• Are We Living In a Blade Runner World?

    Now that we have arrived in Blade Runner's November 2019 "future," the BBC asks what the 37-year-old film got right. Slashdot reader dryriver shares the report: [B]eyond particular components, Blade Runner arguably gets something much more fundamental right, which is the world's socio-political outlook in 2019 -- and that isn't particularly welcome, according to Michi Trota, who is a media critic and the non-fiction editor of the science-fiction periodical, Uncanny Magazine. "It's disappointing,
  • Physics Experiment With Ultrafast Laser Pulses Produces a Previously Unseen Phase of Matter

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Adding energy to any material, such as by heating it, almost always makes its structure less orderly. Ice, for example, with its crystalline structure, melts to become liquid water, with no order at all. But in new experiments by physicists at MIT and elsewhere, the opposite happens: When a pattern called a charge density wave in a certain material is hit with a fast laser pulse, a whole new charge density wave is created -- a highly ordered sta
  • Amazon's Heavy Recruitment of Chinese Sellers Puts Consumers At Risk

    A Wall Street Journal investigation found that Amazon's China business "aggressively recruited Chinese manufacturers and merchants to sell to consumers outside the country. And these sellers, in turn, represent a high proportion of problem listings found on the site." From the report: The Journal earlier this year uncovered 10,870 items for sale between May and August that have been declared unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labeled, lacked federally-required warnings, or are banned by
  • UCLA Now Has the First Zero-Emission, All-Electric Mobile Surgical Instrument Lab

    UCLA's new mobile surgical lab is a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle that will move back and forth between two UCLA campuses, collecting, sterilizing and repairing surgical instruments for the medical staff there. TechCrunch reports: Why is that even needed? The usual process is sending out surgical instruments for this kind of service by a third-party, and it's handled in a dedicated facility at a significant annual cost. UCLA Health Center estimates that it can save as much as $750,000 per
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  • Unusual New 'PureLocker' Ransomware Is Going After Servers

    Researchers at Intezer and IBM X-Force have detected an unconventional form of ransomware that's being deployed in targeted attacks against enterprise servers. They're calling it PureLocker because it's written in the PureBasic programming language. ZDNet reports: It's unusual for ransomware to be written in PureBasic, but it provides benefits to attackers because sometimes security vendors struggle to generate reliable detection signatures for malicious software written in this language. PureBa
  • A Fired Kickstarter Organizer Is Trying To Unionize Tech Workers Using Kickstarter

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: In early September, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter fired two union organizers in 8 days. One of them was Clarissa Redwine, who considered her termination to be a blatant act of retaliation for organizing what could become the first union at a major tech company in the United States. Although Redwine lost her job, she has not given up her vision. Today, she launched "Solidarity Onboarding," a new project designed to help workers unioniz
  • IBM's 200,000 Macs Have Made a Happier and More Productive Workforce, Study Finds

    sbinning shares a report from AppleInsider: IBM has published its latest study focusing on the benefits of Apple products in enterprise, and has found that a fleet of over 200,000 Macs leads to far lower support costs, smaller numbers of support staff, and happier employees versus a Windows deployment. In the study presented on Tuesday, IBM says that employees that used Mac machines were 22 percent more likely to exceed expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users. Mac-using emp
  • Tesla's European Gigafactory Will Be Built In Berlin

    Tesla's European gigafactory will be built in the Berlin area, Elon Musk said Tuesday during an awards ceremony in Germany. TechCrunch reports: Musk was onstage to receive a Golden Steering Wheel Award given by BILD. "There's not enough time tonight to tell all the details," Musk said during an onstage interview with Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess. "But it's in the Berlin area, and it's near the new airport." Tesla is also going to create an engineering and design center in Berlin because "I
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  • Intel Fixes a Security Flaw It Said Was Repaired 6 Months Ago

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Last May, when Intel released a patch for a group of security vulnerabilities researchers had found in the company's computer processors, Intel implied that all the problems were solved. But that wasn't entirely true, according to Dutch researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam who discovered the vulnerabilities and first reported them to the tech giant in September 2018. The software patch meant to fix the processor problem addresse
  • Microsoft Starts Rolling Out Windows 10 November 2019 Update

    Microsoft today started rolling out the free Windows 10 November 2019 Update. For those keeping track, this update is Windows 10 build 18363 and will bring Windows 10 to version 1909. From a report: The Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909) is odd because it shares the same Cumulative Update packages as the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903). That means version 1909 will be delivered more quickly to version 1903 users -- it will install like a monthly security update. The build n
  • A US Federal Court Finds Suspicionless Searches of Phones at the Border is Illegal

