John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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Geekish

Anyone who works as a freelancer these days has to be at least a bit familiar with techie things. But it isn’t just that. When I was a kid and those vaguely SF puppet shows were on the television and all the other kids wanted to be Greg Gogetem or Steve Savetheuniverse, I wanted to be the guy in a white coat and glasses called Doc or Brains. Here are some technology-related feeds I find useful and/or entertaining.

Slashdot » The Case Against Biometric IDs

Sunday 8 October 23:34:00 UTC 2017

"The White House and Equifax Agree: Social Security Numbers Should Go," reads a headline at Bloomberg. Securities lawyer Jerri-Lynn Scofield tears down one proposed alternative: a universal biometric identity system (possibly using fingerprints and an iris scan) with further numeric verification. Presto Vivace shared the article: Using a biometric system when the basic problem of securing and safeguarding data have … [Link]

Mashable » Once again, people are changing Colin Kaepernick's message without using his own words

Sunday 8 October 22:32:49 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookColin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the NFL protest movement against police brutality and unequal treatment of minorities, is once again having his message twisted by others. SEE ALSO: How to teach your kids about the NFL protests and the awesome power of dissent The latest controversy stemmed from a CBS NFL Today segment in which journalist … [Link]

Slashdot » Astronaut Scott Kelly Describes One Year In Space — And Its After Effects

Sunday 8 October 22:29:00 UTC 2017

53-year-old astronaut Scott Kelly shared a dramatic excerpt from his new book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery in the Brisbane Times, describing his first 48 hours back on earth and what he'd learned on the mission: I push back from the table and struggle to stand up, feeling like a very old man getting out of … [Link]

Mashable » A math legend just died. He literally reinvented aspects of modern math.

Sunday 8 October 21:56:31 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookNot going to class isn't typically something good to boast about. But perhaps the late Vladimir Voevodsky is the exception to the rule.  Voevodsky is credited with founding new fields of mathematics, such as motivic homotopy theory, and a computer tool to help check mathematical proofs, as the New York Times explored in an obituary this week. The latter was a … [Link]

Mashable » 'The X-Files' Season 11 trailer is all about Mulder and Scully's son, and we have so many questions

Sunday 8 October 21:51:35 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook The first trailer for The X-Files Season 11 debuted at New York Comic Con and, as fans might've hoped after last season's cliffhanger, the first footage from the revival's revival focused heavily on Mulder and Scully's son, William.  "We explore that relationship, the father-son-mother relationship, and you’ll see more of William than you’ve seen in a long time," series creator … [Link]

Slashdot » 42 Solar-Powered Cars Race in 31st Annual 'Solar Challenge' Race

Sunday 8 October 21:24:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: It's a special moment in the history of clean energy: the 30th anniversary World Solar Challenge has begun. A total of 42 solar-powered cars (the largest field to date) left Darwin, Australia on October 8th to travel roughly 1,880 miles to Adelaide. The race officially lasts a week, but it's likely going to end considerably … [Link]

Mashable » Hulu's 'Castle Rock' trailer teases Shawshank Prison and a whole lot of weirdness

Sunday 8 October 20:30:23 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Hulu has already ventured into the realm of Stephen King with 11.22.63., but the streaming network's upcoming mystery series Castle Rock will be unlike any King adaptation we've seen before — mostly because the 10-episode series isn't an adaptation at all.  Speaking at the show's New York Comic Con panel, executive producer Dustin Thomason says that the creative team approached … [Link]

Slashdot » Microsoft Develops New Programming Language For Quantum Computers

Sunday 8 October 20:19:00 UTC 2017

Microsoft's newest programming language will run on yet-to-be developed quantum computers. An anonymous reader quotes CIO Today: Microsoft said its new quantum computing language, which has yet to be named, is "deeply integrated" into its Visual Basic development environment and does many of the things other standard programming languages do. However, it is specifically designed to allow programmers to create … [Link]

Mashable » Oh look, another insensitive, wannabe 'woke' ad campaign. Here's how to stop f*cking up.

