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 the First Open Source Software and Hardware Satellite UPSat Was Built

Sunday 11 February 23:10:00 UTC 2018

UPSat is the first open source — both hardware and software — satellite to have ever been launched in orbit. Pierros Papadeas, the Director of Operations for Libre Space Foundation, which helped build the UPSat, talked about the project at FOSDEM, a non-commercial, volunteer-organized European event focused on free and open-source software development. You can watch the talk here; and … [Link]

Mashable » Please enjoy these photos of an Olympic coach knitting on the slopes

Sunday 11 February 22:29:06 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookWhen the stakes are high, this Finnish Olympic snowboarding coach stays cool with a little light, slope-side crafting.  As Yahoo Sports noted (via HuffPost), Antti Koskinen of Finland was spotted knitting this weekend at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. How pleasant! SEE ALSO: How to follow the Olympics on Twitter The coach is just low key knitting while … [Link]

Mashable » 8 people confess why they finally deleted social media

Sunday 11 February 22:13:08 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookMuch has been made of the social media "detox": a break, however permanent or temporary, from the digital world.  Of course, because each person's relationship with social media is unique (terrible), the way people deal with unplugging varies, too. For some, logging off for a while can be genuinely rejuvenating. For others, it's fine, but it doesn't change their habits in … [Link]

Slashdot » Hackers Hijack Government Websites To Mine Crypto-Cash

Sunday 11 February 22:10:00 UTC 2018

BBC reports: The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) took down its website after a warning that hackers were taking control of visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency. Security researcher Scott Helme said more than 4,000 websites, including many government ones, were affected. He said the affected code had now been disabled and visitors were no longer at risk. The ICO said: "We … [Link]

Mashable » Watch this Olympic skater perform to Beyoncé

Sunday 11 February 21:25:48 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookWho run the world? French Olympic figure skater Maé-Bérénice Méité, who on Sunday in Pyeongchang performed her short program to Beyoncé's anthem "Run The World (Girls)," and a cover of "Halo."  Though Méité's performance came in ninth place, it delighted viewers for its sense of fun.  SEE ALSO: How to follow the Olympics on Twitter French Olympian skating to Beyonce! 💝💝💝&#128157~ … [Link]

Slashdot » Chinese Phone Maker Xiaomi Deletes a Public MIUI vs Android One Twitter Poll After Voting Didn't Go Its Way

Sunday 11 February 21:07:39 UTC 2018

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which sells handsets at razor thin margins, is increasingly dominating in its home market and emerging places such as India and Indonesia. To make money, the company relies on a range of homegrown software features in its Android-based MIUI operating system. In a surprising move earlier this week, the company asked its Twitter followers to choose … [Link]

Slashdot » Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood

Sunday 11 February 20:40:00 UTC 2018

From a report: On any given day, from her home on the Isle of Man, Linda Watson might be reading a handwritten letter from one Confederate soldier to another, or a list of convicts transported to Australia. Or perhaps she is reading a will, a brief from a long-forgotten legal case, an original Jane Austen manuscript. Whatever is in them, … [Link]

Mashable » Snowboarder recovers from horrific accident to win Olympic medal

Sunday 11 February 19:42:20 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIn March 2017, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris laid in a hospital bed with fractured ribs, a fractured left arm, pelvis, and jaw, along with a ruptured spleen and collapsed left lung.  On Saturday, less than a year after he slammed into a tree while backcountry snowboarding, McMorris claimed an Olympic bronze medal in the men's slopestyle event.  SEE ALSO: These LGBTQ … [Link]

Slashdot » How Delivery Apps May Put Your Favorite Restaurant Out of Business

Sunday 11 February 19:40:00 UTC 2018

In a piece this month, The New Yorker argues that online food discovery and delivery platforms are bad for restaurants. From the report: In recent years, online platforms like Uber Eats, Seamless, and GrubHub (which merged with Seamless, in 2013) have turned delivery from a small segment of the restaurant industry, dominated by pizza, to a booming new source of … [Link]

Mashable » How to follow the Olympics on Twitter

Sunday 11 February 19:11:53 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookThough we're just a few days into the 2018 Winter Games, it's possible you're already suffering from Olympics whiplash.  Signs of Olympics whiplash include:  Devotion to your country's team. Regular googling of the time in Pyeongchang, South Korea A strong need to keep up with multiple concurrent events, despite the disheartening truth that it's impossible to see every event in real … [Link]

Slashdot » Chinese Phone Maker Xiaomi, Which Relies on Its Custom OS MIUI To Make Money, Deletes a Public MIUI vs Android One Twitter Poll After Voting Didn't Go Its Way

Sunday 11 February 18:40:00 UTC 2018

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which sells handsets at razor thin margins, is increasingly dominating in its home market and emerging places such as India and Indonesia. To make money, the company relies on a range of homegrown software features in its Android-based MIUI operating system. In a surprising move earlier this week, the company asked its Twitter followers to choose … [Link]

Slashdot » HomePod Repairs Cost Almost as Much as a New HomePod

Sunday 11 February 17:40:00 UTC 2018

This may not come as a huge surprise, but it's going to be pricey if you break Apple's fully sealed and densely packed new speaker. From a report: Repair pricing for the HomePod was posted to Apple's website this week, and the number is high enough that it's clear you should invest in a warranty if you're worried about breaking … [Link]

Slashdot » Sandboxed Mac Apps Can Record Screen Any Time Without You Knowing

Sunday 11 February 16:41:00 UTC 2018

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Malicious app developers can secretly abuse a macOS API function to take screenshots of the user's screen and then use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to programmatically read the text found in the image. The function is CGWindowListCreateImage, often utilized by Mac apps that take screenshots or live stream a user's desktop. According to Fastlane Tools … [Link]

