Samsung recently unveiled its latest flagship televisions at CES 2017, the QLED series. The company is challenging the notion that OLED TVs represent the pinnacle of picture quality in the living room. According to Samsung, the QLED TV represents its best achievement in image quality and viewing experience yet. The Verge reports: Of course Samsung would say that at an event meant to showcase said product. But the company insists it's made very real improvements compared to the flagship TVs it unveiled only a year ago. One of those upgrades pertains to brightness. The QLED TVs reach a peak brightness between 1,500 and 2,000 nits -- up from the 1,000 peak from 2016's lineup. Color reproduction has also been improved. The QLED sets handle DCI-P3 "accurately" and are capable of reproducing "100 percent color volume" -- something Samsung claims to be a world first. "This means they can express all colors at any level of brightness -- with even the subtlest differences visible at the QLED's peak luminance -- between 1,500 and 2,000 nits." Samsung says all of this is possible because it's using a new metal material along with the quantum dot nanocrystals. On the software end, Samsung's 2017 TVs are still powered by Tizen and feature basically the same user interface as last year. But there are some new additions like a sports mode that aggregates scores and other content from your favorite teams and an expanded Music section that lets you Shazam music as it's playing in a TV show and immediately launch that track in Spotify another streaming services. Samsung is also looking to clean up how its TVs look in your living room. New this year is a clear-colored "Invisible Connection cable" that runs from the TV to an external breakout box where you'll find all the HDMI ports and other critical connections (besides power, which is a separate input).
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Apple will make all iPhone 4 models, the late 2010 13-inch MacBook Air, third-generation AirPort Extreme, and mid-2009 AirPort Time Capsule obsolete come October 31, MacRumor claims, citing a different report. From the report: Apple products on the vintage and obsolete list are no longer eligible for hardware service, beyond a few exceptions. Apple defines vintage products as those that have not been manufactured for more than five years but less than seven years ago, while obsolete products are those that were discontinued more than seven years ago. Each of the products added were released between 2009 and 2010. The report specifically pertains to Apple's vintage and obsolete products list in Japan, but the new additions will more than likely extend to the United States, Australia, Canada, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions.
Less than two weeks after Apple unveiled its headphone jack-less iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the company is already exploring the idea of doing the same on its flagship computing lineup. An anonymous reader shares a report on The Next Web: Apple might be going all-in with the wireless revolution as the company is now allegedly considering killing the headphone jack on the MacBook Pro. Users are reporting that as of recently Apple has been asking them to fill in a survey about the way they use their MacBook Pro and one of the questions pertains particularly to the headphone jack. Shared by Blake A. via Twitter, the question reads "Do you ever use the headphone port on your MacBook Pro with Retina display?", suggesting Apple is exploring going jackless with its laptops in the future. Given the Cupertino company just ditched the audio jack on the iPhone 7, the change is likely to eventually come to other Apple products too -- the real question is when.Several Slashdot readers have also confirmed that they have participated in a similar survey with some noting that Apple also asked them about the removable of headphone jack on some of its other computing lineup including the iMac.
An anonymous reader writes: Famed cryptographer and Turing Award winner, Adi Shamir, has an interesting if not surprising take on Apple's current legal tussle with the FBI. While speaking on a panel at RSA Conference 2016 earlier this week, the man who helped co-invent the vaunted RSA algorithm (he's the 'S' in RSA) explained why he sides with the FBI as it pertains to the San Bernardino shooter's locked iPhone. It has nothing to do with placing trapdoors on millions of phones around the world," Shamir explained. "This is a case where it's clear those people are guilty. They are dead; their constitutional rights are not involved. This is a major crime where 14 people were killed. The phone is intact. All of this aligns in favor of the FBI." Shamir continued, "even though Apple has helped in countless cases, they decided not to comply this time. My advice is that they comply this time and wait for a better test case to fight where the case is not so clearly in favor of the FBI."
