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Comment Side project... (Score 0) 351

I've never met a software developer, musician, or artist who didn't have a side project of some sort in addition to their "day job". Unless, of course, they didn't even have the day job. Those of us who accept the practical need to have a day job to pay the bills, but still feel unfulfilled, need the side project. Thats most of us creative people.

Not sure how this is a "millennial" thing.

Oh, I see. Millennials think everything is about them, that they're experiencing it for the first time, etc. That's the real story.

Meanwhile the rest of us are thinking WTF is wrong with kids these days? Get off my lawn, etc...


Robotic Exoskeletons May Become Skintight Suits ( 33

Slashdot reader Kassandra Perlongo shares an article about "soft robotics and exoskeletons" at the University of Salford, writing "those bulky, mechanical suits could eventually be a thing of the past." Children with a rare neurological disease were recently given the chance to walk for the first time thanks to a new robotic exoskeleton... But while today's exoskeletons are mostly clumsy, heavy devices, new technology could make them much easier and more natural to use by creating a robotic skin... [Soft robotic devices] are particularly well suited to interaction with humans as they are typically lightweight which means if they collide with a person they are unlikely to cause injury.

We recently developed a new "soft continuum actuator", a joint that bends like an elephant's trunk...if it encounters resistance in one part of its body it will still bend but at a different location elsewhere along its length. By equipping a skintight material suit with these actuators, we can create a soft exoskeleton that bends at the precise location of the wearer's joints. This means the suit will fit a range of users comfortably without needing mechanical adjustment or calibration. Plus, the system is lightweight and can be worn like clothing rather than a bulky mechanical frame.


YouTube To Roll Out 6-Second Ads That You Can't Skip ( 279

An anonymous reader writes: YouTube announced on Tuesday that it will be introducing an unskippable, 6-second bumper ads before certain videos. The video juggernaut says that these ads are largely aimed at mobile users. "We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads -- and we're excited to see what the creative community will do with them," YouTube's Zach Lupei wrote in a blog post. The Verge reports, "The company justifies the short ads (which cannot be skipped, unlike longer spots) by pointing to research showing that 50 percent of 18 to 49-year-olds turn to mobile as their first option for consuming video -- and keep in mind a ton of that is music."

More People On Earth Now Obese Than Underweight, Says Study ( 369

An anonymous reader writes: According to a new study published in the Lancet, obese people now outnumber the underweight population for perhaps the first time in global history. Majid Ezzati, an environmental health researcher at Imperial College London who led the study, analyzed data from 1975 to 2014 across 19.2 million adults from 186 countries. They found that over the 40-year-span, the proportion of obese men worldwide more than tripled, to roughly 11 percent, and the proportion of obese woman more than doubled, to about 15 percent. Researchers estimate 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women worldwide will be obese by 2025. What some may consider more surprising is that more than 25 percent of the world's severely obese men and almost 20 percent of the world's severely obese women are American. However, the rapid rise of obesity in developing nations is most concerning as it's more difficult for obese people to modify their diet and have access to medication.

Submission + - New PHP framework trumps all others (

greywire writes: This "new" PHP framework has risen to unheard of popularity. Available today on every server that currently runs PHP, its popularity dwarfs all other frameworks combined.

(submission for April Fools Day)

Comment Cloud 9, AWS/Bitnami (Score 1) 168

I've been dabbling with this myself lately, for multiple reasons.

I'm currently using Cloud9 and frankly I can't tell much difference performance or feature wise (but I don't extensively use all the bells and whistles in any IDE anyway).

Cloud9 is cool because while you can use their servers to really quickly bring up dev environments, you can also just as easily SSH into your own box (I'm using AWS with Bitnami distros) for flexibility and security. You get convenient access to the files in the IDE just like it was local, plus any number of shells. And you get unlimited access for $20 a month.

Also, bringing a new developer online is super easy, and it makes for easy live collaboration.

The only disadvantages are that you need a decent internet access all the time, which can be a problem if you are a road warrior, and for me when I'm doing mobile app development with ionic framework the live update feature doesn't work, as well as launching the mobile app on the device from the shell (since its not directly connected). But that's pretty minor.

Being able to get good performance out of a lower specced machine is also nice, because it means I can custom build something and still do the same dev...


Growing Flowers In Space ( 44

An anonymous reader writes: This weekend, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly posted a picture of the first flower to bloom in space. The International Space Station has been home to the Veggie plant growth facility for almost two years, and scientists have been working hard to figure out how to keep crops alive in microgravity. It's a challenge to keep plants properly heated and hydrated, and their current specimens been attacked by mold as well. "More crops for Veggie are heading to the orbiting laboratory aboard SpaceX-8. The Veg-03 run will include two sets of Chinese cabbage, and one set of red romaine lettuce. In 2018, there are plans to launch dwarf tomato seeds to the space station. Smith said the lessons learned from growing zinnia flowers will be critical in the process of growing tomatoes, a fellow flowering plant. Studies are also in progress to see how adjusting the lighting in the Veggie plant growth facility can affect plan mineral composition. There will be preflight testing to determine what 'light recipe' to use aboard the station."

