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Submission + - Melvin S. Nash (

Tamera01 writes: You want someone who knows the system, the prosecutors, the police, and the judges from the inside.
Someone who can quickly analyze your case, and give you the complete picture.
Someone who knows all the options, and how to get results. — Melvin S. Nash

Submission + - What is the Future of the Television? (

An anonymous reader writes: Benedict Evans has an interesting post about where television hardware is headed. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the tech industry made a huge push to invade the living room, trying to make the internet mesh with traditional TV broadcasts. As we all know, their efforts failed. Now, we periodically see new waves of devices to attach to the TV, but none have been particularly ambitious. The most successful devices of the recent wave, like the Chromecast and Apple TV, are simply turning the TV into a dumb screen for streamed content. Meanwhile, consumption of all types of video content is growing on smaller screens — tablets, phones, etc. Even game consoles are starting to see their market eroded by boxes like the Steam Link, which acts as a pipe for a game being played elsewhere on a PC. It raises an intriguing question: where is the television headed? What uses and functions does one giant screen serve that can't be cleverly redistributed to smaller screens? Evans concludes, "The web's open, permissionless innovation beat the closed, top-down visions of interactive TV and the information superhighway."

Submission + - Neil degrasse Tyson causes firestorm with remarks on commercial space (

MarkWhittington writes: In an interview published in The Verge, celebrity astrophysicist and media personality Neil deGrasse Tyson touched off a firestorm when he suggested that commercial space was not going to lead the way to open up the high frontier. Tyson has started a live show that he calls "Delusions of Space Enthusiasts” in which he touched on, among other things, why the Apollo program did not lead to greater things in space exploration such as going to Mars. Tyson repeats conventional wisdom about Apollo and the Cold War. In any case, it is his remarks on commercial space that has caused the most irritation.

Submission + - KGB Software Almost Triggered War in 1983 (

An anonymous reader writes: Who here remembers WarGames? As it turns out, the film was a lot closer to reality than we knew. Newly-released documents show that the Soviet Union's KGB developed software to predict sneak attacks from the U.S. and other nations. During a NATO wargame in November, 1983, that software met all conditions necessary to forecast the beginning of a nuclear war. "Many of these procedures and tactics were things the Soviets had never seen, and the whole exercise came after a series of feints by US and NATO forces to size up Soviet defenses and the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 on September 1, 1983. So as Soviet leaders monitored the exercise and considered the current climate, they put one and one together. Able Archer, according to Soviet leadership at least, must have been a cover for a genuine surprise attack planned by the U.S., then led by a president possibly insane enough to do it." Fortunately, when the military exercise ended, so did Soviet fears that an attack was imminent.

Submission + - Why Car Salesmen Don't Want to Sell Electric Cars writes: Matt Richtel writes in the NYT that one big reason there are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road is that car dealers show little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars. Industry insiders say that electric vehicles do not offer dealers the same profits as gas-powered cars, they take more time to sell because of the explaining required, and electric vehicles may require less maintenance, undermining the biggest source of dealer profits — their service departments. Some electric car buyers have said they felt as if they were the ones doing the selling. Chelsea Dell made an appointment to test-drive a used Volt but when she arrived, she said, a salesman told her that the car hadn’t been washed, and that he had instead readied a less expensive, gas-powered car. “I was ready to pull the trigger, and they were trying to muscle me into a Chevy Sonic,” says Dell. “The thing I was baffled at was that the Volt was a lot more expensive.” Marc Deutsch, Nissan’s business development manager for electric vehicles says some salespeople just can’t rationalize the time it takes to sell the cars. A salesperson “can sell two gas burners in less than it takes to sell a Leaf,” Deutsch says. “It’s a lot of work for a little pay.”

Jared Allen says that service is crucial to dealer profits and that dealers didn’t want to push consumers into electric cars that might make them less inclined to return for service. Maybe that helps explains the experience of Robert Kast, who last year leased a Volkswagen e-Golf from a local dealer. He said the salesman offered him a $15-per-month maintenance package that included service for oil changes, belt repair and water pumps. “I said: ‘You know it doesn’t have any of those things,’” Mr. Kast recalled. He said the salesman excused himself to go confirm this with his manager. Of the whole experience, Mr. Kast, 61, said: “I knew a whole lot more about the car than anyone in the building.” "Until selling a plug-in electric car is as quick and easy as selling any other vehicle that nets the dealer the same profit, many dealers will avoid them, for very logical and understandable reasons," says John Voelker. "That means that the appropriate question should be directed to makers of electric cars: What are you doing to make selling electric cars as profitable and painless for your dealers as selling gasoline or diesel vehicles?"

Submission + - This Gizmo Knows Your Amex Card Number Before You've Received It (

itwbennett writes: A small device built by legendary hacker Samy Kamkar can predict what new American Express card numbers will be and trick point-of-sale devices into accepting cards without a security microchip. Because American Express appears to have used a weak algorithm to generate new card numbers, the device, called MagSpoof, can predict what a new American Express card number will be based on a canceled card's number. The new expiration date can also be predicted based on when the replacement card was requested.

