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Submission + - Another indiegogo leaving campaigners empty handed? (yle.fi)

jbernardo writes: After yesterday's news on the ZANO crowd-fund collapse, another huge crowd-funding effort seems to be ending badly too — Jolla's tablet (Finnish news here).

It would seem that Jolla has spend the 2.5M funding, as well as the extra funding obtained during the September/October round of pre-orders. Since the campaign, Jolla has gone through the split into hardware and software companies, has changed the screen of the not so original tablet, has chased suppliers and manufacturers, but more important has failed to communicate with backers, only doing vague promises on delivery waves.

The split into hardware and software companies looks more suspicious now, as it will allow the hardware decision to fail, leaving backers and creditors empty handed, while the software company continues unscathed.

The situation isn't a complete surprise, as some key employees had already left Jolla, with the CTO announcing his departure via twitter two days ago.

Submission + - FireEye: Many Companies Still Running XcodeGhost-Infected Apple Apps (csoonline.com)

itwbennett writes: In September, more than 4,000 applications were found to have been modified with a counterfeit version of Xcode, dubbed XcodeGhost. On Tuesday, FireEye said in a blog post that it has detected 210 enterprises that are still using infected apps, showing that the XcodeGhost malware 'is a persistent security risk.' In addition, whomever created XcodeGhost has also developed a new version that can target iOS 9, called XcodeGhost S, FireEye wrote.

Submission + - UK High Court: Uber is Lawful (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's High Court has been hearing a case brought against ridesharing service Uber by Transport for London, the government body in charge of public transport in London. Their claim was that Uber drivers' smartphone should be considered meters because they use GPS and data from external servers to calculate the cost of a ride. Meters are banned in private hire vehicles (and TfL's claims were backed by associations for local taxi drivers and private hire cars). The High Court has found that Uber does not run afoul of that ban. Justice Ouseley said that the technology was fundamentally different from standard taxi meters. Transport for London welcomed the decision, but transportation lobbyists are likely to continue challenging Uber in court whenever they can.

Submission + - SPAM: Sony just revealed a limited-edition gold PS4 console for the US

Zacharynicholas writes: Taco Bell is holding a contest to give away PlayStation 4 bundles that include a console, controller, PS Plus, and the “Uncharted” remaster. To be more specific, starting September 24, 2015, each time you visit Taco Bell and purchase a Big Box meal – any Big Box meal, it doesn’t matter which one – you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind code while supplies last.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - U.K. researcher applies for permission to edit embryo genomes (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: A researcher in London has applied to the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for a license to edit the genes of human embryos. Several techniques developed in recent years allow researchers to easily and accurately add, delete, or modify genes in cells. This has stirred debate about using genome editing in ways that would pass the changes on to future generations. The application filed with HFEA would involve only embryos in the lab, however, not any intended to lead to a birth. Many scientists say such lab experiments are crucial to understanding more about early human development, which could lead to new approaches to help infertile couples.

Submission + - Invisibility cloak makes small objects disappear, military uses envisaged (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers are developing an invisibility cloak which conforms to the shape of an object and hides it in visible light. The microscopic material, developed by a team of scientists at the University of California (UC) Berkeley and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Berkeley National Laboratory, is made from an ultra-thin 80 nanometer layer of gold rectangular nanoantennae from which the light is reflected. Once perfected at macro scale, the researchers believe that the technology could be made to conceal objects such as military vehicles and aircraft.

Submission + - Microsoft has built a Linux distro (microsoft.com)

jbernardo writes: Microsoft has built a Linux distro, and is using it for their Azure data centres:
"It is a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on Linux"
Apparently, the existing SDN (Software Defined Network) implementations didn't fit on Microsoft's plans for the ACS (Azure Cloud Switch), so they decided to roll their own infrastructure. No explanation why they settled on Linux, though — could it be that there is no windows variant that would fit the bill?
On other news, Lucifer has been heard complaining of the sudden cold.

Submission + - Private Medical Data of Over 1.5 Million People Exposed Through Amazon (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Police injury reports, drug tests, detailed doctor visit notes, social security numbers—all were inexplicably unveiled on a public subdomain of Amazon Web Services. Welcome to the next big data breach horrorshow. Instead of hackers, it’s old-fashioned neglect that exposed your most sensitive information.


