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Submission + - Jonathon Riddell, Others, Not Subtle In Attacks Against Ubuntu's New Approach (thepowerbase.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Amidst all the drama stemming for Ubuntu’s announcement of the the Mir display server, their new secretive approach, and the increasing commercialization of the product, the easy thing to do is point a finger. And where do you point it first? You might point it at Mark Shuttleworth. You might point it at Jono Bacon. You might simply recognize vocally that we’ve all been sheep in the grand scheme of this and are now off to slaughter.

This is increasingly obvious considering all of the targeted outpour of resistance towards Canonical’s new approach to Ubuntu by leaders in the community. It seems that people like Riddell and Martin Owens are starting to realize that they’ve been raising a barn for Ubuntu, and their work is just about done. Have Kubuntu, other Ubuntu derivatives, and community members simply been a means to an end? I’ve been feeling the rage in the community build since Martin Gräßlin made clear that Wayland FUD was more FUD than he could wade through, but since Miguel de Icaza came forward to announce he is abandoning Linux for Mac, Riddell has been full of Twitter-length one-liners that are not too far from reality. He writes:

Submission + - SPAM: Feminism: Destroying Society One Family At A Time

An anonymous reader writes: "Feminists will argue that feminism is not anti-housewife, that women are free to choose whatever they want. However, anyone who has studied the movement from its roots will know that many of the most influential women involved in the movement have been anti-homemaker. This view of the housewife as a woman “reduced to servitude” was repeated over and over again in the arguments of many of the feminists who are now worshiped as patron saints of the feminist movement.."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Gary McKinnon will face no further criminal action (guardiannews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian is reporting breaking news that Gary McKinnon will face no further criminal action -

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon will face no further criminal action, director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said today... more details soon.


Submission + - Solar Impulse announces flight across America for next year (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Flush with success from their 6,000-km (3,728-mile) Europe-to-Africa round-trip flight earlier this year, the duo behind the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft are now planning on flying it across America next spring. It will mark the first time that a solar-powered plane has traversed the country. Solar Impulse partners Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg made the official announcement this Tuesday, although the logistics of the flight have yet to be finalized. They have stated that the trip will be broken into 20-hour legs, starting at San Francisco and proceeding to New York City. As with their previous multi-leg flights, the two pilots will take turns flying the aircraft.

Submission + - The Scourge of Error Handling (drdobbs.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "Dobb's has an editorial on the problem of using return values and exceptions to handle errors. "But return values, even in the refined form found in Go, have a drawback that we've become so used to we tend to see past it: Code is cluttered with error-checking routines. Exceptions here provide greater readability: Within a single try block, I can see the various steps clearly, and skip over the various exception remedies in the catch statements. The error-handling clutter is in part moved to the end of the code thread.""

Submission + - DARPA drone has load placing arm (suasnews.com)

garymortimer writes: "The research team designed and developed a low-cost vision system to estimate the target’s position relative to the hovering vehicle in real time. This vision system enables the UAV to search and find the target for the emplacement autonomously and then perform the action.

DARPA’s precision emplacement technology demonstration paves the way for precise long-range delivery of small payloads into difficult-to-reach environments."

Open Source

Submission + - Ten Simple Rules for the Open Development of Scientific Software (ploscompbiol.org)

hessian writes: "Open-source software development has had significant impact, not only on society, but also on scientific research. Papers describing software published as open source are amongst the most widely cited publications (e.g., BLAST [1], [2] and Clustal-W [3]), suggesting many scientific studies may not have been possible without some kind of open software to collect observations, analyze data, or present results. It is surprising, therefore, that so few papers are accompanied by open software, given the benefits that this may bring.

Publication of the source code you write not only can increase your impact [4], but also is essential if others are to be able to reproduce your results. Reproducibility is a tenet of computational science [5], and critical for pipelines employed in data-driven biological research. Publishing the source for the software you created as well as input data and results allows others to better understand your methodology, and why it produces, or fails to produce, expected results. Public release might not always be possible, perhaps due to intellectual property policies at your or your collaborators' institutes; and it is important to make sure you know the regulations that apply to you. Open licensing models can be incredibly flexible and do not always prevent commercial software release [5]."


