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Submission + - Microsoft Patents AI To Monitor All Actions In Windows And Feed It To Bing ( 1

MojoKid writes: Microsoft has angered users over the past year for its willingness to push the boundaries of acceptable practice for promoting adoption of its operating system. Also, some feel it crossed that line with respect to user data collection and privacy concerns. However, Microsoft stands to garner a lot more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product. The title of the filing is "Query Formulation Via Task Continuum" and it aims to make it easier for apps to share data in real-time so that the user can perform better searches. Microsoft feels that the current software model in which applications are self-contained within their own silos potentially slows the user down. To combat this disconnect, Microsoft has devised a way to facilitate better communications between apps through the use of what it calls a "mediation component." This is Microsoft's all-seeing-eye that monitors all input within apps to decipher what the user is trying to accomplish. All of this information could be gathered from apps like Word, Skype, or even Notepad by the mediator and processed. So when the user goes to the Edge web browser to further research a topic, those contextual concepts are automatically fed into a search query. Microsoft says that this will provide faster, more relevant searchers to users. The company says the mediator can be introduced as an optional module that can be installed in an operating system or directly built in. If it's the latter, plenty of people will likely be looking for a kill switch.

Submission + - iOS 10 Just Made Hacking Into iPhone And iPad Backups Much Easier (

MojoKid writes: Apple bills iOS 10 as being "More personal. More powerful. More playful." Given the features that Apple has infused into the mobile operating system including a totally revamped iMessage app, rich notifications, third-party app integration with Siri, more useful 3D Touch actions and the like, it does seem like a fairly robust upgrade. However, at least one area in iOS 10 has seen a bit of a regression compared to previous versions, and it could leave your iPhone and iPad data less secure than before. Russian researchers at ElcomSoft say that Apple has made local iTunes backups for devices more vulnerable to hackers, thanks to what is described as an "alternative password verification mechanism" that has been added with iOS 10. Reportedly, this new method offers a shortcut for verification, allowing it to skip some critical security checks. As a result, iOS 10 backup passwords in iTunes can be obtained through brute force methods "approximately 2,500 times faster" than what was possible with iOS 9.

Submission + - Cisco Blames Router Bug On Cosmic Radiation, Reeks Of Weak Sauce Excuses (

MojoKid writes: A bug that afflicts Cisco's ASR 9000 Series routers is making a bit of a stir in the IT community recently. While big iron networking appliance bug reports for hardware issues are not uncommon, it's Cisco's explanation of a specific malady that's causing some consternation in data center circles. Cisco Bug CSCuz62750 is described as causing "partial data traffic loss", with data loss sometimes even occurring after a CRC (Cyclical Redundancy Check). The kicker here, however, is that Cisco says that it has observed the software errors on an operational network and that it could possibly be triggered by "cosmic radiation" causing SEU soft errors in its line cards, code named "Juggernaut." This of course sounds like the high tech equivalent of "the dog ate my homework." Though cosmic radiation effects on electronics are a real phenomenon, if your machine is the only one machine in a data center routinely suffering from cosmic radiation-induced issues, while the rest of the data center appliances hum along happily without a blip, you know there's going to be a whole lot of finger-pointing going on with IT managers, CTOs and CIOs in more than a few conference rooms.

Submission + - 77% of Ad Blocking Users Feel Guilty about Blocking Ads ( 3

An anonymous reader writes: A new survey has found that 77% of ad blocking users feel “some guilt” about blocking ads. This goes against common stereotypes that ad blocking users don’t care about digital content publishers losing revenue, and suggests that if publishers took steps to make their ads less intrusive and less annoying, users might be more tolerant of their advertising.

The report was primarily focused on users’ whitelisting behavior, their feeling and reactions toward publishers who utilize anti-ad blocking tactics, and their thoughts on online advertising in general.

Comment Re:It's missing the full picture (Score 1) 198

I think your diagram might be misleading for the Germans' particular use case.

Presumably, the transport/transfer phase here is where the hydrogen is taken to some kind of "filling station" where fuel cell vehicles will be fitted with fuel cells. It seems to me you can cut out some of these steps/losses when the vehicle you're filling up with hydrogen is itself a train, which is more than powerful enough to transport large volume of hydrogen all by itself. Build a line out to the the electrolysis plant and the hyrdrogen never even needs to leave the railway system.

Furthermore, I haven't bothered to read TFA but the hydrogen train designs I've read about do have batteries, so they are not exempt from the efficiencies of regenerative braking.

Comment Re:Asinine. (Score 1) 410

There is no compelling interest in keeping plans for primitive 3D printed guns away from anyway, and there is no possible argument that there is.

My read is that the argument is a "slippery slope" one. The lawsuit was intentionally filed with the aim of setting a legal precedent that could potentially apply to other, less primitive weapons.

Submission + - Appeals Court Decision Kills North Carolina Town's Gigabit Internet (

MojoKid writes: In early August the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the FCC had no authority to prevent states from imposing restrictions on municipal internet. This was a result of the FCC stepping in last year in an effort to "remove barriers to broadband investment and competition." However, the courts sided with the states, which said that the FCC's order impeded on state rights. In the end, this ruling clearly favored firmly entrenched big brand operators like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and AT&T, which lobby hard to keep competition at bay. The federal ruling specifically barred municipal internet providers from offering service outside of their city limits, denying them from providing service to under-served communities. The fallout from the federal court's rejection of the FCC order to extend a lifeline to municipal internet providers has claimed another victim. The small community of Pinetops, North Carolina — population 1,300 — will soon have its gigabit internet connection shut off. Pinetops has been the recipient of Greenlight internet service, which is provided by the neighboring town of Wilson. The town of Wilson has been providing electric power to Pinetops for the past 40 years, and had already deployed fiber through the town in order to bolster its smart grid initiative. What's infuriating to the Wilson City Council and to the Pinetop residents that will lose their high-speed service, is that the connections are already in place. There's no logical reason why they should be cut off, but state laws and the lobbyists supporting those laws have deemed what Greenlight is doing illegal. Provide power to a neighboring town — sure that's OK. Provide better internet to a neighboring town — lawsuit

Submission + - Cisco Talos: Spam at levels not seen since 2010 (

coondoggie writes: Spam is back in a big way – levels that have not been seen since 201o in fact. That’s according to a blog post today form Cisco Talos that stated the main culprit of the increase is largely the handiwork of the Necurs botnet, stated the blog’s author Jaeson Schultz.

