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Tesla Updates Model S With New Front-End, Air Filtration System, Faster Charging
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 04:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's incremental-improvements department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Model S has received several new features and improvements to help it stay relevant with the newer Model X crossover and recently released Model 3 electric vehicles from Tesla. It has a new-look fascia and adaptive LED headlights that hew closely to the design found on the Model X crossover which debuted late last year. In addition to a couple new interior finish choices, the Model S is receiving a version of the Model X's cabin air filtration system as an option, which promises to filter out "99.7 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria and other contaminants from cabin air." The Model S now has a 48-amp charger standard -- up from 40 amps -- which Tesla says will enable faster charging when connected to higher-amp outlets. Tesla's design language is trending toward a grille-less front end, possibly in an effort to squeeze as much aerodynamic efficiency out of the car as possible. What's missing in the update is the rumored 100kWh battery, which would improve the vehicle's range.

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Jigsaw Ransomware Deletes Your Files If You Don't Pay Or When You Reboot Your PC
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-always-something-to-fear department:
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers found a new ransomware yesterday called Jigsaw which will first lock your files and ask for a 0.4 Bitcoin ($150 USD) payment. If users don't pay, every hour the ransomware deletes your files. If the user restarts their PC, the ransomware also deletes 1,000 more files. The good news is there's a free Decrypter available to unlock the ransomware. The Decrypter was built by Michael Gillespie, who announced yesterday on Softpedia the ID Ransomware service, which tells infected victims what kind of ransomware infection they have by allowing them to upload an encrypted file and the ransom note.

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Porn Giant xHamster Blocks North Carolina Users Who Support Anti-LGBT Law
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 03:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fight-for-equality department:
An anonymous reader writes: Due to the state's law preventing cities from banning discrimination against the LGBT community, popular porn site xHamster.com is blocking some North Carolinians' access to its material. xHamster tweeted on Monday that is was "blacking out access for North Carolina" because of newly passed House Bill 2, which also dictates which public restrooms transgender men and women can use. North Carolina users will be asked if they support the anti-LGBT law. If they support it, their IP address will be blocked from the site. "We blacked out the access to our website because we want to draw the attention of millions of people to patterns of human rights violations," xHamster Cheif Marketing Officer, Alexander D. Hawkins said. He added the company plans to stand their ground in the "fight for equality." xHamster may be one of the most recent businesses to publicly oppose North Carolina's House Bill 2, but they're not alone. PayPal canceled plans to open a global operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina and Bruce Springsteen canceled a scheduled show in North Carolina as well.

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The Future of Firefox is Chrome
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's the-future-is-now department:
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla seems to think a new future for Firefox [lies in Chrome]. While they claim that it is only about new ways of browser design, it is also an open secret that they are running into more and more problems lately with web compatibility. [Senior VP Mark Mayo caused a storm by revealing that the Firefox team is working on a next-generation browser that will run on the same technology as Google's Chrome browser. The project, named Tofino, will not use Firefox's core technology, Gecko, but will instead plumb for Electron, which is built on the technology behind Google's rival Chrome browser, called Chromium.] The benefit of Chromium/Electron would be that it is a solution they could pull much faster forward than their own Servo plans [Servo being Mozilla's Rust-based web engine]. What the real outcome of all this will be, only Mozilla knows so far. But inside Mozilla there is much resistance against such plans... Interesting times are ahead.

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Badlock Vulnerability Falls Flat Against Hype
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's caught-up-in-the-hype department:
msm1267 quotes a report from Threatpost: Weeks of anxiety and concern over the Badlock vulnerability ended today with an anticlimactic thud. Badlock was the security boogeyman since the appearance three weeks ago of a website and logo branding the bug as something serious in Samba, an open source implementation of the server message block (SMB) protocol that provides file and print services for Windows clients. As it turns out, Badlock was hardly the remote code execution monster many anticipated. Instead, it's a man-in-the-middle and denial-of-service bug, allowing an attacker to elevate privileges or crash a Windows machine running Samba services. SerNet, a German consultancy behind the discovery of Badlock, fueled the hype at the outset with a number of since-deleted tweets that said any marketing boost as a result of its branding and private disclosure of the bug to Microsoft was a bonus for its business. For its part, Microsoft refused to join the hype machine and today in MS16-047 issued a security update it rated 'Important' for the Windows Security Account Manager (SAM) and Local Security Authority (Domain Policy) (LSAD). The bulletin patches one vulnerability (CVE-2016-0128), an elevation of privilege bug in both SAM and LSAD that could be exploited in a man-in-the-middle attack, forcing a downgrade of the authentication level of both channels, Microsoft said. An attacker could then impersonate an authenticated user.

