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Submission + - As 'open' becomes popular, do we risk losing its full power?

An anonymous reader writes: Open source thinking is becoming more popular.

But as the focus on "open" intensifies, its meaning might change—even broaden. Today, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst published "Appreciating the Full Power of Open," a statement about the "necessary and sufficient" conditions for openness. "Open is more than a simple synonym for sharing, collaboration, and transparency," he writes. "Open encompasses the power of all three forces working together in tandem."

Submission + - UNC scientists open source their genomic research (

ectoman writes: The human genome specifies more than 500 "kinases," enzymes that spur protein synthesis. Four hundred of them are still mysteries to us, even though knowledge about them could spark serious medical innovations. But scientists at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have initiated an open source effort to map them all—research they think could pioneer a new generation of drug discovery. As members of the Structural Genomics Consortium, the chemical biologists are spearheading a worldwide community project. "We need a community to build a map of what kinases do in biology," one said. "It has to be a community-generated map to get the richness and detail we need to be able to move some of these kinases into drug facilities. But we're just doing the source code. Until someone puts the source code out there and makes it available to everybody, people won't have anything to modify."

Submission + - Tech Nightmares That Keep Turing Award Winners Up At Night

itwbennett writes: At the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany this week, RSA encryption algorithm co-inventor Leonard Adelman, 'Father of the Internet' Vint Cerf, and cryptography innovator Manuel Blum were asked 'What about the tech world today keeps you up at night?' And apparently they're not getting a whole lot of sleep these days. Cerf is predicting a digital dark age arising from our dependence on software and our lack of 'a regime that will allow us to preserve both the content and the software needed to render it over a very long time.' Adelman worries about the evolution of computers into 'their own species' — and our relation to them. Blum's worries, by contrast, lean more towards the slow pace at which computers are taking over: '"The fact that we have brains hasn't made the world any safer,' he said. 'Will it be safer with computers? I don't know, but I tend to see it as hopeful.'

Submission + - 5 open source alternatives to Trello (

An anonymous reader writes: If you like keeping lists as a way to organize your work, Trello is a great tool. But Trello is a closed source SaaS product, and's Jason Baker wanted to know whether he could find an open source alternative to meet his needs.

In this article, he takes a look at open source kanban tools Taiga, Kanboard, Libreboard, Restyaboard, and Taskboard.

Submission + - Torvalds 2.0: Patricia Torvalds on computing, college, feminism, and increasing (

An anonymous reader writes: Patricia Torvalds isn't the Torvalds name that pops up in Linux and open source circles. Yet.

At 18, Patricia is a feminist with a growing list of tech achievements, open source industry experience, and her sights set on diving into her freshman year of college at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. She works for Puppet Labs in Portland, Oregon, as an intern, but soon she'll head to Durham, North Carolina, to start the fall semester of college.

In this exclusive interview, Patricia explains what got her interested in computer science and engineering (spoiler alert: it wasn't her father), what her high school did "right" with teaching tech, the important role feminism plays in her life, and her thoughts on the lack of diversity in technology.

Submission + - What The GNOME Desktop Gets Right & KDE Gets Wrong (

An anonymous reader writes: An intern at Phoronix has provided a fresh perspective on the KDE vs. GNOME desktop debate after exclusively using GNOME for the past week while being a longtime KDE user. He concluded his five-page editorial-which did raise some valid points throughout-with, "Gnome feels like a product. It feels like a singular experience. When you use it, it feels like it is complete and that everything you need is at your fingertips. It feel's like THE Linux desktop...In KDE it's just some random-looking window popup that any application could have created...KDE doesn't feel like cohesive experience. KDE doesn't feel like it has a direction its moving in, it doesn't feel like a full experience. KDE feels like its a bunch of pieces that are moving in a bunch of different directions, that just happen to have a shared toolkit beneath them." However, with the week up and against his criticism, he's back to using KDE.

Submission + - Got Linux skills? Take on the command-line challenge

An anonymous reader writes: is hosting The Great Command-Line Challenge, a contest that puts terminal die-hards to the test. In his ode to the elegant simplicity of piping, IT industry veteran David Both issues the following puzzle: Construct a command that crunches a 50,000-line file full of network traffic reports and returns the number of emails from each IP address that has attempted to access one of Both's hosts. The command cannot be longer than a single line and, of course, must incorporate pipes. will award prizes for the first correct answer, the shortest correct answer, and the most creative answer. What do you think? Can it be done? Or will it forever remain a pipe dream?

Submission + - The Cure Culture: Our Obsession With Cures That Are 'Just Around the Corner' (

citadrianne writes: There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. There is no cure for cancer. There is no cure for diabetes. There is no cure for HIV. There is no cure for Tay-sachs or Huntington's disease or ALS.

"The idea of a cure is simpler, it's more appealing as a fantasy."

And yet, scientists, the media, and the foundations that fund research consistently promise patients and their families that cures for very serious, lifelong diseases are imminent, or at least "around the corner." For cystic fibrosis, that cure has been pitched as being gene therapy, in which a faulty gene is replaced with a functioning one.

