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China's Uber-slaying ride hailer reportedly going global - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 10:31pm
Didi Chuxing has been testing an English interface and foreign credit cards after unveiling a new global division.

The Only Thing, Historically, That's Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 10:30pm
ColdWetDog writes: The Atlantic has an interesting article on how societies have decreased economic equality. From the report: "Calls to make America great again hark back to a time when income inequality receded even as the economy boomed and the middle class expanded. Yet it is all too easy to forget just how deeply this newfound equality was rooted in the cataclysm of the world wars. The pressures of total war became a uniquely powerful catalyst of equalizing reform, spurring unionization, extensions of voting rights, and the creation of the welfare state. During and after wartime, aggressive government intervention in the private sector and disruptions to capital holdings wiped out upper-class wealth and funneled resources to workers; even in countries that escaped physical devastation and crippling inflation, marginal tax rates surged upward. Concentrated for the most part between 1914 and 1945, this 'Great Compression' (as economists call it) of inequality took several more decades to fully run its course across the developed world until the 1970s and 1980s, when it stalled and began to go into reverse. This equalizing was a rare outcome in modern times but by no means unique over the long run of history. Inequality has been written into the DNA of civilization ever since humans first settled down to farm the land. Throughout history, only massive, violent shocks that upended the established order proved powerful enough to flatten disparities in income and wealth. They appeared in four different guises: mass-mobilization warfare, violent and transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic epidemics. Hundreds of millions perished in their wake, and by the time these crises had passed, the gap between rich and poor had shrunk." Slashdot reader ColdWetDog notes: "Yep, the intro is a bit of a swipe at Trump. But this should get the preppers and paranoids in the group all wound up. Grab your foil! Run for the hills!"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Galaxy S8 gets pictured with display on; new button design leaks, too

Arstechnica - 2/21/2017 9:56pm

Ice Universe

Although the Galaxy S8 won't be at Mobile World Congress, it's expected to have an unveiling sometime in March. But that hasn't stopped the leaks from coming. Today, we have yet another drip of info about Samsung's upcoming flagship.

After showing off pictures with the screen off, Twitter user "Ice Universe" has some convincing pictures of the device with the screen on. They give us a great idea of just how slim the bezels are, and we can see the rounded display corners, just like the Xiaomi Mi Mix and the upcoming LG G6.

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College Senior Turns His Honda Civic Into a Self-Driving Car Using Free Hardware, Software

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 9:05pm
holy_calamity writes: University of Nebraska student Brevan Jorgenson swapped the rear-view mirror in his 2016 Honda Civic for a home-built device called a Neo, which can steer the vehicle and follow traffic on the highway. Jorgenson used hardware designs and open-source software released by Comma, a self-driving car startup that decided to give away its technology for free last year after receiving a letter asking questions about its functionality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Jorgenson is just one person in a new hacker community trying to upgrade their cars using Comma's technology. "A Neo is built from a OnePlus 3 smartphone equipped with Comma's now-free Openpilot software, a circuit board that connects the device to the car's electronics, and a 3-D-printed case," reports MIT Technology Review. The report notes that Neodriven, a startup based in Los Angeles, has recently started selling a pre-built Neo device that works with Comma's Openpilot software, but it costs $1,495.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Valve's Gabe Newell Says Only 30 SteamVR Apps Have Made $250,000+

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 8:25pm
New submitter rentarno writes: According to Valve President, Gabe Newell, only 30 virtual-reality apps on Steam (of some 1,000) have made more than $250,000. But that isn't stopping the company from throwing the bulk of their weight behind virtual reality; Valve recently confirmed that it's working on 3 full VR games. Valve still believes in a huge future for VR, even while things are slow to start. It'll take work to find and make the content that's great for VR, Newell says. "We got Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress running in VR. It was kind of a novelty, purely a development milestone. There was absolutely nothing compelling about them. Nobody's going to buy a VR system so they can watch movies. You have to aspire and be optimistic that the unique characteristics of VR will cause you to discover a bunch of stuff that isn't possible on any of the existing platforms." How do you view the VR industry in early 2017? Do you think it shows promise or will eventually fail like 3D TV?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

These trending YouTube videos make a slam dunk - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 8:15pm
This mixed bag of popular videos will make you laugh, learn things you never knew, and the last one will blow you away.

Toyota and Shell could build 7 hydrogen refueling stations in California

Arstechnica - 2/21/2017 8:09pm

Enlarge (credit: Shell)

Toyota and Shell will likely build seven hydrogen refueling stations around California if the state’s Energy Commission approves a proposed $16.4 million in grants.

Both Toyota and Shell see their current products—combustion-engine vehicles and gas, respectively—being phased out in the long term (think 2050). They’re diversifying now to be ready if and when the economics are more favorable for the switch. The announcement of the California stations comes after Toyota, Shell, and 11 other energy and transportation companies jointly agreed to invest nearly $11 billon in hydrogen technology in January.

Toyota has worked for years on developing iterations of its hydrogen-powered Mirai. The Japanese car manufacturer expects only 10 percent of its fleet to include combustion engines by 2050. Shell, too, has worked on the fuel angle of hydrogen fuel for years. It argues that hydrogen fuel advances are needed because no single low-carbon solution—like battery-powered electric vehicles—can fit every situation.

