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Earth Hit Record Hot Year in 2016: NASA (news.com.au) 266

Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, government scientists have said. They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. From a report: Measuring global temperatures in slightly different ways, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. NOAA calculated that the average 2016 global temperature was 14.84 degrees Celsius (58.69 degrees Fahrenheit) -- beating the previous year by 0.04 Celsius (0.07 degrees F). NASA's figures, which include more of the Arctic, are higher at 0.22 degrees (0.12 Celsius) warmer than 2015. The Arctic "was enormously warm, like totally off the charts compared to everything else," said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York, where the space agency monitors global temperatures. Records go back to 1880. This is the fifth time in a dozen years that the globe has set a new annual heat record. Records have been set in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010 and 2005.

Windows 10 Upgrade Bug Disabled Cntrl-C In Bash (infoworld.com) 277

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: A massive set of changes to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) was rolled into Windows Insider build 15002... If this is any hint, Microsoft's goal is nothing short of making it a credible alternative to other Linux distributions... Some of the fixes also implement functionality that wasn't available before to Linux apps in WSL, such as support for kernel memory overcommit and previously omitted network stack options. Other changes enhance integration between WSL and the rest of Windows...

[O]ne major issue in build 15002 is that Ctrl-C in a Bash session no longer works. Microsoft provided an uncommon level of detail for how this bug crept in, saying it had to do with synchronization between the Windows and Bash development teams. The next Insider build should have a fix. But for people doing serious work with Linux command-line apps, not having Ctrl-C is a little like driving a car when only the front brakes work.


2016 Was Second Hottest Year For US In More Than 120 Years of Record Keeping (climatecentral.org) 436

Last year was the second hottest year for the United States in more than 120 years of record keeping, according to the National Climatic Data Center, marking 20 above-average years in a row. While Georgia and Alaska recorded their hottest year, every state had a temperature ranking at least in the top seven. Climate Central reports: The announcement comes a week before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released the U.S. data, and NASA are expected to announce that 2016 set the record for the hottest year globally. Both the global record and the U.S. near-record are largely attributable to greenhouse gas-driven warming of the planet. In addition to the pervasive warmth over the last year, the U.S. also had to deal with 15 weather and climate disasters that each caused more than $1 billion in damage. Together, they totaled more than $46 billion in losses and included several disastrous rain-driven flooding events. These events, along with continued drought, lay bare the challenge for the country to learn how to cope with and prepare for a changing climate, said Deke Arndt, the climate monitoring chief of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. The temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average for 2016, displacing 2015 and ranking only behind 2012, when searing heat waves hit the middle of the country. More notable than the back-to-back second place years, Arndt said, was that 2016 was the 20th consecutive warmer-than-normal year for the U.S. and that the five hottest years for the country have all happened since 1998. Those streaks mirror global trends, with 15 of the 16 hottest years on record occurring in the 21st century and no record cold year globally since 1911.
Wireless Networking

LG Threatens To Put Wi-Fi in Every Appliance it Introduces in 2017 (arstechnica.com) 376

An anonymous reader shares a report: During the company's CES press conference today, LG marketing VP David VanderWaal says that "starting this year" all of LG's home appliances will feature "advanced Wi-Fi connectivity." One of the flagship appliances that will make good on this promise is the Smart Instaview Refrigerator, a webOS-powered Internet-connected fridge that among other things supports integration with Amazon's Alexa service.
United States

US Government Offers $25,000 Prize For Inventing A Way To Secure IoT Devices (ftc.gov) 196

An anonymous reader writes: America's Federal Trade Commission has announced a $25,000 prize for whoever creates the best tool for securing consumers' IoT devices. The so-called "IoT Home Inspector Challenge" asks participants to create something that will work on current, already-on-the-market IoT devices, with extra points also awarded for scalability ad easy of use.

"Contestants have the option of adding features, such as those that would address hard-coded, factory default, or easy-to-guess passwords," according to the official site, but "The tool would, at a minimum, help protect consumers from security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software." The winning submission can't be just a policy (or legal) solution, and will be judged by a panel which includes two computer science professors and a vulnerability researcher from Carnegie Mellon University's CERT Coordination Center.

Computerworld points out that "This isn't the first time the FTC has offered cash for software tools. In 2015, it awarded $10,500 to developers of an app that could block robocalls."

