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Android's New Feature Can Share Your Exact Location In Emergency Situation

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 17:23
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Next Web: When the police, fire brigade or ambulances need to respond quickly to an emergency call, accurate information about the caller's location is crucial in helping them arrive in time to be of assistance. With that in mind, Google has introduced a feature in Android that beams your location to emergency services automatically when you call them. It uses your Wi-Fi, GPS and cell tower information to pinpoint exactly where you are and sends the data without allowing it to be accessed by anyone else. The feature is currently available in UK and Estonia, but Google plans to bring it to other regions as well. If your device has Android 2.3 or newer version, it will be able to make use of the feature.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Xiaomi Launches Mi Notebook Air Windows 10 Laptop Featuring 1080p Display, Starts at $520

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 16:43
Speaking of Chinese electronics giants, Xiaomi on Wednesday announced it is entering the PC market. The company, which is often referred to as "Apple of China", announced its first-ever laptop line, the Mi Notebook Air, running on Windows 10. It comes in two sizes -- 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch -- with both models featuring a slim body, a 1080p display, a backlit keyboard, a USB Type-Charging port. The Notebook Air starts at roughly $520 and goes all the way up to $750. Starting with the smaller of two, the 12.5-inch model is only 12.9mm thick and weighs 1.07kg. It packs in Intel Core M3 CPU with no dedicated GPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD. It is priced at $520. The 13.3-inch model, which is 14.8mm thick and weighs 1.28kg, packs in Intel Core i5-6200U Skylake-U processor, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of SSD. It is powered by a 40Wh battery, which according to company's claim can last for up to 9.5 hours on a single charge, but can be charged from 0 to 50 percent in half an hour using the bundled USB-C charger. It is priced at $750. No word on when -- and if -- the laptop will be available outside China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Xiaomi Launches Slim Mi Notebook Air Windows 10 Laptop Line Featuring 1080p Display, Starts at $520

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 16:43
Speaking of Chinese electronics giants, Xiaomi, which has in the recent months delved its toes into wearable, smart cookers, air purifiers, suitcases products, on Wednesday announced it is entering the PC market. The company, which is often referred to as "Apple of China", announced its first-ever laptop line, the Mi Notebook Air, running on Windows 10. It comes in two sizes -- 13.3-inch and 12.5-inch -- with both models featuring a slim body, a 1080p display, a backlit keyboard, a USB Type-Charging port. The Notebook Air starts at roughly $520 and goes all the way up to $750. Starting with the smaller of two, the 12.5-inch model is only 12.9mm thick and weighs 1.07kg. It packs in Intel Core M3 CPU with no dedicated GPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD. It is priced at $520. The 13.3-inch model, which is 14.8mm thick and weighs 1.28kg, packs in Intel Core i5-6200U Skylake-U processor, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of SSD. It is powered by a 40Wh battery, which according to company's claim can last for up to 9.5 hours on a single charge, but can be charged from 0 to 50 percent in half an hour using the bundled USB-C charger. It is priced at $750. No word on when -- and if -- the laptop will be available outside China.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

LastPass Accounts Can Be 'Completely Compromised' When Users Visit Sites

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 16:00
Reader mask.of.sanity writes: A dangerous zero-day vulnerability has been found in popular cloud password vault LastPass, which can completely compromise user accounts when users visit malicious websites. The flaw is today being reported to LastPass by established Google Project zero hacker Tavis Ormandy who says he has found other "obvious critical problems". Interestingly, Mathias Karlsson, a security researcher has also independently found flaws in LastPass. In a blog post, he wrote that he was able to trick LastPass into believing he was on the real Twiter website and cough up the users' credentials of a bug in the LastPass password manager's autofill functionality. LastPass has fixed the bug, but Karlsson advises users to disable autofill functionality and use multi-factor authentication. At this point, it's not clear whether Ormandy is also talking about the same vulnerability.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Florida Regulators OK Plan To Increase Toxins In Water