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FBI Offers $25K Reward For Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Painting Heist
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 12:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's umm-umm-good department:
coondoggie quotes a report from Networkworld: The FBI today said it was offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the recovery of seven Andy Warhol paintings stolen from the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri. The collection, which has been owned by the Springfield Art Museum since 1985, is set number 31 of the Campbell's Soup I collection and is valued at approximately $500,000. Each painting in the screen print collection measures 37 inches high by 24.5 inches wide and framed in white frames, the FBI stated. The FBI says that seven of 10 Andy Warhol paintings Campbell's Soup I collection, made in 1968, were taken. Since its inception, the FBI's Art Crime Team has recovered more than 2,650 items valued at over $150 million.

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Cybercriminals Are Adopting Corporate Best Practices
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 12:52 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's professionalism-in-everything-we-do department:
Orome1 writes: Cybercriminals are adopting corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses in order to increase the efficiency of their attacks against enterprises and consumers. This new class of professional cybercriminal spans the entire ecosystem of attackers, extending the reach of enterprise and consumer threats and fueling the growth of online crime. Low-level criminal attackers are even creating call center operations to increase the impact of their scams. "Advanced criminal attack groups now echo the skill sets of nation-state attackers. They have extensive resources and a highly-skilled technical staff that operate with such efficiency that they maintain normal business hours and even take the weekends and holidays off," said Kevin Haley, director, Symantec Security Response. "We are even seeing low-level criminal attackers create call center operations to increase the impact of their scams."

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Architects Design a 65-story Data Center
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 11:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's science-and-beauty department:
Reader dcblogs writes: Two Italian architects have designed a data center that challenges how the structures are built. Instead of constructing a flat, sprawling complex, they are proposing a 65-story data center. From a visual perspective, the circular, futuristic-looking 'Data Tower,' as Marco Merletti and Valeria Mercuri call it, almost seems like something out of Star Trek. But it incorporates sustainable technology for efficiently cooling hundreds of thousands of servers while increasing reliance on automation. The building has a modular, cylindrical design that uses a series of pods to house servers, which are available for service in much the same way automated parking garage move cars. The data tower, as with a radiator, is designed to have the maximum contact surface with the outside. The pods are hooked on to the circular structure of the tower to form a series of vertical blades.

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Facebook Announces 'Surround 360' Open Source VR Camera
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 11:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's that's-some-camera department:
Facebook is getting even more serious about 360-degree videos and content. At its developer conference, the social juggernaut announced the Surround 360, a 17-lens 3D VR camera. It's not available commercially yet. but the company has opened the design for anyone to modify. All the parts can be bought later this summer for about $30,000. Popular Science reports: The hardware is also coupled with custom software that automatically stitches together the immense amount of high-resolution video the camera records, and permits wireless control of the camera. "We care a lot about just kickstarting and inspiring the ecosystem as much as we can," said Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook. While the company isn't manufacturing or selling the cameras, Cox says the team sees it as a high-end "reference camera" that the rest of the community could base their designs on. According to Cox, making VR video breaks down into three steps: capture, processing, and delivery. Facebook already has a clear advantage in the delivery of this content, so now the plan is to break down the barriers for capture and processing.Also at the conference, Facebook announced it was opening up Live Video feature to developers. This would allow developers to integrate live streaming into third-party apps and also stream from any device.

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US ISPs Refuse To Disconnect Persistent Pirates
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 11:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's stand-on-piracy department:
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. broadband association USTelecom, a trade association representing many ISPs, is taking a stand against abusive takedown notices and a recent push to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers. They argue that ISPs are not required to pass on takedown notices and stress that their subscribers shouldn't lose Internet access based solely on copyright holder complaints. ustelecoSigned into law nearly two decades ago, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) aimed to ready copyright law for the digital age. The law introduced a safe harbor for Internet providers, meaning that they can't be held liable for their pirating users as long as they 'deal' with repeat infringers.

