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Trump Says Broadcom Is Moving Headquarters To US From Singapore
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 02:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's point-A-to-point-B department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: President Donald Trump said semiconductor company Broadcom Ltd. is returning its headquarters to the U.S. from Singapore. Broadcom Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan joined Trump Thursday in the Oval Office for the announcement. Tan said the move to domicile the company in the U.S. would bring $20 billion in revenue into the country. The two men didn't specify the site of the new main location. Broadcom's website lists San Jose, California, as an existing corporate co-headquarters and has done so since the present company was created in 2016 in one of the semiconductor industry's largest acquisitions when Avago Technologies Ltd. acquired then-Broadcom Corp. The company's shares declined as much as 4 percent to $248.87 after the announcement. The stock had gained 47 percent this year through Wednesday's close.

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SEC Warns Famous Crypto-currency Backers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's no-gaming department:
A reader shares a report: Celebrities, sports figures and social media stars have been warned by US regulators about endorsing crypto-currencies. Paris Hilton, boxer Floyd Mayweather and others have all publicly backed digital currency funding drives. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the endorsements could break laws on selling securities. Those promoting crypto-currencies must say if they are being paid for the endorsement, it said. In its official warning, the SEC pointed to the growing numbers of public figures who have talked about the funding drives, known as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), that crypto-currencies run to raise cash. About 270 separate crypto-cash start-ups have sought funds via ICOs in 2017, said the New York Times. In total, the ICOs have raised more than $3bn, it said. The SEC said any virtual coins or tokens bought by investors through an ICO were subject to the same laws governing the sale of stocks and shares sold via mainstream stock markets.

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The Mobile Internet Is the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 01:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's where-we-are department:
A reader shares a Quartz report: Think back to the mobile phone you had in 2010. It could access the internet, but it wasn't such a great experience. On average, people only spent 20% of their time online on their phones back then, according to Zenith, a media agency. Today, by contrast, we spend around 70% of our time on the internet on phones, based on estimates and forecasts for more than 50 countries covering two-thirds of the world's population. By 2019, Zenith says this will rise to close to 80%. What used to be called "mobile internet" is now just the internet.

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Pirate TV Services Are Taking a Bite Out of Cable Company Revenue
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 11:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's whatever-floats-the-boat department:
TV piracy services are being used by about 6.5 percent of North American households with broadband access, potentially costing legitimate TV providers billions of dollars a year, a new analysis found. From a report: Pirate services that offer live TV channels are apparently responsible for more downstream traffic each night than torrent downloads. Based on these figures, there may be 7 million US and Canadian subscribers to pirate TV services that generally cost about $10 a month, the report by Sandvine said. That amounts to $840 million of revenue a year. We don't know how many people using pirate services would purchase a traditional cable or satellite TV package if the piracy option didn't exist. But if all of those people instead purchased a legal TV package for $50 per month, that would amount to another $4.2 billion revenue a year for North American pay-TV providers, the report said.

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Qualcomm Sues Apple For Contract Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 11:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
Qualcomm has sued Apple, again, this time alleging that it violated a software license contract to benefit rival chipmaker Intel for making broadband modems, the latest salvo in a longstanding dispute between the two companies. From a report: Qualcomm alleged in a lawsuit filed in the California state court in San Diego on Wednesday that Apple used its commercial leverage to demand unprecedented access to the chipmaker's highly confidential software, including source code. Apple began to use Intel's broadband modem chips in the iPhone 7, which it launched last year.

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Timber Towers Are On the Rise in France
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's moving-forward department:
A reader shares a report: Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes. Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. In France, the material ushered in an era of bold modernist architecture including housing by Auguste Perret and Le Corbusier. Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled. "Wood had largely disappeared and was seen as a quaint material," says Steven Ware, a partner at the architecture firm Art & Build, whose latest wooden office building opened in Paris's 13th arrondissement earlier this summer. "[But] the energy it takes to put a concrete building up, to run it, and then dismantle it when it becomes obsolete was too much. Using mass timber in office buildings seemed like something we had to do." The production of cement, one of the main ingredients in concrete, generates an estimated 5 percent of the world's carbon emissions. Trees, in contrast, capture CO2, helping offset emissions produced by a typical building process. And then there's the string of other construction advantages that make wood economically appealing. It's lighter, which means digging smaller foundations in the ground. Crane costs come down, as they're no longer hauling blocks of cement hundreds of feet in the air. Driving a nail into a slab of wood requires a lot less energy than driving one into concrete. Months can be knocked off the construction timeline.

