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Reviving a Commodore 64 Computer Using a Raspberry Pi
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's taking-a-step-back-forward department:
concertina226 (2447056) writes "A group of Commodore fans are working on a new emulator with the ability to turn the Raspberry Pi £30 computer into a fully functioning Commodore 64 fresh from the 1980s. Scott Hutter, creator of the Commodore Pi project, together with a team of developers on Github, are seeking to build a native Commodore 64 operating system that can run on Raspberry Pi. 'The goal will be to include all of the expected emulation features such as SID sound, sprites, joystick connectivity, REU access, etc. In time, even the emulation speed could be changed, as well as additional modern graphics modes,' he writes on his website."

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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pre-owned-like department:
First time accepted submitter WebAgeCaveman (3615807) writes in with news about just how big the stolen smartphone black market is. "A black market of shops and traders willing to deal in stolen smartphones has been exposed by a BBC London undercover investigation.

Intelligence was received that some shops across a swathe of east London were happy to buy phones from thieves.

Two traders were filmed buying Samsung S3 and iPhone 4 devices from a researcher posing as a thief - despite him making it clear they were stolen.

The shops involved have declined to comment."


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Using Supercomputers To Predict Signs of Black Holes Swallowing Stars
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hungry-hungry-black-holes department:
aarondubrow (1866212) writes "A 'tidal disruption' occurs when a star orbits too close to a black hole and gets sucked in. The phenomenon is accompanied by a bright flare with a unique signature that changes over time. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using Stampede and other NSF-supported supercomputers to simulate tidal disruptionsin order to better understand the dynamics of the process. Doing so helps astronomers find many more possible candidates of tidal disruptions in sky surveys and will reveal details of how stars and black holes interact."

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The Best Way To Watch the "Blood Moon" Tonight
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 09:01 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's good-omens department:
An anonymous reader writes "People on the West Coast should be able to watch the beginning of the upcoming total lunar eclipse tonight at 10:20 pm. The entirety of the moon surface will be in Earth's shadow and start to glow red a couple hours later, a little after midnight. From the article: 'A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and Earth align so that Earth's shadow falls across the moon's surface. Monday night's lunar eclipse is a total eclipse, which means Earth's shadow will cover the moon completely. The moon won't be blacked out by our planet's shadow. Instead, it will take on a reddish hue — anywhere from a bright copper to the brownish red of dried blood.'"

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The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's park-that-anywhere department:
Bennett Haselton writes "If you read no further, use either the BestParking or ParkMe app to search
all nearby parking garages for the cheapest spot, based on the time you're
arriving and leaving. I'm interested in the question of why so few
people know about these apps, how is it that they've been partially crowded
out by other 'parking apps' that are much less useful, and why our marketplace
for ideas and intellectual properly is still so inefficient."
Read below to see what Bennett has to say.

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Lucas Nussbaum Re-Elected As Debian Project Leader
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's man-in-charge department:
An anonymous reader writes "For the last 6 weeks the Debian developers have had an election to determine the new Debian Project Leader. The election is now over and Lucas Nussbaum was re-elected.
As always in Debian, the result of the voting was found using the Condorcet method."


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NASA To Send SpaceX Resupply Capsule To ISS Despite Technical Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's show-must-go-on department:
An anonymous reader writes "Despite a critical backup computer failing on the ISS Friday, an unmanned SpaceX rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral at 4:58 p.m. Monday with more than 2 tons of supplies for the space station. From the article: 'The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided to proceed with its resupply mission, despite technical problems with its computer in the International Space Station (ISS), as it needed to deliver necessary supplies.'"

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Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's just-a-piece-of-paper department:
dcblogs (1096431) writes "A study of New York City's tech workforce found that 44% of jobs in the city's 'tech ecosystem,' or 128,000 jobs, 'are accessible' to people without a Bachelor's degree. This eco-system includes both tech specific jobs and those jobs supported by tech. For instance, a technology specific job that doesn't require a Bachelor's degree might be a computer user support specialist, earning $28.80 an hour, according to this study. Tech industry jobs that do not require a four-year degree and may only need on-the-job training include customer services representatives, at $18.50 an hour, telecom line installer, $37.60 an hour, and sales representatives, $33.60 an hour. The study did not look at 'who is actually sitting in those jobs and whether people are under-employed,' said Kate Wittels, a director at HR&A Advisors, a real-estate and economic-development consulting firm, and report author.. Many people in the 'accessible' non-degree jobs may indeed have degrees. For instance. About 75% of the 25 employees who work at New York Computer Help in Manhattan have a Bachelor's degree. Of those with Bachelor's degrees, about half have IT-related degrees."

