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Is There a Warning in 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'?

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 10:34
An anonymous reader quotes io9: That signature feeling feeling of queasy, slow-burning tumult comes through in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, which originally aired in the UK last September, but is making its American premiere on Amazon Prime this Friday, January 12. The breadth of interpretations across the show's 10 episodes is the real draw for Electric Dreams. One episode will be set in something meant to recognizably stand in for the real world while others are trippy explorations into realities that could never exist. Unfortunately, Electric Dreams' episodes don't just vary in aesthetics; they vary wildly in quality, too... When Electric Dreams fires on all cylinders, it energizes these short story adaptations by drilling down into the minutiae of how science fiction concepts would alter our everyday existences in real life. The series' common theme is how scientific and technological advancement shears the soul away from our bodies...Electric Dreams' most important task is to show both new viewers and conversant fans why Dick's oeuvre matters, which is hard in a world where we're eerily close to some of his fictional realities... We're so busy trying to ground ourselves amid constant change that it can be hard to pull out and see society's sweeping shifts. In the '50s and beyond, Dick's science fiction writing mapped out the darker corners of where hi-speed techno-fetishes could take us. For all its unevenness, Electric Dreams adapts his work to show us where we are, relative to his prognostications. If you feel weirded out while watching, that just means the show is doing its job.

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The Linux Kernel Mailing List is Down

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 09:48
Every page on LKML.org is currently displaying this error message along with a picture of Flits the cat. What started out as a power outage while I was on vacation (leading to the computer hosting the backend of this site being unable to boot) became a larger issue as the mainboard in that computer appears to be broken. Not wanting to let you wait for a spare part to arrive, I'm currently (while being assisted by our cat Flits) busy copying over all data to a VPS, and getting things working from there. The rsync is progressing slowly, having copied over the first 50% in three hours (at 14:30 CET). Please check back later for status updates.

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Scientists Think They've Discovered Lava Tubes Leading To the Moon's Polar Ice

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 09:34
schwit1 quotes ScienceAlert: Small pits in a large crater on the Moon's North Pole could be "skylights" leading down to an underground network of lava tubes -- tubes holding hidden water on Earth's nearest neighbour, according to new research. There's no lava in them now of course, though that's originally how the tubes formed in the Moon's fiery past. But they could indicate easy access to a water source if we ever decide to develop a Moon base sometime in the future. Despite the Moon's dry and dusty appearance, scientists think it contains a lot of water trapped as frozen ice. What these new observations carried out by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) show is that it might be much more accessible than we thought... Scientists have long been thinking about how to extract the ice reserves we think are up there -- solar power was originally out of the question, as it's the freezing shadowed areas of the Moon that have preserved the ice in the first place. Not only would natural skylights like these provide easier access to the underground ice, it would also mean solar power would be back on the table as an idea.

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Introducing the CAPS0ff Project

Linux Journal - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 09:12

How you can help retrieve ROM data for classic video games. more>>

MX Linux MX-17 Horizon Review - Shaping up beautifully

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 08:20
From an underdog to a kennel master. That's probably the best, most succinct way to describe MX Linux. While you still may be confused about its heritage, with words like Mepis and AntiX slipping in, it's one of the more refined Xfce distros around, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the last version, MX-16. As it turns out, I proudly crowned it the Best of Xfce 2017 distro. It also notched very high on the overall annual best-of competition. Now, there's a new version out.

Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds 40-pin GPIO header to Zero W

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 04:36
The $18 Raspberry Pi Zero WH adds a soldered 40-pin GPIO header to the Zero W for easier prototyping or taking advantage of the new GPIO Expander tool, which lets you access your Pi’s GPIO pins from a PC running Debian Stretch. Raspberry Pi Trading has launched a variation on the Raspberry Pi Zero W […]

How inner sourcing saved our IT department

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 02:42
Red Hat is a company with roughly 11,000 employees. The IT department consists of roughly 500 members. Though it makes up just a fraction of the entire organization, the IT department is still sufficiently staffed to have many application service, infrastructure, and operational teams within it. Our purpose is "to enable Red Hatters in all functions to be effective, productive, innovative, and collaborative...

Kansas 'Swat' Perpetrator Charged; Faces 11 More Years in Prison

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 02:29
Jail-time looms for 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, whose fake call to Kansas police led to a fatal shooting: Barriss "was in a Wichita jail on Saturday," Reuters reported, and even his first court appearance Friday was a video appearance from jail. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and if convicted "could face up to 11 years and three months in prison." He was also charged with making a false alarm, which is considered a felony. The District Attorney adds that others have also been identified as "potential suspects" in the case, but they're still deciding whether to charge them. Barriss' bond has been set at $500,000. Friday Barriss gave his first interview to a local news outlet -- from jail. "Of course, you know, I feel a little of remorse for what happened," he tells KWCH. "I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed. I don't think during any attempted swatting anyone's intentions are for someone to get shot and killed..." Asked about the call, Barriss acknowledged that "It hasn't just affected my life, it's affected someone's family too. Someone lost their life. I understand the magnitude of what happened. It's not just affecting me because I'm sitting in jail. I know who it has affected. I understand all of that." Barriss has also been charged in Calgary with public mischief, fraud and mischief for another false phone call, police said, though it's unlikely he'll ever be arrested unless he enters the country. Just six days before the fatal shooting, Barriss had made a nearly identical call to police officers in Canada, this time supplying the address of a well-known video gamer who livestreams on Twitch, and according to one eyewitness more than 20 police cars surrounded her apartment building for at least half an hour.

