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LXer -

As mobile data started to become cheaper and faster, users began to acquaint themselves with a variety of ‘always-on’ applications. Services such as WhatsApp would not have worked in a time when mobile internet access was billed by the minute.

Building All the Major Open-Source Web Browsers

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Cristophe de Dinechin, long-time software developer, has an interesting article on the processes involved in building the major browsers. From the article: "Mozilla Firefox, Chromium (the open-source variant of Chrome) and WebKit (the basis for Safari) are all great examples of open-source software. The Qt project has a simple webkit-based web browser in their examples. So that's at least four different open-source web browsers to choose from. But what does it take to actually build them? The TL;DR answer is that these are complex pieces of software, each of them with rather idiosyncratic build systems, and that you should consider 100GB of disk space to build all the browsers, a few hours of download, and be prepared to learn lots of new, rather specific tools."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Five injured after industrial explosion in Ontario

RT -

Five people have been injured in the explosion that caused a fire at the industrial site in Sarnia, Mayor Mike Bradleyannounced according to CTV News. One person was critically injured in the blast and three suffered serious injuries, while one was hospitalized with minor injuries, according to the mayor.

UPDATED - Pic Gallery - Five people injured following an explosion at Veolia on Scott Rd. http://t.co/5mKUuQUiTW pic.twitter.com/CKiEhhlIOK

— BlackburnNews Sarnia (@BlackburnSarnia) October 25, 2014

The explosion took place at Scott Road north of Churchill Road-Highway 40, CBC reports. Fire and emergency services have been deployed to the scene.

The fire at the facility has been brought “under control,” but serious damage was inflicted to the plant, the major added.

Fire at industrial accident at Veolia is under control. 5 injuries I being transferred to London Ont. Hospital.

— Sarnia Police (@SarniaPolice) October 25, 2014

#Breaking : Powerful explosion heard in #Veolia#Sarnia#Ontario#Canada Multiple injuries #explosionpic.twitter.com/3Id86co6Du

— Geoffrey Hulsens (@GHulsens) October 25, 2014

"Five persons were transported to Bluewater Health in Sarnia with injuries. One person was subsequently airlifted to London (Ontario),"a police statement said, adding that an investigation into the incident had been launched. It was unclear what caused the explosion, but all motorists were being advised to avoid the area.

Explosion at Violia Environmental #Sarnia.5 people injured. Min Labour &Fire Marshall investigate @CTVLondon pic.twitter.com/7RsRlmTVWJ

— Bryan Bicknell (@BBicknellCTV) October 25, 2014

The forgotten coup - how America and Britain crushed the government of their 'ally', Australia

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-forgotten-coup-how-america-and-britain-crushed-the-government-of-their-ally-australia

The forgotten coup - how America and Britain crushed the government of their 'ally', Australia. "Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him. Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had "reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution". Whitlam ended his nation's colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported "zones of peace" and opposed nuclear weapons testing..."

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

New Oculus SDK Adds Experimental Linux Support and Unity Free For Rift Headset

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Oculus, creator of the Rift VR headset, has released a new version of their SDK which brings with it long sought-after support for Linux, which the company says is "experimental." Linux support was previously unavailable since the launch of the company's second development kit, the DK2. The latest SDK update also adds support for Unity Free, the non-commercial version of the popular game authoring engine. Previously, Unity developers needed the Pro version—costing $1,500 or $75/month—to create experiences for the Oculus Rift.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Long-lost original of Caravaggio’s iconic Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy ‘found’

RT -

The president of the Roberto Longhi foundation of art history studies in Florence, Mina Gregori, a foremost expert on the life and work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610), said she is sure she has found the painter’s original work in a private collection.

“The varying flesh tones of the body, the intensity of the face. The strong wrists and the blackened hands in wonderful variations of color and light and with a shadow obscuring half her fingers are the most interesting and intense aspects of the painting. It is Caravaggio,” she told Italian daily La Repubblica.

“…I know a Caravaggio when I see one,” she said.

