The Spotlight
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 01:10 PM
By Tycho@penny-arcade.com (Tycho) from Penny Arcade:
Now that it seems like Gorobriel’s stuff is staying in, and he can laugh without terror, he’s back to his old haunts. He loves Symmetra’s playstyle, and he loves her comic, which I love also. The moral dimension of Overwatch is deliciously robust, even before you broach the subject of erotic Tumblr comminglings. Symmetra is not his attack choice. Although, I just had a conversation with somebody yesterday about the effectiveness of Attack Symmetra after the rebuild, so who knows. He has an Attack roster and a Defend roster, and he won’t mix…

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Despite Glitches, AT&T's DirecTV Now Hits 200,000 Subscribers in Its First Month
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 01:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's steadily-growing department:
AT&T's new live TV streaming service DirecTV Now has been off to a shaky start in terms of performance, but that hasn't stemmed the flow of sign-ups, AT&T reports. The company said the service added more than 200,000 subscribers in its first month of operations. From a report on TechCrunch: These details were included in an SEC filing for the quarter ending on December 31, 2016. DirecTV Now launched on November 30, 2016. The filing also notes the additions only include paying customers. To be clear, there's no free tier for DirecTV Now, but the company has been offering free trials so customers can kick the tires before committing to a subscription plan. Of course, it's not entirely surprising that DirecTV Now was able to gain so many customers in such a short period of time. On paper, at least, the service sounds compelling.

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Sony Is Weighing a Sale of Film, TV Business
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 01:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's musical-chair department:
Sony could be exploring the sale of its film and television unit just a week after announcing the departure of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. From a report: Tokyo's Sony Corp. is listening to bank pitches about a potential sale of its film and TV operations, several sources told The Post. "Every bank is pushing pitches," said one person familiar with the process. Another confirmed that banks have paid a flurry of visits to Tokyo to advise on a sale of Sonyâ(TM)s film and TV business. The Post was first to report that the Japanese owners were ready to listen to bid proposals if they had the right number attached. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has long signaled interest in acquiring the asset, though several Chinese bidders could be in the wings. Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has denied any intent to sell the firm during the five years he's been in the top slot at the company. Still, he has not appointed a successor to Lynton, despite knowing of his intention to depart for some time. That has sparked speculation that there may be no position to fill.

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Galaxy S7 Display Defaults To Full HD After Nougat Update, But You Can Switch Back
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 01:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's interesting-changes department:
An anonymous reader writes: Samsung's new display scaling options change the default resolution of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge introduces a new display scaling option that lets you reduce the screen resolution as a way to conserve battery life. With the update, you can now choose between three modes -- WQHD (2560x1440), FHD (1920x1080), and HD (1280x720). While it's a nifty feature to have, the display on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is automatically defaulting to Full HD for those that have installed the update. Fortunately, you can easily switch back to the native Quad HD resolution by navigating to Settings -> Display.

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Robots In Disguise Combiner Revealed?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 12:51 PM
By ORIO from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2017/01/RIDcombiner.jpg" alt="" />

2005 Board member Payres has shared with us an image of a standee in United Kingdom Asda stores. This standee houses several of the new Combiner Force figures that are currently on store shelves, but the art attached to the standee reveals something much more! Pictured on the standee is a Robots In Disguise combiner that appears to feature Bumblebee as the torso, Strongarm and Sideswipe as the arms and Grimlock as the legs. It looks very interesting so far. Could this be what was teased less than a week ago?  Quite possibly. Click on the title bar to check » Continue Reading.

The post Robots In Disguise Combiner Revealed? appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Microsoft Targets Chrome Users With Windows 10 Pop-up Ad
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's we-will-never-change department:
Google Chrome users on Windows 10 are apparently being treated to a new experience: a pop-up ad. From a PCMag report: If you have Chrome installed and the icon present on the Windows Taskbar, chances are you're going to start seeing a pop-up advert appear suggesting you install Microsoft's Personal Shopping Assistant Chrome extension. Microsoft touts it as "Your smart shopping cart across the web." Opting to install the extension results in Microsoft monitoring which products you've searched for and viewed while using Chrome, and then offering to compare those products to find the best price. There's also alerts when prices change, and the ability to track products across all your devices. Of course, Microsoft will make money if you opt to purchase any products using the Assistant.

