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Microsoft reveals cheap PCs to compete with Chromebook

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has given away details of three new low-priced laptops that will compete head on with Google Chromebooks. Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, let the cat out of the bag during his keynote address on the first day of World Partner Conference (WPC). The first device revealed is an HP device he called "the Stream", which will be released in time for Christmas, priced at $199. While Turner did hold up the HP device on stage, he didn't give away any more specs. He did, however, show specs for two more devices, both priced at $249. One has a 2.1Ghz Intel Celeron processor, 4GB RAM and 500GB storage. Microsoft has been working with OEM partners to reduce the cost price of devices by cutting licence costs. In February, it was reported that Microsoft had reduced prices of Windows 8.1 for manufacturers of low-cost computers and tablets by 70 percent to compete with cheaper products like Google's Chromebooks, according to Bloomberg."
Link to Original Source

People can actually be allergic to Electronic devices

Charliemopps (1157495) writes | about 3 months ago

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Charliemopps (1157495) writes "People can actually be allergic to Electronic devices, just not for the reasons you think. The influx of Tablets and SmartPhones with ever ever more attempts to stand out from the crowd, many are being produce with metal parts and cases that sometimes contain the metal Nickel. Nickel can be an allergen. Most people do not regularly have direct contact with Nickel and therefore aren't aware of their allergy. But with the influx Phones and Tablets with metal cases, many are finding out about their allergy for the first time the hard way. If you suspect you may be allergic to your cellphone, you can be tested by your doctor... but it wont involve a Wifi router!"
Link to Original Source

Air Force seeks bids for $550M next generation stealth bomber

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 3 months ago

1

schwit1 (797399) writes "The U.S. Air Force's super-secret next generation bomber, which one day could fly unmanned sorties, has moved a step closer to the production line with the Pentagon asking top defense contractors to submit proposals.

Not much is known about the Long Range Strike-Bomber project, which has been run as a classified program since 2011. But the bat-winged stealth bombers would likely cost around $550 million each, and the Air Force hopes to contract for as many as 100. Still, the pricetag would be lower than the B-2 currently used.

Aren't they wasting enough money on the F35, which has nearly doubled in price?"

Link to Original Source

Rand Paul Meets With Zuckerberg And Peter Thiel

SonicSpike (242293) writes | about 3 months ago

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SonicSpike (242293) writes "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) reportedly had meetings with two top Silicon Valley billionaires at Allen & Company's Sun Valley conference in Idaho.

In his Playbook newsletter Sunday, Politico's Mike Allen reported Paul, who is considering a presidential bid in 2016, "had private sit-downs with the investor Peter Thiel and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg" while at the conference.

A spokesperson for Paul has not responded to a request from Business Insider about what he discussed with Thiel and Zuckerberg. However, it is natural that Paul, who has emerged as a leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, might seek to curry favor and position himself for potential donations from Silicon Valley.

Paul has been attempting to court support among the tech set by focusing on his opposition to the National Security Agency's surveillance program. Last year, he traveled to California to give a lecture at the Google campus in Mountain View.

Thiel is perhaps the best known avatar of Silicon Valley libertarianism. He gave $2.6 million to a PAC that supported the presidential campaign of Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) in 2012."

Link to Original Source

Parkinson's Makes You More Creative

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A new Tel Aviv University study says that Parkinson’s patients are more creative than their healthy peers, and that those patients taking higher doses of medication are more artistic than their less-medicated counterparts. “It began with my observation that Parkinson’s patients have a special interest in art and have creative hobbies incompatible with their physical limitations,” said the study's lead researcher. "We conducted the first comprehensive study to measure the creative thinking of Parkinson’s patients. This was not a simple task, because how does one measure, or quantify, creativity? We had to think creatively ourselves.” The study appears in the Annals of Neurology."
Link to Original Source

T-Mobile: Data Caps Are a Symptom of Uncompetitive Markets

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "In an emergency petition filed with the FCC, T-Mobile accuses AT&T and Verizon of hoarding spectrum for anti-competitive benefit, then over-charging consumers via usage caps the company argues aren't technically necessary. To hear T-Mobile tell it, AT&T and Verizon then use their duopoly power to hoard spectrum to limit competitors, then charge those under-positioned competitors an arm and a leg for roaming connectivity — jacking up prices for everyone in the process.