Gregori added that she is basing her conclusion not only on the brushwork and distinctive Caravaggio colors but also on the documentation found on the back of the painting. The hand-written note attributes the artwork to Caravaggio pointing out its commissioner and the painter’s patron Cardinale Scipione Borghese of Rome.

“This document definitively confirms the identification and attribution of the painting,” she concluded.

The rebel painter is believed to have been with this work when he tragically died in the Tuscan town of Porto Ercole in 1610. There are numerous copies of the painting while the work from a private Roman collection was previously attributed to the painter and thought to be the original.

Caravaggio’s naturalistic interpretation of Mary Magdalene as she experiences the divine presence of God had revolutionized traditional iconography, where Mary had been depicted ascending through clouds accompanied by angels. Caravaggio’s Mary is believed to have influenced such artists as painter Peter Paul Rubens and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Xubuntu 14.10 Screenshot Tour

LXer -

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.10. To celebrate the 14.10 code name 'Utopic Unicorn' and to demonstrate the easy customisability of Xubuntu, highlight colors have been turned pink for this release. You can easily revert this change by using the theme configuration application under the Settings Manager; simply turn Custom Highlight Colors 'Off' and click 'Apply'. Of course, if you wish, you can change the highlight color to something you like better than the default blue. Starting with Xubuntu 14.10, you should use pkexec instead of gksudo for running graphical applications with root access from the terminal for improved security.

Skeleton in the closet: Romanian headmaster still in class after death (VIDEO)

RT -

Former headmaster and teacher Alexandru Grigore Poescu decided that after his death he wanted to give his skeleton to the Puchenii Mosneni Elementary School, to which he had also given most of his life, having worked there for 50 years.

When he died in the 1960’s he wrote in his will that he wanted his skeleton to be cleaned and put back together so then it could be used to teach his kids.

But health and safety officials on a recent visit to the school decided it might not be safe for children and sent it away to have it specially treated.

Now the skeleton is back for a second time, this time in a glass case, to protect the children and to make sure they don’t mess around with it.

Although the 14-year olds were admittedly a bit spooked by sharing their class room with a dead man, they soon warmed to the idea.

“It helped us a lot in biology class, especially in the 7th grade, when we studied the human skeleton. Mr Grigore Alexandru Popescu donated his skeleton so that we can study biology better and for this we thank him a lot,” one student told RT’s video agency Ruptly.

Another young lad said that it was like having “a friend” in the classroom.

Another pupil said they’d do the same.

“If I were a teacher, I too would have donated my body, because the children could study better using a human skeleton than just a biology book,” they told Ruptly.

Violeta Badea, the current head, said that looking at the shape of Poescu’s chin, you could tell he was almost certainly a decisive and strong willed person with a powerful personality, which she believed explained his devotion to the school and the children.

Compare How U.S. Responds To The Killing Of American Kids Based On Identity Of The Killers

The Intercept -

Last Wednesday in Jerusalem, a three-month-old American baby was killed, and eight other people injured, when a car plowed into a crowded sidewalk; the driver, a 20-year-old Palestinian named Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, was killed by police when he tried to flee the scene. The family of the driver insisted it was an accident, but Israeli officials immediately called it a “terrorist act.” Some Israelis speculated that it was in retaliation for the killing in the West Bank of a 5-year-old Palestinian girl days earlier by an Israeli settler who ran his car into her (and another Palestinian girl, seriously injured) and then fled the scene (Palestinian officials denounced that incident as “terrorism”).

Yesterday, a soldier in the Israeli military shot and killed a 14-year-old boy in the West Bank who was participating in a protest against the 5-decade Israeli occupation. The boy, Orwah Hammad (pictured above at his funeral), was a U.S. citizen as well as a Palestinian; he was born in New Orleans and moved with his family to the West Bank when he was 6. The IDF claimed he was throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and that another man was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail, and that this justified the live ammunition they fired.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement about the two incidents. Here’s the one it issued about last week’s Jerusalem incident where the Palestinian driver killed the American baby, issued on the very day the incident took place (i.e., prior to any investigation):

Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.

