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Which war to fight first

  • vi vs emacs
  • tabs vs spaces
  • static vs dynamic typing
  • gui vs text
  • functional vs OOP
  • Light vs Dark theme
  • Other (please specify)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:128 | Votes:212

posted by janrinok on Monday January 17, @08:12PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

It's time to ditch the CV: Why tech recruiters are changing how they hire:

More than half of recruiters are open to the idea of eliminating CVs from the hiring process in favour of an increase in skills-based assessments.

That's according to a survey conducted by developer hiring platform CodinGame and technical interview platform CoderPad, which found that recruiters are increasingly wary of the limitations of resumes and other traditional hiring techniques when trying to identify skilled candidates.

The survey argued that removing CVs from the hiring process would help open up the talent pool and make recruitment more diverse. Two-thirds (66%) of technology recruiters said bias is an issue in hiring, with resumes regarded as "a major contributory factor".

[...] Amanda Richardson, CEO of CoderPad, believes the hiring system is broken. "Part of what we're seeing is there are still companies that not only demand a computer science degree, they demand a computer science degree from one of five schools, or someone who's worked at one of five companies," Richardson tells ZDNet.

"No matter how you cut it...there just aren't that many bodies coming into the workforce. The opportunity to be smart about how you're recruiting, looking for skills and walking away from some of those traditional steps, is really a huge culture shift."

The argument for skills-based assessment tools centres on the idea that they remove bias in hiring by allowing employers to determine a candidate's suitability based on their performance alone, as opposed to any information contained within the candidate's CV that could influence a hiring manager's employment decisions.

Thanks to growing interest in coding and the proliferation of coding bootcamps, a computer science degree is no longer a prerequisite for a career in software development. That said, having a formal qualification certainly helps, and a number of major technology firms still insist on their employees having a fundamental grasp of programming theory.

"Both Stanford and MIT teach a class called 'How to Pass the Technical Interview' for credit," says Richardson.

"There's something broken in the world when you're taking a class on how to get the job at arguably the most highly qualified specialized schools in the country."

The good news is that, with technology jobs becoming increasingly platform-based, more companies are willing to hire candidates who can show aptitude in software tools, programming languages and frameworks used by the business.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday January 17, @03:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the bada-BOOM! dept.

Military flights sent to assess damage from Pacific volcano:

New Zealand and Australia were able to send military surveillance flights to Tonga on Monday to assess the damage a huge undersea volcanic eruption left in the Pacific island nation.

A towering ash cloud since Saturday's eruption had prevented earlier flights. New Zealand hopes to send essential supplies, including much-needed drinking water, on a military transport plane later Monday.

Communications with Tonga remained extremely limited. The company that owns the single underwater communications cable that connects the island nation to the rest of the world said it likely was severed in the eruption and repairs could take weeks.

The loss of the cable leaves most Tongans unable to use the internet or make phone calls abroad. Those that have managed to get messages out described their country as looking like a moonscape as they began cleaning up from the tsunami waves and volcanic ash fall.

Tsunami waves of about 80 centimeters (2.7 feet) crashed into Tonga's shoreline, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described damage to boats and coastal shops.

No casualties have been reported on Tonga, although there were still concerns about people on some of the smaller islands near the volcano. The tsunami waves crossed the Pacific, drowning two people in Peru and causing minor damage from New Zealand to Santa Cruz, California.

Scientists said they didn't think the eruption would have a significant impact on the Earth's climate.

Huge volcanic eruptions can sometimes cause temporary global cooling as sulfur dioxide is pumped into the stratosphere. But in the case of the Tonga eruption, initial satellite measurements indicated the amount of sulfur dioxide released would only have a tiny effect of perhaps 0.01 Celsius (0.02 Fahrenheit) global average cooling, said Alan Robock, a professor at Rutgers University.

Satellite images showed the spectacular undersea eruption Saturday evening, with a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a giant mushroom above the South Pacific waters.

A sonic boom could be heard as far away as Alaska and sent pressure shockwaves around the planet twice, altering atmospheric pressure that may have briefly helped clear out the fog in Seattle, according to the National Weather Service. Large waves were detected as far as the Caribbean due to pressure changes generated by the eruption.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday January 17, @10:32AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the get-packing dept.

The secret to DNA packing to one-millionth its size:

Threads or earphone cables placed in tight spaces get easily tangled. On the contrary, our body's long and loose DNA packs into rod-shaped chromosomes one-millionth its size when the cell divides. If cell division occurs with DNA that is almost two meters in length, there is the risk of damage or loss in genetic information. Therefore, the condensation of chromosomes is essential to accurately transmitting genetic information.