Click for full size
T-Mobile is urging the FCC to force companies like AT&T and Verizon to offer roaming connectivity to competing companies for significantly lower rates. Consumer costs were recently cut in half after European Regulators capped roaming rates."

Link to Original Source

Electronic health records ripe for theft

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 3 months ago

0

schwit1 (797399) writes "America’s medical records systems are flirting with disaster, say the experts who monitor crime in cyberspace. A hack that exposes the medical and financial records of hundreds of thousands of patients is coming, they say — it’s only a matter of when.

As health data become increasingly digital and the use of electronic health records booms, thieves see patient records in a vulnerable health care system as attractive bait, according to experts interviewed by POLITICO. On the black market, a full identity profile contained in a single record can bring as much as $500.

The issue has yet to capture attention on Capitol Hill, which has been slow to act on cybersecurity legislation.

“What I think it’s going to lead to, if it hasn’t already, is an arms race between the criminal element and the people trying to protect health data,” said Robert Wah, president of the American Medical Association and chief medical officer at the health technology firm CSC. “I think the health data stewards are probably a little behind in the race. The criminal elements are incredibly sophisticated.”"

Link to Original Source

Creepy New Seats Monitor Your Heart Rate, Can Control The Car

cartechboy (2660665) writes | about 3 months ago

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cartechboy (2660665) writes "Cars already have the technology to determine when you're drowsy, that's nothing new. But having seats with sensors in them monitoring your heart rate to determine if you're falling asleep, that's new, and creepy. A new project from Nottingham Trent University in the UK is working on an electrocardiogram (ECG) built into the driver's seat to detect heart rate and determine when the driver is too fatigued—or worse, falling asleep—in order to improve road safety. The tech uses circuits integrated right into the seats to monitor heart rate, respiration, and more to monitor alertness and health. The idea is the system can take over using active cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other safety technology if the driver were to be drowsy or fall asleep. Of course, the creepy part is the car knows your health and determines whether it would be more fit to drive than you. Maybe in the future you won't get to decide if you're fit to drive, your car will."

How a supercomputer beat the scrap heap and lived on to retire in Africa.

jorge_salazar (3562633) writes | about 3 months ago

0

jorge_salazar (3562633) writes "Pieces of the decommissioned Ranger supercomputer, 40 racks in all, were shipped to researchers in South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana to help seed their supercomputing aspirations. They say they'll need supercomputers to solve their growing science problems in astronomy, bioinformatics, climate modeling and more. Ranger's own beginnings were described by the co-founder of Sun Microsystems as a "historic moment in petaflop computing.""
Link to Original Source

'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced to Forget

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes | about 3 months ago

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Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Hidden From Google, the brainchild of a web programmer in New Jersey, archives each website that Google is required to take down from European Union search listings thanks to the recent court decision that allows people to request that certain pages be scrubbed from Google's search results if they're outdated or irrelevant. That decision has resulted in takedown requests from convicted sex offenders and huge banking companies, among thousands of others."
Link to Original Source

Japanese Woman Arrested to Selling 3D Printable Files of Her Vagina

jigmypig (3675225) writes | about 3 months ago

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jigmypig (3675225) writes "A woman in Japan has been arrested for selling 3D printable files of her vagina to random men via the internet. The files included items such as 3D printable smartphone cases engraved with nothing else but her genitalia. To do this, she scanned her vagina and then put them into a 3D printable file. Men were then able to purchase the files directly from her, and she would deliver them via email. As you know, the rules in Japan concerning the exposure or depiction of female genitalia are very strict. There is already a petition being passed around trying to get her released."
Link to Original Source

