Feed aggregator

Microsoft President Brad Smith: Computer Science Is Space Race of Today

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
theodp writes: Q. How is K-12 computer science like the Cold War? A. It could use a Sputnik moment, at least that's the gist of an op-ed penned by Senator Jerry Moran (R., KS) and Microsoft President Brad Smith. From the article: "In the wake of the Soviet Union's 1957 Sputnik launch, President Eisenhower confronted the reality that America's educational standards were holding back the country's opportunity to compete on a global technological scale. He responded and called for support of math and science, which resulted in the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and helped send the country to the moon by the end of the next decade. It also created the educational foundation for a new generation of technology, leadership and prosperity. Today we face a similar challenge as the United States competes with nations across the globe in the indispensable field of computer science. To be up to the task, we must do a better job preparing our students for tomorrow's jobs." Smith is also a Board member of tech-bankrolled Code.org, which invoked Sputnik in its 2014 Senate testimony ("learning computer science is this generation's Sputnik moment") as it called for "comprehensive immigration reform efforts that tie H-1B visa fees to a new STEM education fund [...] to support the teaching and learning of more computer science," nicely echoing Microsoft's National Talent Strategy. Tying the lack of K-12 CS education to the need for tech visas is a time-honored tradition of sorts for Microsoft and politicians. As early as 2004, Bill Gates argued that CS education needed its own Sputnik moment, a sentiment shared by Senator Hillary Clinton in 2007 as she and fellow Senators listened to Gates make the case for more H-1B visas as he lamented the lack of CS-savvy U.S. high school students.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A brief history of the QWERTY keyboard - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 27 min ago
On July 1, 1874, the Remington typewriter hit the market, with the earliest version of what would become the keyboard layout we still use today.

Crave giveaway: All seven seasons of 'The League' on DVD - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 27 min ago
This week, we have the ultimate Shiva Bowl trophy -- The League Complete Series Collector's Set. You don't need to know much about fantasy football, or even sports, to appreciate this freebie.

Guccifer 2.0 Calls DNC Hack His "Personal Project," Mocks Security Firms

Slashdot - 6 hours 27 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: The notorious hacker most recently in the news for releasing Clinton Foundation documents has said on Thursday in a blog post that the stolen confidential files from the DNC was his "personal project." Guccifer 2.0, as he identifies himself as, added that security firms and the DNC may be trying to blame the attack on Russia, but "they can prove nothing! All I hear is blah-blah-blah, unfounded theories, and somebody's estimates," he wrote. He claims to be Romanian and says he acted alone, pouring water on the theory that he may be a "smokescreen" to divert attention away from the real culprits, that may have been expert hacking teams based in Russia. "I'd like to reveal a secret to all those cool IT-specialists: All the hackers in the world use almost the same tools," he said. "You can buy them or simply find them on the web." He broke into the network using a little-known vulnerability found in the DNC's software, he added. "The DNC used Windows on their server, so it made my work much easier," he said. "I installed my trojan-like virus on their PCs. I just modified the platform that I bought on the hacking forums for about $1.5k." Guccifer 2.0 also disputed the idea that the DNC breach was an intelligence gathering operation for Russia, saying it was hacktivism.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Rosetta's days are finally numbered as countdown to comet crash commences - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 31 min ago
On September 30, the European Space Agency will send the Rosetta spacecraft crashing into Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Apple said to be in talks to acquire music service Tidal - CNET

CNET NEWS - 7 hours 19 min ago
Apple may be looking to bolster its music offerings with the addition of the Jay Z-owned subscription service, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Oh Rapture! BioShock: The Collection out this September - CNET

CNET NEWS - 8 hours 6 min ago
All three games, all the DLC, and more retro steam-punk artwork than you can shake a Sky-Hook at. So, would you kindly get me a copy?

Facebook lets you fundraise for your favourite non-profit - CNET

CNET NEWS - 8 hours 36 min ago
The social network is sharing the love with a new feature that lets users set up fundraising pages and collect donations for charitable organisations.

Bat sensor aims to make baseball's future stars better hitters - CNET

CNET NEWS - 8 hours 51 min ago
Blast Motion is partnering with Major League Baseball on a bat sensor designed to improve hitters' swings through motion capturing and analysis.

Anthony Carboni shows up and makes us all yell at each other (Tomorrow Daily 387 show notes) - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 11:30pm
On today's show Anthony Carboni stops by to talk podcasting and "What's News" on Comic-Con HQ. He's not nearly the monster Jeff said he was...or is he?

'Healing' Detected In Antarctic Ozone Hole, Says Study

Slashdot - 6/30/2016 11:30pm
kheldan quotes a report from BBC: Researchers say they have found the first clear evidence that the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal. The scientists said that in September 2015 the hole was around 4 million sq km smaller than it was in the year 2000 -- an area roughly the size of India. The gains have been credited to the long term phasing out of ozone-destroying chemicals. [The study also sheds new light on the role of volcanoes in making the problem worse.] The ozone-destroying chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), have been shown to be declining in their influence, causing the ozone layer to grow once more. "Even though we phased out the production of CFCs in all countries including India and China around the year 2000, there's still a lot of chlorine left in the atmosphere," Prof Solomon told the BBC World Service Science in Action program. "It has a lifetime of about 50-100 years, so it is starting to slowly decay and the ozone will slowly recover." Scientists also believe that volcanic sulphur can form tiny particles that act as seeds to Polar Stratospheric Clouds, where chlorine chemistry occurs that destroys the ozone.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Obama tips hat to Google and Microsoft for work to help refugees - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 11:15pm
President Barack Obama says money and expertise are needed from the private sector to alleviate the world's worst refugee crisis on record.