A research team led by Professor Changyong Song and Dr. Daeho Sung, and Professor Jae-Hyung Jeon and Ph.D. candidate Chan Im in the Department of Physics at POSTECH, along with Professor Do Young Noh (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, GIST) used the X-ray from the third-generation synchrotron facility to analyze human chromosomes in their clustered state. These findings observed at the nanometer-scale resolution were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The packing mechanism that condenses the chromosomes into one-millionth its size without any tangling and the 3D structure that enables this have puzzled researchers for over a half a century. However, it has been difficult to observe the chromosomes in their native condition. The researchers had to resort to detecting only some components of the chromosomes or infer their condensed state from looking at their uncoiled state.

[...] Through the study, the research team confirmed that the chromosomes were formed in a fractal structure rather than the hierarchical structure stated in previous studies. In addition, a physical model showing the packing process of chromosomes was presented.

Journal Reference:
Daeho Sung, Chan Lim, Masatoshi Takagi, et al. Stochastic chromatin packing of 3D mitotic chromosomes revealed by coherent X-rays [$], Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2109921118)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday January 17, @05:47AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Major Record Labels Sue Youtube-dl's Hosting Provider:

"We don't think the suit is justified," says Uberspace chief Jonas Pasche in comments to TorrentFreak.

"YouTube has measures to prevent users from downloading specific content, which they make use of for YouTube Movies and Music: DRM. They don't use that technology here, enabling a download rather trivially. One may view youtube-dl as just a specialized browser, and you wouldn't ban Firefox just because you can use it to access music videos on YouTube."

According to an Uberspace lawyer, the aim of the lawsuit is to achieve some kind of precedent or "fundamental judgment". Success could mean that other companies could be obliged to take action in similarly controversial legal situations.

And the alleged illegality of youtube-dl is indeed controversial. While YouTube's terms of service generally disallow downloading, in Germany there is the right to make a private copy, with local rights group GEMA collecting fees to compensate for just that. Equally, when users upload content to YouTube under a Creative Commons license, for example, they agree to others in the community making use of that content.

[...] "Not only does YouTube pay license fees for music, we all pay fees for the right to private copying in the form of the device fee, which is levied with every purchase of smartphones or storage media," says Reda.

"Despite this double payment, Sony, Universal and Warner Music want to prevent us from exercising our right to private copying by saving YouTube videos locally on the hard drive."

The question of whether YouTube's "rolling cipher" is (or is not) a technical protection measure is currently the hot and recurring topic in a lawsuit filed by YouTube-ripping site Yout.com against the RIAA in the United States. After more than a year, the warring factions are no closer to an agreement.

This comes just as (2021-12-17) the main developer changed his status to, "inactive."[1]

Gee, I wonder why?

In my opinion, "the powers that be" won't be satisfied until they get the youtube-dl program completely chased into the underground. Is the successor yt-dlp) next?


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday January 17, @12:57AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the hoping-for-no-dips-in-chips dept.

TSMC invests in new capacity despite forecasts chip demand will ease:

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company plans to raise its capital expenditure by almost a third this year as the world's largest contract chipmaker defies analyst warnings of softening demand for technology gadgets.

TSMC expects capital expenditure to reach $44 billion this year, a 32 percent increase from the $30 billion spent in 2021 and triple the amount in 2019, the company said on Thursday.

The push underscores the outsized role semiconductors are coming to play in goods far beyond classical electronics products, from cars to factory equipment. It also reflects TSMC's dominance of global chip manufacturing.

The scale of TSMC's spending will also "put a ceiling" on ambitious plans from Samsung, TSMC's closest rival in contract chipmaking, and Intel, which has also entered the foundry business, to challenge the Taiwanese company's leadership, said Dylan Patel of Semianalysis.

[...] TSMC has built a massive fabrication plant, or fab, in southern Taiwan for advanced 3 nanometer chips, a technology level at which production is scheduled to begin later this year. It is also building a new fab for production at 5 nanometers, the most advanced technology level currently in production, in the US.

The company said the expansion was needed because demand for its chips would continue to increase by double-digit margins for years to come, even though some analysts have predicted a slowdown after a growth spurt in the past two years.

"We observe end-market demand may slow down in terms of units, but silicon content is increasing," said CC Wei, TSMC's chief executive. "So even if there's a slowdown, we believe it could be less volatile for TSMC. So we expect our capacity to remain very tight throughout 2022."

