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Refrigerator-Sized Machine Can Print Pills on Demand
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 10:03 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's make-two-pills-and-call-me-in-the-morning department:
MIT Researchers have created a new "Pharmacy on Demand" prototype that can produce 1,000 doses of medication every 24 hours. Their new system "can be easily transported in case of outbreaks, supply shortage or if a manufacturing plant shuts down," notes the Daily Mail, and the on-demand technology can address many of the challenges in supplying medications, for example regions without facilities for storing pills. "The dosages don't have to have long-term stability," says the head of MIT's Chemistry department. "People line up, you make it, and they take it." The DARPA-funded researchers produced Valium, Prozac, Benadryl, and lidocaine, and demonstrated that "Within a few hours we could change from one compound to the other." The machine can also switch to a different drug type within a few hours, making it economical to produce drugs needed by only a small number of patients.

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US Military Invests in $320M 'Smart Fabric' Project
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's chip-on-your-shoulder-pack department:
The U.S. Department of Defense is investing in a $320 million project to create "smart garments" that can protect soldiers while monitoring their environment -- for example, uniforms that can change color or become invisible to night-vision goggles. Other possibilities include tents which generate electricity, uniforms which detect chemical or nuclear contamination, and parachutes that can detect tearing, according to Phys.org. "Key to the plan is a technical ingredient: embedding a variety of tiny semiconductors and sensors into fabrics that can see, hear, communicate, store energy, warm or cool a person or monitor the wearer's health," reports the New York Times, calling it "a new frontier for the Internet of Things." The Pentagon is joining more than 30 universities, 49 companies (including Intel) and the state governments of Massachusetts and Georgia, and they're hoping the "Advanced Functional Fabrics of America" project establishes two dozen incubators for startups and creates 50,000 jobs over the next 10 years by streamlining the implementation of the smart fabrics in America's textile mills.

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Grieving Father is Begging Apple to Unlock His Dead Son's iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's far-beyond-the-cloud department:
"A grieving father is begging Apple to allow him access to the photos stored on his dead son's iPhone," reports Time. In September Leonardo Fabbretti's adopted son died of bone cancer at age 13, and the father believes that two months of photographs are still stored on his son's iPhone. Last fall Apple staff attempted to retrieve the photos from their cloud-storage service, but the iPhone hadn't been synced before the 13-year-old's death. "Don't deny me the memories of my son," the father writes in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The father's letter tells Apple that "Although I share your philosophy in general, I think Apple should offer solutions for exceptional cases like mine," according to a British newspaper, while 88% of respondents in their online poll believed that Apple should unlock the phone.

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Users Find Renting a Movie On iTunes Frees Up Space On IPhone, IPad
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's awesome-sauce department:
An anonymous reader writes: Many, if not all, believe that 16GB storage on their iPhone and iPad is not sufficient. Apple insists that users with 16GB variant iDevice can always save files to the cloud. At any rate, several users have found an interesting way to free up storage space on their iPhone and iPad. The trick is to rent a movie from iTunes (on your mobile device) that is larger than the storage you have available. If you have 500MB free, for instance, you could try and rent Bridge of Spies, which is a 5.79GB download, according to an article on BetaNews. "When you click Rent, a loading symbol will appear but then you'll receive a message informing you that "there is not enough available storage" to download the film, and you'll be given the option of managing your storage in Settings. Tap the Settings button, and -- ta-da! -- you should see the amount of free storage you now have is much greater than before. Repeating the process will free up even more space."

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On Cybersecurity, Execs Are Burying Their Heads In the Sand
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's embarrassing-truths-of-life department:
An anonymous reader writes shares a report on BizJournals: Despite increased spending on cybersecurity, most executives are unprepared, even willfully ignorant, of the threats that could damage their businesses. A survey of 1,530 C-level executives across of range of industries found a widespread feeling that cybersecurity is an "IT problem," even as CEOs personally shoulder the consequences for breaches. "The Target breach was one of the more significant ones: Executives can be held accountable," says David Damato, chief security officer at Tanium. "But there's still that disconnect. Executives still struggle with: 'What should I be looking for?'"

