SpaceX Wins $130 Million Air Force Launch Contract, Marking a First For Falcon Heavy
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 06:40 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department:
The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $130 million firm-fixed-price contract to SpaceX for the launch of its classified AFSPC-52 satellite on a Falcon Heavy rocket. From a report: It's the first national security contract won for SpaceX's heavy-lift rocket, which had its first test flight in February. AFSPC-52 is tue to lift off in 2020 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will support the Air Force Space Command's "mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation while maintaining assured access to space," Lt. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for space and commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said today in a news release. In an emailed statement, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said her company was "honored by the Air Force's selection of Falcon Heavy to launch the competitively awarded AFSPC-52 mission."

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Algeria Shuts Off Entire Country's Internet To Stop Students From Cheating
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 05:20 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's extreme-measures department:
Algeria has begun instituting nationwide internet blackouts to prevent students from leaking high school diploma exams online. Gizmodo reports: The country will turn off mobile and landline internet service across the country for an hour at a time during the exam period, which started on Wednesday and runs through June 25. The 11 blackouts are scheduled for an hour after each exam begins. In 2016, exam questions were reportedly leaked online and authorities were dissatisfied with a less stringent attempt to limit social media during the 2017 exams. The sweeping shutdown will also block Facebook for the entirety of the exam period, Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit told Algerian newspaper Annahar, according to the BBC. Benghabrit reportedly said they are "not comfortable" with their choice to shut down all internet service, but that they "should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak." Metal detectors are reportedly being used to make sure that no one brings any internet-enabled devices into the exam halls. Surveillance cameras and phone jammers are also being used at the locations where the exams are being printed.

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The iPhones of the Future May Be Wireless, Portless and Buttonless
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 04:00 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's wireless-future department:
The first iPhone to shed its headphone jack was the iPhone 7, which launched in late 2016. Now it seems like the Lightning port may be the next to go. CNET reports: Apple has considered removing the Lightning port on the iPhone X, according to Bloomberg, citing unnamed "people familiar with the company's work." While earlier rumors suggested that Apple would remove the Lightning port in favor of USB-C, Apple's goal may be to remove all ports entirely.

Bloomberg's report is about the challenges that Apple faces with its AirPower wireless charger, but it also shares some details about Apple's vision for a wireless future. The report says: "Apple designers eventually hope to remove most of the external ports and buttons on the iPhone, including the charger, according to people familiar with the company's work. During the development of the iPhone X, Apple weighed removing the wired charging system entirely. That wasn't feasible at the time because wireless charging was still slower than traditional methods. Including a wireless charger with new iPhones would also significantly raise the price of the phones."

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Nintendo and Microsoft Team Up To Promote Cross-Play, While Sony Remains Silent
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 04:00 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's odd-ball-out department:
Minecraft for the Nintendo Switch is getting a big update today that will enable cross-play with PC, Xbox One, and smartphones -- but notably not the PlayStation 4. "Sony is blocking cross-play for Fortnite, Rocket League, and Minecraft so PS4 players can't play against Xbox One or Nintendo Switch owners," reports The Verge. "Meanwhile, Nintendo and Microsoft are partnering to utilize cross-play as a marketing weapon today." From the report: The Minecraft cross-play trailer specifically focuses on the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch being able to play together. It also includes the rare sight of an Xbox One controller in a Switch commercial. If that's not enough of a partnership, the ad even encourages players to create, explore, and survive together in Minecraft on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

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Why Antarctica Is Getting Taller
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 02:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's growing-like-a-weed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Live Science: Bedrock under Antarctica is rising more swiftly than ever recorded -- about 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) upward per year. And thinning ice in Antarctica may be responsible. That's because as ice melts, its weight on the rock below lightens. And over time, when enormous quantities of ice have disappeared, the bedrock rises in response, pushed up by the flow of the viscous mantle below Earth's surface, scientists reported in a new study. These uplifting findings are both bad news and good news for the frozen continent. The good news is that the uplift of supporting bedrock could make the remaining ice sheets more stable. The bad news is that in recent years, the rising earth has probably skewed satellite measurements of ice loss, leading researchers to underestimate the rate of vanishing ice by as much as 10 percent, the scientists reported. The findings were published in the journal Science.

