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Submission + - Robert Heinlein Honored as Famous Missourian with Bust in State Capital

HughPickens.com writes: The Joplin Globe reports that Missouri lawmakers have inducted science fiction writer Robert Heinlein to the Hall of Famous Missourians to a cheering crowd of fans who call themselves "Heinlein's children." State Rep. T.J. Berry says Heinlein encouraged others to "strive for the stars, for the moon" and "for what's next." Donors to the Heinlein Society and the Heinlein Prize Trust paid for a bronze bust of Heinlein, which will be displayed in the House Chamber at the Capitol where it will join 45 other Missourians honored with busts in the hall including Mark Twain, Dred Scott and Ginger Rogers, as well as more controversial Missourians such as Rush Limbaugh. In 2013 Missourians were asked to vote on who would go into the Hall. Heinlein received more than 10,000 votes. Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri on July 7, 1907 and grew up in Kansas City. "Our devotion to this man must seem odd to those outside of the science fiction field, with spaceships and ray guns and bug-eyed monsters," Heinlein Society President Keith Kato said. "But to Heinlein's children, the writing was only the beginning of doing."

Submission + - Brexit Could Spell Trouble for CETA, TTIP, and TPP (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: After the Brexit vote, many are fearing the unknown in the face of uncertainty. While a lot of the coverage surrounding the aftermath of Brexit has been generally negative, there could be a silver lining. Freezenet is pointing out that there are those that believe that CETA, TPP, and TTIP could be in jeopardy. These trade agreements contain provisions surrounding a three strikes law, government mandated surveillance at the ISP level, criminal liabilities for circumvention of a DRM, the unmasking of DNS owners, the seizure of cellphones at the border for the purposes of enforcing copyright laws, and, of course, the infamous ISDS provisions that would allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws that gets in the way of profit or future potential profit. A compelling case that Brexit may not be all bad news.

Submission + - ECMAScript 2016: New Version of JavaScript Language Released (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ecma International, the organization in charge of managing the ECMASCript standard, has published the most recent version of the JavaScript language. ECMAScript 2016 (ES7 or JavaScript 7th Edition in the old naming scheme) comes with very few new features. The most important is that JavaScript developers will finally get a "raise to the power" operator, which was mysteriously left out of the standard for twenty years. The operator is **. Along with the possibility of searching data much easier inside an array (Array.prototype.includes function) these are basically all the most important features of ECMAScript 2016.

From now on, expect smaller changelogs from the ECMAScript team, since this was the plan set out last year. Fewer breaking changes means more time to migrate code, instead of having to rewrite entire applications, as developers did when the mammoth ES6 release came out last year. Support for async functions, initially announced for ES2016, has been deferred to next year's release.

Submission + - China New Rocket Makes Successful Maiden Flight (arstechnica.com)

hackingbear writes: China's developing space program took another major step forward on Saturday with the launch of its Long March 7 rocket, a new class of booster capable of lifting up to 13.5 metric tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The primary payload of the flight was a dummy version of its next-generation crew capsule and some CubeSats. It marked the first launch from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, located on Hainan Island, the country's southernmost point, though they should build a launch site on one of its small islands in the South China Sea which is even closer to the equator. This allows better access to geostationary orbit for Chinese satellites. The Long March 7 also operates with kerosene and liquid oxygen fuels, rather than more environmentally dangerous hypergolic fuels used to power earlier launchers that were based on 1970s technology. Later this year, China will debut another new rocket, the Long March 5, capable of delivering 25 tons to LEO. The rocket's core stage is powered by two YF-100 engines, which China has been developing for more than a decade. The engine has a thrust of about 270,000 pounds at sea level, which is less than one of the space shuttle's main engines (418,000 lbf), but more than one of the Merlin 1D engines (190,000 lbf) used by SpaceX in its Falcon 9 rocket.

Submission + - Snap Packages Become the Universal Binary Format for All GNU/Linux Distributions 1

prisoninmate writes: Canonical informed us that they've been working for some time with developers from various major GNU/Linux distributions to make the Snap package format universal for all OSes. Snap is an innovation from Canonical created specifically for the Snappy technology used in Snappy Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu designed from the ground up to be deployed on various embedded and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Canonical launched the Snap packages for the desktop and server too. At the moment, we're being informed that the Snap package format is working natively on popular GNU/Linux operating systems like Arch Linux, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux, OpenWrt, as well as Ubuntu and its official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Lubuntu.

Submission + - Texas narrowly rejects allowing academics to fact-check public school textbooks (csmonitor.com)

jriding writes: AUSTIN, Texas â" Top Texas education officials rejected Wednesday letting university experts fact-check textbooks approved for use in public-school classrooms statewide, instead reaffirming a vetting system that has helped spark years of ideological battles over how potentially thorny lessons in history and science are taught.

