Australia Called Out as Willing To Undermine Human Rights For Digital Agenda
Posted by News Fetcher on July 23 '18 at 06:40 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's meanwhile-in-Down-Under department:
A report from AccessNow has asked Australia to change its course and lead the way in serving as a champion for human rights instead of against. From a report: Global human rights, public policy, and advocacy group AccessNow has called out Australia for its lack of focus on human rights as it adapts to the challenges of the digital era, with a report from the non-profit saying the country should instead be leading the way in serving as a champion for human rights. "Australia should be a global leader in serving as a champion for human rights, such as the right to privacy and rights to freedoms of expression and association," AccessNow said. "Unfortunately, Australia has taken actions that indicate the nation is willing to undermine human rights as it adapts to the challenges of the digital era." In Human Rights in the Digital Era: An International Perspective on Australia [PDF], AccessNow says that as the digital world continues to develop, and technology increasingly becomes an "intimate part" of daily lives, Australians are facing a choice. "The country can either continue to be a testing ground for policies that undermine privacy and security in the digital era, or it can be a champion for human rights in the digital age, leveraging its relationships in the world to raise the standards for the next generation," the report says.

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France's Atos Boosts US Presence With $3.4 Billion Syntel Acquisition
Posted by News Fetcher on July 23 '18 at 04:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department:
French IT services company Atos is boosting its North American operations with a $3.4 billion cash deal to buy Michigan-based IT services provider Syntel. From a report: Atos, which provides IT services to sectors ranging from aerospace to retail, said the deal, announced Sunday, to buy Syntel will strengthen its activities in banking, finance and insurance and allow it to provide complete IT solutions to its U.S. customers. "[The deal] will significantly enhance [the Business & Platform Solutions Division's] growth and profitability profile through an extended digital services offering, cutting-edge India-based delivery platforms, as well as revenue and cost synergies," Atos Chief Executive Thierry Breton said in a statement.

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Incentivism
Posted by News Fetcher on July 23 '18 at 03:20 AM
From Penny Arcade:
New Comic: Incentivism

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Government Spells Out Plans For UK-Wide Full Fibre By 2033
Posted by News Fetcher on July 23 '18 at 01:20 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
The UK government has set out a plan to roll out full fibre networks across all of the UK within 15 years by introducing laws to speed up the installation of fibre and subsidizing investment in very rural areas. From a report: The proposal comes as part of a new national telecoms strategy drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Under its targets, all of the UK will have full-fibre broadband coverage by 2033, replacing the copper wire network that currently delivers the service. It proposes legislation to encourage more private infrastructure investment. Earlier this month, research was published indicating that the UK has slipped from 31st to 35th place in the global broadband league tables, behind 25 other European countries. The data was collected by M-Lab, a partnership between Google Open Source Research and Princeton University's PlantLab, and the results compiled by UK broadband comparison site Cable.

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Lawmakers, Lobbyists and the Administration Join Forces To Overhaul the Endangered Species Act
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 09:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: The Endangered Species Act, which for 45 years has safeguarded fragile wildlife while blocking ranching, logging and oil drilling on protected habitats, is coming under attack from lawmakers, the White House and industry on a scale not seen in decades, driven partly by fears that the Republicans will lose ground in November's midterm elections. In the past two weeks, more than two dozen pieces of legislation, policy initiatives and amendments designed to weaken the law have been either introduced or voted on in Congress or proposed by the Trump administration. The actions included a bill to strip protections from the gray wolf in Wyoming and along the western Great Lakes; a plan to keep the sage grouse, a chicken-size bird that inhabits millions of oil-rich acres in the West, from being listed as endangered for the next decade; and a measure to remove from the endangered list the American burying beetle, an orange-flecked insect that has long been the bane of oil companies that would like to drill on the land where it lives. [...] The new push to undo the wildlife protection law comes as Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, and is led by a president who has made deregulation -- the loosening of not only environmental protections but banking rules, car fuel efficiency standards and fair housing enforcement -- a centerpiece of his administration.

