AT&T, Comcast Lawsuit Has Nullified a City's Broadband Competition Law
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bad-news-for-Google-Fiber department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville Metro Council last year passed a "One Touch Make Ready" rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires. AT&T and Comcast sued the metro government in U.S. District Court in Nashville, claiming that federal and local laws preempt the One Touch Make Ready rule. Judge Victoria Roberts agreed with AT&T and Comcast in a ruling issued Tuesday. Google Fiber is offering service in Nashville despite saying last year that it was waiting for access to thousands of utility poles. "We're reviewing [the] court ruling to understand its potential impact on our build in Nashville," a Google spokesperson said this week, according to The Tennessean. "We have made significant progress with new innovative deployment techniques in some areas of the city, but access to poles remains an important issue where underground deployment is not a possibility."

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Tesla Completes World's Largest Battery Project In Half the Time Promised
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's record-time department:
Rei writes: Tesla announced the completion of the world's largest battery -- a 100 MW/129 MWh wind-power backup system for 30,000 homes in South Australia. Three times more powerful than any other battery on Earth, the $50 million project had garnered press due to Elon Musk's Twitter boast that it would be completed within 100 days of the contract signing or it would be free. In the end, Tesla took it up a notch: the battery was finished 55 days from the date of contract signing and 99 days from the date of Musk's boast itself.

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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Surpasses $100 Billion Net Worth
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's twelve-digits department:
Amid optimism for Amazon's Black Friday sales, Jeff Bezos' net worth jumped above $100 billion on Friday. The Amazon CEO's fortune reportedly surged $2.4 billion to $100.3 billion, after the retailer's shares grew more than 2 percent on Black Friday. Bloomberg reports: Online purchases for the day are up 18.4 percent over last year, according to data from Adobe Analytics, and investors are betting the company will take an outsized share of online spending over the gifting season. The $100 billion milestone makes Bezos, 53, the first billionaire to build a 12-figure net worth since 1999, when Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates hit the mark. Bezos's fortune rose $32.6 billion this year through Thursday, the largest increase of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's 500 richest people. Amazon have climbed 5 percent this week alone.

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Legislators Take Aim At Star Wars Battlefront II, EA Over 'Gambling In Games'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's strong-words department:
dryriver writes: A number of pay-to-win microtransaction FPS games, including Dirty Bomb and the $60 Star Wars Battlefront II, have drawn the ire of legislators in countries like Belgium and the United States. Not only are advanced characters like Luke Skywalker and Dart Vader and various weapons and abilities in these games "locked" -- you pay for them in hard cash, or play for them for dozens and dozens of tedious hours -- the games also feature so called "Loot Boxes," which are boxes that contain a random item, weapon, character or ability. So like playing slot machines in Vegas, each time you can get something good, something mediocre or something totally crap. You cannot determine with any certainty what you will get for your real-world dollars or in-game achievements. Angry Reddit users recently downvoted a blundering statement by EA on the topic with a whopping 249,000 downvotes -- an all time downvote record on Reddit, shocking EA into retreating from its pay-to-win model and announcing unspecified "changes" now being made to Star Wars Battlefront II. Legislators in a number of countries have also sharply criticized "Loot Boxes" and "microtransactions" in games, with one legislator in Belgium vowing to have the sale of such games banned completely in the EU, because children are essentially being forced to "gamble with real money" in these games. Forbes has written a great piece about how EA is now essentially stuck with a $60 Star Wars game that cost a lot to make but probably cannot be monetized any further, because there is considerable risk of all games with loot boxes, microtransactions and "pay to win" monetization models being completely banned from sale in a number of different countries now. The morale of the story? Maybe people should not pay a game developer any more than the $40-60 they paid when they thought they "bought" the game in the first place.

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Pornhub Owner May Become the UK's Gatekeeper of Online Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's thou-shalt-not-pass department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Yahoo News: Mindgeek may be the most powerful company that you've never heard of, or at least, a company you'll claim never to have heard about in polite company. It's the conglomerate that owns some of the world's most visited porn sites, including Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn. Far from simply being a popular and free way for people to consume adult content, it may soon have a powerful political role in the UK that will ensure its dominance for decades to come. That's because, within the next year, Mindgeek may become the principal gatekeeper between the country's internet users and their porn. In April, the UK passed the Digital Economy Act 2017, legislation that mandated that any website showing adult content must verify the ages of its visitors. It was pushed through in response to concerns that children were being corrupted by easy access to and exposure to adult content at an early age. Section 15(1) of the bill requires that "pornographic material" not be published online, on a "commercial basis," unless it is "not normally accessible by those under 18." The bill has several flaws, not least the number of vague proposals it contains, and the ad hoc definition of what pornography actually is. Section 17 of the same act outlined the creation of an "age-verification regulator," the digital equivalent of a bouncer standing between you and your porn. This gatekeeper will have the right, and duty, to demand you show proof of age, or else refuse you access. In addition, the body will be able to impose fines and enforcement notices on those who either neglect or circumvent the policy. [...] The Open Rights Group believes that the BBFC will then hand over the actual mechanisms of the age verification platform to a third party in the private sector. Mindgeek has had several conversations with officials and is currently pushing its own age verification platform, AgeID. If selected, this platform could become the principal wall between Britons and their pornography -- giving Mindgeek enormous power in the market.

