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 » CMU Researchers Reveal How Their AI Beat The World's Top Poker Players

Sunday 24 December 23:39:00 UTC 2017

2017 began with an AI named "Libratus" defeating four of the world's best poker players. Now the AI's creators reveal how exactly they did it. An anonymous reader quotes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: First, the AI made the game easier to understand. There are 10**161 potential outcomes in the game of poker — that's a one followed by 161 zeros, potential … [Link]

Mashable » Rian Johnson says Adam Driver had no problem with shirtless 'Last Jedi' scene, duh

Sunday 24 December 22:51:02 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSlight spoiler alert for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adam Driver agrees with you that he’s looking good in The Last Jedi – at least, according to Rian Johnson. People caught up with the Star Wars: The Last Jedi director to ask how the much-buzzed-about beefcake moment came about. “Adam looks so damn good because he’d been training hardcore for the … [Link]

Slashdot » More Unix Tools Coming To Windows 10

Sunday 24 December 22:39:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader Billly Gates brings news about beta 4 of Redstone (the Spring version of Windows 10's Creators Update for 2018): – Beta 4 of Redstone aka Build 17063 includes BSD utilities bsdtar and curl from the command prompt and Unix sockets (AF_Unix). These are also rumored to be part of a future version of Windows Server. – WSL … [Link]

Slashdot » Wired Publishes Fake Christmas Letter By Elon Musk

Sunday 24 December 21:39:00 UTC 2017

Wired's transportation editor just published what he's calling "Elon Musk's Christmas letter" touting the accomplishments of Musk's "family" of companies, "thanks to an anonymous tipster." (Though the story's photo caption suspiciously calls it "an absolutely real and totally not made up holiday message," and at the very bottom of the piece it's tagged as "satire" — a word which also … [Link]

Mashable » Steven Mnuchin got a present much worse than coal for Christmas this year

Sunday 24 December 21:02:25 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin got an early Christmas present on Saturday when a mysterious package addressed to him was found near his Bel-Air home late Saturday night. Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad was called to Mnuchin's neighborhood and, according to Associated Press, the package turned out to contain horse manure. SEE ALSO: Steve Mnuchin and his wife held a sheet … [Link]

Slashdot » Some Telcos and ISPs are Frustrating IPv6 Adoption

Sunday 24 December 20:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: "There are indications that telecommunications operators and traditional ISPs in the country are frustrating adoption of Internet Protocol version six (IPv6) by other networks," reports Nigeria's Guardian newspaper, citing Nigeria CommunicationsWeek. The magazine found 32 networks with IPv6 addresses — but only three which are using them. And the newspaper cites "a network engineer with a … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Big Data and Analytics

Sunday 24 December 19:58:22 UTC 2017

This list of interesting APIs from 2017 focuses on Big Data and Analytics. [Link]

Slashdot » 36,744 People Are Watching Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan Sit Motionless With A Yule Log

Sunday 24 December 19:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Kotaku: He's been this way for over an hour, and as word's gotten out the audience has swelled to over 30,000… The Twitch stream opened a couple hours ago on an empty chair. A few minutes later Kaplan walked in and sat down. He's been there ever since, sometimes crossing his legs, sometimes uncrossing them, and … [Link]

Mashable » Jennifer Lawrence got Kris Jenner the perfect Christmas present

Sunday 24 December 19:38:38 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhat in the world do you get the matriarch that rules the Kardashian family and subsequently, many of our lives?  Somehow Jennifer Lawrence knew exactly what to get Kris Jenner, the mother who has it all. The two, who are apparently best friends, exchanged Christmas gifts and well, Lawrence got Jenner something she definitely doesn't already have. SEE ALSO: Jennifer Lawrence … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Thousands of mystery lifeforms to be revealed

Sunday 24 December 19:22:32 UTC 2017

Bacteria and other microbes are all around us but we only know about 1 per cent of them. That is set to change, thanks to a technique called metagenomics [Link]

Mashable » Jessica Chastain speaks up about lack of diversity within female-led films of Hollywood

Sunday 24 December 18:42:36 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe Los Angeles Times' magazine Envelope got into a bit of trouble with the internet and film fans last week.  Actresses Jessica Chastain, Annette Bening, Margot Robbie, Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan, and Kate Winslet donned the cover of the issue, which was exploring 'a shift in focus' on how stories are being told in film—but the image and subsequent conversation included … [Link]