    A federal court in Boston has ruled that the government is not allowed to search travelers' phones or other electronic devices at the U.S. border without first having reasonable suspicion of a crime. From a report: That's a significant victory for civil liberties advocates, who say the government's own rules allowing its border agents to search electronic devices at the border without a warrant are unconstitutional. The court said that the governmentâ(TM)s policies on warrantless searches
  • The New Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Trailer is a Giant Relief

    You can almost hear the sigh of relief from the global Sega fan community. The new Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer, which Paramount released this morning, is a giant improvement. From a report: Our spiky hero no longer looks like a nightmarish experiment in avant garde taxidermy. The human teeth have been extracted. He has big doe eyes, not the sinister mini-peepers of the original trailer. The new design genuinely captures a lot of what original character designer Naoto Ohshima set out to achi
  • Facebook Unites Payment Service Across Apps With Facebook Pay

    Facebook said on Tuesday it was launching Facebook Pay, a unified payment service through which users across its platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram can make payments without exiting the app. From a report: The social network said the service would allow users to send money or make a payment with security options such as PIN or biometrics on their smartphones. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year the company is planning to unify the messaging infrastructure acros
  • Intel's Cascade Lake CPUs Impacted By New Zombieload v2 Attack

    The Zombieload vulnerability disclosed earlier this year in May has a second variant that also works against more recent Intel processors, not just older ones, including Cascade Lake, Intel's latest line of high-end CPUs -- initially thought to have been unaffected. From a report: Intel is releasing microcode (CPU firmware) updates today to address this new Zombieload attack variant, as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday -- known as the Intel Platform Update (IPU) process. Back in May, two teams
  • Microsoft Releases November 2019 Security Updates

    Original release date: November 12, 2019
    Microsoft has released updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. A remote attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review Microsoft’s November 2019 Security Update Summary and Deployment Information and apply the necessary updates. This product is provided subject to this Notifi
  • As 5G Rolls Out, Troubling New Security Flaws Emerge

    It's not yet prime time for 5G networks, which still face logistical and technical hurdles, but they're increasingly coming online in major cities worldwide. Which is why it's especially worrying that new 5G vulnerabilities are being discovered almost by the dozen. From a report: At the Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Computer and Communications Security in London today researchers are presenting new findings that the 5G specification still has vulnerabilities. And with 5G in
  • American Robots Lose Jobs To Asian Robots as Adidas Shifts Manufacturing

    Adidas plans to close high-tech "robot" factories in Germany and the United States that it launched to bring production closer to customers, saying Monday that deploying some of the technology in Asia would be "more economic and flexible." Reuters: The Adidas factories were part of a drive to meet demand for faster delivery of new styles to its major markets and to counter rising wages in Asia and higher shipping costs. It originally planned a global network of similar factories. The German spor
  • Disney Plus' Launch Marred by Complaints of Service Failures, Login Problems

    Disney Plus launched early Tuesday, and users are already complaining of service failures. From a report: So far, Disney Plus complaints are clustered in big cities in the Eastern US and Canada, lining up with the the areas likely to experiencing peak demand early Tuesday morning, according to outage tracker DownDetector. The tracker also showed complaints in the Netherlands, where Disney Plus launched as a subscription service Tuesday after operating as a free beta app for weeks. Disney said th
  • Facebook Bug Has Camera Activated While People Are Using the App

    When you're scrolling through Facebook's app, the social network could be watching you back, in more ways than just your data, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while looking at their feed. From a report: The issue came to light with several posts on Twitter, showing that their cameras were activated behind Facebook's app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network. After clic
  • Smartphone Maker Realme is Taking India and Other Emerging Markets by Storm

    An anonymous reader shares a report: As Xiaomi widens its smartphone lead over Samsung in India, a new competitor is increasingly posing a challenge. Realme, a one-and-half-year-old smartphone vendor that spun out of Oppo, commanded 14.3% of the world's second largest smartphone market in the quarter that ended in September, research firm IDC said on Monday. While Xiaomi, with 27.1% of the local smartphone market share, still dominates the market, the volume of handsets that Realme has shipped i
  • Instagram Is Coming for TikTok's Head By Copying Its Best Features