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Times: Despite the objection of environmental groups, state environmental regulators voted Tuesday to approve new standards that will increase the amount of cancer-causing toxins allowed in Florida's rivers and streams under a plan the state says will protect more Floridians than current standards. The Environmental Regulation Commission voted 3-2 to approve a proposal that would increase the number of regulated chemicals from 54 to 92 allowed in rivers, streams and other sources of drinking water, news media outlets reported. The Miami Herald reports that under the proposal, acceptable levels of toxins will be increased for more than two dozen known carcinogens and decreased for 13 currently regulated chemicals. State officials back the plan because it places new rules on 39 other chemicals that are not currently regulated. The standards still must be reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the Scott administration came under withering criticism for pushing the proposal at this time. That's because there are two vacancies on the commission, including one for a commissioner who is supposed to represent the environmental community.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

The Inner JSON Effect

The Daily WTF - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:30

Jake eagerly stepped into his new job, grateful for more experience and new challenges, craving to learn new software stacks and see what his new company had to teach him about the world of software.

They told him he’d be working on some websites, dealing with JavaScript, Node.js, JSON, and the like. It sounded pretty reasonable for web development, except for the non-technical interviewer’s comment that it was all “built on top of Subversion” which he assumed was a simple misunderstanding.

Then he was thrust into a project using the company’s custom “JSON-based Domain Specific Language”, or JDSL. His boss told him to check out a copy of the project he’d be assigned to, and spend a week or two getting familiar with it. “Just ask anyone for help if you have questions, but you shouldn’t have any trouble judging from your experience.”

So Jake began an SVN checkout…and long story short it took two days to complete. When he asked about it, his coworker Scott told him, “Oh that’s normal. Just play Solitaire or something until it finishes.”

Two days later he started poking around. He started with a seemingly-innocuous file called “customers.json” and stared in confusion at its contents:

{ "File" : "Customers.json", "Class" : "Customers", "Author" : "redacted@redacted.com", "Purpose" : "", "Functions" : [ 568, 899, 900, 901, 902, 1877, 2880 ] }

The project was full of such files, along with some apparently-incomplete code files such as this one called “customers.js”:

Customers.prototype.UpdateBillingInfo = function(info) { this.cc = info.cc; this.type = info.type; this.name = info.name; this.expM = info.expM; this.expY = info.expY; this.ccv = info.ccv; /* snip a bunch of similar lines */ this.saveToDatabase(); };

After a couple days of spelunking through the codebase, and not finding even a single code comment, Jake could make no sense of what he was seeing, and finally asked for help. A coworker named Scott was available and sat with him to walk through some things.

“Oh, you just don’t get it yet,” he began. “JDSL was written by Tom. He’s a super-genius and wrote JDSL himself. So basically that customers.json is just metadata used to put together the Customers class.” He waited for Jake to “get it”.

He didn’t. “So…how do I run it?” he asked.

Scott laughed. “You wouldn’t want to ‘just’ run it. It takes a couple days for a new deployment to finish starting up. JDSL can be a little slow, but it’s really powerful. Really powerful. Like I said, Tom is a genius.”

Jake still wasn’t “getting it.” “So walk me through this metadata file. What does it do?”

Scott laughed again. “This is the genius part. See here where it says ‘Class’?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Well that’s the class name. Now, see down here where it says ‘functions’?”

“Yeah.”

“Well those are subversions link to all the functions that make up the class!”

“…I still don’t understand…” Jake responded. Inwardly he thought he started to understand, but prayed he was wrong.

“So you have ‘customers.json’ and ‘customers.js’. The JSON file is the metadata and the JS file has all the code. So the list of functions in the JSON file tells JDSL to look up those revisions of the JS file to find what functions are available. In this case the actual code is in revisions 568, 899, 900, 901, and so on.”

Jake blinked slowly, hoping he was just being hazed. “Um…”

“Each revision of ”customers.js“ has one function, so to add functions all you have to do is check in your new code and update the JSON metadata file with the new revisions!”

