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Will GDPR Kill WHOIS?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '18 at 09:50 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Yes-ICANN department:
Slashdot reader monkeyzoo shares the Register's report on a disturbing letter sent to ICANN:
Europe's data protection authorities have effectively killed off the current service, noting that it breaks the law and so will be illegal come 25 May, when GDPR comes into force... ICANN now has a little over a month to come up with a replacement to the decades-old service that covers millions of domain names and lists the personal contact details of domain registrants, including their name, email and telephone number. ICANN has already acknowledged it has no chance of doing so... The company warns that without being granted a special temporary exemption from the law, the system will fracture. ["Registries and registrars would likely implement varying levels of access to data depending on their interpretations of the law," ICANN warns.]

"ICANN had made the concept of a moratorium the central pillar of its effort to become compliant with the law," writes the Register. "But its entire strategy was built on a fantasy."
Thursday the EU's data protection advisory group told the site that there's no provision in the GDPR for an "enforcement moratorium", and the Register adds that the EU's data protection advisory group "is clearly baffled by ICANN's repeated requests for something that doesn't exist."

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Go Programming Language Gets A New Logo and Branding
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '18 at 08:30 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's do-not-pass-Go department:
After an "extensive design process," the Go programming language has a "new look and logo," according to Google's lead for Go developer relations, product, and strategy. (Promising that this won't affect Go's gopher mascot.)
Our logo follows the brand's core philosophy of simplicity over complexity... The circular shape of the letters hints at the eyes of the Go gopher, creating a familiar shape and allowing the mark and the mascot to pair well together... In addition to our brand guide we have also developed a presentation theme. This presentation theme will enable us to have a consistent representation of Go in person at meetups and conferences as well as online.
Go community members are welcome to use this theme for their own presentations. The presentations are available as Google Slides presentations. We chose Google Slides as it is easy to share and maintain updates. People are welcome to port them to keynote, PowerPoint, etc. Like this blog and all our gopher images, the slide themes are Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licensed... The brand guide, logo and themes are copyrighted by the Go authors. The brand guide contains the guidelines for acceptable logo use.

It's been more than eight years since the language's launch, and "we wanted the Go brand to reflect where we have been and convey where we are going."

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Bookmark Syncing Service Xmarks Closes For Good On May 1
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '18 at 07:10 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's X-marks-the-spot department:
Remember that popular browser extension that let you sync your bookmarks on multiple devices?
Launched in 2006 by Foxmarks (a company created by EFF co-founder Mitch Kapor), it was saved from death in 2010 when it was acquired by the password-management service LastPass. But now BetaNews reports:
If you're a user of Xmarks, there's some bad news for you -- the service is closing down... The bookmark syncing tool, which is available as an addon for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, is to be shuttered on May 1... Emails have also been sent out to registered users notifying them of the impending closure.
"On May 1, 2018, we will be shutting down Xmarks... After this date, your bookmarks should remain available in any previously accessed browser, but they will no longer sync and your Xmarks account will be deactivated... After careful consideration and evaluation, we have decided to discontinue the Xmarks solution so that we can continue to focus on offering the best possible password vaulting to our community."

It was apparently especially popular with long-time Slashdot reader vm, who writes "I have held on to my Xmarks account over the years because I can always get to them despite changes in operating systems, browsers, employers, etc.
"What do other folks use that may also have a mobile option?"

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100 US Mayors Sign Pledge To Defend Net Neutrality Against Crooked ISPs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '18 at 05:50 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's checks-and-balances department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: More than 100 U.S. mayors have signed a pledge to hold internet service providers accountable for net neutrality violations, despite the FCC's vote to repeal the regulations late last year. The pledge, initiated by Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City, Steve Adler of Austin, and Ted Wheeler of Portland, promises that cities will refuse to do business with ISPs that violate net neutrality standards. The mayors, brought together by a coalition of open internet advocates, including Free Press, Demand Progress, and Daily Kos, have accused FCC Chairman Ajit Pai of caving to corporate interests by giving companies such as AT&T and Verizon the power to "block, throttle and slow access to sites and services at will." A complete list of the cities taking the pledge is available on the campaign's website. At time of writing, nearly 80,000 letters have been sent urging mayors across the country to participate.

