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Submission + - Adblock-Blockers 'Ineffective', Adblocking Up 30% Globally In Two Years

An anonymous reader writes: A new survey reveals that the countermeasures taken by various publishers in response to the rise of adblocking cause nearly three-quarters of users to simply abandon the sites which block adblockers. The report, from pro-ad organisation Playfair, estimates that adblocking has risen by 30% in two years, and by 40% in Asia in 2016 alone. The report predicts that a growing trend towards pre-service agreements by providers and hardware manufacturers will cause adblocking usage to rise further, practically becoming a 'default' position, unless the ad industry responds practically to users' dislike of unpopular ad formats such as unskippable video and autoplaying audio ads.

Submission + - Milky Way Is Being Pushed Across The Universe (cnn.com)

dryriver writes: CNN reports: Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is being pushed across the universe by a large unseen force, according to new research. Although it may not seem like a friendly gesture, the newly discovered Dipole Repeller is actually helping our galaxy on its journey across the expanding universe. Researchers have known that the galaxy was moving at a relative speed for the past 30 years, but they didn't know why. "Now we find an emptiness in exactly the opposite direction, which provides a 'push' in the sense of a lack of pull," said Brent Tully, one of the study authors and an astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu. "In a tug-of-war, if there are more people at one end, then the flow will be toward them and away from the weaker side." But this is no aimless journey of motion. Researchers have long believed that our galaxy was attracted to an area rich with dozens of clusters of galaxies 750 million light-years away, called the Shapley Concentration or Shapley Attractor.

Submission + - GitLab.com Melts Down After Wrong Directory Deleted, Backups Fail (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Source-code hub Gitlab.com is in meltdown after experiencing data loss as a result of what it has suddenly discovered are ineffectual backups. On Tuesday evening, Pacific Time, the startup issued the sobering series of tweets, starting with "We are performing emergency database maintenance, GitLab.com will be taken offline" and ending with "We accidentally deleted production data and might have to restore from backup. Google Doc with live notes [link]." Behind the scenes, a tired sysadmin, working late at night in the Netherlands, had accidentally deleted a directory on the wrong server during a frustrating database replication process: he wiped a folder containing 300GB of live production data that was due to be replicated. Just 4.5GB remained by the time he canceled the rm -rf command. The last potentially viable backup was taken six hours beforehand. That Google Doc mentioned in the last tweet notes: "This incident affected the database (including issues and merge requests) but not the git repos (repositories and wikis)." So some solace there for users because not all is lost. But the document concludes with the following: "So in other words, out of 5 backup/replication techniques deployed none are working reliably or set up in the first place." At the time of writing, GitLab says it has no estimated restore time but is working to restore from a staging server that may be “without webhooks” but is “the only available snapshot.” That source is six hours old, so there will be some data loss.

Submission + - How Airbnb Stopped Playing Nice (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: For years, Airbnb was the friendly foil to Uber, aiming to work with cities rather than against them. But as it grew and regulatory challenges mounted, the startup had to grow fangs. In an excerpt from his latest book, Brad Stone details how Airbnb became every bit as controversial as Uber, writing that "Airbnb had said it wanted to talk candidly with cities, to play by the rules, to be a partner. But in the end, there emerged an unavoidable fact: Chesky was every bit the warrior Travis Kalanick was. He believed so much in the promise of his company that he was going to fight for every inch of territory."

Submission + - Secret Rules Make It Pretty Easy For the FBI To Spy On Journalists (theintercept.com)

schwit1 writes: Secret FBI rules allow agents to obtain journalists’ phone records with approval from two internal officials — far less oversight than under normal judicial procedures.

The classified rules dating from 2013, govern the FBI’s use of national security letters, which allow the bureau to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the news organization being targeted. They have previously been released only in heavily redacted form.

Submission + - Electronic lenses - better than progressive lenses or bifocals? 3

mmell writes: University of Utah scientists have created a prototype electronic lens which uses several technologies to customize the lens optics focusing on whatever the wearer is looking at.

Not unlike the "oil lenses" in Frank Herbert's Dune series of novels, the electronic lens (a transparent LCD) can have its index of refractivity modified by application of a small electric current. While I can conceive many uses for this technology (in spacecraft instruments, webcams/handicams, handheld binoculars and telescopes for example), these were developed as a replacement for the progressive lenses — a.k.a., bifocals — which are worn by many with less than perfect eyesight. Many eyeglass wearers don't tolerate bifocals well and I wonder if the adaptive optics in this prototype could relieve them of the need to carry multiple pairs of glasses?

Whether they prove cost effective for the role of eyeglasses or not (and I can see no reason why they shouldn't), the applications for this technology seem quite diverse and potentially even revolutionary. I wonder how long it will be before these are more than just a prototype?

