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Apple Unveils Liam, An iPhone Recycling Robot That Salvages Parts
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 02:33 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's save-the-environment department:
MikeChino writes from an article on Inhabitat: There are around one billion Apple devices in use, and with that comes "significant responsibility," according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. That's why Apple just unveiled Liam, a robot that quickly and efficiently disassembles old iPhones so that their components can be reused for other products (like solar panels).

According to the Inhabitat, "The robot takes apart old iPhones, removing each component and extracting metals like lithium, so that the parts can be reused and your phone 'can live on.'" TechCrunch notes that Liam specifically rescues cobalt and lithium from the battery, gold and copper from the camera, silver and platinum from the logic board and the aluminum enclosure, as well.

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Obama Lands In Cuba As First US President To Visit In Nearly A Century
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 01:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's change-with-the-times department:
An anonymous reader writes: Barack Obama descended on Cuba with a pomp unmatched by the Pope on Sunday, becoming the first American president to visit Cuba in nearly a century, and the first since a revolution led by Fidel Castro toppled a U.S.-backed strongman in 1959. As he arrived, Obama used a Cuban phrase meaning "what's up?" when he tweeted: "Que bola Cuba? Just touched down here, looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people." "This is a historic visit," Obama said as he greeted U.S. Embassy staff and their families at a Havana hotel. "It's an historic opportunity to engage with the Cuban people."

One of the many results of the new diplomatic relations between the two countries is the ability for Cuban residents to become more connected to the internet. Reuters is reporting that Alphabet Inc's Google is poised to expand internet access in Cuba. "One of the things that we'll be announcing here is that Google has a deal to start setting up more Wi-Fi and broadband access on the island," Obama said in an ABC News interview that aired on Monday. The U.S. Treasury Department has even authorized San Francisco's Airbnb service to expand its home rental listings in Cuba to non-U.S. travelers.

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Boom Aerospace Company Wants To Bring Back Supersonic Civilian Travel
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 01:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-for-the-price-of-one department:
pacopico writes: A startup out of Denver called Boom Technology has just come out of stealth mode [by] talking-up their supersonic jet. It would carry 40 passengers and travel at Mach 2.2. The company claims that it's about 30 percent more fuel-efficient than the Concorde. Based on this, it could get its prices down to the equivalent of a business class seat on long-haul flights. At Mach 2.2, a trip from New York to London would take 3.4 hours. Boom is meant to start test flights next year out of John Denver's old hangar.

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Millionaires: Raise Our Taxes to Address Poverty, Fix Roads
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 11:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's benefit-the-greater-good department:
jones_supa writes from an article on ABCNews: More than 40 millionaires, including members of the Rockefeller and Disney families, are asking to have their taxes raised to help address poverty and rebuild failing infrastructure. The millionaires wrote a letter to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top New York lawmakers proposing new, higher tax rates for the top 1% of earners in the state. The letter says that additional revenue would help addressing child poverty, homelessness and aging bridges, tunnels, water pipes and roads. "As New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state, we have both the ability and the responsibility to pay our fair share," the letter states. "We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more." The tax plan, known as the one-percent tax plan, was worked out in conjunction with the Fiscal Policy Institute, a left-leaning economic think tank.

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Apple Unveils Smaller iPhone SE, Starting At $399
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 11:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's budget-friendly-storage-options department:
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has officially unveiled a smaller, cheaper iPhone designed to make a splash in the budget-friendly smartphone market. The new device, called the iPhone SE, looks nearly identical to the iPhone 5S but with a new rose gold color configuration. It's the internal specifications that differ significantly. The new iPhone SE will feature a NFC chip for Apple Pay, A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor, 12-megapixel camera sensor with the ability to capture 4K video, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, it does not feature Apple's new 3D touch functionality. The iPhone SE will come in two models, 16GB and 64GB, priced at $399 and $499 respectively. You can buy the new iPhone starting March 31, and it will make its way to 100 countries by May.

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Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Join Forces To Create New Encrypted Email Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's exciting-email department:
An anonymous reader writes: A group of independent security researchers and major Silicon Valley tech giants have submitted a proposal for a new email protocol called SMTP STS (Strict Transport Security). In theory, this new extension looks like the HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) extension to HTTPS. Much like HSTS, SMTP STS brings message confidentiality and server authenticity to the process of starting an encrypted email communications channel. The new protocol also works with HTTPS to avoid SSL/TLS downgrades and MitM attacks. The biggest names on the contributors list include Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Comcast. Last year, Oracle also submitted a similar proposal called DEEP (Deployable Enhanced Email Privacy).