See also Tom's Hardware and a video at Bloomberg.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 16, @08:02PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the one-day-we-will-have-a-cure-for-it... dept.

A very common virus may be the trigger for multiple sclerosis:

Evidence is mounting that a garden-variety virus that sometimes causes mono in teens is the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis, a rare neurological disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord, stripping away protective insulation around nerve cells, called myelin.

It's still unclear how exactly the virus—the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)—may trigger MS and why MS develops in a tiny fraction of people. About 95 percent of adults have been infected with EBV, which often strikes in childhood. MS, meanwhile, often develops between the ages of 20 and 40 and is estimated to affect around one million people in the US. Yet, years of evidence have consistently pointed to links between the childhood virus and the chronic demyelinating disease later in life.

With a study published today in Science, the link is stronger than ever, and outside experts say the new findings offer further "compelling" evidence that EBV isn't just connected to MS; it's an essential trigger for the disease. The study found, among other things, that people had a 32-fold increase in risk of developing MS following an EBV infection in early adulthood.

"It's a great paper," Dr. Ruth Dobson, a preventive neurology professor and MS expert at Queen Mary University of London, told Ars in an interview. "The evidence just adds up and adds up and adds up... Whilst we don't understand biologically how EBV drives MS and we think about causation theories, really we have the rest of the building blocks in place," said Dobson, who was not involved in the new Science study. "It's another piece of evidence that really solidifies this theory" that EBV triggers MS.

[...] For the study, researchers led by Harvard neuroepidemiologist Dr. Kjetil Bjornevik mined an exceptionally rich repository of blood serum samples taken from a cohort of more than 10 million active-duty military personnel between 1993 and 2013.

[...] In the cohort, there were 801 members who developed MS and had banked up to three serum samples prior to their diagnosis. This gave the researchers the unique opportunity to go back in time and examine serum samples from MS patients years before they developed the disease. The researchers could also compare samples from the 801 MS patients to samples from 1,566 cohort members who did not develop MS and could serve as controls.

Of the 801 people who developed MS, all but one had antibodies indicating an EBV infection by the time of their MS diagnosis. And most of those EBV infections occurred earlier in their lives. At the start of the 20-year period, only 35 of the 801 MS patients started out as negative for EBV. By the end of the period, 34 of those 35 developed anti-EBV antibodies—aka seroconverted—prior to their diagnosis.

Journal Reference:
Kjetil Bjornevik, Marianna Cortese, Brian C. Healy, et al. Longitudinal analysis reveals high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus associated with multiple sclerosis, Science (DOI: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abj8222)


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 16, @03:18PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the customer-service dept.

PayPal stole users’ money after freezing, seizing funds, lawsuit alleges:

PayPal is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the digital payments company violated racketeering laws by freezing customer funds without offering an explanation.

When users contacted PayPal about the frozen funds, they were told they had violated the company's "acceptable use policy" but weren't told how that violation had occurred, the lawsuit says. What's more, it alleges that in at least one instance, PayPal said that a user would "have to get a subpoena" to find out why.

"PayPal violates its own Agreement by failing to provide adequate notice to users whose accounts have had holds placed on them," the lawsuit says. When PayPal does let users know it placed a hold on their funds, "it does not inform such users why such funds are being held, how they can obtain a release of the hold, and/or how they can avoid future holds being placed on their accounts."

It also says that PayPal takes the money for itself after a 180-day hold period. "PayPal's user agreement and acceptable use policy cannot be used as a 'license to steal,'" the complaint says.

[Ed. Note: one of the payment options to subscribe to SoylentNews is through PayPal. We practice safe operations and periodically withdraw funds from our PayPal account and deposit them to our bank account. We use the same technique with Stripe. To my knowledge, we have not had any problems with any of our payment processors.--martyb]


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 16, @10:21AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the By-the-inch,-it's-a-cinch-but-a-mile-takes-a-while dept.

We've previously discussed ( https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=21/12/11/1847236 ) how it becomes impossible to reverse the polarization of a community once their differences become too great, and how that plays out both here at SN and in the wider world. Science Blog has a piece ( https://scienceblog.com/527745/computer-model-seeks-to-explain-the-spread-of-misinformation-and-suggest-counter-measures/ ) about a PLOS paper titled "Cognitive cascades: How to model (and potentially counter) the spread of fake news" ( https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0261811 ) which uses an interesting computer model to explore how this actually happens.

