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Ask Slashdot: Is There a Web Development Linux Distro?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-of-brood department:
Qbertino writes I've been a linux user for more than 15 years now and in the last ten I've done basically all my non-trivial web development on Linux. SuSE in the early days, after that either Debian or, more recently, Ubuntu, if I want something to click on. What really bugs me is, that every time I make a new setup, either as a virtual machine, on concrete hardware or a remote host, I go through 1-2 hours of getting the basics of a web-centric system up and running. That includes setting PHP config options to usable things, setting up vhosts on Apache (always an adventure), configging mod_rewrite, installing extra CLI stuff like Emacs (yeah, I'm from that camp) walking through the basic 10-15 steps of setting up MySQL or some other DB, etc. ... You get the picture.

What has me wondering is this: Since Linux is deeply entrenched in the field of server-side web, with LAMP being it's powerhouse, I was wondering if there aren't any distros that cover exactly this sort of thing. You know, automatic allocation of memory in the runtime settings, ready-made Apache http/https/sftp/ftp setup, PHP all ready to go, etc. What are your experiences and is there something that covers this? Would you think there's a need for this sort of thing and would you base it of Debian or something else? If you do web-dev, how do you do it? Prepareted scripts for setup? Anything else? ... Ideas, unkown LAMP distros and opinions please."


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SpaceX Launch of "GoreSat" Planned For Today, Along With Another Landing Attempt
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's elon-musk-for-the-win department:
The New York Times reports that SpaceX will again attempt to recover a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, after the recent unsuccessful try; the company believes the lessons from the earlier launch have been learned, and today's launch will be loaded with more hydraulic fluid. This evening, the rocket is to loft the satellite nicknamed "GoreSat," after Al Gore, who envisioned it as a sort of permanent eye in space beaing back pictures of Earth from afar. The purpose of the satellite has evolved, though: Writes the Times: The observatory, abbreviated as Dscovr and pronounced “discover,” is to serve as a sentinel for solar storms: bursts of high-energy particles originating from the sun. The particles from a gargantuan solar storm could induce electrical currents that might overwhelm the world’s power grids, possibly causing continent-wide blackouts. Even a 15-minute warning could let power companies take actions to limit damage.

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Xfce Getting a New Version Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's welcome-eye-candy department:
jones_supa writes It looks like the release of Xfce 4.12 is finally about to materialize. It has been about two and half years since the last stable release. There is now a concerted effort underway to ship a new release of this lightweight GTK+2 desktop environment out around the end of February or early March. "As we have discussed the status and progress of core components with many of you individually, we feel confident that the state of Xfce is good enough to polish some final edges and push more translations until then.", wrote Simon Steinbeiß on the xfce4-dev mailing list. The official list of showstopper bugs does not look too bad either. However, looking at the long time between releases certainly makes one think if the project could have use for some extra resources.

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Canadian Supreme Court Rules Ban On Assisted Suicide Unconstitutional
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ask-your-doctor-about-the-black-capsule department:
BarbaraHudson writes with word that Canada's Supreme Court has issued a strong statement in defense of Canadians' right to choose assisted suicide: [A] judgment, which is unsigned to reflect the unanimous institutional weight of the court, says the current ban on assisted suicide infringes on all three of the life, liberty and security of person provisions in Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It does not limit physician-assisted death to those suffering a terminal illness. The court agreed with the trial judge "that a permissive regime with properly designed and administered safeguards was capable of protecting vulnerable people from abuse and error. While there are risks, to be sure, a carefully designed and managed system is capable of adequately addressing them." Parliament has one year to enact new legislation modifying the Criminal Code to conform to the judgment.

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Xenon Flashes Can Make New Raspberry Pi 2 Freeze and Reboot
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's camera-shy department:
An anonymous reader writes Unfortunately for Raspberry Pi 2 owners who are trying to photograph their devices, ... the Raspberry Pi 2 has been found to be Xenon flash sensitive. Any camera with a Xenon flash aimed at the device is causing the device to freeze for a few seconds before rebooting. The forum thread about the bug is an interesting play-by-play of how the problem was narrowed down.

