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Intel's Compute Card Is a PC That Can Fit In Your Wallet
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 03:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ultra-portable department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Intel mostly missed the boat on smartphones, but the company is trying to establish a firm foothold in the ever-broadening marketplace for connected appliances and other smart things. Intel's latest effort in this arena is its new "Compute Card," a small 94.5mm by 55mm by 5mm slab that includes a CPU and GPU, RAM, storage, and wireless connectivity. Intel hasn't given us specific information about the specs and speeds of its first Compute Cards, but you can expect the fastest ones to approach the performance of high-end fanless laptops like Apple's MacBooks. Intel told us that processors with a TDP of up to 6W could fit inside the Compute Cards, which covers both low-power Atom chips like those that powered early versions of Intel's Compute Stick to full Core M and Y-series Core i5 and i7 CPUs like the ones you find in laptops. Intel says that the card uses a variant of the USB-C port called "USB-C plus extension" to connect with the systems it's plugged into. That connector gives devices direct access to the USB and PCIe buses as well as HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs. The company considers the Compute Card to be a replacement of sorts for the Compute Stick, which Intel says will probably disappear from its roadmap in 2018 or so. The issue with the Compute Stick from Intel's perspective is that its input and output ports were unnecessarily limiting -- it could only connect to HDMI ports and could only accept a limited number of USB inputs. The Compute Card can be slid into a wider variety of enclosures that can use all kinds of ports and display interfaces, and Intel says the Card will also offer a large array of performance and storage options, unlike current Compute Sticks.

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FTC Takes D-Link To Court Citing Lax Product Security, Privacy Perils
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 02:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's see-you-in-court department:
Reader coondoggie writes: The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against network equipment vendor D-Link saying inadequate security in the company's wireless routers and Internet cameras left consumers open to hackers and privacy violations. The FTC, in a complaint filed in the Northern District of California charged that "D-Link failed to take reasonable steps to secure its routers and Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, potentially compromising sensitive consumer information, including live video and audio feeds from D-Link IP cameras." For its part, D-Link Systems said it "is aware of the complaint filed by the FTC." According to the FTC's complaint, D-Link promoted the security of its routers on the company's website, which included materials headlined "Easy to secure" and "Advance network security." But despite the claims made by D-Link, the FTC alleged, the company failed to take steps to address well-known and easily preventable security flaws such as "hard-coded" login credentials integrated into D-Link camera software -- such as the username âoeguestâ and the password âoeguestâ -- that could allow unauthorized access to the cameras' live feed, etc.

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Uber Drivers Deemed To Be Employees By Swiss Insurance Provider
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 02:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's app-economy department:
An anonymous shares a TechCrunch article: Uber has suffered another setback to its operational model in Europe after a Swiss insurance agency ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not freelance contractors as the company claims -- meaning it must pay social security contributions. This follows a similar ruling by a UK employment tribunal in October which found that the two Uber drivers bringing the claim were employed as workers by Uber, rather than being freelance contractors. Swiss broadcaster SRF says the Suva agency made its decision on the status of Uber drivers in the market on account of their inability to set price or payment type, and because they are threatened with consequences from Uber if they do not fulfill its requirements. The Suva described its decision on the classification as a "clear conclusion." The public sector insurer is involved in determining whether workers are freelance or not as a provider of compulsory on-the-job accident insurance which is required for certain high risk professions.

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China To Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Fuel By 2020
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 12:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's moving-forward department:
China will invest $361 billion in renewable power generation between 2016 and 2020, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Thursday, as the world's largest energy market pushes to shift away from coal power. From a report: The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the NEA said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector in a five-year period. The NEA repeated its goal to have 580 million tonnes of coal equivalent of renewable energy consumption by 2020, accounting for 15 percent of overall energy consumption.

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Razer Built a Laptop With Three Screens Because Why Not?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 12:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's why-not department:
At CES in Las Vegas today, Razer unveiled a prototype that could change the way we play. Behold: Project Valerie, the world's first laptop to incorporate three built-in monitors. From a report on Engadget: Each screen measures 17.3 inches with 4K resolution -- that's 12k total (11520 x 2160) viewing space. They slide out from the central lid chassis under their own power and autonomously position themselves to create a full 180-degree viewing area, powered by NVIDIA's Surround View technology, which enables programs to spread a single image across multiple monitors. All of the computer's wiring is internal so you won't have to worry about snagging power cords as the screens deploy. The Valerie also utilizes Razer's short-throw keyboard, an all-aluminum case and the computing prowess of the 17-inch Blade Pro. No word on pricing.

