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Microsoft Sees Over 10 Million Cyberattacks Per Day On Its Online Infrastructure
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '16 at 12:13 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's be-afraid-very-afraid department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's user identity management systems, made up by Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID, for home users) and Azure Active Directory (for its cloud/corporate services), see over 13 billion user logins per day, with 1.3 billion for AAD. The company says that over 10 million (per day) of these login attempts are cyber-attacks, which the company is able to detect. This information comes via Microsoft's most recent Security Intelligence Report, which also reveals details about a new cyber-espionage group named Platinum and that hackers are still using the same vulnerability (CVE-2010-2568) even today, which was used in the Stuxnet attacks. According to Pew Research Center, there's an increasingly growing fear among Americans about cyberattacks. In fact, it's the second most feared entity to them, the first being ISIS.

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Facebook Exec's New Startup 'Open Water' Targets Wearable Brain Imaging
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 07:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's price-point-wearable department:
gthuang88 writes: Display-tech guru Mary Lou Jepsen is leaving her post at Facebook/Oculus to work on a new startup called Open Water. Jepsen, a veteran of Google X and the MIT Media Lab, says the company will develop wearable MRI devices that could help doctors do early detection of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Inspired in part by musician Peter Gabriel, Open Water also hopes to use advances in neural imaging and brain-machine interfaces to create a system for reading and communicating human thoughts electronically. She believes there's huge potential in the manufacturing plants in Asia that are primarily used to make OLEDs and LCDs. "My big bet is we can use that manufacturing infrastructure to create the functionality of a $5 million MRI machine in a consumer electronics price-point wearable. And the implications of that are so big." At that price-point, every doctor's office in the world could afford such a device and use it to detect early stages of neurodegenerative disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, internal bleeding, blood clots, and more.

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Cellphones Do Not Cause Brain Cancer, Says 29-Year Study
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's reassuring department:
A study from Australia reassures us that cellphones are reasonably safe, and do not cause brain cancer. Chris Mills writes from Gizmodo: "The study examines the incidence of brain cancer in the Australian population between 1982 to 2013. The study pitted the prevalence of mobile phones among the population -- starting at 0 percent -- against brain cancer rates, using data from national cancer registration data. The results showed a very slight increase in brain cancer rates among males, but a stable level among females. There were significant increases in over -70s, but began in 1982, before cellphones were even a thing." What makes the study in Australia so authentic compared to other studies conducted in other countries is the fact that all diagnosed cases of cancer have to be registered by law.

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NASA Launches Searchable Database Of Public Domain Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's searchable-database department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from SlashGear: NASA has released a bunch of patents for its technologies so that anyone can use them. A total of 56 'formerly-patented' technologies developed by the government are now available in the public domain, meaning they can be used for commercial purposes in an unrestricted manner. To make it easier to find these technologies and others like them, NASA has also created a new searchable database that links the public to thousands of the agency's now-expired patents. According to NASA, the patents it has released may have non-aerospace applications that could help companies with commercial projects underway. Of the 56 formerly-patented technologies, users will find things like methods of propulsion, thrusters, rocket nozzles, advanced manufacturing processes, and more. NASA is "encouraging entrepreneurs to explore new ways to commercial NASA technologies," says NASA executive Daniel Lockney. Here's a direct link to search the database to your heart's content.

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Microsoft To End Nagging Windows 10 Upgrade Notifications In July
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 05:13 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's counting-down-the-days department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has officially announced today it will end the annoying "Get Windows 10" notifications in July, when they end the free Windows 10 upgrade offer. In a statement to WinBeta, Microsoft said in a comment: "Details are still being finalized, but on July 29th the Get Windows 10 app that facilitates the easy upgrade to Windows 10 will be disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide. Just as it took time to ramp up and roll out the Get Windows 10 app, it will take time to ramp it down." This is great news for users who have decided to not install Windows 10 for whatever reason. Earlier this week, it was reported that the Windows 10 update has been ruining pro-graming streams. In April, the Windows 10 upgrade screen interrupted a meteorologist's live forecast.

