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Audi’s Self-Driving Car Hits 150 MPH on an F1 Track

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:21pm

On Sunday, a group of Audi engineers closely watched as an RS7 named Bobby lapped the Hockenheimring all on its own.

The post Audi’s Self-Driving Car Hits 150 MPH on an F1 Track appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Recent Nobel Prize Winner Revolutionizes Microscopy Again

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:07pm
An anonymous reader writes: Eric Betzig recently shared in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on high-resolution microscopy. Just yesterday, Betzig and a team of researchers published a new microscopy technique (abstract) that "allows them to observe living cellular processes at groundbreaking resolution and speed." According to the article, "Until now, the best microscope for viewing living systems as they moved were confocal microscopes. They beam light down onto a sample of cells. The light penetrates the whole sample and bounces back. ... The light is toxic, and degrades the living system over time. Betzig's new microscope solves this by generating a sheet of light that comes in from the side of the sample, made up of a series of beams that harm the sample less than one solid cone of light. Scientists can now snap a high-res image of the entire section they're illuminating, without exposing the rest of the sample to any light at all."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Apple Sent Porn To A Developer To Prove His App Could Be Used To Find Porn

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:00pm

Pornographic content is forbidden in the Apple App Store, but Apple seems to be OK with sending porn to developers who submit their apps for review, according to one who received an inappropriate pic. 

"It turns out Apple thought the best way to tell us our app could be used to surf porn was to surf for porn using our app," Carl Smith, a Florida developer for nGen Works, wrote in a blog post on Medium (NSFW link). 

The email, which Smith shared with ReadWrite, appears to be from the Apple app review team and includes an attached photo of a man's genitalia, but no warning of the enclosed content. This is the kind of thing that can create a hostile work environment for nGen employees whose jobs necessitate reading emails from Apple. 

See also: The Majority Of Porn In The United States Is Viewed On Smartphones

Smith suggested a number of alternatives he thought Apple could have used to indicate a concern about explicit content. The team could have sent nGen Works a search term to try, or even warn in advance what the emailed photo was of. Instead, Smith said the developers who opened the email had no warning that it would be graphic.

“What I want from Apple is for them to address the issue and put a policy in place that prevents an App store reviewer from sending pornographic images as an example of a issue," he said. "They could have easily masked out the bad part of the photo or told us a phrase to search. At the very least warn someone before they open the attachments that they aren't safe for work.”

“Specifically, we noticed your app contains objectionable content at time of review. Please see the attached screenshot/s for more information,” the Apple review team email reads, before offering a downloadable file that turned out to be the genitalia photo in question.

Smith said solution is hypocritical of the company. Of course nGen's app, which allows users to enlarge, save, and search for Instagram photos, would be capable of browsing any photo that exists on Instagram already.

“This is a double standard,” Smith told ReadWrite. “If I type bad words into Safari I am going to see bad things. So I think Apple needs to address that.”

Smith said he doubted Apple’s “upper echelons” would approve of this action, and encouraged readers to spread the word.

We’ve contacted Apple for a comment on this allegation.

Photo via Shutterstock

Categories: Technology

Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:23pm
sciencehabit writes: Here's one reason libraries hang on to old science journals: A paper from an experiment conducted 32 years ago may shed light on the nature of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to keep the galaxies from flying apart. The old data put a crimp in the newfangled concept of a 'dark photon' and suggest that a simple bargain-basement experiment could put the idea to the test. The data come from E137, a "beam dump" experiment that ran from 1980 to 1982 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. In the experiment, physicists slammed a beam of high-energy electrons, left over from other experiments, into an aluminum target to see what would come out. Researchers placed a detector 383 meters behind the target, on the other side of a sandstone hill 179 meters thick that blocked any ordinary particles.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

PCGamingWiki Looks Into Linux Gaming With 'Port Reports'

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:40am
AberBeta writes: PCGamingWiki contributor Soeb has been looking into the recent larger budget game releases to appear on Linux, including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Borderlands: The Pre–Sequel produced by Mac porting houses Feral and Aspyr. Soeb reports that while feature parity is high, performance could be a bit better. Performance differences aside, the games are finally arriving on Linux — now the userbase needs to expand to make a virtuous cycle.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ahhh! 5 Storytelling Apps That Will Scare You Silly

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:00am
<em>Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by our partners at <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Scary-Story-Apps-25681966">PopSugarTech</a>.</em>

Halloween creeps closer! The house has been cobwebbed, the candy is out, and the costume is good to go . . . so now what? Get ready for the festivities by spooking yourself and your friends silly with haunting tales of ghosts, talking dolls, and phantoms. These five hair-raising storytelling apps will frighten, startle, and disturb you into the All Hallows' Eve mood.

  • iPoe ($4)—This interactive and illustrated Edgar Allen Poe app reimagines all the poet's greatest, spookiest classics. Terrifying animations and an original soundtrack illustrate "The Oval Portrait," "The Tell Tale Heart," "The Masque of Red Death," and "Annabel Lee."
  • True Ghost Stories From Around the World ($1)—User-submitted ghost stories from all over the world are compiled in this collection of the strangest and scariest spirit sightings. This growing anthology of supernatural events is updated daily.
  • Scary Story Kit ($2)—Complete with spooky sounds, mood-setting lights, and haunting images, this digital aid will bring your scary stories to life.
  • Scary Stories For Kids ($1)—These horror tales are not for the faint of heart. Possessed antique dolls, a snowy winter's night, and talking dolls are the stars of these short stories.
  • 200+ Scary Stories, Sounds, And Pranks ($1)—Every classic spook, from R.L. Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, is packed into this app. The "Auto-Scare" feature randomly plays sounds at any time, making it the perfect vehicle to creep out your audience.

Too scary? There's always It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown ($6)!

More stories from PopSugarTech:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Categories: Technology

How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:57am
New submitter Intrepid imaginaut sends word of a study (PDF) into how e-commerce sites show online shoppers different prices depending on how they found an item and what the sites know about the customer. "For instance, the study found, users logged in to Cheaptickets and Orbitz saw lower hotel prices than shoppers who were not registered with the sites. Home Depot shoppers on mobile devices saw higher prices than users browsing on desktops. Some searchers on Expedia and Hotels.com consistently received higher-priced options, a result of randomized testing by the websites. Shoppers at Sears, Walmart, Priceline, and others received results in a different order than control groups, a tactic known as “steering.” To get a better price, the article advises deleting cookies before shopping, using your browser's private mode, putting the items in your shopping cart without buying them right away, and using tools like Camelcamelcamel to keep an eye out for price drops.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:15am
dcblogs writes: McDonald's this week told financial analysts of its plans to install self-ordering kiosks and mobile ordering at its restaurants. This news prompted the Wall Street Journal to editorialize, in " Minimum Wage Backfire," that while it may be true for McDonald's to say that its tech plans will improve customer experience, the move is also "a convenient way...to justify a reduction in the chain's global workforce." Minimum wage increase advocates, the Journal argued, are speeding along an automation backlash. But banks have long relied on ATMs, and grocery stores, including Walmart, have deployed self-service checkouts. In contrast, McDonald's hasn't changed its basic system of taking orders since its founding in the 1950s, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a research group focused on the restaurant industry. While mobile, kiosks and table ordering systems may help reduce labor costs, the automated self-serve technology is seen as an essential. It will take the stress out of ordering (lines) at fast food restaurants, and the wait for checks at more casual restaurants. It also helps with upselling and membership to loyalty programs. People who can order a drink refill off a tablet, instead of waving down waitstaff, may be more inclined to do so. Moreover, analysts say younger customers want self-service options.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Here's An Actual "Walking Simulator" For All You Smartphone Walkers

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 10:00am

Editor's note: This post was originally published by our partners at Kill Screen.

The term "walking simulator" is often falsely applied to what I recognize, and appreciate, as "exploration games." Proteus, Gone Home, and Dear Esther are most commonly targeted with the label; it's smeared across digital stores and forums like a graffiti tag.

Yet these aren't video games that place the act of walking as their central conceit. That belongs to the environment, whether a gloomy British seaside or a family home in '90s, and the narrative that steadily unravels as you pick over it all. 

These are games of poetic verse, of ruffling through the debris of modern living, not of the simulated practice of walking. You can't even see your feet as you lift them across the soil.

For more stories about videogames and culture, follow @killscreen on Twitter.

Still, "walking simulator" seems to have caught on; there's no stopping it now. So if we're going to use that particularly dismissive descriptor, rather than shoot it out of an airlock and into outer space like the abomination it is, let's do it correctly by applying it to games such as Daddy Long Legs. This is a video game in which the task is to actually simulate walking and its challenge is built around that single act. Here's another one to try on for size: Keep Walking EP.

You've walked down a street before; you know how that goes, so answer this question: How many people do you see paying more attention to their smartphone than where they're going? If your answer is along the lines of "dunno," then that probably means you're one of them. 

Don't worry, you're hardly alone—did you know that there are designated "smartphone walking lanes" in Chongqing, China? That's the level we're at with this now.

Yes, the latest evolution in walking is one of a heads down, thumbs up policy. Those who can't refrain from indulging this reckless abandon rely upon an imagined sixth sense to dodge the incoming pedestrian traffic of commuters and dog walkers. 

Perhaps they also rely on the nearby sounds of footsteps and passing shadows to guide their steps through stampeding city streets. Avoiding lamp posts and street-side trashcans is a matter of luck, presumably.

Anyway, this modern and dangerous breed of the upright walk is what Keep Walking EP simulates. The pavement is divided into four lanes that you must switch between in order to avoid being taken out by the unstoppable walkers coming at you. Some levels challenge you to get to the end of the song without being knocked over too many times, others task you with collecting cigarettes from the streets, or beating arcade games that you pass by.

See also: "I Am Dolphin" Is A Videogame About Exactly What It Sounds Like

The cutest design of the game is the perspective the game gives you to perform this task. You're given a side-view portrait of your effortlessly cool, cigarette puffing, punky young self. Behind this is a sidescrolling street scene of shops, all of which have wall-sized windows lining their fronts, the reflections in which are your only way of judging what's in front of you. It's as if an absurd extrapolation on the self-obsessed "life is a mirror" mantra of those that have to stop at every car door mirror and shop window to check themselves out.

Keep Walking EP isn't as bitter as that may make it seem—that's just me coming out, the guy you walked into when not looking where you were going last week. The game feels more like a chill stroll on your day off, earphones in, your favorite playlist blaring in your ears, and you're so lost in all the momentum that you couldn't care for the world around you.

You can download Keep Walking EP for free on itch.io.

More From Kill Screen

Categories: Technology

FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:32am
New submitter weilawei writes: Last night, FTDI, a Scottish manufacturer of USB-to-serial ICs, posted a response to the ongoing debacle over its allegedly intentional bricking of competitors' chips. In their statement, FTDI CEO Fred Dart said, "The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user's hardware being directly affected." This may have resulted from a discussion with Microsoft engineers about the implications of distributing potentially malicious driver software. If you design hardware, what's your stance on this? Will you continue to integrate FTDI chips into your products? What alternatives are available to replace their functionality?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

With Bethany Mota, YouTube Is Doing More Than Dancing With The Stars

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 9:01am

Six weeks into a fierce season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, YouTube’s fashion wunderkind Bethany Mota is still going strong. Paired onstage with pro favorite Derek Hough (as well as off-stage in romantic rumors), Mota is currently ranked No. 2 in the competition’s average score chart. But as far as the Google-owned YouTube is concerned, she’s No. 1 in the video channel’s ongoing push to go mainstream. 

“Oh my God, LOVE HER, oh my God,” Taylor Swift tweeted with the hashtag #BAEthany soon after after DWTS’s 19th season premiered. If most of America hadn’t heard of Mota before DWTS, this single shoutout from Mota’s most famous fan, retweeted more than 15,000 times, was a fine introduction.

So how does a teen go from online fashion and beauty guru to competing in one of America’s most popular reality TV shows? It helps if YouTube has your back. The video-sharing site has undying faith in Bethany Mota. This is clear by how much and how fiercely the online video company is hawking the 18-year-old to mainstream media outlets; print magazines, name brand apparel, and now—reality television. 

Mota isn’t the only YouTube star to make the cross-over to reality TV, but she is the first to do it as an official YouTube brand.  

“We’re just getting started with YouTube and its potential,” Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer said during the tech giant’s earnings call earlier this week. Along with Coke, General Motors and other major brands, the video-sharing site now has deals with the top five U.S. advertising agencies, Kordestani announced. The more eyes YouTube can get on its stars, the more ads that are seen by potential customers. 

The online video giant's campaign to push its homegrown stars into mainstream media territory includes on and off-site ads to promote some of its highest subscribed and most marketable YouTubers. The site is also committed to funding the shows of some top content creators in an effort to make high production channels and videos they hope will be more accessible to the larger public. 

As the face of YouTube’s efforts, Mota is the obvious choice. Her Macbarbie07 channel, which features videos fashion tips and Mota’s shopping purchases, has over 7 million subscribers. Each viewer bears witness to the lucrative advertising that accompany Mota’s videos. She’s also partnered with Aeropostale to create her own clothing line, and is the covergirl of Seventeen magazine’s October 2014 edition.

YouTube is “very happy for her,” a company representative told ReadWrite when we asked about Mota’s DWTS success. It seems an obvious understatement about its most popular cash cow. 

Reality TV, it seems, is the YouTube’s gateway drug to larger fame. What better a genre where YouTube stars to continue to capitalize on their natural charisma and good looks? 

In May 2010, before YouTube started financing the Internet famous, comedian Kevin Wu, better known as Kevjumba, participated in the 17th season of The Amazing Race with his father. The 24-year-old currently boasts over 3 million YouTube subscribers. 

Two other YouTubers, Strawburry17 (Meghan Camarena) and Joey Graceffa joined the 22nd season of The Amazing Race as a team, returning to join the cast of the show’s second all-star season in 2014. The two friends are both YouTube vloggers who make humorous videos about their lives. Camarena currently holds close to 800,000 subscribers, while Graceffa has over 4 million. Breaking away from reality TV, several YouTube content creators have also transitioned to scripted programs on cable. 

Comedian YouTuber Fred, also known as Lucas Cruikshank, has spawned three movies and a television show on Nickelodeon based on Cruikshank’s titular character in his YouTube channel, Fred Figglehorn. 

Comedy team The Fine Bros also have a television series premiering on Nickelodeon called ReactToThat, a show based on their popular web series Kids React. The two channels’ youthful demographics make them a strong match for channels like Nickelodeon. 

Mota’s demographic of tween to teen girls makes her a perfect fit as one of DWTS’s resident “young person” for the season. 

DWTS’s show’s calculated line-up of Retro Star, Athlete, and Reality TV Star From Another Reality TV show, is regularly rounded out by a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon celebrity to grab the kid demographic that couldn’t care less about ballroom dance competitions. This season, DWTS includes Janel Parris from ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. But the show’s choice of Mota suggests all involved expect her appeal to be as great as her kid-friendly predecessors. So far, they’re right. 

It is now no question whether or not YouTube can break its stars into mainstream media. With Mota’s major press blitz as of late, it’s clear they already have. The teen queen is in—and now the question is whether or not her fame will be sustainable in Hollywood. 

Images courtesy of Dancing With The Stars and Seventeen Magazine 

Categories: Technology

Stem Cells Grown From Patient's Arm Used To Replace Retina

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:50am
BarbaraHudson writes: The Globe and Mail is reporting the success of a procedure to implant a replacement retina grown from cells from the patient's skin. Quoting: "Transplant doctors are stepping gingerly into a new world, one month after a Japanese woman received the first-ever tissue transplant using stem cells that came from her own skin, not an embryo. On Sept. 12, doctors in a Kobe hospital replaced the retina of a 70-year-old woman suffering from macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. The otherwise routine surgery was radical because scientists had grown the replacement retina in a petri dish, using skin scraped from the patient's arm. The Japanese woman is fine and her retinal implant remains in place. Researchers around the world are now hoping to test other stem-cell-derived tissues in therapy. Dr. Jeanne Loring from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., expects to get approval within a few years to see whether neurons derived from stem cells can be used to treat Parkinson's disease."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Visualizing Our Tech Worship With Giant Webs of Circuitry

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:30am

For Italian artist Leonardo Ulian, this is our universe. At its center: a microchip. Beyond: resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors. Ulian’s “technological mandalas”—webs of circuitry in the form of the Hindu or Buddhist symbolic diagrams of the cosmos—are icons for an electronic age, and he’ll be exhibiting them this fall in Milan. Each mandala, the biggest […]

The post Visualizing Our Tech Worship With Giant Webs of Circuitry appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Physics of the Hendo Hoverboard

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:27am

The Hendo hoverboard probably uses electromagnetic repulsion for lift off. America's physics teacher explains how it might work.

The post The Physics of the Hendo Hoverboard appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Detritus From Cancer Cells May Infect Healthy Cells

Slashdot - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 8:07am
bmahersciwriter writes Tiny bubbles of cell membrane — called exosomes — are shed by most cells. Long thought to be mere trash, researchers had recently noticed that they often contain short, regulatory RNA molecules, suggesting that exosomes may be one way that cells communicate with one another. Now, it appears that RNA in the exosomes shed by tumor cells can get into healthy cells and 'transform' them, putting them on the path to becoming cancerous themselves.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

The Future of Adobe’s App Interaction Looks Pretty Awesome

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:30am

Adobe recently released a video in which it showed off forward-looking features for its suite of apps on the tablet.

The post The Future of Adobe’s App Interaction Looks Pretty Awesome appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Museum-Worthy Clocks Meant to Change Our Sense of Time’s Passing

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:30am

The pieces were, according to the designer, “almost a reaction, in a way, to the digitalization of time."

The post Museum-Worthy Clocks Meant to Change Our Sense of Time’s Passing appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Mother Superior

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:30am

Once you get past the weird factor, Mother proves to be a capable platform for tracking your daily activities.

The post Mother Superior appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

How the XPrize Foundation Is Building Our Next-Gen Health Sensors

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:30am

Apple and Google aren't the only ones pushing for a new generation of wearables and gadgets that can monitor your health from minute to minute.

The post How the XPrize Foundation Is Building Our Next-Gen Health Sensors appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Week’s Best TV: Jimmy Kimmel Fires a Lightning Gun and The Simpsons Go Kubrick

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 6:30am

The password to enter the latest edition of our best TV roundup is Fidelio, because that’s only fitting when Stanley Kubrick takes the top line spot by proxy. The Simpsons returned to the LED throne this week with a fantastic 25th edition of its annual "Treehouse of Horror" variety show, but perennial bestie John Oliver follows is close on their heels with a damning indictment (as usual) of how the United States government treats translators working in its service. To lighten that load we've got some silly science popping off and some even sillier Keanu Reeves—much preferred to his Sad counterpart—as part of a Jimmy Kimmel twofer. Oh, and another thing you guys, Selfie is happening, so you best get on board before you get left behind. Just like we told you it would. The prophecy is fulfilled with the following clips from this past week in television.

The post Week’s Best TV: Jimmy Kimmel Fires a Lightning Gun and The Simpsons Go Kubrick appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology