Technology

BBC: UK Votes To Leave The European Union

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum, a BBC forecast suggests. London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England. Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers. The referendum turnout was 71.8% -- with more than 30 million people voting -- the highest turnout since 1992. London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60% to 40%. However, no other region of England has voted in favor of remaining. Britain would be the first country to leave the EU since its formation -- but a leave vote will not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc. That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 -- the date of the next scheduled general election. The prime minister will have to decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Once Article 50 has been triggered a country can not rejoin without the consent of all member states. British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to resign as a result of the decision. UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage called on him to quit "immediately." One labor source said, "If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position." Several pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr. Cameron urging him to stay no matter the decision. Mr. Cameron did say he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a leave vote.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Inside Google's "ML Ninja" program for teaching its coders AI techniques as it looks to apply machine learning across the company's products (Steven Levy/Backchannel)

TechMeme - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:55pm

Steven Levy / Backchannel:
Inside Google's “ML Ninja” program for teaching its coders AI techniques as it looks to apply machine learning across the company's products  —  Carson Holgate is training to become a ninja.  —  Not in the martial arts—she's already done that.  Holgate, 26, holds a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Categories: Technology

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:30pm
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has officially told several news sites that it plans to discontinue the Thunderbolt Display, which has been available online and in Apple retail stores since it was first introduced in 2011. "We're discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users," said an Apple spokesperson. Rumors suggest that Apple will launch a new version of its Thunderbolt monitor later this year, featuring an upgraded 5K resolution and discrete GPU. The new Thunderbolt Display may even launch alongside next-generation Skylake Retina MacBook Pros, which too are rumored to be released later this year. fyngyrz writes: So, bought into the whole Thunderbolt monitor thing from Apple? Might want to collect a few right now, while you still can. It appears that the Thunderbolt monitor is going the way of the analog [headphone] jack over at Apple. Isn't it fun to be part of an unsuccessful experiment?

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Comcast Admits It Incorrectly Debited $1,775 From Account, Tells Customer To Sort It Out With Bank

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 9:25pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Consumerist: Consumerist reader Robert is fighting with Comcast over a $1,775 early termination fee that should not have been assessed after he tried to cancel his business-tier service with the company. Comcast itself has even admitted that the money should not have been debited from Robert's bank account, but now says it's his responsibility to sort the mess out with his bank. The Consumerist reports: "In an effort to save money in 2014, Robert called to have their service level downgraded to a more affordable rate. Shortly thereafter, correctly believing that he was out of contract, he cancelled his Comcast service. That should have been the end of the story, but only weeks after closing the Comcast account, the boys from Kabletown decided that Robert was not out of contract, debiting $1,775.44 from the checking account tied to the Comcast service. Skip forward to Jan. 2015 -- two months after being told he'd get made whole; still no check. Robert says that when he called Comcast, 'the rep actually laughed when I told her I didn't get a check yet. She said it would take three months.'" Two calls later, one in June 2015 and one in Jan. 2016, Robert still didn't receive the check even after being reassured it was coming. More recently, he received an email from someone at Comcast "Executive Customer Relations," saying: "I understand you're claiming that someone advised you Comcast would send a refund check for the last payment that was debited but this is generally not the way we handle these situations. [...] For your situation, you would have to dispute the payment with your bank." Good news: The Consumerist reached out to Comcast HQ and a Comcast rep wrote back. "More information just came in," reads the email, which explains that an ETF credit was applied to his account in Dec. 2014, but "through some error the refund check never generated." Comcast is reportedly sending the check for real this time.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

YouTube announces live streaming is coming to its mobile app, available now for select creators, rolling out more broadly soon (Ken Yeung/VentureBeat)

TechMeme - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:55pm

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
YouTube announces live streaming is coming to its mobile app, available now for select creators, rolling out more broadly soon  —  YouTube announced that it is adding the capability to broadcast live video right from its mobile app.  This capability is said to be rolling out to select creators first …

Categories: Technology

Clinton's Private Email Was Blocked By Spam Filters, So State IT Turned Them Off

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:45pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Documents recently obtained by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch show that in December 2010, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff were having difficulty communicating with State Department officials by e-mail because spam filters were blocking their messages. To fix the problem, State Department IT turned the filters off -- potentially exposing State's employees to phishing attacks and other malicious e-mails. The mail problems prompted Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to suggest to Clinton (PDF), "We should talk about putting you on State e-mail or releasing your e-mail address to the department so you are not going to spam." Clinton replied, "Let's get [a] separate address or device but I don't want any risk of the personal [e-mail] being accessible." The mail filter system -- Trend Micro's ScanMail for Exchange 8 -- was apparently causing some messages from Clinton's private server (Clintonemail.com) to not be delivered (PDF). Some were "bounced;" others were accepted by the server but were quarantined and never delivered to the recipient. According to the e-mail thread published yesterday by Judicial Watch, State's IT team turned off both spam and antivirus filters on two "bridgehead" mail relay servers while waiting for a fix from Trend Micro. There was some doubt about whether Trend Micro would address the issue before State performed an upgrade to the latest version of the mail filtering software. A State Department contractor support tech confirmed that two filters needed to be shut off in order to temporarily fix the problem -- a measure that State's IT team took with some trepidation, because the filters had "blocked malicious content in the recent past." It's not clear from the thread that the issue was ever satisfactorily resolved, either with SMEX 8 or SMEX 10.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Uber starts showing upfront fares for uberX instead of multipliers but keeps dynamic pricing (Andrew J . Hawkins/The Verge)

TechMeme - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:30pm

Andrew J . Hawkins / The Verge:
Uber starts showing upfront fares for uberX instead of multipliers but keeps dynamic pricing  —  Surge pricing has long been Uber's Achilles' heel: during periods of excessive demand, when there are more riders than drivers, Uber increases its normal prices to encourage drivers to flood the zone.

Categories: Technology

HTML5 Ads Aren't That Safe Compared To Flash, Experts Say

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:05pm
An anonymous reader writes: [Softpedia reports:] "A study from GeoEdge (PDF), an ad scanning vendor, reveals that Flash has been wrongly accused as the root cause of today's malvertising campaigns, but in reality, switching to HTML5 ads won't safeguard users from attacks because the vulnerabilities are in the ad platforms and advertising standards themselves. The company argues that for video ads, the primary root of malvertising is the VAST and VPAID advertising standards. VAST and VPAID are the rules of the game when it comes to online video advertising, defining the road an ad needs to take from the ad's creator to the user's browser. Even if the ad is Flash or HTML5, there are critical points in this ad delivery path where ad creators can alter the ad via JavaScript injections. These same critical points are also there so advertisers or ad networks can feed JavaScript code that fingerprints and tracks users." The real culprit is the ability to send JavaScript code at runtime, and not if the ad is a Flash object, an image or a block of HTML(5) code.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Song Exploder: Chvrches Bring the House Down on ‘Clearest Blue’

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:00pm
The Glasgow-based trio discuss how the band created rules, then broke them while writing the best song on their sophomore album. The post Song Exploder: Chvrches Bring the House Down on 'Clearest Blue' appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple announces it will discontinue Thunderbolt Display amid speculation that it will soon launch a 4K or 5K version (Matthew Panzarino/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:30pm

Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Apple announces it will discontinue Thunderbolt Display amid speculation that it will soon launch a 4K or 5K version  —  Apple today announced that it is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display, the large external display many use to connect to MacBooks or other Macs for extra screen real estate.

Categories: Technology

Internet Trolls Hack Popular YouTube Channel WatchMojo

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: WatchMojo, one of the most popular channels of YouTube with over 12 million subscribers, has been hacked. Subscribers of one of YouTube's most popular channels, WatchMojo, were greeted with an unusual surprise on Wednesday evening, as a couple of hackers, known only as Obnoxious and Pein, hacked the lineup of the channel's videos. The two hackers then proceeded to rename almost all of WatchMojo's videos with the title "HACKED BY OBNOXIOUS AND PEIN twitter.com/poodlecorp." Since the channel was compromised, the hackers have uploaded two new videos, "Top 5 Facts About the Yakuza," and a video about Neanderthal myths. Apart from these, however, the hackers have not touched anything else on the channel. Though, most of WatchMojo's videos still remain hacked as of writing. The popular channel announced that it is fully aware of the hack. WatchMojo further stated that it has already contacted YouTube about the incident and that it is already starting to fix the changes to its videos.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

SanDisk Made an iPhone Case With Built-In Storage

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: SanDisk has made its iXpand Memory Case to alleviate the problem that Apple creates when they release an iPhone in 2016 with only 16GB of on-board storage. The iXpand Memory Case is an iPhone case with flash storage built directly into the case itself that connects/charges via the Lightning port. You won't need a new phone and you won't need to carry around an extra charging dongle, which is the case for many other third-party cases and accessories. Since Apple doesn't make expanding your storage with third-party devices easy, you will need to download/install the companion SanDisk iXpand Memory Case app on your iPhone, which will automatically back-up your camera roll and password-protect your photos and files. If you need some extra juice, you can spend an extra $40 to receive a 1900mAh battery pack that attaches to the case. The iXpand Memory Case is only available with the iPhone 6 and 6s and is available with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of extra flash storage for $59, $99, and $129, respectively. Oh, and of course there are varying color options: Red, Grey, Sky and Mint. Maybe your phone battery is running low (God-forbid it is dead) and you just so happen to be nearby a KFC in Delhi or Mumbai, KFC has you covered. They have introduced a meal box that doubles as a smartphone charger.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Is DIY smart home tech hobbled by poor app functionality?

ReadWriteWeb - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00pm

In Argus Insights’ newest “Smart Home 360” report, it’s clear there’s a strong distinction between consumer perception of the apps associated with the most popular Smart Home Service Providers and MSOs (Multiple System Operators) and the apps coming with Do It Yourself (DIY) devices.

Argus Insights found that — from over 56,000 app and device reviews — ADT and Suddenlink are the least liked of MSOs and service providers and their associated apps saw a drop in both the tone and volume of feedback over the last month, an indication that frustrated users could be moving to other providers.

This is consistent with previous research that demonstrates a high degree of satisfaction by customers in DIFM (“Do it for me”) installations.

However, Vivint’s Sky app, Cox Communications Homelife app, Xfinity Home app and Alarm.com app all trended up — an impact of both new releases and subscriber growth.

 

Vivint’s Sky App

A functionality gap?

The report reveals that the gap between consumer perception of the Smart Home devices they install and the apps use to control them persists, with the apps failing to deliver the promised functionality and usability. Connectivity continues to be a key barrier to adoption for most consumers, and home security continues to be the most discussed usage scenario by consumers both in the review data and in the more aspirational social conversations.

Users of the service provider apps that orchestrate their Smart Home experience have, in the last few months, seen the experience improve over the apps used to control those provided by device manufacturers like Nest and Philips.

This suggests that those offering “Do It For Me” experiences, especially after recent improvements by AT&T, Vivint, Comcast and others, are beginning to best DIY experiences. This is mainly due to the fact that DIY experiences are still plagued with connectivity issues bleeding over from the initial installation of the devices in the home. Most of the issues for MSO and Service Providers are related to software quality issues such as app stability and constant bugs.

See also: Do we really want to DIY our home automation?

However, both sets of users are frustrated with the performance of door lock and entry monitoring controls of their apps, mainly due to connectivity issues as data moves from door to gateway to cloud to phone and back again in a complex handoff of command and control. Connectivity issues like this can sometimes leave consumers fumbling for their keys after trying to use their phone.

Consumers are still more concerned about asset protection than having purple mood lights in the kitchen. While Amazon’s Echo continues to dominate as the most popular interface to the Smart Home, many consumers are still waiting to see if and when Apple starts to make good on the promise of HomeKit. The firm’s recent announcements at WWDC makes us hopeful.

Clearly there is a need for improvement in the home automation apps that are the conduit to any smart home. Without this, consumer dissatisfaction is sure to increase.

 

The post Is DIY smart home tech hobbled by poor app functionality? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: The EFF reports that a federal court in Virginia today ruled that a criminal defendant has no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in his personal computer (PDF), located inside his home. The court says the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual's computer. EFF reports: "The implications for the decision, if upheld, are staggering: law enforcement would be free to remotely search and seize information from your computer, without a warrant, without probable cause, or without any suspicion at all. To say the least, the decision is bad news for privacy. But it's also incorrect as a matter of law, and we expect there is little chance it would hold up on appeal. (It also was not the central component of the judge's decision, which also diminishes the likelihood that it will become reliable precedent.) But the decision underscores a broader trend in these cases: courts across the country, faced with unfamiliar technology and unsympathetic defendants, are issuing decisions that threaten everyone's rights.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Infographic: Netflix’s New ‘N’ and the State of Logo Design

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 5:23pm
What’s interesting is how minimal, even abstract, many of these icons have become. The post Infographic: Netflix’s New 'N' and the State of Logo Design appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini Is All Electric, Agile, and Has A Capable Face-Arm

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 5:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Boston Dynamics has shown the world their "fun-sizeified version of their Spot quadruped," the SpotMini robot. It's a quiet, all electric machine that features a googley-eyed face-arm. IEEE Spectrum notes some observations made from watching their YouTube video. First of all, the SpotMini appears to be waterproof and doesn't rely on hydraulics like the other more powerful robots of theirs. The SpotMini is likely operated by a human, and is not autonomous, though the self-righting could be an autonomous behavior. The video appears to show two separate versions of the SpotMini: an undressed and dressed variant (it's hard to tell if the "dressed" variant features differing components/abilities). There is a MultiSense S7 video camera on the front, some other camera-based vision system on the front, a butt-mounted Velodyne VLP-16 system, and what may be a small camera on the face-arm's mouth. One particularly noteworthy observation is that during much of the video, the SpotMini is traversing through a house. In other Boston Dynamics demo videos, the robots are outside. The author of the report says, "[...] it wouldn't surprise me if we're looking at an attempt to make an (relatively) affordable robot that can do practical things for people who aren't in the military."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Facebook’s Research Ethics Board Needs to Stay Far Away from Facebook

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 4:49pm
Facebook needs to address the same ethical questions other behavioral scientists do. The post Facebook’s Research Ethics Board Needs to Stay Far Away from Facebook appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Crispr Wins Key Approval to Fight Cancer in Human Trials

Slashdot - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 4:40pm
Tom Randall, reporting for Bloomberg Technology:An experimental cancer treatment that alters the DNA of patients has won a key approval to proceed with its first human tests using the controversial gene-altering tool known as Crispr. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania want to edit the immune systems of 18 patients to target cancer cells more effectively. The experiment, backed by internet billionaire Sean Parker, won approval from the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), a federal ethics panel set up at the National Institutes of Health 40 years ago to review controversial experiments that change the human genome. The trial still needs final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The experiment targets difficult-to-treat cases of multiple myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma. The scientists will remove blood samples from patients and alter their T-cells -- central to human immune response -- to more effectively target and pursue cancer. The T cells will then be infused back into patients and studied for the safety and effectiveness of the technique.STAT News has an article in which it discusses the probable consequences of altering the DNA of a cancer patient.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology