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    - The World's Largest Concentrations of Java Programmers are in Asia and Germany
    "To celebrate Java's 25th anniversary this year and the latest release of Java 15, JetBrains has compiled data from multiple sources to look at what the current state of the language," reports SD Times: The largest concentration of Java developers is in Asia, where 2.5 million developers use it as their primary language. JetBrains believes this may be due to the fact that it is common to hire offshore developers in countries like China and India to build Android apps. "We might have expected the USA to have a high percentage of Java users, but it also makes a lot of sense that they don't. There is a big technology stack to choose from and often a lot of the tech companies are at the forefront of that stack, so it could be that developers there don't need the power or stability of Java and are using languages that allow them to build and test quickly," JetBrains wrote in a post. The post on JetBrains notes that the six countries with the highest percentage of developers using Java as their primary language are: China, South Korea, India, Germany, Spain, and Brazil: The reasons Java is most likely so popular in the first 6 countries include the free use of Java, governmental support, and open-source... Germany is also very high which could be attributed to Java being the most popular language in Germany for software engineers as it is used to build highly scalable applications for a multitude of industries. Most enterprise services rely on Java to power the applications that enable the day-to-day running of businesses, such as payroll, inventory management, reporting, and so on. Germany also has a big financial sector that uses Java heavily for their homegrown tech, such as trading bots, retail banking systems, and other applications that the finance industry requires in order to remain competitive... According to the State of the Developer Ecosystem Survey 2020, more than a third of professional developers use Java as a primary language and Java remains the second primary language among professional developers after JavaScript. Expert analysis: It is not surprising to see JavaScript and Java taking the leading positions as they are kind of paired together; developers who work with Java often write their frontend and any quick scripts in JavaScript. Python is probably third place due to the spread of machine learning. In general, we expect the web to be a big part of the developer ecosystem and so JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and PHP will always have solid standing. SQL is also always going to be around as there isn't much that doesn't require databases in some capacity. C++ is also kind of a solid language in that it is used for a lot of embedded applications, so it won't be disappearing off the charts any time soon. C# though seems to be losing ground, and I guess if Java is high then C# will be low, as they are both very similar in terms of capabilities. As to why I think Java is so high in the sphere of professional development — it's similar to what was mentioned about Germany. Most enterprise business services rely on Java to make them tick along. It's not just the IT sector either — almost every company, be it in distribution, manufacturing, or banking, has IT services as part of their infrastructure, and these services, such as payroll or inventory management, are generally built with Java in the backend. So Java is used a lot by professional developers who work for these companies.

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    - NASA Launches New $23 Million Toilet to International Space Station
    First, PetaPixel reminds us that Estee Lauder's products will be launching into space this week: The cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is paying NASA $128,000 for a product photography shoot onboard the International Space Station. Bloomberg reports that the company will be paying the space agency to fly 10 bottles of its Advanced Night Repair skin serum to the orbiting space station on a cargo run that will launch from Virginia on Tuesday and dock on Saturday. Once the product is on board, astronauts will be tasked with shooting product photos of the serum floating in the cupola module, which has sweeping panoramic views of Earth and space. NASA charges a "professional fee" of $17,500 per hour for the astronauts' time. In a possibly-related story, the same flight will also be carrying a new $23 million space toilet to the station as part of a routine resupply mission "to test it out before it's used on future missions to the moon or Mars."

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    - Microsoft Updates Edge With New Features To Challenge Chrome
    Forbes looks at new features Microsoft added to Edge "as it looks to beat Chrome in the browser wars." It's now going to be possible to search for work files directly inside the Edge browser directly from the address bar. To use this you need Microsoft Search configured, then type "work" and press the Tab key to search your company's network for your work files. Another work-related Microsoft Edge update is also about to launch to let IT admins manage specific work related apps on user devices as well as the browsing users do from their Work Profile in Edge. Integration with other Microsoft products is a key factor as the IT giant looks to entice more business users to use the updated Edge browser. Edge now supports native policies for Microsoft Endpoint Data Loss Prevention, which are used to find and protect sensitive items across Microsoft 365 services, Microsoft said in a blog highlighting the firm's security credentials. Another soon to launch feature of note highlighted by Bleeping Computer is Sleeping Tabs, which Microsoft says can improve memory usage by up to 26%. It can also reduce CPU usage by 29% potentially resulting in battery savings... The browser is also adding security features such as alerts for the Edge password monitor if a compromised password is detected.

