John Gordon Ross

A Man for All Reasons

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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 US Military Admits It Spent $22 Million Investigating UFOs

Saturday 16 December 23:54:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader Joosy writes, "Until 2012 the Pentagon had a program, the 'Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program', that tracked unidentified flying objects." An anonymous reader writes: The Pentagon finally acknowledged the existence of the $22 million program today to the New York Times, while also claiming that they closed the program five years ago. "But its backers say that, … [Link]

Mashable » Dark vs. Light: 'Star Wars' fans storm social media with dueling 'Last Jedi' opinions

Saturday 16 December 23:03:40 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Spoiler alert! This post contains big spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Seriously, get out of here now if you don't want to know what happens. The critical response to The Last Jedi has been overwhelmingly positive, with reviews lauding the film for — among other things — deviating from the Star Wars norm. Audiences online, though, haven't been … [Link]

Slashdot » Predictive Keyboard Tries To Write a New Harry Potter Chapter

Saturday 16 December 22:49:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader Baron_Yam writes, "Some AI news items are amusing. This is one of those." ProKras reports: What do you get when a predictive keyboard app tries to write a new Harry Potter story? Apparently, you get Chapter 13 from Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. The folks at Botnik Studios … [Link]

Mashable » Firefox users lose trust in Mozilla after a 'Mr. Robot' promo went horribly wrong

Saturday 16 December 22:29:24 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookProtip for Mozilla and the USA Network: In the future when you're plotting a tie-in for a show about vigilante hackers, maybe don't actually compromise people's privacy. Some Firefox users were none too thrilled to discover that the web browser had installed an add-on called "Looking Glass" without permission. Bearing a description that read simply, in all-caps, "MY REALITY IS JUST … [Link]

Slashdot » Google News Will Purge Sites Masking Their Country of Origin

Saturday 16 December 21:44:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Bloomberg: Google moved to strip from its news search results publications that mask their country of origin or intentionally mislead readers, a further step to curb the spread of fake news that has plagued internet companies this year. To appear in Google News results, websites must meet broad criteria set out by the company, including accurately … [Link]

Mashable » Musk versus Bezos: Whose rocket is the biggest?

Saturday 16 December 20:50:50 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhen it comes to rockets, size matters, and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos know it. The two billionaire entrepreneurs both own their own spaceflight companies.  Musk's SpaceX is currently using its large Falcon 9 rocket to fly large payloads to orbit for NASA and companies around the world, while Bezos's Blue Origin is testing out its New Shepard rocket designed to … [Link]

Slashdot » Facial Recognition Algorithms — Plus 1.8 Billion Photos — Leads to 567 Arrests in China

Saturday 16 December 20:39:00 UTC 2017

"Our machines can very easily recognise you among at least 2 billion people in a matter of seconds," says the chief executive and co-founder of Yitu. The South China Morning Post reports: Yitu's Dragonfly Eye generic portrait platform already has 1.8 billion photographs to work with: those logged in the national database and you, if you have visited China recently… … [Link]

Mashable » Please do not eat ghost peppers before a choir performance

Saturday 16 December 19:57:48 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Ever wondered what it would be like to sing "O Come, All Ye Faithful" after downing a ghost pepper? Probably not, but you should probably watch this video now that your curiosity's piqued.  Chili Klaus, a YouTuber already famous for the clip of orchestra members eating ghost peppers, has now pivoted his experiment to Denmark's Herning Boys Choir. The group … [Link]

Mashable » Somewhere in Las Vegas, there's a warehouse containing debris from UFOs

Saturday 16 December 19:50:22 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookLet’s be clear: "U.F.O." is an acronym for "unidentified flying object." It doesn't necessarily mean aliens. But it also might mean aliensSorry, Miriam. SEE ALSO: That interstellar asteroid probably isn't aliens, but the hunt continues A Saturday report in the New York Times lays out the details of a secret, Defense Department-funded "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program," formed to investigate UFO … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » Daily API RoundUp: Starling Bank, ICObench, Estated, UserIQ

Saturday 16 December 19:34:50 UTC 2017

Every day, the ProgrammableWeb team is busy, updating its three primary directories for APIs, clients (language-specific libraries or SDKs for consuming or providing APIs), and source code samples. [Link]

Slashdot » Why Linux HDCP Isn't the End of the World

Saturday 16 December 19:34:00 UTC 2017

"There is no reason for the open-source community to worry…" writes Daniel Stone, who heads the graphics team at open-source consultancy Collabora. mfilion quotes Recently, Sean Paul from Google's ChromeOS team, submitted a patch series to enable HDCP support for the Intel display driver. HDCP is used to encrypt content over HDMI and DisplayPort links, which can only be … [Link]

