Some Google Pixel Owners' Camera Photos Aren't Saving
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's lost-memories department:
Some users on Reddit and Google's support forums are reporting an issue in which taking a photo using Google Camera occasionally fails to save. The issue appears to be widespread, "affecting original Pixel phones as well as the Pixel 2 / 2 XL," reports The Verge. From the report: The issue occurs specifically in cases when the user takes a photo with Google Camera, and switches to another app or locks the phone immediately after. Users are able to see a thumbnail of the photo in the Camera gallery circle, but upon tapping it, the photo disappears. In some occasions, the photo doesn't appear at all at first, but it will reappear in their gallery a day later.

There's also some reports of Galaxy S9, Moto Z2, Moto E4, and Nexus 5X owners experiencing the issue after using Google Camera, so it's unclear whether the issue is limited to Pixel phones or if it's connected to a larger Android bug. For now, users have come up with a workaround for an issue they believe is related to HDR photo processing time. Reddit user erbat suggests leaving the camera app open until HDR processing completes or turning off the HDR function completely.

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Amazon Shuts Down Liquavista, a Screen Technology Company It Had Acquired From Samsung in 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 03:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's end-of-road department:
Liquavista, a screen tech company Amazon acquired five years ago, has shut down. Rumblings of Liquavista's potential closure have been bouncing around the e-reader community for more than six months. It remains unclear if Liquavista's work has been brought inside Amazon and moved to other parts of the organization, or if it was shut down entirely. Amazon declined to release further details. From a report: Launched in 2006 as a spin off from Philips, Liquavista had been developing a unique type of screen tech that was based on running an electric current through a liquid. This is called electrowetting technology, which is a fancy way of saying that each pixel in a Liquavista screen contained 3 liquids (red, green, blue), and that the color shown by a pixel depended on the amount of power fed into each liquid. [...] The screens were originally being developed as a solution to the battery life issue. Mobile battery life was terrible back in the pre-iPad, pre-iPhone, and pre-netbook era, and people were willing to pay a premium for a screen which used less power than typical LCD screens.

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PAX Aus 2018 Pinny Arcade Pin Quest!
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 02:31 PM
By Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
The task has fallen to me yet again, as Mork is in a plane or something. But I know my way around these now - I’ve developed techniques. There’s some really fun inside jokes being made in pin form here, and I love it. PARTNER PINS Margarita and Popper Pins [Giant Margarita] There will be daily giveaways with our “Beat the Devs Challenge” from 1pm - 2pm and the pins will also be available for purchase at the Giant Margarita booth PR31. Pixel Pin [Checkpoint] Available for sale at the CheckPoint table in the Diversity Lounge or alongside becoming a CheckPoint…

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Steam VR Introduces 'Motion Smoothing' So Low-End PCs Can Run Games More Smoothly
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 02:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's beta-features department:
Steam VR is introducing a new feature called "Motion Smoothing" that will give PCs with low-end hardware the power to deliver VR experiences more smoothly. "It functions like Motion Smoothing for TV and Asynchronous Spacewarp for Oculus devices, which are frame-rate smoothing techniques that generate synthetic frames between two real ones in order to avoid a stuttery experience," notes Engadget. From the report:
When Steam VR determines that an experience is lagging or dropping frames, Motion Smoothing automatically kicks in. It drops an app's framerate from 90FPS to 45FPS and generates a synthetic frame for every real one to mimic real 90FPS. If things get especially bad, it can generate two to three frames for every real one instead. Steam explains that the feature "dramatically [lowers] the performance requirements," allowing PCs with lower end hardware to "produce smooth frames." Take note, however, that the feature will not work with the Oculus Rift or with Windows Mixed Reality headsets. You can only take advantage of it if you have an HTC Vive or a Vive Pro, and if you're running Windows 10 -- all you need to do is right-click on Steam VR and select beta under Tools in Library.

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Tesla Quietly Drops 'Full Self-Driving' Option As It Adds $45,000 Model 3
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 02:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's comes-at-a-cost department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Elon Musk took to Twitter on Thursday evening to inform his followers of a new addition to the Model 3 lineup. This is not the long-awaited $35,000 version, however; the mid-range Model 3 starts at $45,000. Musk also revealed that the Model 3 ordering process has been simplified and now has fewer options. One that's missing -- from all new Tesla orders, not just the Model 3 -- is the controversial "full self-driving" option. The reason? It was "causing too much confusion," Musk tweeted. The mid-range Model 3s will be rear-wheel drive only, prompting some to wonder if the company was using software to limit battery capacity on existing RWD inventory in order to get it out of the door. But Tesla says it's able to build these slightly cheaper cars by using the same battery pack as the more expensive, longer-range cars but with fewer cells inside (so no future software upgrades can increase their range at a later date). While Tesla is promoting the car as costing as little as $30,700 by factoring in "gas savings" and all federal and local tax incentives, it did also announce last week that any new Tesla delivered after October 15th might not ship before the beginning of next year. As Ars Technica notes, "Any new Tesla delivered after January 1st 2019 (but before July 1st 2019) is only eligible for a $3,750 IRS credit."