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Amazon Launches Virtual 'Dash' Buttons For One-Click Buying From the Homepage
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's making-things-easier department:
Amazon's Dash Buttons, those tiny, physical gadgets, make buying products from the online retailer easier when you're not in front of a computer. Now the company is taking that idea back to its digital storefront. From a report on Recode: The new virtual Dash buttons started appearing on the Amazon.com homepage and the Amazon app home screen on Thursday night. The company is automatically creating ones for items you recently ordered or order often. An order is placed with one click or tap on the digital button. An Amazon spokesperson said Prime members can create a virtual one-click button for tens of millions of products available for Prime delivery. "Add to your Dash buttons" is now an option on the product page of all eligible products. Virtual Dash buttons are free to use, while the physical ones cost $4.99. A spokesperson said the idea for the virtual shortcuts came from the success of the physical buttons and is not connected to the reported expiration of the Amazon patent for one-click purchases.

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ROBOTKINGDOM.COM Newsletter #1361
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 11:21 AM
By Tony_Bacala from TFW2005:
Site sponsor Robot Kingdom have sent through their latest newsletter. Check out a preview below and read on for full details! 1. Starting from now on, for all Star Wars orders over USD50 will come with a FREE plastic folder as GIFT! Including preorder unsent orders too, we will include free gift too. These 2 types of files will be given out randomly. If you want a certain type, please » Continue Reading.

The post ROBOTKINGDOM.COM Newsletter #1361 appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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First Look At Simba Smoby 2017 RID Die-Cast Vehicle 2-Packs
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 11:21 AM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="397" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2017/01/Simba-Smoby-Transformers-RID-2-Pack-Drift.jpg" alt="" />

Last week, we informed you that Simba Smoby will showcase their latest licensed Transformers die-cast vehicles at this year’s London Toy Fair. The toys include both Transformers: The Last Knight and Transformers: Robots In Disguise lines. Today, thanks to a small press material promoting the aforementioned Toy Fair, we have our first look at one of the products listed on our previous news post. The company will manufacture a line of Transformers: Robots In Disguise 2-Packs for the year 2017; where a Die-Cast vehicle will come with an articulated figure of the character. The scanned pics we have are » Continue Reading.

The post First Look At Simba Smoby 2017 RID Die-Cast Vehicle 2-Packs appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Donald Trump Is Sworn In As the 45th US President
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 10:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how's-your-day department:
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, succeeding Barack Obama and taking control of a divided country in a transition of power that he has declared will lead to "America First" policies at home and abroad. Reuters reports: As scattered protests erupted elsewhere in Washington, Trump raised his right hand and put his left on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln and repeated a 35-word oath of office from the U.S. Constitution, with U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.

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Uber Will Pay $20 Million For Exaggerating Drivers' Earnings
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 10:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's smells-fishy department:
Uber is paying $20 million to settle allegations that it duped people into driving for its ride-hailing service with false promises about how much they would earn and how much they would have to pay to finance a car. From a report: The FTC claimed that Uber was advertising an annual median income of over $90,000 per year for uberX drivers in New York and more than $74,000 for uberX drivers in San Francisco. But, as the commission found out, less than 10 percent of all drivers in those cities actually make that much. The complaint also alleges that Uber was inflating the hourly earnings on job boards like Craigslist. New drivers who financed a new car through Uber's Vehicle Solutions Program found out the company's claims were too good to be true as well. Although Uber told new drivers they would be able to lease a new car for around $119 per week, the actual lease rates never dipped below $200 from late 2013 to April 2015. And, despite its promise of delivering "the best financing options available," it turns out that Uber's rates were actually worse than consumers with similar credit scores could have gotten elsewhere. Adding insult to overpriced injury, Uber tacked on mileage limits to lease agreements that were advertised with unlimited mileage.

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Japan is Testing USB Phone Charging Stations in Public Transport Buses
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 08:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
According to Japanese news outlet IT Media, a public transport bus in the Tokyo area has introduced, and is currently testing, USB charging stations for commuter phones and tablets. From a report: While the local Bureau of Transportation hasn't formally announced or confirmed the trials, numerous passengers so far have reported seeing the charging ports. The service runs free of charge, with at least five of these wall-mounted charging hotspots placed inside the bus. According to reports, the service is currently available solely in a single bus. It remains unclear how long testing will continue or whether it will eventually roll out to more buses. Japan isn't the only country to have offered phone charging stations in public transport vehicles. Last September, London also equipped a limited number of busses with USB chargers. Similarly, Singapore ran trials with wall-mounted phone chargers on at least 10 buses in September last year.

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Top Security Researchers Ask The Guardian To Retract Its WhatsApp Backdoor Report
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 08:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's no-mercy department:
Earlier this month The Guardian reported what it called a "backdoor" in WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned instant messaging app. Some security researchers were quick to call out The Guardian for what they concluded was irresponsible journalism and misleading story. Now, a group of over three dozen security researchers including Matthew Green and Bruce Schneier (as well as some from companies such as Google, Mozilla, Cloudflare, and EFF) have signed a long editorial post, pointing out where The Guardian's report fell short, and also asking the publication to retract the story. From the story: The WhatsApp behavior described is not a backdoor, but a defensible user-interface trade-off. A debate on this trade-off is fine, but calling this a "loophole" or a "backdoor" is not productive or accurate. The threat is remote, quite limited in scope, applicability (requiring a server or phone number compromise) and stealthiness (users who have the setting enabled still see a warning; "even if after the fact). The fact that warnings exist means that such attacks would almost certainly be quickly detected by security-aware users. This limits this method. Telling people to switch away from WhatsApp is very concretely endangering people. Signal is not an option for many people. These concerns are concrete, and my alarm is from observing what's actually been happening since the publication of this story and years of experience in these areas. You never should have reported on such a crucial issue without interviewing a wide range of experts. The vaccine metaphor is apt: you effectively ran a "vaccines can kill you" story without interviewing doctors, and your defense seems to be, "but vaccines do kill people [through extremely rare side effects]."

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Viral Chinese Selfie App Meitu, Valued at Over $5 Billion, Phones Home With Personal Data
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 08:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
The Meitu selfie horrorshow app going viral through Western audiences is a privacy nightmare, researchers say. The app, which has been featured on several popular outlets including the NYTimes, USA Today, and NYMag, harvests information about the devices on which it runs, includes invasive advertising tracking features and is just badly coded. From a report: But worst of all, the free app appears to be phoning some to share personal data with its makers. Meitu, a Chinese production, includes in its code up to three checks to determine if an iPhone handset is jailbroken, according to respected forensics man Jonathan Zdziarski, a function to grab mobile provider information, and various analytics capabilities. Zdziarski says the app also appears to build a unique device profile based in part on a handset's MAC address. "Meitu is a throw-together of multiple analytics and marketing/ad tracking packages, with something cute to get people to use it," Zdziarski says. Unique phone IMEI numbers are shipped to dozens of Chinese servers, malware researcher FourOctets found. The app, which was valued at over $5 billion last year due its popularity, seeks access to device and app history; accurate location; phone status; USB, photos, and files storage read and write; camera; Wifi connections; device ID & call information; full network access, run at startup, and prevent device from sleeping on Android phones.

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Barge
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 08:21 AM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

My life goal is to launch a barge into the air and have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets.

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Samsung Note 7 Investigation Will Blame 'Irregularly Sized' Batteries and Manufacturing Flaws, Says WSJ
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 07:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's what-really-happened department:
Samsung's official investigation into the cause of widespread faults with the Galaxy Note 7 will blame "irregularly sized" batteries and manufacturing faults, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The company is set to announce the results of its inquiry this weekend, but the WSJ claims to have revealed its conclusions early, citing information from "people familiar with the matter." From the report: The WSJ says Samsung hired three independent "quality-control and supply-chain analysis firms" to conduct its investigation, with these firms concluding that two separate faults affected the Note 7. The first fault relates to devices that used batteries made by Samsung subsidiary Samsung SDI. These batteries didn't fit inside the phone properly, which led to overheating and, in some cases, explosions. When reports of the Note 7 fault first emerged last August, executives initially believed the problem was confined to these particular devices. In response, they increased production of the Note 7 using batteries made by Hong Kong-based firm Amperex Technology. According to the official investigation, this rush to ensure there was an adequate supply of Note 7 devices for the market led to the second fault -- with the increased pressure on production creating unknown "manufacturing issues."

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Trump Trades in Android Phone For Secret Service-Approved Device
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 07:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's secret-service-approved department:
Who's got two thumbs and a Secret Service-approved phone to tweet from? On arriving in Washington on Thursday ahead of his inauguration, Donald Trump has handed in his Android device in exchange for an unidentified locked-down phone, according to Associated Press. From a report: The phone comes with a new number that is known only to a limited number of people. This marks a big change for Trump, who's frequently on the line with friends, business contacts, reporters, foreign leaders and politicians. Barack Obama was the first president to use a mobile device approved by security agencies because of hacking concerns. Initially he had a heavily modified BlackBerry and later switched to another phone that had most features totally disabled. He was not known to use it for making or receiving calls, but it was one of few devices that had access to the @POTUS Twitter account.

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Facebook Has a Team That Handles Mark Zuckerberg's Page
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 06:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's behind-the-scenes department:
theodp writes: Q. How many Facebook employees does it take to produce Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook page? A. More than a dozen! CNET's Ian Sherr offers his take on the news that Facebook has a team that handles Mark Zuckerberg's page: "Ever notice the photos, videos and posts on the profile page for Facebook's CEO are a lot nicer looking or better written than yours? Don't feel bad. Mark Zuckerberg has a team of people who are increasingly managing his public persona, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Not only do they help write speeches and posts, but they also take photographs of his family and his travels, interspersing them with infographics about the company's user growth and sales. There're even people who delete harassing comments and spam for him. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company's service is an easy way for executives to connect with people." Wonder how many people it took to help craft the latest post, in which Zuck fired back at "some misleading stories going around" about "some land" he purchased in Hawaii (which another Zuck post noted also serves as a petting zoo of sorts for his daughter).

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It’s New To Me – X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (“Family Ties” / “Bloodlines”)
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 05:50 AM
By Ben Gilbert from Panels on Pages:
In my years of TV watching, there have been tons of well-regarded shows that have eluded my gaze. Thanks to the magic of Netflix and other online streaming sites, I now have an opportunity to watch these shows and share my thoughts on them. It may be a classic to you, but It’s New To Me!

<img src="https://i2.wp.com/www.panelsonpages.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/family-ties.jpg?resize=283%2C178" alt="" />

While not as full of “big moments” as the previous three seasons, the penultimate fourth season of the X-Men Animated Series excelled at providing added depth and emotional resonance to several of its major and minor characters. Much was made during this season of Wolverine’s internal struggle to maintain the humanity he regained as a member of Professor Xavier’s team of mutant heroes, and with his journey seemingly wrapped up in “Lotus and Steel,” the final two episodes of the season focus on two of the most prominent dysfunctional families within the world of the X-Men and of the Marvel Universe as a whole. While these two standalone episodes don’t share a direct narrative connection, they do provide a satisfying thematic link that brings the season to an effective and surprisingly emotional close.

< article continued at Panels on Pages >

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Star Trek Discovery Gets Delayed Again As Spock's Father Is Cast
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '17 at 03:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's here-we-go-again department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Hollywood Reporter: CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery has been delayed again as the series continues casting. The revival for the streaming platform has cast James Frain as Spock's father, producer CBS Television Studios announced Wednesday, as sources confirm that the show's planned May debut has been pushed. "Production on Star Trek: Discovery begins next week. We love the cast, the scripts and are excited about the world the producers have created," reps for CBS All Access said in a statement. "This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it's best for the show. We've said from the beginning it's more important to do this right than to do it fast. There is also added flexibility presenting on CBS All Access, which isn't beholden to seasonal premieres or launch windows." Frain will play Sarek, the famed father of Spock who was first introduced in the original Star Trek and who has made several appearances throughout the franchise's many incarnations over the past five decades. The CBS All Access show features the franchise's Enterprise, now known as the U.S.S. Discovery. The drama will introduce new characters seeking new worlds and civilizations while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966. Star Trek: Discovery was originally scheduled to debut in January and was pushed back to May, with The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight now set to be the first scripted offering on CBS All Access, the network's VOD platform. This marks the second delay for the series, which saw former showrunner Bryan Fuller step down to focus on his Starz drama American Gods.

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