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Origin PC's Custom, Professional Overclocking Will Push Your Kaby Lake Chip Past 5GHz
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 11:29 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's reaching-the-stars department:
An anonymous reader writes: Intel's new Kaby Lake desktop processors may not be huge improvements over their Skylake predecessors in terms of raw speed, but they've got it where it counts in one enthusiast-friendly area: overclocking. Now the high-end custom PC builder Origin is putting its (and your) money where its mouth is. Origin's has offered professional overclocking as a $75 option in its systems for a while, and now the builder is touting that Kaby Lake desktops chips will go up to -- and potentially over -- the 5GHz barrier. Hot, hot, hot, hot damn. Intel's chips haven't hit such lofty heights since the Sandy Bridge days and the Core i7-2600K. Since then, Intel's processors usually tap out around the 4.5GHz mark. While the current wording for Origin's professional overclocking doesn't guarantee a set frequency due to the silicon lottery -- promising only that "Origin PC's award winning system integrators will overclock your processor and squeeze out every last megahertz" with every overclock "stringently tested and benchmarked for ensured stability" -- the company must feel darn confident to market that 5GHz number in big, bold numbers in a press release.

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Verizon Executive Says Company Unsure About Yahoo Deal
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 11:29 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's not-sure department:
A senior executive of Verizon said on Thursday the company was unsure about its planned acquisition of Yahoo's internet business. From a report on Reuters: "I can't sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don't know," Marni Walden, president of product innovation and new businesses, said at the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.To walk away, Verizon likely will have to show the overall value of Yahoo has declined as a result of the two hacking disclosures. "I have to have certain facts in order to be able to make a decision," she told WSJ. "There's a lot of stuff we don't know."

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Minecraft Has Now Sold Over 25 Million Copies on PC and Mac
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 09:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's gaining-traction department:
An anonymous reader shares a Neowin article: Minecraft is a 3D video game created by Markus Persson, and published on PC by Mojang back in 2011. Ever since its release, it's been very popular and has become a global phenomenon. Received positively by reviewers and consumers alike, it has been a commercial success. In fact, its continuing popularity prompted Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014. It so happens that the game has sold over 25 million copies on PC and Mac to-date. According to the latest statistics publicly available on Mojang's website, Minecraft has sold 25,072,545 copies on PC and Mac.

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Rumors of Cmd's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 09:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's stating-it-out department:
Senior Program Manager at Microsoft has responded to speculations that Command Prompt is going away. He writes: The Cmd shell remains an essential part of Windows, and is used daily by millions of businesses, developers, and IT Pro's around the world. In fact: 1. Much of the automated system that builds and tests Windows itself is a collection of many Cmd scripts that have been created over many years, without which we couldn't build Windows itself! 2. Cmd is one of the most frequently run executables on Windows with a similar number of daily launches as File Explorer, Edge and Internet Explorer! 3. Many of our customers and partners are totally dependent on Cmd, and all its quirks, for their companies" existence!
In short: Cmd is an absolutely vital feature of Windows and, until there's almost nobody running Cmd scripts or tools, Cmd will remain within Windows.

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Apple Removes NYTimes App in China, Shows How Far It Is Willing To Go To Please Local Authority
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 08:33 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's bendiness department:
Apple has removed the New York Times app from its store in China after a government request, in an example of how far the company will go to please the authorities in its third-largest market. From a report: China operates what is thought to be the largest internet censorship regime in the world, blocking thousands of foreign websites viewed as a threat by the ruling Communist party. Google, Twitter, Facebook Youtube and Instagram are all inaccessible. Apple removed the English and Chinese-language versions of the New York Times app on 23 December, although it was not immediately clear why. "We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations," said Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman. "As a result the app must be taken down off the China app store. When this situation changes the app store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China."

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Snapchat Cited False User Numbers in Order To Boost IPO, Alleges Lawsuit by Ex-worker
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 08:33 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's whatever-it-takes department:
A lawsuit filed against Snap Inc. by a former employee claims the company reported false growth numbers to investors in an effort to inflate its valuation. An anonymous reader shares a report: The plaintiff, Anothony Pompliano, joined the company (then known as Snapchat) as a growth lead in September of last year from Facebook. Pompliano claims the company's "institutional pandemic" of misrepresentation of its user numbers was fueled by its pursuit of a multi-billion dollar initial public offering (IPO) -- a number of prior reports have claimed the company could go public as soon as March. Snap's visual messaging app Snapchat is known for its popularity with younger millennials (aged 25 and under). Despite remaining tight-lipped about its official statistics, leaked reports put its daily active user base at 150 million (higher than that of fellow social platform Twitter). Additionally, its daily video views count hit an impressive 10 billion in April 2016. Numbers like these have had the industry buzzing over its expected IPO, with analysts claiming the company could be valued as high as $25 billion.

