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 » VMware Bug Allowed Root Access

Sunday 14 January 23:39:00 UTC 2018

c4231 quotes Ars Technica: While everyone was screaming about Meltdown and Spectre, another urgent security fix was already in progress for many corporate data centers and cloud providers who use products from Dell's EMC and VMware units. A trio of critical, newly reported vulnerabilities in EMC and VMware backup and recovery tools — EMC Avamar, EMC NetWorker, EMC Integrated Data … [Link]

Mashable » Sorry, Trump: 'The Handmaid’s Tale' was saying MAGA before you

Sunday 14 January 23:21:40 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIn case anyone still doubted the prescience of The Handmaid's Tale, this anecdote should clear things up. At a Television Critics Association panel on Jan 14., show creator Bruce Miller revealed that the writers foresaw Trump's MAGA campaign slogan before it became seared into our unwilling brains during the 2016 presidential campaign. When asked about whether or not the show ever … [Link]

Slashdot » How Millions of Iranians Are Evading Internet Censors

Sunday 14 January 22:39:00 UTC 2018

schwit1 quotes the Wall Street Journal: Authorities in Tehran have ratcheted up their policing of the internet in the past week and a half, part of an attempt to stamp out the most far-reaching protests in Iran since 2009. But the crackdown is driving millions of Iranians to tech tools that can help them evade censors, according to activists and … [Link]

Mashable » Elizabeth Moss says 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 will be 'darker' — somehow

Sunday 14 January 22:25:46 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookThe Handmaid's Tale feels unstoppable at every award show, and Season 2 appears to have no intention of slowing down — or letting us off the hook. Over the weekend at the TV Critics Association press tour, Elizabeth Moss warned reporters: "It's a dark season. I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1 — if that's possible." SEE ALSO: 2017 was … [Link]

Mashable » Eliza Dushku's legal guardian confirms sexual assault allegations

Sunday 14 January 21:40:39 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookActress Eliza Dushku accused the stunt coordinator for the film True Lies of sexual assault, and her legal guardian has now confirmed it. "I was on the True Lies set for 3 weeks and reported Joel Kramer's inappropriate sexual behavior towards 12-year-old Eliza to a person in authority," Sue Booth Forbes said in a statement. "I was met with blank stares … [Link]

Slashdot » Japan's Latest Sensation is a Cryptocurrency Pop Group

Sunday 14 January 21:39:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: If you're starting a pop group in Japan, where giant rosters and virtual superstars are par for the course, how do you stand out? By tying yourself to something trendy — and in 2018, that means cryptocurrency. Meet Kasotsuka Shojo (Virtual Currency Girls), a J-pop group where each of the eight girls represents one of … [Link]

Mashable » Chelsea Manning confirmed it: She's running for Senate in 2018

Sunday 14 January 21:15:26 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook#WeGotThis In a five-word Twitter statement on Sunday, Chelsea Manning formally announced her intention to run for a Senate seat in Maryland. Manning's candidacy was the subject of much speculation on Saturday when a Federal Election Commission filing in her name surfaced. SEE ALSO: Mitt Romney changed his location on Twitter, and that's bad news for Donald Trump The tweet included … [Link]

Mashable » PSA: 'ER' is now streaming for the very first time – yes, all 15 seasons of it

Sunday 14 January 20:41:52 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIf you're looking for another excuse to avoid going outside, Hulu just dropped a great one right onto your screen. The company has just brought ER to its streaming service (or any streaming service) for the first time ever – all 15 seasons of it.  SEE ALSO: What's coming to Hulu in January 2018 An impressive 331 episodes of the show … [Link]

Slashdot » Calls to Action on the Fifth Anniversary of the Death of Aaron Swartz

Sunday 14 January 20:39:00 UTC 2018

On the fifth anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, EFF activist Elliot Harmon posted a remembrance: When you look around the digital rights community, it's easy to find Aaron's fingerprints all over it. He and his organization Demand Progress worked closely with EFF to stop SOPA. Long before that, he played key roles in the development of RSS, RDF, … [Link]

Slashdot » Text Message Scammer Gets Five Years in Prison

Sunday 14 January 19:34:00 UTC 2018

36-year-old Fraser Thompson is going to prison, according to Reuters, after receiving a five-year sentence for "defrauding" cellphone customers out of millions of dollars. An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: Prosecutors said Thompson engaged in a scheme to sign up hundreds of thousands of cellphone customers for paid text messaging services without their consent. The customers were subsequently forced to pay … [Link]

Mashable » 'This place is a shithole' projection appears on Donald Trump's D.C. hotel

Sunday 14 January 19:24:28 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook“This place is a shithole." The five-word proclamation appeared as a projection above the entryway at Washington, D.C.'s Trump International Hotel on Saturday night. The projection also included an arrow pointing directly at the hotel's entrance and a crowd of poop emoji. SEE ALSO: How foreign media translated Trump's 'shithole' comment The projection is, of course, a reference to Trump's at-best-questionable, … [Link]

Mashable » Hugh Grant objected to the 'Love Actually' dancing scene, but not for the reason you think

