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New Tool Cures Headaches with the Linux Steam Client on Distros Which Don't Use Debian Packaging

Soylent New - 3 hours 23 min ago

Softpedia reports

Linux Steam Integration (or LSI for short) [is] a small and straightforward utility that promises to solve the issue of the Steam runtime not working correctly on various Linux kernel-based operating systems, such as Solus, because of the old Ubuntu 12.04 LTS libraries [which] Steam for Linux client requires.

Running Steam on some distributions that have nothing to do with Debian packaging has always been a pain in the neck, but now, thanks to this little open-source project, which any OS vendor can integrate into its GNU/Linux operating system, things should run more smoothly for gamers.

This is from Ikey Doherty and the Solus Project, whose announcement says

Linux Steam Integration, or LSI, is a configurable shim I've developed to solve the issue of the Steam runtime. With this shim, one may force Steam to run in 32-bit mode, to combat issues such as seen with the latest CS:GO 64-bit update, as well as to enable or disable the Steam runtime at will.

The shim binary is extremely lightweight and completely leak-free, and is designed to be used in place of the existing /usr/bin/steam, meaning adopters must move the existing Steam binary elsewhere.

This will be expanded in [the] future to address further limitations in the Steam client, in order to bring per-game runtime configuration settings, as well as steadily removing Steam's requirement for [its] own SDL libraries.

The repo is on GitHub, and in the next few hours I'll cut a 0.1 release. It's designed to be distro-agnostic, and to finally address the headaches we've put up with for so long now, such as setting the LD_PRELOAD or LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

With this new shim, we can even run Steam with its own runtime without doing any hacks, and letting LSI take care of it for us.

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William Gibson Announces New Sci-Fi Comic Book

/. - 3 hours 28 min ago
68-year-old science fiction author William Gibson just released a complicated new science fiction comic book, and this weekend Ars Technica proclaimed that "the results are grand". An anonymous reader shares their report: A father and son occupy the new White House as President and Vice President. We never meet dad, but his son -- an evil jerk by the name of Junior Henderson -- has been surgically altered to resemble his grandfather, because Junior is about travel to an alternate Earth in 1945 to take grandpa's place, with the intent of remaking that world more to his liking (and, presumably, to prevent whatever it was that laid waste to the one we start off in)...The world is in ruins. The White House relocated to the ominous-sounding National Emergency Federal District in Montana. They have technology that far outstrips our own... "It's an alternate-history/cross-worlds story," Gibson writes... "And I wouldn't want to spoil too much of the frame, because that's an inherent part of our narrative. But I will say that one of the first verbal tags we had for the material was 'Band Of Brothers vs. Blackwater.'" On his Twitter feed, Gibson is also applauding the news that Marvel and DC comics abandoned a two and a half year legal battle to enforce their trademark on the word "superhero" against a publisher in the U.K.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mugger Arrested After Victim Spots Him On Facebook's 'People You May Know'

/. - 4 hours 31 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BGR: In a somewhat bizarre story which proves that truth is often stranger than fiction, a serial mugger in England was arrested after one of his victims spotted him under Facebook's 'People you may know' section.Originally reported by the BBC, 21-year old Omar Famuyide had a long history of theft, muggings and armed robberies to his name. Not too long ago, Famuyide brandished a knife and stole a car. Flash forward a bit, and the victim of said car robbery was recently shocked to see Famuyide's face pop up as a suggested friend he might want to add on Facebook. The victim promptly called the police who quickly managed to tie him to a large number of other violent crimes. By the time the dust settled and the full extent of Famuyide's criminal rampage was revealed, Famuyide was sentenced to 17 years in prison. His Facebook profile ultimately led to charges of robbery, attempted robbery, and possessing a firearm.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slicing Apples Makes Them More Attractive to Kids

Soylent New - 5 hours 14 min ago

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine and expanded upon by The Washington Post finds that providing sliced apples, rather than whole ones, increases the odds students will eat them and reduces waste.

A pilot study conducted at eight schools found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. And a follow-up study, conducted at six other schools, not only confirmed the finding, but further strengthened it: Both overall apple consumption and the percentage of students who ate more than half of the apple that was served to them were more than 70 percent higher at schools that served sliced apples.

