Hey Google, Want To Fix Android Updates? Hit OEMs Where It Hurts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 09:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's android-shame department:
Yesterday we talked about some of Nexus devices, including 2013's Nexus 5 not receiving an update, because it has been more than two years since the launch of the phone. But as you may know, this commitment to keeping the devices up to date is even worse when you look at what other Android OEMs are doing. ArsTechnica's Ron Amadeo has a solution: Google keeps missing the point when it comes to addressing Android's update situation. It keeps coming up with strategies to make updating "easier" for OEMs, but I don't think the problem is "ease of updating" -- it's creating any incentive for OEMs to update at all. Google seems to think that its partners will update phones because it's The Right Thing To Do by their customers and that handing out gold stars will send them scrambling to produce updates for their devices. I don't think that's ever going to happen. Google actually already tried the "shame" tactic and it didn't work. When Google-owned Motorola, Moto's update speed went through the roof. Motorola was achieving near-Nexus-like update speeds on many of its phones and was definitely putting other manufacturers to shame. But the increased update competition never really spurred other OEMs to start competing on update speeds. The bottom line is that Android partners only care about, well, the bottom line -- money. These companies already have your money, so updating a device that's already been sold is a needless expense. There's also a good argument to be made that updating a device hurts future sales. If your phone isn't updated, it will start to feel old, so you're more likely to buy a new phone sooner.

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Epic Games Forums Hacked, Again
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 08:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
An anonymous reader writes: Epic Games, maker of popular games such as Unreal and Infinity Blade, announced today that its forums have been hacked. Now, if you don't reuse password that isn't a huge deal. But if you have used the same password on any service, perhaps even a variation of that password, you will want to ensure that you have changed password of all your accounts. In the meanwhile, here's Epic Games: "We believe a recent Unreal Engine and Unreal Tournament forum compromise revealed email addresses and other data entered into the forums, but no passwords in any form, neither salted, hashed, nor plaintext. While the data contained in the vBulletin account databases for these forums were leaked, the passwords for user accounts are stored elsewhere. These forums remain online and no passwords need to be reset", says Epic Games.ZDNet is reporting that thousands of passwords have been stolen.

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Internaut Day Might Not Be the Web Anniversary You're Looking For
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 08:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's ignorance-day department:
David Meyer, reporting for Fortune: The web arguably went public before August 23, 1991. Social media users are enthusiastically celebrating "Internaut Day" on Tuesday. They're thanking Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, for first providing public access to it on this day in 1991, precisely a quarter of a century back. The only problem is that the supposed importance of Internaut Day doesn't seem to be supported by much evidence. Berners-Lee submitted his seminal proposal for a new information management system to CERN on March 12, 1989, a date which Berners-Lee celebrates as the birthday of the web. The building blocks were specified and written up by October 1990, and the first webpage went live in December that year. So when somebody celebrates the "Internaut Day" today, it really doesn't seem like the right occasion. The report adds: According to Wikipedia, that's when "new users could [first] access" the web -- and that's what a gazillion news stories on Tuesday are supposedly celebrating. But it doesn't square with what the Web Foundation and CERN say.

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Machinima Combiner Wars Episode 4 now available
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 07:51 AM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:


Go90 has updated with episode 4 of the Combiner Wars series from Machinima. In this episode, Optimus Prime and Windblade team up to destroy the Enigma of Combination, but they are going to need help to pull it off. Enter: Megatron. US residents can check it out now on Go90 – international viewers will be able to see it on Youtube and other selected outlets shortly.

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Pokemon Go Daily Active Users, Downloads, Engagement Are Dropping
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's surprise-surprise department:
An anonymous reader writes:Pokemon Go is starting to lose the battle for mobile mindshare, according to Axiom Capital Management. As such, investors and executives at Facebook Inc., Instagram, Tinder (Match Group Inc.), Twitter Inc., and Snapchat can breathe a sigh of relief, says Senior Analyst Victor Anthony. "Given the rapid rise in usage of the Pokemon Go app since the launch in July, investors have been concerned that this new user experience has been detracting from time spent on other mobile focused apps," he writes.
Enthusiasm about the potential for Pokemon Go (and augmented reality gaming in general) to improve Nintendo Co Ltd.'s financial performance sent shares parabolic after the app launched in the U.S., and even spurred rallies in secondary plays linked to the success of the game. Data from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia, however, show that Pokemon Go's daily active users, downloads, engagement, and time spent on the app per day are all well off their peaks and on a downward trend.

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Microsoft Apps Will Be Pre-loaded On Lenovo and Motorola Android Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's team-bloatware department:
An anonymous reader writes: There was a time when Microsoft was seen as the enemy of Linux and Apple communities. Understandably, at the time, the company only wanted Windows to succeed. Nowadays, however, the operating system is sort of inconsequential. Microsoft seems happy to have its software succeed on 'competitor' platforms such as iOS, Android, macOS, Ubuntu and more. Today, Microsoft announces that it has partnered with Lenovo on a new mobile initiative. The Windows-maker's productivity apps will be pre-loaded on Lenovo and Motorola-branded devices running Google's Linux-based Android operating system.As of earlier this year, Microsoft had over 74 Android OEM partners. As for submitter's take on this, it's pretty simple. Microsoft is going where users are. If they are not going to purchase Windows Phones, Microsoft will go to Android and iOS.

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Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Racing Trailer, Sideswipe & Bumblebee Racers and more released in Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 06:23 AM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:


We’ve got word that there’s some new Rescue Bots releases out in the wild in Australia. TFW2005 member and friend of the site griffin-of-oz reports that he has found the Optimus Prime Racing Trailer with Blurr and the Bumblebee and Sideswipe Rescue Racers at Australian retail. Along with these, there is also a report that the Optimus Prime Racing Trailer set has been reissued. This new version is in updated current era Rescue Bots packaging, and reportedly, it lacks the stickers that came with the original one, along with not having the blue Energize bolts on the chest / cab. » Continue Reading.

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Unite Warriors Computron In-Hand & Comparisons with Hasbro’s Computron
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 06:23 AM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:


Care of Blacklai’s Toy Base, we’ve got some in-hand images of the Unite Warriors Computron. Takara-Tomy’s giftset edition of Computron is very different from the Hasbro version, with a remolded torso for Scattershot, a different deco and weapons on Afterburner, and three different molds for Lightspeed, Strafe, and Nosecone. These images show all five and the combined form, along with comparisons with all of the Hasbro versions of the characters. Check out our editors selection of the images attached to this post.

The post Unite Warriors Computron In-Hand & Comparisons with Hasbro’s Computron appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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US Customs and Border Protection Wants To Know Who You Are On Twitter
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 05:33 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's slippery-slope department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Electronic Frontier Foundation: U.S. border control agents want to gather Facebook and Twitter identities from visitors from around the world. But this flawed plan would violate travelers' privacy, and would have a wide-ranging impact on freedom of expression -- all while doing little or nothing to protect Americans from terrorism. A proposal has been issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect social media handles from visitors to the United States from visa waiver countries. The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the proposal and has commented on it individually and as part of a larger coalition. "CBP specifically seeks 'information associated with your online presence -- Provider/Platform -- Social media identifier' in order to provider DHS 'greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections' for 'vetting purposes,'" reports EFF. "In our comments, we argue that would-be terrorists are unlikely to disclose social media identifiers that reveal publicly available posts expressing support for terrorism." They say this plan "would unfairly violate the privacy of innocent travelers," would cause "innocent travelers" to "engage in self-censorship, cutting back on their online activity out of fear of being wrongly judged by the U.S. government," and would lead to a "slippery slope, where CBP would require U.S. citizens and residents returning home to disclose their social media handles, or subject both foreign visitors and U.S. persons to invasive device searches at ports of entry with the intent of easily accessing any and all cloud data."

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Figure King September 2016 edition scans, featuring Legends Fortress Maximus!
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 05:00 AM
By Sol Fury from TFW2005:


We’ve got some scans to share with you care of the Loopaza Mega Store on Facebook. These scans, from the September dated edition of Figure King, number 223, focus heavily on Legends Fortress Maximus. The gigantic Autobot gets three pages dedicated to him, with two being a huge spread of the city mode, and the third mainly showing the robot mode including a pose that recreates the Generation 1 box art for the Japanese Fortress Maximus. With the gigantic Autobot taking a gigantic portion of the Transformers pages, the fourth page squeezes in a few other good things, including » Continue Reading.

The post Figure King September 2016 edition scans, featuring Legends Fortress Maximus! appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Samsung Plans To Sell Refurbished High-End Smartphones In 2017
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 02:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's take-one-down-and-pass-it-around department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd plans to launch a program to sell refurbished used versions of its premium smartphones as early as next year, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The world's top smartphone maker will refurbish high-end phones returned to the company by users who signed up for one-year upgrade programs in markets such as South Korea and the United States. Samsung would then re-sell these phones at a lower price, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was not yet public. The person declined to say how big a discount the refurbished phones would be sold at, which markets the phones would be sold in or how many refurbished devices Samsung could sell. It was not clear to what extent the phones would be altered, but refurbished phones typically are fitted with parts such as a new casing or battery. Refurbished phones could help vendors such as Samsung boost their presence in emerging markets such as India, where high-end devices costing $800 or so are beyond most buyers. Samsung's refurbishment program, details of which the person said could be finalized as early as 2017, could help the firm generate revenue from dated high-end smartphones returned by users upgrading to newer versions.

