Open Source

Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:32pm
MarkWhittington writes: As many have expected, Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) has been elevated to chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. The subcommittee has charge of NASA funding, something of keen interest for the congressman, whose Houston district is close to the Johnson Spaceflight Center. Moreover, Culberson's enthusiasm for space exploration goes far beyond what would be expected from a Texas representative. Culberson is a champion of a mission to Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Europa is an ice-covered moon that is thought to conceal an ocean of water, warmed by tidal forces, which might contain life. Using the heavy-lift Space Launch System, NASA could launch a large-scale probe to study Europa and ascertain whether it harbors alien life or not. Culberson's elevation makes such a mission far more likely to occur.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Never Alone Is a Harrowing Journey Into the Folklore of Alaska Natives

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:00pm

Never Alone is a clever puzzle-platforming game based on the Alaskan Iñupiat culture.

The post Never Alone Is a Harrowing Journey Into the Folklore of Alaska Natives appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:50am
An anonymous reader writes: Software engineers understand the pace of writing code, but frequently managers don't. One line of code might take 1 minute, and another line of code might take 1 day. But generally, everything averages out, and hitting your goals is more a function of properly setting your goals than of coding quickly or slowly. Sprint.ly, a company than analyzes productivity, has published some data to back this up. The amount of time actually developing a feature was a small and relatively consistent portion of its lifetime as a work ticket. The massively variable part of the process is when "stakeholders are figuring out specs and prioritizing work." The top disrupting influences (as experienced devs will recognize) are unclear and changing requirements. Another big cause of slowdowns is interrupting development work on one task to work on a second one. The article encourages managers to let devs contribute to the process and say "No" if the specs are too vague. Is there anything you'd add to this list?

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Wristband Tracks Your B-Ball Skills and Suggests Shooting Drills

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:30am

Using a net-mounted sensor and a wrist-worn companion, the $150 ShotTracker is built to track your buckets and bricks on the basketball court.

The post This Wristband Tracks Your B-Ball Skills and Suggests Shooting Drills appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:08am
An anonymous reader writes: Everyone understands by now that ads fund most of the sites on the web. Other sites have put up paywalls or started subscription bonuses, with varying success. Google, one of the web's biggest ad providers, saw a problem with that: it's a huge pain for readers to manage subscriptions for all the sites they visit — often more trouble than it's worth. And, since so few people sign up, the subscription fees have to be pretty high. Now, Google has launched a service called Contributor to try to fix this situation. The way Contributor works is this: websites and readers can opt in to the service (and sites like Imgur, The Onion, and ScienceDaily already have). Readers then pay a fee of $1-3 per month (they get to choose how much) to gain ad-free access to all participating sites. When the user visits one of the sites, instead of showing a Google ad, Google will just send a small chunk of that subscription money to the website instead.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Aereo May Be Dead, But Internet TV Will Live On

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:03am

It's a sad day for Aereo and all those who believed in it. The startup, which allowed people to stream live broadcast television to their computers and mobile devices, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, just months after shutting down operations.

The post Aereo May Be Dead, But Internet TV Will Live On appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Harvard Researchers Build $10 Robot That Can Teach Kids to Code

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:30am

Mike Rubenstein has created a low-cost robot called AERobot, specifically designed to teach middle school and high school kids the fundamentals of robotics.

The post Harvard Researchers Build $10 Robot That Can Teach Kids to Code appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:25am
An anonymous reader writes: After losing its Supreme Court case in June and briefly attempting to transform itself into a cable company, Aereo is now filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Their service worked by letting people stream over-the-air television to their internet-connected devices. The content industry pushed back, and though Aereo argued its way through several lower courts, they say, "The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had governed Aereo's technology, creating regulatory and legal uncertainty. And while our team has focused its energies on exploring every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the challenges have proven too difficult to overcome."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 9:47am
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is testing a group of five robot security guards. They contain a sophisticated sensor suite that includes 360-degree HD video, thermal imaging, night vision, LIDAR, and audio recorders. They can also detect various chemicals and radiation signatures, and do some rudimentary behavioral analysis on people they see. (And they look a bit like Daleks.) The robots are unarmed, so we don't have to worry about a revolt just yet, but they can sound an alarm and call for human officers. They weigh about 300 lbs each, can last roughly a day on a battery charge, and know to head to the charging station when they're low on power.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Week’s Best TV: Jon Stewart Proposes to Benedict Cumberbatch

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 9:30am

It's been a long week, and everyone is jonesing for that Thanksgiving break to put on their fattest pants and slip into football/food/movie comas. So we'll keep it simple. Here's a GIF of Benedict Cumberbatch being flirty with you, and the week's most noteworthy television.