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How Coral Researchers Are Coping With the Death of Reefs
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 02:32 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's other-side-of-the-world department:
Ed Yong, writing for The Atlantic: The continuing desecration has taken an immense toll on the mental health of people like Colton, a director at Coral Reef Alliance, who have devoted their lives to studying and saving these ecosystems. How do you get up and go to work every day when every day brings fresh news of loss? "Are we going to lose an entire ecosystem on my watch? It's demoralizing. It's been really hard to find the optimism," she says. "I think Miss Enthusiasm has gone away." There was a time, just a few decades ago, when this crisis seemed unimaginable, when reefs seemed invincible. This catastrophe has unfolded slowly. [...] But she also recognizes that she and other scientists are privileged. They care about reefs, but they're not like the 450 million people around the world who rely on reefs for tourism revenue, food from fish, and protection against storms. For them, the losses are a daily reality. The last time Bette Willis, from James Cook University, went out to the Great Barrier Reef, the woman who ran her boat "would alternate between rants and depression," she recalls. "She's out there several times a week. She knows each coral. She could see her whole livelihood go down the drain." Everyone I spoke to talked about becoming very good at compartmentalizing -- at acknowledging the scale of the tragedy, but also putting it aside to focus on their work. "I don't find it productive to be angry or depressed all the time. It's corrosive, and it isn't going to solve the problem," says Knowlton. She is perhaps the poster child for ocean optimism, having created a movement called ... Ocean Optimism.

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Data Breach Hits Australia's Department of Social Services Credit Card System
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 02:32 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Paul Karp, reporting for The Guardian: The Department of Social Services has written to 8,500 current and former employees warning them their personal data held by a contractor has been breached. In letters sent in early November the department alerted the employees to "a data compromise relating to staff profiles within the department's credit card management system prior to 2016." Compromised data includes credit card information, employees' names, user names, work phone numbers, work emails, system passwords, Australian government services number, public service classification and organisation unit. The department failed to warn staff how long the data was exposed for but a DSS spokesman told Guardian Australia that the contractor, Business Information Services, had advised that the data was open from June 2016 until October 2017. The data related to the period 2004 to 2015.

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Linux Pioneer Munich Confirms Switch To Windows 10
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's end-of-an-era department:
The German city of Munich, once seen as a open-source pioneer, has decided to return to Windows. Windows 10 will be rolled out to about 29,000 PCs at the city council, a major shift for an authority that has been running Linux for more than a decade. From a report: Back in 2003 the council decided to to switch to a Linux-based desktop, which came to be known as LiMux, and other open-source software, despite heavy lobbying by Microsoft. But now Munich will begin rolling out a Windows 10 client from 2020, at a cost of about Euro 50m ($59.6m), with a view to Windows replacing LiMux across the council by early 2023. Politicians who supported the move at a meeting of the full council today say using Windows 10 will make it easier to source compatible applications and hardware drivers than it has been using a Linux-based OS, and will also reduce costs associated with running Windows and LiMux PCs side-by-side.

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Regulators Question Google Over Location Data
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's holding-accountable department:
Sherisse Pham and Taehoon Lee, writing for CNN Tech: Google is facing scrutiny for reportedly collecting data about the location of smartphone users without their knowledge. Regulators in South Korea summoned Google representatives this week to question them about a report that claimed the company was collecting data from Android devices even when location services were disabled. The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) "is carrying out an inquiry into the claims that Google collected users' Cell ID data without consent even when their smartphone's location service was inactive," Chun Ji-hyun, head of KCC's privacy infringement division, told CNNMoney on Friday. U.K. data protection officials are also looking into the matter.
"Organizations are required by law to be transparent with consumers about what they are doing with personal information," said a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office. "We are aware of the reports about the tracking system and are in contact with Google."

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Retrofuturism
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 12:31 PM
By Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
I can recall years and years ago trying to get Grib into Oblivion, back on the 360. I prepared the scene the way one might craft a Date Night scenario. I considered candles but did not execute. I don’t know if his literal arms were folded but his spirit arms, The Arms Within, were laced before him in a defensive posture. He didn’t make it out of the prison. Let’s fast forward now. There is a sound like bloodle-oodle-oop, and ghostly lights flash. We have just returned from the first PAX Unplugged, which I think it’s safe to say is his…

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Ages Three And Up Black Friday Sale Is Live!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 12:02 PM
By AzT from TFW2005:
<img width="594" height="490" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2017/11/A3U.jpg" alt="" />

TFW2005 friend and sponsor Ages Three And Up brings us news of their Black Friday sale, including great deals on figures at 20% and 50% off! All Prices in USD ONLINE @ AGESTHREEANDUP.COM Sale Starts November 24th, 2017 12:00AM Eastern Standard Time Sale Ends November 27th, 2017 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time * Discounts do not apply to pre-order items, only in-stock items. * Availability is first come first serve, while quantities last. No holds. No rainchecks. * Order as much as you like in one order. * No combining of orders after an order is placed. * Discounts are intended » Continue Reading.

