Crashed Boeing Planes Lacked Safety Features That Company Sold Only As Extras
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 11:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's missing-features department:
The recent Boeing 737 MAX crashes involving an Ethiopian Airlines flight and a Lion Air flight may have been a result of two missing safety features that Boeing charged airlines extra for (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). The New York Times reports that many low-cost carriers like Indonesia's Lion Air opted not to buy them so they could save money, even though some of these systems are fundamental to the plane's operations. "Now, in the wake of the two deadly crashes involving the same jet model, Boeing will make one of those safety features standard as part of a fix to get the planes in the air again," the report says. From the report: It is not yet known what caused the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10 and Lion Air Flight 610 five months earlier, both after erratic takeoffs. But investigators are looking at whether a new software system added to avoid stalls in Boeing's 737 Max series may have been partly to blame. Faulty data from sensors on the Lion Air plane may have caused the system, known as MCAS, to malfunction, authorities investigating that crash suspect.

< article continued at Slashdot's missing-features department >

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Apple's Plan For Its New TV Service: Sell Other People's TV Services
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 08:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's spoiler-alert department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: After years of circling the TV business, Apple is finally ready to make its big splash: On Monday it will unveil its new video strategy, along with some of the new big-budget TV shows it is funding itself. One thing Apple won't do is unveil a serious competitor to Netflix, Hulu, Disney, or any other entertainment giant trying to sell streaming video subscriptions to consumers. Instead, Apple's main focus -- at least for now -- will be helping other people sell streaming video subscriptions and taking a cut of the transaction. Apple may also sell its own shows, at least as part of a bundle of other services. But for now, Apple's original shows and movies should be considered very expensive giveaways, not the core product.

< article continued at Slashdot's spoiler-alert department >

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Unadvertised Features For Studio Series Jetfire Revealed Via Takara Tomy Online Instructions
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 08:20 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="189" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/03/01-item_tf_ss-26_manual-2.jpg" alt="" />

Takara Tomy Website has updated their Studio Series section with some downloadable instructions. To our surprise, the file has some extra steps not seen in Hasbro’s paperwork. First, we have the confirmation of the correct Jetfire’s blaster form (that some fans have deduced while transforming the toy) with several simple and easy steps. Then we have a very interesting reveal. Jetfire includes an extra chest piece for his combination with Studio Series Optimus Prime. It seemed to be just an extra part, but Takara Tomy’s instructions reveal that this piece can be stored in the back of Jetfire. The hideaway works » Continue Reading.

The post Unadvertised Features For Studio Series Jetfire Revealed Via Takara Tomy Online Instructions appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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First Medical Device To Treat Alzheimer's Is Up For Approval By the FDA
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 07:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department:
the_newsbeagle writes: An FDA advisory committee met today to consider approving the NeuroAD device, which is supposed to help with the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The device uses a combination of brain stimulation and cognitive training tasks to strengthen the neural circuits involved in language, memory, and other components of cognition. The treatment requires patients to come to the clinic daily for 1-hour sessions. Regulators in Israel and Europe have already approved the device. The CEO of the company behind the device, Neuronix, says that they're not attempting to cure the underlying biological causes of Alzheimer's. "We're attempting to modify the course of the disease," he says. The cognitive improvements last for up to a year, after which they fade away.

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750,000 Medtronic Defibrillators Vulnerable To Hacking
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 05:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's public-service-announcement department:
The Homeland Security Department has issued an alert Thursday describing two types of computer-hacking vulnerabilities in 16 different models of Medtronic implantable defibrillators sold around the world, including some still on the market today. The vulnerability also affects bedside monitors that read data from the devices in patients' homes and in-office programming computers used by doctors. From the report: Medtronic recommends that patients only use bedside monitors obtained from a doctor or from Medtronic directly, and to keep it plugged in so it can receive software updates, and that they maintain "good physical control" over the monitor. Implantable defibrillators are complex, battery-run computers implanted in patients' upper chests to monitor the heart and send electric pulses or high-voltage shocks to prevent sudden cardiac death and treat abnormal heart beats. The vulnerabilities announced Thursday do not affect Medtronic pacemakers.

The more serious of the two is a vulnerability that could allow improper access to data sent between a defibrillator and an external device like an at-home monitor. The system doesn't use formal authentication or authorization protections, which means an attacker with short-range access to the device could inject or modify data and change device settings, the advisory says. A second vulnerability allows an attacker to read sensitive data streaming out of the device, which could include the patient's name and past health data stored on their device. The system does not use data encryption, the advisory says. (Deploying encryption in medical devices is tricky because is increases computational complexity and therefore uses the battery faster.) The FDA isn't expected to issue a recall as the vulnerabilities are expected to be patched via a future software update.

