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Tracy McGrady takes the bump against Alvin Community College

The GM's Perspective (3622219) writes | 19 minutes ago

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The GM's Perspective (3622219) writes "On Wednesday night, Alvin Community College got the first glimpse of Tracy McGrady, the baseball player.

In his lone inning, McGrady gave up three hits on one run, according to The Sporting News. Of his 15 pitches, nine were for strikes.

Whether or not you like the idea of McGrady getting this opportunity to participate, he's followed through on everything up to this point. Some people may say that he is using his celebrity to take a roster spot away from another worthy player, and they might be right. But this is independent baseball and the Sugar Land Skeeters have a knack of bringing the best out of their players, and bringing in huge crowds.

There wasn't a legitimate reason Scott Kazmir was on the roster in 2012, unless you count the fact that Sugar Land is located near his hometown of Houston. That move, probably done in large part to draw fans to the game, was the beginning of his return to a major league contract.

McGrady, in all estimations, is a long shot to make the Skeeters' roster. The odds on him advancing beyond independent baseball is astronomical. If McGrady, a seven-time NBA All-Star, makes the team, you better believe the fans will flock to the games.

The Atlantic League must cut their rosters from 34 to 27 by April 24. McGrady might get two more shots to make the grade between now and then.

I really want to see what he can do against professional hitters. And why not? He has a dream and wants to play baseball. Some other basketball player did this before, and it didn't work out to bad!"

Link to Original Source

Android Smartphone Activation in the U.S. Triumphs Over iOS in Q1

awaissoft (2930871) writes | 41 minutes ago

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awaissoft (2930871) writes "Google’s Android platform dominated the smartphone market in the U.S. yet again with majority smartphone activations during the first quarter, while Apple’s iOS came in second place.

The dominance of the Android platform in the U.S. smartphone market continued as it again took the top spot during the first quarter of 2014. According to new data from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, CIRP, Android smartphone activations accounted for 53 percent of the entire market share in the U.S., but Apple’s iOS platform witnessed a significant drop from the previous quarter, nabbing 42 percent of all activations during the CIRP’s survey period.

The results were based on a survey of 500 U.S. residents who activated their devices from January through March. CIRP’s data only shows the number of new activations and not the total number of devices running Android or iOS.

Since Android and iOS took the majority share, with 95 percent of all activations in the U.S., other competing platforms were left with a mere 5 percent. Based on the findings, Microsoft’s Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS took one percent each and the remaining three percent was mustered by basic phones.

The results show a significant drop in the non-smartphone activations, down 20 percent from the beginning of Q1, CIRP shows. As for Android, the market share grew significantly from 43 percent at the beginning of the quarter to 53 percent by the end of the period. The growth was seen for iOS platform as well, which was weighed at 30 percent at the beginning to 42 percent during the quarter’s end.

“On a percentage bases during the quarter, iOS grew a little faster than Android, from a smaller base, even though in absolute terms Android had a larger share,” Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP, said in a press release, Friday. “The long term issue is where Android and iOS growth will come from when there are no more basic phones being retired. First time smartphone buyers are key to that equation.”

Another recent survey from a market intelligence firm, IDC, revealed in February that Android accounted for nearly 80 percent of all smartphones in 2013. The survey was conducted on a global level and showed the total number of devices powered by different mobile operating systems and not just activations."

Link to Original Source

Heartbleed Exploited to Bypass Two-factor Authentication, Hijack User Sessions

wiredmikey (1824622) writes | 47 minutes ago

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wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Security nightmares sparked by the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability continue. According to Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye, an attacker was able to leverage the Heartbleed vulnerability against the VPN appliance of a customer and hijack multiple active user sessions. The attack bypassed both the organization’s multifactor authentication and the VPN client software used to validate that systems connecting to the VPN were owned by the organization and running specific security software.

“Specifically, the attacker repeatedly sent malformed heartbeat requests to the HTTPS web server running on the VPN device, which was compiled with a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, to obtain active session tokens for currently authenticated users,” Mandiant’s Christopher Glyer explained. “With an active session token, the attacker successfully hijacked multiple active user sessions and convinced the VPN concentrator that he/she was legitimately authenticated."

After connecting to the VPN, the attacker attempted to move laterally and escalate his/her privileges within the victim organization, Mandiant said."