Why fundemantal research matters

fiannaFailMan (702447) writes | about 3 months ago

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fiannaFailMan (702447) writes "Governments sometimes see the value of science in purely economic terms, resulting in short-term thinking about what should be funded. For example, the Irish government has been criticized for focusing to much on scientific research that produces immediately tangible benefits, i.e. jobs, that bolster the image of politicians. "Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, European Research Council president, recently reiterated a criticism made two years ago that Ireland is too focussed on research aimed at immediate job creation and as a result is missing out on potential funding. He is also quoted as saying that basic science must be left to flourish before people move to exploit it to create jobs.""
Link to Original Source

Dell's Chromebook sales go crazy, so company halts sales

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about 3 months ago

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mpicpp (3454017) writes "Dell’s only Chromebook is at least temporarily unavailable for online purchase through the company’s website, only seven months after the model started shipping.

Facing rising commercial demand for the devices, Dell has not been able to keep up with orders.

The Chromebook 11, which shipped in December, is listed as unavailable on Dell’s Chromebook website, and the company is asking potential buyers to call in orders.

“Due to strong demand, the Dell Chromebook 11 is currently not available for order on Dell.com. It continues to be available for our education customers and can be ordered through their sales representative,” said Ellen Murphy, a Dell spokeswoman, in an email.

The laptop will eventually come online again, though the company did not provide a specific date.

With Dell keeping Chromebook purchases open mainly to commercial customers, individual buyers may have to turn to competitive products from Samsung, Toshiba, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, which are available online starting at under $200."

Link to Original Source

In the name of security, German NSA committee may turn to typewriters

mpicpp (3454017) writes | about 3 months ago

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mpicpp (3454017) writes "Patrick Sensburg, chairman of the German parliament's National Security Agency investigative committee, now says he’s considering expanding the use of manual typewriters to carry out his group's work.

In an appearance (German language) Monday morning on German public television, Sensburg said that the committee is taking its operational security very seriously. "In fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it’s even a non-electronic typewriter," he said.
If Sensburg’s suggestion takes flight, the country would be taking a page out of the Russian playbook. Last year, the agency in charge of securing communications from the Kremlin announced that it wanted to spend 486,000 rubles (about $14,800) to buy 20 electric typewriters as a way to avoid digital leaks."

Link to Original Source

How the NSA is destroying open source

petrus4 (213815) writes | about 3 months ago

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petrus4 (213815) writes "I've had a while to think about this, but my recent experiences over the last several hours with FreeBSD's disastrous new package management system, pkgng, has finally convinced me that I'm not just being paranoid.

At this point, I believe that a systematic campaign is being waged against FOSS UNIX by the trans-Atlantic intelligence community; and I have seen sufficient instances of it at this point, that I've been able to identify the strategy that is being used. The fact that FreeBSD has had some radical, systemic changes only a few years after the systemd debacle with Linux, is just a little too coincidental to my mind.

The plan goes like this:-

Phase 1. Get a corporate stool pigeon to write an extremely disruptive piece of software for the system that you are attempting to destroy. Said software needs to have a sufficient number of superficially cool/flashy features that it will seduce less intelligent/discerning users; but the main thing which said software needs to do, is radically disrupt and compromise the operating system's level of transparency, discoverability, and openness. In Linux's case this was systemd, and in FreeBSD's it has been pkgng. Both of these pieces of software share a few different characteristics.

a} They are opaque, undiscoverable, and almost completely impervious to user control. It's hard for the average user to figure out what said software is doing. With the earlier form of FreeBSD's package management, I could see the URL where the package was being downloaded from, and it was also entirely possible to change said URL in plain text. Now, pkgng uses bit torrent, and I can't see where the torrent file has originated from, or which process is being called as a bit torrent client. I can't choose which bit torrent program I want to use, either. What configuration there is, is also written in YAML, rather than plain text; which is another strike against it for me.

b} They incorporate a sufficient amount of automation, and apparent advancement, that it is possible to make a superficially plausible argument that anyone who objects to said software is simply a Luddite, who is supposedly opposed to technological progress in general. Of course, this is a disingenuous claim, because it is entirely possible to write advanced, well-automated software that is not opaque, and does not compromise the ability of a user to control it. The ability to make this argument, however, is of vital importance for Phase 2, which I will get to in a moment.

c} They are extremely tightly integrated and coupled into the rest of the system. Systemd is like an octopus, and pkgng isn't much better. I was horrified when I discovered that pkg has actually been added to the base system. Ports always used to be completely detachable from base; the choice of whether to install it at all was given to you at the end of sysinstall.