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Stonehenge Builders Used Pythagoras' Theorem 2,000 Years Before He Was Born
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 02:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's something-doesn't-add-up-here department:
According to a new book entitled "Megalith," which was released on June 21 to coincide with summer solstice, ancient humans who designed Stonehenge followed Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before his birth, around 2500 B.C. The theorem states that the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the other two squares on the triangle. TechTimes reports: [The theorem] was developed by ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras, who was born in 570 B.C. However, Stonehenge was assembled 2,000 years before his birth, around 2500 B.C. This theory suggests that these ancient humans were smarter than what people give them credit for. In order to use Pythagoras' theorem, they had to be really skilled at geometry.

"We think these people didn't have scientific minds but first and foremost they were astronomers and cosmologists," John Matineau, the editor of the book, told the Telegraph. "They were studying long and difficult to understand cycles and they knew about these when they started planning sites like Stonehenge."

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In Bob We Trust - BRIE LARSON IS (mostly) RIGHT
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 02:31 PM
By moviebob from MovieBob:


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Bitcoin Makes Historic First Appearance In US Supreme Court Opinion
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 01:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department:
hyperclocker shares a report from CCN: Thursday marked a historic day for bitcoin, as the flagship cryptocurrency made its first appearance in an opinion published by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, did not involve bitcoin's regulatory or legal status. Rather, it examined whether employee stock options represent taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937. That may seem like an unlikely place for a discussion of bitcoin to appear, however, as justices noted in both the majority and dissenting opinions, the case forced them to consider a fundamental question that has also taken on a renewed importance in the decade following the publication of the Bitcoin white paper: "What is money?" "Ultimately, the 5-4 majority ruled that employees should not be taxed for exercising stock options since the action does not constitute 'money remuneration,'" the report adds. "However, writing in a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer argued for a 'broader understanding of money' and said that stock options should be classified as taxable compensation."

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Burger Robot Startup Opens First Restaurant
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 01:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's taste-test department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Creator's transparent burger robot doesn't grind your brisket and chuck steak into a gourmet patty until you order it. That's just one way this startup, formerly known as Momentum Machines, wants to serve the world's freshest cheeseburger for just $6. On June 27th, after eight years in development, Creator unveils its first robot restaurant before opening to the public in September. Here's how Creator's burger-cooking bot works at its 680 Folsom Street location in San Francisco. Once you order your burger style through a human concierge on a tablet, a compressed air tube pushes a baked-that-day bun into an elevator on the right. It's sawed in half by a vibrating knife before being toasted and buttered as it's lowered to conveyor belt. Sauces measured by the milliliter and spices by the gram are automatically squirted onto the bun. Whole pickles, tomatoes, onions and blocks of nice cheese get slices shaved off just a second before they're dropped on top.

Meanwhile, the robot grinds hormone-free, pasture-raised brisket and chuck steak to order. But rather than mash them all up, the strands of meat hang vertically and are lightly pressed together. They form a loose but auto-griddleable patty that's then plopped onto the bun before the whole package slides out of the machine after a total time of about five minutes. The idea is that when you bite into the burger, your teeth align with the vertical strands so instead of requiring harsh chewing it almost melts in your mouth. TechCrunch has produced a video about the company on YouTube.

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The Myths of Pokemon's Origin | Culture Shock (Pokemon)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 12:31 PM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:


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Fake Fortnite Android Apps Spread Across Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 12:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Fake Fortnite Android apps are spreading around the internet, even though the game has not been officially released for the platform. From a report: Videos on YouTube with links to scam versions of the popular game have been viewed millions of times, according to security experts. None of the fake apps has made it on to the Google Play Store, but they are easy to find on search engines. According to one security firm, the apps look legitimate. Talking about one particular fake app, Nathan Collier, an analyst from security firm Malwarebytes, said: "It's so realistic that some may recognise it from the Apple iOS version. By stealing the icon directly from Apple, how could it not look real? In fact the app redirects users to a browser asking them to download a number of other apps in order to play the game. The scammers are paid each time someone downloads an app from the website.

