'I Want a Super-Smart Chair!'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 09:20 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's bored-man-of-the-chair department:
Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes:
Imagine you had a perfect chair for using your computer. Also a perfect chair for watching TV. And a chair for listening to music, a chair for reading, a chair for napping, a work chair that keeps you awake, and a perfect chair for dinner. Also a massage chair and a diagnostic chair that checks your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Is your house full of chairs yet? Wait! what about your spouse's perfect chairs? Need a bigger house?

What if you had one chair that could be all nine of those chairs? What if you could teach the super-smart modular chair to be more chairs, too? That's what I want, plus the voodoo chair controller to manipulate and teach the slightly deformable triangular modules (in two or three sizes) that would form all of the virtual chairs for the current real chair.

Anyway, this story ticks me off because I sent that idea to a couple of companies, including IKEA. I'm still waiting. Not holding my breath.

That article shows Ikea promising a new "smart homes" unit -- but with no mention of investments in wondrous smart chair technologies.

So the original submission ends by asking how we can bring about such a smart chair revolution?

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Transformers Generations Selects Turtler/Snaptrap and Gulf/Skalor Available As EB Games And Zing Exclusives In Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 07:30 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="1100" height="1100" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/08/Takara-Tomy-King-Poseidon-Turtler-And-Gulf-01.jpg" alt="" />

< article continued at TFW2005 >

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Three Years Later, France's Solar Road is a Flop
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 06:43 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's paved-with-good-intentions department:
DigressivePoser and schwit1 both submitted the same story. That 1-km ( .62-mile) "solar road" paved with photovoltaic panels in France is "too noisy, falling apart, and doesn't even collect enough solar energy," reports Popular Mechanics:

Le Monde describes the road as "pale with its ragged joints," with "solar panels that peel off the road and the many splinters [from] that enamel resin protecting photovoltaic cells." It's a poor sign for a project the French government invested in to the tune of €5 million, or $5,546,750. The noise and poor upkeep aren't the only problems facing the Wattway. Through shoddy engineering, the Wattway isn't even generating the electricity it promised to deliver...

Normandy is not historically known as a sunny area. At the time, the region's capital city of Caen only got 44 days of strong sunshine a year, and not much has changed since. Storms have wrecked havoc with the systems, blowing circuits. But even if the weather was in order, it appears the panels weren't built to capture them efficiently... Solar panels are most efficient when pointed toward the sun. Because the project needed to be a road as well as a solar generator, however, all of its solar panels are flat. So even within the limited sun of the region, the Wattway was further limiting itself.

The problem-plagued road is producing just half the solar energy expected -- although that's more energy than you'd get from an asphalt road. But Marc Jedliczka, vice president of the Network for Energetic Transition (CLER), which promotes renewable energy, offered this suggestion in the Eurasia Times. "If they really want this to work, they should first stop cars driving on it."

He later told Le Monde that the sorry state of the project "confirms the total absurdity of going all-out for innovation to the detriment of solutions that already exist and are more profitable, such as solar panels on roofs."

< article continued at Slashdot's paved-with-good-intentions department >

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Intel Patches Three High-Severity Vulnerabilities
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 06:43 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Intel-inside department:
Intel's latest patches "stomped out three high-severity vulnerabilities and five medium-severity flaws," reports Threatpost:

One of the more serious vulnerabilities exist in the Intel Processor Identification Utility for Windows, free software that users can install on their Windows machines to identify the actual specification of their processors. The flaw (CVE-2019-11163) has a score of 8.2 out of 10 on the CVSS scale, making it high severity. It stems from insufficient access control in a hardware abstraction driver for the software, versions earlier than 6.1.0731. This glitch "may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege, denial of service or information disclosure via local access" according to Intel. Users are urged to update to version 6.1.0731.

Intel stomped out another high-severity vulnerability in its Computing Improvement Program, which is program that Intel users can opt into that uses information about participants' computer performance to make product improvement and detect issues. However, the program contains a flaw (CVE-2019-11162) in the hardware abstraction of the SEMA driver that could allow escalation of privilege, denial of service or information disclosure...

