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Comment Re:The odds are very low... (Score 3, Funny) 142

What if giant alien slugs attack? We should probably spend the $450 million developing space-capable salt-guns, just in case. I mean, sure the odds are really low, but if the slugs do come then it would make everything else pointless and redundant.

Submission Sex, Drugs, and Transportation: How Politicians Tried to Keep Uber Out of Vegas writes: Johana Bhuiyan has an interesting article at Buzzfeed about how the Las Vegas taxi industry used every political maneuver in its arsenal to keep Uber and Lyft off the strip. Vegas is one of the most lucrative transportation markets in the country, with some 41.1 million visitors passing through it annually and the city’s taxi industry raking in a whopping $290 million this year to date. What made Vegas unique — what made it Uber’s biggest challenge yet — was the extent to which local governments were willing to protect the incumbents. According to Bhuiyan in Las Vegas, Uber and its pugnacious CEO Travis Kalanick really did run into the corrupt taxi cartel bogeymen that they had long claimed to be saving us from and this cartel would prove to be their most formidable opponent. But when push came to shove and the fight turned ugly, the world’s fastest-growing company ran right over its entrenched opposition.

Submission World's First DIY 3D Printed Open Source Bicycle->

An anonymous reader writes: Two Dutch design students are developing a 3D printed bicycle, the OBI, or Open Bicycle. Created by industrial designers Stef de Groot and Paul De Medeiros, the open source template will allow anyone to construct a fully-functioning bicycle for around €400 (approx. $450). Each of the individual parts of the Open Bicycle are made using a desktop 3D printer. The modular design allows for these parts to be easily be removed or replaced without needing any expensive specialist tools or skills.
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Submission World's First Light-based Memory Chip to store data permanently ->

rtoz writes: The world’s first entirely light-based memory chip to store data permanently has been developed by material scientists at Oxford University.
The device makes use of materials used in CDs and DVDs, and it could help dramatically improve the speed of modern computing.
Today’s computers are held back by the relatively slow transmission of electronic data between the processor and the memory. There’s no point using faster processors if the limiting factor is the shuttling of information to-and-from the memory. The researchers think using light can significantly speed this up.

Simply bridging the processor-memory gap with photons isn’t efficient, though, because of the need to convert them back into electronic signals at each end. Instead, memory and processing capabilities would need be light-based too. Researchers have tried to create this kind of photonic memory before, but the results have always been volatile, requiring power in order to store data. For many applications — such as computer disk drives — it’s essential to be able to store data indefinitely, with or without power.
Now, an international team of researchers including researchers from Oxford University has produced the world’s first all-photonic nonvolatile memory chip. The new device uses the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) — the same as that used in rewritable CDs and DVDs — to store data.

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Submission Advertising Malware Affects Non-Jailbroken iOS Devices

An anonymous reader writes: YiSpecter is infecting iOS devices belonging to Chinese and Taiwanese users, and is the first piece of malware that successfully targets both jailbroken and non-jailbroken devices, Palo Alto Networks researchers warn. What's more, the techniques it uses for hiding are making it difficult to squash the infection. YiSpecter’s malicious apps were signed with three iOS enterprise certificates issued by Apple so that they can be installed as enterprise apps on non-jailbroken iOS devices via in-house distribution. Through this kind of distribution, an iOS app can bypass Apple’s strict code review procedures and can invoke iOS private APIs to perform sensitive operations.

Submission Google sells gmail spam as a service (gSaaS) to advertisers->

An anonymous reader writes: Google's new advertising product, called Customer Match, lets advertisers upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords. The new targeting capability extends beyond search to include both YouTube Trueview ads and the newly launched native ads in Gmail.

Customer Match marks the first time Google has allowed advertisers to target ads against customer-owned data in Adwords. Google matches the email addresses against those of signed-in users on Google. Individual addresses are hashed and are supposedly anonymized. Advertisers will be able to set bids and create ads specifically geared to audiences built from their email lists.

This new functionality seems to make de-anonymization of google's supposedly proprietary customer data just a hop, skip and jump away. If you can specify the list of addresses that get served an ad, and the criteria like what search terms will trigger that ad, you can detect if and when your target searches for specific terms. For example, create an email list that contains your target and 100 invalid email addresses that no one uses (just in case google gets wise to single-entry email lists). Then apply that list to searches for the word "herpes" — set the bid crazy high, like $100 and you are guaranteed to find out if your target searches for herpes which would be a strong indicator that they have herpes. Repeat as necessary for as many keywords and as many email addresses that you wish to monitor.

