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New Zealand ISPs Back Down On Anti-Geoblocking Support
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '15 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's go-ahead-and-watch department:
angry tapir writes: A number of New Zealand Internet service providers will no longer offer their customers support for circumventing regional restrictions on accessing online video content. Major New Zealand media companies SKY, TVNZ, Lightbox and MediaWorks filed a lawsuit in April, arguing that skirting geoblocks violates the distribution rights of its media clients for the New Zealand market. The parties have reached an out-of-court settlement.

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France, Up In Arms Over NSA Spying, Passes New Surveillance Law
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 11:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's was-that-wrong? department:
An anonymous reader writes: French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting with top security officials to respond to WikiLeaks documents that say the NSA eavesdropped on French presidents. The documents published in Liberation and investigative website Mediapart include material that appeared to capture current president, François Hollande; the prime minister in 2012, Jean-Marc Ayrault; and former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, talking candidly about Greece's economy and relations with Germany. The Intercept reports: "Yet also today, the lower house of France's legislature, the National Assembly, passed a sweeping surveillance law. The law provides a new framework for the country's intelligence agencies to expand their surveillance activities. Opponents of the law were quick to mock the government for vigorously protesting being surveilled by one of the country's closest allies while passing a law that gives its own intelligence services vast powers with what its opponents regard as little oversight. But for those who support the new law, the new revelations of NSA spying showed the urgent need to update the tools available to France's spies."

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NVIDIA Begins Supplying Open-Source Register Header Files
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's opening-it-up department:
An anonymous reader writes: NVIDIA's latest mark of their newly discovered open-source kindness is beginning to provide open-source hardware reference headers for their latest GK20A/GM20B Tegra GPUs while they are working to also provide hardware header files on their older GPUs. These programming header files in turn will help the development of the open-source Nouveau driver as up to this point they have had to do much of the development via reverse-engineering. Perhaps most interesting is that moving forward they would like to use the Nouveau kernel driver code-base as the primary development environment for new hardware.

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Lexus Creates a Hoverboard
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's marty-mcfly-approved department:
walterbyrd writes: Lexus has built a functional prototype of a hoverboard that hovers several centimeters off the ground. The "Slide" is for demonstration purposes only and works through magnetic levitation created by superconductors, a spokesperson says. USA Today reports: "As cool as that sounds, there are some major limitations. Since it operates magnetically, it only can hover over a steel surface. And it also only works as long as the liquid nitrogen holds out."

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3D Printed Supercar Chassis Unveiled
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's print-and-drive department:
ErnieKey writes: Divergent Microfactories is unveiling a revolutionary approach to car manufacturing, as evidenced by their supercar, the Blade. Using 3D printed aluminum 'nodes' in strategic manufacturing, they've created an automobile that weighs in at just 1,400 pounds, and can go from 0-60 MPH in only 2.2 seconds. DM will be producing 10,000 cars per year and also making technology available to any other companies interested.

Note: Look out in the near future for video interviews with Divergent founder Kevin Czinger and Blade project lead Brad Balzer.

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Virtually Climb El Capitan With Google's First Vertical Street View
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's going-up department:
mpicpp writes: Google Maps is incorporating its first vertical Street View by allowing users to virtually climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. To capture the 3,000-foot ascent up El Capitan Google relied on the skills of mountain climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell. "People around the world will now be able to virtually experience the unique act of ascending a 3,000-foot cliff by going on a self-directed, vertical climb," the Mountain View, Calif., company said.

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The Vicious Circle That Is Sending Rents Spiraling Higher
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's rent-is-too-damn-high department:
jones_supa writes: Skyrocketing rents and multiple roommates — these are the kinds of war stories you expect to hear in space-constrained cities such as New York and San Francisco. But the rental crunch has been steadily creeping inland from coastal cities and up the economic ladder. Bloomberg takes a look at the vicious cycle that keeps rents spiraling higher. People paying high rents have a harder time saving for a down payment, preventing tenants from exiting the rental market. Low vacancy rates let landlords raise rents still higher. Developers who know they can command high rents (and sales prices) are spurred to spend more to acquire developable land. Finally, higher land costs can force builders to target the higher end of the market. The interesting question is how long can this last before we reach a level that is not affordable to the majority of the demographic that is being serviced.

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Why We Need Certain Consumer Drone Regulations
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-out-of-the-way department:
stowie writes: In the last week, state and federal firefighters have fought more than 270 wildfires in California. Here's the problem: firefighters are seeing more unauthorized consumer drones flying over active wildfires. Maybe the drone owners don't know or maybe they don't care, but temporary flight restrictions are placed over wildfire areas due to the aircraft used to help contain the fires. The aircraft used to knock down flames and survey burn areas have to cease operations when there is a drone in the air.

