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Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 2:58pm
Morning dump ends in snake attached to spam javelin

A Thai chap's "morning routine of a shower and protracted bowel movement" was rudely interrupted earlier this week when a 4-metre python clamped its laughing gear round his todger as he squatted over the throne.…

Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Moving To GTK3

Phoronix - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 2:51pm
The Ubuntu MATE folks have laid out some of their plans for their next release of this desktop derivative of Ubuntu...

Craig Wilson just can't catch a break. Tries to leave HPE, finds self back again

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 2:38pm
Exec heads to CSC via Xchanging... arrives back at the Hotel California

Will someone please spare a thought for industry old-timer Craig Wilson, the former UK boss of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services who - we are told - was glad to escape the firm’s internal politics.…

Microsoft Is Laying Off 1,850 to Streamline Its Smartphone Business

Slashdot - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 2:30pm
Microsoft is making more changes to its smartphone business. The company, which sold its feature phone business last week, on Wednesday announced that it is scaling back hardware -- laying off 1,850 staff and take a charge of $950 million including $200 million in severance payments in a memo to all employees. The company insists that "great new devices" are in the works. From Myerson's memo: Last week we announced the sale of our feature phone business. Today I want to share that we are taking the additional step of streamlining our smartphone hardware business, and we anticipate this will impact up to 1,850 jobs worldwide, up to 1,350 of which are in Finland. These changes are incredibly difficult because of the impact on good people who have contributed greatly to Microsoft. Speaking on behalf of Satya and the entire Senior Leadership Team, we are committed to help each individual impacted with our support, resources, and respect. For context, Windows 10 recently crossed 300 million monthly active devices, our Surface and Xbox customer satisfaction is at record levels, and HoloLens enthusiasts are developing incredible new experiences. Yet our phone success has been limited to companies valuing our commitment to security, manageability, and Continuum, and with consumers who value the same. Thus, we need to be more focused in our phone hardware efforts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Irish data cops kick Max Schrems' latest Facebook complaint up to EU Court

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 2:05pm
Safe Harbor's dead, now DPC wants contract clauses decision

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has referred Max Schrems' original complaint to the EU Court of Justice to determine if Facebook's transfers of personal data from the EU to the US is legal.…

Hooves in spaaace: <i>Goat Simulator</i> goes galactic

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 1:40pm
Caprine capers continue with Waste of Space expansion

Swedish games outfit Coffee Stain Studios has announced it's releasing a galactic expansion to its popular 2014 ram-'em-up Goat Simulator, which finally offered goat wannabes the chance to fulfil their caprine fantasies.…

Virtual Keyboard Support For KWin / KDE Wayland 5.7

Phoronix - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 1:18pm
The latest KWin/Wayland hacking project by Martin Gräßlin is adding virtual keyboard support to KWin for the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7 release...

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Fitbit For 'Highly Inaccurate' Heart Rate Trackers

Slashdot - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 1:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: A class action lawsuit against Fitbit may have grown teeth following the release of a new study that claims the company's popular heart rate trackers are "highly inaccurate." Researchers at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona tested the heart rates of 43 healthy adults with Fitbit's PurePulse heart rate monitors, using the company's Surge watches and Charge HR bands on each wrist. Subjects were then hooked up to a BioHarness device that produced an electrocardiogram (ECG), to record the heart's rhythm against the data being produced by Fitbit's devices. Comparative results from rest and exercise -- including jump rope, treadmills, outdoor jogging and stair climbing -- showed that the Fitbit devices miscalculated heart rates by up to 20 beats per minute on average during more intensive workouts. The study was commissioned by the Lieff Cabraser, the law firm behind the class action suit that is taking aim at three Fitbit models that use the PurePulse heart monitor, including the Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge. "What the plaintiffs' attorneys call a 'study' is biased, baseless, and nothing more than an attempt to extract a payout from Fitbit. It lacks scientific rigor and is the product of flawed methodology," Fitbit said in a statement posted by Gizmodo.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha 2 Has Many Fixes, 64-bit UEFI

Phoronix - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 12:33pm
The second alpha release of the FreeBSD-based GhostBSD 10.3 operating system is now available...

Year 2038 Fixes Still Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel

Phoronix - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 12:29pm
The Linux kernel has been working on many Year 2038 fixes for a while now but the work is not over. Another pull request was sent in for the Linux 4.7 kernel in trying to prepare the VFS layer with Y2038 fixes...

