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Fiber-to-the-Home Creates New Digital Divide

dkatana (2761029) writes | 2 minutes ago

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dkatana (2761029) writes "Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream.

Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber."

Tom Coburn slams International Space Station, other NASA programs as wasteful

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes | about half an hour ago

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MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, has released his 2014 “Wastebook” of what he regards as wasteful spending. Tucked inside the examples of monkey gambling studies and Swedish massages for rabbits, are several NASA programs the senator finds off-putting.

One example is a full-throated attack against the International Space Station, a facility that was started by President Ronald Reagan and has been in full operation for the past several years. “ISS is one of the greatest achievements in manned spaceflight. It is also the ‘single most expensive object ever created.’ And some scientists question if the space station’s out of this world costs can continue to be justified.” Coburn strongly implies that the ISS be immediately scrapped, and the money spent on what he regards as more productive research."

Link to Original Source

6,000 Year Old Temple Unearthed in Ukraine

Anonymous Coward writes | 46 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A massive archaeological dig of an ancient Ukrainian village first begun in 2009 has yielded a discovery that I sort of hope ends up inspiring a video game: a massive, scary-sounding temple. From the article: "Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."
Maybe this is what Putin has been after."

A whole town for testing self-driving cars and package-delivering drones

mlamonica (3770375) writes | 46 minutes ago

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mlamonica (3770375) writes "Robotics companies and state officials in Massachusetts are hoping to create a real-world test bed in Devens, Massachusetts, a former military base now run by the state. The idea is to put cutting edge robotic technologies, such as self-driving cars and drones, to the test in real-world conditions — town center, industrial areas, etc."
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FTDI updates windows driver, causes fake chips to be bricked

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "In the latest windows update from FTDI (maker of usb/serial converter chips, very often used in arduinos and their download cables), the driver will look for 'fake' chips and overwrite their USB product id (PID), making them useless (unless you work-around it and re-flash the chip with the proper PID). The linux driver is still safe, but the binary blob from windows update is now something that we should all blacklist and uninstall, for our own safety."
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Astronomers Find Brightest Pulsar Ever Observed

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Astronomers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the NuSTAR satellite have discovered a pulsar so bright that it challenges how scientists think pulsars work. While observing galaxy M82 in hopes of catching supernova, the researchers found an unexpected source of X-rays very close to the galaxy's core. It was near another source, thought to be a black hole. But the new one was pulsing, which black holes don't do. The trouble is that according to known pulsar models, it's about 100 times brighter than the calculated limits to its luminosity (abstract). researchers used a different method to figure out its mass, and the gap shrank, but it's still too bright to fit their theories."
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Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Over 4 million Raspberry Pis have been sold so far, and now founder Eben Upton has shown off a touchscreen display panel that's designed to work with it. It's a 7" panel, roughly tablet sized, but slightly thicker. "With the incoming touchscreen panel The Pi Foundation is clearly hoping to keep stoking the creative fires that have helped drive sales of the Pi by slotting another piece of DIY hardware into the mix." Upton also discussed the Model A+ Raspberry Pi board — an updated version they'll be announcing soon."
Link to Original Source

The 'Traditional' Database Administrator Is Doomed

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes | 1 hour ago

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Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Traditionally, database administrators (also known as DBAs) have been at the center of the data-management universe: There was always a need to have someone optimize the performance of applications by making sure data was well structured. But with the rise of Hadoop and other Big Data platforms, there’s no longer a premium on structure. In fact, many programmers are choosing to write their applications to Hadoop or other classes of so-called NoSQL databases to specifically eliminate the need to rely on having a DBA. That's not to say the "classic" DBA is going away, as there will always be transaction-processing applications invoking structured data; but even there, the rise of NoSQL alternatives such as Apache Cassandra is changing the way processing is done. Database administrators are going to need to evolve to meet this brave new world — but what else is new?"
Link to Original Source