Submission + - Morocco Plans Solar Power Mega-Project (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Morocco, located along the north African coast, is in prime position to take advantage of solar technology, and they've committed to one of the biggest such projects in the world. The city of Ouarzazate will host "a complex of four linked solar mega-plants that, alongside hydro and wind, will help provide nearly half of Morocco’s electricity from renewables by 2020." It will be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world. "The mirror technology it uses is less widespread and more expensive than the photovoltaic panels that are now familiar on roofs the world over, but it will have the advantage of being able to continue producing power even after the sun goes down." The first phase of the project, called Noor 1, comprises 500,000 solar mirrors that track the sun throughout the day, with a maximum capacity of 160MW. When the full project finishes, it will be able to generate up to 580MW. "Each parabolic mirror is 12 metres high and focussed on a steel pipeline carrying a 'heat transfer solution' (HTF) that is warmed to 393C as it snakes along the trough before coiling into a heat engine. There, it is mixed with water to create steam that turns energy-generating turbines."

Submission + - NASA Picks Winners for 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Design Contest (space.com)

schwit1 writes: NASA has picked the three winners in a design contest for 3D-printed habitats that could help future astronauts live on Mars.

The $25,000 first prize in NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge Design Competition went to Team Space Exploration Architecture and Clouds Architecture Office for the "Mars Ice House" design, which looks like a translucent, smooth-edged pyramid.

The design contest is the first milestone in NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, an effort to encourage the development of technologies that could enable dwellings to be built using 3D printers and locally available resources on Mars and other locales away from Earth.

Submission + - Dell Brings 4K InfinityEdge Display To XPS 15 Line, GeForce GPU, Under 4 Pounds (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: There's no doubt that Dell's new XPS 13 notebook when it debuted earlier this year, was very well received. Dell managed to cram a 13.3-inch 3200x1800 QHD+ display into a 12-inch carbon fiber composite frame. Dell has now brought that same InfinityEdge display technology to its larger XPS 15, which the company boasts has the same footprint as a 14-inch notebook. But Dell didn't just stay the course with the QHD+ resolution from the smaller XPS 13; the company instead is offering an optional UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD panel with 8 million pixels and 282 pixels per inch (PPI). The 350-nit display allows for 170-degree viewing angles and has 100 percent minimum Adobe RGB color. Dell also beefed up the XPS 15's internals, giving it sixth generation Intel Core processors (Skylake), support for up to 16GB of memory and storage options that top out with a 1TB SSD. Graphics duties are handled by either integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 or a powerful GeForce GTX 960M processor that is paired with 2GB GDDR5 memory. And all of this squeaks in at under 4 pounds.

Submission + - 22 Years Later an Update Arrives! (callapple.org)

An anonymous reader writes: After 22 year, the Apple IIGS finally gets an update to its operating system GS/OS. Apparently, leaked source code allowed the community to give a beloved retro machine a badly needed upgrade. Who needs Windows 10? We got GS/OS 6.0.2. Long live the Apple IIGS!

Submission + - 'Lax' Crossdomain Policy Puts Yahoo Mail At Risk (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: A researcher disclosed a problem with a loose cross-domain policy for Flash requests on Yahoo Mail that put email message content, contact information and much more at risk. The researcher said the weakness is relatively simple to exploit and puts users at high risk for data loss, identity theft, and more.

Yahoo has patched one issue related to a specific .swf file hosted on Yahoo’s content delivery network that contained a vulnerability that could give an attacker complete control over Yahoo Mail accounts cross origin. While the patch fixed this specific issue, the larger overall configuration issue remains, meaning that other vulnerable .swf files hosted outside the Yahoo CDN and on another Yahoo subdomain could be manipulated the same way.

Submission + - Congress grants US authorities unlimited access to every person's communications (infowars.com) 1

schwit1 writes: The legislation was passed yesterday 325-100 via a voice vote, a green light for what Congressman Justin Amash describes as “one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative”.

The bill allows the private communications of Americans to be scooped up without a court order and then transferred to law enforcement for criminal investigations.

The legislation effectively codifies and legalizes mass warrantless NSA surveillance on the American people, with barely a whimper of debate.

Submission + - U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: The 2008 recession hammered the U.S. auto industry, driving down sales of 2009 models to levels 35% lower than those before the economic slump. A new study has found that because sales of new vehicles slowed, the average age of the U.S. fleet climbed more than expected, increasing the rate of air pollutants released by the fleet.

In 2013, the researchers studied the emissions of more than 68,000 vehicles on the roads in three cities—Los Angeles, Denver, and Tulsa. They calculated the amount of pollution released per kilogram of fuel burned for the 2013 fleet and compared the rates to those that would have occurred if the 2013 fleet had the same age distribution as the prerecession fleet. For the three cities, carbon monoxide emissions were greater by 17 to 29%, hydrocarbons by 9 to 14%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 27 to 30%, and ammonia by 7 to 16%.

Linux

Submission + - kernel.org compromized (kernel.org) 2

JoeF writes: There is a note posted on the main kernel.org page, that kernel.org has been compromised earlier this month:
"Earlier this month, a number of servers in the kernel.org infrastructure were compromised. We discovered this August 28th. While we currently believe that the source code repositories were unaffected, we are in the process of verifying this and taking steps to enhance security across the kernel.org infrastructure."

The note goes on to say that it is unlikely to have affected the source code repositories, due to the nature of git.

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