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How the Next US Nuclear Accident Might Happen

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 11:43pm
Lasrick writes: Anthropologist Hugh Gusterson analyzes safety at US nuclear facilities and finds a disaster waiting to happen due to an over-reliance on automated security technology and private contractors cutting corners to increase profits. Gusterson follows on the work of Eric Schlosser, Frank Munger, and Dan Zak in warning us of the serious problems at US nuclear facilities, both in the energy industry and in the nuclear security complex.

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Samsung ousts Apple as top US smartmobe biz

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 11:19pm
Two phone makers carve up the market

In figures for the three months to the end of May, Kantar Worldpanel says that Samsung took a bite out of Apple's US market share to overtake the fruity firm. This is as much down to continued strong sales of the Galaxy S5 as to the introduction of the Galaxy S6.…

Windows 10 Shares Your Wi-Fi Password With Contacts

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 11:00pm
gsslay writes: The Register reports that Windows 10 will include, defaulted on, "Wi-Fi Sense" which shares wifi passwords with Outlook.com contacts, Skype contacts and, with an opt-in, Facebook friends. This involves Microsoft storing the wifi passwords entered into your laptop which can then be used by any other person suitably connected to you. If you don't want someone's Windows 10 passing on your password, Microsoft has two solutions; only share passwords using their Wi-Fi Sense service, or by adding "_optout" to your SSID.

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New nbn<sup>TM</sup> roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:58pm
100Mbps service and rapid repair turnaround promised

nbnTM, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap.…

KDE Applications 15.04.3 Fixes Bugs

Phoronix - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:28pm
Hot off the release of KDE Plasma 5.3.2, the KDE development community has announced the release of Applications 15.04.3...

Depression: The Secret Struggle Startup Founders Won't Talk About

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 10:15pm
mattydread23 writes: In May, Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz committed suicide. The news stunned friends and family, and sparked a conversation about the growing problem of depression among startup founders. Some estimates say 30% of startup founders suffer from depression, but many are reluctant to talk about their struggle for fear of alienating investors and employees. This feature by Business Insider includes conversations with a friend of Heinz, plus many investors and other startup founders who are starting to talk about the problem and figure out how to make things better.

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First Human Colonies Should Be Among Venus' Clouds

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 9:30pm
StartsWithABang writes: When we talk about humans existing on worlds other than Earth, the first choice of a planet to do so on is usually Mars, a world that may have been extremely Earth-like for the first billion years of our Solar System or so. Perhaps, with enough ingenuity and resources, we could terraform it to be more like Earth is today. But the most Earth-like conditions in the Solar System don't occur on the surface of Mars, but rather in the high altitudes of Venus' atmosphere, some 50-65 km up. Despite its harsh conditions, this may be the best location for the first human colonies, for a myriad of good, scientific reasons. NASA proposed something similar last year and released a report on the subject.

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Benchmarks Of 54 Different Intel/AMD Linux Systems

Phoronix - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 9:15pm
Last month for the Phoronix 11th birthday we ran Benchmarks Of 45 Linux Systems From Atoms, Athlons and Phenoms To Xeons. This week in celebrating 200,000 benchmark results in our LinuxBenchmarking.com test lab, I ran another large comparison against the latest spectrum of hardware/software in the automated performance test lab...

Rosetta spots potholes IN SPAAACE: Someone call the galactic council

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 8:57pm
Comet 67P is collapsing from within

The Rosetta probe, currently in orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has spotted what appear to be massive sinkholes on the comet's surface that are thought to be caused by the cosmic snowball melting in the Sun's rays.…

Meet the Makers of an Exotic (Partially) 3-D Printed Car (2 Videos)

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 8:46pm
Last month, in a story headlined 3D Printed Supercar Chassis Unveiled, we promised video interviews with builders Kevin and Brad "in the near future." Here they are. First, we have Kevin Czinger, Founder & CEO of Divergent Microfactories. He says the way we build cars is more important from an environmental standpoint than how we fuel them, and that the way we make cars now is a lot less efficient and a lot more expensive than it needs to be. Divergent's first demo vehicle, the Blade, is a tandem-seating 700 HP supercar its makers say does 0 - 60 in 2.5 seconds. Price? No word yet, but it's safe to assume "plenty" might be an accurate guess. In the second video, Blade project lead Brad Balzer goes into detail about how, why, and where they use 3-D printing, and explains the modular nature of their car chassis design. He says they don't need to change many parts to go from ultra-sports car to pickup truck. He also says that while Divergent Microfactories is working on cars right now, their manufacturing system can be applied to many different industries. Indeed, their long-range goal is to help people build microfactories making many different kinds of products faster, more flexibly, and for less money than it takes to make similar manufactured items today. Note: The transcript covers both videos and has a little 'bonus' material in it, too.