Jake’s confusion turned into incredulity.

“Whenever something makes a function call on a Customer object, JDSL uses the list of function revisions to check out all the actual functions until it finds a match! Understand?”

“…I think so…”

“Like I said, Tom is a genius! This lets you track every function that has ever existed. You can add new functions by overwriting the JS file and adding a new revision to the JSON, and you can remove a function just by removing its revision number from the function list. And it’s still there in history, inactive but never lost!” Scott stood. “Let me know if you have any more questions,” he said as he left Jake’s desk.

Armed with Scott’s insight into JDSL, Jake slowly began to understand the system, checking out multiple revisions of each file so he could piece them together and see what was going on at runtime. He soon realized it was merely a web portal to allow customers to update their personal information, but thanks to the complexity of JDSL it took days to do coding work that should only take minutes.

As he went through the code, still familiarizing himself with it, he started checking in code comments to help him and his coworkers map together the convoluted mess, and even fixed a few obvious bugs he found just by reading the code. He did this one class at a time, and at the end of the week he updated and checked in all the JSON ‘metadata’ files to use the new function revisions.

Monday morning, he showed up to a virtual firestorm. Everyone was in a panic. “Something broke with JSDL and our customer database got scrambled!” Scott quickly explained as he passed Jake in the hallway.

“You!” a voice boomed.

Jake stopped and turned to face a tall, lanky, pale blond man who was obviously angry. “Are you Jake? The new guy?”

“Yes,” he answered carefully.

“I’m Tom. You broke JDSL!”

“Uh, what?” Jake had only been looking at the customer portal. How could he have caused any problems?

“You broke JDSL!” he screamed. “I’m reporting you to the bosses and having you fired!” And Tom turned and stormed off, leaving Jake standing confused.

Shortly afterwards, Jake was summoned to a small conference room. Tom, an employee from HR, and a couple Vice Presidents waited for him. Tom looked like he was stewing and could boil over any minute.

“Tell us what you did to JDSL,” one of the VP’s asked.

“I don’t think I did anything,” Jake answered. “I’ve only been here two weeks, trying to learn JDSL and how the customer portal works. I don’t even know how to deploy it!”

“You made a few commits to Subversion!” Tom shouted.

“Well, yes. I added a few code comments, trying to–”

“You can’t use comments in JDSL!” Tom shouted. “THAT’S WHAT BROKE IT!!”

Jake stayed silent, trying to process how code comments could wipe out a customer database. Tom continued after a pause. “I haven’t added comment support to JDSL, so the runtime executes comments like normal code! You must have had database updates in some comments?!”

“Well, yeah, I put a couple short syntax examples in a comment to clarify–”

Tom burst to his feet. “I knew it! You BROKE IT!” He turned to face the VPs. “I can’t deal with coders who don’t understand the system! You will either fire Jake…or I quit!” And he stormed out of the room.

The VPs turned to the HR representative and talked as if Jake wasn’t even in the room. “I think our course of action is pretty clear. Tom’s a programming virtuouso and our best resource, and Jake did delete the database. We have to fire Jake.”

And so Jake moved on to greener pastures. Much greener pastures. Ones where production systems didn’t do dozens of SVN file checkouts for each function call at runtime. Ones where production systems didn’t automatically use the latest trunk. And ones that didn’t come to a complete standstill because a newbie checked in a code comment.

