Two US Hyperloop Startups Line Up Financing From China
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '18 at 02:40 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's checking-boxes department:
Los Angeles startups Arrivo and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies have reportedly secured financing from Chinese state-backed companies. "Lining up potential funding helps solve one of the biggest obstacles for hyperloop systems: They will be extremely expensive to build," reports Bloomberg. From the report: Arrivo, founded by a former senior engineer at Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., said it secured a $1 billion credit line with Genertec America Inc., a subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned entity based in Beijing that has helped finance and build high-speed rail and other infrastructure projects in Iran, Turkey and elsewhere. The credit line will go to backers of a future project using Arrivo technology, not to the startup itself. [The Genertec debt could be used to construct a project using the company's technology anywhere in the world, not necessarily in China.] Separately, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said it plans to work on a 10-kilometer test track in Tongren, part of China's Guizhou province, at an initial cost of about $300 million. State entity Tongren Transportation & Tourism Investment Group will provide half the funds and seek private investors for the other half, HyperloopTT said. The precise route is yet to be determined.

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AI Plus a Chemistry Robot Finds All the Reactions That Will Work
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '18 at 12:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sit-back-relax-and-let-it-do-its-thing department:
A team of researchers at Glasgow University have built a robot that uses machine learning to run and analyze its own chemical reaction. The system is able to figure out every reaction that's possible from a given set of starting materials. Ars Technica reports: Most of its parts are dispersed through a fume hood, which ensures safe ventilation of any products that somehow escape the system. The upper right is a collection of tanks containing starting materials and pumps that send them into one of six reaction chambers, which can be operated in parallel. The outcomes of these reactions can then be sent on for analysis. Pumps can feed samples into an IR spectrometer, a mass spectrometer, and a compact NMR machine -- the latter being the only bit of equipment that didn't fit in the fume hood. Collectively, these can create a fingerprint of the molecules that occupy a reaction chamber. By comparing this to the fingerprint of the starting materials, it's possible to determine whether a chemical reaction took place and infer some things about its products.

All of that is a substitute for a chemist's hands, but it doesn't replace the brains that evaluate potential reactions. That's where a machine-learning algorithm comes in. The system was given a set of 72 reactions with known products and used those to generate predictions of the outcomes of further reactions. From there, it started choosing reactions at random from the remaining list of options and determining whether they, too, produced products. By the time the algorithm had sampled 10 percent of the total possible reactions, it was able to predict the outcome of untested reactions with more than 80-percent accuracy. And, since the earlier reactions it tested were chosen at random, the system wasn't biased by human expectations of what reactions would or wouldn't work. The research has been published in the journal Nature.

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I Feel It Still
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 11:20 PM
From Penny Arcade:
New Comic: I Feel It Still

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Sports Champions
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 08:10 PM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

For a long time, people thought maybe Usain Bolt was the one for running, until the 2090s and the incredible dominance of Derek Legs.

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Weird New Fruits Could Hit Aisles Soon Thanks To Gene Editing
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 08:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's time-is-money department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Smooth or hairy, pungent or tasteless, deep-hued or bright: new versions of old fruits could be hitting the produce aisles as plant experts embrace cutting-edge technology, scientists say. While researchers have previously produced plants with specific traits through traditional breeding techniques, experts say new technologies such as the gene-editing tool Crispr-Cas9 could be used to bring about changes far more rapidly and efficiently. Among the genes flagged in the new study in the journal Trends in Plant Science are those behind the production of a family of substances known as MYBs, which are among the proteins that control whether other genes are switched on or off.

< article continued at Slashdot's time-is-money department >

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The New MacBook Pro Keyboard Resists Dust Much Better Than Previous-Gen, Reports iFixit
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's keyboard-anatomy department:
iFixit tore apart the new 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard to see how well the silicone membrane works to protect the butterfly mechanism from dust and debris. After showering a 2017 and 2018 MacBook Pro in dust particles, the repair site found the newer generation holds up surprisingly well. 9to5Mac reports: As shown in the photo, the blue paint particles coat the outside of the keycaps and the edges of the membrane, but the silicon covers stop most of the particles from getting into the key mechanism -- which is what causes the sticky key issues on the previous models. However, the silicon covers have to have holes in them to allow the keycap clips to attach. Naturally, dust can and will get through these holes over time. iFixit placed some sand particles into the "danger zones" of the keycaps, and confirmed the keys will break/become-unreliable when that happens, just like the second-generation butterfly keys. The non-cocooned 2017 keyboard was "almost immediately flooded" in the particles, unsurprisingly. Clearly, the 2018 model is greatly improved in regard to reliability, but it remains to be seen just how much better it is in real-world use. Over time, you only need a couple specks of dust to get in the keycaps and the keys will get stuck. It's just the chances of dust getting in are greatly reduced with the 2018 models.

