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Android

Low-Cost Android One Phones Coming To The US, Says Report (theverge.com) 13

The Android One platform is a program designed by Google to provide budget-friendly Android smartphones to developing markets. The phones are attractive because they contain no bloatware, competing services, and a lack of software and security updates -- the stuff that most low-end smartphones contain. According to a report from The Information, the program is about to make its way to the U.S. market. The Verge reports: Android One phones have historically been produced by companies you probably haven't heard of, like Micromax, Cherry, and QMobile. Originally Google had a direct hand in detailing what components would go into the phone, but apparently became more flexible over time and eventually expanded the program beyond India to parts of Africa, Spain, and Portugal. Android One may not have been the rousing worldwide success Google was hoping for, but it's still an important initiative for the company. Especially at the low end, there's a lot of incentive for manufacturers to pile on extra software in a bid to make those devices more profitable -- but that could cut against Google's efforts to make its own services more pervasive and popular. If Google really does put some real effort behind Android One, it could make its plans for Android a little clearer. Google itself has taken a stand that it wants to make its own hardware at the high-end of the smartphone market with the Pixel, and if The Information's report is accurate, it wants to ensure that its services are not cut out from the low end.
NASA

NASA Is Making New Robots That Can Control Themselves (vice.com) 12

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: NASA wants humans and robots to work together as teams. To ensure that, the space agency's autonomous robotics group is currently developing new technology to improve how humans explore the solar system, and how robots can help. When NASA began working with remotely operated robots several years ago, Fong said the scientists needed a piece of software that would allow them to look at terrain and sensor data coming from autonomous robots. That led to the creation of VERVE, a "3D robot user interface," which allows scientists to see and grasp the three-dimensional world of remotely operated robots. VERVE has been used with NASA's K10 planetary rovers (a prototype mobile robot that can travel bumpy terrain), with its K-Rex planetary rovers (robot to determine soil moisture), with SPHERES (Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) on the International Space Station (ISS), and with the new robot Astrobee (a robot that can fly around the ISS). In 2013, NASA carried out a series of tests with astronauts on the ISS, during which astronauts who were flying 200 miles above Earth remotely operated the K10 planetary rover in California. Because of time delay, astronauts can't just "joystick a robot," said Maria Bualat, deputy lead of intelligent robotics group at the NASA Ames Research Center. "You need a robot that can operate on its own, complete tasks on its own," she said. "On the other hand, you still want the human in the loop, because the human brings a lot of experience and very powerful cognitive ability that can deal with issues that the autonomy's not quite ready to handle." That's why, according to NASA, human capabilities and robotic capabilities comprise a powerful combination.

Comment Not at all. Read Dotcom's license plate (Score 1) 76

If you want to know whether Kim Dotcom is guilty, look at his license plate.

Mega was designed for, and heavily advertised, unlawfully uploaded videos. The owners actually unlawfully uploaded copyright-protected content themselves, and discussed a reward system to get people to unlawfully upload more infringing material. Mega was a service designed and operated for illegal activity.

Youtube is a place for cat videos.

Someone *could* have used Mega for some legal activity, just as they *could* use a pipe bomb in a legal way. However, if you sell online "pipe bomb kit for anarchists - fight back against the government", you'll rightfully end up in handcuffs.

Submission + - Dutch Developer Added Backdoor To Websites He Built, Phished Over 20,000 Users (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Dutch developer illegally accessed the accounts of over 20,000 users after he allegedly collected their login information via backdoors installed on websites he built. According to an official statement, Dutch police officials are now in the process of notifying these victims about the crook's actions. The hacker, yet to be named by Dutch authorities, was arrested on July 11, 2016, at a hotel in Zwolle, the Netherlands, and police proceeded to raid two houses the crook owned, in Leeuwarden and Sneek. According to Dutch police, the 35-years-old suspect was hired to build e-commerce sites for various companies. After doing his job, the developer also left backdoors in those websites, which he used to install various scripts that allowed him to collect information on the site's users. Police say that it's impossible to determine the full breadth of his hacking campaign, but evidence found on his laptop revealed he gained access to over 20,000 email accounts. Authorities say the hacker used his access to these accounts to read people's private email conversations, access their social media profiles, sign-up for gambling sites with the victim's credentials, and access online shopping sites to make purchases for himself using the victim's funds.

Comment Re:corporations may not collectively bargain (Score 1) 88

Your analogy fails because union members are analogous to shareholders, not the corporations they form. Personally I'd be fine with individuals opting out of a closed shop as long as they also opted out of any wage rises or benefits the union wins on behalf of its members.
AI

AI Can Predict When Patients Will Die From Heart Failure 'With 80% Accuracy' (ibtimes.co.uk) 65

New submitter drunkdrone quotes a report from International Business Times: Scientists say they have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) program that is capable of predicting when patients with a serious heart disorder will die with an 80% accuracy rate. Researchers from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) believe the software will allow doctors to better treat patients with pulmonary hypertension by determining how aggressive their treatment needs to be. The researchers' program assessed the outlook of 250 patients based on blood test results and MRI scans of their hearts. It then used the data to create a virtual 3D heart of each patient which, combined with the health records of "hundreds" of previous patients, allowed it to learn which characteristics indicated fatal heart failure within five years. The LMS scientists claim that the software was able to accurately predict patients who would still be alive after a year around 80% of the time. The computer was able to analyze patients "in seconds," promising to dramatically reduce the time it takes doctors to identify the most at-risk individuals and ensure they "give the right treatment to the right patients, at the right time." Dr Declan O'Regan, one the lead researchers from LMS, said: "This is the first time computers have interpreted heart scans to accurately predict how long patients will live. It could transform the way doctors treat heart patients. The researchers now hope to field-test the technology in hospitals in London in order to verify the data obtained from their trials, which have been published in the medical journal Radiology.
Google