This mirrors McDonald's experience with Happy Meals.

In 2004, before any other fast food company was offering apple slices, McDonald's was adding them to its menu. At the time, the company was looking to introduce healthier options that would be attractive to children, and pre-sliced apples seemed like a good place to start.

"Sliced apples are often easier for children, especially young children, to eat," said Christina Tyler, a company spokesperson. "We simply wanted to make enjoying fruit easier and more fun for our youngest customers."

For years, the apples were offered as an optional side. But in 2012, the company began automatically serving them as part of Happy Meals. And the impact has been enormous.

While McDonald's wouldn't disclose how many apples it sold in the early years, it confirmed that it has served more than 2 billion packages since they were first offered. In 2015 alone, the company served almost 250 million packages of sliced apples, which amounts to just over 60 million apples, or more than 10 percent of all fresh sliced apples sold in the United States.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.02.003

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Fiverr Suffers Six-Hour DDoS Attack After Removing DDoS-For-Hire Listings

/. - 5 hours 31 min ago
Two days after Fiverr, a marketplace for digital services, removed user listings from its website that advertised DDoS-for-hire services, the company's website suffered a six-hour long DDOS attack. Softpedia reports: The incident took place on the morning of May 27 (European timezones), and the service admitted its problems on its Twitter account. At the time of writing, Fiverr has been back up and functioning normally for more than two hours. Fiverr's problems stem from an Incapsula probe that found DDoS-for-hire ads on its marketplace, available for $5. Incapsula reported the suspicious listings to Fiverr, who investigated the issue and removed the ads. Fiverr first removed all listings advertising blatantly illegal DDoS services, but later also removed the ads offering to "test" a website for DDoS "protection" measures.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Is Denver The Next High-Tech Center?

/. - 6 hours 31 min ago
An anonymous reader write: "The spread of the tech industry outside Silicon Valley has helped make Denver the fastest-growing large city in the U.S.," reports the New Yorker, saying it's now growing faster than Austin and Seattle, becoming one of America's 20 most populous cities. Cost-conscious investors and tech executives now are opening offices in cheaper "secondary cities" outside of Silicon Valley, like Salt Lake City, and the good universities near Denver mean a well-educated workforce, coupled with a low cost of living. "Though the city isn't the headquarters for any big tech companies -- like Dell in the Austin area or Microsoft and Amazon in Seattle -- several of them, including IBM and Oracle, have offices here. The presence of those offices, and of the universities, has also helped create a vibrant startup scene: people get educated here or come here for jobs, and then they graduate or leave those jobs and become entrepreneurs." Last year venture capitalists invested $800 million in Demver's tech, energy, food, and marijuana companies, and in 2014 Oracle paid over a billion dollars to acquire Denver-based Datalogix. Anyone else live in a burgeoning "secondary" tech city? Scott McNealy said he co-founded his data-analysis startup in Denver because in California "The prices of everything have skyrocketed. The regulations. The pension deficit. The traffic. It's just not a fun place to go start."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Quiet Crisis Unfolding in Software Development

Soylent New - 6 hours 55 min ago

How software development managers can do their part to stop and reverse the quiet crisis unfolding in software development leading to low quality applications, unhappy employees and unhappy users.

The reason I'm sharing this is because over the last ten to fifteen years I've noticed a quiet crisis unfolding in software development leading to low quality applications, unhappy employees and unhappy users. Silver bullet solutions keep creeping into our awareness (Scrum, anyone?) and predictably keep letting us down.

This is almost entirely the fault poor management — or perhaps it should be called fad management. In the past I was to blame as much as anyone until I discovered and refined a basic set of practices that for the most part cause everything else to fall into place — at least in my experience. No promises. Here we go.

