Sat 2015-05-30

15:53

[Slashdot]

Microscopic Underwater Sonic Screwdriver Successfully Tested

afeeney writes: Researchers at the University of Bristol and Northwestern Polytechnical University in China have created acoustic vortices that can create microscopic centrifuges that rotate small particles. They compare this to a watchmaker's sonic screwdriver. So far, though, the practical applications include cell sorting and low-power water purification, rather than TARDIS operations. Appropriately enough, one of the researchers is named Bruce Drinkwater.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.15:34 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

Overstromingen Texas officieel grote ramp

De overstromingen die in de Amerikaanse staat Texas al meer dan twintig mensen het leven hebben gekost, zijn een grote ramp.

Sat 2015-05-30.15:48 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

FIFA-officials voelen zich te oud voor gevangenis

Enkele van de zeven officials die woensdag in het corruptieschandaal rond de FIFA in Zürich werden gearresteerd, willen vanwege hun slechte gezondheid vrijkomen op borgtocht.

Sat 2015-05-30.15:45 | [NU - Algemeen]

15:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Zijlstra vindt linkse politici onnodig bang

VVD-fractievoorzitter Halbe Zijlstra heeft in een speech op het VVD-congres in Arnhem uitgehaald naar linkse politici. Die zijn volgens hem onnodig bang voor veranderingen en voor vooruitgang.

Sat 2015-05-30.15:21 | [NU - Algemeen]
[The Register]

Google spins up 'FREE, unlimited' cloud photo storage 4 years before ad giant shuts it down

Prove us wrong, nerds, prove us wrong

Google I/O Google has unveiled a cloud-hosted photo storage service that, it hopes, will mean that embarrassing images from your past can be organized by computers so you don't have to.…

Fri 2015-05-29.03:51 | [The Register]
[The Register]

And then the Google man said: Of course you can use Android Wear without a smartphone

Take that, Apple! Now they'll fly off the shelves

Google I/O Apple may be winning the PR war with its Watch, but Google thinks an open platform, and some nifty Android Wear software, can give it the edge in the smartwatch world.…

Fri 2015-05-29.02:19 | [The Register]

15:13

[The Register]

Siri, please, PLEASE save my iPhone from the MESSAGES of DEATH

Apple publishes a workaround – but no real fix for iMessage bomb bug

Apple has published a temporary workaround for iPhones plagued by incoming text messages that cause them to crash and restart – and it involves asking Siri for help.…

Fri 2015-05-29.20:54 | [The Register]

14:33

[Slashdot]

Untethered Miniature Origami Robot That Self-Folds, Walks, Swims, and Degrades

jan_jes writes: MIT researchers demonstrated an untethered miniature origami robot that self-folds, walks, swims, and degrades at ICRA 2015 in Seattle. A miniature robotic device that can fold-up on the spot, accomplish tasks, and disappear by degradation into the environment promises a range of medical applications but has so far been a challenge in engineering. This work presents a sheet that can self-fold into a functional 3D robot,actuate immediately for untethered walking and swimming, and subsequently dissolve in liquid. Further, the robot is capable of conducting basic tasks and behaviors, including swimming, delivering/carrying blocks, climbing a slope, and digging. The developed models include an acetone-degradable version, which allows the entire robot's body to vanish in a liquid. Thus this experimentally demonstrate the complete life cycle of this robot: self-folding,actuation, and degrading.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.14:27 | [Slashdot]

14:13

[NU - Algemeen]

Aardbeving met kracht van 7,8 bij Japan

Voor de kust van Japan heeft zaterdagavond (plaatselijke tijd) een zware aardbeving met een magnitude van 7,8 plaatsgevonden.

Sat 2015-05-30.14:02 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Internet]

'NSA gaat geen verzamelde data verwijderen'

De National Security Agency gaat gegevens die zij hebben verzameld niet verwijderen, maar opslaan en vergrendelen.

Sat 2015-05-30.13:59 | [NU - Internet]
[The Register]

UK's data-snooping regulator steps down five months early

IOCCO head quits to recover from car accident injuries

Updated Sir Anthony May, the Interception of Communications Commissioner, has decided to stand down from the role at the end of July, short of the end of his three-year term which would have expired in December this year.…

Fri 2015-05-29.14:26 | [The Register]

13:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Man opgepakt in Tilburg na wilde politieachtervolging

Een 44-jarige man is zaterdagochtend opgepakt in Tilburg na een wilde politieachtervolging. De man reed onder andere veel te hard in een auto met valse kentekenplaten, mishandelde een agent en is aangehouden voor diefstal en drugsbezit.

Sat 2015-05-30.13:13 | [NU - Algemeen]

13:13

[Planet PostgreSQL]

Vilis Lacis: Postgres create user

Short tutorial on how to create a new PostgreSQL user. Postgres user can be created in two major ways: using command line tool called createuser that is part of PostgreSQL installation or by using SQL command create user.

Create PostgreSQL user from command line

Open terminal and execute the following command. Substitute "username" with your actual username.
createuser username
If you want to specify password for the user, execute the command with "-P" argument. Password will be prompted right away.
createuser -P username
To create user on a specific database connection, supply connection details using connnection options. Admin password will be prompted, you don't need to specify it in the command options.
createuser --host=123.123.123.123 --port=5432 --username=admin_user --password username

Create user with SQL command

Log into Postgres using command line tool "psql" or any database administration software. The SQL syntax is similar to the one described above. To create a new user execute the following SQL statement. Substitute "username" with your actual username.
CREATE USER username
To specify password in SQL statement use the following syntax. Substitute "secret" with your a strong password.
CREATE USER username WITH PASSWORD 'secret'
That's it - now you can log in with the new user. You probably want to create a new database for the user or grant access to an existing db. That will be covered in the next tutorial.
Sat 2015-05-30.12:47 | [Planet PostgreSQL]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Google geeft uitleg over verkoopstop Glass-bril en verdere ontwikkeling

Google heeft te kennen gegeven waarom het is gestopt met zijn Explorer-programma voor de Glass-bril. Volgens het bedrijf was Glass nog niet af en zijn er teveel signalen afgegeven dat dit juist wel het geval zou zijn. In de toekomst komt Google met een nieuwe versie.

Sat 2015-05-30.12:17 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Zonnevliegtuig van Google crashte in New Mexico

Een zonnevliegtuig waar Google mee experimenteert is begin deze maand neergestort in de Amerikaanse staat New Mexico. De Amerikaanse autoriteiten onderzoeken de crash, maar er zijn geen gewonden of doden gevallen. Google boekte wel vorderingen met zijn ballonnenproject.

Sat 2015-05-30.11:03 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

'VS wilde met Stuxnet-variant nucleair programma Noord-Korea platleggen'

De Verenigde Staten zouden het met de Stuxnet-malware ook gemunt hebben op Noord-Korea. Er wordt vermoed dat de VS de malware eerder inzette om nucleaire systemen in onder andere Iran en Rusland te beschadigen, maar bij Noord-Korea zou dit niet zijn gelukt.

Sat 2015-05-30.10:29 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[The Register]

Taming the Thames – The place that plugged London's Great Stink

How Joseph Bazalgette flushed the capital into the modern age

Geek's Guide to Britain At various times in the history of the UK, there’s been a massive stink at Westminster, accompanied by demands that “something must be done”. We’ll be stumbling through the demands for PR after this year’s election for a while yet, but spare a thought for the politicians of 1858 who had to endure The Great Stink.…

Sat 2015-05-30.13:00 | [The Register]

12:53

[NU - Algemeen]

Verenigde Naties waarschuwen voor dreigende hongersnood Noord-Korea

Droogte in Noord-Korea kan dit jaar leiden tot grote voedseltekorten in het land. De regenval was vorig jaar 40 tot 60 procent minder dan in 2013 en de voorraden in de waterreservoirs zijn gering.

Sat 2015-05-30.12:44 | [NU - Algemeen]

12:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Buitenlandse Zaken geeft meer negatieve reisadviezen af

Veel meer landen zijn gevaarlijker geworden om in te reizen. Het gaat vooral om landen in het midden en noorden van Afrika, het Midden-Oosten en delen van Azië.

Sat 2015-05-30.13:16 | [NU - Algemeen]

12:13

[Slashdot]

Google Photos Launches With Unlimited Storage, Completely Separate From Google+

An anonymous reader writes with a report that Google yesterday announced at its I/O conference a photo-storage site known as Google Photos. Says the article: The new service is completely separate from Google+, something Google users have been requesting for eons. Google is declaring that Google Photos lets you backup and store "unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free." It's a bit creepy to see all the photos that Google still has on tap, including many that I've since deleted on my phone.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.11:52 | [Slashdot]

11:53

[NU - Algemeen]

'Nette motorclubs lijden imagoschade door bendes'

Nederlandse motorclubs hebben last van de motorbende-oorlog in Zuid-Limburg. Het is steeds lastiger om vergunningen te krijgen voor 'gewone' motorevenementen.
 

Sat 2015-05-30.14:41 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

Steeds meer Nederlanders hebben moeite met lezen en schrijven

Steeds meer mensen in Nederland hebben grote moeite met lezen en schrijven. In totaal telt ons land 1,3 miljoen laaggeletterden (tussen de 15 en 65 jaar), grofweg 10 procent van de beroepsbevolking. Dat zijn er zo'n 200.000 meer vergeleken met vijf jaar geleden. 

Sat 2015-05-30.11:31 | [NU - Algemeen]

11:33

[The Register]

Watch MIT's robo-cheetah leap walls in a cyborg hunt for Sarah Connor

Someone's been watching too much Terminator

Vid Robot builders at MIT have created a cyber-creature that can run and jump over objects without human control.…

Fri 2015-05-29.22:40 | [The Register]
[The Register]

Android M's Now on Tap cyber-secretary is like Clippy on Class-A drugs

Plus: Android Pay, fingerprint tech ... but for now, only if you're a developer

Google I/O Google today showed off the latest build of Android, version M, at its annual developer conference Google I/O in San Francisco.…

Thu 2015-05-28.23:11 | [The Register]

11:13

[NU - Algemeen]

Meer dan 2000 Indiërs bezweken aan hitte

Het dodental als gevolg van de hittegolf in India is zaterdag opgelopen tot meer dan tweeduizend.