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In Bob We Trust: THE EXASPERATING SPIDER-FANS
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 02:01 AM
By moviebob from MovieBob:


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NanoRacks Plans To Turn Used Rocket Fuel Tanks Into Space Habitats
Posted by News Fetcher on August 23 '16 at 12:02 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's dual-purpose department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via IEEE Spectrum: A couple of weeks ago NASA announced it has committed $65 million to six companies over the course of two years for the purpose of developing and testing deep-space habitats that could be used for future missions to Mars. One of the six companies, called NanoRacks, is attempting to take empty fuel tanks from the upper stages of rockets and turn them into space habitats on-orbit. IEEE Spectrum reports: "A rocket like the the Atlas V, which can deliver payloads of nearly 19,000 kg to low Earth orbit, consists of three primary pieces: on the bottom, you've got the first stage booster, which consists of a huge engine and some big tanks holding kerosene fuel and oxidizer. Above that, there's the second stage, which consists of one or two smaller engines, a big tank for storing liquid hydrogen fuel, and a smaller tank for oxidizer. The payload, which is what all of the fuss is about, sits on top. The first stage launches the rocket off of the pad and continues firing for about four minutes. Meanwhile, the second stage fires up its own engine (or engines) to boost the payload the rest of the way into orbit. On the Atlas V, the second stage is called Centaur. Once Centaur gets its payload where it needs to go, it separates, and then suicides down into Earth's atmosphere. Getting a payload into space is so expensive because you have to build up this huge and complicated rocket, with engines and guidance systems and fuel tanks and stuff, and then you basically use it for like 15 minutes and throw it all away. But what about the second stage? You've got a whole bunch of hardware that made it to orbit, and when getting stuff to orbit costs something like $2,500 per kilogram, you then tell it to go it burn itself up in the atmosphere, because otherwise it's just useless space junk." NanoRacks thinks this is wasteful, so they want to turn these tanks into deep space habitats. IEEE notes that the hydrogen fuel tank on a Centaur upper stage has a diameter of over 4 meters, and an interior volume of 54 cubic meters, while the inflatable BEAM module that arrived at the ISS earlier this year has an interior volume of 16 cubic meters. For more details, IEEE Spectrum spoke with Jeff Manber, CEO of NanoRacks, and Mike Johnson, NanoRacks' Chief Designer. You can read their responses here.

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Images from the Set of Transformers: The Last Knight in Scotland
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 11:31 PM
By C310 Ginrai from TFW2005:


Yesterday, we reported that film production of Transformers: The Last Knight will be continuing in Europe. We are happy to report today that images from the filming set at The Quiraing Walk was posted on the Facebook page of Staffin, Isle of Skye, Scotland. We can see that some of the non-character vehicles, including multiple low flying helicopters, used on set. Interestingly, we see an actor in full knight armor riding on a horse as well. How will this relate to the title of the film? Only time will tell; however, you can check out the mirrored images » Continue Reading.

The post Images from the Set of Transformers: The Last Knight in Scotland appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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IDW Optimus Prime #1 Covers Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 10:10 PM
By C310 Ginrai from TFW2005:


Through an article on Comics Alliance, three new covers has been revealed for first issue of the new series dubbed “Optimus Prime“. The series, written by John Barber with Kei Zama at the helm on art and color, is due to debut in November 2016 after IDW’s Revolution event. The 3 covers shown are the regular cover by Kei Zama, retailer Incentive cover by Sonny Liew, and the subscription cover by Andrew Griffith. Check out all 3 covers after the break. Optimus Prime #1— GEM OF THE MONTH John Barber (w) • Kei Zama (a & c) REVOLUTION is » Continue Reading.

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New Mexico Nuclear Accident Ranks Among the Costliest In US History
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 07:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rising-costs department:
mdsolar quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations. The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department's credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste. But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. The Feb. 14, 2014, accident is also complicating cleanup programs at about a dozen current and former nuclear weapons sites across the U.S. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste that were headed for the dump are backed up in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere, state officials said in interviews. "The direct cost of the cleanup is now $640 million, based on a contract modification made last month with Nuclear Waste Partnership that increased the cost from $1.3 billion to nearly $2 billion," reports Los Angeles Times. "The cost-plus contract leaves open the possibility of even higher costs as repairs continue. And it does not include the complete replacement of the contaminated ventilation system or any future costs of operating the mine longer than originally planned."

