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 » WhatsApp Rings in the New Year with a Global Outage

Sunday 31 December 23:34:00 UTC 2017

WhatsApp went down in several parts of the world today including parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The crowdsourced website DownDetector found the largest concentration of outages in portions of England, Germany, and virtually all of the Netherlands, as well as parts of Italy, Spain, and central Europe. Outages were also reported in many major cities around the world, … [Link]

Mashable » Dave Chappelle just dropped two Netflix specials, but there's a problem

Sunday 31 December 23:07:48 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookDave Chappelle is widely considered to be a comedic genius. So when Netflix announced it had released two Chappelle stand-up specials, people freaked. A little comedy to wrap up this bitter year has to be a good thing, right? Well, maybe. But maybe not. The specials just dropped, but there's already some pushback when it comes to Chappelle's thoughts on the … [Link]

Slashdot » Apple's iPhones Were the Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017

Sunday 31 December 22:39:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes USA Today: Once again, the iPhone was the best-selling tech product of 2017, selling more units than the No. 2 through No. 5 products combined. According to Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, who compiled the chart for USA TODAY, Apple will sell 223 million iPhones in 2017, up from 211 million phones the previous … [Link]

Slashdot » EFF Applauds 'Massive Change' to HTTPS

Sunday 31 December 21:44:00 UTC 2017

"The movement to encrypt the web reached milestone after milestone in 2017," writes the EFF, adding that "the web is in the middle of a massive change from non-secure HTTP to the more secure, encrypted HTTPS protocol." In February, the scales tipped. For the first time, approximately half of Internet traffic was protected by HTTPS. Now, as 2017 comes to … [Link]

Mashable » Trump's NYE bash has a 'modern fantasy garden' theme. We have some better suggestions.

Sunday 31 December 21:24:53 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookPresident Donald Trump is often accused of living in his own personal fantasy world where white supremacists are "very fine people" and New Jersey muslims celebrated the 9/11 attack. So it is perhaps fitting that his New Year's Eve celebration at Mar-a-Largo has, according to The Washington Post, a "modern fantasy garden” theme. And while we're excited to see what mythical … [Link]

Slashdot » Hardly Anyone Wants to Ride the Las Vegas Monorail

Sunday 31 December 20:40:00 UTC 2017

Motherboard describes riding the Las Vegas monorail in 2008. "I was literally the only person on a train built to carry 222 people," arguing that "the tale of the Las Vegas monorail is an allegory for almost every other monorail that exists on this planet." An anonymous reader quotes their new report: Las Vegas has struggled to deliver on its … [Link]

Slashdot » Kansas Swatting Perpetrator 'SWauTistic' Interviewed on Twitter

Sunday 31 December 19:39:00 UTC 2017

"That kids house that I swatted is on the news," tweeted "SWauTistic" — before he realized he'd gotten somebody killed. Security researcher Brian Krebs reveals what happened next. When it became apparent that a man had been killed as a result of the swatting, Swautistic tweeted that he didn't get anyone killed because he didn't pull the trigger. Swautistic soon … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017: Payments, Banking, Blockchain and Finance

Sunday 31 December 19:38:10 UTC 2017

This segment of the ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017 focuses on Payments, Banking, Cryptocurrency & Blockchain, and Financial APIs. [Link]

Mashable » Hey, Pizzagaters: If you come at Chrissy Teigen, you best not miss

Sunday 31 December 19:13:41 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookChrissy Teigen is not here for your bullshit, especially if that bullshit involves suggesting she and her husband John Legend are involved in a pedophile ring involving their own daughter.  On Saturday, Teigen laid into a conspiracy theorist on Twitter that had tweeted out pictures of her daughter and insinuated that she and husband John Legend were part of some sort … [Link]

Slashdot » America's Doctors Are Performing Expensive Procedures That Don't Work

Sunday 31 December 18:34:00 UTC 2017

"The proportion of medical procedures unsupported by evidence may be nearly half," writes a professor of public policy at Brown University. An anonymous reader quotes his article in Vox: The recent news that stents inserted in patients with heart disease to keep arteries open work no better than a placebo ought to be shocking. Each year, hundreds of thousands of … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Quantum computers to overtake ordinary machines

Sunday 31 December 17:47:29 UTC 2017

The quantum computing era is upon us. Google is building up to a breakthrough on par with the launch of Sputnik or the splitting of the atom [Link]

Slashdot » Ars Technica Puts Twitter, Uber On '2018 Deathwatch'

Sunday 31 December 17:34:00 UTC 2017

The editors of Ars Technica have compiled their annual list of "Companies, tech, and trends least likely to succeed in 2018… Let's grab a Juicero and take a moment to reflect on the utter dumpster fires that we've witnessed over the past 12 months." Some of its highlights: Uber. "The company is losing billions of dollars a year, with no … [Link]

Mashable » Photos and videos reveal 2017's extremely icy exit

Sunday 31 December 16:55:50 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIn case you didn't notice, it's very cold across parts of the globe, stretching from a good chunk of the U.S. to the UK and Europe and even down into India this New Year's EveThe coldest in decades, in fact, and the chill is going to hang around for a bit.  SEE ALSO: These beautiful snowflake photos were actually captured using … [Link]

Slashdot » Construction Workers Find 30 Perfectly Preserved Dinosaur Eggs

Sunday 31 December 16:34:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes BGR: Chinese construction workers digging on Christmas day found a gift that was wrapped 130 million years ago in the form of 30 incredibly preserved dinosaur eggs. The discovery was made in the city of Ganzhou at the future site of a new middle school, but work on the new facility had to be put on … [Link]

Mashable » Happy frigid-ass New Year: Coldest NYE in 70 years awaits revelers in U.S.

Sunday 31 December 16:07:39 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIn Boston, officials planning annual First Night festivities don't have to worry about melting ice sculptures this year. In fact, with air temperatures tumbling toward the single digits on Sunday night, New Year's Eve is going to be so dangerously cold that event organizers have canceled all but the fireworks display.  In New York City, the ball drop in Times Square … [Link]

Mashable » Iran shuts down Instagram, Telegram apps amid protests

Sunday 31 December 16:01:08 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookThe Iranian government has blocked access to messaging app Telegram and photo app Instagram amid several days of protests in what authorities say is a move "to maintain tranquillity and security of society," according to state-run media.  SEE ALSO: Journalists are being jailed for 'fake news,' and critics blame Trump Various media reports have stated that the apps were used to … [Link]

Mashable » 10 albums turning 10 years old in 2018

Sunday 31 December 16:00:00 UTC 2017

Twitter FacebookIt is almost time for 2018, and that means it's been 10 years since some very iconic music was released. Beyonce, Kanye West, and Coldplay were all making career shaping records back in 2008. While newcomers like MGMT, Adele, and Lady Gaga were also carving out lanes for themselves. Here's a look back at career defining work from your favorite artists. … [Link]

Slashdot » Can Docker Survive Google?

Sunday 31 December 15:34:00 UTC 2017

Though Docker has 400 corporate customers — and plans to double its sales staff — "here's what happens to a startup when Google gets all up in its business," reads a recent headline at Bloomberg: Docker Inc. helped establish a type of software tool known as containers…and they've made the company rich. Venture capitalists have poured about $240 million into … [Link]

Slashdot » Movie Ticket Sales Hit A 22-Year Low in 2017

Sunday 31 December 14:34:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader quotes the Los Angeles Times: Hollywood is celebrating the end of 2017 with astronomical sales from "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which is on track to soon exceed $1 billion in global ticket sales and eventually become the biggest movie of the year. But that won't be enough to write a happy storyline for the industry. Although … [Link]

Mac For Translators » Putting a password on zip files with a simple dialog

Sunday 31 December 13:31:00 UTC 2017

Compressing files is easy enough on macOS. You select files, right-click on them and select "Compress … items". macOS creates a zip file that either has the name of the item that was compressed, or is named "" if more than one item was selected.When you want to add a password to the zip, just to make sure that the … [Link]

Mashable » Every Apple user needs these three accessories in the new year

Sunday 31 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. While some of you unicorns out there may have been wishing and praying to find a baby mop or a selfie drone under the tree this year, the vast majority were probably thinking AirPods or … [Link]

Mashable » The beginner's guide to getting your side hustle off the ground

Sunday 31 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. You've probably heard hundreds of stories about your cousin's boyfriend's sister making thousands on a side hustle and finally buying her dream condo in Miami. It's not hearsay. There are in fact hundreds … [Link]

Slashdot » Tech Bros Bought Sex Trafficking Victims Using Amazon and Microsoft Work Emails

Sunday 31 December 12:34:00 UTC 2017

An anonymous reader writes: Newsweek's National Politics Correspondent reports on "a horny nest of prostitution 'hobbyists' at tech giants Microsoft, Amazon and other firms in Seattle," citing "hundreds" of emails "fired off by employees at major tech companies hoping to hook up with trafficked Asian women" between 2014 and 2016, "67 sent from Microsoft, 63 sent from Amazon email accounts … [Link]

Slashdot » 2017: The Year in Programming Languages

Sunday 31 December 8:29:00 UTC 2017

InfoWorld writes that 2017 "presented a mixed bag of improvements to both long-established and newer programming languages." An anonymous reader quotes their report: Developers followed a soap opera over Java, with major disagreements over a modularization plan for standard Java and, in a surprising twist, Oracle washing its hands of the Java EE enterprise variant. Microsoft's TypeScript, meanwhile, has increased … [Link]

Slashdot » Ask Slashdot: What Would an AI-Written Poem Look Like?

Sunday 31 December 4:26:00 UTC 2017

Slashdot reader dryriver writes: Imagine this. You are an AI running on the latest machine learning hardware, like Nvidia's new Tensor cores for example, or perhaps a data center full of Xeons and EPYCs. You have lots of processing power, lots of RAM, run under Linux and — to make things more interesting — you have access to the complete … [Link]

New Scientist – News » 2018 preview: Epic mission to Mercury will unravel its mysteries

Sunday 31 December 4:17:39 UTC 2017

In October, a probe called BepiColombo will begin a seven-year voyage to Mercury with the aim of answering questions raised by previous visits to the scorched world [Link]

Slashdot » Iran Cuts Internet Access and Threatens Telegram Following Mass Protests

Sunday 31 December 2:22:00 UTC 2017

Long-time Slashdot reader cold fjord writes: As seething discontent has boiled over in Iran leading to mass protests, protesters have taken to the streets and social media to register their discontent… The government has been closing schools and shutting down transportation. Now, as mass protests in Iran go into their third day there are reports that internet access is being … [Link]

Slashdot » Slashdot's 10 Most-Visited Stories of 2017

Sunday 31 December 0:14:00 UTC 2017

Slashdot's most-visited story of 2017 was Google Has Demonstrated a Successful Practical Attack Against SHA-1, which was visited more than 212,000 times since it was published in Feburary. And our second- and third-most popular stories also came in February — both just one week before. FCC Chairman Wants It To Be Easier To Listen To Free FM Radio On Your … [Link]


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