By EditorDavid from Slashdot's sabers-rattled department
An anonymous reader quotes the New York Times:
[President Obama] said he was weighing a mix of public and covert actions against the Russians in his last 34 days in office, actions that would increase "the costs for them." Mr. Obama said he was committed to sending the Kremlin a message that "we can do stuff to you," but without setting off an escalating cyberconflict... "Some of it we will do in a way that they will know, but not everybody will," he said...
[T]he president was clearly wrestling with what he said the hacking affair and the reaction to it revealed about the state of American politics. Citing a recent poll that showed more than a third of Trump voters saying they approved of Mr. Putin...the president appealed to Americans not to allow partisan hatred and feuds to blind them to manipulation by foreign powers. "Unless that changes," Mr. Obama said, "we're going to continue to be vulnerable to foreign influence because we've lost track of what it is that we're about and what we stand for."
President Obama pulled Putin aside at a September meeting of the G20 to discuss Russian hacking, according to the article, telling Putin "to cut it out, there were going to be serious consequences if he did not."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's going-once-going-twice-sold department
schwit1 quotes a report from Behind The Black: A federal judge has ruled that NASA has no right to confiscate an Apollo 11 lunar rock sample bag that had been purchased legally, even though the sale itself had been in error. CollectSPACE.com reports: "Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled in the U.S. District Court for Kansas that Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Illinois, obtained the title to the historic artifact as 'a good faith purchaser, in a sale conducted according to law.' The government had petitioned the court to reverse the sale and return the lunar sample bag to NASA. 'She is entitled to possession of the bag,' Marten wrote in his order." This court case will hopefully give some legal standing to the private owners of other artifacts or lunar samples that NASA had given away and then demanded their return, decades later. Space.com's report adds: "The zippered cloth pouch, which was labeled in bold black letters 'Lunar Sample Return,' was used on July 20, 1969, as an 'outer decontamination bag' to protect the first moon rocks retrieved from the surface of the moon as they were delivered to Earth by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Carlson purchased the bag for $995 in February 2015, at a Texas auction held on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service. The bag had been forfeited along with other artifacts found in the home of Max Ary, a former curator convicted in 2006 of stealing and selling space artifacts that belonged to the Cosmosphere space museum in Hutchinson, Kansas."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
An international team of conservation scientists have released a new global map of roadless areas that shows that the Earth's surface is shattered by roads into more than 600,000 fragments. While roads allow humans to travel to nearly every region in the world, they severely reduce the ability of ecosystems to function effectively. Phys.Org reports: Recent research carried out by an international team of conservation scientists and published in the journal Science used a dataset of 36 million kilometers of roads across the landscapes of the earth. They are dividing them into more than 600,000 pieces that are not directly affected by roads. Of these remaining roadless areas only 7 percent are larger than 100 km2. The largest tracts are to be found in the tundra and the boreal forests of North America and Eurasia, as well as some tropical areas of Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Only 9 percent of these areas undisturbed by roads are protected. Roads introduce many problems to nature. For instance, they interrupt gene flow in animal populations, facilitate the spread of pests and diseases, and increase soil erosion and the contamination of rivers and wetlands. Then there is the free movement of people made possible by road development in previously remote areas, which has opened these areas up to severe problems such as illegal logging, poaching and deforestation. Most importantly, roads trigger the construction of further roads and the subsequent conversion of natural landscapes, a phenomenon the study labels "contagious development."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's redistributed-and-modified department
BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: Today, Google announces that it has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a gold member. This is yet another example of the search giant's open source focus. Google joins some other respected companies at this membership level, such as Verizon, GE Digital, and Huawei to name a few. For whatever reason, the search giant stopped short of committing as the highest-level platinum member, however. "From the beginning, our goal for Google Cloud Platform has been to build the most open cloud for all developers and businesses alike, and make it easy for them to build and run great software. A big part of this is being an active member of the open source community and working directly with developers where they are, whether they're at an emerging startup or a large enterprise. Today we're pleased to announce that Google has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a Gold member to further our commitment to these goals", says Brian Stevens, Vice President, Google Cloud.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-steps-forward-one-step-back department
ATT and Verizon have responded to the FCC's letters that argued the way the two companies handle the practice of exempting their own video apps from data caps on customers' smartphones can hurt competition and consumers. The Verge reports: The companies defended the programs, which allow select data sources to not count toward customers' data plans through a process known as zero-rating. Although it did not explicitly ban them in new net neutrality rules laid out last year, the FCC has been critical of such programs, arguing that they can be used to hurt competition by unfairly favoring some data, creating an uneven playing field for businesses. In a noticeably pointed response, ATT takes a similar line to the position it's held all along: programs like Data Free TV, which allows customers to use data from ATT-owned DirecTV without it counting toward a plan, are not anticompetitive, but are simply a perk consumers enjoy. Verizon, in its response, makes similar arguments defending its FreeBee data program, which allows data from Verizon-owned Go90 to not count toward a data plan. "FreeBee data provides tangible benefits to consumers by increasing the amount of what they can do and watch online, at no cost to them," the company's response says.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's coming-back department
The BlackBerry smartphone is dead: Long live the BlackBerry smartphone. From a report on PCWord: A week after it officially pulled out of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has agreed to license its brand to handset manufacturer TCL. The Chinese company will make and market future BlackBerry handsets worldwide except for India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, where BlackBerry has already struck local licensing deals. This is hardly new territory for TCL, which manufactured BlackBerry's last two handsets, the Android-based DTEK50 and DTEK60. BlackBerry has taken a more direct route out of the handsetmanufacturing business than Nokia, another of the marquee phone brands of the early years of this century. When Nokia sold its smartphone business to Microsoft, it also gave that company the right to use the Nokia brand for a transitional period. When Nokia got its name back earlier this year, it promptly granted a 10-year license to HMD Global, a Finnish company, to use its name on new phones.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's sales-up department
Strong sales for Nintendo's NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of its video game console from the 80s, could point to a new revenue stream for the Japanese games maker. From a report on CNBC: The NES Classic Edition sold 196,000 units in November in the U.S. since its launch on November 11, according to industry tracker NPD Group. Demand for the console far outstripped supply, with many retailers selling out of the product. The NES Classic Edition is a miniature version of the original console, which was released in North America in 1985 and has sold 61 million units worldwide. The Classic Edition is a "plug-and-play" device, meaning it just needs to be plugged into a television and comes bundled with 30 retro games.
In Japan, a similar product called the Nintendo Classic Famicom sold 261,381 units in its first week of sales, according to data from Media Create.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's feeding-the-beast department
Apple is exploring the idea of having two SIM card slots in its iPhones. The Cupertino-based company has registered a patent for a dual-SIM card technology that involves two separate antennas. Though not as popular in the US, and UK markets, smartphones with dual-SIM card capability are extremely popular in developing regions such as China and India. For instance, according to Counterpoint Research marketing firm, more than 90 percent smartphones sold in India, world's fastest growing smartphone market had dual-SIM card slot in them. But why does Apple care about India and China, you ask. The iPhones sales growth has dropped everywhere in the world, except India, which is also the world's second most populous nation, and world's second largest smartphone market. As per Apple's previous earnings call, sales of iPhones grew by 50 percent in India, and Tim Cook has said that he sees a huge potential in the country.Read Replies (0)