Geek Stuff

Lenovo’s first activity tracker, plus another tablet get regulatory approval

Liliputing -

Lenovo appears to be joining virtually every other consumer electronics company in the wearable space. An unannounced device called the Lenovo Smartband SW-B100 showed up at the Bluetooth SIG website recently, where it’s described as an activity tracker (so don’t expect a full-fledged smartwatch just yet). Meanwhile, the company appears to have a whole group of […]

Lenovo’s first activity tracker, plus another tablet get regulatory approval is a post from: Liliputing

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

Slashdot -

mdsolar writes with this story about the rising costs of keeping Europe's nuclear power plants safe and operational. Europe's ageing nuclear fleet will undergo more prolonged outages over the next few years, reducing the reliability of power supply and costing plant operators many millions of dollars. Nuclear power provides about a third of the European Union's electricity generation, but the 28-nation bloc's 131 reactors are well past their prime, with an average age of 30 years. And the energy companies, already feeling the pinch from falling energy prices and weak demand, want to extend the life of their plants into the 2020s, to put off the drain of funding new builds. Closing the older nuclear plants is not an option for many EU countries, which are facing an energy capacity crunch as other types of plant are being closed or mothballed because they can't cover their operating costs, or to meet stricter environmental regulation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes The debate over Internet governance for much of the past decade has often come down to a battle between ICANN and the United Nations. The reality has always been far more complicated. The U.S. still maintains contractual control over ICANN, while all governments exert considerable power within the ICANN model through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Now governments are looking for even more power, seeking a near-complete veto power of ICANN decisions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Blur launcher for Android features custom app “pages”

Liliputing -

One of the things that sets Android apart from some other smartphone operating systems is the fact that you can interact with many apps without leaving your home screen thanks to support for interactive widgets. If you use the Google Now launcher, you can even swipe from the left of your home screen to view […]

Blur launcher for Android features custom app “pages” is a post from: Liliputing

WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes "Julian Assange has hosted a press conference in which he indicated he is soon about to leave the embassy of Ecuador in London. From the article: "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent over two years in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid a sex crimes inquiry in Sweden, said on Monday he planned to leave the building 'soon', but Britain signaled it would still arrest him if he tried. Assange made the surprise assertion during a news conference alongside Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. But his spokesman played down the chances of an imminent departure, saying the British government would first need to revise its position and let him leave without arrest, something it has repeatedly refused to do."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Deals of the Day (8-18-2014)

Liliputing -

When Apple first started selling iPads, the company didn’t offer a model for under $499. At the time that was still a pretty good price for a tablet… because there wasn’t a lot of high quality competition. These days Android and Windows tablets are a dime a dozen… and even some of the cheaper models […]

Deals of the Day (8-18-2014) is a post from: Liliputing

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Slashdot -

Rick Zeman writes Wired has an interesting article on the possibility of selectable ethical choices in robotic autonomous cars. From the article: "The way this would work is one customer may set the car (which he paid for) to jealously value his life over all others; another user may prefer that the car values all lives the same and minimizes harm overall; yet another may want to minimize legal liability and costs for herself; and other settings are possible. Philosophically, this opens up an interesting debate about the oft-clashing ideas of morality vs. liability." Meanwhile, others are thinking about the potential large scale damage a robot car could do. Lasrick writes Patrick Lin writes about a recent FBI report that warns of the use of robot cars as terrorist and criminal threats, calling the use of weaponized robot cars "game changing." Lin explores the many ways in which robot cars could be exploited for nefarious purposes, including the fear that they could help terrorist organizations based in the Middle East carry out attacks on US soil. "And earlier this year, jihadists were calling for more car bombs in America. Thus, popular concerns about car bombs seem all too real." But Lin isn't too worried about these threats, and points out that there are far easier ways for terrorists to wreak havoc in the US.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Researchers Find Hundreds of Thousands of Woefully Insecure IoT Devices

Slashdot -

mask.of.sanity writes "More than 140,000 internet-of-things devices, from routers to CCTV systems contain zero-day vulnerabilities, backdoors, hard coded crackable passwords and blurted private keys, according to the first large scale analysis of firmware in embedded devices. Four researchers from EURECOM France found the flaws when conducting a simple but systematic, automated, and large-scale analysis of 32,356 firmware images running on embedded systems within thousands of different devices. Of these, 693 had at least one vulnerability while 38 contained active (or possibly recently patched) zero day flaws."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Machine Vision Reveals Previously Unknown Influences Between Great Artists