    First, Instagram killed Snapchat when it cribbed its Stories feature. Now, the social media platform is reportedly gunning for TikTok with a new format called Reels. From a report: Reels is currently being rolled out in Brazil. Available on both iOS and Android, the feature lets users record 15-second clips that can then be set to music. Users can adjust speed, as well as borrow audio from other videos to remix and riff content. It also appears Instagram is adding video editing tools, like the a
  • Pentagon Gets a Fix for F-35 Bug in $400,000 Pilot Helmets

    The U.S. military may have finally found a way to fix a glitch with the world's most high-tech helmet used by pilots flying the most expensive fighter jet in history. From a report: A bug in the $400,000 helmet display screen used by F-35 aviators caused a green glow when flying in very low-light conditions and is now expected to be overcome by using a different type of semiconductor illumination. The distracting green glow was deemed so critical that restrictions were imposed on some night land
  • Amazon's $1.5 Million Political Gambit Backfires in Seattle City Council Election

    Seattle voters, in a rebuke to heavy corporate campaign spending by Amazon.com, have kept progressives firmly in control of their city council, reviving chances for a tax on big businesses that the tech giant helped fend off last year. From a report: Amazon poured a record $1.5 million into a Super PAC run by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to back a slate of candidates in the Nov. 5 council elections viewed as pro-business, or at least more corporate friendly than the incumbent cou
  • IRS Identifies 'Dozens' of New Crypto, Cybercriminals

    The IRS's criminal division identified "dozens" of potential cryptocurrency tax evaders or cybercriminals after a meeting this week with tax authorities from four other countries. Bloomberg reports: Officials from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and the Netherlands -- known as the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement -- shared data, tools and tax enforcement strategies to find new leads in a quest to mitigate cross-border money-laundering, tax evasion and cybercrime. The IRS's cybercrime uni
  • Study Reveals How Two Strains of One Bacterium Combine To Cause Flesh-Eating Infection

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A new study by a team of scientists that included researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Texas Medical Branch used genetic analysis to reveal how two different strains of a single species of flesh-eating bacteria worked in concert to become more dangerous than either one strain alone. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on November 11, 2019. [...] The original infection -- cul
  • Honda Works On Second EV, Quits Diesel, and Puts Hydrogen On Hold

    Socguy writes: In late October, at Honda's "Electric Vision" event in Amsterdam, the company said it was "electrifying" its entire product line, which mostly means hybrids. "We will bring further battery-electric products to the market," they said. At the same time it would seem, diesel and hydrogen are on the way out. Katsushi Inoue, Honda Europe's president, said: "Maybe hydrogen fuel cell cars will come, but that's a technology for the next era. Our focus is on hybrid and electric vehicles no
  • EPA To Limit Science Used To Write Public Health Rules

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking. A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would requi
  • Tesla Shows Off Chinese-Made Model 3s Ahead of Shanghai Factory Start

    Work on Tesla's Shanghai factory, dubbed Gigafactory 3, is just about finished, and the company is weeks away from beginning large-scale manufacturing. Ars Technica reports: According to Bloomberg, Tesla chairman Robyn Denholm said last week that Tesla is waiting for manufacturing certification from local government. The company hopes that will happen before the end of the year. Tesla recently posted images of some of the first Chinese-made Model 3s on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform simi
  • Microsoft Vows To 'Honor' California's Sweeping Privacy Law Across Entire US

    Microsoft said on Monday that it would honor the "core rights" provided to Californians through the state's landmark data privacy law and expand that coverage across the entire United States. The Verge reports: In a Monday blog post, Julie Brill, Microsoft's chief privacy officer, said that the company will extend the main principles of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) across the U.S. just as it did with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year. The law goes into ef
  • Lithium-Sulfur Battery Project Aims To Double the Range of Electric Airplanes

    Oxis Energy, of Abingdon, UK, says it has a battery based on lithium-sulfur chemistry that can greatly increase the ratio of watt-hours per kilogram, and do so in a product that's safe enough for use even in an electric airplane. Specifically, a plane built by Bye Aerospace, in Englewood, Colo., whose founder, George Bye, described the project in this 2017 article for IEEE Spectrum. From a report: The two companies said in a statement that they were beginning a one-year joint project to demonstr
  • Canada's OpenText To Buy Cloud Security Firm Carbonite For $1.42 Billion

