Official Transformers Kentei (Proficiency Test) on February 16, 2020 In Tokyo & Osaka
Posted by News Fetcher on June 16 '19 at 04:50 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="519" src="" alt="" />

Japanese fans will have an opportunity to prove how much they know about Transformers. Japanese Website Kentei Uketsuke, known in Japan for offering tests and certificates for an enormous amount of categories (from how much do you know about rice to otaku knowledge), has opened a new Official Transformers Kentei (Proficiency Test). The proficiency test will be taken this upcoming February 16th in Tokyo and Osaka. There’s a practice section on the site for fans to train for the test. There are several multiple-choice questions from several Transformers series (G1, Beast Wars and even Cyberverse) and movies. While the » Continue Reading.

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Do Google and Facebook Threaten Our 'Ambient Privacy'?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 16 '19 at 03:40 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's every-move-you-make department:
This week Pinboard founder Maciej Ceglowski (also a web developer and social critic) asked readers of his blog to consider an emerging threat to ambient privacy.

He defines it as "the understanding that there is value in having our everyday interactions with one another remain outside the reach of monitoring, and that the small details of our daily lives should pass by unremembered."

Until recently, ambient privacy was a simple fact of life. Recording something for posterity required making special arrangements, and most of our shared experience of the past was filtered through the attenuating haze of human memory. Even police states like East Germany, where one in seven citizens was an informer, were not able to keep tabs on their entire population. Today computers have given us that power. Authoritarian states like China and Saudi Arabia are using this newfound capacity as a tool of social control. Here in the United States, we're using it to show ads. But the infrastructure of total surveillance is everywhere the same, and everywhere being deployed at scale....

Because our laws frame privacy as an individual right, we don't have a mechanism for deciding whether we want to live in a surveillance society. Congress has remained silent on the matter, with both parties content to watch Silicon Valley make up its own rules. The large tech companies point to our willing use of their services as proof that people don't really care about their privacy. But this is like arguing that inmates are happy to be in jail because they use the prison library. Confronted with the reality of a monitored world, people make the rational decision to make the best of it.
That is not consent...

< article continued at Slashdot's every-move-you-make department >

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'How Close Are We to Self-Driving Cars, Really?'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 11:40 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's great-expectations department:
Chris Urmson helped pioneer self-driving car technology at Google before founding Aurora (which sells self-driving car software to automakers, and this week announced a new partnership with Chrysler and a new round of investment by Hyundai). In a new interview, Urmson "says he expects that in about five to 10 years, Americans will start seeing robots cruising down the road in a handful of cities and towns across the country," reports Slate.

"It will be about 30 to 50 years, he says, until they're everywhere. "

I think within the next five years we'll see small-scale deployment. That'll be a few hundred or a few thousand vehicles. Really this is the, it's Silicon Valley speak, this is the zero-to-one moment of proving that the technology actually works, understanding how customers want to use it, convincing ourselves that -- and when I say ourselves, I mean as a society -- that these are sufficiently safe, that we trust them on the roadway, and that's that first phase... [W]hen the technology actually starts to become scaled, then we can ask the question what have we learned, what are the ways that we can make this a little bit safer, a little bit incrementally more efficient, and that's what I think local and state governments and federal government would invest in infrastructure...

< article continued at Slashdot's great-expectations department >

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Security Cameras + AI = Dawn of Non-Stop Robot Surveillance
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 09:00 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Skynet department:
AmiMoJo shared this post from one of the ACLU's senior technology policy analysts about what happens when security cameras get AI upgrades:

[I]magine that all that video were being watched -- that millions of security guards were monitoring them all 24/7. Imagine this army is made up of guards who don't need to be paid, who never get bored, who never sleep, who never miss a detail, and who have total recall for everything they've seen. Such an army of watchers could scrutinize every person they see for signs of "suspicious" behavior. With unlimited time and attention, they could also record details about all of the people they see -- their clothing, their expressions and emotions, their body language, the people they are with and how they relate to them, and their every activity and motion...

The guards won't be human, of course -- they'll be AI agents.

Today we're publishing a report on a $3.2 billion industry building a technology known as "video analytics," which is starting to augment surveillance cameras around the world and has the potential to turn them into just that kind of nightmarish army of unblinking watchers.... Many or most of these technologies will be somewhere between unreliable and utterly bogus. Based on experience, however, that often won't stop them from being deployed -- and from hurting innocent people...

< article continued at Slashdot's Skynet department >

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Are Open Source Developers Being Underfunded and Exploited?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 06:20 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's free-as-in-labor department:
Donation-based open source programmer Andre Staltz recently collected data from GitHub, Patreon, and OpenCollective to try to calculate how much money is being donated to popular projects.