A final high-severity flaw was discovered in the system firmware of the Intel NUC (short for Next Unit of Computing), a mini-PC kit used for gaming, digital signage and more. The flaw (CVE-2019-11140) with a CVSS score of 7.5 out of 10, stems from insufficient session validation in system firmware of the NUC. This could enable a user to potentially enable escalation of privilege, denial of service and information disclosure. An exploit of the flaw would come with drawbacks -- a bad actor would need existing privileges and local access to the victim system.

The article notes that the patches "come on the heels of a new type of side-channel attack revealed last week impacting millions of newer Intel microprocessors manufactured after 2012."

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Transformers Studio Series Wave 7 Deluxe (Hightower, Dropkick and Drift) Found In Canada
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 06:10 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="819" height="819" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/08/Studio-Series-Deluxe-Wave-3-In-Canada.jpg" alt="" />

Good news for fellow Canadian Siege collectors. Friend site Cybertron.ca has reported that the Transformers Studio Series Wave 7 Deluxe (Hightower, Dropkick and Drift) has been found In Canada. Cybertron.ca member Supernova spotted of Studio Series SS- 45 Autobot Drift (helicopter mode) and SS-47 Decepticon Hightower were spotted at a Walmart in North Bay, Ontario.  Their wave partner SS-46 Dropkick (car mode) should surface soon. Happy hunting!

The post Transformers Studio Series Wave 7 Deluxe (Hightower, Dropkick and Drift) Found In Canada appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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YouTube's Algorithms Blamed For Brazil's Dangerous Conspiracy Video-Sharing on WhatsApp
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 04:04 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's what's-up-with-WhatsApp? department:
Sunday the New York Times reported that YouTube "radicalized" Brazil -- by "systematically" diverting users to conspiracy videos. Yet conventional wisdom in Brazil still puts the blame on WhatsApp, the Times reported in a follow-up story on Thursday shared by Slashdot reader AmiMoJo.

"Everything began to click into place when we met Luciana Brito, a soft-spoken clinical psychologist who works with families affected by the Zika virus."

Her work had put her on the front lines of the struggle against conspiracy theories, threats and hatred swirling on both platforms. And it allowed her to see what we -- like so many observers -- had missed: that WhatsApp and YouTube had come to form a powerful, and at times dangerous, feedback loop of extremism and misinformation. Either platform had plenty of weaknesses on its own. But, together, they had formed a pipeline of misinformation, spreading conspiracy theories, campaign material and political propaganda throughout Brazil.

The first breakthrough came when we spoke to Yasodara Cordova, who at the time was a researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Illiteracy remains widespread in some parts of Brazil, she said, ruling out text-based social media or news sources for many people. And TV networks can be low-quality, which has helped drive YouTube's stunning growth in many parts of Brazil, particularly on mobile. But YouTube has had less success in poorer regions of Brazil for one simple reason: Users cannot afford the cellphone data. "The internet in Brazil is really expensive," Ms. Cordova said. "I think it's the fourth or fifth country in terms of internet prices."

< article continued at Slashdot's what's-up-with-WhatsApp? department >

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Elon Musk Begins Selling $25 'Nuke Mars' T-Shirts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 02:44 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's making-a-statement department:
"Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday evening 'Nuke Mars.' A few hours later he followed it up with 'T-shirt soon'," writes Business Insider.

BGR reports:

Musk's tweet is a reference to the theory that by dropping one or more large bombs on Mars' poles, the CO2 locked away in the ice there would be released, giving the Martian atmosphere a much-needed boost... Making the planet's atmosphere denser could help it retain heat and bring it a small step closer to being habitable by human settlers. However, past research has suggested that bombing the planet's poles wouldn't release nearly enough CO2 to be worth the trouble. Elon Musk has publicly disagreed.

It's unclear why the SpaceX boss decided to bring this all up again, but he does have a habit of saying whatever he thinks will get a big reaction on Twitter. Oh, and apparently he's hoping to sell some shirts as well.

In any case, no space agency is ready to even begin preliminary planning for a crewed Mars mission, much less any long-term efforts to change the climate of the Red Planet. If that ever does happen, bombs may or may not play a role.