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Enterprise information management (EIM) company OpenText is acquiring cloud data backup and protection service Carbonite in a deal worth $1.42 billion. Carbonite, which offers a number of data backup and protection services for consumers and businesses, had become the subject of significant takeover rumors over the past few months after its revenue dropped. CEO Mohamad Ali stepped down in July and was replaced on an interim basis by board cha
  • Google Reveals Stadia Launch Lineup of 12 Games

    As we approach the November 19th launch date of Stadia, Google has revealed there will be just 12 games available to start. ExtremeTech reports: Stadia is similar to GeForce Now and Microsoft's upcoming xCloud service. Instead of downloading a game or buying a physical copy, Stadia renders the games on a Google server and streams the video down to your devices. Companies have been trying to figure this out for almost a decade, ever since OnLive began offering cloud gaming services in 2010. Even
  • SpaceX Launches Another 60 Starlink Satellites, Sets Two Rocket Reuse Records

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: SpaceX launched another 60 of its internet satellites on Monday morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in a mission that set two new company records for reusing its rockets. Starlink represents SpaceX's ambitious plant to create an interconnected network of as many as 30,000 satellites, to beam high-speed internet to consumers anywhere in the world. This was the second full launch of Starlink satellites, as SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 in Ma
  • WeWork In Talks To Hire T-Mobile CEO John Legere

    According to The Wall Street Journal, WeWork is in discussions with T-Mobile CEO John Legere to take over leadership of the troubled office-sharing startup (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). From the report: WeWork's parent, formally known as We Co., is searching for a CEO who can stabilize the company following the erratic tenure of its co-founder Adam Neumann. After WeWork's failed attempt at an initial public offering, SoftBank Group Corp. bought a majority stake in the company
  • Twitter Proposes Flagging Deepfakes, But Would Only Remove Content That Threatens Harm

    Twitter is proposing a handful of new features designed to help its users spot "synthetic" or "manipulated" media, including deepfake videos. From a report: The social networking giant last month announced plans to implement a new policy around media assets that have been altered to mislead the public. Today heralds Twitter's first draft proposal, alongside a public consultation period, as it works to refine the rules and how they will be enforced. "When you come to Twitter to see what's happeni
  • Study of Over 11,000 Online Stores Finds 'Dark Patterns' on 1,254 sites

    A large-scale academic study that analyzed more than 53,000 product pages on more than 11,000 online stores found widespread use of user interface "dark patterns" -- practices meant to mislead customers into making purchases based on false or misleading information. from a report: The study -- presented last week at the ACM CSCW 2019 conference -- found 1,818 instances of dark patterns present on 1,254 of the ~11K shopping websites (~11.1%) researchers scanned. "Shopping websites that were more
  • Google Chrome To Identify and Label Slow Websites

    Is it the web page that's slow or is it your network connection? In the future, Google's Chrome web browser may have an answer for you. From a report: Google announced today a plan to identify and label websites that typically load slowly by way of clear badging. The company says it may later choose to identify sites that are likely to be slow based on the user's device and current network conditions, as well. Google hasn't yet determined how exactly the slow websites will be labeled, but says i
  • Google Wants Chrome To Offer Instantaneous and Native App-Like Experiences

    An anonymous reader writes: At Chrome Dev Summit in San Francisco today, Google shared its latest vision for the web. First, the company is trying to make loading disappear via instantaneous experiences. The company demoed Web Bundles, a new platform primitive that lets developers distribute their content across any format without a constant connection, and Portals, an experimental API that lets developers instantly give users access to their web experiences. Secondly, Google wants to have Chrom
  • Amazon Will Open its Own Grocery Store Next Year

    Amazon on Monday said it plans to open its first new brand of grocery store in California next year, as it amps up its ambitious push to become a bigger name in food. From a report: "Amazon is opening a grocery store in Woodland Hills in 2020," an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Monday morning, soon after the company published four new jobs postings for the location. Woodland Hills is a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The store will be different from Amazon-owned Whole Foods, the company s
  • Google's Secret 'Project Nightingale' Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans

    Google is teaming with one of the country's largest health-care systems on a secret project to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states, WSJ reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter and internal documents. From the report: The initiative, code-named "Project Nightingale," appears to be the largest in a series of efforts by Silicon Valley giants to gain access to personal health data and establish a toehold in the massive
  • YouTube Says it Has 'No Obligation' To Host Anyone's Video