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Oculus 'Always On' Services and Privacy Policy May Be a Cause for Concern
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's privacy-is-a-luxury department:
Will Mason, reporting for Upload VR: It turns out when you install the software to run Facebook's Oculus Rift, it creates a process with full system permissions called "VRServer_x64.exe." This process is always on, and regularly sends updates back to Facebook's servers. The process' main purpose is to help detect when the Rift is turned on and on your face so that it can launch Oculus Home, but the further reaching implications of it are potentially much more salacious. Digging into the Oculus Rift's Privacy Policy reveals that Facebook is not the only company that is able to collect your data, as under the policy "third parties may also collect information about you through the Services," this includes entities on the "related companies" list. The company plans to utilize your data to, among other things, "market to you." Surprised?

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Uber CEO Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Price Fixing
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 05:32 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's all-about-the-money department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will go to court over price fixing claims after he initially tried to get the lawsuit dismissed. U.S. district court judge in New York ruled Kalanick has to face the class of passengers alleging that he conspired with drivers to set fares using an algorithm, including hiking rates during peak hours with so-called surge pricing. According to Reuters, district court judge Jed Rakoff ruled the plaintiffs "plausibly alleged a conspiracy" to fix pricing and that the class action could also pursue claims the set rates led to the demise [of] other services, like Sidecar.

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Siri Now Responds Appropriately To Sexual Assaults
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 02:43 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's politically-correct department:
An anonymous reader writes: Confirmed in a report from ABC News, Apple has updated Siri to respond to statements involving sexual assault and abuse in a more appropriate and consistent manner. JAMA Internal Medicine published an article in mid-March noting how personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, S Voice and Google Now incompletely and inconsistently responded to phrases relating to abuse or sexual assault. Apple has updated Siri in response to that article. If you say, "Siri I was raped," Siri will respond with the following: "If you think you may have experienced sexual abuse or assault, you may want to reach out to someone at the National Sexual Assault Hotline.'' Previously, Siri would respond by saying users "should reach out" for available help.

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$40 Hardware Is Enough To Hack $28,000 Police Drones From 2km Away
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 10:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sneak-attack department:
mask.of.sanity writes: Thieves can hijack $28,000 professional drones used widely across the law enforcement, emergency, and private sectors using $40 worth of hardware. The quadcopters can be hijacked from up to two kilometers away thanks to a lack of encryption, which is not present due to latency overheads. Attackers can commandeer radio links to the drones from up to two kilometers away, and block operators from reconnecting to the craft. With the targeted Xbee chip being very common in drones, IBM security guy Nils Rodday says it is likely many more aircraft are open to compromise.

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North Korea Launches Missile and Tries To Jam GPS Signals
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 10:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-cute department:
An anonymous reader writes: Hours after North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea in retaliation for ongoing U.S. join military drills with South Korea, they started jamming GPS navigation systems near its border with South Korea, affecting hundreds of fishing boats but not causing any immediate danger. There were no disruptions to drivers' satellite navigation system or air traffic, but warning messages were broadcast in affected areas warning ships not to rely on their GPS navigation. In a statement, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense said: "North Korea has been continuously disrupting GPS system since 7:30 pm [Thursday] and thereby interfering and hampering our military movements, which is threatening the safety of our people."

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Verizon Plans $20 Upgrade Fee Even If You Pay Full Price For a Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 07:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's icing-on-the-cake department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to a memo leaked by MacRumors, Verizon is planning to introduce a new $20 upgrade fee starting next week. The new $20 flat rate charge will begin next Monday, April 4, and will be applied to smartphones purchased on a Device Payment financing plan, or at full retail price. The premium will also apply to those who take advantage of Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program. Verizon cites "increasing support costs associated with customers switching their devices" as a reason for the new fees. The new fee is in addition to the existing $40 upgrade fee for customers renewing a two-year contract with a new device.