Sat 2015-05-30.14:26 | [NU - Algemeen]
[The Register]

Make Something Up, The Water Knife and Girl at War

Fight Club's Chuck Palahniuk is back on form

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest with a book of scintillating short stories from Chuck Palahniuk. New York Times best selling author Paolo Bacigalupi take us into the near future with a dystopian tale of drought, detectives and delinquents. And the 1990s Yugoslav Wars are reimagined through the eyes of a young girl in an gripping debut novel by Sara Nović.…

Sat 2015-05-30.11:00 | [The Register]

10:53

[NU - Algemeen]

India vreest dat IS kernwapens Pakistan in handen krijgt

India is bang dat extremistische groeperingen zoals Islamitische Staat (IS) de hand weten te leggen op kernwapens in Pakistan.

Sat 2015-05-30.11:54 | [NU - Algemeen]

10:13

[Planet PostgreSQL]

Pavel Stehule: New features in PostgreSQL 9.5

I wrote article about 9.5 in Czech language. There is google translator - so I hope it can be interesting for somebody here too.

Sat 2015-05-30.07:28 | [Planet PostgreSQL]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Ubuntu-smartphone krijgt verbeterde browser en ontwikkeltools

De Ubuntu-smartphone van fabrikant BQ krijgt een grote software-update. Daarin zit onder andere een verbeterde browser met meer privacyfeatures. Ook de ontwikkeltools voor de mobiele versie van Ubuntu zijn verbeterd: die zijn nu gebaseerd op Qt 5.4.

Sat 2015-05-30.10:05 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Sociaal netwerk Path wordt overgenomen door Koreaans bedrijf

Een Zuid-Koreaans bedrijf met de naam Daum Kakao neemt het sociale netwerk Path over. Die community kent inmiddels 10 miljoen actieve leden. Met de overname hoopt Path dat het mensen in Aziatische landen aan zich gaat binden.

Sat 2015-05-30.09:33 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Technologieën van de toekomst: vier projecten uit Googles researchlab

Op Google I/O toonde Googles researchtak ATAP verschillende projecten die de manier waarop mensen interacteren met computers moeten veranderen.

Sat 2015-05-30.09:06 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[Charlie's Diary]

In Defense of Fantasy: #2 The Imagination's Sandbox

Over on Black Gate Magazine, I've just reviewed some Osprey "Dark" and "Adventures" books - fictional military history texts from a publisher that usually deals in facts. Two are squarely Traditional Fantasy; one about the mythical wars of Atlantis, the other about Orc warfare , complete with all the tropes: goblins, dwarves, trolls, dark lords and minions.... it could almost be a guide to one aspect of the Oglaf mileu...

And did I mention Oglaf (really very NSFW)? That um... raunchy... webcomic is a romp through a Dungeons and Dragons-esqu world, and derives its humour not from sending up the genre, but from the situations it creates.

Then there's Dungeons and Dragons itself, and a zillion tabletop and screen games that scratch the same itch. Nobody goes, "OMG. 'Mage' Knight. How clichéd!" They're too busy playing. Nor, for that matter, did anybody stop to complain when Terry Pratchett pretty much segued from taking the piss out of what I've been calling Traditional Fantasy, to using it as his sandbox.

Because Traditional Eurocentric Quasi-Medieval Fantasy is a great sandbox. Let me put on my (very minor compared to our godlike host) writer hat... (Clunk! Yes, it is a helmet)... there. OK, here's how I see it...

Traditional Fantasy has the following features:

  • Strong Quasi-Medieval European element
  • Magic and the supernatural may be real
  • A secondary world, either in the mythic past as per the Heroika antholgies, or else fully secondary as per... well just about most such books.

Taken together, these features provide the following benefits to the writer and hence the reader:

Familiar Environment: It takes place in a world where at least parts of the culture and economy are not so different from our Medieval and/or Late Roman past.

Some people treat this as a strike against the genre. After all, "Creativity is King" etc.

Certainly there's some amazing Fantasy that's not remotely Eurocentric Quasi-Medieval. A good example you probably missed is the work of James Enge. In  Wolf Age, for example, he creates an entire civilisation of werewolves - with castes based on how, when, and in which direction they transform - then uses it as the setting for a sorcery and sword (yes, that way round) adventure.

However, there's also stuff - no I'm not naming names - where the setting is about the only good thing about the "story". We privilege creative world building because it's easy to intellectualize over and discuss in the pub or on panels, but it's no guarantee of a good read.

Using stock elements in your secondary world is no guarantee of producing a good read, either. Even so, a Standard Fantasy setting has certain literary advantages:

For a start, you can get on with your story - good or bad - without needing to explain the world. If I say, "My hero is a young serf owned by a vile baron", that's enough to start a story about, say, oppression and rebellion. Inventing an entire class system with funny names would be superfluous.

Also, if you start in a familiar place, you can then explore what it's like to interact with other cultures. Sure, writing from inside a non-western-style culture is also good, but then you don't get to show the fiewpoint character getting over culture shock, or learning to respect the apparently exotic and so on.

Finally, the Standard Fantasy setting is archetypal, not just for westerners, but also, increasingly, for geek culture. (However I want to cover that in the last blog entry of this series, so please can we ignore this for now?)

Individuals Count: It takes place in a world where individuals wield direct power, either through role, martial prowess, or magic.

In Standard Fantasy, individuals really count in ways that are much harder to set up or justify in other genres. A king can start a war and there are no legal checks and balances to stop him, as per Guns of Dawn. A warrior can turn a battle as per Conan. (Yes, Historical does that too -- which is one reason why I wrote Shieldwall -- but with less freedom.) A single magical act can change the world as per Frodo and the One Ring.

This lets you tell stories where there are no moral safety nets, where the fate of the world can literally rest on the shoulders of the protagonists.

Creative Freedom: Even so, the writer can otherwise pretty much do what they like with the setting.

This lets us tell unpredictable stories about big events, for example Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay's Albigensian crusade mashup, or Lions of Al-Rassan, his take on El Cid. It also lets us bring contrasting cultures together in interesting ways, e.g. Feist's Magician series which pitted Medievals versus a more exotic people from a nextdoor dimension.

We can also tweak the setting to explore particular themes, match modern sensibilities (where authentic period ones would distract from the story), or else just give readers characters to identify with. We see this especially when it comes to gender and sexuality. In his Big Fat Fantasy with no Boring Bits, Harry Connolly gives us a convincing equal-opportunity military. Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Cherry Orchard Does the Red Badge of Pride and Prejudice conscripts the kingdom's women then shows us the fallout. And of course we have Jacqueline Carey's  O does Cathar France with More Barbarians.

So...

Yes, Standard Fantasy has its boundaries. You also have to use at least some of the toys available, and you're building out of sand other people have handled... but what a sandbox!

This sandbox has two interesting aspects.

First, it's similar to that used by approved heroes of the literary establishment; Shakespeare, for starters, who outside his History plays could do pretty much what he wanted. Macbeth is pretty much a Heroic Fantasy complete with Dark Lord. Spencer's Fairy Queen's another, as are some of Chaucer's stories, and, of course, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (which I reviewed on Black Gate). The Arthurian stories have some fixed points, but in other ways are similar, so you can add the Gawain Poet and Malory to the ranks. Then there's the Beowulf (which, by the way, made a wonderful bedtime story for my son when he was 7).

I am not trying to grandfather in these literary grandfathers. However, they are Fantasy the way Robert Johnson is Rock and Roll. Not only did their sandbox have similar features and benefits to that of modern Traditional Fantasy, but they also influenced the writers who carved out that genre.

Thus, on the off-chance you do encounter somebody who is dismissive of the book you are reading - or writing or selling - you can tell them that it's in the same tradition as [vaguely relevant Shakespeare Play Here]. If they say, "Well that's different..." ask them in what way and sit back and wait for the answer...

Second, Historical Fiction uses the same sandbox but confines itself to one corner. We can see this in the origins of the genre, when Robert E Howard and Harold Lamb stories jostled for space in the Pulps.

I think that's where I was coming from when I wrote Shieldwall: Barbarians! It wasn't that I specifically wanted to write a historical, but I'd discovered an epic milieu in which Romans and Germans clashed, then combined forces to face Atilla's mobile empire, itself a patchwork of Turkic and Germanic peoples. A battle the size of Waterloo but fought with close quarters weapons? What's not to like (as long as you don't have to personally survive it)? Writing it as a Historical made good literary sense. However, it was probably a mistake -- I'll explain that in an interlude.

So, gentle readers, if you like Traditional Fantasy, who do you like and why?

Sat 2015-05-30.13:12 | [Charlie's Diary]
[The Register]

The oracle knows all. Not THAT Oracle, of course

Ask me anything ... just keep it short!

Something for the Weekend, Sir? We’ve reached the end of an extended, hot, steamy and sweaty session that has been going on practically non-stop for several days – just me and four willing young women. One of them suddenly sits up, looks into my eyes and whispers those magic words: “I have a quick question.”…

Sat 2015-05-30.10:00 | [The Register]

09:13

[Slashdot]

The Case For a Muon Collider Succeeding the LHC Just Got Stronger

StartsWithABang writes: If you strike the upper atmosphere with a cosmic ray, you produce a whole host of particles, including muons. Despite having a mean lifetime of just 2.2 microseconds, and the speed of light being 300,000 km/s, those muons can reach the ground! That's a distance of 100 kilometers traveled, despite a non-relativistic estimate of just 660 meters. If we apply that same principle to particle accelerators, we discover an amazing possibility: the ability to create a collider with the cleanliness and precision of electron-positron colliders but the high energies of proton colliders. All we need to do is build a muon collider. A pipe dream and the stuff of science fiction just 20 years ago, recent advances have this on the brink of becoming reality, with a legitimate possibility that a muon-antimuon collider will be the LHC's successor.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.09:07 | [Slashdot]

08:53

[NU - Algemeen]

'Holleeder bekent te weten van moord Cor van Hout'

Willem Holleeder heeft aan zijn zus Astrid laten doorschemeren dat hij weet wie betrokken waren bij de moord op zijn zwager Cor van Hout. Een gesprek hierover begin maart in de gevangenis is opgenomen door zijn zus, die zegt de opnamen aan justitie te zullen geven.

Sat 2015-05-30.09:31 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

'Nederland hield smartengeld Birmalijn in kas'

Dwangarbeiders die kort voor het begin van het werk aan de Birmaspoorweg in Thailand en Myanmar overleden kregen geen smartengeld.

Sat 2015-05-30.08:32 | [NU - Algemeen]

07:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Partij voor de Dieren komt weer met wet tegen ritueel slachten

De Partij voor de Dieren gaat opnieuw een wetsvoorstel indienen om ritueel slachten te laten verbieden. 

Sat 2015-05-30.07:19 | [NU - Algemeen]

06:53

[Fast Company]

At I/O, More Evidence of Google's Complicated Relationship With iOS

Google has the luxury of competing—fiercely—with Apple's mobile operating system while simultaneously catering to Apple fans.

A month ago at its Build conference, Microsoft announced plans to make it easy for developers to convert iOS and Android apps for Windows 10, with the goal of augumenting the app selection on its own operating system. At this week's I/O conference, it was Google's chance to portray the state of its relationship with Android and iOS. The company delivered, further evolving the complex and contrasting ways it runs both toward and against the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad—and sometimes just runs around it.

Read Full Story








Sat 2015-05-30.00:52 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

How Google's Material Design Will Come To Cars, TVs, and VR

At Google I/O 2015, Matias Duarte unveils some of the biggest changes yet to Google's universal design language.

A year ago, Android lead designer Matias Duarte announced Material Design. A system for designing apps graphically beautiful apps across all platforms and screen sizes which used motion and animations as a core design principle, not an afterthought, Material Design was a bold and breathtaking attempt by the search giant to deliver a unified digital design language that was applicable wherever Google's apps and services were.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.16:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Bury This Book In The Ground And It Will Magically Come Back As A Tree

This children's book not only teaches about ecology, it practices it.

Despite the rise of e-books, most children's books are still made from trees. One new picture book is designed as a simple reminder of that fact: When kids finish reading a story about an adventure in the rainforest, they can plant the book in the ground. Eventually, the paper will sprout back into a mini-forest of jacaranda saplings.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.15:05 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

What We Learn From Living In The Harsh Conditions Of Mars Will Help Us If We Fully Destroy Earth

We may not ship the entire population off to the red planet, but as our environment gets more and more dangerous, the technologies we develop to live on the Martian surface will help us here, too.

When Earth's sky turns red and the clouds become flaking black soot, when the air chokes human animals like a gulp of vaporized chlorine and the plants are pulled from their roots by the wind—people will wonder where we can go. They will consider a better time or a better place, and they will do what humans do. They will look for any way to survive. But will they actually go to the equally uninhabitable dunes of Mars?

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.14:55 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Watch the Sydney Opera House Transform Into A Hand-Drawn Animation

It's like a 1970s cartoon in the best way.

Each year, the Sydney Opera House hands over its iconic sails to artists who use projectors to animate a Michael-Bay-worthy explosion of colors across its skin. The effect is the unreal combination of the world's best graphic artists wielding the world's most powerful tools in CGI.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.14:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Are You Networking Or Nagging?

It's a thin line between "you're hired" and "restraining order."

Networking trips people up for a lot of reasons. When is it good to follow up, and when is it just annoying the other person? Is it better to try to form a friendship or to keep it strictly professional? All these questions and more are answered in this video, so watch it now. Then go out and confidently hand out your business cards! Just don't hand out too many.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.13:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Dogs Unite Black And White, Pizza Teaches English: The Top 5 Ads Of The Week

Pedigree shows how dogs bring us together, Greenpeace shows how Shell is setting fire to America, VW shows that the smallest moment can change our lives.

There are ads, there are campaigns, and then there are marketing platforms. Over the last decade, Pedigree has grown the idea of doing good for dogs from the former into the latter.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.12:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Your Top Six Interview Worries Solved

Interviews are stressful, but you can feel less nervous with these tips.

You've landed an interview for a dream job. You can already picture yourself working there, but your nerves may stand in the way of making the best first impression on the hiring manager. LaSalle Network, a Chicago staffing and recruiting agency, recently conducted a survey on interview stress and reported 81% of interviewees get nervous before their interview. The main causes of stress included saying the wrong thing, not "selling" themselves well, and being underprepared.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.11:37 | [Fast Company]

06:33

[Slashdot]

Third Stage Design Problem Cause of Most Recent Proton Failure

schwit1 writes: The Russian investigation into the latest Proton rocket failure has concluded that the failure was caused by a design failure in the rocket's third stage. The steering third stage engine failed due to excessive vibration as a result of an imbalance in a rotor of a pump unit. While it is always possible for new design issues to be discovered, I wonder why this problem hadn't been noticed in the decades prior to 2010, when the Proton began to have repeated failures.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.06:20 | [Slashdot]

04:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Duitsland onderzoekt rol VS in drone-oorlog

Justitie in Duitsland doet onderzoek naar het gebruikt van drones van de Verenigde Staten vanaf de Duitse legerbasis Ramstein. 

Sat 2015-05-30.07:07 | [NU - Algemeen]

03:53

[More Words, Deeper Hole]

having got to watch the whole process rather than just the end

Groucho is willing to invest a long time staring into the closet to get Ibid curious enough to go in. It takes about half an hour for Ibib's curiosity about what's so interesting to overcome what I assume is his memory that this always ends with him trapped in the closet. Lots of walking away, then returning to see if Groucho is still staring into the closet.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Sat 2015-05-30.00:56 | [More Words, Deeper Hole]
[NU - Algemeen]

Koning Willem-Alexander noemt relatie met Canada perfect

Koning Willem-Alexander heeft de band met Canada "een perfecte relatie" genoemd. 

Sat 2015-05-30.03:39 | [NU - Algemeen]
[The Register]

Unmasking hidden Tor service users is too easy, say infosec bods

Better to be more open on .onion, apparently

Security researchers speaking at the Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam this week have demonstrated that users of hidden services on Tor are putting themselves at risk of being identified – if an attacker is willing to put in the time and resources.…

Sat 2015-05-30.03:39 | [The Register]

03:33

[Slashdot]

Stanford Researchers Make Photonic Components Faster, With Algorithmic Design

retroworks writes: Integrated photonic devices are poised to play a key role in a wide variety of applications, ranging from optical interconnects and sensors to quantum computing. However, only a small library of semi-analytically designed devices is currently known. In an article in Nature Photonics, researchers demonstrate the use of an inverse design method that explores the full design space of fabricable devices and allows them to design devices with previously unattainable functionality, higher performance and robustness, and smaller footprints than conventional devices. The designed a silicon wavelength demultiplexer splits 1,300nm and 1,550nm light from an input waveguide into two output waveguides, and the team has fabricated and characterized several devices. The devices display low insertion loss (2dB), low crosstalk (100nm). The device footprint is 2.8×2.8m2, making this the smallest dielectric wavelength splitter.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.03:19 | [Slashdot]
[The Register]

Tossed all your snaps into the new Google Photos? You read the terms, right? ... RIGHT?

Ad giant can turn everyone into ads – a friendly reminder

Netizens who have been scrambling to upload their photo libraries into Google's new cloud-hosted Photos service could find themselves sharing more than they wanted to with the Mountain View advertising giant.…

Sat 2015-05-30.01:13 | [The Register]

02:53

[The Register]

'I thought we were pals!' Belgium, Netherlands demand answers from Germany in spy bust-up

Coming over here, taking our secrets, giving them to the NSA

Belgium and the Netherlands have joined Austria and Luxembourg in getting really rather upset that German spies, er, spied on them.…

Fri 2015-05-29.21:25 | [The Register]

02:13

[The Register]

Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Judge: 'You wanted it to be your legacy. And it is'

Convicted Silk Road kingpin Ross Ulbricht has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.…

Sat 2015-05-30.01:48 | [The Register]

01:53

[Slashdot]

First Ultraviolet Quantum Dots Shine In an LED

ckwu with word that South Korean researchers have created the first UV-emitting quantum dots, and employed them in the creation of a flexible LED. Their achievement is notable because no one has previously succeeded in making quantum dots capable of emitting light at wavelengths shorter than 400 nm, which defines the upper range of the UV spectrum. Writes ckwu: To get quantum dots that emit UV, the researchers figured out how make them with light-emitting cores smaller than 3 nm in diameter. They did it by coating a light-emitting cadmium zinc selenide nanoparticle with a zinc sulfide shell, which caused the core to shrink to 2.5 nm. The quantum dots give off true UV light, at 377 nm. An LED made with the quantum dots could illuminate the anticounterfeiting marks on a paper bill. The article names a few applications of the technology, besides, including water sterilization and industrial applications.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.01:40 | [Slashdot]
[The Register]

NSA eggheads tried to bork Nork nukes with Stuxnet. It failed – report

There's an advantage to being medieval

The NSA tried to wreck North Korea's nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim.…

Sat 2015-05-30.01:39 | [The Register]

01:13

[Slashdot]

Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

Julie188 writes: As you probably heard by now, Linux company Mandriva has finally, officially gone out of business. The CEO has opened up, telling his side of the story. He blames employee lawsuits after a layoff in 2013, the French labor laws and the courts. "Those court decisions forced the company to announce bankruptcy," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.00:59 | [Slashdot]

00:33

[Fast Company]

Take The Fast Company News Quiz

What happened this week? Here's our quiz for May 29, 2015.

Did you follow the news this week? Research says that one of the best ways to solidify new information is to be tested on it. Here's a chance to bolster your knowledge of current events—and earn a special emoji badge. cool-face

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.22:41 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Google Unveils The Gmail Of Photos We've Been Wanting For Years

Google Photos is as magical as apps get. Here's why.

A couple weeks ago, Yahoo unveiled a new update to Flickr that made Flickr worth taking seriously again. But, as often happens in the world of tech, it only took two weeks for someone to release a photo service that makes Flickr's update look old hat. That was Google, which at yesterday's I/O 2015 conference unveiled Google Photos, a slick new service that is basically the Gmail for Photos we've wanted for years.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.15:30 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Hackers On Demand

How hackers for hire, from teenage "script kiddies" to members of sophisticated industrial rings, provide "espionage as a service."

In 2013, a pair of private investigators in the Bay Area embarked on a fairly run-of-the-mill case surrounding poached employees. But according to a federal indictment unsealed in February, their tactics sounded less like a California noir and something more like sci-fi: To spy on the clients' adversaries, prosecutors say, they hired a pair of hackers.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.15:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Film Industry Innovators On Google's New VR System

Until now, making high-resolution, stitch-free 360-degree VR films has been time-consuming. Google is aiming to change all of that.

Google sure likes to shake things up.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.14:44 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

"The Big Bang Theory" Becomes The First TV Series To Create A UCLA STEM Scholarship

The hit CBS comedy about scientists and engineers want to help to create them for real with a newly formed endowment for STEM students in need of fianacial aid.

The Big Bang Theory is taking its geek cred seriously, creating what may be the first university STEM scholarship created by and named for a TV series—and certainly a first for UCLA.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.14:14 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

The Coolest Thing About 1 World Trade Center's New Observatory Isn't The View

Up on the 100th floor of New York's tallest skyscraper, a ring of screens tells stories about the city in a new way.

No tourist heading to the 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center—the 1,776-foot-tall skyscraper that stands as the spiritual successor to the Twin Towers—is going there strictly for the view, but it's nice to protect the skyline, anyway.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.14:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Five Non-Awkward Ways To Ask For A Recommendation

If requesting a testimonial is stressful, then your approach is wrong. Here's how to make it painless.

You can sell yourself and tout the benefits of what you do, but a testimonial from someone else will get you further. Word-of-mouth recommendations drive 20% to 50% of sales and serve as social proof that you do good work, according to a McKinsey & Company study.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.11:04 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Is This The E-Bike That Finally Gets Commuters Out Of Cars?

With lighter batteries, lower prices, and sleeker designs, the latest e-bikes might finally turn more people on to a commute on two wheels. The Karmic Koben is a good place to start.

I live at the bottom of a hill so steep that some cars have trouble making it up, and local cyclists call it the "death ride." I'm not in particularly good shape. But the other day I started cruising up on a bike, pedaling easily past a spandex-clad guy on a bike with enormous calf muscles. I had a secret weapon to thank: my bike's electric motor.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.12:15 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

How Brad Bird Went From Disney Apprentice To Oscar-Winner And Architect Of "Tomorrowland"

From working under legend Ward Kimball, and learning to stay loose on The Simpsons to jumping to live action (NBD) and corralling Clooney in his driveway, Brad Bird shares lessons from a creative career.

In Tomorrowland, a precocious boy inventor gets schooled at the 1964 World's Fair by a stern futurist who advises him to work harder on his jetpack. "Young Frank" grows up to become a bitter recluse, played by George Clooney. Tomorrowland director Brad Bird also started young but unlike Frank, he's remained a true believer in the beauty of invention dating to his teenage apprenticeship with the masterful Disney animators who created Bambi, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. "It was like being a young actor and getting to work with Brando," Bird recalls.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.12:00 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Keep Being Creative: Creativity Is As Good For You As It Is For Your Work

We often extol the benefits of creativity in business. But what about the benefit to employees themselves?

People spend a lot of time thinking about how to be more creative. There are experts upon experts expounding on management strategies to "unleash creativity" in the workforce. We think of creativity as means towards business success. But we don't often think about the side-effects of simply engaging in creative work.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.12:00 | [Fast Company]
[Planet PostgreSQL]

Bruce Momjian: YeSQL: Battling the NoSQL Hype Cycle with Postgres

I have written a new presentation, YeSQL: Battling the NoSQL Hype Cycle with Postgres. I have delivered the talk in Chicago and New York City.

I also want to apologize for not blogging in volume like I did in 2013 and prior years. My event schedule has not allowed time for blogging, but I have been saving blogging topics since 2013 (200+ now) and hope to return to it when my schedule allows.

Sat 2015-05-30.00:00 | [Planet PostgreSQL]
[Slashdot]

Android, Chromecast To Get HBO Now

An anonymous reader writes: Google's I/O 2015 conference opened with a surprise announcement: that Chromecast, Android TV, and other Android devices will soon be able to offer HBO Now. "The announcement marks the end of a 7-week exclusive that Apple had on HBO's stand-alone streaming and on-demand video service," reports Digital Trends, and it also further weakens the exclusivity of cable TV packages. "Traditional TV subscriptions are slowly starting to slip," one newspaper reports, "as more people watch online video." Other online streaming sites are already confronting the popularity of HBO's "Game of Thrones" series, with Netflix already experiencing a 33% dip in their online traffic during the new season's online premiere and Amazon rushing to discount their "Game of Thrones" graphic novels, and the turmoil seems to be continuing in the online video space. "Shortly after the premier of the new season, HBO Now seems to have taken the top spot when it comes to internet traffic," reports one technology site, "causing a huge dent in Netflix's attempt to make it to the top."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat 2015-05-30.00:18 | [Slashdot]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Silk Road-oprichter Ross Ulbricht veroordeeld tot levenslang

Silk Road-oprichter Ross Ulbricht is vrijdag veroordeeld tot levenslange celstraf. Hij maakte zich schuldig aan het verhandelen van drugs via zijn illegale online-handelsplaats. Met de veroordeling van 'Dread Pirate Roberts' wil de Amerikaanse rechter ook een signaal afgeven.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:41 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Wine 1.7.44

Er is met versienummer 1.7.44 een nieuwe ontwikkelbuild van Wine verschenen. Wine is een opensource-implementatie van de Windows-api. De software maakt het mogelijk om DOS- en Windows-programma's op Linux, FreeBSD en Solaris te draaien.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:13 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Google komt met projecten voor verbeteren mens-machine-interactie

Google heeft vrijdagavond twee projecten getoond die de mens-machine-interactie zouden moeten verbeteren. Het gaat onder meer om een piepkleine chip voor het herkennen van handgebaren. Ook komt Google met een project voor 'slimme' kleding.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:12 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Google toont minicomputer Vault voor versleutelen data

Google heeft vrijdagavond tijdens zijn I/O-conferentie een beveiligde minicomputer getoond waarmee data kan worden versleuteld en ontsleuteld. De computer, Project Vault, verkeert nog in experimentele fase, maar Google heeft voor ontwikkelaars vast een sdk uitgebracht.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:51 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[NU - Algemeen]

VS wil eigen douane op luchthavens Europa

De Verenigde Staten willen dat op tien luchthavens in het buitenland Amerikaanse douane komt voor controles bij vluchten naar de VS. 

Sat 2015-05-30.00:19 | [NU - Algemeen]

Fri 2015-05-29

23:53

[LWN.net]

Linux support for digital video broadcasting

Mauro Carvalho Chehab, the maintainer of the kernel's media subsystem, has posted the first two in a series of articles on digital video broadcasting support in Linux. Part 1 gives an overview of how the devices and protocols work, while part 2 looks at digital TV network interface use. "Supporting embedded Digital TV hardware is complex, considering that such hardware generally has multiple components that can be rewired in runtime to dynamically change the stream pipelines and provide flexibility for things like recording a video stream, then tuning into another channel to see a different program. This article describes how the DVB pipelines are setup and the needs that should be addressed by the Linux Kernel."

Fri 2015-05-29.23:12 | [LWN.net]
[Slashdot]

Hacking Your Body Through a Nerve In Your Neck

agent elevator writes: IEEE Spectrum has a feature (part of its Hacking the Human OS issue) on the future of vagus nerve stimulation, a device-based therapy with the potential to treat a ridiculously wide variety of ailments: epilepsy, depression, stroke, tinnitus, heart failure, migraines, asthma, the list goes on. One problem is that, because it required an implant (a bit like a pacemaker), it was never anybody's first-choice therapy. But now there's a non-invasive version, a device you just hold to your neck twice a day for a few minutes. It's being trialed first for migraines and cluster headaches (which sound horrible). If it works, vagus nerve stimulation could compete directly with drug treatments on cost and convenience and it would let doctors find new ways to hack human physiology.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.23:37 | [Slashdot]
[Slashdot]

Emulator Now Runs x86 Apps On All Raspberry Pi Models

DeviceGuru writes: Russia-based Eltechs announced its ExaGear Desktop virtual machine last August, enabling Linux/ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs to run x86 software. That meant that users of the quad-core, Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, could use it as well, although the software was not yet optimized for it. Now Eltechs has extended extended ExaGear to support earlier ARMv6 versions of the Raspberry Pi. The company also optimized the emulator for the Pi 2 allowing, for example, Pi 2 users to use automatically forwarding startup scripts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:17 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Internet]

'VS wilde met Stuxnet-virus nucleaire programma Noord-Korea ontregelen'

De Verenigde Staten hebben in 2011 tevergeefs geprobeerd een variant op het beruchte Stuxnet-virus in Noord-Korea te verspreiden, om het nucleaire programma van het land te ontregelen.

Fri 2015-05-29.23:53 | [NU - Internet]

23:13

[Slashdot]

Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

An anonymous reader sends an update on the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the Silk Road online black market. Sentencing is now complete, and Ulbricht has been given life in prison. He had been facing a 20-year minimum because of the charge of being a "drug kingpin," and prosecutors were asking for a sentence substantially higher than the minimum. Prior to the sentence being handed down today, Ulbricht spoke before the court for 20 minutes, asking for leniency and for the judge to leave him a "light at the end of the tunnel." The judge was unswayed, giving Ulbricht the most severe sentence possible. She said, "The stated purpose [of the silk road] was to be beyond the law. ... Silk Road's birth and presence asserted that its creator was better than the laws of this country. This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous." Ulbricht's family plans to appeal.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:55 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

Duizenden bootvluchtelingen van Middellandse Zee gered

Italiaanse, Duitse en Ierse schepen hebben vrijdag duizenden vluchtelingen op de Middellandse Zee gered. 

Sat 2015-05-30.09:25 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

Kort geding KNVB om spreekkoren FC Utrecht van de baan

De instructie voor voetbalscheidsrechters over hoe ze moeten omgaan met onder meer anti-Joodse spreekkoren is aangepast. Een kort geding tegen de voetbalbond KNVB is daarmee van de baan. Dat heeft Federatief Joods Nederland (FJN) laten weten. De belangenorganisatie laat weten dat het doel is bereikt.

Sat 2015-05-30.03:01 | [NU - Algemeen]

22:33

[LWN.net]

Announcing GitTorrent: A Decentralized GitHub

At his blog, Chris Ball announces "GitTorrent," his new project designed to let developers host Git repositories on BitTorrent. The system takes advantage of Git's ability to run over arbitrary network protocols. "We ask for the commit we want and connect to a node with BitTorrent, but once connected we conduct this Smart Protocol negotiation in an overlay connection on top of the BitTorrent wire protocol, in what’s called a BitTorrent Extension. Then the remote node makes us a packfile and tells us the hash of that packfile, and then we start downloading that packfile from it and any other nodes who are seeding it using Standard BitTorrent. We can authenticate the packfile we receive, because after we uncompress it we know which Git commit our graph is supposed to end up at; if we don’t end up there, the other node lied to us, and we should try talking to someone else instead." The project is, obviously, a new one that still has important ground to cover—such as dealing with comments or pull requests—but there are interesting ideas to consider already.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:30 | [LWN.net]
[Slashdot]

More About Dan Shapiro and the Glowforge CNC Laser Cutter (Video #2)

Yesterday Glowforge Co-Founder and CEO Dan Shapiro told us that the Glowforge machine is a CNC laser cutter and engraver, not a 3-D Printer -- even though the first words on Glowforge's main page are, "The First 3D Laser Printer," a description Dan says is there for people not familiar with things like laser cutters and 3-D printers, who want to call the Glowforge a 3-D printer even though people who know about this stuff know what it is at first glance. He also talks about his previous startup, Robot Turtles; what it is, how it came to be, and why kids like it so much. This interview is worth watching (or reading) for the Robot Turtles section alone, especially if you have children or are thinking about designing board games for kids.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:13 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Internet]

Levenslang voor oprichter digitale zwarte markt Silk Road

De oprichter van de digitale zwarte markt Silk Road heeft van een rechtbank in New York een levenslange celstraf gekregen.