The results? Out of 58 projects checked, "there were two clearly sustainable open source projects, but the majority (more than 80%) of projects that we usually consider sustainable are actually receiving income below industry standards or even below the poverty threshold."

More than 50% of projects are red: they cannot sustain their maintainers above the poverty line. 31% of the projects are orange, consisting of developers willing to work for a salary that would be considered unacceptable in our industry. 12% are green, and only 3% are blue: Webpack and Vue.js... The median donation per year is $217, which is substantial when understood on an individual level, but in reality includes sponsorship from companies that are doing this also for their own marketing purposes...

The total amount of money being put into open source is not enough for all the maintainers. If we add up all of the yearly revenue from those projects in this data set, it's $2.5 million. The median salary is approximately $9k, which is below the poverty line. If split up that money evenly, that's roughly $22k, which is still below industry standards. The core problem is not that open source projects are not sharing the money received. The problem is that, in total numbers, open source is not getting enough money...

< article continued at Slashdot's free-as-in-labor department >

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News Industry Argues Google and Facebook 'Rob Journalism of Its Revenue', Seek Government Help
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 03:40 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's black-and-white-and-read-all-over department:
This week USA Today's former editor-in-chief argued that "Tech overlords Google and Facebook have used monopoly to rob journalism of its revenue," in an op-ed shared by schwit1:

Over the past decade, the news business has endured a bloodbath, with tens of thousands of journalists losing their jobs amid mass layoffs. The irony is, more people than ever are consuming news... Why the disconnect? Look no further than a new study by the News Media Alliance, which found that in 2018, Google made $4.7 billion off of news content -- almost as much as every news organization in America combined made from digital ads last year. Yet Google paid a grand total of zero for the privilege. News industry revenue, meanwhile, has plunged... Google and Facebook command about 60% of all U.S. digital advertising revenue, and have siphoned off billions of dollars that once were the lifeblood of the news media.

Let's be perfectly clear: Journalism's primary revenue source has been hijacked. It's time that news providers are compensated for the journalism they produce. That's why passage of the bipartisan Journalism Competition and Preservation Act is crucial...

Toward that end, "News industry officials, including Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Kevin Riley, testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill in favor of legislation they say would help recover advertising revenue lost in recent years to tech behemoths such as Google and Facebook."

< article continued at Slashdot's black-and-white-and-read-all-over department >

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These Are the Internet of Things Devices That Are Most Targeted By Hackers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 03:40 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ruh-roh department:
ZDNet reports:
Internet-connected security cameras account for almost half of the Internet of Things devices that are compromised by hackers even as homes and businesses continue to add these and other connected devices to their networks. Research from cybersecurity company SAM Seamless Network found that security cameras represent 47 percent of vulnerable devices installed on home networks.

According to the data, the average U.S. household contains 17 smart devices while European homes have an average of 14 devices connected to the network... Figures from the security firm suggest that the average device is the target of an average of five attacks per day, with midnight the most common time for attacks to be executed -- it's likely that at this time of the night, the users will be asleep and not paying attention to devices, so won't be witness to a burst of strange behavior.

The anonymous reader who submitted this story suggests a possible solution: government inspectors should examine every imported IoT device at the border.

"The device gets rejected if it has non-essential ports open, hard-coded or generic passwords, no automated patching for at least four years, etc."

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Target Experiences A 'Massive' Nationwide Cash Register Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 02:20 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's expect-less-pay-less department:
CBS News reports:
Target acknowledged nationwide "system issues" affecting its stores on Saturday that prevented its customers from checking out at registers. The outage caused long checkout lines at Target locations, with upset customers posting images and video on social media.

Slashdot reader McGruber shared an article reporting more than 5,000 posts on about problems at Target stores Saturday -- and noting that Target is America's eighth-largest retailer. (CBS reports Target has 1,800 stores scattered across the country.) "This is how you bring America to a standstill," a Minnesota news producer joked on Twitter (where the phrase #targetdown is now trending...)

"At least Target kept me fed," the news producer added later. "They brought out candy and popcorn and wings. I'm thinking they should set up a TV next and pop in a movie. Maybe we can play bean bag toss, too..."

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Transformers x Ghostbusters Ectotron Ain’t Afraid T-Shirt by Mad Engine, LLC: Out at GameStop
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 02:10 PM
By AzT from TFW2005:
<img width="450" height="600" src="" alt="" />

By way of TFW2005 member Fc203 giving a signal boost to @DiemTF, we confirm the GameStop arrival of Mad Engine’s Transformers x Ghostbusters Ain’t Afraid T-shirt featuring Ectotron in both modes and the Ghostbusters crew. Online pre-orders ranging from sizes small to XXXL show a release date of June 20th. Will you be sporting one of these shirts to join Ghostbusters in celebrating its 35th anniversary? Sound off on the 2005 boards!