With these programs, you only get to make the choice once as to whether or not you use them, and if you decide to do so, then after that, you are owned. They can no longer be removed; you are stuck with them whether you like them or not. Fortunately, FreeBSD is still sufficiently modular that I was able to delete /usr/local and /var/db/pkg. I have since tried to install NetBSD's pkgsrc and have been unable to get it to function, so I have had to resort to manual compilation of source at the moment. For most things, I am prepared to tolerate that; although I haven't tried to install X yet. I am anticipating that that will be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.

Phase 2. Once you have your disruptive program written, you now have to make sure that acceptance of it is universal, and anyone who resists must be bludgeoned into compliance. This is effectively achieved by hiring lots of sock puppets and trolls, and sending them into distribution development/core team mailing lists.

If you think I'm just being paranoid about my description of this step, I would invite you to go and read Debian's mailing list archives, during the period when they were debating whether or not to add systemd. Anyone who attempted to resist or offer counter-arguments to the inclusion of systemd was shouted down and abused into silence; and I can still remember how savage a response I got in /r/FreeBSD when I expressed doubts about pkgng several months ago, as well.

In addition to this, I've also been reading about how broken GTK theming has become for GNOME/GTK 3.

I've never liked GNOME. I don't think it is well designed, and I also don't think the GNOME developers have ever done an adequate job of really listening to their users; but since the release of GNOME 3, that has become a lot worse. Breakage has been reported in bug trackers, only to receive snide responses from developers about how said features are being retired, because said developers feel that they would "dilute the GNOME brand," as if GNOME were some sort of corporate product. I can't think where I would have got that idea from.

I was honestly in something close to a state of shock in response to pkgng earlier, though. I've been using Linux (and to a slightly lesser extent, FreeBSD) for 20 years now; and I have never seen anything like pkgng and systemd, and both have originated within the last five years. UNIX is one of the few things that I have ever been truly passionate about, and to read the degree of open contempt that has been expressed towards it by Lennart Poettering, has been genuinely heartbreaking.

We need to start recognising what is being done to us; and quickly, before it gets worse. Given how undiscriminating Linux's userbase is, I wasn't really surprised that Poettering's software has become as popular as it has, but for something like pkgng to be accepted into FreeBSD is both inexplicable and downright terrifying. I can't believe that nobody in the core team knew better.

I am asking everyone who reads this, and who cares about the operating system that has given us a stable, open, discoverable, and empowering computing environment over the last 45 years, to join me in taking the following actions.

a} Boycott all use of systemd, pkgng, GNOME, KDE, and any other software which has known corporate influence or sponsorship, or which is also written with blatant disregard for UNIX development philosophy.

b} If a} is not possible while using Linux, to then join me in migrating to either Open or NetBSD, where we can use software that will not contribute to the strangulation of our operating systems, which the NSA and GCHQ are attempting to bring about through corporate proxies.

Above all, remember that you have a choice. You can keep choosing to use the supposedly new, shiny, but ultimately opaque, disempowering, and enslaving corporate sponsored desktop environments, or you can choose to defend and retain your autonomy and freedom. This is a choice which must be made with the utmost urgency, before they take our remaining autonomy away from us.

I am asking for nothing less than a full scale revolt against, and migration away from, Red Hat in particular; and I need your help. Ultimately this will be as much for your own benefit, as for mine."

Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes | about 3 months ago

0

Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call. The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users."
Link to Original Source

FCC Public Comment Period For Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, July 15

samzenpus (5) writes | about 3 months ago

0

samzenpus (5) writes "The deadline for the FCC’s public comment period on their proposed net neutrality rule is coming up fast. The deadline to let the FCC know what you think is tomorrow, July 15. A total of 647,000 comments have already been sent. Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and other tech companies are making a final push for net neutrality saying that the FCC decision, "shifts the balance from the consumers' freedom of choice to the broadband Internet access providers' gatekeeping decisions." The Consumerist has a guide to help you through the comment process, so make sure your voice is heard."

AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To The Test

Dputiger (561114) writes | about 3 months ago

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Dputiger (561114) writes "It has been almost two years since AMD launched the FirePro W9000 and kicked off a heated battle in the workstation GPU wars with NVIDIA. AMD recently released the powerful FirePro W9100, however, a new card based on the same Hawaii-class GPU as the desktop R9 290X, but aimed at the professional workstation market. The W9100’s GPU features 2,816 stream processors, and the card boasts 320GB/s of memory bandwidth, and six mini-DisplayPorts, all of which support DP1.2 and 4K output. The W9100 carries more RAM than any other AMD GPU as well, a whopping 16GB of GDDR5 on a single card. Even NVIDIA's top-end Quadro K6000 tops out at 12GB, which means AMD sits in a class by itself in this area. In terms of performance, this review shows that the FirePro W9100 doesn’t always outshine its competition, but its price/performance ratio keep it firmly in the running. But if AMD continues to improve its product mix and overall software support, it should close the gap even more in the pro GPU market in the next 18-24 months."

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Florida

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "After two months of delays, SpaceX was successful today with its launch of six Orbcomm telecommunications satellites. All six satellites have been successfully deployed in orbit. The 375-pound satellites will offer two-way data links to help customers track, monitor and control transportation and logistics assets, heavy equipment, oil and gas infrastructure, ships and buoys, and government-owned equipment. From the article: "SpaceX plans to use Monday’s launch to test a landing system it is developing to fly its rockets back to the launch site for refurbishment and reuse. During Falcon 9’s last flight in April, the first stage successfully restarted some of its engines as it careened toward the ocean, slowing its descent. The rocket also was able to deploy stabilizing landing legs before toppling over in the water. The booster, however, was destroyed by rough seas before it could be retrieved by recovery ships. Monday’s launch was the 10th flight of Falcon 9 rocket, all of which have been successful.""

People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity

schwit1 (797399) writes | about 3 months ago

0

schwit1 (797399) writes "People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not, a Government study has found.

Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is “too far into the future to worry about,” the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and climate change found.

That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a “weak trend” to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use.

The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. The report , by experts from Loughborough University and Cambridge Architectural Research, was commissioned and published by DECC."

Link to Original Source

Home Depot Begins Retail Store Pilot Program To Sell MakerBot 3-D Printers

ClockEndGooner (1323377) writes | about 3 months ago

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ClockEndGooner (1323377) writes "Looking for a 3-D printer to help you out with a home project or two? If you're in one of the 12 pilot program areas here in the U.S., stop into Home Depot to take a look at and purchase a MakerBot 3-D Replicator printer. "MakerBot printers have been available on Home Depot's website for about a month, and sales have exceeded expectations, said Mr. Pettis. The stores will put up specially-designed kiosks where shoppers can see the machines in 3-D action. Trained MakerBot retail staff will also be on-site for the indefinite future in order to put the machines through their paces.""

How did Red Hat kickstart a DevOps culture?

ectoman (594315) writes | about 3 months ago

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ectoman (594315) writes "DevOps isn't just a development methodology. It's a shift in company culture. So how does one of the world's leading providers of open source solutions manage the transition to DevOps culture? Gene Kim, author of DevOps novel (yes, it's a thing) The Phoenix Project seeks answers to this question in a recent interview with leaders of Red Hat's new "Inception team," a band of engineers tasked with transforming the company's IT operations—what team member Bill Montgomery describes as "a team formed by pulling top contributors from intentionally diverse parts of IT.""
Link to Original Source

Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights to South Park

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) writes | about 3 months ago

1

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) writes "From the PC Mag Article:
If you're a fan of South Park, you better be a fan of Hulu as well. Specifically, Hulu Plus.
The creators of the funny, foul-mouthed animated TV show have signed a deal with the online streaming service. Valued at more than $80 million, the three-year deal grants Hulu exclusive rights to stream the 240+ episode back catalog of South Park in addition to all new episodes (as soon as they've aired on Comedy Central). "This is a natural partnership for us. We are excited that the entire library will be available on Hulu and that the best technology around will power South Park Digital Studios," said creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in a statement."