Fri 2015-05-29.22:57 | [NU - Internet]
[The Register]

Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

SCREW YOU, DARWIN

Pic An ardent believer in creationism has dug up fish fossils that boffins say are 60 million years old. That's somewhat further back in time than the genesis of life described in the Good Book.…

Fri 2015-05-29.22:10 | [The Register]

22:13

[NU - Algemeen]

Gewapende mannen doden buspassagiers Pakistan

Gewapende mannen hebben vrijdag in Pakistan zeker negentien mensen uit bussen gehaald en doodgeschoten. De bussen kwamen uit de stad Quetta en waren op weg naar de zuidkust.
 

Fri 2015-05-29.21:58 | [NU - Algemeen]

21:33

[Slashdot]

Land Art Park Significantly Reduces Jet Engine Noise Near Airport

ClockEndGooner writes: A study conducted by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research found that low frequency and long wavelength jet engine droning noise was significantly reduced in the fall after farmers plowed their fields near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The remaining furrows "had multiple ridges to absorb the sound waves, deflected the sound and muted the noise." This led to the development of the Buitenschot Land Art Park, a buffer park featuring "land art" that has significantly reduced aircraft noise without requiring cuts in the number of allowed flights in and out of the airport. The land art park has also provided neighbors with additional recreational paths and sports fields in the same space.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.21:23 | [Slashdot]

21:13

[Planet PostgreSQL]

Shaun M. Thomas: PG Phriday: 10 Ways to Ruin Performance: IN-Sanity

When working with a database, sometimes performance problems are both far more subtle, and much worse than a query itself might suggest. The topic of this week’s PGDB (PostgreSQL) performance killers article concerns the use of the IN clause, and how misusing it can catastrophically obliterate the database in mysterious ways.

To that end, we’ll use a slightly revised single-table test case since it’s served us pretty well so far:

DROP TABLE sys_order;
CREATE TABLE sys_order
(
    order_id     SERIAL       NOT NULL,
    product_id   INT          NOT NULL,
    item_count   INT          NOT NULL,
    order_dt     TIMESTAMPTZ  NOT NULL DEFAULT now()
);
 
INSERT INTO sys_order (product_id, item_count, order_dt)
SELECT (a.id % 100) + 1, (a.id % 100) + 1,
       now() - (id % 1000 || 'd')::INTERVAL
  FROM generate_series(1, 1000000) a(id);
 
ALTER TABLE sys_order ADD CONSTRAINT pk_order_order_id
      PRIMARY KEY (order_id);
 
CREATE INDEX idx_order_product_id
    ON sys_order (product_id);
 
CREATE INDEX idx_order_order_dt
    ON sys_order (order_dt);
 
ANALYZE sys_order;

As usual, my test system is a simple dual-CPU VM with 16GB of RAM and some mysterious storage allocation from a SAN. All settings are default, and the version of PostgreSQL is the latest release of the 9.4 branch. I always recommend using the latest version of PGDB when possible, otherwise there’s a risk of missing important planner improvements.

As it turns out in this particular story, the IN clause is actually pretty well known to most developers I’ve worked with. This isn’t some obtuse syntax that only experts have encountered, and it’s used regularly in applications and ORMs through the industry. It’s ubiquitous, and consequentially, extremely dangerous.

Why dangerous? Let’s examine a sanitized query I encountered in an actual running production system. Now, our test case is scaled down by a couple orders of magnitude, so the results won’t be as drastic as what I encountered. Still, the query below performs much worse than anything we’ve discussed so far:

EXPLAIN ANALYZE
SELECT * FROM sys_order
 WHERE order_id IN (
        SELECT DISTINCT order_id
          FROM sys_order
         WHERE product_id = 10
       )
 ORDER BY order_dt DESC
 LIMIT 30;
 
                             QUERY PLAN                             
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 LIMIT  (cost=27768.47..27768.55 ROWS=30 width=20)
        (actual TIME=1362.794..1362.840 ROWS=30 loops=1)
   ->  Sort  (cost=27768.47..27791.97 ROWS=9400 width=20)
             (actual TIME=1362.785..1362.801 ROWS=30 loops=1)
 
 [ Horrible ugly mess redacted ]
 
 Planning TIME: 0.699 ms
 Execution TIME: 1363.219 ms

What we’re looking at here, is the planner ripping itself to shreds trying to optimize a query with several problems:

  • A subquery containing the same table with no aggregates.
  • Use of DISTINCT on a primary-key column.
  • Ordering the results on the outside query.
  • Using the LIMIT on the outer query.

Taking these in order, it should be obvious that the subquery is pointless in this example. The inside query is essentially the same as the outside query, minus the ordering and result limit. There are a number of reasons this might happen. The IN clause is primarily used as a type of glue. Often, a developer or ORM will take a working query and embed it as a subquery unchanged. The justification is fairly simple: I’m interested in these how these records are related, and I already have this working query.

In most cases, IN can be simplified into some kind of JOIN, since that’s how databases tend to combine related data. By using IN and a subquery, the planner has to perform numerous unnecessary optimization steps in an attempt to reach the best plan. As the amount of complexity increases, so does the number of potential execution paths. How many elements from the inner query, for instance, can be collapsed into the outer one? What is the resource cost for each variant of doing so?

Then there’s the DISTINCT clause within the inner query. That sys_order table is not joined with anything, and there are no row multiplying functions. It’s not possible for more than one of the same primary key in the results. Yet there it is, making the planner do more work.

The last two are closely related. Since the outer query doesn’t add any new WHERE clauses, applying an order and limiting the results at that point, is simply inefficient. The database must first execute the inner query to find the relevant order_id values, and afterwards, throw away all but the top 30 results. The planner could have used the index on order_dt and read it backwards. Or it could have used the index on product_id and then ordered the results afterward, depending on which was more efficient based on statistics. Instead, it has to produce, and then subsequently discard, all data that matched the subquery.

Here’s what the query should have been:

EXPLAIN ANALYZE
SELECT *
  FROM sys_order
 WHERE product_id = 10
 ORDER BY order_dt DESC
 LIMIT 30;
 
                             QUERY PLAN                             
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 LIMIT  (cost=0.42..172.64 ROWS=30 width=20)
        (actual TIME=5.049..5.101 ROWS=30 loops=1)
   ->  INDEX Scan Backward USING idx_order_order_dt ON sys_order
           (cost=0.42..53960.42 ROWS=9400 width=20)
           (actual TIME=5.046..5.073 ROWS=30 loops=1)
         FILTER: (product_id = 10)
         ROWS Removed BY FILTER: 9000
 Planning TIME: 0.099 ms
 Execution TIME: 5.137 ms

Oh, look! There’s that backward index scan I mentioned. The row estimates are a bit off, and we’ll probably want to increase statistics and analyze to produce better values, but this is a speed improvement of over 250x. In a production system, even a few milliseconds can be a huge problem with enough throughput. Multiply that by 250, and the issue is upgraded to a catastrophe.

So how did this happen?

In this particular instance, it was the fault of Java Hibernate. An object for the inner query was passed to another object to flesh out the order detail, and the result almost crashed a production system. The fix was to make smarter use of Hibernate capabilities so it didn’t generate such a terrible query. Indeed, code refactors are probably something we should all consider doing more often in order to reduce accumulated technical debt.

Unfortunately, human-generated queries aren’t free from fault, either. It’s far too tempting to smash two queries together, than to rewrite them as a merged version using proper JOIN syntax. I’ve done it myself when in a hurry to check something. The difference is that I know better than to commit such a hack to a permanent location in our code tree. And the reason I don’t do that, is because I know the potential havoc such a query can wreak.

And now, so do you. By itself, IN is a wonderful tool. But its allure can bewitch and ultimately betray when it becomes a crutch. PGDB has a lot of powerful syntax potential, and it would be a shame to limit ourselves to the basics out of familiarity.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:17 | [Planet PostgreSQL]
[Beware of the Train]

HiPEAC 2013 Berlin HLCGB

[Wherein we review an academic conference in the High/Low/Crush/Goal/Bane format used for reviewing juggling conventions on rec.juggling.]

High: My old Codeplay colleague Ally Donaldson's FAT-GPU workshop. He was talking about his GPUVerify system, which takes CUDA or OpenCL programs and either proves them free of data races and synchronisation-barrier conflicts, or finds a potential bug. It's based on an SMT solver; I think there's a lot of scope to apply constraint solvers to problems in compilation and embedded system design, and I'd like to learn more about them.

Also, getting to see the hotel's giant fishtank being cleaned, by scuba divers.

Low: My personal low point was telling a colleague about some of the problems my depression has been causing me, and having him laugh in my face - he'd been drinking, and thought I was exaggerating for comic effect. He immediately apologised when I told him that this wasn't the case, but still, not fun. The academic low point was the "current challenges in supercomputing" tutorial, which turned out to be a thinly-disguised sales pitch for the sponsor's FPGA cards. That tends not to happen at maths conferences...

Crush: am I allowed to have a crush on software? Because the benchmarking and visualisation infrastructure surrounding the Sniper x86 simulator looks so freaking cool. If I can throw away the mess of Makefiles, autoconf and R that serves the same role in our lab I will be very, very happy.

Goal: Go climbing on the Humboldthain Flakturm (fail - it turns out that Central Europe is quite cold in January, and nobody else fancied climbing on concrete at -7C). Get my various Coursera homeworks and bureaucratic form-filling done (fail - damn you, tasty German beer and hyperbolic discounting!). Meet up with maradydd, who was also in town (fail - comms and scheduling issues conspired against us. Next time, hopefully). See some interesting talks, and improve my general knowledge of the field (success!).