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    - Tesla's Elon Musk Promises Full Self-Driving Autopilot Beta In 'A Month Or So'
    "I think we'll hopefully release a private beta of Autopilot — the full self-driving version of autopilot — in, I think a month or so?" CEO Elon Musk said this week at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting/Battery Day event. "And then people will really understand the magnitude of the change," said Musk adding, "It's profound. You'll see what it's like, it's amazing." CNET reports that attendees then showed their approval "by honking the horns of their safety bubbles." "It's kind of hard for people to judge the progress of Autopilot," Musk told a crowd of shareholders present at the event, each social distancing in their own Tesla Model 3, drive-in style. "I'm driving a bleeding edge, alpha build of Autopilot, so I sort of have insight into what is going on." Musk went on to explain how Tesla's engineers recently had to overhaul major parts of the Autopilot, including a rethinking of how the system sees the world. "We had to do a fundamental rewrite of the entire Autopilot software stack... We're now labeling 3D video, which is hugely different from when we were previously labeling single 2D images," Musk explained, referring to the way the Autopilot software understands what the objects it sees with its eight cameras are, and how it should react to them. "We're now labeling entire video segments, taking all cameras simultaneously and labeling that. The sophistication of the neural net of the car and the overall logic of the car is improved dramatically."

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    - Python Developer Builds a Raspberry Pi That Alerts Drone Pilots
    "A Raspberry Pi, a USB SDR dongle, an LCD a buzzer and a little bit of coding in Python and C has created a very useful alarm for drone and RC model aircraft operators," explains long-time Slashdot reader NewtonsLaw . The device allows users to set an "alarm" perimeter around their operating area and automatically alert them whenever a manned aircraft with ADSB fitted intrudes into that area. While there are apps like FlightRadar24 that allow you to monitor ADSB-equipped air traffic, this is the first stand-alone hand-held unit that isn't reliant on cellular or Wifi data and which not just monitors aircraft movments but also sounds an alarm according to user-defined parameters. sUAS News reports: "As an avid proponent of safety within the drone and RC communities, I decided to put my background in electronics engineering and computer software to good use by developing a device that has the potential to ensure the skies remain safe," said Kiwi drone and RC model enthusiast Bruce Simpson. "The alarm I've developed is not a silver bullet but it is an extremely valuable tool for improving safety... I will be publishing some DIY videos showing people how they can build their own from readily available parts. This will ensure it remains cheap enough to be used by everyone..." Drone users now call on the manned aviation community to ensure that they play their part by equipping their aircraft with the ADSB technology that has become such an important part of safety in the 21 st century.

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    - Firefox 81 Released, Can Now Be Your Default Browser in iOS
    Engadget reports: One big benefit of iOS 14 is that you can set non-Apple-made apps as your default, including for email and web browsing. Hot on the heels of you being able to set Chrome and Gmail as your clients of choice, Firefox is enabling you to make its browser the default on iPhones and iPads. Naturally, you'll need to have both the latest version of the operating system and the apps, and then just make the switch inside settings. Meanwhile, Bleeping Computer profiles some of the new features in this week's release of Firefox 81, including: The ability to control videos via your headset and keyboard even if you're not using Firefox at the time A new credit card autofill feature for Firefox users in the U.S. and Canada A new theme called AlpenGlow Firefox can now be set as the default system PDF viewer

