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Do We Need More Emojis?

Slashdot Updates - 2 hours 39 min ago
mikejuk writes to note that the Unicode Consortium has accepted 38 new emoji characters as candidates for Unicode 9.0, including characters depicting bacon and a duck."Why could we possibly need a duck? Many of the new characters are the 'other half' of gender-matched pairs, so the Dancer emoji (which is usually rendered as Apple's salsa dancing woman) gets a Man Dancing emoji, who frankly looks like a cross between John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and your dad at the wedding disco. ... Other additions include carrot, cucumber, and avocado, and bacon. ... The list of additions is rounded off with new animal emojis. Some are the 'missing' zodiac symbols (lion and crab). Others are as baffling as ever – is there *really* a demand for a mallard duck? Sorry: it's in fact a drake!

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Categories: Science & Tech News

New Horizons' New Target: Kuiper Belt Ice Chunk 2014 MU69

Slashdot Updates - 6 hours 5 min ago
Vox reports on the next target destination for NASA's New Horizons probe, an ice chunk in the Kuiper Belt designated 2014 MU69. The plan is not yet final; like any space mission, complications are bound to come up. But if this selection sticks, New Horizons should reach 2014 MU69 in 2019. (Re/Code has the story, too.)

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Categories: Science & Tech News

MIAOW Open Source GPU Debuts At Hot Chips

Slashdot Updates - 7 hours 8 min ago
alexvoica writes: The first general-purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) now available as open-source RTL was unveiled at the Hot Chips event. Although the GPGPU is in an early and relatively crude stage, it is another piece of an emerging open-source hardware platform, said Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sankaralingam led the team that designed the Many-core Integrated Accelerator of Wisconsin (MIAOW). A 12-person team developed the MIAOW core in 36 months. Their goal was simply to create a functional GPGPU without setting any specific area, frequency, power or performance goals. The resulting GPGPU uses just 95 instructions and 32 compute units in its current design. It only supports single-precision operations. Students are now adding a graphics pipeline to the design, a job expected to take about six months.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Cliff Bleszinski's Boss Key Productions Unveils <em>LawBreakers</em> Game Trailer

Slashdot Updates - 8 hours 23 sec ago
MojoKid writes: Boss Key Productions has posted its first trailer of LawBreakers (formerly Project Bluestreak), a futuristic game title that's set to release on multiple platforms in 2016. The trailer shows off some of the characters and classes that you'll have access to on both sides of the law — yes, you'll have to decide whether you're fighting for the law or the lawbreakers. The game's setting is Earth, though not as you know it now. This is a future version of Earth where gravity is busted. The government, in its infinite wisdom, screwed up some testing on the moon and managed to split its surface, an event that came to be known as "The Shattering." Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski is one of the co-founders of Boss Key Productions, the other of which is Arjan Brussee, the main coder behind Jazz Jackrabbit games and a co-founder Guerrilla Games.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Abusing Symbolic Links Like It's 1999

Slashdot Updates - 9 hours 6 min ago
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from James Forshaw's recent post at Google's Project Zero, which begins For the past couple of years I've been researching Windows elevation of privilege attacks. This might be escaping sandboxing or gaining system privileges. One of the techniques I've used multiple times is abusing the symbolic link facilities of the Windows operating system to redirect privileged code to create files or registry keys to escape the restrictive execution context. Symbolic links in themselves are not vulnerabilities, instead they're useful primitives for exploiting different classes of vulnerabilities such as resource planting or time-of-check time-of-use. Click through that link to see examples of this abuse in action, but also information about how the underlying risks have been (or can be) mitigated.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Germany Wants Facebook To Obey Its Rules About Holocaust Denial

Slashdot Updates - 10 hours 24 min ago
Bruce66423 writes: In a classic example of the conflict of cultures bought about by the internet, Germany is trying to get Facebook to obey its rules about banning holocaust denial posts. From the linked Jerusalem Post article: [Justice Minister Heiko] Maas, who has accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist and hate posts on its social media platform, said that Germany has zero tolerance for such expression and expects the US-based company to be more vigilant. "One thing is clear: if Facebook wants to do business in Germany, then it must abide by German laws," Maas told Reuters. "It doesn't matter that we, because of historical reasons, have a stricter interpretation of freedom of speech than the United States does." "Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred are crimes in Germany and it doesn't matter if they're posted on Facebook or uttered out in the public on the market square," he added. ... "There's no scope for misplaced tolerance towards internet users who spread racist propaganda. That's especially the case in light of our German history."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Kristian von Bengston's New Goal: The Moon

Slashdot Updates - 11 hours 23 min ago
Kristian von Bengtson, co-founder of DIY manned space program Copenhagen Suborbitals (which he left in 2014) writes with this pithy plug for his newest venture: "This year, we (a great crew) have been preparing for the next adventure with a mission plan going public Oct 1. Go sign up and join the project at moonspike.com." (You may want to check out our video inteview with von Bengston; he's a person who gets things done.)

