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Submission + - Google interview process big turn off for experienced engineers (businessinsider.com)

mysterious_mark writes: There's an article in the Business Insider discussing how the interview process at Google is really just geared for recent CS grads, and makes no sense for experienced engineers. Apparently the only criteria to work at Google is one's ability to do white board code problems, actual engineering experience counts for nothing. This may explain why the average engineer at Google is under 30, the problem is partly due to age discrimination, and also because older and more experienced engineers simply don't want to deal with the interview process.

Submission + - Android Trojan Asks Victims to Submit a Selfie Holding Their ID Card (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Untrained and gullible Android users are now the target of an Android banking trojan that asks them to send a selfie holding their ID card. The trojan, considered the most sophisticated Android trojan known today, is named Acecard, and this most recent version has been detected only in Hong Kong and Singapore for now.

The purpose of requiring a selfie of the victim holding its ID card is for the crook to prove himself when making fraudulent bank transactions, calling tech support posing as the victim, or for taking over social media accounts for Facebook or Twitter, who often required ID scans in the case of account takeover disputes.

Submission + - NVIDIA's Neural Network Drives A Car (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: NVIDIA has moved into AI in a big way, both with hardware and software. Now it has implemented an end-to-end neural network approach to driving a car. This is a much bigger breakthrough than winning at Go and raises fundamental questions of what sort of systems we are willing to accept driving cars for us.
NVIDIA is reporting the results of its end-to-end self driving car project, called Dave-2, the raw input is simply video of the view of the road and the output is steering wheel angle. The neural network in between learns to steer by being shown videos of a human driving and what the human driver did to the steering wheel as a result. You could say that the network learned to drive by sitting next to a human driver.
This is much different than the engineered approach used by Google say where Lidar and highly accurate maps are used to implement if..then rules that formulate how to drive an a precise way.
After testing on a simulation, Dave-2 was taken out on the road — the real road. Performance wasn't perfect, but the system did drive the car for 98% of the time leaving the human just 2% of the driving to do.
The real issue is not that a neural network is better at driving than the engineers solutions offered by Google but that we really don't know how it does it. A neural network can generalize to situations it has never seen before, something the current crop of self driving if..then.. rules cannot. However we can't reduce the network to a set of clear if..then rules that explain the way it behaves. It might not have a specific "bus detector" but this doesn't mean it will crash into a bus as Google's self driving car did.
Do we need to understand a system to have confidence that it will work? If we learn the lessons of traditional buggy software the answer seems to be no.

Submission + - Which Companies Pay Engineers the Most? (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: When deciding to take a job, good "fit," a clear path to advancement, and the numbers on your paycheck are all important. But salary is the first among equals. Apparently, tech firms fully understand that, according to a ranking by job search firm Glassdoor in which Silicon Valley tech companies dominate the list of top 25 highest paying firms in the U.S.

Submission + - First Bionic Fingertip Implant Delivers Sensational Results (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Dennis Aabo Sørensen may be missing a hand, but he nonetheless recently felt rough and smooth textures using a fingertip on that arm. The fingertip was electronic, and was surgically hard-wired to nerves in his upper arm. He is reportedly the first person in the world to recognize texture using a bionic fingertip connected to electrodes that were surgically implanted above his stump.

Submission + - Continued Cord Cutting Hits the Pay TV Business Hard 1

An anonymous reader writes: Customers cord cutting is not a new concern for the pay TV business but a recent massive sell-off in media stocks has many in the industry worried. Cable, satellite and TV companies suffered their worst-ever quarterly subscriber declines losing more than half a million accounts, sending stocks tumbling. Researchers say this may be the beginning of the end for the pay TV business. According to analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson: “A year ago, the Pay TV sector was shrinking at an annual rate of 0.1 percent. A year later, the rate at which the Pay TV sector is declining has quickened to 0.7 percent year-over-year. That may not seem like a mass exodus, but it is a big change in a short period of time. And the rate of decline is still accelerating.”

Submission + - Verizon ends smartphone subisides (macrumors.com)

JoeyRox writes: Verizon has discontinued service plans that include subsidies for upgrading a smartphone every two years. The new plans require customers to pay full price for their smartphones, either up front with a single one-time purchase or by monthly payments with interest-free financing provided by Verizon. Unlike their previous subsidized plans, Verizon's new plans don't require a long-term contract.

Submission + - How To Make Money As An Independent Developer (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: A new survey of 13,000 developers in 149 countries by U.K.-based research company VisionMobile compared, among other things, the most popular versus the most lucrative revenue models for four groups of developers: those focusing on mobile apps, cloud services, the Internet of Things, and desktop apps. Among their findings for mobile developers: While advertising is by far the most popular revenue model, only 17% of developers who rely primarily on advertising make more than $10,000 per month from their apps. By comparison, 37% of those who make their money by e-commerce (selling real-world goods and services) make $10k per month or more.

Submission + - Lexus Unveils Back To The Future Style Hoverboard

An anonymous reader writes: Lexus, yes luxury the car manufacturer, has finally unveiled its Back To the Future hoverboard in a new video it released. The video footage shows regular skate boarders testing the new hoverboard which seems to magically float a few inches off of the ground in a specialty designed magnetic skate park in Barcelona Spain. The floating hoverboard has to be cooled with liquid nitrogen to make it work and you’ll see the cooling effect or what looks like smoke around the board as its hovering.