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Panama Papers Source Breaks Silence Over 'Scale Of Injustices'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 05:13 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's greater-good department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The whistleblower behind the Panama Papers broke their silence on Friday to explain in detail how the injustices of offshore tax havens drove them to the biggest data leak in history. The source, whose identity and gender remain a secret, denied being a spy. The whistleblower said the leak of 11.5m documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had triggered a "new, encouraging global debate," thanks to the publication last month of stories by an international consortium of newspapers, including the Guardian. The source gave Suddeutsche Zeitung leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca's internal database in real time installments. The papers included details of the beneficial owners of offshore companies, passport copies, and emails. The source said they decided to act after understanding the "scale of the injustices" the documents described. Mossack Fonseca denies wrongdoing and says its operations in Panama and elsewhere are "beyond reproach." Intriguingly, the source said they originally offered the documents to "several major media outlets." Editors reviewed the Panama Papers but in the end "chose not to cover them," they alleged. It is unclear which media organizations declined the material. The anonymous whistleblower also approached WikiLeaks -- again without success. "Even WikiLeaks didn't answer its tip line repeatedly," the source complained, adding: "The media has failed." The source used the name "John Doe" when they approached Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

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3D Printing Industry To Triple In Four Years To $21 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's exponential-growth department:
Year-over-year the 3D printing industry has grown by as much as 30%. Now, it's set to triple in revenue over the next four years, according to a new report. For comparison, this year the industry will reach nearly $7.3 billion, and by 2020, it is expected to reach nearly $21 billion. Published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the United Parcel Service (UPS), the study, called "3D Printing: The Next Revolution in Industrial Manufacturing," revealed that the two biggest industries representing a combined 40% of the growth are consumer electronics and automotive. Medical devices will represent about 15% of the growth. North America and Europe will account for more than 68% of the 3D printing market revenue, while the Asia Pacific market will account for about 27% of sales. Here's an impressive stat: 3D printing represents only 0.04% of the global manufacturing market right now. However, if 3D printing captures 5% of global manufacturing capacity, which researcher firm Wohlers Associates believes it will, the industry would be worth a staggering $640 billion. "This is a market ripe for disruption," the report said. "Technology adopters that move beyond prototyping to use 3D printing in supporting and streamlining production can achieve new manufacturing efficiencies. Plus, there is an enormous opportunity for companies that get it right."

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'Recommended' Windows 7 Update Is Breaking PCs With ASUS Motherboards
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's upgrade-to-Windows-10 department:
Microsoft has made a bizarre tweak to an update for Windows 7 that can prevent some systems from booting. The Windows 7 update KB3133977 was switched from 'Optional' to 'Recommended' and Microsoft knew ahead of time the update would cause problems for some users but decided to do nothing about it. The update fixes a problem that stops BitLocker encrypting drives because of service crashes in svhost.exe. The update only causes a problem with ASUS motherboards. Microsoft says, "After you install update 3133977 on a Windows 7 x64-based system that includes an ASUS-based main board, the system does not start, and it generates a Secure Boot error on the ASUS BIOS screen. This problem occurs because ASUS allowed the main board to enable the Secure Boot process even though Windows 7 does not support this feature." The update wasn't causing many issues while it was optional. But now that it's recommended, more users have downloaded the update, and more users have experienced problems with the update. ASUS has provided a solution to the problem. Microsoft has also provided a solution, but you might not like it. Their solution in a nutshell: update to Windows 10.

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San Diego To Run 100 Percent On Renewable Energy By 2035
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 02:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's environmental-goals department:
The city of San Diego has announced a bold new plan to run completely on renewable energy by 2035. While the city already produces the second largest electrical output from solar energy in the U.S., the new plan further details a way to cope with the changing climate. It plans to reduce 50% of the greenhouse gas emission by 2035, as well as create new jobs through the manufacturing and installation of solar panels. "San Diego is a leader in innovation and sustainability," the Climate Action Plan reads. "By striking a sensible balance between protecting our environment and growing our economy, San Diego can support clean technology, renewable energy, and economic growth." San Diego joins San Francisco, Sydney, and Vancouver in its effort to run entirely on renewable energy.

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'Boaty McBoatface' Polar Ship Named After Attenborough Despite Less Votes
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 02:31 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's whatever-floats-your-boat department:
The UK's 200 Million Euro polar research ship won't be called Boaty McBoatface. Instead, the new ship will be called RRS (Royal Research Ship) Sir David Attenborough. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) had originally planned to name the new ship via an online poll. In all fairness, RRS Sir David Attenborough did pick up a few votes, though in terms of popularity nothing came close to Boaty McBoatface (it earned over 124,000 votes). "We want a name that lasts longer than a social-media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing," said Jo Johnson, the U.K. Science minister. BBC reports: While the polar ship itself will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty in recognition of the vote. James Hand, who first suggested the flippant moniker, said he was pleased the name would "live on."

