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Earth

Global Warming Started 180 Years Ago Near Beginning of Industrial Revolution, Says Study (smh.com.au) 678

New research led by scientists at the Australian National University's Research School of Earth suggests that humans first started to significantly change the climate in the 1830s, near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The findings have been published in the journal Nature, and "were based on natural records of climate variation in the world's oceans and continents, including those found in corals, ice cores, tree rings and the changing chemistry of stalagmites in caves." Sydney Morning Herald reports: "Nerilie Abram, another of the lead authors and an associate professor at the Australian National University's Research School of Earth Sciences, said greenhouse gas levels rose from about 280 parts per million in the 1830s to about 295 ppm by the end of that century. They now exceed 400 ppm. Understanding how humans were already altering the composition of the atmosphere through the 19th century means the warming is closer to the 1.5 to 2 degrees target agreed at last year's Paris climate summit than most people realize." "It was one of those moments where science really surprised us," says Abram. "But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago."
Botnet

'Smart' Electrical Socket Leaks Your Email Address, Can Launch DDoS Attacks (softpedia.com) 82

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: There is an insecure IoT smart electrical socket on the market that leaks your Wi-Fi password, your email credentials (if configured), and is also poorly coded, allowing attackers to hijack the device via a simple command injection in the password field. Researchers say that because of the nature of the flaws, attackers can overwrite its firmware and add the device to a botnet, possibly using it for DDoS attacks, among other things. Bitdefender didn't reveal the device's manufacturer but said the vendor is working on a fix, which will be released in late Q3 2016. Problems with the device include a lack of encryption for device communications and the lack of any basic input sanitization for the password field. "Up until now most IoT vulnerabilities could be exploited only in the proximity of the smart home they were serving, however, this flaw allows hackers to control devices over the internet and bypass the limitations of the network address translation," says Alexandru Balan, Chief Security Researcher at Bitdefender. "This is a serious vulnerability, we could see botnets made up of these power outlets."

Comment Blocking should have been in the radio protocols (Score 1) 537

This would not have been necessary if the radio protocols for mobile/cell phones had included a provision for blocking in the first place.

It would not just be convenient to have in bars and movie theatres; some hospital departments need cell-phones to be off for some very sensitive equipment (MRI, etc.) to work properly.
It is not as if illicit cell phone use have not been a problem at hospitals and movie theatres since they first were introduced.

I think having the phone stop transmitting by itself would be a much better solution than a Faraday cage. Then it would still be possible to call emergency services.

Comment Re:But it's still Windows 10 (Score 1) 375

Except that it does not work well as a touch-oriented mobile UI either.
The first time you need to do something remotely advanced it launches a dialog designed for mouse and keyboard, where everything is very small and hard to tap.

Let's say that you want to do something as basic as open a file in the touch-oriented Reader app, then you are forced to use the regular mouse-and-keyboard oriented file dialog.

Need to disable background downloading on the very limited hotel Wifi or Wifi from a tethered phone? Then you need to get into the mouse-and-keyboard oriented Control Panel.

Move or copy a file? The regular file manager. Good luck trying to select more than one file at once: there are gestures for it, but the gesture recognition is very finicky.

Try to tap a link in the web browser? No, half the times Edge thinks that you want to highlight a word in the link.

And so on ...

If my tablet did not stylus support, it would have driven me crazy.

And oh yes.. You'd better not have a high-DPI screen because apps to be written for it if the UI is not going to be minuscule.

Comment Re:Waste of effort (Score 1) 100

Indeed. Movie theatres should deal with getting rid of the bad experiences at the theatre and make sure that the picture and sound quality is top notch.
That is what would bring people back - not gimmicks.

There are theatres that will kick you out if you talk too much during the movie or use a cell phone.
All theatres should be that way.

Instead we have theatre chain executives who "give up" because "millenials are always on the phone", we get movies projected in 2K -- which is only a little bit more than the five year old "Full HD" TV that I got at home -- but with stutter.

Comment Better-binned Titan X? (Score 2) 35

According to Anandtech, the GPU is the GP102 which is the same as in the recently announced top-end consumer card "Titan X" (note: not "GTX Titan X".. confusing? yes)

The Titan X has 3584 shader processors while the Quadro P6000 has 3840 and twice the memory. I assume that this means that the Titan X has a lower-binned chip.
Previous generation of Nvidia GPUs ("Maxwell" architecture) has a GPU called GTX 980 Ti, which was a lower-binned GTX Titan X with half the memory. Now when the 10-series Titan X is already the lower-binned GPU, I suppose this means that there will not be any "GTX 1080 Ti".