Bane: I was sharing a room with my Greek colleague Chris, who had a paper deadline on the Wednesday. This meant he was often up all night, and went to bed as I was getting up, so every trip into the room to get something was complicated by the presence of a sleeping person. He also kept turning the heating up until it was too hot for me to sleep. Dually, of course, he had to share his room with a crazy Brit who kept getting up as he was going to bed and opening the window to let freezing air in...

Thu 2013-01-24.22:59 | [Beware of the Train]
[Beware of the Train]

Falsehoods programmers believe about build systems

Inspired by Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names, Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Time, and far, far too much time spent fighting autotools. Thanks to Aaron Crane, totherme and zeecat for their comments on earlier versions.

It is accepted by all decent people that Make sucks and needs to die, and that autotools needs to be shot, decapitated, staked through the heart and finally buried at a crossroads at midnight in a coffin full of millet. Hence, there are approximately a million and seven tools that aim to replace Make and/or autotools. Unfortunately, all of the Make-replacements I am aware of copy one or more of Make's mistakes, and many of them make new and exciting mistakes of their own.

I want to see an end to Make in my lifetime. As a service to the Make-replacement community, therefore, I present the following list of tempting but incorrect assumptions various build tools make about building software.

All of the following are wrong:

  • Build graphs are trees.
  • Build graphs are acyclic.
  • Every build step updates at most one file.
  • Every build step updates at least one file.
  • Compilers will always modify the timestamps on every file they are expected to output.
  • It's possible to tell the compiler which file to write its output to.
  • It's possible to tell the compiler which directory to write its output to.
  • It's possible to predict in advance which files the compiler will update.
  • It's possible to narrow down the set of possibly-updated files to a small hand-enumerated set.
  • It's possible to determine the dependencies of a target without building it.
  • Targets do not depend on the rules used to build them.
  • Targets depend on every rule in the whole build system.
  • Detecting changes via file hashes is always the right thing.
  • Detecting changes via file hashes is never the right thing.
  • Nobody will ever want to rebuild a subset of the available dirty targets.
  • People will only want to build software on Linux.
  • People will only want to build software on a Unix derivative.
  • Nobody will want to build software on Windows.
  • People will only want to build software on Windows.
    (Thanks to David MacIver for spotting this omission.)
  • Nobody will want to build on a system without strace or some equivalent.
  • stat is slow on modern filesystems.
  • Non-experts can reliably write portable shell script.
  • Your build tool is a great opportunity to invent a whole new language.
  • Said language does not need to be a full-featured programming language.
  • In particular, said language does not need a module system more sophisticated than #include.
  • Said language should be based on textual expansion.
  • Adding an Nth layer of textual expansion will fix the problems of the preceding N-1 layers.
  • Single-character magic variables are a good idea in a language that most programmers will rarely use.
  • System libraries and globally-installed tools never change.
  • Version numbers of system libraries and globally-installed tools only ever increase.
  • It's totally OK to spend over four hours calculating how much of a 25-minute build you should do.
  • All the code you will ever need to compile is written in precisely one language.
  • Everything lives in a single repository.
  • Files only ever get updated with timestamps by a single machine.
  • Version control systems will always update the timestamp on a file.
  • Version control systems will never update the timestamp on a file.
  • Version control systems will never change the time to one earlier than the previous timestamp.
  • Programmers don't want a system for writing build scripts; they want a system for writing systems that write build scripts.

[Exercise for the reader: which build tools make which assumptions, and which compilers violate them?]

Thu 2012-12-06.22:45 | [Beware of the Train]
[Beware of the Train]

New Year's Resolutions

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, but what the hell.

1. Start tracking my weight and calorie intake again, and get my weight back down to a level where I'm comfortable. This morning it was 12st 1.9 - not terribly high in the scheme of things, but it's almost as high as it was when I first started dieting (though I think a bit more of it may be muscle now) and it's definitely high enough to negatively impact my sense of well-being.

What went wrong? Well, I'm gonna quote from Hyperbole and a Half: "trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back. A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn't going to work." A scheme for weight loss that depends on willpower is similarly doomed if you're too depressed to stick to it. So this time I'm going to try to make changes to my eating habits that require less willpower. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

2. Start making (and testing!) regular backups of my data. I lost several years of mountain photographs last year when the external hard drive I was keeping them on died: I don't want that to happen again.

3. Get my Gmail account down to Inbox Zero and keep it there. It's currently at Inbox 1713, most of which is junk, but it's just *easier* to deal with an empty inbox, and not have to re-scan the same old things to look for the interesting new stuff.

I have a few more Ambitious Plans, but they don't really count as resolutions:

1. Do some more Stanford online courses. I'm currently signed up to Human-Computer Interaction, Design and Analysis of Algorithms, Software Engineering for Software as a Service, and Information Theory. Fortunately they don't all run concurrently!

[BTW, they're not all computing courses: wormwood_pearl is signed up to Designing Green Buildings, for instance.]

2. Enter (and complete!) the Meadows Half-Marathon in March. I started training for this back in December, but then I got ill and Christmas happened, so today was my first run for a while and it wasn't much fun. Never mind; I've got time to get back on course.

3. If that goes well, enter (and, ideally, complete...) the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon. As I understand things, it's basically two 20km-ish fell runs back-to-back, with a night camping in between. Oh, and you have to carry all your camping kit with you. In the high classes people do the whole thing at a run, but in the lower classes (which I'd be entering) there's apparently a bit more run/walk/run going on. Philipp and I did nearly 40km in one day on the South Glen Shiel ridge in November, and then went for another hike the next day, so I should be able to at least cover the distance. Providing I don't get too badly lost, of course :-)



The only way to progress in anything. The trick, of course, is not biting off enough to cause you damage.

Tue 2012-01-03.01:58 | [Beware of the Train]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Google laat werkende cameramodule voor Project Ara zien

Google heeft vrijdagavond voor het eerst een werkend model laten zien van zijn modulaire smartphone. Zo maakte een medewerker van het bedrijf met het toestel, dat voorlopig bekend staat als Project Ara, een foto.

Fri 2015-05-29.20:30 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[More Words, Deeper Hole]

open to suggestions

A thank you to Resonant. I am pleased to report I am able to carry a case of books eight or nine blocks and less to report that I would rather do that than go home to get my cargo dolly first.

Cut for size

The odd black object is from a BlackBerry earbud. Quite effective at keeping the earbud placed, so I am sad winter cold did for the earbud wire so quickly.

1

2

3

piper

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Thu 2015-05-28.19:33 | [More Words, Deeper Hole]
[NU - Algemeen]

Verdachte leden motorbende Bandidos langer vast

De rechter-commissaris van de rechtbank Limburg heeft vrijdag het voorarrest van zeventien verdachten die woensdag tijdens een grote politieactie tegen de motorclub Bandidos werden opgepakt, met veertien dagen verlengd. 

Fri 2015-05-29.21:49 | [NU - Algemeen]

20:53

[Slashdot]

Professional Internet Troll Sues Her Former Employer

baegucb sends a followup to the news from March that professional internet trolls were operating by the hundreds at factories in Russia. A woman hired to be one of these trolls, Lyudmila Savchuk, spoke to the media about her job, which led to her being fired. She's now suing her former employer and providing further details about how they operate. "The 'troll factory' operates based on very weird schemes, but all those firms are connected to each other, even though they are separate legal entities," she said. "I knew it was something bad, but of course I never suspected that it was this horrible and this large-scale." She describes how they flooded comment sections with pro-Putin responses, pushed out over 100 blog posts each shift, and doctored images to suit their employers' needs. Savchuk is now gathering activists to oppose this form of internet propaganda.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.20:40 | [Slashdot]

20:33

[NU - Algemeen]

Zware regenval eist zeker twintig levens in Texas

Honderden mensen zijn hun huizen langs rivieren in de Amerikaanse staat Texas ontvlucht vanwege overstromingen door hevige regenval. 

Fri 2015-05-29.20:22 | [NU - Algemeen]

20:13

[Slashdot]

Florida Hospital Shows Normal Internet Lag Time Won't Affect Remote Robotic Surgeries

Lucas123 writes: Remote robotic surgery performed hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the physician at the controls is possible and safe, according to the Florida Hospital that recently tested Internet lag times for the technology. Roger Smith, CTO at the Florida Hospital Nicholson Center in Celebration, Fla., said the hospital tested the lag time to a partner facility in Ft. Worth, Texas and found it ranged from 30 to 150 milliseconds, which surgeons could not detect as they moved remote robotic laparoscopic instruments. The tests, performed using a surgical simulator called a Mimic, will now be performed as if operating remotely in Denver and then Loma Linda, Calif. The Mimic Simulator system enables virtual procedures performed by a da Vinci robotic surgical system, the most common equipment in use today; it's used for hundreds of thousands of surgeries every year around the world. With a da Vinci system, surgeons today can perform operations yards away from a patient, even in separate but adjoining rooms to the OR. By stretching that distance to tens, hundreds or thousands of miles, the technology could enable patients to receive operations from top surgeons that would otherwise not be possible, including wounded soldiers near a battlefield. The Mimic Simulator was able to first artificially dial up lag times, starting with 200 milliseconds all the way up to 600 milliseconds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:58 | [Slashdot]

19:53

[NU - Algemeen]

Blatter herkozen als voorzitter van FIFA na terugtrekken prins Ali

Sepp Blatter is vrijdag herkozen als FIFA-voorzitter op het congres van de wereldvoetbalbond in Zürich.

Fri 2015-05-29.20:20 | [NU - Algemeen]
[The Register]

'The Internet of Things is like the Cloud 8 years ago' ... Boss of Dell's new IoT biz spills beans

And pushes out first gateway for $500

Dell has created a new "Internet of Things" division, and launched its first product: a $500 gateway designed for industry.…

Fri 2015-05-29.19:02 | [The Register]

19:33

[Slashdot]

Emulator Now Runs x86 Apps On All Raspberry Pi Models

DeviceGuru writes: Russia-based Eltechs announced its ExaGear Desktop virtual machine last August, enabling Linux/ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs to run x86 software. That meant that users of the quad-core, Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, could use it as well, although the software was not yet optimized for it. Now Eltechs has extended extended ExaGear to support earlier ARMv6 versions of the Raspberry Pi. The company also optimized the emulator for the Pi 2 allowing, for example, Pi 2 users to use automatically forwarding startup scripts.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:17 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

Liveblog: Reacties op herverkiezing Blatter

Sepp Blatter en prins Ali Bin Al-Hussein strijden vrijdag in Zürich om het voorzitterschap van de FIFA. De verkiezingen zijn overschaduwd door een nieuw corruptieschandaal.

