Asus Goes Big On Slim Laptops at Computex
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 08:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's new-shiny-laptops department:
At Computex, Asus announced a range of new laptops. From a report: The new ZenBook Pro takes center stage, featuring powerful hardware in a slim form factor -- an Intel Core i7-7700HQ as well as a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, while the world's thinnest convertible ZenBook Flip S lets you play around with its 4K display. But it's not all just flagship products, Asus also announced new VivoBooks meant for the mainstream market. The new VivoBook Pro packs Intel's seventh-generation processors and comes loaded with discrete graphics in the form of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050. The VivoBook S15 features more modest specs but still packs Nvidia GeForce GTX 940 discrete graphics. You can real the full-specifications of aforementioned laptops here.

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Transformers: The Last Knight Leader Megatron Sighted At UK Retail
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 08:21 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="" alt="" />

A great surprise for UK fans. 2005 Boards user timelord10 let us know that Transformers: The Last Knight Leader Megatron Was Sighted At UK Retail.  The figure was found at Toymaster store in Staffordshire, UK and it has a price of £54.99 (66.79 Dollars aproximately). timelord10 has shared pictures in package and a comparison with TR Deluxe Triggerhappy and AOE Voyager Evasion Mode Optimus Prime. Happý hunting for all UK fans. You can check the pictures after the jump, and then sound off at the 2005 Boards.        

The post Transformers: The Last Knight Leader Megatron Sighted At UK Retail appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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British Airways CEO Won't Resign, Says Outsourcing Not To Blame For IT Failure
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 07:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's aftermath department:
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz insisted he would not resign on Monday as he sought to draw a line under three days of chaos at the UK flag carrier after IT problems left tens of thousands of passenger stranded. In an interview -- the first since a global computer outage all but shut the airline down -- Cruz said he doesn't think "it would make much of use for me to resign." Separately, he also denied an outsourcing deal was to blame for the IT problems that hit on Saturday, causing the airline to cancel almost all its services over the weekend. From a report: A leaked staff email revealed Mr Cruz had told staff not to comment on the system failure. When asked about the email he told the BBC the tone was clear: "Stop moaning and come and help us." The airline is now close to full operational capacity after the problems resulted in mass flight cancellations at Heathrow and Gatwick over the bank holiday weekend. Questions remain about how a power problem could have had such impact, said the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. One theory was that returning systems were unusable as the data had become unsynchronised. [...] Cruz told the BBC a power surge, had "only lasted a few minutes," but the back-up system had not worked properly. He said the IT failure was not due to technical staff being outsourced from the UK to India.

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US Might Ban Laptops On All Flights Into And Out of the Country
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 07:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday. From a report:In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Kelly said the United States planned to "raise the bar" on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items. "That's the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a U.S. carrier, particularly if it's full of U.S. people." In March, the government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from 10 airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. Kelly said the move would be part of a broader airline security effort to combat what he called "a real sophisticated threat." He said no decision had been made as to the timing of any ban. "We are still following the intelligence," he said, "and are in the process of defining this, but we're going to raise the bar generally speaking for aviation much higher than it is now."

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Opening Crawl
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 06:01 AM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

Using a classic Timothy Zahn EU/Legends novel is bad enough, but at least the style and setting aren't too far off. If you really want to mess with people, try using Splinter of the Mind's Eye.

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Are There More Developers Than We Think?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 04:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's world-domination department:
JavaScript's npm package manager reports 4 million users, doubling every year, leading to an interesting question from tech industry analyst James Governor:
Just how many developers are there out there? GitHub is very well placed to know, given it's where (so much) of that development happens today. It has telemetry-based numbers, with their own skew of course, but based on usage rather than surveys or estimates. According to GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath, "We see 20 million professional devs in the world as an estimate, from research companies. Well we have 21 million [active] users -- we can't have more users than the entire industry"...
If Github has 21 million active users, Wanstrath is right that current estimates of the size of the developer population must be far too low... Are we under-counting China, for example, given its firewalls? India continues to crank out developers at an astonishing rate. Meanwhile Africa is set for crazy growth too... You certainly can't just count computer science graduates or software industry employees anymore. These days you can't even be an astronomer without learning code, and that's going to be true of all scientific disciplines.
The analyst attributes the increasing number of developers to "the availability, accessibility and affordability of tools and learning," adding "It's pretty amazing to think that GitHub hit 5 million users in 2012, and is now at 20 million." As for the total number of all developers, he offers his own estimate at the end of the essay. "My wild assed guess would be more like 35 million."

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Green Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 12:42 AM
From Penny Arcade:
New Comic: Green Energy

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Green Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 12:42 AM
By (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
I have used the dock for my Switch… twice, I think. I’m ready to play games there, I’m not opposed to it on moral grounds, but for the time being at least the Nintendo Switch is a machine whose purpose it is to ride through life with me, like a sidecar, while I busy myself making motorcycle metaphors. I suggested sur le Twittre that the Switch was the premiere destination for Disgaea 5, and I was right, but it’s easy to be right on that one because after you have one it’s where you want everything. I want all console games to be vigorous chimaerae,…

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ESR Announces The Open Sourcing Of The World's First Text Adventure
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '17 at 12:23 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's xyzzy department:
An anonymous reader writes:
Open source guru Eric S. Raymond added something special to his GitHub page: an open source version of the world's first text adventure. "Colossal Cave Adventure" was first written in 1977, and Raymond remembers it as "the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation...because PDP-10 filenames were limited to six characters of uppercase)...

