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Bad "Buss Duct" causes week-long closure of 5,000 employee Federal Complex

McGruber (1417641) writes | 7 minutes ago

0

McGruber (1417641) writes "In Atlanta, an electrical problem in a "Buss Duct" has caused the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center to be closed for at least a week (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/nunn-federal-building-expected-to-reopen-monday/ngnSZ/). 5,000 federal employees work at the center.

While many might view this as another example of The Infrastructure Crisis (http://www.asce.org/Content.aspx?id=25562) in the USA, it might actually be another example of mismanagement at the complex's landord, the General Service Administration (GSA). The GSA has had many scandals [http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120416/DEPARTMENTS07/204160301/GSA-scandal-Heavy-fallout-expected] and has been the subject of several Congresssional Hearings, including an August 1, 2012 hearing titled "GSA: A Review of Agency Mismanagement and Wasteful Spending — Part 2" (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg75419/html/CHRG-112hhrg75419.htm). That hearing followed an $823,000 GSA employee conference in Las Vegas and a one-day-long $250,000 GSA employee conference in Crystal City, Virginia (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/1/gsa-scandal-widens-dozens-conferences-investigated/?page=all)

The closed Atlanta complex is named for Samuel Augustus "Sam" Nunn, Jr., who served for 24 years as a United States Senator from Georgia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn). His daughter is the current Democratic Party nominee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Nunn) for a Georgia Senate seat."

Link to Original Source

The Gene "STAR TREK" Roddenberry Project

Anonymous Coward writes | 10 minutes ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "This is a real Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry and his struggles to get the show on air. Successful funding is crucial for the documentary's success. Rare interview footage of Roddenberry has been found and will be used to tell his story."
Link to Original Source

Americans Spend 40 Minutes on Average on Facebook

DailyNewsCompany (3696561) writes | about half an hour ago

0

DailyNewsCompany (3696561) writes "Some of you might have wondered that where is your precious time is going throughout your day. Then here is the answer, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook revealed an interesting fact at the eve of second quarter earnings and told that Americans spend an average of 40 minutes on Facebook.

Last year, the average time spent by an American was 17.39 minutes and now it has increased up to 40 minutes on average. He also told that users are spending around nine hours a day engaged with digital media, which includes, computers, mobiles and TV.

Keeping that in mind, 40 minutes are not that much as them seemed earlier."

Link to Original Source

HP invests $ 50 million in Hortonworks

Anonymous Coward writes | 41 minutes ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "According to Re / code, capital raised at the financial round table last March now stands at $ 150 million thanks to the arrival of a new investor, HP. A stronger partnership between HP and Hortonworks have even been made to allow including Hadoop to run on the platform big data Haven manufacturer.

Created by former Yahoo, Hortonworks is the center of attention of many investors in recent months. In March, we learned as well as the start-up specializing in big data was received to raise $ 100 million in a financial round table conducted with BlackRock and Passport Capital. Today we know a little more about this round table which ultimately amount to $ 150 million thanks to the financial support of $ 50 million from HP. Thus seems to 248 million total capital raised since the creation of Hortonworks in 2011."

Link to Original Source

Apple Acqui-Hires "Pandora for Books" Booklamp for $15 million

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes | 1 hour ago

0

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Apple stunned the tech world Friday night when news broke that the gadget maker had acquired a little known ebook company called Booklamp, a small Idaho-based ebook startup which is best known for the Book Genome Project. First shown off to the world in 2008, this project was conceived by Booklamp founder and CEO Aaron Stanton as a way of analyzing a book's pacing, dialog, perspective, genre, and other details in order to identify a book's unique DNA. Booklamp has been using the tech to sell various services to publishers, tech companies, and the like, but Booklamps's existing contracts were apparently cancelled earlier this year.

According to one industry insider the deal happened in April, but Apple managed to keep the news under wraps until just last night. No one knows for sure how Apple will use booklamp but there is speculation that Apple could launch an ebook subscription service similar to the week-old Kindle Unlimited, or they could just use Booklamp to drive ebook recommendations in what some are speculating is the world's second largest ebookstore."

