NASA Is Planning Mission To An Asteroid Worth $10 Quintillion
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 11:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rags-to-riches department:
New submitter kugo2006 writes: NASA announced a plan to research 16 Psyche, an asteroid potentially as large as Mars and primarily composed of Iron and Nickel. The rock is unique in that it has an exposed core, likely a result of a series of collisions, according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Psyche's principal investigator. The mission's spacecraft would launch in 2023 and arrive in 2030. According to Global News, Elkins-Tanton calculates that the iron in 16 Psyche would be worth $10,000 quadrillion ($10 quintillion).

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New Transformers Rescue Bots Flipracers And Epic Figures Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 09:31 PM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
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Couple of weeks ago, we reported that Hasbro Toy Shop has been updated with a new line of Rescue Bots Flipracers. Entertainment Earth now lists several more Flipracers and additional launchers. Joining previously revealed Heatwave, Optimus Prime, Hoist, and Medix are Sideswipe, Blurr, Chase, Boulder, Salvage, Bumblebee and Blades. Bumblebee and Blades are part of two Launcher Sets, while the others are part of two 3-Packs titled as ‘Griffin Rock Racing Team‘ and ‘Griffin Rock Construction Team‘. Furthermore, joining Salvage and Bumblebee are two more Epic Figures. Boulder and Quickshadow belongs to the same 4th Wave of Epic Figures which are » Continue Reading.

The post New Transformers Rescue Bots Flipracers And Epic Figures Revealed appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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The Mind-Reading Gadget For Dogs That Got Funded, But Didn't Get Built
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 08:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's way-the-cookie-crumbles department:
the_newsbeagle writes: Crowdfunding campaigns that fail to deliver may be all too common, but some flameouts merit examination. Like this brain-scanning gadget for dogs, which promised to translate their barks into human language. It's not quite as goofy as it sounds: The campaigners planned to use standard EEG tech to record the dogs' brainwaves, and said they could correlate those electrical patterns with general states of mind like excitement, hunger, and curiosity. The campaign got a ton of attention in the press and raised twice the money it aimed for. But then the No More Woof team seemed to vanish, leaving backers furious. This article explains what went wrong with the campaign, and what it says about the state of neurotech gadgets for consumers.

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Deculture: MacrossWorld Con transforms into Super Dimension Convention
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 07:11 PM
By Salvador G Rodiles from Japanator:
Whenever an event changes its name, there's a good chance that folks can expect to see some new things around the corner. Speaking of which, the one-day long Macross-themed convention, MacrossWorld Convention, is now officially known as Super Dimension Convention.

From the looks of it, the reason behind the event's name change is likely related to a new goal that the convention's staff is hoping to accomplish soon. Since they were able to get Mari Ijima (Macross' Minmay) and a few folks from Macross II to attend last year's MacrossWorld, I have a feeling that Super Dimension Convention will contain some guests and events that'll bring more joy to fans of the franchise.

Considering that the original series is one of my favorite mecha anime titles, I'll have to add this convention to my list of events to attend one day. In fact, the idea of the con having a Macross pop-up museum sounds intriguing, as it gives us the chance to see some rare and cool stuff.

Super Dimension Convention '17 starts on Oct. 28 at the Torrence Cultural Arts Center in Torrence, Calif., which gives the con's team enough time to unveil their future plans for the event. Is anyone planning to attend the event this year?


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CBS, Paramount Settle Lawsuit Over 'Star Trek' Fan Film
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's logical-decision-making department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Hollywood Reporter: Stand down from battle stations. Star Trek rights holders CBS and Paramount have seen the logic of settling a copyright suit against Alec Peters, who solicited money on crowdfunding sites and hired professionals to make a YouTube short and a script of a planned feature film focused on a fictional event -- a Starfleet captain's victory in a war with the Klingon Empire -- referenced in the original 1960s Gene Roddenberry television series. Thanks to the settlement, CBS and Paramount won't be going to trial on Stardate 47634.44, known to most as Jan. 31, 2017. According to a joint statement, "Paramount Pictures Corporation, CBS Studios Inc., Axanar Productions, Inc. and Alec Peters are pleased to announce that the litigation regarding Axanar's film Prelude to Axanar and its proposed film Axanar has been resolved. Axanar and Mr. Peters acknowledge that both films were not approved by Paramount or CBS, and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law." Peters' Axanar video and script, which feature such arguably copyrighted elements as Vulcan ears, the Klingon language and an obscure character from a 1969 episode, sparked a lawsuit in December 2015. The litigation then proceeded at warp speed with the case almost making it to trial in just 13 months, an amazingly brisk pace by typical standards. When Axanar comes out, it will look different. "Axanar and Mr. Peters have agreed to make substantial changes to Axanar to resolve this litigation, and have also assured the copyright holders that any future Star Trek fan films produced by Axanar or Mr. Peters will be in accordance with the 'Guidelines for Fan Films' distributed by CBS and Paramount in June 2016," states the parties' joint announcement of a settlement.

