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Microsoft Tries To Guess Relatives With "Twins or Not"
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's find-the-doppleganger department:
mikejuk writes: Hot on the heels of their popular "How Old Do I Look" website, Microsoft has released a tool called "Twins or Not." Powered by Microsoft’s Project Oxford Face API, the site lets people upload a pair of photos to the web and get back a similarity score. In a blog post Mat Velloso, Senior Software Development Engineer at the Technical Evangelism Development group at Microsoft, talks about how he put the program together in just four hours.

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First Games Inducted Into the World Video Game Hall of Fame
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-wasted-hours department:
An anonymous reader writes: From 15 finalists the first inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame were picked for 2015. Only one of the titles added to the list of legends was launched in the last 15 years. The six games inducted this year are: Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros, Doom, and World of Warcraft. The World Video Game Hall of fame says it recognizes games across all platforms and all have the possibility of being included.

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Report: Internet Users Feel Powerless To Protect Their Privacy From Corporations
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's giving-up department:
Mark Wilson writes: A paper produced by a team at the University of Pennsylvania confirms something many people have probably thought true for some time: the notion that internet users are unhappy with the way their privacy is undermined by advertisers and online companies, yet feel there is nothing they can do about it. While marketing companies like to present an image of customers who are happy to hand over personal information in return for certain benefits, the truth is rather different. Rather than dedicating time and energy to trying to stop personal data from being exploited, people are instead taking it on the chin and accepting it as part and parcel of modern, online life. It's just the way things are.

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LightSail Wakes Up After Silent Spell and Tries To Spread Solar Sails
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tacking-around-the-moon department:
An anonymous reader writes: After a second outage LightSail's controllers have re-established contact with the experimental spacecraft, and plan to begin the process for unfurling its photo voltaic sails. LightSail is a solar sail propelled test spacecraft that was launched on May 20. Two days later, it went offline because of a software glitch. "It's exciting," said William Sanford Nye, the [Planetary] society's chief executive, who is better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy. "It's anxious. It's anxiety producing."

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Watch the US Navy Test Its Electromagnetic Jet Fighter Catapult
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ready-to-launch department:
An anonymous reader sends word via Engadget that the U.S. Navy has tested its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System for the first time with a "dead-load" (a wheeled steel sled that weighs as much as a jet) aboard the Gerald R. Ford carrier. The article goes on to say: "Its advantages over traditional catapults that use steam instead of electromagnetic energy include smoother acceleration and its ability to place less stress on the aircraft — plus, it was designed to work even with more advanced carriers that the military will surely use in the future." You can watch a video of the "dead-load" testing here.

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Tesla Rewards Hackers With Bug Bounty
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here's-a-few-bucks department:
An anonymous reader writes: Tesla Motors is offering up to $1,000 to anyone who uncovers security issues on its website. Forbes reports that the program is not yet available for its vehicles however. Using a security crowdsourcing company called Bugcrowd, researchers have found 22 bugs for Tesla so far. A statement on the Tesla Bugcrowd page reads in part: "We are committed to working with this community to verify, reproduce, and respond to legitimate reported vulnerabilities. We encourage the community to participate in our responsible reporting process."

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Chinese Doctor Performs Head Transplants On Mice
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's something-to-think-about department:
An anonymous reader writes: Xiaoping Ren, a Chinese surgeon, has performed roughly 1,000 head transplants on mice since 2013 and says that monkeys are next. Some of the mice have lived as long as a day after the operations according to Ren and he hopes to have similar success with primates. With $1.6 million of funding so far, he says, "We want to do this clinically, but we have to make an animal model with long-term survival first. Currently, I am not confident to say that I can do a human transplant."

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Why Apple and Google Made Their Own Programming Languages
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-house department:
Gamoid writes: This Business Insider article looks into the state of Google Go and Apple Swift, highlighting what the two languages have in common — and why tech companies would bother involving themselves in the programming language holy wars. From the article: "One fringe benefit for Google and Apple is that making your own programming language makes recruitment easier — for instance, since it builds a lot of its own server applications in Go, Google is more likely to hire a developer who's already proficient in the language since she would need less training."

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Sony Music CEO Confirms Launch of Apple's Music Streaming Service
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's coming-soon department:
An anonymous reader writes: Sony Music CEO Doug Morris said in an interview that Apple will announce a new music streaming service tomorrow at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). The new Apple Music service will include subscription streaming music features as well as a revamped iTunes Radio service. "What does Apple bring to this?" Morris said. "Well, they've got $178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes. Spotify has never really advertised because it's never been profitable. My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business. A rising tide will lift all boats," he added. "It's the beginning of an amazing moment for our industry."