The model demonstrated that if the new information is too much at odds with a person's existing belief, it will be ignored. Furthermore, if that belief is connected with the person's identity, their current belief will be strengthened as a defense against cognitive dissonance. Interestingly, though, a succession of new information that gradually nudge the person to adjust their beliefs can, over time, cause the person to adopt a belief that is very different from the one they started with. This sounds like how psy-ops manipulate targets to accept extreme views.

What was the gradual change of ideas that have led national political parties to be ever more different from one another, and who fed them those messages?


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 16, @05:46AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Report: Sony will use the PS4 to fill the PS5 supply gap:

With the PlayStation 5 still hard to find at retail amid worldwide semiconductor shortages, Sony has canceled plans to discontinue the PS4, extending the system's life through 2022.

That's according to a Bloomberg News report citing "people familiar with the matter" who say that Sony told assembly partners that it had planned to discontinue the PS4 at the end of 2021. Instead, the company now plans this year to produce a million units of the older console, which uses less-advanced chips that are easier to source. Sony could adjust that number based on demand.

For context, the PS4 sold 1.7 million units in the first nine months of 2021, according to financial reports, compared to 8.9 million PS5 units in that same time.

Sony, for its part, denied that it had previously considered stopping PS4 production. "It is one of the best-selling consoles ever, and there is always crossover between generations," the company told Bloomberg. Indeed, the PS3 continued to be produced in Japan until 2017, over three years after the introduction of the PS4. And the PS2 was still in production at the end of 2012, missing an overlap with the PS4 production by just one year. In general, popular consoles can continue to sell for years after their successors launch.

At the risk of starting a console war, do any console users want to tell us why they chose their console and what makes it better than any another? Is it something that other family members use or is it just for you to relax with?


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday January 16, @12:59AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the going-soon-from-outside-a-house-near-you dept.

Teen hacker finds bug that lets him control 25+ Teslas remotely:

A young hacker and IT security researcher found a way to remotely interact with more than 25 Tesla electric vehicles in 13 countries, according to a Twitter thread he posted yesterday.

David Colombo explained in the thread that the flaw was "not a vulnerability in Tesla's infrastructure. It's the owner's faults." He claimed to be able to disable a car's remote camera system, unlock doors and open windows, and even begin keyless driving. He could also determine the car's exact location.

However, Colombo clarified that he could not actually interact with any of the Teslas' steering, throttle, or brakes, so at least we don't have to worry about an army of remote-controlled EVs doing a Fate of the Furious reenactment.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 15, @08:45PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the that-should-feed-a-lot-of-people dept.

North Korea hackers stole $400m of cryptocurrency in 2021, report says:

North Korean hackers stole almost $400m (£291m) worth of digital assets in at least seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms last year, a report claims.

Blockchain analysis company Chainalysis said it was one of most successful years on record for cyber-criminals in the closed east Asian state. The attacks mainly targeted investment firms and centralised exchanges. North Korea has routinely denied being involved in hack attacks attributed to them.

"From 2020 to 2021, the number of North Korean-linked hacks jumped from four to seven, and the value extracted from these hacks grew by 40%," Chainalysis said in a report.

The hackers used a number of techniques, including phishing lures, code exploits and malware to siphon funds from the organisations' "hot" wallets and then moved them into North Korea-controlled addresses, the company said.

Cryptocurrency hot wallets are connected to the internet and cryptocurrency network and so are vulnerable to hacking. They are used to send and receive cryptocurrency, and allow users to view how many tokens they have. Many experts recommend moving large amounts of cryptocurrency not needed day-to-day to "cold" wallets, which are disconnected from the wider internet.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 15, @03:59PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Organic molecules in an ancient Mars meteorite formed via geology, not alien life:

When researchers in 1996 reported they had found organic molecules nestled in an ancient Martian meteorite discovered in Antarctica, it caused quite a buzz. Some insisted the compounds were big-if-true evidence of life having existed on Mars (SN: 3/8/01). Others, though, pointed to contamination by earthly life-forms or some nonbiological origins (SN: 1/10/18).

Now, a geochemical analysis of the meteorite provides the latest buzzkill to the idea that alien life inhabited the 4.09-billion-year-old fragment of the Red Planet. It suggests instead that the organic matter within probably formed from the chemical interplay of water and minerals mingling under Mars' surface, researchers report in the Jan. 14 Science. Even so, the finding could aid in the search for life, the team says.

