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  • Samsung-Backed Researchers Develop a Ternary Semiconductor (2019/07/22 13:34)
    "Future semiconductors may perform logic with 0, 1, or 2 instead of the current binary system of 0 and 1," reports ZDNet: A South Korean research team has successfully realised an energy-efficient ternary metal-oxide semiconductor on a large-sized wafer. Professor Kyung Rok Kim of UNIST's Electrical & Computer Engineering Department and his team successfully created a semiconductor that operates in a ternary logic system instead of the current binary... Using the ternary system of 0, 1, 2 lessens the amount of information semiconductors need to process and does it faster, resulting in less power consumption, the team said. It will also help in miniaturising chips further. For example, to express the number 128 in the current binary system, 8 "bits" will be required. With the ternary system, only 5 "trits" will be required.... Samsung Electronics has been backing Kim's research since September 2017 via its Samsung's Science & Technology Foundation, which offers grants for promising technology projects. Samsung is currently verifying the technology at its foundry business-run fab. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • With Chandrayaan-2 Launch, India's ISRO Shoots For the Moon on a Shoe-String Budget (2019/07/22 12:05)
    India took a giant leap in its space program on Monday after its space agency launched a spacecraft that is scheduled to touch down on the Moon in September. From a report: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which is India's equivalent of NASA, confirmed the successful launch of the spacecraft as the nation inches closer to become only the fourth country -- after the United States, China, and the Soviet Union -- to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Chandrayaan-2 aims to land on a plain surface that covers the ground between two of the Moon's craters, Simpelius N and Manzinus C. The spacecraft was originally scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on July 15, but ISRO postponed it less than 20 minutes ahead of the deadline citing a "technical glitch." ISRO said it resolved the issue last week. Everything about India's homegrown lunar mission -- dubbed Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit for "moon vehicle") -- is a technological marvel. The spacecraft -- which is sitting atop the country's most powerful rocket to date, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle called Mark III -- is carrying an orbiter, a lunar lander called Vikram and six-wheeled rover Pragyan (Sanskrit for "wisdom"). In early September, the lander, which is named after Vikram Sarabhai, the father of ISRO, is scheduled to detach from the orbiter. Until then, Chandrayaan-2 will embark on a slow journey to the Moon, staying in an elliptical orbit. The mission's budget is just $141 million, significantly lower than those of other countries, and less than half of the recently released blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame." The orbiter is designed to operate for at least one year, but lander and rover are expected to operate for just a couple of weeks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • It's So Hot in Nebraska, You Can Bake Biscuits in Your Car (2019/07/22 11:34)
    An anonymous reader quotes the New York Post: The National Weather Service in Omaha, Nebraska, baked biscuits in a car Friday amid a major heat wave in the Northeast and Midwest... Within 45 minutes, the dough had begun to rise, the NWS said. After an hour, the pan had reached 175 degrees, and the tops of the biscuits were at 153 degrees. "This is a good time to remind everyone that your car does in fact get deadly hot. Look before you lock!," the NWS said... After baking in the sun for nearly eight hours, the biscuits were edible, but the middle remained "pretty doughy." The pan maxed out at a blazing 185 degrees. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Extreme U.S. Weather Brings Power Outages (2019/07/22 09:34)
    "Ninety-four million people in parts of 23 states remain under excessive heat warnings and heat advisories on Sunday as one last day of scorching temperatures hits the Midwest and East Coast," reports ABC News. "Sunday is the last day of oppressive heat, with many places in the Upper Midwest already feeling cooler Sunday morning after heat indices of 115 to 120 on Friday and Saturday... New York City and Boston are just two of many cities that set or tied record-high minimum temperatures, with temperatures failing to drop below 80 degrees." The high temperatures eventually caused power outages, reports the New York Daily News: Scorching heat slammed the city's power grid Sunday evening, putting more than 50,000 Con Ed customers in the dark, mostly in Brooklyn, the company said... As heat stressed the grid, Con Ed tried to keep the blackout from spreading by deliberately cutting power to 33,000 customers in Brooklyn, mostly in in Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach. "The reason we did that was to prevent any further outages and also to protect the integrity of the energy system in that area," said Con Ed spokesman Sidney Alvarez. And the weather also affected power supplies in the midwest, according to local news reports: According to DTE Energy, about 375,000 customers are without power as a result of the thunderstorms that rumbled through the region Friday and Saturday nights. The storms were marked by flashes of lightning, high winds and even in a few cases, hail... Meanwhile Consumers Energy says the storms brought down more than 1,500 power lines. Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers said today that over 212,000 customers were affected by the storms. ABC News reports that winds gusting 70 to 80 mph "brought down numerous tree limbs, and thousands of power lines from South Dakota to Minnesota, and in Wisconsin and Michigan." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Is Object-Oriented Programming a Trillion Dollar Disaster? (2019/07/22 07:04)
    Senior full-stack engineer Ilya Suzdalnitski recently published a lively 6,000-word essay calling object-oriented programming "a trillion dollar disaster." Precious time and brainpower are being spent thinking about "abstractions" and "design patterns" instead of solving real-world problems... Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) has been created with one goal in mind -- to manage the complexity of procedural codebases. In other words, it was supposed to improve code organization. There's no objective and open evidence that OOP is better than plain procedural programming... Instead of reducing complexity, it encourages promiscuous sharing of mutable state and introduces additional complexity with its numerous design patterns. OOP makes common development practices, like refactoring and testing, needlessly hard... Using OOP is seemingly innocent in the short-term, especially on greenfield projects. But what are the long-term consequences of using OOP? OOP is a time bomb, set to explode sometime in the future when the codebase gets big enough. Projects get delayed, deadlines get missed, developers get burned-out, adding in new features becomes next to impossible. The organization labels the codebase as the "legacy codebase", and the development team plans a rewrite.... OOP provides developers too many tools and choices, without imposing the right kinds of limitations. Even though OOP promises to address modularity and improve reusability, it fails to deliver on its promises... I'm not criticizing Alan Kay's OOP -- he is a genius. I wish OOP was implemented the way he designed it. I'm criticizing the modern Java/C# approach to OOP... I think that it is plain wrong that OOP is considered the de-facto standard for code organization by many people, including those in very senior technical positions. It is also wrong that many mainstream languages don't offer any other alternatives to code organization other than OOP. The essay ultimately blames Java for the popularity of OOP, citing Alan Kay's comment that Java "is the most distressing thing to happen to computing since MS-DOS." It also quotes Linus Torvalds's observation that "limiting your project to C means that people don't screw things up with any idiotic 'object model'." And it ultimately suggests Functional Programming as a superior alternative, making the following assertions about OOP: "OOP code encourages the use of shared mutable state, which has been proven to be unsafe time and time again... [E]ncapsulation, in fact, is glorified global state.""OOP typically requires a lot of boilerplate code (low signal-to-noise ratio).""Some might disagree, but OOP code is notoriously difficult to unit test... [R]efactoring OOP code is really hard without dedicated tools like Resharper.""It is impossible to write good and maintainable Object-Oriented code." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • NASA's Lunar Space Station Might Be a Boondoggle (2019/07/22 04:33)
    "NASA's orbiting Lunar Gateway is either essential for a moon landing or a boondoggle in the making," writes IEEE Spectrum. the_newsbeagle writes: NASA is under pressure to put humans back on the moon by 2024... NASA's plan for meeting that ambitious target relies on building a space station in lunar orbit, called the Gateway. NASA says it will use its (over budget and behind schedule) SLS rocket and Orion crew capsule to dock at this (yet unbuilt) Gateway, then send down a lunar lander. Critics say this is a stupid and over-complicated plan. This article by veteran space reporter Jeff Foust explains how NASA got itself into this situation. From the article: Critics of the Gateway argue that NASA shouldn't just scale back the space station -- it should cancel the project altogether. If you want to go to the surface of the moon, the refrain goes, go there directly, as the Apollo missions did a half century ago. Building an outpost in lunar orbit adds expense, delay, and complications to a task that is already hard enough.... Critics say that technological alternatives are emerging in the commercial space sector. They look to Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos and based near Seattle. Blue Origin is building both a reusable heavy-lift rocket, called New Glenn, and a lunar lander known as Blue Moon. Another contender is Elon Musk's SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., which is also working on a fully reusable rocket. It will carry an upper stage called Starship, which the company says could land directly on the moon and carry heavy cargo. "Having that vehicle on the moon can basically serve as the core of a pretty significant lunar outpost, growing with time," said Paul Wooster, principal Mars development engineer at SpaceX. The article ends by presenting two possibilities. "If NASA, heedful of sunk costs and political realities, continues to march toward the Gateway, we may indeed witness a triumphant return of NASA astronauts to the moon's surface in 2024..." "The determined billionaires behind SpaceX and Blue Origin might not wait around for NASA, and the next moon boots in the regolith might stamp a corporate logo in the dust." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • 6.6 Million Lose CBS Channels After 'Business Dispute' With AT&T (2019/07/22 01:58)
