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Phablet reviews: Before and after the iPhone 6

Velcroman1 (1667895) writes | 8 minutes ago

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Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Bigger is better. No, wait, bigger is worse. Well, which is it? Apple’s newly supersized 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the jumbo, 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus are a marked departure for the company, which has clung to the same, small screen size for years. It has gone so far as to publicly deride larger phones from competitors, notably Samsung, even as their sales grew to record highs. Tech reviewers over the years have tended to side with Apple, in general saddling reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Note – a 5.3-inch device that kicked off the phablet push in 2012 – with asides about how big the darn thing was. Are tech reviewers being fair when they review the iPhone 6 Plus? Here’s what some of them said today, compared with how they reviewed earlier phablets and big phones from the competition."
Link to Original Source

Giganews Resorts to DMCA to Quieten FBI Allegations

Anonymous Coward writes | 42 minutes ago

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An anonymous reader writes "From tiny seeds, allegations that Usenet provider Giganews is actually an FBI-run operation spread far and wide last week. Now, in an attempt to quieten the wild claims and maintain privacy, Giganews sister company Data Foundry has sent a DMCA notice to the Internet Archive to have a several stored files removed.

Sent from an alleged former employee of Giganews who identified himself as Nick Caputo, the email contained serious allegations about his former employer. Caputo told us that he'd begun working at the company in 2009 and as a "huge pirate" he loved to help people download "all the rich multimedia content they could." But that was just the beginning."

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How Did New Technology Gadgets Alter The Living Standard Of Modern Man?

newgadget123 (3832831) writes | 1 hour ago

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newgadget123 (3832831) writes "New technology gadgets have made progress considerably. With each passing year, we get to see new gadgets being developed and launched in the market. Such advancements have occurred due to the development in electronic industries and computer technology which took place recently. These things have made the newest electronic gadgets more famous."
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High-Volume DDoS Attacks On The Rise

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago

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An anonymous reader writes "A continuing trend of DDoS attacks are short in duration and repeated frequently. In parallel, high-volume and high-rate DDoS attacks were on the upswing in the first half of 2014, according to NSFOCUS. DDoS traffic volume was up overall with a third peaking at over 500Mbps and more than five percent reaching up to 4Gbps. The longest single attack lasted nine days and 11 hours, or 228 hours, while the single largest attack in terms of packet-per-second (pps) hit at a volume of 23 million pps."

Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Continues To Grow

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 1 hour ago

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mdsolar (1045926) writes "A growing movement of individuals and institutions selling off shares linked to fossil fuels has the power to galvanize global efforts to halt climate change, said the co-founder of a group that works with investors.

The movement got a boost on Monday when the Rockefellers, who made their fortune from oil, along with other philanthropists and rich individuals, announced pledges to divest a total of $50 billion from fossil fuel assets.

"It's a turning point in the movement — it's a recognition that our political bodies have failed to respond to the pace of climate change," said Chuck Collins, co-founder of Divest- Invest Individual, an organization that supports individuals who want to divest from fossil fuels.

While some politicians continue to debate whether man-made climate change does exist, the move to divest highlights a potentially important shift that could help create a critical mass of people not only demanding action on climate change but putting their money where their mouth is, he said."

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Do specs even matter anymore for the average smartphone user?

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) writes | 10 hours ago

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ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) writes "While reviewing a recent comparison of the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6, OSNews staffer Thom Holwerda raises some relevant points regarding the importance of specs on newer smartphones. He observes that the iPhone 6, which is brand new, and the Nexus 5 launch apps at about the same speed. Yes, they're completely different platforms and yes, it's true it's probably not even a legitimate comparison, but it does raise a point: Most people who use smartphones on a daily basis use them for pretty basic things such as checking email, casual web browsing, navigation and reminders. Those who use their phones to their maximum capacity for things like gaming are a staunch minority. Do smarphone specs even matter for the average smartphone user anymore? After everyone releases the biggest phone people can reasonably hold in their hand with a processor and GPU that can move images on the display as optimally as possible, how many other moons are there to shoot for?"
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Popular WiFi thermostat full of security holes

cybergibbons (554352) writes | 3 hours ago

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cybergibbons (554352) writes "Heatmiser, a U.K.-based manufacturer of digital thermostats, is contacting its customers today about a series of security issues that could expose a Wi-Fi-connected version of its product to takeover.