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Ray Kurzeil's Google Team Is Building Intelligent Chatbots

/. - 7 hours 31 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes an article from The Verge. Inventor Ray Kurzweil made his name as a pioneer in technology that helped machines understand human language, both written and spoken. In a video from a recent Singularity conference Kurzweil says he and his team at Google are building a chatbot, and that it will be released sometime later this year... "My team, among other things, is working on chatbots. We expect to release some chatbots you can talk to later this year." One of the bots will be named Danielle, and according to Kurzweil, it will draw on dialog from a character named Danielle, who appears in a novel he wrote -- a book titled, what else, Danielle... He said that anyone will be able to create their own unique chatbot by feeding it a large sample of your writing, for example by letting it ingest your blog. This would allow the bot to adopt your "style, personality, and ideas." Kurzweil also predicted that we won't see AIs with full "human-level" language abilities until 2029, "But you'll be able to have interesting conversations before that."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BSI Bank Ordered to Shutdown by the Monetary Authority of Singapore

Soylent New - 8 hours 32 min ago

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/mobile/singapore/mas-orders-bsi-bank-to/2811530.html

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday (May 24) it has ordered the closure of Switzerland's BSI Bank in Singapore.

This is the first time in over 30 years that a merchant bank in Singapore has been ordered to shut down. In 1984, Jardine Fleming (Singapore) was ordered to close over serious lapses in its advisory work.

Six members of the bank's senior management and staff have been referred to the Public Prosecutor to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences, MAS said.

The six are former CEO Hans Peter Brunner, former Deputy CEO Raj Sriram, head of wealth management services Kevin Michael Swampillai, who is currently suspended by the bank, former senior private bankers Yak Yew Chee and Seah Yew Foong, and former wealth planner Yeo Jiawei, who is currently in remand and has been charged for various offences.

In a press release, the bank responded:

The decision by MAS to withdraw the Bank's status as a merchant bank will take place only at a future time given that MAS "will allow the transfer of the Singapore's subsidiary's assets and liabilities to the Singapore branch of EFG or the parent entity, BSI SA". Also, MAS has stated that "the Bank is solvent and has assets in excess of its liabilities and commitments".

The Bank is not affected by the financial penalties levied by MAS and FINMA as they will be paid by using the BSI's General Reserves for Banking Risks. Furthermore, the Bank is in a very comfortable position in terms of liquidity.

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Ruby on Rails Creator Supports After-Work Email Bans

/. - 9 hours 31 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, is applauding talk of an after-work e-mail ban, writing that "the ever-expanding expectations for when someone is available have gotten out of hand... Work emails are ticking in at all sorts of odd hours and plenty of businesses are dysfunctional enough to believe they have a right to have those answered, whatever the hour. That's unhealthy, possibly even exploitative... Same goes for forcing everyone to work in an open office. The research is mounting on all the ills that come from persistent noise and interruptions from that arrangement." While acknowledging that his firm's project management tool Basecamp has a "perfect storm" of features that can send emails and texts after hours, Hansson points out that at least version 3 (released in 2015) shipped with a scheduling feature that will hold notifications during weekends and other specified off-work periods. "What we need before we can even dream of having something like the French response is a change in attitudes. Less celebration of workaholism, more #WorkCanWait. More recognition that stress from unrealistic and unhealthy expectations and work habits is actually a real hazard to health and sanity."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Can Going Pink Draw More Female Hunters?

Soylent New - 10 hours 14 min ago

Laws to permit the colour "blaze pink" for hunters have been proposed in five states in the US. How did this become a legislative trend?

As the legislative session drew to a close last week at the Minnesota state capitol, a curious piece of legislation became the focus of ire for lawmakers - a bill to make something called "blaze pink" legal for hunters to wear.
...
Last spring, Wisconsin Representative Nick Milroy had the idea that "blaze pink" might also be an acceptable safety colour as well as a way to get some new blood into the sport.

He even got a textile scientist at a local university to investigate whether there were any safety concerns.

"The fastest growing segment in new recruits into hunting are females, and that's one of the big reasons that companies have been marketing things like pink camouflage, pink guns, pink knives," he says.

Participation in hunting in the US has been on the decline for decades, and the sport is overwhelmingly dominated by men.

Safety Orange to become Safety Pink?

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World's Highest Glass Bridge in China to Include Three Crazy Swings

Soylent New - 11 hours 59 min ago

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

VThe completion of China's latest glass bridge, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge designed by Haim Dotan Architects, has been delayed, but thrill-seekers won't mind the wait. Vice General Manager Joe Chen of the Zhangjiajie Canyon Tourism Management Co. confirmed to Inhabitat the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge will include not one swing, but three. He also hinted when the bridge could open.

...

The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge will be the highest glass bridge in the world at "300 meters vertical height," which is about 984 feet; and the longest at 430 meters long, or a little over 1,410 feet. According to the Zhangjiajie Canyon Tourism Management Co., the bridge "holds 10 world records."

Source: http://inhabitat.com/worlds-highest-glass-bridge-in-china-to-include-three-crazy-swings/

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Upcoming OS/2 Release Will Be Called ArcaOS 5.0

/. - 13 hours 31 min ago
At the annual convention of OS/2 users, Arca Noae announced their new OS/2-OEM distribution will be released in the fourth quarter of 2016, and the project, codenamed "Blue Lion", will officially be called ArcaOS 5.0. "The significance of the version number relates to IBM OS/2 4.52 -- the last maintenance release of the platform released by IBM in 2001," reports TechRepublic. martiniturbide writes: The article discusses the features of ArcaOS like USB bootable installer, USB (1.1 and 2) , ACPI, AHCI, and network card drivers, new OS installer, etc. It will be sold in two editions: ArcaOS Commercial Edition [with 12 months of priority support and updates] and ArcaOS Personal Edition... Anyone have fond members of OS/2? Are there any Slashdot readers who are still using it?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

"Wanda City" to Compete with Disney's Shanghai Theme Park

Soylent New - 13 hours 42 min ago

As Disney prepares to open its sixth theme park — this one in Shanghai — at a cost of $5.5 billion, China's richest man has opened a competing theme park with an emphasis on Chinese culture:

China's richest man has opened a massive entertainment complex to compete with US giant Disney. "Wanda City", in south-eastern city Nanchang, features rides, shopping centres and an aquarium, and cost more than $3bn (just over £2bn).

Its owner, Wang Jianlin, said he wanted to move away from western imports and to establish a global brand based on Chinese culture. Disney is planning to open its own theme park in Shanghai next month.

The new entertainment complex includes an $800m China-themed park filled with twirling "porcelain teacup rides" and bamboo forests, as well as a huge indoor shopping mall, and what is claimed to be the world's largest ocean park.

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Opera's Sale... Green Light is Given!

Soylent New - 15 hours 33 min ago

Opera, once known for revolutionizing web browsing and pushing boundaries has suffered greatly the last few years.

First their origin engine [Presto] was abandoned in favor of Chromium so as to be able to be competitive again. Many users did not like this as many features were taken away. Then the possible news of a sale and now this.

What will the future bring for Opera? Nobody knows, there is only once constant: Many people dislike that Chinese investors are taking control over the company and will leave Opera.

http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/26/opera-software-sale-greenlighted-by-shareholders/

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Faulty TLS Implementation Opens VISA Sites, Users to Attack - Help Net Security

Soylent New - 28 May 2016 - 11:45pm

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

A group of researchers has discovered 184 HTTPS servers that are wide open to attackers looking to inject seemingly valid content into encrypted sessions. Some of these servers belong to the credit card company VISA, the Polish banking association ZBP, and the German stock exchange.

They are vulnerable to these attacks because they used a duplicate cryptographic nonce with the AES-GCM cipher during the TLS handshake between the browser and the HTTPS-protected sites. This means attackers that are able to monitor the connection could reconstruct the authentication key and misuse it to, let's say, inject malicious code in the site or bogus forms to harvest user data.

The user, i.e. the browser, would have no way of noticing the attack.

[...]

The researchers have also found over 70,000 HTTPS servers using random nonces, which theoretically puts them in danger of nonce reuse attacks. Such an attack would be much more difficult to pull off – but not impossible.

