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Comment defining techies as programmers? (Score 1) 537

I would have assumed that techies would include technical people of all stripes, and if so, then I think you can see that people working on clean energy technologies and biological technologies are generally making the world a better place, at least for humans. The people making it cheaper to get into space, like SpaceX could also be defined this way. If you are defining techies as programmers, then people here have posted examples of programs that are not trivial, and of course that's a minority. It seems like an unfair standard though, why aren't you complaining that most authors write books you don't consider important, or most movies are trivial rewrites and extensions of nonsense franchises? Not everything has to be altruistic and highbrow. There is enough to choose from.

Comment sorting? (Score 2) 140

Sorting may be interesting to you, but it's dry and rather abstract. If you are working in Java or python, graphics is available, and graphical projects are far more interesting to the average high school student. Animation of any kind (processing is ideal) 3d animation (spinning globe, 14 lines in processing) 2d board games (checkers). Note you are creating a board that only allows legal moves, not playing. Earth-moon-sun system (for those captivated by the spinning globe. You can do more mathematics if students like it. For example primes. Tying it to graphics, the prime number spiral:

Submission + - New heights of Republican Idiocy: Blame Mark-1 the Plumber (

hydrodog writes: A Texas plumber traded in his truck, which ends up in ISIS videos showing his logo and phone number. So he is getting hundreds of harrassing phone calls for "supporting ISIS" when what he did was give it to a dealer who didn't bother taking off his labels.

I would love to say this is out of character, but that wouldn't be true. I'm waiting for the Donald to declare him public enemy number 1.

Submission + - Intel Broadwell-E, Apollo Lake, and Kaby Lake Details Emerge In Leaked Roadmap

bigwophh writes: In Q4 2016, Intel will release a follow up to its Skylake processors named Kaby Lake, which will mark yet another 14nm release that's a bit odd, for a couple of reasons. The big one is the fact that this chip mayn not have appeared had Intel's schedule kept on track. Originally, Cannonlake was set to succeed Skylake, but Cannonlake will instead launch in 2017. That makes Kaby Lake neither a tick nor tock in Intel's release cadence. When released, Kaby Lake will add native USB 3.1 and HDCP 2.2 support. It's uncertain whether these chips will fit into current Z170-based motherboards, but considering the fact that there's also a brand-new chipset on the way, we're not too confident of it. However, the so-called Intel 200 series chipsets will be backwards-compatible with Skylake. It also appears that Intel will be releasing Apollo Lake as early as the late spring, which will replace Braswell, the lowest-powered chips Intel's lineup destined for smartphones.

Comment Re:What are you really asking? (Score 1) 92

I for one would like to see a historic timeline of absolute numbers for CPUs, memory, and mass storage. But that is not so easy to do. I have found little snippets here and there on Wikipedia, but not even a single master list of CPUs, let alone more hardware. There are master lists of CPU benchmarks but not spanning generations and radically different CPU sizes obviously. Here's DDR3 RAM: DDR4, not really there in Wikipedia, though there are some articles that talk around the subject: A discussion of the LINPACK benchmark: History of hard drives, plenty of data but not complete and not tabular: If you know where to get tables of the raw data without an enormous amount of work, I'd like to see it.

Comment desalination (Score 1) 203

Obviously all the middle east is not going to cool down any time soon, and needs a desalination solution, or the current wave of immigration will look like a trickle. Ignoring for the moment the population boom which will destroy everything if they don't control it, the technical solution is nuclear power. A nuclear plant does not contribute to global warming, and the waste heat, applied to water, desalinates a lot of water. It's a productive use of all the energy from the plant instead of just 45%. Unfortunately, no one wants Arab countries to have nuclear plants given the current political environment. The risk of terrorism, or proliferation is huge. I think the article neglects Iran, which should be higher on the list. They are using 90+% of their surface water and are imminently in danger of running out. The minister in charge was predicting that 70% of the country could have to evacuate in just a few years.

