Geek Stuff

Oppo N3 smartphone’s motorized camera swivels to face the front or back

Liliputing -

Some smartphone makers help users take better selfies by building phones with high-quality front-facing cameras. Others just give you a high-quality rear camera… and a swivel that lets you rotate the camera so it faces the front of the phone. Last year Oppo introduced the N1 phone with a rotating camera. This year the company’s […]

Oppo N3 smartphone’s motorized camera swivels to face the front or back is a post from: Liliputing

Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On US Spying

Slashdot -

blottsie writes: The most-valuable, second-richest telecommunications company in the world is bankrolling a technology news site called SugarString.com. The publication, which is now hiring its first full-time editors and reporters, is meant to rival major tech websites like Wired and the Verge while bringing in a potentially giant mainstream audience to beat those competitors at their own game. There's just one catch: In exchange for the major corporate backing, tech reporters at SugarString are expressly forbidden from writing about American spying or net neutrality around the world, two of the biggest issues in tech and politics today.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Oppo R5 smartphone is just 0.19 inches thick

Liliputing -

Oppo hast just introduce what it’s calling the world’s thinnest smartphone… and it’s kind of tough to argue with that claim. The Oppo R5 measures just 4.85mm or about 0.19 inches thick. The phone isn’t just thin… it’s also reasonably powerful. Oppo manage to pack some decent hardware between the screen and the back cover, […]

Oppo R5 smartphone is just 0.19 inches thick is a post from: Liliputing

Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Slashdot -

HughPickens.com writes: The Independent reports that Pope Francis, speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has declared that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real. "When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," said Francis. "He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment." Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they "require it." "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." Experts say the Pope's comments put an end to the "pseudo theories" of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI who spoke out against taking Darwin too far.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Getting Lost In the Scientific Woods Is Good For You

Slashdot -

StartsWithABang writes: Wandering into the woods unprepared and without a plan sounds like a terrible idea. But if you're interested in scientific exploration at the frontiers, confronting the unknown with whatever you happen to have at your disposal, you have to take that risk. You have to be willing to take those steps. And you have to be okay with putting your best ideas out there — for all to see — knowing full well that you might get the entire thing wrong. Sometimes, that's indeed what happens. Some of the most revered and famous scientific minds in history confronted the great mysteries of nature, and came away having done nothing but set us back many years by leading the field down a blind alley. But other times, the greatest leaps forward in our understanding occur as a result. The article shares some notable examples, and explains why this is vital for scientific progress.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








16-Teraflops, £97m Cray To Replace IBM At UK Meteorological Office

Slashdot -

Memetic writes: The UK weather forecasting service is replacing its IBM supercomputer with a Cray XC40 containing 17 petabytes of storage and capable of 16 TeraFLOPS. This is Cray's biggest contract outside the U.S. With 480,000 CPUs, it should be 13 times faster than the current system. It will weigh 140 tons. The aim is to enable more accurate modeling of the unstable UK climate, with UK-wide forecasts at a resolution of 1.5km run hourly, rather than every three hours, as currently happens. (Here's a similar system from the U.S.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Open Consultation Begins On Italy's Internet Bill of Rights

Slashdot -

Anita Hunt (lissnup) writes: Hot on the heels of Brazil's recent initiative in this area, Italy has produced a draft [PDF] Declaration of Internet Rights, and on Monday opened the bill for consultation on the Civici [Italian] platform, a first in Europe. "[A]s it is now, it consists of a preamble and 14 articles that span several pages. Topics range from the 'fundamental right to Internet access' and Net Neutrality to the notion of 'informational self-determination.' The bill also includes provisions on the right to anonymity and tackles the highly debated idea of granting online citizens a 'right to be forgotten.' Measures are taken against algorithmic discriminations and the opacity of the terms of service devised by 'digital platform operators' who are 'required to behave honestly and fairly' and, most of all, give 'clear and simple information on how the platform operates.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Largest Sunspot In a Quarter Century Spews Flares