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Submission OpenIndiana Hipster 2015.10: Keeping An Open-Source Solaris Going->

An anonymous reader writes: It's been five years since Oracle killed off OpenSolaris while the community of developers are letting it live on with the new OpenIndiana "Hipster" 15.10 release. OpenIndiana 15.10 improves its Python-based text installer as it looks to drop its GUI installer, switches out the Oracle JDK/JRE for OpenJDK, and updates its vast package set. However, there are still a number of outdated packages on the system like Firefox 24 and X.Org Server 1.14 while the default office suite is a broken OpenOffice build, due to various obstacles in maintaining open-source software support for Solaris while being challenged by limited contributors. Download links are available via the release notes. There's also a page for getting involved if wishing to improve the state of open-source Solaris.
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Comment Re:Cuba (Score 5, Insightful) 107

You jest, but that's actually not a bad idea. Picking a country that you have absolutely no connection with and that has a less than friendly relationship with your own government is probably the best you can do in the current mass-surveillance climate - provided that you don't do anything that violates the local laws of your hosting country in a major way. Sure, they might well be monitoring your data, but they almost certainly won't care about it, and if your own country's law enforcement/copyright cartel/whatever comes knocking for any reason they'll almost certainly get nowhere.

Submission Chrome AdBlock joining Acceptable Ads Program (And Sold to Anonymous Company)->

basscomm writes: Hot on the heels of the formation of the independent board to oversee "acceptable ads", users of the popular Chrome ad blocking extension, AdBlock, got notice that AdBlock is participating by the program, and that acceptable ads are being turned on by default.

At the bottom of the announcement, buried in the fine print is word that AdBlock has been sold, but nobody will say to whom.

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Submission What's the best country for secure online hosting?

An anonymous reader writes: I've recently discovered that my hosting company is sending all login credentials unencrypted, prompting me to change providers. Additionally, I'm finally being forced to put some of my personal media library (songs, photos, etc.) on-line for ready access (though for my personal consumption only) from multiple devices and locations... But I simply can't bring myself to trust any cloud-service provider.

So while it's been partially asked before
(, it hasn't yet been answered:

Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information? And does anyone have a recommendation on which provider(s) are the best hosts for (legal) on-line storage there?

Comment It's happened to me several times... (Score 1) 314

and with different banks, occasionally to the point where they forced me to get a new card (and change a zillion automated payments). I wouldn't mind so much if this actually worked, but none of these cases involved a specific fraudulent charge - it was just done because they thought there might be one later. The irony is that I keep seeing the occasional fraudulent charge that they miss. So as far as I can tell they're pretty close to 100% false positives, and probably not many legitimate blocks.

Comment Re: fair competition (Score 1) 206

A driver who "cuts corners" and puts third parties in peril also puts the passengers in peril. Centuries ago, the only way to deal with this problem might have been regulation. With Uber, such driver behavior would rapidly earn bad ratings, and such drivers would either reform themselves or be forced to quit. How is an abritrarily difficult commercial licensing scheme superior to this, especially given the overwhelming tendency for regulatory systems to be captured by the industries they regulate?

Submission Study Finds Poor People More Likely to Die in Car Crashes writes: Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham report at the Washington Post that new research finds that improvements in road safety since the 1990s haven't been evenly shared with fatality rates actually increasing for people 25 and older with less than a high school diploma. In 1995, death rates — adjusted for age, sex and race — were about 2.5 times higher for people at the bottom of the education spectrum than those at the top. By 2010, death rates for the least educated were about 4.3 times higher than for the most educated. According to Badger and Ingraham, the underlying issue is not that a college degree makes you a better driver. Rather, the least-educated tend to own cars that are older and have lower crash-test ratings and those with less education are likely to earn less and to have the money for fancy safety features such as side airbags, automatic warnings and rear cameras. Poor people are also more likely to live in areas where infrastructure is crumbling and have less political clout to get anything done about dangerous road conditions.

The role of behavioral differences is murkier. Some studies show lower seat-belt use among the less-educated, but seat-belt use has also increased faster among that group over time, meaning socioeconomic differences there are narrowing. Badger and Ingraham conclude that "as we increasingly fantasize about new technologies that will save us from our own driving errors — cars that will brake for us, or spot cyclists we can't see, or even take over all the navigation — we should anticipate that, at first, those benefits may mostly go to the rich."

Submission Scientists Invent a New Steel as Strong as Titanium-> 1

schwit1 writes: South Korean researchers have solved a longstanding problem that stopped them from creating ultra-strong, lightweight aluminum-steel alloys.

Today a team of material scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea announced what they're calling one of the biggest steel breakthroughs of the last few decades: an altogether new type of flexible, ultra-strong, lightweight steel. This new metal has a strength-to-weight ratio that matches even our best titanium alloys, but at one tenth the cost, and can be created on a small scale with machinery already used to make automotive-grade steel. The study appears in Nature.

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The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.