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Best Buy Is Thriving In the Age of Amazon
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's holding-on-for-life department:
Best Buy is turning to in-home consultants to help distinguish it from Amazon. The advisors act as "personal chief technology officers," helping people make their homes smart or merely more functional. "Unlike the Geek Squad and blue shirts working in stores, they'll be paid an annual salary instead of an hourly wage," reports Bloomberg. "Their house calls are free and can last as long as 90 minutes. [...] They're supposed to establish long-term relationships with their customers rather than chase one-time transactions." From the report: With more than 1,000 big-box stores in North America and about 125,000 employees, Best Buy was supposed to have succumbed to the inevitable. "Everyone thought we were going to die," says Hubert Joly, who was hired as chief executive officer in August 2012 after profits shrunk about 90 percent in one quarter and his predecessor resigned amid an investigation into his relationship with an employee. Instead, Best Buy has become an improbable survivor led by an unlikely boss.

The in-home advisors went national in September. When one of the trainees at the session in Minneapolis asked Joly how big he hoped the program could become, he said: "I don't have a specific goal. I don't think it would be helpful. McKinsey never had a goal of how many clients. It was how good was the work." Another employee said: "This is why Amazon can't compete with us. They can't dispatch an army of in-home agents." Joly wasn't as sure. "Amazon is an amazing company," he replied. "They kill companies. Maybe they will do this. But we have an incredible opportunity. If someone wants to copy, that's fine." Amazon has started offering free smart-home consultations and installations. It doesn't have a chain of big-box stores in which to meet customers, but that didn't bother investors. Best Buy's stock dropped 6.3 percent when Amazon announced its plans a year ago.

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Walmart Exclusive G1 Minibots Reissues Found In Canada
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 06:20 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="450" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Walmart-G1-Reissues-In-Canada.jpg" alt="" />

And we have some really good news for all Canadian fans. 2005 Boards member rahill has found the new Walmart Exclusive G1 Minibots Reissues In Canada. G1 Bumblebee and Swerve were spotted at Walmart in Calgary, Canada for affordable $11.97 CAD or $9.00 approximately. Let the hunt begin… at least in Canada. We hope these Minibots and other of the announced reissues at US Walmart stores any time soon. You can share the image of the toys and receipt after the jump, and then you can join to the ongoing discussion on the 2005 Boards!  

The post Walmart Exclusive G1 Minibots Reissues Found In Canada appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Chinese Hackers Targeted IoT During Trump-Putin Summit
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's persistent-perpetrators department:
Zorro shares a report from Defense One: Four days before U.S. and Russian leaders met in Helsinki, hackers from China launched a wave of brute-force attacks on internet-connected devices in Finland, seeking to gain control of gear that could collect audio or visual intelligence, a new report says. Traffic aimed at remote command-and-control features for Finnish internet-connected devices began to spike July 12, according to a July 19 report by Seattle-based cybersecurity company F5.

China generally originates the largest chunk of such attacks; in May, Chinese attacks accounted for 29 percent of the total. But as attacks began to spike on July 12, China's share rose to 34 percent, the report said. Attacks jumped 2,800 percent. The China-based hackers' primary target was SSH (or Secure Shell) Port 22 -- not a physical destination but a specific set of instructions for routing a message to the right destination when the message hits the server. "SSH brute force attacks are commonly used to exploit systems and [internet of things, or IOT] devices online," the report says. "SSH is often used by IoT devices for 'secure' remote administration." The report notes that attack traffic came from the U.S., France, and Italy as well, but the U.S. and French traffic kept with its averages. "Russian attack traffic dropped considerably from third, its usual spot, to fifth," reports Defense One. "German attack traffic jumped."

