Technical Analysis
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 10:03 PM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

"I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this 'paper economy', not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and variety of financial exchanges." --James Tobin, July 1984

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Bug Bounties Aren't Silver Bullet for Better Security
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 09:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Many organizations may find they're better off hiring pen testers and in-house security researchers directly than running bug bounty programs, according to new MIT research. From a report: The New Solutions for Cybersecurity paper features a surprising analysis of bug bounty programs in the chapter, Fixing a Hole: The Labor Market for Bugs. It studied 61 HackerOne bounty programs over 23 months -- including those run for Twitter, Coinbase, Square and other big names -- and one Facebook program over 45 months. It claimed that, contrary to industry hype, organizations running these programs don't benefit from a large pool of white hats probing their products. Instead, an elite few produce the biggest volume and highest quality of bug reports across multiple products, earning the biggest slice of available rewards. It's also claimed that even these elite "top 1%" ethical hackers can't make a decent wage by Western standards.

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Total Lunar Eclipse Set To Wow Star Gazers, Clear Skies Willing
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 07:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Astronomy buffs across the United States have been promised all the makings of a spectacular total lunar eclipse on Sunday except one -- clear skies. From a report: Star gazers from Los Angeles to New York will keep their eyes on the sky for the eclipse, known as a super blood wolf moon, expected to appear at 11:41 p.m. EST. Although it is a total eclipse, the moon will never go completely dark but rather take on a coppery red glow -- called a blood moon. It is also a full moon that is especially close to Earth, called a supermoon.

And since it appears in January, when wolves howled in hunger outside villages, it has earned the name wolf moon, according to The Farmers Almanac. But no matter how perfectly the stars align for this stellar event, the thrill or disappointment of the evening really depends on one thing: the weather.

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MIDI Association Announces MIDI 2.0 Prototyping
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 05:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department:
MIDI was introduced at the 1983 NAMM show as a means to connect various electronic instruments together. Since then, our favorite five-pin DIN has been stuffed into Radio Shack keyboards, MPCs, synths, eurorack modules, and DAWs. The standard basically hasn't changed. Now, ahead of the 2019 NAMM show, the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) in conjunction with AMEI, Japan's MIDI Association, are announcing MIDI 2.0.

From a report: The new features include, "auto-configuration, new DAW/web integrations, extended resolution, increased expressiveness, and tighter timing." It will retain backwards-compatibility with MIDI 1.0 devices. The new initiative, like the release of the first MIDI spec, is a joint venture between manufacturers of musical instruments. The company lineup on this press release is as follows: Ableton/Cycling '74, Art+Logic, Bome Software, Google, imitone, Native Instruments, Roland, ROLI, Steinberg, TouchKeys, and Yamaha.

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How Orkney Leads the Way For Sustainable Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 04:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: It seems the stuff of fantasy. Giant ships sail the seas burning fuel that has been extracted from water using energy provided by the winds, waves and tides. A dramatic but implausible notion, surely. Yet this grand green vision could soon be realised thanks to a remarkable technological transformation that is now under way in Orkney. Perched 10 miles beyond the northern edge of the British mainland, this archipelago of around 20 populated islands -- as well as a smattering of uninhabited reefs and islets -- has become the centre of a revolution in the way electricity is generated.

Orkney was once utterly dependent on power that was produced by burning coal and gas on the Scottish mainland and then transmitted through an undersea cable. Today the islands are so festooned with wind turbines, they cannot find enough uses for the emission-free power they create on their own. Community-owned wind turbines generate power for local villages; islanders drive nonpolluting cars that run on electricity; devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity are being tested in the islands' waters and seabed; and -- in the near future -- car and passenger ferries here will be fuelled not by diesel but by hydrogen, created from water that has been electrolysed using power from Orkney's wind, wave and tide generators.

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A Poker-Playing Robot Goes To Work for the Pentagon
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 03:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's grand-scheme-of-things department:
In 2017, a poker bot called Libratus made headlines when it roundly defeated four top human players at no-limit Texas Hold 'Em. Now, Libratus' technology is being adapted to take on opponents of a different kind -- in service of the US military.

From a report: Libratus -- Latin for balanced -- was created by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University to test ideas for automated decision making based on game theory. Early last year, the professor who led the project, Tuomas Sandholm, founded a startup called Strategy Robot to adapt his lab's game-playing technology for government use, such as in war games and simulations used to explore military strategy and planning. Late in August, public records show, the company received a two-year contract of up to $10 million with the US Army. It is described as "in support of" a Pentagon agency called the Defense Innovation Unit, created in 2015 to woo Silicon Valley and speed US military adoption of new technology.