Comment Re:biometric identification insecure by nature (Score 1) 93

The biggest fallacy of using biometrics for security is that biometric codes can not be changed.
Once a biometric code has been cracked then that code is useless forever and you are stuck with it. If a protected resource requires e.g. an iris or finger print but that print is revoked, then you can never use that authentication mechanism every again.
If someone successfully guesses your password (or encryption key) then you can rescind it and use another.

Another fallacy is that it is actually not difficult to get hold of biometric keys. Irises can be read at a distance now. You put your fingerprints on everything you touch. Face recognition can be foiled by a mask, etc.

Comment Re:I Use Multiple Profiles (Score 2) 126

That's how it should work. And yes, the problem is making it easy to create a new profile.

I have long requested that each private browsing window be its own private session, with no sharing of cookies between them.
What if we would start with that, and create new "profiles" from "private browsing" sessions: a single button could be used for "saving" a temporary session.

Comment Does Hyperloop even understand Stockholm? (Score 4, Informative) 175

This story was posted on Slashdot when Stockholm and Helsinki were asleep. It is morning here now so not many posts yet..

I don't see how it would be possible to build the tunnel for only 3.3 billion Euros, when a much shorter road or railway tunnel inside Stockholm could easily cost more than that amount. There is not a straight route through the sea from Stockholm towards Finland. Shipping lanes are already squiggly route through the archipelago where there are several nature-preserves. Either straight or following the shipping lanes, the multi-decade construction project of a Hyperloop would be very disruptive both to shipping, to nature and to the people living in the archipelago. It would likely hurt the local, if not national economy, disturb people's lives and would certainly not help property values in the affected areas.

Increased property values... that could only be a short-term benefit, to some and only if would come at no cost, and if the properties are not already overvalued.
There is a housing shortage in Stockholm and residential property values are already through the roof. They were considered high a decade ago already and conditions are not expected to change very quickly. There is a lending bubble. Increased property values is not what we need.

The most common way to travel between Stockholm and Helsinki is not by plane, but on a overnight ferry. And these already go from city-centre to city-centre. There are a couple of competing companies providing ferry service, with competition working to keep prices down.
You can bring a car on the ferry. Could you bring a car on the Hyperloop? The ferries provide dining, bars, nightclubs and accommodation at several price-points on the same ferry.

I don't see any place in the already congested city centre where a Hyperloop station could be established. There is already very expensive, deep tunnel being constructed only for commuter trains because of congestion in surface traffic between north and south.
The only place for a Hyperloop terminus would therefore have to be outside the city, with added travel time to and from the Hyperloop. And then how would that be better than the plane or the ferry?

Comment Re:Is it even possible to buy a new 32 bit chip? (Score 1) 378

It is not about the processor architecture, but the amount of RAM.
4 GB is about the threshold of when x86-64's page tables are starting to not cost more than it provides.

There are lots of new low-end machines sold even today with no more than 4GB RAM or even 2GB RAM - and a quarter of that is often going to be dedicated to the integrated graphics. These machines often come with 32-bit Windows preinstalled.
If you want a 8" tablet, it is practically only the more expensive high-end models that come with more than 2 GB RAM.

Comment RX 480 draws more power than PCIe spec (Score 2, Informative) 99

Tom's Hardware tested the power consumption of AMD's reference card and saw that could draw more power from both the motherboard and the 6-pin power connector than the PCI Express specification allows for either of them.

I would wait a while before this issue is resolved. Maybe the issue could be fixed with a driver update, in which case only benchmarks done after the driver update would matter.
Maybe a non-reference card will be released with an 8-pin power connector and better power distribution.

Comment Should not be controlled by Apple (Score 1) 266

A tech that would prevent people from using cell phones in movie theatres is sorely needed.
But it would not do any good if it would only prevent filming, and knowing Apple: it would be restricted to Apple devices only ... if used at all: Apple has tonnes of patents that they don't use.

It should have been a part of the cell phone radio protocols from the start and mandatory.

Security

Telegram Bug Allows Attackers To Crash Devices, Jack Up Phone Bills (grahamcluley.com) 50

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have uncovered a vulnerability in Telegram, a popular instant messaging client with over 100M active monthly active users, that attackers could exploit to crash unsuspecting users' devices and jack up their mobile phone bills. To prevent malicious users from abusing the app, Telegram limits text messages to a specific range of characters -- each message must consist of at least one character, and it may not exceed 4,096 characters. But according to Iranian security researchers Sadegh Ahmadzadegan and Omid Ghaffarinia, those limitations can easily be circumvented. The two researchers note in a blog post that a programming error allows a sender to successfully transmit a message with arbitrary length to a receiver. That large file can, in turn, cause the phone to crash or stop working due to a lack of memory. It can also eat up a user's monthly data allotment if they are connected to their mobile network and not Wi-Fi.Telegram is yet to acknowledge the vulnerability, let alone provide a fix for it.

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