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'Discovery of the Century': Mysterious Void Discovered In Egypt's Great Pyramid
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's wonders-of-the-world department:
New submitter klgds writes: The cavity is the first major inner structure discovered in the pyramid since the 1800s. Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza -- one of the wonders of the ancient world, and a dazzling feat of architectural genius -- contains a hidden void at least a hundred feet long, scientists said. The space's dimensions resemble those of the pyramid's Grand Gallery, the 153-foot-long, 26-foot-tall corridor that leads to the burial chamber of Khufu, the pharaoh for whom the pyramid was built. However, it remains unclear what lies within the space, what purpose it served, or if it's one or multiple spaces. The void is the first large inner structure discovered within the 4,500-year-old pyramid since the 1800s -- a find made possible by recent advances in high-energy particle physics. The results were published in the journal Nature. "This is definitely the discovery of the century," says archaeologist and Egyptologist Yukinori Kawae, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. "There have been many hypotheses about the pyramid, but no one even imagined that such a big void is located above the Grand Gallery."

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Bitcoin and Blockchain Are Among the Fastest-Growing Skills Online
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 09:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's growing-demand department:
As cryptocurrencies explode in popularity, employers are clamoring for workers with expertise in the emerging field. From a report: Demand for online freelancers who specialize in blockchain and bitcoin-related work surged last quarter, according to data compiled by Upwork, a website that connects freelancers with employers. The two skills were respectively the second and third fastest-growing skills on Upwork's platform. With the price of bitcoin having surged more than 500 percent this year, companies are rushing in to capitalize on the boom. Other skills in Upwork's list of fastest-growing skills include robotics (No. 1), as well as a cybersecurity specialty called penetration testing (No. 4) and a subfield in artificial intelligence called deep learning (No. 8).

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App Developer Access To iPhone X Face Data Spooks Some Privacy Experts
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 09:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
A reader shares a report: Apple won accolades from privacy experts in September for assuring that facial data used to unlock its new iPhone X would be securely stored on the phone itself. But Apple's privacy promises do not extend to the thousands of app developers who will gain access to facial data in order to build entertainment features for iPhone X customers, such as pinning a three-dimensional mask to their face for a selfie or letting a video game character mirror the player's real-world facial expressions. Apple allows developers to take certain facial data off the phone as long as they agree to seek customer permission and not sell the data to third parties, among other terms in a contract seen by Reuters. App makers who want to use the new camera on the iPhone X can capture a rough map of a user's face and a stream of more than 50 kinds of facial expressions. This data, which can be removed from the phone and stored on a developer's own servers, can help monitor how often users blink, smile or even raise an eyebrow.

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Russia Hackers Had Targets Worldwide, Beyond US Election
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 07:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's understanding-the-impact department:
Raphael Satter, Jeff Donn, and Justin Myers, reporting for Associated Press: The hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election had ambitions well beyond Hillary Clinton's campaign, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press. The list provides the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government, exposing an operation that stretched back years and tried to break into the inboxes of 4,700 Gmail users across the globe -- from the pope's representative in Kiev to the punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow. "It's a wish list of who you'd want to target to further Russian interests," said Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center in Cambridge, England, and one of five outside experts who reviewed the AP's findings. He said the data was "a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence."