Andrew Tierney, a “reverse-engineer by night,” whose specialty is digging up bugs in embedded systems wrote on his blog cybergibbons.com, that he initially read about vulnerabilities in another one of the company’s products, NetMonitor, and decided to poke around its product line further.

This led him to discover a slew of issues in the company’s Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats running firmware version 1.2. The issues range from simple security missteps to critical oversights."

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LivingBox 'mini-farm' could help third world feeds itself

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 4 hours ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A “mini-farm” that can grow vegetables anywhere with a self-sustaining “closed loop” of energy and nutrition and help feed a billion needy people has won a prize as the most promising project to help developing countries improve their economies

Data gathered by humanitarian organization, World Food Programme, indicates that every year over 847 million people worldwide, suffer from malnutrition and about 3.1 million children under the age of five, die from starvation. While eradicating world hunger is a top priority for both scientists and philanthropists, given the increasing global population and dwindling natural resources, it is not easy. But thanks to new innovations like the recently introduced 'LivingBox', there may be some hope

The brainchild of Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists, Nitzan Solan and Moti Cohen, LivingBox is an environmentally friendly urban-ecosystem made from modular boxes that connect to form a hydroponics mini-farm. This means that the vegetables are grown in nutrient-infused water, instead of soil

Project co-creator Nitzan Solan says the Livingbox “is the perfect system, because it lets anyone anywhere grow vegetables without the need for fertile soil, or running water and electricity, and with minimal farming skills. It could help feed people in the developing world, providing them with access to fresh, nutritious food, while helping them maintain a clean environment.” Once it’s set up, the system is self-sustaining

Livingbox is based on hydroponics — the science of growing vegetables in water. Vegetables can take root in water when the right nutrients are added. Livingbox’s system delivers those nutrients into a five square meter hydroponic growing bed, using organic waste from fish, leftover food, or even animal feces

The technology used by Livingbox isn’t new, what is new is its deployment as a method of supplying food for families in developing countries, bringing together the diverse technologies and growing methods to develop a system that requires nothing more than household waste

The system is called “Livingbox” because it comes to users as a modular set of boxes that, when unpacked, are attached in an array. Users fill up the growing bed with fresh water and place their seeds or seedlings inside. Then they attach one (or all) of the three growing mechanisms the system uses. The users can grow vegetables using three types of organic waste — from fish waste, with leftover organic waste like rotten vegetables or peels, and even using (animal) waste. All three systems generate the nitrogen plants need to thrive

The “fish method,” in which water where fish swim is filtered and recycled, is well known among fish farmers. The recycling process removes the nitrogen from the water, transferring it the growing bed. The fish get back clean, fresh water, while the plants get the nutrition they need. The fish are fed from leftover food added to their box

While professional farmers have been doing that for years, LivingBox is the first system built to extract nutrients from common household refuse: fish waste, leftover food, or even animal dung. Better yet, it can run without electricity and requires no farming skills to maintain. This means that urban shanty dwellers who may otherwise have no access to healthy produce, can use LivingBox to grow fresh vegetables

The setup is easy — All aspiring farmers have to do, is unpack the modular boxes, fill them with fresh water and add the required seeds. As soon as they they add one or all three types of organic waste, the system will self-generate the nitrogen needed for the plants to take root"

Link to Original Source

Anonymous peer-review comments may spark legal battle

sciencehabit (1205606) writes | yesterday

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sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The power of anonymous comments—and the liability of those who make them—is at the heart of a possible legal battle embroiling PubPeer, an online forum launched in October 2012 for anonymous, postpublication peer review. A researcher who claims that comments on PubPeer caused him to lose a tenured faculty job offer now intends to press legal charges against the person or people behind these posts—provided he can uncover their identities, his lawyer says."
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US strikes ISIL targets in Syria

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 6 hours ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The United States of America has launched an airstrike, along with some of its Arab partners such as Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, against ISIL targets in Syria

http://www.vox.com/2014/9/22/6...