The article adds that scientists "aren't fully on board" with Musk's line of thinking, but the t-shirts really are available in the online SpaceX store. Late Friday Musk began promoting them with an optimistic tweet.

"Nuking Mars one T-shirt at a time."

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US Navy Tests WWII-ERA Messaging Tech: Dropping Bean Bags Onto Ships
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 02:44 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's cornhole-code department:
Long-time Slashdot reader davidwr writes: In World War II, pilots would air-drop messages onto ships using bean-bags. Just as with sextants a few years ago, the Navy is bringing back old tech, because it works.

Just as during the Doolittle Raid of Tokyo, the purpose is to prevent eavesdropping. You can read more about the modern bean-bag-drop on Military.com or Popular Mechanics. There's a video about the Doolittle Raid hosted at archive.org with bean-bag-drops at 2:39 and 5:19 into the video. I wonder how many high-density SSD drives fit in a standard Navy bean-bag?

"In a future conflict with a tech-savvy opponent, the U.S. military could discover even its most advanced, secure communications penetrated by the enemy," notes Popular Mechanics. "Secure digital messaging, voice communications, video conferencing, and even chats could be intercepted and decrypted for its intelligence value.

"This could give enemy forces an unimaginable advantage, seemingly predicting the moves and actions of the fleets at sea with uncanny accuracy."

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Transformers Animated Season 4 Information
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 02:10 PM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:
<img width="363" height="600" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/07/TFNation-Live-Audio-Animated-Season-4.jpg" alt="" />

We’re at TFNation 2019 and the presentation of Transformers Animated Season 4 has just concluded. To recap, in lieu of a script reading at this year’s TFNation, Marty Isenberg took to the stage with the outline for what would have been the premier of Transformers Animated Season 4: The Trial of Megatron. This was presented by the entire original voice cast reading their parts of the outline. The highlights of this three-part story that wasn’t are: The Protoforms are handed over to the Cyber Ninjas and their new sensei, Dai Atlas. Sari is not one of the protoforms. She’s something » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers Animated Season 4 Information appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Can JPEG XL Become the Next Free and Open Image Format?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 01:24 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Joint-Photographic-Experts-Group department:
"JPEG XL looks very promising as a next gen replacement for JPEG, PNG and GIF," writes icknay (Slashdot reader #96,963):

JPEG was incredibly successful by solving a real problem with a free and open format. Other formats have tried to replace it, notably HEIF which will never by universal due to its patent licensing. JPEG XL combines all the modern features, replacing JPEG PNG and GIF and has free and open licensing. The linked slides from Jon Sneyers review the many other attempts at replacing JPEG plus the obligatory XKCD standards joke.

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Google Criticized For Vulnerability That Can Trick Its AI Into Deactivating Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 12:04 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's I'm-feeling-lucky department:
In July Google was sued by Tulsi Gabbard, one of 23 Democrats running for president, after Google mistakenly suspended her advertising account.

"I believe I can provide assistance on where to focus your discovery efforts," posted former YouTube/Google senior software engineer Zach Vorhies (now a harsh critic of Google's alleged bias against conservatives). He says he witnessed the deactivation of another high-profile Google account triggered by a malicious third party.

I had the opportunity to inspect the bug report as a full-time employee. What I found was that Google had a technical vulnerability that, when exploited, would take any gmail account down. Certain unknown 3rd party actors are aware of this secret vulnerability and exploit it.

This is how it worked: Take a target email address, change exactly one letter in that email address, and then create a new account with that changed email address. Malicious actors repeated this process over and over again until a network of spoof accounts for Jordan B. Peterson existed. Then these spoof accounts started generating spam emails. These email-spam blasts caught the attention of an AI system which fixed the problem by deactivating the spam accounts... and then ALSO the original account belonging to Jordan B. Peterson!
To my knowledge, this bug has never been fixed.

"Gabbard, however, claims the suspension was based on her criticism of Google and other major tech companies," reports the Verge. But they also quote the campaign as saying that Gmail "sends communications from Tulsi into people's Spam folders at a disproportionately high rate."