Link to Original Source

With New Horizons spacecraft a year away, what we know about Pluto

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "In one year, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto after over 8 years of travel. "Not only did we choose the date, by the way, we chose the hour and the minute. And we're on track," says Alan Stern, the principal investigator for NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission. As the New Horizons spacecraft gets closer to Pluto, we will begin getting the clearest images we've ever gotten. "Scientists don't actually know what exactly what they will see there. And that's the exciting part. 'When we first sent missions to Jupiter, no one expected to find moons that would have active volcanoes. And I could go down a long list of how often I've been surprised by the richness of nature,' he says.""

Critical Vulnerabilities In Web-Based Password Managers Found

Anonymous Coward writes | about 3 months ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A group of researchers from University of California, Berkeley, have analyzed five popular web-based password managers and have discovered — and then responsibly reported — vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to learn a user’s credentials for arbitrary websites. The five password managers they analyzed are LastPass, RoboForm, My1Login, PasswordBox and NeedMyPassword, and they did it to evaluate their security in practice, and to provide pointers to "guide the design of current and future password managers.""

Phase-changing material for Robots.

rtoz (2530056) writes | about 3 months ago

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rtoz (2530056) writes "In the movie "Terminator 2," the shape-shifting T-1000 robot morphs into a liquid state to squeeze through tight spaces or to repair itself when harmed.

Now a phase-changing material built from wax and foam, and capable of switching between hard and soft states, could allow even low-cost robots to perform the same feat.

The material developed by MIT researchers could be used to build deformable surgical robots. The robots could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way.

The Robots built from this material could also be used in search-and-rescue operations to squeeze through rubble looking for survivors."

Chemists build first 'buckyball' made of boron

CelestialScience (2744597) writes | about 3 months ago

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CelestialScience (2744597) writes "Researchers have built the first “buckyballs” composed entirely of boron. Unlike the original, carbon-based buckyballs, the boron molecules are not shaped like soccer balls, with tessellating pentagons and hexagons. Instead, they are molecular cages made up of hexagons, heptagons and triangles. As Lai-Sheng Wang of Brown University and colleagues report in the journal Nature Chemistry, each one contains 40 atoms, compared with carbon buckyballs which are made of 60. Boron is not the first element after carbon to get "buckyballed", but the boron balls may be the closest analogue to the carbon variety. Because of their reactivity, they could be useful for storing hydrogen."
Link to Original Source

Policing of the Future is Here Today

DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes | about 3 months ago

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DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Morgan Marquis-Boire has been working to unmask the invasive cyber-spying tools from the likes of Gamma International and Hacking Team for the last few years, but in an interview with IBTimes UK, the dreadlocked former hacker says: "This is the law enforcement of the future and actually the law enforcement of the now. [Hacking Team and Gamma International]'s customer base is expanding, this capability is something which you can see as being desirable to most law enforcement agencies.""
Link to Original Source

New Raspberry Pi Model B+

mikejuk (1801200) writes | about 3 months ago

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mikejuk (1801200) writes "The Raspberry Pi foundation has just announced the Raspberry Pi B+ and the short version is — better and the same price.
With over 2 million sold the news of a RPi upgrade is big news. The basic specs haven't changed much, same BC2835 and 512MB of RAM and the $35 price tag. There are now four USB ports which means you don't need a hub to work with a mouse, keyboard and WiFi dongle. The GPIO has been expanded to 40 pins but don't worry you can plug your old boards and cables into the lefthand part of the connector and its backward compatible. As well as some additional general purpose lines there are two designated for use with I2C EEPROM. When the Pi boots it will look for custom EEPROMs on these lines and optionally use them to load Linux drivers or setup expansion boards. What this means is that expansion boards can now include identity chips that when the board is connected configures the Pi to make use of them — no more manual customization.
The change to a micro SD socket is nice, unless you happen to have lots of spare full size SD cards around. It is also claimed that the power requirements have dropped by half to one watt which brings the model B into the same power consumption area as the model A. This probably still isn't low enough for some applications and the forums are no doubt going to be in full flow working out how to reduce the power even further.
There are some other minor changes, comp video is now available on the audio jack and the audio quality has been improved. But one big step for Raspberry Pi is that it now has four holes for mounting in standard enclosures — this really lets the Pi go anywhere.
http://www.raspberrypi.org/int..."