Slashdot » How Harvard Teaches CS Students How To Code

Sunday 24 December 18:39:00 UTC 2017

Harvard computer science professor David J. Malan "is pretty amazing!" says long-time education-watcher theodp. And he's sharing a link to the online version of Malan's famous CS50 class, "if you can't pony up the estimated $63,025-a-year sticker price to take 'the quintessential Harvard (and Yale!) course' on campus." KQED's education site "MindShift" reports: Malan's class attracts students who have never … [Link]

Mashable » Space Station astronauts watched 'The Last Jedi' from orbit 240 miles above Earth

Sunday 24 December 17:58:22 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAstronauts aboard the International Space Station watched Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi while in orbit about 240 miles above Earth on Saturday.  A picture posted to Twitter from NASA astronaut Mar. T. Vande Hei shows five of the six current occupants of the station gathered around a screen, watching what appears to be a scene from the latest addition … [Link]

Slashdot » Project Maven Brings AI To the Fight Against ISIS

Sunday 24 December 17:34:00 UTC 2017

Dog of the South writes: When the Pentagon — famous for its painful procurement process and its penchant for producing tech systems that are obsolete before they're fielded — decided to develop and deploy artificial intelligence to a combat zone within just six months, the idea sounded like a failure waiting to happen. Remarkably, Project Maven has met its goals … [Link]

Mashable » 4 questions the internet answered in 2017

Sunday 24 December 17:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThough 2017 will leave us with plenty of unanswered questions, let's take a moment to reflect on a few the internet answered this year. Namely: 1. Can Twitter win you a year's supply of chicken nuggets? Teenager Carter Wilkerson of Nevada sought to find out when he fired off a tweet in late 2016 asking fast-food chain Wendy's how many retweets … [Link]

Mashable » Become a bona fide SEO pro with this $10 online course

Sunday 24 December 17:10:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHeads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. By now, most people have heard the the stat that some 75% of people never venture beyond the first page of Google search results. If you haven't heard that before, just think … [Link]

Slashdot » Days Before Christmas, Theranos Secures $100 Million in New Funding

Sunday 24 December 16:34:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Fortune: Call it a Christmas miracle — albeit of a rather perverse sort. Theranos, the digraced medical-technology startup that infamously inflated the capabilities of its devices, has secured $100 million in new funding in the form of a loan. The loan, reported by the Wall Street Journal, will come from Fortress Investment Group. Fortress, whose other … [Link]

Mashable » Makers of popular live trivia app HQ just gave Android users an early Christmas present

Sunday 24 December 16:31:28 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHQ, the addictive live trivia app, is finally coming to Android. No, really, it is. Well, it's at least about to come to Android.  The makers of HQ, the live trivia app that has drawn hundreds of thousands of users to log on to win cash prizes every day at 3 and 9 p.m. ET, opened the Android app for pre-registration … [Link]

Mashable » Thomas Fire becomes largest blaze in California history, during state's worst fire year

Sunday 24 December 15:35:33 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookCalifornia’s Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties has eclipsed the 2003 Cedar Fire as the largest wildfire in Golden State history, at a whopping 273,400 acres. This puts the blaze's burned area as larger than New York City, and nearly the equivalent of the sprawling city of Los Angeles.  The fire has destroyed 1,063 structures and damaged 280 more. … [Link]

Slashdot » 12 Days In Xinjiang – China's Surveillance State

Sunday 24 December 15:34:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader b0s0z0ku writes: China has turned Xinjiang, the Northwestern part of the country surrounding Urumqi, into one of the most advanced surveillance states in the world. Officially, the purpose is to prevent terrorism and control resistance to the government in one of the few parts of China where ethnic Chinese are a minority. From routine use of facial … [Link]

Mashable » A bittersweet look back at Obama White House holiday decorations

Sunday 24 December 15:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIf the holidays don't feel right this year, it might have something to do with the White House.  A few weeks ago we were gifted with Melania Trump's White House holiday decorations, but something was missing… The Obamas. SEE ALSO: MSNBC trolls Donald Trump with Obama 'Merry Christmas' montage Every year we anticipated how the first family, specifically Queen Michelle Obama, … [Link]

Mashable » These are the best Christmas episodes to watch this weekend

Sunday 24 December 14:51:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookNo holiday this century would be complete without a carefully curated list of television episodes. Because there is literally more TV than is humanly survivable, we limited our list to eight personal fave picks and a relative mix of old and new that complement each other. Just don't overthink it – it's Christmas! Also – not an episode so it doesn't … [Link]