Mashable » Watch: Even Elon Musk was starstruck during the Falcon Heavy launch

Sunday 11 February 15:57:18 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookIf you think you were excited watching SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch, here's how Elon Musk handled it. On Saturday, National Geographic shared an exclusive clip of the SpaceX CEO taking in Tuesday's launch.  SEE ALSO: SpaceX just launched the Falcon Heavy, its most powerful rocket, and landed 2 boosters "Holy flying fuck, that thing took off," Musk said as the Falcon … [Link]

Slashdot » Facebook 'Likes' Are a Powerful Tool For Authoritarian Rulers, Court Petition Says

Sunday 11 February 15:43:00 UTC 2018

A Cambodian opposition leader has filed a petition in a California court against Facebook, demanding the company disclose its transactions with his country's authoritarian prime minister, whom he accuses of falsely inflating his popularity through purchased "likes" and spreading fake news. From a report: The petition, filed Feb. 8, brings the ongoing debate over Facebook's power to undermine democracies into … [Link]

Mashable » Tumblr has a game plan for 2018: Keep handing the mic to activists

Sunday 11 February 15:00:00 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookTumblr is beloved by users who leverage the site's visual and practical features to confront taboo topics and politics. The blogging platform is also frequently derided by those who mock its progressive activists as "social justice warriors."     Yet no measure of contempt seems to deter Tumblr from fully embracing advocacy and activism. The site has an aggressive plan to promote … [Link]

Slashdot » Facial Recognition Is Accurate, if You're a White Guy

Sunday 11 February 14:50:00 UTC 2018

Facial recognition technology is improving by leaps and bounds. Some commercial software can now tell the gender of a person in a photograph. When the person in the photo is a white man, the software is right 99 percent of the time. But the darker the skin, the more errors arise — up to nearly 35 percent for images of … [Link]

Mashable » One Indian movie is fighting the stigma about periods

Sunday 11 February 14:25:50 UTC 2018

Twitter Facebook About one act into the new Indian movie Pad Man, a man experiences a brutal, mortifying pad leak.  The man in question is Lakshmi Chauhan (Akshay Kumar), testing a homemade sanitary pad he made for his wife. Needless to say, it's not effective, and the scarlet specter leaves Lakshmi dripping goat's blood off his bicycle until he abandons it and … [Link]

Mashable » The Hover-1 Cruze is the only electric skateboard that doesn't terrify me

Sunday 11 February 14:00:00 UTC 2018

Twitter FacebookI’m a decent skateboarder, and electric skateboards terrify me.  Most electric skateboards are remote-controlled. When I push the button to start the board, it tends to jerk abruptly into motion, because my hands are uncoordinated, and my fingers are thick and clumsy. When I do manage to get it moving, my finger quivers, because if it slips and pushes the throttle … [Link]

Slashdot » There Are Ajit Pai 'Verizon Puppet' Jokes That the FCC Doesn't Want You To Read

Sunday 11 February 13:38:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission is refusing to release the draft versions of jokes told by Chairman Ajit Pai at a recent dinner, claiming that releasing the drafts would "impede the candid exchange of ideas" within the commission. In December, Pai gave a speech at the annual FCC Chairman's Dinner and played … [Link]

Mashable » It's not too late to order Valentine's Day flowers at a reasonable price

Sunday 11 February 11:00:00 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've left your Valentine's Day gift shopping to the last minute, you can't go wrong with flowers.  A perennial favorite, they're perfect for any occasion and any relationship whether you've been … [Link]

Slashdot » German Authorities Are Considering a Ban On Loot Boxes

Sunday 11 February 10:27:00 UTC 2018

Slashdot reader Qbertino writes: Heise reports that German authorities are examining loot boxes in video games and considering banning them in the country. Loot boxes might actually even violate laws against calls-to-purchase aimed directly towards minors that are already in effect. German authorities are also checking that. Loot boxes are randomized in-game item purchases that many people consider a form … [Link]

Slashdot » Is Social Media Causing Childhood Depression?

Sunday 11 February 7:16:00 UTC 2018

General practitioner Rangan Chatterjee says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in children and their use of social media. "One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E," reports BBC. Dr. Chatterjee was going to put him on anti-depressants, but instead worked with him to help wean … [Link]

Slashdot » Researchers Discover Efficient Way To Filter Salt, Metal Ions From Water

Sunday 11 February 4:05:00 UTC 2018

schwit1 shares a report on a new study, published in Sciences Advances, that offers a new solution to providing clean drinking water for billions of people worldwide: It all comes down to metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), an amazing next generation material that have the largest internal surface area of any known substance. The sponge like crystals can be used to capture, … [Link]

Slashdot » Why Hiring the 'Best' People Produces the Least Creative Results

Sunday 11 February 1:54:00 UTC 2018

An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report written by Scott E. Page, who explains why hiring the "best" people produces the least creative results: The burgeoning of teams — most academic research is now done in teams, as is most investing and even most songwriting (at least for the good songs) — tracks the growing complexity of our … [Link]

Slashdot » NSA Sent Coded Messages From Its Twitter To Communicate With Foreign Spies

Sunday 11 February 0:43:00 UTC 2018

Matt Novak reports via Gizmodo: During the first Cold War, American and British spies would sometimes place coded messages in newspaper classified ads to communicate with each other. And according to new reports in the New York Times and The Intercept, the National Security Agency (NSA) has updated the tactic, using its public Twitter account to send secret messages to … [Link]

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