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Y-Axis
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 08:10 PM
By Randall Munroe from XKCD:

We've also developed the semi-semi-log scale, where the Y-axis for the left half of the graph is a log scale but on the right half it isn't.

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IoT Security Flaw Leaves 496 Million Devices Vulnerable At Businesses, Report Says
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 05:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Nearly a half-billion Internet of Things devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks at businesses worldwide because of a 10-year-old security flaw, according to a new report from a security software vendor. From a report: The report was published Friday by Armis, a provider of Internet of Things security software for enterprises that focuses on detecting threats in IoT devices at workplaces. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has previously made security disclosures, including the BlueBorne malware attack that impacted 5 billion IoT devices.

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China's JD.com Plans Move Into Europe
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 05:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Chinese e-commerce company JD.com plans to expand in Europe and aims to have finalized its strategy for entering the market by the end of the year, its chief executive told a German newspaper. Reuters: China's second largest e-commerce business also wants to open an office in Germany by the end of 2018, the Handelsblatt daily cited Richard Liu as saying. "For me it's no longer just about selling products from Germany in China. I would also like to sell products in Europe," Liu told the paper. "We have just got to clarify the details." Further reading: JD.com is expanding its consumer base with drone delivery and local recruits who can exploit villages' tight-knit social networks to drum up business.

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The Hidden Environmental Cost of Amazon Prime's Free, Fast Shipping
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 04:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Amazon's Prime Day shopping spree offers free, fast shipping -- but experts say there's a hidden environmental cost that doesn't show up on the checkout page. From a report: Expedited shipping means your packages may not be as consolidated as they could be, leading to more cars and trucks required to deliver them, and an increase in packaging waste, which researchers have found is adding more congestion to our cities, pollutants to our air, and cardboard to our landfills. Free and fast shipping has always been a Prime membership's marquee perk -- one that's drawn in over 100 million subscribers who pay $119 annually. A 2017 study by UPS found that nearly all (96%) US customers had made a purchase on a marketplace like Amazon or Walmart, and over half (55%) said free or discounted shipping was the primary reason. [...] That convenience is encouraging people in the US to buy more, and to make more individual purchases rather than placing a single order for several items. "There are more sales in lower-price products online than there have been in stores," Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor at the NPD Group, told BuzzFeed News. And all of those transactions are negatively impacting our planet, according to Miguel Jaller, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis: "People are consuming more. There's more demand created by the availability of these cheap products and cheap delivery options."

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Google Tests Curvy Chrome Tabs With Material Design Overhaul
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 02:41 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
Google is trying out a new Chrome interface that for the first time in a decade presents a very different look for the tabs and address bar at the top of the widely used web browser, CNET reports. It adds: Since its public debut in 2008, Chrome has featured a trapezoidal tab for each website you have open. But tabs now look very different on Chrome Canary -- a very rough-around-the-edges version used to test changes before they reach a broader audience. The active tab has a slope-shouldered look with curved corners. The grayed-out inactive tabs merge with the the browser itself and are separated only by thin vertical lines. In addition, the address bar's text box is a gray oval against a white backdrop, instead of a round-cornered white rectangle with a hairline border.

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Walmart Exclusive G1 Minibots In-Hand Images – Bumblebee Now Officially Licensed VolksWagen Product & New Rubsigns
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 02:20 PM
By Black Convoy from TFW2005:
<img width="338" height="600" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Walmart-G1-Minubots-Reissues-In-Canada-01.jpg" alt="" />

We had reported a few days ago that the new Walmart Exclusives G1 Minibots reissues were already available in Canada. Lucky Canadian fans have had the opportunity to gran and share some in-hands images of these toys. Thanks to Twitter user @CF_TheNewSam, we have some images and a video of Bumblebeee, Tailgate and Swerve. Some interesting details we could point out. First, the back of Bumblebee’s blister shows an Officially Licensed Volkswagen logo now (between the Hasbro and Transformers: Authentics logos). It sure took some time for the G1 toy to be recognized by Volkswagen, but » Continue Reading.