The post Ages Three And Up Black Friday Sale Is Live! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Black Friday Panic at Macy's: People Report Credit Card System Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 11:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's damn-it department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Macy's might have celebrated an increase in share price on Black Friday, but it seems like the retailer will end the day with a lot of lost sales. Many of its customers recently took to Twitter to complain that its credit card machines are down, and that they can only pay with cash.

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Google and Apple Order Telegram To Nuke Channel Over Taylor Swift Piracy
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 11:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's policing-things department:
An anonymous reader writes: Instant messaging client Telegram has for the first time blocked access to an entire channel following pressure from Google and Apple. A channel, called Any Suitable Pop, was found distributing copyright infringed copies of songs from Taylor Swift's new album 'Reputation'. It's understood that following complaints from Universal Music, Google and Apple ordered Telegram to take action.

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Titans Return Soundwave Sketches By Emiliano Santalucia
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 10:41 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="420" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2017/11/Titans-Return-Soundwave-By-Emiliano-Santalucía-01.jpg" alt="" />

Once again, artist Emiliano Santalucia shares part of his collaborations to the franchise. This time he shows us his  Titans Return Soundwave Sketches. The sketches were shared via Emiliano Santalucia’s Facebook and we have a sketch of robot mode with and without Soundwave’s shoulder cannon. Emiliano comments: “I forgot I had never posted my sketches for the Titans Return Soundwave! Created in collaboration with Hasbro design team and based on the Blaster figure from the same line” The second image features Soundwave’s alt mode and Emiliano tells us something interesting about it: “Soundwave alt mode! It was supposed to be a » Continue Reading.

The post Titans Return Soundwave Sketches By Emiliano Santalucia appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Stylin Online Black Friday Sales – Up to 75% Off!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 10:41 AM
By Tony_Bacala from TFW2005:
Site sponsor StylinOnline.com has a huge array of T-Shirts and more on sale this weekend, up to 75% off! You can check out the Transformers items specifically here, or hit the Holiday Hub at the link below. Happy hunting!

The post Stylin Online Black Friday Sales – Up to 75% Off! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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TFSource Black Friday Deals Live!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 10:41 AM
By Tony_Bacala from TFW2005:
TFW2005 friend and sponsor TFSource have dropped their Black Friday sales and deals in full! Included are Toy World’s Coneheads set of 3 for only $179.99 & Toy World’s Yellow Constructor for $299.99! Plus all Countdown to Black Friday items are back. Check it all out at the link below!

The post TFSource Black Friday Deals Live! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Mobile Homes Are So Expensive Now, Hurricane Victims Can't Afford Them
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's what's-happening department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Hurricane victims emerging from ravaged trailer parks are discovering that the U.S. mobile-home market has left them behind. In Florida and Texas, dealerships are swarmed by buyers looking to rebuild their lives after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but many leave disappointed. The industry, led by Warren Buffett's Clayton Homes, is peddling such pricey interior-designer touches as breakfast bars and his-and-her bathroom sinks. These extras, plus manufacturers' increased costs for labor and materials, have pushed average prices for new double-wides up more than 20 percent in five years, putting them out of reach for many of the newly homeless.

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There's Now a Dark Web Version of Wikipedia
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's better-than-nothing department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: In many parts of the world, like North America, using Wikipedia is taken for granted; hell, there are even Twitter accounts to track government employees editing the internet's free encyclopedia while on the clock. But in other places, like Turkey or Syria, using Wikipedia can be difficult, and even dangerous. To make using Wikipedia safer for at-risk users, former Facebook security engineer Alec Muffett has started an experimental dark net Wikipedia service that gives visitors some strong privacy protections. The project is unofficial; for now, Wikipedia isn't involved. So it's a bit janky. The service uses self-signed certificates that may trigger a security warning in Tor, so you have to manually white-list the addresses, which takes a couple minutes.

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A Third of Americans Still Buy and Rent Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 09:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's where-we-are department:
An anonymous reader writes: One-third of Americans still buy and rent videos, in addition to using streaming services like Netflix and YouTube, NPD Group found in its annual Entertainment Trends in America report. The research firm surveyed more than 7,000 members of its US online panel about their entertainment consumption during August 2017. Family films are still popular buys because kids will watch them over and over again. Spotty broadband service in rural America makes buying and renting more reliable than streaming for some. And some people just like to own and collect movies. Overall, 54% of people surveyed said they still buy or rent video.

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There's Some Intense Web Scans Going on for Bitcoin and Ethereum Wallets
Posted by News Fetcher on November 24 '17 at 09:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's search-continues department:
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: With both Bitcoin and Ethereum price hitting all-time highs in the past seven days, cyber-criminals have stepped up efforts to search and steal funds stored in these two cryptocurrencies. These mass Internet scanning campaigns have been recently picked up by various honeypots installed by security researchers across the Internet. The first of these, aimed at Bitcoin owners, was picked up by security researcher Didier Stevens over the weekend, just two days before Bitcoin was about to jump from $7,000 to over $8,000.

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