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Optimus Prime #3 full preview
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 06:31 PM
By Sockie from TFW2005:
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The full preview for the third issue of IDW Publishing’s Optimus Prime ongoing has been posted by Newsarama, as the Autobots’ investigation into the newcomers to Earth, the Junkions, continues; meanwhile, a flashback to a pre-war Cybertron shows readers Soundwave’s first meeting with Orion Pax. A few characters who had been regular presences in Optimus Prime’s predecessor book, Transformers, return as well. Read the preview after the break, and pick up the full issue on January 25th!

The post Optimus Prime #3 full preview appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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PAX South Pin Post!
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 05:31 PM
By (Gabe) from Penny Arcade:
Pax South is just less than a week away now and already people are calling it the Pax South of the year. I will be in attendance although you might see me zipping around on a scooter sometimes. I’m feeling much better now but my doctor doesn’t want me to push it and the scooter has already been rented. Let’s talk pins! PARTNER PINS Clank and Bandit Queen [Dire Wolf Digital] Available for $15 each at the Dire Wolf Digital Booth #10641. Will also be given away to players who win demo games throughout the weekend. Edith Finch [Annapurna Interactive] Attendees who complete…

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Second Time In 9 Months: AT&T Raises Phone Activation Fee $5, Now Charges $25
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's here-we-go-again department:
For the second time in 9 months, ATT is raising its activation and upgrade fee. In April 2016, the fee for non-contract customers was raised from $15 to $20. Today, it has been raised another $5, from $20 to $25, according to PhoneScoop. Ars Technica reports: As the mobile carrier switched from contracts to device payment plans, ATT initially did not charge an activation and upgrade fee for customers who brought their own phone or bought one from ATT on an installment plan. But in July 2015, ATT started charging a $15 activation fee to customers who don't sign two-year contracts. (ATT also raised the activation/upgrade fee for contract customers from $40 to $45 in July 2015.) The $25 fee is charged for new activations or upgrades when customers purchase devices on installment agreements, ATT says. Customers who bring their own phone to the network are charged the $25 fee when they activate a new line of service, but not when they upgrade phones on an existing line. "We are making a minor adjustment to our activation and upgrade fees. The change is effective today," ATT told Ars. ATT also still charges the $45 activation and upgrade fee on two-year contracts, but those contracts are "available only on select devices."

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Jay Z's Tidal Music Streaming Service Is Fraudulently Inflating Subscriber Numbers, Report Says
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's drastic-times-call-for-drastic-measures department:
A new report published by Markus Tobiassen and Kjetil Saeter of Norwegian publication Dagens Naeringsliv is accusing Jay Z's Tidal music streaming service of fabricating their subscriber numbers by creating fake accounts and lying to the media and partners. The company claims to have more than 3 million paying subscribers with more than half of those paying $20-a-month. Digital News Music reports: Tobiassen and Saeter interviewed staffers at TIDAL, as well as partners and confidential sources. And the information that came back was pretty damning. "When 16 of the world's biggest pop stars, one a convicted cocaine smuggler and a former Israeli intelligence officer was not able to obtain enough customers to Jay Z's Tidal, the company began to inflate subscription numbers," the report alleges. DMN spoke this morning with Tobiassen, who offered a translation of the report. "On March 30th of last year, Tidal issued a press release stating that the company had reached 'three million members,'" the report states. "The news story reported worldwide was that Tidal had three million paying subscribers. Tidal also specified to online newspaper The Verge that this figure did not include trial subscribers. This was the last time Tidal reported a total number of subscribers to the public." The only problem with that? "In April 2016, one month after the press release issued by the company claiming three million members, Tidal made payments to the record labels for around 850,000 subscribers. The figure reported internally by Tidal in April is 1.2 million subscribers." The report further states that Tidal itself reported a figure of 1.1 million to the major record labels in late 2016. In other words, nowhere near the numbers reported to media outlets like Digital Music News and Verge.

