2017-07-01 00:00:00 ..
2017-08-15 06:04:22 UTC
2017-08-17 14:38:20 UTC
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Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Microsoft has announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is coming to Windows Server.
Microsoft's adding it to Windows Server for the same reasons it added it to Windows: it wants developers to have whatever tools they prefer at their disposal.
Sysadmins are also on Redmond's mind, it says. "If you're a server engineer that needs to run node.js, Ruby, Python, Perl, Bash scripts or other tools that expect Linux behaviors, environment or filesystem-layout, the ability to install and run Linux with WSL expands the tools at your disposal on Windows Server."
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
A measure aimed at boosting female employment in the workforce may actually be making it worse, a major study has found.
Leaders of the Australian public service will today be told to "hit pause" on blind recruitment trials, which many believed would increase the number of women in senior positions. Blind recruitment means recruiters cannot tell the gender of candidates because those details are removed from applications. It is seen as an alternative to gender quotas and has also been embraced by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Victoria Police and Westpac Bank.
In a bid to eliminate sexism, thousands of public servants have been told to pick recruits who have had all mention of their gender and ethnic background stripped from their CVs. The assumption behind the trial is that management will hire more women when they can only consider the professional merits of candidates. Their choices have been monitored by behavioural economists in the Prime Minister's department — colloquially known as "the nudge unit".
Professor Michael Hiscox, a Harvard academic who oversaw the trial, said he was shocked by the results and has urged caution. "We anticipated this would have a positive impact on diversity — making it more likely that female candidates and those from ethnic minorities are selected for the shortlist," he said. "We found the opposite, that de-identifying candidates reduced the likelihood of women being selected for the shortlist."
Samsung will use QLC NAND to create a 128 TB SSD:
For now, let's talk about the goods we'll see over the next year. The biggest news to come out of the new Samsung campus is QLC flash. Samsung's customers set performance and endurance specifications and don't care about the underlying technology as long as those needs are met. Samsung says it can achieve its targets with its first generation QLC (4-bits per cell) V-NAND technology.
The first product pre-announcement (it doesn't have a product number yet) is a 128TB SAS SSD using QLC technology with a 1TB die size. The company plans to go beyond 16 die per package using chip stacking technology that will yield 32 die per package, a flash industry record.
Previously: Seagate Demonstrates a 60 TB 3.5" SSD
Toshiba Envisions a 100 TB QLC SSD in the "Near Future"
Western Digital Announces 96-Layer 3D NAND, Including Both TLC and QLC
Toshiba's 3D QLC NAND Could Reach 1000 P/E Cycles
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in April that the company is working on pushing a long-haul electric semi truck to market, which is set to be formally revealed in September. Now, Reuters has viewed e-mail correspondence between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles that indicate that the company has discussed testing semi trucks on the state's roads.
The Reuters report also mentioned that the semis would be outfitted with autonomous functions, so they could traverse the nation's highways without a driver in the front seat. The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla's semis would "platoon," that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle. It's unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver, or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.
[...] Reuters also reported that California DMV officials will meet with Tesla this week "to talk about Tesla's efforts with autonomous trucks."
The "flash drought" that came out of nowhere this summer in the US High Plains, afflicting Montana and the Dakotas the worst, has already destroyed more than half of this year's wheat crop, going by some recent field surveys. Considering that the region is now one of the top wheat-growing regions in the world, the damage is very notable.
These so-called flash droughts are expected to become considerably more common over the coming decades as the climate continues warming and weather patterns continue changing.
[...] Something that's interesting to note here is that 2011, only 6 years back, was actually one of the wettest years on record in eastern Montana. Those sorts of rapid swings between extreme precipitation and flooding on the one hand, and extreme flash droughts on the other, are only going to become more common from here on out. Eventually, most of the agriculture in the region will have to cease.
Grist calls this a Cereal Killer.
Black holes are more common than previously thought, explaining why they can collide and merge, creating detectable gravitational waves:
After conducting a cosmic inventory of sorts to calculate and categorize stellar-remnant black holes, astronomers from the University of California, Irvine have concluded that there are probably tens of millions of the enigmatic, dark objects in the Milky Way – far more than expected.