An anonymous reader writes: A few weeks ago, we discussed reports that enterprise SSDs would lose data in a surprisingly short amount of time if left powered off. The reports were based on a presentation from Alvin Cox, a Seagate engineer, about enterprise storage practices. PCWorld spoke to him and another engineer for Seagate, and they say the whole thing was blown out of proportion. Alvin Cox said, "I wouldn't worry about (losing data). This all pertains to end of life. As a consumer, an SSD product or even a flash product is never going to get to the point where it's temperature-dependent on retaining the data." The intent of the original presentation was to set expectations for a worst case scenario — a data center writing huge amounts of data to old SSDs and then storing them long-term at unusual temperatures. It's not a very realistic situation for businesses with responsible IT departments, and almost impossible for personal drives.
samzenpus writes We recently had a chance to sit down with Edward Stone, Former Director of JPL, and ask him about his time as a project scientist for the Voyager program and the future of space exploration. In addition to our questions, we asked him a number of yours. Read below to see what professor Stone had to say.
An anonymous reader writes "As expected, a new pre-public version of Windows Blue (build 9364) has leaked online and it reveals a handful of features that are coming in the next big Microsoft Windows 8 update." Several sites have screenshots from the build; Hot Hardware says "Assuming this is all completely legitimate, the most obvious change pertains to the Metro UI, including greater flexibility in sizing Live Tiles and customizing the Start screen, particularly as the Personalize setting (among others, including Devices and Share) is now under the Settings charm. The Name Group feature for the Start menu looks a little more polished, too."
mmcuh writes "Back in 2004, Belgian copyright group Sabam managed to get a court order forcing the ISP Scarlet to filter out filesharing traffic. Scarlet took the case to a national appeals court, which in turn asked the European Court of Justice for an opinion. The opinion was delivered today: 'EU law precludes an injunction made against an internet service provider requiring it to install a system for filtering all electronic communications passing via its services which applies indiscriminately to all its customers, as a preventive measure, exclusively at its expense and for an unlimited period. [...] It is true that the protection of the right to intellectual property is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. There is, however, nothing whatsoever in the wording of the Charter or in the Court's case law to suggest that that right is inviolable and must for that reason be absolutely protected.'" An anonymous reader adds a link to the ruling itself, but notes "The ruling is not quite as broad as I would have liked, since it only pertains to filtering 'which applies indiscriminately to all its customers; exclusively at its expense; and for an unlimited period.'"
medv4380 writes with news from InfoWorld about the near-term future of Java: "Java Platform, SE (Standard Edition) 7 has been passed this week by the JCP Executive Committee for SE/EE (Enterprise Edition), by a vote of 13 in favor and 1 — Google — against. Oracle, IBM, VMware, Red Hat, and Fujitsu are among the affirmative votes, and two committee members — Credit Suisse and Java architect Werner Keil — did not vote. Specifically, committee members voted on Java Specification Request 336, which pertains to the Java upgrade. Voting on the public review ballot for Java SE 7 finished up earlier this week after beginning on May 31. Java SE 7 still faces another vote on a final approval ballot."
Sara Chan writes "In a landmark ruling, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office has decided that researchers at a university must make all their data available to the public. The decision follows from a three-year battle by mathematician Douglas J. Keenan, who wants the data to do his own analysis on it. The university researchers have had the data for many years, and have published several papers using the data, but had refused to make the data available. The data in this case pertains to global warming, but the decision is believed to apply to any field: scientists at universities, which are all public in the UK, can now not claim data from publicly-funded research as their private property." There's more at the BBC, at Nature Climate Feedback, and at Keenan's site.
James-NSC writes "My employer is changing its policy towards employee use of social networks. I've been asked to give a 40-minute presentation to the entire company, with attendance mandatory, on the security and privacy concerns relating to social networking. While I was putting it together, I ended up with some miscellaneous information that pertains to security/privacy in general, for example: the emerging ATM skimming (mainly for our European employees), a reminder that email is not private, malware/drive-by in popular search results, etc. Since these topics don't directly relate to the subject I've been asked to address, I've ended up with a section titled 'While I have you...' I'm going to have the mandatory attention of every employee and I thought it would be a great opportunity to give advice on security/privacy issues across the board. As it's an opportunity that one seldom gets, I certainly want to utilize it fullly. If you had the attention of an entire company with employees in the US, UK, Asia, and Australia, what security / privacy advice would you give?"