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Categories: Science & Tech News

The View From 2015: Integrated Space Plan's 100-Year Plan

Slashdot Updates - 12 hours 21 min ago
garyebickford writes: Wired Magazine has posted an article about the new 2015 version of the Integrated Space Plan, updated 14 years after the last version and descended directly from the original 1989 version. The original one was printed in the thousands, distributed by Rockwell, and appeared on walls throughout the space industry. One even hung behind the NASA administrator's desk. The new one is prettier, great for dorm room walls and classrooms, and Integrated Space Analytics, the company behind it, promises to expand their website into an up-to-date, live interactive tool. This is a great new beginning after over 30 years.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Ask Slashdot: Best Data Provider When Traveling In the US?

Slashdot Updates - 13 hours 13 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: I am visiting USA 3-4 times a year and I need a data service. I also need to keep my cell phone number, so swapping the SIM card in my phone is not an option. I have bought those 19.95$ phones in Best-Buy to get a local number, but those were voice only. So I have been thinking about getting a MiFi hotspot. I have been looking at pre-paid plans from Verizon(only 700 LTE band for their pre-paid hotspot), AT&T, T-Mobile etc. perhaps to put in a MiFi hotspot or buy a hotspot from a provider, but have no idea which one to use, their reputation, real life coverage etc. It is clear that all data plans in the USA are really expensive, I get 100GB monthly traffic with my Scandinavian provider for the same price as 6-8 GB monthly in the US, which I guess could be a problem with our Apple phones as they do not recognize a metered WiFi hotspot. But that is another issue. I travel all over but most of the time outside the big cities -- and my experience from roaming with my own phone and the cheap local phone so far tells me that coverage fluctuates wildly depending on the operator.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Systemd Absorbs "su" Command Functionality

Slashdot Updates - 14 hours 19 min ago
jones_supa writes: With a pull request systemd now supports a su command functional and can create privileged sessions that are fully isolated from the original session. The su command is seen as bad because what it is supposed to do is ambiguous. On one hand it's supposed to open a new session and change a number of execution context parameters, and on the other it's supposed to inherit a lot concepts from the originating session. Lennart Poettering's long story short: "`su` is really a broken concept. It will given you kind of a shell, and it's fine to use it for that, but it's not a full login, and shouldn't be mistaken for one." The replacement command provided by systemd is machinectl shell.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

GNOME To Start Using Codenames

Slashdot Updates - 15 hours 21 min ago
prisoninmate writes: A discussion between GNOME developers and users during the annual GUADEC conference lead to potential code names for the desktop environment, starting with the upcoming September release, GNOME 3.18, which might be dubbed Gothenburg. They decided to codename the September releases after the city where the GUADEC conference took place, as explained above, and the March releases after the city where the GNOME.Asia Summit will take place.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

In Hawaii, a 6-Person Crew Begins a Year-Long Mars Isolation Experiment

Slashdot Updates - 16 hours 14 min ago
The BBC reports that six volunteers have begun a planned year-long stint "without fresh air, fresh food or privacy" in a NASA simulation of what life might be like for a group of Mars colonists. The volunteers are to spend the next 12 months in the dome (11 meters in diameter, 6 meters high), except for space-suited out-of-dome excursions, where they will eat space-style meals, sleep on tiny cots, and keep up a science schedule. The current mission is the fourth (and longest yet) from the Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation; you can read more about this mission's crew here.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

A Courtroom Victory For Microsoft In Cellphone-Related Patent Suit

Slashdot Updates - 17 hours 15 min ago
Mark Wilson writes: Microsoft has been cleared of patent infringement by the US International Trade Commission. The case dates back to 2007 when InterDigital Inc claimed Microsoft infringed its patents, and there were calls for a ban on the import of handsets. InterDigital Inc has been battling in court for eight years, initially trying to claim royalties on phones made by Nokia, now transferred to Microsoft. As well as blocking the call for an import ban, the ITC stated that Microsoft did not infringe patents relating to the way mobiles make calls. In short Microsoft is in the clear and InterDigital's rights have not been violated.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Arro Taxi App Arrives In NYC As 'Best Hope' Against Uber

Slashdot Updates - 18 hours 46 min ago
An anonymous reader writes with a report at The Stack that "New York City cabs have begun testing a new app-based taxi system in an attempt to win back customers lost to Uber and Lyft." The app is called Arro, and is being trialled in about 7,000 New York cabs. It sticks with metered prices, rather than the demand-based price increases that Uber institutes for times of peak demand. With so many cabs on the road already, the makers boast that Arro will outpace Uber soon. At least based on my limited experience with each, real competition with Uber or Lyft would require some seminars on good customer service.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