"Though there's a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods's final version -- Adventure 2.5 from 1995 -- has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license. Until now, that is. With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure."
Calling it one of the great artifacts of hacker history, ESR writes about "what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software," ultimately concluding version control lets you preserve the original and continue improving it "as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness."

"Despite all the energy Crowther and Woods had to spend fighting ancient constraints, ADVENT was a tremendous imaginative leap; there had been nothing like it before, and no text adventure that followed it would be innovative to quite the same degree."

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First 15, Ep. 106: Sniper Elite 4
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 11:32 PM
From PATV:
Gabe and Tycho play a game for 15 minutes and then judge it accordingly. This week they play Sniper Elite 4.

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US Senators Propose Bug Bounties For Hacking Homeland Security
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 09:42 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's homeland-insecurity department:
An anonymous reader quotes CNN:
U.S. senators want people to hack the Department of Homeland Security. On Thursday, Senators Maggie Hassan, a Democrat and Republican Rob Portman introduced the Hack DHS Act to establish a federal bug bounty program in the DHS... It would be modeled off the Department of Defense efforts, including Hack the Pentagon, the first program of its kind in the federal government. Launched a year ago, Hack the Pentagon paved the way for more recent bug bounty events including Hack the Army and Hack the Air Force... The Hack the DHS Act establishes a framework for bug bounties, including establishing "mission-critical" systems that aren't allowed to be hacked, and making sure researchers who find bugs in DHS don't get prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. "It's better to find vulnerabilities through someone you have engaged with and vetted," said Jeff Greene, the director of government affairs and policy at security firm Symantec. "In an era of constrained budgets, it's a cost-effective way of identifying vulnerabilities"... If passed, it would be among the first non-military bug bounty programs in the public sector.

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WTF @ TFW Podcast Episode 461 Now Online
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 09:30 PM
By onslaught24 from TFW2005:
<img width="480" height="480" src="" alt="" />

Seth and Vangelus tackle Hascon’s informational debut and Masterpiece Sunstreaker’s unveiling. In the friendly way! Mostly. Sorry, Chewbacca Mom. You can download and comment on it here: WTF@TFW – Episode 461 Check out the WTF@TFW blog here. If you use iTunes and regularly subscribe to podcasts, you can add us to your player and have the software download each episode automatically each time we update. To do that, and give us a reviews on iTunes, click here: Transformers Podcast on iTunes. We’re now also offering » Continue Reading.

The post WTF @ TFW Podcast Episode 461 Now Online appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Transformers The Last Knight New TV Spot – First Look at Steelbane
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 09:30 PM
By onslaught24 from TFW2005:
<img width="546" height="288" src="" alt="" />

As we near the month of June and thus the release of the next Transformers film, yet another TV spot has aired! Thanks to the Instagram account of TF.daily, we have a recording of that TV spot, which features Cade, the group of trouble-seeking children, and what appears to be Steelbane. Check out the link above to watch the new TV spot, and join the discussion already in progress to share your thoughts and excitement! UPDATE: Higher quality video thanks to

The post Transformers The Last Knight New TV Spot – First Look at Steelbane appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Walt Mossberg's Last Column Calls For Privacy and Security Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 05:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's 26-years-in-the-making department:
70-year-old Walt Mossberg wrote his last weekly column Thursday, looking back on how "we've all had a hell of a ride for the last few decades" and revisiting his famous 1991 pronouncement that "Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn't your fault."
Not only were the interfaces confusing, but most tech products demanded frequent tweaking and fixing of a type that required more technical skill than most people had, or cared to acquire. The whole field was new, and engineers weren't designing products for normal people who had other talents and interests. But, over time, the products have gotten more reliable and easier to use, and the users more sophisticated... So, now, I'd say: "Personal technology is usually pretty easy to use, and, if it's not, it's not your fault." The devices we've come to rely on, like PCs and phones, aren't new anymore. They're refined, built with regular users in mind, and they get better each year. Anything really new is still too close to the engineers to be simple or reliable.
He argues we're now in a strange lull before entering an unrecognizable world where major new breakthroughs in areas like A.I., robotics, smart homes, and augmented reality lead to "ambient computing", where technology itself fades into the background. And he uses his final weekly column to warn that "if we are really going to turn over our homes, our cars, our health and more to private tech companies, on a scale never imagined, we need much, much stronger standards for security and privacy than now exist. Especially in the U.S., it's time to stop dancing around the privacy and security issues and pass real, binding laws."