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Amazon just wrote a TLS crypto library in only 6,000 lines of C code

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 8:35pm
At 1/10 the size of OpenSSL, it should be easier to spot bugs

Amazon Web Services has released a new, open source library that implements TLS encryption – the standard behind the secure HTTPS web protocol – using far less code than the prevailing OpenSSL library.…

Microsoft To Launch Minecraft Education Portal For Teachers

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 8:01pm
Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft wants to help educators use Minecraft to teach pupils about maths, history, creative design and other subjects and skills, claiming the game is already being used in classrooms in the US and UK. Minecraft developer Mojang was bought by Microsoft last year for $2.5 billion and the game has been featured in a number of HoloLens demos, an indication of how it sees the former indie phenomenon as more than just a game. "Very soon after Minecraft launched, we noticed teachers bringing the game into their classrooms," said a blog post. "Often inspired by the passion of their students, they started using Minecraft to design history lessons, teach language classes, explore mathematics, physics, computer science, writing, and more."

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Sprint: Forget all we said about strangling your web video streams

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 7:53pm
And can someone replace our brakes? That U-turn we just pulled was hella

US telco Sprint has killed off its attempt to strangle internet video streaming on its so-called "unlimited" phone plan.…

Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 7:19pm
Freshness AND familiarity

Review  The underlying packages in Linux Mint 17.2, just released, are largely unchanged. What you will find are a lot of improvements and added polish in everyday tools like the update manager, login screen and the Software Sources app.…

Google Apologises For Photos App's Racist Blunder

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 7:16pm
Mark Wilson writes: Google has issued an apology after the automatic tagging feature of its Photos apps labeled a black couple as "gorillas". This is not the first time an algorithm has been found to have caused racial upset. Earlier in the year Flickr came under fire after its system tagged images of concentration camps as sports venues and black people as apes. The company was criticized on social networks after a New York software developer questioned the efficacy of Google's algorithm. Accused of racism, Google said that it was "appalled" by what had happened, branding it as "100% not OK".

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NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

El Reg - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 7:08pm
She's in the pipe, five by five

NASA's New Horizons space probe has fired its thrusters for the last time to get it into position before it buzzes Pluto on July 14. The little science lab has also detected evidence of methane on the halfling planet.…

Pew Survey Documents Gaps Between Public and Scientists

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 6:33pm
PvtVoid writes: A new Pew Research Study documents an alarming gap between public perception of scientific issues and the opinions of the scientists themselves, as measured by a poll of AAAS scientists. Even worse, the gap is partisan, with clear differences between Republicans and Democrats, and between conservatives and liberals. For example, while 98% of AAAS members agree with the statement that "Human beings and other living things have evolved over time", only 21% of conservatives agree, compared with 54% of liberals. Global warming, similarly, shows an ideological gap: 98% of AAAS scientists agreed with the statement that "the Earth is getting warmer mostly due to human activity", compared with 21% of conservatives and 54% of liberals. Encouragingly, almost everybody thinks childhood vaccines should be required (86% of AAAS members, 65% of conservatives, and 74% of liberals.) Go here for an interactive view of the data.

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Linux 4.2 Bringing Support For ARCv2, HS38 CPU Cores

Phoronix - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 6:03pm
The ARC architecture updates for the Linux 4.2 kernel have landed...

Interviews: Linus Torvalds Answers Your Question

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 5:50pm
Last Thursday you had a chance to ask Linus Torvalds about programming, hardware, and all things Linux. You can read his answers to those questions below. If you'd like to see what he had to say the last time we sat down with him, you can do so here.

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18 Years On, Ultima Online Is Still Going

Slashdot - Wed, 01/07/2015 - 5:08pm
An anonymous reader writes: Ultima Online was released in September, 1997. It was the game that popularized graphical MMOs, and somehow, it's still running. Rock, Paper, Shotgun took a dive into the game to see how much it's changed, and who still plays it. As the community has shrunk, it's become increasingly tight-knit, and giving up the game now means giving up a social circle for many players. Even though newer MMOs have eclipsed the game's functionality, UO has a dedication to the full adventuring experience that later games haven't replicated. From the article: "While initially I couldn't understand the appeal of Ultima, when I decided to shake off the limitations of an early level character and simply explore for myself, I found a game world with a lot to offer. Player created civilizations, unique monsters, and the sheer mystery of the world combine to keep this ancient MMO compelling. For all the ways in which the genre has improved, Ultima Online remains one of just a few MMOs that let you live an alternative life. That feeling of ownership ... combined with the diversity on offer, keeps players coming back day after day."

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