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Google

Investors Ask How Much Google Spends On Lobbying 1

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-us-a-number dept.
Taco Cowboy writes: It has been estimated that Google has spent over $60 million on lobbying in Washington D.C. this year alone, and that figure does not include the money that Google gives to various trade organizations and "third party" groups. According to CNN: "On its website, Google lists 43 trade associations that it belongs to, such as the Ad Council and National Cyber Security Alliance, although it says that is a 'representative listing' and Google doesn't indicate how much money it gives these organizations. Google also has links to over 100 third-party groups like the AARP, Heritage Foundation and iKeepSafe that it 'provides support to.'" A group of Google investors are demanding that Google owns up to what they spend on and how much, and their push stems from one thing, and that thing is mainly connected to political correctness. It's public knowledge that Google contributes to the US Chamber of Commerce, and to some quarters, "the Chamber" is suffering from "Climate Change Denial Symptom" and they are doing their best to cut off any funding to "the Chamber" from Google.
Transportation

Virginia Wants Your Self-Driving Cars 22

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-mom-no-hands dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: In a bid to help Google (and presumably other companies) test out their next-generation automobiles, the state of Virginia has reportedly opened up 70 miles of highway, overseen by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), to self-driving cars. Portions of Virginia's highways—most notably Interstates 95 and 495—are notoriously congested, which could present any self-driving vehicles with a real challenge. The state government has stipulated that any automated car will need a human driver at the wheel to take over in case of malfunction or emergency. California, Nevada, and a handful of other states already have roadways reserved for autonomous-car use. As one Virginia state official acknowledged to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, opening public infrastructure to new technology is seen as a way to attract top tech talent and companies. (Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. are already widely viewed as a tech hub, powered to a large degree by federal money.)
AMD

AMD Launches Carrizo Mobile APU With Excavator CPU Cores, Integrated Southbridge 14

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-at-the-numbers dept.
MojoKid writes: AMD previously only teased bits of detail regarding their forthcoming 6th Generation A-Series APU, code named "Carrizo," as far back as CES 2015 in January and more recently with AMD's HSA (Heterogenous System Architecture) 1.0 spec roll-out in March. However, the company has officially launched the product today and has lifted the veil on all aspects of their new highly integrated notebook APU. Carrizo has been optimized for the 15 Watt TDP envelope that comprises the bulk of the thin and light notebook market currently and it brings a couple of first to integrated notebook chip designs. AMD's Carrizo APU is the first SoC architecture to fully support the HSA 1.0 specification, allowing full memory coherency of a shared memory space for both CPU and GPU up to 32GB. It's also the first integrated chip to include full support in hardware for H.265/HEVC HD video decoding and finally, Carizzo is also the first AMD APU to have a full integrated, in silicon, Southbridge controller block. So, with its CPU, GPU, memory controller, Northbridge, Southbridge, and PCIe 3.0 links, Carrizo is truly a fully integrated System On A Chip. The company is claiming a 39% CPU performance lift (combination clock speed and IPC) and up to a 65% in graphics, versus their previous generation Kaveri APU. AMD notes laptops from major vendors will begin shipping in the next few weeks.
Technology

Making an AR-15 In the Wired San Francisco Office 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the point-click-and-shoot dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Wired's writer Andy Greenberg writes about his experience fabricating an AR-15 lower receiver with the Ghost Gunner CNC mill. (That's the same device that was demoed in a Slashdot video earlier this year.) Greenberg points out that CNC millng isn't new, but reports nonetheless: "Aside from a single brief hardware hiccup, it worked remarkably well. In fact, the Ghost Gunner worked so well that it may signal a new era in the gun control debate, one where the barrier to legally building an untraceable, durable, and deadly semiautomatic rifle has reached an unprecedented low point in cost and skill."
Television

Showtime Announces Subscription-Free Streaming Plan 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-streams dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Following in HBO's footsteps, Showtime has announced that it is launching a stand-alone streaming service in mid-July. Simply called "Showtime," the service will launch through a partnership with Apple and costs $10.99 a month. "Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers," said CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement about the deal. "Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology. This works best when you have outstanding premium content – like we do at Showtime – and when you have a terrific partner like Apple – which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base," he added.
Music

Apple Recalls Beats Pill XL Speakers As Fire Risk 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the hot-sounds dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has released a voluntary recall announcement for the Beats Pill XL range of speakers, advising customers that the rechargeable device is a fire risk, and advising them to stop using the devices immediately. Apple bought the manufacturers out in 2014 after the successful release of the XL speaker range in November 2013. The announcement reads in part: "Because customer safety is the company’s top priority, Apple is asking customers to stop using their Beats Pill XL speakers. Customers who purchased a Beats Pill XL speaker should visit www.apple.com/support/beats-pillxl-recall for details about how to return their product to Apple, and how to receive an Apple Store credit or electronic payment of $325."
Science

LHC Restarts High-Energy Quest For Exotic Physics 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-for-the-unknown dept.
astroengine writes: It's official: After a long 27 month hiatus for upgrades and a 2 month restart, the world's largest particle accelerator is back in the particle collision business. As of 10:40 a.m. CET (5:40 a.m. ET), the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was running at record-breaking energies and collecting science data. Physicists now expect the particle collider to run non-stop for the next 3 years. We are in a new era of high-energy particle physics where, for the first time, we don't exactly know what we'll find. "With the LHC back in the collision-production mode, we celebrate the end of two months of beam commissioning," said CERN Director of Accelerators and Technology Frédérick Bordry in a press release. "It is a great accomplishment and a rewarding moment for all of the teams involved in the work performed during the long shutdown of the LHC, in the powering tests and in the beam commissioning process. All these people have dedicated so much of their time to making this happen."