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Microsoft Boots Up the First 'DNA Drive' For Storing Data
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 05:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's it's-alive department:
Since 2016, Microsoft has been working with the University of Washington to develop the first device to automatically encode digital information into DNA and back to bits again. "So far, DNA storage has been carried out by hand in the lab," reports MIT Technology Review. But now Microsoft and researchers at the University of Washington "say they created a machine that converts electronic bits to DNA and back without a person involved." From the report: The gadget, made from about $10,000 in parts, uses glass bottles of chemicals to build DNA strands, and a tiny sequencing machine from Oxford Nanopore to read them out again. According to a publication on March 21 in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, the team was able to store and retrieve just a single word -- "hello" -- or five bytes of data. What's more, the process took 21 hours, mostly because of the slow chemical reactions involved in writing DNA. While the team considered that a success for their prototype, a commercially useful DNA storage system would have to store data millions of times faster.

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The Majority of Scooters in LA Are Going To Share Your Location With the City
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 04:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Los Angeles is pumping the brakes on scooter companies that won't tell it what part of the city you're wheeling around. From a report: Last September, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation said it would require all scooter companies to provide real-time location data on the vehicles to help with city planning purposes. The data is collected by GPS on the scooters. The requirement raised privacy concerns because sensitive data would be handled by the city government. The government partners with data aggregators, like Remix, to analyze that information. Privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Technology and Democracy, have publicly spoken out about these data requests.

It still isn't clear how long LADOT retains the location data, and there aren't public details on what aggregators can do with that information. What is clear: Companies that don't share the data won't be allowed to put as many scooters on the streets as those that do. Companies that declined to provide the data were given a 30-day provisional permit to operate in LA, which were handed out last week, while those that agreed to hand over anonymized location data received permits for a full year.

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Microsoft Says the FCC 'Overstates' Broadband Availability In the US
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 04:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's inaccurate-mess department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Microsoft this week was the latest to highlight the U.S. government's terrible broadband mapping in a filing with the FCC, first spotted by journalist Wendy Davis. In it, Microsoft accuses the FCC of over-stating actual broadband availability and urges the agency to do better. "The Commission's broadband availability data, which underpins FCC Form 477 and the Commission's annual Section 706 report, appears to overstate the extent to which broadband is actually available throughout the nation," Microsoft said in the filing. "For example, in some areas the Commission's broadband availability data suggests that ISPs have reported significant broadband availability (25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up) while Microsoft's usage data indicates that only a small percentage of consumers actually access the Internet at broadband speeds in those areas," Microsoft said.

Similar criticism has long plagued the agency. The FCC's broadband data is received via the form 477 data collected from ISPs. But ISPs have a vested interest in over-stating broadband availability to obscure the sector's competition problems, and the FCC historically hasn't worked very hard to independently verify whether this data is truly accurate. The FCC's methodology has long been criticized as well. As it currently stands, the agency declares an entire ZIP code as "served" with broadband if just one home in an entire census block has it. In its filing, Microsoft "suggested that the Commission's ongoing effort to more accurately measure broadband could be improved by drawing on the FCC's subscription data, along with other broadband data sets from third-parties such as Microsoft, to complement survey data submitted under the current rules."

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Transformers Metal Earth: ICONX Last Knight Optimus Prime
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 04:20 PM
By AzT from TFW2005:
<img width="404" height="540" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/03/MEI-TLK-Prime-002.jpg" alt="" />

Fascinations Metal Earth, makers of highly detailed model kits, revealed a new Optimus Prime that mostly sports his Last Knight Voyager Class era deco: If larger and more challenging is what you’re after, ICONX is perfect for you! Make a BIG impression with our premium line of DIY metal models. From steel sheets to 3D models, this ICONX collection offers a larger size with enhanced detail. Will you be adding this kit to your movie collection? Check out the photos attached to this post and then look for pre-order listings from your sponsor of choice at the links below: » Continue Reading.

The post Transformers Metal Earth: ICONX Last Knight Optimus Prime appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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IDW’s Ghosts of Cybertron Comic Series: Preview of Egon Discovering Starscream
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 04:20 PM
By AzT from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="330" src="https://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/03/Egon-GofC-001.jpg" alt="" />

“Do, Ray, Egon!” Artwork shared today by IDW Manager, Creative Development / Senior Editor Tom Waltz shows a familiar character setting off a P.K.E. meter: Ever get that feeling a psychotic ghost robot from another planet is lurking just behind you? #EgonSpengler will in June when #Transformers/#Ghostbusters #GhostsOfCybertron hits stores! @erikburnham @dannyschoening #LuisAntonioDelgado @IDWPublishing @Ghostbusters @hasbro After you’ve viewed the » Continue Reading.