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Apple Pay Has a Siri Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's 'apple-pie' department:
An anonymous reader writes: Katherine Boehret of The Verge reports multiple issues -- systematic, as well as general unawareness among vendors -- with Apple Pay. Citing instances from her own experience, she noted issues when using Apple Pay at McDonald's, Pret A Manger, and New York City cabs. From her report, "If I buy something at one of the wrong registers, the cashier must log out of it and log on at the right register before re-entering my purchase so I can use Apple Pay. This has happened at least a dozen times." She adds, "When a tool like Apple Pay works, it's like magic. You lift your phone, use fingerprint recognition to confirm the purchase, and walk away. The Wallet app in iOS shows you a list of your recent transactions, and adding credit cards is a simple process. But if Apple Pay fails enough times or isn't accepted at enough places, people forget it exists or think it's not worth trying to use. It's a lot like Siri in that way: too many failed attempts and you'll never open it again -- at least not on purpose."

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The Internet of Things Is a Surveillance Nightmare
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 09:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's internet-of-broken-things department:
An anonymous reader writes from a DailyDot's Kernel Mag article: Welcome to the Internet of Things, what Schneier calls "the World Size Web," already growing around you as we speak, which creates such a complete picture of our lives that Dr. Richard Tynan of Privacy International calls them "doppelgangers" -- mirror images of ourselves built on constantly updated data. These doppelgangers live in the cloud, where they can easily be interrogated by intelligence agencies. Nicholas Weaver, a security researcher at University of California, Berkeley, points out that "Under the FISA Amendments Act 702 (aka PRISM), the NSA can directly ask Google for any data collected on a valid foreign intelligence target through Google's Nest service, including a Nest Cam." And that's just one, legal way of questioning your digital doppelgangers; we've all heard enough stories about hacked cloud storage to be wary of trusting our entire lives to it. [...] But with the IoT, the potential goes beyond simple espionage, into outright sabotage. Imagine an enemy that can remotely disable the brakes in your car, or (even more subtly) give you food poisoning by hacking your fridge. That's a new kind of power. "The surveillance, the interference, the manipulation the full life cycle is the ultimate nightmare," says Tynan. [...] That makes the IoT vulnerable -- our society vulnerable -- to any criminal with a weekend to spend learning how to hack. "When we talk about vulnerabilities in computers... people are using a lot of rhetoric in the abstract," says Privacy International's Tynan. "What we really mean is, vulnerable to somebody. That somebody you're vulnerable to is the real question." The state of security around IoT, the chip or sensor-equipped devices connected to each other over the Internet, is deeply concerning. Just in the past few months, we have seen several instances of these devices getting hacked. We have also seen things such as Shodan, a search engine for the Internet of Things that can allow someone to browse vulnerable webcams. Many people continue to overlook the significance and potential consequences of their "smart" devices getting compromised. Someone recently asked, "So what if my coffee maker gets hacked? What are criminals going to do? Burn my coffee?" They can do a lot more than burn your coffee. You see these devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network, which gives them the ability to interact with other gadgets connected to the same network. When attackers manage to access one of these devices, it's only a matter of time before they own your entire network.

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Old Kindles Will Be Disconnected Unless You Update By Tuesday
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 09:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's update-your-kindle-dammit department:
An anonymous reader writes: If you have a Kindle device, you must update it before March 22 or else it's going to lose internet connectivity. Losing access to the internet means that you won't be able to use Kindle Store to purchase books, and your device won't be able to sync with the cloud. From a CNET article, "According to Amazon, the update is required to ensure the Kindle remains compliant with continuously evolving industry web standards." These are the devices that need to be updated: Kindle 1st Generation (2007), Kindle 2nd Generation (2009), Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009), Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010), Kindle 4th Generation (2011), Kindle 5th Generation (2012), Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011), and Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012). If you own a Kindle Paperwhite (6th or 7th Generation), or a Kindle 7th Generation, or a Kindle Voyage 7th Generation, you do not need to worry about the update. And suddenly, Amazon sending postcards to remind people about this update doesn't feel that wrong.