Mashable » Prank your friends and loved ones with these hilarious fake gift boxes

Saturday 16 December 19:24:11 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Gift bags are boring, but sometimes your loved ones ask for things for Christmas that are just impossible to wrap. Sure, you could just get a box from the customer service counter, but it's the holidays and lines are long and we're tired. Prank … [Link]

Mashable » If you're thinking about changing careers, you'll want to enroll in this course

Saturday 16 December 19:15:54 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Ever get that unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach once Sunday night hits? Relax, you've come to the right place. Let's make one thing very clear: It's never too late to try something new. If you're a goal-oriented person who wants to … [Link]

Mashable » Want to write a novel? This mobile-friendly writing app is on sale for less than $20.

Saturday 16 December 19:06:17 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. If the next Great American Novel is strewn upon your desk in stacks of papers and Post-It notes marked up with half-legible scribbles, meet your saving grace: Storyist for Mac. SEE ALSO: Prep for National Novel Writing month with these online writing courses This … [Link]

Mashable » Apple enthusiasts need this dock that will charge all of the things

Saturday 16 December 18:56:29 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. These days, everyone and their mother has an Apple Watch. If you don't have one now, spoiler alert: there's a good chance you'll get one as a gift. With your bedside outlet already overloaded with your smartphone, tablet, and laptop chargers, another device to … [Link]

Mashable » This speaker makes listening to music even more wireless than Bluetooth

Saturday 16 December 18:45:26 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Listening to music with an aux cable is so 2000s, and using Bluetooth can get cumbersome when a bunch of people want to control the playlist. MIA Sound wants to deliver a new kind of wireless speaker to make blasting your music more seamless.  … [Link]

Mashable » Kid-friendly gadgets and app-enabled toys that make great gifts

Saturday 16 December 18:34:53 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Tech toys are always a big gift around the holidays, and as our world becomes more and more connected, new technology trickles down to our kids who absorb it faster than we ever will. SEE ALSO: Gift ideas for kids: STEM toys that are … [Link]

Slashdot » China Will Spend $3.3 Billion to Research Molten Salt Nuclear-Powered Drones

Saturday 16 December 18:34:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader WindBourne tipped us off to some news from The South China Morning Post: China is to spend 22 billion yuan (US$3.3 billion) trying to perfect a form of technology largely discarded in the cold war which could produce a safer but more powerful form of nuclear energy. The cash is to develop two "molten salt" reactors in … [Link]

Mashable » Get gift ideas for your in-laws so you don't have to get them a gift card again

Saturday 16 December 18:11:14 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJust to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Ah, the in-laws: whether you love them or just tolerate them, the easiest way to get on their good side is holiday gift that you actually put thought into. Give them something more exciting than a gift card this year —check out our list … [Link]

Mashable » Hillary Clinton is a fan of 'SNL' star Pete Davidson's Hillary Clinton tattoo

Saturday 16 December 18:08:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIf you get a tattoo of a person you admire, pretty much the best case scenario is that they not only notice your tattoo, but like itSaturday Night Live's Pete Davidson is living that dream. The comedian posted a photo of his new Hillary Clinton tattoo to Instagram on Friday alongside a very nice caption.  "Wanted to get @hillaryclinton a Christmas … [Link]

Mashable » On a magical night 22 years ago, Jason Priestley punched Harvey Weinstein in the face

Saturday 16 December 18:05:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookLet’s give it up for Jason Priestley, the unlikeliest hero man of 2017. The Beverly Hills 90210 heartthrob took to Twitter on Friday with a story about the time he punched disgraced Hollywood power player Harvey Weinstein in the face. It was actor Tara Strong who first hinted at the story, in a response to the revelation that Weinstein had blacklisted … [Link]

Slashdot » NASA Uses Its First Recycled SpaceX Rocket For a Re-Supply Mission

Saturday 16 December 17:34:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes the New York Post: SpaceX racked up another first on Friday, launching a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on a grocery run for NASA. The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off with a just-in-time-for-Christmas delivery for the International Space Station, taking flight again after a six-month turnaround. On board was a Dragon supply ship, also a … [Link]

Mashable » 11 Easy DIY holiday gifts your family will actually like

Saturday 16 December 17:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe holidays are already among us and if you're still scrambling for the perfect holiday present for your family, you're probably shit out of luck, my friend.  But have no fear. It's time to finally skip those long lines and those pesky overdraft fees with a few simple DIY holiday gifts your family will actually enjoy.  SEE ALSO: D.I.Y. these 'Stranger … [Link]

