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Top Windows OEM Lenovo Urges Customers To Uninstall Accelerator Application Application
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 09:38 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Two-Factor Authentication service Duo Security reported earlier that third-party updating tools found on Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus (the top five Windows OEMs) are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attack. Hours later, Lenovo, the world's largest Windows OEM by shipment figure, has issued an advisory in which it urges users to uninstall Accelerator Application, which comes preinstalled on many of its laptops and desktops models. Fortune reports: Specifically, as Lenovo said in an advisory notice, the auto-update feature in its Accelerator Application software can be exploited by a "man-in-the-middle attack" -- someone could get in between the computer and the server pushing out the updated software, fooling the computer into installing a fake version of the update instead of the genuine article. Such attacks can allow anything from surreptitious malware installation to the insertion of surveillance capabilities, or even the hijacking of PCs.

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UCLA Shooter Accused Victim Of Stealing His Computer Code
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 09:38 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's a-sad-state-of-affairs department:
The gunman who shot and killed a UCLA professor on Wednesday has been identified as Mainak Sarkar, said Los Angeles police. Sarkar, a former doctoral student accused the vicitim William Klug, 39, of stealing his computer code and giving it to someone else. According to reports, Sarkar used a 9mm semiautomatic pistol to shoot the professor, and then turned the gun on himself. A March 10 blog post by Sarkar, now archived reads: William Klug, UCLA professor is not the kind of person when you think of a professor. He is a very sick person. I urge every new student coming to UCLA to stay away from this guy. [...] My name is Mainak Sarkar. I was this guy's PhD student. We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust.

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Predicts People On Mars In 9 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 08:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's block-the-date department:
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says his company should be able to land humans on Mars in nine years from now. "If things go according to plan, we should be able to -- we should be able to -- launch people in 2024, with arrival in 2025," Musk said. "That's the game plan," he added. CNN Money reports: Musk said he's planning to share an architectural plan for the colonization of Mars at a conference in September. The tech conference audience was enthralled by Musk's comments. He told interviewers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that plotting travel throughout the Solar System, and "ultimately other star systems," provides the kind of inspiration that makes life worth living.

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Chile Has So Much Solar Energy It's Giving It Away for Free
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 08:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-solar-energy department:
An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report: Chile's solar industry has expanded so quickly that it's giving electricity away for free. Spot prices reached zero in parts of the country on 113 days through April, a number that's on track to beat last year's total of 192 days, according to Chile's central grid operator. While that may be good for consumers, it's bad news for companies that own power plants struggling to generate revenue and developers seeking financing for new facilities. The main culprit is the northern part of the country, in the Atacama desert. Chile's increasing energy demand, pushed by booming mine production and economic growth, helped spur the development of 29 solar farms, with another 15 planned, on the country's central power grid. Now the nation faces slowing demand for energy as copper production slows amid a global glut, and those power plants are oversupplying a region that lacks transmission lines to distribute the electricity elsewhere.

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Expect Substantial Slowdown In Smartphone Shipment: IDC
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 06:55 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's what-goes-up-usually-comes-down department:
Brittany A. Roston, writing for Slashgear: In 2014, smartphone shipments grew a massive 27.8-percent, and the next year, 2015, smartphone shipments grew by 10.5-percent. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects that we'll see a substantial slowdown in shipments this year, with 2016 (possibly) ending up at around only 3.1-percent. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, this year will probably see about 1.48 billion smartphone shipments, a number that is estimated to climb to 1.84 billion by 2020.According to IDC, Android will see a YoY (year-on-year) growth of 6.2%, whereas Apple's iOS will drop by 2% this year. Also this year, the average selling price of an Android handset will be $218, which IDC expects to fall below $200 in 2019.

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93% Of Phishing Emails Are Now Ransomware
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 06:55 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-security-trend department:
According to the latest data from security firm PhishMe, 93% of all phishing emails as of the end of March contained encryption ransomware. The numbers underscore a growing trend in the security space as ransomware instances in phishing emails grew up by 56% since December last year. From a report: The anti-phishing vendor also counted the number of different variants of phishing emails that it saw. Ransomware accounted for 51 percent of all variants in March, up from just 29 percent in February and 15 percent in January. The skyrocketing growth is due to that fact that ransomware is getting easier and easier to send and that it offers a quick and easy return on investment. Other types of cyberattacks typically take more work to monetize. Stolen credit card numbers have to be sold and used before the cards are canceled, for example. Identity theft takes even more of a time commitment.