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YouTube: Our Primetime Audience Is Bigger Than the Top 10 TV Shows Combined
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 01:04 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-trend department:
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: "Today, I'm happy to announce that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any network -- broadcast or cable. In fact, we reach more 18-49-year-olds during primetime than the top 10 TV shows combined. At a time when TV networks are losing audiences, YouTube is growing in every region and across every screen." Ben Popper, writing for The Verge: Those numbers are a bit vague. We don't know exactly how many people are watching, or whether any individual channel comes close to matching the reach of network TV programming. Most importantly, that doesn't break out what percentage of the audience is watching Google Preferred content, the pre-approved brand-safe stuff that nets big ad dollars, versus the long tail of cat videos and home movies that have steadily dwindling value. Still, it seemed clear that YouTube's clout was not lost on the agencies handling big budgets. Wojcicki used her time on stage to announce that Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest ad holding companies, planned to shift $250 million from traditional TV networks to YouTube over the next year.

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Scientists Reveal How We Can Forget On Purpose
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 01:04 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's forget-like-it-doesn't-matter department:
An anonymous reader writes: When people say, "Forget you heard that," they don't usually mean literally. But it turns out that you can stop yourself from remembering, at least on a small scale. People can intentionally forget memories by changing how they think about the context those memories were made in, scientists reported this week in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. In the experiment, people studied a random list of words while viewing pictures of landscapes such as beaches or forests. They were then instructed to either remember or forget those words. The scientists then used an fMRI to track brain activity related to the outdoor scenes they'd planted as context for the word memories. They saw that people who'd been ordered to forget thought less about the context. The better people were at wiping nature-related thoughts from their minds, the fewer words they could later recall from their list.

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Lenovo Patches Serious Flaw In Pre-Installed Support Tool
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 11:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's catching-and-patching department:
Reader itwbennett writes: Lenovo has made available a patch for the vulnerability in its Lenovo Solution Center, a support tool which comes pre-installed on many Lenovo laptops and desktops. The vulnerability could allow attackers to execute code with system privileges and take over computers. Users should automatically be prompted to update LSC when they open the application, but in case they aren't, they should download the latest version (3.3.002) manually from Lenovo's website. This is not the first time such a vulnerability has been found and fixed in LSC. In fact, Lenovo updated an old advisory for flaws reported in December with information about the new vulnerability, making it somewhat hard to spot.

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Facebook's Newest Privacy Problem: 'Faceprint' Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 11:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's privacy-woes department:
Katie Collins, reporting for CNET: Facebook knows you so well these days that it can recognize you just by seeing your face. You may not have a problem with this, but that doesn't mean it's all good in the eyes of the law. The social network lost the first round of a lawsuit on Thursday in which it is accused of "unlawfully" storing biometric data mined from people's photographs. The company was seeking to have the suit dismissed, but a federal judge in California rejected the request. Facebook taps into its photo-tagging system to build up a geometric representation of people's faces to create something called a faceprint for each of its users. Faceprints are then used to suggest tags for people when new photos are uploaded to the network. One could argue that the clue is in the name, but many Facebook users probably don't know that they agree to having data about their face stored when they sign up.

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Solar Planes Aren't the Green Future Of Air Travel
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-all-things-solar department:
An anonymous reader writes: By any standard, the Solar Impulse 2 is a marvel of engineering. This solar-powered plane didn't use a drop of kerosene on its epic trip across the Pacific Ocean. It's a real testament to how far solar technology has advanced. Unfortunately, for anyone hoping that we'll all be puttering around in solar planes soon -- well, that's pretty unlikely. From a Vox report, "Consider: The Solar Impulse 2 features 17,000 solar cells crammed onto its jumbo jet "size wings, along with four lithium-polymer batteries to store electricity for nighttime. Yet that's still only enough power to carry 2 tons of weight, including a single passenger, at a top speed of just 43 miles per hour. By contrast, a Boeing 747-400 running on jet fuel can transport some 400 people at a time, at top speeds of 570 miles per hour. Unless we see some truly shocking advances in module efficiency, it'll be impossible to cram enough solar panels onto a 747's wings to lift that much weight -- some 370 tons in all. Nor is it enough to load up on batteries charged by solar on the ground, since that would add even more weight to the plane, vastly increasing the energy needed for takeoff. A gallon of jet fuel packs about 15 to 30 times as much energy as a lithium-ion battery of similar weight. That fundamental difference in energy density is a big reason we're unlikely to see large commercial airliners powered by batteries fill the skies."