An anonymous reader writes "We've discussed (at length) functional MRI technology as it pertains to marketing and virtual reality, but now Esquire writer A.J. Jacobs has become the first person to go inside the controversial machine to test the science behind his sex drive. As in, he has fMRI experts read his mind as to whether he's actually more turned on by his young wife or Angelina Jolie. The results, unsurprisingly, are both geeky and hilarious. Would you subject yourself to this kind of reality check?"
Michael J. Ross writes "After installing and learning the basics of the content management system Drupal, many Web developers do not know how to best proceed from there. They may realize that much of the programming potential of Drupal — and thus the earning potential of Drupal developers — is derived from the use of community-contributed modules that greatly extend Drupal's power. But there are thousands of such modules, with no objective direction as to which ones are best suited for particular tasks, and what bugs and other flaws could trip up the developer. These programmers need a thorough guide as to which modules are the most promising for the development of the most common types of Web sites. A new book, Using Drupal, aims to fill this need." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.
Markus Toth writes "The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed two more copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of the developers of the Linux-based BusyBox utility suite. The suits allege that Bell Microproducts and SuperMicro Computer each violated redistribution stipulations of the GNU General Public License (GPL).The Bell Microproducts suit pertains to the Hammer MyShare NAS (network-attached storage) appliance, which is sold by Bell's Hammer Storage division. I was the one who alerted the busybox developers about the GPL violation after providing a script for disassembling the firmware and instructions about mounting the contained initrd. As you see in my first post at the gpl-violations.org mailing lists where I posted all mails that I sent to and received from Hammer Storage, they refused to provide me the GPL sources several times. Looks like they will have to provide them soon; I will post any updates in the nas-central blog."
Michael J. Ross writes "For any Web site based upon Drupal, an increasingly popular CMS, the styling of the site is controlled by whatever Drupal "theme" has been installed, enabled, and chosen, by the site administrator. Out of the box, Drupal offers only a handful of themes, and thus site administrators oftentimes will instead opt for a theme developed by a third-party. However, if the administrator cannot find one that exactly matches their needs or those of their client, then they will either have to pay someone to custom-build a theme, or learn how to do it themselves. Fortunately, creating a new theme or modifying an existing one, is not that difficult, as demonstrated in Drupal 5 Themes, by Ric Shreves." Read below for the rest of Michael's review.
out-of-order asks: "I recently became a member of a large software organization which has placed me in the role of preparing the Unit Test effort for a component of software. Problem is that everything that I've read about Unit Testing pertains to 'test-driven' design, writing test cases first, etc. What if the opposite situation is true? This organization was writing code before I walked in the door and now I need to test it. What methodology is there for writing test cases for code that already exists?"
Andru Edwards writes "In an article which looks at the techie's mindset as it pertains to upgrading, Hector Martinez takes a deeper look at what makes us want to buy the latest gadgets. What are your options, and when should you actually just keep what you already have?"
A long, long time ago, you asked lobbyist Morgan Reed questions about lobbying, undue industry influence on United States laws as they apply to the tech sector, the future of internet taxation, and more. Reed, in the meantime, has switched jobs: he's now working for the Association for Competitive Technology (as he candidly and lightheartedly acknowledges, "the enemy" to many Slashdot readers, since they lobby for large software corporations, notably Microsoft), and is finally free to answer your questions. Read on for about as inside a viewpoint as you can find on how you can affect your elected representatives, from someone whose job is to do just that. Update: 08/01 19:24 GMT by M : That's Morgan Reed, not Reed Morgan. We suck.
Linuxathome asks: "I'm a resident in the Washington DC-Baltimore Metropolitan area. If you've kept up with the news lately, you've probably have heard about the serial killings. I realize that this question may spark a political debate, but my question pertains to current technology. The gun law debate has been recently re-ignited. And the hot topic of current is in regards to fingerprinting firearms. Gun rights supporters argue that the technology behind fingerprinting is not reliable (see John Dingell). Dingell estimates there are approximately 50 million gun owners in the US (I don't have estimates of how many guns are out there). Is an image database of 50 million spent casings not feasible?" What issues, both technical and political, would there be surrounding the creation (and the current hold up) of such a database?