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Submission + - Tesla Bans 'Rude' Customer From Buying Car (

mrspoonsi writes: A customer who complained about the boss of electric car firm Tesla has had his order for one of their cars cancelled.

Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop says Tesla dropped his order for a Model X SUV because of an earlier blog post in which he criticised Tesla chief executive Elon Musk. In it, he'd complained that September's Model X launch event started two hours late, and no food was provided to guests. As a result, his order for the car was cancelled by Tesla. In a Twitter post, Mr Musk said Mr Alsop was "denied service" for being a "super-rude customer". "When I wrote a blog post about my BMW X1 called “My Car Makes Me Feel Stoopid”, the CEO of BMW didn’t take the car back.

Submission + - Volvo promises 'death-proof' cars by 2020 (

mrspoonsi writes: Volvo, which produces some of the safest cars in the world, is pledging that by 2020 no one will be killed or injured by a new vehicle it manufactures.

The Swedish manufacturer had no reported deaths in its XC90 in the US last year, showing that some of its cars are already preventing deaths on the road.

Volvo would like this statistic to be true for the whole range and not just the XC90, and with the development of new accident avoidance technologies, the Swedish car giant believes it can achieve this goal.

CEO of Volvo's North American division Lex Kressemakers said: "If you meet Swedish engineers, they're pretty genuine. They don't say things when they don't believe it."

New and more accurate safety technologies — such as collision avoidance, pedestrian detection and auto lane-keeping assist — would also help the development of autonomous cars, which some manufacturers, such as Volvo, are hoping to release by 2020.

Submission + - Evidence of huge ninth planet found in solar system

mrspoonsi writes: Scientists have found evidence of a ninth planet in the solar system which is travelling on a bizarre elongated orbit.

The body, which has been dubbed 'Planet Nine' is 10 times the mass of Earth and takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years to orbit the Sun. It is so big that researchers have branded it 'the most planety planet of the solar system.'

It was found by researchers at the California Institute of Technology who were puzzled as to why 13 objects in the Kuiper Belt — an area beyond Pluto — were all moving together as if being 'lassooed' by the gravity of a huge object. After running computer simulations to see what was having an effect they found that only a massive planet could be causing the strange movement. The Astronomer Royal Prof Sir Martin Rees said that telescopes should be able to see the planet. "If it exists, it should be detectable," said Prof Rees. "So we must wait until searches with big telescopes have been carried out.

Submission + - Donald Trump says he's going to make Apple build computers in the US

mrspoonsi writes: If elected, presidential candidate Donald Trump plans to make Apple start "building their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries." Trump's ultimatum to the most valuable company in the world was made towards the end of a 45-minute speech he gave at Liberty University in Virginia on Monday. The most popular candidate in the Republican party said he would impose a 35% business tax on American businesses manufacturing outside of the United States. Apple has manufactured its Mac Pro at a factory in Texas since 2013, but the vast majority of its products (including the iPhone) are largely made and assembled in China. How Trump would force Apple's supply chain, which relies heavily on a vast network of suppliers and large factories throughout Asia, to be brought stateside remains unknown. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently called the U.S. tax code "awful for America."

Submission + - Log into most any Linux system by hitting backspace 28 times

mrspoonsi writes: Security researchers have discovered a ludicrously simple way to hack into a number of Linux distributions: Just tap the backspace key 28 times in a row. A team from the Cybersecurity Group at Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) in Spain found that doing so for builds utilizing the ubiquitous Grub2 bootloader — that's to say just about all of them — immediately bypasses the lock screen, initiates the "Grub rescue shell" and grants the user access to the system for whatever nefarious things they have in mind. The team found that the backspace trick triggers a memory error, which in turn launches the rescue shell.

Submission + - Yahoo burned through $3B on M&A, which are all worthless 1

mrspoonsi writes: On Monday morning, Eric Jackson, manager of hedge fund SpringOwl, sent a brutal 99-page presentation to Yahoo's board, outlining his case for why the company should drop Marissa Mayer as CEO and find new management. Jackson points out that Yahoo has burned through $3 billion on M&A in the past three years since Mayer took the reins, which contributes to $10 billion in what Jackson calls Yahoo's misallocated capital. The value of all of those startups Yahoo has acquired, Jackson says, is worth nothing at Yahoo's current stock price. Jackson also points out that Yahoo has a history of buying up startups run by former Google APM members. While at Google, Mayer started the company's elite associate product-manager program. Of the 49 acquisitions Yahoo has made under Mayer's leadership, six were startups founded by ex-Googlers. The total cost of these six acquisitions is $319 million, according to Jackson's slide deck. Yahoo bought Polyvore in July for $230 million. Polyvore, a social commerce site that lets users make artistic collages of clothes and accessories...But Jackson does not mince words when it comes to Yahoo's decision to spend shareholder money acquiring Polyvore and companies like it.

"It's not acceptable to pay $230M for zombie companies run by former APM members," he says, pointing out that Polyvore had raised $22 million in VC funding, was 8 years old, and had gone through multiple pivots. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a goner until Yahoo bought it.