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8 KDE Plasma Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Productivity

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 00:48
KDE’s Plasma is easily one of the most powerful desktop environments available for Linux. It’s highly configurable, and it looks pretty good, too. Here are some useful tips and tricks to improve your productivity.

Opera 51 Browser Enters Beta with Support for AppleScript and Many New Features

LXer - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 22:53
The upcoming Opera 51 web browser was promoted on Thursday to the beta channel, giving users a more in-depth look at what to expect from the final release, which will be available next month.

Warren Buffett Predicts 'Bad Ending' for Cryptocurrencies

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 22:24
"97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses," reports Credit Suisse (in an article cited by Slashdot reader CaptainDork). And elsewhere this week, Warren Buffett told CNBC that speculation in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies "will have a bad ending," adding that looking out five years he'd gladly bet against all of the cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, CNBC senior analyst Ron Insana has his own skepticism: I am predisposed to view them as just speculative tokens in a cryptocurrency bubble that has inflated more quickly than any other in financial market history. Admittedly I'm green with envy for failing to foresee the explosive rally in the price of bitcoin when it was first brought to my attention several years ago. Having said that, there are many things I find quite ironic about how bitcoin and other "cryptos" are described. First, they are largely denominated, or discussed, in U.S. dollar terms... If the dollar is archaic, as the crypto-enthusiasts believe, why not speak only in crypto-terms...? It's much easier to buy and sell dollars, stocks or commodities than it is to trade bitcoin and its brethren. The conversion of one crypto to another is relatively easy on these embryonic exchanges. But getting your digital wealth converted into cold hard cash is more problematic... And while the growth has been impressive, it remains very difficult to walk into any establishment and exchange a digital token for goods or services. The article notes that the U.S. dollar still accounts for 65% of all global economic transactions, due to its status as the world's reserve currency, and concludes that "The adoption of cryptocurrencies as a global source of funds has a long way to go before staking a claim to the world's economy."

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uGet Download Manager 2.2.0 and uGet for Android 1.4.8 Now Available!

LXer - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 20:59
The latest stable version of uGet, version 2.2.0 and version 1.4.8 of uGet for Android are now available. In addition to bug fixes and core improvements, there are many highly requested features.

Fake 'Inbound Missile' Alert Sent To Every Cellphone in Hawaii

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 20:19
"Somebody sent out a false emergency alert to all cell phones in Hawaii saying, 'BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'," writes Slashdot reader flopwich, adding "Somebody's had better days at work." The Associated Press reports: In a conciliatory news conference later in the day, Hawaii officials apologized for the mistake and vowed to ensure it will never happen again. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi said the error happened when someone hit the wrong button. "We made a mistake," said Miyagi. For nearly 40 minutes, it seemed like the world was about to end in Hawaii, an island paradise already jittery over the threat of nuclear-tipped missiles from North Korea... On the H-3, a major highway north of Honolulu, vehicles sat empty after drivers left them to run to a nearby tunnel after the alert showed up, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Workers at a golf club huddled in a kitchen fearing the worst... The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but that didn't reach people who aren't on the social media platform. A revised alert informing of the "false alarm" didn't reach cellphones until 38 minutes later, according to the time stamp on images people shared on social media.

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Tiny module and SBC run Linux or Android on i.MX8M

LXer - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 19:05
Variscite’s 55 x 30mm “DART-MX8M” showcases NXP’s 1.5GHz, quad-A53 i.MX8M SoC with up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, PCIe, and HDMI 2.0, plus an optional carrier that’s also sold as a “VAR-DT8MCustomBoard” SBC. Variscite unveiled a “coming soon” DART-MX8M computer-on-module and VAR-DT8MCustomBoard carrier board/SBC that tap NXP’s new i.MX8M SoC. […]

Is Finland's Universal Basic Income Trial Too Good To Be True?