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North Korea Unveils Netflix-Like Streaming Service Called 'Manbang'
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's manbang-and-chill department:
North Korea has unveiled a set-top box that offers video-on demand services similar to Netflix. The service is called Manbang, which translates to "everywhere" in Korean, and allows consumers to stream documentaries about Kim Jong Un and other "educational" programs, as well as five live TV channels. "If a viewer wants to watch, for instance, an animal movie and sends a request to the equipment, it will show the relevant video to the viewer [...] this is two-way communications," according to NK News. It reportedly works by plugging the set-top box into an internet modem, then connecting an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV. A very small number of North Koreans will actually be able to use the device as "only a few thousand [...] have access to the state-sanctioned internet, in a nation of 25 million people," reports New York Daily News.

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Bill Gates's Net Worth Hits $90 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-zeros department:
schwit1 quotes a report from Bloomberg: The net worth of the world's richest person Bill Gates hit $90 billion on Friday, fueled by gains in public holdings including Canadian National Railway Company and Ecolab Inc. Gates's fortune is now $13.5 billion bigger than that of the world's second-wealthiest person, Spanish retail mogul Amancio Ortega, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $90 billion, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder's net worth is equal to 0.5 percent of U.S. GDP. Less than two weeks ago, Bill Gates topped Forbes' "100 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World 2016" (Warning: may be paywalled) list with an estimated fortune of $78 billion.

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BHU's 'Tiger Will Power' Wi-Fi Router May Be The Most Insecure Router Ever Made
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's depressingly-insecure department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: A Wi-Fi router manufactured and sold only in China can easily run for the title of "most insecure router ever made." The BHU router, whose name translates to "Tiger Will Power," has a long list of security problems that include: four authentication bypass flaws (one of which is just hilarious); a built-in backdoor root account that gets created on every boot-up sequence; the fact that it opens the SSH port for external connections after every boot (somebody has to use that root backdoor account right?); a built-in proxy server that re-routes all traffic; an ad injection system that adds adverts to all the sites you visit; and a backup JS file embedded in the router firmware if the ad script fails to load from its server. For techies, there's a long technical write-up, which gets funnier and scarier at the same time as you read through it. "An attacker authenticating on the router can use a hardcoded session ID (SID) value of 700000000000000 to gain admin privileges," reports Softpedia. "If he misspells the SID and drops a zero, that's no problem. The BHU router will accept any value and still grant the user admin rights."

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Turkish Journalist Jailed For Terrorism Was Framed, Forensic Report Shows
Posted by News Fetcher on August 22 '16 at 03:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's incriminating-evidence department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Turkish investigative journalist Baris Pehlivan spent 19 months in jail, accused of terrorism based on documents found on his work computer. But when digital forensics experts examined his PC, they discovered that those files were put there by someone who removed the hard drive from the case, copied the documents, and then reinstalled the hard drive. The attackers also attempted to control the journalist's machine remotely, trying to infect it using malicious email attachments and thumb drives. Among the viruses detected in his computer was an extremely rare trojan called Ahtapot, in one of the only times it's been seen in the wild. Pehlivan went to jail in February of 2011, along with six of his colleagues, after electronic evidence seized during a police raid in 2011 appeared to connect all of them to Ergenekon, an alleged armed group accused of terrorism in Turkey. A paper recently published by computer expert Mark Spencer in Digital Forensics Magazine sheds light into the case after several other reports have acknowledged the presence of malware. Spencer said no other forensics expert noticed the Ahtapot trojan in the OdaTV case, nor has determined accurately how those documents showed up on the journalist's computer. However, almost all the reports have concluded that the incriminating files were planted. "We are not guilty," Baris Pehlivan told Andrada Fiscutean via Motherboard. "The files were put into our computers by a virus and by [attackers] entering the OdaTV office secretly. None of us has seen those documents before the prosecutor showed them to us." (OdaTV is the website Pehlivan works for and "has been critical of the government and the Gulen Movement, which was accused by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan of orchestrating the recent attempted coup.") In regard to the report, senior security consultant at F-Secure, Taneli Kaivola, says, "Yes, [the report] takes an impressive level of conviction to locally attack a computer four times, and remotely attack it seven times [between January 1, 2011, and February 11, 2011], as well as a certain level of technical skill to set up the infrastructure for those attacks, which included document forgery and date and time manipulation."

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