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Russia Is Attacking US Forces With Electronic Weapons In Syria, General Says
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '18 at 03:10 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's changing-battlefield department:
john of sparta shares a report from Yahoo: American forces in Syria are increasingly facing attacks from Russian and Syrian electronic warfare weapons, as Moscow uses the conflict to test its future arsenal. General Raymond Thomas, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said that Syria has become "the most aggressive electronic warfare environment on the planet," Breakingdefense.com reported. Speaking at a geospatial intelligence conference in Florida, Gen. Thomas said that Russian and Syrian regime forces "are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our [EC-130 aircraft]."

The Lockheed Martin EC-130 Compass Call is one of America's most advanced electronic warfare weapons. Based on the C-130 Hercules, the plane was developed to disrupt enemy communications, radar and command operations. The craft's presence in Syrian skies gives Russia the chance to test its weapons against the best the U.S. has to offer, whether directly or through its Syrian allies. Earlier this month, four anonymous officials told NBC News that Russia has also been regularly targeting smaller U.S. surveillance drones. One of those quoted said Russian operations were having a significant impact on U.S. capabilities. The sophisticated attacks were even successful against encrypted signals and anti-jamming devices, the official said. Slashdot reader john of sparta adds, "Well, it's war; not a surprise..."

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You Could Be Flirting On Dating Apps With Paid Impersonators
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 11:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's digital-deceoption department:
Chloe Rose Stuart-Ulin sheds some light on the world of paid impersonators on dating apps like Tinder. Here's an excerpt from the report: Every morning I wake up to the same routine. I log into the Tinder account of a 45-year-old man from Texas -- a client. I flirt with every woman in his queue for 10 minutes, sending their photos and locations to a central database of potential "Opportunities." For every phone number I get, I make $1.75. I'm what's called a "Closer" for the online-dating service ViDA (Virtual Dating Assistants). Men and women (though mostly men) from all over the world pay this company to outsource the labor and tedium of online dating. The matches I speak to on behalf of the Texan man and other clients have no idea they're chatting with a professional.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that these ghostwriting services exist. Tinder alone produces more than 12 million matches a day, and if you're a heterosexual American, you now have a one in three chance of meeting your future husband or wife online. But as e-romance hits an all-time high, our daily dose of rejection, harassment, and heartbreak creeps upward, too. Once you mix in the vague rules of netiquette and a healthy fear of catfishing scams, it's easy to see why someone might want to outsource their online-dating profile to a pro, if only to keep themselves sane. But where does the digital social assistant end and the con artist begin?

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EU Votes To Ban Bee-Harming Pesticides
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 08:30 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's environmental-impacts department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The European Union will ban the world's most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees. The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only be used in closed greenhouses.

Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed, in part, on the widespread use of pesticides. The EU banned the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees, such as oil seed rape, in 2013. fBut in February, a major report from the European Union's scientific risk assessors (Efsa) concluded that the high risk to both honeybees and wild bees resulted from any outdoor use, because the pesticides contaminate soil and water. This leads to the pesticides appearing in wildflowers or succeeding crops. A recent study of honey samples revealed global contamination by neonicotinoids. The ban on the three main neonicotinoids has widespread public support, with almost 5 million people signing a petition from campaign group Avaaz.

