Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Iphone

A Design Defect Is Plaguing Many iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Units (iphonehacks.com) 222

Evan Selleck, writing for iPhoneHacks (edited and condensed): For many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners out there in the wild, a design defect is apparently causing some huge issues. Gadget repair firm iFixit has reported about a flaw dubbed "Touch Disease", which it claims is cropping up. With it, owners of the phones are experiencing, to start, a gray bar that appears at the very top of their display. And, for many others, the display itself becomes unresponsive to touch, or less responsive overall. In the blog post, iFixit says the problem stems from issues with the touchscreen controller chip, which is soldered onto the logic board. Interestingly enough, iFixit posits that the same internal design decisions that led to "Endgate" might be causing the issue leading to Touch Disease, too: "In both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Touch IC chips connect to the logic board via an array of itty-bitty solder balls -- "like a plate resting on marbles," Jessa explains. Over time, as the phone flexes or twists slightly during normal use, those solder balls crack and start to lose contact with the board. "At first, there may be no defect at all. Later you might notice that the screen is sometimes unresponsive, but it is quick to come back with a hard reset," Jessa explains. "As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chip-board bond, the periods of no touch function become more frequent."
Communications

US Air Force Wants To Plasma Bomb The Sky To Improve Radio Communication (newscientist.com) 159

An anonymous reader quotes a report from New Scientist: [The U.S. Air Force has plans to improve radio communication over long distances by detonating plasma bombs in the upper atmosphere using a fleet of micro satellites. It's not the first time we've tried to improve radio communication by tinkering with the ionosphere. HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Alaska, stimulates the ionosphere with radiation from ground-based antennas to produce radio-reflecting plasma.] Now the USAF wants to do this more efficiently, with tiny satellites -- such as CubeSats -- carrying large volumes of ionized gas directly into the ionosphere. As well as increasing the range of radio signals, the USAF says it wants to smooth out the effects of solar winds, which can knock out GPS, and also investigate the possibility of blocking communication from enemy satellites. [There are at least two major challenges. One is building a plasma generator small enough to fit on a CubeSat -- roughly 10 centimeters cubed. Then there's the problem of controlling exactly how the plasma will disperse once it is released. The USAF has awarded three contracts to teams who are sketching out ways to tackle the approach. The best proposal will be selected for a second phase in which plasma generators will be tested in vacuum chambers and exploratory space flights.]
The Almighty Buck

Why So Much Coverage Of Amazon Prime Day? The Incentives, Of Course (theguardian.com) 129

Olivia Solon, writing for The Guardian: In July 2015, Amazon declared its own annual holiday: Amazon Prime Day. The retail giant promised deals on a wide range of products for customers signed up to its membership program, Amazon Prime. This is the second Amazon Prime Day, and it's pretty hard to miss. At the time of writing, the #PrimeDay hashtag was one of Twitter's top 10 worldwide trends. Media outlets including the Daily Mail, USA Today, the Telegraph, PC World and CNet are publishing numerous stories about the discounts on offer, and urging readers to sign up for an Amazon Prime trial. What many of those readers won't realise is that publishers are financially incentivised by Amazon to write about Prime Day. By signing up to the retail giant's affiliate programme, Amazon Associates, publishers can earn commissions from linking to products on Amazon.com.In some other news, Amazon announced on Wednesday that the self-created holiday was its biggest sales day ever, with worldwide orders rising more than 60% compared with the previous Prime Day.
Transportation

Elon Musk: Tesla's Autopilot Software Could Save Half a Million Lives Every Year (fortune.com) 265

An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of a deadly crash involving a Model S that was driving with its Autopilot software turned on, Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a few interesting remarks on the technology to Fortune. Notably, the publication recently ran a piece attempting to portray Tesla in a bad light by noting that Musk sold more than $2 billion worth of Tesla stock just 11 days after the aforementioned May, 2016 accident. And all the while, shareholders were kept in the dark up until recently. "Indeed, if anyone bothered to do the math (obviously, you did not) they would realize that of the over 1M auto deaths per year worldwide, approximately half a million people would have been saved if the Tesla autopilot was universally available. Please, take 5 mins and do the bloody math before you write an article that misleads the public.
Google