John Conway: All Play and No Work For a Genius

Slashdot Updates - 21 hours 6 min ago
An anonymous reader points out Quanta's spotlight piece on mathematician John Conway, whose best known mathematical contribution is probably his "Game of Life," which has inspired many a screensaver and more than a few computer science careers. From the article: Based at Princeton University, though he found fame at Cambridge (as a student and professor from 1957 to 1987), John Horton Conway, 77, claims never to have worked a day in his life. Instead, he purports to have frittered away reams and reams of time playing. Yet he is Princeton's John von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics (now emeritus). He's a fellow of the Royal Society. And he is roundly praised as a genius. "The word 'genius' gets misused an awful lot," said Persi Diaconis, a mathematician at Stanford University. "John Conway is a genius. And the thing about John is he'll think about anything. He has a real sense of whimsy. You can't put him in a mathematical box."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Senior Level Designer: Ready At Dawn Studios

Gamasutra - Jobs - 23 hours 48 min ago
Responsibilities: Development of design documentation for level progression (flow), level layouts and 3D block-outs for in-engine playtesting. Bring new ideas to the table in regards to every facet of the game; mechanics, story, missions, and more Work closely with the artists and programmers to take ideas from conception to implementation Skills Required: Minimum 3 years design experience Good oral and written communication skills Able to focus and work without micro-management Ability to take direction and accept critical review of your work Clear understanding and appreciation of schedules and milestones 3D game level building experience Ability to create fun and exciting gameplay using a complex array of mechanics. Strong understanding of aesthetics as it relates to level layout and presentation Passion for and broad knowledge of console games with an ability to critically analyze them Additional Skills (Pluses): Understanding of basic programming or scripting languages (LUA, Perl, JavaScript, etc) a plus Maya experience
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Quality Assurance Manager: Respawn Entertainment

Gamasutra - Jobs - 23 hours 48 min ago
Respawn is looking for a passionate QA Manager to join our development team. Manage the current QA team and continue to build and refine the team and processes, and help us ship bug free games. Job Responsibilities:  Continue to build the best QA team in game development. Review and interview candidates and assess current personnel and team skill sets. Heavy hands-on testing as well as supervising the team. You should strive for perfection and get the QA team to have the same quality bar. Create and implement comprehensive test plans and schedules to ensure maximum efficiency. Ensure that schedules are adhered to and deadlines are met. Work and communicate directly and proactively with developers. Be a master of prioritization and know when you need to shift gears. Know everything that is happening with the game. Be point person for test status and features. Be a mentor to new testers and leads. Develop training methods and guides. Constantly review and improve QA processes and procedures. Ensure thorough and effective testing, make sure all areas of the game are covered. Manage the bug database so it reflects the latest status by finding duplicate issues and making sure bugs are moved to the appropriate people. Assist development team in tracking down issues and ensure blocker issues are fixed as quickly as possible. Summarize, prioritize and disperse information in a clear and precise manner that is easily understood. Work closely with other department leads to identify potential development issues or trouble areas. Help run and manage studio or department playtests on a regular basis. This includes making builds and ensuring builds are stable. Maintains a deep understanding of the entire development process and the game engine. Reports directly to Producer Requirements: Experience leading a QA Team in game development from concept to ship. 4+ years experience in software or game development QA. Experience building a QA team (reviewing and interviewing candidates, etc) Strong, demonstrable technical skills and comprehension. Advanced experience using software defect tracking systems. Experience writing and implementing test plans. Multiplayer QA experience. BS in Computer Science or equivalent technical experience a major plus. Excellent leadership and communication skills. Proactive self-starter. Unquenchable passion for games. Passion for striving to create bug-free games. Programming or scripting skills a major plus. To apply, send resume to jobs@respawn.com.
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

How Close Are We, Really, To Nuclear Fusion?

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 9:55pm
StartsWithABang writes: The ultimate dream when it comes to clean, green, safe, abundant energy is nuclear fusion. The same process that powers the core of the Sun could also power everything on Earth millions of times over, if only we could figure out how to reach that breakeven point. Right now, we have three different candidates for doing so: inertial confinement, magnetic confinement, and magnetized target fusion. Recent advances have all three looking promising in various ways, making one wonder why we don't spend more resources towards achieving the holy grail of energy.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Kenya's iHub Creates Accelerator Program For Tech-Hardware Entrepreneurs

Slashdot Updates - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 7:06pm
An anonymous reader writes: The iHub in Nairobi has long been at the epicentre of tech developments in Africa, and has been lauded by both Barack Obama and Satya Nadella in recent weeks. It currently has about 3000 software devs registered as members, but since last year has been building a makerspace for hardware entrepreneurs, too. Gearbox, as its called, it's just launched its first incubation program with the backing of Village Capital, offering $100,000 in investment opportunities for 12 entrepreneurs through a three month program. According to the organisers, it's the first of its kind on the continent. (It's certainly not the first hackerspace in Africa, though -- even in 2012, there were quite a few.)

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Categories: Science & Tech News
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