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In-Database R Coming To SQL Server 2016

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 6:49pm
theodp writes: Wondering what kind of things Microsoft might do with its purchase of Revolution Analytics? Over at the Revolutions blog, David Smith announces that in-database R is coming to SQL Server 2016. "With this update," Smith writes, "data scientists will no longer need to extract data from SQL server via ODBC to analyze it with R. Instead, you will be able to take your R code to the data, where it will be run inside a sandbox process within SQL Server itself. This eliminates the time and storage required to move the data, and gives you all the power of R and CRAN packages to apply to your database." It'll no doubt intrigue Data Scientist types, but the devil's in the final details, which Microsoft was still cagey about when it talked-the-not-exactly-glitch-free-talk (starts @57:00) earlier this month at Ignite. So, brush up your R, kids, and you can see how Microsoft walks the in-database-walk when SQL Server 2016 public preview rolls out this summer.

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The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 5:48pm
An anonymous reader writes: Last week we learned that self-driving big-rig trucks were finally being deployed on public roads in Nevada for testing purposes. Experts consider trucking to be ripe for replacement with AI because of the sheer volume of trucks on the road, and the relative simplicity of their routes. But the eventual replacement of truck drivers with autonomous driving systems will have a huge impact on the U.S. economy: there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers, and millions more are employed to support and coordinate them. Yet more people rely on truckers to stay in business — gas stations, motels, and restaurants along trucking routes, to name a few. Now, that's not to say moving forward with autonomous driving is a bad idea — in 2012, roughly 4,000 people died in accidents with large trucks, and almost all of the accidents were caused by driver error. Saving most of those lives (and countless injuries) is important. But we need to start thinking about how to handle the 10 million people looking for work when the (human) trucking industry falls off a cliff. It's likely we'll see another wave of ghost towns spread across the poor parts of the country, as happened when the interstate highway system changed how long-range transportation worked in the U.S.

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On the Taxonomy of Sci-Fi Spaceships

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 4:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: Jeff Venancio has done some research that's perfect reading for a lazy Saturday afternoon: figuring out a coherent taxonomy for sci-fi spaceships. If you're a sci-fi fan, you've doubtless heard or read references to a particular starship's "class" fairly often. There are flagships and capital ships, cruisers and corvettes, battleships and destroyers. But what does that all mean? Well, there's not always consistency, but a lot of it comes from Earth's naval history. "The word 'corvette' comes from the Dutch word corf, which means 'small ship,' and indeed corvettes are historically the smallest class of rated warship (a rating system used by the British Royal Navy in the sailing age, basically referring to the amount of men/guns on the vessel and its relative size; corvettes were of the sixth and smallest rate). ... They were usually used for escorting convoys and patrolling waters, especially in places where larger ships would be unnecessary." Venancio takes the historical context for each ship type and then explains how it's been adapted for a sci-context. "Corvettes might be outfitted to have some sort of stealth or cloaking system for reconnaissance or spec ops missions; naturally it would be easier to cloak a smaller ship than a larger one (though plenty of examples of large stealth ships exist). In some series they are likely to be diplomatic vessels due to their small size and speed, particularly seen in Star Wars, and can commonly act as blockade runners (again; their small size and speed makes them ideal for slipping through a blockade, where a larger ship presents more of a target)."

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KA-BOOM! Russian rocket EXPLODES over Siberia minutes after lift-off

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 4:01pm
Mexican satellite mission fails

Russia's Proton-M rocket burned up over Siberia this morning just minutes after blast-off, the country's federal space agency has confirmed.…

Microsoft Confirms It Won't Offer Free Windows 10 Upgrades To Pirates

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 3:35pm
An anonymous reader writes: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. All that talk about pirates getting free Windows 10 upgrades? Not happening. For genuine users, the free upgrade to Windows 10 means receiving "ongoing Windows innovation and security updates for free, for the supported lifetime of that device." Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, has clarified the company's plans were not changing for non-genuine users: "Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we've always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state."

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Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows

Phoronix - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 3:08pm
While Oculus Rift has seen Linux support up to now, the Facebook-owned VR company has now suspended Linux and OS X development to better focus on Windows...

Wayland / Weston 1.8 Release Candidate Arrives

Phoronix - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 2:55pm
The release candidate for the upcoming Wayland 1.8 is now available...

MAME Changing License To Fully Libre One

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 2:31pm
jones_supa writes: The source code of MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) has long been freely available, but it's never been completely libre. Instead, it's been available under a modified BSD license that prohibits, among other things, commercial use of the code. MAME engineer Miodrag Milanovic explains that such a license was put in place to deter "misuse of MAME in illegal ways," but it also kept legitimate commercial entities doing business with the software. Examples of such could be museums that charge entry fees from using MAME in their exhibits, or copyright holders rereleasing vintage games encapsulated inside MAME. Now the project wants to go fully open. Milanovic continues: "Our aim is to help legal license owners in distributing their games based on MAME platform, and to make MAME become a learning tool for developers working on development boards." As of yet, there are no specific details about the new license.

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Russian Rocket Crashes In Siberia

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 1:28pm
An anonymous reader writes: A Russian Proton-M rocket carrying a Mexican satellite broke down shortly after launch and crashed in Siberia. Russian space agency Roscosmos is investigating the incident, but the cause is not yet known. In the video, the rocket appeared to sputter and stop providing thrust when the third-stage engine unexpectedly switched off. Communications were lost with the rocket before that happened. This comes just a couple weeks after Russia experienced another high profile rocket failure when its cargo ship bound for the International Space Station failed to reach a high enough orbit and began spinning out of control. Russia's Proton family of rockets has been in use since the 1960s, though the current Proton-M incarnation was first flown in 2001.