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Categories: Fun/Other

Nintendo NX Is a Portable Console With Detachable Controllers, Says Report

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:00
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Eurogamer.net: We now have a good idea as to what the Nintendo NX will consist of thanks to a new report from Eurogamer. According to a number of sources, Nintendo's upcoming NX will be a portable, handheld console with detachable controllers. Eurogamer.net reports: "On the move, NX will function as a high-powered handheld console with its own display. So far so normal -- but here's the twist: we've heard the screen is bookended by two controller sections on either side, which can be attached or detached as required. Then, when you get home, the system can connect to your TV for gaming on the big screen. A base unit, or dock station, is used to connect the brain of the NX -- within the controller -- to display on your TV. NX will use game cartridges as its choice of physical media, multiple sources have also told [Eurogamer]. Another source said the system would run on a new operating system from Nintendo. It won't, contrary to some earlier rumors, simply run on Android. [...] The system will harness Nvidia's powerful mobile processor Tegra. Graphical comparisons with current consoles are difficult due to the vastly different nature of the device -- but once again we've heard Nintendo is not chasing graphical parity. Quite the opposite, it is sacrificing power to ensure it can squeeze all of this technology into a handheld, something which also tallies with earlier reports. Finally, we've heard from one source that NX planning has recently moved up a gear within Nintendo ahead of the console's unveiling, which is currently slated for September. After the confused PR fiasco of the Wii U launch, the company is already settling on a simple marketing message for NX -- of being able to take your games with you on the go."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Subscribers Pay 61 Cents Per Hour of Cable, But Only 20 Cents Per Hour of Netflix

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 09:00
An anonymous reader writes from a math-heavy report via AllFlicks: The folks at AllFlicks decided to crunch some numbers to determine just how much more expensive cable is than Netflix. They answered the question: how much does Netflix cost per hour of content viewed, and how does that compare with cable's figures? AllFlicks reports: "We know from Netflix's own numbers that Netflix's more than 75 million users stream 125 million hours of content every day. So that's (roughly) 100 minutes per user, per day. Using the price of Netflix's most popular plan ($9.99) and a 30-day month, we can say that the average user is paying about 0.33 cents per minute of content, or 20 cents an hour. Not bad! But what about cable? Well, Nielsen tells us that the average American adult cable subscriber watches 2,260 minutes of TV per week (including timeshifted TV). That's equivalent to 5.38 hours per day, or 161.43 hours per 30-day month. Thanks to Leichtman Research, we know that the average American pays $99.10 per month for cable TV. That means that subscribers are paying a whopping 61.4 cents per hour to watch cable TV -- more than three times as much as users pay per hour of Netflix!"

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Categories: Tech/Science News

'Sister Clones' Of Dolly The Sheep Have Aged Like Any Other Sheep, Study Says

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: About four years ago, Kevin Sinclair inherited an army of clones. "Daisy, Debbie, Denise and Diana," says Sinclair, a developmental biologist at the University of Nottingham in England. "'Sister clones' probably best describes them," Sinclair says. "They actually come from the exactly the same batch of cells that Dolly came from." In an article out Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, Sinclair and his colleagues write that the ewes' age, along with their strapping health, might be a reason for people to start feeling more optimistic about what cloning can do. Dolly's life did not turn out as scientists in the cloning field hoped it would. She died young -- 6 1/2 -- with a nasty lung virus. "That was really just bad luck," Sinclair says, and had "nothing to do" with the fact that Dolly was a clone. It was a daunting concept for those in the cloning field, because, says Sinclair, "If you're going to create these animals, they should be normal in every respect. They should be just as healthy as any other animal that's conceived naturally. If that is not the case, then it raises serious ethical and welfare concerns about creating these animals in the first place." But, the good health of the 13 clones in the Nottingham herd suggest better prospects for the procedure. Sinclair and his colleagues evaluated the animals' blood pressure, metabolism, heart function, muscles and joints, looking for signs of premature aging. They even fattened them up (since obesity is a risk factor for metabolic problems including diabetes) and gave them the standard tests to gauge how their bodies would handle glucose and insulin. The results? Normal, normal, normal. "There is nothing to suggest that these animals were anything other than perfectly normal," says Sinclair. They had slight signs of arthritis (Debbie in particular), but not enough to cause problems. "If I put them in with a bunch of other sheep, you would never be able to identify them," he says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Tesla Model S In Fatal Autopilot Crash Was Going 74 MPH In a 65 Zone, NTSB Says

