Comic for September 14, 2019 Dilbert Daily Strip(cached at September 15, 2019, 7:21 am)

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Comic for September 14, 2019 Dilbert Daily Strip(cached at September 15, 2019, 7:20 am)

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Ten Drones Attack Saudi Arabia's Oil and Gas Facilities Slashdotby EditorDavid on power at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at September 15, 2019, 5:59 am)

"Saudi Arabia has cut oil and gas production following drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco..." reports the BBC. "TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant [the world's biggest oil producer], while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield." The Iran-aligned Houthi movement (fighting the Western-backed military coalition supporting Yemen's government) has claimed credit for the attacks. Slashdot reader dryriver shared this report from the BBC: Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the strikes had reduced crude oil production by 5.7m barrels a day -- about half the kingdom's output. A Yemeni Houthi rebel spokesman said it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks... In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Prince Abdulaziz said the attacks "resulted in a temporary suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants". He said that part of the reduction would be compensated for by drawing on Aramco's oil stocks. The situation was under control at both facilities, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said, adding that no casualties had been reported in the attacks. The BBC also notes that Saudi Arabia produces 10% of the world's crude oil, adding that "cutting this in half could have a significant effect on the oil price come Monday when markets open."

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2019's 'Ig Nobel' Prizes Honor Strange, Unusual, and Hilarious Research Slashdotby EditorDavid on idle at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at September 15, 2019, 3:49 am)

CNN reports: Pizza might protect against cancer, why wombats poop in cubes and a diaper changing machine that can be used on human babies -- these are just some of the research and inventions awarded at this year's Ig Nobel Prizes, a spoof of the actual Nobel Prize awards. The Ig Nobels are "intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology," according to its website. Even if the science does sound, well, hilarious. Organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the awards have been going on for 29 years, always celebrated in September with a gala held at Harvard University. Winners accept their prizes from "genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates," the website reads. Long-time Slashdot reader LifesABeach shared a link to that wacky two-hour prize ceremony on YouTube. You can also read the list of 2019's winners on the official web site. And today, most of this year's Ig Nobel winners also gave free public talks at MIT.

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Was Advertising in Open Source Software a Useful Experiment? Slashdotby EditorDavid on opensource at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at September 15, 2019, 1:58 am)

"Given how dependent we've become upon open source software, one would think that we would have a bevy of options for supporting the developers who write the code, but we don't..." writes InfoWorld's Matt Asay, in an essay defending Feross Aboukhadijeh for experimenting with ads in his open source JavaScript style guide library. "We have some inchoate business and funding models that serve open source companies and open source developers more or less well, and too often less. What we need is more people like Aboukhadijeh earnestly experimenting with ways to make things better, more companies like Tidelift introducing novel ways to fund developers, and more organizations recognizing their own self-interest in employing or otherwise paying the developers who build the software they rely on... [U]ltimately, we need more experimentation, and less criticism." What about donations? As Aboukhadijeh has noted, "Lots of maintainers struggle to reach a barely livable wage via donations...." Linux Foundation Chris Aniszczyk has derisively described the approach [and] goes on to put the onus for paying developers on those companies that most benefit from their work: "[A] big part of innovation comes from developers working at organizations adopting open source software at scale and using it in interesting ways. It's these organizations that should be tasked to sustain open source software versus individuals, especially since they depend on open source software to survive as a business." Aniszczyk isn't talking about mega-corps throwing money at mega-tip jars. Rather, he's talking about the big beneficiaries employing the developers who build the projects upon which they depend. It's a great idea, and one that has borne fruit in the Linux community and currently in the Kubernetes world. However it's done, there's an underlying principle that is critical to all of this: We need more experimentation. The first requirement for ensuring open source sustainability is to allow and encourage experimentation. Concerned at his (and other open source developers') inability to make a comfortable living writing popular open source software, Standard co-founder Aboukhadijeh decided to experiment with an ad-supported model...

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Was Advertising in Open Source Software a Useful Experiment? Slashdotby EditorDavid on opensource at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at September 15, 2019, 1:58 am)

"Given how dependent we've become upon open source software, one would think that we would have a bevy of options for supporting the developers who write the code, but we don't..." writes InfoWorld's Matt Asay, in an essay defending Feross Aboukhadijeh for experimenting with ads in his open source JavaScript style guide library. "We have some inchoate business and funding models that serve open source companies and open source developers more or less well, and too often less. What we need is more people like Aboukhadijeh earnestly experimenting with ways to make things better, more companies like Tidelift introducing novel ways to fund developers, and more organizations recognizing their own self-interest in employing or otherwise paying the developers who build the software they rely on... [U]ltimately, we need more experimentation, and less criticism." What about donations? As Aboukhadijeh has noted, "Lots of maintainers struggle to reach a barely livable wage via donations...." Linux Foundation Chris Aniszczyk has derisively described the approach [and] goes on to put the onus for paying developers on those companies that most benefit from their work: "[A] big part of innovation comes from developers working at organizations adopting open source software at scale and using it in interesting ways. It's these organizations that should be tasked to sustain open source software versus individuals, especially since they depend on open source software to survive as a business." Aniszczyk isn't talking about mega-corps throwing money at mega-tip jars. Rather, he's talking about the big beneficiaries employing the developers who build the projects upon which they depend. It's a great idea, and one that has borne fruit in the Linux community and currently in the Kubernetes world. However it's done, there's an underlying principle that is critical to all of this: We need more experimentation. The first requirement for ensuring open source sustainability is to allow and encourage experimentation. Concerned at his (and other open source developers') inability to make a comfortable living writing popular open source software, Standard co-founder Aboukhadijeh decided to experiment with an ad-supported model...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wasps: If you can't love them, at least admire them BBC News | Science/Nature | UK Edition(cached at September 15, 2019, 1:34 am)

They get a bad press compared with bees and beetles, but wasps are truly remarkable creatures.
Wasps: If you can't love them, at least admire them BBC News | Science/Nature | UK Edition(cached at September 15, 2019, 1:34 am)

They get a bad press compared with bees and beetles, but wasps are truly remarkable creatures.
Tonight's Asteroid Will Pass So Close To Earth, Home Telescopes Can See It Slashdotby EditorDavid on space at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at September 15, 2019, 12:42 am)

80 minutes from now, an asteroid will pass so close to earth that home astronomers will be able to see it, writes Salon. Slashdot reader PolygamousRanchKid shares their report: Experts say the asteroid, known as Asteroid 2000 QW7, will miss our planet by about 3 million miles -- around 14 times the distance between the Earth and the moon. And while that distance is astonishingly close on an astronomical scale, it does not suggest that the asteroid is going to hit Earth -- although it has a small chance to strike our planet in the future. The closeness of its pass on Saturday will allow astronomers to hone their measurements of its trajectory, allowing for more accurate calculations of its strike probability in the future. Gianluca Masi, Scientific Director at The Virtual Telescope, told Salon in a statement that amateur astronomers can view its fly-by, which is at 7:54 pm on the East Coast, but will have to have a telescope with a diameter of at least 250 millimeters. [Heres' the telescope-positioning coordinates.] Masi said a smaller telescope might work if combined with a sensitive imaging device that can also record its apparent motion across the stars... NASA released a statement this week to the public to emphasize it is not a threat, noting that it is actually one of two asteroids to pass Earth this weekend. The second asteroid, asteroid 2010 C01, is estimated to be 120 to 260 meters in size (400 to 850 feet). The first asteroid's diamter is between 300 and 600 meters -- so up to 1968 feet, or a little more than one-third of a mile.

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