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.

Mashable » Man strums the 'Star Wars' theme song with an innovative prosthetic hand

Monday 25 December 23:10:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookJason Barnes has used robotic prosthetics before, but this is the first time he has been able to move each finger independently and even play the piano again.  Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology developed the unique robotic arm using ultrasound sensors that allow amputees to control each prosthetic finger using muscles in their residual limbs. Read more…More about … [Link]

Slashdot » UK Companies Facing Cyber Security Staff Shortage

Monday 25 December 23:01:00 UTC 2017

Bruce66423 writes: According to a recent survey of recruitment agencies, 81% expect a rise in demand for digital security staff, but only 16% saw that the demand would be met." Resorting to 'neuro-diversity' […] "We were originally plucking people from IT and bolting skills on but we changed our entire recruitment policy including targeting different kinds of people," said Rob … [Link]

Mashable » Edward Snowden's new app turns your old Android device into a stealthy security monitor

Monday 25 December 22:29:45 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIf you happen to have an old Android device lying around and a reason to worry about people messing with your business, Edward Snowden has an app for that. Haven is an open-source project that Snowden developed in conjunction with Freedom of the Press Foundation and Guardian Project. You can find directions and links for downloading and installing it on the … [Link]

Mashable » 'Die Hard' screenwriter confirms that it is, in fact, a Christmas movie, as if there was ever any doubt

Monday 25 December 22:26:05 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookYou can finally settle that never-ending debate around your Christmas dinner table, once and for all: Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie.  Or at least that's what the classic action movie's writer says.  SEE ALSO: Let the annual 'Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?' debate begin When CNN's Jake Tapper asked screenwriter Steven E. de Souza about it on Twitter, … [Link]

Mashable » These NASA-inspired knives will help you become an expert chef

Monday 25 December 22:06:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHabitat Kitchen Knives are made with an alloy tested by NASA that boasts double the strength of titanium. Read more…More about Lifestyle, Mashable Video, Kitchenware, Cooking, and Kitchen Knife [Link]

Slashdot » Estimates of Bitcoin's Soaring Energy Use Are Likely Overstating the Electric Power Required To Mine the Cryptocurrency

Monday 25 December 22:00:00 UTC 2017

From a report: The computer process that generates each coin is said to be on pace to require more electricity than the United States consumes in a year. This bitcoin "mining" allegedly consumes more power than most countries use each year, and its electricity usage is roughly equivalent to Bulgaria's consumption. But here's another thing you might want to know: … [Link]

Slashdot » Established Players in Tech Industry Are Displaced By New Technologies and Companies Often When They Are Operating At Their Peak

Monday 25 December 21:01:00 UTC 2017

In a column, Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, cites various examples from the past to suggest that it is often when incumbents in technology space have established market dominance that new startups rise and displace them: While the tech incumbents are clearly generating massive revenue and profits, nearly all of this comes from products developed … [Link]

Slashdot » Russia's Putin Calls For Web Activities of Some Firms To Be Monitored

Monday 25 December 20:01:00 UTC 2017

President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the Russian authorities should monitor the activity of "some companies" on social media during next year's presidential election and assess the extent of their involvement in domestic politics. From a report: He did not name the companies or say if he was concerned about the activities of foreign or local firms, but Russia has … [Link]

Slashdot » The Majority of Americans Prefer To Be Greeted With 'Merry Christmas' Over 'Happy Holidays', a Poll Finds

Monday 25 December 19:40:00 UTC 2017

"Merry Christmas" is the preferred greeting of a strong majority of Americans. A survey carried in conjunction by news outlet Axios and SurveyMonkey found that 65 percent of the participants wish to be greeted with "Merry Christmas," while 28% prefer "Happy Holidays." Share on Google+ Read more of this story at Slashdot. [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Business and Productivity

Monday 25 December 19:09:32 UTC 2017

This section of the most interesting APIs of 2017 looks at the Business, eCommerce and Productivity categories. [Link]

Slashdot » How Many Books Will You Read in a Lifetime? Around 4600, If You Read Fast

Monday 25 December 19:05:00 UTC 2017

I once sneered at lifetime reading plans. Two decades later, I'm more aware that reading time, like all time, is precious, writes journalist Nilanjana Roy. From her column on the Financial Times (might be paywalled), shared by a reader: As the new year approaches, I sort my bookshelves and reboot my lifetime reading plan. Like a good road map, the … [Link]

Mashable » Bitcoin's wild 2017 ride continues with a Christmas Day rebound after a record slide