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Ask Slashdot: What Asset Tracking Software Do You Recommend?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-an-eye-on-things department:
grahamsaa writes: I work for an organization that has a number of physical assets, as well as presence in multiple data centers. On the DC side, there are a number of specific things we need to track (one thing we want to be able to account for is how much power do we need for each rack). On the office side, our needs are more basic. We need to be able to tag and track laptops, workstations, monitors, etc. I would like to use a single system for all of this, but have yet to find something that will work well on the office side and the data center side. Free/open source solutions are preferred, but we're prepared to spend money on a commercial solution if it meets our needs. What would you recommend?

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Robots Compete In Navigating Simulation Of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Plant
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's finding-the-path department:
schwit1 writes: A new DARPA Robotics Challenge completed its final competition recently. 25 teams operated robots around a landscape designed to simulate the hazardous environment that aid workers found after the Fukushima Daiichi reactor in Japan melted down multiple times in 2011. Engineers tried to help, but disaster ensued, rendering a huge area around the plant uninhabitable after toxic steam was released into the skies. The radioactive leftovers are still emitting a million watts of heat. First prize is $2m, second prize is $1m, and third gets $500,000.

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On Managing Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bribe-them-with-diet-coke department:
An anonymous reader writes: A columnist at TechCrunch takes a crack at advice on how to manage developers. He has some decent starting points. For example, "Basically a manager's job is to make other people more productive. What's one really good way to do that? Do the work that is getting in their way. Which means: find out what kind of important work your developers dislike the most, and do it for them." Also: "[D]on't bull$%^& anyone, ever. ... Speak the truth as you see it. Speak it diplomatically, don't get me wrong; but be trustworthy. Only then will you be able to trust others." But some of his statements are open enough to be nearly devoid of meaning: "Any particular process artifact is probably irrelevant. The finest tech team I ever worked on began every day with a daily standup; so did one of the worst, most dysfunctional teams I ever encountered. ... [T]he systems and processes you choose for any given project should be fluid, and flexible, and depend in large part on the team and the context." If you are or have been a developer, what qualities have made your managers good or poor? If you've been in position to do the managing, does you experience jive with this guy's?

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Everyone Hates Harvard
Posted by News Fetcher on June 07 '15 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's people-just-like-getting-mad department:
theodp writes: Hedge fund manager John Paulson personally took home nearly $4 billion in 2007 after convincing banks to create securities of sub-prime mortgages he could bet against. Now Harvard, which originally passed on an opportunity to join alum Paulson in his big bet, is also reaping the rewards of the nation's financial crisis as it renames its engineering school the "Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences" after receiving a staggering $400 million donation from Paulson, the largest gift in the university's history. Quartz argues that Paulson's $400 million Harvard donation just reinforces inequality. Author Malcolm Gladwell took to Twitter to voice his distaste (sampling: 1. "It came down to helping the poor or giving the world's richest university $400 mil it doesn't need. Wise choice John!" 2. "If billionaires don't step up, Harvard will soon be down to its last $30 billion." 3. "It's going to be named the John Paulson School of Financial Engineering.") And, in Everyone Hates Harvard, Philip Greenspun notes that even WSJ readers reacted with vitriol to the news. "I would have thought that Paulson would be a hero to market-following WSJ readers," remarks Greenspun, "not a villain."

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Rare 9-way Kidney Swap a Success
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's healing-with-math department:
Okian Warrior sends news that a complex set of 18 surgeries has been successfully completed at California Pacific Medical Center and the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center that resulted in nine donors sending kidneys to recipients in need. This web of kidney swaps arose because many of the people with failing kidneys had donors willing to help them, but weren't a biological match. Rather than give up on the transplant altogether, doctors were able to arrange the willing donors in a way such that each patient who needed a kidney was able to get one. "Software matching programs have been driving the trend. The programs use blood type and other patient data from medical tests to connect people who are compatible."

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American Pharoah Overcomes Biology To Win Triple Crown
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's run-fast-turn-left-run-fast-turn-left department:
HughPickens.com writes: There are good reasons it's been 37 years since the last triple-crown winner. As Lexi Pandell writes, post-race recovery is no joke for a thousand-pound animal that can run more than 40 miles per hour. There are two weeks between the Derby and the Preakness, and three weeks between the Preakness and the Belmont. That tight schedule—and the super-specific needs of racehorses—means horses competing in the grueling back-to-back-to-back Triple Crown races have a big disadvantage against fresh horses. First, as a horse races, its muscles produce lactic acid. In humans, glycogen recoup takes about 24 hours. But horses take several days to process lactic acid and restore glycogen reserves. Trainers make sure their charges drink plenty of water and sometimes even use intravenous fluids to aid that repair process. Secondly, in addition to being the last race of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is also the longest. When a horse runs a tough race (or has a new workout at a longer distance), its muscles break down. Then, during rest, they reknit and adapt. A horse that has skipped the Preakness, however, has the luxury of time. Mubtaahij, who some picked to win the Belmont, had plenty of rest so he could be pushed for hard workouts two weeks prior to the Belmont.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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NASA To Test Inflatable Donut For Landing On Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mmmmmmm-donuts department:
An anonymous reader writes: When NASA has put rovers on the surface of Mars, they've relied heavily on parachutes to get through the atmosphere safely. Aerobraking doesn't work as well as it does on Earth because Mars's atmosphere is so thin. Parachuting runs into the same problem, but it's easier to pack a bigger chute than it is to bring along a bigger heat shield. But NASA has been working on that exact problem, and they'll soon test the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), which looks an awful lot like a giant, inflatable donut. When a spacecraft is ready to enter an atmosphere, the LDSD will inflate along its outside edge, substantially increasing its surface area while not adding too much weight. Weather has postponed the test a couple times already, but NASA hopes to complete it on Monday.

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Apple Music and the Terrible Return of DRM
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's must-have-been-a-short-vacation department:
An anonymous reader writes: Apple's rumored music streaming service looks set to materialize soon, and a lot of people are talking about how good it might be. But Nilay Patel is looking at the other side — if the service fits with Apple's typical mode of operation, it'll only work with other Apple products. "That means I'll have yet a fourth music service in my life (Spotify, Google Play Music, Prime, and Apple Music) and a fourth set of content exclusives and pricing windows to think about instead of just listening to music." He points out Steve Jobs's 2007 essay on the state of digital music and notes that Jobs seemed to feel DRM was a waste of time — something forced on Apple by the labels. "But it's no longer the labels pushing DRM on the music services; it's the services themselves, because locking you into a single ecosystem guarantees you'll keep paying their monthly subscription fees and hopefully buy into the rest of their ecosystem. ... Apple Music might be available on Android, but it probably won't be as good, because Apple wants you to buy an iPhone.... There's just lock-in, endless lock-in. Is this what we wanted?"

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The Real Scars of Korean Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's from-all-the-knife-fights-i-bet department:
An anonymous reader writes: Professional e-sports have been slowly but steadily gaining a following in the U.S. over the past couple of decades, but in South Korea, it's already arrived as a popular form of entertainment. An article at the BBC takes a look at the e-sports scene there, which is generating huge salaries for the top players, but also injuries and insular lifestyles. It's growing more similar to traditional pro sports all the time. From the article: "A scar, half an inch wide, stretched from just above the elbow and up over his shoulder. 'Our company paid for full medical expenses, so he had an operation,' explained his coach, Kang Doh Kyung. [He] is the best player in StarCraft and has won everything in this field and is still going strong.' Repetitive strain had injured Mr Lee's muscles, deforming them and making surgery the only option to save his illustrious career."

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China Denies Responsibility For US Government Data Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's neither-the-right-hand-nor-the-left-hand-know-what-the-cyber-hand-is-doing department:
schwit1 writes: On Friday, Beijing responded to allegations from Washington that China was responsible for a cyberattack on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that compromised the personal data of some 4 million government employees. The accusations, China's foreign ministry said, are "irresponsible" and "groundless." The OPM breach is the latest in a string of cyber 'incidents' that have coincidentally occurred in the wake of the Pentagon's new cyber strategy.

ZeroHedge argues, "Whether or not the most recent virtual attack on the U.S. did indeed emanate from China or one of Washington's other so-called "cyberadversaries" (the list includes Iran, Russia, and North Korea) will likely never be known the public, but rest assured the blame will be placed with a state actor so as to ensure the DoD has some precedent to refer to when, for whatever reason, the Pentagon decides it's time to deploy an "offensive" cyberattack later on down the road."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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First ISS-To-Earth 'Handshake' Demonstrates Space-to-Ground Remote Control
Posted by News Fetcher on June 06 '15 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's interspace-thumb-war-tournament-scheduled-for-tuesday department:
Zothecula writes: NASA astronaut Terry Virts, aboard the International Space Station, and ESA telerobotics specialist André Schiele, in the Netherlands, made space history this week with the first telerobotic "handshake" between space and Earth. Using special force feedback joysticks that acquire force data and create the sensation of pressure, Virts and Schiele brought the agencies closer to allowing astronauts in remote locations to naturally and safely control robotic devices and perform potentially dangerous or otherwise impossible tasks.

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