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3D Printers Have 'Fingerprints', a Discovery That Could Help Trace 3D-Printed Guns: Study
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Like fingerprints, no 3D printer is exactly the same. That's the takeaway from a new University at Buffalo-led study that describes what's believed to be the first accurate method for tracing a 3D-printed object to the machine it came from. From the study: The advancement, which the research team calls "PrinTracker," could ultimately help law enforcement and intelligence agencies track the origin of 3D-printed guns, counterfeit products and other goods. "3D printing has many wonderful uses, but it's also a counterfeiter's dream. Even more concerning, it has the potential to make firearms more readily available to people who are not allowed to possess them," says the study's lead author Wenyao Xu, PhD, associate professor of computer science and engineering in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. [...] To understand the method, it's helpful to know how 3D printers work. Like a common inkjet printer, 3D printers move back-and-forth while "printing" an object. Instead of ink, a nozzle discharges a filament, such as plastic, in layers until a three-dimensional object forms. Each layer of a 3D-printed object contains tiny wrinkles -- usually measured in submillimeters -- called in-fill patterns. These patterns are supposed to be uniform. However, the printer's model type, filament, nozzle size and other factors cause slight imperfections in the patterns. The result is an object that does not match its design plan.

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Buggy Software in Popular Connected Storage Drives Can Let Hackers Read Private Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Security researchers have found flaws in four popular connected storage drives that they say could let hackers access a user's private and sensitive data. From a report: The researchers Paulos Yibelo and Daniel Eshetu said the software running on three of the devices they tested -- NetGear Stora, Seagate Home and Medion LifeCloud -- can allow an attacker to remotely read, change and delete data without requiring a password. Yibelo, who shared the research with TechCrunch this week and posted the findings Friday, said that many other devices may be at risk. The software, Hipserv, built by tech company Axentra, was largely to blame for three of the four flaws they found. Hipserv is Linux-based, and uses several web technologies -- including PHP -- to power the web interface. But the researchers found that bugs could let them read files on the drive without any authentication. It also meant they could run any command they wanted as "root" -- the built-in user account with the highest level of access -- making the data on the device vulnerable to prying eyes or destruction.

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TFcon Chicago 2018 exclusive R-29AM Aero Alpha Asterisk Mode
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 12:10 PM
By Super_Megatron from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/10/Aero-Alpha-Asterisk-Mode.jpg" alt="" />

TFcon sponsor Ages Three and Up is proud to announce the TFcon Chicago 2018 exclusive R-29AM Aero Alpha Asterisk Mode from Mastermind Creations. This figure features a beautiful new color scheme, headsculpt and fully articulated cape accessory. This piece will be available at the MMC Booth in limited quantities. The cost of the figure will be $100. TFcon – America’s largest fan-run Transformers convention returns to the Chicago, IL area the weekend of October 26th to October 28th, 2018. TFcon USA will take place at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, IL with special guests BUD DAVIS (the voices of Generation 1 » Continue Reading.

The post TFcon Chicago 2018 exclusive R-29AM Aero Alpha Asterisk Mode appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Paging Robert Frost
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 11:51 AM
By Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
Gabe oscillates at two to three times my rate when it comes to a hunger for technological novelty. I’m not without the hunger entirely, it’s just that I don’t… Hm. I don’t see it? I can read a comic book without ever looking at the pictures. It drives him nuts. I don’t need them, though, and they’re not why I was reading it. It’s like this with tech also: I have a purpose, and the device enables the purpose, but the middle section is like the second step of a sequence that culminates in Profit. There…

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DHS Seized Aftermarket Apple Laptop Batteries From Independent Repair Expert
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 11:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department:
Louis Rossmann says US Customs and Border Patrol seized $1,000 worth of laptop batteries, claiming they were counterfeit. From a report: Earlier this year, Louis Rossmann, the highest-profile iPhone and Mac repair professional in the United States, told Motherboard that determining "the difference between counterfeiting and refurbishing is going to be the next big battle" between the independent repair profession and Apple. At the time, his friend and fellow independent repair pro, Jessa Jones, had just had a shipment of iPhone screens seized by Customs and Border Patrol. Rossmann was right: His repair parts were also just seized by the US government. Last month, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized a package containing 20 Apple laptop batteries en route to Rossman's store in New York City. The laptop batteries were en route from China to Rossmann Repair Group -- a NYC based repair store that specializes in Apple products. "Apple and customs seized batteries to a computer that, at [the Apple Store], they no longer service because they claim it's vintage," Rossmann, the owner and operator of Rossmann Repair Group, said in a YouTube video. "They will not allow me to replace batteries, because when I import batteries that are original they'll tell me the they're counterfeit and have them stolen from by [CBP]." CBP seized the batteries on September 6, then notified Rossmann via a letter dated October 5. Rossmann produced the letter in its entirety in his video.

