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Do not insert coin: Uni of Utah to dish out scholarships to ace video game players

The University of Utah on Wednesday said it will offer scholarships to students who excel at esports – meaning they can play, say, League of Legends for the US college to pay their way through an engineering degree. The uni's newly formed varsity esports program is the first such program for an institution participating in the …

It's not just Elon building bridges to the brain: The Internet of Things is coming to a head

Technical work demands tools. Software developers have integrated development environments and text editors. Genetic researchers have gene sequencing machines and CRISPR. Doctors have too many toys to name. Bryan Johnson, founder and CEO of Kernel, wants to build tools for interacting with the human brain. For all the fawning …

Bloke is paid to scour hashtags for threats, spots civil rights boss's tweets, gets fired, sues

A chap whose job was to investigate threats on social networks is suing the Oregon Department of Justice – for allegedly retaliating against him after his online sleuthing led him to the agency's own director of civil rights. In September 2015, James R Williams was working for the Oregon TITAN Fusion Center Unit, one of …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Mar 2017

BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

A prominent contributor to the open source Drupal content management system has been asked to distance himself from project because "his belief system is inconsistent with [the] project's goals." The beliefs at issue involve participation in the BDSM and Gorean (NSFW) communities, the latter involving people interested in …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Mar 2017

Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more

Analysis The OpenSSL project, possibly the most widely used open-source cryptographic software, has a license to kill – specifically its own. But its effort to obtain permission to rewrite contributors' rights runs the risk of alienating the community that sustains it. The software is licensed under the OpenSSL License, which includes …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Mar 2017

Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

Microsoft describes Visual Studio Code as a source code editor that's "optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications." In fact, VSC turns out to be rather inefficient when it comes to CPU resources. Developer Jo Liss has found that the software, when in focus and idle, uses 13 per cent of CPU capacity …
Thomas Claburn, 23 Mar 2017
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This week's top token gesture: Google Chrome chokes energy-hungry background tabs

With the recent arrival of a new version of its Chrome browser, Google is celebrating its software's energy saving potential, even as it overlooks its electricity addiction. "Starting in version 57, Chrome will throttle individual background tabs by limiting the timer fire rate for background tabs using excessive power," said …
Thomas Claburn, 16 Mar 2017

MAC randomization: A massive failure that leaves iPhones, Android mobes open to tracking

Analysis To protect mobile devices from being tracked as they move through Wi-Fi-rich environments, there's a technique known as MAC address randomization. This replaces the number that uniquely identifies a device's wireless hardware with randomly generated values. In theory, this prevents scumbags from tracking devices from network …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Mar 2017
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You're mulling GitHub Enterprise. Not keen on on-prem hosting. You don't totally hate cloud...

It's purely coincidental that GitHub is now offering a 99.95 per cent uptime guarantee after the downtime experienced by Amazon Web Services customers on Tuesday. GitHub's stability commitment applies to its new Business tier, priced at $21 per user per month, which includes SAML single sign-on, automated provisioning and …
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Netflix treats security ills with Stethoscope: Open-source self-probing tool

Netflix has released the source code of a web application called Stethoscope for evaluating the security of mobile and desktop computing devices. The software, covered by the Apache 2.0 license, intended for employees of organizations that use a device management service. Netflix hopes that employees using the toolkit will …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Feb 2017
Paul Berg, at the Open Source Leadership Summit

Meet the chap open-sourcing US govt code – Paul, an ex-Microsoft anti-piracy engineer

Interview In the months ahead, Idaho National Laboratory aims to open-source software for analyzing the quality of cow manure. "It runs a whole bunch of scenarios and numbers and determines what is the most profitable use of the manure that comes out of cows," explained Paul Berg, senior research and development software licensing …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Feb 2017
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RethinkDB is dead? Rethink that thought: NoSQL database is back

RethinkDB has bounced back from the passing of its corporate parent last year to land under the protection of The Linux Foundation and a more business-friendly software license. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation on Monday said it had purchased the source code for the RethinkDB database and relicensed it under the Apache …

Microsoft foists fake file system for fat Git repos

To lighten the burden of massive Git source code repositories, Microsoft has created a virtualized file system that allows developers to interact with large codebases without sending excessive amounts of data across the network. Git (when not applied to people or animals) refers to a distributed version control system for …

For $deity's sake, smile! It's Friday! Sad coders write bad code – official

Miserable software developers produce miserable software, to the further detriment of organizational productivity and personal health. Researchers from the University of Stuttgart, University of Helsinki, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have completed a study [PDF] of …
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Netherlands reverts to hand-counted votes to quell security fears

The Netherlands has decided its vote-counting software isn't ready for prime time, and will revert to hand-counted votes for its March 15 election. The voteare's security came under question when Dutch security bod Sijmen Ruwhof told local newscaster RTL Nieuws that the average iPad is more secure than the electoral software, …

Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Microsoft's latest Windows Insider build, released on Friday for participants in the software preview program, contains a reference to a new Windows SKU called Cloud. Microsoft declined to comment on what Windows Cloud might be, but after the name was spotted and revealed on Twitter, veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Jan 2017

Digital transformation?! Your boss's PowerPoint New Year resolution, deconstructed

Hey, it's the new year. Time to let those annual planning slides shimmy over you, washing away the dangling tickets of last year like a purifying clean install. Somewhere amid pictures of robots shaking hands with meat-maws and millennials writing on glass walls will, no doubt, be the details of your firm's "digital …
Michael Coté, 18 Jan 2017

White House report cautiously optimistic about job-killing AI

In a followup to its smash hit, Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, the White House on Tuesday released Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, a report that attempts to outline the economic consequences of expected advances in automation and machine learning without actually risking a prediction …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Dec 2016

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