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Mathematicians Use Mossberg 500 Pump-Action Shotgun To Calculate Pi
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's less-common-core-math department:
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Imagine the following scenario. The end of civilization has occurred, zombies have taken over the Earth and all access to modern technology has ended. The few survivors suddenly need to know the value of pi and, being a mathematician, they turn to you. What do you do? According to a couple of Canadian mathematicians, the answer is to repeatedly fire a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun at a square aluminum target about 20 meters away. Then imagine that the square is inscribed with an arc drawn between opposite corners that maps out a quarter circle. If the sides of the square are equal to 1, then the area of the quarter circle is pi/4. Next, count the number of pellet holes that fall inside the area of the quarter circle as well as the total number of holes. The ratio between these is an estimate of the ratio between the area of the quarter circle and the area of a square, or in other words pi/4. So multiplying this number by 4 will give you an estimate of pi. That's a process known as a Monte Carlo approximation and it is complicated by factors such as the distribution of the pellets not being random. But the mathematicians show how to handle these too. The result? According to this method, pi is 3.13, which is just 0.33 per cent off the true value. Handy if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic world."

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Akamai Reissues All SSL Certificates After Admitting Heartbleed Patch Was Faulty
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 05:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's try-it-again department:
SpacemanukBEJY.53u (3309653) writes "It took security researcher Willem Pinckaers all of 15 minutes to spot a flaw in code created by Akamai that the company thought shielded most of its users from one of the pernicious aspects of the Heartbleed flaw in OpenSSL. More than a decade ago, Akamai modified parts of OpenSSL it felt were weak related to key storage. Akamai CTO Andy Ellis wrote last week that the modification protected most customers from having their private SSL stolen despite the Heartbleed bug. But on Sunday Ellis wrote Akamai was wrong after Pinckaers found several flaws in the code. Akamai is now reissuing all SSL certificates and keys to its customers."

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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jenny McCarthy is claiming she has been misunderstood and is not anti-vaccine. In an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times, McCarthy tries to ignore everything she's been saying about vaccines for years and wipe the record clean. 'People have the misconception that we want to eliminate vaccines,' McCarthy told Time magazine science editor Jeffrey Kluger in 2009. 'Please understand that we are not an anti-vaccine group. We are demanding safe vaccines. We want to reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.' But Kluger points out that McCarthy left the last line out of that quotation: 'If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f--king measles.' That missing line rather changes the tone of her position considerably, writes Phil Plait and is a difficult stance to square with someone who is not anti-vaccine. As Kluger points out, her entire premise is false; since vaccines don't cause autism, no one has to make the choice between measles (and other preventable, dangerous diseases) and autism. Something else McCarthy omitted from her interview with Kluger: 'I do believe sadly it's going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe,' said McCarthy. 'If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f*cking fault that the diseases are coming back. They're making a product that's sh*t. If you give us a safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism.' Kluger finishes with this: 'Jenny, as outbreaks of measles, mumps and whooping cough continue to appear in the U.S.—most the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children because of the scare stories passed around by anti-vaxxers like you—it's just too late to play cute with the things you've said.' For many years McCarthy has gone on and on and on and on and on and on about vaccines and autism. 'She can claim all she wants that she's not anti-vax,' concludes Plait, 'but her own words show her to be wrong.'"

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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted
Posted by News Fetcher on April 14 '14 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's 140-characters-to-go department:
First time accepted submitter RileyWalz (3614865) writes "Twopcharts (a third party website that records and monitors activity on Twitter) is reporting that about 44 percent of all 947 million accounts on Twitter have never posted a single tweet. Of the 550 million users who have tweeted before, 43 percent posted their last tweet over a year ago. And only about 13.3 percent have tweeted in the last 30 days. This could be a sign of many users just signing up and forgetting about their account, or they just prefer reading other's posts. Twitter is not commenting on this data, saying that they do not talk about third-party information related to its service."