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Facebook Launches 'Agents On Messenger' Platform With Chatbots
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's developer-developer-developer department:
Josh Constine, reporting for TechCrunch: Facebook will now allow businesses to deliver automated customer support, ecommerce guidance, content, and interactive experience through "Bots on Messenger", Facebook's term for chatbots. By providing utility through its huge developer and business ecosystem, Facebook could boost loyalty with Messenger, one-up SMS, and keep up chat competitors like Kik, Line and Telegram that have their own bot platforms. Beyond just text, chatbots will be able to respond with structured messages that include images, links, and call to action buttons. These could let users make a restaurant reservation, review an ecommerce order, and more. Facebook is not the only company -- let alone the first -- which has a bot store. Messaging apps Telegram and Kik offer similar functionalities. Popular communication service Slack has also been ramping up its efforts around bots and figuring out different ways to enhance its customers' experience. Two weeks ago, Microsoft also announced a bot platform.

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Uber Releases First-Ever Transparency Report
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's people-want-to-know department:
An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, Uber released its first transparency report, an overview of the information that was requested by U.S. regulators and law enforcement in the second half of 2015. The report shows that while Uber is not yet receiving the number or type of requests that non-transport companies do, the data requests affect millions of Uber customers and drivers. According to the report, Uber received 408 requests for information from law enforcement, and 415 from state and federal governments. These requests were complied with approximately 85% of cases, where after review, Uber provided at least some of the data requested. They also responded to 67 requests for information from regulatory bodies and from airports, with data provided on over 11 million riders and 600,000 drivers.

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Hawking Backs $100 Million Interstellar Travel Project to Send 'Nano-Craft' To Nearest Star
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's to-the-star-far-far-away department:
At a press conference on Tuesday, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, cosmologist Stephen Hawking and a group of scientists and philanthropists announced a $100 million research program to send robotic probes to nearby stars within a generation. The group believes that using a nano-spacecraft propelled by lasers, they will be able to reach Alpha Centauri in just over 20 years after launch. The nearest star system is 40 trillion km away, which using current technology would take about 30,000 years to reach there. The aforementioned group said that thanks to their research and development, they might be able to make a spacecraft that could cut down the duration to 30 years. Reuters reports: Tuesday's announcement, made with cosmologist Stephen Hawking, comes less than a year after the announcement of Breakthrough Listen. That decade-long, $100 million project, also backed by Milner, monitors radio signals for signs of intelligent life across the universe. Breakthrough Starshot involves deploying small light-propelled vehicles to carry equipment like cameras and communication equipment. Scientists hope the vehicles, known as nano-craft, will eventually fly at 20 percent of the speed of light, more than a thousand times faster than today's spacecraft. "The thing would look like the chip from your cell phone with this very thin gauzy light sail," said Pete Worden, the former director of NASA's Ames Research Center, who is leading the project. "It would be something like 10, 12 feet across."The Atlantic has just published an in-depth report on this, also explaining how this project came to being. You can also watch the live stream of the press conference.

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Zero-Days Doubled In 2015, More Companies Hiding Breach Data, Says Symantec
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 08:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's topsy-turvy-compromised-world department:
Reader itwbennett writes: According to a new report by security firm Symantec, 54 zero-day vulnerabilities were discovered in 2015, more than twice as many as in 2014, and the number of breaches -- 10 million records -- also hit a record high. Driving this is a new professionalism in the market. "People figured out that they could make money by finding zero-day vulnerabilities and selling them to attackers," said Kevin Haley, director of security response at Symantec. "So there became a marketplace, and these things started to have value, and people started to hunt for them." At the same time, 2015 saw another disturbing trend: The number of companies choosing not to report the number of records they have lost rose by 85 percent (from 61 in 2014 to 113 in 2015). "More and more companies aren't actually revealing what was breached," said Haley. 'They will say attackers came and stole from us, but not saying how many records were lost."

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BAE Systems Warns About Shape-Shifting Strain of Qbot Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 07:24 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's visit-from-the-past department:
Warwick Ashford, reporting for ComputerWeekly: Qbot malware will become a potent threat, facilitated by exploit kits for initial infection and automated to gain maximum victim count, warns BAE Systems. The incident response team at BAE Systems is warning of a strain of the virulent Qbot malware that has hit thousands of public sector computers around the world. The malware -- also known as the Qakbot botnet -- first appeared in 2009 and was uploading 2GB of stolen confidential information to its FTP servers each week by April 2010 from private and public sector computers, including 1,100 on the NHS network in the UK. A modified version of the malware has resurfaced that is believed to have infected more than 54,000 PCs in thousands of organisations around the world and added them to its botnet of compromised machines, with 85% of infections in the US.

