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Oscar Winners, Sports Stars and Bill Gates Are Building Lavish Bunkers

Slashdot - 3 hours 26 min ago
turkeydance quotes a report from Hollywood Reporter: Given the increased frequency of terrorist bombings and mass shootings and an under-lying sense of havoc fed by divisive election politics, it's no surprise that home security is going over the top and hitting luxurious new heights. Or, rather, new lows, as the average depth of a new breed of safe haven that occupies thousands of square feet is 10 feet under or more. Those who can afford to pull out all the stops for so-called self-preservation are doing so -- in a fashion that goes way beyond the submerged corrugated metal units adopted by reality show "preppers" -- to prepare for anything from nuclear bombings to drastic climate-change events. Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company that specializes in underground bunkers and services scores of Los Angeles residences, says that sales at the most upscale end of the market -- mainly to actors, pro athletes and politicians (who require signed NDAs) -- have increased 700 percent this year compared with 2015, and overall sales have risen 150 percent. Any time there is a turbulent political landscape, we see a spike in our sales. Given this election is as turbulent as it is, "we are gearing up for an even bigger spike," says marketing director Brad Roberson of sales of bunkers that start at $39,000 and can run $8.35 million or more (FYI, a 12-stall horse shelter is $98,500). Adds Mike Peters, owner of Utah-based Ultimate Bunker, which builds high-end versions in California, Texas and Minnesota: "People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough. Everyone I've talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected." Robert Vicino, founder of Del Mar, Calif.-based Vivos, which constructs upscale community bunkers in Indiana (he believes coastal flooding scenarios preclude bunkers being safely built west of the Rockies), says, "Bill Gates has huge shelters under every one of his homes, in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington. His head of security visited with us a couple years ago, and for these multibillionaires, a few million is nothing. It's really just the newest form of insurance."

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Lexus' UX Concept is actually pretty scary - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 55 min ago
Take a good look at that grille before it eats your children.

Meet Viveport, Vive's app store for virtual reality fans - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 25 min ago
Shop aims to help VR enthusiasts explore and create VR content while connecting with other customers.

CNET giveaway: Water-resistant SanDisk portable solid-state drive - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 26 min ago
Win a sturdy all-terrain SanDisk Extreme 510 Portable SSD designed with photographers, videographers and outdoorsy types in mind.

Rosetta Spacecraft Prepares To Land On Comet, Solve Lingering Mysteries

Slashdot - 6 hours 26 min ago
sciencehabit writes from a report via Science Magazine: All good things must come to an end, and so it will be tomorrow when the Rosetta spacecraft makes its planned soft landing onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the culmination of 2 years of close-up studies. Solar power has waned as 67P's orbit takes it and Rosetta farther from the sun, and so the mission team decided to go on a last data-gathering descent before the lights go out. This last data grab is a bonus after a mission that is already changing theorists' views about how comets and planets arose early in the solar system. Several Rosetta observations suggest that comets form not from jolting mergers of larger cometesimals, meters to kilometers across, but rather from the gentle coalescence of clouds of pebbles. And the detection of a single, feather-light, millimeter-sized particle -- preserved since the birth of the solar system -- should further the view of a quiet birth. The report concludes: "A slew of instruments will keep gathering data as Rosetta approaches the surface at the speed of a gentle stroll. For team members whose instruments have already been turned off to conserve power, the ending is bittersweet -- but their work is far from over. Most instrument teams have only examined their own data, and are just now thinking about combining data sets. "We've just started collaborating with other teams," [Holger Sierks of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, chief of Rosetta's main camera,] says. "This is the beginning of the story, not the end."

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Asus teams with Secretlab to create slick ROG gaming chairs - CNET

CNET NEWS - 6 hours 54 min ago
The Taiwanese electronics giant wants to power your gaming computer and support your back at the same time.

Magician's DEAD is a crazy arcade game that's actually coming to the US - CNET

CNET NEWS - 8 hours 16 min ago
Magician's DEAD is a beat 'em up game where you use motion controls to burn, slash and shoot your enemies down.

Teddy Ruxpin is coming back and he's got emoji-like eyes - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 11:58pm
The talking bear from your 1980s dreams (or nightmares) is all spiffed up and will be back for 2017.

Stealing your digital milk: Girt by CNET podcast 89 - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 11:31pm
After paying a visit to the truly surreal Woolworths headquarters to check out the new Samsung smart fridge, the Girt Team talks smart home on this week's show.

The Americas Are Now Officially 'Measles-Free'

Slashdot - 9/29/2016 11:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The Americas are now free of measles and we have vaccines to thank, the Pan American Health Organization said earlier this week. This is the first region in the world to be declared measles-free, despite longtime efforts to eliminate the disease entirely. The condition -- which causes flu-like symptoms and a blotchy rash -- is one of the world's most infectious diseases. It's transmitted by airborne particles or direct contact with someone who has the disease and is highly contagious, especially among small children. To be clear, there are still people with measles in the Americas, but the only cases develop from strains picked up overseas. Still, the numbers are going down: in the U.S. this year, there have been 54 cases, down from 667 two years ago. The last case of measles that developed in the Americas was in 2002. (It took such a long time to declare the region measles-free because of various bureaucratic issues.) Health officials say that credit for this victory goes to efforts to vaccinate against the disease. Though the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for all children and required by many states, anti-vaxxers have protested it due to since-discredited claims that vaccines can cause autism. NPR interviewed Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO of GAVI, a Geneva-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and provide vaccine and immunization coverage to children in the world's poorest countries. She says that 90 to 95 percent of people in a given region need to be vaccinated in order to stop transmission in a region. The rate worldwide is about 80 percent for measles, which means that 20 percent of people around the world are not covered.

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Amazon reveals Twitch’s first currency, gambling systems

Arstechnica - 9/29/2016 10:01pm
  • What is Stream+? Other than a new, Twitch-specific currency that will be used to bet on Twitch streams, we're not entirely sure.

TwitchCon, the annual convention dedicated to its namesake's popular game-streaming service, kicked off on Thursday evening with an event hosted by Amazon Game Studios. There, the game publisher announced that Twitch will begin doling out a form of currency called "Stream+," which will debut in the upcoming sports-brawling multiplayer game Breakaway.

An Amazon Game Studios rep mentioned the currency while describing various ways the new game will "integrate directly" with Twitch (which makes a certain level of sense, since Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014). The reveal included a brief snippet of Breakaway action that confirmed viewers' ability to wager on matches and "earn Stream+ Coins by watching."

The reveal was otherwise scant on Stream+ details. Amazon didn't confirm exactly how the coins could be spent and what they would unlock, either within Breakaway or throughout the Twitch ecosystem, not to mention whether Stream+ currency could be bought, sold, or traded. Gambling watchdog groups will surely keep a careful eye on this implementation, especially in light of a major gambling scandal that dogged the Steam gaming marketplace. In that instance, enterprising users found workarounds to trade and monetize in-game currencies and items—and built significant wagering sites as a result.

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The Psychological Reasons Behind Risky Password Practices

Slashdot - 9/29/2016 9:50pm
Orome1 quotes a report from Help Net Security: Despite high-profile, large-scale data breaches dominating the news cycle -- and repeated recommendations from experts to use strong passwords -- consumers have yet to adjust their own behavior when it comes to password reuse. A global Lab42 survey, which polled consumers across the United States, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom, highlights the psychology around why consumers develop poor password habits despite understanding the obvious risk, and suggests that there is a level of cognitive dissonance around our online habits. When it comes to online security, personality type does not inform behavior, but it does reveal how consumers rationalize poor password habits. My personal favorite: password paradox. "The survey revealed that the majority of respondents understand that their digital behavior puts them at risk, but do not make efforts to change it," reports Help Net Security. "Only five percent of respondents didn't know the characteristics of a secure password, with the majority of respondents understanding that passwords should contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Furthermore, 91 percent of respondents said that there is inherent risk associated with reusing passwords, yet 61 percent continue to use the same or similar passwords anyway, with more than half (55 percent) doing so while fully understanding the risk." The report also found that when attempting to create secure passwords, "47 percent of respondents included family names or initials," while "42 percent contain significant dates or numbers and 26 percent use the family pet."

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Rosetta to finish its slow descent to comet’s surface Friday morning

Arstechnica - 9/29/2016 9:30pm

Livestream of tonight's festivities.

It's time for Europe's comet probe, Rosetta, to die. At 4:48pm ET Thursday, the spacecraft fired its thruster for 208 seconds, setting Rosetta on course for a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on Friday morning at approximately 7:20am ET (12:20pm UK).

In accord with the spacecraft's descent to the surface, the European Space Agency will provide live coverage via Livestream about an hour before the landing time. The live video will feature status updates from mission controllers live from the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.

The spacecraft arrived at the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which is about 4km on its longest side, in 2014. It became the first mission to orbit around a comet and, with its small Philae lander, the first to touch down on a comet’s surface. Now the main probe will follow Philae down to the surface.