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Uber Hires Former Google Search Chief Amit Singhal As SVP of Engineering
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's point-A-to-point-B department:
The former Senior Vice President of Search and employee number 176 at Google has joined the ride-hailing company Uber as SVP of Engineering. TechCrunch is reporting that "Singhal will be heading up the Maps and Marketplace departments at Uber, while also advising CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber VP of Engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski on their efforts to build out the company's self-driving technology." From the report: The last time we in tech news circles heard from Singhal, he was saying goodbye after a 15-year career at Google, in a farewell letter that felt a lot like a retirement announcement. Singhal wrote that he was leaving to "see what kind of impact [he could] make philanthropically" and to"spend more time with [his] family," in an effort to "define [his] next fifteen years." Now, a little under a year later, Singhal is back in an executive role -- this time at a much younger company, but still at one of the most influential technology firms in the world. So how did Singhal get from there to here? Well, for starters, Singhal did throw himself into philanthropic pursuits, focusing on the Singhal Foundation established by him and his wife Shipa, which aims to deliver access to high quality education for kids who normally wouldn't be able to attend top schools, and which began with a focus on the city of Jodhpur, in India. Singhal met Travis Kalanick through a mutual friend, which sparked a series of conversations between the search expert and the famous founder about Uber, its goals and its technical challenges. The combination of the scope of both Uber's potential impact, and the extent of the engineering hurdles it faces in achieving its aims were what drew Singhal in; he is, after all, a true engineer at heart, and mountainous technical challenges attract skilled engineers like nothing else. "This company is not only doing things that are amazing, this company also has some of the toughest computer science challenges that I have seen in my career of 25 years," Singhal told me. "Those computer science challenges for a computer science geek are just intriguing -- you give a geek a puzzle, they can't drop it; they need to solve the puzzle. That's how it felt to me."

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GT Live: SORRY IS NOT ENOUGH! | Detention
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 04:31 PM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:

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Pick up digital manga based on this season's anime on sale!
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 04:21 PM
By Red Veron from Japanator:
If you're into traveling light but want to have some manga with you on-the-go, check out a few digital manga on sale from Kodansha Comics. Among these manga on sale are adapted into shows currently airing this Winter season: Interviews with Monster Girls, Fuuka, and Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju. I'm currently watching anime of the first two of those shows and they're pretty good so far, as well the source material.

The prices range are as cheap as $1.99 on various online stores (Comixology being the cheapest) which include (but not limited to): Comixology, iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Kindle. Here are the manga on sale:


Interviews with Monster Girls

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Welcome to the Ballroom


[Check out more info at Kodansha]

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New Senate Bill Would Give US Grads Preference In Receiving H-1B Visas
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's special-treatment department:
dcblogs quotes a report from Computerworld: A new bill in Congress would give foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools priority in getting an H-1B visa. The legislation also "explicitly prohibits" the replacement of American workers by visa holders. This bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, was announced Thursday by its co-sponsors, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), longtime allies on H-1B reform. Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which gives this bill an immediate big leg up in the legislative process. This legislation would end the annual random distribution, via a lottery, of H-1B visas, and replace it with a system to give priority to certain types of students. Foreign nationals in the best position to get one of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually will have earned an advanced degree from a U.S. school, have a well-paying job offer, and have preferred skills. The specific skills weren't identified, but will likely be STEM-related. "Congress created these programs to complement America's high-skilled workforce, not replace it," said Grassley, in a statement. "Unfortunately, some companies are trying to exploit the programs by cutting American workers for cheaper labor."

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Elite Scientists Have Told the Pentagon That AI Won't Threaten Humanity
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nothing-to-see-here-move-along department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A new report authored by a group of independent U.S. scientists advising the U.S. Dept. of Defense (DoD) on artificial intelligence (AI) claims that perceived existential threats to humanity posed by the technology, such as drones seen by the public as killer robots, are at best "uninformed." Still, the scientists acknowledge that AI will be integral to most future DoD systems and platforms, but AI that could act like a human "is at most a small part of AI's relevance to the DoD mission." Instead, a key application area of AI for the DoD is in augmenting human performance. Perspectives on Research in Artificial Intelligence and Artificial General Intelligence Relevant to DoD, first reported by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists, has been researched and written by scientists belonging to JASON, the historically secretive organization that counsels the U.S. government on scientific matters. Outlining the potential use cases of AI for the DoD, the JASON scientists make sure to point out that the growing public suspicion of AI is "not always based on fact," especially when it comes to military technologies. Highlighting SpaceX boss Elon Musk's opinion that AI "is our biggest existential threat" as an example of this, the report argues that these purported threats "do not align with the most rapidly advancing current research directions of AI as a field, but rather spring from dire predictions about one small area of research within AI, Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)." AGI, as the report describes, is the pursuit of developing machines that are capable of long-term decision making and intent, i.e. thinking and acting like a real human. "On account of this specific goal, AGI has high visibility, disproportionate to its size or present level of success," the researchers say.