The post Transformers x Ghostbusters Ectotron Ain’t Afraid T-Shirt by Mad Engine, LLC: Out at GameStop appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Star Trek Logo Spotted On Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 01:00 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's boldly-going department:
Long-time Slashdot reader fahrbot-bot brings us news about the southern hemisphere of Mars:

The University of Arizona HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) has posted a photo of curious chevron shapes in southeast Hellas Planitia that are the result of "a complex story of dunes, lava, and wind."

"Enterprising viewers will make the discovery that these features look conspicuously like a famous logo..."

RockDoctor (Slashdot reader #15,477) adds that "For those wanting to try to find it on a Mars map, it's at Latitude (centered) -49.325Â Longitude (East) 85.331Â."

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Ages Three and Up Newsletter 6/15/19
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 12:50 PM
By AzT from TFW2005:
TFW2005 friend and sponsor Ages Three and Up delivers their latest product updates newsletter. Check out the details below!   Latest Arrivals X-Transbots – MM-VIII Arkose Re-issue Ocular Max – PS-12 Saltus WeiJiang – MPP10B – Black Commander Transformers Generations Siege – Voyager Soundwave Transformers Generations Siege – Voyager Starscream Transformers Generations Siege – Voyager Wave 2 Set of 2 X-Transbots – MX-15 Deathwish DNA Design – DK-10 Studio Series Ironhide Upgrade Kit Iron Factory – IFEX12G Blue Flash X-Transbots – MX-16 Overheat   Latest Pre-Orders Bandai <a href="">» Continue Reading.

The post Ages Three and Up Newsletter 6/15/19 appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Dreamcast Games Facts - Did You Know Gaming? extra Feat. Dazz
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 12:21 PM
By DidYouKnowGaming? from DidYouKnowGaming?:

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How to Get XKCD Author Randall Munroe To Visit Your City
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 11:40 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's geeky-challenges department:
Since 2005 Randall Munroe has been the author/illustrator of the popular nerdy comic strip XKCD -- and he's now planning to publish "the world's least useful self-help book." How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems offers readers a third choice beyond simply doing things either the right way or the wrong way: "a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it," according to a new page at

It describes how to cross a river by removing all the water, outlines some of the many uses for lava around the home, and teaches you how to use experimental military research to ensure that your friends will never again ask you to help them move.

To promote the book Munroe has already scheduled visits in 14 nerd-friendly cities (including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Raleigh). But a final 15th city will be chosen "based on the results of a challenge..."

The challenge: Write the best story using nothing but book covers. Arrange the titles of your favorite books into sentences that tell a story, assemble a single continuous line of people holding up the covers, and take a photo or video documenting your feat.

You can make the story as long as you want, but each book needs to be held by a different human. Creative grammar is fine, and you'll get extra credit for including as many books and people as possible.

Photos should be either shared on social media with the hashtag #howtoxkcd, or emailed to that address on Gmail. "Submit your entry between June 10 and July 31," explains the site, adding that a winner will be announced in August.

"Make sure to include your location (city/state, US only) so we know where to find you!"

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New Hampshire Unveils a Historical Highway Marker For The BASIC Programming Language
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 11:40 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's where-to-GOTO department:
"It took 10 months to get it done, but the Granite State is now officially a Geeky State," writes Concord Monitor science reporter David Brooks.
"The latest New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker, celebrating the creation of the BASIC computer language at Dartmouth in 1964, has officially been installed. Everybody who has ever typed a GOTO command can feel proud..."

Last August, I wrote in this column that the 255 official historical markers placed alongside state roads told us enough about covered bridges and birthplaces of famous people but not enough about geekiness. Since anybody can submit a suggestion for a new sign, I thought I'd give it a shot.

The creation of BASIC, the first programing language designed to let newbies dip their intellectual toes into the cutting-edge world of software, seemed the obvious candidate. Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code has probably has done more to introduce more people to computer programming than anything ever created. That includes me: The only functioning programs I've ever created were in vanilla BASIC, and I still recall the great satisfaction of typing 100 END...

But BASIC wasn't just a toy for classrooms. It proved robust enough to survive for decades, helping launch Microsoft along the way, and there are descendants still in use today. In short, it's way more important than any covered bridge.
The campaign for the marker was supported by Thomas Kurtz, the retired Dartmouth math professor who'd created BASIC along with the late John Kemeny. "Our original idea was to mention both BASIC and the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System, an early system by which far-flung computers could share resources. They were created hand-in-hand as part of Kemeny's idea of putting computing in the hands of the unwashed masses.

< article continued at Slashdot's where-to-GOTO department >

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Legacy TV-Kun Transformers 35th Anniversary Commander Convoy Box Crowdfunding Project Announced
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 11:31 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="258" height="600" src="" alt="" />

Another bit of interesting news is coming. The official Takara Tomy Twitter has announced that they are partnering with popular Japanese Magazine TV-Kun in a Transformers 35th Anniversary Commander Convoy Box Crowdfunding Project. This should be a promising crowdfunding project, but we still have not much details about it. The official site is up with just a teaser image featuring a gold chromed G1 Convoy / Optimus Prime figure and the name of the crowdfunding. What do you think it’s coming? Time will tell. Stay tuned with TFW2005 for more information once it’s available. It’s speculation time then! Click on the » Continue Reading.

The post Legacy TV-Kun Transformers 35th Anniversary Commander Convoy Box Crowdfunding Project Announced appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Film Theory: Don't Look Away Don'ẗ̶̖́ Loo̶̹͑͜k Aẃ̸̗ạ̵̕ỹ̵͙ Look̵̪͊̈ Away (Local 58)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 11:11 AM
By The Film Theorists from The Film Theory:

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KDE Plasma 5.16 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 10:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's delivering-desktops department:
Long-time Slashdot reader jrepin writes: The KDE community has released Plasma 5.16, the newest iteration of the popular desktop environment. It features an improved notification system, Not only can you mute notifications altogether with the Do Not Disturb mode, but the system also groups notifications by app.

Developers also focused on user's privacy. When any application accesses the microphone, an icon will pop up in your system tray, showing that something is listening. Vaults, a built-in utility to encrypt folders, are easier and more convenient to use.

Dolphin file and folder manager now opens folders you click on in new tabs instead of new windows. Discover software manager is cleaner and clearer as it now has two distinct areas for downloading and installing software. The Wallpaper Slideshow settings window displays the images in the folders you selected, and lets you select only the graphics you want to display in the slideshow.

For a more comprehensive overview of what to expect in Plasma 5.16, check out the official announcement or the changelog for the complete list of changes.

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Vim and Neo Editors Vulnerable To High-Severity Bug
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 10:21 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's editor-exploits department:
JustAnotherOldGuy quotes Threatpost:

A high-severity bug impacting two popular command-line text editing applications, Vim and Neovim, allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands. Security researcher Armin Razmjou warned that exploiting the bug is as easy as tricking a target into clicking on a specially crafted text file in either editor. Razmjou outlined his research and created a proof-of-concept (PoC) attack demonstrating how an adversary can compromise a Linux system via Vim or Neowim. He said Vim versions before 8.1.1365 and Neovim before 0.3.6 are vulnerable to arbitrary code execution...

Vim and Neovim have both released patches for the bug (CVE-2019-12735) that the National Institute of Standards and Technology warns, "allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands via the :source! command in a modeline."

"Beyond patching, it's recommended to disable modelines in the vimrc (set nomodeline), to use the securemodelinesplugin, or to disable modelineexpr (since patch 8.1.1366, Vim-only) to disallow expressions in modelines," the researcher said.

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Rumor: Possible G-Shock X Transformers Master Nemesis Prime In The Works
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 10:11 AM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="411" src="" alt="" />

We have an interesting rumor from Tokyo Toy Show to share with you. Twitter user @portamy was tweeting information from the event, and according to that a Possible G-Shock X Transformers Master Nemesis Prime is in the works. Last year, Casio G-Shock and Transformers joined for the 35 anniversary of the franchise and brought rhe G-Shock x Transformers Master Optimus Prime Resonant Mode. It was a special G-Shock DW-6900TF-4 in Optimus Prime colors with a transformable Master Optimus Prime Pedestal Prime. This year there will be a new collaboration announcing G-Shock X Transformers Master Nemesis Prime. As we can assume, a new black repaint <a href="">» Continue Reading.

The post Rumor: Possible G-Shock X Transformers Master Nemesis Prime In The Works appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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FBI Issues Search Warrant To 8chan For IP Address of Shooter, Commenters
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '19 at 09:00 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's feds-versus-forums department:
An anonymous reader quotes the Daily Beast:
The online forum where alleged Chabad of Poway shooter John Earnest shared a livestream of the shooting was served a search warrant in April for the IP and metadata information on Earnest's posts, as well as those who commented on them.

The warrant served to 8chan said the people who responded to Earnest's comments could be "potential witnesses, co-conspirators and/or individuals who are inspired" by his posting about the shooting. Similarly, according to the FBI agent who penned the warrant, there was evidence that Earnest himself was "inspired and/or educated" by other individuals posting on the forum.

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