Submission + - New Wearable Tech Translates Sign Language Into Text (

An anonymous reader writes: A new wearable technology developed by a team of biomedical engineers at Texas A&M University seeks to aid seamless communication between deaf people who use sign language and those who do not understand it. The arm device contains a network of sensors which track hand movements, as well as the electromyography (EMG) signals generated by the muscles in the wrist, and process and translate the different signals into text in real-time.The prototype currently uses Bluetooth to translate the sign language to a computer or smartphone.

Submission + - Ditching the Lens Enables Superslim FlatCam That's Thinner Than a Dime (

Zothecula writes: Much has changed in camera design over the years, but snapping photos and shooting video still invariably requires a lens to capture light and focus on a subject. But if a camera could somehow replicate this process digitally, making relatively chunky lens attachments completely unnecessary, what would be left to look at? Well, going by new research underway at Rice University, not really much at all. Engineers have produced a functional camera that is thinner than a dime, raising the possibility of tiny, flexible versions that could one day be embedded in everything from your wallpaper to your credit card.

Submission + - Sports And Movie Commentaries Have Potential To Speed Up AI Development (

An anonymous reader writes: In an effort to shorten the annotation phase prior to neural network learning, Indian researchers are using commentaries intended for human viewers to help machines understand the meaning of action in cricket. The researchers suggest that closed-caption movie commentaries, as well as other types of usefully descriptive pre-existing commentaries could continue to prove helpful in teaching artificial intelligence the meaning of what it is seeing on screen.

Submission + - Smartphone Super-Resolution Tech Plays 4k, 60fps Videos In Real-Time (

An anonymous reader writes: A super-resolution technology which is capable of streaming up to 4k of real-time video data at 60fps is being developed at Kogakuin University in Japan. The new development employs an innovative method known as ‘nonlinear signal processing’, enabling 4k of video data with a frame rate of 30fps, without increasing smartphone power consumption. The research team also confirmed that 60fps could be achieved. The scientists hope that the technology could eventually be used beyond consumer smartphones, in medical equipment and monitoring cameras.

Submission + - Volkswagen rolls out 3D smart glasses as standard equipment (

An anonymous reader writes: Quoting from the press release, "At Volkswagen's Wolfsburg plant, the roll-out of 3D smart glasses as standard equipment has now started following a three-month pilot phase. Plant logistics personnel are to use these glasses for order picking. The objective is to further improve process security in production.

The benefits of 3D smart glasses are evident: users automatically receive all the information they need such as storage locations or part numbers directly in their field of vision. Touch or voice control allows extremely easy operation. As a general principle, users have both their hands free while they are working. The camera in the glasses is also used as a barcode reader. Correct barcodes on parts removed from the storage location are shown in green while parts incorrectly removed are shown in red."

See the full press release for more information.

Submission + - Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable on Smart TVs (

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently even the easiest-to-remove ransomware is painfully hard to uninstall from smart TVs, if they're running on the AndroidOS platform, and almost all are. This didn't happen in a real-world scenario (yet), and was only a PoC test by Symantec. The researcher managed to remove the ransomware just because he enabled the Android ADB tool beforehand, knowing he would infect the TV with the ransomware.

"Without this option enabled, and if I was less experienced user, I’d probably still be locked out of my smart TV, making it a large and expensive paper weight," said the researcher.

Via: Softpedia

Submission + - Another Giant XKCD Comics Experiment

Dave Knott writes: XKCD creator Randall Munroe has decided to celebrate the release of his new book, Thing Explainer, by creating a "small game" called Hoverboard. In actuality, it is a gigantic scrolling comic in the same style as his previous Click And Drag. However, this time there is a game element as one navigates the comic. Explore giant starships and volcanoes, or search for hidden lairs, all in the name of finding as many hidden gold coins as possible.

Submission + - Why Are Engineers More Likely to Become Terrorists? writes: Henry Farrel writes in the Washington Post that there's a group of people which appears to be highly prone to violent extremism — engineers — who are nine times more likely to be terrorists as you would expect by chance. In a forthcoming book, "Engineers of Jihad," published by Princeton University Press, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog provide a new theory for why it is that engineers seem unusually prone to become involved in terrorist organizations. Gambetta and Hertog find strongly suggestive evidence that engineers are more likely to become terrorists because of the way that they think about the world. Survey data indicates that engineering faculty at universities are far more likely to be conservative than people with other degrees, and far more likely to be religious. They are seven times as likely to be both religious and conservative as social scientists. Gambetta and Hertog speculate that engineers combine these political predilections with a marked preference towards finding clearcut answers. This preference has affinities with the clear answer that radical Islamist groups propose for dealing with the complexities of modernity: Get rid of it.

Gambetta and Hertog suggest that this mindset combines with frustrated expectations in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, and among many migrant populations, where people with engineering backgrounds have difficulty in realizing their ambitions for good and socially valued jobs. This explains why there are relatively few radical Islamists with engineering backgrounds in Saudi Arabia (where they can easily find good employment) and why engineers were more prone to become left-wing radicals in Turkey and Iran.