Organic molecules are often produced by living organisms, but they can also arise from nonbiological, abiotic processes. Though myriad hypotheses claim to explain what sparked life, many researchers consider abiotic organic molecules to be necessary starting material. Martian geologic processes could have been generating these compounds for billions of years, the new study suggests.

"These organic chemicals could have become the primordial soup that might have helped form life on [Mars]," says Andrew Steele, a biochemist from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. Whether life ever existed there, however, remains unknown.

[...] Though the work doesn't bring us any closer to proving or disproving the existence of life on Mars, identifying abiotic sources of organic compounds there is crucial for the search, Steele explains. Once you've figured out how Martian organic chemistry acts without meddlesome life, he says, "you can then look to see if it's been tweaked."

Journal Reference:
A. Steele, L. G. Benning, R. Wirth, A. Schreiber, et al. Organic synthesis associated with serpentinization and carbonation on early Mars, Science (DOI: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg7905)


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 15, @10:14AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the cyberpolish dept.

Ukraine is hit by a massive cyberattack that targeted government websites [Dated 14 Jan.]

Dozens of Ukrainian government sites have been hit by an ominous cyberattack, with hackers warning people to "be afraid and expect the worst."

The attack took over websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet of ministers and security and defense council, posting a message on screens in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish that read: "Ukrainian! All your personal data was uploaded to the public network. All data on the computer is destroyed, it is impossible to restore it."

"All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future," the hackers said.

"As a result of a massive cyber attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other government agencies are temporarily down," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Twitter. "Our specialists have already started restoring the work of IT systems, and the cyberpolice has opened an investigation."

First on CNN: US intelligence indicates Russia preparing operation to justify invasion of Ukraine

The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion.

The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy forces.

[...] The US intelligence finding comes after a week's worth of diplomatic meetings between Russian and Western officials over Russia's amassing of tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's border. But the talks failed to achieve any breakthroughs, as Russia would not commit to de-escalating and American and NATO officials said Moscow's demands -- including that NATO never admit Ukraine into the alliance -- were non-starters.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 15, @05:33AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you're-dead,-Jim dept.

Deadly combination: New direct trigger for cell death discovered:

Scientists led by Professor Ana J. Garcia-Saez at the CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research at the University of Cologne have shown that apoptosis, the programmed cell death, involves a direct physical interplay between the two proteins BAX and DRP1. DRP1 can serve as a direct cell death activator by binding to BAX without the need for other cell death triggers. This finding could lead to the development of new cell death regulators for cancer therapies, for example. The article, 'DRP1 interacts directly with BAX to induce its activation and apoptosis' was published in The EMBO Journal.

It is known that the so-called 'apoptotic enforcer protein' BAX encounters DRP1 in the cell at the mitochondrial membrane. The latter is a dynamin-like protein that plays a critical role in mitochondrial division. However, the functional implications of their interaction and the contribution of DRP1 to apoptosis have been highly controversial.

BAX is a key protein in the pathway to cell death. Understanding the mechanism of action of BAX is critical for therapeutic regulation of apoptosis. Using super-resolution confocal fluorescence microscopy and biochemical as well as biophysical methods in model membrane systems, the research team was able to demonstrate the direct interaction of the two proteins in dying cells. In addition, using a system that artificially brings the two proteins together, they investigated the functional consequences of the interaction of BAX and DRP1.

"When we artificially force the interaction of the two proteins, they move from the cytoplasm to the mitochondria, where the protein complex triggers a reorganization of the mitochondria. This leads to pores in the membrane. The contents of the mitochondria enter the cell plasma, which ultimately leads to cell death," said Andreas Jenner, first author of the study.

Apoptosis at Wikipedia.

Journal Reference:
Andreas Jenner, Aida Peña-Blanco, Raquel Salvador-Gallego, et al. DRP1 interacts directly with BAX to induce its activation and apoptosis [open], The EMBO Journal (DOI: 10.15252/embj.2021108587)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 15, @12:44AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the curiouser-and-curiouser dept.

'Havana syndrome': US baffled after new cases in Europe

Four more US diplomats working in Geneva and Paris have fallen ill with a suspected neurological illness known as "Havana syndrome", US media report. Three diplomats became sick in the Swiss city and one in the French capital last summer, with some 200 people affected over five years.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the American government was working to get to the bottom of the mystery. There are fears an adversary may have targeted diplomats with microwaves. Mr Blinken said the issue had been raised with Russia but no determination had been made.

[...] A more innocent, but also unproven, theory is that those who got sick suffered from a mass condition brought on by some stressful underlying situation.


Original Submission