Researchers Fish Yellowcake Uranium From the Sea With a Piece of Yarn
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '18 at 05:20 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's parts-per-billion department:
Wave723 shares a report from IEEE Spectrum: Researchers at the U.S. Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and LCW Supercritical Technologies made use of readily available acrylic fibers to pull five grams of yellowcake -- a powdered form of uranium used to produce fuel for nuclear power reactors -- from seawater. The milestone, announced in mid-June, follows seven years of work and a roughly US $25 million investment by the federal energy agency. Another $1.15 million is being channeled to LCW as it attempts to scale up the technique for commercial use. The effort builds on work by Japanese researchers in the late 1990s and was prompted by interest in finding alternative sources of uranium for a future time when terrestrial sources are depleted. "[U]ranium in seawater shows up in concentrations of around 3.3 parts per billion," the report notes. "With a total volume estimated at more than 4 billion tons, there is around 500 times more uranium in seawater than in land-based sources."

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Valve's Knuckles EV2 Controller Will Let You Squeeze Things In VR
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '18 at 02:40 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department:
Valve's "Knuckles" controllers for VR, first introduced in 2016, are getting upgraded. According to Engadget, Valve is "sending game makers another version, the EV2, that has revamped buttons, straps and a slew of sensors that essentially translate finger motion and pressure to let you touch, grab and squeeze objects inside games." From the report:
Some of the EV2's changes are evident: The old Steam Controller-style touchpad that dominated the controller's top has been shrunken to an oval 'track button' that measures touch and force. That's flanked by traditional inputs: A joystick (by developer demand, Valve noted in a blog post) and standard circular buttons. The strap is adjustable for different hand sizes and pulls tight to let players let go of the controller completely without dropping it -- which could be key for the pressure inputs.

While last year's model had touch inputs tracking each finger in the 'grip' area, the EV2 introduces pressure sensors that measure how much force the wielder is using. Obviously, this has implications for VR developers who want players to grip or squeeze objects in the world, but as Valve's blog post points out, combining those with the touch sensors tells games when players let go of the grips -- like, say, when they're throwing things in-game. Lastly, the battery life has been extended to last six hours.

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Tesla To Close a Dozen Solar Facilities In 9 States
Posted by News Fetcher on June 23 '18 at 12:00 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cheaper-by-the-dozen department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Electric car maker Tesla's move last week to cut 9 percent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees. The latest cuts to the division that was once SolarCity -- a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk -- include closing about a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot that the current and former employees said generated about half of its sales. About 60 installation facilities remain open, according to an internal company list reviewed by Reuters. An internal company email named 14 facilities slated for closure, but the other list included only 13 of those locations.

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Transformers: Studio Series Wave 2 Voyager & Deluxe Spotted In Canada
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 09:01 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="451" src="" alt="" />

Thanks to friend site we’ve got word that Transformers: Studio Series Wave 2 Voyager & Deluxe were finally Spotted At Canadian retail. Via forums we can inform that Studio Series Wave 2 Voyager (Brawl and ROTF Megatron) and Deluxe (Jazz and Lockdown) were found at Toys”R”Us in the Toronto area. Happy hunting to all Canadian fans! Time to dash to your nearest Toys”R”Us in you area to try to grab these figures for your collections.

The post Transformers: Studio Series Wave 2 Voyager & Deluxe Spotted In Canada appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Scientists Genetically Engineer Pigs Immune To Costly Disease
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 08:00 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's piggy-bank department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The trial, led by the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, showed that the pigs were completely immune to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), a disease that is endemic across the globe and costs the European pig industry nearly $2 billion in pig deaths and decreased productivity each year.

Pigs infected with PRRS are safe to eat but the virus causes the animals breathing problems, causes deaths in piglets and can cause pregnant sows to lose their litter. There is no effective cure or vaccine, and despite extensive biosecurity measures about 30% of pigs in England are thought to be infected at any given time. After deleting a small section of DNA that leaves pigs vulnerable to the disease, the animals showed no symptoms or trace of infection when intentionally exposed to the virus and when housed for an extended period with infected siblings. The study has been published in the Journal of Virology.