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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shine-on department:
An anonymous reader writes "A 500 meter (0.3 mile) stretch of road in the Netherlands has openedwithout the standard crop of streetlights lining its perimeter. The streetlights are believed to be unnecessary since the road markings were painted on with a mix of photo-luminescent powder , which absorbs sunlight during the day and radiates a portion of that energy back at night. Whether the modified road paint can withstand harsh weather or even provide sufficient lighting given insufficient exposure to sunlight during the day remains to be seen. The project was orchestrated by Studio Roosegaarde, which in the future plans to implement weather-sensitive road markings that would inform drivers when outside temperatures drop or rise above certain levels."

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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-your-enemies-close department:
An anonymous reader writes "Even though many independent bookstores around the country blame their closing on competition from Amazon.com, bookstores in Seattle are booming thanks to Amazon's growth. It turns out many of the thousands of new workers at their downtown headquarters are avid readers who prefer shopping at the local stores. '"A lot of our customers work at Amazon," said Tracy Taylor, the general manager at the Elliott Bay Book Company, one of the city's largest independent booksellers. The store, about a mile from Amazon headquarters, last year earned what Ms. Taylor called the "first substantial profit" in almost 20 years, enough to even pay employee bonuses.'"

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Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mi-go-beach department:
astroengine (1577233) writes "In July 2015 we get our first close look at the dwarf planet Pluto and its moon, Charon — a fact that has scientists hypothesizing more than ever about what we might see there. One of the latest ideas put forward is that perhaps the collision that likely formed Pluto and Charon heated the interior of Pluto enough to give it an internal liquid water ocean, which also gave the small world a short-lived plate tectonics system, like that of Earth."

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Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mr.-president-we-seem-to-be-alone department:
barlevg (2111272) writes "In May 2012, in the midst of an FTC investigation into Google's search practices, the law school at George Mason University in Northern Virginia hosted a conference attended by congressmen, regulators and staffers. The topic: competition, search and social media. What none of the attendees of the conference knew was that Google was pulling many of the strings behind the event, even going so far as to suggest invited speakers.
This event, as documented in The Washington Post is just a snapshot of the operations of one of the largest and highest spending lobbying entities in DC, a far cry from the one-man shop it started out as nine years ago, from a company "disdainful" of Washington's "pay-to-play" culture."


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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-of-these-days-Alisa department:
An anonymous reader writes "Having established its presence in the Crimean Peninsula, Russia is now shooting for a bit loftier goal, a permanent Moon base. 'As reported by the Voice of Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that establishing a permanent Moon base has become one of the country's top space priorities. "The moon is not an intermediate point in the [space] race, it is a separate, even a self-contained goal," Rogozin reportedly said. "It would hardly be rational to make some ten or twenty flights to the moon, and then wind it all up and fly to the Mars or some asteroids."'"

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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's its-getting-hot-in-here department:
An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a study that concluded there was less than a 1% chance that current global warming could be simple fluctuations, U.N. scientists say energy from renewables, nuclear reactors and power plants that use emissions-capture technology needs to triple in order keep climate change within safe limits. From The Washington Post: 'During a news conference Sunday, another co-chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri of India, said the goal of limiting a rise in global temperatures "cannot be achieved without cooperation." He added, "What comes out very clearly from this report is that the high-speed mitigation train needs to leave the station soon, and all of global society needs to get on board."'"

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Neil Gaiman Confirms Movie Talks For Sandman, American Gods
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's even-nothing-cannot-last-forever department:
An anonymous reader writes "Neil Gaiman has confirmed that things are finally coming together for a Sandman movie adaptation. Fresh on the release of a new issue of Sandman, the popular graphic novel that he first started back in 1988, Gaiman told CNN that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has agreed to produce the Sandman movie, and that both his knowledge and commitment 'impressed the hell out of me.' Gaiman also confirmed new progress on adapting American Gods into a TV series. 'People are being talked to, exciting things are going on,' Gaiman tells CNN, teasing that its current status is still 'wait and see.'"

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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 13 '14 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's me-write-pretty-one-day department:
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "Over at Starts With A Bang, the weekly question comes in from Germany, where we're informed: 'In Germany, many teachers have adopted a new way of teaching children to write properly. The way is called "Writing by Reading" and essentially says: Write as you wish, you're not bound by any rules. Recently, this way of teaching has been heavily criticized [link in German], but not before it has been "tested" on several years of school children.' The reading wars have been going on in the US, too, but will this wind up having a negative outcome? Or, as this piece argues, is it likely to be a wash?"

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