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    - Bug Allowed Hijacking Other Firefox Mobile Browsers on the Same Wi-Fi Network
    "Mozilla has fixed a bug that can be abused to hijack all the Firefox for Android browsers on the same Wi-Fi network and force users to access malicious sites, such as phishing pages," reports ZDNet: The bug was discovered by Chris Moberly, an Australian security researcher working for GitLab. The actual vulnerability resides in the Firefox SSDP component. SSDP stands for Simple Service Discovery Protocol and is the mechanism through which Firefox finds other devices on the same network in order to share or receive content (i.e., such as sharing video streams with a Roku device). When devices are found, the Firefox SSDP component gets the location of an XML file where that device's configuration is stored. However, Moberly discovered that in older versions of Firefox, you could hide Android "intent" commands in this XML and have the Firefox browser execute the "intent," which could be a regular command like telling Firefox to access a link... The bug was fixed in Firefox 79; however, many users may not be running the latest release. Firefox for desktop versions were not impacted.

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    - Bored Developer Creates 'DOS Subsystem For Linux'
    Long-time Slashdot reader Bismillah quotes iTnews: A software engineer in Melbourne is whiling away the city's lockdown by creating a tool that DOS users so far have lacked: an integrated Linux environment similar to what Windows 10 users enjoy... "I first started out just seeing if I could get Linux booting from the DOS command line, and that turned out to be straightforward enough so I thought it'd be fun to see if I could continue executing DOS once Linux was running," Charlie Somerville said. "I'm mostly surprised by how smoothly the whole thing works given how *dodgy* it all is haha," he added. DOS Subsystem for Linux runs a real copy of MS-DOS under the QEMU virtual machine, and starts up from that, Somerville said... "Helpfully Linux seems to leave the first megabyte of memory (where DOS lives) intact during its own boot process, so it's just a matter of jumping back to the right place to continue DOS execution," he added. Somerville had it pointed out to him that this approach of running DOS under vm8086 is actually how early Windows worked. "Kinda cool to rediscover the technique so many years later," Somerville said.

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    - While Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Announce Hate Speech Action, Some Advertisers Remain Skeptical
    "Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have agreed on first steps to curb harmful content online, big advertisers announced on Wednesday, following boycotts of social media platforms accused of tolerating hate speech," Reuters reports: Under the deal, announced by the World Federation of Advertisers, common definitions would be adopted for forms of harmful content such as hate speech and bullying, and platforms would adopt harmonized reporting standards... The platforms agreed to have some practices reviewed by external auditors and to give advertisers more control over what content is displayed alongside their ads. "This is a significant milestone in the journey to rebuild trust online," said Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever, one of the world's biggest advertisers. "Whilst change doesn't happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction..." The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, one of America's largest groups opposing hate speech, told Reuters there were many details that still need to be resolved. "These commitments must be followed in a timely and comprehensive manner to ensure they are not the kind of empty promises that we have seen too often from Facebook." And in a follow-up article, Reuters notes that despite the agreement, advertisers who'd boycotted Facebook and other social media sites "are not all rushing back". Unilever, one of the world's biggest advertisers, told Reuters the move this week was "a good step in the right direction," but would not say whether it would resume paid advertising on Facebook in the United States next year after stopping over the summer. Coca-Cola also remains paused on Facebook and Instagram and declined to say if this changed its view. Beam Suntory, maker of Jim Beam bourbon and Courvoisier Cognac, plans to stay away from paid advertising for the rest of 2020 and reassess in 2021 based on how Facebook adjusts its approach... "Brands are very concerned about having any affiliation with the disinformation that runs through the big tech platforms," said Michael Priem, CEO of advertising technology firm Modern Impact... Campaign organizers remain skeptical and pledged to keep up the heat. "We cannot assume progress from yet another commitment to change until we see the impact and breadth of policy enforcement by these companies," said Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, a backer of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which organized the boycott. "As long as these companies continue to abdicate their responsibility to their most vulnerable users, we will continue to call on Congress and regulatory agencies to intervene." The chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble tells Reuters that with half of all media spending now devoted to digital ads, "It's time for digital platforms to apply content standards properly." A Facebook spokersperson pointed out that 95% of hate speech removed by Facebook is now detected before being reported — whereas in 2017, that number was just 23%.

