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Submission + - How Amazon Echo Could Become The Next-Gen Selfie Stick

An anonymous reader writes: Interesting story on TechCrunch joining the dots on Amazon's interest in computer vision and its connected speaker-plus-virtual assistant in-home device, the Amazon Echo. The author speculates that if Amazon adds a camera to the Echo the device could be used for augmented reality-powered virtual try-ons of products such as clothes, streaming the results to the user's phone or TV.

From the article: "The product development process for Microsoft’s Kinect sensor took around four to five years from conception to shipping a consumer product. The computer vision field has clearly gained from a lot of research since then, and Woodford reckons Amazon could ship an Echo sensor in an even shorter timeframe — say, in the next two years — provided the business was entirely behind the idea and doing everything it could to get such a product to market."

Submission + - Modernizing the Copyright Office (ssrn.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Joshua Simmons has written a new article discussing the growing consensus that it is time to modernize the Copyright Office. It reviews the developments that led to the last major revision of the Copyright Act; discusses Congress's focus since 1976 on narrower copyright bills, rather than a wholesale revision of U.S. copyright law, and the developments that have led to the review hearings; and considers the growing focus on Copyright Office modernization.

Submission + - Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Revealed in MPAA Emails

vivaoporto writes: Techdirt reports a plan to run anti-Google smear campaign via Today Show and WSJ discovered in MPAA Emails.

Despite the resistance of the Hollywood studios to comply with the subpoenas obtained by Google concerning their relationship with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (whose investigation of the company appeared to actually be run by the MPAA and the studios themselves) one of the few emails that Google have been able to get access to so far was revealed this Thursday in a filling. It's an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood's top lawyers in the Mississippi AG's office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google.

The lawyers from Hood's office flat out admit that they're expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories:

Media: We want to make sure that the media is at the NAAG meeting. We propose working with MPAA (Vans), Comcast, and NewsCorp (Bill Guidera) to see about working with a PR firm to create an attack on Google (and others who are resisting AG efforts to address online piracy). This PR firm can be funded through a nonprofit dedicated to IP issues. The "live buys" should be available for the media to see, followed by a segment the next day on the Today Show (David green can help with this). After the Today Show segment, you want to have a large investor of Google (George can help us determine that) come forward and say that Google needs to change its behavior/demand reform. Next, you want NewsCorp to develop and place an editorial in the WSJ emphasizing that Google's stock will lose value in the face of a sustained attack by AGs and noting some of the possible causes of action we have developed.

As Google notes in its legal filing about this email, the "plan" states that if this effort fails, then the next step will be to file the subpoena (technically a CID or "civil investigatory demand") on Google, written by the MPAA but signed by Hood.

As Google points out, this makes it pretty clear that the MPAA, studios and Hood were working hand in hand in all of this and that the subpoena had no legitimate purpose behind it, but rather was the final step in a coordinated media campaign to pressure Google to change the way its search engine works.

Submission + - EU may become a single digital market of 500 million people.

RockDoctor writes: The Guardian is reporting that the EU is becoming increasingly vociferous in it's opposition to "geo-blocking" — the practice of making media services available in some areas but not in others.

“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channel of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU,”

That adds up to a block of nearly 500 million first-world media consumers. They don't necessarily all speak the same language, but English is probably the most commonly understood single language. And the important thing for American media companies to remember is that they're not American in thought, taste or outlook.

Submission + - AMD Starts Rolling Out New Linux Driver Model, But Many Issues Remain (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: With the upcoming Linux 4.2 kernel will be the premiere of the new "AMDGPU" kernel driver to succeed the "Radeon" DRM kernel driver, which is part of AMD's long talked about new Linux driver architecture for supporting the very latest GPUs and all future GPUs. Unfortunately for AMD customers, there's still much waiting. The new open-source AMDGPU Linux code works for Tonga/Carrizo GPUs but it doesn't yet support the latest R9 Fury "Fiji" GPUs, lacks re-clocking/DPM for Tonga GPUs leading to low performance, and there are stability issues under high-load OpenGL apps/games. There's also the matter that current Linux users need to jump through hoops for now in getting the code into a working state with the latest kernel and forked versions of Mesa, libdrm, new proprietary microcode files, and the new xf86-video-amdgpu user-space driver.