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 18:14
It was one year ago that Finland began giving money to 2,000 unemployed people -- roughly $652 a month (€560 or £475). But have we learned anything about universal basic incomes? An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Amid this unprecedented media attention, the experts who devised the scheme are concerned it is being misrepresented. "It's not really what people are portraying it as," said Markus Kanerva, an applied social and behavioural sciences specialist working in the prime minister's office in Helsinki. "A full-scale universal income trial would need to study different target groups, not just the unemployed. It would have to test different basic income levels, look at local factors. This is really about seeing how a basic unconditional income affects the employment of unemployed people." While UBI tends often to be associated with progressive politics, Finland's trial was launched -- at a cost of around €20m (£17.7m or $24.3 million) -- by a centre-right, austerity-focused government interested primarily in spending less on social security and bringing down Finland's stubborn 8%-plus unemployment rate. It has a very clear purpose: to see whether an unconditional income might incentivise people to take up paid work. Authorities believe it will shed light on whether unemployed Finns, as experts believe, are put off taking up a job by the fear that a higher marginal tax rate may leave them worse off. Many are also deterred by having to reapply for benefits after every casual or short-term contract... According to Kanerva, the core data the government is seeking -- on whether, and how, the job take-up of the 2,000 unemployed people in the trial differs from a 175,000-strong control group -- will be "robust, and usable in future economic modelling" when it is published in 2019. Although the experiment may be impacted by all the hype it's generating, according to the Guardian. "One participant who hoped to start his own business with the help of the unconditional monthly payment complained that, after speaking to 140 TV crews and reporters from as far afield as Japan and Korea, he has simply not been able to find the time."

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How to Check If Your Linux PC Is Vulnerable to Meltdown & Spectre Security Flaws

LXer - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 17:10
They affect us all, so we've put together a straightforward tutorial for Linux users to see if their PCs are protected against the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities or not.

'Science Fiction Writers of America' Accuse Internet Archive of Piracy

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 17:09
An anonymous reader writes: The "Open Library" project of the nonprofit Internet Archive has been scanning books and offering "loans" of DRM-protected versions for e-readers (which expire after the loan period expires). This week the Legal Affairs Committe of the Science Fiction Writers of America issued a new "Infringement Alert" on the practice, complaining that "an unreadable copy of the book is saved on users' devices...and can be made readable by stripping DRM protection." The objection, argues SFWA President Cat Rambo, is that "writers' work is being scanned in and put up for access without notifying them... it is up to the individual writer whether or not their work should be made available in this way." But the infringement alert takes the criticism even further. "We suspect that this is the world's largest ongoing project of unremunerated digital distribution of entire in-copyright books." The Digital Reader blog points out one great irony. "The program initially launched in 2007. It has been running for ten years, and the SFWA only just now noticed." They add that SFWA's tardiness "leaves critical legal issues unresolved." "Remember, Google won the Google Books case, and had its scanning activities legalized as fair use ex post facto... [I]n fact the Internet Archive has a stronger case than Google did; the latter had a commercial interest in its scans, while the Internet Archive is a non-profit out to serve the public good."

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Japanese Console Market Grows For the First Time In 11 Years

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 16:04
According to Famitsu, hardware sales in Japan experienced a huge spike in 2017 compared to the previous year. In 2016, Japanese hardware sales were 117.05 billion yen ($1.05 billion), while in 2017, they jumped to 202.37 billion yen ($1.81 billion). Kotaku reports: Software sales also increased: in 2016, they were 182.4 billion yen ($1.63 billion) and the following year, they were 189.3 billion yen ($1.69 billion). A big part of this increase is due to the Nintendo Switch's brisk hardware sales. The PS4 has also continued to churn out steady numbers. The last time the Japanese gaming market saw an uptick was in 2006, when the Nintendo DS Lite, the Nintendo Wii, the PS3 launched.

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Visualizing Molecules with Python

LXer - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 15:16
Introducing PyMOL, a Python package for studying chemical structures. I've looked at several open-source packages for computational chemistry in the past, but in this article, I cover a package written in Python called PyMOL.

Stack Overflow Stats Reveal 'the Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks'

Slashdot - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 14:59
A developer on the Internal Tools team at Stack Overflow reveals some new statistics from their 'Trends' tool: JavaScript UI frameworks and libraries work in cycles. Every six months or so, a new one pops up, claiming that it has revolutionized UI development. Thousands of developers adopt it into their new projects, blog posts are written, Stack Overflow questions are asked and answered, and then a newer (and even more revolutionary) framework pops up to usurp the throne... There appears to be a quick ascent, as the framework gains popularity and then a slightly less quick but steady decline as developers adopt newer technologies. These lifecycles only last a couple of years. Starting around 2011, there seems to be major adoption of a couple of competing frameworks: Backbone, Knockout, and Ember. Questions about these tags appear to grow until around 2013 and have been in steady decline since, at about the same time as AngularJS started growing. The latest startup is the Vue.js framework, which has shown quick adoption, as it is one of the fastest growing tags on Stack Overflow. Only time can tell how long this growth will last. "Let's be honest," the post concludes. "The size of a developer community certainly counts; it contributes to a thriving open source environment, and makes it easier to find help on Stack Overflow."

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