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Submission + - Three college students were behind BBC, Trump cyberattacks (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: How many hackers does it take to bring down one of the world's largest websites? Turns out, only three, and two of them are still in college.

Several sources have told ZDNet that despite claiming to have dozens of members across the world, the New World Hackers' consists of just three core members who carry out the bulk of the group's cyberattacks — the youngest of which is still a teenager.

The group also targeted and downed Donald Trump's campaign website and banking giant HSBC's website in separate attacks.

Submission + - No, You Can't Predict Likely Criminals Based On Their Facial Features (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In a recent paper, researchers Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang claim they've found evidence that criminality can be predicted based on facial features—they say they've trained classifiers using various machine learning techniques that were able to distinguish photos of criminals from photos of non-criminals with a high level of accuracy. At Backchannel, Katherine Bailey points out one major flaw with that notion: if human beings can be prone to bias, the machine learning systems they trained can, too.

Submission + - Amazon Just Launched A Cashier-free Convenience Store

Dave Knott writes: Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards. Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine. Though Amazon Go does do away with human cashiers, we haven’t seen anything about robots physically stocking the store, so while it does eliminate some jobs, it’s not a completely automated system... at least, not yet.

Submission + - Scientists Develop Robotic Hand For People With Quadriplegia (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup. The low-cost device was tested in Spain on six people with quadriplegia affecting their ability to grasp or manipulate objects. By wearing a cap that measures electric brain activity and eye movement the users were able to send signals to a tablet computer that controlled the glove-like device attached to their hand. Participants in the small-scale study were able to perform daily activities better with the robotic hand than without, according to results published Tuesday in the journal Science Robotics. It took participants just 10 minutes to learn how to use the system before they were able to carry out tasks such as picking up potato chips or signing a document. According to Surjo R. Soekadar, a neuroscientist at the University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany and lead author of the study, participants represented typical people with high spinal cord injuries, meaning they were able to move their shoulders but not their fingers. There were some limitations to the system, though. Users had to have sufficient function in their shoulder and arm to reach out with the robotic hand. And mounting the system required another person's help.

Submission + - Doom Roguelike Open Sourced seemingly to spite Zenimax® Takedown (kickstarter.com)

jeffm2501 writes: Kornel Kisielewicz has published the pascal source code and art assets for his roguelike take on the first person shooter DOOM, on github [https://github.com/ChaosForge/doomrl] under the GPL v2 license. This comes only a few days after the project received a takedown letter form Zenimax (the owner of the Doom IP) [https://twitter.com/epyoncf/status/804482084702187520?lang=en].

In posting the source the author states:
"The big news today is that D**mRL (or DRL as we may have to start calling it) is now open source! The plan was to release this upon conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign as a thank you to backers, but Zenimax® have pushed our hand."

The authors are currently involved in a kick-starter campaign to create a new game based on an original IP, titled "Jupiter Hell"[https://jupiterhell.com/],

Submission + - To promote tech education, Canada's Prime Minister made his own game (gamasutra.com)

Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it.

It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appear to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.

Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

Submission + - Should Federally funded projects require sharing revenue on results? (theatlantic.com)

riskkeyesq writes: The Atlantic is running a story about the patent fight between MIT and Berkeley over the invention of CRISPR.
"This week, the biggest science-patent dispute in decades is getting a hearing at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters. The invention in dispute is the gene-editing technique CRISPR, and at stake are millions, maybe even billions, of dollars for the winning side. CRISPR is the hugely hyped technology that could launch life-saving therapies, novel genetically modified crops, new forms of mosquito control, and more. It could—without much exaggeration—change the world."
Shouldn't Federally funded projects return a portion of the proceeds to the people?

Submission + - Samsung to ditch the headphone jack too.

Pascoea writes: Following close behind Apple, and a number of others, it looks like Samsung will be omitting the headphone jack from the Galaxy S8.

From Business Insider

"Samsung will omit the 3.5mm headphone jack from its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, according to a new report from SamMobile. Instead, the report says, you’ll have to use headphones that connect over USB-C, which Samsung first adopted with the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7, a 3.5mm adapter, or headphones connect wirelessly over Bluetooth."

The article continues:

"While the outrage over Apple’s decision appears to have subsided in the weeks after the iPhone 7’s launch, Bluetooth headphones are still far less popular than traditional pairs, often come at a price premium, and tend to have lesser audio quality."

iPhone owners, has the "outrage" subsided?

Comment Some do, others whine (Score 1) 169

Look, you'd have to be insane to be buying inefficient fossil fuel power nowadays. It's way too expensive, has fire and insurance risks, and it's too expensive.

Plus, non-renewables cost too much.

Did I mention the cold hard business fact that efficient modern energy supplies from renewables are cheaper?

Put that in your e-cig and blaze it

Submission + - EU Data Regulations Will Disrupt Online Advertising Business Model

Presto Vivace writes: New EU Data Regulations Will 'Rip Global Digital Ecosystem Apart'

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn't come into force until May 2018, but when it does it will have a profound effect on businesses. The regulation will apply to data about every one of the EU's 500 million citizens, wherever in the world it is processed or stored. ... ... Put simply, targeting and tracking companies will need to get user consent somehow. Everything that invisibly follows a user across the internet will, from May 2018, have to pop up and make itself known in order to seek express permission from individuals.

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