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Submission + - IBM & Watson booted by MD Anderson cancer research center (forbes.com)

Life2Short writes: According to Fortune Magazine IBM's Watson has not impressed folks at the University of Texas' cancer research center. Apparently IBM does not meet the expectations of MD Anderson. FTFA: "And a scathing report from auditors at the University of Texas says the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million and yet did not meet its goals."

Submission + - GM Plans To Build, Test Thousands of Self-Driving Bolts In 2018 (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week. It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its ride-sharing fleet in several states, one of the sources said. GM has no immediate plans to sell the Bolt AV to individual customers, according to the source. In a statement on Friday, GM said: "We do not provide specific details on potential future products or technology rollout plans. We have said that our AV technology will appear in an on-demand ride sharing network application sooner than you might think."

Submission + - Wikipedia Comments Destroyed by a Few Highly Toxic Users (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A joint study carried out by researchers from Alphabet's Jigsaw and the Wikimedia Foundation has analyzed all user comments left on Wikipedia in 2015 in order to identify how and why users launch in personal attacks, one of the many faces of online abuse. A closer look at the data revealed that 34 "highly toxic users" were responsible for almost 9% of all personal attacks on the site.

"By comparing these figures, we see that almost 80% of attacks come from the over 9000 users who have made fewer than 5 attacking comments," the research team noted, something that's somewhat normal, as everybody tends to get mad at one point or another. "However, the 34 users with a toxicity level of more than 20 are responsible for almost 9% of attacks. Thus, while the majority of Wikipedia’s attacks are diffused infrequent attackers, significant progress could be made by moderating a relatively small number of frequent attackers," researchers concluded.

Submission + - The Munich Linux Project is to be cancelled and rolled back

Qbertino writes: Apparently , as German IT News Website Heise.de reports, LiMux, the prestigious FOSS project of replacing the entire cities administration IT with FOSS based systems is about to be cancelled and decommissioned.

A paper set up by a board of city officials wants to reorganise the cities IT to "commonly used software" and a base client of the cities software running on MS Windows that integrates well with the cities ERP system based on SAP. The best possible integration of office software products with SAP is the goal, which looks like LibreOffice will be ruled out. The OS independence of the system is stated as a goal, but is seen by the article as more of a token gesture than a true strategy. The costs of remigration back to non-FOSS systems aren't mentioned.

Currently roughly 15 000 Systems in Munich are running on FOSS, 5000 on Windows. The city concil will make the final decision on this next week. Oppositional parties like the Greens and the Pirates call the move a huge leap backwards to the Quasi-Monopoly of Microsoft Windows and a waste of resources.

Submission + - SPAM: Twenty Years of MAME 1

AmiMoJo writes: Way back in 1997, Nicola Salmoria merged a few stand-alone arcade machine emulators into the first Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Could he have possibly imagined the significance of what he’d built? Over the past two decades, MAME has brought together over a thousand contributors to build a system that emulates more machines than any other program. But MAME is more than that: MAME represents the idea that our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations. MAME strives to accurately represent original systems, allowing unmodified software to run as intended. Today, MAME documents over thirty thousand systems, and usably emulates over ten thousand.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Police Use Pacemaker Data To Charge Homeowner With Arson And Insurance Fraud

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: If you're dependent upon an embedded medical device, the device that helps keep you alive may also be used to incriminate you in a crime. Ross Compton, a 59-year-old homeowner in Ohio called 911 in September 2016 to say that his house was on fire, however there were many irregularities to the blaze that investigators found suspicious, such as contradictory statements from Compton and the way that the fire had started. In the ensuing investigation, the police secured a warrant for the logs from his pacemaker, specifically, "Compton’s heart rate, pacer demand and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire." They subsequently filed charges of felony aggravated arson and insurance fraud. Middletown Police said this was the first time it had used data from a heart device to make an arrest, but the pacemaker data proved to be an “excellent investigative tool;” the data from the pacemaker didn’t correspond with Compton’s version of what happened. The retrieved data was used to help indict Compton. Lt. Jimmy Cunningham stated, “It was one of the key pieces of evidence that allowed us to charge him.”

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 + - Fifty years ago today: the Apollo 1 launchpad fire (nasaspaceflight.com)

schwit1 writes:

Fifty years ago Friday, the first – but sadly not the last – fatal spaceflight accident struck NASA when a fire claimed the lives of Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Ed White during a training exercise at Launch Complex 34. The accident, a major setback for the struggling Apollo program, ushered in the first understanding of the “bad day” effects of schedule pressure for spaceflight and brought with it words and reminders that still echo today.

The article provides a very detailed and accurate look at the history and causes of the accident, as well as its consequences, which even today influence American space engineering.