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 04:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: The Tesla car involved in a fatal crash in Florida this spring was in Autopilot mode and going about 10 miles faster than the speed limit, according to safety regulators, who also released a picture of the mangled vehicle. Earlier reports had stated the Tesla Model S struck a big rig while traveling on a divided highway in central Florida, and speculated that the Tesla Autopilot system had failed to intervene in time to prevent the collision. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Tuesday that confirms some details of the May 7 collision, along with a photo that shows the car with its windshield flattened and most of its roof sheared off. The federal agency also included a photo of the big rig, circling an area on the right side of the tractor-trailer that showed the light damage the truck received from the collision. The 2015 Model S was moving at 74 mph, above the posted 65 mph speed limit, when it struck a 53-foot trailer being pulled by a Freightliner Cascadia truck. Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving feature was engaged, the report says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

EU Plans To Create Database of Bitcoin Users With Identities and Wallet Addresses

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 03:30
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "The European Commission is proposing the creation of a database that will hold information on users of virtual currencies," reports Softpedia. "The database will record data on the user's real world identity, along with all associated wallet addresses." The database will be made available to financial investigation agencies in order to track down users behind suspicious operations. The creation of this database is part of a regulatory push that the EU got rolling after the Paris November 2015 terror attacks, and which it officially put forward in February 2016, and later approved at the start of July 2016. Legally, this is an attempt to reform the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). The current draft is available here. The current AMLD draft reads: "The report shall be accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate proposals, including, where appropriate, with respect to virtual currencies, empowerments to set-up and maintain a central database registering users' identities and wallet addresses accessible to FIUs, as well as self-declaration forms for the use of virtual currency users."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Highest-Paid CEOs Run Worst-Performing Companies, Research Finds

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 02:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Independent: According to a study carried out by corporate research firm MSCI, CEO's that get paid the most run some of the worst-performing companies. It found that every $100 invested in companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 over 10 years. However, the same amount invested in the companies with the lowest-paid CEOs would have grown to $367 over 10 years. The report, titled "Are CEOs paid for performance? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Equity Incentives," looked at the salaries of 800 CEOs at 429 large and medium-sized U.S. companies between 2005 and 2014 and compared it with the total shareholder return of the companies. Senior corporate governance research at MSCI, Ric Marshall, said in a statement: "The highest paid had the worse performance by a significant margin. It just argues for the equity portion of CEO pay to be more conservative."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Apple Q3 Earnings: iPhone Sales Continue To Slide, But Apple Beats Estimates

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 02:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BGR: Apple on Tuesday announced fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.42 per share, or $7.8 billion in net income, on sales totaling $42.4 billion. That compares to a net profit of $1.85 per share in the same quarter last year, while revenue slid from the Q3 record of $49.6 billion that Apple set in fiscal 2015. Ahead of Apple's report, analysts were expecting EPS to come in at $1.39 while revenue was seen dropping to $42.1 billion, right in the middle of Apple's guidance of between $41 billion and $43 billion. iPhone sales in fiscal Q3 2016 totaled 40.4 million units, down from the 47.5 million iPhones the company sold during the June quarter last year, which was also a third-quarter record. Wall Street's consensus for this past quarter was 40 million units. The company said it expects between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion in sales for the fiscal fourth quarter. The only part of Apple's business that's really growing is its mobile apps and online services. The company reported a 19 percent sales jump for the segment that includes iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store and services like Apple Pay and iCloud storage. "That segment produced nearly $6 billion in sales -- more than Apple pulled in from quarterly sales of either iPad or Macs," reports ABC News.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