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Chrome OS Isn't Ready For Tablets Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's practice-makes-perfect department:
The Verge's Dieter Bohn set out to review Acer's Chromebook Tab 10 tablet, but ended up sharing his impressions of using Chrome OS instead. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from his review: If you're not familiar with Chrome OS, you should know that there are three different tracks you can run Chrome OS on. There's "Stable," which is what most people should use. It's the build I mostly used while testing this device and coming to the conclusions you see above. Then there's "Beta," which is a little on the edge but has been pretty solid for me. Lots of people run it to get slightly earlier access to new features. But because I wanted to see what the future of Chrome looks like, I also looked at the "Developer" build. Most people shouldn't do this. It's buggy and maybe a little less secure. Here be monsters. On a tablet, Chrome OS looks and feels a lot like it does when you have a keyboard. There's a button to get to your apps, a task bar along the bottom, and a system menu in the lower-right corner. In the Developer build, you'll find more squarish tabs and a system menu that's been "Android-ified," so it looks like the Quick Settings you'd see on an Android phone.

< article continued at Slashdot's practice-makes-perfect department >

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San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Prime 1 Studio Bumblebee Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 05:00 PM
By onslaught24 from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="400" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/DSC01600.jpg" alt="" />

Last but not least, we have a handful of shots from the floor of San Diego Comic Con 2018 of Prime 1 Studio’s The Last Knight Bumblebee statue! Check out the pics after the jump!

The post San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Prime 1 Studio Bumblebee Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Flame Toys Transformers Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 05:00 PM
By onslaught24 from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="400" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/DSC01371.jpg" alt="" />

Hasbro may be done with their San Diego Comic Con 2018 reveals, but Flame Toys is also on the scene showing off their progress on a number of projects! On display: Model kits: Bumblebee IDW Optimus Prime Attack Mode Optimus Prime Attack Mode Nemesis Prime Attack Mode Starscream Deformer Soundwave Deformer Megatron Deformer Bumblebee Deformer Optimus Prime Main line: Optimus Prime Tarn Star Saber

The post San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Flame Toys Transformers Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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FCC Vote Likely Dooms Sinclair-Tribune Merger
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 04:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cease-and-desist department:
FCC commissioners unanimously voted on a Hearing Designation Order (HDO) to send the proposed sale of Tribune Media properties to Sinclair to a judge, where the merger is expected to cease. Engadget reports: Earlier this week, FCC chairman Ajit Pai raised "serious concerns" about Sinclair's selloff of 21 stations it had proposed in order to remain under station ownership limits post-merger. Had Sinclair declined to sell off some stations, its 173 broadcast stations in 81 markets, combined with Tribune's 42 stations in 33 markets would reach 72 percent of U.S. TV households. The FCC's National TV Ownership rule "does not limit the number of TV stations a single entity may own nationwide so long as the station group collectively reaches no more than 39 percent of all U.S. TV households." But the rule is more flexible for stations that broadcast using UHF frequencies. Pai, who has been accused of aiding the merger by relaxing the ownership regulations, said Monday that Sinclair's plan would allow the company "to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law." He noted that, "When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction."

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FBI Director: Without Compromise on Encryption, Legislation May Be the 'Remedy'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 04:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's where-things-are-going department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that unless the U.S. government and private industry are able to come to a compromise on the issue of default encryption on consumer devices, legislation may be how the debate is ultimately decided. "I think there should be [room for compromise]," Wray said Wednesday night at a national security conference in Aspen, Colorado. "I don't want to characterize private conversations we're having with people in the industry. We're not there yet for sure. And if we can't get there, there may be other remedies, like legislation, that would have to come to bear." Wray described the issue of "Going Dark" because of encryption as a "significant" and "growing" problem for federal, state and local law enforcement as well as foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He claims strong encryption on mobile phones keeps law enforcement from gaining access to key evidence as it relates to active criminal investigations. "People are less safe as a result of it," he said.

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Microsoft's Plan To Try To Win Back Consumers With 'Modern Life Services'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's never-gonna-give-you-up department:
It's not a secret that Microsoft hasn't been winning the hearts and minds of consumers lately. Killing off products like the Groove Music service, Microsoft Band fitness tracker, and Windows Phone have left many questioning whether Microsoft's grand plan is to simply focus on business users and leave consumers to its competitors. But at the company's Inspire partner show this week, Microsoft execs told partners that Redmond isn't giving up on consumers. From a report: Yusuf Mehdi -- whose new title as of June 2018 became corporate vice president of Modern Life and Devices -- led a session at the partner show in Las Vegas, Nev., where he outlined the company's vision for what officials plan to christen "Modern Life Services." Microsoft's core value proposition is productivity, he said. Microsoft is targeting so-called "professional consumers" with these services, Mehdi said. Microsoft officials believe because the company already "owns the work calendar with Outlook," that it has a foothold in working to blur the line between consumer and commercial activities. What, exactly, will qualify as a Modern Life Service? Mostly they will be apps, services, and features that Microsoft already makes available or soon will in Windows, Outlook, and PowerPoint, but which officials will attempt to position as well suited to the needs of professional consumers on Windows PCs, iPhones and Android phones.

