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Base Funding Goal: $2,000
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Updated: 2015-11-13

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2015-07-01 to 2015-12-31

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The First Draft of the SN manifesto is available

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  • I don't have a computer, you insensitive clod!

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:22 | Votes:184

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 28, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-forget-the-cheese dept.

If your previous try with WINE wasn't all you'd hoped for, the additions to 1.7.55 may include just what you need.

Softpedia reports

WINE is an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator. [...] It's considered to be a compatibility layer in the same way you will find compatibility settings in modern [versions of Windows that allow you to runs apps that are only natively compatible with earlier versions of that OS].

[...] The improvements made to Wine are not usually all that transparent for regular users, as the developers write their changelogs mostly for other devs or at least for people who are watching the project a lot closer.

[...] There are two different changelogs for each Wine release, one that deals with the application itself, and the other one that reveals what changes and improvements have been made to support various apps and games.

According to the changelog, the PulseAudio driver has been added, various fixes for Microsoft Office 2013 support have been introduced, more work has been done for the Web Services DLL, more fixes for the latest C runtime version have been implemented, the Makefile generation has been improved, and other bug fixes have been implemented.

The list of supported games and apps has expanded with the following titles: Adobe Premiere 6, Adobe AIR / Adobe Media Player, Resolume Avenue 3.3.2, Cubis Gold 2, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, PowerDVD 10, Freelancer, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek Birth of the Federation, Guild Wars 2, Risen 2, Tomb Raider 2013, Sacred 2 Gold, valgrind, CCleaner, Emerge Desktop 6.1.3, Microsoft Office 2007, and numerous others.

Softpedia also notes WINE 1.7.x Branch Closed; WINE 1.8 to Launch Soon

The plan is to have a single stable version once a year, but it remains to be seen how this will work out for them.

[...] Until we have a chance to try the new model, we can't really say anything about whether it's right or wrong. What we do know is that Wine 1.8 has been announced, and it's coming in just a month or so.

1.7.55 is the last Version of the 1.7.x series.[1] It's likely to see Wine 1.8 until end of this year. Until then we'll have weekly release candidates. Please give them as much testing as you can, you're also welcome to improve translations in case your language isn't perfect yet".

[...] As a side note, the Wine developers have recently also reported that they managed to port the framework on Android, which is a great step forward, but they don't see a way of making money off that just yet.

[1] Rehash removes the ASCII whitespace in links.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 28, @11:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet dept.

This one looks like a fun how-to paper [PDF] to try over the holiday.

I thought I was doing well with my 7 second boot time, but now realize how maudlin that is. Has anyone done this kind of optimization? Worth doing?

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 28, @09:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the turd-riffic! dept.

As most people know, everyone poops.

However, when you are an astronaut there are a lot more technical challenges to overcome in carrying out this act. Older and current methods of stuffing the waste into bags, jettisoning it into space (despite being described as "one of the most beautiful sights"), or letting it become a shooting star to wish upon are not the best ways of handing it while looking toward future missions to the Moon or Mars.

A look towards future toilets discusses ways to handle the waste, which could be on the order of 300 pounds for a mission crew, as well as how to make use of it from fertilizer to building materials and radiation shielding.

Previously, we have discussed that in space everyone can hear you poop.

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 28, @07:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the teeny-tiny-printer dept.

A team from UCLA has 3D-printed microparticles that may be suitable for medical applications:

Bioengineers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a new method of 3-D printing that allows production of complex micro-scale objects smaller than the width of a human hair. The technique, using patterned ultraviolet light and a custom-shaped flow of polymer material, creates 3-D objects that can be first designed with software and could be used in a variety of biomedical and industrial applications. The research was published online in the journal Advanced Materials.

The authors suggest that producing 3-D shapes at the micro scale could be useful for designing custom biomaterials such as interlocking particles that self-assemble to help tissue regenerate, or for industrial applications such as creating new coatings and paints with unique light-reactive properties.

[...] To make smaller custom objects with folds, holes and other precise features, the UCLA team developed a new technique called optical transient liquid modeling. It uses a series of microfluidic and optical technologies, including a technique previously developed by Di Carlo's research group that simplifies designing the shape of fluid flows.

First, two different types of fluids are combined in a series of tiny pillars that control the shape of the merged fluids. One fluid is a liquid polymer that is the precursor material for the object. The other essentially acts as a liquid mold for the polymer stream. The arrangement of the pillars determines how the two flows mix and intertwine. The researchers used software that they previously developed to rapidly predict what shape will be produced by altering the pillars' location and sequence. It can be downloaded for free here.

When the flow of materials is stopped rapidly, an outlined pattern of ultraviolet light — somewhat like a cookie cutter — slices into the precursor stream. So the object is shaped first by the stream, then again by UV light. The UCLA researchers have reached printing speeds of nearly one object every five seconds.

[...] The objects the team has produced are about 100–500 micrometers in size, with features as small as 10–15 micrometers. With this method, they have produced objects composed of organic materials as well as particles whose movements and position could be precisely controlled by magnetism.

Via NextBigFuture.

Rapid Software-Based Design and Optical Transient Liquid Molding of Microparticles [abstract]

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Saturday November 28, @06:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the tongue-firmly-in-cheek dept.

It always amuses me when folks give their insightful input in threads, adding comments about their last-century experience getting Linux going. It appears that this guy has a similar reaction.

Itripovermyownfeet shared his thoughts in the Linux Mint subreddit.

This is awful, when I install Linux on the desktop I'm expecting to be able to waste a solid 8 hours chasing down random issues that were solved on all other modern desktop systems by 2008. I went into this hoping and wishing to have to crawl through threads from 2006 to figure out why plugging in a second monitor doesn't work with

I want the peace and quiet that you can only get from spending 45 minutes trying to get alsa/oss/flavor of the week sound manager to work properly. I miss the subtle delicious pain of trying to figure out what I have to do to get Gnome 3 or Unity to provide desktop functionality that came standard with Windows NT 4.

With what you've done here I am no longer able to do any of these things. You've taken the awful travesty of an experience that trying to do anything production on a Linux desktop is supposed to provide and made it usable, sensible, and working out of the box. This is why I can't call Mint a Linux desktop. It's just a desktop... you monsters.

(I plugged a second monitor into my HDMI slot and it just worked. I have literally never experienced that since working with Linux since the days of Redhat 3. You've taken away a cherished time honoured tradition of having a terrible experience using a Linux desktop from me forever.)

Comments by other redditors include:

Gandalfx: Could "reverse trolling" be an appropriate term for this?

Crcr: I know what you mean, Mint has been this way for me since version 12 & it's starting to get old, the usability out of the box drives me nuts.

Foofly: I tried to explain to a friend that the installation experience is better than Windows these days. In addition to having way less driver issues in general. He didn't believe me since his last experience was almost 10 years ago.

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Saturday November 28, @04:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the i-think-you-dropped-this dept.

The Apollo program was powered by the mighty Rocketdyne F-1 engine, the most powerful liquid-fuel rocket ever developed. Five engines were used on each Saturn V launch. They would burn for about two and half minutes before separating and falling back into the Atlantic Ocean. In 2013 a Jeff Bezos funded expedition located a debris field of F-1 engine remains sitting over 14,000 feet under the ocean surface. The recovered parts have been put through a conservation process to identify them and remove some of the effects of sitting on the ocean floor for more than 40 years. At the request of Bezos, NASA has donated a recovered Apollo 12 engine to the Seattle Museum of Flight.

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Saturday November 28, @03:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the contexuallyirrelevantrelativeintepretationsofconceptualpsychologicaleconomicscientificpropaganda dept.

New research from analysts at ESRI UK has found that a third of us feel stressed due to the increasing amount of digital information we are expected to consume, make sense of, and act on, in our day to day lives.

Many of us can probably relate to the stress of having to prepare for exams by "cramming" as much information into our heads as we can. But increasingly we are being expected to "cram" every day, with information fired at us by emails, phone conversations, videos, news broadcasts and social media. As a trivial example – there's no longer an excuse to forget Aunt June's birthday when she knows full well everyone will get a reminder via Facebook FB -0.95%!

Now science has stepped forward with an explanation. The human brain thrives on novelty and is driven to constantly seek it. When novelty is available in effectively unlimited quantity, the brain becomes overworked as it tries to process this information while driving itself on to search for more. This leads to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to confusion, memory loss and a state of restlessness.

The study of 1,000 Brits found that over a third (35%) feel that having to keep up with today's "information overload" leaves them feeling stressed out, unable to relax and anxious. Two thirds (65%) say that the need to keep track of a great deal of information is a "major concern" in their lives.

Others might cite major sources of stress as scope creep and compressed timelines, but YMMV.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday November 28, @01:17AM   Printer-friendly
from the healthy-hippies dept.

Barefoot activities can greatly improve balance and posture and prevent common injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, bursitis, and tendonitis in the Achilles tendon, according to Patrick McKeon, a professor in Ithaca College's School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

The small, often overlooked muscles in the feet that play a vital but underappreciated role in movement and stability. Their role is similar to that of the core muscles in the abdomen.

"If you say 'core stability,' everyone sucks in their bellybutton," he said. Part of the reason why is about appearance, but it's also because a strong core is associated with good fitness. The comparison between feet and abs is intentional on McKeon's part; he wants people to take the health of their "foot core" just as seriously.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday November 27, @11:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the shouting-quietly dept.

In his previous work, Stanford physicist Leo Yu has entangled photons with electrons through fiber optic cables over a distance of several feet. Now, he and a team of scientists, including Professor Emeritus Yoshihisa Yamamoto, have correlated photons with electron spin over a record distance of 1.2 miles (1.93 kilometers).

"Electron spin is the basic unit of a quantum computer," Yu said. "This work can pave the way for future quantum networks that can send highly secure data around the world."

To do this, Yu and his team had to make sure that the correlation could be preserved over long distances – a key challenge given that photons have a tendency to change orientation while traveling in optical fibers.

Let's see the NSA surveille ansibles.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday November 27, @09:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the fingering-a-corrupt-governmental-agency dept.

How many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by European Patent Office aggression against the media?

Roy Schestowitz at TechRights reports

What the EPO did to us [1, 2, 3] last month and earlier this month (for a number of weeks) is important because it can help inform other sites of what EPO has been up to and how to stand up to it. We already have evidence to show that Team Battistelli is using the "chilling effect" against politicians, lawyers, bloggers, journalists, and even government delegates. How far will these sociopaths go?

[...] [We noticed that] EPO lawyers had lazily used a template and didn't even change the name when they sent a threatening letter. [...] This kind of evidence suggests that other such letters were sent to other publishers, demanding that they take down their articles about the EPO. [...] We already know that SUEPO [Staff Union of the European Patent Office] removed some links from its public site. EPO management put them under threat, hence FOSS Patents links and Heise links got removed. [...] Any information about what exactly happened back then would be greatly appreciated. There is a campaign of "chilling effect" against dissent and if nobody speaks out, as a French blogger did a few months ago, we wouldn't know just how widespread this campaign is.

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Friday November 27, @07:12PM   Printer-friendly
from the injection-infection dept.

One of the hackers suspected of being behind the TalkTalk breach, which led to the personal details of at least 150,000 people being stolen, used a vulnerability discovered two years before he was even born.

That method of attack was SQL injection (SQLi), where hackers typically enter malicious commands into forms on a website to make it churn out juicy bits of data. It's been used to steal the personal details of World Health Organization employees, grab data from the Wall Street Journal, and hit the sites of US federal agencies.

"It's the most easy way to hack," the pseudonymous hacker w0rm, who was responsible for the Wall Street Journal hack, told Motherboard. The attack took only a "few hours."

But, for all its simplicity, as well as its effectiveness at siphoning the digital innards of corporations and governments alike, SQLi is relatively easy to defend against.

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday November 27, @06:50PM   Printer-friendly

Four police officers and an unknown number of civilians have been hurt in an "active shooter" incident in the US city of Colorado Springs, police say.

Officers were exchanging fire with a gunman inside a Planned Parenthood clinic, police Lt Catherine Buckley said.

It was unclear if hostages had been taken, she said.

The city's Penrose hospital said it had received six patients, but did not say whether they were civilians or police.

The situation was still active and roads were closed, the city's police said in a tweet.

"We do not have the shooter at this point but we do have all of our resources brought to bear," Lt Buckley told local TV.

My local news station

AP story BBC story

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday November 27, @05:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the phileas-fogg dept.

Google may be planning to deploy its Project Loon balloons above the United States:

Google appears to be planning to test its Project Loon internet balloons across the entire US, according to recent documents filed with the FCC.

The company has asked the Federal Communications Commission for a license to test experimental radios that use wireless spectrum in the millimeter bandwidth in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Google said it wants to begin the tests on January 1 for a period of 24 months.