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Bethesda Sues Warner Bros, Calls Its Westworld Game 'Blatant Rip-Off' of Fallout Shelter
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 05:20 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's copy-and-paste department:
Bethesda, the video game publisher behind Fallout and The Elder Scrolls, is suing Warner Bros. and Fallout Shelter co-developer Behavior Interactive over the recently released Westworld, alleging that the mobile game based on HBO's TV series is a "blatant rip-off" of Fallout Shelter. Polygon reports: In a suit filed in a Maryland U.S. District Court, Bethesda alleges that Westworld -- developed by Behaviour and released this week for Android and iOS -- "has the same or highly similar game design, art style, animations, features and other gameplay elements" as Fallout Shelter. Fallout Shelter was originally released in 2015 for mobile devices. The game was later ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

Bethesda said in its suit that Behaviour uses "the same copyrighted computer code created for Fallout Shelter in Westworld," alleging that a bug evident in an early version of Fallout Shelter (which was later fixed) also appears in Westworld. Bethesda alleges the companies "copied Fallout Shelter's features and then made cosmetic modifications for Westworld's 'western' theme."

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Supreme Court Backs Award of Overseas Patent Damages
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 05:20 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's money-back-guarantee department:
schwit1 quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that companies can recover profits lost because of the unauthorized use of their patented technology abroad in a victory for Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider. The decision expands the ability of patent owners to recover foreign-based damages, increasing the threat posed by certain infringement lawsuits in the United States.

Internet-based companies and others had expressed concern that extending patent damages beyond national borders would expose U.S. high-technology firms to greater patent-related risks abroad. U.S. patent law generally applies only domestically, but Schlumberger said that since the law protects against infringement that occurs when components of a patented invention are supplied from the U.S. for assembly abroad, it should be fully compensated for the infringement, including any lost foreign sales. The high court agreed.

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Atari Accuses Journalists of Making Stuff Up So They Produce Recordings of the Interview
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 04:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sorry-not-sorry department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: Legendary games company Atari has accused a Register reporter of making stuff up and acting unprofessionally following an interview earlier this year in San Francisco at the launch of its new games console, the Atari VCS. In that article, we were critical of the fact that the machine did not work, and that its chief operating officer Michael Arzt, whom we spoke to, appeared unable to answer even the most basic questions about the product. We were shown "engineering design models" that were said to be "real" yet turned out did not work, and pointed out as much.

In the article, we wrote: "What happens if we plug this into our laptop, we ask Mike. I don't know, he says. Will it work? I don't know. If we plug it into a different games machine, will it work? No. So it's custom hardware and software? I don't know about that." Presumably this is where Atari feels that the reporter "wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him." Which makes this clip tough to explain -- and we'll give you a clue: your humble Reg hack is the one with the British accent... This is a clip of Atari having no idea about its own controller. The Register goes on to provide more examples of how Atari "is so full of crap..." The accusations started via the company's Facebook page, where a potential buyer of an Atari VCS posted a link to the Reg article and asked the company to explain it. The full interview between the journalist and Atari can be found here.

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An Up-to-Date Browser Should Keep Users Safe From Most Exploit Kits
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 04:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's a-notable-victory department:
Exploit kits, once a preferred choice of attackers to invade a victim's browser and find way to their computer, are increasingly diminishing in their effectiveness. If you have an updated browser, chances are it packs adequate resources to fight such attacks. Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Exploit kits (EK) have been around on the criminal underground for more than a decade and were once pretty advanced, often being a place where researchers found zero-days on a regular basis. But as browsers got more secure in recent years, exploit kits started to die out in 2016-2017. Most operators were arrested, moved to other things, and nobody developed new exploits to add to the arsenal of EK left on the market, which slowly began falling behind when it came to their effectiveness to infect new victims. A Palo Alto Networks report published yesterday details statistics about the vulnerabilities used by current exploit kits in the first three months of the year (Q1 2018). According to the gathered data, researchers found 1,583 malicious URLs across 496 different domains, leading to landing pages (URLs) where an EK attempted to run exploits only for only a meager eight vulnerabilities. All eight were old and known bugs, with the newest dating back to 2016. Seven of the eight vulnerabilities targeted Internet Explorer, meaning that using a more modern browser like Chrome and Firefox is a simple, yet effective way of avoiding falling victim to exploit kits.

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Interview with James Roberts on Lost Light Finale
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 03:41 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="219" src="" alt="" />

Thanks to Comics Beat website we have a very nice reading for all of you. A great Interview with James Roberts on Lost Light Finale. James Roberts, writer of “More Than Meets The Eye” and “Lost Light” (among other titles), shares his views on how he developed his storytelling for the final arc of Lost Light, which is finishing together with the rest of the IDW universe this year. He also comments on how he developed some characters and their importance in the events of the main storytelling.  James really appreciates fans paying attention to the story, character and details about » Continue Reading.

