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Gatherings & Competitions

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Blizzard's Overwatch League could see $100M in its first year, says analyst. Hearthstone: A Mammoth Celebration. PAX East 2017 Cosplay Music Video - League of Legends Community Collab. Halo World...

Evening Consolidation

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Four years later, Xbox exec admits how Microsoft screwed up disc resale plan. Flinthook Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One. MLB The Show 17 Launches Tomorrow, 12...

Evening Mobilization

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Introducing Live Location in Facebook Messenger. Thanks Hypothermia. It all ads up: Why devs should be rewarding players that watch promotions. Uber is officially resuming all of its self-driving...

Evening Metaverse

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
AT&T to Shutter U-Verse Website as Brand Gets Killed Off.

Evening Tech Bits

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Intel Launches Optane Memory M.2 Cache SSDs For Consumer Market - AnandTech. Articles on the topic on Legit Reviews, PC Perspective, The Tech Report, and TweakTown. Elon Musk?s Billion-Dollar...

Evening Safety Dance

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Apple security updates. iOS 10.3, watchOS 3.2, tvOS 10.2, Sierra 10.12.4, Safari 10.1, and more. Thanks Ant. Uncovered iPad bomb plot blamed for electronics ban on some flights. Doxed by Microsoft?s...

Evening Legal Briefs

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
House could vote tomorrow to let ISPs sell your Web browsing history.

etc., etc.

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
League of Legends New free champion rotation: Vayne, Lulu, Braum and more… Mass Effect Andromeda players want a mute button for its chatty AI… Uwe Boll's Restaurant Is Better Than His...

Into the Black

Blue's News - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:11pm
Link of the Day: Raise a glass for International Whisky Day. I'll drink to that!

Jamming From Inside a Guitar w/ Maple The Pup

Ant's VideoSift Submissions - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 6:01pm

"... This was filmed on an iPhone from inside of the guitar..."

The Avengers react to Justice League Trailer

Ant's VideoSift Submissions - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 5:54pm

"Seems that the Avengers will finally get some serious competition :)
Here's a mashup imagining what would be their reaction.

From ...

New AI Algorithm Beats Even the World's Worst Traffic

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 5:30pm
"Computer scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a new intelligent routing algorithm that attempts to minimize the occurrence of spontaneous traffic jams -- those sudden snarls caused by greedy merges and other isolated disruptions -- throughout a roadway network," reports Motherboard. "It's both computationally distributed and fast, requirements for any real-world traffic management system. Their work is described in the April issue of IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence." From the report: The Nanyang researchers' algorithm starts off by just assuming that, given enough traffic density, shit is going to happen. Someone is going to make a greedy merge -- something is going to cause enough of a traffic perturbation to result in a network breakdown. Breakdown in this context is a technical-ish term indicating that for some period of time the traffic outflow from a segment of roadway is going to be less than the traffic inflow. "We assume that the traffic breakdown model has already been given, and the probability of traffic breakdown occurrence is larger than zero (meaning that traffic breakdowns would occur), and our goal is to direct the traffic flow so that the overall traffic breakdown probability is minimized," Hongliang Guo and colleagues write. Put differently, "our objective is to maximize the probability that none of the network links encounters a traffic breakdown." So, the goal of the algorithm is this maximization, which reduces to a fairly tidy equation. It then becomes a machine learning problem. Things get pretty messy at this point, but just understand that we're taking the current traffic load, adding an unknown additional load that might enter the network at any time, and then coming up with probabilities of network breakdown at each of the network's nodes or intersections. Crunch some linear algebra and we wind up with optimal routes through the network. Crucially, Guo and co. were able to come up with some mathematical optimizations that make this kind of calculation feasible in real-time. They were able to demonstrate their algorithm in simulations and are currently working on a further analysis with BMW, which is providing a vast trove of data from its Munich car-sharing fleet. This may not be as distant a technology as it might seem. As it turns out, only 10 percent of cars in a network need to be driving according to the optimizations for those optimizations to have a positive effect on the entire network.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook Launches 'Town Hall' For Contacting Government Reps, Adds Local Election Reminders

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 4:50pm
Facebook has officially launched their "Town Hall" feature that allows users to locate, follow and contact their local, state and federal government representatives. The social media company also announced that they will be launching local election reminders in an effort to get more users to vote in state, county, and municipal elections. TechCrunch reports: The feature was recently made available in the "More" menu on mobile and on desktop to a subset of users. When you launch it, you would be presented with a list of reps at the local, state and federal level, and you could click to visit their Facebook page or send them a message, call them, or email. Not all reps offer their contact information via Facebook, however. And Facebook doesn't yet pull in the missing phone numbers or emails from off-site sources, like official government websites, for example. The company tell us that's something it wants to address in time, though. Today, Town Hall is available to all U.S. Facebook users and some of its features will now be integrated in the News Feed. If you like or comment on a post made by one of your elected officials, a new feature below the comments will invite you to call, message or email the rep. After doing so, users will then be prompted to share a post saying that they contacted the rep, as a means of encouraging their friends to do the same. Facebook says that this Contact Your Rep post is not shown to everyone, but only to those who are also already engaging with an elected official's post, through a like or comment. Additionally, Facebook says it will now offer Election Reminders for local elections. The new, local election reminders will appear for all state, county, and municipal elections in the U.S. in areas with a population of over 10,000 people, and will include both primaries and general elections.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Working Environment For a Developer?