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    - Imprisoned 'Anonymous' Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld Files His First Appeal
    In early 2019, Martin Gottesfeld of Anonymous was sentenced under America's "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" to 10 years in federal prison for his alleged role in the 2014 DDoS attacks on healthcare and treatment facilities around Boston. (Gottesfeld was sentenced by the same judge who oversaw the Aaron Swartz case.) Gottesfeld has just filed his first appeal, and Slashdot reader Danngggg shares this new interview with Gottesfeld's attorney Brandon Sample. The upshot? Brandon Sample: If the court agrees with our arguments, for example, on the Speedy Trial Act, then that would result in dismissal of the indictment against him. And so, he would have no conviction at that point. There's a variety of different outcomes that could potentially flow from the arguments that have been raised in the appeal. If he wins, say for example, the argument that his lawyer should have been allowed off the case, well, then that would undo the conviction as well, and he would be entitled to another trial. If the indictment is dismissed, then the government is going to have to make a decision about whether or not this is really a case that they want to prosecute all over again... Daily Wire: Do you see this being successful, a strong case? Brandon Sample: The appeal? I think we have a really good chance. I do.

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    - Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 Vaccine Produces Strong Immune Response in Early Trial
    Newsweek reports: Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that early trials of a COVID-19 vaccine showed a 98 percent success rate in showing a boost in the immune system. According to research from Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine enabled 98 percent of those who took it to create antibodies that fight off the coronavirus infection. Those neutralizing antibodies were present 29 days after receiving the vaccination... Currently, four U.S. vaccines are in the final trial stages. Vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna are administered in two doses while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one. "Based on the current results, Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday kicked off a final 60,000-person trial," reports Reuters, "which could pave the way for an application for regulatory approval. The company said it expects results of that so-called Phase 3 trial by the end of the year or early next year."

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    - Vaccine Maker Novavax Enters Final Large-Scale Testing of Its Covid-19 Vaccine
    The New York Times reports: Vaccine maker Novavax said Thursday that it would begin the final stages of testing its coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom and that another large trial was scheduled to begin next month in the United States. It is the fifth late-stage trial from a company supported by Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to speed a coronavirus vaccine to market, and one of 11 worldwide to reach this pivotal stage. Novavax, a Maryland company that has never brought a vaccine to market, reached a $1.6 billion deal with the federal government in July to develop and manufacture its experimental vaccine, which has shown robust results in early clinical trials. The new study, known as a Phase 3 trial, is expected to enroll up to 10,000 people in the United Kingdom. Half of the volunteers will receive two doses of the experimental vaccine, 21 days apart, and the others will receive a placebo. Although Novavax is months behind the front-runners in the vaccine race, independent experts are excited about its vaccine because its early studies delivered particularly promising results. Monkeys that were vaccinated got strong protection against the coronavirus. And in early safety trials, published early this month in The New England Journal of Medicine, volunteers produced strikingly high levels of antibodies against the virus. It is not possible to make a precise comparison between early clinical studies of different vaccines, but John Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, said that the antibodies from Novavax were markedly higher than any other vaccine with published results. "You just can't explain that away," he said. The Phase 3 trials will determine if Novavax can live up to that promise.