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Google fastens buy buttons to paid mobile search results – report

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 1:00pm
All your happy shoppers BELONG TO the retailer US

Google is reportedly planning to imminently add "buy" buttons to its mobile search results in an apparent move to compete with online retail giants eBay and Amazon.…

Linino-Enabled Arduino Yun Shrinks In Size and Cost

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 12:26pm
DeviceGuru writes: Arduino announced a smaller, cheaper Arduino Yun Mini version of the Arduino Yun SBC at the Bay Area Maker Faire [Friday]. The $60 Arduino Yun Mini SBC sacrifices a number of interfaces in order to reduce size, and gives the OpenWRT Linux based Linino distribution, which is also used by the original Yun, more control over the board's functions. Arduino also announced a new community web portal called my.arduino.org, plus an open source Arduino IDE-alpha development system that is entirely based on JavaScript, which will be available there by the end of the month.

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Canadian Prime Minister To Music Lobby: Here's Your Copyright Term Extension

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 11:18am
An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government's decision to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in the budget may have taken most copyright observers by surprise, but not the music industry. The extension will reduce competition, increase costs for consumers, and harm access to Canadian Heritage, but apparently all it took was a letter from the music industry lobby to the Prime Minister of Canada. Michael Geist reports on a letter sent by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the music lobby on the day the change was announced confirming that industry lobbying convinced him to extend the term of copyright without any public consultation or discussion.

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<i>Mad Max: Fury Road</i> – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 11:00am
This is not a film, it’s an assault on your senses

Film Review  The one thing you can definitely say about George Miller’s revival of his post-apocalyptic Aussie outback petrolhead Mad Max is that it stays true to the original films.…

Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 10:00am
There's much more to microcars than Sir Clive's C5

Review  Sir Alec Issigonis' Mini may, perhaps, be the most famous of British small cars, and the Fiat 500 one of the most well known continental ones, but before either of those appeared, came plenty of other tiny vehicles, aimed at providing transport on a budget to people across Europe.…

European Telecoms May Block Mobile Ads, Spelling Trouble For Google

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 9:19am
Mark Wilson has news that may have a big impact on both advertisers and end-users who use their phones as portals to ad-supported websites. Several European telecom providers are apparently planning to use ad-blocking software at the data-center level, which would mean benefit for users (in the form of less obnoxious advertising, and less data being eaten by it) but quite a pickle for online advertisers, and sites that rely on advertising revenue. From BetaNews's article (based on this Financial Times article, paywalled): Talking to the Financial Times, one wireless carrier said that the software had been installed at its data centers and could be enabled by the end of the year. With the potential to automatically block most ads on web pages and within apps, the repercussion of the ad boycott could be huge as mobile providers try to wrestle control from the likes of Google. I just wish my mobile provider would start testing this out, too.

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<i>The Harder They Come</i>, <i>Hunters in the Dark</i> and <i>Fall of Man in Wilmslow</i>

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 9:00am
T.C. Boyle, Lawrence Osborne and a Turing tale with a twist

Page File  El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest from the literary world with T.C. Boyle observing the saints and sinners at roots of American gun violence. Lawrence Osborne tells a gripping tale of expats adrift and running amok in Cambodia, and David Lagercrantz delivers a curious conspiracy in his fictional take on events in the aftermath of the death of Alan Turing.

Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH

El Reg - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 8:00am
Name<>Face

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  Slinking away early from yet another works leaving party this week, I was reminded with some regret that I will never get one of my own. All those nice words spoken, all those pats on the back, all those clinking glasses of pub house wine. How lovely it must be to be surrounded by so many faithful colleagues celebrating the fact that you are pissing off at last.…

How MMO Design Has Improved Bar Trivia

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 6:34am
Polygon.com features a look at how (very) different computer game worlds can meet, in the form of game designer Ralph Koster's Kitchen Disasters-style rescue effort to revive a game quite unlike the ones he's famous for designing, like Ultima Online. Bar-trivia provider Buzztime has been putting electronic trivia games into bars for three decades -- and in that time, the number of options available to potential players has jumped. Bar trivia has crept into the domain of things like vinyl-based juke-boxes: not without appeal, but not exactly modern. Koster has tried to apply modern game design paradigms and objectives, and revamped the game: Koster's Jackpot Trivia is now being introduced in a few hundred locations. Buzztime operates in around 4,000 bars and restaurants, but already the new addition has increased game usage by 15 percent. Much of the improvements came from Koster's experiences of making and playing MMOs, and on the MMO's influence on all games. "These days, a lot of the qualities of MMOs are popping up on everything from social media to systems that sit outside and on top of games, like everything around Xbox Live and Steam," he says. The re-vamp means, for Buzztime, better matching of opponents, as part of an overall redesign of incentives and risks: players have also gotten finer-grained control over their plays, by being able to assign weight to their answers: that means they can guess with less penalty when answers are tough, or take advantage of confidence in knowledge about a category in which they're strong.

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House Science Committee Approves Changes To Space Law

Slashdot - Sat, 16/05/2015 - 3:40am
schwit1 writes: In a series of party line votes, the House Science Committee has approved a number of changes to the laws that govern the private commercial space industry. Almost all of the changes were advocated by the industry itself, so in general they move to ease the regulatory and liability burdens that have been hampering the industry since the 2004 revisions to space law. While it is very unlikely commercial space can ever get free of strong federal regulation, these changes indicate that they can eventually get some of the worst regulations eased.

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