"Google may blame this on automated systems, but the reality is that there is no transparency whatsoever, which makes it difficult to determine the truth."

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King K. Rool - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. The Cartoon Gamer (Nintendo)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 11:41 AM
By DidYouKnowGaming? from DidYouKnowGaming?:

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Transformers War For Cybertron: Siege Wave 4 Micromasters Powertrain & Highjump At US Retail
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 11:30 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/08/Siege-Micromasters-Wave-4-At-US-Retail.jpg" alt="" />

Attention Siege collectors! 2005 Boards member Daimao is reporting that the Transformers War For Cybertron: Siege Wave 4 Micromasters Powertrain & Highjump is out at US Retail. Micromasters Powertrain & Highjump were spotted at Target in Virginia for $9.99. Time to check your local Target to try to find some new Micromasters for your Siege collection! Happy hunting!

The post Transformers War For Cybertron: Siege Wave 4 Micromasters Powertrain & Highjump At US Retail appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Transformers Galaxies #1 Scorpion Comics Exclusive Cover Variant By Clayton Crain
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 11:30 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="481" height="600" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/08/Transformers-Galaxies-Clayton-Crain-Cover-Variant.jpg" alt="" />

Artist Clayton Crain has uploaded, via his Instagram account, his Scorpion Comics Exclusive Cover Variant for the upcoming IDW Transformers Galaxies #1. The Transformers Galaxies series will be an spin-off of the new main Transformers ongoing series 2019 featuring secondary characters and their background story. The first issue will debut in September this year with a story of fan-favorite Constructicons. Clayton Crain is showing off his amazing variant cover featuring the powerful Devastator in all his glory. This cover will be available exclusively via Scorpion Comics. Click on the bar to see the mirrored cover on this news post and » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers Galaxies #1 Scorpion Comics Exclusive Cover Variant By Clayton Crain appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Film Theory: Rey is the Next Darth Vader! (Star Wars Episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 11:20 AM
By The Film Theorists from The Film Theory:

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Dreams of Offshore Servers Haunt The Ocean-Based Micronation of 'Sealand'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 10:44 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ocean-based-micronations department:
Late Christmas Eve, 1966, a retired British army major named Paddy Roy Bates piloted a motorboat seven miles off the coast of England to an abandoned anti-aircraft platform "and declared it conquered," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Urbina.
Bates used it as a pirate radio station, sometimes spending several months there while living on tins of corned beef, rice pudding, flour, and scotch. But then he declared it to be the world's tiniest maritime nation, writes Urbina, adding that in the half-century to come, "Sealand" was destined to become "a thumb in the eye of international law."

Though no country formally recognizes Sealand, its sovereignty has been hard to deny. Half a dozen times, the British government and assorted other groups, backed by mercenaries, have tried and failed to take over the platform by force. In virtually every instance, the Bates family scared them off by firing rifles in their direction, tossing gasoline bombs, dropping cinder blocks onto their boats, or pushing their ladders into the sea. Britain once controlled a vast empire over which the sun never set, but it's been unable to control a rogue micronation barely bigger than the main ballroom in Buckingham Palace.... In recent years, its permanent citizenry has dwindled to one person: a full-time guard named Michael Barrington...

In the decades since its establishment, Sealand has been the site of coups and countercoups, hostage crises, a planned floating casino, a digital haven for organized crime, a prospective base for WikiLeaks, and myriad techno-fantasies, none brought successfully to fruition, many powered by libertarian dreams of an ocean-based nation beyond the reach of government regulation, and by the mythmaking creativity of its founding family. I had to go there.

< article continued at Slashdot's ocean-based-micronations department >

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'Futurefon' Crowdfunded on Indiegogo Was Part Of a Multimillion-dollar Scam
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 10:44 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's bad-call department:
"The crowdfunded phone of the future was a multimillion-dollar scam," reports the Verge:

In 2014, Jeffrey Tschiltsch opened an email from Indiegogo and saw the future of computing. The email showed something called the "Dragonfly Futurefon," a kind of computer-phone hybrid. The Futurefon's page showed a sleek, palm-sized touchscreen that slotted into a laptop dock, then folded flat and flipped open again, revealing a second screen and a full-sized laptop keyboard. It could run both Windows and Android, and its creator, a startup called IdealFuture, promised to replace your phone, laptop, and tablet at an incredible price of $799. Dubious but intrigued, Tschiltsch put down a $200 deposit.