Monday 25 December 18:58:54 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookSlow your roll, bitcoin. The finicky cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in overall value throughout 2017, but its bumpy December continued in the run-up to Christmas. After posting an all-time high of $19,796 per bitcoin on Dec. 17, the price fell to $11,590 on Dec. 22, according to Coinbase data). SEE ALSO: You know who's not loving Bitcoin's rise? Speed freaks. It was … [Link]

Mashable » The International Space Station's crew is having a very merry Christmas

Monday 25 December 18:25:21 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook‘Twas Christmas Day and all over the place,People were celebrating, even in space.The halls were all decked, the stockings were hung,And for all that we know, even carols were sung. Two-forty miles up, above Santa's sleigh,Was the International Space Station's own holiday.Gifts came on a rocket that was launched up from Earth,Bringing cosmonauts and astronauts plenty of mirth. On that zero-g … [Link]

Slashdot » UFO Existence 'Proven Beyond Reasonable Doubt', Says Former Head of Pentagon Alien Program

Monday 25 December 18:07:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader shares a Newsweek report: The existence of UFOs had been "proved beyond reasonable doubt," according the head of the secret Pentagon program that analyzed the mysterious aircrafts. In an interview with British broadsheet The Telegraph published on Saturday, Luis Elizondo told the newspaper of the sightings, "In my opinion, if this was a court of law, we … [Link]

Mashable » A roundup of animal rescues that brought us to tears

Monday 25 December 18:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThese animal rescue videos helped restore out faith in humanity. Read more…More about Animals, Mashable Video, Real People, Rescue, and Dog [Link]

Slashdot » Man Threatened Company With Cyber Attack To Fire Employee and Hire Him Instead

Monday 25 December 17:01:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: A North Carolina judge sentenced a Washington man this week to 37 months in prison for threatening a company with attacks unless they fire one of their employees and hire him instead. According to court documents obtained by Bleeping Computer, on April 18, 2016, Todd Michael Gori sent an email to TSI Healthcare, a healthcare software … [Link]

Slashdot » Slashdot Asks: What Are Some Books, Movies, Documentaries and Shows From This Year That You Liked and Recommend To Others?

Monday 25 December 16:05:00 UTC 2017

As we prepare to end the year, several readers have suggested we asked one another about the things we liked. We encourage everyone to participate. Share on Google+ Read more of this story at Slashdot. [Link]

Mashable » Donald Trump attended Midnight Mass for Christmas and heard all about the power of words

Monday 25 December 15:56:12 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookDo you think the message landed? As Donald and Melania Trump sat for Midnight Mass in the wee morning hours of Christmas Day, the presiding reverend at one point seemed to speak directly to the Twitter-loving 45th president. It happened during the homily, which focused on the power of words. SEE ALSO: Christmas came early for those who are extra obsessed … [Link]

Mashable » Rare white Christmas in Seattle, Portland as 'thundersnow' hits Boston

Monday 25 December 15:41:08 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookPeople around the U.S. are waking up to a white Christmas.  Seattle and Portland — two cities that aren't exactly known for heavy snowfall this time of year — are both seeing a fair bit of snow on Monday.  Large swaths of the Midwest and Northeast also woke up to plenty of the white stuff coating lawns, trees, and cars.  SEE … [Link]

Slashdot » Opera 50 Web Browser Will Offer Anti-Bitcoin Cryptocurrency Mining Feature

Monday 25 December 15:01:00 UTC 2017

BrianFagioli writes: The upcoming version 50 of the Opera web browser will offer an integrated anti-Bitcoin mining feature. Besides Bitcoin, it will also block the mining of other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Ethereum. If you aren't aware, some websites are hijacking user computers to mine for cryptocurrencies. This is not only a potential violation of trust, but it can … [Link]

Mashable » Finding comfort in games after the terrible, horrible, no-good year of 2017

Monday 25 December 15:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter Facebook2017, with its natural disasters, human disasters, and all around horrible undercurrent that continuously barraged us with bad news and situations that sometimes seemed too difficult to bear, was a real fuckin' doozy. In times like these, the world becomes a bit too difficult to deal with 24/7, and we need to slip away into something that can grab our attention, … [Link]

Slashdot » Should Regulators Force Facebook To Ship a 'Start Over' Button For Users?

