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John McAfee Can Finally Use His Own Name Again
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 03:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's call-me-John department:
An anonymous reader quotes Fossbytes:
It was last year when, John McAfee, the co-founder of an antivirus company that's now owned by Intel, took Intel to the court over the right to use his name for commercial purposes... According to a Reuters report, the US District Judge Paul Oetken has dismissed the 2016 case and the counter lawsuit filed by Intel. The two parties have settled upon a mutual agreement which allows John Mcafee to use his name for promotions, presentations, and advertisements. He can't link his name to any product or service related to cyber security and security.

McAfee told the BBC that he can't directly name a company after himself, adding "I can live with that. That certainly beats having to live with 'The Entrepreneur Formerly known as McAfee.'"
Johnny Depp is still scheduled to play McAfee in a movie called "King of the Jungle," which will focus on the period of his life when McAfee fled a police investigation in Belize.

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Microsoft's Last 'Bug Bash' Before Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 02:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's not-the-shell-language department:
Mark Wilson quotes BetaNews:
With the launch of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16237 to the Fast Ring yesterday, Microsoft wheeled in numerous fixes and new features. At the same time, the company also announced that the second Bug Bash for the next big update to Windows 10 is about to take place. This is the last Bug Bash that will take place before the release of the final version of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it will see an intense period of testing with the help of Windows Insiders. Things kick off on Friday, July 14 and continue for more than a week.

Of course, the whole idea of the insider program is to help Microsoft to home in on bugs and get them fixed before software is released to the masses, but the Bug Bash steps things up a notch. Participants will be asked to take part in quests to check specific elements of the operating system as Microsoft draws closer to pushing out this latest feature update.
This build includes "read out loud" functionality for PDFs, support for emoji 5.0 -- and now when you relaunch Edge after it crashes, your tabs will be restored automatically.

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Google Funds A Team Of Robot Journalists
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 12:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's I,-Journalist department:
Darren Sharp brings news about the arrival of robot journalists. The Guardian reports:
Robots will help a national news agency to create up to 30,000 local news stories a month, with the help of human journalists and funded by a Google grant. The Press Association has won a €706,000 ($800,779 or £621,000) grant to run a news service with computers writing localised news stories. The national news agency, which supplies copy to news outlets in the U.K. and Ireland, has teamed up with data-driven news start-up Urbs Media for the project, which aims to create "a stream of compelling local stories for hundreds of media outlets"... PA's editor-in-chief, Peter Clifton, said journalists will still be involved in spotting and creating stories and will use artificial intelligence to increase the amount of content. He said: "Skilled human journalists will still be vital in the process, but Radar [the Reporters And Data And Robots project] allows us to harness artificial intelligence to scale up to a volume of local stories that would be impossible to provide manually."

Journalists will create "detailed story templates" for articles about crime, health, and employment, for example, then use natural language software to create multiple versions to "scale up the mass localization."

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Enthusiast Resurrects IBM's Legendary 'Model F' Keyboard
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 12:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's changing-keys department:
An anonymous reader quotes Popular Mechanics: You may not know the Model F by name, but you know it by sound -- the musical thwacking of flippers slapping away. The sound of the '80s office. The IBM Model F greeting the world in 1981 with a good ten pounds of die-cast zinc and keys that crash down on buckling metal springs as they descend. It's a sensation today's clickiest keyboards chase, but will never catch. And now it's coming back. The second coming of the high-quality Model F (not to be confused with its more affordable plastic successor, the Model M) isn't a throwback attention grab from IBM, nor a nostalgia play from Big Keyboard. Instead, it's the longtime work of a historian in love with the retro keyboard's unparalleled sound and feel, but frustrated by the limitations of actual decades-old tech.

The Model F Keyboards project, now taking preorders for the new line of authentic retro-boards, was started by Joe Strandberg, a Cornell University grad who's taken up keyboard wizardry as a nights-and-weekends hobby. He started as a collector and restorer of genuine Model F keyboards -- originally produced from 1981 to 1994 -- a process that familiarized him with their virtues and their flaws... Working with a factory in China, Strandberg has carefully overseen the reproduction process one step at time, from the springs to the unique powder-coating on the keyboard's zinc case. Despite the expense (Strandberg estimates spending $100,000 to revive the tooling necessary for the production run), it was the only viable option given the kind of abuse your average keyboard takes on a daily basis. "With 3D printing," he says, "the keyboard wouldn't last a year."

The first prototypes have just left the assembly line, and he's already racked up over a quarter of a million dollars in pre-orders. Does anyone else fondly remember IBM's hefty and trusty old keyboards?

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Facebook Envisions New Campus With Affordable Housing Units
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 11:32 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's neighbor-requests department:
An anonymous reader writes:
"In a few years, families could be living at Facebook," quips CNET. The Bay Area Newsgroup reports that Facebook is proposing a new campus with facilities open to the public "to address long-neglected community needs and to accommodate its burgeoning workforce." But the San Francisco Chronicle sees more than just new buildings. "Implicit in the tech company's announcement is Facebook's belief that it can solve some of the area's most pressing issues, including traffic congestion, demand for affordable housing and a lack of transit options. By opening the campus and some of its facilities to the public, Facebook is also heading off a common criticism lobbed at wealthy tech firms: that they move into cities, drive up the cost of living, displace area residents and then do little to give back."

Facebook will offer 15% of the housing -- about 225 units -- at "below market rates." They're also promising to invest tens of millions of dollars in improvements to nearby Highway 101 and to "catalyze regional transit investment," according to Facebook's vice president of global facilities and real estate. The Chronicle notes that the campus's open-to-the-public pharmacy and grocery store "would also solve the issue of a lack of food retailers in that part of the city, where the nearest large store is a Safeway 4 miles away -- a trip that can take up to 40 minutes during rush hour, according to Google Maps."

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Microsoft Makes 'Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino' Open Source
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 10:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's extending-with-extensions department:
BrianFagioli quotes BetaNews:

Thursday, Microsoft released yet another open source tool on GitHub -- Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino. This MIT-licensed code should greatly help developers that are leveraging Arduino hardware for Internet of Things-related projects and more. "Our team at Visual Studio IoT Tooling, researched the development tools developers are using today, interviewed many developers to learn about their pain points developing IoT applications, and found that of all layers of IoT, there are abundant dev tools for cloud, gateway, interactive devices, and industrial devices, but limited availability and capability for micro-controllers and sensors...
"Keeping open source and open platform in mind, we started the work to add an extension on Visual Studio Code, the cross-platform, open sourced advanced code editor, for Arduino application development," says Zhidi Shang, R&D and Product Development, Microsoft.

Microsoft's adds that its tool "is almost fully compatible and consistent with the official Arduino IDE," extending its capabilities with "the most sought-after features, such as IntelliSense, Auto code completion, and on-device debugging for supported boards."

Maybe this would be a good time to ask if anybody has a favorite IDE that they'd like to recommend?

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The EFF's 'Let's Encrypt' Plans Wildcard Certificates For Subdomains
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 08:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's let's-encrypt-our-subdomains department:
Long-time Slashdot reader jawtheshark shares an announcement from the EFF's free, automated, and open TLS certificate authority at LetsEncrypt.org:

Let's Encrypt will begin issuing [free] wildcard certificates in January of 2018... A wildcard certificate can secure any number of subdomains of a base domain (e.g. *.example.com). This allows administrators to use a single certificate and key pair for a domain and all of its subdomains, which can make HTTPS deployment significantly easier.

58% of web traffic is now encrypted, Let's Encrypt reports, crediting in part the 47 million domains they've secured since December of 2015. "Our hope is that offering wildcards will help to accelerate the Web's progress towards 100% HTTPS," explains their web page, noting that they're announcing the wild card certificates now in conjunction with a request for donations to support their work.

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Airport Security Fails 17 Times Out of 18 In Minneapolis
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 08:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's carry-on-anything-you-like department:
Bruce66423 writes, "It appears that that the security theatre at Minnesota airport failed to spot 17 security violations out of 18 last week." A local Minneapolis news station reports:
Last Thursday, what's referred to as the "Red Team" in town from Washington D.C., posed as passengers and attempted to sneak items through security that should easily be caught... 17 out of 18 tries by the undercover federal agents saw explosive materials, fake weapons or drugs pass through TSA screening undetected... In April of 2016, sources said the airport failed nine out of 12 tests.