Apple's Share of PC Users Drops To A Five-Year Low (infoworld.com) 228

Windows 10 is installed on 24.5% of devices -- but that's only half the story. "Apple's Mac share of personal computers worldwide fell to a five-year low in December," reports Computerworld, adding that Linux and Windows "both benefited, with increases of around a half percentage point during 2016." An anonymous reader quotes their report: According to web analytics vendor Net Applications, Apple's desktop and notebook operating system -- formerly OS X, now macOS -- powered just 6.1% of all personal computers last month, down from 7% a year ago and a peak of 9.6% as recently as April 2016... The Mac's 6.1% user share in December was the lowest mark recorded by Net Applications since August 2011, more than five years ago... In October, the company reported sales of 4.9 million Macs for the September quarter, a 14% year-over-year decline and the fourth straight quarterly downturn. Apple's sales slide during the past 12 months has been steeper than for the personal computer industry as a whole, according to industry researchers from IDC and Gartner, a 180-degree shift from the prior 30 or so quarters, when the Mac's growth rate repeatedly beat the business average.
Apple's success through 2016 was "fueled by Microsoft's stumbles with Windows 8 and a race-to-the-bottom mentality among rival OEMs," according to the article, which also notes that the user share for Linux exceeded 2% in June, and reached 2.3% by November.

Comment What an idiot (Score 4, Insightful) 80

There is no doubt that this is both unethical and illegal in most jurisdictions.

It also won't work. Regular computer users are not knowledgeable. Even experienced users, even people with college degrees in computer security will err. People will mistake the dialogue box for an ad, people will think that it will go away with a reboot, etc. That users err is a natural law, the first thing they teach you in User Interfaces 101.

It won't be fool-proof. Even perfect software has bugs. The Internet has outages. People don't always unfiltered Internet access: people travel with their computers, people use their company's computers behind high corporate firewalls etc.

It will be dangerous. People will get their files deleted, and then they will get angry.
Even if the author's actions may be legal within the jurisdiction in which he lives (which is doubtful)... he will have made himself a target.
Delete the files of the wrong person, and he might end up with a busted skull with his blood on the pavement.

Comment The title is wrong. 4K != UHD (Score 4, Informative) 304

Theatrical 4K is not the same as Ultra-HD, often marketed as "4K UHD". Seriously, don't muddle these up! The linked article did not, it even had "Theatrical 4K" explicitly, being a link to an explanation of the differences.

The cinema standard 4K is 4096*2160, not quite 16:9 aspect ratio. However, movies can be of any aspect ratio that would fill either the width or the height. With Star Wars being in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, that becomes 4096*1743. Pixels are square and there is no overscan.

Ultra-HD, the TV and BluRay standard is 3840*2160 pixels. Some HDTV's do have overscan, not showing the entire picture, by the way.

Cinema 4K also uses the DCI-P3 colour space and theatrical projectors are capable of the entire range of this colour space.
Regular Ultra-HD is not that good. Ultra-HD with HDR uses a larger colour space than DCI-P3 but mainstream LCD panels at the moment are not capable of displaying that properly even if they can handle the input signal.

Comment Re: Twitter isn't helping (Score 2) 207

There has been great diversity among typewriters layouts. They have not been standardized as much as computer keyboard layouts and characters sets have. Different typewriter brands did not need to be interoperable.

Some brands of typewriters got different keys between I/1 and O/0 back in the early 1900's. Other brands did not separate the keys even in the 1980's.

Among computers and teletypes, the single biggest influence might have been the ASCII character set - which had only one type of quote character.
The order of characters in ASCII was designed to mimic one convention for typewriter and teletype keyboards for US-English, so that you would have to change only a single bit to get a shifted variation of a character. Then IBM changed their keyboard layout a little bit on their teletypes and typewriters, and that layout led to the US-ANSI standard which was picked up by other brands.
ASCII's order of shifted keys on the numeric still remains in most European computer keyboard layouts.

Comment Re:Surface Pro? (Score 1) 230

IMHO, Windows 10 does not do touchscreen and stylus very well, except for very basic tasks.
Many of the built-in apps have only very rudimentary support (through the widgets they use), but the fundamental issue remains: older apps were not designed for touch and stylus in the first place.

Comment Re:New title for this (Score 1) 309

There is actually a touch-screen gesture that should be equivalent to a single press on the Page Down key: a short flick of the finger. Android actually does this wrong as it scrolls different distances depending on subtle variations of your finger speed.
There are also tablets whose primary function is an e-reader where there also physical buttons specifically for moving to the next/previous page.

Comment Re:I hate space bar scroll instead of pause/play (Score 1) 309

I find it worse when I have been browsing through comments below a video, I press Home to get to the top of the page and the video goes back to its friggin start position.
I then have to click around on the timeline to find the position where I was playing the video.
There was no visual indication on the web page whether it was the browser window or the video player that had focus - and the video is often outside the viewport, so why should it be able to have focus anyway?

Comment Re:Also, arrow keys that don't move the page (Score 1) 309

I usually have a 1920 wide screen divided equally into two browser windows. That allows me to organize my tabs into multiple windows by task or web site instead of having them all run into each other.

With that layout, most web sites do fit inside each window. However, there has unfortunately been a convention to design web sites for 1024 pixels width... which is slightly above 1920/2. That means that on some sites, I would have to scroll just a little bit left or right to make certain elements visible.

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