Twitter vs. Developers



The short messaging service is stepping on the toes of once-important outside programmers with competing offers.

The short messaging service is stepping on the toes of once-important outside programmers with competing offers.

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Will the “deep state” over trump?



The reactions to the meeting between Trump and Putin in the United States and in Germany are bizarre. One could almost get the impression that Trump had personally handed over the nuclear suitcase to Putin, so vehemently did the representatives of the “deep state” and the politicians of all parties dependent on him howled.

The meeting between Putin and Trump was quite unspectacular. There were neither joint agreements nor a joint statement, but also no eclat. So one could say, like Federal Minister Maas, that it is good that it took place, because it is always better when politicians, who have a nuclear bomb potential that could blow up the world several times, do not constantly give the impression that they are about to start a war.

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Touchpads for everything



American researchers have developed a technology that makes almost any surface touch-sensitive. All it takes is paint, sensors and a little computer technology.

How would you find it if toys, steering wheels, walls or electric guitars became touchpads??

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When robots go harvesting



Apples are still mainly picked by hand, but this could soon change: Technical advances ensure that the fruit is reliably detected and handled gently enough by machines.

Every year, apples worth about four billion dollars are harvested in the U.S. The start-up Abundant Robotics wants to tap into part of this market with a machine that sucks ripe fruit from trees.

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The innovations of linux 4.1



The Ext4 file system can now encrypt data itself. New is a driver for NV-DIMMs, which are still much faster than SSDs. The kernel developers also lay the foundations for 3D acceleration in virtual machines.

Linus Torvalds has released the Linux kernel 4.1 kernel, for the development of which the kernel developers took ten weeks this time. This is one week longer than usual, due in part to Torvalds’ family vacation and late arrivals of bug fixes to the MD-RAID code.

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The best result: no agreement



The result of the 25. World Climate Conference (COP25) can be commented in more or less chosen words, from: “Governments fucked up” (Mohamed Ado, Power Shift Africa) to: “I am disappointed by the results of the COP25” (Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General). However it is expressed, COP25 represents a total failure of the global community, as has already been commented here (Adjourned without results).

At best, the fact that there was no agreement on emissions trading instead of a bad settlement is still positive. Because a bad regulation, where CO2 certificates could possibly be double counted, could fuel the CO2 emissions even more. Instead of doing climate protection at home, countries could buy their way out of it through global certificates. There was also the danger that old certificates from the Clean Development Mechanism would be taken over and thus too many pollution rights would be in circulation.

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Vertical detour



Around 50 companies worldwide are working on air cabs, and the first prototypes are already being tested. Critics, however, consider the planned air fleet for the city skies to be too loud, too dangerous and too expensive.

Just pull your smartphone out of your pocket, order an electric air cab and float away – over all the traffic jams. “The inner-city flight will come,” Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) is convinced. In the next 20 years, he plans to establish a Bavaria-wide air cab route network. “To this end, a test field is to be set up that Bavarian companies and research institutions can use for application-oriented flight testing in a realistic environment,” explains Johannes Frik, spokesman for the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology. The long-term perspective was to establish an air taxi service with base stations distributed throughout Bavaria.

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The week: all clear in kernel-land?



At this year’s LinuxCon Europe Linus Torvalds talked about kernel development. This seems – technically – to run in the meantime in quite calm courses: If you believe Torvalds, he hasn’t done much more than incorporate other developers’ improvements into the kernel for years now.

Problems sees the “Linux father” in other places: Torvalds complained about too few testers, about repeated conflicts between some central developers and about a lack of female developers in the kernel team. However: Torvalds already complained about the fact that too few users test experimental kernel versions in our first conversation twelve years ago; and Torvalds himself contributes to the occasionally rude tone on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML). If you are seriously interested in why so few women are involved in projects like the Linux kernel, please refer to the Ada Initiative – whose co-founder Valerie Aurora, by the way, is one of the few female kernel developers: Among the first 22 of the 30 kernel hackers presented by the Linux Foundation in a series, there are only two women.

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When laymen beat lawyers



A team of researchers has shown that rough groups of legal laymen are better at predicting U.S. Supreme Court decisions than experts. So the wisdom of crowds seems to work here.

FantasySCOTUS is a fantasy league on the Internet, where the goal is to predict as accurately as possible the decisions of the Supreme Court of the USA. Participants will be ranked in a points table, as in any league, and the best of them can win prizes such as the “Golden Hammer” and even 10.Win 000 dollars in cash.

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The somewhat different subway



The desert metropolis of Dubai consistently chooses the most spectacular option for all its planning decisions. This maxim also applies to the city government’s new mass transit concept, which is intended to save the boomtown from gridlock as soon as possible.

It is actually surprising that the Chinese are using the first commercial Transrapid – and not, say, the residents of Dubai. Both Shanghai and the glittering Middle Eastern metropolis have similar problems: Both are increasingly mired in traffic chaos – albeit at different levels, after all, the China metropolis is (still) more than 10 times rougher than the metropolis of the sheikhs.

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