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Facebook, Twitter, YouTube team up against terrorist propaganda - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 10:36pm
Social media sites will share with each other the digital fingerprints of terrorist images and video that have been posted to their sites.

Apple says iPhone 7 video is as good as a movie camera - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 10:32pm
Technically Incorrect: In a new ad, Cupertino encourages you to direct the movie of your kids' lives.

California State Senator Introduces Bill That Would Mandate Reporting of 'Superbug' Infections, Deaths

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 10:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A California state senator introduced a bill on Monday that would mandate reporting of antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths and require doctors to record the infections on death certificates when they are a cause of death. The legislation also aims to establish the nation's most comprehensive statewide surveillance system to track infections and deaths from drug-resistant pathogens. Data from death certificates would be used to help compile an annual state report on superbug infections and related deaths. In September, a Reuters investigation revealed that tens of thousands of superbug deaths nationwide go uncounted every year. The infections are often omitted from death certificates, and even when they are recorded, they aren't counted because of the lack of a unified national surveillance system. Because there is no federal surveillance system, monitoring of superbug infections and deaths falls to the states. A Reuters survey of all 50 state health departments and the District of Columbia found that reporting requirements vary widely. Hill's bill would require hospitals and clinical labs to submit an annual summary of antibiotic-resistant infections to the California Department of Health beginning July 1, 2018; amend a law governing death certificates by requiring that doctors specify on death certificates when a superbug was the leading or a contributing cause of death; and require the state Health Department to publish an annual report on resistant infections and deaths, including data culled from death certificates.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Whose mummified knees are these? Queen Nefertari's, probably - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 8:33pm
Bone fragments thought to have belonged to the famous ancient Egyptian queen get the royal scientific treatment. You could say the findings have legs.

'Rogue One' or 'Force Awakens'? George Lucas has a preference - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 8:30pm
It's always good to have an endorsement from the Star Wars creator himself.

Windows 10 'Home Hub' Is Microsoft's Response To Amazon Echo and Google Home

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 8:05pm
Microsoft's response to the Amazon Echo and Google Home is Home Hub, a software update for Windows 10's Cortana personal assistant that turns any Windows PC into a smart speaker of sorts. Mashable reports: Microsoft's smart digital assistant Cortana can already answer your queries, even if the PC's screen is locked. The Home Hub is tied to Cortana and takes this a few steps further. It would add a special app with features such as calendar appointments, sticky notes and shopping lists. A Home Hub-enabled PC might have a Welcome Screen, a full-screen app that displays all these, like a virtual fridge door. Multiple users (i.e. family members) could use the Home Hub, either by authenticating through Windows Hello or by working in a family-shared account. Cortana would get more powerful on Home Hub; it could, for example, control smart home devices, such as lights and locks. And even though all of this will work on any Windows 10 device -- potentially making the PC the center of your smart home experience -- third-party manufacturers will be able to build devices that work with Home Hub. You can read Windows Central's massive report here. Do note that Home Hub is not official and individual features could change over time. The update is slated for 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Adorable bird dons tiny goggles to fly through lasers - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 8:02pm
Obi the parrotlet is helping Stanford researchers study what happens to the air after a bird has flown through it.

Fake News Prompts Gunman To 'Self-Investigate' Pizza Parlor

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 7:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A rifle-wielding North Carolina man was arrested Sunday in Washington, DC for carrying his weapon into a pizzeria that sits at the center of the fake news conspiracy theory known as "Pizzagate," authorities said Monday. DC's Metropolitan Police Department said it had arrested 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch on allegations of assault with a dangerous weapon. "During a post arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate 'Pizza Gate' (a fictitious online conspiracy theory," the agency said in a statement. "Pizzagate" concerns a baseless conspiracy theory about a secret pedophile group, the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, and Hillary Clinton's campaign chief, John Podesta. The Pizzagate conspiracy names Comet Ping Pong as the secret headquarters of a non-existent child sex-trafficking ring run by Clinton and members of her inner circle. James Alefantis, the restaurant's owner, said he has received hundreds of death threats. According to Buzzfeed, the Pizzagate theory is believed to have been fostered by a white supremacist's tweets, the 4chan message board, Reddit, Donald Trump supporters, and right-wing blogs. The day before Thanksgiving, Reddit banned a "Pizzagate" conspiracy board from the site because of a policy about posting personal information of others. Alefantis, the pizzeria's owner, told CNN, "What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences. I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Netflix: Get your 'Stranger Things' merch here! - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 7:10pm
The streaming giant is breaking with tradition and testing merchandise for "Stranger Things." Because, well, so many of us are like, "Please take my money."