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Apple App Store Developers Earned $20 Billion in 2016, Up 40 Percent Year Over Year
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 07:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's $$$ department:
Apple said Thursday its App Store generated $20 billion for developers in 2016, a 40 percent increase from 2015, helped by the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run and increased revenue from subscriptions. From a report on CNBC: "2016 was an amazingly great year for the App Store," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told CNBC. "We continue to advance what is available for developers to create. And our catalog of apps grew 20 percent to 2.2 million." Schiller said the biggest drivers for the App Store included games such as "Pokemon Go," which was the most downloaded app in 2016; "Super Mario," which was the most downloaded app on Christmas and New Year's days; and subscription-based apps, such as Netflix, Hulu and Time Warner's HBO Go. The tech giant said its biggest day of sales on the App Store was on Jan. 1, 2017, when customers spent a record $240 million. The top grossing markets included the U.S, U.K., Japan and China, which saw 90 percent year-over-year growth.

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Bitcoin Is Crashing
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 07:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's what's-happening department:
An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin is getting smashed. The cryptocurrency was down 18% to about $892 per coin as of 8:17 a.m. ET on Thursday. It is the biggest drop in two years. Earlier this week, on its first trading day of the new year, Bitcoin crossed above the $1,000 mark for the first time since 2013, but it has now tumbled below that level.

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New Analysis Shows Lamar Smith's Accusations On Climate Data Are Wrong
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 05:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's it's-getting-hot-in-here department:
Layzej writes from a report via Ars Technica: In 2015, NOAA released version 4 of their marine temperature dataset called ERSST. The new dataset accounted for a known cooling bias introduced when ocean temperature measurements transitioned from being taken in ship engine intake valves to buoy-based measurements. The warming of the last couple decades increased ever so slightly in NOAA's new analysis. This was a red flag for U.S. House Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX), who rejects the conclusions of climate science -- like the fact that the Earth's climate is warming. Suddenly he wanted to see the researchers' e-mails and echoed the accusations of contrarian blogs about scientists' supposedly nefarious adjustments to sea surface temperature measurements. Rather than invoking scientific conspiracies, issues like this should be settled by analyzing the data. A new study, led by University of California Berkeley's Zeke Hausfather, does just that -- and Rep. Smith won't like these results, either. To test the NOAA dataset, Zeke's team created instrumentally homogeneous temperature records from sensors available only over the last couple decades. As it happens, the Argo float data, the buoy data, and the satellite data each hew closer to the updated dataset that NOAA used. The older version (3b) gives a global average that is too cool in recent years, growing to an offset of about 0.06 degrees Celsius. The researchers repeat this same analysis for two more major sea surface datasets that are used by the UK Met Office and the Japanese Meteorological Agency for their global temperature records. Both of those datasets also drift cooler than the comparison data, but less so than NOAA's old dataset.

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Astronomers Pinpoint Location of Mysterious Cosmic Radio Bursts
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 03:02 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's come-out-come-out-wherever-you-are department:
New submitter Netdoctor writes: Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) are massively powerful short-lived radio bursts from far-away sources, and so far a number of theories exist on what generates them. Recently several were detected in the same general location, which adds to the mystery, as any of these pulses would be powerful enough to destroy a source. Since this group of FRBs were detected with single radio telescope dishes, the exact location was difficult to pinpoint. BBC reports here with results from the Very Large Array in New Mexico being trained on the source. From the report: "Outlining their work at a major conference, astronomers say they have now traced the source of one of these bursts to a different galaxy. Dr Chatterjee, from Cornell University, New York, and colleagues used a multi-antenna radio telescope called the Very Large Array (VLA), which had sufficient resolution to precisely determine the location of a flash known as FRB 121102. In 83 hours of observing time over six months in 2016, the VLA detected nine bursts from FRB 121102. In addition to detecting the bright bursts from FRB 121102, the team's observations also revealed an ongoing, persistent source of weaker radio emission in the same region. The flashes and the persistent source must be within 100 light-years of each other, and scientists think they are likely to be either the same object or physically associated with one another. He said some features of the radio source resembled those associated with large black holes. But he said these were typically found only in large galaxies."

