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Tim Cook: What's Good For the US Dollar Is Bad For Apple
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 08:44 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's depends-on-the-time-scale department:
theodp writes: For years," Charles Erwin Wilson famously said back in the day, "I thought what was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa." That was then. This is now. The Washington Post reports that a strong U.S. dollar is the biggest threat to Apple's business around the world. "The dollar has shot up about 22 percent against a trade-weighted basket of other currencies since the middle of 2014," explains Matt O'Brien. "And in Apple's case, that's meant what would have been $100 of foreign sales in September 2014 was just $85 by the end of 2015. That's not good when you get two-thirds of your revenue overseas." Apple blamed the strength of the dollar compared to other currencies for costing it $5 billion in revenue, "For perspective, that difference is the size of an average Fortune 500 company," quipped CEO Tim Cook.

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Why the Calorie Is Broken
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 07:12 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's first-it-was-just-tired department:
New submitter ami.one writes: Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley explain how we are still using a century old method for measuring the calories in our food and the calories spent in different human activities. Essentially, there is a very big difference between burning stuff in a bomb calorie-meter and the extremely complex ways our body extracts energy from food. In fact, the exact process of digestion is yet to be understood sufficiently at a micro level, and years from being replicated to any close degree. Plus, the way our bodies spend calories for a given activity is hugely different from the way a car consumer gasoline and dependent on a number of parameters — some of which are not even known currently. Therefore, balancing calories in to Calories out is not so stupidly simple as it seems to the underweight layperson .

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A Crowdfunding Site To Help Pay Patients' Medical Bills
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 07:12 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's multi-payer-plan department:
Lucas123 writes: A start-up financial services company called Someone With Group has just completed a pilot of a crowdfunding service that allows hospitals to set up campaigns to help patients pay their medical expenses. The website, which is HIPAA compliant in terms of privacy and security, allows patients facing medical debts to inform family, friends and even strangers of their need for funds versus flowers or cards. The crowdfunding service also addresses a systemic debt issue in the healthcare industry. Each year, the U.S. healthcare industry writes off $40 billion in bad debt from unpaid medical bills. "Then you consider that $6 billion is spent on cards and flowers for patients every year. Why can't we redirect that money and put it into a debit instrument restricted to medical spending only?" said Jagemann-Bane, CEO of Someone With Group. One hospital group, Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, Penn., routinely writes off $40 million to $50 million a year in unpaid medical bills from patients. The hospital set up a crowdfunding site via Someone With Group and so far has seen a couple dozen patients use it. ... After a one-year pilot of the crowdfunding service, patients who've used it on average have raised $2,315.

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DeLoreans To Go Back To Production
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 07:12 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mr.-fusion-not-included department:
An anonymous reader writes: The last time a DeLorean was built was about 35 years ago, but that is all about to change. Next year, you'll be able to buy a new 2017 DeLorean to satisfy all your deepest Back to the Future dreams. CNN reports: "The new production plan is itself something of a time warp. The cars will be built from an inventory of a million spare parts that have been in storage ever since the Belfast plant closed. Only the engine will be a creature of the 21st century."

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Newegg Sues Patent Troll After Troll Dropped Its Own Lawsuit
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 07:12 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's everyone-sue department:
WheezyJoe writes: Not satisfied that a patent troll dropped its lawsuit against them, Newegg has sued the troll. So-called "patent holding company" Minero Digital sought to exact royalty payments on a wide range of USB hubs, suing, among others, Newegg's subsidiary Rosewill. But the "non-practicing entity" dropped its East Texas lawsuit against Rosewill within days of getting a call from the Newegg's lawyer. However, Minero dismissed its Texas lawsuit "without prejudice", meaning it can refile the case at a time of its choosing. So, Newegg filed its own lawsuit against Minero in Los Angeles federal court, asking a judge to lay down a ruling that Minero's case against Rosewill is baseless. Says Newegg's Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, "Minero's case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn't expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it."

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Oracle To Drop Java Browser Plugin In JDK 9
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 05:52 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's soon-still-won't-be-too-soon department:
An anonymous reader writes: After Mozilla said in October that it would stop supporting Firefox plugins on the older NPAPI technology, Oracle had no choice now but to announce the deprecation of the Java browser plugin starting with the release of the JDK version 9, which is set for release in March 2017, and developers are urged to start using the Java Web Start pluginless technology instead. Security issues also had a big part in Java's demise.