HP awarded $3B in damages from Oracle over Itanium database cancellation

Arstechnica - 6/30/2016 10:55pm

Safra Catz, Oracle Corp. CEO, second left, exits superior court in San Jose in 2012. (credit: Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A San Jose jury has awarded Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) $3 billion (£2.25B) in damages from Oracle after Oracle breached its contract to provide Itanium support in its namesake database and Linux distribution.

Oracle unilaterally decided to drop support for Itanium systems running HP's HP-UX operating system in 2011. HP (as then was; the company split into two last year, with HPE retaining the interest in the server business) sued, claiming that Oracle was in breach of a 2010 contract between the two companies in which the database firm promised to support HP's Itanium systems.

That suit was decided in 2012 in HP's favor. The judge required Oracle to fulfill its contractual obligations to support HP's Itanium systems and decided that HP was due damages. Oracle resumed the software support in late 2012, but the damages portion was undetermined. The two companies were back in court some four years later to decide just what those damages should be.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Facebook To Shred 'Paper' News-Reading App On July 29th

Slashdot - 6/30/2016 9:30pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: Facebook's Paper app for iOS is scheduled to shut down on July 29th. While the app impressed critics, it failed to impress the general public. The Verge reports: "The app transformed the core Facebook experience into a kind of newsreader, with customizable sections for politics, technology, food, and other subjects. When it was introduced in January 2014, Paper signaled the beginning of a design renaissance at Facebook. The look and feel of the app were orchestrated by Mike Matas, whose design firm Push Pop Press was acquired by Facebook in 2011. Paper was notable for the novel animations it used to guide you through the app -- tap on a link and it would unfold like a letter; pull down on the story and it would fold back up, returning you to the feed. But despite the enormous growth of Facebook, which surged to 1.09 billion daily users this year, Paper has not been among the 1,500 most-downloaded apps since December 2014, according to research firm App Annie. It never came to Android, and the iOS version was last updated in March 2015. Facebook says that ideas from Paper have made their way into other Facebook apps, most notably Instant Articles, the fast-loading story format that the company introduced last year. Instant Articles borrowed several design elements from Paper, including full-bleed images and custom designs for individual publishers' articles."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Adnan Syed, of 'Serial' podcast, granted new trial in murder case - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 9:29pm
The Baltimore man's conviction became the subject of a popular podcast that speculated on his guilt and whether he received a fair trial.

NASA partners with Apple on Jupiter mission soundtrack - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 8:47pm
Space agency and iPhone maker team up to create songs inspired by Juno probe's mission.

Apple In Talks To Buy Jay Z-Owned Tidal Streaming Service

Slashdot - 6/30/2016 8:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is in talks to acquire the Jay Z owned streaming service, Tidal. 9to5Mac reports: "While specific details are unclear at this point, Apple acquiring Tidal would give it an incredible leg up when it comes to negotiating for exclusive streaming rights. Tidal is currently owned by Jay Z and a variety of other artists, including Kanye West, Beyonce, Chris Martin, Jack White, and many more. Negotiations between Apple and Jay Z are reportedly still early and 'may not result in a deal,' according to the report. Apple is interested in Tidal because of its strong ties to artists, many of which are owners. Tidal has secured the exclusive streaming rights to a handful of notable albums in recent months, including Beyonce's Lemonade and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo." Earlier this year, a report claimed that Samsung, Google and Spotify had all considered buying the streaming service.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook cuts Paper app from its lineup - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 8:41pm
The world's largest social network initially created its Paper app to experiment with new ways to read Facebook. Two and a half years later, it's being shut down.

'UpgradeSubscription.exe' File In Preview Build Hints At Windows 10 Subscriptions

Slashdot - 6/30/2016 8:05pm
An anonymous reader writes: A file named "UpgradeSubscription.exe" is found buried in the System32 folder of Windows 10 build 14376, alongside 590 other .exe files. ZDNet reports the file has been part of other recent preview builds, but just recently uncovered. "In the file's properties, it's described as the Windows Upgrade to Subscription Tool, and its date and time stamp corresponds to other administrative tools in the same build," reports ZDNet. You can view the screenshot here. Microsoft responded to ZDNet saying: "The Windows Upgrade to Subscription tool, found in the latest Windows Insider builds, helps to manage certain volume licensing upgrades from Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update to Windows 10 Enterprise. This binary file is not associated with the free consumer upgrade offering nor is it applicable to consumer Windows editions." When pressed for additional details, Microsoft responded with, "No further comment." While the file does nothing, it does appear to confirm that it's related to licensing, referencing a registry value called AllowWindowsSubscription. Build 14376 reveals a few references to servicing packages named Microsoft-Client-License-Platform-Upgrade-Subscription-Package. Last year, there was some talk about Windows 10 being the last version of Windows as Microsoft is pushing a "Windows as a service" vision. When news broke in April about Windows Phone's sharp revenue declines, PCWorld reported that CEO Satya Nadella's strategy is to grow Microsoft's revenues by convincing customers to adopt its paid subscription services.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Lego brilliantly confronts dad who works too hard and doesn't see 6-year-old - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6/30/2016 7:58pm
Technically Incorrect: In a very clever ad, Lego shows how a child uses fantasy to make up for not seeing dad. In one case, the toymaker guilts the father into seeing his kid create those fantasies. In public.