Here’s the markedly different statement the State Department issued last night about the fatal shooting by an Israeli soldier of the 14-year-old American boy:

Death of a U.S. Minor in Silwad

The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a U.S. citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces during clashes in Silwad on October 24. Officials from the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are in contact with the family and are providing all appropriate consular assistance. We call for a speedy and transparent investigation, and will remain closely engaged with the local authorities, who have the lead on this investigation. We continue to urge all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

There is certainly nothing wrong with waiting for the results of an investigation before making definite statements, but that’s not what the State Department did in the Jerusalem incident, which was instantly labelled a “despicable” act of “terror.” Moreover, when the U.S. calls for a “speedy and transparent investigation” of the West Bank shooting, what they mean is that they want the IDF – the occupying force which killed the American teenager – to investigate (and inevitably clear) itself (Rania Khalek today documents how reflexively Israeli authorities clear Israeli settlers and soldiers while instantly finding Palestinians guilty in similar circumstances). As the driver’s family told Israeli media:

A few days ago a Jewish settler knocked over two girls near Ramallah. He killed one and the other is in serious condition. The police immediately said it was a car accident. In our case they said the opposite in seconds. This is because the driver was an Arab driver. When a Jewish driver was involved in an accident the attitude was different and no one shot him.

Whatever else is true, IDF soldiers should not be in the West Bank given that the occupation they are there to enforce is regarded as illegal by virtually the entire world.

Most importantly, the U.S. Government has a remarkable history of exhibiting indifference, or even support, when Israel kills American citizens. The State Department never uttered a peep of protest over the Israeli bulldozer killing in 2003 of peace activist Rachel Corrie, and then implicitly endorsed the killing by Israel of the Turkish-American teenager Furkan Dogan aboard the anti-blockade Mavi Marmara flotilla (in stark contrast to the Turkish government, which – acting as most governments would – was furious that Israel had killed its citizens).

In general, countries become indignant when other nations kill their own citizens. But all of the normal rules are inapplicable when the countries in question are the U.S. and Israel. Thus, when a Palestinian runs his car into an American child, this is instantly declared a “despicable act” of “terrorism” which is condemned in “the strongest possible terms”: no investigation needed. But when an Israeli occupying soldier shoots and kills an American child, the most tepid, nonjudgmental and careful language is used to politely call for an “investigation” by the very occupying military responsible for the killing.

Photo: AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

The post Compare How U.S. Responds To The Killing Of American Kids Based On Identity Of The Killers appeared first on The Intercept.

Rare footage captures Ebola discovery in 1976 (VIDEO)

RT -

The three videos were recently released by the Institute of Tropical Medicine and were published by the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws on Tuesday.

In 1976, a group of researchers headed by Belgian scientist Peter Piot who travelled to the remote village of Yambuku in the Republic of Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of Congo). The scientists went to Africa to study what they thought to be the Marburg virus – a hemorrhagic fever virus that was discovered a few years earlier.

However, what they found was a virus we know today as Ebola, which was named after the small river that flows near the Yambuku village.

The videos show how the researchers tending to the Ebola-infected residents wearing protective gear - gas masks and white suits - similar to the ones used today. The doctors would burn their clothing to prevent further spread of the disease.

“An epidemic of unknown origin and transmission…is really frightening. Then you ask, is this transmitted by mosquitoes, food, by water, by shaking hands, sex—the usual ways?,” Dr. Piot said in an interview to The Wall Street Journal in October.

“The first known case, a 44-year-old male instructor at the Mission School, presented himself to the outpatient clinic at Yambuku Mission hospital on 26 August 1976 with a febrile illness thought to be malaria,” according to the 1978 bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Following the man’s death in September nine more cases occurred in the first week of the same month. During this outbreak 280 deaths out of 318 cases were recorded.

Since 1976 there have been several outbreaks of the deadly virus, with the largest epidemic currently ongoing in West Africa. According to the WHO, 10,141 cases of the Ebola virus have been registered through Thursday with 4,922 deaths from the disease.

READ MORE: Worst Ebola epidemic in history LIVE UPDATES

Eight countries have been affected, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone suffering the most. The virus is transmitted through blood or bodily fluids, according to the WHO. Persons infected with the Ebola may start showing symptoms - such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding - as soon as two days after contracting the virus.