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IBM Buys Promontory Financial Group

Slashdot - 9/29/2016 9:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: IBM said Thursday it plans to acquire compliance consulting firm Promontory Financial Group to bring more financial regulatory expertise to Watson's cognitive computing platform. Promontory is a global consulting operation with an aim of helping banks manage the ever-increasing regulation and risk management requirements in the financial sector. With that in mind, IBM wants to use the industry expertise of Promontory's workforce -- which is made up of ex-regulators and banking executives -- to teach Watson all about regulation, risk and compliance. IBM is also using the deal to create a new subsidiary called Watson Financial Services, which will build cognitive tools for things things like tracking regulatory obligations, financial risk modeling, surveillance, anti-money laundering detection systems. "This is a workload ideally suited for Watson's cognitive capabilities intended to allow financial institutions to absorb the regulatory changes, understand their obligations, and close gaps in systems and practices to address compliance requirements more quickly and efficiently," IBM said in a press release.

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Yahoo whodunnit: Mystery surrounds hackers behind massive breach - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 8:59pm
A cybersecurity company claims it wasn't state-sponsored hackers who breached Yahoo user data. Yah-who knows?

Google said to be encouraging Google Home clones - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 8:57pm
The Web giant is marshaling the aid of home audio heavy-hitters to challenge the Amazon Echo virtual assistant, Variety reports.

Google rebrands: Apps for Work are G Suite, enterprise platform is Google Cloud

Arstechnica - 9/29/2016 8:50pm

(credit: Flickr user leolintang)

Google's cloud services have a new name: everything cloud-based—including the Google Cloud Platform, enterprise mobility, and even Chromebooks—is now part of the Google Cloud brand.

Before settling on the new name, Google toyed with the name Google Enterprise. Diane Greene, Senior Vice President for Google Cloud, said that Google's customers had been unsure of the company's commitment to the enterprise. With that uncertainty now diminished, according to Greene, the Cloud name made more sense.

One of the biggest parts of Google Cloud is also being renamed. Google Apps for Work is now "G Suite." This name spans Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more. The new name is supposed to reflect the collaborative, team-based approach to the software. Along with the new name, Google has announced a bunch of new features that'll be coming soon to emphasize collaboration.

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Google Rebrands 'Apps for Work' To 'G Suite,' Adds New Features

Slashdot - 9/29/2016 8:50pm
Google has renamed "Apps for Work" to "G Suite" to "help people everywhere work and innovate together, so businesses can move faster and go bigger." They have also added a bunch of new features, such as a "Quick Access" section for Google Drive for Android that uses machine learning to predict what files you're going to need when you open up the app, based off your previous behavior. Calendar will automatically pick times to set up meetings through the use of machine intelligence. Sheets is also using AI "to turn your layman English requests into formulas through its 'Explore' feature," reports The Next Web. "In Slides, Explore uses machine learning to dynamically suggest and apply design ideas, while in Docs, it will suggest backup research and images you can use in your musings, as well as help you insert files from your Drive account. Throughout Docs, Sheets, and Slides, you can now recover deleted files on Android from a new 'Trash' option in the side/hamburger menu." Google's cloud services will now fall under a new "Google Cloud" brand, which includes G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, new machine learning tools and APIs, and Google's various devices that access the cloud. Slashdot reader wjcofkc adds: I just received the following email from Google. When I saw the title, my first thought was that there was malware lying at the end -- further inspection proved it to be real. Is this the dumbest name change in the history of name changes? Google of all companies does not have to try so hard. "Hello Google Apps Customer, We created Google Apps to help people everywhere work and innovate together, so that your organization can move faster and achieve more. Today, we're introducing a new name that better reflects this mission: G Suite. Over the coming weeks, you'll see our new name and logo appear in familiar places, including the Admin console, Help Center, and on your invoice. G Suite is still the same all-in-one solution that you use every day, with the same powerful tools -- Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar. Thanks for being part of the journey that led us to G Suite. We're always improving our technology so it learns and grows with your team. Visit our official blog post to learn more."

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50 percent of parents knowingly text their teens while the teens are driving - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 8:49pm
Technically Incorrect: A new study reveals some stunning statistics about texting behind the wheel and a parent's role in making it worse.

Get ready for TV ads and billboards pushing Facebook Live - CNET

CNET NEWS - 9/29/2016 8:47pm
It's all a part of the social network's effort to get regular people to start live streaming more, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.