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The Open Container Project and What It Means
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's breaking-it-down department:
An anonymous reader writes: Monday saw the announcement of the Open Container Project in San Francisco. It is a Linux Foundation project that will hold the specification and basic run-time software for using software containers. The list of folks signing up to support the effort contains the usual suspects, and this too is a good thing: Amazon Web Services, Apcera, Cisco, CoreOS, Docker, EMC, Fujitsu Limited, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, the Linux Foundation, Mesosphere, Microsoft, Pivotal, Rancher Labs, Red Hat, and VMware. In this article Stephen R. Walli takes a look at what the project means for open source.

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AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Launched, Independent Benchmarks, HBM Put To the Test
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's running-the-numbers department:
MojoKid writes: AMD officially launched the Radeon R9 Fury X based on their next generation Fiji GPU and HBM 3D stacked DRAM memory. Fiji is manufactured using TSMC's 28nm process. At its reference clocks of 1050MHz (GPU) and 500MHz (HBM), Fiji and the Radeon R9 Fury X offer peak compute performance of 8.6 TFLOPs, up to 268.8 GT/s of texture fill-rate, 67.2 GP/s of pixel fill-rate, and a whopping 512GB/s of memory bandwidth, thanks to HBM. Its compute performance, memory bandwidth, and textured fill-rate are huge upgrades over the previous generation AMD Hawaii GPU and even outpace NVIDIA's GM200, which powers the GeForce Titan X and 980 Ti. To keep the entire assembly cool, AMD strapped a close-loop liquid cooler onto the Fury X. There's a reason AMD went that route on this card, and it's not because they had to. There will be air-cooled Fury and Fury Nano cards coming in a few weeks that feature fully-functional Fiji GPUs. What the high-powered liquid-cooler on the Fury X does is allow the use of an ultra-quiet fan, with the side benefit of keeping the GPU very cool under both idle and load conditions(around 60C max under load and 30C at idle), which helps reduce overall power consumption by limiting leakage current. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X performed very well in the benchmarks, and remained competitive with a similarly priced, reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, but it wasn't a clear win. Generally speaking, the Fury X was the faster of the two cards at 2560x1440. With the resolution cranked up to 3840x2160, however, the Fury X and 980 Ti trade victories.

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Microsoft Brings Office To Android Smartphones For Free
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 11:32 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's coming-together department:
Mark Wilson writes: After a few weeks in preview, Microsoft Office is now available for Android smartphones. Despite Microsoft's mobile-first, cloud-first philosophy, it has actually taken some time to bring the world's most popular office suite to Android phones — it joins the tablet version of the suite that was released last year. Just like the tablet editions, the phone versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint won't cost you a penny, allowing for the viewing and editing of a range of files when on the move. There is a cloud focus with support for not only OneDrive, but also Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, and Microsoft says it has made changes based on the feedback received during the preview period.

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US Military To Develop Star Wars-Style Hoverbikes With British company
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mind-the-ewoks department:
New submitter amalcolm writes: The U.S. military may soon be zooming around on Star Wars-style hoverbikes. U.K. based Malloy Aeronautics has joined forces with Survice Engineering to develop the vehicles for the Department of Defense. "The Department of Defense is interested in Hoverbike technology because it can support multiple roles," said Mark Butkiewicz, who works for Survice. "It can transport troops over difficult terrain and when it's not used in that purpose it can also be used to transport logistics, supplies, and it can operate in both a manned and unmanned asset."

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"Invite-Only" Ubuntu Mobile-Powered Meizu UX4 Goes On Sale
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's try-again department:
Mickeycaskill writes: Chinese manufacturer Meizu and Ubuntu developer Canonical have released the MX4 smartphone, but prospective owners will have to 'earn' an opportunity to buy the phone by playing an interactive origami game. Players are limited to three chances per day and this is the only way to buy the smartphone as it will no go on wider sale at a later date. The MX4 is the third Ubuntu Mobile smartphone to be released, following the BQ Aquaris E4.5 and E5 devices.

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Security Researcher Drops 15 Vulnerabilities for Windows and Adobe Reader
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
mask.of.sanity writes: Google Project Zero hacker Mateusz Jurczyk has dropped 15 remote code execution vulnerabilities, including a single devastating hack against Adobe Reader and Windows he reckons beats all exploit defenses. He said, "The extremely powerful primitive provided by the vulnerability, together with the fact that it affected all supported versions of both Adobe Reader and Microsoft Windows (32-bit) – thus making it possible to create an exploit chain leading to a full system compromise with just a single bug – makes it one of the most interesting security issues I have discovered so far." Jurczyk published a video demonstration of the exploit for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. His slides are here [PDF].