Comment Israel on the list? (Score 2) 203

Israel currently or will shortly desalinate 100% of its water needs and is actually refilling its aquifers. So I'm not sure what the basis of the claim is. However, the desalination is using natural gas, not solar, so it is not long-term sustainable. Not all the damage has been undone yet. The dead sea has been falling by 1 meter per year for the last 30+ years because all the water coming into it was used for irrigation by Israel and Jordan. While I believe they have arrested or perhaps stopped the drop, they have not yet refilled it. There has been an interesting proposal to develop hydroelectric power with a canal from the meditteranean, and an interesting twist proposed by professor Dan Zaslavsky to generate all power needed by Israel AND Palestine with a single downdraft tower. Here is an article on this interesting concept in Wikipedia: Zaslavsky's claim was that such a tower would reduce the amount of water going into the dead sea by 90% due to evaporation, therefore they could increase the flow into the dead sea by a factor of 10, generating 20GWatts of power. The concept has never been tested at scale so no one knows if it would work.

Submission + - How women can succeed in open source and change the world (

An anonymous reader writes: During this year's Red Hat Summit in Boston, Mass., FOSS advocate Stormy Peters spoke to the annual Womens' Leadership Luncheon on creating effective change in our projects so that we can all help save the world.

"I had a manager a long time ago who got really frustrated with me," she began. "He said, 'You can't save the world.' I said, 'Yes, I can.' We're all here to save the world. We're in this industry to make a difference."

"I've been in open source software for a long time now," she continued, "and there was a time I didn't think we'd fill up a room like this," explaining that when she went to her first open source conference in 2001 in Copenhagen, the woman working the registration table looked up at her and exclaimed, "You're a girl!" Ever since then, she's worked to talk to the other women at conferences, thinking of that woman who didn't have others like her at that event.

Depending on the source, the percentage of open source contributors who are women is somewhere between 3-9%. There's also a significant energy around the subject of women in the industry right now. "Now is our moment to take that number and make it bigger," Peters said.

She gave three reasons why it's important to do so.

Submission + - Data Breach: Ashley Madison Hacked (Canada's Avid Life Media) Your thoughts? (

An anonymous reader writes: The Impact Team has demanded Ashely Madison shut down it's website. They have released a sample of about 40MB of personal user data. They claim to have 37 million users data, personal records including secret sexual fantasies, financial information and addresses. Their demands are to have the sites completely shutdown.

This information could be of value to scammers and other hackers who can use it for blackmail and other nefarious purposes. I have my doubts this intrusion was for the ethical reason Ashley Madison promotes adultery? What are your thoughts?

We reach a lot of ethical issues with a hack of this nature. Do the cheaters deserve to have their lives exposed? Surely most people will question the morals of the websites existence itself, unless of course you are an avid user.

Submission + - Netragard Ends Exploit Acquisition Program After Hacking Team Breach

Trailrunner7 writes: Netragard, one of the small number of companies that buys and sells exploits, has shut down its exploit acquisition program in the wake of the HackingTeam breach.

Among the revelations in the cache of documents leaked after the attack on HackingTeam was information about Netragard selling an exploit to the Italian maker of intrusion and surveillance software. The HackingTeam documents also showed that the company sold its products to a variety of customers associated with oppressive regimes, including Egypt and Ethiopia. In the last, HackingTeam officials had denied that they dealt with such customers, but the leaked emails and other documents from the attack earlier this month showed otherwise.

Now, CEO Adriel Desautels said the company has decided to end its exploit acquisition program altogether due to the ethical and political issues it involves.

We’ve decided to terminate our Exploit Acquisition Program (again). Our motivation for termination revolves around ethics, politics, and our primary business focus. The HackingTeam breach proved that we could not sufficiently vet the ethics and intentions of new buyers. HackingTeam unbeknownst to us until after their breach was clearly selling their technology to questionable parties, including but not limited to parties known for human rights violations. While it is not a vendors responsibility to control what a buyer does with the acquired product, HackingTeam’s exposed customer list is unacceptable to us. The ethics of that are appalling and we want nothing to do with it,” he said in a blog post over the weekend.

Submission + - Google boasts that YouTube is now more popular than cable as viewership soars (

An anonymous reader writes: During Google’s recent earnings conference call, Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani said that YouTube is now bigger than any individual US cable network when it comes to attracting 18-49 year olds, advertising’s most sought after demographic.

Despite YouTube’s apparent inability to generate much of a profit, the popular video sharing site has seen user engagement metrics skyrocket in recent months. Speaking to this, Kordestani relayed that viewers are spending more time watching YouTube videos than ever before. Year over year, the amount of time users, on average, spend watching videos is up an impressive 60%. Underscoring this tremendous growth, Kordestani added that this is the fastest growth rate in viewing time YouTube has seen in over two years.

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