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Leaked Lenovo Moto G5 images show metal body - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 8:07pm
Hands-on images suggest the new handset will also have a removable battery.

Best mobile games of 2017 - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:55pm
Looking for a new game to play on your mobile device? Here are our picks of the best mobile games released in 2017 (so far).

Samsung To Sell Refurbished Galaxy Note 7 With a Smaller Battery, Says Report

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 7:45pm
According to a report via The Korean Economic Daily, Samsung is said to be putting refurbished Galaxy Note 7 handsets on sale with new batteries following the cancellation of the device late last year. The speculation suggests the smartphones could be relaunched this June. Android Authority reports: Samsung is said to be swapping the Note 7's 3,500 mAh batteries with a "3,000 to 3,200 mAh" batteries, according to The Korean Economic Daily's sources, predominately for sale in emerging markets such as India and Vietnam. The move is said to be part of Samsung's plan to recover costs from the initial device recall and avoid environmental penalties from the estimated 2.5 million or so Galaxy Note 7s it would have to dispose of. Samsung hasn't made any official announcements in this vein, but before the battery investigation concluded, a spokesperson did tell us that the company was: "Reviewing possible options that can minimize the environmental impact of the recall." Shifting refurbished units would certainly be one way to achieve that.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber taps former AG Eric Holder to lead sexism probe - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:40pm
The ride-hailing company plans to begin publishing diversity numbers for its workforce in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Disney develops room with 'ubiquitous wireless' charging - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:24pm
Researchers have built a prototype room that will allow multiple devices to be charged wirelessly while in the room.

Immigration agency computer systems suffer glitch - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:16pm
Computer networks at USCIS experience a hiccup.

Facebook reportedly in talks to stream MLB games - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:14pm
The deal would be for one game a week, according to a report by Reuters. It's all part of a push toward live sports.

Velar is the first new Range Rover in a decade - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:12pm
It's designed to slot in between the Evoque and Sport.

Samsung's Note 7 reportedly making comeback... with a smaller battery - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 7:05pm
The refurbished devices would allegedly arrive as early as June.

'We Won't Block Pirate Bay,' Swedish Telecoms Giant Says

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 7:05pm
Last week, a Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal ordered The Pirate Bay and streaming portal Swefilmer to be blocked by internet service provider Bredbandsbolaget for the next three years. The order was not well supported by other internet service providers in Sweden, as it appears they don't like the idea of becoming copyright policemen. TorrentFreak reports: Last week ISP Bahnhof absolutely slammed the decision to block The Pirate Bay, describing the effort as signaling the "death throes" of the copyright industry. It even hinted that it may offer some kind of technical solution to customers who are prevented from accessing the site. For those familiar with Bahnhof's stance over the years, this response didn't come as a surprise. The ISP is traditionally pro-freedom and has gone out of its way to make life difficult for copyright enforcers of all kinds. However, as one of the leading telecoms companies in Sweden and neighboring Norway, ISP Telia is more moderate. Nevertheless, it too says it has no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it is forced to do so by law. "No, we will not block if we are not forced to do so by a court," a company press officer said this morning. Telia says that the decision last week from the Patent and Market Court affects only Bredbandsbolaget, indicating that a fresh legal process will be required to get it to respond. That eventuality appears to be understood by the rightsholders but they're keeping their options open.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Studies show testosterone offers little benefits to aging men

Arstechnica - 2/21/2017 6:49pm

The testosterone gel used in a series of trials assessing health effects. (credit: AbbVie)

In decades of research, scientists have found only one medical condition that’s clearly and effectively treated with testosterone supplements: pathological hypogonadism—that’s low testosterone levels due to disease of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, or testes.

But that hasn’t stopped drug makers and the supplement industry from convincing men that jacking their testosterone will stave off the effects of aging. Getting old naturally lowers testosterone in the body. In efforts to combat “Low T,” testosterone sales sprung 10-fold in the US between 2000 and 2011.

In light of that trend, researchers are trying to get a handle on the health benefits of that beefed-up hormone consumption. So far, it looks wimpy.

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Air Hogs racing drone lets you experience crashes first-hand - CNET

CNET NEWS - 2/21/2017 6:23pm
The palm-sized DR1 quad live streams video to your phone giving you a first-person view.

Wyden To Introduce Bill To Prohibit Warrantless Phone Searches At Border

Slashdot - 2/21/2017 6:20pm
Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On the Wire: A senator from Oregon who has a long track record of involvement on security and privacy issues says he plans to introduce a bill soon that would prevent border agents from forcing Americans returning to the country to unlock their phones without a warrant. Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security that he is concerned about reports that Customs and Border Patrol agents are pressuring returning Americans into handing over their phone PINs or using their fingerprints to unlock their phones. DHS Secretary John Kelly has said that he's considering the idea of asking visitors for the login data for their various social media accounts, information that typically would require a warrant to obtain. "Circumventing the normal protection for such private information is simply unacceptable," Wyden said in the letter, sent Monday. "There are well-established procedures governing how law enforcement agencies may obtain data from social media companies and email providers. The process typically requires that the government obtain a search warrant or other court order, and then ask the service provider to turn over the user's data."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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