The post IDW’s Ghosts of Cybertron Comic Series: Preview of Egon Discovering Starscream appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Tesla Sues Former Employees For Allegedly Stealing Data, Autopilot Source Code
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sneaky-bastards department:
Tesla is suing a former engineer at the company, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining a Chinese self-driving car startup in January. Reuters reports: The engineer, Guangzhi Cao, copied more than 300,000 files related to Autopilot source code as he prepared to join China's Xiaopeng Motors Technology Company Ltd, the Silicon Valley carmaker said in the lawsuit filed in a California court. Separately, Tesla lawyers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against four former employees and U.S. self-driving car startup Zoox Inc, alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations. The Verge reported on the lawsuit filed against Cao: Tesla says that last year, Cao started uploading "complete copies of Tesla's Autopilot-related source code" to his iCloud account. The company claims he ultimately moved more than 300,000 files and directories related to Autopilot. After accepting a job with XPeng at the end of last year, Tesla says Cao deleted 120,000 files off his work computer and disconnected his personal iCloud account, and then "repeatedly logged into Tesla's secure networks" to clear his browser history before his last day with the company. Tesla also claims Cao recruited another Autopilot employee to XPeng in February. Tesla claims that it gives XPeng "unfettered access" to Autopilot: "Absent immediate relief, Tesla believes Cao and his new employer, [XPeng], will continue to have unfettered access to Tesla's marquee technology, the product of more than five years' work and over hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, which they have no legal right to possess," the company's lawyers write.

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Grandson of Legendary John Deere Inventor Calls Out Company On Right To Repair
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's lost-focus department:
chicksdaddy writes: The grandson of Theo Brown, a legendary engineer and inventor for John Deere who patented, among other things, the manure spreader is calling out the company his grandfather served for decades for its opposition to right to repair legislation being considered in Illinois. In an opinion piece published by The Security Ledger entitled "My Grandfather's John Deere would support Our Right to Repair," Willie Cade notes that his grandfather, Theophilus Brown is credited with 158 patents, some 70% of them for Deere & Co., including the manure spreader in 1915. His grandfather used to travel the country to meet with Deere customers and see his creations at work in the field. His hope, Cade said, was to help the company's customers be more efficient and improve their lives with his inventions. In contrast, Cade said the John Deere of the 21st Century engages in a very different kind of business model: imposing needless costs on their customers. An example of this kind of rent seeking is using software locks and other barriers to repair -- such as refusing to sell replacement parts -- in order to force customers to use authorized John Deere technicians to do repairs at considerably higher cost and hassle. "It undermines what my grandfather was all about," he writes. Cade, who founded the Electronics Reuse Conference, is supporting right to repair legislation that is being considered in Illinois and opposed by John Deere and the industry groups it backs. "Farmers who can't repair farm equipment and a wide spectrum of Americans who can't repair their smartphones are pushing back in states across the country."

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Historic, Widespread Flooding Will Continue Through May, NOAA Says
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 01:52 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
The U.S. is likely to see "historic, widespread flooding" through May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's spring outlook. From a report: "This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities," said Ed Clark, director of NOAA's National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. NOAA's outlook calls for nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states to face an elevated risk of flooding through May, with the potential for major to moderate flooding in 25 states across the Great Plains, Midwest and down through the Mississippi River valley.

"The flooding this year could be worse than what we have seen in previous years ... even worse than the historic floods we saw in 1993 and 2011," said Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service. The warning comes amid record flooding triggered by a sudden warm-up and heavy rains earlier this month brought on by the "bomb cyclone." Combined with rapid snowmelt, the factors in recent weeks have put many places in the Great Plains and Midwest underwater.

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Cable Lobby Seeks Better Reputation By Dropping 'Cable' From Its Name
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 01:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-much-else-has-changed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Cable lobbyists don't want to be called cable lobbyists anymore. The nation's top two cable industry lobby groups have both dropped the word "cable" from their names. But the lobby groups' core mission -- the fight against regulation of cable networks -- remains unchanged. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) got things started in 2016 when it renamed itself NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, keeping the initialism but dropping the words it stood for. The group was also known as the National Cable Television Association between 1968 and 2001. The American Cable Association (ACA) is the nation's other major cable lobby. While NCTA represents the biggest companies like Comcast and Charter, the ACA represents small and mid-size cable operators. Today, the ACA announced that it is now called America's Communications Association or "ACA Connects," though the ACA's website still uses the americancable.org domain name.

"The new name reflects a leading position for the association in the fast-growing telecommunications industry, where technology is rapidly changing how information is provided to and used by consumers," the cable lobby said. "It's all about the communications and connections our members provide," said cable lobbyist Matthew Polka, who is CEO of the ACA. The "ACA Connects" moniker "explains what our association and members really do," Polka continued. "We connect, communicate, build relationships and work together with all, and that will never change."