[...] Sandholm declines to discuss specifics of Strategy Robot's projects, which include at least one other government contract. He says it can tackle simulations that involve making decisions in a simulated physical space, such as where to place military units. The Defense Innovation Unit declined to comment on the project, and the Army did not respond to requests for comment. Libratus' poker technique suggests Strategy Robot might deliver military personnel some surprising recommendations. Pro players who took on the bot found that it flipped unnervingly between tame and hyperaggressive tactics, all the while relentlessly notching up wins as it calculated paths to victory.

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The Economics of Streaming is Making Songs Shorter
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 03:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. From a report: Six percent of hit songs were 2 minutes 30 seconds or shorter in 2018, up from just 1% five years before. Take Kendrick Lamar. One of the world's most popular musicians right now. The average track length on Lamar's breakout 2013 album good kid, m.A.A.d city is 5 minutes 37 seconds. All are 3 minutes 30 seconds or longer. On Lamar's most recent album DAMN., the average song is 3 minutes and 57 seconds. DAMN. won the Pulitzer Prize for music, going to show that this trend isn't necessarily lowering the quality of music. It's not just Lamar. The trend can be seen in albums of music's biggest stars, like the rapper and singer Drake, perhaps pop music's most dominant force.

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Popular WordPress Plugin WPML Hacked By Angry Former Employee
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 03:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
A very popular WordPress plugin was hacked over the weekend after a hacker defaced its website and sent a mass message to all its customers revealing the existence of supposed unpatched security holes. From a report: In a follow-up mass email, the plugin's developers blamed the hack on a former employee, who also defaced their website. The plugin in question is WPML (or WP MultiLingual), the most popular WordPress plugin for translating and serving WordPress sites in multiple languages. According to its website, WPML has over 600,000 paying customers and is one of the very few WordPress plugins that is so reputable that it doesn't need to advertise itself with a free version on the official WordPress.org plugins repository. But on Saturday, ET timezone, the plugin faced its first major security incident since its launch in 2007. The attacker, which the WPML team claims is a former employee, sent out a mass email to all the plugin's customers.

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Facebook Launches a Petition Feature
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Tomorrow Facebook will encounter a slew of fresh complexities with the launch of Community Actions, its News Feed petition feature. From a report: Community Actions could unite neighbors to request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies. But it could also provide vocal interest groups a bully pulpit from which to pressure politicians and bureaucrats with their fringe agendas. Community Actions embodies the central challenge facing Facebook. Every tool it designs for positive expression and connectivity can be subverted for polarization and misinformation. Facebook's membership has swelled into such a ripe target for exploitation that it draws out the worst of humanity. You can imagine misuses like "Crack down on [minority group]" that are offensive or even dangerous but some see as legitimate. The question is whether Facebook puts in the forethought and aftercare to safeguard its new tools with proper policy and moderation. Otherwise each new feature is another liability.

Community Actions start to roll out to the US tomorrow after several weeks of testing in a couple of markets. Users can add a title, description, and image to their Community Action, and tag relevant government agencies and officials who'll be notified. The goal is to make the Community Action go viral and get people to hit the "Support" button. Community Actions have their own discussion feed where people can leave comments, create fundraisers, and organize Facebook Events or Call Your Rep campaigns. Facebook displays the numbers of supporters behind a Community Action, but you'll only be able to see the names of those you're friends with or that are Pages or public figures.

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Resident Evil 2 Remake - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Furst
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 12:10 PM
By DidYouKnowGaming? from DidYouKnowGaming?:


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Bumblebee Movie Concept Art Round Up 2
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 11:00 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="480" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/01/10-Bee-Battle-Mode-Concept-Art-By-Shane-Baxley.jpg" alt="" />

With the Bumblebee Movie already on theaters, several artists have started to share some great concept art and early ideas for the movie. We have a very interesting and reveling approach to the creative process of this movie. This week we can share for you (each link to the respective thread): Decepticon Warriors By Joshua Viers – Some more early ideas and designs for 4 Decepticon warrior variants. Fairly different from the ones we saw on screen. Dropkick Concept Art By Shane Baxley – Full body art (front and back) of the design of Dropkick as a single changer based on » Continue Reading.