The post Interview with James Roberts on Lost Light Finale appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Google Engineers Refused To Build Security Tool To Win Military Contracts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 02:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's moral-compass department:
Mark Bergen reports via Bloomberg: Earlier this year, a group of influential software engineers in Google's cloud division surprised their superiors by refusing to work on a cutting-edge security feature. Known as "air gap," the technology would have helped Google win sensitive military contracts. The coders weren't persuaded their employer should be using its technological might to help the government wage war, according to four current and former employees. After hearing the engineers' objections, Urs Holzle, Google's top technical executive, said the air gap feature would be postponed, one of the people said. Another person familiar with the situation said the group was able to reduce the scope of the feature.

The act of rebellion ricocheted around the company, fueling a growing resistance among employees with a dim view of Google's yen for multi-million-dollar government contracts. The engineers became known as the "Group of Nine" and were lionized by like-minded staff. The current and former employees say the engineers' work boycott was a catalyst for larger protests that convulsed the company's Mountain View, California, campus and ultimately forced executives to let a lucrative Pentagon contract called Project Maven expire without renewal.

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Facebook Messenger Kids App Is Expanding
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 02:40 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's aggressive-expansion department:
Facebook's controversial Messenger Kids app is heading outside the U.S. to Canada and Peru. From a report: As part of the expansion, the social networking giant said Friday that it would also debut Spanish and French language versions of the children's messaging app that are now available in all three countries where the service is available. Facebook introduced Messenger Kids in December, pitching it as a safer way for children under 13 to chat with friends while sending them silly GIFs, emoji, and other goofy digital imagery. Unlike the core Facebook social networking service or other messaging apps, Facebook said that Messenger Kids does not display any online ads or allow kids to buy things within the app.

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's anime makes a golden comeback this October
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 02:12 PM
By Salvador G Rodiles from Japanator:
Well, people. It seems like 2018 is going to be a great year to be a fan of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Part of it has to do with the manga's fifth arc getting an anime adaptation in the form of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind.

The thing that sets it apart from other long series is that each saga is set in a different time period, along with focusing on a different cast of characters. While they're all connected, each story gives off a different feeling, which is one of JoJo's strong points. That, and it features ridiculous poses, along with the heroes finding clever ways to use their abilities to stop their foes.

Golden Wind focuses on Giorno Giovanna and his goal to become a gangster boss. From what my friends told, he's trying to be the Robin Hood of mob bosses. It also covers Hirohiko Araki's transition from a Fist of the North Star-inspired style to one that's influenced by fashion. If anything, the original creator's art evolution is an interesting one.

Even though the anime premieres in October, people will get the chance to watch the first episode at Anime Expo '18 on July 7. If you live in Japan, then you can catch it on July 5.

With the staff having some people from the previous JoJo installments, I'm curious to see how it'll stand out from the others since each arc featured a different animation style. Hopefully, it does well during its run since it'll increase the chances of the other arcs to receive anime adaptations. Also, I look forward to jamming out to the Western song they pick for the ending. Since we received "Roundabout" by Yes, "Walk like an Egyptian" by The Bangles, "Last Train Home" by Pat Methany Group, and "I Want You" by Savage Garden, I have a feeling they'll pick another catchy tune.

< article continued at Japanator >

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WTF Fridays: A man of culture
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 02:12 PM
By Red Veron from Japanator:

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China Will Partly Lift Internet Censorship For One of Its Provinces To Promote Tourism
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 01:20 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's baby-steps department:
In an effort to promote tourism, the southern tropical Chinese island of Hainan will no longer censor its internet. "Visitors to select areas of Hainan will be able to access Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to a new plan authorities have put together to turn the province into a free trade port by 2020," reports The Verge. "It's not clear if other banned platforms will be uncensored." From the report: The three-year action plan was published on Thursday, but removed from the local government website by Friday, as spotted by the South China Morning Post. For Hainan, China will lift part of its censorship system, or what's known as the Great Firewall, that blocks access to most foreign social media and news sites. Tourists will be able to enter designated zones in Hainan's two major cities to access Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Other banned foreign social media platforms, like Google, Instagram, or WhatsApp, haven't been mentioned.

Ironically, China appears to be censoring people's reactions to the news that some censorship is being lifted. One user on Weibo commented that people weren't allowed a chance to provide any feedback on the new tourism plan. "Thousands of comments have since been deleted. As if censoring people solved the problem."