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Computer Beats Go Champion
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 05:52 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's man-versus-machine department:
Koreantoast writes: Go (weiqi), the ancient Chinese board game, has long been held up as one of the more difficult, unconquered challenges facing AI scientists... until now. Google DeepMind researchers, led by David Silver and Demis Hassabis, developed a new algorithm called AlphaGo, enabling the computer to soundly defeat European Go champion Fan Hui in back-to-back games, five to zero. Played on a 19x19 board, Go players have more than 300 possible moves per turn to consider, creating a huge number of potential scenarios and a tremendous computational challenge. All is not lost for humanity yet: DeepMind is scheduled to face off in March with Lee Sedol, considered one of the best Go players in recent history, in a match compared to the Kasparov-Deep Blue duels of previous decades.

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Congress Gives Federal Agencies Two Weeks To Tally Backdoored Juniper Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on January 28 '16 at 04:34 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-it-fixed department:
itwbennett writes: In an effort to gauge the impact of the recent Juniper ScreenOS backdoors on government organizations, the House of Representatives is questioning around two dozen U.S. government departments and federal agencies. The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent letters to the agencies on Jan. 21, asking them to identify whether they used devices running the affected ScreenOS versions, to explain how they learned about the issues and whether they took any corrective actions before Juniper released patches and to specify when they applied the company's patches. The questioned organizations have until Feb. 4 to respond and deliver the appropriate documents, a very tight time frame giving that 'the time period covered by this request is from January 1, 2009 to the present.'

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The Tragedy Of Apollo 1 And The Lessons That Brought Us To The Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 10:51 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lessons-learned department:
An anonymous reader writes: On January 27, 1967, the Apollo 1 crew was performing a "plugs-out" test of the Command/Service Module, an essential simulation of how the three-person capsule would perform under in-space conditions under its own power. At 6:30 PM, a voltage spike occurred, leading to a disaster. In 26 seconds, everything changed. The Apollo 1 fire and the tragic death of all three astronauts wasn't due to just a single point-of-failure, but rather due to five independent confounding factors that if any one of them had been different, the astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee might have survived. As it stands, all the crewed Apollo missions were scrapped for 20 months while NASA changed how they did business. The changes worked remarkably well, and 2.5 years later, humans walked on the Moon.

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Computer Beats Go Champion
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 09:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's man-versus-machine department:
Koreantoast writes: Go (weiqi), the ancient Chinese board game, has long been held up as one of the more difficult, unconquered challenges facing AI scientists... until now. Google DeepMind researchers, led by David Silver and Demis Hassabis, developed a new algorithm called AlphaGo, enabling the computer to soundly defeat European Go champion Fan Hui in back-to-back games, five to zero. Played on a 19x19 board, Go players have more than 300 possible moves per turn to consider, creating a huge number of potential scenarios and a tremendous computational challenge. All is not lost for humanity yet: DeepMind is scheduled to face off in March with Lee Sedol, considered one of the best Go players in recent history, in a match compared to the Kasparov-Deep Blue duels of previous decades.

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Congress Gives Federal Agencies Two Weeks To Tally Backdoored Juniper Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 08:11 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-it-fixed department:
itwbennett writes: In an effort to gauge the impact of the recent Juniper ScreenOS backdoors on government organizations, the House of Representatives is questioning around two dozen U.S. government departments and federal agencies. The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent letters to the agencies on Jan. 21, asking them to identify whether they used devices running the affected ScreenOS versions, to explain how they learned about the issues and whether they took any corrective actions before Juniper released patches and to specify when they applied the company's patches. The questioned organizations have until Feb. 4 to respond and deliver the appropriate documents, a very tight time frame giving that 'the time period covered by this request is from January 1, 2009 to the present.'

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GitHub Service Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 06:41 PM
By whipslash from Slashdot's technical-difficulties department:
New submitter thebigjeff writes: Beginning at around 7:30pm EST on 1/27/2016, GitHub's core services (https://status.github.com/) have been offline. Most repositories and other functionality is inaccessible. The status page is calling it a 'significant network disruption.'

More from The Register: GitHub falls offline, devs worldwide declare today a snow day

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University of Helsinki To Lay Off a Thousand People
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 05:21 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-small department:
jones_supa writes: University of Helsinki, the place where Linus Torvalds got his degree as well, will reduce staff by 980 people, with 570 being laid off by the end of 2017. In addition, the university will reorganize and incorporate certain divisions including continuing education. Professors, teachers and researchers are criticizing the cuts, which coincide with the university's administrative and educational overhaul. The staff cuts reflect the government's drastic funding cuts to education, which plays one part in the effort of trying to help the difficult economic situation of today's Finland. The university estimates that of the 980 positions, terminations during this coming spring will account for 570 positions. Of the employees to be made redundant, 75 are teaching and research staff and 495 other staff. The rest of the cuts will be spread over the coming years.