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Justice Department Charges Russian Woman With Interference in Midterm Elections
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 11:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. From a report: Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of "Project Lakhta," a foreign influence operation they said was designed "to sow discord in the U.S. political system" by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a whole host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control, and the NFL national anthem protests. The charges against Khusyaynova came just as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned that it was concerned about "ongoing campaigns" by Russia, China and Iran to interfere with the upcoming Midterm elections and even the 2020 race -- an ominous warning that comes just weeks before voters head to the polls.

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Click Farms Are Gaming Apple's Top Podcasts List
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's gaming-the-system department:
A new report sheds some light on the issue of paid click farms gaming Apple's long-running list of Top Podcasts. From a report: Earlier this month, Apple's long-running list of Top Podcasts began to exhibit some unusual issues -- no-name podcasts vaulting over popular, well-established ones -- but the company appeared to quickly fix its chart. Unfortunately, the problems have popped up again, and an analysis from podcast industry tracker Chartable suggests that paid click farms are now gaming the list, which it calls "the closest thing to the Billboard Top 100 in the podcast world." In theory, Apple's podcast popularity rankings might not matter -- podcasts are free, and Apple's only one source of such rankings. But after introducing its Podcast Directory in 2005, Apple became the world's largest aggregator of such programming, and its rankings serve two purposes: showing listeners what's hot, and helping advertisers determine which shows to support, thereby keeping their creators afloat. The core problem is that Apple's Top Podcasts chart appears to use a poor and easily manipulated ranking metric. Chartable believes that it's based entirely upon a podcast's total number of new subscribers over the past week, with weights assigned to movement in the past one to three days.

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In an Unprecedented Move, Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls For Bloomberg To Retract Its Chinese Spy Chip Story
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's unprecedented department:
John Paczkowski and Joseph Bernstein, reporting for BuzzFeed News: Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, went on the record for the first time to deny allegations that the company was the victim of a hardware-based attack carried out by the Chinese government. And, in an unprecedented move for the company, he called for a retraction of the story that made this claim. Earlier this month Bloomberg Businessweek published an investigation alleging Chinese spies had compromised some 30 US companies by implanting malicious chips into Silicon Valley bound servers during their manufacture in China. The chips, Bloomberg reported, allowed the attackers to create "a stealth doorway" into any network running on a server in which they were embedded. Apple was alleged to be among the companies attacked, and a focal point of the story. [...] "We turned the company upside down," Cook said. "Email searches, datacenter records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There's no truth to this." A Bloomberg spokesperson said, "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources."

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Tectonics Game
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 09:53 AM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

They're limiting the playtesters to type A3 V stars, so the games will all end before the Sun consumes the Earth.

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Commemorative Coin For Transformers 30th Anniversary In China
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 09:30 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="450" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/10/02-Transformers-30-Anniversary-Commemorative-coin.jpg" alt="" />

Transformers is sure getting old, but like wine it gets better with time. Thanks to the Transfans Facebook Fan Page, we have our first images of the upcoming Commemorative Coin For Transformers 30th Anniversary In China. We are sure your optics will be impressed with the presentation of this coin. It’s an elegant box with a wooden finishing (or maybe it’s made of wood) with a golden Autobot logo on it. You open it to reveal a special card and a golden coin which features Optimus Prime head. Some fans may think that this box looks more like a base. » Continue Reading.

The post Commemorative Coin For Transformers 30th Anniversary In China appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sues Ecuador For 'Violating His Rights'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 09:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's worst-houseguests department:
Julian Assange is suing Ecuador's government for violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms," despite the fact he is still being sheltered in the country's UK embassy. From a report: It comes after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange, who has been living inside the country's London embassy for more than six years. Baltasar Garzon, a lawyer for WikiLeaks, has arrived in Ecuador to launch the case, which is expected to be heard next week in a domestic court. WikiLeaks claims Mr Assange's access to the outside world has been "summarily cut off" and says Ecuador has threatened to remove the protection he has had since being given political asylum. The site said Ecuador's government has refused to allow a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner and prevented several meetings with Mr Assange's lawyers. A statement said: "Ecuador's measures against Julian Assange have been widely condemned by the human rights community."