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A CO2 Shortage is Causing a Beer and Meat Crisis in Britain
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 12:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used in the production of a wide variety of food and drink products. But with at least five CO2 producers across northern Europe offline, a shortfall in the gas is causing shortages in beer, fizzy drinks, and meat. From a report: Britain is particularly affected because the seasonal shutdown of the plants has meant that the UK has only one big plant producing CO2 left. The British Beer and Pub Association, along with individual beer producers and pubs, has warned of the crisis caused by the shortage. Without naming companies, the trade association said the shortfall has caused beer production shortages. Heineken, the UK's biggest brewer, said its CO2 supplier was facing "a major issue" in the UK. Meanwhile, one of Britain's biggest pub chains, Wetherspoons, said it'll be forced to pull a number of beers and fizzy drinks from its menu soon.

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Days After Buying Time Warner, AT&T Launches New TV Service
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 10:40 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's so-it-begins department:
AT&T is launching a new streaming service incorporating television networks from the Time Warner company it just bought. From a report: The WatchTV service, a cable-like package of more than 30 TV channels delivered over the internet, is an example of the "skinny bundles" coming from telecom and broadband providers as more people watch TV online. Competitors include Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and AT&T's own DirecTV Now. WatchTV will be free for subscribers of two unlimited wireless plans AT&T is launching. Others can get WatchTV for $15 -- $20 less than DirecTV Now, but with just half the channels.

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Search is on For Cobalt-Free Batteries As Metal Gets Increasingly Rare and Expensive
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 10:40 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
An anonymous reader writes: Conamix, a little-known startup based in Ithaca, New York, has raised several million dollars to accelerate its development of cobalt-free materials for lithium-ion batteries, the latest sign that companies are eager to find alternatives to the increasingly rare and expensive metal. The problem: The price of cobalt has more than doubled in recent months, as global demand skyrockets for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and smartphones. It's also being driven up by the fact that the metal is mined primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where labor and corruption issues are rife. Earlier this year, the nation decided to raise royalties on cobalt and other metals. Given the ambitious expansion plans of lithium-ion producers, the world will face cobalt shortages by the early 2020s, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This is keeping prices of lithium-ion batteries high and preventing major automakers from lining up long-term supply deals on favorable terms. The mounting threat to electric-vehicle growth has prompted a growing number of companies to explore other solutions.

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Supreme Court Rules States Can Require Online Retailers To Collect Sales Tax
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 09:20 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's breaking-news department:
New submitter zippo01 shares a report: Online shopping will soon become more expensive after the U.S. Supreme court ruled Thursday that states can require internet retailers to collect sales taxes. The 5-4 decision broke with 50 years' worth of legal rulings that barred states from imposing sales taxes on most purchases their residents make from out-of-state retailers. The decision was a victory for South Dakota, which had asked the court to uphold its recently passed law imposing an internet sales tax. "Our state is losing millions for education, health care and infrastructure, and our citizens are harmed by an uneven playing field," said Marty Jackley, South Dakota's attorney general.

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The US Startup Is Disappearing
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 09:20 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Dan Kopf, writing for Quartz: Historically, startups have been the engine of US economy. By creating new jobs and surfacing new ideas, startups play an outsized role in making the economy grow. It's too bad they are a dying breed. While companies that were less than two years old made up about 13% of all companies in 1985, they only accounted for 8% in 2014. From around 1998 to 2010, the share of private sector workers in companies that were less than two years old plummeted from more than 9% to less than 5%. A new report from the Brookings Institution, finds that in nearly every industry, from agriculture to finance, the share of new companies is falling.