The post Bumblebee Movie Concept Art Round Up 2 appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Netflix Says It's More Scared of Fortnite and YouTube Than Disney and Amazon
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 09:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: It's not Disney's new streaming video service or HBO or Amazon that Netflix is worried about, the company said this week in its letter to shareholders. Netflix estimates it has already earned about 10 percent of all U.S. television screen time. The company also shared viewership statistics for some of its exclusives, boasting that "Bird Box" netted 80 million viewers in its first four weeks on Netflix, while "You" will get about 40 million over the same period.

Instead, it's newer forms of entertainment -- such as Fortnite and Google's YouTube -- that got shout-outs in the company's letter as stronger competitors. "Our focus is not on Disney+, Amazon or others, but on how we can improve our experience for others," Netflix said in its shareholder letter. "We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO. When YouTube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and signups spiked for that time." Further reading: Netflix's Biggest Competition Isn't Sleep -- It's YouTube.

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A Look at the Amount of Time Smartphone Vendors Have Taken To Roll out Major Android Updates To Their Handsets, and How Things Are Beginning To Improve
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 09:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Most Android smartphone vendors have been notorious for the time they take to roll out the newest Android OS updates to their respective handsets. To tackle this, Google in 2017 announced Project Treble, which bypasses some middlemen in delivering new updates to consumers. With Project Treble now supported by all Android phone makers, in theory updates should roll out to us faster than before. To test this, news blog AndroidAuthority looked at the data to see where things stand.

From the report: On average, Nougat updates took about 192 days to reach key devices, while Oreo was slightly faster at 170. Android Pie updates hit devices much faster, averaging just 118 days from Google's launch to significant OEM rollout. That's a significant improvement, though we're still waiting on updates from LG and HTC, which could drag this average back up. Most manufacturers are faster at providing updates now, but a few are slower. Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi were noticeably quicker this time around, bringing updates to key devices before the end of 2018. OnePlus and Sony were especially fast, but they've always been speedier than most. Disappointingly, Motorola has rolled out updates to its flagship Z series slower over the last few years.

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Shockwave Lab SL-42 Blaster For Power Charge Bumblebee
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 09:40 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="338" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/01/SL42-Blaster-for-Power-Charge-Bumblebee-02.jpg" alt="" />

3P Shockwave Lab has shared via their Weibo account images of their next accessory: the SL-42 Blaster For Power Charge Bumblebee Power Charge Bumblebee is one of the biggest toys in the Bumblebee Movie line. A fun and poseable figure which includes electronic lights and sounds. While having his arm-blade, this mold didn’t have any proper gun. Shockwave Lab is bringing a simple but detailed blaster to be attached to the right arm. Simple but effective for display purposes. No price or release date available at the moment, but you can check out the images attached to this news post after » Continue Reading.

The post Shockwave Lab SL-42 Blaster For Power Charge Bumblebee appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Oracle Systematically Underpaid Thousands of Women, Lawsuit Says
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 08:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Thousands of women were systematically underpaid at Oracle, one of Silicon Valley's largest corporations, according to a new motion in a class-action complaint that details claims of pervasive wage discrimination. From a report: A motion filed in California on Friday said attorneys seek to represent more than 4,200 women and alleged that female employees were paid on average $13,000 less per year than men doing similar work. An analysis of payroll data found disparities with an "extraordinarily high degree of statistical significance," the complaint said. Women made 3.8% less in base salaries on average than men in the same job categories, 13.2% less in bonuses, and 33.1% less in stock value, it alleges.

The civil rights suit comes as the tech industries faces increased scrutiny of gender and racial discrimination, including sexual misconduct, unequal pay and biased workplaces. The case against Oracle, which is headquartered in Redwood Shores and provides cloud computing services to companies across the globe, resembles high-profile litigation against Google, which has also faced repeated claims of systematic wage discrimination.

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Tron's CEO Wants To Use Blockchain Games and BitTorrent To Decentralize the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 07:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's audacious-plans department:
From a report: Last summer, Justin Sun, the 28-year-old CEO of Tron acquired BitTorrent, the 15-year-old file-sharing company that is one of the biggest decentralized networks in existence for $140 million. He wanted to take advantage of blockchain, the decentralized ledger that is both secure and transparent, and combine it with the decentralized file-sharing app, offering crypto rewards to those who share their computers for file sharing. And this week, Sun appeared on stage with former basketball star Kobe Bryant at the NiTron Summit, which drew more than 1,000 attendees. Tron has also created a $100 million fund to convince game developers to make games that use Tron's protocol and its TRX cryptocurrency. The promise is to create a crypto network that is both fast -- at 2,000 transactions per second -- and reliable.