Link to Original Source

File Sharing's Impact on Movies

SillyBoy123 (3744331) writes | about 3 months ago

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SillyBoy123 (3744331) writes "What is the impact of file sharing releases on the movie industry? Ask the studios and they will say billions. An economist named Koleman Strumph is presenting a paper at the National Bureau of Economics this week that tries to estimate the crowd out from these releases. His conclusion: "I find that file sharing has only a modest impact on box office revenue."
conference webpage: http://conference.nber.org/con...
paper: http://conference.nber.org/con..."

Link to Original Source

Traffic lights: There's a better way

stephendavion (2872091) writes | about 3 months ago

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stephendavion (2872091) writes "MIT researchers develop an improved system for timing of urban lights to minimize commuting times. Anyone who has ever driven a city street and been frustrated by having to stop again and again for red lights has probably thought that there must be a better way. Now, researchers at MIT have developed a means of computing optimal timings for city stoplights that can significantly reduce drivers’ average travel times.

Existing software for timing traffic signals has several limitations, says Carolina Osorio, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT. She is lead author of a forthcoming paper in the journal Transportation Science that describes the new system, based on a study of traffic in Lausanne, Switzerland."

Boston Testing Solar-Powered Benches That Charge Smartphones

stephendavion (2872091) writes | about 3 months ago

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stephendavion (2872091) writes "Continuing the trend toward nearly everything becoming smartphone-friendly — from ovens to boxing gloves — benches in the Boston area are getting a technology boost, too. Some park dwellers in the region are already charging their mobile devices via solar-powered benches, which could eventually collect real-time data about its surrounding environment too (think air quality and noise levels).

Smart urban furniture company Soofa (developed by Changing Environments, an MIT Media Lab spin-off) is bringing more of its solar-powered benches to Boston and Cambridge, Mass. parks soon. The name Soofa stems from an acronym the company developed to describe a smart urban furniture appliance: SUFA. To give it more of a Silicon Valley feel, Richter switched the letter u to double o's."

Media Viewer: yet another Wikipedia scandal in the making

metasonix (650947) writes | about 3 months ago

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metasonix (650947) writes "As reported on Wikipediocracy today, the Wikimedia Foundation's software developers created a new "Media Viewer" feature to show high-resolution Wikipedia images in a pop-up window. It worked, but had many problems. Result: "One month after implementation, volunteer administrator Pete Forsyth unceremoniously switched the new feature off, only to find his change reverted by none other than the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy Director and VP of Engineering and Product Development, Erik Möller, who threatened to remove Forsyth’s administrative privileges. Möller in turn has now been hauled in front of Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, accused of overstepping his authority." This is roughly similar to a group of volunteer police cadets attempting to remove their chief of police, for changing department policy. The story is bizarre, and it perfectly underscores the dysfunctional and twisted internal culture of Wikipedia."

First build of Windows 9 shows start menu return but with Modern tiles

Billly Gates (198444) writes | about 3 months ago

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Billly Gates (198444) writes "A leaked alpha of Windows 9 has been brewing on the internet. Today a screenshot shows what MS showed us at BUILD which includes a start menu with additional tiny tiles for things like people, calendar, pc settings, and news etc. What the screenshot does show is it is much bigger than Windows7 taking 1/3 of the screen similar to the Start Screen which will show more apps (frequently used desktop apps) in addition to other features. Is this a shift for MS to fix Windows 8? Or do some of us who are really still used to XP and Windows 7 won't allow anything modern in it? Also what is unknown is the return of AERO, and how will Cortana fit voice control fit in?"
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