Submission + - Swift vs. Objective-C: 10 Reasons the Future Favors Swift

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Paul Solt argues that It’s high time to make the switch to the more approachable, full-featured Swift for iOS and OS X app dev. 'Programming languages don’t die easily, but development shops that cling to fading paradigms do. If you're developing apps for mobile devices and you haven't investigated Swift, take note: Swift will not only supplant Objective-C when it comes to developing apps for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and devices to come, but it will also replace C for embedded programming on Apple platforms. Thanks to several key features, Swift has the potential to become the de-facto programming language for creating immersive, responsive, consumer-facing applications for years to come.'

Submission + - IBM Thinks Agile Development Might Save It (wsj.com)

Nerval's Lobster writes: A new Wall Street Journal article details how IBM CIO Jeff Smith is trying to make Big Blue, which is going through some turbulent times as it attempts to transition from a hardware-dependent business to one that more fully embraces the cloud and services, operate more like a startup instead of a century-old colossus. His solution centers on having developers work in smaller teams, each of which embraces Agile methodology, as opposed to working in huge divisions on multi-year projects. In order to unite employees who might be geographically dispersed, IBM also has its groups leave open a Skype channel throughout the workday. Smith hopes, of course, that his plan will accelerate IBM’s internal development, and make it more competitive against not only its tech-giant competition, but also the host of startups working in common fields such as artificial intelligence.

Submission + - Lizard Stowaways Revise Principle of Ecology (simonsfoundation.org)

An anonymous reader writes: In a study published today in Nature, Helmus and his co-authors tracked the recent spread of Anolis lizard species across the Caribbean and found that island biogeography will have to be revised. The physical distance between landmasses is no longer important. Shipping lanes are.

The study’s finding signals a major shift in ecology. Until very recently, the field was focused largely on the natural world. Most ecologists viewed humans as an artificial influence that confounded their experiments rather than a driving force shaping the environment and the composition of its residents. But in the last few years, this view has begun to change, as scientists have realized that culture and commerce can’t be isolated or reversed. Human forces must be factored into even the most basic ecological models. The new study is the first to formally update one of the most important mathematical theories in ecology, redefining it to include human factors.

Submission + - Top 10 Internet Cities Worldwide (ubmfuturecities.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new report today has ranked the Top 10 "Internet Cities" around the globe, based on a set of five criteria: connection speed, availability of citywide WiFi, openness to innovation, support of public data, and security/data privacy. One might expect high-tech cities like San Francisco and Tel Aviv to appear on a list of "Internet Cities," but they don't. Indeed, no Middle Eastern cities appear here at all, and — due, largely, to the United States' poor Internet speeds — the only US city to make this ranking is Seattle.

Submission + - Book Review: "The Internet Police" and the Online Surveillance State (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: When Ars Technica editor Nate Anderson sat down to write The Internet Police (W.W. Norton & Company, 320 pp.), Edward Snowden hadn’t yet decided to add some excitement to the National Security Agency’s summer by leaking a trove of surveillance secrets to The Guardian.

As a result, Anderson’s book doesn’t mention Snowden’s escapade, which will likely become the security-and-paranoia story of the year, if not the decade. For anyone unaware of the vast issues highlighted by Snowden’s leak, however, The Internet Police is a handy guide to the slow and unstoppable rise of the online security state, as well as the libertarian and criminal elements that have done their level best to counter that surveillance.

Anderson starts off his book in 2000, with an exploration of HavenCo. The people behind HavenCo had a fascinating idea: build a datacenter on a rusting naval fort in the North Sea, and use it to hold data for customers concerned about the government sniffing around. But the company’s dream of constructing a “true libertarian paradise” eventually sank, thanks to a toxic combination of infighting and infrastructure challenges.

HavenCo was an early entrant in a longtime attempt to place a large swath of the Web beyond the reach of governments and corporations, and it definitely wasn’t the last: from Silk Road to MegaUpload, the properties dedicated to a “liberated Net” have proliferated in recent years. Some people founded such sites out of high principle; others for the LULZ; and many because they simply wanted to download movies and music and possibly highly illegal drugs for free.

Anderson does an excellent job of tracing the push-and-pull between these Websites and various government and corporate entities. People form peer-to-peer networks to swap copyrighted content, and corporations sue to shut them down; others set up networks to trade pornography or drugs, and law-enforcement agencies unleash all sorts of surveillance tools to track down the perpetrators; spam networks rise, and governments pass legislation (boosted by corporations) to nuke them off the Web, with varying degrees of success. These attempts at control usually prove successful, at least until new and improved versions of those Websites rise from the smoking ruins of the old.

To his credit, Anderson wears his journalist hat to the proceedings, never tipping his sympathies to one side or the other. He acknowledges that government and law enforcement really do want to keep people safe above all else, even as certain legislatures and police departments run roughshod over citizens’ privacy; he also details how many software creators built their security and privacy tools out of a genuine desire for people to have as much freedom as possible online, only to watch as criminals and others twisted those tools to their own nefarious ends.

Anderson’s conclusion is that society needs an Internet police in order to keep some degree of peace, but that “we need to keep a close eye on them.” In this post-Snowden era, when it seems increasingly clear that governments have the ability to monitor virtually every single aspect of our electronic lives, this bit of advice seems more important than ever.

Submission + - V8 developer quits "downright shameful" Google JavaScript engine 3

rjmarvin writes: Stephan Beal has maintained V8--the beating heart of Google Chrome--since 2009, but left the project today http://sdt.bz/64018 over frustration with an incompetent staff, lack of respect and constant changes he referred to as "a direct kick in the balls." The senior developer revealed a culture of disorganization and incompatibility within the vital Google engine, run by a team refusing to even document their own code...

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