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 » 'Science Fiction Writers of America' Accuse Internet Archive of Piracy

Saturday 13 January 23:09:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader writes: The "Open Library" project of the nonprofit Internet Archive has been scanning books and offering "loans" of DRM-protected versions for e-readers (which expire after the loan period expires). This week the Legal Affairs Committe of the Science Fiction Writers of America issued a new "Infringement Alert" on the practice, complaining that "an unreadable copy of the … [Link]

Mashable » Mark Wahlberg donated his $1.5 million 'All The Money' fee to Time's Up

Saturday 13 January 23:07:16 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIn the wake of an uproar over the $1.5 million Mark Wahlberg was paid for his All The Money In The World reshoots, the actor announced Saturday that he will donate the money in his costar Michelle Williams' name to the Time's Up legal defense fund. Wahlberg's hefty reshoot fee made headlines earlier this week after it was reported that Williams … [Link]

New Scientist – News » You may be making cryptocurrency for hackers without realising

Saturday 13 January 22:23:43 UTC 2018

Thousands of websites are tricking people into mining cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, adblockers might be the only way to stop them [Link]

New Scientist – News » Voice assistants dominate CES as Google plays catchup with Alexa

Saturday 13 January 22:23:42 UTC 2018

Google had more than 350 voice-controlled devices at the Consumer Electronics Show, including speakers, cars, and a giant toy town complete with a railway [Link]

New Scientist – News » We may be able to see mountains and valleys on distant worlds

Saturday 13 January 22:23:41 UTC 2018

If alien planets have canyons and mountains like ours, we may be able to catch a glimpse of them in an exoplanet’s shadow as it passes in front of its star [Link]

New Scientist – News » The universe still seems to be expanding faster than it ought to

Saturday 13 January 22:23:40 UTC 2018

The universe is expanding but our measurements of the rate are all over the place and they just got worse, so we can’t tell when the cosmos is going to die [Link]

New Scientist – News » Even a small cut in global warming will help slow sea level rise

Saturday 13 January 22:23:39 UTC 2018

Limiting climate change to 1.5 °C instead of 2 °C, even if we overshoot at first and then bring temperatures back down, will ease the rise in sea levels [Link]

New Scientist – News » A swarm of home-made drones has bombed a Russian airbase

Saturday 13 January 22:23:38 UTC 2018

Thirteen home-made drones carrying bombs descended on Russian forces in Syria in the first confirmed swarm attack [Link]

New Scientist – News » Tiny individual decisions really could help avert climate chaos

Saturday 13 January 22:23:37 UTC 2018

A new computer model has shown individual decisions can massively influence how bad global warming might get. Time to take the human factor seriously, says Adam Corner [Link]

New Scientist – News » Hidden exoplanets could be revealed by echoing light

Saturday 13 January 22:23:33 UTC 2018

Reflected light from a star’s flares may help us find otherwise invisible worlds. These exoplanets could be hit by powerful blasts, but may still host life [Link]

Slashdot » Japanese Console Market Grows For the First Time In 11 Years

Saturday 13 January 22:04:00 UTC 2018

According to Famitsu, hardware sales in Japan experienced a huge spike in 2017 compared to the previous year. In 2016, Japanese hardware sales were 117.05 billion yen ($1.05 billion), while in 2017, they jumped to 202.37 billion yen ($1.81 billion). Kotaku reports: Software sales also increased: in 2016, they were 182.4 billion yen ($1.63 billion) and the following year, they … [Link]

Mashable » Apple's 'I'm sorry' for throttling old iPhones isn't good enough for Congress

Saturday 13 January 21:36:28 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookThe drama surrounding Apple's old iPhone batteries isn't over yet.  Four U.S. House Republicans sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday asking for answers on batterygate.  SEE ALSO: Apple's latest iPhone battery fiasco is a betrayal inside of a betrayal In December, Apple admitted to throttling the speed of older iPhones to increase battery performance, a long-time conspiracy … [Link]

Mashable » 'The Walking Dead' will return for Season 9 with a familiar face as the new showrunner

Saturday 13 January 21:26:51 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookScott M. Gimple is out (sort of), Angela Kang is in. The Walking Dead will return for a ninth season with Kang, a writer on the show since Season 2, occupying the showrunner's seat. She's the series first female showrunner, following Gimple, Glen Mazzara, and Frank Darabont. SEE ALSO: 'Walking Dead' pulls a 'Game of Thrones,' departs from comics with major … [Link]

Slashdot » Stack Overflow Stats Reveal 'the Brutal Lifecycle of JavaScript Frameworks'

Saturday 13 January 20:59:00 UTC 2018

A developer on the Internal Tools team at Stack Overflow reveals some new statistics from their 'Trends' tool: JavaScript UI frameworks and libraries work in cycles. Every six months or so, a new one pops up, claiming that it has revolutionized UI development. Thousands of developers adopt it into their new projects, blog posts are written, Stack Overflow questions are … [Link]

Mashable » Dude discovers genius way to get some rest and relaxation at the airport

Saturday 13 January 20:45:19 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookFinding a moment of peace and relaxation before a flight or during a layover at the airport may seem impossible, but people have figured out some pretty inventive ways to tune out while traveling. Sure, some people dive for the noise-cancelling headphones, or maybe a large hood to keep as much of the outside away. But what's to be done if … [Link]

Mashable » Liam Neeson's 'witch hunt' comments miss the point of the #MeToo movement

Saturday 13 January 20:36:40 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookA note to men in Hollywood: You don't get to call this a witch hunt. In an interview with Liam Neeson that aired Friday on Irish network RTE's The Late Late Show, host Ryan Tubridy turned the conversation to the sexual misconduct reckoning in Hollywood and referenced a comment Neeson made this week that "there's a revolution happening." SEE ALSO: Gabrielle … [Link]

Mashable » COSMOS with Neil deGrasse Tyson will return for another season

Saturday 13 January 20:01:55 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook COSMOS is officially returning for another season. And yes, everyone's favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, will be hosting. The season will air in spring 2019 on FOX and Nat Geo.  SEE ALSO: Sheets of ice found below Mars' surface could be a boon for human exploration Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will serve as executive producer of the show, just … [Link]

Slashdot » Intel Unveils 'Breakthrough' 49 Qubit Quantum Computer

Saturday 13 January 19:54:00 UTC 2018

Long-time Slashdot reader cold fjord writes: Extremetech reports, "At CES 2018 this week, Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich declared the company's new 49-qubit quantum computer represented a step towards "quantum supremacy." A 49 qubit system is a major advance for Intel, which just demonstrated a 17-qubit system two months ago. Intel's working with the Netherlands-based Qutech on this project, and expanding … [Link]

Mashable » FALSE ALARM: Panic ensues as Emergency Alert Service issues missile threat for Hawaii

Saturday 13 January 19:06:17 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookResidents of Hawaii woke up to a terrifying notification on Saturday morning when the Emergency Alert Service issued a ballistic missile warning, telling residents to "seek immediate shelter." "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," the alert, which was delivered at approximately 8:07 a.m. HST, reads. SEE ALSO: How wireless emergency alerts work HAWAII … [Link]

Mashable » Eliza Dushku says she was 'sexually molested' at age 12 while working on 'True Lies'

Saturday 13 January 18:54:17 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook“When I was 12 years old, while filming True Lies, I was sexually molested by Joel Kramer, one of Hollywood’s leading stunt coordinators." So begins Eliza Dushku's heart-wrenching #MeToo Facebook post, which she shared early on Saturday morning. The post goes on to relate, in great detail, the way Kramer allegedly first groomed her and then lured her to his Miami … [Link]

Slashdot » Peter Thiel Is Now Bidding on

Saturday 13 January 18:49:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader writes: Its official. "Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has made an offer for Gawker," reports Reuters, adding that the potential acquisition "would let him take down stories regarding his personal life that are still available on the website, and remove the scope for further litigation between him and Gawker." It was Thiel's 2016 lawsuit which bankrupted the site, … [Link]

Mashable » A rooster named Frog runs to greet its human getting off the school bus

Saturday 13 January 18:48:35 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook The unlikely cute animal of the day today is a rooster. A rooster named Frog.  According to the YouTube description, every day after school, Frog rushes to greet his human Savannah as she gets off the bus. As you can see from the clip, Frog executes this ritual with enthusiasm and impressive speed. After Savannah gets off the bus, she … [Link]

Slashdot » Will Facial Recognition in China Lead To Total Surveillance?

Saturday 13 January 17:44:00 UTC 2018

schwit1 shares a new Washington Post article about China's police and security state — including the facial recognition cameras allow access to apartment buildings. "If I am carrying shopping bags in both hands, I just have to look ahead and the door swings open," one 40-year-old woman tells the Post. "And my 5-year-old daughter can just look up at the … [Link]

Mashable » Oprah's Golden Globes speech is the newest addition to Spotify's MLK Jr. playlist

Saturday 13 January 17:32:18 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookAhead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2015, Spotify built a playlist of the civil rights leader's speeches in his honor. This week, ahead of the January 15th federal holiday, a new speech appears at the top of the playlist: Oprah's Golden Globes acceptance speech.  You know the one.  SEE ALSO: Oprah's Golden Globes speech was the emotional call to … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » Daily API RoundUp: BioID, SlipStream, ApilityIO

Saturday 13 January 17:27:37 UTC 2018

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 » Many US States Propose Their Own Laws Protecting Net Neutrality

Saturday 13 January 16:39:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times: Lawmakers in at least six states, including California and New York, have introduced bills in recent weeks that would forbid internet providers to block or slow down sites or online services. Legislators in several other states, including North Carolina and Illinois, are weighing similar action… By passing their own law, the state … [Link]

Mashable » 'Stranger Things' star David Harbour blesses teen's senior portraits with his presence

Saturday 13 January 16:10:45 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookBurn your senior portraits. They'll never live up to these. Twitter user @postydemaris put her fellow classmates (and, frankly, all of us) to shame when she secured Stranger Things star David Harbour for a guest role in her high school senior portraits.  SEE ALSO: We might not get another season of 'Stranger Things' until 2019 because next year's gonna suck too … [Link]

Mashable » I'm down on my knees, begging you please not to do this to your bookshelf

Saturday 13 January 16:00:00 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookHow many takes will it take to kill the backwards bookshelves trend?  I don't know. But that won't stop me from tryin'. #Backwardsbooks is a recently reemerged design trend where books are flipped to hide their colorful spines. The effect is neutral and monochromatic and, I guess, pleasing to the minimalistic Crate and Barrel elite.  It's also violently boring and offensive … [Link]

Mashable » This app tells you which museum art you look like and it's way too real

Saturday 13 January 15:49:39 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookEvery so often an app takes hold of web culture to the point where you can't help but notice its presence every time you scroll through your feeds. This time, it's the Google Arts and Culture app. Though the app launched in 2016, a new feature that compares your selfies to works of art found in museums has been hitting off … [Link]

Slashdot » Erroneous 'Spam' Flag Affected 102 npm Packages

Saturday 13 January 15:34:00 UTC 2018

There was some trouble last weekend at the world's largest package repository. An anonymous reader quotes the official npm blog: On Saturday, January 6, 2018, we incorrectly removed the user floatdrop and blocked the discovery and download of all 102 of their packages on the public npm Registry. Some of those packages were highly depended on, such as require-from-string, and … [Link]

Mashable » 7 random things we love about 'Lovesick'

Saturday 13 January 14:36:21 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook If you're an avid reader of ye olde internet, you may have noticed a recent uptick in stories about Netflix's Lovesick (formerly titled Scrotal Recall). The show's third season released Jan. 1, but its spike in popularity isn't just due to a timely premiere – it's because Lovesick is a genuinely warm story of human connection, with more sympathy for … [Link]

Slashdot » Interviewing the Interviewer

Saturday 13 January 14:20:00 UTC 2018

Terry Gross, NPR's The Fresh Air host, on the art of the Q&A: "People are always projecting things. They're hearing things that weren't said or projecting meaning that was not intended and, perhaps, not even implied. I've gotten both insults and compliments for interviews I've never done. What can you do? There's no way of controlling what people think. I … [Link]

Mashable » Find out how to launch your side hustle by taking this online class

Saturday 13 January 13:00:00 UTC 2018

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. If you're looking to make some extra money but can't work any more overtime than you already are, a side hustle could be exactly what you're looking for.  SEE ALSO: If you've … [Link]

Mashable » The Kalorik 2-in-1 Cordless Cyclonic Vacuum will make you feel like a cleaning superhero

Saturday 13 January 13:00:00 UTC 2018

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. Being an adult is a scam, y'all. You have to spend your time working, doing chores, and nodding like you care whenever someone starts to talk about refinancing their mortgage.  Good news: … [Link]

Mashable » Attention photographers: This wireless charging pad looks like a DSLR lens

Saturday 13 January 13:00:00 UTC 2018

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. New year, new phone? Congratulations! Speaking of the new year, wire-powered charging is so 2017. Now that the new era of smartphones is here, it's only right that you free yourself from … [Link]

Slashdot » Adult Themed VR Game Leaks Data On Thousands

Saturday 13 January 13:00:00 UTC 2018

chicksdaddy writes from The Security Ledger: Somebody deserves a spanking after personal information on thousands of users of an adult virtual reality game were exposed to security researchers in the UK by a balky application. Researchers at the firm Digital Interruption on Tuesday warned that an adult-themed virtual reality application, SinVR, exposes the names, email and other personal information via … [Link]

Slashdot » Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken Suddenly Goes Dark For Two Days

Saturday 13 January 10:00:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes the San Francisco Chronicle: One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges was down more than 40 hours this week, causing clients to freak out… San Francisco's Kraken went offline at 9 p.m. on Wednesday for maintenance that was initially scheduled to last two hours, plus an additional two to three hours for withdrawals, according to an announcement … [Link]

Mashable » 12 of the best British short stories you've never read

Saturday 13 January 9:30:00 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. Short stories are underrated. If you were asked to name a famous novel, or even a famous poem, you could probably rattle off at least a handful quite comfortably off the top of your head. But … [Link]

Slashdot » French Songwriter Kiesza Composes First Mainstream Music Album Co-Written With AI

Saturday 13 January 7:00:00 UTC 2018

dryriver shares a report from the BBC, highlighting "a new album that features everything from cowboy sci-fi to Europop." What's special about the album — Hello World by Canadian singer Kiesza — is that it's the first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence. You can judge the quality for yourself: First, view the single "Hellow … [Link]

Slashdot » Why the World Only Has Two Words For Tea

Saturday 13 January 3:30:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: With a few minor exceptions, there are really only two ways to say "tea" in the world. One is like the English term — te in Spanish and tee in Afrikaans are two examples. The other is some variation of cha, like chay in Hindi. Both versions come from China. How they … [Link]

Mashable » CES' sexism problem is about more than booth babes and pink robots

Saturday 13 January 3:11:48 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookCES is a place of extremes. Each year, tech companies big and small spare no expense in coming up with bizarre ways to showcase their (often relatively mundane) gadgetry: massive tunnels made of huge OLED displays, home appliances with built-in assistants, and weird concept cars unlikely to make it far beyond the Las Vegas Convention Center floor. But, peer behind the … [Link]

Mashable » The robots of CES are a joke

Saturday 13 January 2:43:24 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookThe robots of the future are, well, still figuring things out. That was the overwhelming takeaway from CES, the world's largest tech convention, held this past week in Las Vegas. From a laundry-folding bot that couldn't fold laundry, to an AI-powered helper that refused to help, to an in-home mechanical maid that kept dropping stuff, the dream of robotic friends making … [Link]

Mashable » Timelapse of a dude building a log cabin by hand is oddly satisfying

Saturday 13 January 2:21:06 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook Ever want to build yourself a nice cabin in the woods? Outdoorsman Shawn James can help you out. Using basic tools and the power of his own body, James managed to build a rustic, off-the-grid log cabin, and captured nearly every step in the process. As James notes in the YouTube comments, this timelapse is a great primer if you're … [Link]

Mashable » How foreign media translated Trump's 'shithole' comment

Saturday 13 January 2:17:39 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIt’s been a struggle for non-English speaking countries to properly translate the eloquent diction of President Donald Trump. Especially with his strong, stable grasp of the English language. This week proved quite the challenge with Trump's reported comment Thursday about immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador, and those in Africa. The "vulgar language" tends to lose its meaning if … [Link]

Mashable » Family shares hilarious Photoshop fail from a photographer they hired

Saturday 13 January 1:51:19 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookHeavy-handed photo retouching has come under scrutiny in recent years. But you've never seen a botched Photoshop job like this before. Pam and Dave Zaring shared a series of photos to their Facebook page on Friday of a family photoshoot they had taken last year.  "We paid a photographer, who claimed to be a professional, $250 for a family photo shoot. … [Link]

Mashable » Netflix's new show about AI is blowing people's minds – literally

Saturday 13 January 1:34:45 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook Altered Carbon, Netflix's new sci-fi thriller, is set in a futuristic world with limitless potential. Immortality is finally attainable—for the very wealthy, at least—thanks to AI tech that can download a person's consciousness and memories to a new body.  Given the show's hyper techie premise, CES was the perfect venue for Netflix to hold an exclusive pre-screening event. Mashable Brand … [Link]

Slashdot » Snapchat's Big Redesign Bashed In 83 Percent of User Reviews

Saturday 13 January 0:50:00 UTC 2018

The new Snapchat redesign that jams Stories in between private messages is not receiving a whole lot of praise. "In the few countries including the U.K., Australia, and Canada where the redesign is widely available, 83 percent of App Store reviews (1,941) for the update are negative with one or two stars, according to data by mobile analytics firm Sensor … [Link]

Mashable » Sorry, people still remember that embarrassing thing you did as a kid

Saturday 13 January 0:44:27 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookYou know that super embarrassing thing that you did in elementary school that still keeps you up at night? Yeah, everyone still remembers. While you'd love to forget that time you peed your pants, or when you puked in front of the whole class, spraying vomit onto your teacher and blackboard in the process, it's pretty likely people will remember, even … [Link]

Slashdot » Ask Slashdot: How Would You Use Computers To Make Elections Better?

Saturday 13 January 0:10:00 UTC 2018

shanen writes: Regarding politics, is there anything that Americans agree on? If so, it's probably something negative like "The system is broken," or "The leading candidates are terrible," or even "Your state is a shithole." With all our fancy technology, what's going wrong? Our computers are creating problems, not solutions. For example, gerrymandering relies on fancy computers to rig the … [Link]


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