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Trump Administration Plans To Freeze Obama-Era Fuel Standards
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 05:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's red-light-green-light department:
The Trump administration plans to freeze Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards starting in 2021, according to a report from The Washington Post. The report says the Trump administration "would go even further by restricting a state's ability to set its own fuel standards, which would be a strike against California and its strict state-specific emissions rules," reports The Verge. From the report: The proposal has been reportedly drafted by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, and the plan right now is to freeze standards for cars and light trucks at levels set for the year 2021 and keep them their for five years. The Obama administration's rules, which involved a partnership with California and car makers, set standards at 50 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2025. Obama also, through the Clean Air Act, granted California a waiver to set its own, higher standards. That way, if automobile manufacturers wanted to maintain a presence in the lucrative California market, they'd have to abide by the new rules. The Trump administration now says a separate law overrules that arrangement, The Washington Post reports.

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Blue Light Like That From Smartphones Linked To Some Cancers, Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 05:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's artificially-suppressed department:
A new study, published Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that exposure to the kind of blue light emitted by outdoor LEDs, smartphones and tablets may increase your risk of breast or prostate cancer. The study compared previous exposure to artificial lights at night between approximately 2,000 breast or prostate cancer patients and approximately 2,000 controls living in Barcelona and Madrid. Slashdot reader al0ha writes: This study seems to say that exposure to LED light temperatures higher than 3,000 Kelvin suppresses melatonin because it contains increased blue light, and at least one city (Davis, California) has gone to the expense of removing higher temperature LED lights and replacing them with ones that have lower color temperatures. Specifically, the study found that "those exposed to high levels of outdoor blue light at night had around a 1.5-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer and a twofold higher risk of developing prostate cancer, compared with those who were less exposed," reports CNN. "Men exposed to high levels of indoor artificial light also had 2.8-fold higher risk of developing prostate cancer, according to the study."

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Rick Dickinson, Designer of Sinclair Spectrum Home Computers, Dies
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 04:30 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
New submitter Badger Nadgers quotes a report from the BBC: Rick Dickinson, the designer of Sinclair computers, has died in the U.S. while receiving treatment for cancer. The British designer, thought to be in his 60s, worked in-house for Sinclair Research and oversaw the creation of its home computers in the 1980s. He was responsible for the boxy look of the ZX80 and ZX81 and the Bauhaus-inspired appearance of the Spectrum. Mr Dickinson also helped to develop the technologies for the UK company's touch-sensitive and rubber keyboards. He was recently linked to a crowd-funded project by Retro Computers to turn the Spectrum into a handheld computer. Some of the early reference designs for the machine were drawn up by him.

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Two Koreas Agree To End War This Year, Pursue Denuclearization
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 04:30 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's history-making department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. Kim and Moon embraced after signing the deal during a historic meeting on their militarized border, the first time a North Korean leader set foot on the southern side. They announced plans to replace the 1953 armistice that ended hostilities with a peace treaty by year's end. Their statement on a "common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula," stopped short of the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" long sought by the U.S. and its allies. The statement didn't elaborate on what the term meant and Kim didn't personally utter the word during remarks Friday. "We have agreed to share a firm determination to open a new era in which all Korean people enjoy prosperity and happiness on a peaceful land without war," Kim told reporters, without taking questions. President Trump hailed the move, declaring "KOREAN WAR TO END!" on Twitter. He has agreed to meet with Kim at a time and place yet to be determined.

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MoviePass Changes TOS To Prevent You From Seeing the Same Movie More Than Once
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 03:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's too-good-to-be-true department:
MoviePass has changed its terms of service to prevent subscribers from seeing the same movie more than once. First spotted by iMore, the new limitation will apply to all subscribers, new and existing. MoviePass' website says, "We recently updated our Terms of Service to reflect that MoviePass subscribers are only permitted to see a select movie in theaters once with your MoviePass. We hope this will encourage you to see new movies and enjoy something different!" Engadget reports: This isn't the first time the company has done this, however. It limited users to seeing titles just once in its earlier days as well and CEO Mitch Lowe said the rule's reinstatement is to cut down on fraud. "When we took that policy down, we saw some people turning MoviePass into a cottage industry, standing in front of a theater selling their tickets to Star Wars, or whatever," he told The Hollywood Reporter. Lowe also said that new features are in the works including couples plans and options that include 3D and IMAX movies.