Submission + - Washington Post (& Warren Buffet-owned local newspapers) installing Paywalls (washingtonpost.com)

McGruber writes: The Washington Post reports (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/washington-post-reportedly-considering-adding-a-paywall-in-2013/2012/12/06/0630b2f4-3ff4-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html) that the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com) and local newspapers owned by Warren Buffet, are all planning to follow the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com) and install metered paywalls.

Submission + - Senate Bill Gives Federal Reserve Warrantless Access to Your Emails and Facebook (activistpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Bill, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, is supposed to make the internet more private, but instead has provided a wealth of organizations unfettered access to online communications. This grants warrantless access to government agency, including the ability to take over mail account without notifying owners or the judiciary. As a final affront, the Federal Reserve, which isn't even a government body with oversight, will have these powers

Submission + - Europe sets modest goals for space (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "Europe’s space chiefs are hailing the two-day meeting at which research ministers hammered out Europe’s priorities in space as a success, despite them getting less money than they had hoped. At the 20–21 November meeting in Naples, Italy, the ministers agreed to give the European Space Agency (ESA) €10.1 billion (US$13 billion) over the next several years, somewhat less than the total €12 billion cost of the project proposals considered at the meeting.
With flat funding of about €500 million per year for 2013–17, the scientific programme takes a cut in real terms, although it is not yet clear which missions will be affected as a result.
But ministers did agree on a way forward for the Ariane program. Germany argued that ESA should continue to develop an upgraded version of the rocket known as Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (5ME), which can carry payloads 20% heavier than its namesake and could put satellites in higher orbits. But France believed it was better to start building a new Ariane 6 rocket that would be cheaper to launch and therefore more competitive. In the end it was agreed that both projects should be developed over the next couple of years — with funding of about €600 million — and then both will be reviewed in 2014, with the goal that Ariane 5ME will launch in 2017 or 2018.
For robotic exploration, meanwhile, there is mixed news. On 19 November, ESA’s ruling council approved the involvement of Russia in the agency’s twin ExoMars missions to measure trace gases in Mars' atmosphere and search for signs of life on the planet's surface, scheduled for launch in 2016 and 2018. The Russian space agency Roscosmos will provide two Proton rockets for the lift-off and so plug some of the funding gap left when NASA pulled out of the mission last year. But just ahead of the Naples meeting, Germany announced that it would abandon plans for a lunar lander because it could not gather enough support from other member states to pay for the €500-million mission."


Submission + - Is it time for NoSQL 2.0? 1

rescrv writes: Key-value stores (like Cassandra, Redis and DynamoDB) have been replacing traditional databases in many demanding web applications (e.g. Twitter, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and others). But for the most part, the differences between existing NoSQL systems come down to the choice of well-studied implementation techniques; in particular, they all provide a similar API that achieves high performance and scalability by limiting applications to simple operations like GET and PUT. HyperDex, a new key-value store developed at Cornell, stands out in the NoSQL spectrum with its unique design. HyperDex employs a unique multi-dimensional hash function to enable efficient search operations — that is, objects may be retrieved without using the key under which they are stored. Other systems employ indexing techniques to enable search, or enumerate all objects in the system. In contrast, HyperDex's design enables applications to retrieve search results directly from servers in the system. The results are impressive. Preliminary benchmark results on the project website show that HyperDex provides significant performance improvements over Cassandra and MongoDB. With its unique design, and impressive performance, it seems fittng to ask: Is HyperDex the start of NoSQL 2.0?

Submission + - EU central court could validate software patents (guardian.co.uk)

protoshell writes: "Software patents in Europe could be validated with a central patent court", warns Richard Stallman in an article published in the Guardian. After the rejection of the software patent directive in 2005, large companies has shifted their lobbying towards the validation of software patents in Europe through a central patent court, which is foreseen with the Unitary Patent project. Even if the European Patent Convention literally excludes software from patents, the European Patent Office and the German courts interprets the exclusion narrowly, which makes software patents valid at the end.

Submission + - Artist Creates 'Bulletproof' Skin from Spider Silk (myfoxny.com)

The Grim Reefer2 writes: According to a report from Discovery News , Dutch artist Jalila Essadi and the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands have created a bulletproof skin using human skin cells and spider silk.

Essadi's creation hinges on the fact that spider silk thread is "relatively much stronger than steel," according to a news release posted on the artist's blog. Apparently, the bullet-proof skin is the end result of a process involving implanting woven spider silk between the layers of the dermis and epidermis, then letting "a bullet do its work" to test the theory.

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