I interviewed Sun backstage at the NiTron Summit, where he said he wanted his company to become the major blockchain platform that could one day be the decentralized alternative to the centralized internet networks of Google, Facebook, and Apple. But to make that happen, Sun has to get mainstream people like the 100 million BitTorrent users to trust cryptocurrency, even after a coin market slide that has wiped out billions in value, including taking Tron's TRX market value down from near $20 billion to $1.6 billion today.

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Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Logo Concept And Info #JoinTheBuzz
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 07:00 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="321" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/01/001-Bumblebee-Logo-Final-Version.jpg" alt="" />

Red Tail Design Company is sharing with us, the story of how they came up with the logo for the Transformers: Bumblebee movie; which was used during the #JoinTheBuzz marketing campaign as well as on various toys and merchandise. The logo which was first discovered by TFW2005, sure has an interesting backstory: “Sometimes, even a small design company in Southeast Ohio gets the chance to go Hollywood. Our chance came when we got to design a logo for “Bumblebee,” the new Transformers movie. In 2017, Paramount Pictures reached out to Red Tail about a logo. Well, we didn’t actually know » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers: Bumblebee Movie Logo Concept And Info #JoinTheBuzz appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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In-hand Images of Wave 2 Siege Deluxe Ironhide
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 07:00 AM
By ORIO from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="453" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/01/Ironhide3.jpg" alt="" />

Autobase Aichi rounds off a week of reviews with the latest wave of deluxe Generations Siege figures by saving one of the most anticipated for last; Ironhide! The rough and tough Autobot is shown here in robot and vehicle mode. We we also get an idea how he scales in the line compared to his wave-mate, Prowl. Ironhide is looking pretty large for a deluxe. So don’t let the deluxe packaging fool you. Ironhide appears ready to stare down some of the biggest Decepticons this side of Iacon. Also shown is Ironhide with added weaponizer armor comprised of weapon » Continue Reading.

The post In-hand Images of Wave 2 Siege Deluxe Ironhide appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Scientists Constantly Surprised By What They Discover?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 04:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's God-doesn't-play-dice department:
Slashdot reader dryriver asks about "the sheer number of times scientists consider something to be 'scientifically impossible', are badly disproven by some kind of new finding or discovery a few years later, and then express 'surprise' that 'X is indeed possible'."

If you do a Google News search for the keywords "scientists were surprised" or similar, a huge number of science-related news articles contains a passage about "scientists being surprised" by what they discovered. There seems to be a great disparity between the mindset of inventors -- who always try to MAKE new things become possible -- and the mindset of many scientists, who seem unable or unwilling to consider that what "science holds to be true today" may not turn out to be quite so true tomorrow.
Here's the question: Why do many scientists, having knowledge of the fact that surprises in science happen all the time, continually express "surprise" when they find something unusual? If surprises in scientific research are so common, why are scientists still "surprised" by "surprise findings"?

"The surprising stuff is what we hear about, and there has to be some reason why it is surprising," argues gurps_npc in response to the original submission. "A common answer is that current state of science thinks the surprising stuff was impossible."
"The whole premise is flawed," counters long-time reader Martin+S. "Natural skepticism is an essential component of science." And long-time reader UnknownSoldier supplies a one-word answer: "Ego."

But how would you answer the question? Share your best thoughts in the comments.

Why are scientists constantly surprised by what they discover?

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Transformers: Bumblebee 2 In The Works?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '19 at 04:21 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="338" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/01/Transformers-Bumblebee-2.jpg" alt="" />

With an exclusive article stating the box office success of Transformers: Bumblebee, Deadline states that Transformers: Bumblebee 2 is in the works. Although we should take it with a grain of salt, Deadline has proven again and again that their statements on exclusive articles are actual facts rather than speculation. “Helmed by Travis Knight, the well-received picture reboots the Transformers series with humor and an emotional connection that’s been fed by great word of mouth. There’s a sequel in development (might that mean a Bumblebee/Optimus Prime buddy movie?). Before that, there’s an animated movie in the works and future iterations of the » Continue Reading.

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