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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Should Commercial Software Prices Be Pegged To A Country's GDP?

dryriver writes: Commercial software — as opposed to free open source software — frequently creates the following dilemma: A software X that costs 2,000 Dollars may be perfectly affordable for someone in America, Germany, Switzerland or Japan. The price is "normal" and the software pays for itself after Y weeks or months of use. When the same software X is also sold for 2,000 Dollars in Egypt, Mali, Bangladesh or Sudan, the situation is the opposite — the price is "far too high" and the software will NOT pay for itself after Y weeks or months of use. So here is an interesting idea: Why don't software makers look at the average income level in a given country — per capita GDP for example — and adjust their software prices in these countries accordingly? Most Software makers in the U.S. and EU currently insist on charging the full U.S. or EU price in much poorer countries. "Rampant piracy" and "low sales" is often the result in these countries. Why not change this by charging lower software prices in less wealthy countries?

Submission + - Mozilla Releases The Internet Health Report, An Open-Source Document

Krystalo writes: Fresh off its brand redesign, Mozilla has released The Internet Health Report, an open-source initiative to document the state of the internet, combining research and reporting from multiple sources. The report, which will be improved and expanded throughout the year, covers five key topics: decentralization, digital inclusion, open innovation, privacy and security, and web literacy.

Submission + - Microsoft rolls out Clear Linux for Azure instances (networkworld.com)

JG0LD writes: Microsoft announced today that it has added support for the Intel-backed Clear Linux distribution in instances for its Azure public cloud platform. It’s the latest in a lengthy string of Linux distributions to become available on the company’s Azure cloud.

Submission + - Meet Kubo, the robot that teaches kids to code (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "Kubo comes with its own programming language called TagTile. The language consists of puzzle pieces that fit together to give Kubo instructions. For example, you could connect three pieces together – forward, turn, then another forward. Kubo then drives over these pieces oncer to “learn” the command, then can remember and perform it without needing the pieces.

Kubo reads the puzzle pieces using an RFID technology – each piece has an individual embedded RFID tag, and Kubo itself has a reader built in." — TechCrunch

Submission + - How the Human Brain Decides What Is Important and What's Not (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: A new study in Neuroscience News sheds light on how we learn to pay attention in order to make the most of our life experiences.

"The Wizard of Oz told Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in an effort to distract her, but a new Princeton University study sheds light on how people learn and make decisions in real-world situations.

The findings could eventually contribute to improved teaching and learning and the treatment of mental and addiction disorders in which people’s perspectives are dysfunctional or fractured."

Submission + - Obamacare repeal has gig economy worried (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement leaves some 18 million without health insuance in the first year alone, the Congressional Budget Office warned Tuesday. Millions more will lose insurance later on. The estimate includes independent, or gig, workers who use Fiverr's job marketplace. "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is incredibly important," said Brent Messenger, Fiverr's global head of community. A wholesale repeal of the ACA, or Obamacare, will not only "negatively impact our marketplace but the gig economy as a whole," he said. Republicans in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump are promising an Obamacare replacement, but so far they haven't delivered it. That is making people nervous, because some of the ACA's provisions — including coverage for pre-existing conditions — are very important, especially to older independent workers, Jane Langeman, an independent management consultant and president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), "Many of us are on our second-career as independent business owners and have a lot of life and pre-existing conditions under our belts," said Langeman. "The Affordable Care Act made it easier for business owners to even get health insurance, especially when faced with pre-existing health conditions," she said.

Submission + - SPAM: Kaggle Data Science Bowl Perfect Score Submission

karlnyberg writes: In the Data Science Bowl 2017 competition (with $1M in prize money available), Oleg Trott has shown that he can "game" the system and achieve a perfect score using only probes and test scores (not actual solutions to the problem at hand).

And he's good-humored about it, since this is only Stage 1 of the competition, meaning he's no closer to actually winning the $500K for first prize to be awarded at the end of Stage 2.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: IETF Stunning Announcement: Emergency Transition to IPv7 Is Necessary!

Lauren Weinstein writes: In answer to a question regarding the timing of this proposed transition, Seville noted that the IETF planned to follow the GOP’s healthcare leadership style. “We feel that IPv4 and IPv6 should be immediately repealed, and then we can come up with the IPv7 replacement later.” When asked if this might be disruptive to the communications of Internet users around the world, Mr. Seville chuckled “You’re catching on.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - 11 Predictions for the Future of Programming

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes a long-term view of today's trends in programming to give a sense of where programmers should place their career bets in the years ahead. 'Now that 2017 is here, it’s time to take stock of the technological changes ahead, if only to help you know where to place your bets in building programming skills for the future. From the increasing security headache of the internet of things to machine learning everywhere, the future of programming keeps getting harder to predict.' How do you see technologies impacting the work of programming in the years ahead?

Submission + - Abrupt product termination consequences for Google?

managerialslime writes: I wonder how many good Google products never get adopted because IT executives (like me) are now too anxious about application abandonment?

When I was the CIO at a mid-size company, I rejected adoption of Google Voice, Google Wave, and Google Hangouts after seeing them abandon Google Desktop Search.

I reasoned that if Google could not give multi-year sunsetting like Microsoft, then they were not a partner I could rely on.

At what point will Google's advantage due to the flexibility of abrupt terminations be outweighed by resistance to adopting their products?

Hmm....

Submission + - ChaCha crushes AES on mobile (speedify.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It's been just a couple years since D.J. Bernstein's Chacha20-poly1305 cipher, first arrived on the scene. ChaCha is an encryption cipher intended for fast mobile performance. The real world numbers are in, and they're much better than AES on mobile devices. In tests, Cloudflare is seeing 3x the performance, and Speedify is seeing 2x throughput. Is it time for good old AES to get out of the way?

Submission + - This is your aging brain on the Mediterranean diet (latimes.com)

schwit1 writes: In a group of 562 Scots in their 70s, those whose consumption patterns more closely followed the Mediterranean diet experienced, on average, half the brain shrinkage that was normal for the group as a whole over a three-year period.

To glean how diet might influence brain aging, researchers tapped into a large group of Scottish people who were all born in 1936 and had many measures of health status and lifestyle tracked from an early age.

Around the time they reached age 70, 843 members of the “Lothian Birth Cohort” filled out a dietary frequency form that gave researchers a broad look at what foods they ate, which they avoided, and how often they consumed them. At about age 73 and again around age 76, their brains were scanned to gauge the volume of the overall organ and a few of its key components.

The researchers used the food-frequency surveys to divide the group into two — those who at least approximated a Mediterranean-style diet and those who came nowhere close. Even though many in the Med-diet group were far from perfect in their adherence, the average brain-volume loss differed significantly between the two groups.

Submission + - A Coal-Fired Power Plant in India Is Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Baking Soda (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: In the southern Indian city of Tuticorin, locals are unlikely to suffer from a poorly risen cake. That’s because acoal-fired thermal power station in the area captures carbon dioxide and turns it into baking soda.

Carbon capture schemes are nothing new. Typically, they use a solvent, such as amine, to catch carbon dioxide and prevent it from escaping into the atmosphere. From there, the CO2 can either be stored away or used.

But the Guardian reports that a system installed in the Tuticorin plant uses a new proprietary solvent developed by the company Carbon Clean Solutions. The solvent is reportedly just slightly more efficient than those used conventionally, requiring a little less energy and smaller apparatus to run. The collected CO2 is used to create baking soda, and it claims that as much as 66,000 tons of the gas could be captured at the plant each year.

Its operators say that the marginal gain in efficiency is just enough to make it feasible to run the plant without a subsidy. In fact, it’s claimed to be the first example of an unsubsidized industrial plant capturing CO2 for use.

A “climate change” project that doesn’t involve taxpayer dollars? Is that even allowed?

Submission + - Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' Xfce Edition Beta available for download (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: Today, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' Xfce Edition reaches Beta status. As with other versions of Linux Mint 18.1, this version is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and offers support until 2021. The kernel version is 4.4 and the Xfce environment is updated to 4.12.

From a software perspective, there is a major shakeup regarding the included default music player. Banshee has been banished, with the superior Rhythmbox taking its place. While both players have their merits, the Linux Mint team points to bugs and a lack of Banshee development as a reason for the switch.

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