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NVIDIA's Proprietary Linux Driver Adds Support For Wayland, Mir
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 09:02 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's breaking-barriers-sorta department:
An anonymous reader writes: After being desired by NVIDIA Linux users for years, the proprietary GeForce graphics driver natively supports Wayland and Mir as an alternative to an X.Org Server. It's been a long time coming for the proprietary GPU driver stacks to support Wayland/Mir, but with today's 364.12 beta driver there is now the necessary DRM KMS kernel support and EGL extensions for being able to handle these next-generation display solutions. The new NVIDIA Linux driver also provides integrated Vulkan support, PRIME rendering support, and other additions.

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iMessage Bug Allows Attackers to Decrypt Photos and Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 07:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's leaking-messages department:
Researchers at John Hopkins University have found a bug in the instant messaging client iMessage which, if exploited, could allow an attacker to decrypt photos and videos sent as secured messages. "Even Apple, with all their skills -- and they have terrific cryptographers -- wasn't able to quite get this right," said Matthew D. Green, whose team of graduate students at the aforementioned university found the bug. "So it scares me that we're having this conversation about adding back doors to encryption when we can't even get basic encryption right." Apple acknowledged the bug to The Washington Post, adding that it had "partially" fixed the glitch with iOS 9 software update last year. The company assures that it will be offering a complete patch for the bug with iOS 9.3, which will be released on Monday.

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Rust-Based Redox OS Devs Slam Linux, Unix, GPL
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 06:21 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's let-a-thousand-flowers-bloom department:
Freshly Exhumed writes: Redox OS, a project on GitHub aimed at creating an alternative OS able to run almost all Linux executables with only minimal modifications, is to feature a pure Rust ecosystem, which they hope will improve correctness and security over other OSes. In their own words, 'Redox isn't afraid of dropping the bad parts of POSIX, while preserving modest Linux API compatibility.' They also level harsh criticisms at other OSes, saying "...we will not replicate the mistakes made by others. This is probably the most important tenet of Redox. In the past, bad design choices were made by Linux, Unix, BSD, HURD, and so on. We all make mistakes, that's no secret, but there is no reason to repeat others' mistakes." Not stopping there, Redox documentation contains blunt critiques of Plan 9, the GPL, and other mainstays.

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Australia Promises To Remove Tax On Bitcoin, Support FinTech Innovation
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 06:21 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-practices-in-tax-farming department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Australian government has announced that Bitcoin and other digital currencies would no longer be subject to Goods and Services Tax, and regulations would become more lenient to support startups and entrepreneurs in the country. Treasurer Scott Morrison noted in a detailed policy statement that various new law proposals would see GST removed on Bitcoin, restrictions and tax barriers eased for venture capital investors, and a stronger focus on crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending. The release detailed that reform in the area is crucial to 'assist Australia becoming a leading market for FinTech innovation in Asia.'

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Ask Slashdot: Are You Excited About Upcoming 4-inch iPhone or 9.7-inch iPad Pro?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 06:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's rumour-mill department:
If rumors are to be believed, at its 'Let Us Loop You In' event on Monday, Apple will launch a new smartphone dubbed "iPhone SE," and a new tablet dubbed "iPad Pro." According to 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, who has a reliable track record with Apple news, the iPhone SE will sport a 4-inch display and have the same processor, RAM and other innards as the iPhone 6s, which was launched last year. The new 9.7-inch iPad will reportedly have the same hardware specifications as the 12-inch iPad Pro, which was also unveiled last year. The Associated Press reports that the forthcoming event hasn't stirred "much passion." It adds, "So far, however, there have been no hints of any dramatic announcements, such as last year's highly anticipated Apple Watch debut, or major initiatives like the company's long-rumoured but yet-to-materialize streaming TV service." Are you looking forward to purchasing either of the devices?

