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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.

Submission + - Hospitals Can 3D Print A Patient's Vasculature For Aneurism Pre-Op Practice (

Lucas123 writes: University of Buffalo physicians and researchers from two institutes working with 3D printer maker Stratasys have successfully 3D printed anatomically correct models of patients' vascular systems — from their femoral artery to their brain — in order to test various surgical techniques prior to an actual operation. The new 3D printed models not only precisely replicate blood vessels' geometry, but the texture and tissue tension, allowing surgeons a realistic preoperative experience when using catheterization techniques. The printed models are also being used by physicians in training.

Submission + - Windows 10 Fall Update Uninstalls Desktop Software Without Informing Users (

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: Martin Brinkmann of GHacks writes: Beware, latest Windows 10 Update may remove programs automatically. Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system may uninstall programs — desktop programs that is — from the computer after installation of the big Fall update that the company released earlier this month. I noticed the issue on one PC that I upgraded to Windows 10 Version 1511 but not on other machines. The affected PC had Speccy, a hardware information program, installed and Windows 10 notified me after the upgrade that the software had been removed from the system because of incompatibilities. There was no indication beforehand that something like this would happen, and what made this rather puzzling was the fact that a newly downloaded copy of Speccy would install and run fine on the upgraded system.

Submission + - Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday Are Pretty Much Meaningless Now writes: Brad Tuttle writes at Money Magazine that while the terms “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are more ubiquitous than ever, the importance of the can’t-miss shopping days is undeniably fading. “I think what you’re seeing now is the start or middle of a trend where Black Friday decreases in importance,” says analyst Yory Wurmser. “It’s probably still going to be a significant shopping day, but at the same time it’s probably going to lose its singular significance in the season.” Retailers seem to want it both ways: They want shoppers to spend money long before these key shopping events, and yet they also want shoppers to turn out in full force to make purchases over the epic Black Friday weekend. When they use the “Cheap Stuff!” card day after day and week after week, the deals on any single day stop seeming special. The bottom line is that shifting spending patterns means that holiday sales are now dispersed over a longer period. “You can try to get the consumer to spend earlier," says Marshal Cohen. "But that doesn’t mean there’s more money in their pockets."

The true story behind Black Friday is not as sunny as retailers might have you believe. Back in the 1950s, police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache. Sometime in the late 1980s, however, retailers found a way to reinvent Black Friday and turn it into something that reflected positively, rather than negatively, on them and their customers. The result was the “red to black” concept of the holiday mentioned earlier, and the notion that the day after Thanksgiving marked the occasion when America’s stores finally turned a profit.

Submission + - UK Mobile Operator Could Block Ads At Network Level

Mickeycaskill writes: UK operator EE says it is investigating the possibility of blocking adverts at a network level, allowing customers to limit the types and frequency of adverts they see in browsers and applications.

The move is likely to concern digital publishers, many of whom rely on advertising revenue to fund their content. Ad blockers have become more popular in recent times, with Apple allowing such software to block ads in Safari.
However many people use ad blockers to save battery life, consume less data and protect against malvertising attacks.

Submission + - 2015 "Dance Your PhD" Winner Announced (

sciencehabit writes: Jargon seems unavoidable in science. When you try to explain your work, it becomes a minefield of technical concepts and abstract reasoning. But what if we just want the gist of what you do, the essence of your research...? Oh, and make it a dance. The results are in from Science magazine's annual "Dance Your PhD" contest. The winners include a ballet about a protein, a tango about entangled photons, a Bollywood spectacle about the immune system and, this year's top prize-winner, a dance by Florence Metz of the University of Bern, Switzerland, who combined hip hop, salsa, and acro-yoga to explain her PhD on the intricacies of water protection policies. She goes home with $1000 and a trip to Stanford University in the spring to screen her PhD dance and give a talk--hopefully jargon-free.

Submission + - How To Destroy An American Family

blottsie writes: Since 2010, the Straters have been under assault from an online campaign of ever-increasing harassment—prank deliveries, smear attacks, high-profile hacks, and threats of violence against schools and law enforcement officials in their name—and it’s slowly torn them apart. Masterminding it all is a teenage Lizard Squad hacker from Finland, at war with their son, Blair, over a seemingly minor dispute spun completely out of control.

Submission + - Lori Garver claims that NASA is 'wary' of Elon Musk's Mars plans (

MarkWhittington writes: Ars Technica reported that former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver claimed, during a panel discussion at the Council for Foreign Relations, that many at NASA are “wary’ of the Mars ambitions of SpaceX’s Elon Musk. While the space agency has yielded low Earth operations to the commercial sector as part of the commercial crew program, it reserves for itself deep space exploration. As with many things that publically come out of Garver’s mouth, this statement has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Submission + - Stack Overflow and the Zeitgeist of Computer Programming (

An anonymous reader writes: Stack Overflow remains one of the most widely-used resources in the developer community. Around 400,000 questions are posted to it every month. The Priceonomics blog is using statistical analysis to ask, "What do the nature of these questions tell us about the state of programming?" They see tremendous growth in questions about Android Studio, as well as more generic growth in work relating to data analysis and cloud services. Topics on a significant decline include Silverlight, Joomla, Clojure, and Flash (not to mention emacs, for some reason). The article also takes a brief look at the site's megausers, who receive a lot of credit for keeping the signal-to-noise ratio as high as it is, while also taking flack for how the Stack Overflow culture has progressed. "Others are worried about how Stack Overflow has impacted programming fundamentals. Some critics believe that rather than truly struggling with a problem, developers can now just ask Stack Overflow users to solve it for them. The questioner may receive and use an answer with code they do not truly understand; they just know it fixes their problem. This can lead to issues in the long run when adjustments are needed."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Single Change Would You Make To a Tech Product? 1

An anonymous reader writes: We live in an age of sorcery. The supercomputers in our pockets are capable of doing things it took armies of humans to accomplish even a hundred years ago. But let's face it: we're also complainers at heart. For every incredible, revolutionary device we use, we can find something that's obviously wrong with it. Something we'd instantly fix if we were suddenly put in charge of design. So, what's yours? Hardware, software, or service — don't hold back.

Here's an example: over the past several years, e-readers have standardized on 6-inch screens. For all the variety that exists in smartphone and tablet sizing, the e-reader market has decided it must copy the Kindle form factor or die trying. Having used an e-reader before all this happened, I found a 7-8" e-ink screen to be an amazingly better reading experience. Oh well, I'm out of luck. It's not the worst thing in the world, but I'd fix it immediately if I could.

Submission + - Digital and Physical Security Mix on the Wake of Recent Attacks (

dkatana writes: Last week, at the Smart City World Congress, several government officials and experts from all over the world discussed the wake of Paris and Beirut attacks, and the influence of social media and the internet on the rise of global terrorism.

According to Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the World Wide Web has increased our sense of Tribalism.

Later Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s minister of Information, Technology and Telecommunications, thinks that there is yet to be a general consensus on standardized definitions of Cybercrime and Security.

Most concluded that the Islamic State (IS) has made use of the viral nature of social media to advance its terror campaigns.

Submission + - Dell Accused Of Installing 'Superfish-Like' Rogue Certificates On Laptops

Mickeycaskill writes: Dell has been accused of pre-installing rogue self-signing root certificate authentications on its laptops. A number of users discovered the 'eDellRoot' certificate on their machines and say it leaves their machines, and any others with the certificate, open to attack.

“Anyone possessing the private key which is on my computer is capable of minting certificates for any site, for any purpose and the computer will programmatically and falsely conclude the issued certificate to be valid," said Joe Nord, a Citrix product manager who found the certificate on his laptop.

It is unclear whether it is Dell or a third party installing the certificate, but the episode is similar to the 'Superfish' incident in which Lenovo was found to have installed malware to inject ads onto users' computers

Submission + - Ransomware To Hit 'Lifesaving' Medical Devices In 2016 (

An anonymous reader writes: A surge in ransomware campaigns is expected to hit the medical sector in 2016, according to a recent report published by forecasters at Forrester Research. The paper ‘Predictions 2016: Cybersecuirty Swings To Prevention’ suggests that the primary hacking trend of the coming year will be “ransomware for a medical device or wearable,” arguing that cybercriminals would only have to make small modifications to current malware to create a feasible attack. Pacemakers and other vital health devices would become prime targets, with attackers toying with their stability and potentially threatening the victim with their own life should the ransom demands not be met.

Submission + - Microsoft pulls Windows 10 November Update (1511) ISOs

AmiMoJo writes: When Microsoft released Windows 10 version 1511 earlier this month, the company also updated the installer files it delivers via a free, downloadable media creation tool (MCT). That upgrade option worked as advertised for more than a week. This weekend, however, the new files have been pulled and the media creation tool available for download from that page instead installs the July 2015 (build 10240) release. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that they wish people install the older version and get the 1551 update via Windows Update, however the more recent release is still available via an unpublished link.

Submission + - Nearly 35,000 Comment on New Federal STEM OPT Extension Rule

theodp writes: Computerworld reports that the comments are in on the Department of Homeland Security's new proposed rule to extend OPT for international STEM students from 29 months to at least 36 months. The majority of the comments received by DHS support extending the program, CW notes, which is probably not surprising. Rather than choosing to "avoid the appearance of improper influence" by declining to respond to a "We the People" petition protesting a pending U.S. Federal judge's ruling that threatens to eliminate OPT STEM extensions altogether in February, the White House informed the 100k petition signers that they had the President's support, and pointed to the comment site for the proposed DHS OPT STEM rule workaround. Like the "We the People" petitioners, it's unclear whether the DHS commenters might represent corporate, university, and/or student interests, although a word cloud of the top 100 names of commenters (which accounted for 17,000+ comments) hints that international students are well-represented. By the way, in rejecting the 'emergency changes' that were enacted by DHS in 2008 to extend OPT for STEM students without public comment, Judge Ellen Huvelle said, "the 17-month duration of the STEM extension appears to have been adopted directly from the unanimous suggestions by Microsoft and similar industry groups." Wonder if the judge has seen the new book Sold Out, in which authors Michelle Malkin and John Miano suggest the judge may have been spot-on, as they trace the roots of the 'emergency' OPT change back to a 2007 dinner tete-a-tete between a top Microsoft lobbyist and DHS Chief Michael Chertoff at the DC mansion of the Washington Nationals owners.

Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own. -- Don Vonada