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NASA Unveils Two New Missions To Study Truly Strange Asteroids
Posted by News Fetcher on January 05 '17 at 12:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's go-where-no-man-has-gone-before department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Space.com: NASA's next low-cost planetary missions will attempt to unravel the mysteries of some seriously bizarre asteroids. The space agency has selected projects called Lucy and Psyche via its Discovery Program, which funds highly focused space missions to destinations throughout the solar system. The Lucy project will investigate the Trojan asteroids, which share an orbit with Jupiter, while Psyche will journey to the asteroid belt to study a huge, metallic asteroid named 16 Psyche that resides there. Lucy is scheduled to launch in October 2021. If all goes according to plan, the probe will visit an asteroid in the main asteroid belt -- located between Mars and Jupiter -- in 2025, and then go on to study six Trojan asteroids between 2027 and 2033, NASA officials said. There are two streams of Trojan asteroids. One trails Jupiter, and the other leads the giant planet around the sun. Scientists think both streams may be planetary building blocks that formed far from the sun before being captured into their current orbits by Jupiter's powerful gravity. Psyche will explore one of the oddest objects in the solar system -- a 130-mile-wide (210 kilometers) metallic asteroid that may be the core of an ancient, Mars-size planet. Violent collisions billions of years ago might have stripped away the layers of rock that once lay atop this metallic object, scientists say. Psyche is scheduled to launch in October 2023 and arrive at the asteroid in 2030, NASA officials said.

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Department of Labor Sues Google Over Compensation Data
Posted by News Fetcher on January 04 '17 at 07:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's you-gotta-do-what-you-gotta-do department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNNMoney: The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Google on Wednesday to get the Internet company to turn over compensation data on its employees. The data request is part of a routine audit into Google's equal opportunity hiring practices, which is required because of the company's role as a federal contractor. Google provides cloud computing services to various federal agencies and the military. Google is obligated to let the government access records that show its hiring doesn't discriminate based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and more. According to the lawsuit, Google has repeatedly refused to provide names, contact information, job history and salary history details that the government has requested for its employees. The Labor Department is now requesting that a judge order all of Google's federal contracts canceled unless it complies with the data request. "Despite many opportunities to produce this information voluntarily, Google has refused to do so," Thomas M. Dowd, acting director for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said in a statement. "We filed this lawsuit so we can obtain the information we need to complete our evaluation."

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Medium Cuts Staff By One-Third, Shuts Down New York and DC Offices
Posted by News Fetcher on January 04 '17 at 06:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's in-need-of-a-new-strategy department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Medium, the San Francisco-based online publishing platform founded in 2012, has laid off 50 employees, or roughly one-third of its staff. The company will also close offices in New York and Washington, DC. Ev Williams, Medium's CEO, wrote in a lengthy post on Wednesday that the company would be changing its business model despite ending 2016 as "our best year yet." He blamed the entire concept of "ad-driven media on the Internet" as the root of the company's shortcomings. As Williams, who is also a co-founder of Twitter, wrote: "It simply doesn't serve people. In fact, it's not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos, and other "content" we all consume on a daily basis is paid for -- directly or indirectly -- by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we getwell, what we get. And it's getting worse."

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Asus Unveils ZenFone AR With Google's Daydream and Tango Support, Coming In Q2
Posted by News Fetcher on January 04 '17 at 06:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department:
Krystalo quotes a report from VentureBeat: Probably the most-leaked device at CES 2017 so far has been the Asus ZenFone AR, through no fault of the Taiwanese company. Partner Qualcomm revealed much of the details in a blog post touting the use of its Snapdragon 821 chipset, and infamous leaker Evan Blass (evleaks) added front and back press renders of the phone. The key part that was missing was a release timeframe, which we now have: Q2 2017. The ZenFone AR stands out as the first smartphone that will support both of Google's Daydream and Tango platforms, and is only the second to support the latter (Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro was the first). Daydream is a virtual reality (VR) platform built into Android 7.0 Nougat and above. Tango is an augmented reality (AR) platform that detects users' positions relative to places and objects around them without using GPS or other external signals.

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Tesla Gigafactory Begins Production
Posted by News Fetcher on January 04 '17 at 04:53 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's game-changing department:
Thelasko writes: Right on schedule, Tesla's Gigafactory has begun production of battery cells. The fact that the factory has opened on schedule has surprised many critics of the company. Reuters reports: "Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc has started mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at its gigafactory in Nevada along with Japan's Panasonic Corp, the company said on Wednesday. The cylindrical '2170 cells,' which will be used to power Tesla's energy storage products and the new Model 3 sedan, have been jointly designed by Tesla and Panasonic, its longstanding battery partner. The gigafactory will initially produce battery cells for the company's Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products, Tesla said. The factory is expected to drive down the cost of battery packs by more than 30 percent, the company has said. At peak production, the gigafactory is expected to employ 6,500 workers and create between 20,000 and 30,000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions, Tesla said."

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