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Scientists Propose Biodiversity Lab To Redeem Guantanamo Prison Camp
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 05:05 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's little-paint-some-flowers-a-couple-of-throw-pillows department:
HughPickens.com writes: The American presence at the Guantanamo Prison Camp has been deeply contentious since even before terrorism suspects began to be housed there beginning in 2002. Now as President Obama prepares to make the first presidential visit to Cuba in almost 90 years, ecologists Joe Roman and James Kraska have published their case in the influential journal Science for creating a Guantanamo-based research center to study biodiversity in the Caribbean. The primary benefit of a Guantanamo Bay research station is symbolic. "The main goal is trying to take Guantanamo and make it an inspiring place, and redeem it," says Roman. But the case for Guantanamo Bay as a science lab goes beyond political optics. According to Roman and Kraska the land and the sea offer an ecosystem uniquely worthy of study. The research hub of Roman's dreams would be a state-of-the art facility to help understand how biodiversity loss can be prevented across the Caribbean. "A parcel of the land, perhaps on the developed southeastern side of the base, could become a 'Woods Hole of the Caribbean,' housing research and educational facilities dedicated to addressing climate change, ocean conservation, and biodiversity loss. With genetics laboratories, geographic information systems laboratories, videoconference rooms — even art, music, and design studios — scientists, scholars, and artists from Cuba, the United States, and around the world could gather and study. The new facilities could strive to be carbon neutral, with four 80-meter wind turbines having been installed on the base in 2005, and designed to minimize ecological damage to the surrounding marine and terrestrial ecosystems"

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Students' Experiments To Fly By Glider To the Edge of Space
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '16 at 02:24 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's great-atmosphere department:
techmage writes: In 2002 Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson set the altitude record for a glider climbing to 42,000 feet in the Perlan I. This year the Perlan II glider will attempt to reach over 90,000 feet. Carried aboard will be be 10 science experiments from students participating in a Teachers in Space contest. Some of these experiments push the boundaries of what can be done at the K-12 level. This news article has a lot more detail on what these kids are sending.

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Unprecedented DDoS Attack At Swedish Government, Media Outlets
Posted by News Fetcher on March 20 '16 at 11:25 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's meatball-shortages-severe department:
Flu writes: Yesterday, at 19:30 CET, an unprecedented DDOS attack shut down both Swedish government sites and all major news outlets, including www.aftonbladet.se, www.expressen.se, www.svd.se, www.dn.se, www.di.se and others. The attack was announced in advanced in a tweet stating 'The following days attacks against the Swedish government and media spreading false propaganda will be targeted'. A large amount of traffic was detected from Russia. Tension between Russia and Sweden has slowly but steadily intensified during the latest years, causing Swedish relocation of military forces to strategic location and increased cooperation with NATO.

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Meet UbuntuBSD, UNIX For Human Beings
Posted by News Fetcher on March 20 '16 at 08:42 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-is-it-certified department:
prisoninmate writes: What's ubuntuBSD? Well, it's not that hard to figure out yourself, but just in case you're not sure, we can tell you that ubuntuBSD promises to bring the power of the FreeBSD kernel to Ubuntu Linux. The best part of using the FreeBSD kernel is that you'll end up using the famous Z File System, or ZFS. Xfce is also included along with the popular Firefox, LibreOffice, and Ubuntu Software Center apps. ubuntuBSD is inspired by the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project, it is hosted on SourceForge, and has been created by Jon Boden.

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Autism Associated With Shorter Lifespan, According To UK Charity Study
Posted by News Fetcher on March 20 '16 at 06:04 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's convergent-factors department:
Cognitive Dissident writes: It's only one study, but the results are disturbing. An article in The Guardian describes a study by the UK charity Autistica showing that all people on the autism spectrum, not just the profoundly autistic, seem to be dying much younger than the average. There is no single definable cause, though a higher rate of suicide is one problem, but the aggregate result is a much higher mortality rate than the general population. There is no single cause, but a higher rate of suicide is noted. "Autistic people with no learning disabilities are nine times more likely to die from suicide compared to the rest of the population, the report states." Looks like something that needs more attention and research, which the charity is trying to organize.

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How Space-Based Solar Power Plants Could Be Built By Robots On the Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on March 20 '16 at 04:43 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-yur-jahbs department:
MarkWhittington writes: The concept of space based solar power has been around for decades. The late Gerard K. O'Neill proposed building them as a way to finance space colonies in the 1970s. Recently Popular Science reported on a modern approach to building space based solar energy stations. Instead of relying on massive, orbiting space colonies filled with construction workers to put the plants together, why not automate the entire process?

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