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Uber Tightens Bug Bounty Extortion Policies Following 2016 Data Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 03:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's tighten-down-the-hatches department:
lod123 shares a report from Threatpost: Uber is tightening policies around its bug-bounty program after a 2016 data breach exposed deep flaws in its policies around handling extortion. With the updates, Uber's HackerOne bug bounty policies more thoroughly outline "good-faith vulnerability research and disclosure," and contain language defining what constitutes unacceptable behavior, stating that the company wants researchers "to hunt for bugs, not user data."

One newly outlined policy makes it clear that Uber won't take legal action against researchers -- as long as they report vulnerabilities with no strings attached. "You should never illegally or in bad faith leverage the existence of a vulnerability or access to sensitive or confidential information, such as making extortionate demands or ransom requests, or trying to shake us down. In other words, if you find a vulnerability, report it to us with no conditions attached," the policy said. Uber has made additional changes to its program to offer researchers an additional $500 if they include a fully scripted proof-of-concept (PoC) in their original report.

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Google Assistant Is Smarter Than Alexa, Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's apples-and-oranges department:
For the second year in a row, a study found that Google's digital assistant is smarter than Amazon's assistant, Alexa. The study does note that Alexa is catching up and was far and away the most improved from 2017 and 2018. CNET reports the findings: Digital marketing company Stone Temple released the results of its 2018 smart speaker quiz earlier this week. It did a similar test last year in which it asked digital assistants roughly 5,000 questions to see which assistants answer the most correctly. For the first time this year, Stone Temple asked the questions separately to Google Assistant on the company's Home smart speaker, and an Assistant-equipped phone. The study found that Google Assistant attempts the most responses, and gets the most attempted responses correct. Strangely, Assistant performed even better on a phone than on a smart speaker. Surprisingly, Microsoft's Cortana took second place, with Alexa trailing both and Siri lagging far behind the rest. Alexa doubled the number of questions it was able to answer from 2017 and Microsoft's assistant improved as well, with Google holding relatively steady at the top while its competition catches up.

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In First, Doctors Treat Rare Genetic Disorder With an Injection In Utero
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Three babies with a rare genetic disorder have been spared the worst effects of their condition thanks to an experimental injection they received in utero, researchers report this week in The New England Journal of Medicine. The success marks the first time a genetic disorder has been partially reversed by such a treatment prior to birth. The in utero injections treated a rare, recessive genetic condition called X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (XLHED), which affects the development of skin, hair, nails, and teeth. People with the disorder have sparse body and head hair, dry eyes, mouths, and airways, and few teeth, which are usually pointy. But most dangerously, the condition also disrupts development of sweat glands throughout the body. People with XLHED have fewer sweat glands and/or poorly functioning ones. This leaves individuals vulnerable to high fevers and over-heating (hyperthermia), which can be life-threatening and lead to medical complications.

For the new experimental treatment, the researchers realized that it all came down to timing. Humans develop sweat glands much earlier in their development, generally between the 20th and 30th week of pregnancy. To prevent XLHED from wreaking havoc, the researchers needed to deliver the protein prior to birth. After testing the idea for safety and efficacy in mice and monkeys, doctors in Germany got a compassionate-use approval to try it in a 38-year-old pregnant woman. She had a family history of XLHED, a young son with the condition, and was found to be carrying twin boys with it, too. [...] The researchers will track the babies' development to see if the effects are permanent, but data from animals suggests that they will be.