Link to Original Source

What tech will be available in an energy constrained world.

westernjanus (900664) writes | about an hour ago

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westernjanus (900664) writes "The Archdruid is currently running a writing contest on what a "De-industrial Civilization" will look like.

One of the pre-existing conditions of the story is a world 75-100 years from now where no viable source of energy comparable to fossil fuels has been found to replace the energy density of fossil fuels.

In this model, I feel that the loss of access to concentrated and relatively low-cost energy will have severe impacts on manufacturing processors. The high cost of energy will be reflected in the cost to the consumer for the processing power. This increase in cost will, more likely than not, decrease the demand for chips. The decrease in demand will provide a feedback loop which will require further price increase to offset volume of sales.

Chips would necessarily require the lowest amount of energy possible in their manufacture in order to retain the volumes required to economically maintain production

What sort of processors would fit into such a economic model, and what processor system, if any, would be the precursors of such a line of computing technology?"

Obama Delays Decision on Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | 1 hour ago

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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that once again, the Obama administration has pushed back a final decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline possibly delaying the final determination until after the November midterm elections. In announcing the delay, the State Department cited a Nebraska Supreme Court case that could affect the route of the pipeline that may not be decided until next year, as well as additional time needed to review 2.5 million public comments on the project. Both supporters and opponents of the pipeline criticized the delay as a political ploy. Democratic incumbents from oil-rich states have urged President Obama to approve the pipeline but approving the pipeline before the election could staunch the flow of money from liberal donors and fund-raisers who oppose the project. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell said in a statement that “at a time of high unemployment in the Obama economy, it’s a shame that the administration has delayed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for years.” Activists say its construction could devastate the environment, but several State Department reviews have concluded that the pipeline would be safe and was unlikely to significantly increase the rate of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. Even if the pipeline was canceled, it said, the oil sands crude was likely to be extracted and brought to market by other means, such as rail, and then processed and burned."

Beer Price Crisis on the Horizon

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes | 1 hour ago

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Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The aficionados of beer and distilled spirits could be in for a major price-shock, if proposals by the Food and Drug Administration come to pass. Currently, breweries are allowed to sell unprocessed brewing by-products to feed farm animals. Farmers prize the nutritious, low-cost feed. But, new rules proposed by the FDA could force brewers to implement costly processing facilities or dump the by-products as waste. As one brewer put it, "Beer prices would go up for everybody to cover the cost of the equipment and installation.”"

The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | 3 hours ago

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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Joel Werner writes in Slate that when Citicorp Center was built in 1977 it was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world but no one figured out until after it was built that although the chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier, had properly accounted for perpendicular winds, the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds — in part due to cost-saving changes made to the original plan by the contractor. "According to LeMessurier, in 1978 an undergraduate architecture student contacted him with a bold claim about LeMessurier’s building: that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind," writes Werner. "LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years." In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse.

LeMessurier and his team worked with Citicorp to coordinate emergency repairs. With the help of the NYPD, they worked out an evacuation plan spanning a 10-block radius. They had 2,500 Red Cross volunteers on standby, and three different weather services employed 24/7 to keep an eye on potential windstorms. Work began immediately, and continued around the clock for three months. Welders worked all night and quit at daybreak, just as the building occupants returned to work. But all of this happened in secret, even as Hurricane Ella, the strongest hurricane on record in Canadian waters, was racing up the eastern seaboard. The hurricane became stationary for about 24 hours, and later turned to the northeast away from the coast. Hurricane Ella never made landfall. And so the public—including the building’s occupants—were never notified.

Until his death in 2007, LeMessurier talked about the summer of 1978 to his classes at Harvard. The tale, as he told it, is by turns painful, self-deprecating, and self-dramatizing--an engineer who did the right thing. But it also speaks to the larger question of how professional people should behave. "You have a social obligation," LeMessurier reminded his students. "In return for getting a license and being regarded with respect, you're supposed to be self-sacrificing and look beyond the interests of yourself and your client to society as a whole.""

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent Of North Korea Debt

jones_supa (887896) writes | 6 hours ago

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jones_supa (887896) writes "In Russia, the State Duma lower house on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012. Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea. The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank. Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom is dreaming shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Koreas. Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South's."
Link to Original Source

Surgery with a paintbrush

BiancaM (3582365) writes | 9 hours ago

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BiancaM (3582365) writes "A group of chemists has shown the power of nanoparticles for closing and healing surgical wounds. Using no more than a paintbrush they are able to close surgical openings as well as classical techniques such as sutures. However in fragile deap tissues such as liver even more remarkable results were found- normally fatal damage to internal organs is repaired in seconds using a nanopartilce glue. The results show that closing after surgery can be faster and simpler using nanomaterials to glue wounds shut.