Google Twists the Knife, Asks For Sanctions Against Oracle Attorney (arstechnica.com) 78

Google isn't done with its victory over Oracle. Court filings suggest that Google will be filing a motion for sanctions against Oracle and its law firm, Orrick, Sutcliffe & Herrington. The Mountain View-based company is apparently irked that Oracle attorney disclosed the financial agreements between Google and Apple. From an Ars Technica report: Speaking in open court, Oracle attorney Annette Hurst said that Google's Android operating system had generated revenue of $31 billion and $22 billion in profit. She also disclosed that Google pays Apple $1 billion to keep Google's search bar on iPhones. "Look at the extraordinary magnitude of commerciality here," Hurst told a magistrate judge as she discussed the revenue figures. The $1 billion figure comes from a revenue-split that gives Apple a portion of the money that Google makes off searches that originate on iPhones. The revenue share figure was 34 percent, "at one point in time," according to Hurst. Google lawyers asked for the figure to be struck from the record. "That percentage just stated, that should be sealed," Google lawyer Robert Van Nest said, according to a transcript of the hearing. "We are talking hypotheticals here. That's not a publicly known number."
The Almighty Buck

Ethereum Debate Marred By Second Digital Currency Heist (dailydot.com) 44

Thursday's news of a $50 million heist of digital currency at Ethereum. was followed today by reports of a second heist from the DAO, according to the Bitcoin News Service -- this one for just 22 Ether. "It appears this is just someone who wanted to test the exploit and see if they could use it to their advantage... " Slashdot reader Patrick O'Neill writes: The currency's community is currently debating a course forward for a currency who is built on the idea that it is governed by software and not human beings. One option is to fork the code, another is to do absolutely nothing at all."
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, posted Sunday that "Over the last day with the community's help we have crowdsourced a list of all of the major bugs with smart contracts on Ethereum so far, including both the DAO as well as various smaller 100-10000 ETH thefts and losses in games and token contracts." The list begins by including "The DAO (obviously)," but is followed by a warning that "progress in smart contract safety is necessarily going to be layered, incremental, and necessarily dependent on defense-in-depth. There will be further bugs, and we will learn further lessons; there will not be a single magic technology that solves everything."

The Daily Dot wrote Friday that "Because of the way the code in question is written, Etherum's developers and community have 27 days to decide what to do before the hackers are able to move the money and cash out... What's happening now amounts to a political campaign. But the debate is far from over. The clock is ticking now, the world is watching, and the next step of the cryptocurrency experiment is unfolding under a spotlight burning hotter every day."
Encryption

WWII Code-Breaker Dies At Age 95 (washingtonpost.com) 120

An anonymous reader quotes an article from the Washington Post: Jane Fawcett, a British code-breaker during World War II who deciphered a key German message that led to the sinking of the battleship Bismarck -- one of Britain's greatest naval victories during the war -- died May 21 at her home in Oxford, England. She was 95... Fluent in German and driven by curiosity, Mrs. Fawcett -- then known by her maiden name, Jane Hughes -- found work at Britain's top-secret code-breaking facility at Bletchley Park, about 50 miles northwest of London. Of the 12,000 people who worked there, about 8,000 were women. Bletchley Park later became renowned as the place where mathematician Alan Turing and others solved the puzzle of the German military's "Enigma machine," depicted in the 2014 film "The Imitation Game"...

The sinking of the Bismarck marked the first time that British code-breakers had decrypted a message that led directly to a victory in battle... Mrs. Fawcett's work was not made public for decades. Along with everyone else at Bletchley Park, she agreed to comply with Britain's Official Secrets Act, which imposed a lifetime prohibition on revealing any code-breaking activities.

Meanwhile, volunteers from The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park finally tracked down an original keyboard from the Lorenz machine used to encode top-secret messages between Hitler and his general. It was selling on eBay for 10 pounds, advertised as an old machine for sending telegrams.
Crime

Attackers Steal $12.7M In Massive ATM Heist (mainichi.jp) 75

Within two hours $12.7 million in cash was stolen from 1,400 ATMs located at convenience stores all across Japan, investigators announced Sunday. An anonymous reader quotes a Japanese newspaper: Police suspect that the cash was withdrawn at ATMs using counterfeit credit cards containing account information leaked from a South African bank. Japanese police will work with South African authorities through the International Criminal Police Organization to look into the major theft, including how credit card information was leaked, the sources said.
Over the two hours attackers withdrew the equivalent of $907 in 14,000 different transactions.
Power

Scientists Say Nuclear Fuel Pools Pose Safety, Health Risks (nbcnews.com) 166

mdsolar quotes a report from NBC News: Ninety-six aboveground, aquamarine pools around the country that hold the nuclear industry's spent reactor fuel may not be as safe as U.S. regulators and the nuclear industry have publicly asserted, a study released May 20 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine warned. Citing a little-noticed study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the academies said that if an accident or an act of terrorism at a densely-filled pool caused a leak that drains the water away from the rods, a cataclysmic release of long-lasting radiation could force the extended evacuation of nearly 3.5 million people from territory larger than the state of New Jersey. It could also cause thousands of cancer deaths from excess radiation exposure, and as much as $700 billion dollars in costs to the national economy. The report is the second and final study of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which was pummeled from a tsunami on March 11, 2011. The authors suggest the U.S. examine the benefits of withdrawing the spent fuel rods from the pools and storing them instead in dry casks aboveground in an effort to avoid possible catastrophes. The idea is nothing new, but it's been opposed by the industry because it could cost as much as $4 billion. The latest report contradicts parts of a study by Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff released two years after the Fukushima incident. The NRC staff in its 2014 study said a major earthquake could be expected to strike an area where spent fuel is stored in a pool once in 10 million years or less, and even then, "spent fuel pools are likely to withstand severe earthquakes without leaking."
Television

Jeremy Clarkson's Amazon Show To Be Called The Grand Tour (theguardian.com) 145

Jasper Jackson and Dugald Baird, writing for The Guardian: Amazon's new motoring show starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May will be called The Grand Tour. In a statement, the former Top Gear trio thanked fans for taking the time to send in their suggestions for the name, which they said were "much appreciated". "Thing is," said Clarkson, "we'll be travelling the world hosting each episode in a different country, from a giant tent. It's a sort of 'grand tour', if you like. So we've decided to call it The Grand Tour." May said he was underwhelmed by the name. "I wanted to call it 'Nigel', or 'Roger'," he said. "We needed a name, and they're names." Hammond was more positive. "I already love camping," he said. "But this is something else. We are like our pioneering and prospecting forebears, sallying forth into a new frontier of broadcasting, and making our home where."
NASA

NASA Gives Solar Ionic Propulsion A Monster Boost (networkworld.com) 52

coondoggie quotes a report from Network World: NASA this week took a giant step toward using solar electric power for future space missions by awarding a $67 million contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne to develop an advanced electric propulsion system. Network World writes, "Specifically, Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop and deliver an integrated electric propulsion system -- known as the Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) -- consisting of a thruster, power processing unit (PPU), low-pressure xenon flow controller, and electrical harness. Such a system would deploy large solar arrays that can be used to convert sunlight into electrical power that ionizes atoms of xenon which is the propellant for the spacecraftâ(TM)s thrusters. In addition, such a power plant could potentially increase spaceflight fuel efficiency by 10 times over current chemical propulsion technology and more than double thrust capability compared to current electric propulsion systems, NASA said." NASA's plan is to use this propulsion system on its future Asteroid Redirect Mission, as well as on its mission to Mars.
Hardware

Magic Leap Adds Virtual Reality Head-Tracking and Possibly Hand-Tracking (networkworld.com) 35