The post Walmart Exclusive G1 Minibots In-Hand Images – Bumblebee Now Officially Licensed VolksWagen Product & New Rubsigns appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Comic Book Publishers, Faced With Flagging Sales, Look To Streaming
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 01:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's whatever-it-takes department:
Comic book publishers are facing a growing crisis: Flagging interest from readers and competition from digital entertainment are dragging down sales. Hoping to reverse the trend, publishers are creating their own digital platforms to directly connect with readers and encourage more engagement from fans. From a report: One of the biggest direct-to-consumer efforts is DC Universe, a platform from DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Studios that will offer streaming content, including original and classic TV series. DC Universe is "a huge opportunity" that offers "ultimate creative control," said Jim Lee, a co-publisher of DC Entertainment. "It allows you to look at wider adaptations of the source material." [...] The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Entertainment, said last year that it would create a streaming platform that would include Marvel movies like "The Avengers" and "Guardians of the Galaxy." Smaller comic book publishers are testing their own direct-to-consumer platforms. Image Comics, the publisher of popular titles like The Walking Dead and Saga, started a direct-to-consumer platform in 2015 to sell comic book subscriptions and apparel.

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Open Gov't Advocates Fear that Private Messaging Apps Are Being Misused by Public Officials To Conduct Business in Secret
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 01:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's other-side department:
The proliferation of digital tools that make text and email messages vanish may be welcome to Americans seeking to guard their privacy. But open government advocates fear they are being misused by public officials to conduct business in secret and evade transparency laws. From a report: Whether communications on those platforms should be part of the public record is a growing but unsettled debate in states across the country. Updates to transparency laws lag behind rapid technological advances, and the public and private personas of state officials overlap on private smartphones and social media accounts. "Those kind of technologies literally undermine, through the technology itself, state open government laws and policies," said Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. "And they come on top of the misuse of other technologies, like people using their own private email and cellphones to conduct business." Some government officials have argued that public employees should be free to communicate on private, non-governmental cellphones and social media platforms without triggering open records requirements.

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Japan Summer Wonder Festival 2018 Takara-Tomy Booth Information Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 01:00 PM
By Silver Optimus from TFW2005:
<img width="600" height="424" src="http://news.tfw2005.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2018/07/Japan-Summer-Wonder-Festival-2018-Takara-Tomy-001.jpg" alt="" />

Takara-Tomy has posted information regarding their booth for the upcoming Japan Summer Wonder Festival 2018. The booth features some never-before-seen renders of Bumblebee from the new movie as well as a mysterious new figure peeking from a standee behind. The figure is a part of the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration. The character itself looks like (and most likely is) Optimus Prime who is heavily modernized with Japanese aesthetics. However, the resemblance it has with Guiltaur is quite uncanny. Those who are into the Japanese continuity of Generation 1 may know that Guiltaur is a fusion of Optimus Prime and Megatron, built by the Quintessons and animated by » Continue Reading.

The post Japan Summer Wonder Festival 2018 Takara-Tomy Booth Information Revealed appeared first on Transformer World 2005 - TFW2005.COM.

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Boston Dynamics Is Gearing Up To Produce Thousands of Robot Dogs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 12:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's they-are-coming department:
Boston Dynamics, maker of uncannily agile robots, is poised to bring its first commercial product to market -- a small, dog-like robot called the SpotMini. From a report: The launch was announced in May, and founder Marc Raibert recently said that by July of next year, Boston Dynamics will be producing the SpotMini at the rate of around 1,000 units per year. The broader goal, as reported by Inverse, is to create a flexible platform for a variety of applications. According to Raibert, SpotMini is currently being tested for use in construction, delivery, security, and home assistance applications. The SpotMini moves with the same weirdly smooth confidence as previous experimental Boston Dynamics robots with names like Cheetah, BigDog, and Spot.

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Game Theory: We Were Right ALL ALONG! (FNAF Ultimate Custom Night)
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 11:21 AM
By The Game Theorists from The Game Theory:


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Facebook Confirms It's Working on a New Internet Satellite
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 10:43 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
A host of companies believe the better way to connect the estimated half of Earth's population that's still offline is to launch "constellations" of smaller satellites into low Earth orbit, around 100 to 1,250 miles above our planet. According to emails from the Federal Communications Commission, which Wired obtained by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, Facebook is officially one such company. From the report: The emails show that the social network wants to launch Athena, its very own internet satellite, in early 2019. The new device is designed to "efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world," according to an application the social network appears to have filed with the FCC under the name PointView Tech LLC. With the filing, Facebook joins Elon Musk's SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb, two well-funded organizations working on similar projects. In fact, SpaceX launched the first two of what it hopes will be thousands of its Starlink satellites just this past February. The emails, which date back to July 2016, and subsequent confirmation from Facebook, confirm a story published in May by IEEE Spectrum, which used public records to speculate that Facebook had started a satellite internet project.

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People Like Getting Thank You Notes, Research Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 09:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
From a report: O.K., it's not that surprising. But what did surprise two psychologist as they attempted to get to bottom of why so few people actually send thank yous is that many people totally "miscalibrate" the effect of an appreciative email. They underestimate the positive feelings it will bring. "They think it's not going to be that big a deal," said Amit Kumar, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who studies well-being. They also overestimate how insincere the note may appear and how uncomfortable it will make the recipient feel, their study found. But after receiving thank-you notes and filling out questionnaires about how it felt to get them, many said they were "ecstatic," scoring the happiness rating at 4 of 5. The senders typically guessed they'd evoke a 3. To be clear -- the notes in question were not your typical "thanks for the Amazon gift card." Rather, the 100 or so participants in each of the four experiments were asked to write a short "gratitude letter" to a person who had affected them in some way. Sample letters included missives of appreciation to fellow students and friends who offered guidance through the college admissions process, job searches and tough times. In lab experiments, Dr. Kumar observed that it took most subjects less than five minutes to write the letters. Further reading: Finding Emails With Certain Variation Of Thank You Vastly Improves Response Rate, Study Finds; and Apparently, People Say 'Thank You' To Self-Driving Pizza Delivery Vehicles.

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Rome's Subway Expansion Reveals Artifacts From The Ancient Past
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 09:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's blast-from-the-past department:
All roads may lead to Rome, but once you get there, good luck taking the subway. The sprawling metropolis is expanding its mass transit system -- a sluggish process made even slower as workers keep running into buried ancient ruins. From a report: "I found some gold rings. I found glasswork laminated in gold depicting a Roman god, some amphoras," says Gilberto Pagani, a bulldozer operator at the Amba Aradam metro stop, currently under construction not far from the Colosseum. Pagani is part of an archaeological team at the site, a certified archaeological construction worker trained to excavate, preserve and build in cities like Rome, with thousands of years of civilization buried beneath the surface. The presence of ancient artifacts underground is a daunting challenge for urban developers. For archaeologists, it's the opportunity of a lifetime. "I think it's the luckiest thing that's ever happened to me, professionally speaking," says Simona Morretta, the state archaeologist in charge of the Amba Aradam site. "Because you never get the chance in a regular excavation to dig so deep. That's how we've found architectural complexes as important as this."

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Some Colleges Cautiously Embrace Wikipedia
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '18 at 08:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's synergies-emerge department:
Megan Zahneis, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education: Academics have traditionally distrusted Wikipedia, citing the inaccuracies that arise from its communally edited design and lamenting students' tendency to sometimes plagiarize assignments from it. Now, LiAnna Davis, director of programs for Wikipedia's higher-education-focused nonprofit arm Wiki Education, said, higher education and Wikipedia don't seem like such strange bedfellows. At conferences these days, "everyone's like, 'Oh, Wikipedia, of course you guys are here.'" "I think it's a recognition that Wikipedia is embedded within the fabric of learning now," she said. One initiative Davis oversees at Wiki Education aims to forge stronger bonds between Wikipedia and higher education. The Visiting Scholars program, which began in 2015, pairs academics at colleges with experienced Wikipedia editors. Institutions provide the editors with access to academic journals, research databases, and digital collections, which the editors use to write and expand Wikipedia articles on topics of mutual interest. A dozen institutions, including Rutgers University, Brown University, and the University of Pittsburgh, are participating.

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