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That North Korean Facebook Clone Has Already Been Hacked

/. - 28 May 2016 - 11:30pm
Remember yesterday's story about an off-the-shelf Facebook clone in North Korea? Within a few hours that site was hacked by an 18-year-old college student in Scotland. An anonymous reader writes: Using the default credentials, Andrew McKean posted "Uh, I didn't create this site just found the login" in the site's box for Sponsored links. "McKean was able to become an admin for the site just by clicking on the 'Admin' link at the bottom of the site and guessing the username and password," writes Motherboard, which adds that the password was "password". McKean says the breach "was easy enough," and granted him the ability to "delete and suspend users, change the site's name, censor certain words and manage the eventual ads, and see everyone's emails." The teenager said he had "no plans" for the compromised site -- except possibly redirecting it to an anti-North Korean page.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SpyBot "Anti-Beacon" Claims to Block Telemetry Issues Present in Windows 7/8/10

Soylent New - 28 May 2016 - 10:01pm

We receive our fair share of slashvertisements. Not daily, certainly, but when we get one we often get a handful. Most get a cursory read by the editors, are identified for what they are, and go straight into the bin. But not all.

Recently we have also covered the enforced Windows 10 upgrade currently being pushed by Microsoft. If there is anyone out there who has not seen such stories you really haven't been paying attention. The effort being expended by MS to make sure that you upgrade - whether intentionally or not - is matched only by that being expended by users trying to avoid the upgrade while still being able to use their licensed software. Even the Chinese are getting in on the act.

And today, both of these things, have come together.

Spybot Anti-Beacon: block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 7/8/8.1/10

https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/

"Spybot Anti-Beacon is a standalone tool which was designed to block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 10. It has since been modified to block similar tracking functionality in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems.

Anti-Beacon is small, simple to use, and is provided free of charge. It was created to address the privacy concerns of users of Windows 10 who do not wish to have information about their PC usage sent to Microsoft. Simply clicking "Immunize" on the main screen of Anti-Beacon will immediately disable any known tracking features included by Microsoft in the operating system.

If any issues occur with your PC while using Anti-Beacon, undoing the changes made can be done by clicking the "Undo" button in the main window. This will re-enable all tracking services. If you experience any issues using Anti-Beacon or have any suggestions/recommendations, please be sure to let us know on the forum thread relating to this tool."

We are not making any claims as the the efficacy of this piece of software, nor are we supporting it or suggesting that you should download it. It might work perfectly or may be as bad as the problem that it claims to cure. We simply do not know. But if anyone has tried it we would welcome any comments that you wish to make. You will understand that the community is likely to be a little skeptical regarding comments submitted as Anonymous Coward - that is how we received the slashvertisement in the first instance.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: I'd Require All Children To Start Coding In 4th Grade

/. - 28 May 2016 - 9:30pm
This week Apple CEO Tim Cook argued at Startup Fest Europe that coding should be a 'second language' taught to all children. theodp shares two quotes from a YouTube video. "We fundamentally believe that coding is a language and that just like other languages are required in school, coding should be required in school," Cook stated. "I do think coding is as important-- if not more important -- as the second language that most people learn in today's world," Cook later added... "I would go in and make coding a requirement starting at the fourth or fifth grade, and I would build on that year after year after year...I think we're doing our kids a disservice if we're not teaching them and introducing them in that way." Meanwhile, The Hill reported this week that The Computer Science Education Coalition -- which includes Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and dozens of other companies -- hired a fourth "advocacy firm" that specializes in "mobilizing groups of people to influence outcomes...to help convince policymakers to provide money to computer science education for grades K-12," and they're seeking an initial investment of $250 million. I'd be curious to hear what Slashdot readers think about government funding of grade school coding classes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Crowd-funded Body Augmentation Senses North

Soylent New - 28 May 2016 - 8:17pm

SoylentNews covers cyborg/transhumanist stories from time to time. This particular concept, of a sensor that tells you true magnetic north, has arisen before. The story is a promo for a crowd-funded project, but it's interesting to check in on where the thinking on tech-based body augmentation is headed:

North Sense is a miniature Artificial Sense, vibrating each time it faces the Magnetic North. Your North Sense will not depend on an internet connection and will come with a dedicated app so you can make personal adjustments. It's a standalone artificial sensory organ, coated in the highest quality body-compatible materials.

Fitting North Sense to the body is not complicated and requires the installment of two dedicated surface-to-surface barbells. Its small size and unique design makes sure North Sense will co-exist comfortably with your body.

In a few months, you'll be able to experience new memories, maps and life moments, created and influenced by a new spiritual layer—your North Sense.

The sensor itself is external, but anchored to you by implantable metal posts--nothing more extreme than the piercings people already get. You have to recharge it, though.

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