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Senate Wants Netflix, Spotify To Send Out Federal Emergency Alerts
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's public-service-announcement department:
Senators in Hawaii and South Dakota have introduced a bill, called the "Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) act, that would "explore" broadcasting alerts to "online streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify," amongst other changes to the Emergency Alert System. TechCrunch reports: Some of the other things the bill touches on: - Users on many phones can currently disable federal alerts; they want to get rid of that option - Building a better system for reporting false alarms and figuring out what happened - Updating the system to better prevent false alarms, and to better retract them when they do happen

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Fukushima's Nuclear Signature Found In California Wine
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's message-in-a-bottle department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Is it possible to see the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in California wines produced at the time? Today we get an answer, thanks to a study carried out by french pharmacologist Philippe Hubert and a couple of colleagues. "In January 2017, we came across a series of Californian wines (Cabernet Sauvignon) from vintage 2009 to 2012," say Hubert and company. This set of wines provides the perfect test. The Fukushima disaster occurred on March 11, 2011. Any wine made before that date should be free of the effects, while any dating from afterward could show them. The team began their study with the conventional measurement of cesium-137 levels in the unopened bottles. That showed levels to be indistinguishable from background noise.

But the team was able to carry out more-sensitive tests by opening the wine and reducing it to ash by evaporation. This involves heating the wine to 100 degrees Celsius for one hour and then increasing the temperature to 500 degrees Celsius for eight hours. In this way, a standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine produces around four grams of ashes. The ashes were then placed in a gamma ray detector to look for signs of cesium-137. Using this method, Hubert and his colleagues found measurable amounts of cesium-137 above background levels in the wine produced after 2011. "It seems there is an increase in activity in 2011 by a factor of two," conclude the team.

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Entertainment Earth exclusive Bumblebee Retro Pop Highway Set
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:20 PM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
<img width="500" height="500" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Bumblebee-Retro-Pop-Highway.jpg" alt="" />

Revealed at San Diego Comic Con, Entertainment Earth have an exclusive Studio Series Bumblebee set which is a sequel to this year’s San Diego Comic Con exclusive. The set includes the new Studio Series Deluxe Bumblebee from the upcoming movie, and like the SDCC 2018 exclusive, he comes with two cassettes – Zauru and Uriad. Like the SDCC set, these two figures are reissues of the Generation 1 Dinocassettes – in fact, they’re the same two molds as the SDCC release, except this time out we have a reissue Autobot Zaur, and a translucent Decepticon in Uriad. This basically means that » Continue Reading.

The post Entertainment Earth exclusive Bumblebee Retro Pop Highway Set appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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SDCC 2018 Generations Siege Official Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:20 PM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="338" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Siege-Ultra-Magnus.jpg" alt="" />

Hasbro have also released official images of their new Generations line, Siege, from the new War for Cybertron trilogy. Revealed here, we have images of: Micromaster Race Car Patrol (Roadhandler & Swindler), Battle Patrol (Flak & Big Shot), and Rescue Patrol (Red Heat & Stakeout) Battle Master Lionizer Deluxe Cog, Hound, Ironhide, and Chromia Leader Ultra Magnus in both his armored and unarmored forms! Check out the images attached to this post!

The post SDCC 2018 Generations Siege Official Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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SDCC 2018 Transformers Studio Series and Bumblebee Bee Vision Helmet Official Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 19 '18 at 02:20 PM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="400" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Studio-Series-Dropkick.jpg" alt="" />

Hasbro have posted official images of their Movie content shown off at San Diego Comic Con 2018. Six “new” Studio Series figures were shown (although Ironhide was already revealed early thanks to his overseas release). Check out images of the following Studio Series figures attached to this post: Bumblebee from the Bumblebee Movie Dropkick from the Bumblebee Movie Ratchet from Transformers Dark of the Moon Shadow Raider from Age of the Extinction KSI Sentry from Age of Extinction Ironhide from Transformers (2007) We also have some images of the Bee Vision helmet from the Bumblebee Movie, which seems to be » Continue Reading.

The post SDCC 2018 Transformers Studio Series and Bumblebee Bee Vision Helmet Official Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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