Article at:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...

Video:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com..."

Build a Smartphone VR Headset That Plays Oculus Rift Games and More for $20

Anonymous Coward writes | 11 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Not everyone can drop a few hundred dollars on a VR headset, but that doesn’t mean they can’t experience VR! For those with the time and a bit of handiwork skill, this DIY guide from guest writer Ohaple will show you how to make a smartphone-based VR headset for as little as $20. Along the way, you’ll learn the hardware and software basics of a VR headset."
Link to Original Source

DARPA developing the ultimate auto-pilot software

coondoggie (973519) writes | yesterday

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coondoggie (973519) writes "Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety."
Link to Original Source

Nike to reportedly exit wearables market, fires bulk of FuelBand team [u] - Appl

feedfeeder (1749978) writes | 12 hours ago

0


Apple Insider

Nike to reportedly exit wearables market, fires bulk of FuelBand team [u]
Apple Insider
A rumor on Friday claims Nike is planning to shut down the division responsible for creating wearable fitness trackers, starting with the axing of as many as 55 people from the FuelBand team. FuelBand SE. Citing people familiar with the situation, CNET...
Bye-Bye FuelBand: Nike Won't Be the Last Company to Get Out of Wearable ... TIME
Nike Fires FuelBand Team in Move to Ditch WearablesMashable
Nike Dismantles their FuelBand Wearables TeamPatently Apple
TechCrunch-CNET-TechRadar UK
all 31 news articles

Link to Original Source

Is there a place for me in this world?

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

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An anonymous reader writes "I'm mildly autistic and in my mid 30s. I know I'm not the smartest person ever — not even close — but I'm pretty smart: perfect scores on SAT, etc., way back in high school and a PhD from a private research university you've heard of. I don't consider intelligence a virtue (in contrast to, say, ethical living); it's just what I have, and that's that. There are plenty of things I lack. Anyway, I've made myself very good at applied math and scientific computing. For years, without ever tiring, I've worked approximately 6.5 days a week all but approximately 4 of my waking hours per day. I work at a research university as research staff, and my focus is on producing high-quality, efficient, relevant scientific software. But funding is tough. I'm terrible at selling myself. I have a hard time writing proposals because when I work on mushy tasks, I become depressed and generally bent out of shape. My question: Is it possible to find a place where I can do exactly what I do best and keeps me stable — analyze and develop mathematical algorithms and software — without ever having to do other stuff and, in particular, without being good at presenting myself? I don't care about salary beyond keeping up my frugal lifestyle and saving a sufficient amount to maintain that frugal lifestyle until I die. Ideas? Or do we simply live in a world where we all have to sell what we do no matter what? Thanks for your thoughts."

One week of OpenSSL cleanup

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday

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An anonymous reader writes "OpenBSD Journal reports, "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape[...] All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week."

One developer stated in a response to comments about a new project name, "This is not about a fancy name. This is about realizing belatedly that code we thought of good quality was not even decent, and ended up becoming too complex and unmaintainable. So now we are hurrying to remove everything in the way of exposing the concrete guts of the code, fixing the bad practices inherited from the way we were doing security 15+ years ago""

Link to Original Source

Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

machineghost (622031) writes | yesterday

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machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!"

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan to Disrupt Universities

waderoush (1271548) writes | yesterday

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waderoush (1271548) writes "In April 2012, former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson provoked both praise and skepticism by announcing that he’d raised $25 million from venture firm Benchmark to start the Minerva Project, a new kind of university where students will live together but all class seminars will take place over a Google Hangouts-style video conferencing system. Two years later, there are answers – or the beginnings of answers – to many of the questions observers have raised about the project, on everything from the way the seminars will be organized to how much tuition the San Francisco-based university will charge and how it's gaining accreditation. And in an interview published today, Nelson share more details about how Minerva plans to use technology to improve teaching quality. ‘If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,’ Nelson says. ‘That is not what we provide. Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they’ve been giving for 20 years. We have a different model,’ based on extensive faculty review of video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts. Last month Minerva admitted 45 students to its founding class, and in September it expects to welcome 19 of them to its Nob Hill residence hall."
Link to Original Source

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