The testing could indicate that Google is broadening its ambitions for providing consumers with internet access through the special balloons developed in its secretive X Labs.

Project Loon is Google's plan to operate a fleet of solar-powered balloons — flying at an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet — that are capable of beaming internet access down to the earth. Google has described the project as a way to bring internet access to people in developing economies and regions of the world that lack communications infrastructure.

[...] More tellingly, the filing notes that Google's latest request for an experimental license is for continued development of previous tests, in which the company also acquired experimental licenses from the FCC. According to the previous filings that Google references, those tests were conducted in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Winnemucca is a remote town of roughly 7,000 in Nevada, and its attractions include a small brothel district known as "The Line" and an annual Basque festival, according to Wikipedia. But in August 2014, one month before Google's first FCC request for a license to test in Winnemucca, the published minutes of the Winnemucca City Council contain a proposal to let Google use its airport industrial park as a "temporary balloon launching facility."

The most recent Google FCC filings indicated that Google wants to use frequencies in the 71 GHz to 76 GHz range and in the 81 GHz to 86 GHz range.

Previously: Google Releases New Project Loon Video
Google to Provide Sri Lanka with 3G Internet Using Balloons

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday November 27, @04:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the shill-for-freedom dept.

A convicted software pirate has been handed an unusual punishment. The man, named only as Jakub F, will be spared having to pay hefty damages - as long as a film denouncing piracy he was made to produce gets 200,000 views.He came to the out-of-court settlement with a host of firms whose software he pirated after being convicted by a Czech court. In return, they agreed not to sue him. The 30-year-old was also given a three-year suspended sentence.

The criminal court decided that any financial penalty would have to be decided either in civil proceedings or out of court. The firms, which included Microsoft, HBO Europe, Sony Music and Twentieth Century Fox, estimated that the financial damage amounted to 5.7m Czech Crowns (£148,000). But the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represented Microsoft, acknowledged that Jakub could not pay that sum.

Instead, the companies said they would be happy to receive only a small payment and his co-operation in the production of the video. In order for the firms' promise not to sue to be valid, they said, the video would have to be viewed at least 200,000 times within two months of its publication this week. A spokesman for the BSA told the BBC that the stipulation was to ensure that Jakub would help share it as widely as possible. But, if the video did not reach the target, the spokesman said that - "in theory" - the firms would have grounds to bring a civil case for damages.

The YouTube film, currently at over 450k views means Jakub should avoid any further legal action.

[Editor's note: SiKing also submitted this, but not quite in time to get it merged with the other already in the queue.]

Original Submission

posted by n1 on Friday November 27, @03:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the fightin'-words dept.

Henry Farrel writes in the Washington Post that there's a group of people which appears to be highly prone to violent extremism - engineers - who are nine times more likely to be terrorists as you would expect by chance. In a forthcoming book, "Engineers of Jihad," published by Princeton University Press, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog provide a new theory for why it is that engineers seem unusually prone to become involved in terrorist organizations. Gambetta and Hertog find strongly suggestive evidence that engineers are more likely to become terrorists because of the way that they think about the world. Survey data indicates that engineering faculty at universities are far more likely to be conservative than people with other degrees, and far more likely to be religious. They are seven times as likely to be both religious and conservative as social scientists. Gambetta and Hertog speculate that engineers combine these political predilections with a marked preference towards finding clearcut answers. This preference has affinities with the clear answer that radical Islamist groups propose for dealing with the complexities of modernity: Get rid of it.

Gambetta and Hertog suggest that this mindset combines with frustrated expectations in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, and among many migrant populations, where people with engineering backgrounds have difficulty in realizing their ambitions for good and socially valued jobs. This explains why there are relatively few radical Islamists with engineering backgrounds in Saudi Arabia (where they can easily find good employment) and why engineers were more prone to become left-wing radicals in Turkey and Iran.

Some people might argue that terrorist groups want to recruit engineers because engineers have valuable technical skills that might be helpful, such as in making bombs. This seems plausible – but it doesn't seem to be true. Terrorist organizations don't seem to recruit people because of their technical skills, but because they seem trustworthy and they don't actually need many people with engineering skills. "Bomb-making and the technical stuff that is done in most groups is performed by very few people, so you don't need, if you have a large group, 40 or 50 percent engineers," says Hertog. "You just need a few guys to put together the bombs. So the scale of the overrepresentation, especially in the larger groups is not easily explained."

Original Submission

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