"When asked about Thursday's failing grade, the TSA said, 'TSA cannot confirm or deny the results of internal tests and condemns the release of any information that could compromise our nation's security.'"

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Elderly Drivers In Japan Could Be Limited To Vehicles With Automatic Braking
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 07:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's pulling-out-all-the-stops department:
AmiMoJo writes:

Japan's National Police Agency has proposed several new rules to regulate elderly drivers, including limiting them to vehicles with automatic braking systems to increase public safety. "The panel was tasked with finding ways to mitigate the risks associated with dementia, poor vision and deteriorating physical strength associated with seniors," reports the Japan Times. "Deadly traffic accidents caused by people 75 or older are on the rise, though fatal accidents overall are on the decline." Automatic braking systems apply the car's brakes if a collision is imminent. Separately Japanese authorities are offering elderly drivers who give up their licenses a discount on their funerals.

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Author of Original Petya Ransomware Publishes Master Decryption Key
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 04:51 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-will department:
An anonymous reader writes: The author of the original Petya ransomware -- a person/group going by the name of Janus Cybercrime Solutions -- has released the master decryption key of all past Petya versions. This key can decrypt all ransomware families part of the Petya family except NotPetya, which isn't the work of Janus, but is believed to be the work of a nation-state actor that targeted Ukraine. Most (original) Petya campaigns happened in 2016, and very few campaigns have been active this year. Users that had their files locked have wiped drives or paid the ransom many months before. The key will only help those victims who cloned their drives and saved a copy of the encrypted data. Experts believe that Janus released Petya's decryption key as a result of the recent NotPetya outbreak, and he might have decided to shut down his operation to avoid further scrutiny, or being accused of launching NotPetya.

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Ola, India's Largest Ride-Hailing Service, Plans International Expansion
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 03:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's ride-hailing-space department:
Reader joshtops writes: Indian ride-hailing company Ola, which operates in over 100 cities in the local country, is eyeing international expansion, according to a report, which cites multiple sources. The company, which leads rival Uber in India's ride-hailing market, has been looking at international markets for some time, and it has identified India's neighbours Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh as the first international countries where it will offer its services, the report added. Rival Uber already operates in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Ola is also eyeing other countries in Asia and North Africa to continue this expansion in the future, another person requesting anonymity told Gadgets 360. [...] Ola is exploring international markets at a time when Uber is increasingly expanding its reach in India. The global ride-hailing service, which operates in over 500 cities, is presently available in 29 cities in the country. India has become the fastest growing market for Uber, especially in the wake of its exit from China. The report adds that an alliance by US' Lyft, South Asia's Grab, China's Didi, and India's Ola, which they formed to utilize each other's resources to better fight Uber, ended this year. Now the companies could become direct competitors.

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Oregon Raises the Smoking Age
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '17 at 02:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-moves department:
From a report: Some 95 percent of lifetime smokers pick up the habit before their 21st birthday, so Oregon lawmakers yesterday passed a law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase cigarettes in the hopes of nipping the bad habit in the bud. "By the age of 25, this addiction is cemented in the brain and it becomes very difficult -- almost impossible -- to quit," State Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, told KGW. Oregon is not the first state to do this, and it probably won't be the last. No one under 21 can (lawfully) buy cigarettes in Hawaii, California, Washington, D.C., and Guam to date. It also passed in New Jersey, but noted beachcomber Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill -- although it could still become law there. According to the American Cancer Society, at least 250 localities across the country have passed similar local ordinances.