Submission + - Oxygen From Earth's Atmosphere May Be Traveling To the Moon's Surface (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: New research shows that oxygen from Earth could be journeying all the way out to the Moon, where it then gets lodged inside the lunar soil. It’s a process that’s likely been happening for 2.4 billion years, ever since oxygen formed around our planet, meaning the Moon’s soil may contain trapped particles from Earth’s ancient atmosphere. This oxygen exchange, detailed in a study published today in Nature Astronomy, supposedly occurs for just a few days during the Moon’s 27-day orbit. Most of the time, the Moon is constantly being blasted with solar wind — fast streams of charged particles emanating from the Sun. But for five days of every lunar orbit, the Moon passes into Earth’s magnetotail, the portion of the planet’s magnetic field that stretches outward away from the Sun. This tail shields the Moon from the solar wind, and allows charged oxygen ions from Earth to travel to the lunar surface, according to the study. That means the Moon — a dead rock incapable of supporting life — is being showered with the byproducts of life here on Earth. In fact, the source of most of the oxygen in our atmosphere is biological, created by plants during photosynthesis. It’s a process that experts have suspected for a while but haven’t been able to confirm until today. Researchers have also suggested that other atmospheric components, such as nitrogen and noble gases, are getting to the Moon this way based on lunar soil samples.

Submission + - Scientists Find 'Oldest Human Ancestor' (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have discovered the earliest known ancestor of humans — along with a vast range of other species. They say that fossilized traces of the 540-million-year-old creature are "exquisitely well preserved." The microscopic sea animal is the earliest known step on the evolutionary path that led to fish and — eventually — to humans. Details of the discovery from central China appear in Nature journal. The research team says that Saccorhytus is the most primitive example of a category of animals called "deuterostomes" which are common ancestors of a broad range of species, including vertebrates (backboned animals). Saccorhytus was about a millimeter in size, and is thought to have lived between grains of sand on the sea bed. The researchers were unable to find any evidence that the animal had an anus, which suggests that it consumed food and excreted from the same orifice. The study was carried out by an international team of researchers, from the UK, China and Germany. Among them was Prof Simon Conway Morris, from the University of Cambridge. The study suggests that its body was symmetrical, which is a characteristic inherited by many of its evolutionary descendants, including humans. Saccorhytus was also covered with a thin, relatively flexible skin and muscles, leading the researchers to conclude that it moved by contracting its muscles and got around by wriggling. The researchers say that its most striking feature is its large mouth, relative to the rest of its body. They say that it probably ate by engulfing food particles, or even other creatures. Also interesting are the conical structures on its body. These, the scientists suggest, might have allowed the water that it swallowed to escape and so might have been a very early version of gills.

Submission + - Trump's Next Immigration Move to Hit Tech Workers (bloomberg.com)

AdamnSelene writes: A report in Bloomberg describes a draft executive order that will hit the tech industry hard and potentially change the way those companies recruit workers from abroad. The H-1B, L-1, E-2, and B1 work visa programs would be targeted by requiring companies to prioritize higher-paid immigrant workers over lower-paid workers. In addition, the order will impose statistical reporting requirements on tech companies who sponsor workers under these programs. The order is expected to impact STEM workers from India the most.

Comment Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 671

You have to wonder if the Russians one day will decide they get a better deal turning you over to the Americans what they get by protecting you

Historical trivia: The Russians have done that before. When Hitler came to power in Germany, hundreds of German leftists fled to Russia, assuming they would be safe in a communist country. The Russians turned 600 of them over to Hitler as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

You might as well blame Georgia (majority of the leadership at the time) or Ukraine (another of USSR republics, which also was the birth place of Russia) for that. It was Soviet Union at the time, not modern Russia. Yes, the capital was the same as now - Moscow, but the country and its actions were shaped by many other nationalities besides just Russians. For instance, capital of Russia used to be Kiev, which is the capital of Ukraine now, but we can hardly say that Russia and Ukraine are the same.

Comment Re:Again? (Score 4, Informative) 557

Cause it's large Tartar population...

Large compared to what? To population of Tatars in Boston or New York? They are a minority in Crimea.

... and 25% Ukrainian population wouldn't oppose...

Not all ethnic Ukrainians are pro-Ukraine.

...Heck, how many Russians oppose Putin in Russia...

Only the vocal minority in the bigger cities. Most of Russia, which is mostly rural, supports him. Those who like Putin, just go about their lives instead of wasting time campaigning against him.

... Just can get the guy unelected though.

Can't unelect a democratically elected president when most of the country actually likes him.

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