Fri 2015-05-29.19:26 | [NU - Algemeen]

18:33

[Slashdot]

MIT Trains Robots To Jump

Nerval's Lobster writes: MIT just announced that its researchers have programmed a robotic cheetah that can leap over obstacles without a prompt from a human controller. The machine's onboard sensors rely on reflected laser-light to judge obstacles' distance and height, and use that data to fuel the algorithm for a safe jump. The robot's controlling algorithm takes into account such factors as the speed needed to launch its mass over the obstacle, the best position for a jump, and the amount of energy required from the onboard electric motor. As of this writing, the robot can clear 90 percent of obstacles on an open track. "A running jump is a truly dynamic behavior," Sangbae Kim, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, is quoted as saying in a university press release. "You have to manage balance and energy, and be able to handle impact after landing. Our robot is specifically designed for those highly dynamic behaviors." For years, some tech pundits have worried that robots and software will gradually replace human workers in key industries such as manufacturing and IT administration. Now they have something else to fret over: Robots replacing the world's hurdlers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.18:30 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

Omstreden Fyra-projectleider naar enquêtecommissie

De in opspraak geraakte Fyra-projectleider Richard de Leeuw moet maandag voor de enquêtecommissie Fyra verschijnen.

Fri 2015-05-29.20:26 | [NU - Algemeen]

18:13

[NU - Algemeen]

UEFA straft Feyenoord met Europese wedstrijd zonder publiek

Feyenoord moet definitief het eerstvolgende Europese thuisduel zonder publiek spelen. Dat heeft de tuchtcommissie van de Europese voetbalbond UEFA vrijdag bekendgemaakt. 

Fri 2015-05-29.21:16 | [NU - Algemeen]
[The Register]

Man sparks controversy, fined $120 for enjoying wristjob while driving

Put it away, Macesin! Do you have a solicitor, Macesin?

Jeffrey Macesin, a self-described "gadget lover", has been slapped with a $120 fine and four points on his licence for enjoying his wristjob while operating a vehicle.…

Fri 2015-05-29.18:03 | [The Register]

17:53

[Fast Company]

Snapchat And Twitter Can Also Transmit The iPhone Text Crash Bug

Apple has yet to release a software update to protect iPhones from a malicious string of characters.

Earlier this week, a string of characters in Chinese, Marathi, and Arabic, sent via text message, began crashing iPhones around the world. Apple released a temporary fix for getting the Messages app back up and removing the offending message, but it has yet to release a software update that will keep your phone from crashing next time the string of characters pops up on your phone.

Read Full Story








Fri 2015-05-29.15:50 | [Fast Company]
[Fast Company]

Why This Clunky Zack Morris Phone Is Taking Over Ghana

It has the one feature people need: A mega battery.

It's easy to think of something like the iPhone as the epitome of industrial design: a thin bit of beauty with alien curves equally capable of pinpointing your location in space or firing an email across the globe. And this intoxication with poetic industrial design leads to a dangerous bit of thinking—that if iPhones were cheap enough, they'd take over emerging markets like India and Africa.

Read Full Story


Thu 2015-05-28.14:00 | [Fast Company]
[Webwereld Feed]

Straks ook met Google zonder handen betalen

Vergeet Android Pay, dit kost nog minder moeite.

Fri 2015-05-29.16:17 | [Webwereld Feed]
[LWN.net]

Friday's security updates

Debian has updated virtualbox (privilege escalation).

Debian-LTS has updated clamav (multiple vulnerabilities), postgresql-8.4 (multiple vulnerabilities), and tomcat6 (multiple vulnerabilities).

Fri 2015-05-29.16:42 | [LWN.net]
[Slashdot]

Uber Revises Privacy Policy, Wants More Data From Users

itwbennett tips news that Uber has amended its privacy policy, making it much simpler to read and understand. But the policy also includes changes to what data Uber collects about its riders. Beginning July 15th, the Uber phone app will keep track of a rider's location while it's running in the background. Uber says riders will be able to opt out of this tracking. The policy changes also allow for advertising using the rider's contact list: "for example the ability to send special offers to riders' friends or family." The revision of Uber's privacy policy followed complaints at the end of last year that the company was overstepping its bounds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.17:49 | [Slashdot]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Facebook bouwt ondersteuning in voor animated gifs

Facebook heeft deze week ondersteuning voor gifjes ingebouwd in zijn sociale netwerk. Het is voor het eerst dat het Amerikaanse bedrijf de bewegende plaatjes toelaat op tijdlijnen van gebruikers. Er gelden wel restricties.

Fri 2015-05-29.17:46 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Bureau dat falen ict-overheidsprojecten moet voorkomen start na de zomer

Het Bureau ICT-toetsing of BIT start op 1 september met het toetsen van grote ict-projecten van de overheid. Begin 2016 moet de organisatie volledig op stoom zijn. De toetsingen van het bureau moeten mislukkingen bij ict-projecten, waar regelmatig sprake van is, beperken.

Fri 2015-05-29.16:19 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Accessoire laadt Apple Watch sneller op dankzij verborgen poort

Ontwikkelaars van een verwisselbaar bandje voor de Apple Watch hebben in een video getoond hoe hun accessoire de Apple Watch iets sneller oplaadt dan Apples eigen lader. Zij hebben dat bereikt door contact te maken met een verborgen poort op de smartwatch.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:56 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Belfunctie WhatsApp verschijnt in bèta voor Windows Phone

De belfunctie in WhatsApp, die al enige tijd is te gebruiken op Android en iOS, is voor het eerst verschenen in een bèta van de app voor Windows Phone. Nu WhatsApp de functie al heeft gebouwd en nu test voor Windows Phone, zou de update voor alle gebruikers snel moeten verschijnen.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:34 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Onderzoekers laten origami-robot zien

Wetenschappers van het Massachusetts Institute of Technology hebben een robotje getoond dat zichzelf opvouwt op een verwarmingselement. Vervolgens zwemt of beweegt het kleine robotje zich voort door een extern opgewekt magneetveld.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:23 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

AMD Catalyst 15.5 bèta

AMD heeft een nieuwe bèta-Catalyst-driver uitgebracht. De driver is alleen geschikt voor Windows 7 en Windows 8.1, met een aparte download voor 32bit- en 64bit-omgevingen. Ondersteuning voor Windows 8.0 is bij versie 14.6 komen te vervallen en AMD adviseert dan ook om de gratis update naar Windows 8.1 te installeren. De nieuwe driver bevat onder meer optimalisaties voor de spellen The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt en Project Cars. Hoewel er de nodige verbeteringen zijn aangebracht, zijn nog niet alle problemen met deze spellen verholpen.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:22 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

CPU-Z 1.72.1

CPUID heeft versie 1.72.1 van CPU-Z uitgebracht. Dit kleine programma geeft uitgebreide informatie over de processor, het moederbord en het geheugen in de computer. Daarnaast kan het programma ook informatie over de grafische kaart in de computer geven, zij het beperkt. Hiervoor kan beter GPU-Z voor worden gebruikt, wat ondanks een vergelijkbare naam niet van dezelfde makers is. De download bevat aparte versies voor 32bit- en 64bit-omgevingen. Sinds versie 1.71.1 is ondersteuning voor de Skylake- en Broadwell-processors van Intel toegevoegd en is er een probleem met het gebruik van de tool onder Windows 10 verholpen.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:21 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

ConvertXToDVD 5.3.0.9

VSO Software heeft een nieuwe stabiele versie van ConvertXtoDVD uitgebracht. Met dit programma kunnen dvd-schijfjes worden gemaakt van uiteenlopende videobestanden, zodat ze bijvoorbeeld op de stand-alone dvd-speler in de huiskamer kunnen worden afgespeeld. ConvertXtoDVD heeft ondersteuning voor een groot aantal audio- en videoformaten, kan ondertiteling invoegen en uitgebreide menu's maken, en heeft zelfs een eenvoudige video-editor aan boord. Verder is het programma te gebruiken in een groot aantal talen, waaronder het Nederlands. Hieronder is te vinden wat er sinds versie 5.3.0.2 veranderd is:

Fri 2015-05-29.15:20 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Dropbox 3.6.4

Versie 3.6.4 van Dropbox is verschenen. Dropbox is een onlineopslagdienst die het mogelijk maakt om bestanden tussen verschillende computers te synchroniseren. Daarnaast kunnen bestanden en fotoalbums worden gedeeld met mensen die geen Dropbox-account hebben. Clients zijn beschikbaar voor Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android, BlackBerry en Kindle Fire. Een gratis account geeft toegang tot 2GB opslag, met de mogelijkheid dat uit te breiden door nieuwe gebruikers aan te dragen. Tegen betaling van tien euro per maand bedraagt de opslagcapaciteit 1TB. Ook is er de mogelijkheid om een zakelijk abonnement af te sluiten. In versie 3.6 treffen we onder andere een nieuwe installatieprocedure en dialoogvensters voor het delen van mappen of bestanden in Windows, en detecteert Dropbox sneller wanneer er een map of bestand van naam is veranderd.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:19 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

OpenWrt 15.05 rc1

OpenWrt is alternatieve opensourcefirmware voor een groot aantal verschillende routers en embedded devices. Door middel van het opkg-package management system is er de mogelijkheid om zelf te bepalen wat de router allemaal wel en niet kan. Ook op GoT zijn enkele mensen hier actief mee bezig, bijvoorbeeld voor de TP-Link TL-WR1043ND. Na lang sleutelen heeft de ontwikkeling is de eerste release candidate van versie 15.05, die als doopnaam Chaos Calmer meegekregen heeft, uitgekomen. Hieronder zijn de release notes van deze uitgave te vinden.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:16 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Retro-game en -film Kung Fury staan op Steam

Zowel het spel als de film Kung Fury zijn te zien en te downloaden via Steam. De makers brachten met 17.000 backers meer dan 630.000 dollar bij elkaar via een Kickstarter-campagne. De film is gratis en het spel kost net geen twee euro.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:09 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[http://tweakers.net/]

Belgische inlichtingendienst gaat onderzoek doen naar mogelijke Duitse spionage

De Belgische Dienst voor de Veiligheid van de Staat gaat onderzoek doen naar beschuldigingen dat de Duitse inlichtingendienst BND vijftien Belgische internetverbindingen zou hebben afgetapt. Ook toezichthouder Bipt en telecomprovider Proximus zeggen de kwestie te gaan onderzoeken.