AR Helmet Startup Skully Has Crashed and Burned

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 01:30
An anonymous reader writes from a report via TechCrunch: Sources inside the AR helmet company Skully say the startup is no more. TechCrunch reports: "Operations have ceased within the company, and we're told the website will be turned off at some point today. [Skully's CEO and co-founder Marcus Weller] has also been asked to sign a confidentiality deal with investors. Weller told TechCrunch today he will not sign and that he's completely walked away from all dealings with the company as of 10 days ago. The site is still up for now but it says Skully's AR-1 helmet is sold out in every size and no one is able to order. A source tells us sales were cut off on Monday. The shutdown leaves several vendors and Skully's manufacturer Flextronics with unpaid bills and at least 50 full-time employees out of a job. It's unclear if any of the vendors will be paid. That also means the more than 3,000 people who pre-ordered a helmet may never get one -- and one source tells us it's doubtful any of them will be receiving a refund." One source claims Weller botched a possible acquisition deal with Chinese company LeSports before leaving the company last week, while another says the deal might still happen now that the former CEO is gone. Weller is saying that he and his brother were forced out of the company after investors disagreed with the LeSports deal. Investors from Intel Capital ultimately determined it was best to simply shut down the entire company instead of trying to salvage the company Weller started. "Weâ(TM)re disappointed Skully has closed its doors. Weâ(TM)ve been focused on the companyâ(TM)s success for nearly two years and have recently been trying to negotiate a funding round to keep it going,â Intel Capital said in a statement. âoeWeâ(TM)re certainly sorry for the employees who are losing their jobs, the crowdfunding backers whose investments didnâ(TM)t work out and the customers whoâ(TM)d pre-purchased product. We continue to be excited by the promise of this kind of wearable technology.â

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Norway Is Building The World's First 'Floating' Underwater Tunnels

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 00:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Next Web: Norway plans to build "submerged floating bridges" to allow drivers to cross its bodies of water. The Next Web reports: "The 'submerged floating bridges' would consist of large tubes suspended by pontoon-like support structures 100 feet below water. Each will be wide enough for two lanes of traffic, and the floating structures should ease the congestion on numerous ferries currently required to get commuters from Point A to Point B. Each support pontoon would then be secured to a truss or bolted to the bedrock below to keep things stable." A trip from Kristiansand to Trondheim is roughly 680 miles and could take as long as 21 hours due to the seven ferry trips required along the way. While building normal bridges would cost significantly less than the $25 billion in funds required for the tunnel project, the fjords and difficult terrain make them unsuitable candidates. The pricey tunnel project could cut the trip time to just 10 hours when it's expected to be finished in 2035.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Facebook Open Sources 360 Surround Camera With Ikea-Style Instructions

Slashdot - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 00:10
Reader joshtops writes: Facebook needs you to fill its News Feed, Oculus Rift, and Gear VR with 360 content. So today it put all the hardware and software designs of its Surround 360 camera on Github after announcing the plan in April. Thanks to cheeky instruction manual inspired by Ikea's manuals, you can learn how to buy the parts, assemble the camera, load the image-stitching software, and start shooting 360 content. Essentially 17 cameras on a UFO-looking stick, the 360 Surround camera can be built for about $30,000 in parts. The 4-megapixel lenses can shoot 4K, 6K, or 8K 360 video, and fisheye lenses on the top and bottom remove the blindspots. Facebook forced a random engineer to try to build the 360 Surround from the open source instructions, and found it took about four hours.FastCompany has more details.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Harrison Ford Could Have Died In Star Wars Set Incident, Court Hears

Slashdot - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 23:30
An anonymous reader writes: While filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Harrison Ford almost died when he was crushed by a hydraulic door on the set of the Millennium Falcon. He was reportedly knocked to the ground and crushed beneath the heavy door when he walked on to the set not believing it to be live. The 71-year-old actor suffered a broken left leg. Prosecutor Andrew Marshall said the door "could have killed somebody. The fact that it didn't was because an emergency stop was activated," he said. The company responsible, Foodles Production, pleaded guilty to two breaches under health and safety legislation, one count under section two of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which related to a breach of duty in relation to employees, and a second under section three, a breach over people not employed by the company. The lawyer for Foodles Production, which is owned by Disney, said the company would contest the level of risk involved on August 22nd at Aylesbury crown court.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Popular Wireless Keyboards From HP, Toshiba and Others Don't Use Encryption, Can Be Easily Snooped On