Monday 25 December 14:01:00 UTC 2017

Hunter Walk: I don't really understand most of the proposals to "regulate" Facebook. There are some concrete proposals on the table regarding political ads and updating antitrust for the data age, but other punditry is largely consumer advocacy kabuki. For example, blunting the data Facebook can use to target ads or tune newsfeed hurts the user experience, and there's really … [Link]

Mashable » George Michael's family shares touching message for everyone missing him on Christmas

Monday 25 December 13:24:19 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt’s hard to believe that it's been a year since pop star George Michael passed away. He will forever be tied to Christmas, as the mastermind behind Wham! tune "Last Christmas" passed away on Christmas Day 2016. Michael will also be forever remembered for his many acts of kindness, the details of which didn't emerge until after his death at age … [Link]

Mashable » This $9 device can clean up car odors

Monday 25 December 13:00:00 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. Quick, stick your head in your car. What do you smell? If your answer includes sweat, smoke, feet, your dog’s farts, or that cheeseburger and fries you had back in 2013, it’s … [Link]

Mashable » Learn how to build the iOS app you've been dreaming about

Monday 25 December 13:00:00 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. Have you ever had a brilliant idea for an app and wondered how hard it might be to actually build it yourself? Learn how to build the app of your dreams with … [Link]

Mashable » All Lil Jon wants for Christmas is to become the next CEO of Papa John's Pizza

Monday 25 December 12:12:28 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThere’s one thing that might be able to save Papa John's Pizza after the company saw its founder and CEO John Schnatter stepping down from his role after his comments disparaging the NFL protests. It's Lil Jon.  Yep, you read that right.  The rapper, known for his boisterous adlibs, has officially placed his name in an unofficial Twitter bid to become … [Link]

Mashable » Julian Assange's Twitter account is back, but the mystery remains

Monday 25 December 11:50:24 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookUPDATED Dec. 25, 2017, 11:04 a.m. ET It's back now. With little fanfare and zero explanation, Julian Assange's Twitter account reappeared on Monday morning. It's a Christmas something-or-other. The WikiLeaks founder has tweeted two times since his account came back online, though neither one addresses the reason for the disappearance. One tweet features a cartoon of Santa Claus adding WikiLeaks to … [Link]

Slashdot » NASA Begins Planning For An Interstellar Mission In 2069

Monday 25 December 11:30:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader cold fjord writes: During the 2017 Geophysical Union Conference, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed that they are planning an interstellar exploration mission for the year 2069. The goal is to send a probe to Alpha Centauri, some 4.3 light years away. NASA is working on technology to allow a spacecraft to reach 10% of the … [Link]

Mashable » Kumail Nanjiani suggests gathering the family around PornHub to enjoy 'The Big Sick' this holiday season

Monday 25 December 11:01:09 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookNothing like a feel-good film to watch together as a family this holiday season, huh? SEE ALSO: Let the annual 'Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?' debate begin The Big Sick actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani plugged his film on Twitter as being a great way to spend time with your family instead of making awkward conversation during the holiday season. … [Link]

Mashable » 17 huge moments that defined the royal family in 2017

Monday 25 December 9:30:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt’s been QUITE the year for the royal family. There's been no end of birthdays, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, and all kinds of other festivities.  SEE ALSO: Why Prince Harry and Prince William are truly the millennial royals Here are 17 major moments that defined one helluva year for the royals.  1. Princess Diana's letters confirmed what we already knew This year … [Link]

Slashdot » Tesla's Newest Holiday Update Includes an Easter Egg: 'Santa Mode'

Monday 25 December 8:30:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: Dive into the Easter egg section on your EV and you'll discover a reindeer button that invokes a Santa Mode. To say it brings a Christmas vibe to your car would be an understatement. It turns your car into Santa's sleigh on the dash display (and other cars into reindeer), but that's really just the … [Link]

Slashdot » DMCA Exemption Sought to Save 'Abandoned' Online Games

Monday 25 December 5:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes TechSpot: Every three years the US Copyright Office reviews and renews the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions at which time it considers exemptions to the law. It is currently looking at a proposal for allowing museums, libraries and archives to circumvent the DRM on abandoned online games such as FIFA World Cup, Nascar and The Sims. The proposal … [Link]

Slashdot » Should Plant-Based Meat Replace Beef Completely?

Monday 25 December 2:39:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader tcd004 writes: Is beef still "what's for dinner?" Plant-based meat substitute startups say they could provide enough protein to feed the world using only 2% of the land on Earth, dramatically reducing the resources required to create beef products. And adopting plant-based burgers could help reduce heart disease, protect water resources, and stop deforestation. But Beef producers … [Link]

Slashdot » Resuming Its Annual PR Mission, NORAD Tracks Santa Claus

Monday 25 December 0:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes CNN: The U.S. military command that is charged with protecting the airspace for North America is on alert this Christmas weekend for a man with a white beard and a red suit. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is tracking a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer around the world as it heads for U.S. airspace … [Link]

Archive

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