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Anomaly-free SpaceX fires up SuperDracos, ISS astros go iFixit in orbit, and Buran turns 31

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 15:10
Plus: That time the first American in space gave 'nauts an on-air telling off

Roundup Last week SpaceX proved its Crew Dragon abort engines can work, ISS 'nauts embarked on an EVA to fix their particle physics detector, and Searching for Skylab got a director's cut of sorts.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

A Black Hole Threw a Star Out of the Milky Way Galaxy

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 14:43
There are fastballs, and then there are cosmic fastballs. Now it seems that the strongest arm in our galaxy might belong to a supermassive black hole that lives smack in the middle of the Milky Way. From a report: Astronomers recently discovered a star whizzing out of the center of our galaxy at the seriously blinding speed of four million miles an hour. The star, which goes by the typically inscrutable name S5-HVS1, is currently about 29,000 light-years from Earth, streaking through the Grus, or Crane, constellation in the southern sky. It is headed for the darkest, loneliest depths of intergalactic space. The runaway star was spotted by an international team of astronomers led by Ting Li of the Carnegie Observatories. They were using a telescope in Australia for a study known as the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey -- the S5. The star is about twice as massive as our own sun and ten times more luminous, according to Dr. Li. Drawing on data from the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft, which has charted the positions and motions of some 1.3 billion stars in the Milky Way, the astronomers traced the streaking star back to the galactic center. That is the home of a black hole known as Sagittarius A*, a gravitational monster with the mass of four million suns.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

'Sci-fi Makes You Stupid' Study Refuted by Scientists Behind Original Research

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 14:00
The authors of a 2017 study which found that reading science fiction "makes you stupid" have conducted a follow-up that found that it's only bad sci-fi that has this effect: a well-written slice of sci-fi will be read just as thoroughly as a literary story. From a report: Two years ago, Washington and Lee University professors Chris Gavaler and Dan Johnson published a paper in which they revealed that when readers were given a sci-fi story peopled by aliens and androids and set on a space ship, as opposed to a similar one set in reality, "the science fiction setting triggered poorer overall reading" and appeared to "predispose readers to a less effortful and comprehending mode of reading -- or what we might term non-literary reading." But after critics suggested that merely changing elements of a mainstream story into sci-fi tropes did not make for a quality story, Gavaler and Johnson decided to revisit the research. This time, 204 participants were given one of two stories to read: both were called "Ada" and were identical apart from one word, to provide the strictest possible control. The "literary" version begins: "My daughter is standing behind the bar, polishing a wine glass against a white cloth." The science-fiction variant begins: "My robot is standing behind the bar, polishing a wine glass against a white cloth."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 13:45
Lexus of speakers fails to address months of complaints, say users

Firmware updates to Bose TV soundbars don't seem to have fixed the problems for everyone and have even managed to add some new issues.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

From humble Unix sysadmin to brutal separatist suppressor to president of Sri Lanka

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 13:02
Today you toil. Who knows what tomorrow brings?

A former Unix sysadmin has been elected the new president of Sri Lanka, giving hope to all those IT workers who fear they are trapped in a role where the smallest of decisions can have catastrophic consequences if it goes wrong.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

College Students Say Ditching Their Smartphones For a Week Changed Their Lives

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 12:34
"They survived!" reports a local CBS news station, revisiting nearly two dozen students at Adelphi University who went a full week without their cell phones. schwit1 shares their report: It was part of a college course intended to break the powerful addiction of smartphones... an Adelphi University course called "Life Unplugged" where students did the unthinkable one week ago -- handed over their smartphones. "I'm freaking out, I could probably cry right now," one student said. It was a bold experiment to recognize today's compulsive relationships with ever present devices. Seven days later, "who's excited they're getting their phones back today?" Professor Donna Freitas asked. Gone were the nerves and the shakes. "Everything is perfect right now. I'm having a lot better relationships... it's a stress free environment no pressure about social media," Jacob Dannenberg said. "I think it's really refreshing and relaxing... I was able to fall asleep a lot easier," student Adrianna Cigliano. They managed to find their way, even without GPS for a week. "I just had to take the same route everywhere," one student joked. They were also more productive. "Doing homework was 100 percent easier. I got it done faster, I was in the zone," Cigliano said. Prof. Freitas says it's important for everyone to assess their addiction. "Are the conveniences worth it because the drawback are pretty significant," Freitas said. "The face that no one can focus, that my students can't sleep... They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on." Their reunions with the phones "went sour quickly as endless notifications piled up," the article notes. "Oh my God this is so bad...!" they quote one student as saying. "I just want to shut it off now....!"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

If it's not cloud, GTFO: Sage flogs payments business to US firm Elavon for £230m

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 12:06
Continues big old offload of 'non-core' assets

UK accounting software biz Sage is flogging its payments arm to US firm Elavon for £230m, the latest asset offload of its "non-core" businesses in favour of those with a cloudier flavour.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

NASA told to get act together on commercial crew vendors as chance of American-free ISS rises