Slashdot - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 22:47
Reader msm1267 writes: Wireless keyboards made by eight different companies suffer from a vulnerability that can allow attackers to eavesdrop on keystrokes from up to 250 feet away, researchers warned Tuesday. If exploited, the vulnerability, dubbed KeySniffer, could let an attacker glean passwords, credit card numbers, security questions and answers -- essentially anything typed on a keyboard, in clear text. Keyboards manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric, and EagleTec are affected, according to Marc Newlin, a researcher with Bastille Networks who discovered the vulnerability. Bastille gave the manufacturers of the keyboards 90 days to address the vulnerability, but most vendors failed to respond to their findings. Newlin said only Jasco Products, a company that manufactures the affected keyboard (GE 98614) for General Electric, responded and claimed it no longer manufactures wireless devices, like keyboards. As there doesn't appear to be a way to actually fix the vulnerability, it's likely the companies will eventually consider the devices end of life.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Chinese Giant LeEco Buys Vizio For $2 Billion, Gets Instant Foothold In US Market

Slashdot - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 22:05
Chinese electronics conglomerate LeEco is purchasing American TV manufacturer Vizio for $2 billion, the company announced at a press conference in China on Tuesday. The announcement effectively gives LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, an instant foothold in the U.S. television market. For a refresh, for those who haven't heard much about LeEco, it's one of China's biggest electronics companies. Founded in 2004, it offers a range of services including live-streaming, e-commerce, cloud, smartphones, TV set-top boxes, and smart TVs among many other products and services. One of the recent areas where it has invested its time on is an electric car, which we talked about here a few weeks ago. From a report: Vizio is primarily known for its televisions, like the P-Series sets that we recently unboxed, but they've also dipped their toes into Android. For example, Vizio released a 10-inch tablet a few years ago, and the aforementioned P-Series TV set ships with a 6-inch Android tablet that you use as a remote. Once Vizio is acquired by LeEco, it'll be operated as an independent subsidiary and the current management will remain in California. LeEco CEO Jia Yueting commented on the deal, saying, "We hope that we can use the ecosystem model and create a great integration between Vizio and LeEco and create new values for U.S. users."Having talked to the executives of LeEco in the past few months, I understand that the company intends to bring its products to the American market before its rival Xiaomi does. Xiaomi also intends to bring its smartphones and TVs to the U.S. and European market, but is currently dealing with different regulations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Motorola Confirms That It Will Not Commit To Monthly Security Patches

Slashdot - Tue, 07/26/2016 - 21:25
If you are planning to purchase the Moto Z or a Moto G4 smartphone, be prepared to not see security updates rolling out to your phone every month -- and in a timely fashion. After Ars Technica called out Motorola's security policy as "unacceptable" and "insecure," in a recent review, the company tried to handle the PR disaster, but later folded. In a statement to the publication, the company said: Motorola understands that keeping phones up to date with Android security patches is important to our customers. We strive to push security patches as quickly as possible. However, because of the amount of testing and approvals that are necessary to deploy them, it's difficult to do this on a monthly basis for all our devices. It is often most efficient for us to bundle security updates in a scheduled Maintenance Release (MR) or OS upgrade. As we previously stated, Moto Z Droid Edition will receive Android Security Bulletins. Moto G4 will also receive them.Monthy security updates -- or the lack thereof -- remains one of the concerning issues that plagues the vast majority of Android devices. Unless it's a high-end smartphone, it is often rare to see the smartphone OEM keep the device's software updated for more than a year. Even with a flagship phone, the software update -- and corresponding security patches -- are typically guaranteed for only 18 to 24 months. Reports suggest that Google has been taking this issue seriously, and at some point, it was considering publicly shaming its partners that didn't roll out security updates to their respective devices fast enough.

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