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China's First Cargo Spacecraft Launch a 'Crucial Step' To Space Station

Slashdot -

Earlier today, China launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. Chinese state media Xinhua described the event as a "crucial step for China's plan to have an operational space station by 2020." From a report: The Tianzhou-1 took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in China's southern Hainan province, on track to dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-2. The launch was the latest in a series of major announcements by the Chinese space program, which celebrated its longest-ever space mission in November.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Drupal governance announcements: Community Discussion

Drupal Planet -

Open conversation is essential to the wellbeing of any community. It is especially important now, as we collaboratively determine how to evolve our governance.

This discussion thread is being posted as a place for ongoing conversation about recent community issues and the governance improvements that the community is collaborating on together.

For background information on additional conversations being held, we direct you to:

https://www.drupal.org/community/discussions

...which has links to open community discussion sessions to be held at DrupalCon Baltimore, and that are being held virtually. After those sessions are completed, minutes will be posted to page above.

We encourage you to join us at those community discussions if you are able, and/or to continue the discussion here.

Lullabot: Drupalcon Baltimore Edition

Drupal Planet -

Matt and Mike sit down with several Lullabots who are presenting at Drupalcon Baltimore. We talk about our sessions, sessions that we're excited to see, and speaking tips for first-time presenters.

File System Improvements To the Windows Subsystem for Linux

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares a new article published on MSDN: In the latest Windows Insider build, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) now allows you to manually mount Windows drives using the DrvFs file system. Previously, WSL would automatically mount all fixed NTFS drives when you launch Bash, but there was no support for mounting additional storage like removable drives or network locations. Now, not only can you manually mount any drives on your system, we've also added support for other file systems such as FAT, as well as mounting network locations. This enables you to access any drive, including removable USB sticks or CDs, and any network location you can reach in Windows all from within WSL.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Cloud Chief Jabs Oracle: 'Customers Are Sick of It'

Slashdot -

It's no secret that Amazon and Oracle don't see eye to eye. But things are far from improving, it appears. From a report: On Wednesday, two months after Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd called Amazon's cloud infrastructure "old" and claimed his company was gaining share, Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy slammed Oracle for locking customers into painfully long and expensive contracts. "People are very sensitive about being locked in given the experience they've had the last 10 to 15 years," Jassy said on Wednesday on stage at Amazon's AWS Summit in San Francisco. "When you look at cloud, it's nothing like being locked into Oracle." Jassy was addressing a cultural shift in the way technology is bought and sold. No longer does the process involve the purchase of heavy proprietary software with multi-year contracts that include annual maintenance fees. Now, Jassy says, it's about choice and ease of use, including letting clients turn things off if they're not working.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Acquia Developer Center Blog: Get the most out of your first DrupalCon!

Drupal Planet -

To me, meeting and building relationships in person is the glue that holds us together and makes Drupal a community. If this is your first DrupalCon or first Drupal community event, it’ll be your first taste of this crazy, smart bunch of people scattered around the globe most of the rest of the year. Welcome! I’d like to help you get the most out of your first DrupalCon!

Tags: acquia drupal planetcommunityfirst timerseventdrupalcon

Mastercard is Building Fingerprint Scanners Directly Into Its Cards

Slashdot -

Mastercard said on Thursday it's beginning trials of its "next-generation biometric card" in South Africa. In addition to the standard chip and pin, the new cards have a built-in fingerprint reader that the user can use to authenticate every purchase. From a report: Impressively, the new card is no thicker or larger than your current credit and debit cards.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Says It Will Release Two Feature Updates Per Year For Windows 10, Office

Slashdot -

Microsoft is making a few changes to how it will service Windows, Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager. From a report: Announced today, Microsoft will be releasing two feature updates a year for Windows 10 in March in September and with each release, System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making both easier to deploy and keep up to date. This is a big change for Microsoft as Windows will now be on a more predictable pattern for major updates and by aligning it with Office 365 Pro Plus, this should make these two platforms easier to service from an IT Pro perspective. The big news here is also that Microsoft is announcing when Redstone 3 is targeted for release. The company is looking at a September release window but it is worth pointing out that they traditionally release the month after the code is completed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

President Trump Misses 90-Day Deadline To Appoint a Cybersecurity Team After Alleged Russian Hacking

Slashdot -

From a report: President-elect Donald Trump was very clear: "I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office," he said in January, after getting a U.S. intelligence assessment of Russian interference in last year's elections and promising to address cybersecurity. Thursday, Trump hits his 90-day mark. There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what. It's the latest deadline Trump's set and missed -- from the press conference he said his wife would hold last fall to answer questions about her original immigration process to the plan to defeat ISIS that he'd said would come within his first 30 days in office. Since his inauguration, Trump's issued a few tweets and promises to get to the bottom of Russian hacking -- and accusations of surveillance of Americans, himself included, by the Obama administration.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Grok the GIL (opensource.com)

LWN Headlines -

Here's an opensource.com article describing how the Python global interpreter lock works and some nuances of writing threaded Python code. "Although the GIL does not excuse us from the need for locks, it does mean there is no need for fine-grained locking. In a free-threaded language like Java, programmers make an effort to lock shared data for the shortest time possible, to reduce thread contention and allow maximum parallelism. Because threads cannot run Python in parallel, however, there's no advantage to fine-grained locking. So long as no thread holds a lock while it sleeps, does I/O, or some other GIL-dropping operation, you should use the coarsest, simplest locks possible."

