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+ - Foxconn offers Electric Car rental service in China->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: The world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn), plans to expand its electric-car rental business in ten more cities in China after the business started in Beijing last year

Since the beginning of this year, Hon Hai has launched similar services in Hangzhou and Changzhou in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu respectively. Guiyang in southwest Guizhou province will start operations with 100 electric vehicles in July

The electric-car rental service is activated through the company's smartphone app, website and the WeChat platform. Customers will be able to use the car with a QR code sent to their smartphones after orders are confirmed. The company works with Alipay for online payment

The new-generation electric vehicles will be equipped with internet connectivity which warns drivers of low battery and shows the nearest charging station beforehand. The first priority is to solve charging problems for users, the company said

Also on http://www.digitimes.com/news/...


Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix Is Experimenting with Advertising ->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead writes: Netflix is experimenting with advertisements that run both before and after users watch a video. It's unclear whether or not the company will eventually push ads to everyone.

For now, the company is primarily experimenting with the HBO model of pitching its own original programming to viewers. The company is only showing trailers for shows like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards—it has not attempted to sell third party ads, and the company told me that, for the moment, only specific users in specific markets are seeing ads.

Link to Original Source

+ - Cybersecurity and the Tylenol Murders

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Cindy Cohn writes at EFF that when a criminal started lacing Tylenol capsules with cyanide in 1982, Johnson & Johnson quickly sprang into action to ensure consumer safety. It increased its internal production controls, recalled the capsules, offered an exchange for tablets, and within two months started using triple-seal tamper-resistant packaging. Congress ultimately passed an anti-tampering law but the focus of the response from both the private and the public sector was on ensuring that consumers remained safe and secure, rather than on catching the perpetrator. Indeed, the person who did the tampering was never caught.

According to Cohn the story of the Tylenol murders comes to mind as Congress considers the latest cybersecurity and data breach bills. To folks who understand computer security and networks, it's plain that the key problem are our vulnerable infrastructure and weak computer security, much like the vulnerabilities in Johnson & Johnson’s supply chain in the 1980s. As then, the failure to secure our networks, the services we rely upon, and our individual computers makes it easy for bad actors to step in and “poison” our information. The way forward is clear: We need better incentives for companies who store our data to keep it secure. "Yet none of the proposals now in Congress are aimed at actually increasing the safety of our data. Instead, the focus is on “information sharing,” a euphemism for more surveillance of users and networks," writes Cohn. "These bills are not only wrongheaded, they seem to be a cynical ploy to use the very real problems of cybersecurity to advance a surveillance agenda, rather than to actually take steps to make people safer." Congress could step in and encourage real security for users—by creating incentives for greater security, a greater downside for companies that fail to do so and by rewarding those companies who make the effort to develop stronger security. "It's as if the answer for Americans after the Tylenol incident was not to put on tamper-evident seals, or increase the security of the supply chain, but only to require Tylenol to “share” its customer lists with the government and with the folks over at Bayer aspirin," concludes Cohn. "We wouldn’t have stood for such a wrongheaded response in 1982, and we shouldn’t do so now."

Comment: Re:Seems to Be a Pattern of Behavior (Score 1) 343

by timothy (#49816373) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

Y'know, a "tl;dr" line for every single story would be interesting -- good idea. I'm going to put that is as a feature request. I think that would be a cool thing on many sites, actually; it would be a cool thing if more newsy/texty sites had a checkbox to turn on that feature.

And I wish idiotic clickbait image ads (the "You'll never believe which naked celebrity said you should eat this one weird vegetable ..." ones) came with it, too, you could could at least kill the curiosity by knowing the answer to their tease questions. "It's Roseanne Barr! And the weird vegetable is just Boy Choi, nothing all that weird!"

+ - New Wind Turbine Has No Blades

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The Guardian reports that Vortex Bladeless has developed a new bladeless wind turbine that promises to be more efficient, less visually intrusive, and safer for birdlife than conventional turbines. Using the principle of natural frequency and vorticity, the turbine oscillates in swirling air caused by the wind bypassing the mast, and then builds exponentially as it reaches the structure’s natural resonance. It’s a powerful effect that famously caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, footage of which inspired David Yáñez to try to build a structure to harness this energy rather than prevent it. The turbine “floats” on magnets, which as well as significantly amplifying the oscillation, also eliminates any friction and the need for expensive lubricating oils or mechanical parts. “Wind turbines now are too noisy for people’s backyard,” says David Suriol. “We want to bring wind power generation to people’s houses like solar power.”

On the minus side the oscillating turbine design will sweep a smaller area and have a lower conversion efficiency. “The best wind turbine will collect around 50% of energy from the wind,” says Suriol. “We are close to 40% with bladeless turbines in our wind tunnel laboratory.” To offset this disadvantage, "you can put four, five or six 4kW turbines in the space of one conventional turbine, which need 5 meter diameter space around them,” he says. In fact, wind tunnel tests have shown they perform even better placed closer together as they benefit from the vortices each of them creates.
SourceForge

SourceForge and GIMP [Updated] 343

Posted by Soulskill
from the yelling-on-the-internet dept.
New submitter tresf writes: In response to a Google+ post from the Gimp project claiming that "[Sourceforge] is now distributing an ads-enabled installer of GIMP," Sourceforge had this response: "In cases where a project is no longer actively being maintained, SourceForge has in some cases established a mirror of releases that are hosted elsewhere. This was done for GIMP-Win.