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The International Space Station Is Getting Its First Printer Upgrade in 17 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 07:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's IT-upgrade department:
Lance Ulanoff, writing for Mashable: Somewhere, 254 miles above us, an astronaut is probably printing something. Ever since the International Space Station (ISS) welcomed its first residents in November of 2000, there have been printers on board. Astronauts use them to print out critical mission information, emergency evacuation procedures and, sometimes, photos from home. According to NASA, they print roughly 1,000 pages a month on two printers; one is installed on the U.S. side of the ISS, the other in the Russian segment. ISS residents do all this on 20-year-old technology. "When the printer was new, it was like 2000-era tech and we had 2000-era laptop computers. Everything worked pretty good," recalled NASA Astronaut Don Pettit, who brought the first printer up to the ISS. But "the printer's been problematic for the last five or six years," said Pettit who's spent a total of one year on the station. It's not that the Space Station has been orbiting with the same printer since Justin Timberlake was still N'Sync. NASA had dozens of this printer and, as one failed, they'd send up another identical model. But now it's time for something truly new. In 2018, NASA will send two brand new, specialized printers up to the station. However, figuring out the right kind of printer to send was a lot more complicated than you'd probably expect. NASA has turned to HP for its IT supply and needs. The agency requires the following things in its printer: print and handle paper management in zero gravity, handle ink waste during printing, be flame retardant, and be power efficient. HP, Mashable reports, has recommended the HP Envy 5600, its all-in-one (printer, scanner, copier, fax) device that retails for $129.99. The model has been modified, according to the report.

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Bitcoin Smashes Past $7,000 For the First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 06:32 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's new-milestone department:
A reader shares a report: Bitcoin hit another all-time high Thursday morning, surpassing $7,000 for the first time. The cryptocurrency has had a bullish streak throughout the week following the CME's announcement that it will introduce bitcoin futures contracts. According to data from CoinDesk, the virtual currency reached an all-time high of $7,242.69 at about 7:08 a.m. ET. The jump in price saw the virtual coin rise by more than 7 percent on the day. A surge in the digital coin's value saw the total market value of all cryptocurrencies top $189 billion for the first time Thursday. The market cap of bitcoin alone is currently more than $121 billion, according to data from industry website Coinmarketcap.

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Scientists Have Mathematical Proof That It's Impossible To Stop Aging
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 05:10 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's can't-win department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Alert: Mathematically speaking, multicellular organisms like us will always have to deal with a cellular competition where only one side will win. And ultimately, that means our vitality will always come out as the loser. We have a pair of researchers from the University of Arizona to blame for this depressing conclusion, who crunched the numbers on a hypothesis involving the weeding out of unfit cells and found it amounted to a catch-22 situation. Aging -- and all of the biological changes that come with it -- is more or less the result of cells slowing down and losing their functions. But what if there was a way to encourage the more active cells to stick around at the expense of their sluggish siblings? Surely if we knocked off those old cells we could keep making pigments and collagen a little longer. Researchers have pinned hopes on reversing the inevitable decay of biochemistry by repairing DNA or extending the shrinking bits of chromosome called telomeres, for example. While it's good in theory, there is a catch. Another feature of aging is a number of cells start to populate like there's no tomorrow, reproducing in uncontrolled ways that look too close to cancer for comfort. According to the researchers, this means we're damned either way.

< article continued at Slashdot's can't-win department >

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The Asteroid That Wiped Out Dinosaurs Plunged Earth Into Catastrophic Winter
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '17 at 02:30 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's catastrophic-events department:
The asteroid impact roughly 66 million years ago that wiped out three-quarters of plant and animal species, including the dinosaurs, dropped temperatures globally below freezing for several years. The new assessment, reported in the journal Geographic Research Letters, gives scientists a much clearer picture of the climate catastrophe following the event. BCC reports: The UK geophysicist was the co-lead investigator on the 2016 project to drill into what remains of the impactor's crater under the Gulf of Mexico. She and colleagues spent several weeks retrieving the rock samples that would allow them to reconstruct precisely how the Earth reacted to being punched by a high-velocity space object. Their study suggests the asteroid approached the surface from the north-east, striking what was then a shallow sea at an oblique angle of 60 degrees. Roughly 12km wide and moving at about 18km/s, the stony impactor instantly excavated and vaporized thousands of billions of tonnes of rock. This material included a lot of sulphur-containing minerals such as gypsum and anhydrite, but also carbonates which yielded carbon dioxide. The team's calculations estimate the quantities ejected upwards at high speed into the upper atmosphere included 325 gigatones of sulphur (give or take 130Gt) and perhaps 425Gt of carbon dioxide (plus or minus 160Gt). The CO2 would eventually have a longer-term warming effect, but the release of so much sulphur, combined with soot and dust, would have had an immediate and very severe cooling effect.

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NASA Wants Private Company To Take Over Spitzer Space Telescope
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 11:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's great-observatories department:
schwit1 writes: NASA has issued a request for proposals from private companies or organizations to take over the operation of the Spitzer Space Telescope after 2019. SpaceNews reports: "NASA's current plans call for operating Spitzer through March of 2019 to perform preparatory observations for the James Webb Space Telescope. That schedule was based on plans for a fall 2018 launch of JWST, which has since been delayed to the spring of 2019. Under that plan, NASA would close out the Spitzer mission by fiscal year 2020. That plan was intended to save NASA the cost of running Spitzer, which is currently $14 million a year. The spacecraft itself, though, remains in good condition and could operating well beyond NASA's current plan. 'The observatory and the IRAC instrument are in excellent health. We don't have really any issues with the hardware,' said Lisa Storrie-Lombardi, Spitzer project manager, in a presentation to the committee Oct. 18. IRAC is the Infrared Array Camera, an instrument that continues operations at its two shortest wavelengths long after the spacecraft exhausted the supply of liquid helium coolant. The spacecraft's only consumable is nitrogen gas used for the spacecraft's thrusters, and Storrie-Lombardi said the spacecraft still had half its supply of nitrogen 14 years after launch." The way a private organization could make money on this is to charge astronomers and research projects for observation time. This could work, since there is usually a greater demand for research time than available observatories.

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Every Other Summer Will Shatter Heat Records Within a Decade
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 07:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's record-hot department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Think of the stickiest, record-hot summer you've ever experienced, whether you're 30 or 60 years old. In 10 years or less, that miserable summer will happen every second year across most of the U.S. and Canada, the Mediterranean, and much of Asia, according to a study to be published in the open access journal Earth's Future. By the 2030s, every second summer over almost all of the entire Northern hemisphere will be hotter than any record-setting hot summer of the past 40 years, the study found. By 2050, virtually every summer will be hotter than anything we've experienced to date. Record hot summers are now 70 times more likely than they were in the past 40 years over the entire Northern hemisphere, the peer-reviewed study found. What does all this mean? Heat alerts will be increasing, cities will have to employ aggressive cooling strategies most summers, and in places like South Asia, it will be too dangerous to work outside, Francis Zwiers, director of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at Canada's University of Victoria, said.

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Can Japan Burn Flammable Ice For Energy?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 07:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's self-sufficient department:
dryriver writes: Japan is a country that currently has to import 90% of its fuels for energy generation, having very little in the way of oil, coal or natural gas reserves in the country. Since the Fukushima disaster, its 50-plus nuclear reactors have been mostly idle. This makes Japan one of the least self-sufficient countries in terms of energy generation in the developed world. But there is an untapped energy resource that Japan has in abundance: ice that has large quantities of methane trapped in it. These ice crystals hold a remarkable quantity of natural methane gas. It is estimated that one cubic meter of frozen gas hydrate contains 164 cubic meters of methane. Japan has so far spent over $1 billion on research and development efforts in order to find a way to efficiently extract the methane from the ice. Where is this methane rich ice located? Engineers have so far focused on Nankai Trough, a long, narrow depression 50 kilometers off the coast of central Japan, which had been extensively surveyed over many years. Analysis of extracted core samples and seismic data has revealed that 1.1 trillion cubic meters of methane -- enough to meet Japan's gas needs for more than a decade -- lies below the floor of the trough. Some experts think that if an efficient method is found to extract methane from flammable ice, it could change the energy map of the entire world. Flammable ice has either been found, or is suspected to be present in large quantities, off the coastlines of all 5 continents in the world (the linked article has a map showing the currently known locations). Ten years from now the price of energy around the world may thus not be set by how much oil, coal or natural gas costs at that point in time, but rather by how much methane extraction from flammable ice costs.

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AT&T Admits Defeat In Lawsuit It Filed To Stall Google Fiber
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's winning-and-defeating department:
According to Ars Technica, AT&T is reportedly abandoning its attempt to stop a Louisville ordinance that helped draw Google Fiber into the city. The telecommunications giant sued Louisville and Jefferson County, Kentucky to stop an ordinance that gives Google Fiber and other ISPs faster access to utility poles. AT&T's lawsuit was dismissed in August by a district court, who determined that AT&T's claims that the ordinance is invalid are false. WDRB News and Louisville Business First are both reporting that AT&T has decided not to appeal the ruling.

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Razer Unveils Gaming Smartphone With 120Hz UltraMotion Display, 8GB RAM and No Headphone Jack
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department:
Computer hardware company Razer has unveiled its first smartphone. While the design doesn't appear to be up to par with the competition, it does pack some impressive specifications under the hood. The Razer Phone features a 5.7-inch, 2,560x1,440-resolution display, Snapdragon 835 chipset with 8GB of RAM, 12-megapixel dual camera with a wide-angle lens and 2x optical zoom, 4,000mAh battery, dual front-facing stereo speakers, and Android 7.1.1 Nougat running out of the box. While there is a microSD card slot for expandable storage, there is no headphone jack, no waterproofing, and no wireless charging. The device also won't support CDMA carriers like Verizon or Sprint. CNET reports: [W]here most new flagship phones are shiny rounded rectangles with curved screens, the Razer Phone is unabashedly a big black brick. It flaunts sharp 90-degree corners instead of curved edges. You can even stand the phone on end. The 5.7-inch, 2,560x1,440-resolution screen is flat as a pancake, and you'll find giant bezels above and below that screen, too -- just when we thought bezels were going out of style. When the Razer Phone ships Nov. 17 for $699 or £699 -- no plans for Australia at launch -- the company says it'll be the first phone with a display that refreshes 120 times per second, like a high-end PC gaming monitor or Apple's iPad Pro. And combined with a dynamic refresh technique Razer's calling Ultramotion (think Nvidia G-Sync), it can mean beautiful, butter-smooth scrolling down websites and apps, and glossy mobile gameplay.

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Scientists Prove Emoticons Are Not Universally Understood
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '17 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's universally-understood department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: The most recent such study, published Oct. 24 in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, examined how emotions expressed in symbols and pictures are understood in three nations with varying degrees of internet connectivity and access: Japan, Cameroon, and Tanzania. Psychologists from the University of Tokyo tested subjects on how well they recognized emotions in emoticons and photographs. Participants across cultures could read emotion accurately in images of real people regardless of race -- but symbolic tech expression was not universally comprehensible. The study subjects were shown photographs of happy, neutral, and sad Caucasians, Asians, and Africans and told to describe the emotions expressed in the images. Generally, participants accurately assessed the feelings expressed across the board. The researchers noted one difference: African participants tended to confuse Asian neutral and sad faces, "perhaps due to lack of exposure to the out-group [Asian] faces," they suggest.

When it came to symbols, however, the scientists found clear cultural differences in emotion recognition. Subjects from all three countries were given a tablet, on which they were asked to scroll through a series of emoticons. They were shown emoticons in the Japanese style, with happiness, sadness, and neutrality expressed in the eyes; in a western style with emotion expressed in the mouth; and "smiley face" emoticons (pictured above). The Japanese subjects fluently read emotion in emoticons, whereas subjects from Cameroon and Tanzania found emoticons utterly mystifying at similar rates. This was true both for urban and rural dwellers in both African nations. The researchers believe this is due to the varying levels of internet exposure in the three countries.

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