Discovery May Help Decipher Ancient Inca String Code

Slashdot -

A discovery made in a remote mountain village high in the Peruvian Andes suggests that the ancient Inca used accounting devices made of knotted, colored strings for more than accounting. From a report on National Geographic: The devices, called khipus (pronounced kee-poos), used combinations of knots to represent numbers and were used to inventory stores of corn, beans, and other provisions. Spanish accounts from colonial times claim that Inca khipus also encoded history, biographies, and letters, but researchers have yet to decipher any non-numerical meaning in the cords and knots. Now a pair of khipus protected by Andean elders since colonial times may offer fresh clues for understanding how more elaborate versions of the devices could have stored and relayed information. "What we found is a series of complex color combinations between the cords," says Sabine Hyland, professor of anthropology at University of St Andrews in Scotland and a National Geographic Explorer. "The cords have 14 different colors that allow for 95 unique cord patterns. That number is within the range of symbols in logosyllabic writing systems." Hyland theorizes that specific combinations of colored strings and knots may have represented syllables or words.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wikipedia's 'Ban' of 'The Daily Mail' Didn't Really Happen

Slashdot -

Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that editors at Wikipedia had "voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website," calling the publication "generally unreliable." Two months later, not only previous Daily Mail citations on Wikipedia pages are still alive, several new ones have also appeared since. So what's going on? The Outline has the story: There are no rules on Wikipedia, just guidelines. Of Wikipedia's five "pillars," the fifth is that there are no firm rules. There is no formal hierarchy either, though the most dedicated volunteers can apply to become administrators with extra powers after being approved by existing admins. But even they don't say what goes on the site. If there's a dispute or a debate, editors post a "request for comment," asking whoever is interested to have their say. The various points are tallied up by an editor and co-signed by four more after a month, but it's not a vote as in a democracy. Instead, the aim is to reach consensus of opinion, and if that's not possible, to weigh the arguments and pick the side that's most compelling. There was no vote to ban the Daily Mail because Wikipedia editors don't vote. (emphasis ours.) So what happened? The article adds: In this case, an editor submitted a broader request for comment about its [the Daily Mail's] general reliability. Seventy-seven editors participated in the discussion and two thirds supported prohibiting the Daily Mail as a source, with one editor and four co-signing editors (more than usual) chosen among administrators declaring that a consensus, though further discussion continued on a separate noticeboard, alongside complaints that the debate should have been better advertised. Though it's discouraged, the Daily Mail can be (and still is) cited. An editor I met at a recent London "Wikimeet" said he'd used the Daily Mail as a source in the last week, as it was the only source available for the subject he was writing about.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[$] The MuQSS CPU scheduler

LWN Headlines -

The scheduler is a topic of keen interest for the desktop user; the scheduling algorithm partially determines the responsiveness of the Linux desktop as a whole. Con Kolivas maintains a series of scheduler patch sets that he has tuned considerably over the years for his own use, focusing primarily on latency reduction for a better desktop experience. In early October 2016, Kolivas updated the design of his popular desktop scheduler patch set, which he renamed MuQSS. It is an update (and a name change) from his previous scheduler, BFS, and it is designed to address scalability concerns that BFS had with an increasing number of CPUs.

The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer

Slashdot -

Sharing personal anecdotes and recent studies, a new report on Bloomberg blames outdated computers, decade-old operating systems and ageing equipments for being one of the biggest hurdles that prevents people from doing actual work in their offices. From the article: Slow, outdated computers and intermittent internet connections demoralize workers, a survey of 6,000 European workers said. Half of U.K. employees said creaking computers were "restrictive and limiting," and 38 percent said modern technology would make them more motivated, according to the survey, commissioned by electronics company Sharp. Scott's (a 25-year-old researcher who works at an insurance firm) PC runs the relatively up-to-date Windows 8 operating system, but his computer sometimes struggles to handle large spreadsheets and multiple documents open simultaneously, slowing him down. Others are in a worse spot. One in every eight business laptops and desktops worldwide still run Windows XP, which was introduced in 2001. [...] Some businesses can't help using old hardware or operating systems, because they use specialized software that also hasn't been brought up-to-date.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MIT No Longer Owns 18.0.0.0/8

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader shares: MIT no longer owns 18.0.0.0/8. That's a very big block of scarce IPv4 addresses that have become available again. One block inside this /8, more specifically 18.145.0.0/16, was transferred to Amazon.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft To Shut Down Wunderlist, an App It Acquired Two Years Ago, In Favor Of Homegrown App To-Do

Slashdot -

From a report on TechCrunch: Microsoft acquired the popular mobile to do list application Wunderlist back in 2015, and now it's preparing users for its eventual demise with the release of its new application "To-Do," it announced this week. The new app was built by the team behind Wunderlist, and will bring in the favorite elements of that app in the months ahead, Microsoft insists. The company also added that it won't shut down Wunderlist until it's confident that it has "incorporated the best of Wunderlist into To-Do." In case you're hoping Wunderlist will get some sort of reprieve, Microsoft makes its forthcoming demise pretty clear. Stating its plans in black-and-white: "we will retire Wunderlist," it says in a blog post. In the meantime, Microsoft is encouraging Wunderlist users to make the switch by offering an importer that will bring in your lists and to-dos from Wunderlist into To-Do, where those items will now be available in other Microsoft products, like Exchange and Outlook.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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