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Networkworld: Magic Leap has made progress. A year ago, the MR apparatus wasn't really wearable. This may have been due to the sheer size of the prototype hardware, or the software that adjusts the illusion for head movement and changes in perspective may not have been completed. The complexity of the mathematics of this head-tracking applied to the complexity of the mathematics of Magic Leap's proprietary light-field chip may have required more development time. The Wired report of Kelly's experience indicates the prototype headset he tested is now wearable, perhaps untethered from a high-powered graphics-rendering computer used by the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Kelly's report raises the question: Could Magic Leap have implemented hand-tracking, too? He writes, "When I raise a hand, it approaches and extends a glowing appendage to touch my fingertip."
EU

EU Unveils Plan To Force Facebook, Google and Amazon To Pay Their Fair Share of Tax (independent.co.uk) 263

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: The European Commission is bringing forward plans to make major multinationals such as Google, Amazon and Facebook disclose exactly where and how much tax they pay across the continent. The plan was expected to include rules requiring businesses earning more than 600 million euros a year (nearly $700 USD) to open up their tax affairs to public scrutiny, revealing their profits and accounts in every country in which they operate within the EU. Since the Panama Papers, a new clause has reportedly been added to require the companies to say how much money they make in so-called "tax havens." A final, more general statement would reveal profits in the rest of the world, treated as a single item. The plans will be presented by Britain's EU Commissioner, Lord Hill, who told the BBC: "This is a carefully thought through but ambitious proposal for more transparency on tax. While our proposal on [country-by-country reporting] is not of course focused principally on the response to the Panama Papers, there is an important connection between our continuing work on tax transparency and tax havens that we are building into the proposal."
Music

Music Streaming Service Exclusives Make Pirating Tempting Again (theverge.com) 207

The advent of online music streaming service has made it easier for millions of people worldwide to listen to all of their favorite songs, and convinced plenty to pay for music. But with the space of music streaming service getting increasingly crowded and artists beginning to do exclusive with select platforms, it has again become inconvenient for people to get everything they want with one subscription. The Verge's Ashley Carman writes that this is pushing many people to resort to piracy. Carman writes: Rampant piracy could make a comeback, solely because streaming service exclusives, and complete artist opt-outs, make it impossible to get all music in one place. Last week, Drake dropped two new singles off his upcoming album Views from the 6. The tracks are currently only available on Apple Music. Last month, Kanye West released his newest album The Life of Pablo on Tidal only. It came to Spotify this month after an estimated 500,000 people had already torrented it. Big Sean and Jhen's Aiko released their collaboration album TWENTY88 on only Tidal at first. Beyonce and Nicki Minaj released a Tidal-only music video for Feeling Myself. More than a million people signed up for Tidal over the course of a day just to get Kanye's new album, though it's assumed that most won't stick around. At what cost to listeners are these exclusives being made and where does it leave fans? If users wanted to subscribe to only one service, it would come out to approximately $120 per year. Two services will cost $240, and three services, say, Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify, will cost $360, which will be a substantial cost to casual listeners.
Businesses

Laid-Off Abbott IT Workers Won't Have To Train Their Replacements (computerworld.com) 284

dcblogs writes: An angry letter from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) protesting Abbott Labs' IT employee layoff may be having an impact, but not the way the senator wanted. The layoffs are part of plan by Abbott to shift some IT work to India-based Wipro, a major user H-1B visas, and Abbott is proceeding with the cuts despite Durbin's plea "to reconsider this plan and retain these U.S. workers." Abbott put the number of impacted IT employees at "fewer than 150." Durbin's letter has it at 180. But Abbott may be making changes in how the layoffs are conducted. IT employees, who only spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were initially told they would be training replacements. But Abbott said Friday that the "affected Abbott IT employees are not being asked to train their replacements." The firm's statement appears to confirm the latest employee accounts of what's going on. One worker said the replacement training may be limited to employees who aren't losing their jobs. The training of replacements was a major issue for Durbin. In his letter to the firm, Durbin wrote: "To add insult to injury, the Abbott Labs IT staff who will be laid off will first be forced to train their replacements."

Slashdot Top Deals

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Working...