Submission + - HP Sprocket Pocket Printer Wirelessly Prints 2x3-inch Photos From Smartphones (

MojoKid writes: HP just announced the Sprocket — a pocket-sized printer that can easily print 2" x 3" photos from a smartphone. The Sprocket printer measures 4.53 x 2.95 x 0.87 inches and weighs just 0.379 pounds. It comes with up to 512MB of onboard storage along with Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC connectivity. The Sprocket incorporates a two-cell 500 mAh Li-Polymer 7.4 V battery and takes roughly 90 minutes to charge. The print quality is 313 x 400 dpi and the device supports .jpeg, .tiff, .gif, .bmp, and .png image types. It uses thermal ZINK Zero Ink to print on HP ZINK sticky-backed photo paper. Users print through the HP Sprocket app, which is freely available on iOS and Android. The mini printer will include a 10-pack of HP ZINK Photo Paper for $129.99.

Submission + - Samsung Unveils 960 Pro and 960 EVO SSDs At Up To 3.5GB/sec And 2TB Capacity (

MojoKid writes: Samsung announced a new family of 960 EVO and 960 Pro NVMe PCI Express M.2 Solid State Drives today. Built on Samsung's 3D V-NAND technology and employing the new Samsung Polaris SSD controller, the 960 Pro is Samsung's highest performance, high endurance drive and the successor to last year's 950 Pro. The 960 EVO is the lower cost model and a follow-on to last year's Samsung 950 EVO drive. The 960 EVO is also powered by the same Samsung Polaris controller but employs more cost-efficient Samsung TLC NAND memory. Both drives arrive in standard M.2 gumstick form factors with PCI Express Gen 3 X4 interfaces and utilizing the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol for lightning-fast speeds and low latency. Specifically, the 960 Pro offers up to 3.5GB/sec and 2.1GB/sec of sequential read and write throughput respectively, with endurance rated at up to 1200TB writes per day. The 950 EVO's specs drop in at a peak 3.2GB/sec and 1.9GB/sec for reads and writes respectively, with a top-end endurance rating of 400TB written per day. The 960 Pro will come in 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities starting at $329, while the 950 EVO comes in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities starting at $129. Samsung will be shipping the drives in October this year.

Submission + - Huawei Matebook Joins Surface Pro 4 In New Ad Poking At iPad Pro Shortcomings (

MojoKid writes: Politicians are not the only ones mudslinging this season. Huawei's Matebook and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 have teamed up to continue to try and humiliate the iPad Pro and its various shortcomings. In Huawei's latest commercial, the iPad Pro is being pushed out of the cool kid's table. The advertisement battle all started when Apple released its initial iPad Pro commercial. The iPad Pro ad is titled "What's a computer?" and starts with "Just when you think you know what a computer is, you see a keyboard that can just get out of the way...and a screen you can touch and even write on." The commercial ends with the statement, "Imagine what your computer to do, if it was an iPad Pro." The implication in this ad is that the addition of the keyboard makes the iPad Pro a "computer." Of course Microsoft could not resist poking fun at Apple in their own Surface Pro 4 commercial, suggesting that it is a real computer while the iPad Pro is a wannabe. Huawei's own commercial plays on the Microsoft's ad. All three devices are side-by-side at a party with a piñata. The Matebook says "Hey, congrats on that keyboard" and then the iPad Pro responds, "who are you?" The Matebook runs off a list of its various features and tells the Surface Pro 4, "I think we are going to get along great." The Surface Pro 4 then replied, "welcome to the party." Huawei's ad of course implies that the Matebook is not only better than the iPad Pro, but is on par with the Surface Pro 4. The Matebook starts at $649 USD and is currently available from Windows, Amazon, and Newegg.

Submission + - Experiencing Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga With OLED Display (

MojoKid writes: Lenovo recently started shipping its ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop with an OLED (Organic LED) display with a native WQHD resolution of 2560X1440. This display is a significant upgrade for the machine, offering a dramatic improvement in image quality, in terms of brightness, contrast, saturation, and color gamut coverage, versus a standard IPS display. For roughly a $240 price premium over Lenovo's standard IPS panel option in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the OLED upgrade is an impressive gain in display output capability. In side by side testing versus and IPS display equipped ThinkPad X1 Carbon, viewing angles with the new OLED panel are vastly improved. Finally, As it turns out, the new ThinkPad's OLED display also offers a notable improvement in battery life as well. With notebook displays, burn-in risk is lower since most machines either sleep or power off the machine when idle to preserve battery life. OLED panels are really a win-win for latops and it's time notebook manufacturers start including them as an option in more of their product lines, hopefully driving cost down with economies of scale in volume.

Submission + - Small, low flying drones the target of newfangled DARPA defense system (

coondoggie writes: DARPA said it envisions its Aerial Dragnet program will develop technologies to deliver persistent, wide-area surveillance of all low flying unmanned aircraft via a network of surveillance nodes. These nodes would offer coverage, say of a neighborhood-sized urban area, perhaps mounted on long-endurance unmanned aircraft.

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