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PewCrypt Ransomware Locks Users' Files and Won't Offer a Decryption Key Until - and Unless - PewDiePie's YouTube Channel Beats T-Series To Hit 100M Subscribers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 12:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department:
The battle between PewDiePie, currently the most subscribed channel on YouTube, and T-Series, an Indian music label, continues to have strange repercussions. In recent months, as T-Series closes in on the gap to beat PewDiePie for the crown of the most subscribers on YouTube, alleged supporters of PewDiePie, in an unusual show of love, have hacked Chromecasts and printers to persuade victims to subscribe to PewDiePie's channel. Now ZDNet reports about a second strain of ransomware that is linked to PewDiePie. From the report: A second one appeared in January, and this was actually a fully functional ransomware strain. Called PewCrypt, this ransomware was coded in Java, and it encrypted users' files in the "proper" way, with a method of recovering files at a later date. The catch --you couldn't buy a decryption key, but instead, victims had to wait until PewDiePie gained over 100 million followers before being allowed to decrypt any of the encrypted files. At the time of writing, PewDiePie had around 90 million fans, meaning any victim would be in for a long wait before they could regain access to any of their files. Making matters worse, if T-Series got to 100 million subscribers before PewDiePie, then PewCrypt would delete the user's encryption key for good, leaving users without a way to recover their data.

While the ransomware was put together as a joke, sadly, it did infect a few users, ZDNet has learned. Its author eventually realized the world of trouble he'd get into if any of those victims filed complaints with authorities, and released the ransomware's source code on GitHub, along with a command-line-based decryption tool.

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Comcast Unveils $5-a-Month Streaming Service Xfinity Flex
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 12:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's more-options department:
Comcast announced a $5-a-month streaming video service Thursday called Xfinity Flex, an offering that aggregates on-demand video from your subscriptions like Netflix Amazon Prime Video and HBO, as well as offering free ad-supported shows to watch and options to rent and buy programming. From a report: It essentially replicates some of the features of a cable service but delivers over the internet rather than... well, cable. But it won't have live channels or DVR, and it won't let you watch a live-TV streaming service like YouTube TV or Sling TV, keeping Flex squarely in the realm of on-demand viewing that's less threatening to Comcast's traditional -- and lucrative -- cable TV packages. Instead, Flex will have built-in ways to upgrade to live TV from Comcast. Xfinity Flex comes with a 4K and HDR-ready wireless set-top box with an X1 voice remote, Engadget adds. It's scheduled to launch March 26th, and will be available to customers who have Comcast internet.

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SNES Games Trivia - Did You Know Gaming? extra Feat. Greg (Nintendo, Mario + More)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 12:11 PM
By DidYouKnowGaming? from DidYouKnowGaming?:


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Nokia Firmware Blunder Sent Some User Data To China
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 11:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's privacy-woes department:
HMD Global, the Finnish company that sublicensed the Nokia smartphone brand from Microsoft, is under investigation in Finland for collecting and sending some phone owners' information to a server located in China. From a report: In a statement to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, the company blamed the data collection on a coding mistake during which an "activation package" was accidentally included in some phones' firmware. HMD Global said that only a single batch of Nokia 7 Plus devices were impacted and included this package. The data collection was exposed today in an investigation published by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, which learned of it from a user's tip. According to NRK, affected Nokia phones collected user data every time the devices were turned on, unlocked, or the screen was revived from a sleep state. Collected data included the phone's GPS coordinates, network information, phone serial number, and SIM card number.

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US Companies Are Moving Tech Jobs To Canada Rather Than Deal With Trump's Immigration Policies, Report Says
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 11:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
US companies are going to keep hiring foreign tech workers, even as the Trump administration makes doing so more difficult. For a number of US companies that means expanding their operations in Canada, where hiring foreign nationals is much easier. From a report: Demand for international workers remained high this year, according to a new Envoy Global survey of more than 400 US hiring professionals, who represent big and small US companies and have all had experience hiring foreign employees. Some 80 percent of employers expect their foreign worker headcount to either increase or stay the same in 2019, according to Envoy, which helps US companies navigate immigration laws. That tracks with US government immigration data, which shows a growing number of applicants for high-skilled tech visas, known as H-1Bs, despite stricter policies toward immigration. H-1B recipients are all backed by US companies that say they are in need of specialized labor that isn't readily available in the US -- which, in practice, includes a lot of tech workers. Major US tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon, have all been advocating for quicker and more generous high-skilled immigration policies. To do so they've increased lobbying spending on immigration.

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How Apex Legends Wraith "Predicts" the FUTURE! | The SCIENCE of... Apex Legends
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '19 at 10:31 AM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:


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