What It Took for SpaceX to Become a Serious Space Company

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has a nice profile of SpaceX's rise to prominence — how a private startup managed to successfully compete with industry giants like Boeing in just a decade of existence. "Regardless of its inspirations, the company was forced to adopt a prosaic initial goal: Make a rocket at least 10 times cheaper than is possible today. Until it can do that, neither flowers nor people can go to Mars with any economy. With rocket technology, Musk has said, "you’re really left with one key parameter against which technology improvements must be judged, and that’s cost." SpaceX currently charges $61.2 million per launch. Its cost-per-kilogram of cargo to low-earth orbit, $4,653, is far less than the $14,000 to $39,000 offered by its chief American competitor, the United Launch Alliance. Other providers often charge $250 to $400 million per launch; NASA pays Russia $70 million per astronaut to hitch a ride on its three-person Soyuz spacecraft. SpaceX’s costs are still nowhere near low enough to change the economics of space as Musk and his investors envision, but they have a plan to do so (of which more later).""
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Machine learning expert Michael Jordan thinks Big Data is heading for a big fail

agent elevator (1075679) writes | 1 hour ago

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agent elevator (1075679) writes "In a wide-ranging interview at IEEE Spectrum, Michael I. Jordan skewers a bunch of sacred cows, basically saying that: The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges; hardware designers creating chips based on the human brain are engaged in a faith-based undertaking likely to prove a fool’s errand; and despite recent claims to the contrary, we are no further along with computer vision than we were with physics when Isaac Newton sat under his apple tree."
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New Microsoft Garage Site Invites Public To Test A Wide Range Of App Ideas

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft today launched a new sectionon its website: The Microsoft Garage is designed to give the public early access to various projects the company is testing right now. The team is kicking off with a total of 16 free consumer-facing apps, spanning Android, Android Wear, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows, and even the Xbox One. Microsoft Garage is still going to be everything it has been so far, but Microsoft has simply decided it’s time for the public to get involved too: You can now test the wild projects the company’s employees dream up."

Cutting Edge Equipment : Good Performance, or Good GUI? Both?

irving47 (73147) writes | 2 hours ago

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irving47 (73147) writes "As more and more server-level systems are coming from overseas, the development teams can't always be expected to know perfect English spellings... Having a Mac or even Windows-like finish to their GUI's seems unreasonable... But at what point does it start to concern you and what are the key indicators that this is a quality problem bound to rear its head in performance issues, not just a few web pages that only you, the sysadmin, are going to see? One example I've seen is Security Camera DVR's I've set up for customers because of the pricing... The interfaces have misspellings on nearly every page, but they work, for the most part.
So, even in higher-end, commercial settings, GUI "mistakes" : Indication of changing times, or a warning sign of equipment that's just too cheap?"

Judge says EA executives committed "puffery," not securities fraud

DemonOnIce (3876631) writes | 2 hours ago

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DemonOnIce (3876631) writes "Ars Technica reported that federal judge at San Francisco has dismissed a proposed securities fraud class action lawsuit connected to Battlefield 4 bungled rollout.

EA and several top executives were sued in December and were accused of duping investors with their public statements and concealing issues with the first-person shooter game. The suit claimed executives were painting too rosy of a picture surrounding what ultimately would be Battlefield 4's disastrous debut on various gaming consoles beginning last October, including the next-generation Xbox One.

But US District Judge Susan Illston of San Francisco said their comments about EA and the first-person shooter game were essentially protected corporate speak.

"The Court agrees with defendants that all of the purported misstatements are inactionable statements of opinion, corporate optimism, or puffery," Illston ruled Monday.

Battlefield 4 debut was disastrous, gamers complained that Battlefield 4 crashed, froze, or wouldn't ever start. DICE Studios need three months to fix the defect and caused EA shares down 6% in a single day."

Link to Original Source

Cisco slashing stake in VCE data center venture with EMC/VMware

alphadogg (971356) writes | 3 hours ago

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alphadogg (971356) writes "EMC confirmed on Wednesday that its VCE converged infrastructure joint venture with Cisco and VMware is heading into a new phase, with EMC taking control of the business and Cisco drastically cutting its stake in it. "Expected to be finalized this quarter, VCE will become an EMC business. Cisco and VMware will continue as strategic partners and investors, with Cisco having an approximately 10% equity interest in VCE," according to an EMC statement, http://newsroom.cisco.com/pres... which emphasizes VCE's focus on helping customers deploy hybrid clouds."
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