Google Is Rolling Out Android 7.1.1

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 6:50pm
Google is rolling out Android 7.1.1 for Pixel and Nexus smartphones, including the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One). You can download it over-the-air when it becomes available "over the next several weeks" or flash it yourself. Engadget details some of the new features found in Android 7.1.1: As for what you can find from a feature perspective, Google has added support for its "image keyboard" that lets you easily find and send pictures and GIFs without leaving your messaging app of choice. Google says it'll work inside of Hangouts, Allo, and the default Messaging app. Ironically enough, the feature has been available in the Gboard iOS keyboard that Google launched in the spring, but it's good to see it coming to more Android phones now. Android 7.1.1 also includes Google's latest set of more diverse emoji, specifically focused on showing a "wider range of professions" for women. And it also contains the excellent app shortcut feature that originally launched on the Pixel -- if you press and hold on an app's icon, a sub-menu of shortcuts will show up. You'll be able to quickly send a message to a specific contact or navigate to a saved location using these shortcuts, for example. They're very much like the "force touch" shortcuts found on the iPhone, but that doesn't make them any less useful.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bill Gates unveils his 5 favorite books of 2016 - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 6:46pm
Books about tennis and tennis shoes top the Microsoft co-founder's reading list.

Thieves can guess your secret Visa card details in just seconds

Arstechnica - 12/5/2016 6:40pm

Enlarge / A website bot as it distributes CVV guesses over multiple sites. (credit: Ali, et al.)

Thieves can guess your secret Visa payment card data in as little as six seconds, according to researchers at Newcastle University in the UK. Bad actors can use browser bots to distribute guesses across hundreds of legitimate online merchants.

The attack starts out with a card's 16-digit number, which can be obtained in a variety of ways. Attackers can buy numbers on black-market websites, often for less than $1 apiece, or use a smartphone equipped with a near-field communication reader to skim them. The numbers can also be inferred by combining your first six digits—which are based on the card brand, issuing bank, and card type—with a verification formula known as the Luhn Algorithm. Once an attacker has a valid 16-digit number, four seconds is all they need to learn the expiration date and the three-digit card-verification value that most sites use to verify the validity of a credit card. Even when sites go a step further by adding the card holder's billing address to the process, the technique can correctly guess the information in about six seconds.

The technique relies on Web bots that spread random guesses across almost 400 e-commerce sites that accept credit card payments. Of those, 26 sites use only two fields to verify cards, while an additional 291 sites use three fields. Because different sites rely on different fields, the bots are able to enter intelligent guesses into the user field of multiple sites until the bots hit on the right ones. Once the correct expiration date is obtained for a given card—typically banks issue cards that are valid for up to 60 months—the bots use a similar process to obtain the CVV number. In other cases, when sites allow the bots to obtain the CVV first—a process that can never require more than 1,000 guesses—the bots then work to obtain the expiration date and, if required, the billing address.

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72,000 candles on birthday cake sets a new world record - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 6:25pm
Nice burn! An 80-foot-long sponge cake completely covered with flaming birthday candles puts all your Grandma-is-so-old jokes to shame.

Google Preparing 'Invisible ReCAPTCHA' System For No User Interaction

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 6:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BleepingComputer: Google engineers are working on an improved version of the reCAPTCHA system that uses a computer algorithm to distinguish between automated bots and real humans, and requires no user interaction at all. Called "Invisible reCAPTCHA," and spotted by Windows IT Pro, the service is still under development, but the service is open for sign-ups, and any webmaster can help Google test its upcoming technology. Invisible reCAPTCHA comes two years after Google has revolutionized CAPTCHA technologies by releasing the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA service that requires users to click on one checkbox instead of solving complex visual puzzles made up of words and numbers. The service helped reduce the time needed to fill in forms, and maintained the same high-level of spam detection we've become accustomed from the reCAPTCHA service. The introduction of the new Invisible reCAPTCHA technology is unlikely to make the situation better for Tor users since CloudFlare will likely force them to solve the same puzzle if they come from IPs seen in the past performing suspicious actions. Nevertheless, CloudFlare started working on an alternative.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Go's cool, but we'd like 5 other physical stores - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 6:17pm
The mega-retailer will open brick-and-mortar convenience stores. It got us musing about other Silicon Valley companies we want to see open shop on Main Street.