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Apple Releases First Preview of Swift 3.0
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 05:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's to-be-continued department:
DaGoatSpanka quotes a report from MacRumors: Apple yesterday released the first preview build of Swift 3.0, a major update to Apple's open source Swift programming language. Swift 3.0's official release is expected to come in late 2016 after proposed changes are finalized. The Swift 3.0 preview can be downloaded from the official Swift website. There are versions of Swift 3.0 available for Xcode 7.2, Ubuntu 14.04, and Ubuntu 15.10. [Swift 3.0 is not source compatible with Swift 2.2 as it introduces source-breaking changes, but going forward, the goal is to make Swift 3.0 source compatible with future Swift language updates.] Swift 3.0 will likely be shown at Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

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Twitter Ignites Censorship Debate After Removal Of Parody Putin Account
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 04:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's drawing-the-line department:
Twitter has suspended at least five popular anti-Kremlin Twitter accounts on its microblogging social network. The move has angered fans of the accounts and reignited the speculation on censorship on the platform. One such account parodied Russia President Vladimir Putin. The Next Web reports that some of the accounts have been brought back to function amid criticism from their respective fans. Parody accounts have resided in the gray area ever since the early days of Twitter. The social network's official ToS permits users to run a parody account of a celebrity provided they explicitly mention on their profile that it's a fake account. From the report: After their removal, social media users took two Twitter to voice their displeasure with the hashtag #NoGulagForDarthPutinKGB -- a reference to the repressive Soviet state -- and it's seemingly worked, as both accounts are back today. Of course, for how long, and why they were removed in the first place are questions that remain unanswered.

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Bill Gates: AI Is The 'Holy Grail'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 01:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Monty-Python department:
An anonymous reader writes: At the Code Conference on Wednesday, Bill Gates balanced his fears of artificial intelligence with praise. He talked about two of the challenges AI will pose: a loss of existing jobs, and making sure humans remain in control of super-intelligent machines. Gates, as well as many other experts in the field, predict there will be an excess of labor resources as robots and AI systems take over. He plans to talk with others about ideas to combat the threat of AI controlling humans, specifically noting work being done at Stanford. Even with such threats, Gates called AI the "holy grail" as he envisions a future "with machines that are capable and more capable than human intelligence." Gates said, "We've made more progress in the last five years than at any time in history. [...] The dream is finally arriving. This is what it was all leading up to."

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Sundar Pichai Says Google Will Be 'More Opinionated' About Nexus Design
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '16 at 12:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's dazzling-handsets,-stock-Android department:
Jacob Kastrenakes, reporting for The Verge: Google intends to take more control over the Nexus line going forward. During an interview at the Code Conference today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that his company would "be more opinionated about the design of the phones," particularly where Google sees a need to "push the devices forward." That sounds like he could be referring to Google's desire to highlight new technologies with its Nexus devices. [...] But what Pichai focused on during the interview was software. We're used to getting stock Android on Nexus phones, but Pichai says that could change. "You'll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones," he said. "There's a lot of software innovation to be had."

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US Death Rate Rises, Health Officials Aren't Sure Why
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 09:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's the-mystery-machine department:
New submitter Ungrounded Lightning writes: According to The New York Times, the U.S. death rate has risen for the first time in more than a decade (or several decades if particular). The rise is across the whole population, though whites, especially the less educated among them, were recently (and separately) documented to be particularly hard hit. The article speculates about drug abuse (prescription as well as illegal), suicides, and Alzheimer's, though it notes that heart disease -- which had been consistently dropping -- has also risen. No mention was made of whether the cutover to Obamacare might have had some effect. The aging of the population was mentioned, though the rise is present even within particular age groups. The National Center for Health Statistics shows the adjusted death rate went up from 723 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014 to nearly 730 deaths per 100,000 in 2015. We do know that the suicide rate in the U.S. has surged to its highest level in almost three decades.

