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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

No, not quite what you'd expect, but it shows the power of the online bookseller pre-order.  XKCD comic author Randal Munroe announced a new popular science book, What If on his blog on Monday.  

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

I'm sure, even if freshly ground is our preference, we're all familiar with single-serve coffee capsule machines. In an effort to recreate past decades, Keurig (Green Mountain Coffee Roasters), have decided that their capsules will contain DRM, to prevent third-party, often re-fillable, capsules from being used.

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

How a sunken nuclear submarine, a crazy billionaire, and a mechanical claw gave birth to a phrase that has hounded journalists and lawyers for 40 years and embodies the tension between the public’s desire for transparency and the government’s need to keep secrets. 

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

As Technocrat.net previously covered, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the fifth Dragon spacecraft on the third operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. On SpaceFlightNow's Tracking Page the mission is listed to launch March 16.

An important part of this launch will be testing it's legs for a possible return of the first stage for possible reuse.

 

 

http://www.space.com/24800-spacex-falcon9-rocket-landing-legs-photo.html

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

Fritz passes on: An Indian school dropout and inventor has invented a low-cost sanitary pad and its manufacturing machine which now provides a self-supporting business for many women. He did it against the wishes of everyone around him, even grossing out his own mum. BBC tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the "Menstrual Man". There's more coverage in the Pune (India) Mirror.

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Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 09:10

Over at Linux Journal, Doc Searles talks about the conflict between content (Hollywood) and open source (Silicon Valley), and it's importance to the tinkering, hacking future.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Pretty much everyone can get an anonymous email account these days, for example on gmail, and post on weblogs using a handle. You are no more identifiable that way than if you post as an anonymous coward on Slashdot. However, you can build a reputation and people know that they are talking to one particular anonymous person rather than the generic "Anonymous Coward" who is many people.

The problem with Anonymous Cowards as on Slashdot is that with no reputation, it is very tempting to act as a vandal. There is no penalty but down-moderation, and the vandal knows that some portion of readers will still click on the title of a down-modded posting from curiousity (or perhaps even because they enjoy wallowing in dirt). Thus, the vandal is rewarded with readership.

The Broken Windows Theory is a well-tested criminological theory of the norm-setting and signalling effect of vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. A car left with a broken window is much more likely to be put on blocks and its wheels removed in a short time. A similar car with no broken window is likely to be untouched. Applying this to blogs, if vandals are allowed to make a mess, more vandals will be incented to do so.

I think this explains why Slashdot has always been so scruffy. If you look at yesterday's article there about the death of a well-thought-of programmer, there are some wildly inappropriate comments. The behavior of the people who write there follows what they read, and the norm is for anonymous people to write any stupid offensive thing. So, the people with handles will write that way too.

This is a place for you to be better, and thus there are no ACs.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Safari doesn't like relative links with schemes, while Firefox and Chrome do. It looks to me like Safari isn't following the RFC, but I will fix this by Monday evening.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Many people don't realize yet that California's worst-ever drought now in progress is going to a full-scale disaster this summer. California gets its water mostly from mountain snowpack deposited in the winter, that melts throughout the summer. Water is piped from Northern California to Southern, where there are many water-import-dependent farms on what would otherwise be dry prairie or desert. This year, there is essentially no snowpack so far, and Southern California farmers have been told by the state that they won't get any water. Many farmers have responded in what is probably the only sensible way: by seeding no crops this year.

California is the largest farm state in the U.S. Food cost around the nation can be expected to skyrocket. Idling of so many farms will put more people out of work. Last years tremendous fires might end up looking small compared to this year, and the economic effect of that will be huge, too. Effects will ripple to all of California's industries, and to the nation.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Simple, the banking App which acts as intermediary to a standard bank, has been acquired by BBVA. The statement indicates that Simple will continue to operate as it has as a separate business unit within BBVA's US ventures.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

The way I read the RFC, relative URLs with schemes, of the form "http:/a/b" or "https:/a/b", are legal just like relative URLs without schemes like "/a/b". And relative URLs without schemes work everywhere. Relative URLs with schemes work on Chrome and Firefox.