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 4:10pm
New submitter Dorgendubal writes: I work for a company with more than a thousand developers and I'm participating in activities aimed at improving the work experience of developers. Our developers receive an ultrabook that is rather powerful but not really adapted for development (no admin rights, small storage capacity, restrictive security rules, etc.). They also have access to VDIs (more flexibility) but often complain of performance issues during certain hours of the day. Overall, developers want to have maximum autonomy, free choice of their tools (OS, IDE, etc.) and access to internal development environments (PaaS, GIT repositories, continuous delivery tools, etc.) . We recently had a presentation of VMWare on desktop and application virtualization (Workstation & Horizon), which is supposedly the future of the desktops. It sounds interesting on paper but I remain skeptical. What is the best working environment for a developer, offering flexibility, performance and some level of free choice, without compromising security, compliance, licensing (etc.) requirements? I would like you to share your experiences on BYOD, desktop virtualization, etc. and the level of satisfaction of the developers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facial Recognition Database Used By FBI Is Out of Control, House Committee Hears

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 3:30pm
The House oversight committee claims the FBI's facial recognition database is out of control, noting that "no federal law controls this technology" and "no court decision limits it." At last week's House oversight committee hearing, politicians and privacy campaigners presented several "damning facts" about the databases. "About 80% of photos in the FBI's network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from driver's licenses and passports," reports The Guardian. "The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are most likely to misidentify black people than white people." From the report: "Facial recognition technology is a powerful tool law enforcement can use to protect people, their property, our borders, and our nation," said the committee chair, Jason Chaffetz, adding that in the private sector it can be used to protect financial transactions and prevent fraud or identity theft. "But it can also be used by bad actors to harass or stalk individuals. It can be used in a way that chills free speech and free association by targeting people attending certain political meetings, protests, churches, or other types of places in the public." Furthermore, the rise of real-time face recognition technology that allows surveillance and body cameras to scan the faces of people walking down the street was, according to Chaffetz, "most concerning." "For those reasons and others, we must conduct proper oversight of this emerging technology," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Prominent Drupal, PHP Developer Kicked From the Drupal Project Over Unconventional Sex Life

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 2:50pm
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Last week the Drupal community erupted in anger after its leader, Dries Buytaert, asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor and long-time member of the Drupal and PHP communities, "to leave the Drupal project." Buytaert claims he did this "because it came to my attention that he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project." A huge furor has erupted in response -- not least because the reason clearly has much to do with Garfield's unconventional sex life. [Garfield is into BDSM, and is a member of the Gorean community, "a community who are interested in, and/or participate in, elaborate sexual subjugation fantasies, in which men are inherently superior to women."] Buytaert made his post (which is now offline) in response after Larry went public, outing himself to public opinion. Buytaert retorted (excerpt available via TechCrunch): "when a highly-visible community member's private views become public, controversial, and disruptive for the project, I must consider the impact [...] all people are created equally. [sic] I cannot in good faith support someone who actively promotes a philosophy that is contrary to this [...] any association with Larry's belief system is inconsistent with our project's goals [...] I recused myself from the Drupal Association's decision [to dismiss Garfield from his conference role] [...] Many have rightfully stated that I haven't made a clear case for the decision [...] I did not make the decision based on the information or beliefs conveyed in Larry's blog post." TechCrunch columnist Jon Evans goes on to "unpack" the questions that naturally arise from these "Code of Conduct conflicts."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Stylebooks Finally Embrace the Single 'They'

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 2:10pm
Two major style manuals are now allowing the singular use of "they" in certain circumstances. While this is a victory for common sense, the paths taken are unusual in the evolution of usage. From a report on Columbia Journal Review: Both manuals, the Associated Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style, emphasize that "they" cannot be used with abandon. Even so, it's the middle of the end for the insistence that "they" can be only a plural pronoun. To recap: In English, there is no gender-neutral pronoun for a single person. In French, for example, the pronoun on can stand in for "he" or "she." English has no such equivalent; "it" is our singular pronoun, so devoid of gender that calling a person "it" is often considered insulting. We could use "one," but that is a very impersonal pronoun. Consider this sentence, for instance. "Everyone needs to be sure to tighten ____ safety belt before approaching the cliff." The article adds: For hundreds of years, anyone writing formally would default to "he." Advances in women's rights led to the clumsy "he or she." Many writers alternate "he" or "she." This twisting and turning is because what's known as "the epicene they" has been considered incorrect. [...] But that's not the "they" the style guides have let loose. Simply, the singular "they" will be allowed if someone prefers that pronoun.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Interviews: Ask Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor John Goodenough a Question

/. - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 1:30pm
John B. Goodenough is a solid-state physicist and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at The University of Texas at Austin. While he is most famous for identifying and developing the lithium-ion battery, which can be found in just about every portable electronic device on the market, he has recently created a new fast charging solid-state battery that looks to revolutionize the industry. We sent him an email about doing an interview and he has responded. Now is your chance to ask Goodenough a question! We'll pick the very best questions and forward them to John Goodenough himself. (Feel free to leave your suggestions for who Slashdot should interview next.) Go on, don't be shy!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New “IT” Photos Tease First Trailer

Dark Horizons - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:51pm

Warner Bros. Pictures has released three new photos from Andres Muschietti’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” online ahead of the trailer premiere which looks to be either late tomorrow night or early Wednesday morning.

The story follows a group of teenagers in Derry, Maine who are attacked by the malevolent force in the guise of a clown named Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) who takes the form of your worst fear. The first of a two-film saga, this focuses on the teenagers whereas the second will follow them as adults thirty years later.

“It” opens September 8th.

The post New “IT” Photos Tease First Trailer appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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