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Judge Orders Dutch Government To Finally Take Action On Climate Promises
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 08:46 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's won't-somebody-think-of-the-dutch-children department:
New submitter Errol backfiring writes: Although the Dutch government has promised to make sure carbon emissions are lowered considerably, they have consistently failed to take action. Dutch climate group Urgenda and Dutch citizens have gone to court to force the government to take action, and the verdict (linked page is in Dutch) is that the government must reduce emissions by at least 25% compared to 1990 leves.

This 25% cut is seen as the minimum effort needed to keep the people safe from climate change dangers. 25% to 40% is the norm in international climate policy. The verdict is also important for similar climate groups in other countries.


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Elon Musk Probably Won't Be the First Martian
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-your-musk-to-mars department:
pacopico writes: In a new biography on him, Elon Musk goes into gory details on his plans for colonizing Mars. The author of the book subsequently decided to run those plans by Andy Weir, the author of The Martian. Weir's book is famous for its technical acumen around getting to and fro The Red Planet. His conclusion is that Musk's technology, which includes the biggest rocket ever built, is feasible — but that Musk will not be the first man on Mars. The interview also hits on the future of NASA and what we need to get to Mars. Good stuff. Weir says, "My estimate is that this will happen in 2050. NASA is saying more like 2035, but I don’t have faith in Congress to fund them."

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Building the Face of a Criminal From DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 07:17 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's what-could-possibly-go-wrong department:
Dave Knott writes: It sounds like science fiction, but revealing the face of a criminal based on their genes may be closer than we think. In a process known as molecular photo fitting, scientists are experimenting with using genetic markers from DNA to build up a picture of an offender's face. Dr. Peter Claes, a medical imaging specialist at the University of Leuven, has amassed a database of faces and corresponding DNA. Armed with this information, he is able to model how a face is constructed based on just 20 genes (this number will soon be expanded to 200). At the moment, police couldn't publish a molecular photo-fit like this and hope to catch a killer. But that's not how Dr. Claes sees the technique being used in a criminal investigation. "If I were to bring this result to an investigator, I wouldn't necessarily give him the image to broadcast. I would talk to him and say okay, you're looking for a woman, with a very specific chin and eyebrow structure."

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Google Takes Over NYC's Free WiFi Project
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 06:31 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ok-google-get-me-some-wifi department:
dkatana writes: Google's new Smart Cities venture Sidewalk Labs announced the purchase of Intersection, the new company behind the LinkNYC project. nGoogle wants to speed up the developing of free internet access to New York residents and visitors, as a way to gather more information about their activities. Users of the pylons will provide the company invaluable data about their habits, places they visit, and browsing activity.

As part of the original LinkNYC plan, Intersection is scheduled to start deploying the new ad-supported, locally manufactured, WiFi 'pylons' this fall, reaching all five boroughs of the city. It will be the largest and fastest free municipal WiFi system in the world. After that, the company plans to start rolling out similar initiatives in other U.S. cities, but details have not been made public yet.


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Learn-to-Code Program For 10,000 Low-Income Girls
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's boosting-the-engineer-population department:
theodp writes: In a press release Tuesday, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) announced it was teaming with Lifetime Partner Apple and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to engage 10,000 girls in learning computing concepts. "Currently, just 25 states and the District of Columbia allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement," explained the press release. "Because boys get more informal opportunities for computing experience outside of school, this lack of formal computing education especially affects girls and many youth of color." HUD, the press release added, has joined the Commitment to Action to help extend the program's reach in partnership with public housing authorities nationwide and provide computing access to the 485,000 girls residing in public housing. "In this Information Age, opportunity is just a click on a keyboard away. HUD is proud to partner with NCWIT to provide talented girls with the skills and experiences they need to reach new heights and to achieve their dreams in the 21st century global economy," said HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who coincidentally is eyed as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea is the Clinton Foundation's point-person on computer science. Last year, Chelsea Clinton gave a keynote speech at the NCWIT Summit and appeared with now-U.S. CTO Megan Smith to help launch Google's $50 million girls-only Made With Code initiative.

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Samsung Cripples Windows Update To Prevent Incompatible Drivers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '15 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's that's-not-how-this-works department:
jones_supa writes: A file called <tt>Disable_Windowsupdate.exe</tt> — probably malware, right? It's actually a "helper" utility from Samsung, for which their reasoning is: "When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates." Too bad that the solution means disabling all critical security updates as well. This isn't the first time an OEM has compromised the security of its users. From earlier this year, we remember the Superfish adware from Lenovo, and system security being compromised by the LG split screen software.

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