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March, 2019

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The Matrix remembered at 20: Keanu classic or cyberpunk snooze? – CNET

Share your own memories of the 1999 sci-fi action movie, which celebrates a big birthday this weekend. …read more

Source:: CNet

Glowing fireball meteor lights up Florida skies – CNET

A space rock went out in a literal blaze of glory Saturday night, burning up in full view of many residents of the southeastern US. …read more

Source:: CNet

SNL spoofs Jordan Peele’s movie Us with Discover Card parody ad – CNET

Ego Nwodim and Kenan Thompson meet their Discover Card doppelgangers. …read more

Source:: CNet

In Massive Breach, Ex-NSA Contractor Pleads Guilty to Hoarding Highly Classified Secrets

“A former National Security Agency contractor on Thursday pleaded guilty to stealing secret defense information over two decades in what legal experts have described as the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history.”
Long-time Slashdot reader mencik quotes USA Today:

In his plea deal in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Harold Thomas Martin III admitted to removing highly classified digital and hard copy documents, then storing them in his home and car from the late 1990s through 2016. Prosecutors say there is no indication Martin ever shared the stolen secrets. His defense attorneys say he simply hoarded the information… One of his lawyers previously described Martin as a “compulsive hoarder” who took home work documents…
Martin, who held multiple security clearances while working at government agencies as a private contractor, said he knew stealing the documents risked the country’s security. He pleaded guilty on Thursday to one felony count of willful retention of national defense information. He could be sentenced to nine years in prison.
Martin also told a federal judge that he’d been diagnosed with ADHD. “His actions were the product of mental illness,” his federal defenders’ statement said. “Not treason.”

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Source:: Slashdot

A Weather Station Fit For A PDP-11

The Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-11/70 is a masterpiece of Cold War-era industrial design. This microcomputer was the size of one or two modern server racks depending on configuration, and the front panel, loaded up with blinkenlights, was clad in a beautiful rose and magenta color scheme. The switches — the ones you used to toggle bits in memory — were actually custom designed covers made to match the shape of the completely unnecessary bezel. The aesthetic of the 11/70 is the intersection of baroque and modernism on the design Venn diagram.

[Oscar Vermeulen] built a miniature version of the PDP-11/70 that houses a Raspberry Pi, and [rricharz] has been hard at work bringing an original copy of BSD to this system. The first great project to come out of this effort? It’s a weather station, and it’s exactly as cool as you think it is.

A bit of ground work went into this build, including getting a historical Unix system up and running, in this case 2.11 BSD. Armed with a Pi and the PiDP-11/70 front panel, [rricharz] had a complete BSD system up and running, and with cool-retro-term, the interface looked the part. Doing something useful was another question entirely, but the Pi in the PiDP had some GPIOs free, so this ancient machine got an I2C temperature and pressure sensor.

The completed build is basically just a breadboard, a tiny diagnostic OLED, and a python script that grabs the data and sends it over to the sim. This is pressure and temperature data shoved into an emulation of a Tektronix 4010 terminal. It’s marginally useful work done by an ancient BSD system wrapped in an emulation on a Raspberry Pi. It doesn’t get better than that.

…read more

Source:: Hackaday

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone hacked by Saudis, investigator says – CNET

The results of an investigation have been turned over to authorities. …read more

Source:: CNet

Scientists Find 66-Million-Year-Old Fossils From The Day The Dinosaurs Died

“It’s like a time capsule of the end of the world,” reports USA Today:

66 million years ago, in what’s now North Dakota, a group of animals died together, only a few minutes after a huge asteroid smashed into the Earth near present-day Mexico. Scientists Friday announced the discovery of the jumbled, fossilized remains of the animals, all killed when a tsunami-like wave and a torrent of rocks, sand and glass buried them alive.

This graveyard of fish, mammals, insects and a dinosaur is a unique, first-of-its-kind discovery from the exact day that life on Earth changed forever, according to the study lead author Robert DePalma, a curator at the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History… DePalma added that the find provides spectacular new detail to what is perhaps the most important event to ever affect life on Earth… The asteroid impact and resulting mass extinction, which scientists call the K-T boundary, marked the end of the Cretaceous Era. The aftereffects of that infamous asteroid collision killed 75 percent of all species on Earth, including the dinosaurs. It’s the planet’s most recent mass extinction.

Scientists believe the asteroid was 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) wide, the BBC reports, and that it “hurled billions of tonnes of molten and vaporised rock into the sky in all directions – and across thousands of kilometres.” DePalma argues that moment “is tied directly to all of us — to every mammal on Earth, in fact. Because this is essentially where we inherited the planet.

“Nothing was the same after that impact. It became a planet of mammals rather than a planet of dinosaurs.”

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Source:: Slashdot

Microsoft’s Collaboration On Google’s Chromium Brings a New Feature To Chrome

Remember when Microsoft announced they’d be switching to Google’s open source Chromium browser for developing their own Edge browser? At the time Google announced “We look forward to working with Microsoft and the web standards community to advance the open web, support user choice, and deliver great browsing experiences.”
Now MSPoweruser reports Microsoft has indeed started collaborating on Chromium — making suggestions like caret browsing and a native high-contrast mode — and at least one of Microsoft’s suggestions is already coming to Chrome.
it looks like there is one feature that Chromium approved which will be making its way to Chrome soon. According to a new bug (via Techdows) filing on Chromium, Google is working on bringing text suggestions for hardware keyboard to Chrome soon. The feature will allow users to get suggestions as they type which is currently available on Windows 10 and on Microsoft Edge.

Google has just started working on the feature and has set the priority to 2 which suggests that the feature should be available sooner than later.

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Source:: Slashdot

Valve Index virtual reality headset to take on Oculus, Sony – CNET

As if there weren’t enough VR headsets out there, the game maker Valve is throwing a hat into the ring. More to come in May. …read more

Source:: CNet

Vivaldi mobile browser due in 2019 — but no ad blocking – CNET

CEO Jon Von Tetzchner also calls for privacy regulation to block companies from tracking us online. Also coming soon: Vivaldi’s email software. …read more

Source:: CNet

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