Slashdot -

KentuckyFC writes Art experts look for influences between great masters by studying the artist's use of space, texture, form, shape, colour and so on. They may also consider the subject matter, brushstrokes, meaning, historical context and myriad other factors. So it's easy to imagine that today's primitive machine vision techniques have little to add. Not so. Using a new technique for classifying objects in images, a team of computer scientists and art experts have compared more than 1700 paintings from over 60 artists dating from the early 15th century to the late 20 the century. They've developed an algorithm that has used these classifications to find many well known influences between artists, such as the well known influence of Pablo Picasso and George Braque on the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, the influence of the French romantic Delacroix on the French impressionist Bazille, the Norwegian painter Munch's influence on the German painter Beckmann and Degas' influence on Caillebotte. But the algorithm also discovered connections that art historians have never noticed (judge the comparisons for yourself). In particular, the algorithm points out that Norman Rockwell's Shuffleton's Barber Shop painted in 1950 is remarkably similar to Frederic Bazille's Studio 9 Rue de la Condamine painted 80 years before.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Microsoft pulls some Aug 12th Windows Updates following crash reports

Liliputing -

Microsoft rolled out a series of patches for Windows on August 12th including security patches and a few updates that add new features to the operating system. Unfortunately 4 of the updates have been reported to cause some users’ computers to crash and some people have had problems starting their systems properly. So Microsoft has […]

Microsoft pulls some Aug 12th Windows Updates following crash reports is a post from: Liliputing

Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

Slashdot -

stephendavion writes Looks like Chinese device maker, Xiaomi, is taking its "Apple of the East" tag too literally. First, their CEO brazenly copies Steve Jobs' signature look, sitting cross-legged on the floor. And now, Xiaomi's latest version of Android shamelessly rips off iOS 7. MIUI 6, which is Xiaomi's upcoming edition of Android for its latest phones and tablets, looks almost exactly like Apple's operating system for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch. It features the same bright color palette and a flat design. Heck, it even does away with Google's "app drawer" and puts all apps on your home screen. It's like the CEO handed iPhones to the design team and barked: "Here, copy this!"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

Slashdot -

First time accepted submitter carbon_tet writes I read two articles this week that made me wonder: "Would anyone actually pay for a website without trolls?" The first, was about web trolls and civility on the internet, and the second about the ad-based internet. It seems that public comments unavoidably have trolls, or they degrade very quickly until someone makes a reference to Hitler. So, is it impossible to have a substantive discussion online without trolls? Would you put your money where your mouth is to have a serious online conversation without them? Are there any topics that you would talk about (or prefer to see talked about) on a website where trolls were paywalled out?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Call for questions: Q & A interview with the engineering and education teams

Raspberry Pi -

Back in February 2014, Matt Timmons-Brown captured Gordon, our Head of Software, and would not let him go to the café for his “Gordon Special” until he had spilled all of our secrets.

Gordon thinking about ‘Specials” as the ghost of a Toltec shaman hoots mournfully over his shoulder.

Matt is spending some time at Raspberry Pi Towers shortly and we’d like to do this again, but this time with added educationy goodness from one of the education team.

So: what would you like to know about Raspberry Pi? Post your questions below. The more questions we get the more interesting the Q&A sessions will be, so fire away!

Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

Slashdot -

AmiMoJo writes Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








HP Stream 14 inch notebook coming soon for $199

Liliputing -

A few years ago PC makers seemed to be focused on driving up the prices of portable computers by emphasizing premium devices such as thin, light, and powerful ultrabooks priced around $1000 and up. These days it looks like companies are moving in the other direction by launching laptops that are priced competitively with smartphones […]

HP Stream 14 inch notebook coming soon for $199 is a post from: Liliputing

Feds: Red Light Camera Firm Paid For Chicago Official's Car, Condo

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes "The former CEO of Redflex, a major red light camera vendor, and John Bills, former Managing Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Transportation, have been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago. According to the indictment, a friend of Bills was hired as a contractor and paid $2 million. Much of that money was then kicked back to Bills, who also got a Mercedes and a condominium via Redflex employees. The defendants are facing 23 counts including: mail fraud, wire fraud, and bribery. Each fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes The BBC and other outlets are reporting that a major quarantine center for patients who have been infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia has been looted and ransacked. Reports vary on the motive of the attack, but officials have confirmed that the Ebola patients are missing and that the quarantine center's medical supplies have been stolen. Officials say that the looters are highly likely to contract the virus themselves and worsen the epidemic further, as the WHO counts 1000+ lives claimed by the virus total."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes "NPR commentator Bonny Wolf has a unique solution to battle the threat of invasive fish species in our waterways. She proposes we fight them with a knife, fork, and a few lemon wedges. From the article: "Take the , which has made its way into tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. It competes with native species for food, and then eats the native species, not to mention the odd frog or bird, with its mouthful of sharp teeth. It's been called "Fishzilla." It breeds fast, has no natural predators and can grow to be 4 feet long. The northern snakehead hangs out in grassy shallows, making it hard to catch. But a couple of years ago, Maryland started promoting the snakehead as an eating fish. Its harvest has increased from zero to 5,000 pounds a year.""

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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