Some people might argue that terrorist groups want to recruit engineers because engineers have valuable technical skills that might be helpful, such as in making bombs. This seems plausible – but it doesn’t seem to be true. Terrorist organizations don’t seem to recruit people because of their technical skills, but because they seem trustworthy and they don’t actually need many people with engineering skills. "Bomb-making and the technical stuff that is done in most groups is performed by very few people, so you don’t need, if you have a large group, 40 or 50 percent engineers," says Hertog. "You just need a few guys to put together the bombs. So the scale of the overrepresentation, especially in the larger groups is not easily explained."

Submission + - Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Shipping with Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS

prisoninmate writes: The current daily build of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) remains based on the Linux 4.2 kernel packages of the stable Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) operating system, while the latest and most advanced Linux 4.3 kernel is tracked on the master-next branch of the upcoming operating system. In the meantime, the Ubuntu Kernel Team announced plans for moving to Linux kernel 4.4 for the final release of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system.

Submission + - Dark matter grows hair around stars and planets

StartsWithABang writes: Dark matter may make up 27% of the Universe's energy density, compared to just 5% of normal (atomic) matter, but in our Solar System, it's notoriously sparse. In particular, there's just a nanogram's worth per cubic kilometer, which makes the fact that we've never directly detected it seem inevitable. But recent work has demonstrated that Earth and all the planets leave a 'wake' of dark matter where the density is enhanced by a billion times or more. Time to go put those dark matter detectors where they belong: in the path of these dark matter hairs.

Submission + - Insurer Refuses to Cover Cox in Massive Piracy Lawsuit (

An anonymous reader writes: Trouble continues for one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, with a Lloyds underwriter now suing Cox Communications over an insurance dispute. The insurer is refusing to cover legal fees and potential piracy damages in Cox's case against BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.
Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

Submission + - What humans may do by following New Horizons to Pluto (

MarkWhittington writes: NASA’s New Horizons flew by Pluto last July and is continuing to send back stunning images and breathtaking data. Forbes speculates about sending humans to the once and possibly future ninth planet from the sun. Since New Horizons took nine and a half years from launch to flyby, such a voyage would have to await the development of very advanced propulsion systems, among quite a few other technologies.

Submission + - Green Light or No, Nest Cam Never Stops Watching ( 1

chicksdaddy writes: How do you know when the Nest Cam monitoring your house is “on” or “off”? It’s simple: just look at the little power indicator light on the front of the device — and totally disregard what it is telling you.

The truth is: the Nest Cam is never “off” despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise, The Security Ledger reports ( That, according to an analysis of the Nest Cam by the firm ABI Research, which found that turning the Nest Cam “off” using the associated mobile application only turns off the LED power indicator light on the front of the device. ( Under the hood, the camera continues to operate and, according to ABI researcher Jim Mielke, to monitor its surroundings: noting movement, sound and other activity when users are led to believe it has powered down.

“Basically, you have an LED that says ‘on’ and ‘off ‘ that shuts off – and that’s about it,” Mielke said when asked to describe what happens when a user turns the Nest Cam off. Mielke is the Vice President of Teardowns at ABI Research and the author of a report: “Teardown Phone/Device: Nest Cam Works Around the Clock.”

Mielke reached that conclusion after analyzing Nest Cam's power consumption. Typically a shutdown or standby mode would reduce current by as much as 10 to 100 times, Mielke told Security Ledger. But the Google Nest Cam’s power consumption was almost identical in “shutdown” mode and when fully operational, dropping from 370 milliamps (mA) to around 340mA. The slight reduction in power consumption for the Nest Cam when it was turned “off” correlates with the disabling of the LED power light, given that LEDs typically draw 10-20mA.

In a statement to The Security Ledger, Nest Labs spokesperson Zoz Cuccias acknowledged that the Nest Cam does not fully power down when the camera is turned off from the user interface (UI).

“When Nest Cam is turned off from the user interface (UI), it does not fully power down, as we expect the camera to be turned on again at any point in time,” Cuccias wrote in an e-mail. “With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings.”

The privacy and security implications are serious. “This means that even when a consumer thinks that he or she is successfully turning off this camera, the device is still running, which could potentially unleash a tidal wave of privacy concerns,” Mielke wrote.

Submission + - The Tamagochi Singularity Made Real: Infinite Tamagochi Living on the Internet (

szczys writes: Everyone loves Tamagochi, little electronic keychains spawned in the 90's let you raise your digital pets. Some time ago, XKCD made a quip about an internet based matrix of thousands of these digital entities. That quip is now a reality thanks to elite hardware hacker Jeroen Domburg (aka Sprite_TM). In his recent talk called The Tamagochi Singularity at the Hackaday SuperConference he revealed that he had built an infinite network of virtual Tamagochi by implementing the original hardware as a virtual machine. This included developing AI to keep them happy, and developing a protocol to emulate their IR interactions. But he went even further, hacking an original keychain to use wirelessly as a console which can look in on any of the virtual Tamagochi living on his underground network. This full-stack process is unparalleled in just about every facet: complexity, speed of implementation, awesome factor, and will surely spark legions of other Tamagochi Matrices.