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Lavabit Is Relaunching
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's blast-from-the-past department:
The encrypted email service once used by whistleblower Edward Snowden is relaunching today. Ladar Levison, the founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit, announced on Friday that he's relaunching the service with a new architecture that fixes the SSL problem and includes other privacy-enhancing features as well, such as one that obscures the metadata on emails to prevent government agencies like the NSA and FBI from being able to find out with whom Lavabit users communicate. In addition, he's also announcing plans to roll out end-to-end encryption later this year. The Intercept provides some backstory in its report: In 2013, [Levison] took the defiant step of shutting down the company's service rather than comply with a federal law enforcement request that could compromise its customers' communications. The FBI had sought access to the email account of one of Lavabit's most prominent users -- Edward Snowden. Levison had custody of his service's SSL encryption key that could help the government obtain Snowden's password. And though the feds insisted they were only after Snowden's account, the key would have helped them obtain the credentials for other users as well. Lavabit had 410,000 user accounts at the time. Rather than undermine the trust and privacy of his users, Levison ended the company's email service entirely, preventing the feds from getting access to emails stored on his servers. But the company's users lost access to their accounts as well. Levison, who became a hero of the privacy community for his tough stance, has spent the last three years trying to ensure he'll never have to help the feds break into customer accounts again. "The SSL key was our biggest threat," he says.

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Apple Sues Qualcomm For Roughly $1 Billion Over Royalties
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's arch-enemies department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Apple is suing Qualcomm for roughly $1 billion, saying Qualcomm has been "charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with." The suit follows the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm earlier this week over unfair patent licensing practices. Apple says that Qualcomm has taken "radical steps," including "withholding nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them." Apple added, "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined." Apple also alleges that once it began cooperating with Korean authorities' antitrust investigation of Qualcomm, the company withheld $1 billion in retaliation. Korean regulators fined Qualcomm $854 million for unfair trade practices in December.

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Masterpiece Cheetor Delayed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:41 PM
By ORIO from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="425" src="" alt="" />

Site sponsor TFsource has updated their social media pages with unfortunate news for fans of the Transformers Masterpiece and Beast Wars fans. Originally listed for a January release, Masterpiece Cheetor has been delayed until February. No specific reason has been listed, but as we get more information we’ll update you here. Click on the title bar to join the discussion.

The post Masterpiece Cheetor Delayed appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Possible RID Menasor in the works?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:41 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="316" src="" alt="" />

A picture uploaded by Milo Lopez at Transformers Chile Facebook group, shows a bus (apparently from Hong Kong) with a RID banner. The interesting part is that we see the previously reported possible Autobot Combiner together with a new Decepticon combiner which looks like Menasor. Is Menasor and the Stunticons ready to debut in RID? Click on the title bar to check out the image and share your thoughts on the 2005 boards  

The post Possible RID Menasor in the works? appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Movie The Best MB-04 Shockwave In Package Images
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:41 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="416" src="" alt="" />

Thanks to 2005 board member Type-R we have some interesting in-box pictures of Takara’s Shockwave from the movie anniversary line which we now know it is called “Movie The Best”. Pictures were originally posted by Taobao seller zairj2010, The new boxes look great and the picture confirms the new colors we saw earlier for this realease. Click on the title bar to check out the image and share your thoughts on the 2005 boards

The post Movie The Best MB-04 Shockwave In Package Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Japanese Bus tries out free USB charging for passengers
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:02 PM
By Red Veron from Japanator:
Don't you hate it when your portable entertainment device just dies in the middle of your viewing of homoerotic ice skating anime? Or when you're reading the latest volume of your Monster Girl manga? Carrying USB power banks to charge up devices are now the norm for power users but even those run out.

Japanese commuters now have a chance to test out charging their USB powered devices on one public bus in the Tokyo area. This trial is free to bus riders and while not the first public bus to implement such a service, this is a great thing for a country where a large part of the population relies on public transportation and hopefully becomes available in public transportation.

Just a bit of warning, don't just go plugging in your phone to any publicly available USB port or cable to charge because of all the malware and viruses. Look into "USB condoms" or those USB Power boosters that let you charge tablets on lower mAh chargers they used to have, these items block the data connections and only let power through.

[Photo of charging port via @kyon_c]

[Via TheNextWeb]


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