Five years later, Tschiltsch still wouldn't have a Futurefon. Instead, he'd be sitting in an Illinois courthouse testifying at the behest of the FBI, which claimed the device was the last step in a decade-long fraud operation that cost victims nearly $6 million. "I always thought it was ambitious," Tschiltsch says now. "It didn't occur to me that the guy had just taken the money."

Tschiltsch is just one of many angry Indiegogo backers who say Futurefon creator Jeff Batio strung them along with lies, excuses, and faked product updates. But the backers aren't just angry with Batio. They're frustrated by how easily a scammer could flourish in the high-risk world of gadget crowdfunding -- and how poorly Indiegogo was equipped to deal with it.

The Futurefon raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, the article reports, adding that Batio also apparently raised $5 million for another dual-screen project. Unfortunately, investors later found out that Batio "had been indicted on fraud charges that spanned 13 years..."

Nobody ever got a Futurefon, and "A jury convicted Batio of 12 mail and wire fraud counts, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison."

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Transformers: Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers Series 2 New Stock Images
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 10:10 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="1500" height="1500" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/08/12-Cyberverse-Tiny-Turbo-Changers-Wave-2.jpg" alt="" />

Thanks to the great detective work of our very own Nevermore, we can share for you some new stock images of the Transformers: Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers Series 2. The new images surfaced via Amazon UK and Detski Mir and we finally have a look at more of the robot modes of this small figures. This wave includes several figures from Series 1 like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Grimlock, Soundwave, Shockwave, Blackarachnia, and Prowl, but there are some new redecos like a Acid Storm, a gray Jetfire and a minor redeco of Hot Rod as Sideswipe. This » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers: Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers Series 2 New Stock Images appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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June Windows Security Patch Broke Many EMF Files
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 09:24 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's patched-I'm-depending-on-you department:
reg (Slashdot user #5,428) writes: A Windows security patch in June broke the display of many Windows Metafile graphics across all supported versions of Windows, resulting in many old PowerPoint files and Word documents not displaying figures, and graphics from some popular applications not displaying, including at least some ESRI GIS products and files created using the devEMF driver in R. This likely also impacts EMF files created with Open Source Office suites. While the problem can be fixed by recreating the files using a newer set of options, or resorting to using bitmaps, it means that presentations or documents that used to display perfectly no longer do. Microsoft promised a fix in July, but there is still no news of when it will be available.

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Windows Update To Fix Critical 'Wormable' Flaws May Break VB Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '19 at 09:24 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Basic-restraining department:
"This week's Windows updates fix critical 'wormable' [Bluekeep] flaws but may also break Visual Basic apps, macros, and scripts," warns ZDNet:

"After installing this update, applications that were made using Visual Basic 6 (VB6), macros using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and scripts or apps using Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) may stop responding and you may receive an 'invalid procedure call error'," Microsoft says. The issue affects all supported versions of Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and their corresponding server versions. "Microsoft is presently investigating this issue and will provide an update when available," the company said.

Microsoft didn't offer an explanation for the problem but it did flag earlier this month that it will move ahead with sunsetting VBScript, by disabling it in IE11 by default via an update in this week's patch. "The change to disable VBScript will take effect in the upcoming cumulative updates for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 on August 13, 2019," Microsoft warned in a blog post. The change brought these versions of Windows in line with Windows 10. However, it's not clear that the issues under investigation are related to this measure. Regardless of the cause, the error could be a hassle for organizations that rely on Microsoft's various incarnations of Visual Basic...

In a blog post shared by Slashdot reader CaptainDork, Microsoft warned that "any future malware that exploits these could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer without user interaction."

"The affected versions of Windows are Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and all supported versions of Windows 10, including server versions."

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