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The Man Who Was Fired By a Machine
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 08:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department:
"It wasn't the first time my key card failed, I assumed it was time to replace it." So began a sequence of events that saw Ibrahim Diallo fired from his job, not by his manager but by a machine. From a report: He has detailed his story in a blogpost which he hopes will serve as a warning to firms about relying too much on automation. "Automation can be an asset to a company, but there needs to be a way for humans to take over if the machine makes a mistake," he writes. The story of Mr Diallo's sacking by machine began when his entry pass to the Los Angeles skyscraper where his office was based failed to work, forcing him to rely on the security guard to allow him entry. "As soon as I got to my floor, I went to see my manager to let her know. She promised to order me a new one right away." And that was just the beginning. Mr Diallo soon realized that he was logged out of his work system and "inactive" status was appearing next to his name, his colleagues told him. He was then informed by his recruiter, who was just as puzzled, that his contract has been terminated. Next day, says Mr Diallo, he was locked out of every system, except his Linux machine. Things continued to go south, as two people approached Mr Diallo to escort him out of the building. The story continues: It took Mr Diallo's bosses three weeks to find out why he had been sacked. His firm was going through changes, both in terms of the systems it used and the people it employed. His original manager had been recently laid off and sent to work from home for the rest of his time at the firm and in that period he had not renewed Mr Diallo's contract in the new system. After that, machines took over -- flagging him as an ex-employee. "All the necessary orders are sent automatically and each order completion triggers another order. For example, when the order for disabling my key card is sent, there is no way of it to be re-enabled. "Once it is disabled, an email is sent to security about recently dismissed employees. Scanning the key card is a red flag. The order to disable my Windows account is also sent. There is also one for my Jira account. And on and on."

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Nvidia Appears To Have A GPU Inventory Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 08:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Reports out of Taiwan now suggest that Nvidia has a gaming GPU inventory problem. An anonymous reader writes: Tech news site SemiAccurate which covers the GPU space pretty closely, and has broken stories like AMD's acquisition of ATI Technologies and Nvidia's Bumpgate, just published an article on why Nvidia has delayed their new gaming GPUs. It seems the Hot Chips 30 agenda cancellation and Jensen's no new GPUs for 'a long time' comment have created enough of a stir to get journalists and industry insiders asking questions. While curiosity amongst all this confusion is natural, I was surprised to discover that people were starting to speculate Nvidia's delay was due to technical issues with their new GPUs. This had never been a concern of mine, and as it turns out, it's clearly not the case. So, what the problem? Nvidia has overestimated pent-up gaming demand and underestimated the impact of declining mining demand.

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Fandom Alert – $15 Off All Purchases on eBay Today Only!
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 07:41 AM
By Tony_Bacala from TFW2005:
<img width="302" height="302" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2008/05/ebay-logo-716-90_302_x_302_1212179679.jpg" alt="" />

Just a heads up to everyone looking to snag a deal on eBay – they are having a sale that gives $15 off all purchases over $75 today only!  Use the coupon code PSUPERSUMMER to get 15% off your order at checkout!  If you’re looking to backfill your collection, troop build, or just save some coin on a recent release, now’s the time!  This one isn’t as awesome as some of the 20% ones we’ve had recently but it’s still a solid deal. Hit the links below to get right into the action: Power of the Primes, » Continue Reading.

The post Fandom Alert – $15 Off All Purchases on eBay Today Only! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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J-Novel's latest acquisition focuses on managing dungeons
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '18 at 07:32 AM
By Salvador G Rodiles from Japanator:
It looks like J-Novel brought us a story that sheds light on the ways of keeping a dungeon in check. With the lead known as a Keima being a slacker, Lazy Dungeon Master may throw some challenges to help him be more productive.

Other than managing the place, he has to protect the Dungeon Core, which happens to be a cute girl called Rokuko. If she dies, then the guy will perish as well.

Just like their previous releases, Vol. 1's first chapter can be read on J-Novel Club for free. This format helps people decide if it's worth paying for the content available on the Website, which costs $4.50 a month. So far, the laziness angle shows that it has some potential.



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