+ - Showtime Announces Subscription-Free Streaming Plan

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Following in HBO’s footsteps, Showtime has announced that it is launching a stand-alone streaming service in mid-July. Simply called "Showtime," the service will launch through a partnership with Apple and costs $10.99 a month. “Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers,” said CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves in a statement about the deal. “Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology. This works best when you have outstanding premium content – like we do at Showtime – and when you have a terrific partner like Apple – which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base,” he added.
Transportation

US Airport Screeners Missed 95% of Weapons, Explosives In Undercover Tests 336

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
An anonymous reader writes: An internal investigation by the TSA found that 95% of agents testing airport checkpoints were able to bring weapons through. In one case, an alarm sounded, but during the pat down, the screener failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to the undercover agent's back. ABC reports: "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests. 'Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,' the DHS said in a written statement to ABC News."

+ - US airport screeners missed 95% of weapons, explosives in undercover tests

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: An internal investigation by the TSA found that 95% of those testing airport checkpoints were able to bring weapons through at dozens of airports. In one case, an alarm sounded, but during the pat down, the screener failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to the undercover agent's back. ABC reports: "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests. 'Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,' the DHS said in a written statement to ABC News."
Facebook

Facebook Now Supports PGP To Send You Encrypted Emails 138

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: You can now have Facebook encrypt email it sends to you by adding your PGP key to your profile. The PGP feature is "experimental" and will be rolled out slowly. The announcement reads in part: "...today we are gradually rolling out an experimental new feature that enables people to add OpenPGP public keys to their profile; these keys can be used to 'end-to-end' encrypt notification emails sent from Facebook to your preferred email accounts. People may also choose to share OpenPGP keys from their profile, with or without enabling encrypted notifications."

+ - Facebook Now Supports PGP To Send You Encrypted Emails

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: You can now have Facebook encrypt email it sends to you by adding your PGP key to your profile. The PGP feature is "experimental" and will be rolled out slowly. The announcement reads in part: "...today we are gradually rolling out an experimental new feature that enables people to add OpenPGP public keys to their profile; these keys can be used to 'end-to-end' encrypt notification emails sent from Facebook to your preferred email accounts. People may also choose to share OpenPGP keys from their profile, with or without enabling encrypted notifications."
The Almighty Buck

Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the breaking-it-down dept.
Lasrick writes: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has launched a very cool new tool that will excite anyone interested in understanding the per kilowatt cost of nuclear energy. Developed over the last two years in a partnership between the Bulletin and the University of Chicago, the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator estimates the cost of electricity produced by three configurations of the nuclear fuel cycle:

1. The once-through fuel cycle used in most US nuclear power plants, in which uranium fuel is used once and then stored for later disposal.
2. A limited-recycle mode in which a mix of uranium and plutonium (that is, mixed oxide, or MOX) is used to fuel a light water reactor.
3. A full-recycle system, which uses a fast neutron spectrum reactor that can be configured to 'breed' plutonium that can subsequently be used as either nuclear fuel or weapons material.

This online tool lets users test how sensitive the price of electricity is to a full range of components—more than 60 parameters that can be adjusted for the three configurations of the nuclear fuel cycle considered. The results provide nuanced cost assessments for the reprocessing of nuclear fuel and can serve as the basis for discussions among government officials, industry leaders, and public interest groups.
Businesses

Nokia Shifts To Selling Back-End Systems To Mobile Networks 40

Posted by samzenpus
from the trying-something-different dept.
jfruh writes: With Nokia's handset business now sold off to Microsoft, you might be wondering what the remainder of the company does, exactly. The company is trying to use its expertise at other end of its old business, offering data centers and virtualized infrastructure to wireless networking companies to make their businesses more efficient. Competitors include Ericsson, another mobile phone also-ran.

+ - Scientists Discover Sawfish escape extinction through "virgin births"

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The first known virgin births in smalltooth sawfish have been documented in the wild among the critically endangered fish in Florida. Researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission used DNA fingerprinting to show that three percent of a Florida sawfish population was created by female-only reproduction. Dr Warren Booth, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Tulsa, who previously discovered an instance of parthenogenesis in snakes, said: “This is basically a very extreme form of inbreeding. Most people think of inbreeding as bad, but it could be helpful in purging deleterious mutations from a population.” The findings were published in the journal Current Biology.

Neutrinos are into physicists.

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