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Apple's Working on a Powerful, Wireless Headset for Both AR, VR
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Apple CEO Tim Cook has nothing but praise for augmented reality, saying it's a technology that's potentially as important as the iPhone. It turns out he may have big plans for virtual reality too. From a report: The company is working on a headset capable of running both AR and VR technology, according to a person familiar with Apple's plans. Plans so far call for an 8K display for each eye -- higher resolution than today's best TVs -- that would be untethered from a computer or smartphone, the person said. The project, codenamed T288, is still in its early stages but is slated for release in 2020. Apple still could change or scrap its plans. It's notable that Apple is working on a headset that combines both AR and VR given its intense focus over the past year on pushing augmented reality in iPhones and iPads. Cook has said he sees bigger possibilities in AR than VR, partly because augmented reality allows you to be more present. Either way, it's vital for Apple to expand beyond its iPhones, currently its top moneymaker, and the slowing mobile market.

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The Auto Plants of the Future May Have a Surprisingly Human Touch
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Carmakers have big plans for their next generation of factories: smarter designs, artificial intelligence and collaborative robots building a wide range of vehicles on the same line. From a report: The plants will also feature a component they say is the secret ingredient to flexible manufacturing: humans. SAIC-GM's factory in Shanghai, which opened in 2016, is one of the world's most advanced auto plants, assembling Buick minivans and Cadillac sedans and SUVs, including the CT-6 plug-in hybrid for U.S. consumers. GM's Shanghai plant is expected to eventually produce new electric vehicles, primarily for the Chinese market, executives have said. The plant, which GM operates with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, feels almost like a scene from a Star Wars film, with battalions of machines quietly working in self-directed harmony. Collaborative robots, or "cobots," painted matte green and unrestrained by the steel cages that surround their larger industrial cousins, are being programmed to work alongside humans on the line. One unusual operation advanced models now handle is installing gears in transmissions.

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US Keeps China, Puts Canada on IP Priority Watch List
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
The Trump administration on Friday labeled 36 countries as inadequately protecting U.S. intellectual property rights, keeping China on a priority watch list and adding Canada over concerns about its border controls and pharmaceutical practices. From a report: The U.S. Trade Representative's annual report on global IP concerns is separate from the "Section 301" report on Chinese technology transfer practices that has led the world's two largest economies to threaten each other with tariffs. The so-called "Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights" calls out China for its "coercive technology transfer practices" and "trade secret theft, rampant online piracy, and counterfeit manufacturing." It was the 14th straight year that China was placed on the "Priority Watch List." U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is due to travel to China next week along with other senior Trump administration officials for talks on U.S. demands for changes in Beijing's trade and intellectual property policies.

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NASA To Cancel Lunar Resource Prospector Mission
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's strange-priorities department:
New submitter XXongo writes: NASA has told the Lunar Resource Prospector Mission team to cease work on developing the mission by the end of May. The proposed mission was in development to send a rover to the lunar pole in 2022, with the objective to drill into ice frozen in permanently shadowed craters. Use of such ice has been proposed as a resource that could be processd into rocket fuel, oxygen, and water for life support systems. The cancellation apparently is partly due to the mission having been shifted from the Human Exploration directorate of NASA, which is excited by the possibility of lunar resources supporting exploration, to the Science Mission directorate, which does not consider lunar ice a high priority for science. The cancellation of the mission has gotten some controversy from the lunar science community, with the members of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) writing an open letter to new administrator Bridenstine protesting the cancellation.

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Intel's 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs Won't Arrive in Mass Quantities Until 2019, Company Says
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '18 at 01:50 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's time-out department:
Intel said this week that it is once again delaying the mass production of its 10-nanometer "Cannon Lake" chips. The company insists that it is already building the chips in low volumes, but said it "now expects 10-nanometer volume production to shift to 2019 [rather than the end of 2018]." From a report: Intel is on solid footing, in other words, though pesky challenges remain in manufacturing its next-generation 10nm parts. CEO Brian Krzanich acknowledged as much during an earnings call, attributing the delay to difficulties in getting 10nm yields to where they need to be. So rather than push to ship 10nm in volume this year, Intel is giving itself some additional time to sort things out.

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