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DARPA's ALASA Could Pave Way For Cheaper, Faster Satellite Launches
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 12:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheaper-faster-better-ok department:
hypnosec writes DARPA is all set to take its Airborne Launch Assist Space Access module (ALASA) program to the next level after the program has shown promising results toward its mission of sending 100-pound satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) for just $1 million per launch."

ALASA is a new program that seeks to streamline production and encourage re-usability and interchangeability in satellite systems.

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Mystery Ash Clouds Rain In Parts of Washington, Oregon
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 09:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-ash-hole-is-responsible? department:
Inland parts of Oregon and Washington, as well as Idaho, have experienced a strange, murky rain today that contains what seems to be volcanic ash, though ash from which volcano isn't completely clear. Experts said they are checking out several possible explanations including a recent volcanic eruption in Mexico and one in Russia. The weather service said the rainstorm may have passed through some dust or volcanic ash as it moved west. Walla Walla County's emergency management staff posted a statement on its Facebook page that the ash is likely from Volcano Shiveluch in Kamchatka Krai, Russia, some 3,000 miles away. Volcano Shiveluch spewed an ash plume about 22,000 feet high in late January, the statement said.... CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam, meanwhile, pointed to an eruption Wednesday of a volcano in southwestern Colima, Mexico, as another potential source of the dirty rain. That volcano is more than 2,000 miles away from the region.
Time points out that other theories include leftover ash from last year’s wildfires in Oregon in Idaho.

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The First Ubuntu Phone Is Here, With Underwhelming Hardware
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's early-days-yet department:
A few days ago, Fast Company reviewer Jay Cassano was enthusiastic about Ubuntu's approach to apps for its new phone OS: namely, not relying on them, and instead interfacing seamlessly with existing websites and protocols. Now, new submitter ablutions (4006541) writes with a less than glowing review at The Daily Dot of the actual hardware that the OS is launching on. A sample that conveys the gist: Let's start with the good stuff: It sports a 4.5-inch multi-touch screen and a respectable 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel lens on the front. That's pretty much it. The list of negatives is a bit longer.

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Earth's Libration Visualized For the First Time Above the Moon's Far Side
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's can-you-see-your-house-from-there department:
StartsWithABang writes Thanks to the fact that the Moon is tidally locked, we can only see 50% of it's surface on any given night. Over time, the fact that the Moon's orbit is elliptical, and that it moves faster at perigee and slower at apogee means that up to another 9% is visible over the course of many years. The observed "rocking" and growing/shrinking of the Moon over time is known as lunar libration, an incredibly interesting phenomenon. But now, for the first time, we've been able to visualize how the Earth appears to move as seen from above the far side of the Moon.

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Sites Featuring "Terrorism" Or "Child Pornography" To Be Blocked In France
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's whose-definitions-though department:
Advocatus Diaboli writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: Now, the General Directorate of the National Police and its cybercrimes unit will be able to request that sites serving terrorist or pedophilia-related content be blocked by Internet Service Providers serving people in France and its territories. ISPs then have to comply with the request within 24 hours. ISPs will be able to request compensation from the French government for any extra costs incurred in blocking the sites. Users who navigate to a site 'to which access is prohibited will be led to an informational page from the Ministry of the Interior,' the text of the decree said. The informational page will list the grounds for the blocking as well as any possibly remedies. Every quarter, French authorities will check whether the blocked pages still contain the offending material. If not, then the authorities will contact ISPs, which will have to unblock the sites, again within 24 hours.

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Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's consequences-of-not-being-nice department:
Ars Technica reports that a Las Vegas teenager is in custody for multiple instances of swatting:

Brandon Wilson, who goes by the online handle "Famed God," was arrested Thursday in Nevada and faces an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be sent to face hacking and other charges. Illinois prosecutors said there was evidence on his computers about the July 10 swatting incident, in which he allegedly reported a murder to Naperville's emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded, but the call was a hoax. The Chicago-Sun Times said that, in addition to the Naperville incident, the suspect's computers held evidence "of similar incidents across the country."

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Dell Venue 8 7000, "World's Thinnest Tablet" With Intel Moorefield Atom Reviewed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's straight-outta-round-rock department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell recently launched their Android-based Venue 8 7000 slate, claiming it's the "world's thinnest" tablet. It measures a mere 6 millimeters thick, or 0.24 inches and change. That's 0.1mm slimmer than Apple's iPad Air 2 and 1.5mm flatter than the iPad mini 3, giving Dell full bragging rights, even if by a hair. Dell also opted for an Intel Atom Z3580 processor under the hood, clocked at up to 2.3GHz. This quad-core part is built on Intel's 22nm Moorefield microarchitecture. Compared to its Bay Trail predecessor, Moorefield comes in a smaller package with superior thermal attributes, as well as better graphics performance, courtesy of its PowerVR G6430 graphics core. The Venue 8 7000 also features one of the best 8-inch OLED displays on the market, with edge-to-edge glass and a 2560x1600 resolution. Finally, the Venue 8 7000 is also the first to integrate Intel's RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera, which offers interesting re-focusing and stereoscopic effects, with potentially other, more interesting use cases down the road. Performance-wise, the Venue 8 7000 is solid enough though not a speedster, putting out metrics in the benchmarks that place it in the middle of the pack of premium tablets on the market currently."

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The Man Squatting On Millions of Dollars Worth of Domain Names
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-name-here department:
Jason Koebler writes For the last 21 years, Gary Millin and his colleagues at World Accelerator have been slowly accumulating a veritable treasure trove of seemingly premium generic domain names. For instance, Millin owns, has sold, or has bartered away world.com, usa.com, doctor.com, lawyer.com, comic.com, email.com, cyberservices.com, and more than 1,000 other domain names that can be yours (including yours.com, which he owns), as long as you've got the startup idea to back it up. Millin doesn't sell domain names anymore, instead, he trades them to startups in exchange for a stake in the company.

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NYPD Creates Fake Social Media Profiles To Track Loud Parties, Underage Drinking
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's kid-vs-the-state department:
v3rgEz writes Is that Facebook friend request from the cute girl in third period, or an undercover officer looking to bust up the next high shool kegger? That's the question more students in New York City might be asking, as newly released documents from the NYPD disclose its process for agents creating undercover social media aliases with the aims of uprooting terrorist plots, tracking "political activity," and other nefarious crimes like underage drinking or pre-meditated loud partying. Fake profiles must be approved by bureau brass, unless it would "seriously impair" an investigation or risk life or property damage.

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Dell Venue 8 7000, "Word's Thinnest Tablet" With Intel Moorefield Atom, Reviewed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's straight-outta-round-rock department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell recently launched their Android-based Venue 8 7000 slate, claiming it's the "world's thinnest" tablet. It measures a mere 6 millimeters thick, or 0.24 inches and change. That's 0.1mm slimmer than Apple's iPad Air 2 and 1.5mm flatter than the iPad mini 3, giving Dell full bragging rights, even if by a hair. Dell also opted for an Intel Atom Z3580 processor under the hood, clocked at up to 2.3GHz. This quad-core part is built on Intel's 22nm Moorefield microarchitecture. Compared to its Bay Trail predecessor, Moorefield comes in a smaller package with superior thermal attributes, as well as better graphics performance, courtesy of its PowerVR G6430 graphics core. The Venue 8 7000 also features one of the best 8-inch OLED displays on the market, with edge-to-edge glass and a 2560x1600 resolution. Finally, the Venue 8 7000 is also the first to integrate Intel's RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera, which offers interesting re-focusing and stereoscopic effects, with potentially other, more interesting use cases down the road. Performance-wise, the Venue 8 7000 is solid enough though not a speedster, putting out metrics in the benchmarks that place it in the middle of the pack of premium tablets on the market currently."