Sunday 14 January 18:45:16 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook It's one of the best remembered moments in a movie we haven't stopped talking about for 14 years: Hugh Grant, as the British prime minister, dancing through 10 Downing Street in Love Actually. SEE ALSO: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were always meant to be and this 'Love Actually' meme proves it But as much as we might love that … [Link]

Slashdot » Russian Military Base Attacked By Drones

Sunday 14 January 18:34:00 UTC 2018

A Russian military base in Syria was recently attacked — 20 miles from the frontline. The only video of the attack is from a Facebook group for a nearby town, which identifies the noises as an "anti-aircraft response to a remote-controlled aircraft," while the Russian Ministry of Defence claims at least 13 drones were involved in the attack, displaying pictures … [Link]

ProgrammableWeb » Coursera Dogfoods REST-to-GraphQL Translation Tool

Sunday 14 January 18:26:11 UTC 2018

GraphQL is the alternative to REST APIs offered by Facebook. Developers using Coursera APIs love the flexibility, type-safety and documentation that GraphQL brings. Coursera’s own developers are no less fans. But that’s not to say it was always plain sailing. Coursera engineer and GraphQL enthusiast Bryan Kane describes the bumpy journey from REST to GraphQL over at the Apollo dev … [Link]

Mashable » Oprah asks the big question looming over Time's Up: Now what?

Sunday 14 January 18:07:31 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIn a powerful discussion with the women at the forefront of Hollywood's Time's Up campaign, Oprah Winfrey asked where we go from here in terms of combating sexism in entertainment and beyond. Winfrey asked the panel pressing questions, including about Dylan Farrow and her accused abuser, Woody Allen. SEE ALSO: Oprah speaks with Reese Witherspoon and more on 'CBS Sunday Morning' … [Link]

Mashable » 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 trailer wants everybody to look what's going down

Sunday 14 January 17:37:55 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook If you thought The Handmaid's Tale couldn't possibly get any darker or more disturbing than Season 1, allow the first Season 2 trailer to disabuse you of that notion.  There's no actual dialogue in the video, just a lot of haunting imagery – of women and men being abused, of the barren Colonies, of a pissed-off June (a.k.a. Offred) looking … [Link]

Slashdot » Following Other Credit Cards, Visa Will Also Stop Requiring Signatures

Sunday 14 January 17:34:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes SiliconBeat: Visa, the largest U.S. credit card issuer, became the last of the major credit card companies to announce its plan to make signatures optional… Visa joined American Express, Discover, and Mastercard in the phase-out. Mastercard was the first one to announce the move in October, and American Express and Discover followed suit in December… However, … [Link]

Mashable » Very good dog keeps interrupting his human's shower for a very good reason

Sunday 14 January 17:08:00 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookImagine stepping into your tub for a nice, hot shower, and then looking down to see this little face staring up at you.  Every time I'm in the shower my dog stares at me, worried, and he must assume I'm upset in here (because he hates baths) so he thinks if he drops his toy in that I'll feel better … [Link]

Mashable » 'The Simpsons' star hints at plans to address Apu criticism

Sunday 14 January 16:56:27 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookActor Hank Azaria, the voice of Apu from The Simpsons,  spoke at a TCA panel about Apu's controversy over the years. Even as the series continues, Apu might not pass the bar for cultural sensitivity in 2018 and beyond. SEE ALSO: 'The Problem With Apu' dives into the damaging effects of stereotyping “As far as what’s going to happen with the … [Link]

Mashable » Sam Rockwell delighted 'SNL' viewers with an accidental F-bomb

Sunday 14 January 16:39:17 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook It's always a treat when Saturday Night Live performers break character.  Usually it's because one person or another simply has to laugh at the nonsense unfolding in front of them. But for Sam Rockwell, the NBC series' latest guest host, it happened because he couldn't control his filthy mouth. SEE ALSO: Bill Murray, yes, Bill Murray portrays Steve Bannon in … [Link]

Slashdot » Is There a Warning in 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'?

Sunday 14 January 16:34:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes io9: That signature feeling feeling of queasy, slow-burning tumult comes through in Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, which originally aired in the UK last September, but is making its American premiere on Amazon Prime this Friday, January 12. The breadth of interpretations across the show's 10 episodes is the real draw for Electric Dreams. One episode … [Link]

Slashdot » The Linux Kernel Mailing List is Down

Sunday 14 January 15:48:00 UTC 2018

Every page on is currently displaying this error message along with a picture of Flits the cat. What started out as a power outage while I was on vacation (leading to the computer hosting the backend of this site being unable to boot) became a larger issue as the mainboard in that computer appears to be broken. Not wanting … [Link]

Slashdot » Scientists Think They've Discovered Lava Tubes Leading To the Moon's Polar Ice

Sunday 14 January 15:34:00 UTC 2018

schwit1 quotes ScienceAlert: Small pits in a large crater on the Moon's North Pole could be "skylights" leading down to an underground network of lava tubes — tubes holding hidden water on Earth's nearest neighbour, according to new research. There's no lava in them now of course, though that's originally how the tubes formed in the Moon's fiery past. But … [Link]

Mashable » 'Saturday Night Live' takes aim at E! Golden Globes red carpet coverage

Sunday 14 January 15:03:08 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook The all-black protest at last weekend's Golden Globes put red carpet commentators in the awkward position of having to balance lighthearted fashion talk with sober conversations about sexual harassment – and not everyone pulled it off. Of course Saturday Night Live noticed, and of course the sketch comedy series took aim at it in the most recent episode. Cecily Strong, … [Link]

Slashdot » Chelsea Manning Files to Run for U.S. Senate in Maryland

Sunday 14 January 14:34:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes the Washington Post: Chelsea E. Manning, the transgender former Army private who was convicted of passing sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, is seeking to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, according to federal election filings. Manning would be challenging Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin, who is in his second term in the Senate and is up … [Link]

Mashable » Aidy Bryant had a real message for all men on 'Saturday Night Live' Weekend Update

Sunday 14 January 13:50:56 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook The two stars of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update sketch weren't hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost this week. That honor goes instead to two of their guests: Aidy Bryant, as herself (sort of), and Kenan Thompson, as LaVar Ball. Bryant used her segment to get real with America about being a women in 2018. Mixing bits of herself with … [Link]

Mashable » 'Saturday Night Live' takes Stanley Tucci fandom to a weird next level

Sunday 14 January 13:19:56 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook Sometimes Saturday Night Live delivers a scathing take on the modern political climate featuring Bill Murray dressed up as Steve Bannon. And sometimes, Pete Davidson raps about his Stanley Tucci fandom with Sam Rockwell at his side, in the guise of the veteran actor. This sketch is the latter. It's dumb as hell. And it's so much better than it … [Link]

Mashable » Ginger Page Premium is like having a personal editor across your devices

Sunday 14 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. First impressions mean a lot. And these days, most of them happen online. The internet has become the place where we work, play, date, and share our expert unsolicited opinions. The last … [Link]

Mashable » Startup Saent is mythbusting the benefits of multitasking

Sunday 14 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. Feel like you've got too much to do and too little time to do it? Welcome to the club. For most people, it's easy to get caught up in everything you have … [Link]

Mashable » Learn the secrets to becoming a full-time freelancer by taking these online classes

Sunday 14 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. Working from home is seriously the best. Why not do it full-time? Don't get us wrong. It can be hard to kickstart a professional freelancing career. Which is why you might need … [Link]

Slashdot » Ask Slashdot: Is There a Useful Voice-Activated PC?

Sunday 14 January 12:34:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader writes: My elderly monther-in-law misses her computer. Her mind is okay, but she cannot use a computer because of her Parkinson's disease. I am not all that impressed with Amazon Echo. Seems you can ask the Echo for the time of day, or the weather outside, but it will not do anything useful — like send an … [Link]

Mashable » Bill Murray, yes, Bill Murray portrays Steve Bannon in hilarious 'SNL' cold open

Sunday 14 January 12:09:56 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough hate-flirting and talking over their guests on "Morning Joe" was a welcome way to return from Saturday Night Live's holiday hiatus, especially with a big reveal under the Steve Bannon Grim Reaper cloak. Mika (Kate McKinnon) and Joe (Alex Moffat) made everyone as uncomfortable as ever with their wholly inappropriate double entendre and tone-deaf interview … [Link]

Slashdot » Kansas 'Swat' Perpetrator Charged; Faces 11 More Years in Prison

Sunday 14 January 8:29:00 UTC 2018

Jail time looms for 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, whose fake call to Kansas police led to a fatal shooting: Barriss "was in a Wichita jail on Saturday," Reuters reported, and even his first court appearance Friday was a video appearance from jail. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and if convicted "could face up to 11 years and three months in … [Link]

Slashdot » Warren Buffett Predicts 'Bad Ending' for Cryptocurrencies

Sunday 14 January 4:24:00 UTC 2018

"97% of all bitcoins are held by 4% of addresses," reports Credit Suisse (in an article cited by Slashdot reader CaptainDork). And elsewhere this week, Warren Buffett told CNBC that speculation in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies "will have a bad ending," adding that looking out five years he'd gladly bet against all of the cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, CNBC senior analyst Ron … [Link]

Slashdot » Fake 'Inbound Missile' Alert Sent To Every Cellphone in Hawaii

Sunday 14 January 2:19:00 UTC 2018

"Somebody sent out a false emergency alert to all cell phones in Hawaii saying, 'BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL'," writes Slashdot reader flopwich, adding "Somebody's had better days at work." The Associated Press reports: In a conciliatory news conference later in the day, Hawaii officials apologized for the mistake and vowed … [Link]

Slashdot » Is Finland's Universal Basic Income Trial Too Good To Be True?

Sunday 14 January 0:14:00 UTC 2018

It was one year ago that Finland began giving money to 2,000 unemployed people — roughly $652 a month (€560 or £475). But have we learned anything about universal basic incomes? An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Amid this unprecedented media attention, the experts who devised the scheme are concerned it is being misrepresented. "It's not really what people are … [Link]


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