Vivendi Takes Over Radionomy, Winamp Relaunch Now Possible ( 117

SmartAboutThings writes: Winamp could once again be brought back to life after Vivendi Group took over the majority stake in Radionomy, the previous owner of the app who purchased it from AOL in early 2014. AOL originally planned to discontinue both Winamp and Shoutcast, but instead the company decided to sell the software to Belgian online radio service, Radionomy. The new owners initially promised that they'll keep Winamp alive, but no updates have been released since the takeover, which made most people think that Winamp era has ended for good. Vivendi Group, which owns or is involved in famous companies such as Dailymotion, Ubisoft, and Deezer, could help relaunch Winamp, although the press release announcing the acquisition offers no suggestion in this regard. The company, however, does mention Winamp and Shoutcast as two of the most important assets that will join its portfolio following the takeover.

Comment Please make it stop... (Score 1) 227

This is a big problem, but one which I often get dirty looks from people when I complain about it. Because they think I should be grateful to have job offers..

I'm at the point where I just have to turn off my phone sometimes.

Once in a while I will answer just to explain to them, hey, you might want to check a map of the United States and see that this job is a thousand miles from my home. And not to sound racist, but, I swear, the moment I hear an accent of any kind, I know its BS and I hang up.

But even the valid jobs, in my area, for skills I actually have, are sometimes so excessive I cannot conduct normal business on the phone. I've had to literally delete my accounts on job boards after landing a job to slow them down.


Space Radiation May Alter Astronauts' Neurons 73

sciencehabit writes: NASA hopes to send the first round-trip, manned spaceflight to Mars by the 2030s. If the mission succeeds, astronauts could spend several years potentially being bombarded with cosmic rays—high-energy particles launched across space by supernovae and other galactic explosions. Now, a study in mice suggests these particles could alter the shape of neurons, impairing astronauts' memories and other cognitive abilities. In the prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with executive function, a range of high-level cognitive tasks such as reasoning, short-term memory, and problem-solving, neurons had 30% to 40% fewer branches, called dendrites, which receive electrical input from other cells.

Submission + - New PHP micro framework available on every PHP server (

greywire writes: PurePHP is a new micro framework for PHP that will be available on every LAMP stack server, everywhere, starting right now. PurePHP features the lowest overhead and fastest run time of any framework, ever. The learning curve is also easier than any other framework. In short, no other PHP framework can beat it in sheer efficiency and availability!

Comment Not the best article.. (Score 1) 323

but there are a few gems in it.

I kinda get what they are saying.

From own experience as parent with three kids:

child #1: no disciplinary method ever worked effectively, period (spanks, timeouts, taking objects or privileges away, etc). Currently this child has severe entitlement issues and feels nothing is her fault. She passes the psychopath test with flying colors. at 16, she's in psychiatric care after professing suicidal ideation and superficial attempts.

child #2. A thoughtful, empathetic and generous girl of 9 who sometimes floods emotionally and has big tantrums. She clearly has suffered from abuse from child #1. When she has tantrums, its like her neural pathways become scrambled and the only way to bring her back to rational behavior is with a quick spank, which seems to "reset" her system. After which she is rational, remorseful and loving again. Timeouts and take aways generally work.

child #3. a big hearted loving boy at 7 years old who is very physical and intense but also cerebral. Spanking does not work, simply sending him into an animal like rage as depicted in the article with hissing, biting, etc. The only way to snap him out of his tantrums is to get him to think about the puzzling nature of things at which point his higher level reasoning takes over from his reptilian brain.

All three children completely different. all of them super inteligent. all of them with ideas about how to fix things, inventing, or helping society.

Anecdotally alone, I would say spanking generally does not work as a discipline method, but can be helpful as a pysiological tool. Its all about teachable moments and above all repetition! Reinforce the neural pathways with the positive influence you want, over and over until it sticks.

For instance, the bedtime. You dont coddle them all night long but you dont just ignore the crying either... you just keep putting them back to bed. they know they arent abandoned, but at the same time they know (eventually) they arent going to "win". Its a lot more work. With a baby you make contact but then put him down. With an older child, you can rationalize a bit.

Comment DSNP.. (Score 1) 269

Very interesting but abandoned low level protocol for distributed social networking.

Uses encryption and trust relationships which can be granted/withdrawn. There was a document describing it, but I cant find it on the net anymore, but the sourcecode is on github. It just needs somebody to set up an easy to access front end.

Comment Re:Maybe it's learning style? (Score 5, Insightful) 786

If we're looking for a reason, I think this is the best one I've heard so far.

The thing about the media being the cause I think is wrong, that was just an effect.

The cause I think is spot on, that males are competitive and in general more solitary (damn that testosterone), and females are more apt to be concerned with social aspects. In the late 70's and 80s computers became much more accessible to those competitive loners (nerd stereotyping here).

Which is to say, its not that females can't do it, or that males are better at it (insert whatever you want for it), its just that they are quite possibly just not interested as much. Before the advent of Personal Computers, computing was mostly prevalent in an academic setting, which is more social..

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