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Quantum Computers Will Break the Encryption that Protects the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 09:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's minute-details department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Factorising numbers into their constituent primes may sound esoteric, but the one-way nature of the problem -- and of some other, closely related mathematical tasks -- is the foundation on which much modern encryption rests. Such encryption has plenty of uses. It defends state secrets, and the corporate sort. It protects financial flows and medical records. And it makes the $2trn e-commerce industry possible. Nobody, however, is certain that the foundation of all this is sound. Though mathematicians have found no quick way to solve the prime-factors problem, neither have they proved that there isn't one. In theory, any of the world's millions of professional or amateur mathematicians could have a stroke of inspiration tomorrow and publish a formula that unravels internet cryptography -- and most internet commerce with it. In fact, something like this has already happened. In 1994 Peter Shor, a mathematician then working at Bell Laboratories, in America, came up with a quick and efficient way to find a number's prime factors. The only catch was that for large numbers his method -- dubbed Shor's algorithm -- needs a quantum computer to work. Quantum computers rely on the famous weirdness of quantum mechanics to perform certain sorts of calculation far faster than any conceivable classical machine. Their fundamental unit is the "qubit", a quantum analogue of the ones and zeros that classical machines manipulate. By exploiting the quantum-mechanical phenomena of superposition and entanglement, quantum computers can perform some forms of mathematics -- though only some -- far faster than any conceivable classical machine, no matter how beefy.

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Paging Robert Frost
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 07:51 AM
From Penny Arcade:
New Comic: Paging Robert Frost

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Google Warns Apple: Missing Bugs in Your Security Bulletins Are 'Disincentive To Patch'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 07:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's acting-in-good-faith department:
Apple has not documented some high-severity bugs it patched that were reported to it by Google's Project Zero researchers. From a report: While it's good news that Apple beat Project Zero's 90-day deadline for patching or disclosing the bugs it finds, the group's Ivan Fratric recently argued that the practice endangered users by not fully informing them why an update should be installed. This time the criticism comes from Project Zero's Ian Beer, who's been credited by Apple with finding dozens of serious security flaws in iOS and macOS over the years. Beer posted a blog about several vulnerabilities in iOS 7 he found in 2014 that share commonalities with several bugs he has found in iOS 11.4.1, some of which he's now released exploits for. Beer notes that none of the latest issues is mentioned in the iOS 12 security bulletin even though Apple did fix them. The absence of information about them is a "disincentive" for iOS users to patch, Beer argues. "Apple are still yet to assign CVEs for these issues or publicly acknowledge that they were fixed in iOS 12," wrote Beer. "In my opinion a security bulletin should mention the security bugs that were fixed. Not doing so provides a disincentive for people to update their devices since it appears that there were fewer security fixes than there really were."

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Should We Break Up the Tech Giants? Not if You Ask the Economists Who Take Money From Them
Posted by News Fetcher on October 19 '18 at 07:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's moral-dilemma department:
This week's FTC hearings on the growing power of companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google only included economists who have taken money, directly and indirectly, from giant corporations that have a stake in the debate. From a report: Amid growing concern over the power of such behemoths as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other tech giants, in recent months there's been a bipartisan push for better enforcement of antitrust rules -- with even President Trump saying in August that their size and influence could constitute a "very antitrust situation." The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched its most wide-ranging study of corporate concentration in America in more than 20 years with a series of hearings being held around the country. Chairman Joseph Simons, a practical enforcement-minded leader, launched the hearings by expressing concern over the growing problem of monopoly, which is now found in nearly every sector of the economy. "I approach all of these issues with a very open mind," said Simons, "very much willing to be influenced by what I see and hear." But there's a problem. The FTC organized these hearings so that Simons and the public would be hearing from many economists who have taken money, directly or indirectly, from giant corporations. For example, on Monday, the FTC convened a panel titled "The Current Economic Understanding of Multi-Sided Platforms" to look specifically at the most dynamic and dangerous set of concentrated economic actors, the big tech platforms. Every single one of the economists who testified had financial ties to giant corporations. One example is David Evans, the chairman of the Global Economics Group. Evans scoffed at the danger of platform monopolies. He indicated that the question of "whether Facebook and Google and Amazon are monopolies, it's all interesting, it's great to read in the New York Times," but it's "not all that relevant" to the practice of antitrust. His firm has taken money directly from Microsoft, Visa, the large investment bank SIFMA, and the Chinese giant tech giant Tencent. Another example is Howard Shelanski, a partner at Davis Polk. Shelanski is more enforcement-minded, but he expressed caution, testifying that we don't know enough for antitrust enforcers to understand whether powerful technology companies hold unassailable market positions. Shelanski pointed to his own children, saying that they've stopped using Facebook because it's uncool. As it turns out, his law firm's clients include Facebook, as well as Comcast, and Chinese search giant Baidu.

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