The post Week’s Best TV: Jon Stewart Proposes to Benedict Cumberbatch appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

9 Works of Art That Bend Your Senses

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 9:30am

An exhibition that explores how we can use light, space and materials to change our view of the world around us.

The post 9 Works of Art That Bend Your Senses appeared first on WIRED.


Categories: Open Source, Technology

5-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Person Ever Qualified to Install Microsoft Windows

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 9:25am

A 5-year-old has passed the Microsoft Certified Professional Exam, making him perhaps the youngest IT pro in the world.

The post 5-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Person Ever Qualified to Install Microsoft Windows appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Leaked Documents Show EU Council Presidency Wants To Impair Net Neutrality

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 8:53am
NotInHere writes: The advocacy group "European Digital Rights" (EDRi) reports on leaked documents proposed by the Presidency of the council of the EU (currently held by Italy), which plans to remove vital parts from the telecommunications package that introduced net neutrality. The changes include removing the definition of "net neutrality" and replacing it with a "reference to the objective of net neutrality," which EDRi says will impair any ability to enforce it. Also, the proposed changes would allow ISPs to "block, slow down, alter, degrade or discriminate" traffic in order to meet "obligations under a contract with an end-user to deliver a service requiring a specific level of quality to that end-user." EDRi writes that "[w]ith all of the talk of the need for a single digital market in Europe, we would have new barriers and new monopolies." The council of the EU is one of its two legislative chambers. The EU parliament can now object or propose further changes to prevent the modified telecommunications package from passing.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Slashdot - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 8:05am
An anonymous reader writes A Swedish court rejected an appeal by Julian Assange to revoke a detention order issued over allegations of sexual assault. "In the view of the Court of Appeal there is no reason to set aside the detention solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy and the detention order cannot be enforced at present for that reason," the appellate court added. "When it comes to the reasons for and against detention, i.e. the assessment of proportionality that is always made when use is made of a coercive measure such as detention, the Court of Appeal considers that Julian Assange's stay at the embassy shall not count in his favor since he can himself choose to bring his stay there to an end."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

How Designers Recreated Alan Turing’s Code-Breaking Computer for Imitation Game

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 8:00am

Benedict Cumberbatch may be the star of The Imitation Game, but the film's truly central figure is the code-breaking computer Christopher.

The post How Designers Recreated Alan Turing’s Code-Breaking Computer for Imitation Game appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Tiny Engine Could Make Leaf Blowers Sound Less Like Jets

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:45am

Big engines like the 707-horsepower monster Dodge put in the Challenger Hellcat or Volvo’s little four-cylinder that makes 425 ponies get all the attention these days. But there are millions of tiny engines doing tiny things (think garden trimmers, leaf blowers, that sort of thing) that we never give much thought to. But just as there are engineers pondering how to make big engines more powerful, so too are there engineers pondering how to make tiny engines more powerful.

The post This Tiny Engine Could Make Leaf Blowers Sound Less Like Jets appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Cutest and Weirdest Wild Animal Incidents This Week

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:45am

This Week in Wild Animals for November 21, 2014 Starfish were deflating. Polar bears were going bald. Fur seals were raping penguins. A 400-pound tortoise named Benjamin Franklin made an appearance outside a Walmart. This Week in Wild Animals is a public service for human beings compiled by Jon Mooallem, author of the book Wild […]

The post The Cutest and Weirdest Wild Animal Incidents This Week appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Urban Planning Ideas for 2030, When Billions Will Live in Megacities

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:30am

How can urban planners make cities more livable for everyone?

The post Urban Planning Ideas for 2030, When Billions Will Live in Megacities appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Adorably Creepy Gliding Mammal That’s Basically Just a Big Flap of Skin

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:30am

The colugo is the most accomplished mammalian glider of all—on account of being essentially a giant flap of skin—capable of soaring an incredible 200 feet from tree to tree.

The post Absurd Creature of the Week: The Adorably Creepy Gliding Mammal That’s Basically Just a Big Flap of Skin appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Sony Xperia Z3

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:30am

With the Xperia Z3, Sony once again makes a fantastic piece of hardware that's marred by horrible software.

The post Sony Xperia Z3 appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology