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The Inside Story of the Lily Drone's Collapse

Slashdot - 3 hours 54 min ago
New submitter mirandakatz writes: Lily Robotics had everything: Two charismatic young founders; millions in funding; and a product that promised to change the world -- or, at the very least, transform photography. But over 60,000 customers are still waiting for their Lily Drones, and the company is now being sued by the San Francisco District Attorney's office for false advertising. As it turns out, Lily Robotics never actually had the right tools to create the product it was selling -- and it all came crashing down. At Backchannel, Jessica Pishko has the untold story of how such a promising company went so wrong. From the report: "The magic of the Lily Drone was in its concept: It was a product you could unpack and throw -- so easy, Antoine Balaresque, the cofounder and CEO of Lily Robotics, wrote in emails, that even an old person could do it. But translating that idea into a tangible product proved difficult, and the storytelling that made the Lily Drone so tantalizing to consumers ultimately factored into its downfall. In one of his presentations, Balaresque presented a PowerPoint slide with the sentence, 'Humans have a fundamental need to put themselves in the center of stories.' It appeared to be a quote he made up, but the idea that human nature needs stories is fundamental. Stories are how we make sense of our lives. But while a good story can get you funding and acclaim, ultimately it isn't enough."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

US Treasury's FinCEN fines BTC-e $110M for violating US anti-money laundering laws (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network)

TechMeme - 6 hours 29 min ago

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network:
US Treasury's FinCEN fines BTC-e $110M for violating US anti-money laundering laws  —  Immediate Release  —  WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), working in coordination with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California …

Categories: Technology

Stem Cell Brain Implants Could 'Slow Aging and Extend Life,' Study Shows

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 11:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Scientists have slowed down the aging process by implanting stem cells into the brains of animals, raising hopes for new strategies to combat age-related diseases and extend the human lifespan. Implants of stem cells that make fresh neurons in the brain were found to put the brakes on aging in older mice, keeping them more physically and mentally fit for months, and extending their lives by 10-15% compared to untreated animals. The work, described as a tour de force and a breakthrough by one leading expert, suggests that aging across the body is controlled by stem cells that are found in the hypothalamus region of the brain in youth, but which steadily die off until they are almost completely absent in middle age. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York hope to launch clinical trials of the procedure soon, but must first produce supplies of human neural stem cells in the lab which can be implanted into volunteers. The study has been published in the journal Nature.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Hacker Warns Radioactivity Sensors Can Be Spoofed Or Disabled

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 9:29pm
A security researcher exposes software flaws that could prevent detection of radioactive leaks or aid in smuggling radioactive material.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Scientists Propose To Raise the Standards For Statistical Significance In Research Studies

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 9:25pm
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: A megateam of reproducibility-minded scientists is renewing a controversial proposal to raise the standard for statistical significance in research studies. They want researchers to dump the long-standing use of a probability value (p-value) of less than 0.05 as the gold standard for significant results, and replace it with the much stiffer p-value threshold of 0.005. Backers of the change, which has been floated before, say it could dramatically reduce the reporting of false-positive results -- studies that claim to find an effect when there is none -- and so make more studies reproducible. And they note that researchers in some fields, including genome analysis, have already made a similar switch with beneficial results. "If we're going to be in a world where the research community expects some strict cutoff ... it's better that that threshold be .005 than .05. That's an improvement over the status quo," says behavioral economist Daniel Benjamin of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, first author on the new paper, which was posted 22 July as a preprint article on PsyArXiv and is slated for an upcoming issue of Nature Human Behavior. "It seemed like this was something that was doable and easy, and had worked in other fields."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

WalkMe raises $75M at a $935M valuation for its on-screen task-completion guidance tech (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 9:15pm

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
WalkMe raises $75M at a $935M valuation for its on-screen task-completion guidance tech  —  More funding is rolling in for Israeli startups.  Today, WalkMe — company that has built a cloud-based platform for businesses to make web and mobile interfaces and experiences easier to navigate …

Categories: Technology

SEC Rules That ICO Tokens Are Securities

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 8:45pm
schwit1 shares a report from Business Insider: On Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that "ICOs" (Initial Coin Offerings) can sometimes be considered securities -- and as such are subject to strict laws and regulations. For the uninitiated, ICOs are a fancy new way of fundraising enabled by digital currencies like Ethereum -- participants invest money and receive digital "tokens" in return. Thus far, it has been largely unregulated, with some ICO crowdfunding events raising hundreds of millions of dollars -- leading some observers to argue that it is a massive bubble. But the SEC's warning means that this free-for-all may not last forever. "Going forward, according to the SEC, companies that are issuing tokens as part of an ICO (if they are considered securities) need to register with the commission," reports Motherboard. "This will force companies to comply with regulations that ask them to reveal their financial position and the identities of their management. The SEC also concluded that online exchanges where tokens are bought and traded may have to register as security exchanges." schwit1 adds a quote from Benito Mussolini: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Lipizzan Malware Could Take Over Android Devices Until Google Shut It Down

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 8:44pm
A new, targeted malware called Lipizzan could completely take over an Android device until Android Security shut it down
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Sources: Slack raising $250M, led by SoftBank and Accel Partners, valuing the company at more than $5B (Bloomberg)

TechMeme - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 8:10pm

Bloomberg:
Sources: Slack raising $250M, led by SoftBank and Accel Partners, valuing the company at more than $5B  —  Messaging startup is set to be valued at more than $5 billion in new funding round.  —  Slack Technologies Inc. is raising about $250 million in a funding round co-led by SoftBank Group Corp. …

Categories: Technology

Feds Crack Trump Protesters' Phones To Charge Them With Felony Rioting

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 8:05pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Beast: Officials seized Trump protesters' cell phones, cracked their passwords, and are now attempting to use the contents to convict them of conspiracy to riot at the presidential inauguration. Prosecutors have indicted over 200 people on felony riot charges for protests in Washington, D.C. on January 20 that broke windows and damaged vehicles. Some defendants face up to 75 years in prison, despite little evidence against them. But a new court filing reveals that investigators have been able to crack into at least eight defendants' locked cell phones. Now prosecutors want to use the internet history, communications, and pictures they extracted from the phones as evidence against the defendants in court. [A] July 21 court document shows that investigators were successful in opening the locked phones. The July 21 filing moved to enter evidence from eight seized phones, six of which were "encrypted" and two of which were not encrypted. A Department of Justice representative confirmed that "encrypted" meant additional privacy settings beyond a lock screen. For the six encrypted phones, investigators were able to compile "a short data report which identifies the phone number associated with the cell phone and limited other information about the phone itself," the filing says. But investigators appear to have bypassed the lock on the two remaining phones to access the entirety of their contents.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple Ordered To Pay $506 Million In Damages For Processor Patent Infringement

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 7:20pm
MojoKid writes from a report via Hot Hardware: Apple has been ordered to feed a recognized patent troll hundreds of millions of dollars for infringing on a patent that has to do with technology built into its A-series mobile processors. Initially Apple was on the hook for $234 million, owed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) after it won a patent dispute against the Cupertino tech giant. However, a judge this week more than doubled the fine by tacking on an additional $272 million. U.S District Judge William Conley in Madison ruled that Apple owed additional damages plus interest because it continued to infringe on the patent all the way up until it expired in 2016. WARF is reportedly a non-practicing entity that exists only currently by defending its patents in litigation. The lawsuit filed in 2014 involves U.S. Patent No. 5,871,752, which describes the use of a predictor circuit that can help processors run more efficiently. WARF claimed the technology was used in Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors that power the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and various iterations of the iPad. Apple is not commenting on the matter, though it's being reported that Apple plans to fight and appeal the ruling.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

WhatsApp announces it has 1B users every day, up from 1B users per month in February last year (WhatsApp Blog)

TechMeme - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 7:05pm

WhatsApp Blog:
WhatsApp announces it has 1B users every day, up from 1B users per month in February last year  —  Just last year, we shared that one billion people around the world use WhatsApp every month.  Today, we are excited and proud to share that one billion people around the world use WhatsApp every …

Categories: Technology

The Tech Skills Gap Will Test Foxconn's New Wisconsin Factory

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 6:41pm
Three thousand new manufacturing jobs in America is great news, if people are trained to do the work.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Qualcomm Opens Its Mobile Chip Deep Learning Framework To All

Slashdot - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 6:40pm
randomErr shares a report from TechCrunch: Mobile chip maker Qualcomm wants to enable deep learning-based software development on all kinds of devices, which is why it created the Neural Processing Engine (NPE) for its Snapdragon-series mobile processors. The NPE software development kit is now available to all via the Qualcomm Developer Network, which marks the first public release of the SDK, and opens up a lot of potential for AI computing on a range of devices, including mobile phones, in-car platforms and more. The purpose of the framework is to make possible UX implementations like style transfers and filters (basically what Snapchat and Facebook do with their mobile app cameras) with more accurate applications on user photos, as well as other functions better handled by deep learning algorithms, like scene detection, facial recognition, object tracking and avoidance, as well as natural language processing. Basically anything you'd normally route to powerful cloud servers for advanced process, but done locally on device instead.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Content management company OpenText acquires forensic security vendor Guidance Software for $240M (Ron Miller/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 6:35pm

Ron Miller / TechCrunch:
Content management company OpenText acquires forensic security vendor Guidance Software for $240M  —  OpenText, the content management company based in Waterloo, Ontario announced today that it was buying Guidance Software, a forensic security and eDiscovery vendor for $240 million.

Categories: Technology