READ MORE: 5 things about Ebola you should know

The average EVD case fatality rate in the current epidemic is around 50 percent, while case fatality rates have varied from 25 percent to 90 percent in past outbreaks, the WHO said.

FCC Postpones Spectrum Auction Until 2016

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: 2014 was supposed to be the year broadcasters would be allowed to sell off their unused spectrum to mobile carriers. That got pushed back to 2015 in December, and now the Federal Communications Commission has bumped it to 2016 in the face of a lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters. The FCC says the legal briefs aren't even due until January 2015, and it will take them until the middle of the year to review the documents and respond in court. The delay is just fine with the NAB, but probably bad news for anyone hoping that spectrum would help to improve mobile communications in the U.S. any time soon.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Germany could be home to 7,000 Muslim extremists by Christmas

RT -

The extremists all follow the strict interpretation of Islam known as Salafism and believe that jihad is a legitimate tool in their fight against the West, which they believe is an enemy of Islam. Hans-Georg Maassen, who is the head of Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency,told rbb-Inforadi that there are currently around 6,300 Islamic extremists in Germany, but this figure could rise to as many as 7,000 by the end of the year, AP reports.

There has been a steep rise in the number of Germans attracted to fundamentalist Islam. Three years ago there were only in the region of 3,800 followers of Salafism in the country, which then rose to 4,500 in 2012.

Speaking in late August in Berlin, Maassen said young Muslims are attracted to Islamic State (IS) because of its brutality. The militant group has become infamous for beheading captives amongst other things. The German domestic intelligence chief also says the group formally known as ISIS, seems to be “more authentic” than Al-Qaeda.

"There is a link between the successes IS has had so far in Iraq and the activities here in Germany and the propaganda and canvassing activities aimed at young jihadists," said Maassen, which was reported by Reuters. "The Islamic State is, so to speak, the 'in' thing - much more attractive than the Nusra Front, the al Qaeda spin-off in Syria."

"What attracts people is the intense brutality, the radicalism and rigor. That suggests to them that it is a more authentic organization even than al Qaeda," he said. "Al Qaeda fades besides the Islamic State when it comes to brutality," the BfV chief added.

Massen also mentioned that many young people who feel disenfranchised from society are attracted to extremist Islamic groups, as it gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. They hope that by joining such organizations, they will go “from being underdogs to top dogs.”

It is estimated that around 450 Islamic fundamentalists from Germany have travelled to Syria and Iraq. According to German authorities the majority are German nationals, with about 30 percent coming from a number of nations, which include Turkey, Morocco and Bosnia.

AP quoted a security official as saying that around a quarter of them are converts to Islam.

The BfV estimates that there are currently around 43,000 Islamists in Germany overall, with 1,000 being of serious concern, while 130 are under round-the-clock surveillance.

A report by German security officials also found that the “most important factor for radicalization” was friends. They had more of an influence than recruiters or radical imams, while the internet was also another important source to gain extremist followers.

The document states that it normally takes around a year for the vast majority of people to become radicalized, which would allow sufficient time for them to be offered help. However, identifying someone who is going through the process of radicalization is not so easy, with visible changes in behavior only taking place once the person is becoming more extremist, the report added, according to Der Spiegel.

EU reaches deal to cut emissions by at least 40 percent

Socialism OnLine! -

URL: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/24/eu-reaches-deal-tocutemissionsbyatleast40percentversus1990levels.html

EU reaches deal to cut emissions by at least 40 percent. Environmentalists balk at deal, saying it falls drastically short of what's required to stave off climate change...

Topic(s): Geography:  Vote Up/Down

EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: The 28 nations in the European Union agreed Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% (going by 1990 levels) by the year 2030. The deal received widespread criticism; industry bosses said the 2030 targets were too extreme, while many environmental groups said the goals weren't ambitious enough. The deal requires each nation to achieve the goal independently — earlier targets could use international offsets to avoid or reduce action. EU officials hope the agreement will encourage the U.S. and China to take a more aggressive stance on fighting climate change.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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