    Speaking of YouTube and moderation, the Google-owned video service is rolling out updated terms of service on December 10th, and a new line acts as a reminder that the company doesn't have to keep any video up that it doesn't want to. From a report: "YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content," the new terms of service policy reads. It's another way of saying that just because YouTube is a relatively open platform, it doesn't mean that the company is required to keep videos up. YouT
  • Apple To Launch AR Headset in 2022 with Smart Glasses To Follow in 2023, Report Claims

    According to a report by The Information, Apple is planning to launch an augmented reality (AR) headset in 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2023. From a report: While we've heard loads of similar reports over the years, this one -- if accurate -- is different. First, The Information claims that Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the project at an internal gathering of as many as 1,000 Apple employees, which is an uncommonly large number. Second, the report contains loads of details,
  • Alibaba's Singles' Day Sales Top $38 Billion

    After 24 hours of frenzied buying and selling, and weeks of advertising and promotions before it, the Alibaba Group said today its sales hit another record high on Singles' Day, the biggest shopping day on the planet. From a report: The Chinese e-commerce giant said its 11th Singles' Day event sold goods worth 268 billion yuan, or $38.3 billion, easily exceeding last year's record $30.7 billion haul. Electronics gadgets and fashion items were among the most sold goods this year, company executiv
  • Surgeons Transplanted Pig Skin Onto Humans for the First Time

    In a pathogen-free facility in Grafton, Massachusetts, a small town about 40 miles west of Boston, genetically engineered miniature pigs are being bred to donate their skin to humans. From a report: Their skin, which looks remarkably similar to the human variety and is referred to as Xeno-Skin, will be transplanted by surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to a small group of burn victims in an attempt to speed up the healing process. It's the first experiment approved by the U.S. Food and D
  • Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes Doesn't Recall Zuckerberg Discussing the Iraq War at Harvard

    Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has said that he doesn't recall Mark Zuckerberg ever discussing the Iraq War during the early days of the company, contradicting recent comments from the CEO tying the war to his views on free speech. From a report: "I had never heard that before, and the internet had never heard that before," Hughes said an event with the Bay Area Chapter of the American Constitution Society. "I don't remember ever talking about that with Mark." Last month, Zuckerberg told an au
  • Uber CEO Calls Saudi Murder of Khashoggi 'a Mistake', Scrambles To Backtrack

    Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told "Axios on HBO" that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "a mistake" by the Saudi government, and then he compared it to Uber's self driving accident in which a woman died. From a report: An hour later, Khosrowshahi called Axios to express regret for the language he used. The next day he sent the following statement: "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgo
  • Carrie Fisher Was Originally Going To Be 'The Last Jedi' In the Final Star Wars Movie

    Luke Skywalker wasn't going to be the only Jedi in the final Star Wars movie, reports Yahoo Entertainment:
    In the original version of the ninth and final installment, The Rise of Skywalker, his sister, Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), was going to emerge as a full-fledged Jedi warrior, complete with her very own lightsaber. That's according to no less an authority than Fisher's real-life brother, Todd Fisher, who filled us in on what the plan was for his sister's iconic character prior to her sud
  • Thousands of Bots Are Retweeting Claims of Voter Fraud In Kentucky

    "It's deeply concerning to see shady coordinated disinformation campaigns trying to undermine our democracy," says the man who apparently defeated Kentucky's Republican governor Bevin in a close election last Tuesday.
    The New York Times reports on what happened in the hours after Twitter user "Overlordkraken1" decided to tweet to his 19 followers that he'd "just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots."
    [H]yperpartisan conservatives and trolls were pushing out a screenshot of the message, b
  • How Tech From Australia Could Prevent California Wildfires and PG&E Blackouts

    "Technology developed to combat Australia's deadly bushfires could slash California's fire risk and reduce the need for PG&E's 'public safety power shutoffs'," reports IEEE Spectrum.
    "See the video to watch an advanced power diverter cut off 22,000 volts of power in less than 1/20th of a second, preventing ignition of dry brush," writes Slashdot reader carbonnation.
    IEEE Spectrum reports:California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) delivered a bitter pill last month when it said
  • Reactions To the News That Microsoft's Edge Browser Is Coming to Linux

    "Microsoft is bringing Edge to Linux, for all the Microsoft fans running Linux," jokes the headline at the Inquirer. ("We can just imagine the amount of bunting and party poppers that the Linux community has just ordered. After all, why wouldn't you want a browser from the company that you joined Linux to get away from?") And the headline at Liliputting quips that the Edge browser "is coming to Linux (whether you want it or not)," calling the move "the latest evidence that Microsoft's relationsh

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