"We think we've shown that there are as many as 100 million black holes in our galaxy," said UCI chair and professor of physics & astronomy James Bullock, co-author of a research paper on the subject in the current issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society [open, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1959] [DX].
[...] "We have a pretty good understanding of the overall population of stars in the universe and their mass distribution as they're born, so we can tell how many black holes should have formed with 100 solar masses versus 10 solar masses," Bullock said. "We were able to work out how many big black holes should exist, and it ended up being in the millions – many more than I anticipated." [...] "We show that only 0.1 to 1 percent of the black holes formed have to merge to explain what LIGO saw," [Manoj] Kaplinghat said. "Of course, the black holes have to get close enough to merge in a reasonable time, which is an open problem."
A confidential Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence asessment has concluded that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear warhead to make it capable of being launched by its ballistic missiles:
The analysis, completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency, comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country's atomic arsenal. The United States calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts think the number is much smaller.
[...] Although more than a decade has passed since North Korea's first nuclear detonation, many analysts thought it would be years before the country's weapons scientists could design a compact warhead that could be delivered by missile to distant targets. But the new assessment, a summary document dated July 28, concludes that this critical milestone has been reached.
"The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles," the assessment states, in an excerpt read to The Washington Post. Two U.S. officials familiar with the assessment verified its broad conclusions. It is not known whether the reclusive regime has successfully tested the smaller design, although North Korea officially claimed last year that it had done so.
Meanwhile, President Trump and Kim Jong Un have traded barbs:
President Donald Trump appears to have painted himself into a corner: He must now follow up on his pledge of hitting North Korea with "fire and fury," or he risks further blowing U.S. credibility.
Kim Jong-un's regime said late on Tuesday that it may strike Guam. That came shortly after Trump warned Pyongyang it would face "power, the likes of which this world has never seen before" if the renegade state continued to threaten the U.S.
"If the red line he drew today was 'North Korea cannot threaten the U.S. anymore,' that line was crossed within an hour of him making that statement," said John Delury, associate professor of Chinese studies at Seoul-based Yonsei University.
Disney has announced that it will stop providing new movies to Netflix in 2019, in favor of its own streaming service:
Disney has decided it wants to create its own internet services built around its ESPN and Disney entertainment brands. As a result, Disney said it would stop making its newly released movies available to stream on Netflix beginning in 2019. That means Netflix Inc. has roughly 18 months to figure out how to replace fresh Disney and Pixar movies, which are popular draws for its subscribers. A Netflix executive has said Disney programs are responsible for something like 30 percent of Netflix viewing in the U.S. (Disney movies are available on Netflix only in the U.S. and Canada.)
[...] This Walt Disney Co. announcement may also explain why Netflix on Monday announced the first acquisition in its 20-year history, for a company that specializes in creating superhero characters. Netflix also has an arrangement with Disney's Marvel brand under which Marvel makes series exclusively for Netflix based on Marvel characters. That relationship is responsible for buzzy Netflix shows including "Daredevil" and "Luke Cage."
The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an "acoustic attack" using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN. One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.
The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.
Conspiracy theory fodder, or actually possible?
I'm just back from a holiday which included dropping my phone and cracking the screen. The phone is a UMI Super which has served me very well, with the exception of a spotty GPS. However I found myself with a very real problem. The crack was across the top right corner of the screen about 1/2 an inch in from the top. It had the unfortunate side effect rendering the whole right hand side of the screen 1/2 an inch in unresponsive. This prevented me from unlocking the phone with the PIN (the fingerprint scanner on the back worked fine, however I forgot that I had set the phone to shut down during the night and it requires the PIN when the phone wakes up).
This effectively left me without a phone for the remainder of the trip and while I will get the screen replaced and continue to use the phone, I'm also considering getting a backup feature phone, or another smartphone, or when I change phone in the future move to a feature phone entirely.
In examining what I was missing out with the loss of the phone, I realise I only use it to message (the very odd call), Internet, Navigation and Netflix. However, with Netflix now allowing downloading of many shows, I can use a tablet better for this, and I can consider using a phone with hotspot for streaming and messaging.
