users complain that ssh didn't work, well that didn't get invented until more like 20 years ago.

I venture to suggest that if you took a unix sysadmin from 40 years ago forward in a time machine they would be pretty much at sea configuring any modern linux and I don't think their learning curve would be any steeper for systemd based init than sysV based init. They would not be familiar with xinetd, they would not even be familiar with inetd. If your mail isn't getting, and they were from 35 years ago they might waste some time work out where the uucp configuration had gone. And this is just the start. A LOT has changed in 40 years. Think of typical sysadmin tasks such as installing software and configuring printers, GUIs, networks, firewalls and httpd. And what is this "grub" and how can I reboot without console toggle switches and how do I change a disk pack? FWIW I no doubt count as a "greybeard", and I personally regard the SysV way of doing things as a wrong turn, but I am still not too old to learn systemd. I found the documentation adequate (or even good by linux standards).

Comment Re:"100 times the strength" (Score 1) 171

Why can't you measure it? It's true that standard methods for bulk materials - pendulums and standard shape test samples can't be used, but that just means a new test procedure. Toughness is the energy required to break the thread, tensile strength is the force to break it. Toughness is the area under the stress/strain curve up to failure (or perhaps up to the yield point). In anycase the GP is slightly misleading. Toughness is not an exotic kind of strength.

Comment Re:Mirror mirror (Score 1) 338

Surely this is a problem, but not an insurmountable one. A laser is essentially a resonant cavity of two mirrors with an active medium between them. The mirrors in the laser have tougher constraints than the on protecting the target. Also the light which is not reflected is not necessarilly absorbed. If the reflective layer is on a transparent backing, then most of the light which is not reflected is transmitted rather than absorbed. I'd try silvered glass, with an air gap behind it and then an ablative layer.

Comment Researchers who don't understand IQ criticise it. (Score 2) 530

I don't know what is worse. The fact that they don't understand intelligence testing or that they think that unless there is a center for it in the brain, then it doesn't exist.
Modern IQ tests consist of multiple sub tests - 15 for the WAIS IV. General intelligence "g" or a combines score is a weighted sum of the abilites in all these sub tests. A competent psychologist will look at the sub test scores for a richer interpretation, but that doesn't mean that the combined score is useless. General intelligence is based on the observation that people who are smart in one area tend to be smart in other areas (unfair though this may seem). Of course, this isn't always the case and sometimes people who are smart in one are are not smart in other areas. It is more accurate to think of modern IQ tests as a combined measure than as a single measure.
Think of it like CPUs. A combined benchmark like specmark or passmark can not fully characterise CPU performance, and sure, if I want a precise comparison, I need to define exactly what my load will be, yet you will be hard pressed to find a work load which a Pentium 3 performs better than an I7. So it IS useful to have aggregate measures of performance - so long as they are no over interpreted.
Some people don't like IQ tests because they see them as discriminating against socially disadvantaged groups, or racial groups. It is true that there is an issue of cultural bias in IQ tests, which people try an eliminate but can never do so completely. However, used properly, IQ tests can actually help people from disadvantaged backgrounds by identifying those with academic ability which may not be manifesting itself as academic performance for other reasons.

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