Before the airstrike was officially announced to the press, a Syrian man living in Raqqa, Syria, has tweeted about the bombings and the sounds of air drones all over Raqqa

Tomahawk missiles were launched from USS Arleigh Burke in the Red Sea, as well as stealth fighters such as F-22, were involved in the strike"

Link to Original Source

The CIA Used Artificial Intelligence to Interrogate Its Own Agents in the 80s

ted_pikul (3845595) writes | 12 hours ago

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ted_pikul (3845595) writes "Newly declassified documents reveal that, 30 years ago, the CIA pitted one of its own agents against an artificial intelligence interrogator in an attempt to see whether or not the technology would be useful.

The documents, written in 1983, describe a series of experimental tests in which the CIA repeatedly interrogated its own agent using a primitive AI called Analiza. The intelligence on display in the transcript is clearly undeveloped, and seems to contain a mixed bag of predetermined threats made to goad interrogation subjects into spilling their secrets as well as open-ended lines of questioning."

Link to Original Source

A&E Network: Disabling Video On Demand Fast-Forward Is Good

QuietLagoon (813062) writes | 8 hours ago

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QuietLagoon (813062) writes ""A study commissioned by A+E Networks concluded fast-forward disabling did not have any “adverse effects” to the program viewing experience via Video On Demand, nor did it negatively impact intent to continue using VOD."

Apparently, the Video On Demand viewers enjoy watching commercials, and do not mind the removal of the ability to fast forward past those commercials."

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Premieres On Linux

Anonymous Coward writes | 8 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has finally been released for Linux two years after its Windows debut. The game is reported to work even on the open-source Intel Linux graphics drivers, but your mileage may vary. When it comes to the AMD and NVIDIA drivers, NVIDIA continues dominating for Linux gaming over AMD with Catalyst where there's still performance levels and other OpenGL issues."
Link to Original Source

DuckDuckGo joins Google in being blocked in China

wabrandsma (2551008) writes | yesterday

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wabrandsma (2551008) writes "from Tech in Asia:

Privacy-oriented search engine DuckDuckGo is now blocked in China. On Sunday DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg confirmed to Tech in Asia that the team has noticed the blockage in China on Twitter

Weinberg added that he has “no idea” when it happened exactly. We also cannot pinpoint an exact date, but it was accessible in China earlier in the summer. DuckDuckGo had been working fine in mainland China since its inception, aside from the occasional ‘connection reset’ experienced when accessing many overseas websites from within the country. But now the search engine is totally blocked in China. (Update 7 hours after publishing: the GreatFire index of blocked sites suggest that DuckDuckGo got whacked on September 4).

DuckDuckGo joins Google in being censored and blocked in the nation. Google, after years of being throttled by China’s Great Firewall since the web giant turned off its mainland China servers in 2010, was finally blocked totally in June this year."

Link to Original Source

Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration with Gmail

Anonymous Coward writes | 10 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Back in 2012, Google had made it mandatory for new Gmail users to simultaneously create Google+ (G+) accounts. This is no longer so. Following the departure of G+ founder Vic Gundotra in April 2014, Google has been quietly decoupling its social media site from its other services. First, YouTube was freed, then Google+ Photos. Now, anyone who wants to create a new Gmail account unencumbered with a G+ profile can also do so."

I'm dismayed at how many of the old gang are gone ...

BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes | 10 hours ago

User Journal 5

I took another poster's advice and went through my two dormant accounts and friended a bunch of my old friends. But looking at the date many of them made their last post or last journal entry, it looks like many of them are gone, probably for good.

On another note, I simply don't have time to read, never mind respond to, AC posts any more. I know how disappointed that will make a certain individual (and everyone else will be going YAY!!!! FINALLY!!!! :-)

Amazon Wants to Crowd Source Your Next Kindle eBook

Nate the greatest (2261802) writes | 10 hours ago

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Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Can a crowd of booklovers collectively pick a book which is worth reading? Amazon wants to find out. The retailer is about to launch a new program which will have indie authors submit their new unpublished work for readers to rate and discuss. The best books will be picked up by Amazon under a publishing contract with strangely limited terms: Amazon is asking for digital and audio rights, but not paper.

The program is so new that it doesn't even have a name, but it is already drawing the attention of some indie authors, including one that said she would be "all over it with a stand-alone just to generate more name exposure, which could lead to sales of my other books.""

Link to Original Source

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