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Uber Raises $3.5 Billion From Saudi Arabia
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 09:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cold-hard-cash department:
An anonymous reader writes: Ride-hailing giant Uber announced Wednesday that it had closed $3.5 billion in new funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund in an effort to shift the country's reliance on oil revenue. Also part of the deal, Public Investment Fund managing director Yasir Al Rumayyan will join Uber's board. The funding will not affect Uber's valuation of $62.5 billion. The company has said in the past that it plans to invest $250 million in the Middle East, where it currently operates in 15 cities across nine countries. Last week, Uber formed a "strategic partnership" with Toyota to provide its drivers with more affordable car purchase and lease terms.

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CoreOS Launches Torus, a New Open Source Distributed Storage System
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 06:42 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-open-source department:
CoreOS on Wednesday launched Torus, an open source project that provides storage primitives designed for cloud-native apps and can be deployed like a containerized app via Kubernetes. With Torus, startups and enterprises get access to the same kind of technologies that web-scale companies such as Google already use internally. NetworkWorld reports: Torus is deployed by Kubernetes, side by side with the apps to which it provides storage, and it uses Kubernetes's Flexvolume plugin to allow dynamic mounting of volumes for nodes in the cluster. This allows, for example, PostgreSQL to run atop Torus storage volumes. Torus also demonstrates how CoreOS is working on what happens around containers, not only what happens inside them. A key part of Torus is etcd, a distributed key/value store used by CoreOS to automatically keep configuration data consistent across all machines in a cluster. In Torus, etcd is used to store and replicate metadata for all the files and objects stored in the pool.

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Report: Average American Will Use 22GB of Mobile Data Per Month In 2021
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 06:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's interconnected-world department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report, it's predicted that the average American smartphone subscriber will use 22GB of mobile data by the end of 2021. The report shows the explosion of mobile data consumption, with mobile traffic growing 60-percent between 2015 and 2016. It's forecasted that Western Europeans will use about 18GB per month per subscriber, while subscribers in the Asia Pacific region will use up about 7GB per month, even though it will have the largest share of mobile data traffic in 2021. The report claims smartphone subscriptions will overtake non-smartphone subscriptions in the third quarter of 2016. In 2021, 95-percent of all phones in North America will be smartphones. Fast 5G networks, which should start to be commercially deployed in 2020, will be able to handle the increased traffic and reach 150 million subscribers globally by the end of 2021. As for Internet of Things devices, the number of which will quadruple to 16 billion globally by 2021.

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Mary Meeker's 2016 Internet Trends Report: Messaging Apps Could Rival Home Screen
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 05:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-trend department:
Mary Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley internet analyst and now partner at venture-capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, has delivered her annual report that offers critical stats and trends about how technology is evolving. TechCrunch has highlighted the takeaways from the report: 1) The global internet adoption rate was flat year-over-year at 9%, reaching 3 billion users or 42% of the world's population. 2) Smartphone adoption's growth is slowing, while Android increases marketshare despite a shrinking average selling price. 3) Video viewership is exploding, with Snapchat and Facebook Live showing the way, though video ads aren't always effective. 4) Messaging is dominated by Facebook and WeChat, it's growing rapidly, and evolving from simple text communication to become our new home screen with options for vivid self-expression and commerce. 5) US advertising is growing, with Google and Facebook controlling 76% of the market and rising, but advertisers still spend too much on legacy media rather than new media where the audience has shifted. 6) Meeker predicts the rise of voice interfaces because they're fast, easy, personalized, hands-free, and cheap, with Google on Android now seeing 20% of searches from voice, and Amazon Echo sales growing as iPhone sales slow.

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Yahoo Becomes First Company To Disclose FBI National Security Letters
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 05:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's setting-precedent department:
Yahoo has disclosed receipt of three national security letters (FBI requests for data that Yahoo is typically barred from sharing) and published redacted copies of the letters online for anyone to see. The company says that the move "marks the first time any company has publicly acknowledged receiving an NSL following the reforms of the USA Freedom Act." The bill was created last year allowing companies to gag orders relating to National Security Letters. Engadget reports: It takes some doing to get permission to acknowledge the receipt of a letter, too -- Yahoo says that the FBI needs to review if the nondisclosure provision is still necessary for each specific NSL before allowing a company to publish it, and even then certain information needs to be redacted before being made available to the public. Still, when companies do get these gag orders lifted, it allows them to notify the investigated parties that the FBI was looking into their data, and it's a big win for transparency overall.