Sunday 8 October 20:02:46 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookRussians may have had luck advertising on Facebook. Dove, not so much.  SEE ALSO: Facebook let advertisers buy ads targeting 'Jew haters' The soap company apologized this week for an ad that showed a black woman removing her brown shirt and revealing a white woman in a lighter shirt underneath.  An image we recently posted on Facebook missed the mark in … [Link]

Mashable » VP Mike Pence just left an NFL game early to protest a protest he doesn't seem to understand

Sunday 8 October 19:37:02 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookVice President Mike Pence went to an NFL game in his home state of Indiana today, specifically — it seems — to throw a fit online.  The VP attended the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts, a likely humdrum affair between two struggling teams with a combined one win between them. But Pence probably wasn't there to take … [Link]

The Joy of Tech » JoT #2458: Google's new Clips meets the HAL 9000

Sunday 8 October 19:16:47 UTC 2017

JoT thumbI’m sorry Dave, there's a precedent for that. [Link]

Slashdot » CNN Skeptical of Elon Musk's 'Big Promises'

Sunday 8 October 19:14:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla's electric semi-truck will be launched three weeks later than planned, CNN reports. It's been bumped to November 16th because Tesla says it's "diverting resources" to address problems with its Model 3 sedan production — they've produced just 17.3% of the cars they'd planned — and to make more batteries to send to areas hit by … [Link]

Mashable » 10 tricks for saving your phone's battery life

Sunday 8 October 19:04:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookYeah, people don't like what iOS 11 did to their battery life. In fact, a recent poll showed that 70 percent of users reported lower battery life after Apple's most recent update.  SEE ALSO: 13 Incredibly Handy New iOS 11 Features Experts predicted that most phones would regain their normal battery life a few weeks after the release. But even if … [Link]

Mashable » Someone's already showing off the iPhone X out in the wild

Sunday 8 October 18:52:16 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe iPhone X doesn't drop for another agonizingly-long month — if you're one of the lucky few who snags a pre-order reservation early, that is — but there are some even luckier people out there who already have their hands on Apple's next-level handset. SEE ALSO: Say hello to Apple's new iOS 11 emoji A video of one of the brand … [Link]

Mashable » Trump attacks retiring senator, who hits back with an appropriately epic burn

Sunday 8 October 18:45:43 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSen. Bob Corker is retiring from office, and he's not holding back.  SEE ALSO: White House social media guy reveals who’s really writing some of Trump’s tweets The Republican from Tennessee took to President Trump's favorite social network on Sunday to share his disdain for the boss: It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone … [Link]

Slashdot » Is Amazon Lowering The Global Rate of Inflation?

Sunday 8 October 18:09:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider: Another investment bank analyst has signed on to the idea that the internet is holding down the rate of inflation. Bilal Hafeez, the global head of G10 FX strategy and head of EMEA research at Nomura, published two notes last month on whether the value of the dollar was being held down by Amazon … [Link]

Mashable » A handful of racists snuck back to Charlottesville under the cover of night for another 'protest'

Sunday 8 October 17:23:12 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThey’re back with the same mission, and far, far fewer numbers. A group of white nationalists, led by Richard Spencer (a man who was punched in the face twice on President Trump's Inauguration Day) marched in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday night with torches in hand toward the statue of Robert E. Lee.  Spencer dubbed the small gathering "Charlottesville 3.0" in a tweet, … [Link]

Slashdot » Clever Hack Fakes A Sleep Timer For Google Home

Sunday 8 October 17:04:00 UTC 2017

Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein writes: I've long been bitching about Google Home's lack of a basic function that clock radios have had since at least the middle of the last century — the classic "sleep timer" for playing music until a specified time or until a specific interval has passed… Originally, sleep timer type commands weren't recognized at all by … [Link]

Mashable » 'Black Mirror' creator: 'We should be billing Apple and Google for this stuff'

Sunday 8 October 16:48:47 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook It might not be obvious, but Black Mirror came from two comedy minds.  Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, who created and continue to collaborate on the imaginative sci-fi thriller, know that their show terrifies people, but they wouldn't be able to go where they do without the phantasmagorical training of comedy. Season 4 contains, according to Brooker, some of the … [Link]

Mashable » This New York Comic Con cosplay is the all-time winner

Sunday 8 October 16:43:36 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCosplay’s GOAT, right here. Lots of New York Comic Con attendees visit the Jacob K. Javits Center every fall dressed as one favorite fictional character or another. But for one showgoer at this year's event, the costume got decidedly meta. SEE ALSO: The first 'Doomsday Clock' pages introduce a character as controversial as the event itself Instead of donning the disguise … [Link]

Mashable » 'Rick and Morty' fans at McDonald's prove that we can't have nice things

Sunday 8 October 16:04:40 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe McDonald's Rick and Morty-inspired Szechuan sauce promotion continues to be an absolute embarrassment for everyone involved.  The fast food giant released a "super-limited" amount of the special edition dipping sauce on Oct. 7, giving Rick and Morty fans an excuse to line up outside their nearest participating McDonalds location for a chance to emulate their favorite mad scientist's quest for … [Link]

Mashable » 7 Do's (and 7 Don'ts) you need to know before throwing a Halloween party