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Medium, Twitter Founder on Media: We Put Junk Food In Front Of Them and They Eat It
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 07:24 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's state-of-media department:
An anonymous reader points us to an interview of Evan Williams, one of the co-founders of Twitter, and founder of publishing platform Medium: Ev Williams is not a fan of the increasingly homogenised media he currently sees, with its emphasis on feeding the great, gaping maw of platforms like Twitter and Facebook too often producing what he describes as tantamount to junk food. "It's understandable why media on the web is like it is today," Williams tells the Guardian. "That's not to say there's not a lot of great stuff out there, but a lot of people are dissatisfied with it. A lot of journalists who want to do great stuff are dissatisfied. Advertisers and brands are dissatisfied. We're still stuck in some very naive thinking, with the idea that people consuming media means that's what they want -- it's like, well, we put junk food in front of them and they ate that, so that must be what they want."

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Google Introduces Voice Access To Make Android More Accommodating For People With Disabilities
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 06:03 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's broadening-the-reach-of-tech department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has launched a new beta app called Voice Access, which lets people control their Android phone with voice commands. The company took the wraps off Voice Access as an accessibility tool to help people who have difficulties using the touch interface, such as those with tremors or paralysis. Once installed, items in Settings and apps on the Homepage are numbered. The user can tell the device, "Go Home", which is transcribed at the top of the page, and then say, "Open one", to launch the app numbered one. Twitter and Facebook also recently took some steps to make some of their services more accessible to people.

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Slashdot Asks: What Are Some Insults No Developer Wants To Hear?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 06:03 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's flame-wars department:
snydeq writes: Flame wars in the bug tracker might be exactly the right (harsh) feedback your code needs, writes Peter Wayner in his run-down of the insults no programmer wants to hear about their code or coding skills. "The technology world is a bit different than the pretty, coiffed world of suits and salesdroids where everyone is polite, even when they hate your guts and think you're an idiot. Suit-clad managers may smile and hide their real message by the way they say you're doing "great, real great pal," but programmers often speak their minds, and when that mind has something unpleasant to say, look-out, feelings." Instead of posting this story in a click-bait fashion as presented from InfoWorld, we thought we'd ask the developers of Slashdot: What are some insults no developer wants to hear? Some of the classic insults include: N00b, /dev/null, Eye Candy, Fanboi, and [Nothing]. Are there any insults you are familiar with that aren't mentioned in the list?

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HTC 10 With 5.2-inch QHD Display, Snapdragon 820 SoC, 12MP Camera Launched at $699
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 04:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's another-new-Android-flagship-smartphone department:
Dan Seifert, writing for The Verge: HTC is today formally announcing the 10, its flagship smartphone for 2016. The HTC 10 follows last year's M9 and blends the design of the M series with the A9 that came last fall. HTC says it spent 12 months designing this phone and integrated feedback from its customers throughout the development process. The 10 has everything you might expect from a flagship Android phone in 2016. There's a 5.2-inch, quad HD Super LCD 5 display that HTC says displays 30 percent more color than last year's phone. The screen is covered in Gorilla Glass with curved edges that blend into the phone's metal frame. You'll be able to find out if that's enough for HTC to compete when the phone ships next month for $699. One interesting feature, which separates HTC 10 from many other Android flagship smartphones, is support for AirPlay. The feature enables the smartphone to stream media content to an Apple TV.

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Genetic Studies Prove Cuckolded Fathers Are Rare In Human Populations
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '16 at 03:12 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's judge-judy department:
HughPickens.com writes: A common urban myth is that many fathers are cuckolded into raising children that genetically are not their own -- a fear fueled by the paternity tests that have become a standard staple of gossip magazines, talk shows, and TV series. Now, Carl Zimmer reports at the New York Times that our obsession with cuckolded fathers is seriously overblown as a number of recent genetic studies have challenged the notion that mistaken paternity is commonplace. It wasn't until DNA sequencing emerged in the 1990s that paternity tests earned the legal system's confidence. Labs were able to compare DNA markers in children to those of their purported fathers to see if they matched. As the lab tests piled up, researchers collated the results and came to a startling conclusion: 10 percent to 30 percent of the tested men were not the biological fathers of their children. There's only one problem with these previous studies: the results didn't come from a random sample of people. The people who ordered the tests already had reason to doubt paternity.

< article continued at Slashdot's judge-judy department >

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