But Safari and Charter's transparent proxy don't agree. Which broke this site for some users. And thus I fixed it so that full URLs are sent with protocol, host name, and path, no relative URLs.

So, did I hit some poorly-known and poorly-implemented corner of the HTTP RFCs, or am I reading them wrong?

There is still some programming to be done before I _promote_ this site. Pretty few users on hand until then. Hold on, it should get better.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

From the article:

Ancient zircon crystals discovered in Western Australia have been positively dated to 4.374 billion years, confirming their place as the oldest rock ever found on Earth, according to a new study.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Top quarks are the heaviest and among the most puzzling elementary particles. They weigh even more than the Higgs boson – as much as an atom of gold – and only two machines have ever produced them: Fermilab’s Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. There are several ways to produce them, as predicted by the theoretical framework known as the Standard Model, and the most common one was the first one discovered: a collision in which the strong nuclear force creates a pair consisting of a top quark and its antimatter cousin, the anti-top quark.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

In an e-mail sent to users today, Dropbox announced upcoming updates to their terms of service and privacy policies. Of particular interest, however, is their clear stance on governmental information requests. They claim to be fighting for more precise disclosures and against blanket requests, and to keep from having to install back doors. Of course it is encouraging to hear these things. But how, as users, can we be sure that this isn't just talk?

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

There are confirmed accounts that Mt.Gox, which shutdown withdraws in early February, has closed and may have had around USD$350 million dollars stolen using a method which allowed the thieves to change transactions .

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

As part of its work in support of the Square Kilometre Array, researchers at IBM have developed an analog-to-digital converter that may allow for data transfer speeds of between 200 and 400 Gigabits per second.

The SKA will be an array of up to 3,000 radio telescopes that will gather cosmic emissions in an attempt to see the universe a few hundreds of million years after the Big Bang - further back in time than any telescope has glimpsed.

In excess of an exabyte - more information than passes across the internet in 24 hours - is expected to be gathered by the SKA every day following its completion in 2024.

The prototype ADC is a possible candidate to allow the SKA to transport the signals fast and at very low power — a critical requirement considering that thousands of antennas will be spread over 3,000 kilometres.

The technological details of the latest ADC have been published in a paper with the EPFL, entitled, "A 90GS/s 8b 667mW 64× Interleaved SAR ADC in 32nm Digital SOI CMOS".

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

The Cerowrt project has created a home router OS (built on OpenWRT) which seems to vanquish bufferbloat, controlling your upstream data rate and shaping incoming data so that outside servers throttle themselves correctly, and also does nice things like making native IPV6 work out-of-the-box if your internet provider has it and your cable modem passes it. It even lets you try out mesh networking on WiFi. I've been running it for two weeks as the main router in my home/office, without trouble.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

FQ_CODEL (pronounced "Coddle") is a new, knobs-free routing queue discipline that fights bufferbloat. Bufferbloat causes chaotic and laggy network performance, and right now it's everywhere so it's worth fighting. Here's how I've set it up on my Linux servers.

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

The BBC reports that physicists met in Geneva last week to propose replacements for the LHC.

Dr Rolf Heuer, director general of Cern, who opened the meeting, argues it is already time to start thinking about what will follow the LHC, even though that machine has only been running a few years. "We have very long lead times," he explained, "because our projects are ambitious, and they need a lot of research and development. "Take as an example the LHC. It is just three years into full swing, but the real discussions on the LHC started in 1983; the first meeting on the physics in 1984. And the first data were taken in 2009. So we need a long lead time. And that's why we start now to kick off this project."

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Date: Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 23:02

Andrew Adamatzky is professor of Unconventional Computing at the University of the West of England. A recent article in The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/feb/18/slime-mould-rail-road-transport-routes) shows how he is attempting to use slime mould to re-draw transportation networks.

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