Slashdot » FSF Adds PureOS To List of Endorsed GNU/Linux Distributions

Sunday 24 December 14:34:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader donaldrobertson writes: The Free Software Foundation on Thursday announced PureOS as an endorsed GNU/Linux distro. PureOS is an operating system focused on privacy, security and ease of use. Endorsement means the system meets the FSF's Free System Distribution Guidelines by providing and promoting only free software, with a dedication to making sure the system always remains free. … [Link]

Mashable » Now you know what Control Center's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons really do

Sunday 24 December 13:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWhen Apple released iOS 11 with a redesigned Control Center in September, they also quietly made a change to how the shortcut buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth worked. On iOS 10 and earlier, tapping them turned these wireless connections completely on and off. But on iOS 11, it merely disconnected your devices temporarily, while still allowing features like AirPlay and AirDrop … [Link]

Mashable » Make this self-flying camera drone your personal photographer

Sunday 24 December 13:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHeads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Designating a self-flying drone as your personal 4K photographer? Yep, we live in the future. The Hover Camera Passport drone, which is on sale for $349.99 a limited time, uses face-detection technology … [Link]

Slashdot » Republican's 'Net Neutrality' Proposal Called 'Bait and Switch'

Sunday 24 December 12:34:00 UTC 2017

Remember that net neutrality legislation introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)? TechCrunch is calling it "half-hearted" — and suspect. It's not going to happen, it wouldn't help if it did and Blackburn isn't someone you want writing this kind of legislation. Among other things, she thinks it's the ISPs' job to police content, and voted to kill the Broadband Privacy … [Link]

Slashdot » Could 2018 Be The Year of the Linux Desktop?

Sunday 24 December 8:29:00 UTC 2017

Suren Enfiajyan writes: Red Hat worker and GNOME blogger Christian F.K. Schaller wrote why GNU/Linux failed to become a mainstream desktop OS… "My thesis is that there really isn't one reason, but rather a range of issues that all have contributed to holding the Linux Desktop back from reaching a bigger market. Also to put this into context, success here … [Link]

Slashdot » Researchers Ask: Are People Better Off Than 50 Years Ago?

Sunday 24 December 5:24:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader gollum123 quotes MarketWatch: Are you doing better than the previous generation? The Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., asked nearly 43,000 people in 38 countries around the globe that question this past spring. Residents in 20 countries said people like them were better off than they were 50 years ago. In Vietnam, 88% … [Link]

Mashable » Miss America CEO resigns after sexist, offensive emails surface

Sunday 24 December 2:58:02 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThere he goes, Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell. Haskell had been suspended Friday after a HuffPost story detailed his email correspondence over the years leading the beauty pageant. His leaked emails included many sexist, offensive comments about contestants and winners. SEE ALSO: People are angry over Miss America CEO's alleged sexist and fat-shaming emails By Saturday afternoon he had resigned.  … [Link]

Slashdot » Fleeing Google's Apps and iOS, Mandrake Linux Creator Launches 'eelo' Project

Sunday 24 December 2:19:00 UTC 2017

Open-source veteran Gaël Duval created Mandrake Linux in 1998. But in a new essay, he writes that "I realized that I had become lazy. Not only wasn't I using Linux anymore as my main operating system, but I was using a proprietary OS on my smartphone. And I was using Google more and more." Long-time Slashdot reader nuand999 writes: He's … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Application Development and DevOps

Sunday 24 December 0:28:35 UTC 2017

Developers looking to make their life easier can turn to ProgrammableWeb's directory and discover plenty of tools for building, deploying and monitoring Applications. [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017

Sunday 24 December 0:27:46 UTC 2017

ProgrammableWeb is a leading source of news, information, and keeper of the largest directory of Internet-based application programming interfaces (APIs). So as the year 2017 comes to a close, we are the natural choice to reflect on the surging API Economy of the past year, and the APIs that peaked the interest of developers, providers, readers, and our own researchers. … [Link]

Slashdot » Ask Slashdot: How Do You Avoid 'Information Overload'

Sunday 24 December 0:14:00 UTC 2017

As we approach a holiday weekend and a brand new year, do we need to start carving out more time away from the internet? "I'm convinced the Internet (as in Slashdot) is making many people more lonely (and duller), not better," writes long-time Slashdot reader shanen: I think the best description of the problem I've read is The Shallows: What … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Opioids will kill tens of thousands more people

Sunday 24 December 0:00:00 UTC 2017

As the prescription painkiller crisis worsens in the US, many more are expected to die as people turn to drugs more powerful than heroin [Link]


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