Submission + - HardenedBSD Completes Strong ASLR Implementation (hardenedbsd.org)

HardenedBSD writes: A relatively new fork of FreeBSD, HardenedBSD, completed their Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) feature. Without ASLR, applications are loaded into memory in a deterministic manner. An attacker who knows where a vulnerability lies in memory can reliably exploit that vulnerability to manipulate the application to doing the attacker's bidding. ASLR removes the determinism, making it so that an attacker knows that a vulnerability exists, but doesn't know where that vulnerability lies in memory. HardenedBSD's particular implementation of ASLR is the strongest form ever implemented in any of the BSDs.

With HardenedBSD having completed their ASLR implementation, the next step is to update documentation and submit update the patches they have already submitted upstream to FreeBSD. ASLR is the first step in a long list of exploit mitigation technologies HardenedBSD plans to implement. HardenedBSD has also implemented other exploit mitigation, security, and general hardening features, providing great security for FreeBSD.

Submission + - Dmail: Chrome Extension For Gmail , Destroy sent Emails anytime (main-hosting.eu)

Amarjeet Singh writes: Dmail is an chrome extension developed by people who also developed Delicious the social bookmarking app/extension . This little chrome extension allows you to set an self destruct timer on your emails . You can send emails from Gmail as usual , there will be a button just above the send button which if turned on can set an self destruct timer of an hour , a day or a week .

Submission + - AMD clocks 500x spreadsheet speed boost via hardware acceleration in LibreOffice (amd.com)

samtuke writes: AMD processors get rated and reviewed based on performance. It is in our self-interest to make things work really, really fast on AMD hardware. AMD engineers contribute to LibreOffice, for good reason. Think about what happens behind a spreadsheet calculation. There can be a huge amount of math. Writing software to take advantage of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for general purpose computing is non-trivial. We know how to do it. AMD engineers wrote OpenCL kernels, and contributed them to the open source code base. Turning on the OpenCL option to enable GPU Compute resulted in a 500X+ speedup, about ¼ second vs. 2minutes, 21 seconds.

Submission + - Chinese tourist crashes drone into Taipei 101 skyscrapper (yibada.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: A Chinese tourist is under remand for crashing his drone into the Taipei 101 sky scrapper, and ordered to pay a fine of $48,000 (NT $1.5 Million)

Yan Yungfan, a 30-year-old man from eastern China's Fujian Province, was supposedly attempting to film Taipei's cityscape on Tuesday morning with a remotely controlled Phantom 3 UAV when he lost control of the drone, causing it to hit the side of Taipei 101 at around the 30th floor

No one was injured in the incident and only minor damage was sustained by the building's glass windows, but the video immediately became a viral sensation after it was uploaded online

Taipei 101 said in a statement that there have been three incidents of drones crashing around the building since mid-June, with the first two cases taking place on June 15 and June 20. No injuries were reported for both incidents, although the UAV that crashed on June 15 fell less than two meters from pedestrians

Submission + - Eye drops could dissolve cataracts

An anonymous reader writes: As Slashdot readers age, more and more will be facing surgery for cataracts. The lack of cataract surgery in much of the world, is a major cause of blindness. Researchers at University of California San Diego have identified lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of cataract formation that points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and non-surgical treatment.
The abstract is freely available from Nature. If you have cataracts, you might want to purchase a full reprint while you can still read it.
Security

Pentagon Wants Kill Switch For Planes 548

mytrip writes "The Pentagon's non-lethal weapons division is looking for technologies that could 'disable' aircraft, before they can take off from a runway — or block the planes from flying over a given city or stretch of land. The Directorate's program managers don't mention how engineers might pull off such a kill switch. But, however it's done, they'd like to have a similar system for boats, as well. They're looking for a device that can, from 100 meters away, 'safely stop or significantly impede the movement' of vessels up to 40 feet long, with 'minimal collateral damage.'"
Announcements

Submission + - Invisible Headset -Cheating Just Got Easier (brickhousesecurity.com)

Tony "DaReACKtR" Marashian writes: "This is sick! It's an Invisible Headset and looks like it really is impossible to see in your ear. It's just like that scene in that movie Old School with Will Ferrell. I wish I had this last semester. My friend got it and ACED his test and the teacher or anyone didn't have a clue. I just ordered one based on that. They say It works with any cell phone to wirelessly transmit a conversation from this transmitter necklace into an invisible earpiece deep inside your ear. The video kinda explains it better http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/invisible-headset.html"

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