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Ask Slashdot: Automated Tool To OCR CCGs Like Magic: the Gathering?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's very-specific-requirements department:
An anonymous reader writes I buy massive collections of trading card games, Magic:The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Weiss Schwarts, Cardfight Vanguard, etc, etc. And I've gotten the process fairly streamlined as far as price checking, grading, sorting, etc. Part of my process involves using higher-quality web cams positioned over the top of the cards which are in a stack. I keep a cam window on the screen to show a larger, brighter version of the card. What I'm wondering: Is there is an OCR solution out there that will look at the same spot on the screen, capture, ocr, dump to clipboard, etc.? I've tried several open source solutions but none of them quite fit my needs. What I'd really like is to be able to hit a hotkey, and have my clipboard populated with the textual data of the graphics in a pre-set x,y window range. All this should be done via a hotkey. I may be asking for a lot, but then again, I'm sure someone out there has had need of this type of set-up before. Anyone have any recommendations?

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Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's watch-the-upstream department:
Beeftopia (1846720) writes In a case reported in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases , a woman suffering from a drug-resistant intestinal infection gained 36 pounds after receiving a fecal transplant from her overweight daughter. Previous mouse studies have shown thin mice gain weight after ingesting fecal bacteria from obese mice. The woman previously was not overweight. After the procedure, despite a medically supervised liquid protein diet and exercise regimen, the woman remained obese. Her doctor said, "She came back about a year later and complained of tremendous weight gain... She felt like a switch flipped in her body, to this day she continues to have problems... as a result I'm very careful with all our donors don't use obese people."

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Utah Cyberattacks, Up To 300 Million Per Day, May Be Aimed At NSA Facility
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's knock-knock department:
schwit1 writes Five years ago, Utah government computer systems faced 25,000 to 30,000 attempted cyberattacks every day. At the time, Utah Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires thought that was massive. "But this last year we have had spikes of over 300 million attacks against the state databases" each day: a 10,000-fold increase. Why? Squires says it is probably because Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems. "I really do believe it was all the attention drawn to the NSA facility. In the cyberworld, that's a big deal," Squires told a legislative budget committee Tuesday. "I watched as those increases jumped so much over the last few years. And talking to counterparts in other states, they weren't seeing that amount of increase like we were."

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Canadian Climate Scientist Wins Defamation Suit Against National Post
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's conclusions-in-advance department:
Layzej writes A leading Canadian climate scientist has been awarded $50,000 in a defamation suit against The National Post newspaper. Andrew Weaver sued the Post over four articles published between December 2009 and February 2010. The articles contain "grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet," and they "poison" the debate over climate change, Weaver asserted in a statement at the time the suit was filed. The judge agreed, concluding "the defendants have been careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts. As evident from the testimony of the defendants, they were more interested in espousing a particular view than assessing the accuracy of the facts."

This is the first of several law suits launched by climate scientists against journalists who have published alleged libels and falsehoods. Climate scientist Ben Santer suggests the following explanation for these types of defamations: "if you can't attack the underlying science, you go after the scientist."


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The Man Who Invented the Science Fiction Paperback
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's debt-of-gratitude department:
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Clay Latimer writes at IBD that Ian Ballantine, called by many the father of the mass-market paperback, helped change American reading habits in the 1940s and '50s founding no fewer than three prestigious paperback houses — Penguin USA, Bantam Books and Ballantine Books. But Ballantine's greatest influence on mass culture was publishing science-fiction paperback originals, with writers including Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, and Frederik Pohl and publishing the first authorized paperback editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's books. "These were great classics of world fiction," says Loren Glass. "He published in original form some of the greatest works in the golden age of science fiction. One of the interesting things about Ballantine is that he was not only a businessman trying to make money in books; he was a student of literature and publishing, and something of an intellectual."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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