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TeamViewer Servers Go Down, Users Believe They Are Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's place-the-blame department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: Something is happening with TeamViewers servers at the moment, and all clues point to a massive breach that has led to many users going on Reddit and complaining about having their computers hacked. Some users have reported finding new transactions in their PayPal and bank accounts, while others discovered someone had been poking around their email account. Other lucky users said they barely avoided getting hacked at the last minute, noticing their mouse starting to move across the screen, and hurrying to disconnect their Internet connection. On Twitter, the TeamViewer team wrote that they're only experiencing issues in some parts of their network, but they denied any security breach, at least on their side. In the past months, we've seen malware use TeamViewer many times to infect computers, but most of those cases were because of users who used weak passwords, which is certainly not TeamViewer's fault. It is strange that this time around, just when TeamViewer servers go down, multiple users also flock to social media to complain about getting hacked. This is either one huge strange cosmic coincidence or TeamViewer is really at fault and won't be able to pin the blame on its users. On a semi-related note, PayPal will be suspending their business operations in Turkey after failing to obtain a new license for its service in the country.

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NASA Satellite Finds 39 Unreported Sources of Toxic Air Pollution
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's unreported-news department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Using a new satellite-based method, scientists at NASA, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and two universities have located 39 unreported and major human-made sources of toxic sulfur dioxide emissions. A known health hazard and contributor to acid rain, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of six air pollutants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 39 unreported emission sources, found in the analysis of satellite data from 2005 to 2014, are clusters of coal-burning power plants, smelters, oil and gas operations found notably in the Middle East, but also in Mexico and parts of Russia. In addition, reported emissions from known sources in these regions were -- in some cases -- two to three times lower than satellite-based estimates. Altogether, the unreported and underreported sources account for about 12 percent of all human-made emissions of sulfur dioxide -- a discrepancy that can have a large impact on regional air quality, said Chris McLinden, an atmospheric scientist and lead author of the study. The co-author of the study, Nickolay Krotkov, says quantifying the sulfur dioxide bull's-eyes is a two-step process that would not have been possible without an improvement in the computer processing that transforms raw satellite observations from the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA's Aura spacecraft into precise estimates of sulfur dioxide concentrations, and the ability to detect smaller concentrations using a new computer program that precisely detects sulfur dioxide that had been dispersed and diluted by winds.

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Google's 'Project Magenta' Art Machine Composes Its First Song
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 02:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's auto-tune department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google's Project Magenta, which aims to use machine learning to create music and art, just created its first song. The song, which can be more appropriately described as a 90-second melody, is quite simplistic and reminiscent of an old Nokia ringtone. It's impressive for a machine! Magenta is built on top of its TensorFlow system, and all the open-sourced materials one could ever need are available through its Github. The team wants to be able to tell stories from the art it creates similar to that of artists. "The design of models that learn to construct long narrative arcs is important not only for music and art generation, but also areas like language modeling, where it remains a challenge to carry meaning even across a long paragraph, much less whole stories," the team wrote. "Attention models like the Show, Attend and Tell point to one promising direction, but this remains a very challenging task."

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Elon Musk Suggests Tesla Model 3 Won't Get Free Supercharger Use
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '16 at 02:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nothing's-free department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: In response to a question about how the company would handle an influx of Model 3s to its Supercharging stations, which are currently offered as a free service to Tesla customers, Elon Musk said at Tesla's annual shareholder's conference in Mountain View, California, "it will not be free long distance for life unless you purchase that package." He did not specify what the "package" contained, nor did he say how much it would cost as an add-on with the purchase of a Model 3. His full quote reads: "Obviously, [free Supercharging] fundamentally has a cost. [...] The obvious thing to do is decouple that from the cost of the Model 3. So it will still be very cheap, and far cheaper than gasoline, to drive long-distance with the Model 3, but it will not be free long distance for life unless you purchase that package. I wish we could, but in order to achieve the economics, it has to be something like that." Tesla did recently announce their Gigafactory Grand Opening will be held on July 29, even if it isn't scheduled to begin production on lithium ion cells until next year.

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