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That Tablet On The Table At Your Favorite Restaurant Is Hurting Your Waiter
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 01:20 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
In data-hungry, tech-happy chain restaurants, customers are rating their servers using tabletop tablets, not realizing those ratings can put jobs at risk, an investigation by BuzzFeed News has found. From the report: When the Smokey Bones restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, where Nicole Bishop waits tables introduced Ziosk tabletop tablets, she wasn't too worried about them. Ziosks are designed to increase restaurant efficiency by allowing customers to order drinks, appetizers, and desserts, and pay their bill from the table without talking to a server. But, as Bishop soon discovered, they also prompt customers to take a satisfaction survey at the end of every meal, the results of which are turned into a score that's used to evaluate the server's performance. One day not long after the Ziosks appeared, Bishop found that her work schedules had been cut short in half, a change she estimated would cost her between $200 and $400 a week. The report documents stories of several other waiters, all of whom have been affected by the tablet. It adds: Ziosk tablets sit atop dining tables at more than 4,500 restaurants across the United States -- including most Chili's and Olive Gardens, and many TGI Friday's and Red Robins. Competitor E La Carte's PrestoPrime tablets are in more than 1,800 restaurants, including most Applebee's. Tens of thousands of servers are being evaluated based on a tech-driven, data-oriented customer feedback system many say is both inaccurate and unfair. And few of the customers holding the reins are even aware their responses have any impact on how much servers earn.

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Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Just Before Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash, Says Police
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 12:00 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's distracted-driving department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Tempe, Arizona, police have released a massive report on the fatal Uber vehicle crash that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in March. The report provides more evidence that driver Rafaela Vasquez was distracted in the seconds before the crash. "This crash would not have occurred if Vasquez would have been monitoring the vehicle and roadway conditions and was not distracted,'' the report concludes. Police obtained records from Hulu suggesting that Vasquez was watching "The Voice," a singing talent competition that airs on NBC, just before the crash. Hulu's records showed she began watching the program at 9:16pm. Streaming of the show ended at 9:59pm, which "coincides with the approximate time of the collision," according to the police report.

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Adobe Is Using AI To Catch Photoshopped Images
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 12:00 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's catch-me-if-you-can department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Adobe, certainly aware of how complicit its software is in the creation of fake news images, is working on artificial intelligence that can spot the markers of phony photos. In other words, the maker of Photoshop is tapping into machine learning to find out if someone has Photoshopped an image. Using AI to find fake images is a way for Adobe to help "increase trust and authenticity in digital media," the company says. That brings it in line with the likes of Facebook and Google, which have stepped up their efforts to fight fake news. Whenever someone alters an image, unless they are pixel perfect in their work, they always leave behind indicators that the photo is modified. Metadata and watermarks can help determine a source image, and forensics can probe factors like lighting, noise distribution and edges on the pixel level to find inconsistencies. If a color is slightly off, for instance, forensic tools can flag it. But Adobe wagers that it could employ AI to find telltale signs of manipulation faster and more reliably.

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Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 11:11 AM
By (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
The wonder-working power of the personal computer as a game platform has continued to unfold, a fluid neon origami trick, in Gabriel’s life. Among other things, which include the absorption of indie excursions I wouldn’t even go near, he’s now in a position to try Overwatch content while it’s still dough in the middle. He’s always had a soft spot for Symmetra. The bifurcation of duties here tends to make it so I am (in broad strokes) “the story person,” but Overwatch - with its lush art and characterization - is a type of attack which he…

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Facebook Mistakenly Leaked Developer Analytics Reports To Testers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '18 at 10:40 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's things-facebook-does department:
This week, an alarmed developer contacted TechCrunch, informing us that their Facebook App Analytics weekly summary email had been delivered to someone outside their company. TechCrunch: It contains sensitive business information, including weekly average users, page views and new users. Forty-three hours after we contacted Facebook about the issue, the social network now confirms to TechCrunch that 3 percent of apps using Facebook Analytics had their weekly summary reports sent to their app's testers, instead of only the app's developers, admins and analysts. Testers are often people outside of a developer's company. If the leaked info got to an app's competitors, it could provide them an advantage. At least they weren't allowed to click through to view more extensive historical analytics data on Facebook's site. Facebook tells us it has fixed the problem and no personally identifiable information or contact info was improperly disclosed.

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