Link to Original Source

Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers on 4G LTE - PC Magazine

feedfeeder (1749978) writes | 1 hour ago

0


Reuters

Verizon Now Throttling Top 'Unlimited' Subscribers on 4G LTE
PC Magazine
It will still take quite a bit for Verizon's unlimited data plan holders to get throttled for their use, but it's now possible for the company's 4G LTE service. 0shares. Best Smartphones. The 22 percent or so of you Verizon subscribers still clinging to the company's...
Verizon will throttle heaviest LTE data users starting in OctoberPCWorld (blog)
Verizon Wireless XLTELetsGoDigital
Verizon Will Scale Back Unlimited 4G Data Plans Starting Oct. 1Auto World News
Hot Hardware-World Tech Today-Android Community
all 70 news articles

Link to Original Source

AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000, Pass Rate Down 6.8%

theodp (442580) writes | 2 hours ago

0

theodp (442580) writes "Code.org reports that preliminary data on students who took the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Exam in 2014 show an increase of 8,276 students over 2013 and represent what the College Board called "the first real indication of progress in AP CS enrollment for women and underserved minorities in years." Girls made up 20% of the 39,393 total test takers, compared to 18.7% of the 31,117 test takers in 2013. Black or African American students saw their share increase by 0.19%, from 3.56% to 3.75% (low, but good enough to crush Twitter). Code.org credits the increased enrollment to its celebrity-studded CS promo film starring Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg ("I even made a personal bet (reflected in my contractual commitment to Code.org donors) that our video could help improve the seemingly immovable diversity numbers in computer science," Code.org founder Hadi Partovi notes). However, some of the increase is likely attributable to the other efforts of Code.org's donors. Microsoft ramped up its TEALS AP CS program in 2013-2014, and — more significantly — Google helped boost AP CS study not only through its CS4HS program, but also by funding the College Board's AP STEM Access program, which offered $5 million to schools and teachers to encourage minority and female students to enroll in AP STEM courses. This summer, explains the College Board, "All AP STEM teachers in the participating schools (not just the new AP STEM teachers), who increase diversity in their class, receive a [$100] DonorsChoose.org gift card for each student in the course who receives a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Exam." The bad news for AP CS teachers anticipating Google "Excellence Funding" bounties (for increasing course enrollment and completion "by at least five underrepresented students") is that AP CS pass rates decreased to 60.8% in 2014 (from 67.6% in 2013), according to Total Registration. Using these figures and a back-of-the-envelope calculation, while enrollment saw a 26.6% increase over last year, the total number of students passing increased by 13.9%."

Pi Power - the power supply the Raspberry Pi *should* have come with

nsayer (86181) writes | 2 hours ago

0

nsayer (86181) writes "The Raspberry Pi is awesome. There's only one thing I dislike about it — how you're meant to power it. Crappy USB power supplies are ubiquitous, and the power more or less goes straight onto the +5 rail. Not only that, but the micro USB connector is SMT, and USB cables are much thicker and heavier than their 2.1mm barrel connector cable counterparts. No, it's just not the best tool for the job.

So I made Pi Power. It's a small board that sits on the GPIO pins (it comes with a stacking header so you can piggyback onto it) and has a 2.1mm barrel connector that will accept any DC voltage from 6-15 volts and output up to 2A of well regulated 5V power.

I sell them on Tindie for $15 ( https://www.tindie.com/product... ) and am running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund building 1000 of them at http://igg.me/at/PiPower ."

Link to Original Source

Google "Pigeon" Update Boosts Local Directories Specifically Yelp

creativeshory (3469251) writes | 2 hours ago

0

creativeshory (3469251) writes "On July 24, 2014, Google pushed out a major local search algorithm update. The new algorithm provides relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes impacts both the organic local listings within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.
Local directory sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, Zagat, TripAdvisor, and others are getting better visibility in Google’s search results. Particularly, it looks like Google has fixed its “Yelp problem” and is now showing Yelp pages at the top of search results when queries specifically include the word “Yelp.”"

Link to Original Source

Rand Paul revolution in Silicon Valley

SonicSpike (242293) writes | 3 hours ago

0

SonicSpike (242293) writes "Free thinkers could find a home in the Republican Party

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, recently spoke at the “Rebooting Congress, Causes and Campaigns 2014” conference in Silicon Valley. The goal of Lincoln Labs, which put on the event, is to “create a bridge between technology and efforts to advance liberty.” The conference sought to “bring together technical talent and policy advocates to turn ideas into deliverables for liberty.”