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    - Emacs Developers (Including Richard Stallman) Discuss How to Build a More 'Modern' Emacs
    LWN.net re-visits the emacs-devel mailing list, where the Emacs 28 development cycle has revived discussions about how to make the text editor more "modern" and attractive to new users: A default dark theme may not be in the future, leading one to think that there may yet be hope for the world in general. But there does seem to be general agreement that Emacs could benefit from a better, more centralized approach to color themes, rather than having color names hard-coded throughout various Elisp packages. From that, a proper theme engine could be supported, making dark themes and such easily available to those who want them... Another area where Emacs is insufficiently "modern", it seems, has to do with keyboard and mouse bindings. On the keyboard side, users have come to expect certain actions from certain keystrokes; ^X to cut a selection, ^V to paste it, etc. These bindings are easily had by turning on the Cua mode, but new users tend not to know about this mode or how to enable it. Many participants in the discussion said that this mode should be on by default. That, of course, would break the finger memory of large numbers of existing Emacs users, who would be unlikely to appreciate the disruption. Or, as Richard Stallman put it: It is not an option to change these basic key bindings to imitate other, newer editors. It would create a different editor that we Emacs users would never switch to. It is unfortunate that the people who implemented the newer editors chose incompatibility with Emacs.... The situation with mouse behavior is similar; as several participants in the discussion pointed out, users of graphical interfaces have come to expect that a right-button click will produce a menu of available actions. In Emacs, instead, that button marks a region ("selection"), with a second click in the same spot yanking ("cutting") the selected text. Many experienced Emacs users have come to like this behavior, but it is surprising to newcomers. The right mouse button with the control key held down does produce a menu defined by the current major mode, but that is evidently not what is being requested here; that menu, some say, should present global actions rather mode-specific ones. Stallman suggested offering a "reshuffled mode" that would bring the context menu to an unadorned right-button click, and which would add some of the expected basic editing commands there as well. This would be relatively easy to do, he said, since mouse bindings are separate from everything else. Besides, as he noted, the current mouse behavior was derived from "what was the standard in X Windows around 1990"; while one wouldn't want to act in haste, it might just be about time for an update. Other proposed changes involved "discoverability," including the default enabling of various modes, although to incorporate them into GNU Emacs "would often require the author to sign copyrights over to the Free Software Foundation, which is not something all authors are willing to do..."

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    - Rat That Sniffs Out Land Mines Receives Award For Bravery
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The medal awarded on Friday lauded the "lifesaving bravery and devotion to duty" for work detecting land mines in Cambodia. Its recipient: a rat named Magawa. Magawais the first rat to receive the award -- a gold medal bestowed by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, a British charity, that is often called the "animal's George Cross" after an honor usually given to civilians that recognizes acts of bravery and heroism. Not since the fictional Remy of the 2007 Disney-Pixar film "Ratatouille" has a rat done so much to challenge the public's view of the animals as creatures more commonly seen scuttling through sewers and the subway: Magawa has discovered 39 land mines and 28 pieces of unexploded ordnance, and helped clear more than 1.5 million square feet of land over the past four years. More than five million land mines are thought to have been laid in Cambodia during the ousting of the Khmer Rouge and internal conflicts in the 1980s and 1990s. Parts of the country are also littered with unexploded ordnance dropped in United States airstrikes during the Vietnam War, a 2019 report from the Congressional Research Service found. Since 1979, more than 64,000 people have been injured by land mines and other explosives in Cambodia, and more than 25,000 amputees have been recorded there, according to the HALO Trust, the world's largest humanitarian land mine clearance charity. Magawa, the most successful rat to have taken part in the program, was trained to detect TNT, the chemical compound within explosives. The ability to sniff out TNT makes him much faster than any person in searching for land mines, as he can ignore scrap metal that would usually be picked up by a metal detector. He can search an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes, whereas a person with a metal detector would usually take four days to search an area of that size. When he finds a mine, he signals to his handler by scratching at the earth above it. Unlike humans, Magawa is too light to detonate a mine, so there is minimal risk of injury.

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    - Google Maps To Block Users From 'Virtual Visits' of Australian Uluru
    misnohmer writes: In 2019, the Australian site of Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, has been closed to tourists "after the Anangu people said it was being trashed by visitors eroding its surface, dropping rubbish and polluting nearby waterholes," according to CNN. Parks Australia has now has asked Google to remove all imagery of the site uploaded by the community, as per the wishes of the Uluru's owners -- the Anangu Aboriginal people. Google agreed. "Google is "supportive of this request and is in the process of removing the content," Parks Australia said in a statement. "Parks Australia alerted Google Australia to the user-generated images from the Uluru summit that have been posted on their mapping platform and requested that the content be removed in accordance with the wishes of Anangu, Uluru's traditional owners, and the national park's Film and Photography Guidelines," the statement added.

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