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Computer Beats Go Champion
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 05:21 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's man-versus-machine department:
Koreantoast writes: Go (weiqi), the ancient Chinese board game, has long been held up as one of the more difficult, unconquered challenges facing AI scientists... until now. Google DeepMind researchers, led by David Silver and Demis Hassabis, developed a new algorithm called AlphaGo, enabling the computer to soundly defeat European Go champion Fan Hui in back-to-back games, five to zero. Played on a 19x19 board, Go players have more than 300 possible moves per turn to consider, creating a huge number of potential scenarios and a tremendous computational challenge. All is not lost for humanity yet: DeepMind is scheduled to face off in March with Lee Sedol, considered one of the best Go players in recent history, in a match compared to the Kasparov-Deep Blue duels of previous decades.

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Creator of Minecraft Develops Experimental VR Project
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 04:02 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's more-real-than-real department:
An anonymous reader writes: Despite his on-again off-again relationship with VR headset maker Oculus, the creator of Minecraft, Markus "Notch" Persson, has developed an experimental virtual reality project that leverages WebVR technology to run directly within a browser using a Rift DK2 headset. Notch contributed $10,000 to Oculus' 2012 Kickstarter, and even traveled from Europe to visit the company in its early days. After Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014, his enthusiasm dwindled, saying "I definitely want to be a part of VR, but I will not work with Facebook." One month before selling his own company to Microsoft for a similar sum, he said he was "officially over being upset about Facebook buying Oculus."

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DeLoreans To Go Back To Production
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 02:43 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mr.-fusion-not-included department:
An anonymous reader writes: The last time a DeLorean was built was about 35 years ago, but that is all about to change. Next year, you'll be able to buy a new 2017 DeLorean to satisfy all your deepest Back to the Future dreams. CNN reports: "The new production plan is itself something of a time warp. The cars will be built from an inventory of a million spare parts that have been in storage ever since the Belfast plant closed. Only the engine will be a creature of the 21st century."

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The Tragedy Of Apollo 1 And The Lessons That Brought Us To The Moon
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 02:43 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lessons-learned department:
An anonymous reader writes: On January 27, 1967, the Apollo 1 crew was performing a "plugs-out" test of the Command/Service Module, an essential simulation of how the three-person capsule would perform under in-space conditions under its own power. At 6:30 PM, a voltage spike occurred, leading to a disaster. In 26 seconds, everything changed. The Apollo 1 fire and the tragic death of all three astronauts wasn't due to just a single point-of-failure, but rather due to five independent confounding factors that if any one of them had been different, the astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee might have survived. As it stands, all the crewed Apollo missions were scrapped for 20 months while NASA changed how they did business. The changes worked remarkably well, and 2.5 years later, humans walked on the Moon.

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Top Telcos Join Facebook Open Source Hardware Project
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 01:25 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's joining-the-club department:
An anonymous reader sends word about the latest telcos to join Facebook's Open Compute Project. The Stack reports: "A new wave of communications companies has joined Facebook's non-profit Open Compute Project (OCP), including AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom and South Korea's SK Telecom, as the movement seeks to share innovative hardware designs and drive down costs in the telecom arena. An OCP sub-section focused entirely on telecom requirements has been set up to look into servers and networking efficiency in the field. As one of the largest hardware buyers, telcos will provide a significant new market for the project, alongside its successful data center efforts.

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Android Ransomware Threatens To Share Your Browsing History With Your Friends
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 01:25 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's some-things-are-better-left-private department:
An anonymous reader writes: The newly discovered Lockdroid ransomware is unique in two ways. First it uses perfectly overlaid popups to trick users into giving it admin privileges. This trick works on devices running Android versions prior to 5.0 (Lollipop), which means 67% of all Android smartphones. Secondly, after it encrypts files and asks for a ransom, it also steals the user's browsing history and contacts list, and blackmails the user to pay the ransom, or his browsing history will be forwarded to his contacts.

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Newegg Sues Patent Troll After Troll Dropped Its Own Lawsuit
Posted by News Fetcher on January 27 '16 at 12:09 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's everyone-sue department:
WheezyJoe writes: Not satisfied that a patent troll dropped its lawsuit against them, Newegg has sued the troll. So-called "patent holding company" Minero Digital sought to exact royalty payments on a wide range of USB hubs, suing, among others, Newegg's subsidiary Rosewill. But the "non-practicing entity" dropped its East Texas lawsuit against Rosewill within days of getting a call from the Newegg's lawyer. However, Minero dismissed its Texas lawsuit "without prejudice", meaning it can refile the case at a time of its choosing. So, Newegg filed its own lawsuit against Minero in Los Angeles federal court, asking a judge to lay down a ruling that Minero's case against Rosewill is baseless. Says Newegg's Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, "Minero's case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn't expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it."

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