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 11:29
Missed your deadlines? Here, have some more taxpayer dosh

Auditors minced no words in their assessment (PDF) of NASA's Commercial Crew providers: overdue, overbudget and overpaid.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

The Bloodhound Gang hits 1,010kph, retreats to lab to work on smashing the land speed record

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 11:01
Supersonic air detected

Bloodhound LSR hit 628mph (1,010kph) in high-speed testing over the weekend, as fast as its current rocket will propel it.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Rapid-fire Windows 10 builds, Azure on Arm not for the eyes of mortals, and Teams at 10,000ft

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 10:03
All the Microsoft excitement you missed while installing 19H2

Roundup As Microsoft luxuriated in the Ignite afterglow, the hardworking Reg gnomes deep within the Windows mines managed to unearth a nugget or two of news you may have missed.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Ex-Capita accountant who claimed £10k bung to leave was blackmail has appeal thrown out

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 09:15
You didn't work 2 weeks straight so you couldn't have been whistleblowing, tribunal rules

A Capita accountant who turned down a £10,000 bung to leave the firm only to be sacked anyway has lost her appeal against a rejected Employment Tribunal case.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Wind Farms Are Sending Giant Turbine Blades To Landfills

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 08:34
The Associated Press reports that renewable energy companies like MidAmerican Energy face an unexpected problem when they try to replace the giant blades from their wind turbines Landfill operators thought the composite blades, cut in 40-foot or larger sections, could be readily crushed and compacted. "But blades are so strong -- because they need to be strong to do their job -- they just don't break," said Amie Davidson, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources solid waste supervisor. "Sometimes pieces fly off and damage equipment" in the compacting process, she said. "Landfills are really struggling to manage them, and they just decide they can't accept them...." Bill Rowland, president of the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations, said he's unsure "we as a society" considered what would happen to the blades as older turbines are repowered. "There wasn't a plan in place to say, 'How are we going to recycle these?' 'How are we going to reduce the impact on landfills?'" said Rowland, director of the Landfill of North Iowa near Clear Lake... When it started investing in wind, MidAmerican believed a blade recycling option would emerge. "Thus far, it hasn't," said Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for MidAmerican, adding that the company is talking with other wind developers that may be interested in using the blades for their own projects... The difficulty in reusing blades adds to the complaints opponents make against wind energy. Some who live near the turbines complain that low-frequency noise and light flickering from the blades make them ill. And the spinning blades can kill migrating birds and bats.... Kerri Johannsen, the Iowa Environmental Council's energy program director, said more recycling solutions are needed. But, she added, it's not a reason to "turn away from wind energy -- a solution that can help mitigate the most dangerous threats from climate change...." According to the article, one U.S. Department of Energy researcher told the Des Moines Register that wind energy will create over one million tons of fiberglass and other composite waste, adding that "The scale of the issue is quite large... And it's a larger sustainability issue."

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Email! HUH! Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing...

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 08:15
... thanks to today's entrant in the Who, Me? hall of shame

Who, Me? Bid farewell to the weekend and a cheery hello to the week with another seepage from The Register's confessional in the form of our Who, Me? column.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pemex hit by ransomware, US Postal Service gets a copycat and new WhatsApp bugs

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 07:01
Plus, 1Password gets a boatload of cash

It's time for another Register security roundup of the week's smaller stories you may have missed.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Germany Makes Measles Vaccinations Compulsory For Children

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 06:39
An anonymous reader quotes CNN: Germany's parliament has voted to make measles vaccinations compulsory for children, with parents who fail to immunize their children facing fines of €2,500 ($2,750). The Measles Protection Act, which the Bundestag approved on Thursday, requires all parents to provide evidence that their child has received two measles vaccinations before they are enrolled in school or kindergarten. Medical staff, daycare workers, teachers and workers at community facilities must also be vaccinated under the act, which is due to come into effect in March 2020, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health told CNN. There has been a resurgence of measles -- a highly infectious viral illness that can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes -- across the globe... Almost 350,000 measles cases were reported globally in 2018, according to the United Nations children's agency UNICEF -- more than doubling from 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Twitter wants help with deepfakes, and Microsoft Azure will rent out new AI chips for its cloud users, and more

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 06:01
Plus a deepfake video that will freak you out

Roundup Here's this week's collection of AI-related news that we found interesting. Read on to find out more about a new chip coming to Microsoft Azure and how Twitter hopes to deal with deepfakes.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Declaring State of Emergency, Samoa Makes Measles Vaccinations Compulsory

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 04:39
"Samoa was finalising plans for a compulsory measles vaccination programme Monday, after declaring a state of emergency as a deadly epidemic sweeps the Pacific nation," reports the International Business Times: At least six fatalities, including five children, have been linked to the outbreak of the virus, which has also hit other island states such as Tonga and Fiji. Samoa is the worst affected with more than 700 cases reported from across all areas of the country, prompting the government on Friday to invoke emergency powers. Declaring a state of emergency, the government said plans for compulsory measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisations would be published on Monday. "MMR vaccinations for members of the public who have not yet received a vaccination injection is now a mandatory legal requirement for all of Samoa," it said... Samoa has closed all schools, kindergartens and the country's only university in a bid to halt the virus' spread... Neighbouring Tonga last week announced government primary schools and kindergartens would be closed until later this month as the number of measles cases in the kingdom approaches 200.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