What feature or smartphones do you suggest as a move away from large flagship devices? I have unlimited 4G data and am living in Ireland. My understanding is that most feature phones are aimed at the older generation (large buttons, loud speakers etc) and not for "I just don't want something that breaks easily" people. Budget is in the 100-150€ range, though I will entertain more expensive devices if the recommendation comes with good reasons.
A new study by an international team of astronomers reveals that four Earth-sized planets orbit the nearest sun-like star, tau Ceti, which is about 12 light years away and visible to the naked eye. These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around nearby sun-like stars. Two of them are super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star, meaning they could support liquid surface water.
[...] According to lead author Fabo Feng of the University of Hertfordshire, UK, the researchers are getting tantalizingly close to the 10-centimeter-per-second limit required for detecting Earth analogs. "Our detection of such weak wobbles is a milestone in the search for Earth analogs and the understanding of the Earth's habitability through comparison with these analogs," Feng said. "We have introduced new methods to remove the noise in the data in order to reveal the weak planetary signals."
The outer two planets around tau Ceti are likely to be candidate habitable worlds, although a massive debris disc around the star probably reduces their habitability due to intensive bombardment by asteroids and comets.
Stanford University researchers have proposed a miniature starshade as a test run for the far more expensive full version:
NASA has turned a lot of heads in recent years thanks to its New Worlds Mission concept – aka. Starshade. Consisting of a giant flower-shaped occulter, this proposed spacecraft is intended to be deployed alongside a space telescope (most likely the James Webb Space Telescope). It will then block the glare of distant stars, creating an artificial eclipse to make it easier to detect and study planets orbiting them.
The only problem is, this concept is expected to cost a pretty penny – an estimated $750 million to $3 billion at this point! Hence why Stanford Professor Simone D'Amico (with the help of exoplanet expert Bruce Macintosh) is proposing a scaled down version of the concept to demonstrate its effectiveness. Known as mDot, this occulter will do the same job, but at a fraction of the cost.
[...] But in addition to the significant cost of building one, there is also the issue of size and deployment. For such a mission to work, the occulter itself would need to be about the size of a baseball diamond – 27.5 meters (90 feet) in diameter. It would also need to be separated from the telescope by a distance equal to multiple Earth diameters and would have to be deployed beyond Earth's orbit. All of this adds up to a rather pricey mission! [...] Consisting of two parts, the mDOT system takes advantage of recent developments in miniaturization and small satellite (smallsat) technology. The first is a 100-kg microsatellite that is equipped with a 3-meter diameter starshade. The second is a 10-kg nanosatellite that carries a telescope measuring 10 cm (3.937 in) in diameter. Both components will be deployed in high Earth orbit with a nominal separation of less than 1,000 kilometers (621 mi).
What do you do when you see a van that apparently has no driver? Following reports that a 'Driverless' Vehicle was cruising the streets of Clarendon, Virginia, reporter Adam Tuss chased down the 2017 Ford Transit Connect van and discovered it was being driven by a man wearing a car seat costume.
After multiple inquiries[...] the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said Monday afternoon that the van and van driver are part of a study they are conducting on driverless cars. The worker was wearing the uniform he was supposed to wear.
"The driver's seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings," a statement from the institute says.
Virginia Tech declined to make the half car seat, half man -- as Tuss put it -- available for an interview.
Fake news and the way it spreads on social media is emerging as one of the great threats to modern society. In recent times, fake news has been used to manipulate stock markets, make people choose dangerous health-care options, and manipulate elections, including last year's presidential election in the U.S.
Clearly, there is an urgent need for a way to limit the diffusion of fake news. And that raises an important question: how does fake news spread in the first place?
Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Chengcheng Shao and pals at Indiana University in Bloomington. For the first time, these guys have systematically studied how fake news spreads on Twitter and provide a unique window into this murky world. Their work suggests clear strategies for controlling this epidemic.
arxiv.org/abs/1707.07592: The Spread of Fake News by Social Bots