Submission + - NHTSA toughens crash test rating standards

mrspoonsi writes: U.S. regulators are overhauling the process of assigning safety ratings to new vehicles by proposing requiring more crash-avoidance technologies to achieve a perfect score and adopting new crash-test dummies to assess performance. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Tuesday proposed revising the current ratings system from a single overall score of 1 to 5 into a multifaceted scorecard that would include the score on crash-avoidance systems and a mark for pedestrian safety. Currently, NHTSA ranks cars simply based on crash-worthiness. Five stars is a perfect rating. The number of deaths on U.S. roadways fell to a record-low, based on incidents per miles driven, of 32,675 fatalities in 2014. But an 8% uptick in deaths in the first half of 2015 fueled concern that progress on vehicle safety may have stalled. Under the current system, which hasn't been updated in several years, more than 90% of vehicles earn a rating of at least 4 stars.

Submission + - Zero Day vBulletin Hack

mrspoonsi writes: vBulletin has been hacked by a zero day SQL injection hack. Apparently the database for has been downloaded (perhaps including credit card details), is down, as is Foxit have also had their vBulletin site hacked also. Full details:

All sites running vBulletin v5 are at risk, and possibly v3 and v4, the hack allows shell access.

Submission + - Morrissey claims sex assault by security at US airport

mrspoonsi writes: British singer Morrissey has claimed he was sexually assaulted by a security officer at San Francisco International Airport, who he says "groped" him. "I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up 'scanner', and all was well — no bleeps and nothing unusual," wrote Morrissey. "Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an 'airport security officer' who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles." The singer — who has now filed a sexual assault complaint — also detailed an exchange with the security officer who he said was challenged over "sexually groping" him. Morrissey said he replied to each statement with "that's just your opinion." An official spokesman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) said security camera footage confirmed that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. "TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," said TSA spokesman Mike England. "Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual." He added that the arrival of a second person to screen Morrissey was normal, and helped "to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives concealed under clothing."

Submission + - Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May making show for Amazon

mrspoonsi writes: Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed up to present a new show on Amazon's streaming video service. The trio will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season to be made available worldwide in 2016. The move follows their departure from the hit BBC Two show earlier this year. Clarkson's contract was not renewed following an "unprovoked physical attack" on a Top Gear producer. His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show. They will now make the unnamed new programme with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the "fracas". In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: "I feel like I've climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship."

Submission + - Microsoft's Windows 10 now live

mrspoonsi writes: Right on schedule, Microsoft has begun prompting users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade their machines to Windows 10. The process has begun in the parts of the world where it is already July 29th; this includes China. The company began taking reservations for Windows 10 back in June, and as we reported earlier this morning, it is already starting to pre-load the OS on to those machines. While not everyone will get the OS tomorrow through the upgrade program, it does appear that there will be quite a few users who will be able to install the OS as a free upgrade on the 29th. Windows 10 is expected to be installed on a billion devices within the next three years and to achieve that milestone, they will need to upgrade a significant number of devices to the new OS from Windows 7 or 8.1.

Submission + - Siri "Charge my phone to 100%" calls 911

mrspoonsi writes: After much fanfare and publicity on the company's part, Apple's conception of a personal assistant is now ingrained in popular culture; you won't be able to find a comedy show without at least one joke about Siri and for good reason. Using natural language to communicate with our gadgets is still a relatively new technology and, as a result, often leads to particularly hilarious situations. Today, we have the latest in a string of bizarre responses by the virtual assistant. Tell Siri to "charge my phone to 100%" and she will immediately call 911, giving you just 5 seconds of respite to stop the virtual assistant from sending out an SOS. There is no official word on what the cause of this is but the two possibilities are that it's either a bug or a hidden function that allows you to call the police in an emergency. There has been no official communication from Apple referring to such a feature, however.

Submission + - Hadron Collider discovers new particle 1

mrspoonsi writes: Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have announced the discovery of a new particle called the pentaquark. It was first predicted to exist in the 1960s but, much like the Higgs boson particle before it, the pentaquark eluded science for decades until its detection at the LHC. The discovery, which amounts to a new form of matter, was made by the Hadron Collider's LHCb experiment. During the mid-2000s, several teams claimed to have detected pentaquarks, but their discoveries were subsequently undermined by other experiments. "There is quite a history with pentaquarks, which is also why we were very careful in putting this paper forward," Patrick Koppenburg, physics co-ordinator for LHCb at Cern, told BBC News. "It's just the word 'pentaquark' which seems to be cursed somehow because there have been many discoveries that were then superseded by new results that showed that previous ones were actually fluctuations and not real signals." LHCb spokesperson Guy Wilkinson commented: "The pentaquark is not just any new particle It represents a way to aggregate quarks, namely the fundamental constituents of ordinary protons and neutrons, in a pattern that has never been observed before in over fifty years of experimental searches. The LHC powered up again in April following a two-year shutdown to complete a programme of repairs and upgrades.

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