    "Media giants are embroiled in yet another fight over TV rates, and viewers are once again paying the price," writes Engadget. CBS' channels in 17 markets (including New York, San Francisco and Atlanta) have gone dark on AT&T services like DirecTV Now and U-verse after the two companies failed to reach an agreement on a new carriage contract before the old one expired at 2AM ET on July 19th. As is often the case in disputes like this, the two sides are each accusing each other of being unreasonable -- though AT&T in particular has also claimed that CBS is using All Access as a weapon. CNET notes that the dispute also affects 100 CBS stations and affiliates on Direct Now, citing reports that it ultimately impacts a total of 6.6 million TV viewers in the U.S. "A business dispute took CBS off the air for millions of satellite television customers of DirecTV and AT&T U-verse on Saturday," according to a news report (from CBS): CBS said that while it didn't want its customers caught in the middle, it is determined to fight for fair value... AT&T countered in a statement provided to Variety that CBS is "a repeat blackout offender" that has pulled its programming from other carriers before in order to get its way. "Isn't this the sort of thing they enemies of net neutrality assured us would never happen?" writes long-time Slashdot reader shanen. "Or is it just a plot to sell VPN services?" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • When Online Teachers See Child Abuse (2019/07/22 00:54)
    Rick Zeman (Slashdot reader #15,628) shares "a thought-provoking article on when online English teachers see child abuse at the other end of their cameras." Of the 24 online teachers interviewed, about two thirds told "harrowing" stories, EdSurge reports, and within the teachers' Facebook groups new reports "surface nearly every week." The teachers post in these private Facebook groups because they aren't sure how to process, much less report, what they saw. They ask one another the same few questions in many different ways: Has this ever happened to you? Is what I'm feeling normal? How should I respond? Will the company do something about it? One company employs 70,000 online teachers who reach more than 600,000 children in China -- yet one of its teachers complains that the company offered her no guidance for these situations. After saying they "take these matters very seriously" (with a procedure in place for these "very rare" instances), that company declined repeated requests for further interviews "and would not elaborate on its procedure for referring reports of abuse to local agencies." (Even though in China, as in the U.S., the described behavior is illegal.) One China-born anthropologist says that many parents may not even be aware of a 2015 law which banned domestic abuse against children. Last month another company advised its teachers that those who do report incidents will not receive any follow-up from the company, for reasons of "student confidentiality" -- though "We assure you that our teams will address any concerns in a prudent manner." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Google Settles Age Descrimination Lawsuit (2019/07/21 23:34)
    Long-time Slashdot reader sfcat quotes Forbes: Almost a decade ago, courts sounded a clear warning bell that Google's culture was tainted by illegal and pervasive age discrimination. Inexplicably, Google didn't listen. And so the Los Angeles Times recently reported that Google has agreed to pay $11 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging Google engaged in a systemic practice of discriminating on the basis of age in hiring. Some 227 plaintiffs will collect an average of $35,000 each. Google actually agreed to settle the case in December but the final settlement agreement was presented to a federal judge on Friday. The lawsuit was filed by Cheryl Fillekes, a software engineer who was interviewed by Google four times from 2007 to 2014, starting when she was 47, but was never hired. The lawsuit alleged Google hired younger workers based on "cultural fit." In the settlement Google also agrees to train its managers about age bias and create an "age diversity in recruiting" committee. Forbes points out that the median age for all Google employees in 2017 was 30, "a decade younger than the median age of U.S. workers." "On its web page, Google says its mission is to 'organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.' But for some reason Google has failed as a company to organize and use the information that age discrimination is illegal." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
  • Comic-Con Trailers Include 'Star Trek: Picard' and HBO's 'Watchmen' Series (2019/07/21 22:34)
    "At Comic-Con, Sir Patrick Stewart took to the Hall H stage Saturday afternoon to discuss his new series, Star Trek: Picard," reports CBS News: The series will focus on what caused famed captain and admiral Jean-Luc Picard to leave Starfleet, and his life since.... Patrick Stewart -- who is also an executive producer -- answered questions about the show. "We never know, do we, when our best moment will be. And that is now," Stewart said. "I knew something unusual would happen. I knew I needed to be a part of it." Stewart has been heavily involved in crafting "Star Trek: Picard" and frequently visits the writer's room... Brent Spiner, who played the character Data on TNG, said there was "no way" he could say no to the opportunity to work with Stewart again.... The show is set 20 years after the events of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" around the year 2399. This sets the series further into the future than any previous Star Trek series. But fans should not expect to see the same Jean-Luc Picard they know from "The Next Generation" series. During the press tour, Kurtzman teased that the show will be very different and "grounded." The series will explore how Picard has changed in that time, making him reckon with the choices he has made. Kurtzman hinted that there are circumstances that have "radically" shifted that have caused the beloved Starfleet admiral to question his life decisions. The two-minute trailer includes a surprising cameo, and Variety reports that CBS has also committed to two seasons of Star Trek: Lower Decks, an animated series focused on "the support crew serving on one of Starfleet's least important ships." (They also report that Seth MacFarlane announced season 3 of The Orville will be moving from Fox to Hulu.) Also at Comic-Con, HBO shared the first full trailer for their upcoming Watchmen TV series, a sequel to the original Alan Moore graphic novel. Rolling Stone quotes HBO as saying that Watchmen "takes place in an alternative, contemporary reality in the United States, in which masked vigilantes became outlawed due to their violent methods." Marvel also revealed that their next Thor movie (Thor: Love and Thunder) will incude both Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman as Lady Thor, and shared footage from their upcoming Black Widow movie. And CNET has a comprehensive rundown (with trailers) of all the DC Comics superhero shows on the CW network, including Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, Black Lightning, and Batwoman. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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    • Support für Windows 7 endet Anfang 2020: BSI empfiehlt Upgrade oder Umstieg (2019/07/15 14:10)
      Am 14. Januar 2020 endet der erweiterte Support für das Betriebssystem Windows 7 von Microsoft. Am 10. Dezember 2019 wird zudem die Unterstützung des Smartphone-Betriebssystems Windows 10 Mobile eingestellt. Dies bedeutet für Anwenderinnen und Anwender, dass sie ab diesem Zeitpunkt keine Sicherheitsupdates mehr erhalten und öffentlich bekannte Schwachstellen folglich nicht mehr vom Hersteller geschlossen werden. Eine weitere Nutzung von Windows 7 und Windows 10 Mobile birgt daher hohe Risiken für die IT-Sicherheit, insbesondere, wenn das betroffene System oder Gerät mit dem Internet verbunden ist.
    • Zweitstandort der Bundesbehörde BSI entsteht in Freital (2019/07/11 15:25)
      In Freital bei Dresden soll ein zweiter Standort des Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) entstehen. Eine entsprechende Gemeinsame Absichtserklärung unterzeichneten am Donnerstag der Bundesminister des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, Horst Seehofer, und der Staatsminister des Innern des Freistaats Sachsen, Prof. Dr. Roland Wöller.
    • BSI auf der protekt 2019 (2019/07/02 16:30)
    • Studierende der Hochschulen Offenburg und Mainz besuchen das BSI (2019/07/02 10:15)
      Am 27. und 28. Juni 2019 waren die Hochschulen Offenburg und Mainz zu Gast im Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI). Insgesamt rund 30 Studierende aus den Studiengängen "Enterprise and IT-Security", "Informatik" und "Wirtschaftsinformatik" nahmen die Möglichkeit wahr, die Behörde von innen kennenzulernen. Neben einem Besuch im Nationalen IT-Lagezentrum konnten Einblicke in verschiedene Labore, unter anderem der Chipsicherheitsanalyse, gewährt werden. Des Weiteren gaben Beschäftigte des BSI den Studierenden einen Überblick der vielfältigen Aufgabenbereiche der nationalen Cyber-Sicherheitsbehörde.
    • Europäischer Rechtsakt zur Cyber-Sicherheit tritt in Kraft (2019/06/27 13:00)
      Der europäische Rechtsakt zur Cyber-Sicherheit ("Cybersecurity Act") ist am 27. Juni 2019 in Kraft getreten. Kernelemente des Rechtsakts sind ein neues, permanentes Mandat für die europäische Cyber-Sicherheitsagentur ENISA sowie die Einführung eines einheitlichen europäischen Zertifizierungsrahmens für IKT-Produkte, -Dienstleistungen und -Prozesse.
    • Mindeststandards für sichere Browser: BSI veröffentlicht Community Draft (2019/06/27 09:00)
      Die im März 2017 veröffentlichte Version 1.0 des Mindeststandards für sichere Web-Browser wird aktuell überarbeitet. Dazu hat das BSI jetzt einen Community Draft veröffentlicht.
    • BSI zertifiziert integriertes Sicherheitselement für Smartphones (2019/06/26 09:50)
      Das Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) hat das im Mikroprozessor Snapdragon 855 integrierte Sicherheitselement SPU230 der Firma Qualcomm zertifiziert. Erstmalig wurde damit ein Sicherheitselement nach Common Criteria zertifiziert, das in einem Breitbandprozessor für mobile Endgeräte wie etwa Smartphones integriert ist.

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