Fri 2015-05-29.14:39 | [http://tweakers.net/]
[Charlie's Diary]

Interlude: Swords! Or how I met Charlie, and became an author too

Charlie blindsided me by promising I'd talk about German Longsword. That's like saying, "He'll talk about his Blues band." 

It's just too big a topic!

So let me turn the tables and tell you about how swords led to me meeting Charlie, and how both Charlie and swords led to me becoming a professional author. The story is not what you'd think.

Back when the world was young, a large Goth (long hair and black clothes, rather than long hair, pointy helmet and lamellar as per Shieldwall: Barbarians!) threw me through a pile of chairs.

As he helped me up, I realised he'd cured the nagging shoulder pain I'd been suffering.

That miracle cure was the least of the many good things that stemmed from that moment. (Though if we'd turned it into an alternative therapy, perhaps we'd both be rich! Stand here madam. Try to relax while Igor lovingly hurls you through our stack of handcrafted homeopathic crystal chairs arranged on a bed of natural herbs according to a traditional feng shui pattern...)

The big Goth turned out to be Hugh Hancock, ambitious indie animator and Machinima guru. He had longer hair back then, and a cool trench coat, and a penchant for leather trousers.

The reason Hugh threw me through a pile of chairs is that we were attending a Renaissance Dagger fighting class at the Dawn Duellists Society, Scotland's first HEMA club.

HEMA isn't short for the haematoma you get when hit by a club. It's Historical European Martial Arts -- think Early Music Movement, except with pre-modern and Medieval manuals, not sheet music, and swords and daggers and spears, rather than harpsichords and hurdy-gurdies. (It should sound familiar from Charlie's Halting State, but I'm getting ahead of myself.) 

When I joined, I thought the whole thing was nuts - back then we had little or no protective gear, and had only just graduated from practicing outside a pub to a church hall - but decided to take it up for a year so I could write good sword fights. (Fifteen or so years later, I'm teaching German Longsword, have a battered suit of armour in my cupboard, and typing this with a sword-scarred hand.)

It was in our early days, before the club gained institutional experience of instructing, and Hugh and I had drifted too close to where we'd dumped the chairs. The grappling technique we were practicing worked rather better than expected so...

CRASH! Hugh threw me through a pile of chairs.

Later in the pub we bonded over storytelling, science fiction and beer.

When my literary aspirations firmed up, it was Hugh who introduced me to Charlie.

It was in the same pub as before, the now defunct Holyrood Tavern; a slice of the Moulin Rouge movie complete with absinthe, corseted beauties of all genders and orientations, and a hirsute cross-dressing barman (who only stands out in hindsight because he carried it off so well). We sweaty historical fencers would pour into the place with our oddly shaped bags of swords and hang out with the Goths who were rallying before a midweek club night. Some of us were the Goths...

...one of my friends liked to go clubbing in his mailshirt -- back then we did battle reenactment as well. He got dancing with a beautiful young woman in a clingy latex dress. Unfortunately, the mail was covered in a light coating of oil. I'll leave what happened next to your prurient imagination...

This was when Charlie was still "up and coming" - meaning no South African security guards in tow (joke). He also had a hell of a lot more hair -- 12 on the Patrick Rothfuss Scale for SF&F Writers -- my first impression was Dr John as reimagined by Jim Henson. What with beer, contrasting lives and common interests we hit it off. Being a writer, he also borrowed our swordish hobby and repurposed it for Halting State.

Now, contrary to what you might believe, professional writers don't have some magic key to the Door of Publishing. They - We! (hurrah!) - do, however, know a bit about professionalism. Charlie introduced me to his workshop, a proper round table crit circle, where I got to hang out with the likes of Fantasy writer Alan Campbell, SF star Hannu Rajaniemi and Fantasy and Crime writer Caroline Dunford, all of whom now write professionally.

That's how I really learned to write fiction, from critting other people's work and having my own picked apart. However, that's not how I got into print.

Swords is how I got into print.

I wish I could say I carved my way through the portals of publishing and planted my bloodstained magnum opus - Swords versus Tanks (naturally)-- in the Sacred Boardroom.

Truth is, somebody who I had briefly taught was a designer for a Paradox Interactive project that needed franchise writers. Since I had an agent to prove my quality, plus a nice portfolio of unpublished work that demonstrated my special interest in Medieval mayhem, a pitch followed by a quick Skype secured a gig writing books for War of the Roses and War of the Vikings.

Meanwhile, somebody who had taught me to use a sword - Guy Windsor, international sword guru - was involved with Neal Stephenson's Clang! project, and they needed writers for the Foreworld Saga, hence my crusader story about William the Marshal in the Holy Land. (The book covers the very real and scary Sir William the Marshal's utterly missing years in the Holy Land. I believe my friend, uber Historical  Fiction diva Elizabeth Chadwick is working on a novel to fill the same gap, however I don't think she'll have the Greatest Knight brawling with Viking crusaders and battling assassins over the legendary Horn of Roland.)

So, if I hadn't taken up medieval sword fighting, I wouldn't have my wide circle of interesting friends. Nor would I be blogging here, shamelessly pimping Shieldwall: Barbarians!, my Dark Age adventure yarn set during Attila's invasion of Roman Gaul.

(Go buy it so I can afford a new sword!)

Sat 2015-05-30.12:49 | [Charlie's Diary]
[More Words, Deeper Hole]

Same ship, new rat

Job opening for Jim Prentice!

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Fri 2015-05-29.15:59 | [More Words, Deeper Hole]
[NU - Algemeen]

Drukste vrijdagavondspits door regen en ongelukken

De regen die sinds eind vrijdagmiddag valt in Nederland zorgt voor een drukke avondspits. Het is de drukste vrijdagavondspits van 2015.

Fri 2015-05-29.20:40 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

OM wil Dino S. langer vasthouden

Het Openbaar Ministerie wil Dino S. (54) langer vasthouden en heeft bij het gerechtshof in Amsterdam gevraagd om hem in voorlopige hechtenis te nemen. 

Fri 2015-05-29.17:45 | [NU - Algemeen]
[Schneier on Security]

UN Report on the Value of Encryption to Freedom Worldwide

The United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner released a report on the value of encryption and anonymity to the world:

Summary: In the present report, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 25/2, the Special Rapporteur addresses the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communications. Drawing from research on international and national norms and jurisprudence, and the input of States and civil society, the report concludes that encryption and anonymity enable individuals to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age and, as such, deserve strong protection.

Here's the bottom line:

60. States should not restrict encryption and anonymity, which facilitate and often enable the rights to freedom of opinion and expression. Blanket prohibitions fail to be necessary and proportionate. States should avoid all measures that weaken the security that individuals may enjoy online, such as backdoors, weak encryption standards and key escrows. In addition, States should refrain from making the identification of users a condition for access to digital communications and online services and requiring SIM card registration for mobile users. Corporate actors should likewise consider their own policies that restrict encryption and anonymity (including through the use of pseudonyms). Court-ordered decryption, subject to domestic and international law, may only be permissible when it results from transparent and publicly accessible laws applied solely on a targeted, case-by-case basis to individuals (i.e., not to a mass of people) and subject to judicial warrant and the protection of due process rights of individuals.

One news report called this "wishy-washy when it came to government-mandated backdoors to undermine encryption," but I don't see that. Government mandated backdoors, key escrow, and weak encryption are all bad. Corporations should offer their users strong encryption and anonymity. Any systems that still leave corporations with the keys and/or the data -- and there are going to be lots of them -- should only give them up to the government in the face of an individual and lawful court order.

I think the principles are reasonable.

Fri 2015-05-29.14:49 | [Schneier on Security]

17:33

[The Register]

'Free' VPN Hola is LITERALLY flogging access to users' devices

Selling something to you, or selling you to something?

The VPN service Hola, which claims to have more than 9.7 million users, is now selling its access to users' machines as exit-nodes under the Luminati brand.…

Fri 2015-05-29.17:31 | [The Register]

17:13

[Slashdot]

The Underground Hacking Economy

Fast Company profiles the rise of sites like Hackers List and Hackers For Hire, which provide consolidated markets for people to hire hackers to break passwords, alter databases, learn to operate malware, and more. People with the skills to circumvent security are putting themselves out there as freelancers for specific tasks, and people in need of their services are posting notices asking for help. Law enforcement agencies are warning about this new type of behavior, saying it's often illegal, and facilitated by online anonymity and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The number of deals currently being made through these sites remains small, but it's growing — particularly among business seeking to gain an advantage over competitors in other countries.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.17:05 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

9-jarig kind vastgebonden tijdens inbraak in Limburgs dorp

Twee inbrekers hebben vrijdagmiddag in het Limburgse dorp Echt een negenjarig jongetje vastgebonden in een woning aan de Lavendelstraat. 

Fri 2015-05-29.16:56 | [NU - Algemeen]

16:33

[Slashdot]

Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

Last week saw the successful launch of the Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft, the solar-powered satellite that runs Linux and was crowdfunded on Kickstarter. The spacecraft worked flawlessly for two days, but then fell silent, and the engineering team has been working hard on a fix ever since. They've pinpointed the problem: a software glitch. "Every 15 seconds, LightSail transmits a telemetry beacon packet. The software controlling the main system board writes corresponding information to a file called beacon.csv. If you're not familiar with CSV files, you can think of them as simplified spreadsheets—in fact, most can be opened with Microsoft Excel. As more beacons are transmitted, the file grows in size. When it reaches 32 megabytes—roughly the size of ten compressed music files—it can crash the flight system." Unfortunately, the only way to clear that CSV file is to reboot LightSail. It can be done remotely, but as anyone who deals with crashing computers understands, remote commands don't always work. The command has been sent a few dozen times already, but LightSail remains silent. The best hope may now be that the system spontaneously reboots on its own.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fri 2015-05-29.16:22 | [Slashdot]
[NU - Algemeen]

Koe vlucht uit Limburgs slachthuis

Een koe is vrijdag ontsnapt uit een slachthuis in het Limburgse dorpje Pey, gemeente Echt-Susteren. 

Fri 2015-05-29.19:39 | [NU - Algemeen]
[NU - Algemeen]

Rutte feliciteert Desi Bouterse niet met herverkiezing

Premier Mark Rutte is niet van plan de Surinaamse president Desi Bouterse te feliciteren met zijn verkiezingsoverwinning.

Fri 2015-05-29.17:28 | [NU - Algemeen]

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