Sunday 8 October 16:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAs the spookiest night of the year quickly approaches, you may be thinking about throwing your own Halloween shindig.  We'd all like to agree that we're more than capable of hosting a great party but actually planning one can either be a walk in the park or a total nightmare on Elm Street. SEE ALSO: Star Wars Halloween costumes for your … [Link]

Slashdot » 100K Lose Power As America Faces Its Third Hurricane In Three Weeks

Sunday 8 October 15:59:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: The good news: Hurricane Nate was eventually downgraded to "a tropical storm" at 4:30 Sunday morning (EST), moving north-northeast with maximum winds of 70 mph. The bad news: 100,000 people don't have power in Mississippi and Alabama, and a tornado watch is in effect until 11 a.m. "Even though Nate has made landfall and will weaken … [Link]

Slashdot » Cyberstalking Suspect Arrested After VPN Providers Shared Logs With the FBI

Sunday 8 October 14:54:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: "VPN providers often advertise their products as a method of surfing the web anonymously, claiming they never store logs of user activity," writes Bleeping Computer, "but a recent criminal case shows that at least some do store user activity logs." According to the FBI, VPN providers played a key role in identifying an aggressive cyberstalker by … [Link]

Mashable » Facebook execs (somewhat) embrace transparency, via Twitter

Sunday 8 October 14:42:21 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookFacebook has been making headlines, but not for anything good. The world's largest social network is in the spotlight over Russia's interference with the 2016 U.S. election.  SEE ALSO: Zuckerberg fires back at Trump over Facebook’s role in the U.S. election Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, seems to think the media's characterization of his social network's connection to Russia interference … [Link]

Mashable » 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' gets a new trailer during Monday Night Football this week

Sunday 8 October 14:05:53 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCancel your Monday night plans and get ready for some football, Star Wars fans: The next Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer will debut during halftime at the Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears Monday Night Football matchup on ESPN.  The trailer will finally give us another look at what's coming on Dec. 15 — the last proper teaser dropped all the way back … [Link]

Mashable » 1940s portraits record the strength and pride of Puerto Rico

Sunday 8 October 14:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookA worker on a pineapple plantation near Manati.Image: Library of CongressFrom its first inhabitation by Taíno natives to its centuries of rule under Spain and later the United States, Puerto Rico has developed a culture and character unique among the islands of the Caribbean.In the late 1930s and early ‘40s, photographers from the Farm Security Administration visited the island to document … [Link]

Mashable » Hurricane Nate becomes fourth hurricane to hit the U.S. in 6 weeks

Sunday 8 October 13:57:08 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHurricane Nate is here. The storm made its second landfall outside of Biloxi, Mississippi on Sunday morning. It's the first hurricane to do so in that state since Hurricane Katrina, the Associated Press reports.  SEE ALSO: How to prepare for natural disasters Nate landed at the mouth of the Mississippi River with 85 mph winds and made its way across Mississippi … [Link]

Mashable » Gal Gadot delivered her 'Saturday Night Live' monologue in Hebrew

Sunday 8 October 13:53:20 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot is from Israel, and the first-time Saturday Night Live guest host used her monologue to send a message to her people back home (where this week's episode was broadcast live): I think I've made a huge mistake. Soon after, she's joined by Leslie Jones in the guise of a Wonder Woman who poses for photos … [Link]

Slashdot » Parody 'Subgenius' Religion Wants to Crowdfund An Alien-Contacting Beacon

Sunday 8 October 13:49:00 UTC 2017

In 1979 the followers of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs founded a satirical religion called the Church of the Subgenius. (Slackware Linux reportedly drew its name from the "pursuit of Slack", a comfort-seeking tenet of the 38-year-old parody religion.) Combining UFOs and conspiracy theories with some social critiques (and a few H.P. Lovecraft characters), the strange group is now re-emerging online … [Link]

Mashable » 'SNL' creeps on O.J. Simpson's hilarious first post-prison date

Sunday 8 October 13:24:22 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook O.J. Simpson just got out of IRL prison and Saturday Night Live's writers want to know: What's it like for the convicted felon and acquitted murder suspect to be single and dating again? He lies! A lot. In dating apps and in person. Of course he does. He's the Juice, and the Juice is loose once again. Read more… More … [Link]

Mashable » The new 'Justice League' trailer finally shows us some Clark Kent

Sunday 8 October 13:10:30 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Well, we'll say this for 2017: We're getting more Wonder Woman movies this year than we ever have before. SEE ALSO: Is Superman coming back for 'Justice League' in a black suit? Not only did she get her own movie this summer, not only are her creators getting their own biopic this month, she's actually coming back to the screen … [Link]

Mashable » 'Walking Dead' star Andrew Lincoln hates last season's Rick Grimes as much as you do

Sunday 8 October 13:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook   In the words of Andrew Lincoln himself, "Season 7 sucked for Rick Grimes." It was a rough season arc for the lead character of The Walking Dead, watching everything he's built in the face of a zombie apocalypse start to crumble before him. At first, Rick let Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) take over the community he's been cultivating in Alexandria … [Link]

Mashable » Which is better: Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte or Ingrit the Wood Witch's boiled rabbit smoothie?

Sunday 8 October 13:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhenever fall time comes around, everyone flocks to Starbucks to pick up one of their fancy Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Little do they know there's a perfectly decent warm and toasty seasonal beverage in town for free*.  I'm speaking, of course, about Ingrit the Wood Witch's Boiled Rabbit Smoothie. SEE ALSO: 6 incredibly fashion forward sweaters for fall 2017 There are plenty … [Link]

Mashable » Today in obvious headlines, Gal Gadot kissed Kate McKinnon on 'SNL'

Sunday 8 October 12:45:02 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook "It's like we're in a porn, but the plumber is just genuinely there to fix the pipes." Nailed it, Aidy Bryant. Gal Gadot's hosting gig on Saturday Night Live opened the door to a sketch set in Themyscira, the no-men-allowed island home of Wonder Woman. In the movie, Steve Trevor's arrival causes consternation among the Amazonians. But on SNL, it's … [Link]

Mashable » This app will save your freelancer butt for under $40

Sunday 8 October 12:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Ask any freelancer what the most tedious part of their job is, and they’ll likely say invoicing. Tracking who has paid them and who hasn’t, staying on top of expenses, and the nightmare that’s taxes adds up. All that admin work takes time and … [Link]

Mashable » How to cut out cable without cutting your favorite shows

Sunday 8 October 12:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Are you still paying for cable in 2017? Let’s fix that. It's time to break up with your cable company — and this is how. Real talk: cable’s an expensive pain in the butt. You pay for channels you don’t want in order to … [Link]

Slashdot » Third 'Nintendo World Championship' Ends With Three Unreleased Switch Game Levels

Sunday 8 October 11:44:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: The Nintendo World Championships wrapped up in Manhattan Saturday with two finalists competing on three as-yet-unreleased levels from the upcoming Nintendo Switch game Super Mario Odyssey. 16 contenders had been selected from Mario Kart 7 qualifying rounds at Best Buy stores in eight U.S. cities, and Thomas G. "surged up through the 'underground,' the loser's bracket," … [Link]

Slashdot » YouTube Alters Algorithm To Promote News, Penalize Vegas Shooting Conspiracy Theories

Sunday 8 October 7:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes USA Today: YouTube has changed its powerful search algorithm to promote videos from more mainstream news outlets in search results after people looking for details on the Las Vegas shooting were served up conspiracy theories and misinformation. YouTube confirmed the changes Thursday… In the days after the mass shooting, videos abounded on YouTube, some questioning whether … [Link]

Mashable » Jason Aldean surprises 'SNL' with Tom Petty 'Won't Back Down' tribute to Las Vegas

Sunday 8 October 4:19:18 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSaturday Night Live has always taken great care to strike the right tone after tragedy, and this week's episode managed to delicately address a terrible week on multiple levels, but with a single, thoughtful stroke. Instead of a cold open mocking the Donald Trump administration — breaking what must have been some kind of record streak — the first face we … [Link]

Slashdot » Google Accused of Racketeering. Lawsuit Claims 'Pattern' Of Trade Secret Thefts

Sunday 8 October 3:34:00 UTC 2017

schwit1 quotes the Mercury News: In an explosive new allegation, a renowned architect has accused Google of racketeering, saying in a lawsuit the company has a pattern of stealing trade secrets from people it first invites to collaborate. Architect Eli Attia spent 50 years developing what his lawsuit calls "game-changing new technology" for building construction. Google in 2010 struck a … [Link]

Slashdot » New Video Peeks 'Inside the Head' of Perl Creator Larry Wall

Sunday 8 October 1:34:00 UTC 2017

"I was trained more as a linguist than a computer scientist," says Perl creator Larry Wall, "and some people would say it shows." An anonymous reader describes Wall's new video interview up on InfoQ: "With a natural language, you learn it as you go," Wall says. "You're not expected to know the whole language at once. It's okay to have … [Link]

Mashable » 'The Walking Dead' will finally cross over with 'Fear,' says Robert Kirkman

Sunday 8 October 0:32:10 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEver since The Walking Dead got its spinoff (aka prequel) series, Fear the Walking Dead, fans and reporters alike have been badgering the producers behind the two shows about the possibility of a crossover — and apparently said badgering has finally paid off. "There are two Walking Dead shows, I'm not gonna name them… There is one character that is going … [Link]

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