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Leaked 'Standing Rock' Documents Reveal Invasive Counterterrorism Measures
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 04:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's protesting-a-pipeline department:
An anonymous reader writes:
"A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures," reports The Intercept, decrying "the fusion of public and private intelligence operations." Saying the private firm started as a war-on-terror contractor for the U.S. military and State Department, the site details "sweeping and invasive" surveillance of protesters, citing over 100 documents leaked by one of the firm's contractors.

The documents show TigerSwan even havested information about the protesters from social media, and "provide extensive evidence of aerial surveillance and radio eavesdropping, as well as infiltration of camps and activist circles... The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan's militaristic approach to protecting its client's interests but also the company's profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures... Internal TigerSwan communications describe the movement as 'an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component' and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters."
The Intercept reports that recently "the company's role has expanded to include the surveillance of activist networks marginally related to the pipeline, with TigerSwan agents monitoring 'anti-Trump' protests from Chicago to Washington, D.C., as well as warning its client of growing dissent around other pipelines across the country." They also report that TigerSwan "has operated without a license in North Dakota for the entirety of the pipeline security operation."

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Seven Science Journals Have A Dog On Their Editorial Board
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 03:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's woof-reading department:
An anonymous reader writes:
A professor of health policy at Australia's Curtin University got seven different science journals to put his dog on their editorial board. The dog is now associate editor for the Global Journal of Addiction & Rehabilitation Medicine, and sits on the editorial board of Psychiatry and Mental Disorders. The professor says he feels sorry for one researcher who recently submitted a paper about how to treat sheath tumors, because "the journal has sent it to a dog to review." The official profile of the dog lists its research interests as "the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines" and "avian propinquity to canines in metropolitan suburbs."

An Australian news site points out that career-minded researchers pay up to $3,000 to get their work published in predatory journals so they can list more publications on their resumes. "While this started as something lighthearted," says the dog-owning professor, "I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young or naive academics and those from developing countries."

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Game Theory: How Bendy EXPOSES Disney's Cartoon CONSPIRACY (Bendy and the Ink Machine)
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 02:33 PM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:

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Malicious Apps Brought Ad-Clicking 'Judy' Malware To Millions Of Android Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 01:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's malware-money department:
An anonymous reader quotes Fortune:
The security firm Checkpoint on Thursday uncovered dozens of Android applications that infected users' devices with malicious ad-click software. In at least one case, an app bearing the malware was available through the Google Play app store for more than a year. While the actual extent of the malicious code's spread is unknown, Checkpoint says it may have reached as many as 36.5 million users, making it potentially the most widely-spread malware yet found on Google Play... The nefarious nature of the programs went unnoticed in large part, according to Checkpoint, because its malware payload was downloaded from a non-Google server after the programs were installed. The code would then use the infected phone to click on Google ads, generating fraudulent revenue for the attacker.

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New Privacy Vulnerability In IOT Devices: Traffic Rate Metadata
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 01:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's knowing-when-you're-awake department:
Orome1 quotes Help Net Security: Even though many IoT devices for smart homes encrypt their traffic, a passive network observer -- e.g. an ISP, or a neighborhood WiFi eavesdropper -- can infer consumer behavior and sensitive details about users from IoT device-associated traffic rate metadata. A group of researchers from the Computer Science Department of Princeton University have proven this fact by setting up smart home laboratory with a passive network tap, and examining the traffic rates of four IoT smart home devices: a Sense sleep monitor, a Nest Cam Indoor security camera, a WeMo smart outlet, and an Amazon Echo smart speaker... "Once an adversary identifies packet streams for a particular device, one or more of the streams are likely to encode device state. Simply plotting send/receive rates of the streams revealed potentially private user interactions for each device we tested," the researchers noted. [PDF] In addition, the article notes, "Separating recorded network traffic into packet streams and associating each stream with an IoT device is not that hard."

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Silicon Valley Continues To Explore Universal Basic Incomes
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '17 at 12:21 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's money-for-everyone department:
A Silicon Valley Congressman "is pushing for a plan that has been described as a first step toward universal basic income...a long-shot $1 trillion expansion to the earned income tax credit that is already available to low-income families." An anonymous reader quotes the Mecury News:
Stanford University also has created a Basic Income Lab to study the idea, and the San Francisco city treasurer's office has said it's designing pilot tests -- though the department told this news organization it has no updates on the status of that project... The problem is that giving all Americans a $10,000 annual income would cost upwards of $3 trillion a year -- more than three-fourths of the federal budget, said Bob Greenstein, president of Washington, D.C.-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Some proponents advocate funding the move by cutting programs like food stamps and Medicaid. But that approach would take money set aside for low-income families and redistribute it upward, exacerbating poverty and inequality, Greenstein said... Jennifer Lin, deputy director of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, is skeptical that basic income can do much lasting good in Oakland. What the city needs is more high-paying jobs and affordable housing, she said... The idea, [Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator] said at the Commonwealth Club, tackles the question not enough people are asking: "What do we as the tech industry do to solve the problem that we're helping to create?"
< article continued at Slashdot's money-for-everyone department >

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