Android Nougat update steps up your gif, emoji game - CNET

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 5:54pm
The changes make a more diverse array of emojis available to Pixel and Nexus users.

Uber will start up its own AI research lab - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 12/5/2016 5:43pm
The ride-hailing company bought an artificial intelligence company, and artificial intelligence research comes next.

Panasonic Announces 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio LCD Panel To Rival OLED

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 5:40pm
OLED panels have always been known to have higher contrast ratios than LCD panels, but that may be about to change with Panasonic's recently announced LCD IPS display. The display boasts a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, which is up to 600 times more contrast than some of the company's conventional LCD panels that tend to offer around 1800:1 ratios, and rivals OLED specifications. Android Authority reports: Panasonic has accomplished this through the use of its new light modulating cell technology, which allows the company to switch off individual pixels in the display using a secondary control layer. Typically, LCD backlights mean that either the entire or only large parts of the display can be dimmed at any one time. OLED panels switch off lights entirely for a black pixel to offer very high contrast ratios, and this new LCD technology works on a very similar principle. This is particularly important for reproducing HDR video content, which is becoming increasingly popular. Furthermore, this new light modulating cell technology allows Panasonic to increase the peak brightness and stability of the display, which can reach 1,000 cd/m2 while also providing HDR colors. Many other HDR TV panels top out in the range of 700 to 800 cd/m2, so colors, highlights, and shadows should appear vivid and realistic. Panasonic plans to ship the new display starting in January 2017 with sizes ranging from 55 to 12 inches.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trying, and failing, to sneak into Amazon’s Skynet take on grocery shopping

Arstechnica - 12/5/2016 5:15pm

Enlarge / "Let's go shopping!" "No, let's Amazon Go shopping." "Dave, I hate your puns." (credit: Sam Machkovech)

SEATTLE—Amazon's foray into the world of brick-and-mortar grocery shopping has been all but confirmed for nearly a year thanks to leaks such as spotted permit applications. The rumor became reality on Monday with the announcement of Amazon Go, an experiment in grocery shopping that removes the clerks.

This is not just another idle announcement, either: the company's pilot store is now open for business. It's attached to one of Amazon's headquarter buildings in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood and is already stocked with food options (and a giant staff of cooks and food preparers). There's just one catch—only full-time "blue badge" Amazon staffers can get in right now.

Never one to take "no" for an answer, I grabbed a camera and walked up to the front door with hopes that my shining blue eyes would make up for my lack of a blue badge. That didn't work out, but I did gather a few more details while receiving death glares from staffers and security personnel.

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Engineers Explain Why the Galaxy Note 7 Caught Fire

Slashdot - 12/5/2016 5:00pm
Engineers with manufacturing technology company Instrumental tore apart a Galaxy Note 7 to try and figure out what may have caused some devices to overheat and explode, causing Samsung to recall and eventually cancel all Galaxy Note 7 devices. In their damning new report, the engineers discovered the root of the problem appears to be that the battery is too tightly packed inside the body of the Note 7. Digital Trends reports: They discovered the battery was so tightly packed inside the Galaxy Note 7's body that any pressure from battery expansion, or stress on the body itself, may squeeze together layers inside the battery that are never supposed to touch -- with explosive results. Batteries swell up under normal use, and we place stress on a phone's body by putting it our pocket and sitting down, or if it's dropped. Tolerances for battery expansion are built into a smartphone during design, and Instrumental notes Samsung used "a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity." In other words, the Galaxy Note 7 was designed to be as thin and sleek as possible, while containing the maximum battery capacity for long use, thereby better competing against rival devices such as the iPhone 7 Plus and improving on previous Note models. The report speculates that any pressure placed on the battery in its confined space may have squeezed together positive and negative layers inside the cell itself, which were thinner than usual in the Note 7's battery already, causing them to touch, heat up, and eventually in some cases, catch fire. Delving deeper into the design, the engineers say the space above a battery inside a device needs a "ceiling" that equates to approximately 10 percent of the overall thickness. The Galaxy Note 7 should have had a 0.5mm ceiling; it had none.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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