Submission + - Boeing Unveils New NASA Spacesuits For Starliner Austronaut Taxi (space.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The NASA astronauts who fly aboard Boeing's new spaceship will wear sleek, blue suits that are lighter, simpler and more comfortable than the bulky orange gear of the space shuttle era, company representatives said. Unveiled today (Jan. 25), the new "Boeing Blue" spacesuits for the Starliner capsule weigh about 20 lbs. (9 kilograms) each with all of their accessories, compared to 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) for the old space shuttle suits, NASA officials said. Other advances include touch-screen-sensitive gloves, more-flexible material and soft helmets that are incorporated into the suit (rather than the hard, detachable helmets of the shuttle era). The Boeing Blue suit, and the one that SpaceX develops, will help keep astronauts safe in the event of an emergency during trips to and from orbit. The suits are not designed for spacewalks; the large, bulky "extravehicular mobility units" that astronauts use for this latter purpose are already aboard the ISS. "The spacesuit acts as the emergency backup to the spacecraft's redundant life-support systems," Richard Watson, subsystem manager for spacesuits in NASA's Commercial Crew Program, said in the same statement. "If everything goes perfectly on a mission, then you don't need a spacesuit. It's like having a fire extinguisher close by in the cockpit. You need it to be effective if it is needed."

Submission + - Mars Exploration Rover - Opportunity - 13th Anniversary

cusco writes: January 25, 2004 the second Mars Exploration Rover landed on the Red Planet. Opportunity completed its 90-day mission without any major issues, and NASA requested funding for a mission extension. The mission has since been extended over a dozen times, and today marks the beginning of the 13th year of it's '90-day' mission. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missio...

The solar panels provide a maximum of 140 watts of power. The computer has 128 mb of RAM. Each of the six wheels has its own motor, and four of them are steerable. It landed wrapped in air bags and bounced 26 times before coming to a rest in Eagle Crater, within 25 kilometers of its initial target area. Designed to travel less than 100 meters a day, Opportunity has driven over 43 kilometers and returned over 200,000 photographs. It's currently on the rim of Endeavor Crater, traveling towards a water-cut gully a kilometer away. http://mars.nasa.gov/mer/missi...

Opportunity is now officially a teenager! Happy Birthday! http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/...

Submission + - Google Seeks Dev Feedback for Putting AI on Raspberry Pi (linuxgizmos.com)

DeviceGuru writes: Google is planning to deliver tools for the Raspberry Pi later this year built around its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, according to a Raspberry Pi Foundation blog post. The Google survey seeks to determine what kind of tools Raspberry Pi developers would find most useful. The survey includes questions about the use of software vs. hardware components, as well as plans for near-term development in categories like 3D printing, machine learning, wearables, drones, home automation, IoT, and robotics. Interested devs can participate the survey here.

Submission + - The Clinton Foundation is downsizing (ny.gov)

mi writes: You would think, the end of a political career would allow a genuinely charitable family to concentrate on their charity. Instead, the Clinton Foundation is closing shop (or, at least, downsizing) after their champion's electoral loss. According to the paperwork they filed with New York Department of labor, the reason is "Discontinutation [sic] of the Clinton Global Initative [sic]".

Submission + - Humans, not climate change, wiped out Australian megafauna (phys.org)

schwit1 writes: New evidence involving the ancient poop of some of the huge and astonishing creatures that once roamed Australia indicates the primary cause of their extinction around 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change.

Led by Monash University in Victoria, Australia and the University of Colorado Boulder, the team used information from a sediment core drilled in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southwest Australia to help reconstruct past climate and ecosystems on the continent. The core contains chronological layers of material blown and washed into the ocean, including dust, pollen, ash and spores from a fungus called Sporormiella that thrived on the dung of plant-eating mammals, said CU Boulder Professor Gifford Miller.

Miller, who participated in the study led by Sander van der Kaars of Monash University, said the sediment core allowed scientists to look back in time, in this case more than 150,000 years, spanning Earth's last full glacial cycle. Fungal spores from plant-eating mammal dung were abundant in the sediment core layers from 150,000 years ago to about 45,000 years ago, when they went into a nosedive, said Miller, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

"The abundance of these spores is good evidence for a lot of large mammals on the southwestern Australian landscape up until about 45,000 years ago," he said. "Then, in a window of time lasting just a few thousand years, the megafauna population collapsed."

Submission + - What issues do you have with Slashdot functionality? 8

hackwrench writes: We know about Slashdot's Unicode, nonspecific issues with features around what was Slashdot beta, Slashdot launching you some arbitrary distance down the page, the mobile site missing features and hiding posts without the option to turn it off and apparently I and others have been banned from moderating. What features do you find problematic with the Slashdot interface and what would you like to have added?

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