Mr. Paul has also met in recent weeks with tech luminaries, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

This might seem like just the usual meet-and-greet in advance of a possible presidential run. The libertarian-leaning Mr. Paul’s efforts, though, could presage a radical realignment of the Republican Party and a revolution in American politics.

The GOP is in a demographic death spiral as its traditional voter base — for example, white evangelicals — shrinks. To survive, it must bring into its fold minorities, young people, and, especially, the new modernist achievers. These latter are the innovators who led the communications and information revolution and who are pioneering new technologies and services in areas such as medicine, robotics, energy, transportation, space and education."

Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: After TrueCrypt

TechForensics (944258) writes | 5 hours ago

0

TechForensics (944258) writes "(Resubmitted because was not identified as "Ask Slashdot"

We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been compromised.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA–hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main or important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered tainted. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother. (Would it not be possible for the NSA to create a second TrueCrypt that has the same hash value as the original?)

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?"

Link to Original Source

Nuclear Plants Should Focus on Risks Posed by External Events

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 7 hours ago

1

mdsolar (1045926) writes ""Engineers at American nuclear plants have been much better at calculating the risk of an internal problem that would lead to an accident than they have at figuring the probability and consequences of accidents caused by events outside a plant, a report released Thursday by the National Academy of Science said.

Accidents that American reactors are designed to withstand, like a major pipe break, are “stylized” and do not reflect the bigger source of risk, which is external, according to the study. That conclusion is one of the major lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, which began after an earthquake at sea caused a tsunami."

NAS Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php..."

Link to Original Source

Japanese monkeys' abnormal blood linked to Fukushima disaster

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 7 hours ago

1

mdsolar (1045926) writes "Wild monkeys in the Fukushima region of Japan have blood abnormalities linked to the radioactive fall-out from the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new scientific study that may help increase the understanding of radiation on human health.

The Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) were found to have low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin, which the researchers say could make them more prone to infectious diseases."

Link to Original Source

Jibo, the friendly helpful robot, nets over $1 million on Indiegogo

mikejuk (1801200) writes | 7 hours ago

0

mikejuk (1801200) writes "After seven days the Jibo project has over $1.1 million. What is surprising is that Jibo isn't a complex piece of hardware that will do the dishes and pick up clothes. It doesn't move around at all. It just sits and interacts with the family using a camera, microphones and a voice. It is a social robot, the speciality of the founder, MIT's, Cynthia Breazeal. The idea is that this robot will be your friend, take photos, remind you of appointments, order takeaway and tell the kids a story. If you watch the promo video then you can't help but think that this is all too polished and the real thing will fall flat on its face when delivered. If it does work then worry about the hundreds of kids needing psychiatric counselling — shades of Robbie in I, Robot. Even if it is hopelessly hyped — there is a development system and I want one. It is the early days of the home computer all over again."
Link to Original Source

Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

MojoKid (1002251) writes | yesterday

0

MojoKid (1002251) writes "The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic, boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection. What he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed."
Link to Original Source

Day One With the Brand New Oculus Rift DK2: The Good, The Ugly and The Games

muterobert (2927951) writes | yesterday

0

muterobert (2927951) writes "Paul James goes hands on with one of the first next-gen Oculus Rifts in the wild:

"After much hacking (and some kind developer linkage) I stepped into a DK2 enabled version of Technolust and lost myself utterly! The stunning attention to detail, neon on black really lets the OLED panel shine here. In fact, this experience was the closest I think I’ve ever some to presence in virtual reality thus far. Leaning in to check the myriad retro objects, gawking at the lighting and just generally being blown away by the experience. This game was fabulous on the DK1, it’s utterly compelling now.""

Link to Original Source

Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

jones_supa (887896) writes | 13 hours ago

Science 0

jones_supa (887896) writes "Brazilian superstar Neymar's (Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior) brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 per cent the level of amateur players, suggesting he plays as if on "auto-pilot", according to Japanese neurologists Eiichi Naito and Satoshi Hirose. The findings were published in the Swiss journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience following a series of motor skills tests carried out on the 22-year-old Neymar and several other athletes in Barcelona in February this year. Three Spanish second-division footballers and two top-level swimmers were also subjected to the same tests. Researcher Naito told Japan's Mainichi Shimbun newspaper: "Reduced brain activity means less burden which allows [the player] to perform many complex movements at once. We believe this gives him the ability to execute his various shimmies." In the research paper Naito concluded that the test results "provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements"."

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