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Submission + - World's Smallest Optical Switch Uses a Single Atom (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The rapid and on-going development of micro-miniature optical electronic devices is helping to usher in a new era of photonic computers and light-based memories that promise super-fast processor speeds and ultra-secure communications. However, as these components are shrunk ever further, fundamental limits to their dimensions are dictated by the wavelength of light itself. Now researchers at ETH Zurich claim to have overcome this limitation by creating both the world's smallest optical switch using a single atom, and accompanying circuitry that appears to break the rules by being smaller than the wavelength of the light that passes through it.

Submission + - The average American will spend 43 days of his life on hold (marketwatch.com)

schwit1 writes: Americans will likely waste more than 900 million hours waiting on hold this year, according to an analysis of more than four million phone calls from consumers to businesses released this week by mobile advertising analytics firm Marchex. And a survey by text-message service TalkTo found that more than half of Americans say they spend 10 to 20 minutes every week — or 43 days of their life — on hold.

Submission + - GE the latest company to end production of compact fluorescent lamps (gereports.com)

AmiMoJo writes: General Electric is joining the ranks of lightbulb manufacturers that no longer manufacture compact flourescent lamps (CFLs), favouring LEDs instead. Huge reductions in the cost of LEDs, improvements in efficiency (and thus smaller power supplies) and better quality light are cited as the reasons for the move.

Submission + - Cisco To Acquire IoT Company For $1.4 Billion (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Cisco has announced its intention to spend $1.4 billion purchasing startup Jasper Technologies, Inc. which specialises in IoT connectivity. It's the most significant acquisition the tech multinational has made since its purchase of Wi-Fi manufacturer Meraki in 2012. In 2015 Cisco also acquired OpenDNS for $635 million, and with the Jasper acquisition seems committed to securing a major foothold in IoT infrastructure over the next five years.

Submission + - Julian Assange may surrender on Friday (twitter.com)

bestweasel writes: As reported by The Guardian and others, Julian Assange has announced via Wikileaks that:

“Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal. “However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”


Submission + - Senators blast Comcast, other cable firms for "unfair billing practices" (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Six Democratic US senators today criticized Comcast and other TV and broadband providers for charging erroneous fees, such as cable modem rental fees billed to customers who bought their own modems. The senators have written a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler asking the commission to "stop unfair billing practices.".....Last year, more than 30 percent of complaints to the FCC about Internet service and 38 percent of complaints about TV service were about billing...

Submission + - 27 Smart Devices That Have Open API (medium.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Internet of Things smart devices becoming a new normal for our daily lives. Seeing the demand on open source grew, It became clear that consumers don’t want to be limited to using devices from one specific vendor. The future will be more like a universe of small individual smart devices that can interact with each other creating the value that is beyond the imagination of their creators.

Submission + - Survey: Average Successful Hack Nets Less Than $15,000 (csoonline.com)

itwbennett writes: According to a Ponemon Institute survey, hackers make less than $15,000 per successful attack and net, on average, less than $29,000 a year. The average attacker conducts eight attacks per year, of which less than half are successful. Among the findings that will be of particular interest to defenders: Hackers prefer easy targets and will call off an attack if it is taking too long. According to the survey, 13 percent quit after a delay of five hours. A delay of 10 hours causes 24 percent to quit, a delay of 20 hours causes 36 to quit, and a majority of 60 percent will give up if an attack takes 40 additional hours. 'If you can delay them by two days, you can deter 60 percent of attacks,' said Scott Simkin, senior threat intelligence manager at Palo Alto Networks, which sponsored the study.

Comment Put this in Bluetooth (Score 1) 33

I keep hearing about how researchers are making faster and faster short-range wireless connections, but I can't remember any time they were able to put their research into practice. It would be neat if they were to incorporate it into the Bluetooth spec. As it is now, I either have to deal with a hit-or-miss wired connection with MTP, or an agonizingly slow Bluetooth FTP session.

Submission + - Severe And Unpatched eBay Vulnerability Allows Attackers To Distribute Malware

An anonymous reader writes: Check Point researchers have discovered a severe vulnerability in eBay’s online sales platform, which allows criminals to distribute malware and do phishing campaigns. This vulnerability allows attackers to bypass eBay's code validation and control the vulnerable code remotely, to execute malicious Javascript code on targeted eBay users.

Submission + - Sports Fans Take Huge Security Risks When Watching Illegal Streams

Mickeycaskill writes: Sports fans who watch events using illegal online streams are exposing their PCs and mobiles to serious security risks, according to the authors of the “first empirical study of free live streaming services.”

Much of the study of these streams has focused on the legal impact, with broadcasters and sports organisations keen to protect the value of the product. However the new report suggests 1 in 2 streams serve up malicious advertising intended to scam users, spread malware or install dangerous extensions.

The researchers say they have created an engine that can identify illegal streams, their location and the type of advertising carried. They say this can help rights holders detect copyright infringement and protect users.

Submission + - Microsoft makes Windows 10 a 'recommended update' for Windows 7 and 8.1 users (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Microsoft has been accused of pushing Windows 10 rather aggressively, and the company's latest move is going to do nothing to silence these accusations. For Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, Windows 10 just became a 'recommended update' in Windows Update.

This is a change from the previous categorization of the upgrade as an 'optional update' and it means that there is renewed potential for unwanted installations. After the launch of Windows 10, there were numerous reports of not only the automatic download of OS installation files, but also unrequested upgrades. The changed status of the update means that, on some machines, the installation of Windows 10 could start automatically.

Submission + - World's First Robot Operated Farm Coming Soon (techienews.co.uk)

TechnoidNash writes: We may be moving towards a future where robots are responsible for growing our food if a new factory in Japan is any indication of the direction that technology may take. Spread, a company based in Japan, has already been working on automating food production and is set to open a completely robotic farm in 2017.

Their current indoor farm in Kyoto produces 21,000 heads of lettuce a day using a very small human staff and a large amount of autonomous machinery. The new facility will completely eliminate the need for human involvement, replacing them with industrial robotics.

Indoor farming already has a number of advantages over the traditional model. Farming indoors eliminates the need for pesticides which can run off of fields and pollute local water supplies. In addition the crops grow faster and larger in a controlled indoor environment and it is possible to recycle up to 98% of the water being used. It will also lower costs for labor by half and energy use by a third.

Completely automating the process improves on this efficiency, allowing more food to be grown at a lower cost. The current projections suggest that the factory will be able to harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce a day, though Spread hopes to increase that figure to half a million within five years. The company predicts that the result of will be lower prices for consumers.

The future of robotic food production looks promising. The traditional mode of agriculture is both labor and resource intensive, as well as damaging to the environment. Spread has plans to build new factories around the world, which could signal a move towards a future where food is plentiful and widely available due to automated farming techniques.

So what do you think? Would you eat food grown by a robot? Does the idea concern you? Let us know in the comments.

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