Google Maps Starts Showing Parking Availability For Some Users (arstechnica.com) 34

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Back in August, Cody found strings in his teardown of Google Maps v9.34 beta that hinted at an upcoming display of parking difficulty. The option may have crept up for some users since then, but now we have our first glance into how the feature will work since it has started showing up for more users on Maps v9.44 beta. Parking availability will be shown as a small rounded P icon next to your route duration estimate when you search for driving directions, followed by more descriptive text. As Cody's teardown showed, there are three levels to look for: Limited, Medium, and Easy. Limited parking will get the P icon to turn red. Once you start driving toward your destination, you can expand the directions to get a more descriptive explanation of the parking situation. Our tipster tells us that according to his tests, parking availability shows up for public destinations like malls and airports and various attractions. The option doesn't seem to be live for everyone on Maps v9.44 beta (APK Mirror link), so you may need to be patient to see it on your phone.
Businesses

US Antitrust Agency Sues Qualcomm Over Patent Licensing (reuters.com) 28

Qualcomm shares have plunged after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday, accusing the company of using "anticompetitive" tactics to maintain its monopoly on a key semiconductor used in mobile phones. Reuters reports: The FTC, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, said that San Diego-based Qualcomm used its dominant position as a supplier of certain phone chips to impose "onerous" supply and licensing terms on cellphone manufacturers and to weaken competitors. Qualcomm said in a statement that it would "vigorously contest" the complaint and denied FTC allegations that it threatened to withhold chips in order to collect unreasonable licensing fees. In its complaint, the FTC said the patents that Qualcomm sought to license are standard essential patents, which means that the industry uses them widely and they are supposed to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. The FTC complaint also accused Qualcomm of refusing to license some standard essential patents to rival chipmakers, and of entering into an exclusive deal with Apple Inc. The FTC asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose to order Qualcomm to end these practices.

Comment Re:Gender change as collateral damage? (Score 1) 314

First, we're pretty sure that GD gets started in the 12th week by, in m2f transsexuals, the male gonads not releasing testosterone at that critical time. We can retroactively tell the intrauterine testosterone environment by the growth rate of different bones in the body at different points in development. (see 2D:4D digit ratio). While it's a strong indicator in white males, it's not so good in other ethnicities, and it's not 100% determinative, but it's a damn good red flag that something didn't happen when it should, and that affected the development of the fetal brain.

Just look up the definition of GD. There is no "spectrum." Either you have it or you don't. Now, in terms of treatment, there IS a spectrum. Some people do okay just with social transition, some add hormones, some get a lopitoffofme or an addadicktome. Some can't access various treatment options because of financial, social, legal, or medical reasons.

The other "transgenderisms" are just simply not medical conditions, same as sexual orientation isn't, same as eye color isn't (except for the lack of pigment which causes problems). There's no demand for treatment, no medical reason for one.

What you describe is not transsexualism. Here's a simplified list

If you're a teenager or adult with gender dysphoria, you may feel:

  • without doubt that your gender identity is at odds with your biological sex
  • comfortable only when in the gender role of your preferred gender identity
  • a strong desire to hide or be rid of the physical signs of your sex, such as breasts, body hair or muscle definition
  • a strong dislike for – and a strong desire to change or be rid of – the genitalia of your biological sex

Without appropriate help and support, some people may try to suppress their feelings and attempt to live the life of their biological sex. Ultimately, however, most people are unable to keep this up.

Having or suppressing these feelings is often very difficult to deal with and, as a result, many transsexuals and people with gender dysphoria experience depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

When they say "strong desire", think "taking a knife to it and cutting it off yourself." It's not a social thing so much as "this is SO F*ING WRONG I WANT IT GONE ANY WAY POSSIBLE - no doubts, no regrets."

Also, forget the whole "coached as to what to say if you want to go through the approval process." These assholes briefing you (and they are assholes if they're feeding you this pantload of crap) are 20 years out of date. It doesn't work that way except in some backwards gender clinics. Just. Tell. The. Truth. There are no wrong answers, and if you make sh*t up, you're more liable to screw yourself over than anything else.

If you end up dealing with someone still practicing as if it was their role to be a "gatekeeper", find someone else. Gatekeepers cannot help you nearly as well. Those gatekeepers still exist, and you can see by the "coaching" that those who have gone through them in the past feel you need to have, that they have done some serious damage.

You should never have to "sell" the idea that you're transsexual. If you feel you have, maybe it's just not right for you, or you've been given some really bad advice.

Either way, best of luck.

PS: Gender clinics will lie to you. In many jurisdictions, you no longer have to go through one to be approved for surgery, but they won't tell you that - and neither will many of the practitiioners, such as endocrinologists, because the government doesn't go out of their way to say the rules have changed. Not even the trans-specific orgs will necessarily know. There's no incentive to "get the word out" in the industry and piss off working relationships.

For example, here all you need are a letter from a psychiatrist who has known you for 6 months, a second mental health professional who has seen you at least once, the doctor (can be a GP) who has prescribed hormones for at least 6 months (and yes, GPs can prescribe hormones without you seeing a specialist for an assessment - it's called either the harm prevention (if you would otherwise get illegal hormones) or informed consent (if you have been told of the risks) model - and both meet WPATH standards), and a doctor who says you're healthy enough to undergo surgery.

And yet the gender clinic will tell you that you can only get hormones through them, that you have to be in therapy every week and group every 2 weeks for a year before, and that there's another 2 years minimum of therapy before you can get surgery. It's all about the money, baby.

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