'Justice League' Stars Demand Release of Director Zack Snyder's Original Cut

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 02:45
"On the 2-year anniversary of DC and Warner Bros.' Justice League, Wonder Woman and Batman themselves have joined fans' calls for the release of director Zack Snyder's cut of the much-maligned 2017 film," reports Entertainment Weekly: Both Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot tweeted "#ReleaseTheSnyderCut" on Sunday, with Gadot also posting a photo of her character, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman... Affleck and Gadot joined other DC actors, like Ray Fisher (Cyborg) and Christina Wren (Major Carrie Farris), who posted on social media for the anniversary to demand the release of Snyder's original vision for Justice League... Jason Momoa and director Kevin Smith added fuel to the fire this summer after they said they've either seen the Snyder cut or heard about it from reliable sources. In August, Momoa posted an Instagram video with Snyder, saying the director had shown him the cut and that it was "ssssiiicccckkkkkk." Smith was less complimentary, saying the cut was "not a finished movie by any stretch of the imagination." Still, it is a big deal that Justice League's own stars are calling for a redo of sorts. Momoa, who plays Aquaman, said in early November "I think the public needs to see it," according to CNET. But The Hollywood Reporter isn't convinced that will happen. "Despite the groundswell, and speculation that a Snyder Cut could go to Warner Bros.' upcoming streaming service HBO Max, insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter no announcement of a release of a Snyder Cut is imminent.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Why Two Pentesters In Iowa Are Facing A Criminal Investigation and Trespassing Charges

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-11-18 00:50
Ars Technica's security editor re-visits the story of two security penetration testers from Coalfire who were arrested one midnight in the county courthouse in Adel, Iowa (population 3,682): "They were crouched down like turkeys peeking over the balcony," Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard said in an interview. "Here we are at 12:30 in the morning confronted with this issue -- on September 11, no less. We have two unknown people in our courthouse -- in a government building -- carrying backpacks that remind me and several other deputies of maybe the pressure cooker bombs." After more deputies arrived, Justin Wynn, 29 of Naples, Florida, and Gary De Mercurio, 43 of Seattle, slowly proceeded down the stairs with hands raised. They then presented the deputies with a letter that explained the intruders weren't criminals but rather penetration testers who had been hired by Iowa's State Court Administration to test the security of its court information system. After calling one or more of the state court officials listed in the letter, the deputies were satisfied the men were authorized to be in the building... When Leonard arrived on the scene, the mood quickly changed. Leonard read the letter and sized the men up. It said the men were authorized to perform "physical social engineering to attempt to gain access" to courthouse systems... The letter also listed tasks that should not be performed, including alarm subversion, force-opening doors, and accessing environments that require personal protective equipment. The pentesters had already said they used a tool to open the front door. Leonard took that to mean the men had violated the restriction against forcing doors open. Leonard also said the men attempted to turn off the alarm -- something Coalfire officials vehemently deny. In Leonard's mind that was a second violation. Another reason for doubt: one of the people listed as a contact on the get-out-of-jail-free letter didn't answer the deputies' calls, while another said he didn't believe the men had permission to conduct physical intrusions. The sheriff also said he and his deputies smelled alcohol on the breath of one of the men. (Leonard, who didn't identify which Coalfire employee it was, said a test later showed the pentester had a blood alcohol content of 0.05, the equivalent of one or two drinks. It is below the 0.08 threshold for an operating while intoxicated conviction.) Leonard promptly had the men arrested on felony third-degree burglary charges... The charges have since been reduced to misdemeanor trespassing charges. Trial is scheduled for April. Meanwhile, the sheriff's department in nearby Polk County is conducting a criminal investigation into a September 10 break-in on its courthouse under the same arrangement with the State Judicial Administration.... The get-out-of-jail-free letter "said you won't manipulate doors," Leonard said. "Well, they picked four doors. It said they won't manipulate the alarm system. They went right up to the alarm and tried to shut it off. The biggest issue is they were only supposed to work from 6AM to 6PM. They came out in the middle of the night and broke in." Equally important, Leonard said, is what he believed to be the overstepping of Iowa officials who retained Coalfire. When the sheriff confronted the men that night, he said: "The State of Iowa has no authority to allow you to break into a county building. You're going to jail."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

HP to Xerox: Nope, your $33.5bn bid falls short of our valuation

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-11-18 00:02
Board keeps door open... HPOX not a total impossibility, at least not if Carl Icahn has his way

HP’s board has spurned the advances of Xerox, saying the $33.5bn opening bid “significantly undervalues” the business.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

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