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Futuristic Suit Lets You Feel What It's Like To Be An Old Man
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's age-is-just-a-number department:
HughPickens.com writes: Andy Newman writes at the New York Times about an exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City that lets users walk a proverbial mile in their elders' orthopedic shoes and experience the stooped shuffle, the halting speech, and the dimming senses of an 85-year old man. It is not a very pleasant experience. An attendant cranks up a fader and your vision dissolves into melty, grayed-out blobs, like a memorably unvivid psychedelic experience, more knobs twiddle, and your hearing is subsumed in a fog of tinnitus, muffling and distortion. Loaded with hardware and a computer, the suit itself weighs 40 pounds, distributed as uncomfortably as possible. "It's going to get much worse," promises Bran Ferren, the suit's inventor. "You haven't lived."

According to Newman, in just 10 minutes, the aging suit induced a remarkable amount of frustration, depression and hopelessness. There are entire realms of wretchedness attendant upon owning and operating an 85-year-old body that the exhibit does not even touch upon. Comprehensive sagging, internal and external. Pain in places you did not know could hurt. Difficulty urinating. Difficulty not urinating. Watching your friends die off. Watching yourself become irrelevant, an object of pity or puzzlement if acknowledged at all. By allowing a younger generation to feel the effects of aging firsthand, the suit provides a newfound perspective that hopefully inspires a conversation with loved ones about getting older so, collectively, family and friends can better prepare for the future. If doing even the most basic tasks of daily living is this much trouble, you wonder, why bother? But it also makes you a little less likely to lose patience and a little more likely to feel empathy with the older people in your life. "My father, Aaron Newman, happens to be 85," says Newman. "I called him up. I described the treadmill experience and asked if that sounded about right." "No," he said. "It's much worse."

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Man Builds 'Scarlett Johansson' Robot From Scratch
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fulfilling-childhood-dreams department:
An anonymous reader writes: 42-year-old product and graphic designer Ricky Ma has spent more than $50,000 building a replica Scarlett Johansson robot from scratch. The robot, named Mark 1, responds to a set of programmed verbal commands spoken into a microphone and has moving facial expressions. Ricky said, "When I was a child, I liked robots. Why? Because I liked watching animation. All children loved it. There were Transformers, cartoons about robots fighting each other and games about robots. After I grew up, I wanted to make one. But during this process, a lot of people would say things like, 'Are you stupid? This takes a lot of money. Do you even know how to do it? It's really hard.'" Ricky has dressed Mark 1 in a crop top and grey skirt. A 3D-printed skeleton lies beneath Mark 1's silicone skin, covering its mechanical and electronic interior.

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DJI Files Patent Lawsuit Against Yuneec, Marking Industry's First Legal Fight
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's only-the-beginning department:
An anonymous reader writes: The world's most successful consumer drone manufacturer, DJI, has filed a lawsuit in California claiming Yuneec has infringed on two of its patents. The claim centers on "systems and methods for target tracking," and "interchangeable mounting platform." They're asking the court to halt the sale of the infringing Yuneec products and systems. The case marks the first legal battle in the consumer drone industry.
"DJI welcomes competition, but is committed to protecting its intellectual property," a press release on the filing stated. "Friday's filing is a response to safeguard that investment, to protect customers and partners and to promote genuine innovation in this promising area." Last year, Yuneec launched the 4K Typhoon drone to compete with DJI's Phantom 3 Professional drone. It also announced the Typhoon H at CES, which is equipped with an Intel RealSense camera.

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North Korea Launches Missile and Tries To Jams GPS Signals
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 03:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-cute department:
An anonymous reader writes: Hours after North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea in retaliation for ongoing U.S. join military drills with South Korea, they started jamming GPS navigation systems near its border with South Korea, affecting hundreds of fishing boats but not causing any immediate danger. There were no disruptions to drivers' satellite navigation system or air traffic, but warning messages were broadcast in affected areas warning ships not to rely on their GPS navigation. In a statement, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense said: "North Korea has been continuously disrupting GPS system since 7:30 pm [Thursday] and thereby interfering and hampering our military movements, which is threatening the safety of our people."

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update Will Bring Android Notifications To Your PC
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 03:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's eagerly-awaited-features department:
An anonymous reader writes: In an Anniversary Update scheduled to launch this summer, Microsoft is bringing a new Action Center UI to Windows 10 PCs and Windows 10 Mobile. [According to WinBeta.org,] the new Action Center will sync up to to the cloud, allowing users to dismiss a notification on more than one device. For example, users will be able to dismiss a text message on their PC, and have that same notification be dismissed on their phone. Android users will be happy to know that this functionality is coming to Android via the Cortana app. Android users will be able to see and dismiss notifications that appear on their PC, and vice-versa. Developers will be able to create widgets and tiles for the new Action Center as well.

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US Won't Say How Many H-1B Workers Are Female
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's diversity-in-the-workplace department:
dcblogs quotes a report from Computerworld: When the U.S. begins accepting applications for new H-1B skilled-worker visas today, we can be certain that tech workers from India will make up a large portion of the requests. While program data shows which job categories, countries and companies are awarded the most visas, the federal government says it is not tracking applicants' gender -- although the question is asked on the visa application form. The U.S. begins accepting H-1B visa applications on April 1 for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not release the gender data. It has rejected a Senate request for the information, as well as public records requests from the IEEE-USA and Computerworld. The Anita Borg Institute, which advocates for women in technology, believes "it would be very helpful to have better data on the gender diversity of H-1B visa recipients," said Telle Whitney, the president and CEO of the institute. "Our anecdotal experience is that most H-1B visa recipients are men and that this can have a negative impact on increasing the participation of women in the technical workforce," she said.

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CIA Left Inert Explosives On School Bus After Exercise
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's whoops department:
An anonymous reader writes: Students were transported in a Virginia school bus carrying inert explosives left by the CIA, officials said. The explosives were discovered in the engine, only after the Loudoun County Public Schools bus was undergoing maintenance. "The CIA assured Loudoun officials the training material used in this exercise is stable and posed no danger to students on board the bus," it said in a statement. The school district said the inert explosives, left behind by a CIA canine team, were inside a container and part of them apparently fell out into the engine space.

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DJI Files Patent Lawsuit Against Yuneec, Marking Industry's First Legal Fight
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 12:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's only-the-beginning department:
An anonymous reader writes: The world's most successful consumer drone manufacturer, DJI, has filed a lawsuit in California claiming Yuneec has infringed on two of its patents. The claim centers on "systems and methods for target tracking," and "interchangeable mounting platform." They're asking the court to halt the sale of the infringing Yuneec products and systems. The case marks the first legal battle in the consumer drone industry.
"DJI welcomes competition, but is committed to protecting its intellectual property," a press release on the filing stated. "Friday's filing is a response to safeguard that investment, to protect customers and partners and to promote genuine innovation in this promising area." Last year, Yuneec launched the 4K Typhoon drone to compete with DJI's Phantom 3 Professional drone. It also announced the Typhoon H at CES, which is equipped with an Intel RealSense camera.

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At 40, There's Never Been a Tech Company Quite Like Apple
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 12:51 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's hate-it-or-love-it-but-can't-ignore-it department:
Mike Murphy, reporting for Quartz: Forty years ago today, two college dropouts decided to start selling cobbled-together computers out of a garage in California because they couldn't afford the ones on the market. They had an intricate wood-cut logo, not much money or manpower, and their first computer only sold about 175 units. But in the years between then and now, Apple has become one of the most valuable companies in the world, spurring revolutions in how we communicate, use computers, listen to music, and to a lesser extent, tell the time. [...] Some critics think that Apple is boring now, setting itself up to iterate on its successes and lock customers into their services with products that are very good, but nothing they haven't really seen before. This is a solid business strategy that will provide strong returns for years to come, but not those eye-popping leaps we've seen before. Here's a video Apple published recently showcasing 40 of its most remarkable products.

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