Bearded Baron Shugs hired by Gov.uk to get down with the kids

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 12:11pm
'Bang the drum with me - apprenticeships, startups, apprenticeships, startups'

PM David Cameron has hired reality TV celebrity Baron Shugs of the BBC* as enterprise tsar, the government confirmed today.…

EXT4 Has Many Bug Fixes For Linux 4.7

Phoronix - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 12:00pm
Ted Ts'o has sent in his pull request of EXT4 file-system updates targeting the Linux 4.7 kernel merge window...

Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 11:42am
1,850 jobs cut - mostly in Finland. Microsoft Mobile. Oy

The cost of Microsoft’s white elephant entry into smartphone manufacturing has gone up by another $1bn.…

Speaking in Tech: Microsoft's 'Bing concierge bot' appears in the job ads

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 11:23am
Plus: Is it time to PaaS the buck?

Geniuses at HMRC sack too many staff! Nope, can't do it online. FAIL

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 10:54am
Audit watchdog snarls at taxman for hasty cost-cutting

HMRC was too hasty to cut staff before expected cost savings from a shift to digital materialised – something that should act as a cautionary tale for its current "digitisation" plans, the National Audit Office has warned.…

'Grey tech' broker DP Data Systems has gone titsup

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 10:28am
Vowed to go clean rather than shut up shop. Shuts up shop

DP Data Systems has given up the ghost just months after committing to quit the grey market in favour of “authorised” tech.…

Billionaire Technologist Accuses NASA Asteroid Mission of Bad Statistics

Slashdot - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 10:00am
Taco Cowboy quotes a report from Science Magazine: Nathan Myhrvold, ex-CTO of Microsoft, is accusing NASA of providing bad statistics on asteroid size. Mr. Myhrvold alleged that scientists using a prominent NASA space telescope have made fundamental mistakes in their assessment of the size of more than 157,000 asteroids they have observed. In a paper posted to the arXiv.org e-print repository on 22 May, Myhrvold takes aim at the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a space telescope launched in 2009, and a follow-on mission, NEOWISE, which together are responsible for the discovery of more asteroids than any other observatory. Yet Myhrvold says that the WISE and NEOWISE teams' papers are riddled with statistical missteps. "None of their results can be replicated," he tells ScienceInsider. "I found one irregularity after another" Myhrvold says the NASA teams have made mistakes, such as ignoring the margin of error introduced when extrapolating from a small sample size to an entire population. They also neglected to include Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation in their thermal models of the asteroids. Based on his own models, Myhrvold says that errors in the asteroid diameters based on WISE data should be 30%. In some cases, the size errors rise to as large as 300%. "Asteroids are more variable than we thought they were," he says. He has submitted the paper to the journal Icarus for review. However, the WISE and NEOWISE teams are standing by their results, and say that Myhrvold's criticism should be dismissed. "For every mistake I found in his paper, if I got a bounty, I would be rich," says Ned Wright, the principal investigator for WISE at the University of California, Los Angeles. Wright says that WISE's data match very well with two other infrared telescopes, AKARI and IRAS. To find out how accurately those infrared data determine the size of an asteroid, scientists have to calibrate them with radar observations, other observations made when asteroids pass in front of distant stars, and observations made by spacecraft up close. When they do that, Wright says, WISE's size errors end up at roughly 15%. Wright says his team doesn't have Myhrvold's computer codes, "so we don't know why he's screwing up." But Wright archly noted that Myhrvold once worked at Microsoft, so "is responsible in part for a lot of bad software."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ISS 'nauts to inflate pump-up space podule

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 9:58am
Bigelow Expandable Activity Module engorges tomorrow

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will tomorrow pump up the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) - the "first human-rated expandable structure that may help inform the design of deep space habitats".…

Labour scores review of Snoopers' Charter's bulk powers from UK.gov

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 9:29am
Theresa May appoints indie reviewer in letter to Andy Burnham

IPB  Bulk hacking and data collection powers in the Snoopers' Charter are going to be scrutinised by an independent reviewer grudgingly appointed by the government after pressure from Labour.…

Hand the security cookbook to your robot butler: Time to automate

El Reg - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 9:02am
You can even pour it all into a container...

One of the main principles of DevOps is that we break down the silos. Rather than having two individual teams for Development and Operations with conflicting goals, there is one group, all pulling in the same direction. But DevOps is about more than two teams now. Testing should be done throughout, not just plugged in at the end, especially with automated testing in every stage of the pipeline.…