Submitter's note: Gimp is actively being maintained and the definition of "mirror" is quite misleading here as a modified binary is no longer a verbatim copy. Download statistics for Gimp on Windows show SourceForge as offering over 1,000 downloads per day of the Gimp software.

In an official response to this incident, the official Gimp project team reminds users to use official download methods. Slashdotters may remember the last time news like this surfaced (2013) when the Gimp team decided to move downloads from SourceForge to their own FTP service. "Therefore, we remind you again that GIMP only provides builds for Windows via its official Downloads page." Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
Editor's note: I just got back from a busy weekend to see that a bunch of people are freaking out that we're "burying" this story, so here it is. Go hog wild. Sorry it took so long. (And for future reference, user submissions are easily found in the firehose, listed in the order they appear, newest first.)

Update: 06/01 22:37 GMT by T : The SourceForge blog has a welcome update; SourceForge, it says, has effective today "stopped presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects. ... At this time, we present third party offers only with a few projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or if the project is already bundling third party offers."
Patents

Khan Academy Seeks Patents On Learning Computer Programming, Social Programming 83

Posted by timothy
from the well-that-sounds-bad dept.
theodp writes: When it announced its brand new Computer Science platform in August 2012, Khan Academy explained it drew inspiration from both Bret Victor and GitHub (SlideShare). Still, that didn't stop Khan Academy from eventually seeking patents on its apparently Victor-inspired Methods and Systems for Learning Computer Programming and GitHub-inspired Systems and Methods for Social Programming, applications for which were quietly disclosed by the USPTO earlier this year. Silicon Valley legal powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which provides a pro bono team of 20+ to assist billionaire-backed Khan Academy with its legal needs, filed provisional patent applications for KA in August 2013 — provisional applications can be filed up to 12 months following an inventor's public disclosure of the invention — giving it another 12 months before formal claims had to be filed (KA's non-provisional applications were filed in August 2014).

+ - Khan Academy Seeks Patents on Learning Computer Programming, Social Programming

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: When it announced its brand new Computer Science platform in August 2012, Khan Academy explained it drew inspiration from both Bret Victor and GitHub (SlideShare). Still, that didn't stop Khan Academy from eventually seeking patents on its apparently Victor-inspired Methods and Systems for Learning Computer Programming and GitHub-inspired Systems and Methods for Social Programming, applications for which were quietly disclosed by the USPTO earlier this year. Silicon Valley legal powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which provides a pro bono team of 20+ to assist billionaire-backed Khan Academy with its legal needs, filed provisional patent applications for KA in August 2013 — provisional applications can be filed up to 12 months following an inventor's public disclosure of the invention — giving it another 12 months before formal claims had to be filed (KA's non-provisional applications were filed in August 2014).
Communications

Tor Connections To Hidden Services Could Be Easy To De-Anonymize 43

Posted by timothy
from the they-see-what-you-did-there dept.
angry tapir writes with news of a report presented Friday at Hack In The Box which outlines a counterintuitive fact about Tor: Identifying users who access Tor hidden services — websites that are only accessible inside the Tor anonymity network — is easier than de-anonymizing users who use Tor to access regular Internet websites. That's because the addresses of the Hidden Service Directories (HSDirs) used to index those Tor-network-only sites, though shuffled daily, can be predicted (and hijacked) with cheap brute-force techniques. "The researchers managed to place their own nodes as the 6 HSDirs for facebookcorewwwi.onion, Facebook's official site on the Tor network, for the whole day on Thursday. They still held 4 of the 6 spots on Friday. Brute-forcing the key for each node took only 15 minutes on a MacBook Pro and running the Tor relays themselves cost US$62 on Amazon's EC2 service.
Security

Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits 77

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-mac-it's-safe dept.
Bismillah writes that a new vulnerability in recent Macs — and potentially older ones — can be used to plant code such as rootkits into areas of EFI memory that shouldn't be writeable, but become unlocked after the computer wakes up from sleep mode. The article explains that [The vulnerability] appears to be due to a bug in Apple's sleep-mode energy conservation implementation that can leave areas of memory in the extensible firmware interface (EFI) (which provides low-level hardware control and access) writeable from user accounts on the computer. Memory areas are normally locked as read-only to protect them. However, putting some late-model Macs to sleep for around 20 seconds and then waking them up unlocks the EFI memory for writing.

Comment: Re: Um...210k? And 3 months? (Score 1) 226

See that's the thing, you chose to live in London. You could have taken a job somewhere with cheaper housing, but for you, being in London was more important than having more space. It's a tradeoff. For me, having more space is more important, because many of the things I do (both for fun and to make money) require a lot of space on an ongoing basis. This is why I don't live in a city that's so big that a postage-stamp-sized piece of land costs ten thousand bucks. :-)

Either way, you kind of missed my point, which is that it isn't necessarily true that a family of 5 can't derive significant usability benefits from having 5,000 square feet. Whether the extra space is wasted or not depends highly on what sorts of activities the family wants to do when they aren't at work/school, and whether they can readily achieve those goals in less space.

Comment: Re:Um...210k? And 3 months? (Score 1) 226

The industrial printer because I have a side business doing book publishing. I've found no print shops in the area that can handle one-off large-format printing for doing proofs of hardcover dust jackets, hence the only way to usefully get books out the door was to buy a giant beast.

As for the exercise equipment, most days of the week, I work until the early evening, then have musical rehearsals that keep me up for several more hours. Having that equipment in my house is the only way I have a prayer of getting any exercise at all.

Take an astronaut to launch.

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