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Federal Appeals Court: You Have a Constitutional Right to Film Police Officers in Public
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 11:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's know-your-rights department:
On Friday, a panel of judges for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the First Amendment protects individuals' right to film police officers performing their official duties. From a report: The 3rd Circuit now joins the 1st, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th Circuits in concluding that the Constitution guarantees a right to record. No federal appeals court has yet concluded that the First Amendment does not safeguard the right to film law enforcement officers conducting police activity in public. Friday's decision involved two instances in which the Philadelphia police retaliated against citizens attempting to film them. In the first incident, a legal observer named Amanda Geraci tried to film police arresting an anti-fracking protester when an officer pinned her against a pillar, preventing her from recording the arrest. In the second, a Temple University sophomore named Richard Fields tried to film police officers breaking up a house party when an officer asked him whether he "like[d] taking pictures of grown men" and demanded that he leave. When Fields refused, the officer arrested and detained him, confiscating his phone and looking through its photos and videos. The officer cited Fields for "Obstructing Highway and Other Public Passages," although the charges were dropped when the officer failed to appear at a court hearing. Geraci and Fields filed civil rights suits against the officers who interfered with their filming attempts.

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Google and Facebook Give Net Neutrality Campaign a Boost
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 07:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-call department:
The fight over net neutrality just got more interesting as two tech giants said they will step off the sidelines and join a so-called "day of action" on July 12, which aims to preserve rules that forbid Internet providers from favoring some websites over others. From a report: Until now, Google and Facebook -- which have been staunch supporters of net neutrality in the past -- have stayed out of the debate. But this week, they confirmed they will join other companies in telling consumers to oppose the FCC's plan to tear up the current rules. The participation of Google and Facebook in the day-of-action campaign could be a game-changer because their sites are visited by hundreds of millions of Americans, and a message from them could rally new opposition to the FCC plan. The two tech giants have yet to explain what specific actions -- such as displaying a banner on their homepage -- they will take. Other companies that are participating in the protest are.

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Tim Berners-Lee Approves Web DRM, But W3C Members Have Two Weeks To Appeal
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 06:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
Reader Atticus Rex writes: A high controversial Web standard has received a seal of approval from Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web and its chief technical decision-maker. Opponents like the Free Software Foundation and Electronic Frontier Foundation say that the standard, Encrypted Media Extensions, is a step backwards for freedom, privacy, and a host of other rights on the Web. There's still a two-week window in which members of the W3C can appeal the decision, and the Free Software Foundation is asking people to email and encourage them to do so.

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Amazon Threatened To Kill Its Whole Foods Deal if the Grocer Started a Bidding War
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 02:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's my-way-or-highway department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon has long had a reputation as a hard-ball negotiator. It turns out its negotiations with Whole Foods leading up to its $13.7 billion acquisition agreement were no different, according to an SEC filing outlining a timeline of the talks between the two companies. On May 23, Amazon made a written offer to acquire Whole Foods for $41 a share, less than a month after the first meeting between senior executives of the companies, the filing said. Whole Foods came back with a counterproposal of $45 a share, which got Amazon to increase its offer to $42. But Amazon's bankers from Goldman Sachs then "stressed several times" that the increase to $42 represented Amazon's "best and final offer." Amazon's bankers "also made it clear again ... that Amazon.com would disengage from its efforts to acquire the company and pursue other alternatives and initiatives if the $42.00 per share price were not accepted," the filing said, "and that Amazon.com expected that the company would not approach other potential bidders while the company was negotiating with Amazon.com." Amazon also threatened it would walk away if the talks leaked to the press, which they did not. Translation: $42 or nada.

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Joan Lee, Stan's Wife of 69 Years, Passed Away At Age 95
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 02:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's RIP department:
Reader McGruber writes: The Hollywood Reporter has the sad news that Joan Lee, the wife of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 95. In an earlier story, Stan described meeting Joan: "When I was young, there was one girl I drew; one body and face and hair. It was my idea of what a girl should be. The perfect woman. And when I got out of the Army, somebody, a cousin of mine, knew a model, a hat model at a place called Laden Hats. He said, 'Stan, there's this really pretty girl named Betty. I think you'd like her. She might like you. Why don't you go over and ask her to lunch.' Blah, blah, blah. "So I went up to this place. Betty didn't answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her -- and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I'm a nut for English accents! She said, 'May I help you?' And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, 'I love you.' I don't remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch." After marrying, the couple returned to New York, where Lee worked at Marvel Comics forerunner Timely/Atlas Comics, a job he initially landed because his cousin Martin Goodman owned the company. Comics were a middling enterprise until Lee and Jack Kirby co-created the Fantastic Four in 1961 (followed by the Hulk, Avengers, Iron Man, X-Men and other characters) and turned the company, renamed Marvel Comics, into a pop culture powerhouse. In some versions of the origin of the Fantastic Four, Lee credits Joan with inspiring him. He was depressed about his career (Lee had dreams of becoming a serious novelist) and the state of comics (the industry in the 1950s was dominated by stories of war, science fiction and romance, genres he didn't like) and contemplated leaving the business. "Before you quit," Joan told him, "why don't you write one comic you are proud of?" And thus was born the Fantastic Four.

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Ask Slashdot: Are We Living In the Golden Age of Bailing?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's duh department:
An anonymous reader shares a report that makes a case of us living in an era where bailing has become just too common: It's clear we're living in a golden age of bailing. All across America people are deciding on Monday that it would be really fantastic to go grab a drink with X on Thursday. But then when Thursday actually rolls around they realize it would actually be more fantastic to go home, flop on the bed and watch Carpool Karaoke videos. So they send the bailing text or email: "So sorry! I'm gonna have to flake on drinks tonight. Overwhelmed. My grandmother just got bubonic plague..." Bailing is one of the defining acts of the current moment because it stands at the nexus of so many larger trends: the ambiguity of modern social relationships, the fraying of commitments (paywalled), what my friend Hayley Darden calls the ethic of flexibility ushered in by smartphone apps -- not to mention the decline of civilization, the collapse of morality and the ruination of all we hold dear. [...] Technology makes it all so easy. You just pull out your phone and bailing on a rendezvous is as easy as canceling an Uber driver. There are different categories of bailing. There is canceling on friends. This seems to follow a bail curve pattern. People feel free to bail on close friends, because they will understand, and on distant friends, because they don't matter so much, but they are less inclined to bail on medium-tier or fragile friends. Then there is professional bailing. This tends to have a hierarchical structure. A high-status person will frequently bail on a lower-status colleague, but if an intern bails on a senior executive, it is a sign of serious disrespect. What do you folks think?

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Reality Bytes: A Highflying Tech Entrepreneur Crashes Back To Earth
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 12:51 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's welcome-back department:
An anonymous reader shares a WSJ article: Entrepreneur Jia Yueting likes to say that Apple is outdated, China's big technology companies are innovation-killing monopolies and his company, LeEco, is the real industry disrupter. That swagger served Mr. Jia in building an empire that sprawled across seven industries, from online video content to smartphones to electric cars. By having the ambition to take on Apple, Tesla and Netflix all at once, Mr. Jia seemed to embody the boundless promise of the huge China market. And investors responded favorably. Deal makers like HNA Capital and Legend Holdings bought in, as did the city government of tech hub Shenzhen, as well as movie director Zhang Yimou and other celebrities. British sports car maker Aston Martin joined up to develop electric vehicles. The U.S. state of Nevada promised $200 million in incentives for Mr. Jia's electric car venture, Faraday Futures, to build a $1 billion plant there. And LeEco unveiled a $2 billion deal to buy U.S. TV-maker Vizio. Now, most of those deals are dead or struggling and Mr. Jia's dreams are fading away due to a cash crunch and worried creditors (could be paywalled). On Thursday he resigned as chairman of a listed unit of LeEco, Leshi Internet Information & Technology, though he will remain the chairman of the holding company. That move comes after a Shanghai court last week -- at the behest of China Merchants Bank -- froze $181 million worth of his assets and $2 billion in shares over a missed interest payment.

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Hackers Targeting US Nuclear Power Plants, Report Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '17 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things department:
For the past couple of months, hackers have breached the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power facilities in the US, according to a new report from federal law enforcement officials. From a report: One of the companies targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, which operates a nuclear facility near Burlington, Kansas, according to a joint report issued last week by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and described by The New York Times. The report carried an urgent amber warning, the second-highest rating for the severity of the threat, the Times reported. Organizations running the nation's energy, nuclear and other critical infrastructure have become frequent targets for cyberattacks in recent years. In a 2013 executive order, President Barack Obama called cyberattacks "one of the most serious national security challenges we must confront."

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