By whipslash from Slashdot's washington-we-have-a-problem department
An anonymous reader writes: During a congressional hearing Thursday, former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin had harsh words for the space agency and the space policy crafted by President Obama's administration. Under the Obama administration's guidance, NASA has established Mars as a goal for human spaceflight and said that astronauts will visit the red planet by the 2030s. However, a growing number of critics say the agency's approach is neither affordable nor sustainable.
On Thursday, Griffin, administrator of NASA from 2005 to 2009, joined those critics. The United States has not had a serious discussion about space policy, he testified, and as a result, the space agency is making little discernible progress. NASA simply cannot justify its claims of being on a credible path toward Mars, he added.Read Replies (0)
By yaelk from Slashdot's how-to-do-it-anyways department
tedlistens writes: When Ugandans went to the polls last Thursday in presidential and parliamentary elections, they participated in the most heavily-contested political battle since multiparty democracy began in 2005. As reports swirled of vote buying and excessive use of force by the police on opposition protesters, it was the attempt to block access to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and mobile phone-based money services that produced the loudest reactions. In a country with the youngest population in the world, where 77 percent of the population is under 30 years of age, mobile apps have become vital to communication and commerce. During the three-day ban, an estimated 1.5 million citizens, or 15 percent of the internet-using populace, downloaded VPN software and Tor to reroute their internet connections and return to social media, where discussion about the election continued to rage.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's only-one-with-starbucks-at-least department
MarkWhittington writes: The conventional wisdom has been among scientists is that a myriad of Earth-like planets exist in the universe, some of which have to be the abode of life, even intelligent life. However, Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University in Sweden has run a computer simulation of the universe, incorporating what we know about exoplanets thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, the laws of physics, and the state of the early universe. The computer simulation came up with exactly one Earth, which is to say the one we live on. Every other planet in the universe does not have the conditions necessary to sustain life. Indeed, strictly speaking, Earth itself should not exist, according to the computer model, according to the story in Discover Magazine.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's smart-people-vary-in-their-conclusions department
LichtSpektren writes: Phoronix reports that Bradley M. Kuhn and Karen M. Sandler at the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFS) have posted a blog post today arguing that Canonical's plan to distribute Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" with support for the ZFS file system violates the Linux kernel's GPLv2 license.
On February 18, Dustin Kirkland at Canonical wrote on his blog: "We at Canonical have conducted a legal review, including discussion with the industry's leading software freedom legal counsel, of the licenses that apply to the Linux kernel and to ZFS. And in doing so, we have concluded that we are acting within the rights granted and in compliance with their terms of both of those licenses...The CDDL cannot apply to the Linux kernel because zfs.ko is a self-contained file system module — the kernel itself is quite obviously not a derivative work of this new file system. And zfs.ko, as a self-contained file system module, is clearly not a derivative work of the Linux kernel but rather quite obviously a derivative work of OpenZFS and OpenSolaris. Equivalent exceptions have existed for many years, for various other stand alone, self-contained, non-GPL kernel modules. Our conclusion is good for Ubuntu users, good for Linux, and good for all of free and open source software."
The SFS's blog post of today states: "We are sympathetic to Canonical's frustration in this desire to easily support more features for their users. However, as set out below, we have concluded that their distribution of zfs.ko violates the GPL."Read Replies (0)