Why are we telling our children, our friends, and our family members that we are going to cure them? What is a cure? What does it mean to be cured of a disease that is encoded within your DNA from the moment you become a zygote until the moment you are dead? What does it mean to be cured of a disease that has already, soon after you're born or diagnosed, wreaked havoc on your body? And why are we eschewing or overlooking treatments—real, honest-to-god treatments—that can let patients lead longer, more normal lives?

Submission + - Automakers Unwilling To Share Driver Data (Yet) (

An anonymous reader writes: With Apple and Google both vying for a place in your car's dashboard, you might start worrying to what extent the data you generate while driving might be analyzed or shared with advertisers. The good news is that car manufacturers are not keen to give this data away — some has specifically said they won't let Google or Apple get their hands on it. The bad news is that they feel this way because they see your data as a new source of profit — they're just deciding how best to harvest it. One executive at Ford said, "We need to control access to that data. We need to protect our ability to create value." According to the article, "Auto companies hope to profit from in-vehicle data in a variety of ways, including the provision of travel planning services and auto repair and service information they hope will bring drivers to dealerships. They also expect to work with insurance companies, providing information that would allow insurers to base their rates on a driver’s behavior behind the wheel."

Submission + - NYC Asks Google Maps For Fewer Left Turns (

An anonymous reader writes: Members of the New York City Council have sent a letter to Google asking that its Maps navigation system provide users an option to "reduce left turns." Pedestrian safety is the issue they're trying to improve. In the U.S., a quarter of all accidents involving pedestrians happen while a vehicle is making a left turn. "The first cause of death for New York City children under 13 is not gangs, it’s not poverty, not violence. It's being hit by cars and trucks. This is the time for the city to reach out to the private sector, so they can help us to provide information to drivers about where you should avoid making left turns." The council members are also asking for an option that would let truckers stay on known truck routes, hoping that would prevent the problems that arise when big-rigs wander onto streets not large enough to safely handle them.

Submission + - NASA's New Horizons focuses on Pluto's largest moon Charon (

MarkWhittington writes: New Horizons has already discovered much of what was previously unknown about Pluto, the dwarf planet that is the former ninth planet from the sun. NASA reported that the space probe has also uncovered some of the secrets of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. It has found indications of impact craters on the moon’s gray surface as well as a chasm that seems to be bigger than the Grand Canyon on Earth. Charon has a diameter of just 1440 miles. Bu contrast, Earth has a diameter of 7918 miles.

Submission + - ELIoT, distributed programming for the Internet of Things

descubes writes: ELIoT (Extensible Language for the Internet of Things) is a new programming language designed to facilitate distributed programming. A code sample with less than 20 lines of code looks like a single program, but really runs on three different computers to collect temperature measurements and report when they differ. ELIoT transforms a simple sensor API into a rich, remotely-programmable API, giving your application the opportunity to optimize energy usage and minimize network traffic.

Using less resources than Bash, and capable of serving hundred of clients easily on a Raspberry Pi, ELIoT transparently sends program fragments around, but also the data they need to function, e.g. variable values or function definitions. This is possible because, like in Lisp, programs are data. ELIoT has no keywords, and program constructs such as loops or if-then-else are defined in the library rather than in the language. This makes the language very flexible and extensible, so that you can adapt it to the needs of your application.

The project is still very young (published last week), and is looking for talented developers interested in distributed programming, programming languages or language design.

Submission + - First Java 0-Day In Two Years Exploited By Pawn Storm Hackers

An anonymous reader writes: Another zero-day vulnerability is being exploited in attacks spotted in the wild: this time, the targeted software is Java. The flaw was spotted by Trend Micro researchers, who are closely monitoring a targeted attack campaign mounted by the economic and political cyber-espionage operation Pawn Storm. The existence of the flaw was discovered by finding suspicious URLs that hosted the exploit. The exploit allows attackers to execute arbitrary code on target systems with default Java settings.

Submission + - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hunting insider trading hackers (

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are actively investigating the FIN4 financial hacking group identified by FireEye last December [], according to a Reuters exclusive []. In an unprecedented extension of its usual practice, the SEC is soliciting information about security breaches from private companies, which are not obliged to reveal them unless the breach enters into categories covered by federal law. Former SEC Head of Internet Enforcement John Reed Stark describes the proactive stance of the organisation as an ‘absolute first’.

Submission + - Barclays to introduce Bitcoin technology in UK finance (

An anonymous reader writes: British banking group Barclays is set to become one of the first multinational finance bodies to introduce bitcoin technology. The bank has reportedly signed a deal with Safello – a Swedish startup incubated in the Barclay’s fintech accelerator program in London. Safello is an online Bitcoin exchange platform, which allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin using traditional currency. The Stockholm-based company already counts over 20,000 registered users in Europe. The deal will involve a close working relationship creating “proof of concepts”, testing traditional banking methods in blockchain to prove their efficacy. The blockchain trials will be among the world’s first in a financial services environment. Many industry experts believe that blockchain holds the potential to significantly advance financial transactions, as it presents a faster and more cost-efficient alternative to legacy systems currently used for banking.

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