Mashable » 'The Last Jedi' doesn’t have nearly enough porg and that’s probably for the best

Saturday 16 December 17:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook Spoiler alert: This post contains light spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. For months now, it's been impossible to open Twitter or turn on the TV without running into a porg. You know exactly what we're talking about, even if you haven't seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet. They're those adorable aquatic bird aliens that look kind of … [Link]

Mashable » The most insane White House presser moments of 2017

Saturday 16 December 17:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookPrior to 2017, my knowledge of White House press briefings came entirely from The West Wing. I thought fictional press secretary CJ Cregg's collegial relationship with the White House press corps was typical. Oh how wrong I was — at least for the Trump administration.  A hostile relationship between the press and the White House emerged as soon as Sean Spicer … [Link]

Mashable » Alyssa Milano slams Matt Damon for his misguided comments on sexual misconduct

Saturday 16 December 16:57:41 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAlyssa Milano is holding Matt Damon accountable. On Friday, the actress and activist tweeted a scathing open letter to Damon after his series of misguided-at-best comments on sexual misconduct in Hollywood.  During an interview with Peter Travers, Damon appeared to worry a little too much about the "culture of outrage" around men who abuse their power — not on the damaged … [Link]

Mashable » American Airlines tried to charge a mother $150 for traveling with breast milk

Saturday 16 December 16:55:48 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHow is it that airlines keep screwing up simple things like company policy and established TSA rules? The latest travel blunder belongs to American Airlines. When Sara showed up with her husband and young son for their flight from Boston to Arizona, the gate attendant stopped them for having too many bags and tried to charge them a $150 fee to … [Link]

Slashdot » 'The Gawker Foundation' is Crowdfunding a Bid To Re-Launch

Saturday 16 December 16:34:00 UTC 2017

"Gawker may soon return from the dead," reports TechCrunch. While Univision acquired most of Gawker Media's sites last year (and renamed them as the Gizmodo Media Group), the deal didn't include Gawker itself. In fact, BuzzFeed reported last month that a bankruptcy administrator has not been able to find a buyer for the Gawker site, and that lawyers for Peter … [Link]

Mashable » Rudolph is the only good reindeer

Saturday 16 December 16:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookYou know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen … … and they're all trash. Rudolph, the red-nosed prince of Christmas, is the only good reindeer. If you have another favorite reindeer, it's time to switch allegiances and go all in for Rudolph. SEE ALSO: Christmas tree eyebrows are so bad, they're incredible The … [Link]

Slashdot » Here's the Letter Alleging Uber Spied on Individuals For Competitive Intelligence

Saturday 16 December 15:30:00 UTC 2017

The judge in the $1.9 billion civil suit between Google-parent company Alphabet's self-driving car unit Waymo and Uber released the letter of a disgruntled former employee — former Uber security officer Richard Jacobs — on Friday, laying bare a number of explosive allegations against the ride-hailing company that include corporate espionage, unlawful surveillance, illegal wiretapping, bribery of foreign officials, and … [Link]

Mashable » Watch Mark Hamill 'use the Force', Original Trilogy style

Saturday 16 December 15:18:45 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook A long time ago, in a galaxy without CGI, George Lucas and company made the original Star Wars trilogy. And as Mark Hamill described on The Graham Norton Show this week, the films' special effects showed some real ingenuity. He used a scene from The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke Skywalker used the Force to retrieve his lightsaber as … [Link]

Mashable » The new Star Wars soundtrack is as bumpin' as ever

Saturday 16 December 15:17:49 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWelcome to the latest in Mashable's "Club Bangers" series, in which we (I) break down extremely lit albums (film and television scores) to bring you the greatest hits of the big and small screens. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the best-reviewed Star Wars movies to date, currently captivating fans around the world with its release. On the same … [Link]

Mashable » A totally doable, not so intimidating self-care survival guide to 2018

Saturday 16 December 15:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookEvery editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism. After an October week from hell — when allegations against Harvey Weinstein first began to unravel, Donald Trump threatened to take aid away from Puerto Rico, women boycotted Twitter, and historic wildfires destroyed California — I … [Link]

Mashable » Transform your tub into an emergency water storage

Saturday 16 December 14:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe waterBOB fits in your tub and can hold up to 100 gallons of water to be used in emergencies where water is contaminated. Read more…More about Mashable Video, Water, Hurricane, Natural Disaster, and Real Time [Link]

Mashable » Holiday party ideas to encourage your friends to choose yours

Saturday 16 December 14:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookTis the season of holiday parties, with the main question on everyone's minds being, “whose party should I choose tonight?? God I’m so POPULAR!”  SEE ALSO: Practical gift ideas for telling your son it's time to move out If you’re one of the brave souls hosting one of these holiday parties this year, you'll need to be a step above the … [Link]

Slashdot » An Anonymous Bitcoin Millionaire Is Donating Their Fortune To Charities

Saturday 16 December 13:00:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Tis the season for giving, and one Bitcoin investor claims to be giving away the majority of their cryptocurrency holdings after experiencing an incredible year. The unnamed donor has set up a fund to hand out $86 million worth of Bitcoin to various charities, and they've already started listing the donations and … [Link]

Slashdot » Don't Keep Cellphones Next To Your Body, California Health Department Warns

Saturday 16 December 10:00:00 UTC 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. They are asking people to decrease their use of these devices and suggest keeping your distance when possible. TechCrunch reports: The warning comes after findings were offered up this week from a 2009 department document, which was published after an order from … [Link]

Slashdot » Chrome 64 Beta Adds Sitewide Audio Muting, Pop-Up Blocker, Windows 10 HDR Video

Saturday 16 December 7:00:00 UTC 2017

Chrome 64 is now in beta and it has several new features over version 63. In addition to a stronger pop-up blocker and support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode, Chrome 64 features sitewide audio muting to block sound when navigating to other pages within a site. 9to5Google reports: An improved pop-up blocker in Chrome … [Link]

New Scientist – News » Hijacked sperm carry chemo drugs to cervical cancer cells

Saturday 16 December 3:32:21 UTC 2017

There’s a new use for sperm – delivering cancer drugs to tumours of the female reproductive tract. This targeted approach may avoid the side effects of chemo [Link]

New Scientist – News » Does losing net neutrality really mean the end of the internet?

Saturday 16 December 3:32:20 UTC 2017

Hyperbole and misinformation followed the US decision to end net neutrality. It's important to know what's really at stake, says Aaron Mak [Link]

Slashdot » The Science That's Never Been Cited

Saturday 16 December 3:30:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Nature: One widely repeated estimate, reported in a controversial article in Science in 1990, suggests that more than half of all academic articles remain uncited five years after their publication. Scientists genuinely fret about this issue, says Jevin West, an information scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle who studies large-scale patterns … [Link]

Mashable » Hoo-boy! This damning Uber letter is a wild ride

Saturday 16 December 3:07:37 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe disasters that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left in his wake at his popular ride-hailing app company was one of this year's biggest tech industry stories. Now, as we wrap up the year, Uber (through a court case) has gifted us a letter detailing many of the company's alleged wrongdoings and spy tactics.  The so-called Jacobs letter was written by … [Link]

Mashable » 7 words the CDC is reportedly banned from using include 'transgender' and 'science-based'

Saturday 16 December 2:46:10 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHere are the words Donald Trump's White House has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from including in documents being prepared for next year's budget, according to an unnamed CDC analyst who talked to the Washington Post:  vulnerable entitlement diversity  transgender  fetus evidence-based science-based The analyst learned of the directive at a "meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials," the … [Link]

Mashable » Mario Batali's sexual misconduct apology came with a cinnamon roll recipe

Saturday 16 December 1:05:07 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHere’s how not to apologize for years of sexual misconduct.  People who subscribe to Mario Batali's email newsletter said they received a questionable apology that started off normal enough.  SEE ALSO: Mario Batali stepping down from his business after sexual misconduct accusations "As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior," … [Link]

Mashable » The White House website redesign makes it — surprise! — even less transparent

Saturday 16 December 0:45:55 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe White House revamped its website Friday, and its new look proves it's possible for the Trump administration to make things even more opaque. The White House website is where the public comes to watch live videos of the president and press briefings, as well as access media statements and position papers. But the new design makes all that difficult to … [Link]

Slashdot » Mozilla Slipped a 'Mr. Robot'-Promo Plugin Into Firefox and Users Are Pissed

Saturday 16 December 0:45:00 UTC 2017

MarcAuslander shares a report from Gizmodo: Mozilla sneaked a browser plugin that promotes Mr. Robot into Firefox — and managed to piss off a bunch of its privacy-conscious users in the process. The extension, called Looking Glass, is intended to promote an augmented reality game to "further your immersion into the Mr. Robot universe," according to Mozilla. It was automatically … [Link]

Slashdot » Google Is Shutting Down Project Tango

Saturday 16 December 0:03:00 UTC 2017

Google announced that it is ending support for Project Tango, the company's first attempt to bring a solid augmented-reality experience to the average user. The project used an array of cameras and sensors to accurately map 3D areas, causing the devices support Tango to be relatively large and expensive. Android Police reports: The first Tango device put into production was … [Link]


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