Submission + - Why the new 18:9 aspect ratio? ( 1

wasteoid writes: After years of migrating most electronic displays to the 16:9 aspect ratio, what benefit does the consumer gain from the new 18:9 ratio? Viewing most of the existing content would result in the letterbox bars from the early days of 16:9, and not much content exists in the new ratio. Aside from trying to force everyone to rebuy electronics in a new ratio, which only helps manufacturers make more money, what is the reasoning for this move?

Submission + - Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion (

Science_afficionado writes: Imagine slipping into a jacket, shirt or skirt that powers your cell phone, fitness tracker and other personal electronic devices as you walk, wave and even when you are sitting down. A new, ultrathin energy harvesting system developed at Vanderbilt University’s Nanomaterials and Energy Devices Laboratory has the potential to do just that. Based on battery technology and made from layers of black phosphorus that are only a few atoms thick, the new device generates small amounts of electricity when it is bent or pressed even at the extremely low frequencies characteristic of human motion.

Submission + - Another Google Accessibility Failure: Chrome Remote Desktop (

Lauren Weinstein writes: But Chrome Remote Desktop also has a horrible, gaping accessibility problem — that has persisted and generated bug threads that in some instances now stretch back unresolved for years, that seriously limits its usefulness for those very users who could most benefit from its use.

And this flaw is unfortunately representative of a rapidly growing class of accessibility failures at Google — in terms of readability, user interface deficiencies, and other related problems — which have been spreading across their entire ecosystem to the dismay of myself and many other observers.

Submission + - For First Time, On-Chip Nanoantennas Enable High-Bit-Rate Transmission (

schwit1 writes: An international team of researchers led by a group at the Australian National University (ANU) is the first to demonstrate ultra-fast transmission of information through an optical nanoantenna that has been imprinted onto an optical waveguide. These results could have significant implications for telecommunication applications, enabling high-speed data transmission through these devices.

Prior to this work, which is described in the journal Science Advances , there were very few examples in which an optical nanoantenna had been imprinted onto an optical waveguide. Additionally, those earlier examples had very limited functionalities, such as coupling light to a waveguide mode.

“What we showed is that such an antenna of sub-micron size can sort and route different streams of information (encoded into the different polarizations of light) into different directions of the waveguide,” said Dragomir Neshev, a professor at ANU, who led the research, in an e-mail interview with IEEE Spectrum. “This is a very important operation used in coherent receivers for any communication link.”

But what may be even more exciting is that Neshev and his colleagues were able to shrink the size of the optical component that performs the polarization sorting to an antenna of sub-micrometer size. This could potentially enable high-density integration of photonics components on a silicon chip.

Submission + - Slackware, Oldest Linux Distro Still in Active Development, turns 24

sombragris writes: July 17 marked the 24th anniversary of Slackware Linux, the oldest GNU/Linux still in active development, being created in 1993 by Patrick Volkerding, who still serves as its BDFL. Version 14.2 was launched last year, and the development version (Slackware-current) currently offers kernel 4.9.38, gcc 7.1, glibc 2.25, mesa 17.1.5, and KDE and Xfce as official desktops, with many others available as 3rd party packages. Slackware is also among the Linux distributions which have not adopted systemd as its init system; instead, it uses a modified BSD init which is quite simple and effective. Slackware is known to be a solid, stable and fast setup, with easy defaults which is appreciated by many Linux users worldwide. Phoronix has a small writeup noting the anniversary and there's also a nice reddit thread.

Submission + - Loopy Cow Antibodies Can Prevent HIV (

tomhath writes: Cows have evolved a supreme immune defense due to their complex and bacteria-packed digestive system.

Researchers at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and the Scripps Research Institute tried immunizing cows.The required antibodies were being produced by the cow's immune system in a matter of weeks.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said: "From the early days of the epidemic, we have recognized that HIV is very good at evading immunity, so exceptional immune systems that naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV are of great interest — whether they belong to humans or cattle."

Submission + - Beijing Wants A.I. to Be Made in China by 2030 (

cdreimer writes: According to a report on The New York Times (may be paywalled, alternative story here): "If Beijing has its way, the future of artificial intelligence will be made in China. The country laid out a development plan on Thursday to become the world leader in A.I. by 2030, aiming to surpass its rivals technologically and build a domestic industry worth almost $150 billion. Released by the State Council, the policy is a statement of intent from the top rungs of China’s government: The world’s second-largest economy will be investing heavily to ensure its companies, government and military leap to the front of the pack in a technology many think will one day form the basis of computing. The plan comes with China preparing a multibillion-dollar national investment initiative to support “moonshot” projects, start-ups and academic research in A.I., according to two professors who consulted with the government about the effort."

Submission + - Darknet Messenger Releases Beta, Passes Security Audit

Tovok7 writes: After extensive private beta tests, the first public beta of Briar was released today. Briar is a secure messaging app for Android. Unlike other popular apps, Briar does not require servers to work. It connects users directly using a peer-to-peer network. This makes it resistant to censorship and allows it to work even without internet access. The app encrypts all data end-to-end and also hides metadata about who is communicating.

Submission + - Capturing data on New Horizons' next flyby target

necro81 writes: After its successful flyby of Pluto in July 2015, the New Horizons probe received a mission extension to fly past a Kuiper Belt object — named 2014 MU69 — in January 2019. However, we know few details about the object — its size, shape, albedo, whether it has any companions — which are crucial for planning the flyby. Based on observations from Hubble, the New Horizons team knew that the object would pass in front of a star — an occultation — on July 17th, which could provide some of this data. But the occultation would last for less than a second, would only be visible in Patagonia, and the star itself is quite dim. NASA set up 24 telescopes near one community to capture the event, and received lots of cooperation from locals: turning off streetlights, shutting down a nearby highway, and setting up trucks as windbreaks. At least five of those telescopes captured the occultation. This was the latest in a series of observations ahead of the flyby.

Submission + - A Third of Dementia Cases Are Preventable (

walterbyrd writes: The commission’s report identifies nine risk factors in early, mid- and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. About 35 percent of dementia — one in three cases — is attributable to these risk factors, the report says.

By increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity in midlife, the incidence of dementia could be reduced by as much as 20 percent, combined.

In late life, stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social contact, and managing diabetes could reduce the incidence of dementia by another 15 percent.

“The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have,” Schneider says.

“Mitigating risk factors provides us a powerful way to reduce the global burden of dementia.”

Submission + - Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop Default Application Survey 1

dustinkirkland writes: Howdy all- Back in March, we asked the HackerNews community, “What do you want to see in Ubuntu 17.10?”: A passionate discussion ensued, the results of which are distilled into this post: In fact, you can check that link, and see our progress so far this cycle. We already have a beta code in 17.10 available for your testing for several of those:
  • GNOME replaced Unity
  • Bluetooth improvements with a new BlueZ
  • Switched to libinput
  • 4K/Multimonitor/HiDPI improvements
  • Upgraded to Network Manager 1.8
  • New Subiquity server installer
  • Minimal images (36MB, 18% smaller)

And several others have excellent work in progress, and will be complete by 17.10:

  • Autoremove old kernels from /boot
  • EXT4 encryption with fscrypt
  • Better GPU/CUDA support

In summary — your feedback matters! There are hundreds of engineers and designers working for *you* to continue making Ubuntu amazing! Along with the switch from Unity to GNOME, we’re also reviewing some of the desktop applications we package and ship in Ubuntu. We’re looking to crowdsource input on your favorite Linux applications across a broad set of classic desktop functionality. We invite you to contribute by listing the applications you find most useful in Linux in order of preference. To help us parse your input, please copy and paste the following bullets with your preferred apps in Linux desktop environments. You’re welcome to suggest multiple apps, please just order them prioritized (e.g. Web Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Chromium). If some of your functionality has moved entirely to the web, please note that too (e.g. Email Client: Gmail web, Office Suite: Office360 web). If the software isn’t free/open source, please note that (e.g. Music Player: Spotify client non-free). If I’ve missed a category, please add it in the same format. If your favorites aren’t packaged for Ubuntu yet, please let us know, as we’re creating hundreds of new snap packages for Ubuntu desktop applications, and we’re keen to learn what key snaps we’re missing.

  • Web Browser: ???
  • Email Client: ???
  • Terminal: ???
  • IDE: ???
  • File manager: ???
  • Basic Text Editor: ???
  • IRC/Messaging Client: ???
  • PDF Reader: ???
  • Office Suite: ???
  • Calendar: ???
  • Video Player: ???
  • Music Player: ???
  • Photo Viewer: ???
  • Screen recording: ???

In the interest of opening this survey as widely as possible, we’ve cross-posted this thread to HackerNews, Reddit, and Slashdot. We very much look forward to another friendly, energetic, collaborative discussion. Thank you! @DustinKirkland On behalf of @Canonical and @Ubuntu

Submission + - Users of React.JS software petition to change the license

mpol writes: The Apache Software Foundation issued a notice last weekend, indicating that it has added Facebook’s BSD+Patents license to its Category X list of disallowed licenses for Apache PMC members. This is the license that Facebook uses for most of its open source projects.

The RocksDB software project from Facebook already changed its license to a dual Apache 2 and GPL 2. Users are now petitioning on GitHub to have Facebook change the license of React.JS as well.

React.JS is a well-known and often used JavaScript Framework for frontend development. It is licensed as BSD + Patents. If you use React.JS and agreed to its license, and you decide to sue Facebook for patent issues, you are no longer allowed to use React.JS or any Facebook software released under this license.

Submission + - O.J. Simpson's New Computer Skills Highlighted in Parole Hearing

theodp writes: After being incarcerated for nine years at a desert prison in northern Nevada for robbery and kidnapping, former NFL star O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday by a unanimous vote from the four-member Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners and could be free as soon as Oct. 1. During the parole hearing, Simpson's lawyer read aloud a letter from O.J. (video) to Nevada state Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo, one of O.J.'s former attorneys, in which Simpson explained that the education provided behind bars helped him learn new skills. "They say, 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks'," O.J. wrote. "And as an 'old dog,' I can tell you that is not true. I am currently taking a computer course that's shown me that even I am capable of learning new skills. These new skills at the very minimum will help me better communicate with my children. Who knows? You may even see a webcast or blog in my future." Simpson, of course, is most well-known for the trial in which he was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994.

Submission + - Somebody claims to have just downloaded SoundCloud's Entire Library (

nielo writes: "The past couple of months have been filled with ups and downs for the "YouTube of Music". Reports initially claimed that SoundCloud would shut down in 50 days, until Chance The Rapper (hopefully!) saved the day. With the stream of contradicting reports we've been hearing, it's understandable to be doubtful of SoundCloud's future. What are we going to do if we can't listen to our favorite songs or mixes anymore? It's scary to think that thousands of hours of music could suddenly disappear with no way to recover it.

Enter /u/makemakemakemake. On the DataHorder subreddit, he posted a comment saying he downloaded the entire library. Yes, you read that correctly... the ENTIRE 900TB library. Think about it, that means literally every song on SoundCloud is on one man's hard drive. At 80Gb/s he claimed it took him just one weekend to collect the data."

Submission + - Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, dead at 41 ( 1

edx93 writes: Chester Bennington, the Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner said. He was 41.

He will be missed.

Submission + - FTC Probing Allegations of Amazon's Deceptive Discounting (

An anonymous reader writes: As part of its review of Amazon's agreement to buy Whole Foods, the Federal Trade Commission is looking into allegations that Amazon misleads customers about its pricing discounts, according to a source close to the probe. The FTC is probing a complaint brought by the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which looked at some 1,000 products on Amazon's website in June and found that Amazon put reference prices, or list prices, on about 46 percent of them. An analysis found that in 61 percent of products with reference prices, Amazon's reference prices were higher than it had sold the same product in the previous 90 days, Consumer Watchdog said in a letter to the FTC dated July 6. Amazon said in a statement that Consumer Watchdog's study was "deeply flawed." "The conclusions the Consumer Watchdog group reached are flat out wrong," Amazon said. "We validate the reference prices provided by manufacturers, vendors and sellers against actual prices recently found across Amazon and other retailers."

Submission + - Sony Using Copyright Requests To Remove Leaked PS4 SDK From the Web (

An anonymous reader writes: Sony appears to be using copyright law in an attempt to remove all traces of a leaked PlayStation 4 Software Development Kit (PS4 SDK) from the Web. That effort also seems to have extended in recent days to the forced removal of the mere discussion of the leak and the posting of a separate open source, homebrew SDK designed to be used on jailbroken systems. The story began a few weeks ago, when word first hit that version 4.5 of the PS4 SDK had been leaked online by a hacker going by the handle Kromemods. These SDKs are usually provided only to authorized PS4 developers inside development kits. The SDKs contain significant documentation that, once made public, can aid hackers in figuring out how to jailbreak consoles, create and install homebrew software, and enable other activities usually prohibited by the hardware maker (as we've seen in the wake of previous leaks of PlayStation 3 SDKs). While you can still find reference to the version 4.5 SDK leak on places like Reddit and MaxConsole, threads discussing and linking to those leaked files on sites like GBATemp and PSXhax, for example, appear to have been removed after the fact. Cached versions of those pages show links (now defunct) to download those leaked files, along with a message from KromeMods to "Please spread this as much as possible since links will be taken down... We will get nowhere if everything keeps private; money isn't everything." KromeMods notes on Twitter that his original tweet posting a link to the leaked files was also hit with a copyright notice from Sony.

Submission + - Ubuntu 16.10 Reached End of Life

prisoninmate writes: From a Softpedia report:

"Today is the last day when the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) was supported by Canonical as the operating system now reached end of life, and it will no longer receive security and software updates. Dubbed by Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth as the Yakkety Yak, Ubuntu 16.10 was launched on October 13, 2016, and it was a short-lived release that only received nine (9) months of support through kernel updates, bug fixes, and security patches for various components. Starting today, you should no longer use Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) on your personal computer, even if it's up-to-date. Why? Because, in time, it will become vulnerable to all sort of attacks as Canonical won't provide security and kernel updates for this release. Therefore, all users are urged to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) immediately using the instructions at"

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