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Google-Backed Yieldify Has Acquired IP From 'World's Biggest Patent Troll'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's feeding-the-beast department:
An anonymous reader cites an article on The Register: Yieldify, the Google-backed startup accused of stealing code from British adtech company Bounce Exchange, has been making some unusual friends. Yieldify has acquired an ancient web patent from III Holdings which was first filed in 2007. III Holdings is better known as Inside Intellectual Ventures, co-founded by Nathan Myhrvold. It has been dubbed "the most hated company in tech" and "the world's biggest patent troll." IIV is a "NPE" (non-practicising entity), which gathers up patents and seeks to unlock their value through selling on or licensing the IP. This has been backed up by litigation, such as Samsung, a recipient of one of III's sueballs. In a court filing made last week, Yieldify made a request for declaratory judgement in its ongoing case versus Bounce Exchange, citing the IIV patent. Also from the report: Clearly, patent trolls are unacceptable when they're trolling you, but become strategically useful when you can troll back.

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The World Video Game Hall of Fame 2016 Inductess
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's video-games department:
Reader Dave Knott writes: The World Video Game Hall Of Fame has announced its inductees for the year 2016, the second group of games to be so honoured since the award's inception in 2015. The Hall Of Fame "recognizes individual electronic games of all types -- arcade, console, computer, handheld, and mobile -- that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general". This year's six inductees are: Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders.The Sydney Morning Herald has more details.

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Google's AI Is Devouring Romance Novels
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's how-to-train-your-dragon department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google engineers have been feeding text from steamy romance novels to an artificial intelligence (AI) engine in order to give Google's technology -- like its mobile app -- the ability to produce more human, conversational text, BuzzFeed News reports. The company's researchers been able to get the AI to write out full sentences that would resemble those in the typical romance novel. Why do these particular books make such good language teachers? Romance novels follow a very predictable narrative blueprint -- the names may change from book to book, but the essential story formula is familiar. The idea is that Google's AI can easily cull through this material to find patterns within the sentences to get a broader comprehension of language as a whole.The AI has been fed with more than 2,500 novels.

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Huge Number Of Sites Imperiled By Critical Image-Processing Vulnerability
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Dan Goodin, reporting for Ars Technica: A large number of websites are vulnerable to a simple attack that allows hackers to execute malicious code hidden inside booby-trapped images. The vulnerability resides in ImageMagick, a widely used image-processing library that's supported by PHP, Ruby, NodeJS, Python, and about a dozen other languages. Many social media and blogging sites, as well as a large number of content management systems, directly or indirectly rely on ImageMagick-based processing so they can resize images uploaded by end users. According to developer and security researcher Ryan Huber, ImageMagick suffers from a vulnerability that allows malformed images to force a Web server to execute code of an attacker's choosing. Websites that use ImageMagick and allow users to upload images are at risk of attacks that could completely compromise their security. "The exploit is trivial, so we expect it to be available within hours of this post," Huber wrote in a blog post. He went on to say: "We have collectively determined that these vulnerabilities are available to individuals other than the person(s) who discovered them. An unknowable number of people having access to these vulnerabilities makes this a critical issue for everyone using this software."

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Elon Musk: 'We Need a Revolt Against the Fossil Fuel Industry'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's fossil-fuel department:
An anonymous reader writes: Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk has accused politicians of bowing to the "unrelenting and enormous" lobbying power of the fossil fuel industry, warning that a global "revolt" may be needed to accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy and transport systems. Speaking at the World Energy Innovation Forum at the Tesla Factory in California, Musk claimed that traditional vehicles and energy sources will continue to hold a competitive edge against greener alternatives due to the vast amounts of subsidies they receive. The solution to this energy dilemma, Musk says, is to introduce a price on carbon by defining a tax rate on greenhouse gas emissions or the carbon content of fossil fuels. "The fundamental issue with fossil fuels is that every use comes with a subsidy," Musk said. "Every gasoline car on the road has a subsidy, and the right way to address that is with a carbon tax. Politicians take the easy path of providing subsidies to electric vehicles, which aren't equal to the applied subsidies of gasoline vehicles. It weakens the economic forcing function to transition to sustainable transport and energy."

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