Slashdot -

schwit1 writes: The largest sunspot seen in about a quarter century has produced another powerful X-class flare today, the sixth in less than a week. "This was the sixth X-class solar flare from NOAA 2192, a record for the number of X-class flares generated by a single group so far this solar cycle. It was also the fourth X-class flare since last Friday, continuing a period of intense flaring activity. This sunspot group has grown again a bit, and maintains its magnetic complexity. A degradation of the HF radio-communication was observed over South-America, the Caribbean, and West-Africa." The last sentence is referring to some radio communications blackouts that have occurred in these areas because of the flares.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Help a Journalist With An NFC Chip Implant Violate His Own Privacy and Security

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: His wife thinks he's crazy, but this guy got an NFC chip implanted in his arm, where it will stay for at least a year. He's inviting everyone to come up with uses for it. Especially ones that violate his privacy and security. There must be something better to do than getting into the office or unlocking your work PC. He says, "The chip we are using is the xNTi, an NFC type 2 NTAG216, which is about the size of a grain of rice and is manufactured by the Dutch semiconductor company NXP, maker of the NFC chip for the new iPhone. It is a glass transponder with an operating frequency of 13.56MHz, developed for mass-market applications such as retail, gaming and consumer electronics. ... The chip's storage capacity is pretty limited, the UID (unique identifier) is 7 bytes, while the read/write memory is 888 bytes. It can be secured with a 32-bit password and can be overwritten about 100,000 times, by which point the memory will be quite worn. Data transmission takes place at a baud rate of 106 kbit/s and the chip is readable up to 10 centimeters, though it is possible to boost that distance."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Tech Giants Donate $750 Million In Goods and Services To Underprivileged Schools

Slashdot -

mrspoonsi sends news that a group of major tech companies has combined to donate $750 million worth of gadgets and services to students in 114 schools across the U.S. Apple is sending out $100 million worth of iPads, MacBooks, and other products. O'Reilly Media is making $100 million worth of educational content available for free. Microsoft and Autodesk are discounting software, while Sprint and AT&T are offering free wireless service. This is part of the ConnectED Initiative, a project announced by the Obama Administration last year to bring modern technology to K-12 classrooms. The FCC has also earmarked $2 billion to improve internet connectivity in schools and libraries over the next two years. Obama also plans to seek funding for training teachers to utilize this infusion of technology.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Slashdot -

sneakyimp writes: The Antares rocket operated by Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded on launch due to a "catastrophic anomaly" after a flawless countdown. No injuries are reported and all personnel are accounted for. According to the audio stream hosted by local news affiliate WTVR's website, the Cygnus spacecraft contained classified crypto technology and efforts are being made to cordon off the wreckage area. Additionally, interviews of personnel and witness reports are to be limited to appropriate government agencies so that an accident report can be generated. This accident is likely to have a detrimental effect on the stock price of Orbital Sciences Corp, traded on the NYSE. The Antares rocket's engines are based on old soviet designs from the '60s. While this is sure to be a blow to NASA due to the cost, it may well boost the fortunes of SpaceX, a chief competitor of Orbital Sciences. Both companies were recently awarded resupply contracts by NASA.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








US Post Office Increases Secret Tracking of Mail

Slashdot -

HughPickens.com writes: Ron Nixon reports in the NY Times that the United States Postal Service says it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations, in many cases without adequately describing the reason or having proper written authorization. In addition to raising privacy concerns, the audit questioned the efficiency and accuracy of the Postal Service in handling the requests. The surveillance program, officially called mail covers, is more than a century old, but is still considered a powerful investigative tool. The Postal Service said that from 2001 through 2012, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies made more than 100,000 requests to monitor the mail of Americans. That would amount to an average of some 8,000 requests a year — far fewer than the nearly 50,000 requests in 2013 that the Postal Service reported in the audit (PDF). In Arizona in 2011, Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor, discovered that her mail was being monitored by the county's sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Wilcox had been a frequent critic of Arpaio, objecting to what she considered the targeting of Hispanics in his immigration sweeps. Wilcox sued the county, was awarded nearly $1 million in a settlement in 2011 and received the money this June when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. Andrew Thomas, the former county attorney, was disbarred for his role in investigations into the business dealings of Ms. Wilcox and other officials and for other unprofessional conduct. "I don't blame the Postal Service," says Wilcox, "but you shouldn't be able to just use these mail covers to go on a fishing expedition. There needs to be more control."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Location of Spilled Oil From 2010 Deepwater Horizon Event Found

Slashdot -

Chipmunk100 writes: A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (abstract) claims to have identified the location of two million barrels of submerged oil thought to be trapped in the deep ocean following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. By analyzing data from more than 3,000 samples collected at 534 locations over 12 expeditions, they identified a 1,250-square-mile patch of the deep sea floor upon which 2 to 16 percent of the discharged oil was deposited. The fallout of oil to the sea floor created thin deposits most intensive to the southwest of the Macondo well. The oil was most concentrated within the top half inch of the sea floor and was patchy even at the scale of a few feet."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Google Developing a Pill To Detect Cancer

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: The Google X research lab has unveiled a new project: developing a pill capable of detecting cancer, imminent heart attacks, and other diseases. According to the article, "the company is fashioning nanoparticles—particles about one billionth of a meter in width—that combine a magnetic material with antibodies or proteins that can attach to and detect other molecules inside the body." When a person ingests the pill, these particles interact with the particular markers for a given disease. Since they're magnetic, they can then be guided back to a particular spot where they can be scanned to determine if any interactions took place. Google X's head of life sciences, Andrew Conrad, said, "What we are trying to do is change medicine from reactive and transactional to proactive and preventative. Nanoparticles... give you the ability to explore the body at a molecular and cellular level."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

Slashdot -

McGruber writes: Back on February 4, "Science Guy" Bill Nye debated Creationist Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Ham. That high-profile debate helped boost support for Ham's $73 million "Ark Encounter" project, allowing Ham to announce on February 25 that a municipal bond offering had raised enough money to begin construction. Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward. Nye said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's ministry, which preaches that the Bible's creation story is a true account, and as a result, "voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest." In July, the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority unanimously approved $18.25 million worth of tax incentives to keep the ark park afloat. The funds are from a state program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of as much as 25 percent of the investment in the project. Since then, the Ark Park's employment application has became public: "Nestled among the requirements for all job applicants were three troubling obligatory documents: 'Salvation testimony,' 'Creation belief statement,' and a 'Confirmation of your agreement with the AiG statement of faith.' (AiG is Answers in Genesis, Ham's ministry and Ark Encounter's parent company.)" That caused the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to halt its issuance of tax incentives for the ark park. Bob Stewart, secretary of the cabinet, wrote to Ham that "the Commonwealth does not provide incentives to any company that discriminates on the basis of religion and we will not make any exception for Ark Encounter, LLC." Before funding could proceed, Stewart explained, "the Commonwealth must have the express written assurance from Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring." The ark park has not yet sunk. It is "still pending before the authority" and a date has not yet been set for the meeting where final approval will be considered.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Kindle Voyage is first Kindle not to support third-party apps

Liliputing -

Amazon has been offering third-party apps and games for its Kindle eReaders for years… and I’m not talking about tablet apps for the Kindle Fire. There are a few hundred games and apps available for the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Keyboard, and other eReaders with E Ink screens. But you can’t run any of them on […]

Kindle Voyage is first Kindle not to support third-party apps is a post from: Liliputing

We Are All Confident Idiots

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: If you've ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect, you'll be familiar with David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell. He's written an article on the "psychology of human wrongness," explaining how confidence in one's answers tends to be high for people who don't know what they're talking about. He says, "What's curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge." Dunning goes on: "A whole battery of studies conducted by myself and others have confirmed that people who don't know much about a given set of cognitive, technical, or social skills tend to grossly overestimate their prowess and performance, whether it's grammar, emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, firearm care and safety, debating, or financial knowledge. College students who hand in exams that will earn them Ds and Fs tend to think their efforts will be worthy of far higher grades; low-performing chess players, bridge players, and medical students, and elderly people applying for a renewed driver's license, similarly overestimate their competence by a long shot."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








EFF Calls for the Release of Vietnamese Blogger Dang Xuan Dieu

EFF's Deeplinks -

EFF has criticized Vietnam's crackdown on independent media and bloggers for years, including the imprisonment of Le Quoc Quan and attempts to spy on bloggers and journalists using malware. We are heartened to learn of last week's release of Vietnamese blogger Dieu Cay, but today we join with organizations including Viet Tan, Access, and PEN International to call on the Vietnamese government to immediately release blogger and activist Dang Xuan Dieu, who is serving a 13-year sentence for "attempting to overthrow the government" in response to his advocating for education for children living in poverty, aid to people with disability, and religious freedom in Vietnam. We are especially alarmed by reports Dieu's mistreatment in prison, including humiliation, beatings, and torture.

The mistreatment of Dieu must cease immediately and his unlawful imprisonment must end.

The full text of the letter is available below:

Life of Vietnamese Activist in Danger Due to Gross Mistreatment in Prison

The Vietnamese government should immediately cease the ill-treatment, physical and psychological abuse of Dang Xuan Dieu while in arbitrary detention. News reports of Dang Xuan Dieu being forced to sleep and eat next to his excrement; denied access to adequate food, clean drinking water and regular showers; and subjected to humiliation and torture reveal the inhumane conditions of his detention.

In January 2013, together with 13 activists Dang Xuan Dieu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for “attempting to overthrow the government” based on his work as a community organizer who advocated for education for children living in poverty and aid to people with disability and his writings that highlighted the Vietnamese government’s religious persecution.

International human rights organizations, elected officials and foreign embassies in Hanoi have called for Dang Xuan Dieu’s immediate release. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Dang Xuan Dieu and his fellow activists’ detention was arbitrary and unlawful.

According to reports, Dang Xuan Dieu, who is currently serving one of the longest politically motivated sentences in Vietnam, has been held in solitary confinement and subject to physical and psychological abuse as punishment for protesting his ill. On several occasions, prison officials forced Dang Xuan Dieu to “model” while other prisoners painted him into a “half-human/half-beast” figure.

Dang Xuan Dieu has been on prolonged hunger strikes since April 2014 to demand better treatment. In retaliation, prison officials act with impunity and have reportedly let other prisoners beat and treat Dang Xuan Dieu like a “slave.”

Despite the signing of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment last November, according to reports from those in detention, the Vietnamese government continues to show blatant disregard for the humane treatment of prisoners.

In light of these reports, we call on foreign embassies in Hanoi to make every effort to visit Dang Xuan Dieu in prison and monitor his health. Attention from distinguished international personnel can and will improve his conditions.

The Vietnamese government must release Dang Xuan Dieu immediately and unconditionally and must take all steps to provide him and other prisoners with humane treatment and appropriate access to sanitary facilities in accordance with their international obligations.

For more information, please contact:

ACAT France
Christine Laroque, Asia Programs Manager, laroque@acatfrance.fr and +33
1 40 40 74 09

Access
Jochai Ben-Avie, Policy Director, jochai@accessnow.org and +1 347 806 9531

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Eva Galperin, Global Policy Analyst, eva@eff.org and +1 415 436 9333 ex. 111

English PEN
Cat Lucas, Writers at Risk Programme Manager, cat@englishpen.org and +44 20 7324 2539

Media Legal Defence Initiative
Nani Jansen, Legal Director, nani.jansen@mediadefence.org and +44 780 540 4089

PEN International
Cathy McCann, Researcher, Cathy.McCann@pen-international.org and +44 20 7405 0338

Viet Tan
Hoang Tu Duy, Spokesperson, dhoang@viettan.org and +1 202 596 7951

Related Issues: Free SpeechBloggers' RightsInternational
Share this:   ||  Join EFF

Alienware 13 gaming laptop supports optional desktop graphics cards

Liliputing -

Dell unveiled a new 13 inch gaming laptop this summer, and now the Alienware 13 available for purchase for $999 and up. It’s the company’s smallest laptop designed for gaming and it combines an Intel Haswell processor with NVIDA GeForce GTX 860M graphics, 802.11ac WiFi an Ethernet jack, HDMI and mini DisplayPort, and 52 Whr battery. […]

Alienware 13 gaming laptop supports optional desktop graphics cards is a post from: Liliputing

Pages

Subscribe to debianHELP aggregator - Geek Stuff