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 » How A Civilian Drone Crashed Into the US Army's Helicopter

Saturday 30 December 23:09:00 UTC 2017

"In September, Slashdot reported on an in-flight collision between an Army UA60 helicopter and a hobby drone over Staten Island," writes Slashdot reader ElizabethGreene. "The NTSB has released its final report on the incident, blaming the drone pilot." Ars Technica reports: After waiting 30 minutes, [drone-owner] Tantashov assumed there had been a mechanical malfunction and that his drone had fallen … [Link]

Slashdot » Louisana Police Bust an Infamous Nigerian Email Spam Scammer

Saturday 30 December 22:04:00 UTC 2017

MojoKid writes: You have probably at some point been contacted via email spam by someone claiming you are the beneficiary in a will of a Nigerian prince. As the scam goes, all you have to do is submit your personal information and Western Union some funds to process the necessary paperwork, and in return you will receive millions of dollars. … [Link]

Mashable » My favorite Twitter account is a bot

Saturday 30 December 21:49:48 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHuman Twitter accounts serve their purpose, but I prefer tweets from bots. Research suggests there are now some 30 million tweeting bots — though this might be a low estimate. Some of these bots provide weather updates, make stock recommendations, or attempt to subvert democracy.  SEE ALSO: Here's how to tell if you're yelling at a bot on Twitter I, however, … [Link]

Mashable » Guy arrested for 'Nigerian prince' email scams is definitely not Nigerian royalty

Saturday 30 December 21:40:31 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe "Nigerian prince" email scam is one of the most notorious cybercimes out there, and the people behind it may have hit a bit of a snag after one of their alleged co-conspirators was arrested in Louisiana on Thursday. Police arrested a 67-year-old man in Slidell, Louisiana after an 18-month investigation in connection with Nigerian prince email scams. The man is … [Link]

Slashdot » Could We Reduce Data Breaches With Better Open Source Funding?

Saturday 30 December 20:59:00 UTC 2017

The CEO of Wireline — a cloud application marketplace and serverless architecture platform — is pushing for an open source development fund to help sustain projects, funded by an initial coin offering. "Developers like me know that there are a lot of weak spots in the modern internet," he writes on MarketWatch, suggesting more Equifax-sized data breaches may wait in … [Link]

Mashable » T-Mobile CEO is still blathering about 5G in 2020

Saturday 30 December 20:48:11 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookT-Mobile CEO John Legere has never been known to remain quiet. As New Year's Eve approaches, it's been no different. In an annual memo posted to the T-Mobile blog, Mr. Legere offers up his raw opinions on the passing year and includes several predictions about the future.  SEE ALSO: T-Mobile is launching a TV service because there's just not enough options … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Mapping and Location

Saturday 30 December 20:29:42 UTC 2017

Our look at the most interesting APIs of 2017 moves to the Mapping category. Developers wanting to give users a more personalized experience often look to these Location and Mapping services to enhance their applications and these APIs provide the technology they need. [Link]

Slashdot » Blockchain Brings Business Boom To IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft

Saturday 30 December 19:54:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes Fortune's new report on blockchain: Demand for the technology, best known for supporting bitcoin, is growing so much that it will be one of the largest users of capacity next year at about 60 data centers that IBM rents out to other companies around the globe. IBM was one of the first big companies to see … [Link]

Mashable » Poor, unfortunate soul gets his penis stuck in a London subway gate

Saturday 30 December 19:03:08 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookHe paid the price. A London Tube passenger this week snagged his inner-thigh and penis in the fare gate while trying to jump over the barriers to avoid paying. The jumper remained stuck and screaming for several minutes while authorities struggled to dislodge him. SEE ALSO: Man attempts to slide down tube escalator, instantly regrets life choices A video of the … [Link]

Slashdot » In a Declining Comics Market, DC Beats Marvel

Saturday 30 December 18:49:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes the Hollywood Reporter: Looking at the most-ordered comic books in the North American comic market, DC Entertainment had a particularly strong year, with seven of the top 10 issues of the year being published by the home of Superman, Batman and the Justice League… just three years ago, not one DC title made it to the … [Link]

Mashable » Don’t restore your phone from a backup: Why you should start fresh

Saturday 30 December 18:28:14 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIf you keep a phone around long enough, it becomes a vestige of an old version of yourself, or even many former versions of yourself.  Regrettable texts, untouched apps, and pointless screenshots are scattered on its internal storage. The cloud makes it worse by making these files available even when we get a new phone. It's a gigantic mess that's never … [Link]

Slashdot » How Big Tech is Getting Involved in Your Health Care

Saturday 30 December 17:44:00 UTC 2017

Apple's financing a study to see whether irregular heart rhythms can be detected with an Apple Watch. But that's just the beginning, according to a New York Times article shared by Templer421: As consumers, medical centers and insurers increasingly embrace health-tracking apps, tech companies want a bigger share of the more than $3 trillion spent annually on health care in … [Link]

Mashable » 'Make America Gay Again' banner welcomes Mike Pence outside his vacation home

Saturday 30 December 17:04:29 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAs Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were undoubtedly enjoying their vacation at a house in Aspen, Colorado this week, their neighbors shared a very important message with them written on a rainbow-colored banner: Make America Gay Again. #Aspen neighbors to VP @mike_pence — Make America Gay Again. Couple hangs banner outside shared drivewayhttps://t.co/Ldef4h1G8U via @JasonAuslander #LBGT pic.twitter.com/x3EctSJsOB — Aspen … [Link]

Mashable » Apple announces $29 battery replacements starting today

Saturday 30 December 16:54:52 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt’s been a rough month for Apple. The company has been embroiled in a controversy stemming from its decision to purposely slow down older iPhones to increase battery performance. Apple issued an apology to its customers for the miscommunication, and it also promised to replace affected batteries starting in late January. Now, Apple is going a step further by making discounted … [Link]

Slashdot » Neuro, Cyber, Slaughter: Emerging Technological Threats In 2017

Saturday 30 December 16:39:00 UTC 2017

"Wouldn't it be nice if advances in technology stopped throwing new problems at the world? No such luck," writes Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "Several emerging technological threats could — soon enough — come to rival nuclear weapons and climate change in their potential to upend (or eliminate) civilization." Lasrick writes: In 2017, the cyber threat finally began to seem … [Link]

Mashable » Closeup snowflake photos help you appreciate the beauty of snow

Saturday 30 December 16:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookWinter is most definitely here, which means most people are relishing the idea of bundling up in multiple layers while watching TV.  Other people have a different idea they are more inclined to explore outdoors and shoot photos of snowflakes. Michael Peres is one of those people. He enjoys posted photos on on his Instagram of stunning and intricate snowflakes.  A … [Link]

Mashable » Soccer match gets upstaged by hilarious snowball fight between opposing fans

Saturday 30 December 15:37:57 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookDuring a cold and snowy soccer match in Scotland Friday, a fight broke out between the two teams' fans — a snowball fight. SEE ALSO: Lake Erie's 5 feet of snow sure makes for some weird ass stunts After a scoreless first half between Scottish Championship league teams St. Mirren and Dundee United, fans from both sides began packing up snowballs … [Link]

Slashdot » Math Says You're Driving Wrong and It's Slowing Us All Down

Saturday 30 December 15:34:00 UTC 2017

A new study in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems mathematically suggests that if you and everyone else on the road kept an equal distance between the cars ahead and behind, traffic would move twice as quickly. From a report: Now sure, you're probably not going to convince everyone on the road to do that. Still, the finding could be … [Link]

Mashable » The iPhone is once again the best-selling tech product of the year

Saturday 30 December 15:20:15 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIf you bought a brand new iPhone this year, you weren't alone. The iPhone was once again the best-selling tech product of the year, according to a USA Today report. What's more impressive is that the sales numbers were far superior than any other tech product on the list. The runner-up on this year's list wasn't even close. USA Today reports … [Link]

Mashable » 27 reasons 2018 might not totally suck (pop culture edition)

Saturday 30 December 15:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookAt the end of 2016, we naively hoped 2017 would be better. Instead, 2017 turned out to be so bad that we're basically dreading 2018. Because if there's one thing we learned this year, it's that no matter how awful things get, they can still get worse.  And yet.  SEE ALSO: 10 TV shows we can't wait to see in 2018 … [Link]

Mashable » The most useless gadgets of 2017

Saturday 30 December 14:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookFrom dating app accessories to cookie-icing robots, we rounded up some of the most unique gadgets of 2017—that nobody asked for. Read more…More about Tech, Watercooler, Gadgets, Apple, and Iphone [Link]

Mashable » Start a new career in data science with these online classes

Saturday 30 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. Every time you do something online — whether it's shopping, searching Google, downloading apps, or more — leaves a trail of data that's rife with patterns and trends. The trick is being … [Link]

Mashable » Learn some of the most in-demand management skills of 2018 with these online classes that are on sale

Saturday 30 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. As you consider all your potential New Year's resolutions, maybe it's time to consider whether you really love your job, or if it's time to try something new. If you do decide … [Link]

Slashdot » Call of Duty Gaming Community Points To 'Swatting' In Wichita Police Shooting

Saturday 30 December 13:00:00 UTC 2017

schwit1 shares a report from The Daily Dot: A man was killed by police Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas, when officers responded to a false report of a hostage situation. The online gaming community is saying the dead man was the victim of a swatting prank, where trolls call in a fake emergency and force SWAT teams to descend on … [Link]

Mashable » How an 'ergonomic' mouse saved my wrist and made me hate my life

Saturday 30 December 12:15:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookErgonomic peripherals — a fancy term for more comfortable computer accessories — are the next big thing. Everyone seems to be using standing desks these days, and more ergonomic mice and keyboards sneak into bestseller lists every year. These products are designed to promote your health and comfort, and to avoid Carpal Tunnel, repetitive strain injuries and other common office afflictions.  … [Link]

Slashdot » Kodi Media Player Arrives On the Xbox One

Saturday 30 December 10:00:00 UTC 2017

The Kodi media player is now available to download on your Xbox One, making it one of the best Xbox One exclusives of the year. The Verge reports: Kodi is a very capable player that's highly expandable thanks to third-party add-ons like live TV and DVR services — something Microsoft isn't going to provide. But Kodi is perhaps best known … [Link]

Slashdot » Germany Orders Amazon To Stop Taking Advantage of People Who Can't Spell 'Birkenstock'

Saturday 30 December 7:00:00 UTC 2017

Germany has barred Amazon from drawing in online shoppers who misspell iconic German sandal maker Birkenstock in their Google searchers. "Amazon reportedly won business for common Birkenstock misspellings by booking variants like 'Brikenstock,' 'Bierkenstock,' and 'Birkenstok' in Google AdWords, so that they produced search results for shoes sold in Amazon.com," reports Quartz. From the report: According to Reuters, Birkenstock turned … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Last chance for new physics at the LHC for years

Saturday 30 December 5:54:02 UTC 2017

It is almost six years since the LHC spotted the Higgs boson, and the collider will soon shut down for upgrades. Will it find anything else? [Link]

New Scientist – News » Your body fat may be protecting you against infections

Saturday 30 December 5:54:00 UTC 2017

Fat isn’t all bad – it stores powerful immune cells, and seems to boost their ability to defend the body from dangerous infections [Link]

Slashdot » Dutch Utility Plans Massive Wind Farm Island In North Sea

Saturday 30 December 3:30:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Britain's homes could be lit and powered by wind farms surrounding an artificial island deep out in the North Sea, under advanced plans by a Dutch energy network. The radical proposal envisages an island being built to act as a hub for vast offshore wind farms that would eclipse today's facilities … [Link]

Slashdot » 'Star Wars' Franchise Crosses $4 Billion, Eclipsing Disney's Lucasfilm Price

Saturday 30 December 1:25:00 UTC 2017

Combined, Disney and Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have surpassed $4.06 billion in ticket sales at the worldwide box office. That's more than what Disney paid to buy George Lucas' Star Wars franchise. From the Hollywood Reporter: While an interesting benchmark, it doesn't, of course, account for … [Link]

Slashdot » Facebook's Uneven Enforcement of Hate Speech Rules Allows Vile Posts To Stay Up

Saturday 30 December 0:45:00 UTC 2017

ProPublica has found inconsistent rulings on hate speech after analyzing more than 900 Facebook posts submitted to them as part of a crowd-sourced investigation into how the world's largest social network implements its hate-speech rules. "Based on this small fraction of Facebook posts, its content reviewers often make different calls on items with similar content, and don't always abide by … [Link]

Mashable » Niagara Falls is a frigid, beautiful wonderland right now

Saturday 30 December 0:22:07 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt’s bitterly cold across parts of the U.S. and Canada right now, and the freezing temps aren't going away anytime soon.  The bright side? Pretty pictures. In Chicago, people captured stunning images of their frozen city. And the images hitting Instagram from Niagara Falls have been beautiful.  SEE ALSO: Record cold in the U.S. and Canada has no end in sight … [Link]

Slashdot » 300,000 Users Exposed In Ancestry.com Data Leak

Saturday 30 December 0:03:00 UTC 2017

Dangerous_Minds shares a report from ThreatPost: Ancestry.com said it closed portions of its community-driven genealogy site RootsWeb as it investigated a leaky server that exposed 300,000 passwords, email addresses and usernames to the public internet. In a statement issued over the weekend, Chief Information Security Officer of Ancestry.com Tony Blackham said a file containing the user data was publicly exposed … [Link]

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