Submission + - Wasps have injected new genes into butterflies (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: If you’re a caterpillar, you do not want to meet a parasitic wasp. The winged insect will inject you full of eggs, which will grow inside your body, develop into larvae, and hatch from your corpse. But a new study reveals that wasps have given caterpillars something beneficial during these attacks as well: pieces of viral DNA that become part of the caterpillar genome, protecting them against an entirely different lethal virus. In essence, the wasps have turned caterpillars into genetically modified organisms.

Submission + - Up close with Nintendo's Pokémon Go Plus wearable (blogspot.com)

jaan1 writes: Pokémon Go isn't the first Pokémon title to come out on mobile devices, but it's by far the most unusual — unusual enough that The Pokémon Company decided to hold a rare press conference in Tokyo today to explain the concept. The game is developed by Niantic, the former Google internal startup behind GPS-powered AR game Ingress, and the idea is for players to collect and battle Pokémon by exploring the real world.

Submission + - Spoofing driverless cars with a laser pointer and a Raspberry PI (theregister.co.uk)

KindMind writes: The Register writes: Jonathan Petit, of Security Innovation, says $60 worth of laser with a bit of smarts makes cars sense phantom obstacles and hit the brakes, by interfering with the LIDAR (light-radar) sensors they use to detect and avoid objects around them. Petit says his laser pointer system could target cars from up to 100 metres away, emulating a wall or pedestrian to force vehicles to slam on brakes or swerve.

Submission + - We don't know what 99% of dark matter is, but we've got 1%!

StartsWithABang writes: When Fritz Zwicky first calculated what the mass of a galaxy cluster needed to be to keep its galaxies moving at the observed speeds and compared it with the masses due to the starlight he saw, there was a huge discrepancy. The amount of gravity in the Universe, when compared to the amount of visible matter, didn’t match. Adding up all the known sources of normal matter didn’t quite get us there, either: only one-sixth of the matter can be made of protons, neutrons and electrons. The other 83% or so must be some form of dark matter, which is yet undiscovered. Well, except for around 1% of it, which we actually know must be in the form of neutrinos.

Submission + - Scientists may have just stumbled upon a mathematical secret to how nature works (washingtonpost.com)

turkeydance writes: By conducting an analysis of more than a thousand studies worldwide, researchers found a common theme in just about every ecosystem across the globe: Predators don’t increase in numbers at the same rate as their prey. In fact, the faster you add prey to an ecosystem, the slower predators’ numbers grow.

“When you double your prey, you also increase your predators, but not to the same extent,” says Ian Hatton, a biologist and the study’s lead author. “Instead they grow at a much diminished rate in comparison to prey.” This was true for large carnivores on the African savanna all the way down to the tiniest microbe-munching fish in the ocean.

Even more intriguing, the researchers noticed that the ratio of predators to prey in all of these ecosystems could be predicted by the same mathematical function — in other words, the way predator and prey numbers relate to each other is the same for different species all over the world.

Submission + - NYC Schools Chancellor: It Takes a Corporation to Raise a Girl Who Codes

theodp writes: New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and AT&T New York president Marissa Shorenstein followed up on an AT&T press release celebrating the "graduation" of 20 participants from the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at AT&T with a NY Daily News op-ed on How New York City is preparing girls for our STEM-focused future. "By embedding students in tech companies around the country," Farina and Shorenstein write in their op-ed, "Girls Who Code is bringing us one step closer towards closing the gender gap in tech — and in STEM altogether." They add, "We need even more public-private STEM partnerships that provide internships and other academic activities to empower a new generation of girls."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Buying a Car That's Safe From Hackers? (bloombergview.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I'm in the market for a new car, and I've been going through the typical safety checklist: airbag coverage, crash test results, collision mitigation system, etc. Unfortunately, it seems 2015 is the year we really have to add a new one to the list: hackability. Over the past several weeks we've seen security researchers remotely cut brakes, shut down a Tesla's computer, unlock a bunch of cars, intercept Onstar, and take over a Jeep from 10 miles away.

So, how do we go about buying a car with secure systems? An obvious answer would be to buy a car with limited or archaic computer control systems — but doing so probably comes with the trade-off of losing other modern safety technology. Is there a way to properly evaluate whether one car's systems are more secure than another's? Most safety standards are the result of strict regulation — is it time for the government to roll out legislation that will enforce safety standards for car computers as well?

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